The Sword and Laser discussion

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For your OSC problem

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message 1: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1657 comments Mod
Borderlands Book in SF has a somewhat elegant solution for dealing with personal misgivings about supporting Orson Scott Card (at least in regards to the new film).

http://borderlands-books.blogspot.com...


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

LOL that's simple and elegant.


message 3: by Nathan (last edited Jun 07, 2013 12:52PM) (new)

Nathan (tenebrous) | 377 comments I like that we generally do not talk about politics here, so I will not write more than a bit.

I understand, I think, where the blogger is coming from. The sense of smug assurance often rubs me the wrong way. I had a similar experience in the U. of Washington hearing certain professors comment on things way beyond their field of study.

Why would just not seeing it be the best option if you have objections to Card? His solution reminds me of Vegetarians who want to eat fake meat: they long for something they think they despise.


message 4: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments Ala wrote: "LOL that's simple and elegant."

And will also make me, and others I'm sure, feel like they are 13 again. It's a win-win for everybody.


message 5: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2750 comments I'm with Nathan. It feels rather immature to say "I very much disagree with Card, find his politics and attitudes repugnant... but ZOMG I need to see Ender's Game."

The mature way to handle this is to decide to back up your convictions with your actions rather than try to find some sneaky way to see the movie. It is, after all, just a movie.


message 6: by Neil (new)

Neil | 165 comments Nathan wrote: "Why would just not seeing it be the best option if you have objections to Card? His solution reminds me of Vegetarians who want to eat fake meat: they long for something they think they despise. "

Most vegetarians aren't vegetarians because they despise the taste of meat they just don't like the idea of killing animals to eat them. If you are going to compare OSC to a cow then his books are it's milk. Whether you like the cow or not it produces a popular milk that's high in calcium and may well make a fine cheese if it's been processed properly.

But what do you do if you want to try the cheese but hate the cow a whole lot? Do you buy the cheese anyway, deny yourself the cheese or, as the link suggests buy some goats cheese (maybe a nice feta) steal the cow cheese and run off into the distance claiming a moral victory? That is the question.


message 7: by Gary (new)

Gary Yeah, he's a piece 'o work.

However, to me, the really important thing about OSC's opinions is that they've managed to distract attention away from the fact that he's really not all that talented a writer.... I know a lot of folks are crazy for Ender's Game but objectively read, it's a good, solid 5 or 6 on a 10 scale.

It's a fairly consistently crafted book, but there's not a whole lot of there there.... Characters: 5. Plot: 6. Writing style: 4. Theme/symbols: 4. Dialogue: 5. Complexity: 6.

The success of that book has more to do with the regurgitation of long-standing cliches than the work itself. He presents an isolated kid with extraordinary talent in a life-or-death struggle to save humanity. A certain number of people are going to automatically be sympathetic to such a character.

Sure, he has political beliefs that are repellent, but there are really good reasons not to read his books that start with: #1 They aren't all that great. I can't help but wonder if at some level, the publicity that he's gotten as a result of his political beliefs hasn't kept his career alive more than his actual writing.... In fact, I don't really wonder about that at all.


message 8: by Leland (new)

Leland (lesliehw) Down with Cheese!


message 9: by Vincent (new)

Vincent Stoessel (vinny2020) | 36 comments I've always tried hard to even research the politics of my favorite authors. I'm sure if I did, I'd very disheartened. They say you should never meet your idols..


message 10: by Evgeny (last edited Jun 07, 2013 01:14PM) (new)

Evgeny We can handle this mature way and try to see the difference between a writer personal views and his works - where he does not preach his views, or we can do it the way young kids do it and sneak in the different movie.

Are we really discussing this?


message 11: by Nathan (last edited Jun 07, 2013 01:37PM) (new)

Nathan (tenebrous) | 377 comments Neil wrote: "But what do you do if you want to try the cheese but hate the cow a whole lot? Do you buy the cheese anyway, deny yourself the cheese or, as the link suggests buy some goats cheese (maybe a nice feta) steal the cow cheese and run off into the distance claiming a moral victory? That is the question. "

Leslie wrote: "Down with Cheese!"

