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Um... I'm not boycotting Ender's Game. There's an important reason, and there's a less important reason. Important reason first:

1. I can't boycott a movie I'm not going to see. Ender's Game is an artificial story. It's a story that begins with "what if..." when the "what if" is incredibly stupid. "What if..." you had to negotiate with a train out of control speeding at you and you can't get out of the way? Yes, well. You can't. Dumb story. You blow up the train. Or don't. I don't really care.


There simply isn't a war in human history, present or future, where negotiation can't happen. The problem with Ender's Game is that it's an artificial logical construct for no other purpose than to justify laziness. Laziness in terms of "these people aren't worth understanding, and they hate us anyway. Let's kill them before they kill us." To which, Card adds, out of some Judeo-Christian urge, "But killing is bad, so let's feel guilty about it, but never be unsure of the fact that we had to kill them."

It's easy to have a conscience when it's too late to reverse your decision. The problem with a conscience is that if you don't listen to it when you're doing something, you might as well not have one. I was going to say that the sequals to Ender's Game kind of reminds me of the fine people of Namering being taken on a forced tour of a concentration camps after the liberation. But no. They aren't worth commenting on. The problem with Card's story is the hysteria.

Hysteria about the enemy is the very mechanism by which great evils are done with the conscience on hold. Demonize the enemy long enough to kill him. It doesn't matter what happens afterwards, because he's dead.

So, are you really surprised that Orson Scott Card is the kind of person who is perfectly happy to demonize whole swaths of people he has trouble understanding?

But hey—If you're like me, you kind of liked the book. It was a great build-up. It had the heroic child. It had the paean to dedication and duty, and it had (most importantly) the absolution of the child-genocider who didn't really know what he was doing, but made the RIGHT decision. God love him.

I also admit that there is a lot of blood-stirring pomp and circumstance in those Nuremberg rallies. I had a teacher once who actually attended them as a little girl. She admits that it was one of the most inspiring things she ever attended. If I had attended them, too, when everyone around me told me how wonderful it was... I'd probably have loved them, too.

That doesn't make them good, "right" or excusable.

Any more that destroying a country because... well... all those A-Rabs are in cahoots with each other, and I'll just bet that if Saddam Hussein didn't help the 9/11 hijackers, I'll bet he WANTED to. [Even though, of course, there could not be two more unlikely bedfellows that Osama and Saddam. Even though the SLIGHTEST attempt to actually understand what was going on would have shown how idiotic the notion was. And I see very precious little actual understanding of the political situation STILL.]

No, I'm sorry. I don't like Orson Scott Card's way of looking at other people. No matter what reason he finds for considering them inhuman. I also don't like superheroes for the same reason. Call me a poo-poo head.

But, anyway, I won't be boycotting Ender's Game. Or watching it either.

Oh, yes, the unimportant reason:

2. Yes, the art and the artist are separate things. I don't like demonizing people. I don't like straw-man arguments or ad-hominem attacks. They are the essence of two wrongs not making a right. A boycott may not be a blacklisting, sure. But the purpose behind this PARTICULAR boycott IS a blacklist. The issue is not Ender's Game for all the reasons I named above. It's all about putting the financial squeeze on Orson Scott Card because he's a narrow-minded dipshit.

Fine. He's a narrow-minded dipshit. Don't spend time with him, then. Make jokes about him. Point out the failings in his logic. Leave associations that he joins and which allow him to voice these views and say "that's why I'm leaving".

But let's be clear: that wouldn't be about Ender's Game. Be honest. You hate what the man says in public. So attack that. There's perfectly good reasons to hate Ender's Game. Don't confuse the two. It's wasted energy.

Personally, I'd concentrate on how this infallible God often makes mistakes on gender in real bodies all the time. So if you're born with an undeterminable sex because of unusual biology... does that mean you can't marry? No matter how much you love another person? Because if you answer "no" to that, you can't answer "no" to any of the other objections from homosexuals to men with really tiny penises, because unusual biology is simply less common, not "wrong". And if you say "yes", then you are calling God an incompetent arbitrary jackass for having let this situation arise. End of story for me. Find something that works for you.

OK -- off the soapbox for me. I've got packing to do.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 10th, 2013 10:51 pm (UTC)
Ender's Game came out after my youth, at some point when I wasn't paying attention to SF, and by the time I heard about it, I was too horrified by the premise to have any interest whatsoever in reading it, though I've heard from lots of people that it's quite a gripping read.

Yeah, I really don't think people need to have it reinforced to them that there may be some situation in which they have to kill. People jump to the killing all too easily. The hard thing is to get them not to kill.
Jul. 11th, 2013 07:02 am (UTC)
Word. See you this weekend.
Jul. 11th, 2013 11:03 am (UTC)
"Yes, the art and the artist are separate things."

This argument comes up all the time in regard to Roman Polanski and Ted Nugent. I mean, we all know about the quaaludes and the champagne, but ... forget it Jake, it's Chinatown. And while Ted Nugent has become a walking political cartoon about what is wrong with America, danged if "Stranglehold" doesn't still rock one's face right goddam off one's head.

So despite Polanski and Nugent being complete assholes as public figures, they're kinda great artists, and I will not apologize for my tastes in movies and music, because by most accounts they're pretty impeccable.

(I could also say the same thing about Rudyard Kipling, but we will never know if was a white supremacist piece of shite or simply the product of his environment.)

Eventually, though, I will get tired of the argument and I will say two words that shut my attacker right the hell up: RAY BRADBURY ... whom I'm reasonably sure, were he alive today, wouldn't have much to say in support of gay marriage either.
Jul. 12th, 2013 06:40 am (UTC)
One that always comes to mind for me is Pablo Picasso. If I'd have to put up with that self-centered, obnoxious git, I'd have given him such a smack!

Which kind of segues to the quote in the title. Do you remember when we (the Union) brought Allan Ginzberg to UGA? I was talking about it with an older guy I knew. He told me one time "you brought Ginzberg here AGAIN? Aw, Man. Last time he came through, I was all young and idealistic, and wanted to talk poetry and revolution, and all night. ALL NIGHT all he wanted to do was try to get in my pants. I'd say 'so what was Kerouac really about,' and he'd say 'well, lets go over to your place and you can suck my cock and I'll tell you about it.'" Kind of like signing autographs for tricks, I guess.

Jul. 12th, 2013 10:18 am (UTC)
Oh, lord. I do remember Ginsberg coming to speak ... I was never a fan of the beats so I only went because OMG A LIVING LEGEND and all I really recall from his program was a poem he recited about the evils of smoking tobacco. I do recall the guy I was with (can't remember if it was you or not) angrily going off afterwards about his feet of clay, but I figured when your whole schtick was youthful rebellion, you have three choices: die young, evolve out of it into something greater, or become self-parody to pay the bills and maybe score some idealistic young tail.

(btw hope you're having fun at Readercon!)

Edited at 2013-07-12 02:19 pm (UTC)
Jul. 11th, 2013 04:18 pm (UTC)
Boycotting a person? I agree. That can go nasty places. Separating art and the artist? Sure. I do it all the time.

Giving money to somebody who will use that money to... for the sake of argument, promote the invasion of another country? That's my particular line. If he wants to spend my euros on poptarts or 90inch tvs, I don't care. But if I am directly funding his hideous soap-box, the idea makes me more nervous.
Jul. 12th, 2013 06:42 am (UTC)
...And let's not even go near the whole Scientology issue.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )