Separating the art from the artist

Lost Boys was Card's shot at a Stephen King-esque mainstream. It could be filmed very easily. Unfortunately, the title is kind of already taken in cinema, and the major plot point was done to great fame and fortune a few years back.

Spoiler:
The lead kid was dead the whole time, a la The Sixth Sense.

Wyrms would go over well in certain communities.

The ultra conservative, secretly sex obsessed communities. . . .

So, as far as I can tell, Orson Scott Card hasn't actually done anything about his anti-gay views. He has simply expressed them. Or am I wrong here? He's not donating money to anti-gay causes, it appears (at least it's not coming up in the searches I've done). It also appears that there's no backend on his deal, meaning he made his money on the movie already and won't get money from ticket sales - though of course if it does well there could be a sequel which would give him more money.

It would follow, to me, that skipping this movie because Card's political/religious views don't match your own would be an act of intolerance.

cheeba wrote:
So, as far as I can tell, Orson Scott Card hasn't actually done anything about his anti-gay views. He has simply expressed them. Or am I wrong here? He's not donating money to anti-gay causes, it appears (at least it's not coming up in the searches I've done). It also appears that there's no backend on his deal, meaning he made his money on the movie already and won't get money from ticket sales - though of course if it does well there could be a sequel which would give him more money.

It would follow, to me, that skipping this movie because Card's political/religious views don't match your own would be an act of intolerance.

Yup, you're pretty wrong; he (until recently) was on the board of NOM, and has donated huge amounts of money, time and ink to anti-gay causes.

cheeba wrote:

It would follow, to me, that skipping this movie because Card's political/religious views don't match your own would be an act of intolerance.

Intolerance of what?

Seth wrote:
Intolerance of what?

Intolerance of intolerance is intolerance!!! But so is intolerance of our intolerance of his intolerance, right!?!!?

OH GOD IF ONLY THIS LOOP HAD SOME SORT OF LOGICAL ENDING. TOO BAD IT DOES NOOOOOOTTTT

Wait, what? By not being uncritically accepting of hateful intolerance, we're being intolerant? Never heard this before! But...but...wah...huh...
IMAGE(http://tpscifi.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/head_explosion.jpg)

There is no creed more holy in America than capitalism, and in capitalism you vote with your wallet.

This is an issue I struggle with a lot. It does help (to a certain degree) that he won't see a dime of profit from the movie (except for the increased book sales.)

At the end of the day, even beyond whether or not the person gets money, it is hard to take someone's world view at all seriously if they're beliefs are so fundamentally problematic. I don't think I can enjoy any of his books or films knowing about the man himself, as that would be in the back of my mind throughout the entire experience of reading or watching...

To a certain extent, its easier to give a pass on people who are dead or who created art before our time. But a living author should know better.

Some hopefully helpful info for people who are on the fence - Netflix pays a lump sum to stream their videos, which is different than just about every other VoD service. They don't pay out per viewing to the artist or producers, they sign one (usually pretty large) check over to the producers and that's it. If you ever are hesitant to put money into something in the theaters, you can always wait for it to come to Netflix.

For those who have the resources, I also think that putting the ticket price into an organization that Card would loathe is a good counterbalance.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:
For those who have the resources, I also think that putting the ticket price into an organization that Card would loathe is a good counterbalance.

You can't counterbalance suicide. LGBT suicide rates are significantly higher than the rest of the population and organizations like NOM are a non-trivial part of that.

The "you're being intolerant of my intolerance" argument is like Godwin's Law. You immediately lose.

clover: exactly. And the capital-C Capitalism isn't afraid of anything more that us, the masses, the cogs, exercising the only remaining power we have: voting with out wallets. Because this is the only last real thing that is capable of upsetting the apple carts in this country.

SixteenBlue wrote:
TheHarpoMarxist wrote:
For those who have the resources, I also think that putting the ticket price into an organization that Card would loathe is a good counterbalance.

You can't counterbalance suicide. LGBT suicide rates are significantly higher than the rest of the population and organizations like NOM are a non-trivial part of that.

That's an excellent point.

Yeah, I just can't see supporting this film financially in any way. His beliefs have ruined any merit that might have been in the story. To this day I won't order pizza from Papa John's, even though the money is no longer going into Mitt Romney's campaign. Whereas any money Card sees IS going to continue going to reprehensible places.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
TheHarpoMarxist wrote:
For those who have the resources, I also think that putting the ticket price into an organization that Card would loathe is a good counterbalance.

