Secondly, I want to say that the phrase "unnecessarily baroque" is a thing of beauty and a joy forever, even when applied to my theory by someone who disagrees with it. Thank you, marinarusalka, for brightening my day.
Thirdly, I would like to remark that I have no difficulty whatsoever with the notion that people can change, even radically, after the age of fifteen. I myself underwent a fairly radical change (in my opinion) between the ages of twenty-four and twenty-eight. I am still changing. I will spend the rest of my life changing (hopefully for the better, but I'm not the best judge of that). This is not my problem with James. My problem with James's supposed radical personality transplant between fifth and seventh year is that his own friends seemed to be rather vague and waffling on the point of how much he had changed, even when talking to James's own son. And I still don't like that bit about hexing Snape behind Lily's back, which strikes me as fundamentally dishonest, but we can agree to disagree about how serious that is and how much was simple self-defense yadda yadda.
Fourthly, I feel the need to point out that believing Snape might have a logical reason behind some of his behaviour in no way implies that I think he is justified in all of his behaviour; nor do I believe that questioning the morality of James Potter or any of the other Marauders is somehow going to make Snape look like an angel of virtue by contrast. He isn't, and it won't. All of JKR's adult characters are screwed up, as far as I can tell: the question is just how badly they're screwed up, and whether it's likely to prove fatal to them or anyone else.
Fifthly, I am an INTJ. I like to play with ideas and theories. They are shiny pretty things. I have no particular emotional attachment to most of the ideas I throw out, and I know the difference between "this is an interesting notion, there might be some truth to it," and "I just know this is what JKR is going to do in the next two books, and if she doesn't I will be crushed". Really, the only thing in this increasingly wide-ranging debate that has come close to stirring up emotion in me is seeing my arguments misrepresented (or ignored) and my ideas discounted, not on the basis of contradictory factual or logical evidence (either of which I welcome) but on the basis of bizarre and rather prejudicial ideas about who I am and what I think. Here's a news flash: not all Snape fans think alike, so don't assume that my interest in Snape means that I share all, or most, or indeed any of the views you might have seen put forth by other Snape fans. Don't assume you know what my fic is like if you haven't read it, either. Thank you.
Finally, it looks as though this whole froufarah has made fandom_wank. And tomorrow... the world! Muaaah ha ha ha ha ha!
Er, I think I'll just go to bed now. And maybe in the morning, LiveJournal will decide to be nice and start delivering my comment e-mails again. I haven't had a single LJ post delivered to my inbox in the last twelve hours, so if you said something insightful and/or witty and/or abusive and I haven't responded, it's probably because I missed it. I'll do my best to catch up tomorrow...