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Tony Grist

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Fandom [Aug. 4th, 2007|12:12 pm]
Tony Grist
Fandom- I don't get it.

Why would you want to mess with someone else's characters when you can create your own?

Does J.K. Rowling take pleasure in badly written stories about her characters having sex?  I doubt it.  Why- If you admire and enjoy her work - would you want to disrespect her so? 

Isn't "fan" a bit of a misnomer?

But lets move from the general to the specific. An artist just got banned by LJ because of an image she posted of Harry and Snape.

Only the banning seems ineffective because she's bounced back and the image is viewable. (I'm not giving links. I don't want to give her any more publicity than she's getting already).

I clicked. I was expecting an image of them kissing. Boy, was I in for a surprise.

The characters were clearly modelled on Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Rickman. Isn't this defamation of character or libel of something?

Even more to the point:  British comedian Chris Langham is about to go to prison for downloading images which (I assume ) are comparable to this. 

So- forget morality- LJ needs to guard itself against prosecution.

But I don't want to forget morality. You take characters from a beloved children's book and you produce an image of them that any paedophile would be proud to own (you can quibble over whether Harry looks underage or not if you want to be legalistic and miss the point) and  I can't think of any grounds on which I'd be prepared  to defend you.

A lot of fans are up in arms and banging on about censorship.  I just watched a video of a girl give a little self-righteous speech then attempt to burn her LJ shirt with a blow torch .  Fine. Off you trot to some less scrupulous site and good luck to you!  As it happens, I'm perfectly happy to see you go.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: michaleen
2007-08-05 02:07 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on finding a topic with some real legs under it, but with tempests like these blowing through, you might consider relocating to a bigger teacup.

There seem to be two issues coming to the fore in this lively exchange: acceptable depictions of sexual activity and the exclusive rights of a writer to the characters they create. The first is disposed of the easiest: if prevaling laws or mores frown on such things, it may and probably will be restricted. The reasons don't particularly matter. In Iran they'll say one thing, in the UK another. There will never be any sorting it out to everyone's satisfaction and in my experience the claim that "we must protect our precious sprogs" is often just a thin veil for enforcement of local social norms.

The second point, whether Rowling or any writer can reasonably expect her characters be kept pure and pristine, baffles me and is in any case effectively moot. People of whatever age read material like Harry Potter for the escape from reality they provide, not because it qualifies as Art with a capital "A". I don't think it particularly surprising that some fans would filch a few elements here and there and press on further into fantasies of their own, even those that others might find unwholesome. The originating author has cast her bread upon the waters and reaped the reward she sought in doing so. It's a little late to worry about unintended consequences.

Saying that Harry Potter is children's literature and therefore somehow sacred is a very thin reed, I think. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland was also kiddy lit, authored by a man of kiddy-twiddling tendencies, and is beloved and kept alive perhaps more by adults than kids. The Tale of the One-Thousand Nights and A Night, once the sexy bits were edited out, became a mainstay of children's literature, but was not composed with that exclusive end-use in mind. For the Bedouin sitting around a campfire, it was quality family entertainment, sex and all.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-08-05 04:12 pm (UTC)
Apparently Rowling is happy for people to write fanfic so long as it isn't porn. She could probably enforce her wishes through the courts if she wanted to- but she hasn't and I think that's because she's a fundamentally nice person. I think it's good manners to respect her wishes.

Carroll was a paedophile, but one who behaved with the utmost decorum and rectitude. Paedophilia is a psycho-sexual condition, those who suffer from it can't help it and those of them (like Carroll) who control their urges and never harm a child deserve to be honoured. There's nothing remotely creepy about the Alice books and I'd be cross with anybody who used Carroll's imagery to create paedophile porn.

I've no problem with kids reading the 1,000 and One Nights or other books with sex in them. I think that's a different issue altogether.

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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2007-08-05 05:18 pm (UTC)
Apparently Rowling is happy for people to write fanfic so long as it isn't porn. She could probably enforce her wishes through the courts if she wanted to- but she hasn't and I think that's because she's a fundamentally nice person. I think it's good manners to respect her wishes.
As a sometime scribbler myself, I've learned that it's terribly important to let go of our creations, especially the ones we cherish most. They're like children, in a way, and with success take on a life of their own.

I don't know, obviously, but it seems possible that seeking redress in the courts could have a negative impact on sales and promotion. If so, I doubt her publisher would allow her to pursue that avenue. Once money changes hands, a new dynamic comes into play and good manners seldom enter into it. Yes, I am a cynical bastard.
There's nothing remotely creepy about the Alice books and I'd be cross with anybody who used Carroll's imagery to create paedophile porn.
At a guess, that ship has probably already sailed. That his imagery has been used for garden-variety porn is an historical fact.

Suppose what I'm getting at here is, why get bent out of shape over Harry Potter and not about the huge amount of erotic art based on everything from The Simpsons to Batman to Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves? What adults get up to and what tickles some fancies boggles the mind. There is no stopping it, has never been a snowball's chances in hell of stopping it. So long as no one suffers physical harm as a result - or financial harm, in the case of pursuing such infringements in court - I don't see a problem, aside from the usual problems when humans are passionate about something.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-08-05 06:21 pm (UTC)
Why get het up about Potter porn? Because- as George Mallory said of Everest- it's there.

This particular image sort of cropped up and there was an existing controversy about it and I weighed in. I've looked at the image, I find it sleazy and with an aura of paedophilia about it and I understand why LJ drew the line.

On the whole I thoroughly approve of erotic art.



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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2007-08-05 07:25 pm (UTC)
Well, exactly.

There is a time and place for almost everything, even censorship.
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[User Picture]From: cataptromancer
2007-08-05 11:02 pm (UTC)
"There's nothing remotely creepy about the Alice books and I'd be cross with anybody who used Carroll's imagery to create paedophile porn."

I'm sorry, I'm addicted to casuistry in this discussion...

what do you think of this one:

(themes NSFW, though no images)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Girls
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-08-06 08:04 am (UTC)
Ach, you've got me there- and I can feel my argument crumbling in my hands.

If I could be persuaded that the Potterporn was a work of artistic merit- on the level of Lost Girls- I would probably have to defend it.



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