MuggleCast 118 Transcript
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Andrew: Today’s MuggleNet podcast is brought to you by Borders. In May, thousands of Harry Potter fans descended upon New Orleans for the Phoenix Rising Conference. Borders was there to take in the sites and share a lively discussion of the series that has bewitched the world with some of Harry’s most dedicated fans. Listen in and watch the action yourself. Check our The Phoenix Rising, Borders Book Club discussion at BordersMedia.com/HarryPotter, or click on the Borders banner at the top of the MuggleNet page.
Andrew: Because we’ve got some controversy on our hands, this is MuggleCast Episode 118 for November 3rd, 2007.
[Show music starts]
Andrew: All right, we are going to start the show this week with a new segment here on the show. It’s called “Listener, Please Stop Listening To Our Show E-mail of the Week.”
Andrew: This is a brand new segment, it may be the last time, or you know? It could be the first of many. Anyway, this is from Alex P. of Fresno, CA, age 16. Keep that in mind for when we get to the e-mail part. [lets out a sigh] Heard of us through iTunes, the subject is “Gay Dumbledore = Bad.” Her message, “On Episode 117, you were talking about how Dumbledore is gay. I was extremely disappointed when I found out. You guys were saying that people that were opposed to that were immature, or needed to get more open-minded. It’s really not right to say that someone who does not support gay people needs to grow up. People are entitled to their own decisions, but that was the bad decision on Dumbledore’s part.”
[Laura and Andrew laugh]
Laura: Oh my god.
Andrew: Oh, god. [continues to read message] “It should have said it was a decision on your part.” Anyway, she made it worse than it already is. She goes on to say, “Homosexuality is morally wrong. There’s a reason that gay couples can’t have children. It is against nature. Gay = bad, evil, perverted.” End of e-mail. Anyone else want to respond to this one first?
Eric: Gay peoples can have children. They just adopt.
Laura: Yeah, and I would like to hear what you think about sterile couples, sterile heterosexuals. Apparently, people who can’t have children are evil and perverted?
Andrew: No, no, no. They’re just against nature.
Laura: Oh, okay. [laughs] That, too.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Laura: All right, we’re good.
Eric: Ah, geez.
Andrew: So, thank you Alex for that e-mail, and listener, please stop listening to our show. I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Laura: And I’m Laura Thompson.
Andrew: Micah Tannenbaum is in MuggleCast News Center with the past weeks Harry Potter news stories. Hey, Micah.
Micah: All right, thanks Andrew. Casting for extras in the sixth Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, took place recently where many young students lined up before the casting team.
Marketing manager Sharon Bird said: “The whole experience becomes a huge part of school life and children really enjoy being part of what is probably the biggest movie series in history.”
During the first 48 hours of its release, the French translation of Deathly Hallows sold 1.15 million copies. This breaks the previous record of 800,000 set by Half-Blood Prince.
J.K. Rowling updated the News Section of her official site earlier today saying that she could not approve of “companion books” or “encyclopedias” to her series. The Harry Potter author and Warner Bros. filed suit in a Manhattan Court today against Harry Potter Lexicon owner Steve Vander Ark and several defendants for publishing “an unofficial encyclopedic companion to the Harry Potter series,” saying it “infringes copyright and attempts to cash in on the successful brand.”
The Harry Potter Lexicon is slated to be released by RDR Books on November 28. Roger Rapoport, the publisher and owner of RDR Books said the companion novel “only promotes the sale of J.K. Rowling’s work and we intend to publish on schedule as planned.”
In addition to being able to view the past wizards of the month, and door openings, as well as a few new prizes another update was made to J.K. Rowling’s official website which was announced in the news section that not only has Jo written The Tales of Beetle the Bard, the book of fairy tales mentioned in Deathly Hallows, but also that the 7th of these rare items will be auctioned for charity. The charity that Jo has selected is the Children’s Voice and the book will have a starting price of 30,000 pounds.
Finally, Equus, the West End play starring Potter stars Dan Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths, is coming to Broadway in September of 2008. The production was rumored to move over to the United States, but some wondered if Dan would be able to do it because of his Half Blood Prince filming schedule. The Daily Mail also has an article on the story and notes that rehearsals are said to begin in August.
That is all the news for this November 3rd, 2007 edition of MuggleCast. Back to the show.
News Discussion: Equus to Broadway
Andrew: All right, thank you Micah. A few interesting news stories to discuss this week. First of all, it was announced Friday, good news for all you Dan Radcliffe fans in the New England area. Dan Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths are coming to Broadway for Equus. Yay!
Laura: Now, doesn’t that… Now, here I have a question.
Laura: Wouldn’t you feel insanely disappointed if you found out that they were coming to Broadway for Equus and you had spent hundreds of dollars to fly to England and see it when it first came out.
Eric: Well – well, no.
Laura: On the West End.
Laura: I mean, I would feel incredibly stupid. [laughs]
Andrew: To be honest, I did not think of that at all when I read this story. I was happy for Dan and I’m still happy that I went to England. Because we did that podcast for fans, too. I think that was the same time that I was out there.
Eric: Yeah. Yeah, I think it was, too.
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, it was. Yeah, so what are you saying, Laura? Those fans didn’t deserve the first-ever, live England MuggleCast?
Laura: Well – okay, you can’t make inferences like that. That’s ridiculous.
Laura: I would never say anything like that. I’m just digging at you. I’m just giving you a hard time.
Andrew: Oh, okay. Well no, to be honest with you, I’m glad I went to see it in England. Because it’s the West End, it’s a very cool place to see it. It was one of the – it wasn’t one of the first shows, but it was the first time they were putting on that play with Dan in it. So…
Eric: So, you were one of the…
Andrew: I thought it was worth it.
Laura: I’m just giving you a hard time.
Eric: If you went and saw Dan in England you were one of the…
Laura: Just keeping you on your toes.
Eric: …the upper echelon. The first couple million fans who saw him naked.
Andrew: Yeah, right.
Eric: And now so all the New Englanders, they’re just getting what’s left of Dan after so many prying eyes. You know?
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Laura: Sloppy seconds.
Andrew: I’m going to be like – whenever someone goes and sees it up in New York and they’re like, “Oh my god! I saw it!” I’m going to be like, “Psht. That was so last March.”
Eric: No, but…
Laura: So, is anybody going to go see it?
Eric: Yeah, I will.
Laura: Are you going to go see it again, Andrew?
Andrew: I’ll see it again, yeah. I mean it’s in New York City, that’d be stupid if I didn’t go. Laura, would you see it now that you’re in this area?
Laura: Yeah, absolutely. I’d love to go see it. It would be great.
Eric: And Richard Griffiths, I’m glad that Richard Griffiths is also coming back. Because I’ve heard amazing things.
Andrew: He’s worth it.
Eric: He’s totally, I mean just from what I’ve…
Eric: And he was in, also guys, The History Boys. Are you familiar with that play?
Eric: Yes, he’s really good in that as well. I mean, I haven’t seen him in much. But I’ve seen him in that, as well. And it’s just I really like Richard Griffiths. I think he’s really an incredible actor.
Andrew: Mhm. Yeah, I agree. There are a couple issues this raises. First of all, personally I think the American audience is going to be a lot younger, for starters. I mean, I honestly think there’s going to be a lot of teenage Harry Potter fans showing up for this play. Especially the first couple of weeks. I just think it’s going to be primarily – maybe not primarily, but it may be close to the majority of…
Eric: I disagree, Andrew.
Andrew: …people who attend will be Harry Potter fans. Just because I think that the fan girls here are different. They’d be more into making sure they go see that. You disagree, Eric?
Laura: Yeah, well I mean, just look at the amount of people who came to New York, even though they weren’t getting into the reading in October, you know?
Laura: Just like – and you look at all the groups of people on Facebook who are like, “I’m going to go to New York for this random event, even though I’m not getting in.”
Laura: So, it just wouldn’t surprise me if all of these people that we know, [laughs] get together and just fill up a Broadway theater.
Laura: To see Equus together.
Eric: Well Andrew, you’ve seen the Equus show, so would you say that it’s – I don’t want to say a coming-of-age tale, because that’s sort of like December Boys. But is it – I mean it’s dark. It’s a dark play.
Andrew: It is very dark. Yeah, I think once people get in and see it and they feel the mood of the play, they may not go like – they may not be like, “Oh my god, Dan!” They’ll treat it like as an adult.
Eric: Like art.
Andrew: They’ll be adult and they won’t scream when Dan takes his pants off. You know, stuff like that. Because it is a very serious play and I think they will look at it that way.
Eric: So, I mean if they’re intelligent enough they’ll take the serious tones of it.
