I’m sorry Ms Rowling

Ms Rowling has created something she does not fully understand. Her recent statement betray an ignorance of the strong social justice fans of her work have developed, in part due to her influence.

It would have been better to remain silent rather than release a statement in support of Depp.

Phrases such as “conscience is not governable by committee” are jarring to an audience who recently witnessed the expulsion of Weinstein following an Oscars Board Vote. It simply will not fly.

Is it fair to say the collective social conscience of Potter fans has been moulded by Rowling’s work? The article ‘The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice’ suggests so, as do her fans themselves.

Imagine the Potter series as a holy book, and Rowling a disappointing god. This is the first bitter instance where Potter fans genuinely feel Rowling is on the wrong side of history. With such a stellar record it was bound to happen eventually.

Rowling, so famously progressive, has unwittingly strengthened the untouchability of alleged abusers of a certain race and gender, at a pivotal moment when their security was beginning to crumble.

Whether Rowling understands or not, the Potterverse is in need of a messiah in the form of recasting, and the sacrifice of a former poster boy on the altar of conscience.

Even now, the Potterverse may offer forgiveness if Depp is ousted before the film’s release. Any move to do so after the fact would be attributed to lack of sales rather than the great moral epiphany fans are awaiting.

Ms Rowling, there is still time.

ETA: the author is not a Potter/Fantastic Beasts fan but has found this detached stance useful when writing this article.

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Brown kid, White wall

I was raised by an Asian parent, shamed into hiding from our family. We were keen to assimilate into a colder, less hazardous western world. It was necessary for our survival, but enjoyable too.

Our original culture was partially ditched at the gate. There were many complex reasons for this, reasons for another post. But sinking into western culture was a slow process. Osmosis by association helped, but there was no guide or map leading to White Britishness. This led to the birth of a non-culture. No Shah Rukh Khan, no Star Wars. No Sunday roast, but plenty of curry. Denim jackets but no sherwanis.

There is a romanticism around mixing cultures. An ideal that suggests amalgamation results in a beautiful hybrid. I suspect this was born from the minds of those whose fetishism of other cultures leads to compliments such as ‘exotic’ and ‘otherworldly’. Or those who cherry pick cultures for a few weeks of the year before venturing back to their lifestyle blog.

Whatever the case, there’s nothing romantic or mystical about it. Half a dozen of one and six of the other is confusing. And whichever cultural aspect one picks or rejects there is always pushback, disappointment, and conflict. Let’s not be naive. Sometimes we must choose one or the other, and the journey we take learning to manoeuvre through such choices is Herculean.

Still some aspects of different cultures compliment one another beautifully. Onion barjis with heinz ketchup, to me a delicious symbol of what it means to be BritAsian.

Crossovers like this are more legendary than Run DMC and Aerosmith.

Life in the mixed bubble is tumultuous at times, but always tasty.

The last novel I read was

Half of a yellow sun.

The first novel of Ngozi Adichie to reach my bookshelf.

I am now fully intrigued in Nigerian political history, and more aware of my ignorance of Nigerian life and modern African culture in general. Watching those emotional segues on Red Nose Day has not been expansive enough.

On a positive note, I now grasp some of the meaning behind this meme that popped up on my explore page:

Another reason to be grateful IG wasn’t around during the Nigerian civil war.

What was the last thing you read?

World-building: Extensive, Minimal, Top-down, and Bottom-up

Brick by brick, world-building can make a novel a delight or an agony.

Into the Wonder

Philip Overby has a new post up at Mythic Scribes about that perennial topic among fantasy writers, world-building. Philip lays out the pros and cons of both “extensive” and “minimal” approachs to world building, and he does it quite well. I’ll go ahead and state my preference for extensive world-building—as long as it doesn’t bog down the story.

I think of it sort of like a flower garden. People who come by to admire your roses and petunias don’t really care what sort of fertilizer you use or how you decide when to plant or the brand of your favorite set of clippers. They care about the finished product, not the process. And yet, when the other members of the local gardening society come around, they love to talk shop, share tips, etc.

I’m not sure what proportion of fantasy readers are like the members of the gardening society…

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The Red Tide

Fancy a dip?

prettyawfulthings

043235-algal-bloom

A fresh concentration of red tide algae forced the closure of another ten Sydney beaches as government authorities warned new blooms could occur anywhere between Sydney and the Central Coast.

“This bloom has likely occurred as a result of the upwelling of nutrient-rich deep ocean water on to the continental shelf,” they said.

“Testing of samples taken from Bondi beach have been identified as noctiluca scintillans, which appears as a pinkish to reddish discoloration in water. Upwellings create food sources for the predatory noctiluca scintillans – there’s more bacteria and phytoplankton for them to eat,” Dr Murray said.

Via news.com.au.

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