Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

JK Rowling knocked off her pedestal

When I wrote my previous post on the downfall of the author of Harry Potter, I was not aware of how many young adults, who adore her books, she really deeply hurt with her growing crusade against transgender men and women and all who support them. The rule, don’t hurt people, she has violated now so terribly that it became uncouth to be associated with her.

One could think that that is what becoming a billionaire and a star does with people. But that’s not true. Oprah Winfrey would never talk like that. And, on closer inspection, her books known for the impossible to happen all the time are surprisingly hetero-normative. And, some anti-Gay, anti-Jewish, and pro-slavery ideas have now been spotted where the glare of mystery previously made them go stealth.

Only in 2017, the Guardian suggested that Britain should erect statues of people less controversial than the ones who now look down on us in stone or bronze. Their readers poll made Rowling come out first! Sadly, a statue was never commissioned. Sadly, because what could be better now than to topple that in our era of a modern Beeldenstorm [statue storm]?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not for destroying people’s reputations. But she doesn’t need anyone’s help in that. She’s done it all by herself. Just like she singlehandedly created her fame, she was the one who now made herself infamous all by herself. And instead of having empathy for her bewildered fans, she doubles down on her bigotry. What these four policemen who murdered George Floyd unwittingly did for the fight against racism and police brutality, Rowling now does to highlight the plight of transgenders.

One question highlighted by many of her well-speaking debaters is, in how far are art and the artist connected and how much can they be separated?

Could we still enjoy Michael Jackson’s masterly dancing and songs, though there are most credible reports now that he was a serial child molester?

Can we still marvel at Salvador Dali’s art now we know he was a monster?

Can we admire Adolf Hitler’s lifeless paintings? Hang them on our wall?

Should we still enjoy Woody Allen’s movies — with sex central to many of them, if reputable people accuse him of (but didn’t prove) sexual abuse?

Can we drive a Volkswagen, though Hitler promoted its greatest success?

Can physicians use any (pseudo-)medical research done in Auschwitz?

Can we read (for our kids) any Roald Dahl if the author was a bad chap?

Can we still enjoy the many great movies produced by Harvey Weinstein?

Can we still feel warm and fuzzy about Potter though his author is a bigot?

My two cents: Use whatever good there is by whoever created, it for the betterment of us all, including yourself. Don’t throw out anything but note the suffering the creators caused. Try not to enrich them. And be highly aware of any hurtfulness their work could be promoting subliminally.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry, and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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