Eric: But I mean, it’s not the easiest thing to just to waltz in and see a Broadway show. It does cost a bit of money, you have to know where to go to get seats.
Andrew: Ticketmaster, you know? Stuff like that.
Eric: Oh yeah, yeah. Fair enough, fair enough. But like I said, I would see it. Even if – I think even if Dan Radcliffe… Well, no. I just – I was going to say that if Dan Radcliffe weren’t coming to Broadway, but Richard Griffiths was, I still might go see it. But then it would be somebody else just getting naked. And I’d be like, “Ok, that’s kind of creepy.” So…
Andrew: Well, one other issue I think this raises is Half-Blood Prince is released November 21st. So, if this is starting on Broadway sometime in September and the film is supposed to come out two months later, how long is Equus actually going to be running? I mean, it could only be for like a month.
Laura: But some Broadway shows go forever.
Eric: So are you saying… Well, I think maybe…
Laura: You know?
Andrew: Well this isn’t so much a show. It’s not like a musical in that sense.
Eric: So, youre saying…
Laura: Yeah, but I mean a lot – Stuff doesn’t just come and go there, does it?
Eric: No, it doesn’t.
Andrew: No, I don’t think so, but there’s going to have to be a break of at least a few weeks, because Dan’s going to have to go back over to London for the premiere. He’s going to have to probably go to LA for the premiere, although maybe since he’s – do you think the premiere’s location, the US premiere’s location, would be influenced at all by Dan being in New York City in the first place?
Eric: Well, I think he’ll…
Laura: It could be. And I mean, they’re usually in New York. It was a little bit odd that they did it in LA this last time, wasn’t it?
Eric: Yeah, it was.
Andrew: Yeah, they did a lot of things differently this year, but they did have the Chamber of Secrets premiere in LA if I’m correct.
Laura: I felt like they did two premieres, or maybe it wasn’t for Chamber. I just felt like they did one in New York and one in LA for Chamber of Secrets.
Andrew: Maybe they did.
Laura: I don’t remember.
Andrew: Were you going to say something? Oh, sorry.
Laura: But you are right about that.
Andrew: Yeah, I mean, maybe I guess they can take a break of a few weeks and then go back into it, but then, you have to wonder, isn’t Dan going to want a break after the movie comes out? I mean, he’s going to be busy doing all that press.
Eric: No, no, no, I think at this point, he’s a trained actor. He’s done it on Equus, why would he even say yes to doing it on Broadway if he wasn’t ready for doing it six months on end? I mean, what they usually do on Broadway is they have like stand-in actors, they’ll have understudies that will come up and do the role if he’s gone.
Andrew: Oh, that’s true.
Eric: And if you think about it, if they time it correctly, the show itself won’t come to a halt just because Dan has to go to world premieres. He’ll just miss certain showings of it and people will just know to stay away if they don’t want to not see him.
Laura: Can you imagine how bad that would suck if you went with the expectation of seeing Dan and you just booked your tickets and didn’t think about the time you were going?
Eric: Well didn’t that happen to Leaky, they didn’t see Richard Griffiths, or something? Somebody had an understudy that was going on?
Andrew: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Andrew: Yeah, when Melissa and John went they didn’t see Richard Griffiths.
Eric: And that’s upsetting.
Andrew: For the record, to clear something up real quick, you were right, Laura. They did have a New York and Los Angeles premiere for Chamber of Secrets.
Laura: Oh cool.
Eric: Yeah, because I almost won the “Be on the Red Carpet” thing for that. That was cool.
Andrew: Oh, really? [laughs]
Eric: Yeah, it was Kids WB, the television channel.
Andrew: Oh, okay. Do you have to watch Pokemon and watch for the secret code?
Eric: You do. You did. You wait for the code.
Andrew: Yeah, I knew it.
Eric: Yeah, and I got a poster out of it. I did win a promo poster.
Andrew: Cool. It was worth it.
Eric: Some eight-year-old won the actual prize.
Andrew: Yeah. So that’s it with that. We’ll continue updating everyone with more developments. I guess the only other news we’re going to wait to hear is exactly what Dan Radcliffe’s plans are going to be, especially around the Half-Blood Prince movie release, and also where the play is actually going to be, which theater. I mean, it’s also worth noting, I guess this means that filming is going to be done by early August at the very latest, because Dan’s going to be in the United States come August for rehearsals.
Eric: Filming only takes about four months, maybe.
Andrew: No, it’s longer than that.
Eric: Is it?
Laura: No, on these it’s a lot longer. They said it was like 11 months, didn’t they?
Eric: Oh, really? Well I know Natalie Tena, yeah, Nymphadora Tonks, and Lupin and all of them are filming in November of this year, though, so this month is when they’re going to be there.
Andrew: Well, yeah, but I mean, Dan’s everywhere, so he has to be there to film.
Eric: Yeah, true, true. Yeah.
Andrew: So that’s interesting. That is great news, because it has been a rumor for awhile, and I’m sure all the fangirls are looking forward to that. I know I am. I’m not really, I mean whatever. I’ll get a ticket if you guys want to go. I’m not going to make it a special priority.
Laura: Yeah, okay. Yeah, sure. And then next thing you know, you will be.
Andrew: Well, I don’t know.
Laura: No, I’ll probably go. It’ll be fun.
Eric: Yeah, we should all go together.
Laura: Yeah, use it as an excuse to hang out again.
Andrew: Yeah, we could talk about it on the podcast all over again.
Andrew: We can talk about it on the podcast again, like, you know Jamie and I already reviewed it.
Laura: Oh, yeah.
Eric: Yeah, we’ll do a podcast.
News Discusion: JKR Site Updates
Andrew: So, in other news now, there were quite a – there were some good stories this week. I like this news week. Something sort of depressing, I guess, there are no more Wizards of the Month on JKRowling.com. Or at least it can be assumed, because the calendar on JKRowling.com, which was for the past – oh, god, since the site started.
Andrew: It’s been over two years now, I think there’s 42 wizards total. So for the past 42 months, there’s been wizards, now it’s replaced with a Wizard of the Month archive, and you can go through all of them and see all the pictures and descriptions. So we had talked last month, we wondered, now we’re up to Harry Potter, what wizard can come after Harry Potter being featured as wizard of the month? And that explains it. No wizard can come after Harry Potter. So, now we are without Wizard of the Month on JKRowling.com.
Laura: That stinks. You know what I wonder?
Eric: I mean, it did go into archive mode
Laura: Did she ever do any other characters, like Ron and Hermione on those?
Laura: I just, I don’t know, I figured she would have done them.
Andrew: Well, for those of you who are MuggleNet-savvy, you will know that we have always had a Wizard of the Month archive up on MuggleNet. I’ve been maintaining that section since like I started and joined onto MuggleNet. That was like my big thing. I was like “Emerson, I have an idea. Let’s make a JKRowling.com Info Section.” And Emerson was like, “Great idea. Do it.” So I did it.
Laura: We should all share our stories about how we got hired sometime. That could be interesting.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, we might as well on this show, because it’s not…
Laura: Yeah, there’s nothing going on.
Andrew: And then there’s also a Room of Requirement archive up now, so those are two big parts of the site that are now gone. And I guess…
Eric: So does this mean that I can take the WOMBATs now?
Andrew: No, I think the WOMBATs are long gone, too. I don’t think you’re going to have any luck doing that.
Andrew: But, hey, let’s see there’s some other news.
Eric: Yeah, there’s another book coming out.
News Discussion: Tales of Beetle the Bard
Andrew: Someone IMed me, my friend back here at home, the other day, and was like, “See, she is doing an eighth book.” No, no. J.K. Rowling is going to auction The Tales of Beedle the Bard.” Of course it was in Deathly Hallows and now she’s – she hand wrote it, and she drew her own sketches and such inside of it. So, it’s going to be quite the collector’s item. Of course there’s only going – okay, maybe I’m a little confused about this whole story. Are there seven of these books?
Andrew: It’s the same thing, they all have the same stories in them?
Andrew: Or each book…
Andrew: Oh, okay, because I always thought each book had a different story, but I guess not.
Laura: No, I think they all have the same stuff, and she gave six of them…
Eric: Yes, but are they all handwritten? Did she handwrite the same stories seven times?
Andrew: I can’t imagine, that would be…
Andrew: Then again, she did sign 2,000 books per reading, so…
Eric: Yeah, she really likes – but that’s what confused me, just the terms. Like, handwritten items, I was like, well…
Andrew: Well, yeah, but…
Eric: But I assume that’s just as opposed to typed, so they can sort of have a copy of her handwriting, and, you know?
