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.