Up Front by Emma Hart

Read Post

Up Front: Card on the Table

121 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

  • James Butler,

    For anyone who has trouble reconciling the thoughtful, excellent writing in Ender's Game with Card's reprehensible and plainly stupid bigotry, I recommend this essay. It finally cured my desire to re-read the whole series.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    There is just no way you could put Card in front of a Comic-Con audience. They’d eat him alive.

    Would be nice if it was true, I have my doubts given the unpleasant spectacle of c inomics and OSC-fans deploying the global supply of handwavium to make OSC’s explicit and long-standing homophobia __go away__… Of course, it’s all a beat up by the politically correct, over-sensitive gay mafia who are suppressing Card’s constitutional freedoms by… well exercising their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech. (Also delightful watching some of Card's more *cough* Randian fans getting outraged by folks acting like consumers in a free market by declining to purchase anything with Card's name on the cover. I'm sure Hayeck, Friedman and Saint Ayn are spinning in their graves.)

    Sometimes, I’m just ashamed to call myself a geek.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Or to put it another way: don't give money to arseholes, it just enables their arseholery.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1667 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    There are a lot of things you can say about geeks. But one of the other things is that they’re pretty damn pro-gay.

    While I'd like it to be true, I haven't really seen much evidence for this.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    One has to wonder what exactly Card was doing in the US Democrat Party for years. Or was he just one of them in name only?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I’m sure Hayeck, Friedman and Saint Ayn are spinning in their graves.

    Meh, they're too busy reading Terry Goodkind.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Curran,

    I'd already read most of the Ender series when I found out about Card's attitudes. I still think Enders Game is a good book. It did sort of colour the rest of his writing for me though, I've never been able to get into any of his other writing. I've never been sure though whether it's because they're not as good or because I'm put off by Card himself.

    Scott Adams is the other author I've had this happen to me with. I can't read Dilbert any more. Reading stuff that I'm pretty sure I used to find funny begets a deadpan "meah" from me now. With Adams though, I'm pretty sure it is the author putting me off.

    Since May 2011 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to James Butler,

    Meh, they're too busy reading Terry Goodkind.

    Burn! My good friend jsr once said, "I've read Atlas Shrugged. I don't need to read it again while it's wearing a wizard hat and calling itself Faith of the Fallen."

    One has to wonder what exactly Card was doing in the US Democrat Party for years. Or was he just one of them in name only?

    NOM prides itself on persecuting Democrats and Republicans alike.

    While I'd like it to be true, I haven't really seen much evidence for this.

    Well, there's about 90% of the geeks I know, and there's the 14000 signatures on the petition objecting to Card's Superman comic even after it was a Done Deal. And there's slash-fic...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to DeepRed,

    One has to wonder what exactly Card was doing in the US Democrat Party for years. Or was he just one of them in name only?

    A DINO? Well, one should note the current Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, is a Mormon and one whose opinion that the LDS Church’s support of Prop 8 was “a waste of resources" went down like the proverbial bucket of cold sick in some quarters. The same quarters who are not at all pleased that former Utah Governor John Huntsman has re-stated his support of marriage equality.

    It's not just Mormons either. As the linked story points out, there are plenty who’d like to see Nancy Pelosi excommunicated from the Catholic Church on her pro-choice views and voting record alone.

    It's way above my pay grade to deem Reid and Huntsman "real" or "good" Mormons. But I feel pretty confident saying Card's drivel is vintage homophobic fuckbaggery, even if it came from the piss-hole of an evangelical atheist.

    As a general point, I’d caution about putting whole religious groups (or non-theists, for that matter) into a political or ideological box. Let’s not play their game, by their rules.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    One other thing, Red. I should note the Democratic Party at all levels doesn't exactly have a flawless record when it comes to GLBT rights. Obama had to clean up the mess of 'don't ask, don't tell' - and he took his sweet time about it -- and it would have been nice if Clinton had put up at least token resistance to DOMA. On the flip side, both Ted Olson and David Boies deserve to be remembered and honoured for their awesome bipartisan ally tag-teaming on 'Perry v. Schwarzenegger' rather than 'Bush v. Gore'.

