Updated: JKR Discusses the Role of Death in the Series, Religion, the US Presidential Election and More in New Interview (Complete Translation Now Online)

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Feb 09, 2008

Posted by EdwardTLC
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Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling has given a new interview to Spanish language newspaper El Pais in which she openly discusses many subjects including her series, inspirations, real-life heroes, and even the upcoming United States Presidential election. Thanks to TLC Reader Rosianna, we now have for you a complete translation online. A slight caution for younger readers, however, as the interview contains one instance of mild adult language. In this interview, topics range from themes of death, religion, privacy and even the current US political elections are all covered, and much more. You can read the full interview which took place in Edinburgh during early February below:



“To be invisible… that would be the best…”

J. K. Rowling (Bristol, England, 1965) or “Jo” to her friends, has the same look: frightened and happy, as Harry Potter, her fictional character. She wrote the first book because she needed it, and she continued writing until the seventh which is now released (on the 21st of February in Spain; as everywhere, in Salamandra), without looking the other way, without realizing the gigantic number of, children, youths, adults, who have become addicts from this enormous book of magic and reality which is perhaps the biggest seller in history.

Harry Potter is her hero: he saved her and as a consequence has left her emotional: she has abandoned him but cannot live without him. She told us this last Tuesday morning in Edinburgh, where she has lived for years, in the only interview she has given to Spanish media.

We brought her cheese from Asturias, to remind her of her prize from the “Príncipe de Asturias de la Concordia” and greetings from the foundation that decides those awards.

Occasionally she has spoken, in her interviews, of another great solitary person like herself, of Francis Scott Fitzgerald. It stroke us as an opportunity to start to talk to her in the same vein, of solitude and death, and of melancholy, which are the themes which dominate the last part of Harry Potter, perhaps her alter ego.

Q: You usually talk of Scott Fitzgerald, a melancholy man.

A: Yes, I have spoken of him to make a distinction between a writer that due to nature and talent had the impulse to write and could not share this need to write with his social life. I mentioned him because these days with so much emphasis on the media, it seems as though there is some sort of obligation, which says that a writer must be a public person. In my case, people think that because I am a well-known author, I should be good giving interviews and appearing in photographs. People expect to see you enjoying yourself on television programmes and expect that you like to be a public person, a performer. But I’m not. I like the life of the writer. I enjoy the solitude.

Q: It’s interesting, sometimes in Harry Potter, above all the most recent installments, there has been a certain amount of sadness and solitude, which is reminiscent of Fitzgerald.

A: Undoubtedly. It’s sadness, which is born from grief. And Scott Fitzgerald had two afflictions: that of his talent and his need to create and the affliction of his private life, which was catastrophic. Those two afflictions are enough to lead anyone to alcoholism.

Q: Those afflictions can come in that time between childhood and adolescence, when the phantoms arrive and they stay with you forever.

A: Yes, I think adolescents are very aware of death. They feel as though they are so pressured that, for them, death is only a step away. They are very fragile people. In Great Britain there is a culture of fear towards teenagers, towards young people in general. And it shouldn’t be that way. We need to be protecting them instead of protecting ourselves from them.

Q: Talk a bit about death. In the sixth and seventh Harry Potter books, death appears no just as a word or thought but as a possibility, something obvious and a reality.

A: That was always the plan, that death should appear in that way. Since he was young until Chapter 34 of the seventh book, Harry is required to be a better man in that he is obligated to accept the inevitability of his own death. The plan of the books was that he should have contact with death and with the experience of death. And it was always Harry alone who had to have that experience. It all came down to conscience, because the hero had to live these things, do things, see things on his count. It’s part of that isolation and sadness that comes with being a hero.

Q: That 34th chapter [quotation ’ re: Harry realizing he won't survive] sounds like the beginning of 100 Years of Solitude by García Márquez.

A: That’s very flattering.

Q: It’s a book about death and obviously solitude, like yours… the character of 100 Years of Solitude accompanies his grandfather to see the ice and you take Harry to visit death.

A: For me, that chapter is the key of all the books. Everything, everything I have written, was thought of for that precise moment when Harry goes into the forest. That is the chapter that I had planned for 17 years. That moment is the heart of all of the books. And for me it is the last truth of the story. Even though Harry survives, of that there was no doubt, he reaches that unique and very rare state which is to accept his own death. How many people have the possibility of accepting their death before they die?

Q: It’s an experience close to everyone. When one has seen death in someone close to them, one asks themselves how that look that we will no longer see will be, what will happen next.

A: Definitely. It strikes me as extraordinary that regardless of the fact that we all know we are going to die, death remains a mystery. We feel as though death is like something secret which happens to very few people. And all of a sudden, someone close to you dies and the bomb drops. Harry has a premature understanding of death, long before Chapter 34. And that has an evident parallel with my life. If someone close to you in your life dies, as my mother did, the fact that death reaches us all returns to you more explicitly. And that is something that you should live with always.

Q: We live in dark and sad times; you say it in your books, especially in this one. How do you live in these times?

A: I have to believe in the kindness of the people. I think people are in nature, good. But actually, I continue watching American politics very closely. I am obsessed with the US elections. Because it will have profound effects on the rest of the world. The political situation in the US in recent years has badly affected your country as mine.

Q: And if you had a magic wand, what would you do?

A: I want a Democrat in the White House. And it seems a shame to me that Clinton and Obama are rivals because they are both extraordinary people.

Q: This morning, upon entering the hotel I saw that you carried The Times in one hand and on the front there was a photo of Hillary crying.

A: Well, it was one small tear. And she is allowed a tear on occasion. A life in politics is very hard on a woman. If you don’t cry, you’re a bitch. And if you do cry, you’re weak. It’s difficult. On the other hand, it’s acceptable for a man to cry.

Q: Solitude, death. We speak of dark things. At its best, literature comes from that.

A: Well, I think it was Tolkien who said that all the important books are about death. And there’s some truth in that because death is our destiny and we should face up to it. All that we have done in life had the intention of avoiding death.

Q: You said that you saw your soul as something undeniable.

A: Yes, that’s true. But I also have said that I have many doubts regarding religion. I feel very attracted by religion, but at the same time I feel a lot of uncertainty. I live in a state of spiritual flux. I believe in a permanent soul. And that is reflected in the last book.

Q: What makes you happy?

A: Family and work, obviously. I consider myself so lucky to have a family… my children are, above all other things, the most important. Even though it’s difficult to make being a mother compatible with writing.

Q: Before coming to see you, I asked the Spanish scriptwriter, Rafael Azcona, for a question to ask you, and he responded that I should ask his niece Sara, six years old, who is a Harry Potter addict.

A: That’s fantastic.

Q: But you say that you should read your books from the age of seven years or older.

A: Well, my eldest daughter was six when she started to read them. I have always known where I was going to go with the books. So yes, I think that a six-year-old child can understand the first book [Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone] even though the last one is quite dark. The fifth book is the darkest of all because there is an absence of anticipation and an oppressive atmosphere. I think because of that, people didn’t like it as much. Even though there are readers who prefer this book to the others, they are a strange minority. The fifth, the sixth and this last one I don’t think are suitable for a child of six years.

Q: And when you wrote the first one, did you think of a designated reader?

A: That’s the problem. I called it a children’s story because the main character was a child. But it was always a child who I wanted to be older. And at the end he’s a man, a young man but a man. That is something unusual in children’s books: that the protagonist grows. And it makes me enormously happy that people continue reading and enjoying the books. They grew older with Harry Potter. But I never thought adults were potential readers.

Q: Peter Mayer, the editor, who was the first I heard talk of Harry Potter in Spain, said that the key of this success is that the series has become reading material for adults.

A: Yes, it’s incredible. Only now am I capable of looking back and realizing everything. For 10 years I didn’t allow myself to think about it. I think I did it to protect myself. It’s very difficult to live with that pressure, but I lived constantly denying the facts. After each publication I made a point to not read any reviews.

Q: Literature saves people, or helps to save them. How did writing affect you?

A: Let me tell you one thing. Simply the fact of writing the first book saved my life. I’m always told that the world I created is unreal; it was that which allowed me to escape. Yes, it’s true; it’s unreal up to a point. But not because my world was magical but because all writers evade themselves. Additionally, I did not write only to escape but because I searched to understand ideas which concerned me. Ideas such as love, loss, separation, death… and all that is reflected in the first book.

Q: What else did that first book give you?

A: A place in a prosaic level, writing that book gave me the discipline, the focus and the ambition, which back then was reduced to simply seeing the book published.

Q: How was the day of publication?

A: I saw my dream become reality. It was an extraordinary moment. I couldn’t believe it, I was entranced. And in some way almost immediately I felt as though a train was pushing me from behind at full speed, as in a cartoon. I thought: “What’s happened to me?” Three months later I received an incredible advance, according to my standards back then. In that time, I was renting a flat, I didn” have security or savings. I wore second-hand clothes. Then, money was scarce and to have that money all of a sudden was extraordinary. That night I couldn’t sleep. The next day, journalists started to appear, they gave me an important prize, The Sun called me to buy the rights for the story of my life and the journalists began to patrol in front of my house. And let me tell you something: it scared me a lot.

Q: Is that why you’re scared of journalists even now?

A: No, I’m not scared of them. I remember a pair of journalists in particular who noticed my incredulity and vulnerability and helped me. One of them told me that I had every right to keep my daughter away from the press because I refused to take her with me to interviews and have them take photos of her. I’m talking of the press of this country, of the United Kingdom. That’s how it works.

Q: Your books appear to be full of personal details.

A: I tend to use significant dates. When I need a date or a number, I use something related to my personal life. I don’t know why I do it, it’s a tic. Harry’s birthday is the same date as mine, for example. The numbers that appear or dates that are in the books are related to my life.

Q: Writing your first book entranced you. And the pressure of the success, knowing that millions of people waited for your work?

A: I made a serious decision not to think about it. Obviously there were moments when some news items filtered through, above all during books four and five. There you can notice the pressure and I think that’s evident in the writing.

Q: How did that happen?

A: When I arrived at the fourth book I was very burnt out. I had produced a book a year for four years at the same time as raising my only child without a nanny or help of any kind. I was exhausted. And in reality I thought: “I can’t do it anymore, I have to stop”. I told this to my editor, that if I continued like this I wouldn’t be able to continue writing. And so I met the man who is now my second husband.

Q: You are Harry Potter. And you say it yourself: “Harry is mine”. Have you always known how you were going to finish? Did you always know there were going to be seven books?

A: I always knew what was going to happen. From the start I had the whole plot outlined, without the detail but I always knew that the story was going to finish. And it has finished, even though many fans are disgusted, There isn’t a way of reviving Harry’s story. His story has finished. But finishing it was very hard. It was devastating.

Q: The ending is moving: “The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years.”

A: It’s symbolic. We all repeat the lie again and again: that time cures everything. And it’s not true. There are things that aren’t cured, such as when someone you love dies.

Q: You also wrote: “Harry Potter, the Boy who lived”. The teacher says it and you say that he lived because he had faith in his convictions, thanks to that he conquered Voldemort. Are you like that?

A: I would like to say yes because I believe in a hero with heroic attributes. I read on a site: “A hero is not braver than everyone else. He is only brave for five minutes longer…” Harry is like that.

Q: In all the books there is the moral that one can save themselves if they have friends, but Harry’s story is also one of solitude.

A: I agree entirely. I have given Harry my fault, which is a tendency to shut myself in, to isolate myself when I am under pressure, sad or happy. I tend to isolate myself. But I know it’s not good, that it’s not healthy. And I gave that to Harry. Even though that is what also makes him heroic, it is what prepares him to act on his own.

Q: Is Harry your hero?

A: Yes, well, in real life, my hero is Robert F. Kennedy. I created a boy who tries to act with morality, whom even though he is attacked and hurt physically and emotionally nevertheless continues to be attracted by the good side of things. And he is genuine and loyal and I find heroism in all these things.

Q: People are aware of the figures of your life, of how wealthy you are, but less so that you are human; it is as though they see you with a magic wand like Harry Potter.

A: Sadly, it is like that. When I see my name in lists of powerful people, something I don’t do much, I think about it. Power isn’t something I want and additionally, I don’t have it. Yes, I am rich.

Q: Imagine that for a moment you had the ability to make yourself invisible.

A: To be invisible? That would be the best…


Many, many thanks to Rosianna for providing us this excellent translation in such a short period of time. Also, thanks to HarryLatino and all who mailed.

Update: Additional quotes from this interview are now online thanks to reader Kamyll who was kind enough to translate part of an additional document found on the left side of web article. You can find the selected translated quotes that did not make it into the web article below:

On F. Scott Fitzgerald:

Q: He drank to find himself, to be alone?

A: Yes, but his chosen partner says a lot. The people we are attracted to say plenty about who we are. He couldn’t have a peaceful life with his wife Zelda. He chose to be with someone who sometimes made it impossible to write. He didn’t have that peace so necessary when it comes to create something.

On the Time Magazine photo of Senator Clinton:

Q: Crying can be a way of laughing?

A: Could be, and in this case, after reading the article, that tear was indeed a happy tear.

Q: Our souls floating around, looking for what?

A: That’s the big question, but I hope we don’t have to come back! I don’t want to come back!

After stating she does need read reviews:

Q: And could you really do that?

A: Yes, is very good not to be aware of the reviewers or what they’re saying about you. I wrote what I wanted. When I finished the seventh book I though it was the best I’d written. It was the book I wanted to write. I was more satisfied with that book that any other. If I’d read any review what good it would have made? It was written, there was nothing else I could do, but now I can allow myself to look back and what happens is what you just said: adults started to read the books to their children and then they continued to read on their own. There’s nothing more gratifying than to listen to people saying that entire families read the books together. I’ve heard that a lot. They read one chapter together and then they gathered again to read the next one. Is unbelievable isn’t? A lot of families told me they did that and is gratifying in so many levels. The books have become a social act.

Q: Have you done that with Jessica? Are you going to do it with the rest of your children?

A: Jessica is fourteen and she is a fervent admirer of Harry.

Q: What did she tell you after she read the books?

A: She asked me why I did this thing or another, and I my answer was that that’s the way it had to be. Yes, sometimes you can give an automatic answer, like some things were made up as literary mechanisms, elements that helped the plot. In other cases, is harder to explain the process of writing. I wrote it because it came up that way. Sometimes I wrote as if something or somebody was saying it to me.

Q: Could you describe what that something was?

A: There are so many answers to that question. I could say: “It was me, it was my subconscious.” Yes, it was my subconscious, so what I’ve written comes from everything that I’ve done and all the people I’ve known because everything and everyone are somewhere in my head. Or I could say it was the muse, and I like to think it was the muse, because that means the writer is not aware of the origin of what they’re writing, or at least is not fully aware of it, and I know it’s a clichéd word about the Harry Potter books, but they’re magical.

Q: That means that you went through the same thing that happened to Juan Rulfo when he wrote “Pedro Páramo” because he couldn’t find it in his bookshelf.

A: I love that story and it’s true, in my case it’s exactly like that, although I didn’t write what I wanted, but what I needed to write at that moment.

On celebrity and life in the public eye:

Q: People often notice the figures in your life, how wealthy you are but few times they say that you are also a human; it’s like they see you with a magic wand, like Harry Potter.

A: Yes, unfortunately they do. The thing about power is interesting because really what kind of power do I have? When I see my name in lists of powerful people, something I don’t do often, I think about it. Power isn’t something I want and additionally, I don’t have it. Yes, I am rich. I’ve made a lot of Money, for which I’m grateful, but that’s the way it is. When people approach me and ask about the amount of money I have… the other day I was on the street and a woman came up to me and asked if I was J. K. Rowling, I said yes. She then said: “You deserve everything you have.” I don’t think she was talking about the money, and when someone says that to you it’s wonderful; but I think that the obsession with money is global, here in the UK we have lists, millions of lists, rich people over 40, under 40 for which I no longer qualify because I’m 42… wealth is an obsession I don’t know if it’s the same way in Spain.

Q: Are you happy?

A: Much more than I was before.

Q: What have you managed to get rid of?

A: I’m very relieved to be older and accepting who I am and knowing who I am. When I was twenty and during all that decade I had a very bad time, I think it happens to loads of people, they just don’t say it. I made a lot of mistakes; some of them were very bad. Now I feel much more confident.

Q: The fantasy in literature completes people.

A: Yes, that’s right. Humans need fantasy and magic. We have a need for mystery. Sir Frank Frasier (in The Golden Bow) says that in religion the man depends on God, but in magic the man depends on himself, which allows us to measure the capacity of man and magic becomes an ideal existence. Magic carries a human existence, in Book 6 the Prime Minister says to the Minister of Magic “You can do magic! Surely you can sort out anything!” and the minister answers: “Yes, the trouble is, the other side can do magic too.” We need magic and I defend it at all cause. Magic is a very important part of literature and that’s why it’s always going to be there.

Q: There’s this dialogue between Harry and Professor Dumbledore: “Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?”

A: And Dumbledore says: “Of course it is happening inside your head, but why on earth would that mean that is not real?” That dialogue is the key; I’ve waited seventeen years to use those lines. Yes, that’s right. All this time I’ve worked to be able to write those two phrases; writing Harry entering the forest and Harry having that dialog.

Q: And sometimes, Harry is in the real world.

A: Of course. It’s important to have light and darkness, it’s a very conventional mechanism, but to be able to create a transition between a mundane universe and the cruel and oppressive existence adds shadows. As the story moves forward what I was hoping to reach was that what used to be going to the Dursleys became something comical. As Harry gets older and keeps gaining power and confidence he find himself better with the Dursleys, and the place of darkness and evil is exactly what used to be the world of light and magic. This family goes from being cruel to be funny and in book seven it even becomes pathetic when we found out that his Aunt was a jealous woman and even, form Harry’s point of view, a broken one.

Q: Your Spanish editor wanted me to ask you about the faith of the non-magical Dursley family.

A: Very well, I’ll have to write an eight book. (laughs) Really, I thought it wasn’t necessary to write about the Dursleys. I thought the reader would know that they had been protected and they were out of hiding. When fans ask me this I tell them that thanks to the final encounter between Harry and Dudley they can try to have a friendly relationship, that they send Christmas cards and visit each other every once in a while. It would be awkward but they’d try, because it’s all about staying in touch. They could never be good friends, put they’d try to have a friendship… Dudley knows that Harry saved his life. Well, he thinks he saved his life when actually he was saving his soul.

