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08 August 2005 @ 10:23 pm
Emerson from Mugglenet was on my TV.  
Yes, it's true. Last night I happened to watch a local interest program called 'Eye on Chicago' which is on every Sunday evening after the news and before CSI: Weekends (yes, you caught me, that IS the real reason I was watching it. Shut up) on our CBS affiliate. One of the news anchors interviews local politicians, actors, businesspeople, etc - anyone doing something interesting, really. And last night, who to my wondering eyes did appear but Emerson from Mugglenet, who is from a part of Indiana that's close enough to Chicago to be in the viewing audience (natch).

So the first thing that surprised me was Emerson's age - I really had no idea that he'd just turned 18. Knowing this now, I'm somewhat inclined to forgive his serious lack of good judgement during the recent JKR interview. That said, the young are supposed to learn from their elders, so I've decided that since I am rather ancient and also running a rather large Harry Potter fan site, who better than me to impart some wisdom?

So Emerson - if you ever see this - here are some thoughts for you:

Perhaps, being so young and then suddenly getting thrust into the spotlight AND getting to meet JKR, you didn't realize that your personal opinions don't get to count anymore. Because truthfully, once you start running a site like that you really do have to keep your opinions to yourself - especially when it comes to a delicate subject like shipping. While I am not and never have been a diehard shipper, there are ships I prefer. However, I defy you to find anyone on RestrictedSection who can name my preferred ships. Sure, if you look at my LJ interests or my icons you can probably figure it out, but I don't talk about it at RS. Why? Because it's not fair. Even though it still boggles my mind some most ALL of the time, running a site like this is something of a position of power. If I were to say even casually on the RS discussion boards that I'd really love to see some good Ron/Kreacher fics (AND I DON'T - THAT WAS JUST AN EXAMPLE, PLEASE NO), I'd probably get deluged in them within days. Which would be personally gratifying to me (IF I REALLY LIKED THAT PAIRING, I DON'T), but not fair to RS as a whole or any of the other users. RS doesn't exist to serve me - it's a bit closer to the other way around, really. That's not to say I don't get some personal gratification from running the site because if I didn't, I wouldn't bother. But I'm very conscious of the fact that I can't take advantage of the position I'm in.

So, Emerson, you took your preferences and broadcast them for everyone, including JKR, to see. Bad show, old sport. You pissed off a good portion of the fandom doing that - and no, not just the supposedly 'delusional' people. I'm not a Harry/Hermione shipper and I never have been, but I have plenty of friends who are, and while they might tease me for preferring Ron/Hermione and I might tease them back about their preferences, there's never been any malice in it. Ship whomever you like is my motto. I just can't get behind you publically calling my friends and fellow fandomers names just because you disagree with them. And doing it in front of JKR? Ouch, just ouch. For you, I mean. I have a feeling that in a few years, you're going to read that interview and just cringe at the things you said. Maybe you were nervous - hell, I would've been too, can't blame you there! But that's just not a good excuse. When you're in the position that you and I and a number of other people in this fandom are in, you have to be impartial. You have to be responsible. You have to be, dare I say, professional? I realize that none of us is doing this as a career, but if you're trying to do it well, you almost have to treat it like a job. There are certain standards you should adhere to. I hate to say it, but I wasn't pleased with how you and Melissa (if I'm not mistaken, she's quite a bit older than you are and REALLY should've known better) represented this fandom. And I hope JKR realizes that you're only two people and not the entire fandom, too. /imparting wisdom

All of that said, the 'Eye on Chicago' piece was not bad. Emerson looked a bit uncomfortable at times, but when the host got him talking about theories - specifically about whether or not Snape was good after killing Dumbledore and whether or not Harry is a horcrux - he was much more animated and he came off well, I thought. And I should point out that shipping was in no way discussed - it was simply seeing the piece that prompted me to get out some of what I've been thinking since that interview was published. They do rerun the show, so I'll try to pay attention and let people know when it comes on again, if anyone else who's local is interested.
I feel: contemplativecontemplative
Ramblin, where to begin?: gofpumpkinsangel423 on August 9th, 2005 03:34 am (UTC)
Yeah, I stopped reading Mugglenet about a year ago because it was run so blatently R/Hr. I mean, it's true that I ship H/Hr, but it isn't that it was R/Hr or anything- just that a supposed news site was so biased. You know?