Andrew: Yeah. [pause] Well, sorry, I’m just reading what’s on J.K. Rowling’s website right now. I don’t think she says–well, yeah. “I therefore decided to hand-write a limited number of copies of The Tales of Beedle the Bard.”
Andrew: So, yeah.
Laura: They’re probably not that long.
Andrew: Yeah, and she said each has a dedication, so…
Eric: Well, I assume – yeah.
Eric: Hmmm, interesting. Do you guys, think, though…
Eric: …that we’ll be seeing these -assuming somebody with…
Eric: Like, do you think we’ll ever see them?
Laura: No, because she gave six of them away.
Laura: And she’s auctioning one.
Eric: Well, somebody else – I was just reading on I think it was, it wasn’t ABC.com, it was just one of the news sites. It said, “J.K. Rowling to publish first non-Potter book.” Actually that was AOL. It said “J.K. Rowling…”
Andrew: Yeah, that was a very misleading title. I saw that too.
Eric: That was incredibly misleading. That was like, what the heck? Because it says, “JKR to publish first non-Potter book,” and I’m like, first of all, it’s not even published. There’s only seven copies in the world, and it’s like, wow. The news is just completely wrong and misleading in this case.
Laura: As it very often is.
Eric: Right. This is just another example. I mean, they say “first non-Potter book.”
Eric: And I’m like, wow, is this really a non-Potter book to begin with? I mean, that’s debatable. Because I think the stories are–I mean, “Babbity Rabbity and her Cackling Stump?” I would pay 62 million pounds.
Eric: Or 62,000 pounds to read that.
MuggleCast 118 Transcript (continued)
News Discussion: Harry Potter Lexicon Lawsuit
Andrew: Yeah. I’m sure they’re going to be very clever. I would really enjoy seeing those. Okay, so one more news line on that we wanted to touch on, we don’t really want to get into, because at this point it is semi-controversial, but as many people have been hearing, J.K. Rowling and WB both have filed a lawsuit over a companion book that basically is an entire encyclopedia to the Harry Potter novels. This is coming from the Harry Potter Lexicon (hp-lexicon.org) which,it’s a great resource for Harry Potter content. I mean, characters, timelines, everything.
Laura: And I mean, Jo said that she’s used it to check facts before, too.
Andrew: Yeah, she’s called it her natural home. I mean, she was a huge fan of it, and Steve Vander Ark has great reason to brag about it. It’s very complex. It’s very in-depth. It’s a very, very, very good resource. However, as it turns out, the creator, Steve Vander Ark, had decided to turn it into a book, and the understanding–the general consensus is that it’s basically–the book that is going to be released is basically an entire copy of the website printed, so of course this raises concerns over trademarks and copyrights, because how can you write a Harry Potter encyclopedia without using WB’s trademarks? I mean, WB owns all Harry Potter words. Like, we couldn’t sell MuggleCast t-shirts because we were in violation of these copyrights just by having the word “Muggle” on our shirts, even though it was “MuggleCast.” So, we’re going to see how this whole story plays out. It’s very interesting, and RDR books, the publisher, is still planning on releasing this book. I am not going to lie, I will be purchasing this book, because now all this negative publicity has gotten a lot of people interested in this book. What are you guys’ thoughts?
Eric: Ugh. They can change the cover of the book. “The Book JKR Tried to Ban,” you know?
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Laura: I don’t know, I think that they’re not making a very smart move by continuing to publish it. I mean, if you look at the kind of lawyers that WB and J.K. Rowling are going to have? I just would not want to mess with that, personally.
Eric: See, my initial thoughts on when I heard this, I was thinking, well it wouldn’t be so bad to have a sort of definitive encyclopedia of what did happen in the books. You know, we’re talking stuff that’s already in the Harry Potter books that is just an easy reference guide for saying, “this is all the times that we saw Aberforth, or all the times he was mentioned,” sort of something that. It would be something altogether – and on JKR’s post, it would be something altogether different than what she was going to do with her Harry Potter “Encyclopedia,” which I hate calling it that to begin with, because it would actually be just a bunch of stories and loose ends that never made it into the books, right? Timelines and ideas, but ones that weren’t actually in the books. So, Steve’s book is apparently all the stuff that is in the books, a compendium, a lexicon of sorts [laughs] to borrow his – the title of what did happen in the books. And I thought in the first place that those two things would be entirely different and therefore, they could co-exist.
Laura: I think the point is, is that the content that he has on the Lexicon that he was planning on esentially printing in book form is free and accessable to people on the web.
Eric: Right, and there. Okay.
Laura: But esentially what he would be doing is selling information that is – it’s not even like there’s origninal theories embedded in it, it’s that it’s just strict information from the books, and that’s why it’s a problem.
Andrew: Right, and J.K. Rowling has specifically stated that if it was an analysis book looking at Harry Potter – for example, the MuggleNet book. That was never in any sort of legal trouble because it wasn’t an encyclopedia of sorts, it was analysis of what was going to happen. It wasn’t threatening anything J.K. Rowling would be publishing in the future. I mean, that’s another thing. J.K. Rowling – like, when she says she’s writing this encyclopedia does she mean it’s only stuff she hasn’t included in the books before? Or does it include everything, plus the stuff we haven’t heard before? You know?
Eric: Do you really think that JKR could be, I don’t want to say innacurate about what she’s said in the past, but I mean, she’s messed up when she’s written the books sometimes, and…
Laura: Yeah, but I think if she’s writing and encyclopedia she’s going to reference the books.
Eric: But that seems kind of pointless because it’s in the books, the information in the books is in the books.
Laura: Yeah, I don’t really think that we’re going to have stuff like in Year 1, Harry did this.
Laura: I don’t think we’re going to have that.
Andrew: It just – I just wonder right now how she’s actually going to lay this book out.
Eric: Well I mean, a lot of people are saying, and this is, I have people IMing me like five times every hour saying “WTF Jo is suing Steve!” and all sorts of stuff like – I mean, that is the thing. It is a hot issue, and that’s why it was smart to mention it on here at least. But, you guys, I’ll just plug, Leaky Cauldron has the full article. It even mentions the lawsuit itself, all of the legal terms, and it has a timeline of itself on there of Warner Brothers trying to contact Steve and sort of sort this stuff out. I think you guys will find, and I’m just going to say right now, I do actually, despite the initial feeling, I do support this lawsuit because Steve’s publisher, RDR Books are seriously, seriously stupid. They have made some seriously bad moves, completley, horribly wrong and rotten moves. And their dodgy as hell. And it’s just, if you guys read this, seriously, just think. I mean, I feel bad for Steve. I think he’s going to lose just because his publisher is just so dumb. They refused to give a print copy of the book to WB. They said “Well, if you can’t print out what’s on the website, as one of your people to show you how.” [laughs] Okay?
Laura: Yeah, ouch.
Eric: So can they blame Warner Brothers for thinking then that the book will be and exact print version of what is on the website, and becoming more worried.
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, at the end of the day, what is this all about? Money. I mean, obviously this could be a big seller. I think J.K. Rlowling and WB realize that.
Laura: Well, yeah.
Andrew: I mean, it would be a great reference book to have right here when we’re talking Harry Potter [laughs], I’m going to be honest!
Eric: Yeah. But then again, we’re…
Laura: I think the problem is that she wants to write that encyclopedia to benifit charity.
Andrew: Oh, yeah.
Laura: She doesn’t even want to keep the royalties at all. She wants to give them all to charity and I think she feels like…
Andrew: No, no, no, all I’m saying is I think the reason RDR is being such a pain about this is why they’re not giving up is because of money.
Laura: Oh, I know. Oh yeah, it’s because of money. Of course.
Eric: Well they’re going to lose a hell of a lot of not just money, but they’re going to be like the guys that pulled out Indiana Jones 4, they’re going in that town again. You know what I’m saying?
Eric: They’re just going to be – I mean, I just can’t believe the publisher. Reading the details on Leaky, and reading that news post where it has all of those, you know, nasty things that RDR is doing, I feel bad for Steve, but at the same time his publisher has just made some very wrong moves. Like, I just can’t believe any publisher, and actual publisher can be so stupid to take on Warner Brothers like this without actually offering any sort of rebuffing of Warner Brothers’ claims.
Andrew: Yeah. I mean J.K. Rowling and WB both I’m sure hold some very powerful lawyers.
Andrew: And I think they’ll get whatever they want.
Eric: Yeah but it’s not like what they want is unjustified like many people are feeling, is what I’m saying.
Andrew: No, no, no, no, no, oh definitely. But, you know, what I’m trying to say is to just add to your case, RDR Books is digging themselves into a deep hole.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Eric: Kind of like a hole that goes all the way down to hell.
