The Irony of JK Rowling
How the Harry Potter series inadvertently juvenilized a generation, ultimately creating the conditions which led to her being cancelled.
Did JK Rowling make statements that were technically transphobic? Yes. Were they hateful and bigoted? Probably not. It seems like she was just trying to express her experience of being a woman. What she said was definitely not a great idea. She definitely failed to read the room. However she did absolutely nothing worthy of being cancelled like an actual bigot or predator.
Cancellation is the proverbial hammer, and young people see any deviation from their pre-approved perspectives as a nail. The hammerings are the product the sort of reactive toxicity that comes from being juvenilized.
When I say contributed, I mean just that. Harry Potter is not directly responsible for this. It is just a factor. And one that was never intended to have this effect.
Before the Harry Potter series, there was barely any emphasis placed on what publishers and marketers refer to as “Young Adult” novels. For the most part books were sorted into ‘children’ or ‘adult’. Voracious readers took delight in graduating from juvenile fiction to the more mature stuff.
The popularity of Harry Potter among kids and adults alike changed the way books were marketed. In doing so it made juvenile writing more attractive to adult readers. This meant that the onus to graduate to adult fiction was greatly reduced, and it became fashionable for people to remain attached to childish things as they grew older, which was encouraged and reinforced by duplicitous marketing schemes.
This did not just happen in books. The phenomena of dragging childish aesthetics and perspectives into adulthood became normal across mediums of entertainment, and flourished in cultural attitudes. Now we have an entire generation of adults who have abandoned understanding, reconciliation, acceptance, forgiveness and redemption in favor of putting anything that even slightly offends their sensibilities into permanent cultural time out. This kind of totalitarian reactionaryism is the product of juvenile attitudes.
Sure, there was bad parenting and rewarding mere participation and numerous other factors. But the influence of marketing and mass media can not be discounted.
Lest you judge my perspective as merely frivolous opinion, you should know I spent years working in a bookstore, mostly in the children’s section. I had numerous conversations with people who had been in the business for decades, and they were the first to point out to me how the exploitation of marketing had influenced literary trends, and how they had watched those trends influence worldviews and emerging cultural phenomena.
I now view child-intended media as wholly toxic. If you speak down to children and cater to their inabilities, rather than challenge them to grow into adult media and ideas, you stunt their intellectual and emotional development. Doing so has led to a cultural police state that is fueled by hatred and intolerance that wears a sanctimonious halo of progress. But this is not moving us forward. This is moving us into a zeitgeist of fundamentalism and fanaticism that destroys lives and makes the world an unbearable eggshell walk.
Fuck this emo wizard kid shit, it’s time to grow up. If you don’t believe that an entire generation of people were juvenilized - go check out your favorite porn website, and marvel at how many people are getting off on cartoons.