Q: There are more scars left in your life, in Harry’s life?

A: If you’re asking me if I’m going to write more books, if I have unfinished business, the answer is yes… But with Harry, I took him to work at the Ministry, I have to believe that there’s a possibility to get rid of corruption, and I see it in that battle, but he’s become a middle-age father worrying about if his kid is going to do well in school.

Q: In the real world. No magic wand?

A: No, always with a wand.

Q: Do you have that magic wand?

A: Isn’t that the muse?

Q: You still write with a pen?

A: Always.

Q: Maybe that’s the magic wand?

A: Yeah, maybe it is… and look: the magic wand has ruined my finger for using it so much.

Q: You said in the past you would have chosen the resurrection stone like Harry.

A: And I would’ve been wrong… I think that when something dies it belongs somewhere else, every person has a responsibility towards another. I have it with my children and if I were trying to rescue somebody from death it wouldn’t be good for them. My duty is to my children and their future. Resurrection is a huge temptation but it’s dangerous.

Q: Maybe writing is some kind of Resurrection Stone.

A: Yes, of course, but I think you realize that once you’re writing to make a dream come true. If it’s just like that then, for me, writing loses its worth. Describing your fantasy is not the same as creating a world.





233 Responses to Updated: JKR Discusses the Role of Death in the Series, Religion, the US Presidential Election and More in New Interview (Complete Translation Now Online)

Avatar Image says:

I agree with Jo – Obama/Clinton ‘08! I had the hardest time deciding which of them to vote for in the primaries.

Avatar Image says:

Well, Andalucía isnt a city and its almost as big as ireland. im sorry im totally unable to translate this to you.

Avatar Image says:

waves little Obama flag Nicely said, Jo!

Avatar Image says:

oh goodness, politics…..

Avatar Image says:

This sounds like a really interesting interview – I can’t wait to read the rest of it!

also waves Obama flag :]

Avatar Image says:

Hooray, Jo! I’m for Obama all the way, but I wouldn’t be too heartbroken if Clinton won. Any others, however…

Avatar Image says:

My one and only political comment on this:

I am not an American, nor do I live in the states. While I understand the support some of you may have towards the democrats, my little country is in the odd position where a Republic president would be so much better for us. (trade relationship, development cooperation, security issues, etc).

Both Obama and Clinton have taken stances on certain issues regarding Latin America that worry me and many others.

Avatar Image says:

On a complimentary note, I have a t-shirt that proclaims “Republicans for Voldemort”! Sadly, the current administration does seem to represent a litany of “easy” rather than “right” choices: it is hardly surprising that Rowling dislikes it.

Avatar Image says:

You should find some sort of official Leaky Translator. I’m surprised she was so interested. I can’t vote (yet), but heck, I’ve been following it obsessively. I have a widget counting delegates for each candidate. Interestingly the person who questioned Clinton about “how she did it” (resluting in the tear) decided it was too calculated and voted for Obama.

Waves Obama banner

Avatar Image says:

I totally agree JK! I have recently become obsessed (since South Carolina) with the campaign. I’m sad to see the Democrats become more and more split. As much as I would love to see a Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket (they’re very different, i hope people see this) i highly doubt that either would pick one or the other for their vice president. Both people demand the limelight, and both would like to keep control… i’m afraid that they’d be fighting each other in the white house if they won. I personally hope Obama succeeds, i think that he would bring the country together in ways that we haven’t seen in years.

I’d also like to see the rest of the article. I’m especially curious about the Dursleys. :) I can’t wait to see the rest of it!

Avatar Image says:

“Republicans for Voldemort” is about the snottiest thing I ever heard. Whether you agree with various aspects of the Bush administration or not, I’d love to know what’s easy about doing something the majority of the country hates you for.

Avatar Image says:

I agree with Marauder!

Avatar Image says:

I personally think Republicans for Voldemort is Hilarious! I completely agree with Jo we definetely need a Democratic pres in the white house, they get overlooked to much .. I am still undecided myself but I will be happy with either Obama or Clinton as President – I know it will happen – Im optimistic.

Avatar Image says:

The grammar nut in me is really bugged by the “affect” in this article. It should be “effect!” Sorry, my OCD is showing.

Avatar Image says:

Haha, I was going to post on the ‘effect’ mistake just now, but it seems you beat me to it, Liz!

Avatar Image says:

Go JO! Obama is gonna take it all the way! God bless Jo for being so sensible.

Avatar Image says:

Obama has the charisma—he definitely has a way of charming young voters and though I wouldn’t mind him being president I need someone I know has experience and can get through the nitty gritty to get things done. It’s one thing to to “unify” the country by charm and really fantastic speeches (he would make a great Pastor!) but it’s another to have the experience and know what it takes to get there. Obama will be a great leader no doubt, but I do not think this is his time.

Go Hillary girl!

Avatar Image says:

That was a nice interview but I am sorry to say that I hate both Obama and Clinton. Especially Clinton!!!

Avatar Image says:

I don’t pretend this is a brilliant translation, but here’s the first part.


J. K Rowling (Bristol, England, 1965), Jo to her friends, has the same look, both terrified and happy, as Harry Potter, her fictional character. She wrote the first book because she needed to, and continued until the seventh, which will release on the 21st in Spain, as everyone knows, from Salamandra, without thought to the huge volume of addicts, children, youth and adults who have made this enormous book of both magic and reality perhaps the biggest bestseller in history. Harry Potter is her hero; her savior. He has led us on an emotional rollercoaster, and we cannot live without it. We met this last Tuesday in Edinburgh, where Rowling has lived for years, in the only interview she has granted to the Spanish media. ... Ever spoken in his interviews, another great writer as she is, was Francis Scot Fitzgerald. We felt it appropriate to start from there to talk with her about loneliness, death, and melancoly, topics which dominate the last period of the life of Harry Potter, perhaps her alter ego. QUESTION. Usually you talk about Scott Fitzgerald, a melancholic. REPLY. Yes, I spoke of him to make a distinction between a writer who, by nature and talent was the impetus to write and who could not reconcile the need to write their social life. I mentioned these days because such media seems that there is an obligation, the writer becomes a public figure. In my case, people think that since I am a famous writer, I should be superb at giving interviews. People expect to see you enjoy beging part of these television shows and that you enjoy beinga public figure – a performer. But I am not – I love the life of the writer. I enjoy the solitude. QUESTION. It’s funny, often in Harry Potter, most especially in the more recent novels, there is a degree of melancholy and loneliness, which reminded us of Fitzgerald. REPLY. Undoubtedly. It is the melacholy that comes from a heavy heart – and Soctt Fitzgerald had two burdens: the sorrow of his talent and his need to recreate the sorrow in his private life, which was catastrophic. Those two burdens are enough to bring anyone to alcoholism. QUESTION. Those burdens may come from the time between childhood and adolescence, when the ghost come to haunt you forever. REPLY. Yes, I believe that adolescents are very close to the idea of death. The feel the pressure for so long that, for them, death is just a step. They’re very fragile. In Britain, there is a culture of fear toward adolescents and toward youth in general, this should not be so. We should be protecting them rather than protecting ourselves from them. QUESTION. Speaking of death, in books six and seven, Harry Potter’s death appears not only as a simple word or thought, but as an opportunity, an evidence, and reality. REPLY. The plan was always to have that death there. From his childhood all the way till chapter thirty-four of the seventh book, Harry is forced to be an older man and is compelled to accept the inevitability of his death. The plan [ of the series of novels] was that he should ‘meet’ death, experience death, and that he would be alone when he had that experience. I planned it that way because the hero has to live through things, do things, and see things on their own. This isolation and melancholy is what is entailed with being a hero.

Avatar Image says:

I SOOOOO agree with Jo’s comments about Clinton and Obama. My heart hopes they can get past their current rivalry and become running mates, but my head tells me that may not be realistic. I also think her comment about how the public reacts to women politicians crying is right on the mark.

I’m with you Tory – “God bless Jo for being so sensible”!

Avatar Image says:

Its fantastic every time our Jo gives hew views. But guys dont get too politically aggressive on this comment board – so far so good :-)

Avatar Image says:

TML, is that a chunk (first installment?) of the interview which you translated for us? if so, many thanks!

“Democrats for Dumbledore”? ;-)

Avatar Image says:

Did Jo give this interview in Spanish?

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Cordelia, I just wondered about the same thing. Much as I admire the great effort of voluntary translations – obviousy most interviews with Jo would be in English, so the best way would be to try to obtain the original. “Original” is always better!

btw, I think it sholud be “Voldemort for Republicans” gg

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A bit more; it’ll be a while for the rest. Again, this is definitely not the best translation, but it should get you the gist of the interview.

QUESTION. From chapter 34, “Lying with his face pressed into the dusty carpet of the office where he had once thought he was learning the secrets of victory, Harry understood at last that he was not supposed to survive”, has much the same feel as One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Garcia Marquez.

REPLY. That’s very flattering.

QUESTION. It is a book about death, and obviously on lonelieness, like yours is… The character in One Hundred Years… accompanies his grandfather to see the ice, and you take Harry to visit death.

REPLY. For me, this chapter is the key to all the books. Everything, everything I wrote was thought to the very moment when Harry enters the Forbidden Forest. This is the chapter that I had planned for seventeen years. This moment is the heart of the series, and is, for me, the real end to the story. Although Harry survives, there was never a doubt in his mind that he was going to die – he accepted his own death. How many people have the opportunity to accept death before dying?

QUESTION. It has been my experience, that when one has seen the death of someone close to them, it will change their outlook, how they view death from that point on.

REPLY. Defintely. I find it extraordinary that, despite the fact that we all know that we are going to die, how we will die remains a mystery. We think that death is something secret that happens to very few people. Then, suddenly, someone close to us dies and it drops the bomb of reality. Harry has an understanding of early death, long before chapter thirty-four. And that has some obvious parallels with my life. When someone in your life is near death, like the death of my mother, it becomes clear that death comes to us all. And that is something that has to live forever.

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TML, thank you for undertaking this translation, and for sharing it with us!

Intersting, this segment is suggestive (to me) of Malraux’s novels Man’s Fate and Man’s Hope…

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TML, you rock for translating this bit by bit!!!

I really enjoy this interview so far… I love seeing her perspective looking back on the books and knowing what has been and is so important to her in that process.

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Thats a shame she had to say something about American politics. Now she will be villified for yet another thing….

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All politicians are liars.

Harry Potter for president!

- M

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Wow, she’s a Dem and she’s religious. That’s rare.

Come on book 8.

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“All politicians are liars.”

Ditto

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TML, thank you so much!

Jeff, it’s not that rare at all.

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I totally agree with her comment on women and politics. Just another reason why I love Jo.

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I think it’s a shame she thinks the world will suddenly be a better place if a Dem is in the White House. That’s spreading false hope. I expect a Democratic president, but I don’t expect a noticeable change of behavior of people in the world. Bad stuff will still happen just the same.

BUT ...  I love a new interview! :D
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@TML, I love hearing from JKR. THANK YOU SO MUCH for the translations!

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I would like to point out that JK doesn’t seem to have a preference for either Obama or Clinton – so for all the people in here who think this is her official support for Obama (I on the other hand wave a Clinton “banner”), just because she mentioned is name first, are wrong. Obama is great and I am going to vote for him, of course, if he gets the ticket, but I won’t get into why Clinton is better for the nation right here.

Actually, on CNN the other day, they were reporting that most of Europe supports Hillary in the campaign because of how great the Bill Clinton years were the relations between Europe and the U.S. Hillary is a little more liberal than her husband, but her diplomancy opinions line up very well.

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okay, another comment:

I very much agree with CarloynJ.

Think back to the 2000 election of Bush vs Gore. For all the arguments and couterarguments about policy, ideology, etc etc, the defining issue of the first president of the 21st century was not something either of them predicted or expected.

Whatever has happened in the past, and the present, one must also keep in mind as to how a president will react to sudden and unexpected events. All president’s face various crisis, some of them truly monumental.

And the world will definitely not suddenly become a better place because a Democrat is in the white house. Just having someone knew in charge may provide a breath of fresh air and some momentum for their policies, but their will still be individuals and groups which will continue to pose huge, and sometimes dangerous, challenges.

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Oh no. She wants Obama or Hillary!? Why do all my heroes turn out to be democrats!?

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Part three of the ‘gist’ translation.

QUESTION. We live in sad and dark times, as you say in your book, and Harry does especially, how is your life?

REPLY. I have to believe in the goodness of people. I think that people are, by nature, good. But now I am very closely following American politics. I am obsessed with the elections in the United States – because it will take a profound effect on the rest of the world. The U.S. foreign policy in recent years has affected, for the worse, both their country and mine.

QUESTION. And if you had a magic wand, what would you do?

REPLY. I want a Democrat in the White House – it seems to me a shame that Clinton and Obama have to be rivals because bother are extraordinary.

QUESTION. This morning, when we entered the hotel, we had a copy of The Times in head, and on the cover was a picture of Hillary crying.

REPLY. Well, there was a little bit of crying. She can afford to cry from time to time. The political life is very difficult for a woman. If you don’t cry, you’re a bitch, and if you do, you’re weak. It’s difficult. And for men it’s just fine to mourn.

QUESTION. Loneliness, Death. We speak of dark things. Maybe literature is all about these things.

REPLY. Well, I think it was Tolkien who said that all the major books deal with death, and there is some truth in that because death is our destiny and we must face it. Everything we do in life is an attempt to deny death.

QUESTION. You’ve said that you see the soul as everlasting?

REPLY. Yes. It’s true. I’ve also said, though, that I have many doubts about religion. I feel very attracted to it, but at the same time I feel a lot of uncertainty. I live in a spiritual state of flux. I belive in the permanence of the soul and that is reflected in the latest book.

QUESTION. What makes you happy?

REPLY. The family and writing, obviously. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have a family. My children are, above anything else, the most important thing. Although it is often very difficult to write and be a mother.

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just a quick not to say THANK YOU to TML

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“That was a nice interview but I am sorry to say that I hate both Obama and Clinton. Especially Clinton!!!”

I’m sorry but I had to Respond to this! Even if you don’t agree with the politics of Obama or Clinton there is no reason to hate them. You don’t even know them! As a Harry Potter fan, I would think you would pick up on Jo’s obvious theme of tolerating people who have differentt oppinions.

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I’ve just spent the last hour and a half doing a thorough translation and have emailed it to the staff address; it’s a brilliant article, from a brilliant interview with a brilliant woman :)

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Thanks Rosianna. In that case I’ll step down with my rough translations. I’ll post the rest of what I’ve completed, though.

QUESTION. Before coming to see you, I was asked by Spanish screenwriter Rafael Azcona to relay to you that his six-year-old granddaughter, Sara, is completely hooked on Harry Potter.

REPLY. That’s wonderful!

QUESTION. But you’ve said we ought to start the books at age seven?

REPLY. Well, my eldest daughter was six when she started to read it. And she always understood where it was going when she read, so yes, I think a child of six can understand the first book [Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone], but the end is quiet gloomy. The fifth book is the darkest of all because there is an absence of hope and to add to that, an oppressive atmosphere – I think that is why so many people were not very fond of it. While there are many readers who say that the fifth is their favourite, they’re in a minority. I don’t believe the final three books are suitable for six-year-olds.

QUESTION. When you wrote the first, what kind of reader did you think would identify with the story?

REPLY. That’s the problem. I called it a children’s story because the main character is just a boy. But he was always a boy I wanted to do more with – at the end, he is a man. A young man, but a man. That’s what’s unique about children’s books – the protagonist grows. I am extremely glad that people continue to read and enjoy the books. I never thought that adults would be potential readers.

QUESTION. Peter Mayer, the publisher, which was the first I’d heard of Harry Potter in Spain, said that the key to the books’ success was that the series had become reading for adults.

REPLY. Yes, it’s incredible. Only now can I look back and realise everything. For ten years I wasn’t allowed to think about that. I think I did that to protect myself. It’s very difficult to live with the pressure, having to deny readers facts all the time. I had to make an effort not to read any criticism after each publication.

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TML – your translations have been very much appreciated! Thank you!!!

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I actually like the Malfoys so what does that tell you. LOL, Draco is kind of a brat but he got better.

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Could we refrain from the political bashing, please? I think the mods would prefer that.

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TML, and now Rosianna…thanks!!

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Must we start name calling? Really? And people were being so respectful. Sigh.

There’s a lot of things I would like to say here, but I will use good judgement and merely say – GO JO, thanks for proving yet again why you’re my hero. :]

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Right, i did my best to translate the interview, with my mediocre Spanish skills involved. Please ignore anything that might pop up in spanish or any grammatical errors.

JK Rowling (Bristol, England, 1965), Jo to her friends, has the same look, terrified and happy, as Harry Potter, her fictional character. She wrote the first book because she needed to, and continued writing until number seven, (which appears now on 21 February in Spain, as the others, in Salamandra), without looking at the sides, without thought to the huge volume of addicts, children, youth, adults, who have made this huge book of magic and reality, perhaps the biggest bestseller in history.

Harry Potter is her hero, he saved her, and he has left an exciting trail: it is abandoned, but she cannot live without it. We met this last Tuesday morning in Edinburgh, where she has lived for years, in the only interview she has granted the Spanish media.

We bring Spanish cheese, as a reminder of the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord, and greetings from the foundation which convenes these awards.

She has mentioned once, in her interviews, another great writer akin to her, Francis Scott Fitzgerald. We felt it appropriate to start from there to talk with her of loneliness and death, and the melancholy, which are the topics that dominate the last period of Harry Potter, perhaps his alter ego.

Q. You usually talk of Scott Fitzgerald, a melancholic. A. Yes, I spoke about him to make a distinction between a writer who by nature and talent had the impulse to write and who could not reconcile the need to write about their social life. I mentioned this because these days such media seems that there is an obligation that the writer is a public figure. In my case, people think that since I am a recognized writer, I should be good at giving interviews and leaving the camera. People expect to see you enjoy TV shows and that you like to be a public figure, a performer. But I’m not. I love the life of a writer. I enjoy the solitude.

Q. It’s funny, sometimes in Harry Potter, especially in recent deliveries; there is a degree of melancholy and loneliness, which reminds of Fitzgerald. A. Undoubtedly. It is the melancholy that comes from a heavy heart. And Scott Fitzgerald had two sorrows: the sorrow of his talent and his need to create and the sorrow of his private life, which was catastrophic. Those two sorrows are enough to bring anyone to alcoholism.

