Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Guess Which Homo Is Going To See "Ender's Game" Tomorrow?

WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE...Spoiler, it's me. I am going.

The Ender's Game boycott movement has chugged along in its way. God bless! Yes, author Orson Scott Card is a hilariously foolish man, it's really quite ridiculous his views on the gays. (And other things!)

But you don't have to come out in favor of blacklists and HUAC to skip this boycott, which, somehow, this Cato Institute creepo David Bernstein fellow did, with all sorts of sneaky rhetorical tricks, like by equating a boycott with a blacklist. Apparently a boycott is like unconstitutional or something because it injures people, which, LOL, then what is capitalism? (He then prattles on about the oppression of political correctness. By the way, it's such a giveaway when you put scarequotes around "hate speech"! If you really want to be a concern troll, you have to pretend to be an ally to start, before you twist the knife. Instead, you're just a bad thinker.)

Hmm, but whatever should one watch instead, if one wishes to skip Ender's Game? The Diana biopic is kind of a wreck, though Naomi Watts is charming and Sayid from "Lost" is terrific and totally unrecognizable. (But how can you go see a movie with a man who broke up with Barbara Hershey! Also it is a sick celebration of heterosexuality!) There's that Richard Curtis movie about time travel, which is fine because it has Bill Nighy. Um, hmm, then there's Last Vegas, which you should not see because of a thousand reasons. Both of these actually as well are heterosexual propaganda.

If you follow the money on these films, as proponents of a boycott are doing, it all goes to the same packed and icky corporate pockets anyway. Is the amount of money Universal, say, rakes in better for the gays than whatever scant points Card picked up on Ender's Game? Have you ever seen a Michael Bay movie? In that case you have already failed to spend your money righteously.

But if you're feeling squicky, and that's reasonable, let's try "gay offset credits." If you're spending $12 on a ticket to see Ender's Game, give another $12 to your local homeless gay on the way. (Shouldn't be hard to find.) Similarly if you're paying $300 to see it in IMAX, give that to some worthy homofriendly cause. You'll feel great, and everyone wins, except maybe your mind, because I can't believe they spoiled the movie in its own trailer. What is wrong with these movie people? Let's fight the real power and destroy Hollywood.

31 Comments / Post A Comment

stuffisthings (#1,352)

"Gay offset credits" are a pretty brilliant idea!

LondonLee (#922)

"Stop off and buy a Pet Shop Boys album on the way home"

the fridge (#217,591)

There is never any reason to cite David Bernstein, for anything.

r&rkd (#1,719)

@the fridge
He's such a nut! Even when he's right about things, he discusses them in basically unhelpful ways. I don't understand why the other writers at Volokh put up with him.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

"Let's fight the real power and destroy Hollywood."

Yes, here is the thing: it would never occur to me to boycott the book (I've read it a long time ago, and we have it in the house). The movie however, I did consider boycotting, even though it's a product of creative work of many other people (presumably not deranged bigots like Card), while the book is all Card (at least the writing part of it).

There is something inherently icky about Hollywood movies in general that makes us think of them and treat them more like chicken sandwiches that we can boycott in the name of the cause that has nothing to do with them, than like works of art that we would rather treat with a bit more respect for their own merits.

jfruh (#713)

I heard they actually spoil the movie in the movie? As in, the thing that was a super surprise at the end of the book is revealed much earlier in the story in the movie.

peculiarity (#93,622)

@jfruh I'm glad I am not going crazy. I saw a trailer where they spoiled it and I thought, "Wait, I thought that was a huge surprise in the book, or did I just completely not catch on quick enough?" I read the book like 10 years ago and couldn't remember if I had missed out. So good to know the trailer just blows it for everyone, instead of me being nuts.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@jfruh I'm starting to think they really should charge $300 (or whatever) for movies like this. Why is Game of Thrones not a stupid version of the book? Well, because HBO is "premium" – they don't have to dumb it down for the masses to make money. Why should each movie cost the same to see? That model makes it necessary for expensive movies to be stupid.

jfruh (#713)

@Niko Bellic To be fair, Game of Thrones isn't a stupid version of the book at least in part because it's 30 hours (and counting!) long. It's actually really, really hard to compact everything that happens in a reasonably smart book (which, despite my embarassment over youthful OSC fandom, I still consider Ender's Game to be) into 150 minutes! Especailly when there are contractually obligated space battles! I read somewhere that the writers of The Wire thought of each 12-episode season as about a novel's worth of material, which sounds about right to me.

deepomega (#1,720)

@jfruh Sorry, Josh, but Ender's Game is DEFINITELY not smart. It is a 10 page prologue fluffed out to a novel, written for children by a man who does not know what children sound like.

@jfruh – That makes it even weirder that the Times review is careful not to make that reveal.

stuffisthings (#1,352)

@jfruh Oh please. I like the book OK but you could condense all of Ender's Game into a middling Star Trek episode. A holodeck episode, even!

BadUncle (#153)

@jfruh How can there possibly be a spoiler for a story in which we are told over-and-over-and-over again that the protagonist will save humanity?