Would this then be like moving the Cheese?

Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson

Because, well, you know . . .

You Can Move the Cheese! The Role of an Effective Servant-Leader by Stephen Prosser


message 12: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments Veronica wrote: "Borderlands Book in SF has a somewhat elegant solution for dealing with personal misgivings about supporting Orson Scott Card (at least in regards to the new film).

http://borderlands-books.blogsp..."


Do you realize what you've done? Another OSC flame war thread commences in 3...2...BOOM we are all dead....


message 13: by Leland (new)

Leland (lesliehw) Seriously though. I found the "solution" to be more humorous than serious. I got a chuckle. In reality I will stand by my convictions to avoid all things Orson Scott Card and won't go see the movie. I don't do this because I think that my $12 movie ticket is going to break the OSC bank. I don't care to protest it and I would never ever dream of preventing or even encouraging another person not to see it. I won't see it, because I know that as I was sitting watching the movie I wouldn't enjoy it because I would dwell on the personal/political beliefs of OSC and I would feel like a dirty self-hater.

Furthermore, I have no interest in the "Let's separate the artist from the art" Bulls*** argument. My answer to that is simple. No.

If you separate the artist from the art. That's fine. Go. Enjoy. Do what you want. It's a free country. But don't get all haughty if I say that I'm not going to do so.


message 14: by Serendi (new)

Serendi | 820 comments Leslie:

Thank you. I like to know behind-the-scenes stuff about books, TV, movies, hell anything. Always have. I freaking love knowing where art comes from. And I get very tired of being told I'm not doing it right.

I also prefer spoilers, and I'm fairly sure that's related to my preferring to see how it's done. It really is allowed, folks.


message 15: by Rick (last edited Jun 07, 2013 01:41PM) (new)

Rick | 2750 comments Evgeny wrote: "We can handle this mature way and try to see the difference between a writer personal views and his works - where he does not preach his views, or we can do it the way young kids do it and sneak in..."

When the creator of the work is still living then buying the works of someone who has views repugnant to you means you're in some small way supporting the advancement of those views. If that person actively works to promote those (to you repugnant) views and make them political reality, why would you do that?

The separation between a work and the creator is merely a convenient way to not deal with this fact.


message 16: by Nathan (new)

Nathan (tenebrous) | 377 comments Rick wrote: "When the creator of the work is still living then buying the works of someone who has views repugnant to you means you're in some small way supporting the advancement of those views. ..."

That has interesting implications.


message 17: by Rick (last edited Jun 07, 2013 01:53PM) (new)

Rick | 2750 comments PS: Nathan deleted the post I was replying to here. His post brought in the issue of Card's Mormonism. I'll let my answer stand though it might seem a bit odd to read it without the context of Nathan's original post which also declared he wasn't interested in replying to answers.


I love that you decide to pose a question then don't want to deal with the answers...

Your assumption is wrong on the face of it though. It's not that Card is Mormon, it's that he actively and repeatedly advocates hate *himself*. But, you say, the Mormon church has actively worked against same sex marriage! Yes it has. But I don't hold individuals responsible for the actions of an organization that they belong to. I do hold them responsible for their own actions. This can get somewhat confused and complex if the person is rich and materially contributes to the organization but that's an edge case. What I hold Card responsible for are his own words, activism and actions.

I realize others won't do this. That's fine. My take on this is that if Card's actions DO upset someone then they should do the adult thing and decide to not see the movie.


message 18: by Neil (new)

Neil | 165 comments Micah wrote: "Do you realize what you've done? Another OSC flame war thread commences in 3...2...BOOM we are all dead.... "

I tried to take the thread whey off track with my cheese talk. I hope it doesn't get too heated. I Camembert it.


message 19: by Nathan (last edited Jun 07, 2013 02:58PM) (new)

Nathan (tenebrous) | 377 comments PS: Nathan deleted the post I was replying to here . . . Rick wrote: "I love that you decide to pose a question then don't want to deal with the answers...
"


Yeh because it could get flamey, therefore I first put in the caveat (because I did not want to ratchet things up with responses) then deleted the post all together. No need to get snarky about it.

