14 November 2007

Irritations and Authors

Wow its been a while since I blogged. I am sorry all you loyal supporters (are there any really?) of this blog.

So... as usual, I write when I'm:

a) tired. It must be that I want to write huge discourses but my exhaustion is naturally present during these moments and I wonder if it is impossible to get the same point across in ten words or less.


b) infuriated. There are so few things in the world to be angry at, right? Or perhaps so many its difficult not to be infuriated, if (that is to say) you're taking a look at the world around us.

And I am infuriated. There's a litany of things that I could go off on tonight:

Members of my family for their blind support of a President who, now more than ever, is one of the greatest forces for disaster and the downfall of america. They refuse to even discuss it, naturally, because I'm sure George W. Bush was ordained by the Lord himself, or some such. Even the Republicans are looking uncomfortable and staring at their shoes in the face of his behavior.


I could be angry about the organization that is religion, and how sometimes it can't helped but be seen as a controlling force used for the weak minded and easily lost. The recent "alteration" of the Book of Mormon's preface, seems to be one of those moments, a subtle softening of the Church's Lamanite heritage assertion in the face of DNA evidence.

Read it here: Book of Mormon Change

(Oh and, yes it is in the Salt Lake Tribune, but the Daily Herald covered it too, and being a liberal ex-mormon writing MY blog, you don't get to complain about me using this source.)

I could be infuriated with micro-managed and poorly run restaurants who are respond to worsening internal issues in all the wrong ways. Not that I have any experience in those (see picture below).


I might be vexed by the fact that militant and unbalanced right-wingers who desperately believe that their jesus is better than your jesus, and justify bigotry, oppression, governmental meddling, hatred, and the degrading of human rights in the quest for assuaging their souls about some unknown afterlife with a being who may or may not be there and may or may not reward you for your devoted animosity to your fellow man.
A quest which extends to denying people who love each other the ability to have equal status in this country. That is understandable however, since it is ludicrous to consider valuing love above irrational fear and hostility; almost as ridiculous as allowing freedom of speech to those who don't agree with my point of view, or NOT running secret prison camps and bugging people's phones illegally. Silly, really. The Canadians and Europeans show us up in their social progress.


That last bit makes a decent segue into what I am irritated about though tonight: author Orson Scott Card.

Random, isn't it? But you see, I've been a fan of some of his work - Ender's Game and his book of short stories Maps in a Mirror, to name a couple. But in looking at different fantasy and SF author's websites this evening, I came upon a little discovery. It is difficult for me to seperate my views of his art with his personal views, because often in art, they are driven by each other. Any art of real importance says something (though I believe I know a few individuals who completely miss this aspect).

That statement made, I can't always agree with some of the political grandstanding celebrities do (Halle Berry's Oscar acceptance, anyone?). I don't want to get into hypocritical waters here, so I should clarify. It is certainly their right, and if they've made it thus far in the world of fame, kudos to them - really, say whatever the hell you want from your platform. It is a temptation for me (and everyone, no doubt) to give flack to the ones whose opinions don't match my own, but I do my best to combat that, to understand where they're coming from. That is completely different though, than disagreeing with a famous individual's stance and letting that color my opinion of their work.

Its your freedom to voice your opinions, it is therefore utterly mine to reject them, if I feel so inclined. Which brings me back to the notion that personal beliefs tint the artist's creation - its inevitable. I recognize I'm just mad right now, but it is hard for me to accept that someone who writes with as much scope as Mr. Card can and does, is plagued by such a small-minded mentality, falling prey to a homophobic attitude that is hardly becoming.

He has been quite vocal, it seems on his opinions of homosexuality (which is quite odd, considering it is a rather alienating move, particularly for an author of his calibre, but then, perhaps not that odd for a hardcore mormon), going so far as to say that there ought to be laws against the homosexual acts (sodomy laws?).

Oh and it gets richer. He doesn't want to round up the homos and put them in jail with these laws, oh no. In a valiant stab at being the morally upstanding and superior individual he obviously considers himself, he hopes the laws would instead drive homosexual expression underground and into secret, "so as not to shake the confidence of the community in the polity's ability to provide safe, stable, dependable marriage and family relationships."

Right. I'm sure your bigoted suppression tactics are well meaning Mr. Card. No doubt others have professed a similar mantra towards those who are different in belief, color or creed. No doubt its nice to have strong supporters like Hitler, the KKK, Anna Coulter, and Fred Phelps who've got your back.

And worse, he's defaulting to that lamest of excuses, that it threatens the sanctity of marriage. I don't understand what that term even means, and I'm pretty sure nobody else does either. At least no one's been able to explain it to me, despite their willingness to throw it around like confetti. How does me marrying a man threaten your relationship? And if it does, well you've got bigger problems with your marriage than me walking the aisle. Arguments against homosexual marriage always boil down to either hating gays (which is YOUR problem, really), or "god says so." I think that's Genesis 1:4.

Moreover, Card goes on to say that he has many dear Homosexuals as friends. Hopefully they've long since left him behind, because anyone who favors legislation making the person and relationship most important in my life illegal wouldn't have and doesn't deserve my friendship.

He continues on, making a number of comments about the term homophobe being used to silence people, although as someone else pointed out, anytime an attitude moves from tolerance to suppression of the rights of a group - for whatever reason - it is a phobia. The author also claims that gays already have civil rights, and therefore the gay rights movement is, it is implied, some sort of agenda bent on the destruction of the family and america.

Essentially, I was just very surprised, and frustrated to find that even though he is LDS, Orson Scott Card is so wildly narrow-minded. I'm not advocating that religion or churches should recognize homosexual marriage - if you don't wish to, great. In this nation you're welcome to be racist, sexist, homophobic, or douche baggy as you please. But that attitude shouldn't extend or affect the government's mission to ensure equal rights to all.

I guess what it comes down to is a huge letdown with an author I found quite talented. Which he is. But I may not be reading much more of his, since there are a lot of authors out there to read and I don't wish to waste time on those who consider me a second class citizen.

Fuck you, Orson Scott Card.

This was all disclosed in an older article, written, admittedly for the church, although he has written other discourses on it and is quite adamant about his position on homosexuality. Don't believe me? Well as Reading Rainbow would say, "Don't take my word for it!"

"The Hypocrites of Homosexuality"