    'It's complicated' - not just a Facebook relationship status.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    You’ve probably seen this? :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I'm torn. I loathe OSC and his opinions. Yet I still love Ender's Game. As a book, as a story and as the SF book I recommend to anyone who "doesn't read SF". The sequels were less compelling and anything he wrote after that series is just plain aweful. But Ender's Game is both a great read and great SF, regardless of the author, the book he created is IMO worthwhile. And a movie that matched the book could also be worthwhile.

    I also think the cast of the movie is great, full of actors I usually enjoy watching perform. They could easily mess up the film as is the case with any SF but it could also be a good film, it could even be a great film (yeah right).

    But I don't want to give money to people like OSC.

    To be fair, since I rarely watch movies untill they are cheap on Blu-ray I wouldn't be giving him much money, but your point is valid, by supporting the movie I am indirectly supporting someone whose attitudes and actions in the real world are abhorent.

    I just don't know. On balance I think I probably will watch the movie and enjoy it if it is any good at all. I guess that means I am separating the art from the artist to some degree.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to James Butler,

    I recommend this essay.

    I read that and thought "wow this person read the book(s) totally differently from me"

    I never thought Ender believed himself to be innocent. Even in my first reading of the book I felt (who knows how) that Ender knew exactly what he did to his victims. To me it was the internal conflict within Ender that was compelling in the book, that he was neither innocent nor hero made the book more than a simple Heinlen.

    /shrug

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I never thought Ender believed himself to be innocent.

    He doesn't, and I don't think that's what the essay is saying. Ender feels very real guilt. But the fact that he blames himself is part of the way the book excuses him from blame. (I haven't read the book in about twenty years, so my memory may not be great, and I've only read the first three.)

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Emma Hart,

    He doesn’t, and I don’t think that’s what the essay is saying.

    No that is what the essay is saying. It is very clear about the fact that Ender's actions (abhorent) are acceptable because Ender didn't know. It is that dichotomy that the essayist objects to. But it is inconceivable that Ender doesn't know, regardless of any internal monologue. Hence my reading of the book was utterly different, at no time did I believe that Ender believed he was innocent, hence his actions were never those of an innocent.

    I did read beyond the first three, I even read some of his later works - there is little of value after Ender's Game and nothing of value after the first series.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I always thought Ender's Game just another take on the classic bootcamp movie (Starship Troopers is very similar).

    On the other hand I found the sequels (not the prequels) more readable and uplifting

    But then on the strength of those I also slogged through the Homecoming books (apparently a thinly guised Book of Mormon), they seemed to go on forever ....

    I haven't found anything else of his worth reading and have given up

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2186 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Okay, I'm not sure whether we're disagreeing here. Let me see if I can make this clearer.

    Ender doesn't see himself as innocent. Ender sees himself as culpable. But that view, Ender's view of himself, is presented by the book as flawed. He's taking responsibility for things that every other character, and I'd argue the author POV as well, says he's not responsible for. Ender doesn't feel that he's just a tool, but that's how he's presented: as a victim. He's "innocent" not in terms of feeling guilty, but in terms of culpability. You're supposed to feel sorry for Ender, and perceive him as a victim. What the essay is saying is that Card posits a world where people are inherently either "good" or "bad", and that matters more than their actions. Nothing Ender does can stop him from being a "good" person. That's not how Ender sees it, but that's just another sign that he's a Good Person.

    Reading the book as a teenager, I was really disturbed by its utter, placid acceptance of violence as not just "a" solution, but as the only solution. That in itself stopped me from buying in to the idea of Ender as an innocent victim, but I do think it's what at least the first book is trying to sell.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to DeepRed,

    One has to wonder what exactly Card was doing in the US Democrat Party for years. Or was he just one of them in name only?

    you'll recall where our own Prebble and Douglas found a home before forming ACT..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I’m torn. I loathe OSC and his opinions. Yet I still love Ender’s Game.

