Deathly Hollow Spoiler Alert

Ethiopian flight 961
Author JK Rowling is taking issue with (2) too early book reviews of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Neither the Baltimore Sun nor the NYT reveal who dies or which loose ends end. Still Rowling scolds:

“I am staggered that some American newspapers have decided to publish purported spoilers in the form of reviews in complete disregard of the wishes of literally millions of readers, particularly children, who wanted to reach Harry’s final destination by themselves, in their own time. I am incredibly grateful to all those newspapers, booksellers and others who have chosen not to attempt to spoil Harry’s last adventure for fans.”

Wherever does the billionaire impresario get the idea that the world marches to her timetable? I’m sorry, has she offered Harry Potter to the public domain? Is everyone beneficiary to its income stream? I fail to see how Rowling, or TV reality shows as another example, can treat the news of what they are generating as proprietary information, and in addition, everyone’s obligation to safeguard.

TV reality shows purport to represent real life events. Why should their authorized reveal be protected from enterprising journalists whose job it is to get the scoop? Ms. Rowling writes fiction, but its effect is fact, and much of the hype is self-generated. If Rowling wanted to present her oeuvre such that all can experience it at the same time, perhaps she should have chosen the medium of David Copperfield, television.

Doesn’t a book reviewer play something of a consumer’s guide for readers who may or may not want to spend hours or dollars on a book? Does Rowling ask that no one inform themselves before buying her product? If it was free I’d feel a little more in the Potter spirit.

Much PR was made about the security efforts surrounding the Potter release. Online distributer is in trouble for having shipped copies ahead of schedule -well worth the publicity for themselves I expect. Now Scholastic reps have been phoning the thousand or so recipients to ask them to kindly refrain from opening their volumes until Potter time.

Luckily copies have found their way online and made it into the papers. The Toronto Star now tells all, hopefully saving as many as possible the tedious 800 pages and midnight queue. If Rowling fears the only reason people read her books is to get to the end, her tollway deserves a bypass.

Meanwhile, by coincidence I’ve stumbled on a real spoiler for you. Read no further.

Perhaps you too have had this nagging doubt about air travel over seas? I looked it up. This finding applies to young and old, young minds especially I suppose, who are dragged unto planes by their parents to fly over vast bodies of water. When you hear the safety preamble:

“In the event of an emergency water landing…”

and your attention is directed to flotation devices and the inflatable rafts to be awaiting you outside the exit doors, in the history of aviation the number of wide-bodied aircraft that have made successful landings on water is zero.

11 thoughts on “Deathly Hollow Spoiler Alert

  1. I guess the commitment to keep the Harry Potter plot a secret until the date agreed upon is like a gentleman’s agreement—it relies upon the honor of the parties for its fulfillment.

    The Toronto Star could also run a Christmas Eve edition wherein they informed the children eagerly waiting that there is no Santa Claus. It probably wouldn’t result in litigation, but they’d still be assholes for doing it.

  2. Yes, and candy bars make you fat,
    junk food saps your energy,
    soda pop can lead to diabetes,
    artificial sweeteners make you stupid,
    Bovine Growth Hormone give you breasts,
    pesticides and processed foods poison you,
    excess sun gives you cancer,
    porn pollutes your sexuality,
    violence your soul,
    (alcohol robs your spirit, drugs your life,
    gambling your pocketbook, if predisposed)
    and so on, sadly, but not new.
    Smoking kills, and
    don’t play with matches.

    Yes Virginia, there’s garbage out there, and
    some of it, unbeknownst to even parents,
    is bad for you. The jury may still be out
    on Penny-dreadfuls and comic books,
    but why wait on a jury?

    Am I saying don’t read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?
    No. I’m saying don’t write it.

  3. In the impossible event of a water landing, your seat cushion will act as a flotation device to assist rescue workers in the post-disaster clean up.

    Once again, we thank you for flying Verlo Airlines and hope that you enjoy your flight.

  4. Who defines BAD anyway? The Bible points to seven deadly “sins.” However, the jury is certainly out on the existence/nature of God, so why wait for the jury?

