This does not usually happen to me. I do not, as a rule, become conflicted about things – do something, don’t do something, make up my mind and get on with my life. I try, most of the time, to be a person of action – I don’t tend to over analyze or overthink things.
But, Ender’s Game has come out on the big screen. I’m going to go see it, on the big screen. There’s no conflict there – I’ve been waiting for this flick since I heard it was in the works. It has Indiana Jones, for Pete’s sake. And, oh yeah, it’s based on one of the greatest works in sci-fi history. Ender’s Game is so good, it’s the only sci-fi book that my mother has read, to my knowledge. I read it in college, more than 24 years ago, and as I was nearing the end of the book, a really gorgeous redheaded girl that I’d been hoping to go out with some day called me and asked if I wanted to go out right then.
I told her I couldn’t.
I had 75 pages left, and I couldn’t put it down. Probably for the best, since I found SOBUMD, but still – the book was that good. Since then, I’ve stood in line for signings, met Orson Scott Card, and bought all of the books in the Ender series, and many others as well. Back in the day, before the Internet made everyone as connected as they are now, no one really knew that he held views that were incompatible with those expressed in his books. It is still amazing to me to find that he espouses such hate-filled homophobic views and yet has written such lovely, loving, and open-minded characters. I write, or at least I try to pretend that I do, and I’m not sure how I could do that; nor even the other way around and have one of my characters spout nonsensical vitriol and hate without having some other character standing there to point out what an asshat the first one was.
So, I’m going to see his movie. I’ve heard a lot of talk about “separating art from politics” and the quote from Oscar Wilde about “The fact of a man being a poisoner is nothing against his prose.” Mind you, even Wilde, no paragon of virtue there, went on in the same article to say, “Of course, he is far too close to our own time for us to be able to form any purely artistic judgment about him. It is impossible not to feel a strong prejudice against a man who might have poisoned Lord Tennyson, or Mr. Gladstone, or the Master of Balliol.” In our case, Card is far to much a part of our time to be able to easily wholly divorce his odious and onerous views from his towering literary achievements.
And so, I find myself conflicted. I’m going. I’m probably going to like the movie. I still recommend the book, and its sequel, and the rest of the series. They’re that good. But, I feel the need to caveat them to people with, by the way, the author’s a right-wing homophobic nutjob, but if you’re into good sci-fi, you need to read this anyway. (At least the first two.)
I’ll post a few thoughts, if not an actual review, about the movie once I see it. Anyone else going? Not going? Conflicted?