I’m not sure whether I’m going to see the new Ender’s Game movie.
I’m not alone in facing this decision. The big-budget movie is based on the much beloved science fiction book of the same name, which won both the Hugo and Nebula awards. However, a lot of people are reluctant to see it because its author, Orson Scott Card, has in later years turned out to be something of a deranged anti-gay bigot. There’s even an organized boycott of the movie, to which Card has responded with a somewhat tone-deaf call for “tolerance.”
Personally, though, Card’s despicable politics aren’t the problem for me. I don’t pay much attention to the politics of the artists whose work I enjoy because it seems like a silly place to draw the line. I mean, I give business to my dry cleaner without a clue about how she feels about gay marriage, and I couldn’t begin to guess how my auto mechanic feels about immigration. And that waitress I tipped a few days ago — for all I know, she donated the money to Stormfront. As a libertarian, I’m sure most of the people I pay money to every day are supporters of political ideas I oppose, but I see no point in obsessing over it or allocating my spending according to any criteria other than what I want to buy. And I see no reason why I should start making an exception for art.
Other people feel differently, of course, and many of them face a real dilemma: They loved the book, and they expect the movie to be equally amazing and wonderful, but they don’t want to support an anti-gay bigot like Card, not even symbolically.
My reluctance to see the movie is due to something completely different. You see, I have a confession to make: Unlike all those loved-the-book-but-hate-the-author folks, I didn’t like the book. I didn’t hate it either. I barely even remember it. Something about a child who is raised to be a commander in a war against some aliens, right? And “the enemy’s gate is down” is supposed to mean something…?
I generally like science fiction, and I might enjoy the story more as a movie than a book. So I might go see it. Or my wife and I might just spend the weekend reading some good books.