You can't counterbalance suicide. LGBT suicide rates are significantly higher than the rest of the population and organizations like NOM are a non-trivial part of that.

That's an excellent point.

Yeah, I just can't see supporting this film financially in any way. His beliefs have ruined any merit that might have been in the story. To this day I won't order pizza from Papa John's, even though the money is no longer going into Mitt Romney's campaign. Whereas any money Card sees IS going to continue going to reprehensible places.

And even if he doesn't see profit from the film itself, if I attend and am counted among the throngs of moviegoers, downloaders, or general eyeballs and it becomes successful, he gets the currency of the cachet of a successful movie. Through my consumption, he gets paid in social capital which he can use to land another movie deal, sell more books, etc.

That's true for any artist. It's not only the actual dollars that make a difference.

America is a beautiful place with myriad choices. Not eating at Papa Johns or Chick-Fil-a, not seeing Card's movie, and not shopping at Hobby Lobby has not in any way diminished my choices.

Tanglebones wrote:
Yup, you're pretty wrong; he (until recently) was on the board of NOM, and has donated huge amounts of money, time and ink to anti-gay causes.

Hmm, ok. I'm not seeing those on searches, but the searches are pretty clogged with recent news and opinion pieces about this whole thing.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:
Wait, what? By not being uncritically accepting of hateful intolerance, we're being intolerant? Never heard this before! But...but...wah...huh...

If he simply holds the view that gay marriage is wrong, then yes, boycotting his work is an act of intolerance against an opinion. Now, you might be perfectly ok with that intolerance, and that's fine. Personally, I default to intolerance on scientologists' work, but there's some point (which undoubtedly moves depending on a ton of variables) where I'll watch the Simpsons or see a Tom Cruise movie.

But if the guy simply disagrees with gay marriage, then what's the harm in that? If he is going out of his way to donate to anti gay marriage causes or something, then I can understand. But if it's only because of the viewpoint he holds, then that's not very accepting of those with different opinions.

Still, it creates a challenge for the activist who will boycott because of this. Polanski was already brought up and is a perfect example. Scientologists are another.

Personally, I'm not going to see Ender's Game in the theater because it doesn't look very good.

Read up on his actual views before commenting, please. He thinks a lot worse than "simply disagrees with gay marriage."

That said, I've already referenced the harm in that, too. Disagreeing with gay marriage is one of many ways our culture treats LGBT members as second class citizens, which again is a non-trivial aspect of the suicide rates. You can consider it harmless, but you're wrong.

cheeba wrote:
But if the guy simply disagrees with gay marriage, then what's the harm in that? If he is going out of his way to donate to anti gay marriage causes or something, then I can understand. But if it's only because of the viewpoint he holds, then that's not very accepting of those with different opinions.

The logical purity of having to accept different opinions or else (something, you never said else what, so I'd hate to imply you meant something, which you probably don't) is kind of a cute rhetorical trick, but it breaks down extremely quickly under any scrutiny. It's not like all "different opinions" are of equal value or impact to the world around you. Actively hating homosexuals and actively decrying the idea they might get married (even if you don't donate to groups that work towards that end) is not the same as someone who doesn't share your viewpoint on private vs public education, for example. Some different opinions simply have no intrinsic value.

Salon wrote:
2008: In 2008, Card published his most controversial anti-gay screed yet, in the Mormon Times, where he argued that gay marriage “marks the end of democracy in America,” that homosexuality was a “tragic genetic mixup,” and that allowing courts to redefine marriage was a slippery slope towards total homosexual political rule and the classifying of anyone who disagreed as “mentally ill:”

OSC wrote:
A term that has mental-health implications (homophobe) is now routinely applied to anyone who deviates from the politically correct line. How long before opposing gay marriage, or refusing to recognize it, gets you officially classified as “mentally ill”

Remember how rapidly gay marriage has become a requirement. When gay rights were being enforced by the courts back in the ’70s and ’80s, we were repeatedly told by all the proponents of gay rights that they would never attempt to legalize gay marriage.

