As many people know, the genre of speculative fiction is predominately inhabited by the political group called left-wingers. Being on the other side of the fence, I sometimes come at odds with many of the outcries and dealings within the genre. Recently, there has been much “debate” over sexism in the genre, to which I believe has been blown out of proportion, or tackled the wrong ideas. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I can agree with some of the things the previous scandals have dealt with.
The so-called “Orson Scott Card Controversy,” I cannot.
I have grown accustomed to left-wingers over the years, having to deal with them in the genre. And they have proven to be smarter than I usually give them credit. I can understand them, sometimes. I begin to have hope for them. But this new outrage has dipped my confidence in the group.
To begin with, I’m going to state this is not a rant about gay-rights. This deals with hypocrisy I’ve seen from many statements released by people of the genre boycotting the new movie, Ender’s Game.
I’m not against boycotting. I have nothing against not wanting to see a movie that shows the other side of my opinion. I’ll boycott a business. I’ll boycott a politician. I’ll boycott a nation. But the problem so many people have is saying that we should disconnect the art from the artist, yet actually doing so. That’s my problem with this whole outrage against the author.
But, you say, the right-wing extremists did this a few years back with Philip Pullman’s adaptation of The Golden Compass. Why can’t we as left-wingers do the same to others? Are you screaming tolerance while promoting intolerance?
I bet you can guess my answer.
See, the problem with that example is that The Golden Compass, and the whole His Dark Materials trilogy, was that the work of art dealt with an overthrow of God, symbolism or no. I’m not going to give my money to that, same reason I don’t watch documentaries by Michael Moore. They do not divide the art from the artist.
I will admit that I haven’t read Ender’s Game yet, but will be doing so in the near future, if only to have some true, unbiased insight on my opinion. But from what I have gathered from reading many analyses of the work, scanning over book club reads, and idly looking at reviews is that there is nothing in this novel that advocates anti-gay rights. Nothing. At all.
Please, correct me if I’m wrong.
What I cannot understand is NOT separating the art from the artist.
I have read Mieville, Banks, and Newton. They all have widening beliefs that go against my own. To top it off, money goes toward their political establishments, in some shape, form, or fashion. Mieville I can disagree on when it comes to social economics. I dislike Banks for his outright hatred and boycott of Israel. Newton leaves a certain distaste in my mouth when it comes to global warming.
But do I put their books down in the middle because of this? No, not if it’s not raging throughout their books.
Mieville didn’t do subtlety well, especially with his vulgar cries against Conservatives. Banks has rants against religion for no apparent reason. Newton, the smallest of the three in publicity, has yet to do something that drives me to write about it in a review. But am I going to stop with their books? No, because I keep giving this literary greats a second chance.
People that cry to boycott Card don’t even give him one chance.
And that sickens me.
If you’re going to hate on a book that has no beliefs held by the author in their pages whatsoever, then I call that intolerance. Better yet, I call that misguided idiocy.