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.
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.