Andrew: Yeah. But to be honest with you, now there’s so much controversy, I’m really looking forward to checking out this book, you know?
Eric: Yeah, you know like RDR, and I don’t want to say I gave them the idea, but copies are probably going to surface. I mean look at how close it is to delay date – publishing date! That’s the problem, see?
Andrew: Well they said they’re still going forward with it. So….
Eric: Well ah, geez. That’s like such a bad idea though. But….
Andrew: Well. I mean, anyway. What does bug me a little bit – I mean, I’m not taking it personally because I had nothing to do with the MuggleNet book, but RDR Books published an FAQ on their website where they ask, you know, where they’re addressing questions everyone has and they specifically reference MuggleNet. One of the questions is: “Why do Warner Brothers and Mrs. Rowling want to sensor the Lexicon book when dozens of other reader’s companions are on the market?” And RDR’s response is: “At the moment, books published by Penguin, MuggleNet.com’s, Spark Notes, Broadway and Ulysses Press and many other publishers are in print around the world. At least 46 such books are presently available in bookstores and libraries. Obviously none of these books have been enjoined by the courts including Books that are barred word for word by the Lexicon without the author’s permission. In addition countless newspaper articles have appeared about the Harry Potter books.” One question I have, come to think of it Spark Notes, what is the deal with Spark Notes? Do they have…
Laura: Spark Notes. They do, but the thing about Spark Notes is that it again offers analyzation
Andrew: Oh right.
Laura: And it offers summaries. It is not taking direct passages from the books it is offering summaries as a study tool.
Laura: And you go into the symbolism section and it will pick symbols out of the books and analyze them. So, I think again the difference here and I think that Jo made this distinction on her site is that there it quite a difference between a companion novel and an encyclopedia because a companion novel does reference the ideas from her books but they are purely that, they are just references.
Laura: Writers of these books are using them I order to make inferences and opinions whereas just taking basic facts form the books and publishing them is copyright infringement. So…
Eric: Yeah, I think it is also, I mean, you said that it would be great to have a, you know, book right next to you and sort of think well, we are always on our computers when recording MuggleCast, so we can technically always go to the Lexicon.org.
Laura: And the Lexicon is a great site. It really is
Eric: I know, Jo herself loves it, which is why I am sure that this is tearing them up because of the lawsuit.
Eric: I think that it was really, based on the Leaky timeline and the lawsuit, it was really, actually a last resort of sorts because of RDR sort of dodging them. I mean Warner Brothers and JKR talked to the publisher and were pushing the lawsuit basically and RDR requested a little bit of time of from the whole deal and took that time to turn around and sue Warner Brothers. [chuckles]
Eric: So RDR filed a claim against Warner Brothers that says that they used Steve Vander Ark’s Timeline on the Lexicon for one of their DVDs. Now what do you guys think
about this claim because I recall that timeline being on the DVD’s because I hate it, but…
Eric: …I recall it being on the DVDs.
Laura: Yeah, I vaguely remember that I don’t really know what all specifics went into that. But, just thinking about it just, how different could the two timelines be? It is the same story. I mean I do not know if…
Andrew: Well, the think is that WB got it from Steve. They asked permission.
Laura: We know that. Do we know that for sure?
Andrew: Yes, yes.
Andrew: Okay, but… So, you know that Steve gave them permission that he took the time to put together. Steve did not get permission from J.K. Rowling to print and make money off of all of her information that came out of her head.
Eric: Yeah. And I mean back to the – I think that there should just be, like what is the best way to do this? Like, do you think if they actually do – if they able to give profits of the book to charity do you think she will let them publish it?
Laura: I think if that was going to happen from – I do not know.
Andrew: There has been no about that happening though, at least not publicly
Eric: Yeah, but RDR is just stupid though, geez, I am just laughing at these publishers.
Laura: And see I have a feeling that if there had been an intention for the royalties to go to charity it would not have blown up like this.
Eric: But Steve could somehow, I mean, look, I don’t know if he is even in control of this thing. I feel like JKR are him aren’t even in the middle of this. I think that their lawyers are having at it because of all the screw ups and stuff. And if you read this article it is this big big mess and it is like “WOW!” I mean I do not even think even if Steve wanted to donate the book’s profit charity. I don’t think his contract with his publishers would let him do it unless his publishers fell through with JKR could probably ensure will happen, but at the same time what does that mean for the book, I mean I did not know that this book was coming out until it was being sued.
Laura: Yeah, I didn’t know either.
Andrew: Well, I don’t think anyone really knew. What is interesting is that J.K. Rowling on Halloween made a very suspicious post on her site saying, “I really love fan sites. That is why I created the ‘Fan Site Award’ however, I cannot support or approve of any companion or encyclopedia books, because as some of you may know, I am working on my own encyclopedia and this will be taking money away from charity and the ultimate losers would be the charities.” And nobody knew bout the Lexicon book at that point so…
Andrew: I have to be honest, when I read that I was like…
Laura: I know we were all like…
Andrew: “…is she talking about the MuggleNet Book?”
Laura: I IM’ed Andrew and was like “Oh, my God, what happened?”
[Andrew and Laura laughs]
Eric: Something big must have gone down and all the companion books ever are about to ripped from people’s houses, you know? [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah. I was like, it did not make sense to me because the book has been out for since what, like when did it come out? April?
Laura: Almost a year ago, no…
Laura: It was out last Christmas, yeah.
Andrew: Well, I am going to click the news post right now. October – wow, yeah it has just been over a year. Yeah, so we were all thinking that and then I was thinking, “What other websites have a book?” and of course, as she is well known Melissa Annelli over at Leaky is working on her book, but it is not a companion book or an encyclopedia – it is an analysis of the fandom. And I also know a couple Wizard Rockers are working on their own books, but that is not an analysis or companion or encyclopedia book either. So, or no sorry, an encyclopedia or companion book. It had us worried about MuggleNet for a bit, but hey we are all good now.
Eric: [chuckles] Because we know its Steve. But, honestly guys there are other companion novels and this is what sort of people do after. I mean there are other companion novels I just think that “why JKR has allowed them, and not this?” This is in many reasons – I mean, I heard it described as, I mean we do certain… It’s actually that JKR wrote this. These aren’t for analysis, sort of too concise material quoted directly from the book. Because RDR Publishers have not given Warner Brothers a single reason to believe that the book won’t infringe on copyright, because they wouldn’t give them a copy to review beforehand, because they wouldn’t even answer any of their claims, and then turned around and tried to sue them back, it is seeming and very openly, blatantly that RDR/Steve will me infringing on copyright.
Andrew: Yeah. So, I guess we will leave it at that for now. We will see how the story plays out. We weren’t really sure whether or not to talk about this, because the story is still unfolding and all that, but I think we addressed it.
Eric: Yep. Fair enough.
Andrew: So… [sigh] So, with that said…
Andrew: Huh, is right. “Wow,” is right.
Eric: Andrew, we have Muggle, we have…
[sings like on PotterCast] Mail time! Mail time! Mail time! MA-IL TIME! Right?
[sings like on Blues Clues and PotterCast] Here’s the mail. It never fails. It makes me wanna wag my tail. When it comes I wanna wail. Muggle Mail… Muggle…
Laura: Oh, Nick Jr.
Andrew: We have announcements first though.
Eric: Announcements? God, we didn’t even do those? [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah. They really aren’t – it’s sort of the same thing every week not, but HEY! Heeey! Here’s a new thing. It’s a new month. It’s now November, and when I realized that, I was like, “Ugh! It’s the worst month ever!”
Laura: Why is November the worst month ever?
Andrew: Ogh! Cause it’s cold. It’s dreary. You have to eat turkey with your family…
Laura: Awww. That’s so horrible.
Andrew: It gets dark really early.
Laura: You poor baby.
Eric: Not here it doesn’t, Andrew. I’ll tell you that. It’s almost summer here. I’m waiting for it. I’m waiting for it.
Andrew: Well. Whether it’s dark or not, don’t forget to vote for us on Podcast Alley.
Eric: [whispers] Podcast Alley.
Andrew: We ask for your vote of support so we are up there.
Eric: [whispers] Higher.
Andrew: We are over there at Podcast Alley…
Eric: [whispers] Podcast Alley.
Andrew: … where a lot of news outlets check out when they want to see who is popular in podcasting, and with your guys’ support we have been up there, so thank you very much. Also, MuggleCast ring tones are for sale, and they are the only thing WB hasn’t ceased and desisted us for yet.
Andrew: Check those out. It goes to support the show, and we are trying to save up some money for future [nerdy voice] podcasting events. And also of note, Hedwig’s Theme, the opening. The rocked out, cracked out, Hedwig’s theme is now available for ring tones.
