Thursday, May 16, 2013

Why I won't see "Ender's Game"

I need to make a few things clear.

First, this is why I am not seeing the film Ender's Game.  I am not trying to convince you to not see it. So why am I writing this post?  I dunno.  I suppose it's just a forum for my opinion and it's something going on in the world of science fiction so it bears comment.

Secondly, I have never read Ender's Game.  I know, I know, sin of sins.  Truth is, it just doesn't appeal to me.  Therefore, I do not have any emotional investment in the film.

It is a sticky wicket, trying to separate art from an artist.  More than a few musicians and writers that I've gone beyond idolizing have said and done things with which I would not want to be associated.  But can you still enjoy the books and music?  Sure.  If that works for you.  In certain cases, it does indeed work for me.

For me, however, it doesn't work in the case of writer Orson Scott Card.  

To say that Mr. Card has been outspoken on the subject of gay marriage would be an understatement.  Here are a few choice tidbits from an op-ed piece he authored for Utah's Deseret News:

-"No matter how sexually attracted a man might be toward other men, or a woman toward other women, and no matter how close the bonds of affection and friendship might be within same-sex couples, there is no act of court or Congress that can make these relationships the same as the coupling between a man and a woman."

-"That a few individuals suffer from tragic genetic mixups does not affect the differences between genetically distinct males and females."

-"With "gay marriage," the last shreds of meaning will be stripped away from marriage, with homosexuals finishing what faithless, selfish heterosexuals have begun."

Thanks to Dorkland for pointing out this real winner:

"The dark secret of homosexual society -- the one that dares not speak its name -- is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally."

Orson, Orson, Orson.  The Bible says to love your neighbor but you're making it so hard for me to do it.

I'm not all that great with math.  In this instance, however, the equation looks rather simple to me.  By buying any book by Card and/or a ticket to any film connected with Card, a way...give tacit endorsement to the statements I have just listed.  A portion of the profits go to Card.  It's a fact.  Therefore, I would be supporting him.

I do not wish to support Orson Scott Card.  Based on the statements above, I can see no evidence to dissuade me from viewing him as a hate-filled, right-wing extremist bigot who does not believe that all people, regardless of race, gender, belief, or orientation, have the same rights. 

But Jon, Jon...aren't people also entitled to free speech?  Can Orson Scott Card not have opinions of his own and express them freely?

Of course he can.  On both counts he can.  Regardless of that right, there is one aspect of free speech that most people appear unacquainted with: consequence.

It is fully within my right to insult people I meet.  Getting punched in the face or kicked in the crotch are likely consequences of doing so.  One is free to harbor prejudices and bigotry, but when one expresses it, they must be prepared to face similar consequences.  No legal action can be taken (unless it were personal and targeted), but people may not want to be around you that much.  In fact, people may try to put as much distance between you and them as they possibly can, both personally and financially.  Just look at how many times a celebrity has said something caustic or displayed poor judgement.  Many of the products or programs they were associated with began to pull away almost immediately.  Say something dumb, be prepared to be treated like someone who is dumb.  And negativity only begets more negativity.

So I am not seeing Ender's Game.  No, I don't expect my one ticket sale to make any kind of dent in the movie's box office earnings or Card's take home pay.
But I will sleep easier knowing I made a small gesture in denying hatred and support human rights.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets


  1. Regardless of whether or not you see the movie, you should probably read the book. It is one of my favorites. You don't have to support him to read the book. We still have libraries. For that matter, you could wait until the movie hits the library.

  2. That is an excellent point, David. Thanks.

  3. On Facebook, Rev. Mike said: "If I chose to boycott the art of people with whom I disagree with politically (and even "morally"), there would be very little art left for me to enjoy, and love, and learn from. I'm glad for you that you're able to take such stand without depriving yourself of too much."

    Sure, it's a tough job. But somebody's got to do it.

  4. I will probably see this movie, but for one reason - There is an Asian actor named Has Soto who will be on screen with Harrison Ford. Sold!

  5. Well, if you're going to have a reason, that's as good as any I suppose.


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