Q. Those sorrows may come from the time between childhood and adolescence, when the ghosts come and stay with you forever. A. Yes, I believe that adolescents are very close to the idea of death. They feel pressure so much that, for them, death is just a step. They are very fragile people. In Britain there is a culture of fear towards adolescents, towards youth in general. And it should not be so. We should be protecting them rather than protecting ourselves from them.

Q. Speaking of death. In books six and seven Harry Potter’s death appears not only as a word or thought, but as an opportunity, evidence and reality. A. That was always the plan, that death appeared there. Since he was a child until Chapter 34 of the seventh book, Harry is required to be an older man in that he is obligated to embrace the inevitability of his own death. The plan [of the series of novels] was that he should have contact with death, and with the experience of death. And Harry was always alone, the one that should have that experience. Everything I presented to conscience, because the hero has to live things, do things, see things on his own. It is part of this isolation and melancholy that is entailed to be a hero.

Q. Chapter 34 [ “Lying with his face pressed into the dusty carpet of the office where he had once though he was learning the secrets of victory, Harry understood at last that he was not supposed to survive. Knocked upside down, with their faces on the dusty carpet in the office where once believed to be learning the secrets of victory, Harry realized that was not going to survive”] sounds like the principle of One Hundred Years of Solitude, Garcia Marquez. A. It’s very flattering.

Q. It is a book about death, and obviously on loneliness, like yours … The character of One Hundred Years … accompanies his grandfather to see the ice, and you take Harry to visit death… A. To me, that chapter is the key to all books. Everything, everything I wrote was thought to the very moment when Harry enters the woods. This is the chapter that I had planned for 17 years. That moment is the heart of every book. And for me is the real end of history… Although Harry survives, he goes so far as to reach this only and very rare state that is to accept his own death. How many people have the opportunity to accept his death before dying?

Q. This is an experience near to all. When one has seen death in a close person he asks himself how this look will be that we will never see, what will happen afterwards. A. Definitely. And I find it extraordinary that despite the fact that we all know we are going to die, death remains a mystery. We think that death is something secret that happens to very few people. And suddenly someone close dies, and then drops the bomb. Harry has an early understanding of death, long before chapter 34. And that has obvious parallels with my life. If someone in your life is near death, as my mother died, it becomes clear that death comes to us all. And it is something that you will have to live with forever.

Q. We live in dark and sad times, as you say in your book, and especially he. How do you live through this time? A. I have to believe in the goodness of people. I think that people are good by nature. But now I am very close to American politics. I am obsessed with the elections in the United States. Because it will have a profound effect on the rest of the world. The U.S. foreign policy in recent years has been affected, for worse, both to its country and to mine.

Q. And if you had a magic wand, what would you do? A. I want a Democrat in the White House. And it seems to me a shame that Clinton and Obama have to be rivals because both are extraordinary.

Q. This morning, when entering the hotel you carried The Times in hand, and on the cover was a picture of Hillary crying. A. Well, there was a tiny tear. And she can afford a tear from time to time. Political life is very tough for a woman. If you do not cry, you are a bitch. And if you do cry, you’re weak. It’s difficult. Instead, it is acceptable for men to cry.

Q. Loneliness, death. We speak of dark things. Maybe literature goes with that. A. Well, I think it was Tolkien who said that all major books deal with death. And there is some truth in that, because death is our destiny and we must face it. Everything we do in life is an attempt to avoid death.

Q. You said that he saw his soul as something enduring. A. Yes, it’s true. But I also said that I have many doubts about religion. I feel very attracted to religion, but at the same time I feel a lot of uncertainty. I live in a state of spiritual flow. I believe in the permanence of the soul. And that is reflected in the latest book.

Q. What makes you happy? A. Family and work, obviously. I consider myself very fortunate to have a family … My children are, above anything, the most important thing. Although it is very difficult to harmonize writing with being a mother.

Q. Before coming to see you I asked the Spanish screenwriter Rafael Azcona a question to ask, and he told me to ask his six year old granddaughter Sara, who is addicted to Harry Potter.

Q. That’s great. A. But you say we have to read books from the age of seven.

Q. Well, my eldest daughter was six when he began to read it. I always knew where it was going with the books. So yes, I think that a six year old can understand the first book [Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone] but the end is quite gloomy. The fifth book is the darkest of all because there is an absence of hope, there is an oppressive atmosphere. And I think that is why people did not like it so much. While there are readers who prefer that book to everyone else, it is a strange minority. The fifth, sixth and the latter I do not believe that the fifth, sixth and the latter are suitable for a six year old child.

Q. And when you wrote the first book, did you think of a specific reader? A. That is the problem. I called it a children’s story because the main character was a boy. But he was always a child that wanted to do more. And at the end he is a man, a young man, but a man. That is unusual in children’s books: that the protagonist grows. And I am extremely glad that people keep reading and enjoying books. They were greater with Harry Potter. But I never thought of adults as potential readers.

Q. Peter Mayer, the publisher, who was the first one to whom I listened to speak about Harry Potter in Spain, says that the key of the success is that the series has turned into reading for adults. A. Yes, it’s incredible. Only now I can look back and realize everything. For 10 years I could not allowed to think about that. I think that I did to protect myself. It is very difficult to live with such pressure, but I lived to deny the facts, all the time. After each publication I made an effort not to read any criticism.

Q. The literature saves people, or help to save them. How did writing affect you? A. I’ll tell you one thing. I saved lives simply by writing the first book. They always say to me that the world that I invented is unreal; it was what I used to escape. Yes, it is unrealistic to some point. But not because my world was magical, but because all writers escape. Also, I was not doing it only to escape but because I was thinking about how to clear up with matters that were worrying me. Issues such as love, loss, separation, death … And all this is reflected in the first book.

Q. What else gave this first volume? A. Post in a prosaic level, to write this book gave me the discipline, focus and ambition, which at that time was reduced simply to see the book published.

Q. How was the day of publication! A. I saw my dream come true. It was an extraordinary moment. I didn’t believe it, it was captivating. And almost immediately I felt as if a train was pushing me at full speed from behind, like in a cartoon. I thought: “What has happened to me?” Three months later I received an astronomical advance, according to my standards then. At that time, I was renting an apartment, and had no insurance or savings. Wearing second-hand clothes. You know, money was scarce, and having that money all of a sudden was extraordinary. That night I couldn’t sleep. The next day journalists began to appear, I got an important award, I was called by The Sun to buy the rights to the story of my life, and journalists began to hang out in front of my house. And I will tell you one thing: that made me very scared.

Q. Still afraid of journalists even now? A. No, not afraid. I remember a couple of journalists in particular that sensed my disbelief and my vulnerability and helped me. One of them told me that I had every right to keep my daughter isolated from the press, because I always refused to take her to interviews where they took photos. I am speaking of the press in this country, the United Kingdom. This is how it works.

Q. Your books seem to be filled with personal keys. A. I tend to use significant dates. When I need a date or number, I use something that relates to my personal life. I do not know why I do this, it’s a tic. For instance, Harry’s birthday is mine. The numbers or dates, which are in the books, relate to me.

Q. Writing the first book was entrancing. ¿Y la presionó el éxito, saber que millones de personas esperaban sus textos? And was the success pressures, knowing that millions of people were expecting their books? A. I took it very seriously, and did not think about it. Obviously, there were times when some news was filtered, especially during books four and five. There I certainly noticed the pressure, and I think that is evident in the writing.

Q. How was it? A. When I arrived at the fourth book I was heavily burned. I had produced a book a year for four years while raising my daughter alone, without a babysitter or support of any kind. I felt exhausted. And I actually thought, “I can’t do this anymore, I have to stop.” And I said this to my editor, that if this continued I would not be able to continue writing. And then I met who is now my second husband.

Q. You are Harry Potter. And as you said yourself: “Harry is mine”. Did you always know how it would end? Did you always know there were going to be seven books? A. always knew what was going to happen to him. From the beginning I had the entire plot outlined, without details, but I always knew that the story was going to end. And it has ended, but many fans are very upset. No hay forma de hacer resurgir la historia de Harry. There is no way to revive the story of Harry. Its history has ended. But ending it was very hard. It was devastating.

Q. The end is touching: “The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.” A. It’s symbolic. All repeat the line over and over again: that time heals. And it’s not true… There are things that do not heal, like when someone whom you love dies.

Q. You also wrote: “Harry Potter, the boy who lived.” The professor said it, and said that he survived because he was faithful to his convictions, and as a result defeated Voldemort. Are you like that? A. I wish I could say yes because I created a hero with heroic attributes… I read somewhere: “A hero is no more courageous than others. He is only courageous for five more minutes” Harry is like that.

Q. In all the books there is the awareness that you can save if you have friends, but the story of Harry is also a story of loneliness. A. I completely agree. I have given to Harry my fault, which is a tendency to shut myself up, to isolate myself when I am under pressure, sad or happy. I tend to isolate. But I know that it’s not good, that it’s not healthy. And that is what I gave Harry. While this is also what makes it heroic, preparing to act alone.

Q. Is Harry your hero? A. Yes, well, in real life my hero is Robert F. Kennedy. I created a child who tries to act with morality, which despite having been assaulted and injured physically and mentally is still attracted by the bright side of things. And it is true and fair, and I find all these heroic things.

Q. People fixate on the figures in their lives, as rich that is rarely in humans, it seems that they see them with a magic wand, like Harry Potter. A. Unfortunately this is the case. When I see my name on lists of powerful people, which I do little, I think about it. Power is not something I wanted, and also I have no power. Rich, yes, I am.

Q. Imagine for a moment that you have the ability to become invisible. A. To become invisible? That would be the best thing…

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I partially agree with what she says about women in politics, however it’s untrue that it’s always okay for a man to cry – Edmund Muskie did exactly that in 1972, and promptly lost the New Hampshire primary because voters thought he was weak.

For the most part, crying actually helped Hillary – she was considered more human, not weak.

But ita with the bitch comment. I don’t like Hillary, but I still hate how she’s villified.

That said, OBAMA ‘08!

And I have no problem with her expressing political views. As long as she doesn’t try to force them on anyone, it’s all good.

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That’s right, we really shouldn’t be focusing on politics at all. Why not instead enjoy the literary aspect of this interview, which is far more interesting and so different from the usual “How is it like to be insanely rich” line of questioning?

- I agree with her political view, by the way :P -

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Obama/Clinton or vice versa would be a bad idea to me. I’d love Obama/Edwards though! Nice to see her interested though.

Anyway, I wish JKR could talk about Petunia specifically sometime soon. Petunia is really interesting to me…

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LOVED the interview, it was very deep. about symbolism, religion, and death. She is a truly magnificent woman.

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Well said Values – and why every once and a while do you guys have a post with different font that goes all the way across the page- just wondering?

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Thanks very much to the two people that translated the interview!! And no, she didn’t do the interview in Spanish because as far as I’m aware she speaks French, Portugese and a little German, but not Spanish.

To the idiot saying that Jo has stuck her nose into American politics- why should she have “stuck her nose in”? Do you see the elections as something private that only Americans can have an opinion on? The results will have an effect all over the world. Not that I give a stuff about who wins, but there are a lot of non-Americans who do, and they have just as much right as any American to talk about it!

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Well said. free speech and all that. everyone’s entitled to say whatever the hell they want about the election and have an opinion on it..

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“If I had a magic wand I’d put a Democrat in the White House.”

(lol) I am SO with you there, Jo! But we probably don’t need a magic wand to get a Democrat in the White House at this point. Most people are really mad at the Republicans. I just hope its Obama.

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Interesting interview. Thanks for the translations.

I will have disagree with her political view, I’m quite a right-winger myself. It’s nice to see her political opinions, and she stated it in a very nice way.

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“And the world will definitely not suddenly become a better place because a Democrat is in the white house. Just having someone knew in charge may provide a breath of fresh air and some momentum for their policies, but their will still be individuals and groups which will continue to pose huge, and sometimes dangerous, challenges. Posted by J on February 09, 2008 @ 05:51 PM”

Well said. I would add:

Of course she wants a democrat, all Europeans seem to. That is what our liberal left aspires to, to turn us into Europeans. I like Europeans. I like Jo. But I do not want to BE a European. Despite what a lot of the world seems to think of us, I am proud of being an American.

Also, if there is not supposed to be “name calling” on these forums and we are all supposed to keep it “civil” then I would call on everyone to stop bashing the republicans. It IS offensive.

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Indeed, American politics effect people around the world, and everyone has a right to an opinion.

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sigh. Actually, I’ve always thought Italian politics were much more fun…. Rosianne, TML….thank you for doing such a great job, so quickly, and for your thoughtfulness to all of us Chocolate bowl is filled and on the counter for all to share….

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Yay for the democrat comment! Kisses to Jo.

Was anyone else freaked out that she sort of implied that the scar not hurting for 19 years was Harry deluding himself?

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Thanks to the two very awesome people who translated this!

What I thought about the interview was how deeply she talks about the messages and themes of the last book, but also gets into books five and six also. I think, knowing that, it helps to understand the character of Harry a little more.

I also thought it was interesting that she mentioned her desire for seclusion coincides with Harry’s and that the dates/numbers in the books all have meaning to her. It’s true that all authors put a little bit of themselves into certain characters or other aspects of the story, but I just thought it was interesting for her to talk about that.

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LemonFaerie-

How is having a Democrat president going to turn us into Europe? Not that I’de mind, since I’ve no patriotist at all and would LOVE to be in Euro.

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Hey guys. Everyone is right in saying bashing is something no one here should have to deal with. Let’s remember the TOU and keep comments to the topic at hand. Thanks! :)

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Well, I hope Obama gets the Presidency (since so many candidates dropped out)- I think he could handle it and would do alright. I’ve got nothing against a female President, but I just don’t like Clinton at all. Anyway, politics tend to give me a bitter taste in my mouth (especially American politics, being an apathetic native).

Sooo yeah… how bout them Harry Potter novels, eh??

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Rachel – I wasn’t sure what to make of that quote actually! It does sound like that’s what she’s saying though, doesn’t it. “It’s symbolic. We all repeat the lie again and again: that time cures everything. And it’s not true. There are things that aren’t cured, such as when someone you love dies.” ...I will be working over this one for a while I think.

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We’re trying Jo! We’ve tried desperately hard to get a Dem. back in the White House and we’re about to try desperately hard again. I loved Edwards as well, but the best thing about all of the Democratic candidates this time around is that I don’t feel like I’m just voting against someone. I actually get to choose between great people who will do good, if different jobs and who CARE about the people more than the Oil Industry, Corporations and Stockholders.

You guys, even if you’re not old enough to vote, you’re old enough to get involved with the campaigns. So, my advice is call your local campaign headquarters and volunteer. This is your future at stake. Don’t just sit back and let us adults muck it up. We need your help.

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Am I the only one who doesn’t see the word “bitch” as a reason for caution? I mean, anyone who has read book 7 is familiar with that word…

Anyway, a huge thank you for the people who translated the interwiew before Leaky posted the transcription.

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I support Clinton, but Obama would be an acceptable substitute, I would love to see a Clinton/Obama ticket, as long as the Clinton name is first.

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Hey Amy-Thanks for responding! Good to know I’m not the only one confused. Please post if enlightenment strikes (i.e. you have a “come to Jesus” moment.

Luiz-I feel the same way. It’s not as if Jo is saying a cold woman is a “bitch,” she’s just showing her frustration that non-emotional women are so easily labled such. And of course, if a woman chokes up a little as Hilary did it’s all over the news that she broke down, is an emotional wreck, and, in Cinton’s case, can’t take the stress of a presidential campaign. Just more proof how society always seems to assume that women are inherently weaker than men and shouldn’t hold positions of power due to their “fragile states.” OK, rant over.

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Hey, back to my 2nd post, I meant to say “patriotism.”

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My husband bought me a Republican’s for Voldemort t-shirt a couple of years ago and to me it was the most offensive thing I could imagine. You may hate Bush, you may disagree with Republicans or Conservatives or their positions, but the attitute by the left wing in this country (the USA) is pathetic. I really want to know if people expected Bush sit on his hands after 9/11/2001 and not do anything. The fanatical Islam attached our country. Things may not have been run perfectly in Iraq/Afganistan, but I blame that on the military leaders on the ground; that is who the President was listening to about what to do and what was needed. Things are going much better today since the change of leadership on the ground and the surge. In spite of it all, if you Democrats/liberals think Clinton/Obama are going to pull the troops out of Iraq you are sorely misguided. They will not do so as this country will then be seen as a coward by the Muslim World. I do not agree with Bush on everything, he is wrong about not closing the borders and granting citizenship to illegals, he failed to put a halt to outrageous spending by a Congress that was lead for most of the time by his own party. I love JKR’s books, but stay out of my country’s politics. You have your own leaders to elect.

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Rachel- I was also confused about that quote about Harry’s Scar. I hope to hear more about that. Does she mean that Harry was lying about his scar not hurting, bc that definitely changes things. Maybe I am thinking about this too much, a little over excited, but any ways.

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She’s saying that “time heals all wounds” is a lie; the scar hadn’t pained Harry in nineteen years, but time does not heal all wounds.

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About the scar comment, she herself said it was symbolic. Harry is happier now in his life, much happier: he has a family and there’s no evil dark lords chasing after him. Hence the scar comment. However, just because Harry’s life is more peaceful now, it doesn’t mean all the bad things in Harry’s past has gone away. He’ll still have an empty place in his heart for his parents, Sirius, Dumbledore and everyone else who died when Voldemort was alive. That’s what I believe she was saying here. He’ll always miss them.

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This is a rare interview because the questions were so intelligent and knowledgeable. Jo is usually asked the same banal questions over and over again, so this one must have been a relief for her. Very enjoyable to read, so thank you for bringing it to us.

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I’m so glad Jo is a Democrat! Or would be if she were a U.S. Citizen. And I also agree about Clinton and Obama, they would be the perfect Democratic dream ticket.

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Lisa, the conflicts you are referring to also involve the UK. (Thousands of UK troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorist attacks on the UK, very close military and diplomatic relationship between USA and the UK)

And the policies of the USA affect the whole world. People are entitled to their opinions. Foreigners do not, however, get to vote; and that is what will ultimately determine who the next president is.

And I say this thinking JKR is wrong on this issue.

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I love JKR’s books, but stay out of my country’s politics. You have your own leaders to elect.

