Rowling Goes to War with Latest Anomie


Rowling today tweeted a six part take-down of Laura Elliot, a writer who accused Rowling of asking the Society of Authors to issue a statement about the “You’re Next” tweet she received consequent to the Salman Rushdie attack. While that tweeted bit of terrorism was never a credible threat in my opinion, Rowling was well within her rights to ask Twitter to take it down, which is to say, “to do their job,” at least as they understand policing their platform. In a nutshell, Elliot was slandering Rowling, Elliot had blocked Rowling from responding privately, Rowling gave Elliot both barrels in public, which unleashed that part of The Presence’s 14 million twitter followers who support her to dump on Elliot. Elliot retreated from the field of battle but did not retract her accusation or apologize.

Matt Crawford noted that Elliot “should change her handle to Anomie” and his point that @TinyWriterLaura resembles the online terrorist (and murderer) in Rowling-Galbraith’s latest novel, Ink Black Heart, has its merits and failings. A better take-away from this limited-value analogy is that Rowling’s response reflects, as does Strike6, her take-away from her experience of abuse online from Gender Theory Extremists and the elitist herd who support everything ‘transgender’ (as they did governmental Covid hysterics — note Elliot’s three syringes — and the war in Ukraine).

That conviction seems to be the very sober but determined attitude to confront those lying about her, publicly or privately, even through litigation if necessary, rather than forsake her rights to free speech and suffer calumny in silence. Long-suffering might be the heroic thing to do, given the relative size of her platform’s following, but it is no true virtue in the end because it empowers the slanderers a la Anomie to become more brazen in their attacks on her and on others. 

When Rowling, Inc.’s barracuda barristers took the PA, Amanda Donaldson, who stole from her and her office, to court, I thought it was over-kill, Goliath crushing a relative nobody over what to the author was small change ($30,000). The point was made by a reader in response to my complaint about the disproportionate response and collateral damage that being rich and powerful does not mean you give up your rights to prosecute those who commit crimes against you. Which of course is true, though Rowling in this twitter exchange suggests strongly that, except she was blocked from a private response, she would not have released the Kracken by a public rebuke of Elliot.

And Amanda Donaldson was suggesting the crimes of which she was accused had been committed by other members of staff. Rowling, if she did not take public action against Donaldson, was leaving her other employees open to this accusation gaining traction, if the PA were not tried and found guilty. I get that — and, again, that Rowling understands if someone doesn’t do the right thing, however high and heavy handed it might seem, than the Anomies become dangerous enemies to the body politic and, specifically, to those without the ability to strike back.

So, three cheers for Rowling’s measured but vehement take-down of Anomie wannabe Laura Elliot. Life should not imitate fiction but the lessons learned or shared in story — and the moral of Ink Black Heart — is certainly on display here.


  1. Rowling has become a popular, casual target. To a certain crowd, her take on certain transgender issues makes her an all-purpose villain—and her wealth guarantees that attacking her can only be “punching up.” Therefore, the idea has set in that an any attack on her is basically fine—because: 1) “She probably deserves it,” and 2) Even if not, she’s certainly well-off enough that nothing can really hurt her—so who cares?

    In short, the conventional wisdom says Rowling is an acceptable punching bag, whatever your particular beef may be. And… I don’t think anyone has to put up with being a punching bag, no matter how rich they are. Especially when the accusations are false. Is this a case of Goliath smacking down David? Meh, you could say so… except that there are probably thousands of these so-called “Davids” who’d like to make Rowling’s life just a bit more miserable if allowed to get away with it. Making an example of one of them—just to signal that, actually, J.K. Rowling still has the same rights as everyone else—seems both appropriate and smart… in that maybe it’ll make the next “Anomie” think twice.

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