It took about 15 minutes for that promise to be broken. …

If a court declared that from now on, “blind” and “sighted” would be synonyms, would that mean that it would be safe for blind people to drive cars?

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 thesame as the coupling between a man and a woman.

This is a permanent fact of nature.

Tanglebones I like your new avatar.

cheeba wrote:
It would follow, to me, that skipping this movie because Card's political/religious views don't match your own would be an act of intolerance.

Yep. You are making a false assumption that tolerance is always good or right. You pointed out there are things you are intolerant about but what I could (over the limited medium) gather of your tone sounded like you were admitting a bad thing.
A quick trip down argument ad abusrdum shows us that tolerating racism, totalitarianism, etc is actually bad.

Every person including Orson Scott Card is entitled to their own opinions. However nothing says those opinions are correct or even remotely reasonable.

Intolerance of bad ideas is good. Of course many people think of intolerance in terms of in your face violence etc. But the march on Washington was people not tolerating racism.
People who act as top end spokespersons for bad ideas loose some ability to be distinguished from those ideas. For example if the movie does well, OSC gains enhanced stature and potential later monetary gains both of which we can expect will be put to use promoting a bad idea.
OSC might be a nice person in other ways, but he has chosen to champion a bad idea. That doesn't diminish his writing, but it does inform my decision of wither to give him a larger loudspeaker.

Tolerating hate is not a virtue.

--on edit --

cheeba wrote:
Personally, I'm not going to see Ender's Game in the theater because it doesn't look very good.

That is actually my first reason as well. But even if I hear it is great I won't be part of the box office numbers.

Card has every right to express his opinions about homosexuality, and I am tolerant of them. I criticize them heavily, and personally, I find them repugnant, but at no point have I ever advocated that he be censored, or that he not be allowed to express his opinions in public or in forums that he controls. If someone were to state that Card should not be allowed to express his opinions, or donate money to groups that advocate his opinions, I would defend his right to do so.

Card has advocated that laws criminalizing homosexual conduct between consenting adults remain on the books, and that they be enforced from time to time, just as a reminder.

Card is offering something for sale, and I am refusing to buy. Interesting now, that he's trying to promote a movie, he suddenly cares about tolerance - a concern that was notably absent when he wanted to make 10% of the population criminals. Once he has something to gain, it curiously becomes a violation of my principles *not* to give him money.

No matter how broadly you stretch the definition of 'intolerance', there is no moral equivalency here.

realityhack wrote:
You are making a false assumption that tolerance is always good or right.

I've made no assumption. In fact I said that if people are ok with that intolerance then that's perfectly fine with me. But make no mistake: if you don't see a movie because someone associated with the movie has different views than you, then you are being intolerant.

You pointed out there are things you are intolerant about but what I could (over the limited medium) gather of your tone sounded like you were admitting a bad thing.

No, I'm perfectly comfortable being mostly intolerant of scientologists, especially considering the ones I'm intolerant of (Bart Simpson's voice, Tom Cruise, etc) tend to give enormous amounts of money to scientology.

SocialChameleon wrote:
Card is offering something for sale, and I am refusing to buy.

I'm ok with that concept, but the truth is that Card has nothing for sale here. He gets no money. He may potentially get money in the future from it. I guess my problem isn't so much with this particular instance, but in these boycotts in general. Someone earlier said they're boycotting Papa Johns because *gasp* Papa John donated to Romney and is against Obamacare. It seems people are trending towards actively punishing those with different viewpoints just because those viewpoints are different, and that seems very immature to me. Let's be honest here, gay marriage will soon be legal in all 50 states. There's nothing Card can do about it. Supporting him will not do any harm. And boycotting the film, to me, seems like it's going to send a clear message to movie makers that they can't hold controversial opinions - so that's more harm than good, in my book. But it's people's right to boycott whatever they want.

I think the personal efficacy of boycotts depends on your motivation, too. It's one thing to shun something because you don't want to contribute to it financially, or because you want to cause it harm by withholding your patronage, and another to avoid it simply because you don't want to be associated with it, or because it helps you sleep better at night. Sometimes there's overlap, sometimes not.

Cheeba, in the case of Papa John's, I think you will find that modt of us refusing to purchase from them actually comes down to their business decision with all of his rants on politics that actually decided it was better to cut all of his workers down to 30 hour weeks rather than raise prices on his pizzas by a measely 20-something cents to prove that Obamacare was the worst thing ever.