Eric: Now, who is the artist that wrote that? Isn’t it Advanced Potion Making?
Andrew: Yes, it’s Kenneth, and he agreed to allow us to put it up, so we thank him mucho maximo.
Andrew: So, check those out if you want them on your telephono! No Verizon support. We will work on that eventually.
Previous Show Feedback
Eric: So, “Butterbeer by the Keg,” that was last weeks show. Is that correct, Andrew?
Eric: What was our…? Now, it sounds kind of ominous, doesn’t it? Like Butterbeer… by the keg. Because you’ve got your butter and your beer,but what was that show actually about?
Andrew: Weren’t you on it?
Eric: Yeah. I was. [laughs] I’m just trying to lead in.
Andrew: Oh. Okay. Yeah, well it was about Dumbledore being gay, and of course we got a lot of feedback about it, and we, you know, a lot of people liked that show. A lot of people said it was the best show we have ever done.
[Laura and Eric laugh]
Eric: Thanks guys!
Laura: Wow! Thank you.
Andrew: I guess, yeah, thank you. We are glad everyone enjoyed it a lot. Ummm, at the same time we did get some negative feedback, but the positive feedback far outweighed it. People liked that we were speaking in a more mature manner. We were treating the show a little more adult-like because we were talking about adult topics, and they were glad we were talking about that and at the same time throwing a few funnies in there. Some people didn’t like those funnies, but…
Muggle Mail: Ron and Parseltongue
Andrew: Over all, the general consensus was that it was one of our best shows. So we did get a lot of feedback. The first e-mail addresses something else other than Dumbledore being gay.
Laura: This comes from Melissa, 16, of Wisconsin. She says:
“Hey guys, love the podcast.
I am just writing, because in Episode 116 you were wondering how Ron could know how to say the word “open” in Parseltongue, when he only heard Harry say it in the second year, but actually he heard Harry say it in the Seventh Book when he was telling the locket to open. Also, in the Seventh Book, Ron kept showing signs of being able to imitate people’s voices, such as when they were in the Malfoy’s dungeon and he imitated Wormtail’s voice.”
Laura: This is what I kept trying to tell you guys last week, but you weren’t listening!
Eric: Because you weren’t articulate enough Laura. Now that you have got your reference in Book 7, you can blow us away.
Andrew: Well, sorry Laura.
Eric: You just – I forgot that this had happened in Book 7, so obviously, if you would have told me, then…
Laura: I was like, “But wait, didn’t he imitate..?” And everyone was like, “Nope! Braugh!”
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Eric: We were wrong. I was wrong.
[Laura keeps laughing]
Eric: Laura, I was wrong. You were correct.
Laura: You are wrong. Go repent.
Eric: I will reflect that Ron is good at imitating voices, or at least Wormtail’s. Well, you live with a rat for eleven years, you think he would be able to imitate his voice.
Laura: Yeah, that’s true.
Eric: But anyway, I still think that we should have seen the Chamber of Secrets and that Harry should have gone down, and that will just be my opinion always. In that whole thing, that just Ron and Hermione going down in the back story, was not good enough for me. Which is fine. It doesn’t have to be, but hat is always going to be my opinion. Sort of whether or not…
Muggle Mail: Singapore
Andrew: Mhm. And then we have another e-mail here. Heather, 17 of Singapore, she writes about our main discussion.
Eric: I can read… Should I read this? All right, next rebuttal is from Heather, 17, of Singapore, and the subject is “Wrong Information from MuggleCast 117.” She says:
You mentioned in MuggleCast 117 that it is illegal to be gay in Singapore. It isn’t illegal to be gay in Singapore, but it’s illegal to engage in gay relationships.”
“Anyway, great show.”
[laughs] So, let me clarify. It’s not illegal to be gay in Singapore, but it’s illegal to engage in relations. So, yeah.
Laura: Yeah, but, I mean, that same law has been in effect in a few states in the U.S…
Eric: No, I think it’s different because I actually heard – there was a story of some Australian kid who got caned for doing something like that. I mean…
Laura: Yeah, yeah, I know, but I mean they’re basically saying, “Oh you’re allowed to be gay, but you can’t engage in any sort of sexual relation.” Like, I don’t know. It’s just stupid.
Eric: Yeah, well, at any rate, it’s – I think Singapore is there.
Andrew: Is pretty strict.
Eric: I think, I think, I think. So… It’s really strange, but thank you for clarifying, Heather.
Andrew: So, we got some other feedback. A lot of people had things to say about Christianity, or at least our response to Christianity, and a lot of people got the wrong impression, I think. Right, Laura?
Laura: Yeah. Yeah, a few people did. We talked a lot about the Bible last week, especially Leviticus. Those of you – those Christians who are… [expletive] What am I trying to say here? Those Christians that reference the New Testament, we weren’t referring to them. We were talking about the more fanatical Christians who abide by the Old Testament, and even though we know the Old Testament isn’t – is used mainly for study now, there are still a lot of people out there who try to reference those rules in order to get their own issues with homosexuality put up on a higher pedestal, I think. I mean, do you guys agree? I feel like even though – even though Leviticus isn’t supposed to be viewed as anything more than historical at this point, at least that’s the impression I’ve gotten, it seems like a lot of people try to use old traditions in order to prove that homosexuality is wrong, and those were the people we were referring to.
Laura: Not, not people – not Christians that were accepting of homosexuals. We weren’t talking about you at all.
Andrew: Right. Yeah, that’s, well put, I think.
Eric: Wasn’t our consensus that if you don’t support homosexuality then, you are, by rule of thumb, immature?
Andrew: No, I mean, listen. This podcast is a very opinionated podcast.
Eric: It is.
Andrew: I mean, that’s all we do, is speak our own thoughts on everything. So, it shouldn’t have really come as a surprise to everyone when we were talking about it with our own opinions. I do see how some Christians may become upset. I mean, I’m Christian. A lot of people – we’ve got some e-mails saying, “None of you guys are Christian.” I’m Christian, however, I’ll be honest and say I’m not up on the Bible and how to interpret what was said in the Bible with it’s current – how we all live today. So, with that said – again this is a very opinionated podcast, and if you have different opinions, that’s fine. We’re just getting ours out there. That’s – you listen to the show for our opinions and news.
Eric: I think a lot of Christians – what do I want to say, divisions? I think a lot of Christian groups are of the policy “live and let live,” though, with the whole thing. Accept God’s love, and God loves everyone the same, and it’s just “live and let live” of that thing. I was raised Catholic. I’m Catholic, actually, and so I sort of know – I mean, I know a lot about this religion thing, at least from a Catholic stand point, and I know they don’t support gays, but they do things to little boys. So, I mean, it’s just – in religion it’s – just using your religion to ban practices and say that certain people are just going to go to hell – you know, that’s not really – I don’t think that’s really productive.
Laura: Yeah, and there seems to be a misconception that we were saying that if you are adverse to homosexuality, you must be a Christian. That’s not what we were saying, and we weren’t saying the opposite either. We weren’t saying that all Christians were adverse to homosexuality, but what we were saying was that if you look at the main – if you look at the main group of people who are against gay rights, especially in America, that they do tend to be Christian. Albeit they are…
Eric: You know what that is Laura? You…
Laura: Extremists. They’re extremist Christians, but we aren’t saying that all Christians are that way.
Eric: That’s a stereotype, is what you’re saying. You’re creating a stereotype.
Laura: It’s not – no, no, no, I’m not saying that all people who are against gay rights are Christians. I’m saying that the majority of people that do protest gay rights tend to be extremist.
Eric: And then use it for religious purposes, because that seems to be the best reason for them to…
Eric: Yeah, well, I mean, this all relates back, guys, because we are talking about Dumbledore being gay, and it’s affect on the Harry Potter fandom, is sort of the reason why we are talking about all these heated sexual politics and stuff, but we have a few responses, as well, about Dumbledore and sort of how that affects the books and the fandom still.
Eric: You guys…
MuggleCast 118 Transcript (continued)
Muggle Mail: Dumbledore’s Sexuality
Andrew: Yeah, we’ll get to them now. The first one is from Stephanie, 19, of Illinois. She writes about all this, and says:
“Okay, while listening to Episode 117 I heard reference from an email from a Christian responding to J. K. Rowling’s revelation about Dumbledore’s sexuality. I myself am a Christian, but my views on homosexuality are very different from that other listener. I have friends that are gay, and my relationship with them most definitely did not change when they ‘came out.’ What my religious beliefs are don’t factor into how I relate to them or how I view them in any way, shape, or form. Likewise, my views on Dumbledore underwent no sort of change. Though, as Eric said, I prefer not to think of him as sexual at all. This would have been the same if Jo had suddenly revealed that he was in love with McGonagall instead of Grindelwald.”
