Dumbledore ....

Discussion in 'The Rec Room (Sports and Entertainment)' started by michaeledward, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. AceHBK

    AceHBK Master Black Belt

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    I agree with you. Gambon is a great actor...its just this role that does not suit him and the shoes he has to fill on this makes it even harder. It is the exact reason why Ian McKellan (Magneto from X-Men) turned down the role when it was offered to him after RH passed.

    Yes he is so much more harsh and really shows way more emotion that what was portrayed by Harris as well as how Rowlings portrayed him in her books. Seems like the role was made for Harris and his demeanor. I would have loved to have seen RH in the Dept of Mysteries taking on Voldemort.


    You are so right with Dale...I am almost tempted to go get any audiobook as long as he is reading it. I use to lay int he bed and play the audiobook and close my eyes and let the whole story run free in my mind. Yes, Dale should win a award for it. He can retrieve 200 voices?!?!?!
     
  2. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    Now that I look back at the books I see how the bit about Dumbledore's sexuality had an effect on how Rowling developed his character. There's a sort of loneliness and desire for family that leads a certain sort of closeted gay person to lean towards education and having a positive influence on other peoples' children. He - it often expresses itself a little differently with women - won't have kids of his own, so his way of passing on his legacy is to take an interest in aiding the growth and development of others' children.

    Three of four teachers from my own high school days come to mind. They were very dedicated to their work and all had a slightly melancholy air about them. They were all very concerned with and attentive towards their families even if they were estranged from the for reasons which I didn't understand at the time.

    Looking at Dumbledore's past it fits in nicely. I can see how it could have provided a frame of reference for the author. Oldest child, talented, devoted to his siblings even though he resented his too-early adoption of parental roles. A disastrous, secret, unrequited love affair cuts him off from romance for the rest of his life. He refuses more public careers and ends up in education and becomes devoted to his surrogate children in their hundreds over the years. Much of what he does involves creating networks of people, artificial extended families to make up for the loss of his own family and for the one which he would like but isn't going to have.

    I've also got my suspicions about Professor McGonagle, but that's another matter...
     
  3. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    I didn't know that, but I think IMcK was right to do that, in terms of his craft. There is a mildness and deep compassion that RH projected which is very different from how IMcK defined Gandalf for us in the LoTR movies—and again, there I think the actor and the role meshed perfectly.

    It would have been a very different kind of confrontation, though the special effects would, no doubt, have been the same. The thing that emerged in The Order of the Phoenix during that duel was the restraint that AD showed, which at first astonished Voldemort and then elicited his contempt; AD in the book was clearly doing the minimum necessary to stop Voldemort and protect Harry, and paradoxically (or not, perhaps?) the result was a feeling of enormous latent power held in reserve. This might well have been the way RH would have played the scene; I think he could have, but Gambon's Dumbledore clearly didn't, and couldn't, probably, given the persona that MG had created.

    A lot of times, the first actor to play a role fixes that role for a generation or two, because that's how people first encounter the character—through that actor's interpretation; but I think that there's something more here—what you say about Dumbledore in the book almost having been created for Harris to play. Hindsight is always suspect, but I think that if MG had played the original AD, I still would have found the contrast between JKR's AD and MG's AD somewhat jarring.

    Well, he was credited with 130+ voices as of the third book. After the 6th book, I read something about him which upped the total to 200 voices. And then the final book appeared... so even conservatively, 200 seems plausible to me, given the enormous influx of characters as the saga progresses...
     
  4. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    While this may be true, I contend it does not have to be that one has to be gay because of this. I know many introverts who are straight but are so busy with their careers and or the interests they are not in a relationship. Not all of them in education either. Also one may choose not to have children for medical reasons, such as a 50/50 chance of a genetic issue being transferred to a child. Yet said person may love children and work well with them or said person may not work well at all.

    The other side of this that I know parents that cannot stand children be it their own or others. When they get to adulthood they tolerate them, but they reproduced.


    Do you know that they are homosexual now? Did they come out? I have one instructor that was married with kids of his own who had kids but would not associate with his students at all. Reason why? He liked to drink and smoke and did not wish to influence children this way. He felt horrible as I came home one night when my mother was having a party with some people form the school and he was there drunk and smoking his pipe. I never mentioned it nor did I mention it to others. He is retired now. So now harm now, but still mentioning names.


    While this may be true, I think it people reaching here, unless the author has come out and said this directly. I remember a Rodney Dangerfield movie that he paid the author of a book to write up the review and the meaning of his writing. Rodney failed as the instructor knew more about what they author had meant then the author.


    Does it matter?
     
  5. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    One of the teachers outed himself, two were after they died. The last one? I'd lay dollars to horse turds and hold the stakes in my mouth.

