New Political Maturity from Rowling?

In response to Rowling’s anodine New Year’s advice to writers in the form of ‘Answers to FAQs’ on her website, a nasty bloke or madame asked her two more questions, namely, ‘Why is your writing so shit?’ and ‘How are you so politically delusional?’ She chose to respond to the troll under the internet bridge.

She explained that her ‘writing is so shit’ because, well, “I do the best I can with the talent I’ve got, but I know my writing isn’t to everyone’s taste.” Her millions of followers, of course, rushed in the thread to reassure her that her writing is very good indeed. I’m not sure you take this as authentic humility, fishing for praise, or some combination of insecurity and rising above the nastiness. Your call.

In answer to the question of how she arrived at her “political delusions,” though, I think we see a remarkable shift in her tweeting posture, if it is a sincere response and not a one-off dismissal to a troll. She wrote that “my politics probably spring from my life experience and my temperament, like everyone else’s.” Which is to say, as ardent as the opinions she shares in her tweets and re-tweets about Brexit, Trump, and illegal immigration on the American border can be, that she recognizes they are only opinions rather than demonstrated truths that no thinking or kind or honest person can deny or disagree with. The opinions she has are only some mixture of temperament and experience.

She added a third answer, this time to a question “unwritten but implied” by the nastygram tweeter. “Try being less of an asshole.” Rowling’s admirers and detractors on the comment thread seem to have played the Jeopardy game of finding the question from the pithy answer and come up with either “What is my best advice for you, Gentle Reader?” or “What is my New Year’s Resolution for 2019?”

I’m hopeful that it is the latter and that Rowling will simultaneously continue to embed her political views in her work, more or less balanced in despising radical left and right if Lethal White is any measure, and back-off the vulgarity and condescending dismissals of those with whom she disagrees via Twitter. This post when combined with her sixteen point KJV thread and prophecy of late last year may mark a turning point of sorts in Rowling’s political savvy and maturity. Not the end of the nonsence, obviously (and I know she implies via re-tweet that all yellow vests protestors are Nazis…) but a sign of the beginning of the end?

I suspect you must disagree, especially if like many of her neo-Marxist followers, you fist pump every time Rowling laughs at or derides the bad guys. I hope you will take Rowling’s third answer to heart in 2019, as will I.


  1. David Llewellyn Dodds says

    Brusque, that second question, or what you will, but more than a ‘nastygram’ – a substantial question, basically dodged, it seems to me. The HPs seem characterized by good sense, insight, etc., and the questioner (not me, as it happens) may be, like many of us, astonished at “the vulgarity and condescending dismissals”, the shallowness, sloppiness, downright nastiness, of her acumen-free tweets.

  2. The Presence has been silent from 12-17 January 2019 which has been a tumultuous period in the UK, to say the least, with PM May’s Brexit deal being shut down by more than 300 votes in Parliament and her surviving a vote of no confidence only, it seems to this American, because the likely replacement is Labour’s Corbyn.

    Might it be a sign that my thesis is correct that Rowling has chosen not to stir the pot, if you will? Or are we to hope she is working so hard on Strike5 or finding a proper home for the Zouwu that she hasn’t time to bother with such things?

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