I would also agree with that.
“Also on this topic, I was having a conversation with my raised-in-a-conservative-Jewish-home step-mother and she told me something interesting. As pertains to the Old Testament of the Bible, the problem that the Bible has with homosexuality is similar to the problems it has with contraception. It’s more than a man – it’s more that a man would be wasting his seed, if you will, than anything. At any rate, views like the ones voiced by the other listener just pissed me off. Dumbledore – Dumbledore being gay has nothing significant to do with his part in the series. It’s merely something interesting about the man himself. Oh, he’s gay. She could have said anything else about him and my ultimate reaction would have been the same. I am sorry, though, that he had to be in love with someone like Grindelwald. Not because he’s a guy, just because he’s, well, Grindelwald. Pickles, etc. Steph.”
Eric: Yeah, we did say it was tragic.
Andrew: So, that was a good e-mail.
Laura: That was a very good e-mail.
Eric: Yeah. And, yeah, I mean, I agree. Grindelwald – it’s just sad that Dumbledore is so – I mean, is in love with somebody so flawed and obviously evil. And that Dumbledore has to suffer that when he ends up killing his sister so that’s , you know, that’s really messed up.
Muggle Mail: Dumbledore’s Outing
Andrew: Next e-mail! From Eric’s buddy, Erik, with a “k.”
Eric: Next e-mail, next Muggle Mail, comes from Erik, age 35, from Los Angeles. He says:
“I commend J.K. for her creative decision to make Dumbledore gay. It fits perfectly with her story and helps us understand the tragic hero that much more, but the outing of Dumbledore raises some questions. I disagree that she was using this as a way to stand up for gay rights. To me, it was her revealing her creative process. If she truly was standing up for gay rights, a better choice might have been one of the Weasley boys, Cedric, or even Krum. They had a mother and a father and/or a pretty normal childhood. It is very interesting to me that she used a character with a horrible home life to be gay. His brother did God-knows-what with goats. Mother and father weren’t supportive and subsequently killed. Those ridiculously ignorant people out there would say, ‘See gay is a choice or is a biproduct of a messed up childhood.’ Do you guys feel this was the best choice of characters if the point was to promote gay activism?”
Hmmm, and that’s the end of the e-mail.
Laura: I don’t think – I don’t think the – it’s kind of hard to specify on this front. But I don’t know that she was specifically trying to promote gay activism so much as just to show that people are different.
Laura: And we’re not different by choice, that there are things about us that we don’t have control over. And a lot of the time you’ll hear writers talk about their chracters as though they don’t have complete control over them. You know how writers will say like, “My character wanted to do this or I couldn’t stop my character from doing that.” Whenever I think of it in those terms, it makes me think that maybe Dumbledore just came to her gay. Like – she didn’t choose his sexuality, he just was that way. And it wasn’t going to be right for her to try and change that just for the story, you know?
Andrew: Right. Yeah, I agree. I mean, as J.K. Rowling has said herself, she didn’t see this as being a big deal. She has always thought this, allegedly, in the back of her head, but she never saw a need to release it because she didn’t think it was going to get the – unfortunately, the press that it got and, also, the reaction from fans. I think you’re right, though. I think if you read in between the lines, I think one of Jo’s intentions may have been to make people who aren’t so much for homosexuality realize that, hey, you know, anyone can be gay and it doesn’t really change them. I mean, Dumbledore wasn’t what some may say would be, like, a stereotypical gay person. Like, you know, people will go back and read the books and try to find signs that suggest that he’s gay, but you won’t find a single one.
Eric: Well, I mean I…
Eric: I thought this was – this was pretty clever because he said, well, if you want to sort of support it a little bit more, you should make one of the Weasley kids gay, or that sort of thing, like, to bring that… But that issue, again, and this is something that hides on this outskirts of the fandom, it’s not really – I mean, you know, besides fan fiction it’s actually, sex of any sort, even between Harry and Ginny is completely not even alluded to. Unless you support in Book 7 that Ginny did more than kiss him.
Eric: Which I heard, but is complete, you know, non-canon.
Andrew: Let’s keep moving along now, though. We have another email from Kimberly Li, 12, of Singapore.
Andrew: I love e-mails from Singapore. You know, we do – we do have a good following in Singapore, I have to say. Seems like we get a lot of e-mails…
Eric: We should have a live podcast in Singapore. These people might be caned for listening to us so we should be extra sympathetic.
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah. [laughs]
Muggle Mail: Banning Books
Andrew: Kimberly writes:
“Dear MuggleCast, the recent news about Albus Dumbledore being gay had not much impact on me as I didn’t really think it was that important. After all, Jo was asked a question and hence, she answered it truthfully. I praise her for that. I really didn’t mind. But now my mom and dad found out about that and are really mean about it. As we are a Christian family, my parents really, well, aren’t really supportive of gays. I myself think it’s against my morals, but bear no grudge against gays, but I really don’t know what to say. Now my parents are thinking of banning the books from me and I really don’t know what to do. I really have to find a way to convince them that Jo is not sick and that ‘Harry Potter’ does not go against the Bible. Please help! Anyway, love the show and keep up the good work. Love, Kimberly.”
This goes back to a segment we did a long time ago called Advice with MuggleCast.
Andrew: I think it was just me and Ben – or Ben and I. And we did it for a little bit but it was just the same questions over and over again, but this is a new one. This is good. I’m interested to hear what you guys think. What should she tell her parents?
Laura: Well, Jo herself actually said that there is a lot of, there are a lot of references to Christianity in the books. I mean, it’s really kind of hard to escape that, especially with a British book, you know?
Laura: Like the quotes on the tombstones at Godric’s Hollow were from the Bible. And there are a lot of comparisons that can be made between Harry’s story and the story of Christ. So, I think that maybe if you presented some of those to your parents…
Eric: So you’re saying if she presented Harry’s tale…
Laura: That might help.
Eric: …as a tale of sacrifice to be much aligned with Christ’s?
Laura: Yes. Yeah, exactly. And even just the good morals of Harry Potter. Whether related to the Bible and Christianity or not, whether – they’re just good morals.
Eric: Obviously, Laura, saying that the book…
Laura: If that doesn’t…
Eric: Saying that the book has morals with them already knowing that Dumbledore’s gay, obviously doesn’t seem like a valid claim if your parents are biased.
Laura: I guess, well, I mean, the thing is, if your parents are completely biased against the gay thing you might – and I mean it sounds like they are – you might have a problem if you can’t convince them that there are other themes in the book that are worthy. I’m not saying that she needs to convince her parents that they need to change their views on homosexuality because that’s their prerogative. I don’t agree with it, but, I mean, I’m not going to tell them what to do. But maybe if you can present some other morals in the book that they can agree with. If anything – I’m always an advocate of you should – you’re, if you can read it and you can understand it you should be allowed to read it. So, I don’t know if you have access to a library, but – and, I’m not trying to approve of people disobeying their parents – but I really think it’s wrong for people to try and censor books from their children.
Eric: And well said. But I mean I think also it’s important to point out that this Dumbledore thing is extra-canoniness. It’s outside of the books. Like, this is something Jo threw in after the books had been written. Whereas people are now going back and trying to find some proof or evidence, it’s nothing – in my opinion there will be nothing definitive because it’s ambiguous in the books. Dumbledore, just because she said that she always saw the character as gay you can’t prove that by any of his actions in the books, with the exception of the letter…
Eric: …that he wrote to Grindelwald. You might see more into it, but Dumbledore never abused Harry, never had any of the, you know, never – and we talked about this last week, it’s just, it’s unfounded. Whereas JKR, it’s nothing for your parents to worry about because it’s not – JKR’s opinion did not affect the books.
Muggle Mail: Wormtail
Andrew: Yeah, I agree with that. Definitely. That would be the first thing I would tell my parents if that were the case. And finally an e-mail from Michelle, 40, of Texas. She writes:
“Hey guys. So can we please move on?” Great point. “Dumbledore is gay. It is not a major part of the HP story and I am an HP fan. If I wanted to debate and argue about important philosophical and political ideas in the real world, this is not the podcast I would be listening to. By the way, if you are looking for another character that is possibly gay, I say Wormtail is a safe bet.”
Okay, now Michelle.
Andrew: If you want us to stop talking about it, why would you bring up another point for us to discuss?
Andrew: I don’t get that. Stop talking about it. But, if you want to talk about another character that’s gay, Wormtail.
Eric: If you guys are going to be philosophical I wouldn’t…
Laura: See, the thing is, I don’t think it was unfounded that we talked about the philosophical and political ideas.
