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More Thoughts On Ender’s Game & Orson Scott Card

Ender’s Game opens in theaters today. You know. Ender’s Game, based on the book by Orson Scott Card — he who is so outspoken on his views opposing same sex marriage and homosexuality that it warrants using “vociferously” as an adjective. After the outrage and boycott efforts of the Ender’s Game comic book adaptation and other work at Marvel several years ago and the outrage over DC’s hiring Card to write a Superman story, I’d be content if neither the man nor his work ever surfaced in the news again. That is something out of my control though.

Ten days ago a woman from the New York based PR firm Sayles & Winnikoff Communications contacted me to bring to my attention “Ender’s Game & Philosophy: Genocide is Child’s Play”. It is, I was told, the latest in the series of Pop Culture and Philosophy books from Open Court Publishing. You know the series by some of its other books: South Park, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Buffy, Superheroes/ Supervillians, etc. The email glossed over Card’s blunt opinions and launched into Q & A material about several themes in the book which are relevant to current events and our present day and future circumstances. I politely said I could not in good conscience help promote anything coonected to Card and sent my best wishes to the book’s authors. If we cannot discuss children and violence after the Sandy Hook school shootings then neither this book nor the movie will create a dialog leading to solutions. Nor do we need Ender’s Game in order to have a starting point on dialog about secret surveillance of civilians, business or even heads of state, media sensationalization, or the ethics and morality of drone warfare. The Ender’s Game book and movie may be a catalyst in this regard for some people who choose not to boycott the work or it may strengthen conservative opinions about gun rights and Obama conspiracies.

Card recently went on the offense again to defend his character and his work in a recent interview with Salt Lakce City KSL anchor Carole Mikita, claiming he’s had “savage, lying, deceptive personal attacks, but no actual criticism because they’ve never addressed any of my actual ideas”. It may be true that Card’s detractors have not addressed issues in his book; if they are the same issues mentioned in the newly published “philosophy” book , then they are not unique and his point is irrelevant. Yes, as Card suggests, boycotting the movie provides a high profile platform to get a message across, but the author is glossing over the Superman incident and other incidents in which people reacted to his op ed pieces opposing marriage equality, including  one in which he advocated overthrowing the government. Card also states: “Character assassination seems to be the only political method that is in use today, and I don’t play that game, and you can’t defend against it.” Really?

Card is trying to play the victim card in my opinion. And yes, for me this  has nothing to do with Card’s novel. Card would like you to forget that not only does he personally oppose same sex marriage, and I support his right to have this opinion, that he sits on the board of the National Organization For Marriage, currently headed by Brian Brown. The organization appears to going strong; one of its banners proclaims “Undaunted and resolute”. Card may like the LGBT community to believe the issue of marriage equality is a moot point, as noted in this Salon article following the Supreme Court’s two rulings on Prop 8 and Doma (INSERT  ) but he has done nothing to disavow Brown’s and NOM’s efforts to restrict marriage in France, efforts the led to protests, some of which turned violent. Card may like us to forget the Brian Brown traveled to Russia, along with Scott Lively, to spread anti-gay animus. Why does Card still sit on its board if he thinks marriage equality is a moot point in the United States? Why has Card not publicly disavowed NOM’s and Brown’s actions in France and Russia? The word duplicity comes to mind.

Boycotts have mixed and sometimes surprising results. Remember Chick fil A? Card has said that he thinks the boycott will profit him and it may. Support for the movie and Card is unsurprisingly in the author’s favor on the Christian Post’s Facebook forum. I’d never contemplated seeing the movie so pledging to boycott is so very easy. A suggestion was made to support an LGBTQ artist or media piece for the cost of a ticket or book copy. This seems like a good idea and add the options of making a one time donation to a marriage equality or gun violence/ control organization of your choice.

Coalition To Stop  Gun Violence

Stop Handgun Violence

Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence

The Campaign To Stop Gun Violence

March 7, 2015
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