That one interview has now made almost everyone in fandom think that my shipping H/Hr mean I'm some rabid insaniac (except my flist, who are awesome, obviously). Wonderful.
Vicki: Handgrab!hermorrine on August 13th, 2005 10:55 pm (UTC)
I confess, I tend to stay away from a lot of fandom sites and I'm not sure I've ever been to Mugglenet, so I had no idea it was totally R/Hr. And I *like* R/Hr. But I agree with you completely - if you're going to run a news site, maintaining impartiality is key.

Dude. One of my best friends is an H/Hr shipper and while I think she's insane, it's nothing to do with that. ;) You're in good company. And I have written one H/Hr fic. *shifty*
Soufflé Girl Wannaberagdoll on August 9th, 2005 03:41 am (UTC)
Amen. I've criticised Emerson in public (and to some extent Melissa Anelli) because even though Emerson is young, he was still supposed to be doing a professional interview and Melissa of all people should have known it. That bit of the interview should have been edited -- as soon as I read it, I could hear the knives being sharpened and I've been a die hard R/Hr since I first read GoF. However, I have friends who are H/Hr shippers as well as every other possible combination and even if I could honestly say I thought the H/Hr people were reaching way too far to prove their ship was so canon, being called 'delusional' and mocked in public was bad form. I'm glad Steve of the Lexicon told everyone to calm down etc.

Everyone knows I'm a Bill/Tonks fan and I was not happy with the way Remus/Tonks turned out in the book. Not because I was so sure my ship was canon (hardly -- I always knew Bill/Fleur was going to happen) but because R/T was so badly put together, IMHO. Having people gloat at me pissed me off and I'm a grown up. Sore winners are as bad as sore losers...

Anyway, I do hope that Emerson gets a clue because the one thing that you're supposed to learn in journalism is that your opinion doesn't count unless you're writing an Op-Ed piece. Interviews are especially supposed to be as neutral as possible. It's a shame no one taught him this.
Vicki: Chibi!Me Fullhermorrine on August 13th, 2005 11:03 pm (UTC)
I've always been an R/Hr shipper but as I've said, I have loads of friends who are H/Hr shippers and this who thing just pissed me off, both on their behalf and because of the picture I think it gave JKR of the fandom due to those two. Oh, and Steve rules - have thought so since before Nimbus but that totally drove it home.

I completely, totally agree. I mean, I don't think that Bill/Tonks in canon was as completely out of the question as, say, H/D, but I wasn't going to put any bets on it either way. I think that both Bill/Fleur and Remus/Tonks - although much moreso the latter - were done badly. If you look back at OotP there is NO mention of Bill/Fleur in the book at all and it only stands to reason that if they met at the end of GoF they were dating that entire year. But those people who thought there was any sort of hint at Remus/Tonks in OotP? I want page numbers because I still don't see it. And I still don't like her moping throughout HBP. I've had plenty of broken hearts in my time and even if you've got one, you are not CONSTANTLY depressed for an ENTIRE YEAR. Okay, will stop now. :))

I'd like to hope he would but I bet he feels rather self-righteous about the whole thing. Pfft.
Soufflé Girl Wannabe: On Strike //Pollyragdoll on August 14th, 2005 12:36 am (UTC)
Part 1 (yes, excess verbiage on the march!)
I've always been a R/Hr shipper too. I guess I just picked on on something going on between them in GoF (which is the first 'new' book I read -- I got into HP just after it was released and plowed through all four books in a row) and then picked up on all the signs/comments from film directors etc. Plus I just love Ron - we're almost birthday twins (he's a day younger than me) - and so I can understand why he does the things he does a lot of the time (it's the secret Society of Psychic Pisces Fishes!). I do have friends who are H/Hr shippers and the first big RPG I was in had them shipped and it didn't bother me at all. As soon as I read the JKR interview, I said "Oh shit, people are gonna be ANGRY!" because it was so self-righteous and insensitive. Ships had been sunk, people were wound up (and yes, I do think a small percentage of H/Hr behaved like assholes before and after HBP but you know, a small percentage of any shipping fandom will be like that...)