Andrew: Yeah, I do disagree with that point.
Laura: Because it completely relates to what is going on in the world.
Eric: People who listen to us were looking to us saying…
Laura: And I don’t see the problem of bringing some of that into the show.
Eric: “What do you guys make of this, what are we going to think?” You know?
Andrew: Right. And it relates to Harry Potter completely. But, you know, a lot of people at this point – we’ll stop talking about it unless something new develops.
Andrew: I’m sure we’re going to get a million more e-mails about it. I will say we have been getting a ton – a ton of feedback. I don’t think we’ve ever gotten this much feedback about a particular show ever.
Andrew: Every time I check the MuggleCast inbox, you know, we’re literally getting a new e=mail about every ten minutes about, you know, about something else that we said. And they’re adding up; we’re getting quite a few. So, thank you everyone for your feedback. We have been going through all of it. Unfortunately, we do not have the time reply to all of it and put it on the show. Otherwise, we could do another 200 episodes just reading it.
Eric: So, guys, is Wormtail gay?
Andrew: But thank you, everyone.
Eric: Michelle asked us a question. We have a right to answer it. We have a sort of responsibility to.
Eric: Why? Geez, I think this is unfounded. This is not – Wormtail, why? Just because he’s, geez, he’s bullied a lot, but then that goes with what one of the other rebuttals was saying. Are you going to say that gayness only comes from those who are bullied? You know? I’m just…
Andrew: Yeah, that was my thinking on it, actually.
Andrew: There’s nothing founded. As much as we try to analyze other characters to see if they’re gay, we’re never going to know, because there’s no hints of any sort of homosexuality in the books.
Andrew: None whatsoever. So, it’s a moot topic.
Eric: I just think he might not be that great with girls, but that doesn’t mean he’s gay, it just means he’s kind of pathetic and wimpy.
Pickle Crime Stories
Andrew: Yeah. Anyway, we don’t have any voicemails this week and we don’t really have a main discussion because there was more news and things to discuss from last week. However, we’re going to start our second new segment today, it’s called Pickle Crime Stories. A few of you e-mailed this in. This e-mail in particular came in from Christy McGuire, 22 of West Che, West Che…
Eric: West Chester?
Andrew: Oh my god. West Chester, Pennsylvania. She found this article on Comcast.net and it’s been making the rounds all over the Internet. “Man gets probation in pickle assault.” Out of Niles, Michigan.
“Talk about being in a pickle! A judge gave a 35 year-old man probation in a case that involved assault with pickles. According to police reports, the pickle problems began when Bobby Lee Bolin…
Eric: Bobby Lee Bolin of Buchannan.
Andrew: I like that name, Bobby Lee Bolin.
Laura: [pronounced correctly] Buchannan.
Andrew: “…was hanging out at the home of his then friend Jody Lee’s home in Buchannan on August 20th. Bolin went to the refrigerator and helped himself to some pickles.”
He must’ve been listening to MuggleCast at the time.
“According to the report, Lee told Bolin he couldn’t afford to feed everyone and not to eat his pickles. Bolin then began yelling and swearing and stormed out, according to our report. Later, Bolin barged back into the house and got into an argument with Lee. Lee told police Bolin slammed him down on the couch and then threw two large pickles at him and said, ‘Here’s your damn pickles!’ Bolin also shoved former friend J.W. Romansky III and beat Lee with a telephone when he triedto call 911, according to the report. Two counts involving Bolin’s assaults were dismissed, as was the charge of cutting or interfering with phone lines. A court judge was quoted as saying, ‘If this is not the silliest case I’ve ever seen in this court room, it’s certainly in the top ten.’ The fact that it’s silly does not mean that it’s not serious. Defense Attorney Robert Lutz said that alcohol appeared to be at the root of Bolin’s problems. Bolin’s sentence included 54 days in jail with credit for 54 days served in one year of probation.”
Eric: This is something Judge Judy would kick ass debating.
Andrew: Oh my gosh.
Eric: “He hit me with pickles.”
Andrew: [imitating Judge Judy] “Your pickles? What, the pickles?”
Andrew: Interesting. Very interesting story out of Niles, Michigan. Just goes to show you, some people and their pickles. Here at MuggleCast we are fully supportive of using pickles in any kind in any way, shape or form.
Eric: As weapons and defensive objects. Boomerangs even. What are the…
Andrew: As weapons. Or funny promotional items or catchphrases.
Eric: Or catchphrases. Yeah. Especially catchphrases.
Andrew: [singing] Pickleeesssss!
Eric: [singing] The quilt said fickle pickle-upper
Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul: Earthquake Edition
Andrew: Okay, so I think we’ll wrap up the show today with Chicken Soup: Earthquake Edition!
Laura: Okay. This comes from Anna Luna, 13, from San Jose, California. She writes:
“Dear, MuggleCasters: Around 8:15 on the night of Tuesday the 30th, I was listening to MuggleCast Episode 49 while sitting on my bed and doing my history homework. All of a sudden my bed started shaking. My dad is redoing the garage right now and I share a wall with the garage, so I simply thought that he was sliding something against the wall. But then I heard my mom running in the room across from me and I heard her shout, ‘Earthquake!’ and then watched as she ran to stand under a doorway. It was one of the scariest moments of my life, running to my doorway, clutching my
iPod in my hand. Then I ran outside. Luckily nothing too heavy fell in my room and none of my family was hurt during the 5.6 earthquake. Thank you, MuggleCast, for being there for me during one of the scariest moments of my life. I am forever thankful. Love, Anna Luna.”
That was nice.
Andrew: I’m glad she wasn’t too shaken up.
Eric: [laughs] It is very scary, this whole earthquake thing. Now, speaking of scary, guys, we have – this isn’t – I mean, we missed Halloween, because Halloween wasn’t on a Sunday this year.
Andrew: Oh yeah! We should’ve talked about it. Or we should talk about it.
Eric: Well, we still can because it’s only an hour in, and, you know?
The Casters’ Halloween
Andrew: Yeah. So, what was everyone for Halloween? Eric?
Eric: Well, I ended up just Blickling for Pickle Pack in an orange and black shirt. So, I was a personification of the popular Halloween colors for Halloween. And I must say that that was the most spaced out I’ve ever been for Halloween – the most obscure topic, because last year I was Peter Pan, and the year before that I was Luke Skywalker, and the year before that I was something else. But yeah, so basically I didn’t dress up because I had no parties to go to, no friends, so I had an orange and black shirt, on and you guys can see, and I did three Blickles in that, so that
was pretty cool. But that’s what I did for Halloween.
Andrew: Cool. Laura, what were you for Halloween?
Laura: I actually did not do anything for Halloween. I handed out candy for my dorm room. But actually, I’m in a seminar class right now for first-year students called, “Horror in Fiction and Film,” and our professor actually took us to his house and had a murder mystery dinner on Monday, and I was a maid.
Eric: I thought you were going to…
Laura: More specifically – what?
Eric: I thought you were going to say you were amazed. But you were a maid. [laughs]
Laura: No, no, no. Yeah, so I was a maid and I was unfortunately not the killer in the dinner party. I was very disappointed.
Laura: I wanted to be the killer.
Eric: Who died?
Laura: It was a dinner based around the idea of being – of like being on the movie set of like a horror film, and the person who died was like the big main actor behind it, so they were all trying to figure out who did it. So…
Andrew: Oh, okay.
Eric: You mean, whodunnit? [laughs]
Andrew: Well, I was Hillary Clinton for Halloween.
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Eric: Were you, really?
Andrew: I – but I was Hillary Clinton with a manly touch. I didn’t really – like, I had time to go to the costume store and get the Hillary Clinton mask, but then I also got this, like, pimp hat. It was a yellow and pink like…
Andrew: …felt hat. And so, I… [laughs] So, and then I showed up with a – I got this necklace, too, but it was way too long, and I did all that. And I wore a sweater vest and some nice jeans and I went to a Halloween party, where I got completely…
Andrew: I had a lot of fun, and completely showered with candy, and then…
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Andrew: And then – yeah, that was it. So, when I walked into this Halloween party… [laughs] I walked in. I was a couple of hours late because I was actually seeing Order of the Phoenix that night, too. They were playing it at my school. So, I walked in and everyone was like, “Hillary!” And I gave everyone like a presidential wave, you know, when you sort of like cup your hand?
Andrew: Or what is that…
Andrew: …the queen wave or something? Whatever it is.
Andrew: Yeah, so I did that for – but then I couldn’t breathe under the mask or see anything, so I took it off right away. So, that was it. That was it, that was my Halloween. Was anyone – everyone may remember that a couple of years ago, we had [laughs] my listener challenge was to dress up as me for Halloween, but I don’t think anyone did that this year. Someone did in my school, but not…
Andrew: …a listener.