That was so uncalled for. Its not a private affair, and everyone has their own opinon. Regarding this interview, it was interesting. I especially like the parts about harry’s vulnerabilities which were shown throughout the books. THe tendancy to isolate, was that a cause of the dursley’s or was it always in his inherent nature (which dumbledore nurtured perhaps)

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Lisa – I do agree that there are things that Conservatives and Liberals stand for can cause a rift and cause some people to take offense. I am a liberal supporter, and I personally don’t think the president could have turned a blind eye after 9-11. We were attacked, and therefore need to stand up for ourselves.

However, we’re in the last year of his administration, the conflict in Iraq is and has been a civil war between two different groups vying for power. It’s time to let them sort it out themselves, and people are recognizing that.

As someone else said, it’s time to elect a leader (be it Clinton, who I support 100% Obama, or McCain) who is focused on making this country better for its citizens and isn’t solely looking out for the well being of those in industries that they alone can benefit from, or causes that they continue to feel are just and right.

And both Conservatives and Liberals can benefit from a leader like that.

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Thank TML and Rosalie, that makes it a bit clearer. On another note, I really appreciate what she said about loneliness ans self-isolation. I too have felt this way, and it makes me feel a little less lonely to hear that I’m not the only one.

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Sorry Lisa, but the outcome of the US elections doesn’t just effect the US, it effects the world.

So Jo and me and everyone else around the world who is taking an interest in this election because of how it will affect Britain, Australia and other nations around the world, are going to keep on having an opinion about what happens in this election.

You are entitled to disagree with her opinion, you are not entitled to tell her not to have an opinion.

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Lisa, as others have stated, ‘our country’s’ politics affect the rest of the world. We are not an isolated void that has no impact on other nations-quite the opposite, as you know. If Jo Rowling ‘stayed out of America’s politics,’ I’m afraid I’d have far less respect for her. The implications of someone who has no opinion on issues like these-or who doesn’t speak of that opinion when prompted—would be pretty dire for that person’s character.

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WHY does my stupid text keep striking out??? Ohhhh, I just answered my own question. It’s the dashes….isn’t it. Blast and tarnation.

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Jo is certainly entitled to her opinion.

I am an American and very proud of that fact and our country. She is absolutely correct that what happens here will have a ripple effect elsewhere. That is why the thought of Obama in the White House frightens me. I can’t think of one defining act on his part that would qualify him to govern one of the most powerful and influential countries in the world. Charisma and a nice smile should not be deciding factors when choosing a candidate.

Alas, I like Rudy, who is now out of the running! I am going to have to do a lot of research on the remaining candidates!

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Really not so many people like book5? I LOVE IT! It’s my most favorite. Good interview! And i completely agree with Jo about Clinton and Obama. They shouldn’t be rivals. Anyway, i love you Jo!!!!

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Brie- Ear ear! Book five has so mush pschological drama rather than just plot (not that any of these books are just plot!) I didn’t know that it was so unpopular.

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I meant to say “much.” It’s late, enough said.

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I am saddened by the comment that Jo should stay out of “our country’s” politics.

Eh buh wha? Um, aren’t we supposed to value freedom of speech in the USA? And aren’t we supposed to believe that everyone (and yes, then even includes non-Americans gasp) is entitled to speak their mind?

What a shame that so many people seem to think that freedom of speech means: “You can say whatever you like… as long as you agree with ME!”

Ah, the sweet smell of hypocrisy.

You don’t have to like what Jo says about US politics, but please let’s not act as though she doesn’t even have the right to say it just because she’s not American.

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Woo for Rosi! I love you!!

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To Jeff, way back on the first comment page: please refrain from judging peoples’ religious views based on their political affiliations. It is quite judgmental and uncalled for. Plenty of democrats are religious, and plenty of republicans are not.

And of course US politics affect other countries. We are a globalized society.

So, yeah, the interview…. I love that quote about a hero only being braver for five minutes longer. So poignant and so true.

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P.S. – sorry, I was so caught up in all the political drama that I forgot to give a huge “thanks” to everyone who helped with the translations!

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One should travel in Europe before an American presidential election sometime – it is an eye opening experience! (I spend 3 and a half weeks in Europe in October 2004)

I also “take offense” to the idea that because I am a liberal, I am unpatriotic, and unAmerican! I am very proud of my country. I fully support my friends and neighbors in the military… and many of the people I met today at the Democratic caucus ARE ALSO proud liberals who have spent time in Iraq… a country that had NOTHING TO DO WITH SEPTEMBER 11TH. 15 out of the 19 hijackers were Saudi Arabians… yet Saudi Arabia is still our ally and “good friends” with George Bush (he visited them recently)

Oh, and if you think that JK Rowling hasn’t been “political” in the past – you need to reread the books.

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Ah one more thing to those who support one Dem. candidate while hating the other… keep this in mind…. they are very similar in so many policies, etc. and as was said at my caucus today, all Dems need to be proud of the fact that we have an “embarrassment of riches” in that we have had such strong candidates in the Democratic party this year, including the two current candidates.

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Excuse me but may I please know what I did wrong this time, my first post is gone again, I dont think it said anything worse than what others are saying on here and I didnt swear- so please what did I do now.

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This is it I give up on discussing politics in public its like wishing to swim with JAWS. dangerous territory. DA na …..Da….. na ….Da na Da na Da na !

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I’m in the “strange minority” of people who like book five best. I read it at a time in my life when I was far from home and completely isolated. I felt just as isolated and angry as Harry, and his courage to stand up and fight helped motivate me to get out of a situation where I was miserable. It’s the utter desperation that makes the triumph of the DA’s actions so rewarding. It will always be my favorite in the series. I guess that makes me unusual!

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no it doesn’t Kimberly it is my favorite book in the series besides HBP- take guess why I like that one-LOL, I like the OOTP because it show how people can accomplish something when they use their allies. And I loved how Sirius and Harry bonded before Bella went bonkers and killed her own kin. shows that Snape wasn’t all to blame as well.

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JK Rowling says that she can’t understand why people call her powerful… she’s powerful because people try to be like her, and if she says something is true, the world’s going to believe it! Which means this article just about wraps it up for us US Republicans this year. Shame.

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Don’t get me wrong here… I absolutely LOVE JO!!!!!!!!!!! Go harry potter! wahoo! but… (don’t hate me cause i have a different oppinion) the stuff hillary is saying sound almost exactly like socialism…

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I agree with your worst nightmare!!!!!!!! I still love jo tons though! i just don’t agree with her on politics…

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Well, universal health care doesn’t equal socialism (unless you think Canada is socialist) Interesting interview though! I think it’s fine for Jo to state her political views because she isn’t trying to get everyone to agree with her. I’m sure she expects her fans to think for themselves.

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Vain cant, Mrs. Rowling.

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I’m definitely for Clinton. Obama wouldn’t be a bad president at all, but I really like Clinton’s decisiveness, the fact that she wants to make changes immediately, while Obama seems to be on tenterhooks about a lot of things and I worry that things won’t really change much under his presidency.

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I just love it when people who know little about politics, economics, or science, but happen to be well-known celebrities, choose to comment on politics, economics, or science. Celebrities should limit themselves to commenting on things they understand and do well.

I understand trucking, and I’m prepared to talk about it for hours. There’s no way I’d allow an interviewer to get me to comment on things I don’t know much about. There’s no shame in being ignorant on a topic, only in opening your mouth and proving your ignorance.

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I’m supporting Democrats too! And completely agree with her on the Obama-Clinton issue. I really loved her answers, ok, so when do I don’t? But she really is one amazing lady. Btw, I didn’t know she still prefers to write with a pen.That pen is more powerful than any wand Jo, keep going!!

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Just for information, despite what Jo says in her interview she donated money to Hilary Clinton’s campaign.

If you are going to compare Hilary to socialism look up the European, like UK’s current government, it’s not socialism in the traditional sense. Also, there is no way the US will be able to change our government infrastructure with one president, the possibility of US turning socialist is obsolete. We are not like UK, UK has had centuries to switch their various political infrastructures and they have, but US has not. US has only two terms in office UK PM doesn’t have this restriction, they are more flexible in change, than we are. Also, in the US you can’t change anything without the Congress, and after Bush’s run we have a highly Republican Congress and Senate.

To J from a Latin American country, you are mislead if you believe that Republicans are going to assist your country the Free Trade Agreements are set up to give tax breaks to corporations so they can out source to your countries, without acknowledging the labor laws upheld in the US. If you would like more information regarding this let me know or reference CAFTA and NAFTA as well. Senator Clinton, in Congress, proposed that the Free Trade Agreements just needed alterations, for instance making the corporations responsible for ensuring labor laws were upheld. Clinton never stated to rid of them, she thought they were beneficial, and could ultimately stimulate these economies but without certain protections could take advantage of their people. And it has, just reference Wal-Mart and the uprisings in the Latin America countries because of its spread. There have also been protests in many of the European and Australian countries.

I am just spreading some knowledge, not saying you could read the same information and not have a different opinion. If you want more information on any of the above, let me know and I’ll send you reference points.

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Ironic that while there are so many parallels to the wizarding worlds conflict with Voldemort and our real life conflicts in the middle east, the trend of thought here seems to lean strongly towards non intervention. It’s like this place is full of Ministry of Magic people. Will ignoring the worlds evils make them go away? Do you think debate would have worked with Voldemort? It clearly did not. Do you think it will with Osama bin Laden or other extremist leaders? Some evils in this world have to be faced and cannot be ignored.

I really shouldn’t read this website or interviews from JK anymore. The more I read, the less enamored I am with the wonderful universe she created as I become less able to separate the author from the writing.

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Tommy, my wages are already garnished to pay for universal heath care. I live in Australia.

And I’m extremely happy about it. A portion of my wages are going to help people who are less fortunate than myself, who might be unable to work because are ill, were poorly educated, or were simply unlucky. We should be pooling our resources, working together, and helping the less fortunate; not sitting back in our nice, air conditioned suburban houses while farmers shoot themselves en masse because a drought has ruined their livelihood.

Trucker, just because someone is a writer, doesn’t mean they are completely ignorant of everything else. As the United States government likes to stick their noses into the affairs of other countries, usually for personal gain, the rest of the world tends to have an opinion on whom they would like to govern the USA, even if they can’t action that change directly.

If you are ignorant of everything besides trucking, that’s fine. But there is no need to insult people who know that there is more to the world than what they themselves do for a living.

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Well sorry folks… Voldie now adays is Bin Ladin and the Dems are more like people from the ministry of magic under the Imperius curse and Bush I have to admit is a stumbling Mad eye type…. but in the end correct. But the bigger question is Why the heck on my web site where I can escape from the world do we (and Jo) need to reel us back to politics????

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What a great woman!

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While I’m personally supporting Obama, I’m a little confused as to why people are talking about it so much on this particular comments board. Yeah, it looks like Jo supports Hillary Clinton. Must we make a big deal out of it? I know nobody’s arguing, I’m not trying to say that…But I’m already a bit weary of presidential talk and would prefer we talked more about the things she revealed about Harry Potter, rather than her views on Hillary Clinton.

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I hope people who think “Republicans for Voldemort” is funny have thought about what it really means. Even if it’s tongue-in-cheek, it says that you think Republicans would support someone who murdered innocent people, practiced genocide, tortured teenagers…and the list goes on. Republicans are people too. For the most part, they’re just trying to do the right thing, even if you don’t agree with them about what the right thing is. Harry Potter should be for anyone who likes the books, and the prominance of the “Republicans for Voldemort” thing indicates that oh, never mind, it’s just for Democrats and/or anti-Republicans, because Republicans are associated with the Death Eaters. Do you really want to laugh over a slogan that would make an enormous chunk of US HP fans feel as though they didn’t belong in fandom?

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I completely agree with Marauder and others who think that famous people shouldn’t comment on politics. It’s fine for her to have her perso nal opinion but I hate how she has to connect world politics today with Harry Potter. I still love Harry Potter, but like Marauder says it just ends up alienating people.

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One has only to READ in order to familiarize oneself with politics. I do not mean reading books by ignorant corporate pundits and crackpots. I mean reading books about the middle east, reading actual bills and not the Noise Channels interpretations of bills, reading actual speeches, keeping up with who votes for what, who introduces what bills, who makes a big deal about bills they introduce only to turn around and vote against their own bill when people are no longer paying attention, reading and paying attention to who is being appointed to what positions and reading up on their past associations. Obviously, Jo READS.

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Of course famous people should comment on politics! (slams head on keyboard) They live in this world just the same as anyone else. They just have the advantage that their voices can be heard. It’s only the the most closed minded, dictatorships and zealots (and news channels) that censor the voices that can be heard, ask Salman Rushdie.

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It’s so amazing that Jo waited 17 years to use those lines by Dumbledore and for Harry to accept that he’s going to his death. It must have been one of the first things she came up with, that he was going to sacrifice himself for everyone as his mother sacrificed herself for him, and that her original sacrifice tied him to the world and he lived. Fantastic!

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Jo is perfectly entitled to express her political opinion, and the reader is perfectly entitled to ignore it. It’s as easy as that.

I thought her comments about solitude and Fitzgerald were very interesting. She seems a fascinating, intelligent, complex woman.

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A lot of people on here remind me of Rita Skeeter. Its an opinion people, not absolutle. Leave her be.

Her comments about harry were much more interesting that who is going to be the next POTUS.

By the by, the UK has the House of Lords and the Crown, before anything can become Law. And the Lords like to delay. ;)

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Go Jo!!! A woman can cry whenever she feels fit!!! =]

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How can some say Jo isn’t allowed to express her opinion. It’s her opinion, just as you have you’re own opinion, and you are allowed to express it. The moment you start talking about people shouldn’t give their opinion on certain things, you’re talking about censorship.

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Why is it wrong for anyone, WHATEVER THEY DO FOR A LIVING, to comment on ANYTHING???

To think that celebrities should keep their mouths shut on ANY SUBJECT is NONSENSE. Why should they be expected to behave differently than the rest of the world??

Come on people. Would you be as upset with JKR if her views coincided with your own??

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I laughed at the words ‘very strange minority’. I’m proud to be one of the ‘strange’ people who preferred OotP out of all the books (though DH is now my favourite) :)

I also agree with those who say JK has a right to an opinion on US politics because they do affect the rest of the world as well. Even I have an opinion on the US election, even though I’m so bored to death with UK politics (especially sick of the sleaze) that I can barely muster enthusiasm to watch our TV news and for the first time ever may not even bother voting at the next UK election!

I’m for the Democrats, probably Clinton because I get a gut feeling that Obama lacks experience at the present time.

I have got to ask people, what on earth is so wrong with being Liberal?? Why does it seem such a dirty word and ‘non-American’? I think it’s funny, because Conservative is a bit of a dirty word with me, since it brings back memories of Maggie Thatcher and the ‘I’m all right Jack’ breed of politics.

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Oh no. She wants Obama or Hillary!? Why do all my heroes turn out to be democrats!?

Political affiliation does not a good person make.

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Well, Jo, you’re my hero and all, you’ve changed my life forever…but I disagree with you on politics. If the Democrats get in control I seriously don’t know what’s going to happen to the country, or the world, really. This war, not matter how horrible it is, is what need to happen to keep the world safe. Do you not remember the attacks on our county back in 2001? I realize that the people we are fighting in Iraq are not the same people, but they are terrorists. This war is to suppress them and spread liberty and democracy in the world. We are as much protecting our county as we are the Middle East. I’m scared of what might happen if we pulled the troops out.

On top of that the Democrats are way too forgiving to illegal immigrants for my liking. They broke the rules and are taking jobs. We need a president who will protect Americans and not vote for amnesty. American jobs, including my father’s, have up and gone to other counties. These jobs are not coming back, and this is a sad time in America. He’s found another job, and we need a president who will at least keep that job here. I really was a fan of Mitt Romney, it’s too bad that he dropped out of the race.

So, Jo, even though I love you and would do anything for you, I disagree with you on politics. While I do not agree with everything Bush has done, he did choose what was right or what was easy. Isn’t that a core message of the series? Harry Potter has taught me the horrors of war, but the books have also taught me you can’t just give up. We must make the difficult choice and carry on. Yes, I will vote Republican in this year’s election.

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Jo makes me sad. I used to gush over how glad I was that unlike all the famous snobs, she let me enjoy her books instead of deciding it was time to insert her political/social views into everything. If she had done this before the books were finished, fine. But I find it interesting how she waited until afterwards to start this. Before, she barely towed the water. Now that all the books are out and the majority that will be sold has sold, suddenly she’s going full blast with political/social positions.

But as a Christian I can never vote for a Democrat. Most Democrats support the greatest holocaust in human history—abortion. I can never vote for someone who continues to support the murder of my little brothers and sisters. But I also can’t vote for any republican left, aside from MAYBE Mike Huckabee. Methinks I’ll be writing in for Jesus Christ this election.

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@Ashton, I won’t bother to respond to your comment on Jo waiting until DH to go “full blast with political/social positions”. We’ve all been down that road too many times before.

””But as a Christian I can never vote for a Democrat….Methinks I’ll be writing in for Jesus Christ this election.”

I’m a Christian and I’ve voted for Democrats as well as Republicans. Frankly, I’m sick to death of both parties. I’d love to see some new blood in American politics.

By the way, is Jesus Christ going to declare his candidacy?

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“I completely agree with Marauder and others who think that famous people shouldn’t comment on politics. It’s fine for her to have her perso nal opinion but I hate how she has to connect world politics today with Harry Potter. I still love Harry Potter, but like Marauder says it just ends up alienating people.”

I never said I thought she shouldn’t comment on politics. I will say, though, that I hope people don’t automatically adopt her opinions on politics just because she’s an influential person. Writing Harry Potter doesn’t mean she knows any more or less about politics than any other random person off the street. I also hope she doesn’t think that being a famous person (for writing children’s books, especially) gives her some sort of special political knowledge or insight.

If it was JKR saying “Republicans for Voldemort”, I’d be mad at her. She didn’t, so although I could do without hearing her political opinions, I’m not mad at her, just the people who think it’s okay to compare a large percentage of the American population to Death Eaters.

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Don’t fool yourself that the Republicans, esp. one who admits he doesn’t understand the economy but its okay because he “bought Greenspan’s book” and will read it (McCain), will stop jobs from going overseas. The Republicans voted to give those same companies sending all of thsoe jobs overseas HUGE tax breaks while forgetting the backbone of America – the middle class. It was Ronald Reagan, the idol of the Republican party, that was the one that gave amnesty to illegal immigrants. The Dems have the right idea… don’t punish the immigrants (codespeak for. the brown people) but how about going after the people HIRING someone illegally.

