Friday, November 1, 2013

Why I'm Boycotting Ender's Game

An essay in which I explain why I'm boycotting Ender's Game.


Once upon a long, long time ago in 1985 when the rainbow was just a natural symbol of God’s grace, people didn’t obsessively share their sex lives with the rest of the world, and legislators were occupied with more important things than the definition of marriage, like foreign relations with Russia and the ethics of wealth redistribution schemes, a guy named Orson Scott Card wrote and published a humble sci-fi novel called Ender’s Game about child prodigies whom the government enlists in a Battle School orbiting the earth in an concerted effort to find humanity’s next great military leader against an advanced alien civilization known as The Buggers.  If ever there was a book that cried out for a big-screen adaptation, it was Card’s, being chock-full of exhilarating zero-gravity gunfights, space battle simulations, and kids who are way smarter than their parents and pretty much all their elders.  Naturally I was excited when a movie version of the classic story was announced about a year back, even if the attached director, Gavin Hood, had nothing to his name but X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which has rightly earned its standing right up there with Daredevil and The Fantastic Four.  Like most good science-fiction tales, Ender’s Game features not just aliens and action but also thought-provoking examinations of many political and philosophical issues, primarily the justifications of war, the basic evil or goodness of man, and the ramifications of exploiting an individual to the good of the collective.

One thing that Ender’s Game doesn’t broach in the slightest is homosexuality.  Aside from the entirely coincidental and spontaneous fact that certain people, most of them oversensitive gays who need to perpetuate the myth that they’re a downtrodden victim class, have in the months leading up to this movie turned “bugger” into a “gay slur” (as distinguished from a regular slur) equivalent to “f___ot” (which isn’t a slur either), neither the book nor, most likely, the movie have anything to do with gay sex or even natural sex, period, but that didn’t stop homosexual activists from debauching a decent, unadulterated space saga with political opinions that none of Ender’s fans cared to hear.  Soon after the movie’s promotional campaign began to gain steam, a group of pop-culture enthusiasts and gay advocates called Geeks Out (I can’t write that with a straight face) who wouldn’t go to watch the movie anyway urged the author’s readers and sci-fi followers in general to boycott the film on the basis that Card is a Mormon, a homophobe, and a hateful bigot who will put every penny he collects towards suppressing homosexual marriage and reinstating state sodomy laws, ruled unconstitutional under Anthony Kennedy’s Sweet Mystery of Life Passage.  In one of the more embarrassing gestures I’ve seen from the entertainment industry, the film’s distributor Lionsgate actually took this petty threat seriously and went out of its way to affirm that Card is indeed a hater and a monster and a bigot for supporting traditional marriage but that they have no reservations about profiting from his ideas and would encourage all moviegoers to see the film because of its nonexistent gay themes and the studio’s unwavering commitment to “gay rights”, whatever those may be.  And so it is that I find myself resigned to avoiding the film version of Ender’s Game until I can watch it for free at home, not because my money will end up with Orson Scott Card, but because my money will end up with the clearly amoral Lionsgate Studios and the lot of spiteful, arrogant, leftist turds who produced this feature.

In responding to the gay geek community’s protests against Card’s personal beliefs, Lionsgate itself acknowledged the obvious genetic fallacy of the boycott, pointing out that the story in question has nothing to do with homosexuality in any form.  Although this feigned “controversy” would never have gained notice had the studio chosen to ignore it, Lionsgate easily could and should have closed its rebuttal there, but the temptation to be politically correct overwhelmed whatever meager sense the company’s executives possessed.  Their official sort-of-apology reads as follows: “As proud longtime supporters of the LGBT [what is LGBT?] community, champions of films ranging from Gods and Monsters to The Perks of Being a Wallflower and a company that is proud [we get it: you’re proud] to have recognized same-sex unions and domestic partnerships [neither of which is marriage, mind you, and neither of which Card wants to ban] within its employee benefits policies for many years, we obviously do not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organization for Marriage [which is just that – a political action group supporting marriage]… Lionsgate will continue its longstanding commitment to the LGBT community by exploring new ways we can support LGBT causes and, as part of this ongoing process, will host a benefit premiere for ‘Ender’s Game’.”  In other words, Lionsgate’s heads are taking the proceeds they collect from a story generously loaned to them by Card and openly giving a big F.U. to the author by putting that revenue towards the promotion of acts that he morally opposes, as if to say that his own ‘bigotry’ and ‘hatred’ needs to be counter-balanced with ‘tolerance’ and ‘compassion’ from the movie studio.  This is the pinnacle of condescension and pretentiousness.



To see hypocrisy of an even lower sort, one need look no further than humanitarian director Hood and famed civil rights activist Harrison Ford, each of whom rushed to speak with gay groups about how archaic and hateful Card is and how inconsistent his views are with his novel.  Said Hood to the Advocate, “Orson wrote a book about compassion and empathy, and yet he himself is struggling to see that his position in real life is really at odds with his art.  The story of Ender is really a young person in search of his identity and in search of his own moral compass.  And so for me, it is so ironic that the writer of the work that has helped so many people, gay and straight to find empowerment, to feel empowered, to find their own moral compass” (because that’s all morality consists of: whatever makes you feel powerful) “– it’s very sad he himself is struggling with these issues.”  Harrison Ford added, “The question of gay marriage is a battle that Card lost.  I think we all know that we’ve all won.  That humanity has won.”  To paraphrase, Orson Scott Card is not just a religious kook and a bigot whom we should scorn for daring to espouse the beliefs that numerous Americans and the vast majority of the States hold, but is also a subhuman beast and a miserable, hateful wretch who lacks a moral compass because he abhors promiscuity and “unnatural relations” condemned by the Bible.  What we witness here is a prime example not only of the Hollywood establishment’s inaptitude for detecting the irony of their bitter rhetoric but also of their total disregard for ethical speech and conduct in the pursuit of wealth.  The statements from Lionsgate, Ford, and Gavin are essentially the theatrical blockbuster’s parallel of Julianne Moore playing a fictional version of Sarah Palin for HBO, then joining the crowd and mocking her at every opportunity after winning extensive coverage and awards.  To use a hypothetical comparison, imagine avowed socialist and Hugo Chavez fanatic Sean Pean starring as Hank Rearden in a film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and using the ensuing media attention to stereotypically denounce Rand as a genocidal and greedy 1 percenter whose only worthwhile achievement in life was giving him the chance to profit exorbitantly from her own work.

I’m not accustomed to boycotting films based solely on the cast’s or production team’s political ideology.  I recently went to see Gravity with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, of which a review is shortly forthcoming, despite my opinion that Clooney is a delusional nutcase who’s completely insulated from the real world, and Rob Reiner’s reputation as one of Hollywood’s gayest, most pro-abortion directors won’t dissuade me from consuming The Princess Bride enough times that I can recite its script backwards and forwards.  Nevertheless, to borrow one author’s intellectual creation and make millions of dollars in profit from it while maligning him as a hideous bastard and enemy of the human race is not just stupid and distasteful, but a downright disgusting display of sound, fury, and, yes, intolerance.  I’ll pass this one for now.

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