Friday, June 24, 2016

I Wish I Could Use Magic--the Potter Period in Occidental History, Part 1

There is a deep and abiding connection between Harry Potter and modern governmental structures. Heavily saturating electronic media to nearly professional sportsball levels--most noticeably in Huffington Post, but drenchingly elsewhere also--the Harry Potter narrative goes well beyond the traditional panem et circenses, attaining heights more tantamount to sequential Mohammed Attas or Games of Thrones than to Yet Another World Cup. Its seamless integration from childhood mindscripting to adulthood infotainment is like the transition from vaccines to boosters to regular checkups to long-term care insurance in the loving hands of benevolent government; later Terran scholars will be able to more fully chart the course of the internationally coordinated media positioning that not only popularized the initial normative-inducing product, but ensured that the product would remain a lastingly relevant thought guidance system once its audience believed itself to have graduated childhood and moved on to higher things. After the infection of Europe cum America, the successive celebritization of the inbred traitor-royals, followed by that of the infested media royals, and then the media franchises themselves, the Potter process would mark the first time that all spectra of the creative process itself would be celebritized. It is through Potter that the soulless branding of the superhero franchise extended, becoming a brand not only of the story and its name, not only of the characters in the story, not only of the creator of the story and the fandom of the story, but of the entire integrated process of selecting, fabricating, promoting, adapting, filming, viewing, buying, merchandising, aging-along-with, sharing reflection with, and active and ongoing collaboration with selective world events and political participation.

The politicization, both self- and mass-, of the artist is nothing new, to be sure. Dostoevsky was not furtive about his excoriation of malignant pustules like Rowling in his Demons, and he and his contemporaries shared, to some extent, a dialogue about the destruction of land, blood, and spirit, which, as Khan and Yellen and Rowling show us, continues unheeded to this day. It is not wholly the pithy "real-time" nature of "the internet" or "FaceBerg" that distinguishes this process as new or remarkable, nor is it entirely the infantilization of artist and audience, which makes Potter unique. All of these things have been, and are, present to some degree in not only the mass infotainment phenomena of today, but of yesteryear. Rather, the standout feature of Potter is the same that marks political modernization in many other aspects today: the Mephistophelesian, trans-hostian nature of the relationship between Potter and its audience.

Dostoevsky might curse invading nihilists and the weak-willed Slavs who succumb to them, and Goethe might epitomize the flaws of Germany in a determined researcher, yet in each case, be it through Myshkin or Gretchen, the artist pays homage to an inherent goodness of blood and spirit upon which the story of downfall can be, like so many merchants, successfully hosted and given life. Potter discards any of this as worthless, finding value only in the manner of behavior of the Peoples Temple's preferred path to salvation: quietly dying in penultimate shame for having existed. To Rowling, the nihilists have become the unabashed protagonists, for in the world of Potter, Pyotr Verkhovensky's vision is the heroic ideal.

Rowling was the perfect medium to employ in such a venture: an adequately functional one, but more importantly, self-obsessed to the point of avoiding the necessity of doublethink by being able to genuinely believe in her own responsibility for her fate--she was a living failure, surviving on the government dole, with few-to-zero filial and social ties. The perfect subject for either a tragic or heroic example from the hand of mass media directors: if male, she could've been tapped for a lone-wolf perpetrator; if female, victim; if she had been a more coherent unscripted speaker, she could've been one of those random corporate board members who comes out of nowhere to grace the pages of Forbes. Luckily, she wasn't that dynamically bright, so she ended up much wealthier. It's likely that she structured the plot and dialogue of all of her novels, with only a bit of editorial input as to plot foundation and message. Her penchant for seeking reassurance from the editors, directors, screenwriters, and actors portraying her characters is well-known, as she attempted to feel part of a creative process that she could understand only by interacting with others; as she made herself believe in the role by playing it to excess.

One thing we must take away from the Potter Period is that the necessity of "group work" and "team building" in modern pedagogy is not only to permit the middle- and low-functioning to be carried along by the high-, but to encourage the low- and middle-functioning to believe that they are not being carried. For hundreds of thousands of reasons, it is important that Transactional, Physical, Spiritual, and Performance celebrities believe that they are responsible for their own success. Everyone can't be a member of the Skull and Bones, but you can't have a bunch of people turning on their deathbed and admitting that they were paid to pretend. Their limited intellects often attempt to do this--ergo that now-ancient trope of the awards ceremony, the tearful confession of all the people an artist wants to thank for their "role" in the artist's success; all the people without whom it "couldn't have been done," including not merely God and Mommy, but "my producer" and other such telling revelations--but the artist herself is not able to appreciate that she really didn't do it. Accordingly, the Potter Period is characterized by unaware operatives like Julia Roberts or Halle Berry or George W. Bush, who believe they are rarely talented actors rather than attractive-enough figureheads with the right backgrounds, who can be painstakingly coached through wooden performances by a prodigious team of support staff.