If jobs and the economy are of a concern, perhaps you should look at Obama. He is for giving tax breaks/incentives to those companies who will remain in the US, and provide jobs to Americans. He also has some good ideas about replacing some of those jobs that have become obsolete, etc. with developing green power (visited such a company in Washington state yesterday. That company has provided at least a 1000 “green jobs” and its is still growing)

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@ Harry’s Girl

“By the way, is Jesus Christ going to declare his candidacy?”

No. As he said in J 18:36 “My kingdom is not of this world” it’s clear he’s neither Democrat nor Republican. :)

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So, JKR should not be allowed to express her opinions because she is famous and people will hear them, but all of us nobodies are allowed to spout our political views here on this comment board? And that is fair how?

One of the privileges of living in a democratic society is that citizens are allowed to be directly involved in politics. All citizens. Not just rich citizens, not just poor citizens, not just famous citizens, not just anonymous citizens. All citizens. In our globalized society, politics of every developed nation affects people all over the world. JKR has just as much right to express her opinion on American politics as everyone else does. She was not doing a campaign ad for any candidate; she was simply expressing her opinion, as so many people on this board are. She made no offensive comments about anyone, which cannot be said for all of the posters on this board. (Ashton – please keep your judgments to yourself – if you are pro-life, that is great, but please do not insinuate that democrats cannot be Christian. That is highly offensive.)

So, everyone, can we please stop acting as though JKR is the new poster child for the US democratic party? She just expressed her opinion, just like you guys. If you want to have that right, you had better be ready to extend it to others as well, whether they agree with you or not.

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Wimsey, where did you get that awesome t-shirt?

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I am a Democrat in the states and let me clear some things up. Dick Cheney might as well be Voldemort. He has only his best interests in mind and no one elses. On rare occassions when George Bush tries to disagree with him he usually overruns George. As for Republican’s being a better party toward Latin Americans, take a look at the Mariana’s Islands and see what the Bush Administration and other Republican politicians/lobbyists want for you. Please don’t be gullible about the free-trade agreements. Dems want that too but with a moral compass as a guide and not greed. As for abortion, Democrats are always painted as pro-abortion. Nothing can be farther than the truth. We are “Pro-choice” meaning we want women to have a right to choose which is different than “Pro-Abortion”. We hope women choose to keep the baby or adopt out. What we are really saying is that government needs to stay out of personal matters like family planning. Right to choose means we want women and men to be informed about choices of birth-control to avoid unplanned pregnancies so they don’t get into the position of having to choose. The right-to-lifers believe the opposite, that birth control leads to premarital sex so let’s not educate people on these matters. Funny, I don’t see a decreased difference in unwed pregnancies statistics in the Bible Belt vs. inner city and urban poor societies. Premarital sex is running rampant everywhere in the States. The only place where unwed pregnancy statistics are down are among the educated middle- and upper-classes in urban areas of the U.S.

That is why Dems believe in the right to choose, so women are in control of their bodies and consequently reduce the number of women needing to make the decision of whether to abort or not.

Another point I want to make is that we have a large number of people in the States who listen to Rush Limbaugh. This guy might as well be Lucius Malfoy, only worse. He hates everyone that isn’t just like him, just like Lucius hates Muggles. It is so ironic to me that the Christian right are his audience as he promotes hate and are fooled just like the Ministry of Magic was. George Bush is just like Fudge, clueless and enjoying the benefits of his position as long as he doesn’t have to think too hard. The Republicans’ are busy building alliances especially with Evangelicals, but once the Republican’s get into power, they don’t care about the alliances (e.g. evangelicals, Tony Blair, Afghanistan…) anymore. Oh they may elect a few judges, do photo ops with leaders, throw money at problems and foreign governments but that is just an offering to appease their alliances that truly don’t matter to them. Their true goal is turn back the clock and impose wedges between the haves and have nots, and to implement go it alone foreign policies because they believe the U.S. is superior to the rest of the world and we don’t need you. Now they have gone too far and our economy and global peace may not survive. Please see the current U.S. csadministration for what it is and know our only real hope is if a Democrat wins. And as a Democrat, I’m even disappointed in Hillary because she has resorted some campaign games that I am not proud of. That leaves Barak if we want true genuine change. Pray for us in the states. Thanks Guys!

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For the darlings talking about the fear of socialism. What do you think our roads, police, army and schools are about? And are we supposed to let fellow Americans just collapse when disaster or illness or layoffs cuts them down? Insurance and savings is not enough these days. Good hard working people are barely making it. Frankly, I vote independent. But right now a little sensible socialism with fiscal responsiblity is much better than facism. We need balance. We need responsiblity. We need both sides to work together. And it wouldn’t hurt to have someone who can string two sentences together and will pick the brightest and best minds out there for their cabinet.

Is that a Democrat or Republican or Independent? You decide and please go vote!!!

Go Jo! I can’t believe she said that! I thought that was brave of her. I’ve been hearing a lot of opinions from people overseas and this election is very important to them.

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Edit——Sorry dolls, it’s fascism not facism. My bad. However you spell it, me no likey. And apparently Miss Jo doesn’t like it either. I think she wrote a few books about it. LOL Anyway, keep fighting and keep reading! Be informed.

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Brenda, aside from your various comments about individual people, you’re being way too generalizing about pro-life and pro-choice positions. I believe that you and a lot of other pro-choice people aren’t “pro-abortion”, but there really are pro-choice people who have some very specific ideas about which kinds of people should be aborted and why. Pro-life people have a variety of different opinions about pre-marital sex and birth control.

I don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, but I did read his first book from the early 90s because I found it at a library sale where a whole shopping bag of books only cost a dollar and I was curious. I’m not sure what he’s like today, and I didn’t agree with everything he said in his book, but I certainly didn’t get the impression that he was like Lucius Malfoy.

I’m not big about tying real-life politics to HP, but I will say that you seem to be dividing the world into, as Sirius would say, good people and Death Eaters.

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Seriously, guys, I am not a mod, and I have no authority or anything here, but could we please stop the sniping? It’s coming from both sides. Brenda, I too am an american democrat, and I would define myself as liberal, as much as that is seen as a “bad” word by some, but even I am offended by your comments. Presenting your opinions in such a manner adds no value to a discussion; it merely turns people away from you and paints your viewpoint, and others who share it, in a bad light.

This is not the first time that JKR has spoken out about politics, and I doubt it will be the last. She is politically aware and active, just like myself and many other people on this site. Instead of letting one person’s opinions create a rift between us, could we not celebrate the fact that such a diverse group of people have all been brought together through one thing? I think it’s pretty cool that we have seen in just seven pages of comments that HP can bridge the gap between people of different countries, widely differing political views, and various religious persuasions. Could we all take a step back for a second and remember that….?

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omg, jkr is my HERO she’s so awesome i worship her she has such a good heart even tho shes so famous and i sound really, really stupid but i had 2 get that out :]

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I always assumed JKR leaned towards the left because I read that she was a fan of Jessica Mitford (of whom I’d never heard) and the article described Mitford as a radical. (Not saying I know ANYTHING about Mitford, just saying the article described one of Jo’s heroes as being decidedly left-wing).

In fact, when it comes to any artists I pretty much assume they are liberals unless they say otherwise. Their political views are unrelated to the respect and admiration I have for their work and their talent.

When it comes down to it, there are good and bad examples for both ideologies. Stray too far to the left, and you have Joseph Stalin et al. Stray too far to the right, and you have Adolf Hitler et. al. But on the good side, Abraham Lincoln was a Republican and FDR was a democrat. (I only wish one of them was running for president.) : )

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Ultimately, isn’t the Harry Potter series about how personal values affect a person’s actions? There can be a big rift between what a person believes and how that person’s behavior affects those around them – or in a President’s case affects nearly everyone. Understanding that, I vote based on how a candidate’s voting records and decisions will affect the world and how well those effects match my values. A candidate’s vocalized values hold very little sway in whether they will actually enact policies that make the world better.

Christian values, including the most important one: loving and caring for those around me, most match those of the Democratic party. The Harry Potter series is a Christian one, and as such, no fan should be surprised that JK Rowling also supports the American party that most allows equality.

(And how did the Republican party become the one that protects us from terrorism? The biggest foreign attack on our soil by Islamic Extremists came during a Republican Administration, Bush’s, after he had been on vacation for a month, and nearly 4,000 American troops have died in Iraq since. Americans are still being killed by terrorists, we’ve just made it easier for them to do so. Likewise, to imagine Democrats have destroyed the economy when we’ve been under Republican rule for the better part of a decade is very strange indeed. I also urge some posters to look up the word “holocaust” in a good dictionary and consider that offending others does not help their argument.)

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Tyler, I rather agree with you. You can always find terrible extremes, on all sides.

From my own experience in Latin America, it also goes both ways. Yes, we’ve had extreme right wing military dictatorships. (heck, when I was but a baby my country’s dictator was of such extremes that entire towns were wiped off the map).

But the extreme left wing is not innocent either. Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, the current conflict in Colombia, Hugo Chavez, have all committed their share of crimes as well.

What disturbs me is when anyone of these extremes are glorified by either side. There are those who seek to excuse the dictatorships. Others, like some in Hollywood or some European intellectuals, glorify the extreme left. However, they miss the point that both extremes have cause terrible loss of life and severe economic hardships for many more.

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bah, dumb run on sentences.

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Lily, to be fair:

Flip it on its head. The 9/11 plot was hatched when Bill Clinton was president. Bin Laden was in Sudan and Afghanistan for years. Should Bill Clinton have been more aggressive in his approach to terrorism? Why didn’t he succeed in capturing or killing him?

My point is, there’s a lot of blame to go around. I would argue that both Democratic and Republican administrations have made mistakes; some small, others big.

And the real question is, the future. How will the candidates deal with the current issues? What about a future issue, such as a major economic or national security crisis, that has not been foreseen?

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@ Harry’s girl: <<I’m a Christian and I’ve voted for Democrats as well as Republicans. Frankly, I’m sick to death of both parties. I’d love to see some new blood in American politics. By the way, is Jesus Christ going to declare his candidacy?>>

I’m sick, sick, sick, absolutely sick to death of both parties, too. Amen. I can’t stand republicans or democrats. Conservatives and liberals both annoy the heck out of me. I’m a Christian libertarian.

@c <>

Never insinuated that democrats can’t be Christian. I did say that I can never vote for a Democrat (except in a very, very rare case) because -I- am Christian. And let’s just cut to the chase-it’s not that I’m pro-life-though I am in ALL instances, as that covers a wide variety of things—it’s that I’m anti-abortion.

Also, I definitely don’t think most republicans are Christians, either.

@Lily <>

How is supporting the fact that this country annually rips millions of babies to pieces, thrusts sharp tools into the sides of their heads and rips out their brains a Christian value? Jeremiah 1:5 says: “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you.” Jesus said “As you have done to the least among you, so have you done unto Me.” Who is lesser among us than unborn children? Democrats do have some merits in some areas, and I believe that there’s plenty of democratic voters who are good Christian people, but the democratic politicians as a vast majority are NOT. Same with republicans.

@Brenda << As for abortion, Democrats are always painted as pro-abortion. Nothing can be farther than the truth. We are “Pro-choice” meaning we want women to have a right to choose which is different than “Pro-Abortion”. We hope women choose to keep the baby or adopt out. What we are really saying is that government needs to stay out of personal matters like family planning. >>

Way too many euphemisms in that post. Let’s throw out the semantics debate, because we both know that “Pro-choice” is just a sugarcoated version of “pro-abortion.” Just like “pro-life” is a sugarcoated version of “anti-abortion”. “Family planning” is another euphemism for “I support abortion.” Can we just be honest, please? If you’re too ashamed to outright say what you are, then don’t say it at all. Either go in wholeheartedly or not at all. According to the “pro-choice” line of argument, a woman should be able to have the choice to take a gun to her 5 year old son and kill him, because the “government needs to stay out of personal issues like family planning.” Maybe having a son is no longer in her plans (I’m sure that if this world lasts long enough, such services will eventually exist even in this country). Her body, her choice, right? She chooses to use her body to pull a trigger. None of anyone’s business, right?

You guys might be offended at what I say. I’m sorry. I wish you saw it differently. I’m not trying to anger you. I’m trying to show you the truth. It breaks my heart every time I talk to a woman who had an abortion recently or 20 years ago—and hear her crying, and begging for help. Cutting themselves. Depressed. Unable to deal with the pain of what everyone told them was “just a choice” to get rid of a few “cells” (biggest lie ever). I’m sick of knowing that my little brothers and sisters are victims of a genocide in what is supposed to be the greatest nation on earth, a nation under God…a nation where we’re free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. Are we really? I’m tired of abortion clinics where women go in, and come out destroyed, crying, and falling to the ground and thanking us for what we’re doing. But thank God we help some turn away before they ever go in.

I love you all—even those I chastise. But I love the children, too. I love my little brothers and sisters.

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Wow, I’m surprised to see all the political debate here.! JKR’s comments were a only a small part of a long, interesting interview. Personally, I don’t really care about her politics, but if she wants to state her opinion, she has that right. But I’m much more interested in her as an author, and I enjoy reading her coments about her writing process and what writing has meant to her and her life.

Ithought her comments about death, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and her own journey toward happiness were the most interesting parts of this interview. As a forty-something woman, I completely agree with her that a person’s twenties are a very challenging decade to live through! I’m glad she has now found success and a certain amount of fulfillment in her calling, and wish her continued happiness and contentment!

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Clinton tried to be more aggressive. Too bad everyone’s memory gets so conveniently hazy about those times. He left standing orders to take Osama OUT if seen. No one had to call him up to ask, no one had to call anyone. On SIGHT take him out. He wanted to go into Afghanistan then but the republicans wouldn’t allow it. “NO WAR FOR MONICA!!!” was their constant chant as they were blaming him for wanting to get some Osama guy they weren’t interested in just to distract everyone from Monica Lewinski.

Frankly… I long for the days when all there was to worry about was an unwashed dress and some promiscuity in the Oval Office. Beats the heck out of invading unarmed countries, trashing our economy, and allowing Osama to escape because G.W. isn’t interested in him any more. In case your memory is hazy on that too, we were all FOR invading Afghanistan to get Bin Laden. He was cornered, Bush pulled our troops back and let the war lords in. War lords who had no interest in capturing Bin Laden to begin with. Bin Laden escaped into Pakistan. We are not pressuring Pakistan to turn him over. After just a few months suddenly, Bin Laden no longer was an issue to G.W. In a filmed interview he leaned casually on his podium, smirked and said “I just don’t think about Bin Laden anymore.” But, do not believe me, LOOK IT UP. It’s only by reading that you learn what has really gone on. You do not learn from pundit opinions on whatever Noise Channel.

I’m not even believing someone managed to turn this into an argument about immigrants. First it was “they’re stealin’ our jawbs!” Oh yeah right. Were you recently fired as a dishwasher or stall cleaner at a racetrack so they could hire an immigrant?? I’m betting not. Corporations are stealing your jobs. Every job that can be done at a desk is being “offshored”, legally, by corporations. Now the argument is that “wull… okay… thay didn’t take mah jawb… uhh.. but THEY’RE BRAYKINTHA LAW!” But you don’t want them to be given work cards either!

At least you come by this tactic honestly. I mean G.W. taught you well. “HE’S IN LEAGUE WITH BIN LADEN!! oh… sorry… bad intelligence… umm HE’S GOT WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION WE GOT TO FIGHT HIM THERE BEFORE HE COMES HERE!! oh… well… okay so he’s got no weapons and no air force, no Navy… no plans… no way to build them… dang.. okay WELL HE’S A REALLY BAD MAN!”

And you people wonder why the rest of the world is vastly interested in our presidential elections??? Good gravy they’re probably wondering how on earth we have grown to be so incurious about the world that we do not bother to look past our beaches and see what this short sighted administration has done not just to our country, not just to our soldiers, not just to the innocent civilians in Iraq, but to the entire rest of the Globe.

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@Mom Weasley,

WOW…I APPLAUD you!

Thank you for injecting some real TRUTH into this discussion!!!!!

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Great article…...until it was ruined with the Obama/Clinton advertisements….I’m definitely not all sunshine and roses with our current administration…..I’d love to see some changes made, but to think those “two” are the light at the end of the tunnel…...please….all one has to do is look at the debacle of the Nancy Pelosi/Harry Dean ran Congress to know….the Democrats are nothing but fluff in the end! Personally, I can’t stand ANY of the candidates on EITHER side of the isle…..so what it’s going to come down to at the end of the day is who comes off as the lesser of the evils??? Scary, scary thought.

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I’m one of those Republicans who is voting against a Democrat in the White House. Why? Because neither one has any clue as to how to truly run a country. Obama’s still a junior senator with a charming smile and a lot of empty promises and very few solutions and Hillary Clinton is just an extension of the establishment with nothing new to add. Before you accuse me of being closed minded, I’m not crazy about any of the GOP candidates either. I’ve lived with both parties as my husband is a Democrat who has held a public office so please don’t tell me I don’t know. I hold a lot of respect for a lot Democrats and Republicans alike. Somehow, I don’t think that those who are currently in this race have anything to offer.

PS I find the “Republicans for Voldemort” offensive and in poor taste as much as they would find a T-Shirt that said “Democrats for Voldemort”... let’s grow up and stop throwing mud because the future depends on it.

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Wow! Mom Weasley, that was one great argument!

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PPS I respect Jo’s views but don’t have to agree with them. I do however love Harry Potter as do my children and look forward to seeing what Jo will introduce to us next.

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I thought this was a great interview. More info from Jo and great questions. I’m not surprised that Jo is watching American politics closely, and i hope all Americans are as well. We have affected more people and countries than we know and it’s time to make a change. YES WE CAN!!! ...but there are political blogs for that sort of thing. HP should be the topic of the comments here… I loved all the commentary on Fitzgerald and solitude. Jo is brilliant!