I've never met any BNFs from HP. I am shy and because of my age, I don't get out to a lot of big events. I'd thought about going to Witching Hour because it's not that far from me (and I'm always in Massachussetts anyway) but I don't have any friends going. And now it's spendy and I'd probably get into a cat fight with annoying R/T fans. Steve seems like a really nice guy though and I really respect him for not only changing his tune re: the post HBP shipper wars but also going the extra mile and realising just how upset some people are. Which is more than I can say for either Emerson *or* Melissa (and I really think she of all people should know better but apparently not).

I always saw Bonks as a possibility although not a strong one. The thing is that after the first initial "tee hee, he's giving her English lessons" (which should probably have been followed by "I bet Bill's a cunning linguist") at the beginning of OoTP, she's not mentioned again. As much as I knew it was going to go farther and the whole 'we're in the middle of the war and people elope because they're scared' thing that Molly talks about in HBP makes sense, it still bothers me that Fleur was nowhere to be seen before this. She didn't go to visit Arthur in the hospital, she wasn't around at Christmas, the visit in HBP is the first time she's really around the Weasleys which makes me wonder about Bill. *thwaps him repeatedly* LOL

I'm with you on R/T. It's not there. She's said it was a complete red herring (written badly IMHO) and I find myself now siding with R/S people which I had never done in past because I really find most of the R/T people insufferable. In all honesty, the H/Hr had a helluva lot more logical reasons for seeing their ship (although I do think that the thing with Buckbeak was a bit far fetched as is the belief that he's called "Witherwings" just to be vindictive to them). I want page numbers too -- there is a ship manifesto and a lot of gloating but how many ships have manifestos with more actual proof? I keep saying they just stuck two characters together because they wanted to see them together and just got lucky but apparently I'm just evil. ;)
Soufflé Girl Wannabe: Viva La Bonks //mimsyragdoll on August 14th, 2005 12:37 am (UTC)
Part 2 (yes, excess verbiage on the march!)

Someone who is quite vocal over at TLC attacked me for questioning Tonks year long depression and pretty much said I'm shallow and clearly had never been devistated over a love affair (requited or unrequited) because I couldn't understand her. Ummmmm, not even close. However, I am not:

a) an Auror (who have all sorts of character profiles done on them before they're even accepted into the programme and one would think that would include the equivalent of emotional stress tests and psyche evaluations)

b) a member of the Order of the Phoenix (and you'd think Dumbledore would be aware of who might be too fragile to handle certain things). I'd like to think that Order members were made of sterner stuff than "OMG, the boy I likes doesn't like me back, I think I'll just shrivel up and die!"

c) in the middle of a War where the most important thing is preservation. I would like to think that Tonks would've been less self-absorbed and aware of things even if she and Remus had been madly in love and secretly married already. People they know have already died/hurt and all she can do is mope over her man? Even Ginny shows more maturity and fortitude at the end of the story -- I doubt she'll spend all of Book #7 playing Mopey War Bride.

(we won't even go into the whole "And then they showed up holding hands and she was all happy again" thing)

/rantSorry -- I've had too much time to think about all of this and the response is all this twee cutesy fuzzy pink werewolf cubs and "aren't they just adorable together?" stuff which makes me wanna puke.

Had JKR bothered to give me a reason to care, I'd be all about. She hasn't and gloaty fans annoy me. I would never be that way to any H/Hr shipper or anyone else whose ship got sunk. It's just mean.

I'd like to say that it's just because Emerson's 18 but I know I wasn't like that at his age. At least not when I was supposed to be "professional". The fact that so many people at TLC just lauded him for 'telling the truth' makes it worse to me.
Oh, no! Disaster!: pirate girlmaegunnbatt on August 9th, 2005 04:01 am (UTC)

Well put. The level of unprofessionalism in that interview surprised me quite a bit when I read it. I do interviews quite frequently for my free lance work, and I can't imagine anyone taking me seriously if I were to say the type of things that were said.

Vicki: Dariahermorrine on August 13th, 2005 11:03 pm (UTC)
I think I was more professional when I did interviews for my high school newspaper. *snorts*
The Thing Itself and not the Mythladyrelaynie on August 9th, 2005 04:11 am (UTC)
Being a Harry/Draco shipper (if I'm anything) and a gigantic fan of Draco Malfoy, I'm used to seeing my OTP (and favorite character) get dumped on. I also seem to remember JKR being puzzled at why I and so many others seem not to hate Draco on principle, so I know how the H/Hr people feel. That being said, I think Emerson and Melissa just got excited, and I really can't blame them. I probably would have annoyed JKR with my Draco-centric questions and views, and angered the fandom as well. I agree with you on most points though.