    Were the ancient Chinese bad for smoking opium? The Native Americans for peyote? Was Manifest Destiny wrong? Civil war? Playboy? NAMBLA? Are the Italians bad for enjoying food and carnality? The Mayans for human sacrifice? Today’s youth for piercings and tattoos? The Beats? Non-violent protests? A worldwide obsession with sport? Fundamentalists across the board? Gay love? Every one of these has had its supporters and detractors. Who determines truth?

    Whomever has put pen to paper has a little bit of envy toward JK Rowling and her incredible rags-to-riches story. She has created a phenomenon. I have no problem admitting my baser longings.

    So who determines GOOD and BAD? ME. Whatever makes me happy is good. Whatever makes me sad is bad. We are a world of narcissists. The planet truly does revolve around ME.

    If not, your path is one of an ascetic or a martyr. Don’t think that’s any loftier a position than that of a hedonist. It still floats your boat. Ultimately it’s still about self.

  5. Riddle:
    What does Harry Potter and Charles Bukowski have in common?

    They both suffer from Wand-er-lust.

    Happy floatational devices to ya both! I almost took this debate as serious. When either of you get to the cash registers be sure to give me a call…

  6. Which part, Marie? The pun?

    The cash registers? Or the meaning of life?

    I can only explain the pun as cheap. The other two as ironic paradoxes.

    But if you seriously want my opinion (beyond Harry Potter) – it’s that you both are right.

  7. (Spoiler) I’ll never forgive Rowling’s for killing off S***, ***n, ***s and F***. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

  8. Hmm interesting. Well, you’re entitled to your opinion.

    And you prompt me to ask: when in the course of good literature does it matter knowing who dies in the end? Ivan Illich? Romeo AND Juliet?

    Knowing the ending only matters to who done its, or sports matches. JK Rowling functions as a slot machine. I suppose it’s no surprise that people crank the handle thousands of times hoping to get to an ending they’ll like. And start all over again. Luckily for the compulsively curious, she says she’s done.

  9. In the microcosm of literature, Eric, I agree. Knowing an ending does not necessarily have to spoil the appreciation of literature. Yet, we all can recall endings that have surprised us – and with that surprise brought appreciation. Ray Bradbury’s “Here There Be Tygers” is a story that I can recall for the “punchline” of its ending. Likewise, I’ve never forgotten the imagery of Bradbury’s walking book people from “Fahrenheit 451”.

    I’d like to hope that “Saki” – the other commentor – is literate enough to know that the nick they chose stems from the penname of a great short story writer. Maybe the nick was picked up from the streets or other sources. Either way – its still both an acknowledgment and trail to be followed – for the curious. Correct?

    Last year I saw George Bernard Shaw’s stage adaptation of Joan of Arc. Obviously I knew the historical ending – but it was the clever deployment of resolve that Shaw brought to the story that makes the play so memorable. Would I see it again (or read it) knowing that ending – yes – in fact it furthered my appreciation of Shaw’s brilliance.

    The fact that fans want a different ending is as important to the development of imagination as a “suitable ending”. Many people enjoy B-Movies simply to engage the story with their own imagination – talking to Godzilla’s stupid dance or revelling in feeling that they could write or do better. So in a way – even bad art creates imagination. Am I defending Potter – nope – never read them.

    Is this a debate for Search Engine ratings or a sincere concern? I’d love to see readership go up – so let’s add Britney Spears into this column, along with Viagra, Angelica Jolie, and all things contemporary.)

    Outside of the microcosm of art – I must ask myself the same of political beliefs. Should we accept the bad ending? Do we “pull the slot machine” of thought, planning, and engagement behind the voting booth curtain? Of course we do. We HOPE that our beliefs will find, bring, build a better world. Otherwise, it’s just an Inconvenient “Truthiness”* – sentiment without reason. Unfortunately, and obviously, the need for protecting our environment and human rights is NOT simply a sentiment.

    Reason (and critical thinking) is developed in these polarities. Like it or not.

    And so it goes…

    (*Note to readers: “Truthiness” is a former Word of the Year, as voted by The American Dialect Society. Each year this group brings new slang to appreciation. This year’s word was “plutoed”, slang for being demoted. One clever runner up was the slang word flog – meaning an advertisment cleverly packaged as a web blog. Live and learn! It’s fun!)

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