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Ashton, yes, I am still offended by your comments. By saying that you could never vote for a democrat because you are Christian, you are implying that democrats are not Christian, or at least inferior Christians to you. And unless you have intimate knowledge of the religious lives of the “vast majority” of democratic and republican candidates, it is rather condescending and judgmental to summararily dismiss them as “not good Christians”. I don’t think such judgment is a very Christian value… And please do not spout Bible verses at us. I know my Bible quite well, thank you, and I could give you dozens of Biblically-based reasons for my political views, but this is not the appropriate place for such discussion. I understand that abortion is an important issue for you, and I respect the passion that you have, but I would ask /you/ to respect that it is not everyone’s first priority, and not everyone agrees with you. As I said to Brenda, expressing your opinion in an accusatory way with exaggerated metaphors only weakens your argument and drives potential listeners away. You will not make anyone “see differently” with such comments. If you would like people to respect and give credence to your opinion, please do the same for theirs.

Shelley, I don’t know about you, but every election I’ve voted in has been about finding the lesser of two evils….. ;-) I think that anyone who actually deserved to be president would probably be far too sane to run….

And… back to HP…. TheDogStar, I, too, found JKR’s comments on Fizgerald fascinating. When has she talked about him before? I don’t remember her ever mentioning him, but the questions imply that she has. Did I miss that interview…?

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It seems that to me many people are upset over President George W. Bush’s presidency because of the Iraq War. I believe though that as the years progress we will look back and see all of the good that George W. Bush did during his presidency. I seem to recall two democratic Presidents who during and right after there presidency they were ranked as some of the lowest Presidents. I am talking about President Harry Truman and President Lyndon B. Johnson who got the American people into the Korean and Vietnam Wars because of Truman’s doctrine of Containment. People now look back at Truman’s Presidency and see that his doctrine of containment was probably a key component in the collapse of communist Russia. And it seems now that Lyndon Johnson is more remembered for his domestic issues, specifically his “Great Society” than the Vietnam War. I believe that President Bush will be remembered for his doctrine of preemption and maybe even the eventual demise of terrorist attacks. Also his domestic policies like the No Child Left Behind Act may be seen as one of the greatest accomplishments in his Presidency. Bill Clinton on the other hand will almost always be remebered for his Zippergate scandal ( I am of course refering to the Monica scandal) because it is easier to overlook wars than it is for adultery in the White House. Bill did some great things like keeping a weary truce in Israel during his presidency and NAFTA. I could never vote for a person like Hillary though because she stayed with her husband even though he cheated on her. To me, that makes her more weak than strong in my eyes because she does not have the will to break away from something that is hurting you. I believe that Barack Obama is still a young Senator and does not have enough experience in politics to run the country, and even when he does get enough experience, I feel he is not fit to run the Presidency because of some of the issues he supports. I for one support Mike Huckabee, but if he does not win the nomination I will support John McCain (so as you can tell I am a Republican) because I feel that they can help bring peace to the Middle East, but still be tough on terrorism in the world.

Anyways the interview was great, and I never knew she was a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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Well, I have a bumper sticker that says “Republicans for Voldemort.”

I believe that the Republicans have worked to destroy the environment, ruin the economy, wage stupid and senseless wars, undermine civil liberties and engage in untrammeled bigotry against queers and people of color. They have endorsed torture (with the exception of Sen. McCain). If someone is Arab, or Arab-American, they are not “pure blood,” and therefore have not the rights of European Americans.

Whoa, I am absolutely not surprised that Ms. Rowing has endorsed the Dem candidate, and underlined how the elections in the U.S.A. affect the U.K. and the world.

In fact, her politics become MOST apparent in the Order of the Phoenix, which is one of MY favorite books because of the theme of resistance to tyranny. The fabulous Dumbledore’s Army. Fred and George’s organizing against Umbridge, and their amazing escape. The entire school taking up the rebellion. Dumbledore’s WONderful scene confronting Fudge…great stuff!

I hope and pray that Ms. Rowling decides to come to the U.S. and campaign for Senator Obama or Senator Clinton.

I had actually thought that I would vote for Edwards or Kuchinich….but ending up voting in the primary for Senator Clinton. I was disgusted by the misogynist attacks on her (misogyny means woman-hating)...Nixon-trickster Roger Stone’s new Hillary-hating group, that says we don’t support Hillary because she’s a “Citizens United Not Timid” the teenshirt that says “If Only Hillary had married O.J. Instead”

But, I will be out there campaigning for which ever Dem that wins!

I’m done with hearing about Republicans who don’t believe in evolution or global warming!

Susan

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JKR will never come to the USA to campaign on behalf of a candidate. She is not a U.S. citizen.

Aside from there being legal restrictions regarding the role of foreigners in elections, the people of most countries tend to have a very very negative reaction to foreigners intervening in such a strong fashion in their countries elections, even if they agree with the individuals positions.

And “republican’s for Voldemort” is offensive. Besides which all it does is lower the level of discourse.

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“I’m done with hearing about Republicans who don’t believe in evolution or global warming!”

Maybe they don’t accept it cause they need proofs not believs?

Evolution is O.K., but global warming is not so-beautiful-fairy-tale and total rubbish! IMO

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‘to be invisible…that would be the best’

that is SUCH a Jo thing to say!

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I agree lindsay. Gotta love Jo! And you could so tell when reading DH that Jo had waited so very long to write the reality quote.

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Really dissapointed she opened her mouth on U.S. Politics, especially not being an American and all. True that the U.S. impacts the rest of the world, but how about saying “THANK YOU” to the current U.S. administration for the strength and character with which they are trying to protect the world.

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Abuse of strength and poor character are hardly traits the rest of the world is going to be thanking us for.

The need to educate ourselves on the devastating impacts of the Bush Administration policies upon the rest of the world rather than just taking some pundit’s spin as gospel is paramount. We can no longer afford to take the easy road and just sit back expecting that someone will just kindly tell us what’s going on and what we should do about it. We have to actually do the work and read for ourselves, and read and read and read. I know. “I just don’t have time for that.”

It’s when we don’t take time to do the work needed to educate ourselves on these matters that we believe things are just fine and dandy and the world should consider itself in our debt.

It is because so many still have not done this work that the rest of the globe looks at us with gaping jaws and utter disbelief at our foolishness.

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I guess Jo’s not a political scientist. As eveyone knows if a democrat is elected there will never EVER be a terrorist attack again!

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I am really trying hard not to get sucked into this political debate, but I have to say a couple of things:

Gurg, are you a teacher? I am, and while I am not as directly affected by No Child Left Behind as many others, I can tell you that it is not anything that Bush should be proud of. In theory, yeah, it sounds great, but the way that it has been put into practice is complete crap. And every teacher I know says that, regardless of their political affiliation.

And Aillinne, have you read any peer-reviewed journals lately….?

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A million interesting topics you all could be discussing that she mentioned in her interview, and everyone is arguing about politics…nothing to do with Harry Potter. How dissapointing.

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@ c

Peer reviews on topic global warming? Lately not, few months ago yes. In FAZ.

But maybe you can tell me how is this so that there were heavy climatic changes in the course of the earth history? And it happened without industry. The CO2-mantra becomes more and more laughable in time.

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@ Mom Weasley, THANK YOU for another brilliant post!

“how about saying THANK YOU to the current U.S. administration for the strength and character with which they are trying to protect the world.”

@ ihearthuckabee,

I’m an American who thinks the Bush administration’s “protect the world” policies have been disastrous. Bush’s Iraq folly has lead to the deaths of almost four thousand American military and COUNTLESS Iraqi civilians. This president’s policies are the result of his absolutely breath-taking ignorance and arrogance, not “strength and character”. The world is NOT safer because of Bush. His “war on terror” is a myth.

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Hmm…

A british youth’s perspective on this.

America needs change. The democrats all seem a little too like Bush, who has done too much provocation of islamic terrorists in my opinion. With the other republican out, the choice for me would be between Clinton and Obama. Obama seems a great leader of men, but lacks actual policies. Clinton has the policies, but seems a little fake, (a la the crying whch seemed manufactured because she lost). Another problem seems to be that power remains in certain families in American politics (bush’s and clinton’s) though this may be attributed to the amount of money needed to run a campaign. (power remains in the hands of the richest…)

thinks to himself gladly that he will not have to vote in a two party system…

Finally horay! The conversation between DD and H meant so much to me. I cheered at 3am when i read that.

Thankyou Jo.

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This was one of the best interviews of JKR ever, and all down to the fact that the interviewer was a well read intelligent person. Amazing how much having a brain helps improve an interview.

Too many interviewers, especially American, are only interested in a quick sound-bite, and don’t care about substance at all. Consequently, they and their interviews are lack the very substance we crave.

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I can’t believe JKR’s comments surprised anyone. A person who worked at Amnesty International is not going to favor Republicans and will abhor Bush policies. I personally thought that her POV was crystal-clear just from her books…there was more than a passing resemblance to the Bush administration in the Ministry’s disregard for civil liberties and their eagerness to look like they were doing something useful whether or not it was true.

IMHO, if a self-identified Republican is a fan of JKR’s work and nevertheless agreed with the themes underlying the HP books, that person ought to closely re-examine either his political philosophy or his reading comprehension skills.

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Jenn, perhaps you shouldn’t go about questiong people’s philosphy or reading skills.

JKR has said that the current climate was not the basis for what happens in the books (though it may have impacted her subcounciously). She has stated that other historical circumstances, such as WW II were important inspirations for her. Look at this actual interview. She references Neville Chamberlain, who was accused of doing many of the things which you now accuse Bush of.

People aren’t as stereotypical as you assume. It is possible to respect someone, and even like some of what they say or write, even if you don’t agree with everything else they say or write.

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@ jenn

Yes Jenn: the themes of death, love, sacrifice, anti-slavery, human struggling, anti-fascism, anti-war are exclusively property of left-wing parties like Democrats, really. No doubt copyrighted. The rest of us are just impudent to steal them.

You don’t have to agree with EVERY thing the author says in his/her books to enjoy reading.

Oh and I thank you for encouraging me to improve mine reading comprehension skills!

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Let’s be kind here. Harry .ottet can be interpeted in many ways. I’ve read well thought out interpretations of the books from both sides.I wish Rowling had not gone into this area

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so, how about that harry potter guy, eh?

Interesting character :)

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Roni, I absolutely agree…in some ways this interview was one of the more interesting she’s given (and notice she wasn’t asked about things like “Who did Dudley marry and how many kids did they have?”)

If one thing positive emerges from the fixation about her comment on US politics, its the fact that the quality of her writing and of her story line(s) caught the imaginations of so many worldwide, including both Republcans and Democrates here in the US. Quite an achievement, huh?

the candy bowl is filled with stuff from Honeydukes: you folks could sure use some chocolate

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@c: If you still want to see me as a judgmental monster who looks at you as an inferior Christian, fine. But that’s just absolutely unduly judgmental in itself, and wrong. I never insinuated that you didn’t know your Bible, did I? You probably know it better than I do, as it hasn’t been that long since I’ve been actively studying it. But not everyone knows every single verse, and the verse I pointed out wasn’t solely for you, anyway.

I can also point out a ton of verses that I’m sure help merit your view. Starting with “He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.” It was a reading of the New Testament that changed my view of the Iraq war in the first place (I no longer support any war, save for the one that isn’t earthly).

There’s plenty of democrats (especially black democrats) who I see far more Christian qualities in than republicans. So please, don’t make that assumption.

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KB Prez - every read up on any statistics for a little thing called World War II? Hundreds of thousands dead - should the U.S. not have fought that war?

Ever heard of a man named Abraham Lincoln—do you know how many mistakes he made in leading the Civil War? Do you know how many people called him a buffoon and an idiot? I sure am glad he stuck with his convictions, though.

So…how about that Harry P?

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Ya know, that’s actually I question that’s been forming in the back of my head for some time…Exactly WHY do we all like HP?

Seriously, we have our favorite scenes and characters, we like or dislike specific things in the books (let’s ignore the films for now), but exactly WHY? What is the appeal that cuts across political lines (especially in the US—other countries don’t have the bipolarization we suffer!), across most religious lines, ages, ethinic identities…and at the same time translates worldwide?

What is it that makes these books so different from all the other books out there? I’ve never seen more than a superficial answer to this question, and I’m curious if anyone has any ideas

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Where is the best place to get the story of her life? The more I hear, the more I want to know. Is there a good biography?

I can definitely see why she would appreciate Obama. A lot of people are worried about his lack of experience but I think that his freshness has also spared him from being owned by corporate interests as much as the other candidates are. That’s why I don’t vote for anyone with a TV commercial: ‘cause that’s how you know they’re in someones pocket. And yes I’m sure Obama owes something to the special interests but if I had to choose between someone in the machine, I’d go with Obama without a second thought.

I personally don’t have anything against many of the conservative viewpoints on paper but why are republican and conservative politicians always (well, in my lifetime at least) deviate from their good qualities and turn into such transparently mean, racist, sexist, elitist, bloodthirsty, religious nuts?

Wait how did you get me to write so much about it. You see? this is why I come here instead of news/political sites. This site wont give me an ulcer. That’s why I love TLC.

As it stands, I’m following my grandma’s advise, I’m writing in my vote for Willie Nelson. Willie Nelson doesn’t want to hurt anyone.

I know JKR isn’t the first one to say: those best suited for positions of power are those who never seek it.

I like the Republicans for Voldemort t-thirt.

Mine is based off a dream I had: Save the Zombies, Vote Republican.

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a suggestion for better t-shirt: “Democrats for Fudge”. they, as Fudge, try to deny the reality (the radical islam)

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Great Interview. Jo has some very solid points on how public writers have become, and should not always be expected to be a media personality. Writing is quite personal.

I hope that there is a point in the future for Jo to look at her agenda of the day’s activities and see no appointments for interviews, no confirmations of meetings with Warner Brothers,but there is just an appointment to go to the school to enjoy a project her daughter has spent the last week messing the kitchen up with.

I do want her to get some private life again, so that she can do what she does best – writing and raising the family she loves.

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@ihearthuckabee,

I’m not a pacifist. I do believe that there are times when a country must go to war. But I think your understanding of history is faulty. The US entered WWII for two reasons. First, we were attacked by Japan. Then shortly after that, Germany and Italy declared war on us. I don’t recall that we were ever attacked by Iraq. In case you’ve forgotten, Saddam Hussein and Iraq had nothing to do with the Sept 11 attacks. Bush has admitted that himself.

I think you do a great disservice to Lincoln when you compare him to Bush. The civil war began when confederates attacked a military base in South Carolina. Lincoln then responded by sending army forces in to fight against them. Bush’s decision to attack Iraq was not in response to anything Iraq had done to us.

Five years, many thousands dead, and billions of dollars later, where are we?? We actually have a presidential candidate talking about 100 more years of this. How many more Americans and Iraqis must die to justify Bush’s war of choice. How many in your own family are you willing to sacrifice to “win” this war???

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KB Prez, you are greatly oversimplifying the causes of the Civil War, as well as the U.S. involvement in WW II.

The U.S. was in fact indirectly involved in WW II long before Japan attacked. FDR had instituted a draft to prepare for war with the Axis, and absolutely MASSIVE aid was being given to Great Britain to help it survive against the Nazi’s. Remember, for a time the UK was the only nation standing against the Nazi’s.

About Iraq, the decision of whether or not it should have been invaded has been made already. Bush and Blair went in. It’s done. You don’t have to like it, but there it is.

The question is the future. As for withdrawal, the question becomes: does the benefit of withdrawal outweigh the disadvantages and risks?

There are many concerned that if the US pulls out it will result in a bloodbath between the various factions. (the current death toll is peanuts if it alls goes to heck).

What about US credibility in the world? Does the US seem like a reliable ally if it doesn’t finish what it starts?

And what about oil? Many people don’t like it, but the fact is the US, and the world, are extremely dependent on Middle East oil. If the Middle East is further destabilized, could the price of oil rise dramatically?

If the flow of oil is actually disrupted than you could see some rather severe economic and political consequences, far greater than the problems that exist today.

What concerns me about Obama is specific policy proposals. Simply saying “change” and “work together” doesn’t cut it for me. I want specifics. How is going to pay for things? How will he convince continental Europe to support the mission in Afghanistan in a more effective manner? How will he achieve political consensus on many issues? Who are going to be his policy advisers?

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@J,

This is getting tiresome…

Churchill tried for a very long time to get the US to fight alongside the British against the Nazis. But FDR resisted because he knew the American people would not support it. Despite the fact that the US knew the Nazis were committing genocide, there was a very strong movement in this country to stay out of “Europe’s” war. It was only after Pearl Harbor that the attitude of the general public changed.

As for US credibility in the world. I would suggest that after seven years of Bush, we have very little of it.

Obama’s mantra of “change we can believe in” doesn’t cut it for me either. But if you want to know more about his or anyone else’s plans for the presidency, you should ask them.

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I’m a Middle Eastern-American, and I’m a republican.

I just wanted to give a quick comment on the Iraq issue. I say this time and time again to many of my friends, that leaving Iraq now would be a bad decision. And although they are not necessarily in Iraq, leaving the Middle East would send the terrorists the message that the US is a weak country. That is exactly what they want to see. “But everything would be fine if we just made peace and worked it out,” many of my liberal friends tell me. But you can’t. Islamic extremists, or extremists of any kind will stop at nothing to kill you. You are American and it is God’s will you are put to death. That’s the way it is, and it frightens me that such few Americans seem to be able to comprehend that.

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bin Laden was on the “Dems” radar long before any republican gave him passing notice. A Republican held House and Senate prevented the Clinton administration from going into Afghanistan to get bin Laden. They were screaming “NO WAR FOR MONICA!” They weren’t even paying attention to who Osama was or what he was doing. They claimed that concern regarding that bin Layden guy was just a smoke screen.

As soon as Bush took office, representatives from the Clinton administration sat down during the turnover of power and bin Laden was at the top of the list of the most urgent issues the new President would face. There was even an infamous memo drafted, packaged and delivered to Condoleeza Rice entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Attack Within The United States” (you can look that up too).

After bin Laden did indeed attack within the United States, it is Bush that ignored the Muslim radicals, not Demorats, while he invaded Iraq. Democrats wanted him to stay in the hunt for bin Laden and al Qaeda. Honest to gosh. Simply by reading a few books on Iraq, people would have known that Saddam (nasty, vicious dictator that he was) was a secular dictator, not a radical Muslim extremist. It was because of the secular nature of his dictatorship that Osama bin Laden hated him. Osama and his ilk are Islamic fundamentalists that believe that anyone who does not hew to their extreme religious ideals is an infidel. It is this that makes the notion of a partnership between bin Laden and Saddam laughable. Taking out Saddam, was like a wonderous birthday gift to bin Laden. There was no one to stand in the way of al Qaeda recruitment in Iraq now, and with the U.S. habit of giving reconstruction jobs to U.S. corporations rather than the Iraqis who’d just lost their businesses and ability to make livings, al Qaeda had a ripe field to harvest. The U.S., at least it appeared so to many displaced, out of work Iraqis, was doing exactly what bin Laden had predicted and was taking over the country.

