Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Why I Saw Ender's Game

I went to see Ender's Game last night.

It was pretty good: it's not gonna be one of my favorites, but it was definitely smarter and more thought-provoking than almost any other of the teen-fiction-films we've had to date. In fact, it almost serves as a cutting subversion of the genre, with its teen hero deliberately put through hell in order to forge him into a master commander. It was also good to see Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley in actually decent roles for a change (Ford in particular hasn't had a role this good since...well, a long time). I also appreciated that the film kept the bold twist ending from the book, which certainly isn't the kind of thing you expect from a big Hollywood picture (I haven't read the book, but I was aware of the twist going in. It still was shocking).

But honestly, I didn't go because I was particularly interested in the film. I'm glad I saw it, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't on my 'must see' list.

I felt like I had a moral obligation to go because of Orson Scott Card:the book's author. I really know nothing about him except for two facts; one, he wrote Ender's Game, one of the most acclaimed and popular science-fiction books of recent decades. Two, he opposes 'same-sex marriage.' In the world we live in, the second is apparently more important than the first. Card's lost business because of his stance; he's been fired from writing gigs (including a Superman issue) because of protests and angry letters. It seems like almost every review of the movie felt the need to mention Card's views. Keep in mind, none of this has to do with anything he wrote: nothing in Ender's Game deals with homosexuality in any way (except, possibly, a brief line where a blowhard sergeant threatens to 'neuter' any cadets who are found in the opposite sex's bathroom). It all has to do with his personal views. His, let it be said, entirely reasonable personal views.

I felt an obligation to pay to see his movie, not just because I agree with him (again, the issue don't really come up in the movie). But because I too am a writer, and hope to one day make a profession of it. If I do, I fully expect to meet the exact same vitriol and hatred as Card has, and for the exact same reason. So, I think I need to offer him such support as I can, knowing full well that I'll probably need it myself one day. "Do as you would be done by: this is the Law and the Prophets."

Vivat Christus Rex!

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