I generally find flame wars not very productive, and I like that we have few of them here. You yourself just took a swipe at me, so what I thought would happen did. I am glad the post is gone.

Honestly, what do you want me to say about this? Perhaps "I am a coward" will do it?

BTW I actually agree on not seeing the thing too.

FYI everyone, I asked if he would boycot businesses with Mormon employees (which I don't advocate). I should have known better than to post something like that up here and add wood (not cheese) to the flames. Can you douse flames with Cheese?

Neil wrote: "Micah wrote: "Do you realize what you've done? Another OSC flame war thread commences in 3...2...BOOM we are all dead.... "

I tried to take the thread whey off track with my cheese talk. I hope i..."


It was a valiant try. I ruined it through my own foolishness unfortunately.

BTW my favorite cheese:

Blue Stilton

It makes me hungry just looking at it.




message 20: by Gary (last edited Jun 07, 2013 02:19PM) (new)

Gary Whoa! Whoa! Wait a second! Folks! Please! Calm down. Consider this for just a second:

It's not a good book.

I know, I know, big shiny obnoxious political debate! It's easy to get sucked in. But first:

It's NOT a good book.

I'm sure there's a relationship between the fact that OSC has childish, retrograde opinions based on ignorance and prejudice and the fact that it's not a good book, but you shouldn't let that distract you from the fact that:

It's NOT A GOOD BOOK!

Not seeing the movie because it's based on a mediocre book is, in and of itself, a good reason to save $10-12. But, overall, it's important not to get distracted by the tangentially related topic of the author's political thoughts--no matter how controversial they might be--and get confused over whether or not you should waste your time on something so banal as his actual work.

So, please, remember: It's not a good book, and bear that in mind as you discuss it. OSC's opinions are relevant, but only slightly relevant compared to the profoundly average work he has done as an author. THAT should really be the first consideration.

You know what? Screw it. Here's the late, great Bill Hicks describing the film Basic Instinct and how to judge correctly:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0q15...


message 21: by Bryan (new)

Bryan | 111 comments To me, what is most interesting about these debates about OSC is that it shows not only that an astoundingly large proportion of SFF readership seems to care about social justice and the consequences of giving monetary support to those with dubious moral stances, but also that this doesn't actually turn into a flame-war very quickly compared to, say, just about any discussion thread on Youtube. These things, to me, indicates an above average level of maturity in approaching an extremely hot-topic issue. We should all take a moment to be thankful that we're discussing this with each other (somewhat)civilly and not flinging homophobic slurs at each other like enraged 20-year-old UFC fans.

Also, the "seperating the art from the artist" argument is key in this debate, and is certainly not bullshit. If I only read works by authors I felt upheld the same sort of socio-political philosophies as I do, I probably wouldn't read anything written before the 1990s.


message 22: by Leland (new)

Leland (lesliehw) Nathan wrote: "
Would this then be like moving the Cheese?



Because, well, you know . . .


..."


LOL
That's too funny! LOL


message 23: by Dustin (last edited Jun 07, 2013 06:42PM) (new)

Dustin (tillos) | 365 comments I believe Scalzi once said in an interview that its hardly uncommon for him to receive emails from people saying:

"I loved your your books, but when I looked up your political views I was so embarrassed to have liked anything by such a crazy person that I cast them out so quickly that I had no time to burn their evil pages."


message 24: by Janet (new)

Janet | 51 comments I really liked Enders Game as a kid, so every year or so I would try to read another book by OSC. Then I would go, "Man, this is the exact same book with different characters, but way crappier. I should really stop reading books I think are awful." Then a year or so later I'd somehow forget this and do it again. THEN I found out he hated gay people, and that broke my continued need to go back. So thanks
OSC for your politics finally getting me more time to read better authors!!


message 25: by Katie (new)

Katie (calenmir) | 211 comments Jo wrote: "I really don't want to get stuck in a long political debate here, but I think that solution is horrible. It's right up there with: just buy a pirated copy of the film, or download one when it beco..."