    I think you really do protest too much, Rich. We know it was in the author's mind as she developed the character. It makes sense, and you can see how it would be a useful type with motivations when the story was being developed. And we do know that she plotted things out several books in advance. It's just one of those interesting things that goes into making the people real in a good story. Even if the audience doesn't know it, the writer does, and it adds something to the way they write.

    If it had been anything from being ginger to a secret affair with Mrs. Weasely I doubt you would be so insistent on it not mattering. It mattered to the writer. It mattered to the way she wrote the character. That should be good enough.
     
  6. Ceicei

    Ceicei Grandmaster

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    Now this caught my attention. Pray tell, spit out your suspicions. I'm curious about how you think of her.

    - Ceicei
     
  7. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    I have to confess that it wasn't my suspicions originally. It was a bunch of lesbian friends. The consensus included "Gold Star Lesbian!" and "I just love strong Butch women." I bow to their more practiced gaydar :) She reminded me a lot of the professor who was our mentor in teaching women's self defense.
     
  8. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    Tellner et al,

    I may protest too much. One may think or assume that if one does then they have something to hide such as being homosexual. ;) I am not. But you can think it or inply and it is ok with me.

    I will continue to protest what I think is ignorant (* Note: Ignorant and not stupid or idiotic so please no insult intended. :) *) comments that is someone acts like this or uses something like that then they MUST BE GAY. So the local muffler company that has been around for decades before the Gay community started to use the rainbow as a sign or badge of identification, has it in their logo. They have kept it. So all business with a triangle must be GAY because they have a triangle. To argue it further which no one has stated, but is part of my point, FMA since it has Triangular footwork it must be gay or at least those who practice it. So should all Geometry teaches.

    One could also argue that since one knows so much about the OCCULT or the Homosexual Community one must be Homosexual themselves. (* NOTE: I am not stating that anyone here is homosexual, I am only using the similar arguement being presented to make a point on the comparisons. *)

    So yes I might look to protest to much, but it seems that too many are trying to force the relationship. Why? Do they want it to be such? Are they after a religious agenda? i.e. occult and Homosexuals are deviants and or sinners or what have you. (* NOTE: Once again I am not saying anyone has stated this directly or indirectly, but it is the next logical conclusion with the comparison arguement. *) Should we compare their soul with a feather to see where they go in the after life? . . . Lots more that just does not add up.

    So I apologize for trying to state an opinion based upon points that I could defend, or show examples of, that refute the absolute statements of other points being presented.

    In the end it is all GRAY area, and if the Author wants to have a GAY Character then so be it. If she used icons to represent then good for her. If she did not, but just created it and went with the flow then good for her. (* Note: It is not unheard of two scientist or groups of scientists to come up with the same results or theory working separately. *)
     
  9. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    I've been thinking a bit about just what it is we're doing here and trying to make sense of it, and I mean that in the most serious way possible. We're talking about a property of a fictional character. Dumbledore is a figure in a story. What does it mean to say that Dumbledore, who does not exist save in our imaginations, 'is' something we don't imagine him to be, something independent of how we think of him? Or any of the other characters? With real human beings that makes perfect sense, but what does it mean of a completely fictional entity?

    It seems like a kind of bizarre, even surreal thing to be doing, but here we are, a group of reasonably reasonable people, doing it... so it must make some kind of sense. What could that be? I've been trying to work out a model for what it is we're doing here, and I have something that seems to me to make the activity a reasonable thing to do—something also seemingly bizarre, but which turns out to make a very weird kind of sense, even if no one understands how. So let me try it out on you folks...

    We have a work of fiction, and can think of it in a very basic way: a set of entities and a set of situations that those entities enter into. And every time an entity enters into a situation, something emerges about that character. So if Colin McCreevy is part of a crowd going to a quidditch match, the result of Colin's being in that crowd, so far as we're concerned, is at least this: that we can assume he knows what quidditch is. And in general, every situation that a character enters into, every interaction, is in a sense like an experiment which yields certain results about the characters, like measurements in a physics experiment tell us whatever the experiment is designed to tell us: how fast something is moving, how much it weights, what it's coefficient of friction is and so on. So that's the first part of the model: a situation which a character is part of is like an experimental measurement of one or more properties of that character.

    But we also know that at the most basic level of physical reality, matter cannot be said to actually have any values for any physical property until these have been measured. The absolutely crucial revelation of quantum theory was that at the most fundamental scale, a particle does not have a value for momentum, energy, location, spin or any of the other basic `quantum numbers' until it undergoes an experimental measurement for some particular property. It's not that it has a value but we can't get at that value. It's not even that it has that value but the measurement in itself changes the value it originally had, so we'll never know what that was. These ideas were the ones that the pioneer generation of modern physics tried to apply to make sense of this incomprehensible, but seemingly infallible theory it had discovered. What emerged from the mathematical foundations of the theory was that the actual state of affairs was much weirder than any of these: the particle does not possess a value for any physical property; rather, it possesses a spectrum of possible values for that property, none of which describe it until a measurement is carried out that yields a specific number. At that point, the probability of one of those values (even one of the lowest probability possibilities) becomes 1 and all others become 0.

