Wednesday, October 09, 2013

His Politics or His Books

Politics can get in the way of way too many things. No, I'm not talking about the shutdown. That's bad. But there is a movement around to get people to boycott the upcoming, much-awaited movie, Ender's Game. If you are not familiar with it, Ender's Game is one of the top Sci-Fi novels of all time. First published as a short story in 1977, author Orson Scott Card expanded it to a novel in 1985.

Ender's Game tells the story of a time in the future when the earth is under military attack from an alien race. Ender Wiggins, a young military genius is recruited to help earth win with his own troops of children. Enough said.

I read it back in the 80s and was blown away. Nearly 30 years later I can remember the amazing gut punch of WOW! I have since read many of Card's other books in the Ender cycle and beyond. My daughter discovered the books on her own and has also devoured them.

It is about to be released on November 1 as a movie starring Harrison Ford.

But there is a problem. Orson Scott Card has a conservative political opinion. One statement in particular has caused him difficulties. He is opposed to homosexuality and any attempts to change the laws, etc. surrounding it.

Hence the movement to boycott the movie.

Maybe I am naive. Maybe I'm too self-absorbed. Maybe, for me, it's all about me. In any case, I am longing to see this movie. If it is a good movie, it will be worth going to see. If not, well, so it goes. I didn't know the politics of any of the directors of my favorite movies when I saw them. Would knowing have changed my opinions of the movies? I don't think so. Movies should stand - or fall - on their own merits.

I can sympathize with those who are opposed to Card's viewpoint. I am too. I find it narrow and short-sighted. If they feel that strongly, more power to them. Card isn't going to notice. (Yes, that is the problem. People like me who will see it anyway.) But somehow or another once we begin to use the politics of an author as a reason to not read a book or see a movie, we are in danger of closing our minds to some remarkable works.

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