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01 November 2013 @ 06:23 am
Ender's Game Poll  
So Ender's Game comes out today, and i am rather conflicted.

Orson Scott Card is an ass. But the movie might be interesting. And i want more movies like this (in terms of general subject) to be made.

So i'm strongly leaning towards seeing the movie, but making a donation to offset the damage. The question is how much to donate and to who?

Poll #1941492 Ender's Game Donations

How Much?

$1 / person
$5 / person
$10 / person
1/4 ticket price
1/2 ticket price
Full ticket price
More! (Specify in comments)

To Whom?

Human Rights Campaign
Point Foundation
The Trevor Project
Some other group (Specify in comments)

(The "per person" will probably by Avalyn and i. We may go see the movies with others, but i probably won't accept responsibility for the full group.)

And yes, i know the movie rights deal was a straight fee to OSC. However don't try to tell me sales of Enders Game in particular and possibly all of his books in general hasn't already seen a boost due to the name recognition. That boost is only going to get bigger after the movie comes out, and to at least some degree will be based on the popular perception of the movie, which will in turn to at least some degree be influenced by how many people go to see it.

There's a popular saying that you should judge the art, not the artist. It's a theoretically admirably position, but it bogs down in reality.

There are two situations where i feel it's okay to judge the artist.

1: The artist does things that directly lessen your enjoyment of their work.

2: You feel the artist is harmful to society.

The counter arguments i generally hear are

A: But you're missing out on great works of art!

B: It's a slippery slope, because no one is perfect so pretty soon you'll have decided not to read anything!

C: And that's especially true of old dead artists, because people back then believed crazy things!

My counter-counter-arguments are

A: There are more authors out there than i can possibly read. There are even more great authors than i can possibly read. If i don't read the books by author X then i'll just spend that time reading books by author Y instead.

B: Nobody's perfect, but not everyone is crazy enough to make me avoid all their work. And in particular i don't even care if they have crazy views as long as they're not either pushing those views through their books (in which case i probably wouldn't like the books anyways) or actively campaigning for their views.

C: Old dead authors in particular aren't actively campaigning for anything anymore. H.P. Lovecraft, just to pick an author who came up recently, was amazingly racist and misogynistic. However he's dead, so buying his books and enjoying them doesn't do any harm.

So the problem with OSC is that he's alive and he's actively campaigning for things i find abhorrent. And since i've already read his stuff i already know i like it (at least the early stuff, before his political views started to leak into his work.)

And complicating the issue a great deal, any movie with the amount of investment in it that Ender's Game has received automatically ends up being a test case for _something_, and movie studios are notoriously poor at learning the right lessons if a movie does badly.

"Mars Needs Moms" did badly in theatres? Clearly the problem was the word "Mars" in the title! So let's change the name of "John Carpenter of Mars" to just "John Carpenter"!

If Ender's Game does poorly then Hollywood may not decide "maybe we shouldn't make movies based on books by authors with loudly outspoken views against homosexuality and who thinks liberals are a cancer on society", they may decide "maybe we shouldn't make any more hard SF space opera movies" or maybe even just "maybe we shouldn't make movies based on SF novels period".
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Kirin: Geddoe-grrkirinn on November 1st, 2013 03:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, tough situation. Like you say, OSC doesn't get any money from the box office gross, but he's definitely getting an uptick in income from publicity rubbing off on book sales. And yet the movie has some great people in it, and early reports are that the acting and writing aren't bad, and normally I'd want to encourage the heck out of big SF movies with good writing and characters. But more movies from this particular franchise would almost certainly continue to mean more money in OSC's pocket. Ugh. Ugh all 'round.
Sister Atom Bomb of Courteous Debateakiko on November 1st, 2013 03:14 pm (UTC)
Card may or may not be getting further money from the movie; no one has released the specific terms of his contract. There was a claim in the last few days that he won't be getting more money despite being listed as a producer, but I'm skeptical.
Kirinkirinn on November 1st, 2013 03:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I don't know enough about the movie industry to know who's reliable on this sort of thing, but these folks for example are saying a bunch of sources confirm that Card isn't getting any additional pay from the movie sales.

But of course, those details don't matter a whole ton since the movie publicity is definitely getting him money in book sales, and any further success will continue to do that.
Sister Atom Bomb of Courteous Debateakiko on November 1st, 2013 03:53 pm (UTC)
That's the claim I mentioned. I have no idea who TheWrap are or how reliable their sources are, so I'm taking it with a grain (container) of salt.
Sister Atom Bomb of Courteous Debate: invisible queerakiko on November 1st, 2013 03:13 pm (UTC)
I'm not going to see it. SF is such a huge market right now that it seems unlikely that Hollywood will say "oh this movie did badly, no more SF movies," especially because they bloody well know why people aren't going to see it. It's not like GeeksOUT and everyone else is shouting into the ether. Lionsgate even responded to GO!

Neither fiction nor its creators exist in a vacuum; nor is the choice to consume art or support an artist morally neutral. Orson Scott Card is monstrously homophobic; he’s racist; he advocates violence and lobbies against fundamental human rights and equates criticism of those stances with his own hate speech.
Beth Leonardbeth_leonard on November 1st, 2013 05:59 pm (UTC)
This is a tough one, because that book did affect my life as a high school student who felt no one understood me, and yet I disagree with Card's politics and religious basis for them. (I belong to one of the few mainstream religious sects to openly ordain actively practicing gay and lesbian priests. It currently blesses "unions" and "households" not "marriages" but change comes slowly and I think marriage blessing will happen eventually.)

I've been to see maybe 8 movies in theaters in the last 9 years, so I'll probably weasel out of this one by just not bothering to make the effort to go even though I'm somewhat curious about the flick.

Pava: entrosjmpava on November 1st, 2013 06:05 pm (UTC)
If your hope is that it doesn't do well and therefore might prevent such things in the future or prevent an uptick in sales, going and seeing it and then donating after the fact doesn't seem like it leads to that. I mean, not that you aren't allowed to approach it however you want to ;->
DonAithnendonaithnen on November 1st, 2013 06:39 pm (UTC)
No, the idea is for the movie to do well and more smart SF movies based on books to get made because of it, while the donation offsets whatever nasty things OSC does with the additional money and fame that I've helped contribute to.
Pava: kiterojmpava on November 1st, 2013 07:24 pm (UTC)
Ah... i missed that nuance. Then by all means :->