Perhaps too, you should take note of the fact that this was not a 3rd world country we invaded. Under Saddam (I’m not saying I liked this guy, just giving the devil his due), Iraq developed one of the most modernized public health care systems in the middle east, established universal free schools which provided free education to the highest levels. Iraq had architects, doctors, scientists, and a diverse energy based economy. These were not all people living in stone huts or wandering, barefoot around behind sheep… well at least not until we blasted them to kingdom come.

There are more Islamic extremists wandering the streets of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Afghanistan and Pakistan than ever even dreamed of going into Iraq under Saddam’s regime, but Bush wanted Saddam out and by golly the rest of the world is going to be paying for that willful, greed based and ignorant decision for the next 100 years.

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This was a really nice interview. I am so glad that the journalist took the time to ask original questions that shed some new light on her thought process. Usually, I get excited for new Jo interviews only to be let down by people asking the same questions that have been asked 50 times over (but the Leaky interviews are AMAZING of course).

As for Clinton and Obama… I do hope that they take the rest of the country into consideration, get over their differences and run on a joint ticket. The support for both is so large that it seems only fair that they run together… now THAT would be a uniting force.

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Partial answer to my own question about the appeal of HP, found on page 9

For me, PART of the appeal is that—for perhaps an hour or two—i can ignore the “real world”. And I can use some of my mind to work on non-existent issues—will Fleur and Bill get married in DH? who will play Xeno Lovegood? and just what did happen during those 24 hours between Voldy killing James and Lily and Hagrid bringing Harry to the Dursleys???

So, sarcastic wave to those of you who focused on such a small part of this interview, ignored her references to literature (ie, authors who influenced her, interesting stuff!) and to life, and dragged the real world into a discussion about fiction. See, nice and non-partisan on my part, just a pox on both your houses

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I like how many people think that the Iraq War has been such a big flop even though we brought down an extremely vile dictator. At least we were able to accomplish more in Iraq than Vietnam. And if I am not mistaken, it was a DEMOCRAT who led America into Vietnam NOT a REPUBLICAN. There have been more Republicans elected to office than the Democrats. WHY? Because they are the GREATEST! They were the ones who freed the slaves and made our society a better place. President Theodore Roosevelt helped change the food and drug industry by making it safer for all to use. Republicans are against abortion and gay marriage and legalizing pot. Democrats would like all of us to become stoners and let America become a COMMUNIST country so they can take all of our money and use it to buy drugs. GO MIKE HUCKABEE!!!!!!!!!!!!

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@Marie,

You are wrong if you assume I and others, who oppose the war in Iraq, believe the US is no danger from those who want to kill us. That attitude would be incredibly naive. But once again, Bush’s war of choice did not happen because Saddam Hussein or his followers tried to kill us.

This war is a tragedy on so many levels. Thousands of people have died and we are no safer today than we were in the days before Sept 11.

To you, ihearthuckabee, and others who agree with you, you should talk to the American and Iraqi families who have lost loved ones in this war. Ask them if they feel safer today. Ask them if they think the loss of their family members is just another necessary casualty of war.

A good friend tells me it’s time to move on. Stubborn as I am, I finally agree with him!

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Jenn, you made me laugh out loud! Yes, I agree…JKR’s politics have been incredibly clear for a very long time. Harry as an abused child (highlighting the abuse of children has been a big cause of the F people—ya know, the feminists), resistance, rebellion, tolerance, fighting for justice, caring, love..these are not right wing values. Right wingers value order, doctrine, compliance, obedience, strength, and the ability to beat someone else up….

KBPrez, you are WRONG!...when you say that the U.S. has very little credibility in the world..we now have NONE thanks to Bush/Cheney… after 9/11 the world was ready to go to bat for the U.S.A….and thanks to all those who have mentioned that Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, and by the way the first “advisors” from America went to Vietnam during the Eisenhower administration, and last time I checked, he was a repub.

In all seriousness, though, eisenhower, kennedy, johnson and nixon all pursued the war on Vietnam….but by the time it ended, the majority of the country had risen up to demand an end….Johnson decided not to seek re-election because of Vietnam…If you were alive, you’d remember that there were accountants against the war, veterans against the war, garbage collectors against the war….

If we had that level of involvement, the war in Iraq would be long over. But of course, now the majority of the people realize that we went to war in Iraq based on lies—where were the weapons of mass destruction, hmmmm????? Might Bush/Cheney have been pandering to multi national corporations wanting oil? Might our sons and daughters have died for GREED?

Anyway, back to JKR and HP. I love JKR…...and hope that some one will quick print up a bumper sticker that says i want a democrat in the white house..jkr…and get ME one!..I’ll put it next to my Republicans for Voldemort.

With the deepest respect, anyone who hasn’t figured out that global warming is a reality has lost touch with reality…! Which includes Bush and Cheney…

I loved the interview. I agree that it was thoughtful, and elicited thoughtfulness from JKR..(not ONE question about shipping! – LOL)

I find it fascinating that the death scene in Chapter 34 was the central part of the book. This shows JKR’s Christian outlook very clearly (whoops, I forgot, Dems can’t be Christians! Damn…..what about all the Catholic liberation folks….the Episcopalians who are okay with gay bishops…oh well, I guess REAL Christians are Republicans…what an insult to dear friends and family members of mine who are in fact NOT Republicans and in FACT devout Christians.)

Personally, as a pagan, I find Chapter 34 very, very pagan..the royal sacrifice..which of course predates Christian mythology…..

I love the chapter where Harry meets Professor Dumbledore in the afterlife and makes the decision to return to the world for a time.

Susan

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@ Susan

“resistance, rebellion, tolerance, fighting for justice, caring, love” – if Democrats support this, then Republicans are for: anti-resistence, anti-rebellion , zero tolerance politics towards evil, fighting things that are unjustifable, and still anti-fighting? And how Democrats own love and caring? You’re strongly prejudiced, but as Elias Canetti said: We have our own prejudices against those of other people.

In your little speech you supported nothing more than hatred.

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I am thinking of changing my blog name to IheartJ or IheartMarie—well said! If you haven’t read Marie’s post of February 11, please do. It’s an important message from someone who has a point of reference that most of us don’t have.

I hope this exercise has helped us all to look at the issues from many angles and firm up our positions - but now I suggest we rest up - it’s a long haul to November.

Budb, I applaud your efforts to refocus this discourse. Let’s give it another whirl: So…how about that Harry P?

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I am not an US-American, but have been following the presidential campaign, as well. I think a lot of people outside of the US are interested in the whole process. I do have some questions, and perhaps one of the Americans here can help me to understand some things? For one, I have been wondering about the frenzy Obama has caused … Don’t get me wrong, I think he is clever and everything, but I think that “Change” is a pretty vague slogan. What exactly is it that he wants to change? I don’t think, for example, that he will end the war in Iraque. What’s more, the Democratic Party has always propagated a strong state, so I don’t think he will cut institutions, lobby groups etc., either. The details of his whole programme seem to be a bit, well, obscure. What are his goals exactly? Is there a particular issue he’s identified with? Like, for example, Clinton and her plans for health insurance? Also, I found his behaviour towards Clinton pretty indecent. I mean, she has been supporting him for years, has always nurtured his career, and then he stabbed her in the back when he announced his candidacy. After all, he’s only 46, he would have been young enough to run for the job in four or eight years. Why compete with her now? He might have the air of a pop star, but after all, the job requires a serious person, with experience in national and international politics, and he doesn’t have either. An US American friend of mine suggested that sexism is, after all, stronger than racism, and that Obama’s offensively displayed masculinity still strikes people as more “leader-like” than Clinton’s more rational charisma. I don’t know if that’s true, but, as I was saying, I’d be delighted if I’d get some comments on that … Thanks in advance!

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Ihearthuckabee, and others… gee, I always thought he’d be taller than he looks in the films… ;-)

i thought i had asked an interesting question, tho, dont you think? why do the HP novels appeal to so many who appear to have so many strong and embedded beliefs that divide them? what is the common denominator that we share? and cleatrly the HP fascination extends beyond the english speaking audiences (UK, US, Australia/NZ, etc) to different languages and cultures, across national, political and religious lines.

as for the discussion that has dominated this thread. hey folks, there are plenty of sites out there where the topic is politics, or religion, or what color pickup truck is your favorite… there are really only a handful of quality HP sites, and Leaky is the best… we all agee on that, or we wouldnt be here, right? so, why turn this site into something that its not meant to be?

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Budb asked a VERY interesting question a few blogs back—why do we, with all of our obvious differences, all like, ney LOVE, the Harry Potter books so much? It is a crazy phenomenon. What is it about these books that brings Lord of the Ringers and Captain Unterpanties and Jane Autsenians into such close brotherhood?? I’ve spent some time thinking about it and here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

It starts with a great story and excellent writing. Without that, none of us would waste our time. What, I think, takes Harry Potter from successful series to worldwide phenomenon are the multidimensional and realistic characters. Never mind that most of them are witches, wizards, half-giants or centaurs, there is still something very real about them that we can all relate to. It’s their emotions, their personalities, their struggles with minor day-to-day things, like being nervous about a sports match, or studying for exams, or dealing with an annoying relative, that make us love them.

What makes them resonate, are their imperfections. Who could possibly like Harry if he always made good choices? And didn’t we all just love to find out that even Dumbledore had a few skeletons in his closet? What about Sirius or Snape – could our feelings toward them be more conflicted? This amalgamation of qualities in each character is what brings them off the paper and makes them real.

Plop these very real characters into an utterly fantastic plot, and you’ve got something interesting for everyone.

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“I thought i had asked an interesting question, tho, dont you think? why do the HP novels appeal to so many who appear to have so many strong and embedded beliefs that divide them?”

We, as Lily and Snape, when they were children, did know how to overcome the differences, but now, after we were reminded of our prevocius choices and preferences… so now we’re aiming at to split away for good.

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What a wonderful interview! I definitely agree with Jo about Clinton and Obama…I’m still trying to decide who to support, as they are both wonderful people-Obama has the vision and charisma, and Hillary has the experience. Ideally, I’d like them to be running mates, but I don’t know if that will happen. As usual, Jo is completely right-rock on, girl!

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I totally understand her need for privacy and to be a private citizen. In that regard, I liken her more to JD Salinger and HIS lifelong battle to keep his private life—private.

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Why are ALL celebrities such boring predictable simple-minded left wingers? Just curious. Maybe if Europe did more to defend itself rather than destroying itself through demographic suicide and welfare dependency we here in America wouldn’t have to constantly hear the same old refrain from Europeans how ‘this next American election is sooo important because it affects us all sooo much, blah, blah, blah…’

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Hi A.C.

if you’re not interested in the opinions of Europeans, then nobody forces you to listen … Besides, the elections in the strongest economy and (so far) only existing super power are affecting people outside of the US, whether they want to be affected, or not. The weak US currency, the US American wars, your economic problems … It IS self-defense to be aware of that ….

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I real wounder how so many of you americans are angry with Jo beacause of supporting the democrats. First of all, as has been said many times: She and anyone on this planet…or even from another(^^) HAS a right to voice their opinion. I live in Germany and I hate it that there are still Nazis about(yes sadly there are). And I hate it that they can go about telling stuff about theyr wicket ideologie. Still I respect theyr right to say thos things, even so I totally disagree. Only when they start attacing others I would act. How could I ask to have a right of free speech myself if I denie it to others? More importently: all you are saying that other people should stay out of “your countrys ploitics”?? Not only does this election affect the whole planet(even more than that, since the parties also differ on invironmental topics) but WTH do you think your country? This is a pice of land. Not only robbed from the Indeans, and taken by the whit(Yes acctually from us Europeans, remember America was European untill Boston tea Party. At this point tey freed themself from thos who would take away the freedom. From thos “ritch who would rais the tax so only they would gain the money”....sounds like the conservativ from the rubber barons to the Bush administration is rather unpatriotic in terms of the USA by its founding doe’t it?) Anyways what I meant to say: An american is someone born in the country of America…(I mean the US by reffering to “America”). He/She did not do a thing for it. They are proud of something they had no influence on…but hey thats OK. The popint is: Only because of someone else beeing born somewhere else(where you are born is randomly! People are not born in the US becaus they are good and in iraque becaus they are bad. No Ossama Bin Laden could be an american and it would not change a thing. People don’t have an influonce on where they are born. People are born in africa where they dont have water to life, but they are not bad people because of that….. ) So you do not only want to keep your borders shut to other people, you also want to shut theyr mouth and you say the president should care more about americans? You know what? That sounds to me pretty much like you are saing that perople are better beacause they are americans. And this is nationalism(not only patriotism) and you know what: Nationalism borders to rassism. And because of that it frigtens me a lot what some of you are saiing.

Comming back to Harry Potter: Dont you people agree that Rowling has written a political Novel with book 7 especialy but also the other books? She puts voldemort as the “bad and evil”. But she is an inteligent wonman! She knows that the diffrence between her world/our world and harrys world is: there is no such person that you kill and than it works out fine(maybe hitler was such a person, but applied to the present time…..) The real foe is not a person(deffenetly not Osama Bin Laden killing him would not help anyone it would just be an act of prestige!) the real foe she wants to show, and does a very good job in it is: Disharmony and intolerance. Rowlin sais herself: isolating is NOT good it is “her weeknes” she gives harry. It is very Human and not a problem but still her point is: People should work to togerth not against one another. There should be no intolerance(in a perfect world) and no racissm. That also implies: there would be no patriotism, and no nationalism. Because even so people would be diffrent(and this they are and it is great!) it would not matter where they are from! What color they skin, they sould or theyr religion had! Rowling doesn’t support deocrats. She suporrts Tolerance. So do the democarts, and this is why they work towards the same end.

Not in the end: I would not be a democrat if I’d life in the US. Not ould I be a republican. I think both parties are much the same…to close democratie works only with several smaler parties. But nomatter what I would still be a Harry Potter fan. And even so some reps might not like my text I also respect ypu to be ahrry potter fans ;-)

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“It starts with a great story and excellent writing. Without that, none of us would waste our time. What, I think, takes Harry Potter from successful series to worldwide phenomenon are the multidimensional and realistic characters. Never mind that most of them are witches, wizards, half-giants or centaurs, there is still something very real about them that we can all relate to. It’s their emotions, their personalities, their struggles with minor day-to-day things, like being nervous about a sports match, or studying for exams, or dealing with an annoying relative, that make us love them.” (Bnickel)

YES, YES, YES!! Excellent analysis! That is exactly HPs appeal to me. The fact that this fantasy world is so real that it might potentially be happening under our very noses.

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tehehe! this is hillarious. Everyone is talking about politics on a Harry Potter website!!!! Politics is everywhere!!! Anyways… on the subject about jesus not being a dem. or rep., well… I don’t think that jesus is pro gay marige or pro abortion! So he’s probably more of a rep. than a dem!

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Why should Jesus not be pro gay marriage? He said love the person next to you…do u only have women next to you? And hewas a man and said he loved all people the same…all people that meant men and women. Even so he did not mean this love in a sexual sence, marriage is also mor then just sex. Plus Jesus was pro totlerance. so even if he would not like it he would tolerrate and accept gay marrieage!

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“Maybe if Europe did more to defend itself rather than destroying itself through demographic suicide” by A.C.

Why in the world would we have to deffend oureself? From what enemy? Well I guess there are some americans (also some europeans) who always “deffend” themself by making war on some countrie when they don’t know anything else to do, but that is pretty poor. Besides most celebritys or at least many are americans.

Besides that u seem to see al left-wingt people as simple minded shows that you yourself are not open-minded enought to see that they might not be simple-minded after all. I mean…..only because someonee is not of my political opinion I don’t declare them stupid. You however seem to do this very thing. With an attitude like this democracy is just not possible!

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After looking at some of the posts here (especially that obtusely childish one by the zip character) I have to say that I think a lot of the republicans here are just tourists trolling because they found out someone else supports the democrats. The same thing happened when JKR let Dumbledore out of the closet, all of a sudden this site was swarmed by a whole lot of really disgusting bigots who probably never read a Harry Potter book but hate homos enough to try and pass their idiocy to potterheads, who of course never bought any of it.

Yes big surprise, the democrats are vaguely selling change and the republicans are kissing every white a** they can see. Every election the democrats say little more than we need to change and the republicans say how great all the old people are; ya’know ‘cause they vote. None of them actually have any good ideas.

At least most of the democrats seem pretty laid back. So many of the republicans here really lapped up every tinge of Koolaid the right wing can offer them.

I would like to share with all of you something a journalist said 100 years ago which is still relevant:

“Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed, and are right.” This is the same fellow who said: “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

Quite ahead of his time wasn’t he, or has this crap just been going on forever. I’m still intentionally throwing my vote away. I’m voting for Willie Nelson. I admire the rest of you for being politically decisive but please, for your own sake, don’t take any of these bozos (on the left or especially on the right) too seriously. They don’t take you seriously or else we’d be voting directly for them.

Susan McGee- I totally agree with you about Ch34. I understand JKR didn’t want to reveal her own religious beliefs before book7s release because it might give something away but I don’t see how. Almost every religion from the ancient pagans thru the patriarchial monotheisms to even some of the modern cults of today all have that notion of royal sacrifice followed by the resurrection; yea, sorry Christians but you didn’t invent that. I too am spiritually eclectic and am often surprised by or in denial of all of the big similarities we all share and focus in on all the stuff that makes us different.

As a pagan, you would probably like Lammas Night by Kurtz: loosely based on the witches of New Forest (UK) who helped defend England from the Nazis. Very Chap 34.

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Sorry. I meant to say: I too am spiritually eclectic and am often surprised by others in denial of all of the big similarities we all share and focus in on all the stuff that makes us different.

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@Leif Longbottom I have to say I totally agree oin what you say about religions. They all seem to bee diffrent aspects and understendings of the same thing. Like seeing the world out of space and seeing diffrent kontinients but still seeing the earth, that is why it is so saddning that even wars are beeing fight over thos small diffrences!