I completely agree with you that the idea of sneaking into the movie is a bad one...maybe it was meant jokingly in the post but to me it just seems snotty. See the movie and pay for it or don't and don't. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
I think that if I consume/enjoy the fruits of someone's labor then I should compensate them for that labor. If I don't want to compensate them, for whatever reason, I shouldn't use what they've made...not just search for ways to still get it without paying them.


message 26: by Dustin (new)

Dustin (tillos) | 365 comments Katie wrote: "I think that if I consume/enjoy the fruits of someone's labor then I should compensate them for that labor. If I don't want to compensate them, for whatever reason, I shouldn't use what they've made...not just search for ways to still get it without paying them. "

Exactly.


message 27: by Serendi (new)

Serendi | 820 comments I actually do think Veronica posted this because she thought it was funny.


message 28: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Jo wrote: "What are you afraid he's going to do with the money if not donate it to his church?"

Donate it to the National Organization for Marriage.


message 29: by Leland (new)

Leland (lesliehw) Serendi wrote: "I actually do think Veronica posted this because she thought it was funny."

Yeah, I thought the whole thing was rather "tongue-in-cheek" too.


message 30: by Trike (new)

Trike | 7940 comments Surely some of you have friends of friends who know hackers. Just get someone to take a peak at Card's browser history. I'll bet dollars to donuts he's queer as a 3 dollar bill. The most vociferous gay-bashers usually are, and he advocates sedition and armed insurrection against the US government if they support gay marriage. I'll bet he's a sub, too.


message 31: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2750 comments Jo wrote: "@Rick, your money has zero bearing on Card's platform to speak.

So why not enjoy the movie?

What are you afraid he's going to do with the money if not donate it to his church?

And if you *are*..."


It's called being consistent in my principles. I don't want to support, even in a minor way, the work of someone I find reprehensible. I don't see why that's so hard for you and others to accept.

I'm not telling you not to see the movie, I'm saying I won't and I'm pointing out that it's a small hypocrisy for those people who claim to strongly support gay rights, same-sex marriage or who abhor hate speech to discard all of that because ZOMG Ender's Game movie!!


message 32: by Kevin (new)

Kevin | 701 comments Jo wrote: "@Rick, your money has zero bearing on Card's platform to speak.

So why not enjoy the movie?

What are you afraid he's going to do with the money if not donate it to his church?

And if you *are*..."


C'mon people, stop missing the freaking point. It's not that hard.

It really has nothing to do with him being a Mormon.

You know who's also a Mormon? Brandon Sanderson. My shelves are filled with his books.

My Grandma is Catholic. Devout Catholic. The official Catholic position on homosexuality is all sorts of vile and out of touch with reality. I however love my grandma, and I'd give her heaps of money if she needed it.

You know what Sanderson and my grandma have in common that Card doesn't? They don't use their position of privilege to actively work towards removing people's rights. They don't use their fame to undermine people's struggles for equality. They don't actually freaking incite people to take up arms against governments that commit the horrible, unspeakable horror of legalizing same-sex marriages. And they don't do all this while managing not to be unrepentantly smug and self-righteous about it.


message 33: by Leland (new)

Leland (lesliehw) Exactly! KevinB. I'm with you 100%

Folks there's a difference between disagreement with an author (or actor's) political affiliation or opinions. But OSC is on record saying that homosexuality should be criminalized. And he uses your money to support groups that would just as soon see people like me dead. No thank-you. This is very different from disagreement.


message 34: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2750 comments KevinB nails it for me.


message 35: by Michael (new)

Michael Underwood | 116 comments Instead of sneaking into the movie, I'm more likely to do a 'morality offset' - like a carbon offset. I'd pick a marriage equality/GLBTQ advocacy group that I've vetted as being transparent, efficient, and effective, and then I'd donate at least as much $$ as the cost of the ticket, probably more, to that charity, in Card's name.