Actually, though, that wasn't really why I decided to post (oddly enough). I didn't know you ran the Restricted Section! *fangirls* Is it still www.restrictedsection.org? I lost track of it a few months ago and haven't been able to find it again. It is my CRACK. You must help meee! Thanks,

Lord Echosidelord_echoside on August 9th, 2005 04:19 am (UTC)
The Thing Itself and not the Mythladyrelaynie on August 9th, 2005 04:21 am (UTC)
Thanks. *goes*
Lord Echosidelord_echoside on August 9th, 2005 04:37 am (UTC)
Check out the message board while you're there.
Vicki: RS org - Fandomopoly versionhermorrine on August 13th, 2005 11:06 pm (UTC)
I used to be an H/D shipper - and yes, you can find that ancient fanfiction on RS - so I kinda get that much, too, even though I now really don't care about H/D.

And yes, I totally agree that anyone would be excited/freaked out/overwhelmed if they got to meet and interview JKR. Absolutely no question. But I still expect more from people who are in this sort of position or given such a chance. Oh well, that's obviously lame of me. :))

Glad someone was able to help you get back to RS!
Dave: cowhulustormwynd on August 9th, 2005 04:17 am (UTC)
I, of course, have managed to block out all the good, thoughtful things you said in this post and can remember only this:

OMG, RON/KREACHER OTP!!!!!!!!! (But won't Dobby get jealous?)
Vicki: Brendan hhhhot!hermorrine on August 9th, 2005 07:51 pm (UTC)
*makes faces at you and threatens to take away men and chocolate*
Davestormwynd on August 10th, 2005 03:45 am (UTC)
I take it back! I take it back!

*grabs men and chocolate protectively*
R for Rambo: Trekkinzorb on August 9th, 2005 04:40 am (UTC)

And if there's one thing I've learned in this fandom, it's that age and maturity do not correlate in any significant way - I've met thirteen year olds with more maturity than forty year olds, etc. Older teenagers are just as accountable for their words as "adults," IMHO.
Vicki: Who me??hermorrine on August 9th, 2005 07:50 pm (UTC)
Excellent point, actually. However, I suppose I'd rather blame it on his age than on being, well, a thoughtless jerk.
Jordan Catalanoprettyveela on August 9th, 2005 05:06 am (UTC)
Vicki: Bitch Please.hermorrine on August 9th, 2005 07:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Uh...yeah.
Don't make me cut you, beeeyotch. :P
Jordan Catalano: woohoo!prettyveela on August 10th, 2005 11:33 am (UTC)
Re: Uh...yeah.
You already know what I'm about to say, lol!
(Deleted comment)
Vicki: Dariahermorrine on August 9th, 2005 07:49 pm (UTC)
It's better than Harry/Hedwig. ;P

Thanks. Now if only more people agreed...
leah: daisykissed_by_fate on August 9th, 2005 09:54 am (UTC)
A different take
I know I will probably catch untold Hell for this, but in that infamous interview, I didn't think JKR was particularly professional either *shrug*. I felt it was an enjoyable bit of passed time for Emerson and Melissa and that they had quite a rapport with JKR, and everything was comfy cozy informal. I think that's quite a feat for any journalist, let alone a teenaged one.

IMO, interviewing someone for whom you have serious hero worship issues can be so off-putting. I think they handled it well.

I might be the minority, and therefore I'm returning to my cave ;)

Vicki: *SIGH*hermorrine on August 9th, 2005 07:48 pm (UTC)
Re: A different take
I don't necessarily disagree with you, actually. JKR really wasn't what one would consider truly professional, and I can't help but wonder if she perhaps didn't realize that they intended to post the interview uncut. I don't know.

I agree that it was likely very off-putting and they were probably completely freaked out, but... I just expect better of people who are representing important sites and this fandom. Perhaps I expect too much.
longtimegonelongtimegone on August 9th, 2005 11:47 am (UTC)
Word. *hugs*

And now I must get ready for work. :((
Vicki: Loved youhermorrine on August 13th, 2005 10:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks! *hugs*

Work blows, man.
Tanyamerlynn9 on August 26th, 2005 01:55 am (UTC)
Emerson and Mugglenet
Well said Morri! Thank you!