— Harry Potter Conscience

This is a link you should look at.

Dobby, the House Elf

Dobby, the House Elf

Not necessarily because it is a great cause.  Who knows, at this point, what’s really going on with mega-corporation, TIME-Warner, that has them in hot water with their  young fans.

What makes it worth looking at is its use of social media — Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc —   In the hands of young (and older) Harry Potter fans and readers.   That’s a very specific group — disparate people brought together by a work of fiction that we all know has already impacted the world in some grand and unexpected ways (especially the publishing industry, and the mass of young readers across the planet who sucked up multiple 850 page books with a 10th grade+ reading vocabulary like they were made of sugar-coated breakfast cereal and soda-pop.)

And those readers didn’t just read Harry Potter — they READ Harry Potter.  And they got it.  They understood it.  They were doing graduate-level literary analysis of 3000 pages of text….  They disected it, researched the language and allusions, and deconstructed 7 books  — to the point of being able to cross-reference 480 character names, a dozen family trees that spanned centiries of fictional begetting, and the geography of fictional landscapes that overlay the “real” world like swiss cheese on toast.

And this very specific group whose unifying demographic is a fictional hero seem to have taken up author J. K. Rowling’s implanted human rights message and made it their own.  Dobby and the slave-class house elves of Rowling’s world are nothing next to the human rights violations carried on in the name of greed and corporate profit — and the one thing we know for sure about profiteers, is that they can end human exploitation overnight if their profits are threatened.   There’s nothing that cleans up the dark corners of greed faster than having the spotlight of day shown on them.

Scholastic books published what may turn out to be a manifesto on slavery inside those Harry Potter books.  At least in the hands of young readers — it could be taken that way.

And Warner Brothers might want to reconsider their product placement and merchandising policies, under the circumstances.  They, after all, have exploited Rowling, her characters, and her fans and made the greatest profit from them of all the participating corporate hawkers.  These now seem to be characters — and readers — who have something concrete to say about exploitation.

And good for them.

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