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I think JK is an amazing person. I likeher take on the presidential election. The Democrats problem is that the selection is so wonderful no matter who wins. (That comment also included John Edwards who I think is fantastic). I wish there were a way to really thank JK properly for the wonderful escape she has provided to us all.

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I think that party lines blur the issues… “Blue vs. Red” isn’t always the best choice. I lean towards the Democratic side, but will be voting for Ron Paul, who is running on the Republican ticket… Check him out.

(BTW- the other Republicans are worthless, so we can all agree there I think!)

I am glad that JK brought the issue to light though, too many people don’t recognize the importance of participation in elections.

Please make an informed vote, don’t just play the name game! =)

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well harrik, if you actually read the bible you would see that there are MANY scriptures that say that homosexualiy is a sin.

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Oh I did read it one time, just out of interest…and I can’t remeber it perfecly, but as far as I understood it, all thos parts were maybe just misinterpreted. Well of corse u could say, hey: we didn’t misinterpret u did. But it is my belive, that you could not preach tolerance and love and peace between the people, while doing sth like that. Besides: Even so there are sins, Jesus said God loves all people the same, no sins few sins many sins doesn’t matter!

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@ harrik

Then I’ll advice you to read it once again, especially first Letter to Corinthians : http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Cor++6:9,10

BTW: Don’t justify everything with love; you can of course not agree with Bible, but you can’t say it doesn’t condemn homosexuality, because it simply does.

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You mean:

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Wasn’t Mary Magdalene a prostitue? Didn’t Jesus go to the thievs and drunkards? Didn’t he die for ALL sins? Sure it might say things that do not go allong with others, but on the other hand, the Bible says: “Do not kill” and at the same time god asks to kill many people, kills himselv. He asks Abraham to kill his son, even if only kills a goat in the end it is a living beeing (I myself prefer not to be the caus of any killing of anymals so I do not cosume meat or dary). We all know it is a controversial book, but you can read it in a way that it does not not condem beeing homosexual as a sin. I would even go so far to say Jesus was homosexual becaus he LOVED ALL PEOPLE. That does include men. You could argue that he didn’t mean a sexual kind of love, but there might be homosexuals who just love each others without having sex…that kind of people who hate homosxuals would hate them all the same, if not more.

Anyways, we are kinda off topic don’t u think? ;-)

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Oh! Your favourite exemple from The Book of John! You all forget here ONE little detail: Jesus didn’t say to her: Go and do as you please! But he said to her: Go and sin no more. He (and she too) knew she was a sinner and to save herself she needed to stop her old ways of life, so to speak. (BTW: it’s unclear if she was Mary Magdalene)

And don’t insult me and other Christians by saying such things about Jesus.

And how did you come to the idea that Bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality? You’re going to say me it actually praises adultery, incest, said homosexuality and zoophilia? Because you do such a thing if you read Leviticus 18 and 19 as approval of such behaviour.

You really think one can read a book as he/she wants? Then HP books may as well be books of occultism and satanism, as Harry-haters believe.

Since when do gays love all people? That’s your wishful thinking. I can find in history the contrary: Gilles de Rais, Ernest Roehm, fascinating stories… but terrible ones.

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First: I never intended to insult anybody christian or not, I am a christian myself up to a point, even so I guess you wouldn’t consider me one because I belive in other religions too. I think they are all showing the same “Power” with diffrent viewpoints and diffrent understandings of it.

And I never said gays loved all people, if I sound like it, you get me wrong. I don’t say someone is a praised saint becaus he is a homosexual…he aint better than any other person, but he isn’t a demon eather! Hes just a regular guy(or girl) that directs his/her love(witch is something beautifull wouldn’t you agree?) in other ways than you, of for that matter I do!

You ask me if one can read a book as he/she wants? The honest answer: yes. A book ussually discirbes a scene. Sometimes that scene urges you to have a certain feeling about it, maybe the author would even comend on it in a pretty clear way. But it is yours to interpret it the way you understand it….. Who is it in your mind, that has the monpoly in deciding what the author(even so there is no “auther” in the ussual sense) of the bible mend to say and in what way it should be read? The catholic curch maybe? Well if you want to follow their interpretation go ahead i wouldn’t stop you, but let me my right to have my own…we can disskuss it (as we do) but do not tell me I can’t read it as I want! Because even so I belive in the rligion (up to a point) and think it is a great thing, I do not thinkvery high of the currupting insstitutes the “churches”, some of witch have been murdering and stealing for hundreds of years! (And with this I du not mean to offend anyone, exept thos people of the past who went on crusades or were involved wit hinquisitions!)

Besides. there is the common bilbe, but there are other christian scripts of other people, found in seald jars, that tell an entirely diffrent story. Does it make one unchristian to belive in thos? well I do not think so. Why are people always definig who does not belong to them instead of deffing who does indeed but without that hatred to thos who don’t explecitly do belong to them?

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“Hes just a regular guy(or girl) that directs his/her love(witch is something beautifull wouldn’t you agree?) in other ways than you, (...)”

No. Imagine: DD running away with Gellert, after Ariana’s death, and fulfilling their dreams of world dominance, they together making magical holocaust, but DD would have been happy, wouldn’t he? I don’t consider DD, Bellatrix and Snape’s loves as beautifull – they show how low one can fall loosing his morals and forgeting about what is right thing to do.

“Besides. there is the common bilbe, but there are other christian scripts of other people, found in seald jars, that tell an entirely diffrent story. Does it make one unchristian to belive in thos?”

Yes. It’s called heresy.

I have meant the thing with interpretation this way: you cannot project your wishes on text, because it will cause missinterpretations. If you see Jesus as gay, then you’re politicizing and falsifing the issue, like the ones who believe He married Mary Magdalene and had kids with her (that will be my answer to “other christian scripts” too).

If you’re Christian “to a point”, then you’re none Christian. You may be sympathetic towards it, but you’re not follower at heart.

“I do not thinkvery high of the currupting insstitutes the “churches”, some of witch have been murdering and stealing for hundreds of years!”

Then you’re my enemy and we have nothing besides HP fandom in common.

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So well than we have an dissagreement, becaus I indeed see Dumbledores love as beatuifull. And Snapes to Lily aswell! I wouldn’r exactly call belatrix adorement for for Voldemort love, so I am with you on this: it isn’t beautifull. The others jowever….sure can love make us loos our mind, but that can happen to evryone who loves. And evenso Albus Loved Gellert, he didn’t run of with him did he? Why is that? well I think becaus of a love to the people and the “right”, that was greater than this personal love to Gellert!

Again: you asy I am missinterpreting, who are u to know that isn’t the other way arround? Are u god? No I do not think so (neither do u of corse or u would not be chirstian). So Well it might be I am wrong, and it might be u are. I belive I am of corse, but I do not prettend to “know because I am all knowing”. I considder it a possibility that u are right and I wrong. u seem not to! Also u call me an “enemy” because I do not think hight of a constitution. You call evryone who does belive in a similar thing as you do just in an other shade unchristian.

I am really sorry but I cannot understand that kind of close mindedness.

I do not conssidder you my ennemy, because I love all people, if they are homosexual, unsexual or straight, I love all people no matter if the love or hate HP or don’t care at all about it. I love all people no matter if they are chistians, buddists, hinduist, belive in spirits, belive in the greek or the egyptian gods. I do however feel sorry for thos, who for some reason need to violate peace(witch is already done enought by politicans). I am sorry but I cannot understand eather how u can call urself christian and say You will love yournext and all this and at the same time say anyone who thinks diffrent is your enemy. Nore can I understand how thos 4 that tell the new testamony are diffrent from others doing it, but not beeing so widly known. I call it intoleracne what you do, and I am sorry again, but I don’t intepret the bible in such an untolerand, and rather hating than loving way. I think the way you write kinda sounds as it would your bible, as you would have the key to it and evrybody else is surely wrong they are just stupid and do not understand on your level. You seem sometimes to think(and this not mend to be an offense) of yourself as the creator himself! Still I love you as I love all People and alle Animals and all plants and all things on this planet and all on other and anywhere. I just don’t love the way things turn out sometimes. I may hate actions. But never the things themself, even so it is hard sometimes.

PS: how so u know we dont have anything else in common? we might listen to the same musik, like to same food, have the same hobbies how do you know?

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@ harrik

Your speech conviced me of several things: 1) You’re agnostic, theist, animist or you belong to some sort of sect; 2) In case of disagreement with someone else the “open-minded and everybody-loving-person” will call his/her adversary “close-minded”; 3) It wasn’t good idea to talk in first place.

As my mother keeps saying: “If something is supposed to be good at everything, it has not much use at all.” So I would rather wish you to hate me, insult me, scream at me, tell me honest your thoughts, but NOT this: trying to pull the wool over my eyes with that “all-love-talk”.

“how so u know we dont have anything else in common? we might listen to the same musik, like to same food, have the same hobbies how do you know?”

I have meant possible common aims, faith, political views etc. and I see we’re going separate ways to achive different objectives.

PS: I don’t consider myself the Creator, I just don’t give a damn to confidence trickster, like some authors/pseudo-scientists that-will-not-be-named-here.

PPS: Tolerance has its own special maisons, where you can find it.

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Well I don’t belong to a sect, I don’t belong to any religions group, I sympathise with some, but in the ende I kind of make up my own religion from what I belive. I don’t know if anybody happens to think100% the same as me, I doubt it thought, but I think it great if people think diffrent from eatch other. It would be boring if we all would think the same.

I called you close-minded becaus you seem to shut out anyone who doesn’t think the way you do, that is my deffiniton of close minded.

I don’t think talkind was a bad Idea. I disagee with you at many points, almost all, but still it is iteresting to have talked to somone who really has something to say, and doesn’t only say: u are wrong period. I mean you do say I am wrong but you say why you think I am, so I may trie to understand, witch I don’t think I do, but still it is interesting.

I am not sure I fully understand what you mean with somthing beeing good at evrything. I’d doubt the existence of sth. or sbd. like this myself. I do not think I am all good myself, I am just trieing to be myself,. And I am most certainly not all good, I think we agree on this ;-)

And I am not lieing to you if I say I don’t hate you. I may dislike your attitude towards people that are simply diffrent, but I dont think you are evil because of that, or hate you. And I am not sure about the common-thing you say. Surly we have many things in witch we differ, but, tell me one thing: what “way” is it you go? I can’t really tell you witch is mine. I don’t know where mine leads, all I am tring to do is to enjoy live to gather experience, to learn and to do things I consider good. Of corse I have no way to really tell what is good and what is bad, I just have to work with what I belive good or bad!

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“Well I don’t belong to a sect, I don’t belong to any religions group, I sympathise with some, but in the ende I kind of make up my own religion from what I belive.”

I will dedicate you Matthew 6:24. It suits nearly perfectly to describe your way of life.

We don’t know each other, so you cannot say I don’t hear out people who have other opinions than mine and I defenitely have friends who are atheists, agnostics or are members of other Christian Churches.

“I am not sure I fully understand what you mean with somthing beeing good at evrything. I’d doubt the existence of sth. or sbd. like this myself. I do not think I am all good myself, I am just trieing to be myself,. And I am most certainly not all good, I think we agree on this ;-)”

Thank you. By being “good at everything” I was doubting the possibility to love “all people, animals and plants”, so this sentence could have been worded for exemple so: “If someone loves everybody/everything, then he/she doesn’t love at all.”

“what “way” is it you go?”

The way of my faith of course, only one, not religious hotchpotch. It’s difficult enough to live up to principles of Christianity, so I’m not interested in adding commandments of other religions.

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Well see I am not serving “two” masters the way I see it. It is too me one master witch diffrent people try to express and understand in diffrent ways. I am trying to understand many of them, to create my own understanding(even so you can never understand Him/it/whateveryou’ll calll it) of it/him. My path lies among thos of other religions, but it is one of my central belives that they are all looking for something mostly similar, they just see it diffrent. Just like some aliens would search for the world and come from diffrent dirctions and would make a photograph. One would come home and show his photograph of america and say: thats how the earth looks like. And anotherone would arge the world looks diffrently since he had seen australia. They both had seen the same thing. Non of them was wrong, but they still declared the other one a liar. Just that God/the power/the creator/call it what you will is far more complex and byond the posibility of imagination and comprehetion of men!

You are right I don’t know you, and of course all I asume about you is based on the tiny little I can guess aout you from what you write. Of corse thats very inacurate. I was just thinking: if you have atheistsfrinds. Did they every say sth. like they themselv wouldn’t think too hight about some organisation? If they would, would you declare them your enemy? Just keep in mind that you do not know me eather.

And aout your way: even so it probably means nothing to you, but we are less diffrent then you might think, at least we both have some kind of way, I respcet you for that! there are so many people out there whos only goal in live is to have as much money as possible,that is terrible!

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Either you’re fan of New Age or of Star Wars… And I fear I cannot agree with you, that I have something in common with, let’s say, Buddhists: my redemption will (hopefully) come from God, Buddhists think the said redemption is to achive by themselfs. The thiny little details make the greatest differences.

With Jews and Muslims: sure , the same God as Father, so that’s

Enemy wasn’t the cleaverest word, I rather thougt of adversary.

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Well sure enought they see the world diffrent but as you say both seek redemption they just picture it diffrently and choose to go diffrent ways to it, but I think noone can truly picture redemption. I think it includes all what we thin and way more! I also think we change it with what we belive in…so that may go against the idea of the creator and nothing is changign, but hey therer are enought christians that belive in evolution so what’s the problem with mixing up ideas? I mean do u think that evrything belived in you church is 100% true and evrything else 100% wrong? well I don’t (since i have no church, thats so anyways but…) and if I thin there are right things and true things at church, but there might be other truths aswell….

allright but thos two words are a lot diffrend! You can have adversary in job and sports and whatever and even be frinds with them…but enemys sounds like you wish that kind of people would drop dead on the spot!

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Why should I be satisfied with few drops of truth, when I have the whole ocean of it right before me? And you’re talking a lot of how there’s no real Truth, which is relativism, that I absolutely reject. And I’ll emphasize it once more: the reduction of ideas and beliefs to a common denominator distorts the individual signs of them.

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Oh you get me wrong, I see sience as a relgion, in witch I do not belive. I think if there is a truth, than it hardly matters (in this live), but I do not want to reduce ideas and belives, I see it the way that there are nothing but belives. I belive that there is nothing absolutly nothing we can know for sure, we can but belive things. And that is what I am doing, I belive things but I don’t know them. And I belive in several religions (once again up too a point.) I wouldn’t call that relativism, just because I do not know does not mean I doubt the general existance of that truth, I ust think the truth is multilayerd…to komplex for us humans to understand, or maybe to simple to imaine. I mean…the fabric truth would be made of would have all colors and textures at one right? or maybe none at all….

About the ocean of truth: I am happy for you that you see on such ocean right infront of you, I do not, but I keep looking for evry new drop I can find, and maybe one day I have colected enought to have a lake myself. it is just for me…and I do not say that is any better or anything like that…an ocean collected by anybody else wouldn’t do ;-)

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Your own words: “If I thin there are right things and true things at church, but there might be other truths aswell….” and that’s the heart of relativism.

“Oh you get me wrong, I see sience as a relgion, in witch I do not belive. “

I don’t understand you here…

“I mean…the fabric truth would be made of would have all colors and textures at one right?”

... and here.

“And I belive in several religions (...)”

Believing in several religions is like wanting to worship many political parties at once. Simply impossible to me. Oh but it’s good exemple! All politicans say they want the best for the country and its citizens, but they don’t consider the same things being “good” or the “best”: one party will see high taxes as solution for economic problems, the other would prefer to reduce them. So… you cannot want high and low taxes at once, you have to choose. ;)

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I haven’t read all the comments. I have avoided this website for several weeks after reading this post because I found the idea of Obama or Clinton in the White House too distressing. I do think Jo did wave her wand a bit because I’ve noticed a few subtle things changing in the democratic race. Perhaps Mr. Obama or his staff have read some of the comments here. Too bad Ms. Clinton hasn’t. At one of their last meetings Barrack treated Hillary with more respect than I have seen before. I was very concerned for women’s rights should he be elected. Now I feel much better. He has also taken the time to clear up a misconception of mine. My stomach no longer clenches at the thought of Barrack in the White House. I will probably still vote for John McCain though. I think that he has a better idea than any of us as to the real cost of war and I think he will have the best idea as to how to get us out of this mess.

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Allright so if there is more than one thing beeing true it is relativism? hih if that is your deffinition I am affrai I indeed am a relativist, but anyone would be who isn’t so “arrgoant” to asume with 100% sureness that ’s just right about evrything and anyone who things diffrent just can’t see that truth…well I guess if you wanna call me relativist: feel free to do so ^^

About the things u don’t understand: I see sience as a religion. It qualifies as one since it descirbes the world, how it was crated and suggests 2 possible absolut ends: eather total destruction due to hight technologie weppons, or endless live due too medicine. I do not think eather end good. And I do not not belive in this “religion of sience” that indeed doesn’t allow any religion next to it. I mean I actually like some of it, but like Einstein one has to comprehend that we are making rules that will likeliy work again since they have worked befor. We are making rules to make living easyer, we are however not exploring the truth! (with sience that is)

Ok I gonna use your example with the political paries to explain what I mean: Politicans and political parties have diffrent opinions on diffrent topics. I might agree with Party A on some topic but not on another, and with Party B on some other topic instead and on some yet other topic with party c,d,e and f! So I do not agree with any party 100%...as much as I do not belive in a religion 100% I belive parts of them…thats what i mean with “up to a point”. But I can agree with several parties on several diffrent topics at the same time. That is what having an own opinion is all about, and clearly you have some opinion yourself, so I am sure you’ll understand!

A well and one more thing: I would NEVER worship a political party…;-)

And about your example: The partys wouldn consider tax raises as a good end…it would be a means to get the money witch would be an end….and i do not trust in a party that just wants money for thos who allready have too much(compaired with the others), but there might be several partys that think diffrent ;-)

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Nobody here in the USA gives a hoot. Indiana Jones is coming and he is a far bigger hero and the stories are more historical and important than any of this stuff! Steven Spielberg fans know things that Harry Potter fans will never smell. The Lost Ark, The Chakra Stones, The Holy Grail. And finally, The Crystal Skull. Keep your magic, wands, spells and elves, people. We who oppose the New World Order say “Good night, good luck and good news” in your T’marramarraland,

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