Eric: Someone at your school. Your school has a cult following.
Eric: One of its clubs is the Andrew Sims Fan Group, and it’s at your school.
Eric: And all of the underclassmen…
Andrew: It is, it is.
Eric: …still dress like you, yeah.
Andrew: So, it is.
Eric: But you were Harry Potter for Halloween, weren’t you? Last year?
Eric: That was funny.
Andrew: I was, and I was going to be Harry Potter again this year, but I couldn’t get my costume in time, so…
Eric: Yeah. I mean, I could’ve just done that, but I figured it would be a cop out, so…
Andrew: Yeah, that’s what someone else told me, if I was – especially again. And, Eric, I’m sure – you’re like Harry Potter everyday. You’re walking around in that cloak.
Eric: Yeah, everywhere I go.
Laura: Do you remember when we were in London?
Andrew: And Eric walked around in his cloak.
Laura: Yeah, and we were just sitting there, like, “Did he see us?”
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Andrew: Oh, when was that? When was that? I’m forgetting the…
Laura: When we – it was like when we first got to the hotel.
Andrew: Oh, yeah, when we first got to the hotel.
Andrew: Oh yeah, when we first got to the hotel, Jamie, Laura, and I are checking in, and, you know, this kid with a Hogwarts cloak walks in, and I won’t lie, Eric, we were sort of embarrassed.
Andrew: We didn’t really want to associate ourselves with you.
Andrew: Given what you were wearing.
Andrew: So, we ignored – we pretended – we were waiting to check in, and we were having problems checking in because of, like, a credit card issue. And we were like, “Oh, my god, hopefully he doesn’t see us and walk over to us, it’s going to look like we’re even crazier, not to mention our credit card’s not working, but there’s this guy walking around with a cloak with us,” but apparently you didn’t see us.
Eric: Yeah, well, it was funny because that same guy – the bellman or the valet guy, who also did the valet. No, he was at the desk for holding your bags, so if you were waiting to check in as I was, because I arrived at the hotel probably like two, three hours before the other MuggleCasters were due in, and so I had a bit of time to kill. And it was really hot, and I was like, “Well, okay, so I have nothing to do. I’m going to go down and check out Waterstones,” and so I did. And there were all these fans in there. I was like, “Wow. So I’m going to go back to the hotel, and I’m going to change.” So, I used the back room, sort of back elevator area, to grab my suitcase…
Eric: …where all the suitcases were, and I asked the guy, I said, well, you know, “What’s the best thing – you know, what’s the best way to do it?” He was like, “Okay, well, I’ll just put you back here and just, you know, change whatever you need.” And so…
Andrew: Well, there was a bathroom. There was a bathroom in the lobby, too.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Eric: There was a bathroom, but there was something that prevented me from using it. So I was in the back with the suitcases, and I put on my robes. And meanwhile, the guy’s like waiting, right? Waiting for me, and I’m just like…
Andrew: That’s kind of weird.
Eric: …putting the socks, and the undershirt, and the vest, and the tie, and the cloak, and the wand, and the… [laughs] Yeah, so I’m getting it all together, and he keeps checking back, because like, “What are you doing?” And I was like, “Well, I’m in this, you know?” So, I burst out, right, into these robes into the lobby of this hotel and no one cared, no one looked. So, I assumed I was invisible…
Eric: …when you guys came in, so…
Laura: I’m sure they’re used to it in London. I feel like, you know?
Eric: Yeah, really, that’s…
Laura: There’s probably a lot of American tourists that come and…
Eric: Laura, what upsets me is, right before I did run into 9 and 3/4, but the video never really caught. We had to…
Laura: Yeah, I had to take that video like three times.
Eric: I did it three times, too, and my toe freaking hurt.
Eric: I broke my toe doing that, and I don’t have video.
Eric: I was unimpressed with how I did it the first time, and then the other two times the video didn’t take, so…
Laura: Yeah, my bad.
Eric: Yeah, well, anyway. Do it again one day.
Andrew: So, that was our Halloween. [sighs] And…
Laura: Halloween’s just not that exciting when you’re older, you know? It’s not the same.
Eric: It should be, though. Like, honestly. Halloween – people should not let Halloween die. There was talk about Halloween dying, everybody now is creepy in the world and you get tainted candy, and I don’t know many parents that take their kids trick-or-treating and stuff anymore. I still think it should be a big deal.
Andrew: Oh, there’s plenty. There’s plenty. There are plenty of people.
Eric: There’s plenty? Awesome. Because the whole thing with my neighborhood was everybody grew up so there were no more kids so the parents never took them around anymore, and that was the sort of thing. Like all the people in my neighborhood moved in around the same time and had kids about the same age which was great, but now it’s obviously – it’s a little less popular for Halloween.
Eric: So, that’s what I’m noticing.
Andrew: Well, hey. I think that’s about it for us today.
Laura: I have a whole bunch of studying to do tonight.
Eric: Me too.
Andrew: Oh come on, it’s 8:30 on a Friday night, what else would Laura be doing but studying?
Laura: Okay. Okay. Let me just take a second to defend myself here.
Andrew: Whoa. No, no, no.
Eric: No, let’s not. We’re running overtime, we have to end it now, Laura.
Andrew: We’re out of time.
Eric: We got to edit it out.
Andrew: We’re out of time. Hey, Laura. What is the P.O. Box, if people want to send us some parcel mail?
P.O. Box 3151
Andrew: Thank you, Laura, say no more for the rest of the show. You can also call in a voicemail, question, comment, or listener rebuttal. Just use one of our three numbers. If you’re in the United States, you can dial 1 218 20 MAGIC. If you’re in the United Kingdom, you can dial 0 208 144 0677, and if you’re in Australia, you can dial 028 0035 668. There is also the Skype username MuggleCast. You can just download Skype for free over at Skype.com and give us a call. It’s free internet telephony, so it’s wonderful. You can also visit MuggleCast.com for a handy feedback form to contact any one of us, or you can use our first name at staff dot mugglenet dot com.
Eric: Woot, woot!
Oh, just a small thought before we wrap up today. Since we’re going
to try and hang off the “Dumbledore is gay” stuff from now on – I mean, we’ll still include an e-mail or two – don’t fill up the e-mail box and voicemail box with just that kind of stuff. We can talk about more things that J.K. Rowling said at the reading. We’re open to doing that – no pun intended. And…you know. So some general feedback would be nice. General questions, comments, main discussions would be nice. And I believe that’s it for this week’s episode. Next week maybe we’ll come back with some voicemails. Maybe. And some fun. Some more fun content. We’re trying to
get Jamie back on the show. There is a good chance that his Internet – well I won’t say, “good” chance – there is a chance that his Internet is working – is capable of doing the podcast form his dorm at Durham.
[Show music begins]
Andrew: So, we’ll continue working on that. Maybe he’ll be back, because we still haven’t heard what he thinks about this whole Dumbledore is gay situation, although, nobody seems to care anymore. So… [laughs]
Eric: God, it’s amazing how much people care one week and then the next week…
Andrew: Yeah, yeah, we just talk them out, I think.
Eric: But maybe they’re tired of it. Yeah, I mean fair enough.
Andrew: Exactly. Maybe we’ll update the poll and just ask if people are bored of it, just out of curiosity.
Eric: Well, I would wait a week. Wait until next week’s show comes out.
Andrew: Yeah, we’ll wait until we release this one, so we don’t know that nobody wants to listen to this week’s show.
Eric: Yeah, exactly.
Andrew: So anyway, thank you, everyone for listening. Thank you to our transcribers for transcribing these shows every week. Thanks to everyone. Thank you, everyone. Most importantly, thanks to the transcribers, thanks to the listeners.
Laura: Awww, that’s so sweet.
Andrew: Well, because we’d be nothing without both of those.
Laura: It’s true.
Eric: Thank you, everyone. Happy Halloween. Oh, do you guys like pumpkin pie?
Andrew: Hey, we don’t thank the transcribers and then keep talking more. It’s a bad idea.
Eric: You don’t like pumpkin pie?
Laura: Oh, that’s true.
Eric: Who doesn’t like pumpkin pie?
Laura: They’re going to come kill us in the night.
Eric: I love pumpkin pie.
Andrew: No, no, I love pumpkin pie, too. Next week’s main discussion will be “pumpkin pie, pumpkin pie.” Okay so, once again, I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I am Eric Scull.
Laura: And I’m Laura Thompson.
Andrew: We will see everyone next week for Episode 119. Bye, everyone!