Qualms and Quandaries
My friend Collette and I took our kids (her three, my two) to see Ender’s Game on Tuesday evening. Collette and I and her two boys, both avid readers, had read the book and all placed it in our top ten list of all time. A few months ago, I was talking to Collette and since she had once said she would never pay money to see another Mel Gibson movie, I asked how she felt about paying money to see a movie based on a book by Orson Scott Card, to which she replied “huh?”. After I filled her in, she added something like, “did you have to tell me that, you bitch?”
It’s a funny thing, the artist verses the art thing. Works of the most heart-stopping beauty and magnificence can come from the most reprehensible of human beings. I find it mystifying that writing that to me has always seemed suffused with the utmost kindness and generosity of spirit, comes from an intelligence that believes wholeheartedly that homosexuality is the gravest of sins.
Another friend consoled us with the fact that Card had made all his money off the movie up front, and that ticket sales wouldn’t put anything extra into his pocket. He also said that he has no difficulty divorcing the art from the artist, so he would have experienced no moral dilemma either way.
I’m honestly not entirely sure where I stand on the matter (I’m sure that comes as a great shock to everyone). If I buy a book by Orson Scott Card, I’m endorsing his writing, not his views on sexuality, right? Should I boycott every author who holds an opinion I find objectionable? Every movie starring an actor who’s gotten drunk and spouted racist slurs? I did publicly state that I would never eat at Chick fil a – by the preceding logic shouldn’t I be saying that if the chicken was good enough I would eat it even though the place was owned by bigots?
On the whole, I would say it does make a difference, however unquantifiable. I can’t say I won’t ever buy a book by Orson Scott Card again. I don’t want to refuse to read or see anything made by people I disagree with, because that furthers no one’s growth. I guess I need to think about this some more.
As for the movie, it wasn’t blow-your-mind wonderful, but it wasn’t as big a disappointment as it could have been. Some of the exposition was pretty ham-handed, which was partly regrettable and partly understandable, given the time constraints. The two boys who read the book and the boy and two girls who hadn’t all said they really liked it. Harrison Ford was good, Asa Butterfield was really good, and Angus and Eve and I couldn’t get over the fact that Bonzo Madrid was played by Rico from Hannah Montana.