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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Should You Watch/Read Ender's Game? 10 Reasons to Consider

  1. Here is K. W. Jeter's interesting claim:  That voting against the movie before seeing it votes against making movies from living writers.  You can read his reasoning here.
  2. I can't find it now, but one writer advocated seeing the movie and donating to your favorite charity.
  3. You don't have to agree with an author to read his work.  The same holds true for many authors.  Many left-leaning writers read Robert Heinlein--even when his writing game had fallen.  People still read Ezra Pound, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, or H. P. Lovecraft whose personal beliefs were less pleasant.  I haven't read Mein Kampf, but I don't advocate boycotting it either.  Although I'm a Christian, I read atheist writers and other religious/philosophical affiliations opposed to mine.  Mario Vargas Llosa's Nobel prize speech states the necessary mental state of readers and writers when approaching fiction:

    "When [various unfortunate events occur in fiction], the shudder is the same in the reader who worships Buddha, Confucius, Christ, Allah, or is an agnostic, wears a jacket and tie, a jalaba, a kimono, or bombachas."
  4. Art should be about art or its aesthetics, rather than its advocacy of any one stripe of politics.  Politics change.  What's popular now may fall into disfavor, not only invalidating but also stamping censorship on any literary work.
  5. SF is supposed to be a genre of ideas--even or especially ideas we disagree with.
  6. The author should be separate from the work, which is not unrelated to Roland Barthes' "The Death of the Author".  In this case, the work has nothing to do with the writer's belief (see discussion of Ender's Game theme here.)
  7. Boycotting could have the opposite effect:  Drawing attention to what you what want to hide.
  8. You might change your mind, or find that what you thought, wasn't the case.  I once signed a petition against bringing the Martin Scorsese's movie The Last Temptation of Christ to theaters because it misrepresented Christ.  Later, curious, I watched it.  One, the movie opens stating that it was not representing the gospels. Two, while the first half exceeded credibility, the second was extremely moving.  Atheists have said it made them feel religious.
  9. I suspect Orson Scott Card bases his belief primarily on religious conviction, not because of animosity. 
  10. My strongest claim is that this action advocates a political censorship.  Mario Vargas Llosa writes that dictatorships favor censorship because they fear the imagination.  If we disagree, we are free to state so.  However, if we openly suggest that many should boycott a work because of our disagreements with an author, this opens the door to the same thing happening to works you agree with.  This economic battle hurts no one but the already difficult financial prospects of artists.
Your mileage may vary.  Feel free to comment but with reasons and with courtesy.

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