That way, I can watch the movie and feel like I've done something to counterbalance the money that will end up in his coffers and be able to be used to suppress marriage equality and GLBTQ rights.


message 36: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2750 comments " I'll also point out that earlier you made a comment about how separating an artist from their art was "convenient." It happens that I disagree with you on that point. It happens that I believe the issue is more complex than you're giving it credit for being. Hence my comment about your point being (IMHO) shallow."

First off, this is a forum. I'm not going to write a detailed thesis on each and every thing we can consider in a complex issue. However, you utterly missed my point in your rush to determine it shallow. Time and again when this kind of an issue arises someone always makes the 'you need to separate the art from the artist' point not as a valid argument about the relationship there but so that they can use it as a get out of jail free card. "Oh, I'm not bigoted, but hey, you need to separate the art from the artist." It's used so often in these discussions that it's not even an argument, but a cliche.

Look a your own post... you say "I completely disagree with OSC about this issue, but I'm not the opinion police." That's convenient. It allows you to feel good about your stance on same-sex marriage but hey, who are you to judge, right so you get to go to the movie. But when people don't hold others accountable for what amounts, in Card's case to hate speech it just proves your concern is shallow and opportunistic. Don't *say* you have these principles if all it takes is a movie ticket for you to chuck them aside.

"I don't understand the consistency of giving a free pass to some folks who do that while venomously attacking others. Is it because OSC had the audacity to speak out loud? To express his opinion?"


Honestly, you need to educate yourself on what Card's said on this issue. Card's not simply opposing gay rights here, he's engaging in hate speech. Your moral relativism and the vague, weaselly complaint about "giving a free pass to some folks" (who's done that here?) seeks to equate reasonable disagreement with hate and bigotry as if we cannot criticize the latter if we allow the former.

To be really honest, I wonder if you do, in fact, disagree with Card here.

"@Leslie: to be clear, he's not using *your* money to support anything. Neither is he using my money. He's using *his* money. "

Sigh. Really? What used to be our money is his when we pay for his works. HE has no money unless people buy his books or yes, watch his movies. It's disingenuous to pretend that there's no relationship between the money the audience pays for an artist's work and the artist's wealth.


message 37: by Thane (new)

Thane | 476 comments description

Run, Jo! Too late. You've been labeled. :(


message 38: by Nathan (new)

Nathan (tenebrous) | 377 comments I look back fondly to the time this thread was discussing tasty cheese products.


message 39: by Thane (new)

Thane | 476 comments Cheese is often used in traps, Nathan.


message 40: by Katie (new)

Katie (calenmir) | 211 comments Thane wrote: "Cheese is often used in traps, Nathan."

I have found peanut butter to be effective also.


message 41: by Leland (new)

Leland (lesliehw) Yummy yummy peanut butter!


message 42: by Tim (new)

Tim | 380 comments You want jam with that?


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1840 comments Just a word about prejudice, because it seems somewhat relevant here.

I once had a friend. I'd known the friend for nearly a year when, to my horror, something incredibly racist slipped from that friends mouth. I consider myself to be strongly oppose all kinds of prejudice.

"What," said my friend, observing my negative reaction. "You are not going to be friends with me any more just because I said something you disagreed with?"

This bothered my conscience somewhat. Should I condemn a friend whose views are offensive to me? Should I judge them merely on that difference, and ignore the things I liked about them? Would keeping the friend mean I accepted racism? Or would abandoning the friend actually mean I was just as small-minded as the people whose views I detest?

In the end, I decided against abandoning the friend. I made my views on racism clear, however. We agreed to disagree. The views of my friend have softened over time. Perhaps they would have hardened had I abandoned the friend because of them.

The point I'm making is that, when it comes to prejudice, I think it is the views, and not the person, that should be the focus. I have no knowledge of what Orson Scott Card outside of his detestable stance on homosexuality, and thus, I don't think it is fair to judge him merely on the basis of those views. That seems to be a prejudice of it's own, and I don't think adding hatred to hatred helps anything.


message 44: by Kevin (last edited Jun 09, 2013 03:38AM) (new)

Kevin | 701 comments Ruth wrote: "Just a word about prejudice, because it seems somewhat relevant here.