    And that doesn’t make you, ipso facto, a drooling homophobe by association. A couple of days ago, I got into a Card-related discussion on IO9, where I made an observation in response to this:

    really, my point is people have the right to have unpopular views and also have the ability to separate there personal Political and Religious rules form there works

    I replied:

    In the end, I still think T.S. Eliot is the greatest English language poet of the 20th century but it’s disingenuous and critically dishonest to pretend you can just squint pass his anti-Semitism or “separate” clearly anti-Semitic passages from his poetry and criticism. And, sorry, I’ve read Hamlet’s Father – I don’t think Card separates his faith-based homophobia from his work at all.

    For that matter, there’s a lot of Robert Heinlein’s work I treasure still, or found really valuable formative literary experiences. I still won’t have the nauseatingly racist Farnham’s Freehold or The Day After Tomorrow in the house, or Friday where our eponymous heroine ends the book in a group marriage including a man who once raped her. Hey, he was just doing his job and she’s not the sort to bear a grudge… Ugh.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Emma Hart,

    He’s “innocent” not in terms of feeling guilty, but in terms of culpability. You’re supposed to feel sorry for Ender, and perceive him as a victim. What the essay is saying is that Card posits a world where people are inherently either “good” or “bad”, and that matters more than their actions.

    Yeah I get that. What I'm saying is that even if that was what OSC intended, that wasn't what I read. So either OSC didn't intend that or OSC failed (with me at least).

    I read Ender as both aware of, and party to, what he was being trained to do - an inherently evil act. I read him as flawed and not inherently good. For me that was the value of the book, instead of the cardboard Heinlein hero, he was not "good at heart". That others around him excused his actions as being a result of their manipulation of him was, to me, a fascinating denial on their part of the fact that they really did have a psychopath on their hands. Sure they manipulated him but equally he was a participant, he couldn't be anything other. How were we as the reader meant to believe that Ender was a tactical and strategic genius and also to believe that he wasn't aware of their manipulation. That he copies their manipulation of him when he manipulates Bean just rams his awareness home. It is those layers of deception that make the book for me. To read Ender as "manipulated but inherently good" is to miss the whole point of the psychopath as warrior. It dismisses his intellect. He is the ultimate gamer and as such he must be aware of the games being played with him.

    At least that is how I read it. Hence my response that the essayist read the book utterly differently.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    What I'm saying is that even if that was what OSC intended, that wasn't what I read. So either OSC didn't intend that or OSC failed (with me at least).

    So, yeah, I think we agree that we read it differently, and that both readings are perfectly possible from the text?

    or Friday where our eponymous heroine ends the book in a group marriage including a man who once raped her.

    I'm still quite fond of Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and a bunch of Heinlein's other work, but Friday made me feel physically sick.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    Reading all this makes me so pleased that Philip K Dick was a freak and Iain Banks is a leftie.

    #sleepseasy

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 892 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Peter Darlington,

    Reading all this makes me so pleased that Philip K Dick was a freak and Iain Banks is a leftie.

    Heh, yeah, the flip side of this is the pleasure you get in finding that an artist whose work you love has a life or politics you can admire. Hence my delight when Joss Whedon did this:

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Emma Hart,

    So, yeah, I think we agree that we read it differently, and that both readings are perfectly possible from the text?

    Yup. I tried not to say the essay was wrong just that their conclusions from the book and mine were utterly different.

    And yes I can completely see how you would/could read it that way.

    And I honestly have no idea which way is correct, if any.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Emma Hart,

    a bunch of Heinlein’s other work

    It almost amazing how bad some of his work is in every sense. Yet other pieces show he had real talent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3444 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.