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Medium of Media: The Conundrum of Writing About OSC Published Works

On a website dedicated to science fiction, fantasy, anime, comics, horror and gays, I realize that mentioning a certain popular science fiction author’s Mormonism, his homophobic comments, his support for a marriage ban for gays is not a reason enough not to mention when his equally popular property is being adapted for a movie, but it still makes me feel uneasy. Then again, I know a lot of people who can read his books, enjoy them immensely, recommend them to their family and friends and keep separate his politics.

This begs a question of should I not read or watch (and post) anything by media personalities that don’t share my political views? Some of this goes beyond that though. I’m not a huge fan of Tom Cruise. I see him as a movie star, more than an actor, because in every role he does, he’s playing himself. And I think he’s a douche in real life, and he mostly plays douches in his movies. I completely admit this makes no sense, but there you go. Of course I saw both Minority Report and War of the Worlds, but that was mainly because they were helmed by Steven Spielberg, whom I like. I watched Magnolia because I was told this was his finest performance. All I saw was Cruise playing Cruise, and but this time it was for an Oscar nod.

I don’t see him, however, in a political opposition way. I just hate him. Which is bad, because I kind of wanted to see Mission: Impossible 4 because it’s directed by Brad Bird, who made Pixar’s The Incredibles, which I adore.

Patricia Heaton, star of Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle, came out recently supporting –somewhat- the actions entertainer Rush Limbaugh did to Sandra Fluke. Now I was aware that Heaton was a conservative Republican, but I’ve never heard her comment directly on gay issues (though they may exist). Heaton retracted her comments she posted on Twitter, but like Limbaugh, she attacked for reasons that seem muddled at best. As anyone should know, there are two sides to every story. Plus, when you paint a story so broadly that Limbaugh did, Heaton’s choices seemed stupid as well.

But I love The Middle, and enjoy her playing this character. Should I not watch the show because she made a few stupid comments on Twitter? She clearly did not understand that women use contraceptives for other reasons, which shocks me considering she is a woman!

So that brings us to actors like Stephen Baldwin and Kirk Cameron, both who have spoken out about gay issues. I can no longer watch anything they’ve done previous to their public actions. Growing Pains, which I watched in the 1990s, was a favorite show. Now, Cameron’s homophobic opinions has tarnished it, thus I can never support the show again. Baldwin, well, who has seen anything he’s done? Bio-Dome was the closet I’ve come to seeing him act, and that was just plainly a stupid, forgettable movie.

But I don’t hate them. I can’t, because I do believe in the inherent goodness of people. And while I can’t accept some Sky Fairy telling people how to live, I do think the Bible, for whatever it is, offers some good, livable ideas: love people, don’t judge them, and treat them as you would like to be treated. There are plenty of good things that come from helping people. But for all of its intents and purposes, it has been mutated and used as a weapon, a tool of destruction, to abuse those who do not believe.

What I remembered from my Catholic upbringing, I was not taught to hate people with opposing views. Because we all have free will, we can believe or not believe what we want. But today, these believers are actually telling people not to associate with people who do not share your religious views. This is why my step-brother and his wife spend little or no time with his Step-Dad or my Mom. I find this a horrible thing, where my sister-in-law would prevent her kids from seeing their grandfather because his views (this being a man who came within a hair’s breadth of becoming a priest and who is very active in the church) differ from hers. This is not love, this is emotional blackmail.

Anyways, coming back to the point, while I still have reservations about this, here is what got me started. Orson Scott Card has been a very vocal advocate for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint, of which he has been a lifelong practicing member, and has been a political commentator on many issues, including opposition to the legalization of same-sex marriage. I’ve know fans for years who enjoyed his work, and never knew about his political views. They’ve stressed to me that he’s a great writer, and with Ender’s Game now in production, and other work being bought up by Hollywood, some believe this feeling as well.

But it bothers me, it tasks me to see this, and I’m at a loss to how to address it. Certainly, his views are complete opposite of mine, yet if none of those views creep into his fiction, should I still read it, should I still report it here? I’m certain there are many OSC fans out there excited about Ender’s Game and now this:

The Seventh Son, the latest novel by author Orson Scott Card (beyond Ender’s Game) to go before the cameras, has added British actress Olivia Williams (The Ghost Writer, The Sixth Sense) to its cast, joining Ben Barnes, Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore. The film is about a teen who learns the art of wizardry after discovering that he is the seventh son of a seventh son.

In the end, maybe its bigger of me to just report this stuff, even though I’ll probably never read any of his stuff, or see the movie adaptations of his work. In the end, that is my little protest. It may be a small thing, miniscule in its overall impact, but it is what it is.

And I hear a few people saying I’ve over thought this. Well, that is probably true.

3 Comments

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  1. Richard Arndt says
    March 12, 2012, 9:56 am

    Your comments are generally well written and I like the sentiment, however, they are undercut at every point because you are completely wrong about Card’s book being adapted for film. It is not–the Seventh Son movie is from a completely different fantasy series called The Last Apprentice. Scott Card and his 18th Century fantasy series are not connected in any way.

    Reply
  2. Samantha says
    March 19, 2012, 8:16 pm

    I think you are wrong with your judgement of the roles Cruise has portrayed. I highly doubt you have seen his portrayal of a Vampire in Interview with the Vampire, a war veteran in Born on the Fourth of July, his noble role in Valkyrie, his Tropic Thunder cameo etc. His dedication to his craft is nothing short of worthy of admiration.

    I am sorry that you had to end up missing good movies because you’ve taken Hollywood too seriously.

    I saw MI4 in IMAX and I’m very glad that TC picked Brad Bird to direct this movie, their collaboration was incredible and the movie was a must see in IMAX. Make sure you watch his next movie if you like him because he is an amazing director!

    Regarding personal lives of these actors, we are all humans with different opinions and imperfection, things are tougher when you are famous and always up for judgement. Never deprive yourself of entertainment. Wish you best xx

    Reply
  3. March 20, 2012, 11:29 am

    Samantha, I’ve seen both Interview with a Vampire and Born on the 4th of July, as well as most of his early work. And perhaps I have taken Hollywood to seriously, but I find nothing wrong with asking that my intelligence not be insulted. Tom Cruise’s turgid performances in most of his films post “Top Gun” have shown me that while he tries to bury Tom Cruise -the real life man- under whatever character he’s trying to emote on screen, I’m always acutely aware that this is TOM CRUISE -SUPERSTAR!!!! I appreciate character actors and other actors like Christian Bale who try their hardest to separate their real-life persona with the role. They seek roles that challenge them (which is why Bale’s surprise pick at Batman was odd). I think Cruise just gets roles (like this years Rock of Ages) because his name is high profile. I can’t build a life of movie going because on that.

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