Joanne! You have a friend!


I’m sure JK Rowling is thrilled to pieces to have such a prominent ally, a world leader no less, who appreciates her so much and even finds kinship with her.

Vladimir Putin is pretty upset that the United States and other Western nations have taken issue with him invading Ukraine and killing thousands of people. The murderous authoritarian took a page from the American right wing to air his grievances on Friday, comparing retaliation against the war to “cancel culture.” He even likened Russia to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who has been widely criticized for expressing anti-trans sentiment — but still, lest we must remind you, continues to publish books and make millions of dollars.

“They canceled [J.K.] Rowling recently, the children’s author,” Putin said after complaining that the Red Army doesn’t get enough credit for defeating fascism in World War II. “Her books are published all over the world, just because she didn’t satisfy the demands of gender rights.”

She’s canceled, just like Putin! Still rolling in the dough, still on the lips of every intolerant authoritarian, but “canceled”, whatever that means.

Putin went on to compare Western nations “canceling” Russian “writers and books” to Nazis burning books 90 years ago. He did not mention reports that Russians are literally burning Ukrainian books, or the nation’s state-run media and longstanding suppression of free speech. He went on to claim there is “no place for ethnic intolerance” in Russia, where “cultural diversity is the pride of our society.” Putin did not mention that the Russian government has been trying to snuff out LGBTQ rights for years, most recently in a lawsuit arguing that an LGBTQ rights group is engaging in activity that goes against “traditional values.”

Man, if Putin said he admired me, I’d be scrambling to disavow it (and rushing to take a shower) and would be seriously reconsidering my life. I wonder what kind of rambling screed Rowling is going to write about this? I halfway expect that she will graciously thank him and express her appreciation. I hope she’s not that far gone.

Comments

  1. Reginald Selkirk says

    The murderous authoritarian took a page from the American right wing to air his grievances on Friday, comparing retaliation against the war to “cancel culture.”

    I hear he is “canceling” Mariupol.

  2. larpar says

    “Her books are published all over the world…”

    That’s a strange definition of canceled.

  3. Dennis K says

    Strategy 101, play the political divides of your enemies. Americans beware, Putin will enlist the sympathies of the GOP and they will succumb to it, traitors that they are. Senators with hashtags like “moscowmitch” and ex-presidents likening hitler-wannabes to “geniuses” are proof enough.

  4. says

    He’s probably right that the Red Army doesn’t get enough credit for its part in defeating Nazi Germany, but England could certainly say the same thing. That’s more about American exceptionalism mythology, taking all the credit for saving the world. And it was almost 80 years ago. To bring it up now, in this context–well, nice dogwhistle for the Republican party, Vlad. You’ve been paying attention.
    The “cancel culture” label, making criticism of opinions and demands for accountability out to be some sort of Nacht und Nebel program, shows such willful ignorance of history and hysterical grandstanding that if the universe consisted of nothing but faces and palms the current age of the universe would not be long enough to properly express the appropriate reaction.
    It just boggles my mind that a political party that made its living on fear of communism, crime and terrorism for the last 75 years has decided that Russia is now the good guy when it invades its neighbors, that Russian interference in American elections is totally OK, and that an attempt at violently overturning an election is “legitimate political discourse.”
    But hey, I heard there’s a transgender athlete in Utah. Yeah, that’s the real danger.
    I’ll just end my rant here. Thank you for your time…

  5. R. L. Foster says

    Putin is right, there is no cancel culture in Russia. In Russia if you disagree with the state (i.e., Putin) you get bludgeoned and hauled off to god-knows-where, you get disappeared, you get shot in front of the Kremlin, you get neurotoxins placed in your underwear or deadly radioactive elements slipped into your tea. And if you really piss him off he’ll drop bombs on you. But cancel culture? Nah, that’s a degenerate Western thing.

  6. Susan Montgomery says

    I think Barry Duke at Patheos is ready to give Putin a guest column or twi.

  7. says

    And all throughout the period she wrote the Harry Potter series, Christian Fundies often go after her because of Harry Potter’s association with magic, wizards, and other things that are of the devil. Now it seems they’re now somewhat coddling her because of her trans-phobic attitude no different than that of Richard Dawkins. All this reeks hypocrisy to the max.