    My idea is that properties associated with fictional characters are similar. In the absence of an actual measurement—a situation which yields a`fixing' of the value for that property—the character's height, ethnic identity, taste in beer, sexuality, or medical history—anything at all about them, in fact—is exactly the same as that of a quantum-level particle which has not passed through an experimental apparatus designed to measure a certain dynamical variable such as energy, position or spin. The character simply does not have a value for that property; rather s/he (and this exends to inanimate objects as well) has a spectrum of possibilities associated with any of those kinds of personal properties. Unless the character enters into a situation which yields a measurement, so to speak, for that property, we have nothing but a spectrum of probabilities, a kind of smear of ghostly values-in-waiting none of which can be said to hold of the character at that point. This obviously is not true of real human beings: someone can be a reformed compulsive gambler even if not one person in the world is aware of it and possesses no information about the person in question. But fictional characters exist only in the same way that particles at the quantum level exist: till we have interactions which measure something about them, they aren't there, and apart from the measurements we take, they do not possess values for personal properties. The author constructs situations which the characters are subject to just as the physicist constructs experimental apparata that matter at various scales is subject to. The results are similar, and so are the cases of properties that are not measured.

    Now in a sense, I think the point that Rick and I are agreed on here is that none of the situations in the saga yields a value for Dumbledore's sexuality; I'm also reasonably sure that none yields a value for whether or not he's a carnivore, or an opera fan. If so, then he isn't gay, and he isn't straight, just as he's neither a carnivor nor a vegetarian, and neither an opera-lover, an opera-hater, or a complete neutral on the subject: his status with respect to all of these parameters belong to his probability spectrum... but none are true of him, none constitutes a valid description of him. Like Schroedinger's cat, we won't know until the box is opened, which collapses the wave packet, as they used to say. Only, since the saga has come to an end with the box still closed, there's never going to be an actual value determined.

    And whatever shaping power the idea that AD is gay may have had with JKR in developing the character—and I agree with tellner, that could very well have led her to develop his demeanor and way of relating to people in a particular way that is reflected throughout the novels—it doesn't look as though any of the situations he's in in any of the books actually forces a measurement. Maybe someone will turn one up, and then it will a different story. But for the present, I think it makes way more sense to say that that AD doesn't have a sexuality.
     
  10. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    Well, that and by the time the books start he's old enough that it wouldn't be as much of an issue unless he'd mastered the spell "Aspergo Corpus Cavernosum!" Besides, the character as written was eccentric but believed in certain standards of propriety (or at least dignity). It just wouldn't be fitting for kids young enough to be his grandchildren to know about his extremely personal life.
     
  11. Novitiate

    Novitiate White Belt

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    Greetings...
    I am just jumping into this mess having been asked. I have seen a few Harry Potter movies but have no vested interest in the sexuality of the characters. I am a bit rusty on my rhetoric. This is just a testing the waters move for me so I will make a few statements;

    1. If you want to know about sexuality and magic look into Crowley's Paris Working (no quick wiki link) and his attempt to invoke Pan that left him naked, in a fetal position, and his male "son" assistant dead followed by four subsequent months in an insane asylum.
    2. With a surname of parsons I pray you are not Jack Parsons relative because if you are I bow out of the discussion. ;)
    3. Black Swans!? please keep true to Hempel's Raven Paradox. the black swans smacks of something from dirty Diana. ;)
     
  12. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    Considering the subject of your continued research, I would suggest that sometime in the future, you read these books. The story is well written and has enough "magik" mixed through it that, at the very least, it gets kids to fantasize about the subject. Anyway, maybe a new thread is in order. Occult Themes in Harry Potter. Now we can have a freewheeling discussion of this topic and not have to tie it back to Dumbledore's alleged sexuality.
     
  13. michaeledward

    michaeledward Grandmaster

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    I know this thread was quietly dying down.

    But, it seems there are some great hints about one or two more literary characters being forcefully pushed from the closet.

    Did you see Berkeley Breathed's Opus this morning?

    Do you think that, maybe Opus is attempting to hide something? Do you think Garfield really is gay?
     
  14. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    I know how hard it is to be in the closet. I only recently came out as a transphibian. I think the three foot sticky tongue, the trips to the Newport Aquarium and labeling the Acta Herpetologica subscription "high class pr0n" gave me away :D123
     

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