The precise nature of any of the nine-hundred-page blends of riddles and pre-/intra-pubescent adventure that coat Rowling's decreed message is unimportant, making public faces delightfully interchangeable in front of the shallowest of readers. Rowling has indicated that she always knew that the books would end by repeating themselves, with the protagonists' children attending Hogwarts, but that appended epilogue is, like the rest of her contributions to the work, the fan-fiction that dresses up the more important aspects of structure, which she did not herself create. Rowling is the less-intelligent, less-insightful answer to Stepan Verkhovensky: able to repeat shallow forms of things she's been taught, but unable to fully enunciate their philosophy, nor to do more than direct group laughter or pity after the currents of fashion. How unfortunate to think that, after Mephistopheles won the day, he subcontracted the task of justifying himself to those far less verbally skilled! What a conceit we had those centuries past, to fancy that the devil might argue the great questions with us directly. But no, even his customer service is screened behind interactive recordings!

This one wonders what Goethe would make of the sad reality wherein the fundamental debates of existence are passé to the very Father of Lies. Nonetheless, in the present, we see "Rowling's" answer--rather, like an American president's answers, the handlers' answers (or, more dizzyingly yet, the answers given by the silent partners who speak to the silent partners who speak to the public partners who give directions to the managers who manage the handlers)--to this pitiable existential conundrum: Harry Potter was selected to destroy Europe. There is plenty that must be said about its Chosen (sic) successors--Twilight, aimed at the teenage tingles of Potter-conditioned readers, followed by 50 Shades of Grey, the concession to both the legal adulthood and the repressedly miserable virtual spinsterhood of the joint halves of Potter's readership, followed by the "must act like an adult now" Game of Thrones (Yahweh only knows what horrors await us when the original Potter-readers reach retirement age and want a retrospective, youth-demeaning swords & sorcery product)--but, for now, let us return focus to Potter.

To understand the nature of Potter's attack on Europe (and the world at large, but stick with Europe for purposes of discussion), we must consider the way Rowling's (for simplicity's sake, we'll stop air-quoting her name and referring to her handlers' handlers' handlers from here on out; we'll also not italicize Potter, referring to the Potter Period rather than the series' title) work developed from the first book to the last. In keeping with the Potter Period's traits of the celebritization and generalization of the crafting process, we'll tie in, also, Rowling's pre-Potter and post-Potter service to her handlers. A verbal graph of the rate of change, and type of change, which we'll see throughout this process, will reveal to us what Rowling initially believed, and how Rowling's contact with her handlers changed that belief. Her (same disclaimer: no air-quotes around "her" or other possessives or allusions of responsibility, which are henceforth deemed to include all parties involved in the Potter product) craftwork is distinguished from other human works in that it was created as a malleable expression of extemporaneous desire, rather than an artistic statement, and her ongoing involvement with it is meant to make "it"--not only it itself, but the phenomenon caused for and caused by and generated by and generated for it--something that not only can, but must, mean anything it is meant to mean at the time it is cited. Ironically, Potter itself is rather a Mirror of Erised--a creation that, like Rowling's amazingly WASPy, male-dominated original cast of professors and, more importantly, chauvi-WASPy fictionally-historic figures--reveals the endless flexibility and, ultimately, falsity and meaninglessness of her work. Because it was created without the ability to stand alone, and constantly reconfigured whenever social convenience deemed it necessary, Potter has become a wreck in the style of a post-Talmudic Judea or post-Nicean Christianity, where so many ultimately authoritative sources have internally conflicted with the muddled and re-presented source materials that it takes a constant exercise in faith (and attention-paying) to know what is right to believe at what time. Since Rowling is God of Potter, her continued presence in recasting the kraftwerk to satisfy ego and handlers makes, for believers, the original text impossible to translate without the benefit of her input, like when Muhammad issued new revelations about his share of booty from any given battle.

Part 2

4 comments:

  1. Those Public School kids in the UK were destined to be our leaders. Look at how they worked to keep Voldemort from ruining The World! Voldemort is the universal Bad Guy, but is he a Banker or Financier, or just someone who won't play by The Rules?

    Talk about rewriting history:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Potter_influences_and_analogues

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    1. He's both a banker and not a banker--he's the dumb person's understanding of the Fed, because he's both rich and genteel yet vulgar and poor. Writing while taking into account the gravitational pull of currency manipulation was way beyond even a managed Rowling.

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  2. Dumbledore is a clear reference to John Dee (which is where 007 come from)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dee

    And the whole movie overall socializes the kids of the peasants into accepting the idea that the world is governed by secret elite structures and that they are just moguls. My 30 year old sisters in law seem to not have any problem with that.

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    1. Ugh, occupied Britain...good connection between Bond & Dumbledore.

      How long until they make a gay Bond, anyway? It's 2016.

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