Screwing all of your workers for your own political beliefs is where companies lose me. Hobby Lobby is in the same boat for my wife due to their ridiculous stance on birth control.

I mean, really... if I refused to buy anything from a company owned by a Republican... let's face it... I wouldn't likely be shopping almost anywhere.

I know it isn't a popular opinion, but I am going to see the movie with my wife Saturday... I will then be making a donation to a local gay rights advocacy group in the area. Once they announced who was playing Ender, I was sold. That kid has serious acting chops. But... in spite of what he thinks...given the years it took to make this one movie a reality... I seriously doubt much will come of this movie for Card... and at his current timelines for movies being released...nit is likely the whole gay marriage debate will be behind us before the next movie gets made anyway.

cheeba wrote:
realityhack wrote:
You are making a false assumption that tolerance is always good or right.

I've made no assumption. In fact I said that if people are ok with that intolerance then that's perfectly fine with me. But make no mistake: if you don't see a movie because someone associated with the movie has different views than you, then you are being intolerant.

"I was just pointing out you were intolerant! I didn't mean anything by it, though." Sorry, no. Eventually you have to take ownership of your words and the obvious intent. You do mean something by it - trying, I guess to point out some hypocrisy here, maybe? - or you wouldn't mention it all except to be painfully pedantic. I'm not trying to be combative, here, the logic is just a little confusing. I mean, I don't quote every post people make in a forum and say, "You know this is a post, right?"

But even then, you're still trying to flatten this into taking action "because someone associated with the movie has different views than you" as if all views and opinions are of equal weight, worth, and impact. People like Card and their viewpoints aren't harmless, "live and let live, we're mature and can agree to disagree" sorts of things. They're the sort of opinions that tell people that they're worthless, subhuman, deserving of eternal damnnation, should be ostracized from society, are unnatural and wrong, and so on. It's not like people are refusing to see a movie because Card said he's a Packers fan.

I'm ok with that concept, but the truth is that Card has nothing for sale here. He gets no money. He may potentially get money in the future from it. I guess my problem isn't so much with this particular instance, but in these boycotts in general. Someone earlier said they're boycotting Papa Johns because *gasp* Papa John donated to Romney and is against Obamacare. It seems people are trending towards actively punishing those with different viewpoints just because those viewpoints are different, and that seems very immature to me.

We actually had a thread about that some time ago, as pointed out on the second post in this thread. It's not immature, it's actually just a little weird to think that people are somehow supposed to not care where they're spending their money.

Let's be honest here, gay marriage will soon be legal in all 50 states. There's nothing Card can do about it. Supporting him will not do any harm. And boycotting the film, to me, seems like it's going to send a clear message to movie makers that they can't hold controversial opinions - so that's more harm than good, in my book. But it's people's right to boycott whatever they want.

This idea is, in short, "things take care of themselves, it'll all work itself out, don't worry about giving someone support even if they're the sort of person who is actively trying to harm you or those you don't want to see harmed". That's pretty silly.

We've re-treaded this over and over, and it boils down to this - people are free to have controversial opinions. And they're free to express them. And they're also free to deal with the consequences. That's a choice. The idea that people can do as Card did and the people reacting to that are in the wrong is a line of logic that defeats itself - if Card should be free to express his opinion, what's wrong with people showing their distaste for their opinion?

Mr. Card is also free to boycott movies that involve:

- gay characters
- gay actors
- gay writers/directors/producers

He's also free to support laws against homosexuality and donate money to causes that harm gay people.

So I don't see the problem with refusing to see Ender's Game and donating money to a cause that helps keep gay people safe from those anti-gay causes.

Bloo Driver wrote:
cheeba wrote:
realityhack wrote:
You are making a false assumption that tolerance is always good or right.

I've made no assumption. In fact I said that if people are ok with that intolerance then that's perfectly fine with me. But make no mistake: if you don't see a movie because someone associated with the movie has different views than you, then you are being intolerant.

"I was just pointing out you were intolerant! I didn't mean anything by it, though." Sorry, no. Eventually you have to take ownership of your words and the obvious intent. You do mean something by it - trying, I guess to point out some hypocrisy here, maybe? - or you wouldn't mention it all except to be painfully pedantic. I'm not trying to be combative, here, the logic is just a little confusing. I mean, I don't quote every post people make in a forum and say, "You know this is a post, right?"

