Quick Roundup 265

Monday, October 29, 2007

Stop by Bubblehead's ...

... to get the latest gouge, as we used to say in the Navy, on the sudden relief of the captain of the nuclear powered submarine USS Hampton (SSN-767). Well worth perusal are the many intelligent comments the above post drew. In addition, The Sub Report is the place to go for the latest news reports.

I haven't been following this one closely, but it sounds very, very bad. It sounds so bad, in fact, that I find some parts of how it is being portrayed in the news media unbelievable. That's all I will say for now. In the meantime, I'll let the newest millionaire on my blogroll keep showing how it's done when he's not busy doing Dr. Evil imitations.

Well, OK. I'll say one more thing, thanks to one of the commenters over at The Stupid Shall Be Punished: Assuming it takes less than a decade to make razors out of a boat, I've been inside one of these before!

But no, I don't know which!

Two Bloggers Resurface

Gideon Reich (Armchair Intellectual) and Andy (The Charlotte Capitalist) have posted recently to their blogs.

Gideon, who described himself as a "student of Objectivism" kicks off his return to blogging with a long, but interesting post about a recent months-long exploration of his Jewish heritage.

And Andy describes an interesting event that Objectivists who live in the South might consider attending.

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged with a free public lecture by Andrew Bernstein Saturday, Nov. 10 in Greenville, S.C. hosted by the New South Objectivists.
For those who might be interested in re-visiting the web site of the New South Objectivists later on, I have provided a permanent link to it on the resources page of this site. Just click "Some Links" at the upper right any time, and look for them in the rightmost column under "Local Organizations".

I'm glad to see that Gideon's back and, although I'm not completely sure how regularly Andy will be blogging now, I hope he's back, too, and I'll keep an eye out for more activity over there.

Huh! And I always imagined McGonagall with blast-ended screwts!

When my wife got wind of J. K. Rowling's silly announcement that Dumbledore is gay, she had an immediate and, come to think of it, rather profound reply: "I don't care what she says. Dumbledore is not gay."

Toiler touches on the reason I think this reaction is profound as he comments on a pretty good column reacting to this revelation:
Creativity is only half the job of an author; selectivity is the other half.

So you made your choices, Ms. Rowling. They were tough choices. Some of them you may even regret. Now you have to do what all authors do: live with those choices. That's your job. Or, if you just can't endure having all of those morbid darlings locked up inside of you, how about writing another book? I'm sure you'd find a hungry audience. [bold added]
Dumbledore's sexual preference had absolutely zilch to do with the plot of Harry Potter, which is why it was so important that Rowling left it out of the books in the first place. Including it would have damaged the integrity of the work and speculating on it now is a meddlesome intrusion into the imaginations of her audience.

In fact, this announcement borders on a personal violation of the psyche of each of her fans. I do not regard homosexuality as a moral issue and yet I find myself very disappointed in Rowling despite the good intentions so many have projected onto this announcement.

Based on what little I know of Rowling's beliefs, I see this as a prime example of someone with mixed premises who compartmentalizes. As an artist, Rowling appears to know what to include and what to leave out in order to write the kind of story that legions of authors hewing more consistently to her leftist beliefs are simply unable to produce. In other words, she acts Aristotelian when she writes, despite her explicitly Platonic beliefs.

This is the same type of phenomenon we see all over the place among educated professionals who show brilliance and unstinting diligence in their daily jobs -- and yet whose political beliefs would make performing these very jobs impossible. Just take any excellent doctor who advocates socialized medicine, and consider how well he could continue professionally if he had to answer to a mindless bureaucrat at every turn.

Based on this announcement, I will be pleasantly surprised if anything else Rowling writes in the future even remotely approaches the brilliance of Harry Potter. She seems to regret not having been a more "serious" author. Too bad she doesn't seem to know how serious what she produced really is.

But I have all my fingers!

I popped up as "Frodo after the War of the Ring" in this Lord of the Rings quiz, and as someone who has "a tortured soul".
[A]ll that you once knew will never be the same, nor will you ever, *really* feel at peace. You saved Middle Earth, but at great personal sacrifice. You joined the Elves to Valinor.
Silly altruist! How is saving the world one lives in a "sacrifice"? The author of the quiz clearly meant "cost". (HT: Gideon Reich and Rational Jenn)

- -CAV


: Corrected a typo.


Gus Van Horn said...

Re-post of deleted comment minus ad:


Sarah Moffett said...

You give and cite some really valid points on this whole Dumbledore insanity. "In fact, this announcement borders on a personal violation of the psyche of each of her fans." After years of silence on the inner workings of Harry Potter, it feels like post-book seven Rowling has engaged in a mental purge by sharing all types of factoids. I'm just not sure why this particular revelation was necessary...or why it matters. One thing is for sure, the HP Encyclopedia just got really interesting.


Sarah, you are welcome to post here, but you must pay to advertise.

Gideon said...

Thanks for the plug!

I have to admit neither myself, nor my wife have had quite the reaction you and others seem to have had to Rowling's revelations about Dumbledore's sexual orientation. I guess I did not have my mind quite so set on a definitely heterosexual orientation for that particular character.

I agree that the books really did not provide much guidance in that direction. Yet, somehow it does not seem that far fetched when I think about it. It's certainly consistent with certain aspects of the series (elements of book 7, for example and also to a limited extent, other books).

Gus Van Horn said...

You're welcome.

My wife's reaction was strong and instant. (And she, if anything, has even fewer hangups, if that's the right word, with homosexuality than I.) My reaction took awhile and is more of a mixture of befuddlement and annoyance than anything else.

I would even agree that Dumbledore's being gay could explain some things, but there seems to be this desire to make a big deal out of something here that was not important to the series and which would be easily-enough brought into a later work if it were. And then this also makes it harder for parents who like the books, but who are not so sure they want to discuss such issues with their children just yet.

Having said all that, I also can't honestly say I had a definite opinion about Dumbledore's sexual orientation. But that is part of my point: What difference did it make one way or the other while I read it? What difference now? And why is the author retroactively re-writing her books without actually providing a good story in the bargain?