January 2, 2020

PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: Harry Potter’s J. K. Rowling Declines to Apologize to Wokescolds.

Related: Has J.K. Rowling figured out a way to break our cancel culture? Great observation by Megan McArdle, in of all places, the Washington Post:

If you’d prefer reasoned debate, it will start with a collective realization that mobs can’t do much except make noise. They’re not actually very big, for starters — the number of people who replied to Rowling’s tweet wouldn’t fill most Texas college football stadiums, and reasonable people don’t choose their views by polling the crowd at the Aggies-Longhorns game.

More important, most mobs aren’t committed to the effort beyond flicking a thumb. Institutions that ignore the mob are often astonished at how little difference all the outrage makes to their business — and I’d bet Rowling won’t see much evidence of this controversy in her royalty statements.

The censorious power of Mrs. Grundys always depends on the cooperation of the governed, which is why their regime collapsed the moment the baby boomers shrugged off their finger-wagging. If Rowling provides an unmissable public demonstration that it is safe to ignore the current crop, we can hope others will follow her example, and the dictatorship of the proscriptariat will fall as quickly as it arose.

Why, it’s like “Twitter sentiment is a Styrofoam iceberg. You may think 9/10 of it is underwater, but actually, 9/10 of it is visible,” to coin an Insta-phrase. Somebody should write a book about this stuff.

Now if only the Washington Post could learn to avoid such hectoring itself: Dear men who are afraid to see ‘Little Women’: You can do this.

As one Twitter wag wrote in response, “Perspective: Dear women who are afraid to see *insert manly movie here*: You can do this. See how dicky that sounds? It makes me not want to see that movie and I loved the book when I was a kid.”

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