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@jfruh I wish that the only problem with the movie is that the story is too "condensed". I'm afraid from what I'm hearing that it's faults are needlessly larger than that. They appear to be of the typical "dumbing it down for the masses" kind that goes with expensive spectacles like this.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@BadUncle It could be about how we do it and what it means for us and what it does to us (and also, whether we should even be concerned about only ourselves to begin with).

jfruh (#713)

@stuffisthings @deepomega ok FINE I guess haven't read it since I was, I think, 19? maybe it's better in my memory than it actually was.

Aloysius (#1,808)

Funny thing about Orson Scott Card. I was really into Ender's Game when I was about 12 and started looking for other books by him, and I came across a little book called Songmaster. In the course of the book the titular boy genius has a homosexual affair with an older man. As I remember it the scene was sensitively written and actually pretty sensual. Now I grew up in a conservative household and am pretty straight, and hadn't given much thought to what gay people did or felt, so that book started me thinking that being gay wasn't that abnormal after all. Orson Scott Card might be a horrible bigot in real life, but I'm pretty sure he's a closet case, and his books are actually pretty sympathetic to same sex attraction.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@Aloysius Yep, Songmaster is a great book, and yep, Card is almost certainly a very severe closet case struggling with himself.

pissy elliott (#397)

I'm going to see The Junket 2: Junk Harder instead of this AV club nonsense

stuffisthings (#1,352)

By the way, you should use that image as an illustration every time you talk about MOOCs from now on.

OddBaldLiberal (#175,280)

Umm. The reasoning behind the boycott is that Orson Scott Card is listed as a producer of the movie, which means he gets a pretty hefty take of the profits. He only recently resigned from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM? – silly name). He has stated pretty unequivocally in the past that he's for criminalizing homosexuality. So if you spend money on the movie, you're giving money to someone who hates the gay, and puts his money where his mouth is. In case people didn't know this…

Then there's this lovely article:,99915/

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@OddBaldLiberal "Orson Scott Card is listed as a producer of the movie, which means he gets a pretty hefty take of the profits"

That appears to be disputed, to say the least:

@Niko Bellic But if the movie does well, Card will sell the rights to the sequels and profit from that…

joeclark (#651)

“Gay offset credits”: A+ concept, terrible nomenclature. But “sci-fi” has already solved that problem, as expressed in this proverb:

How many quatloos do I get for watching Bender’s Game instead?

Barry Grant (#239,287)

Heh. At first I thought "Bender's Game" was a differnt kind of movie.

BadUncle (#153)

Despite an amazing cast, I won't be going because:
1) It's an extraordinarily stupid book that panders to middle schoolers ("why is everyone picking on poor little me?")
2) It's an extraordinarily stupid book that follows the rhythms and catharsis of porn (every chapter has a challenge that you know Ender will overcome). There are zero surprises, and if you didn't see the ending, you were reading this in fifth grade.
3) It's an extraordinarily stupid book that only lingers on describing a training area (the "battle room"), and the naked boys running around (itself a telling detail that calls into question Card's pontifications).

It doesn't matter if that jackass signed away his rights years ago. You should deny Scott Orson Card any type of media legitimacy.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@BadUncle It's not porn, it's SF. You just don't care for the difference, and that's fine. Rest assured, those of us who liked the book are fully aware it's genre work, with all the "stupidity" that goes along with that.

As for this "media legitimacy" you speak of, I assume that's the thing that gets people who are not the fans of the genre to trash it unnecessarily, as if us fans don't already know of all it's faults. Rest assured (again), it's not a good thing.

BadUncle (#153)

Dude, you're giving my comment the same critical discernment most of Card's fans give his fiction. Which is to say you're a fan boy. Sorry to tread mud on your pristine carpet, but I continue to read a rather enormous amount of scifi. And as an *adult*, come to expect more than clearly you do.

I defy you to read any one of Phillip K. Dick's novels and find a similar rythm of chapter-by-chapter challenge/catharsis. Or any one of Allistair Reynold's vastly more imaginative generation ship novels and find a single messianic figure – much less characters that don't die. And the utter dearth of a sense of humor? Certainly unworthy of Iain M. Banks.

Every single plot movement of that book is utterly predictable for any child above the age of 10. It's an egregious dumbing down of the genre. Jesus fucking christ, look at the Tripod Trilogy for a how-to in writing for young adults.

But your mileage may vary. Maybe when you go to piñata party, you suspend disbelief and never know for sure what's going to happen when you beat that paper maché donkey with a stick. As for me, I know that beating the self-loathing homo Scott Orson Card would be immensely more satisfying.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@BadUncle I said I'm aware that book is faulty, and that I'm aware it can be trashed and I still get called a fan boy who imagines it to be some sort of a pristine carpet. Yet, you are calling *me* out for inability to give a high quality critical discernment to a comment? Fantastic.

BadUncle (#153)

@Niko Bellic Uh, excuse me, it was you who provided an unsolicited dismissal of my critique. And at the same time, you now expect me to have read your earlier opinions? Sorry, but that's fantastically naive.

My, but that's clueless. You do realize that the issue with OSC is not his "opinion" but the millions he raised as a board member of NOM to actively fight against our rights? There are no "offset dollars" for that. Why not give ten bucks to the Klan and offset it with ten for the NAACP?

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