  8. marner says

    Her response:

    Critiques of Western cancel culture are possibly not best made by those currently slaughtering civilians for the crime of resistance, or who jail and poison their critics. #IStandWithUkraine

  9. christoph says

    @Susan Montgomery, #7: I searched on “Barry Duke,” he’s described as a gay rights activist. Is there another Barry Duke, or am I missing something? I don’t think he’d give Putin a platform.

  10. kingoftown says

    Speaking of transphobes, Graham Linehan has been on the Stephen Nolan show sobbing about losing his family thanks to trans activists (his wife obviously not having her own agency).
    https://www.nationalworld.com/news/people/graham-linehan-father-ted-creator-nolan-live-twitter-ban-transphobic-comments-explained-3627375
    Stephen Nolan if you’re wondering is a shouty talk radio host in Northern Ireland. Never heard of him? Well the BBC pay him more than any woman other than Zoe Ball, he matches Fiona Bruce.

  11. Susan Montgomery says

    @11 he gives space in his blog to the erstwhile Ophelia Benson – TERF and former fellow blogger of FtB. I think he does it to stay cool with his “gender critical” Eurosocialist pals while still being nominally pro-trans. Or, the other way around. He’s kind of a left-wing Schrodinger’s Douchebag.

  12. moarscienceplz says

    @#5 feralboy12
    “He’s probably right that the Red Army doesn’t get enough credit for its part in defeating Nazi Germany, but England could certainly say the same thing. That’s more about American exceptionalism mythology, taking all the credit for saving the world.”
    You are absolutely correct, but the Brits are guilty of this too. They are quite happy to embrace Alan Turing (after driving him to suicide) and Bletchley Park for cracking the Enigma machine, while completely ignoring that Polish Intelligence had done the main part of that work and handed it to the British tied up with a bow.

  13. andrei613 says

    More proof that old Vlad makes a perfect modern ReThuglcian.

    He lies all the time, accepts zero responsibility for anything, attacks democratic institutions and nations, and whines about how everyone isn’t nice to him.

    Trump 2.0.

  14. Pierce R. Butler says

    Susan Montgomery @ # 7: … Barry Duke at Patheos …

    Duke, along with all the other “non-theists”, left Patheos months ago.

    Most of them settled at a mixed-bag blog bunch called onlysky.media – where the first page of the listing of Duke’s posts includes only one about Russia’s war on Ukraine, from about two weeks ago – which describes Putin supporter Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò quite unsympathetically.

    The second page of Duke postings has two Ukraine articles, neither of them pro-Putin in any way. And that already takes us back before 2/24, so I didn’t look for earlier Ukraine material.

    So what Vladimir V. Putin-related problem do you have with Barry Duke?

  15. wzrd1 says

    R. L. Foster @6, disappeared is so Soviet. Defenestration is in style in Russia today. One prominent example was the ‘suicide’ of a whistleblower physician who jumped from the ICU window while on a general anesthetic and ventilator, rather than waiting for COVID-19 to finish killing him. There are around a dozen other examples of taking short walks out of Russian windows over the past decade and change.

    As for Russia not getting credit for resisting Nazi Germany during WWII, I seem to recall their getting plenty of credit for escorting German forces to their heartland cities, including Moscow and leaving them tons of empty land to camp out on while the Russians moved their factories – bricks and all, to the Urals…
    And of Soviet snipers showing true appreciation for their guests dietary habits and sanitation methods.
    But, it was the snow and mud that fought most of those battles.
    Stalin may have been a dummy, but he was not a fool. ;)
    And Putin is no Stalin. Stalin had purges, as Putin did, but Putin brought back the Czar’s pogroms.
    Well, that and we’re not supplying his war effort with cast-off equipment via lend-lease. For a tidy profit, of course.

    I think I’ll have to watch out for strange guys with umbrellas for a bit… ;)

  16. Susan Montgomery says

    @18 the joke was that Duke is uncomfortably forgiving of transphobia and that he may well invite Putin as a guest columnist because “both sides”.

  17. Rob Grigjanis says

    …Putin said after complaining that the Red Army doesn’t get enough credit for defeating fascism in World War II

    And they don’t get enough credit for raping German women either. Yeah, all Allied armies were guilty, but the Russians distinguished themselves.

  18. tuatara says

    “Putin said after complaining that the Red Army doesn’t get enough credit for defeating fascism in World War II”

    Well, i agree that they had a hand in defeating Nazi Germany, but defeatimg fascism in Europe?

