G.P. Taylor has been officially SpongeBob'ed --turned into an international news item by an over-eager copy editor.

Not sure where the story originated, but once this headline--"J.K. Rowling rival labels Harry Potter 'gay' " hit Reuters--all heck broke loose.

By this morning, the story had even made the local news stations here in Chicago.

Here's the gist of it--Taylor was speaking to a group of 11 and 12 year olds at a school when he was interrupted by teachers and escorted from the building. At issue was this phrase: "Harry Potter's not the only gay in the village."


Not if you're a fan of the BBC show, Little Britain, where one of the character's favorite sayings is "not the only gay in the village."

Still, the word got out that Taylor had called Potter "gay" and soon the story was worldwide news.

Reuters issued a correction after about 12 hours or some--not before the story got to India, New Zealand, and even the New York Times.

The new story reports that teachers at the school were upset at Taylor's use of "crap, poo, fart and bogey" in his presentation.

"I think that my language was appropriate," he told Reuters. "Language changes, and words that once were deemed unacceptable are now part of our culture."

The school issued a statement saying they ended the speech after the students became "excitable on hearing his 'inappropriate' language."

The Telegraph reported that Taylor, who was speaking on literacy, told the studentnot to watch television all their lives as 'it is a load of crap.'"

"I told them they should be reading books," Taylor told the Guardian. "I asked how many had not read a book in the last six months and 60 per cent of the class put their hands up."

Meanwhile, the Guardian noted that "Bum, bogey, fart, crap and a joke about Harry Potter not being 'the only gay in the village' would not cause much shock in the playground" but apparently was too much for the delicate ears of teachers.

The best version of the story, IMHO, came from the Ekklesia webise, which included this impromptu review of Taylor's book, Shadowmancer from a parent who attended the school event in dispute.

One less-than-anxious parent told Ekklesia that it is “a rattling good read” in which good gives evil “a kick in the ass”.


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