I once had a friend. I'd known the friend for nearly a year when, to my horror, something incredibly racist slipped from that ..."


I have plenty of friends who's political views I disagree with. I have family, acquaintances, coworkers who are part of various religions. I manage to get along with all those differing opinions just fine. In fact some of the best memories I have of friends is heated late night discussions over some hot topic or another, either party just not believing how much of a dimwitted idiot the other one is for sticking to his obviously wrong worldview. I have family and coworkers who are racists or homophobes. (Mostly casually, like most of us are sometimes, including me, since it's ingrained in culture, but some are worse.) I don't have any problem with any of them as people. Though I will speak out, politely but firmly, when those topics come up.

The Card situation is vastly different. He chooses to use his fame to publicly push his agenda of bigotry. It's more than fair to judge him on that. It's not just his views, it's his actions that are judged.

Being tolerant of intolerance leads only to the dead of tolerance. All that wishy washy dawdling about not adding "hatred to hatred" just helps to further his cause.

All it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to stand by and do nothing and all that.

For the record I don't "hate" OSC the man. I don't know OSC the man. (I've only honestly hated one man in my life, and he's out of it now, so I can even let go of that.) I despise the situation though. I despise that a man of privilege can leverage that privilege to make people's life harder, people who just want equality, nothing more. I despise that people stand up to actually defend him. I despise that others, so many others, who supposedly disagree with him use THEIR privilege to just stand by and not speak out.


message 45: by Kevin (new)

Kevin | 701 comments Jo wrote: "In my opinion, the government shouldn't have anything to do with marriage. Straight or otherwise. However, the government does. And as such, the government should clearly see gay marriage as a civil rights issue. I'm incredibly embarrassed (and to an extent, ashamed) that the nation I live in doesn't recognize the validity of gay marriage. "

There's plenty wrong with the country I live in, but I'm proud that we were one of the first ones to legalize same-sex marriages. I'm also proud that we have that marriage tied to religion nonsense out of the way. You Americans are so hung up on the definition of marriage. Here's some world shocking info: Marriage is a civil institution. It always has been. It was long before Abramic religions came along and absorbed it, and it still is in plenty of places in the world. In Belgium (and the rest of Europe afaik) you can marry for your church of course. But that isn't legally binding. If you want to be legally married you need a state marriage officiated by a local representative (usually your local mayor or someone he appointed). The religious marriage is completely separate entity here that holds no legal value. As it should be.

Jo wrote: "@Kevin: honestly, I don't understand your point. If you donate money to your church, and your church uses that money to lobby against gay marriage, on some level you *are* supporting a platform against gay marriage. I don't understand the consistency of giving a free pass to some folks who do that while venomously attacking others. Is it because OSC had the audacity to speak out loud? To express his opinion? I completely disagree with OSC about this issue, but I'm not the opinion police. The way I fight against stuff like that is through donations of my own. And through writing my own opinion pieces wherever and whenever possible. And cheering on others who do the same."

1. I don't donate to any church.
2. If you can't see the difference between Brandon Sanderson who, because of his religion, isn't 100% OK with homosexuality but has decided to live and let live and OSC who, because of that same religion, has decided that governments who give equal rights to people he reviles should be forced out of office, violently if need be, I really can't help you.


message 46: by Nathan (new)

Nathan (tenebrous) | 377 comments Thane wrote: "Cheese is often used in traps, Nathan."

Unfortunately it is true.


message 47: by Leland (new)

Leland (lesliehw) @KevinB re: Brandon Sanderson vs. OSC

Thank you. This is it exactly.


message 48: by Leland (last edited Jun 09, 2013 07:30AM) (new)

Leland (lesliehw) So what is your favorite cheese Nathan? :)


message 49: by Katie (new)

Katie (calenmir) | 211 comments Tim wrote: "You want jam with that?"

Actually I like my peanut butter with honey, but blackberry jam is good too. :)


message 50: by Kevin (last edited Jun 09, 2013 10:33AM) (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 1081 comments You know, Orson Scott Card wrote Ender's Game without a clear target in mind, so one can interpret the book how ever one would like, weither its postive or negative.


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