BreadcrumbsHome / Orson Scott Card – Updated
Orson Scott Card – Updated
Last Updated on Friday, 9 September 2011 08:47 Written by stelpavlou Wednesday, 22 April 2009 02:07
(UPDATE: I was asked for some details on why a book from 1985 seems so raw to me. Last week I finally sat down to read Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. People have been telling me about it for years and I just never got around to it. I was fully expecting to love this book. But what surprised me was my instant visceral reaction to it.)
Maybe I’m misreading him, but I’m trying to fathom why Andrew Sullivan seems surprised that Orson Scott Card would join NOM. The National Organization for Marriage, which obviously is against marriage if you happen to be gay.
Ender’s Game is one of the most repugnant pieces of anti-gay and fascist apologia ever written.
Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is a superman (okay, kid,) with superior intelligence, abilities and morals to any other character in the story. And for that he is bullied, violently and psychologically as training for his ultimate destiny as savior of the human race.
And how does he become that savior? But exterminating an entire race which Card calls ‘The Buggers’ (led by Queens.) It’s an entire War on Buggers. (And when he’s not talking about buggers, he’s using the word asshole, anal, farts, butt, butt-wiggler. There’s at least one ass word per page… See a pattern? And this is a kid’s book, where the main characters are supposed to be six years old?)
Now, I don’t think it takes a genius to work who ‘The Buggers’ are supposed to be.
And as for the violence in the story, it’s repeated and without mercy.
And yet, the entire point of the story is to justify that violence. Card’s raison d’etre is that killing is justified if you do not “intend” to kill, but if you do, so long as it’s a selfless act for a greater purpose, that’s okay too. And you shouldn’t feel bad about it.
Ender’s Game goes to great lengths to say that Ender is morally pure, and seeks to justify his actions by ascribing blame to others. Ender commits genocide, yet somehow remains some kind of innocent.
And for this, Card won the Hugo and the Nebula, and the book has been on school reading lists for years.
The book came out in 1985 based on an earlier story. Fast forward to 2009 and it’s almost as though the lawyers who drafted Bush’s OLC “torture” memos based their entire reasoning on what Ender would have done.
Nobody “intended” to kill anyone at Abu Ghraib, those who did are morally clear. The United States doesn’t torture, but even if it does… it’s okay, it’s for a greater purpose, and in the words of Dick Cheney, they have nothing to apologize for.
Guiltless revenge. Wonderful.
Think I’m over reaching?
Think back to this screed, in which Card unleashes gem after gem of unchecked pablum, where he thinks editors and writers should be prosecuted for repeating the obviously false story that torture is going on.
It’s Ender all over again. Moral repugnance dressed up as a defense of the state, and if we don’t all fall lock-step into line then we are part of “Smartland” and are also the enemy.
So now Card has joined NOM.
He says: “The dark secret of homosexual society — the one that dares not speak its name — is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally. It’s that desire for normality, that discontent with perpetual adolescent sexuality, that is at least partly behind this hunger for homosexual “marriage.”
Clearly, the War on Buggers goes on!
The irony to all of this is that Orson Scott Card has become that which he is most afraid of.
A gaping fucking arsehole.
Take it from a writer who actually was a soldier (albiet briefly and not a very good one), Ender’s Game strikes me as the chicken-hawk fantasy of a passive aggressive too cowardly to put on a real uniform. Like Dick Cheney was “too busy” to serve in the military five times.
They both look you straight in the eye and talk a good game. Both make the falacious appeal to authority to justify their dark and warped world views.
And neither, in actuality, knows what the hell they’re talking about.
I discovered this week that though I’m in the minority, I’m not alone in my assessment of Ender’s Game. Card’s appeal to authority is to repeat the mantra that he has an MA in literature so he knows his critics are wrong.
Well I won the egg and spoon race as a kid but that doesn’t make me an expert on the methods of poultry farming.
Still. It’s a rare book that gets me this worked up.
I guess that’s something.
And more repugnant ramblings from the star of today’s blog in full throated defense of attacking Iraq while threatening Europe. Classy.
Tags: Orson Scott Card