    Had the Soviet Union subsequently liberated all those countries it had overrun on its way to Berlin, then I would agree that they had helped rid Europe of fascism. But history shows that fascism was alive and well in Europe after WWII, with thanks specifically to the USSR under Stalin.

    Many Russians, including Putin, idolise Stalin.

  19. Alt-X says

    Fascinating! The Russian trolls have been playing the Christian Right for so long they know the exact words to play. Been playing the long con and now they’re cashing in. Watch the right sell their souls for their daddy strong man fetish they’ve been gaslighted to love. Fascinating to watch.

  20. chrislawson says

    Ossowo Harpist@8–

    It’s fair to attack Dawkin’s terrible comments on transgender issues and I completely support the American Humanist Association’s decision to rescind his ’96 Award. The three main problems with Dawkins’ take on transgender are: misrepresenting the science in a way that supports gender essentialism and therefore gives ammunition to transphobic activists, misusing pronouns and gender terms thoughtlessly, and arguing that we should treat transgender people well “out of courtesy” (his words) rather than respect/justice/human rights. So yeah, feel free to lay into him.

    And yet, it is not true to say there is “no difference” with Rowling since he broadly (albeit feebly) supports trans rights. It’s the difference between transphobia by ignorance and indifference versus transphobia by hatred and demonisation. They’re both bad, but one is much worse.

  21. dianne says

    If the USSR isn’t getting the credit they deserve for defeating Germany in WWII and the current Russian army can’t even take Ukraine, doesn’t that argue for dismantling the current system and going back to communism, preferably after shooting the tsars, I mean the oligarchs? I mean, he basically just said that capitalism failed Russia.

  22. Silentbob says

    CONTENT NOTE FOR LINKS TO TRANSPHOBIA

    @ 25 chrislawson

    it is not true to say there is “no difference” with Rowling since he broadly (albeit feebly) supports trans rights. It’s the difference between transphobia by ignorance and indifference versus transphobia by hatred and demonisation.

    Dude, no, you are mistaken.

    Dawkins has glowingly endorsed (writing blurbs and tweeting support) for transphobic hate screeds like Trans by Helen Joyce (‘A frighteningly necessary book: well-written, thoroughly-researched, passionate and very brave.’–Richard Dawkins), and Material Girls by Kathleen Stock.

    He’s called on people to sign the “Declaration of Women’s Sex-Based Rights” which is a horrendous documents calling for the removal of basically all rights for trans people to access healthcare or be included as equals in society. It really doesn’t get any worse short of wishing death on trans people.

    He may have once given lip-service to not hating trans people, but he “went full TERF” some time ago.

  23. antigone10 says

    JK Rowling is a TERF. But she did repudiate Putin, instantly, and is donating a lot of money to Ukrainian orphanages.

    I do hope this makes her rethink her TERF-y views though. You don’t want allies like this.

  24. andrei613 says

    @19, wzrd1

    A few historical points.

    While indeed US builders of military gear got paid for the gear that they built for the war effort, it would not be accurate to call such gear offered under Lend Lease to be ‘cast off’ hardware. Much of the gear the USSR got in that fashion was gear that the US military was also currently using. Some specific gear was specific to Soviet uses and military doctrine, such as the P-39 Airacobra, which suited Soviet uses in air combat on their front, such that they got half of the total production of that aircraft.

    As for the snow and mud, well, that gets a lot of talking about, yet fails to take in the fact that Soviet forces had to deal with the same exact snow and mud. Fortunately, much Soviet gear was better designed to deal with such conditions, such as the T-34 tank having 19 inch wide tracks, to 14 inches on the Panzer 4. That meant that the T-34 put less pressure on the ground per square inch of tracks, so it could go over some terrain that pre 1943 German tanks could not.

  25. Pierce R. Butler says

    Silentbob @ # 27: [Dawkins] … “went full TERF” some time ago.

    The “RF” in “TERF” stands for “radical feminist”, but Dawkins fails to qualify for either of those respectable labels.

    He’s just another transphobe, albeit with seriously abused scientific credentials.

  26. ajbjasus says

    “I halfway expect that she will graciously thank him and express her appreciation

    No you didn’t.

    Disingenuous, no matter how much Rawlings’ trans views are disliked.

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