Okay, fine, I'm just going to say this once, and then I'm going to try to not only shut up about it but also not pay attention to much conversation about it and try not to let other people's snide comments get under my skin as maybe they are not talking about ME. That said, I did post my reaction to the whole Dumbledore outing thing earlier.
I took a quick inventory of the media (books, movies, music) that is in my house and on my computer right now and I am pretty sure that JKR is the largest single beneficiary of my media dollars. (The Beatles are next probably, but there are four of them, or Prince, but books cost a lot more than CDs.) The only author with more space on my bookshelf is my friend Julia Quinn, but those are all mass market paperbacks at $5-6 a pop, not hardcover books I bought when they came out for $35-40. I have:
- US Paperbacks of books 1-3
- UK paperbacks of books 1-4
- US hardcovers of books 4-7
- UK hardcovers of books 5-7
- DVDs of movies 1-3
- I've seen all five movies in the theater, PoA twice. Two of those were at special screenings free to me, so that's four movie tickets.
I figure I've paid to JKR what I owe her: the retail costs of the works she has created, or others have created after she gave them the rights to do so. That's at least $200 worth of media, fairly bought and paid for, sitting in my apartment.
What I don't think I owe JKR:
- Unadulterated praise for everything she has done or ever will do
- Acceptance of post-publication interviews as canon. She has every right to say whatever she likes, but if it's not in the books, it isn't canon. And if she didn't prove it to me in the books, then her telling me now doesn't mean it was in the books.
- Allowing JKR to control how I read and understand and feel about the books that she wrote. I paid for the book—and even if I'd taken it out of the library, it would be the same—and I get to have my own opinions on it, like any other reader.
- Changing my mind because JKR insulted me. Look, I've never written the woman any hate mail, and I don't spend a lot of time shrieking about this, but I am tired of feeling so damned defensive about this that I was worried that my friends in other fandoms would see that I had posted Harry/Hermione stories and think I was a lunatic.
I was talking to a friend a little bit ago and she said that I might be reacting more to the cluck-clucking of those elements in fandom who not only think that being closer to JKR is like being closer to, I don't know, God maybe? but also think that now that the canon is "done" that it is disrespectful to JKR to write fanfic that doesn't ship the same ships as canon. I admit that I don't even understand this, but there are a lot of claims floating around of what kind of behavior is or isn't disrespectful to JKR, most of which I've already violated at some point, so that horse may have left the barn where I am concerned. If JKR is deciding who gets into fandom heaven, looks like I won't be there, blasphemer that I am.
But I admit that all this "wow, people are really mean to JKR" comments has feeling a little taken aback. I don't want to fall on that old canard of "I can say what I want" because that always comes with consequences. Now, maybe those comments aren't meant to include me and my opinions, and maybe the people making them don't have the same "JKR's way or the highway" attitude of some others.
But I am willing to say that I have paid fair and square for JKR's books and movies and I'm not sure that I "owe" her more than that.