But even then, you're still trying to flatten this into taking action "because someone associated with the movie has different views than you" as if all views and opinions are of equal weight, worth, and impact. People like Card and their viewpoints aren't harmless, "live and let live, we're mature and can agree to disagree" sorts of things. They're the sort of opinions that tell people that they're worthless, subhuman, deserving of eternal damnnation, should be ostracized from society, are unnatural and wrong, and so on.

Wait, what should I do with my signed copy of "The Turner Diaries"? THAT was a weird book signing, i'll tell ya.

It's not like people are refusing to see a movie because Card said he's a Packers fan.

Now, if he'd said he was a Yankees fan...

I'm pretty glad I never got involved in PA in that I haven't been in the position to consider abandoning it. The few strips I've seen, while topical to a hobby I love, just didn't seem all that funny to me. Never been to a PAX, never read their forums, never played their games.

That said, I have a basic knowledge of the whole situation and I would feel uncomfortable with PA if I was a fan. I'm an idealist though so I don't think I would have a problem abandoning all things PA, including PAX.

When forsaking the art for the artist, my heart gets in the way with convoluted reasoning as to why I should be able to separate the two. Then my brain whittles it down in a simplified manner.

Brain: "Will your life depend on seeing this movie (reading this book, attending this convention, etc.)?"
Me: "No."
Brain: "Is maintaining your sense of equality, justice, and righteousness more important than reading this book, watching this movie, attending this convention?"
Me: "Yes."
Brain: "Easy solution: don't ingest the book/movie/convention."

Recently came across this issue in the Everything Else forum when I inquired about where to get started with HP Lovecraft. Was graciously warned about Lovecrafts' rampant racism and decided to steer clear. Sure, I'd love to experience the whole Cthulhu mythos but in the grand scheme of things it's just not that important and will not have any detrimental affect on my life. It could be argued that since Lovecraft is dead my principled stand won't have any affect and you'd be right. However at some point we have to decide for ourselves where our own personal lines in the sand are and what we're willing to bend on. This is why I think it's important to pick the side of righteousness when its a living artist. If large numbers of people took a stand and said "We will not patronize your prejudice.", the message will be heard, even moreso in the age of the Internet. I'm positive Lovecraft doesn't care if I read his books or not but if no one attended PAX, no one purchased any PA merchandise or visited the site, the economical backlash would be felt and the ball would be back in the artists' court to address the issue in a much more sincere fashion and perhaps actually receive some training on learning a better perception of the issue. Which is not so much to ask for when considering how much energy and money fans invest in them.

So I'm with Farscry. As much as I loved the book (read it before I knew anything about Card's politics) I'll pass. I'm sure the book is better anywho.

cheeba wrote:
. Someone earlier said they're boycotting Papa Johns because *gasp* Papa John donated to Romney and is against Obamacare. It seems people are trending towards actively punishing those with different viewpoints just because those viewpoints are different, and that seems very immature to me. Let's be honest here, gay marriage will soon be legal in all 50 states. There's nothing Card can do about it. Supporting him will not do any harm. And boycotting the film, to me, seems like it's going to send a clear message to movie makers that they can't hold controversial opinions - so that's more harm than good, in my book. But it's people's right to boycott whatever they want.

You don't just vote with your vote. You vote with your time and you vote with your money. There's nothing immature about not wanting to give money to someone who is actively making the world worse.

I'm still going to see Ender's Game, mainly because the art itself doesn't represent an attack on anyone. Reading Rats in the Walls made me very uncomfortable, but I still loves me some Arkham Horror. I wouldn't if it contained an unfortunately named cat.

I gave up a long time ago on thinking about the politics of my consumption beyond the primary transaction. I'm a paralysis by analysis type and if I open myself up to that mode of thinking, it becomes crippling. (Am I supposed to think less of Harrison Ford or Ben Kingsley for agreeing to appear in it?)

Per FSeven's analogy above, it's where I've drawn my circle of influence v. my circle of concern. I don't fault anyone else for seeing it or not seeing it for whatever reason as long as they're not characterizing those who choose to see it as morally equivalent to Card or implicitly in support of his politics.