Articles

Piers Morgan, Big Green Books & the Owl of Minerva

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2017 by kmflett

owl

Piers Morgan in an argument with JK Rowling noted that he had never read a line of a Harry Potter book (there was more to it than that but for what followed this is the relevant point).

As a result Big Green Books in North London began tweeting Morgan lines from Harry Potter. At first Morgan ‘humoured’ them but on Saturday afternoon he blinked first and blocked them.

What happened after that was perhaps even more remarkable. A number of other people came forward to continue tweeting lines from Harry Potter to Morgan.

It is a modern echo of the work of Richard Carlile the Fleet St printer and newsagent who in the 182os was regularly arrested for selling newspapers that avoided what was then known as the ‘tax on knowledge’. It was illegal to publish news in a paper without paying hefty duty which meant they were for most unaffordable. Carlile vowed never to shut his shop and when he was arrested, others unknown to him, simply turned up to replace him until they too were arrested. In the Making of the English Working Class EP Thompson estimates that 150 people served 200 years of imprisonment in total as a result. Thompson notes that these people ‘came out of a culture’ one that was prepared to stand up for right against might.

Though jail is not involved the same might be said of those who continue to tweet the Trump apologist Morgan lines from Harry Potter.

As for Morgan he might reflect on Hegel’s point that the owl of Minerva flies at dusk. Namely that by the time you realise what’s going on it may be too late in the day to do much about it.

 

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