David Mack reposted to io9

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Paper Moon, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I'm quite thrilled that this has gotten so much attention. Well done, David Mack and internet-at-large.
     
  2. Stadi

    Stadi Ensign Newbie

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    Some of the comments on the TrekToday news article are fairly horrid and ignorant.

    I, for one, am glad that the majority of people here on the forums are with David Mack on this topic. Gene would have been proud of the things David said in his reply. Lovely, powerful words. :techman:
     
  3. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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    DON'T EVER READ THE COMMENTS!!!!!!!!!
     
  4. Paper Moon

    Paper Moon Commander Red Shirt

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    But! Make sure you read what David Gerrold (assuming it's him) said:

     
  5. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It got picked up at gay news blog Towleroad.
     
  6. BritishSeaPower

    BritishSeaPower Captain Captain

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    This is great. Qapla' Mr. Mack!

    I should say, in 15 years of being involved in Star Trek AOL/IRC Chat Room RPGS, I still come across members of my groups and others that hold beliefs like this. I'm always genuinely shocked and curious about their interest in Trek, as it seems so at odds. But I know people have left groups because I chose to play a character as gay or bi, or, most recently, I decided to play a character as non-white because I noted our entire group were white. I was shocked how often this was brought up as "odd" or "unnecessary" by other players. (Literally, I was told it was strange for there to be a black crew member.)
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Wow. That is just awful. "Odd?" White people make up less than 20 percent of the human race, and that figure is shrinking. We are not the default. Heck, white people won't even be the majority in America 30 years from now.

    Of course, that's what the racists are so afraid of and so determined to fight. They're so used to creating and preserving a world where minorities are disadvantaged that they're terrified of becoming the minority and reaping what they've sown. Whereas if they'd just join the rest of us in building a society where everyone is equal, they'd have nothing to fear.
     
  8. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That was a great post, and I'm glad to see it's getting so much attention, although it is aggravating that there is so much negativity in the comments on the different sites.
    I'm another person who's baffled by Star Trek fans who are that bigoted, I don't know how people can be fans of something that has a philosophy that is so opposed to theirs.
    It always bugs me how the who are against sexuality and other things always say that if we're tolerant of homosexuality and such, we should be tolerant of them too. If they're allowed to be intolerant of stuff that we agree with, then we should be allowed to be intolerant of them.
     
  9. Slyvon

    Slyvon Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    This is amazing! I didn't think I could respect David Mack anymore then I already do, and then this happens!

    As a gay Star Trek fan myself, I've always appreciated and celebrated the diversity of the ST expanded novels. I like that characters like Ranul Keru exist and have been given such interesting stories.

    Also I love the positive responses from our BBS/literature group! What a wonderful bunch of people you are!

    -Chris
     
  10. CaptainDonovin

    CaptainDonovin Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Bravo DMack, makes me proud to be a Trek fan.
     
  11. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    For what it's worth though, it really is a minority of bigots who try that line, and even then it never really works out for them. Just look at all the backlash Orson Scott Card got last year when he used that line. Hell, it led to the Ender's Game boycott getting public attention.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think the Ender's Game boycott was off the mark -- not only because Card didn't get any more money from the movie than he got when the rights were first sold (or so I gather), but more importantly because the Orson Scott Card who wrote Ender's Game was a very different person from the one who rants online today. EG is very much a novel about empathy and compassion toward those who are unlike you, a condemnation of rigid us-versus-them thinking and paranoia toward the alien, and it's a very solid counterargument to the stuff Card says these days. He's forgotten something he used to understand, and how better to tear down his xenophobic arguments than with his own younger self's eloquent statement about empathy and love?
     
  13. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    In principle i support the Enders Game boycott. At the least it sent a message to the studios, Card, and homophobes that there's a vocal population that wouldn't support the works of a hatemonger of that caliber, and that belonging to a hate group had consequences.
    And on the flip side, i do make an effort to support LGBT people and our allies.
     
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  14. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

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    Well done Mr Mack - glad to see you getting this attention, and hopefully wider Treklit, for its incredible inclusivity.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But that's not what it did. Card himself didn't make the movie and didn't profit from its ticket sales -- and the studio that did make the movie is LGBT-friendly, plus a lot of LGBT people were involved in making the movie. Hurting the movie's profits would not have hurt Card financially, but it would've hurt those other people. So as an attempt to take action against Card himself, the boycott was completely misdirected and useless.

    Plus, Ender's Game is a really good science fiction movie with a powerful, eloquent theme about empathy and understanding toward that which is different. As I said, it's a wonderful argument against the paranoid, bigoted rubbish that the post-2001 Card spews. Which is yet another way that encouraging people not to see the movie actually hurts the fight for inclusion and acceptance, because it's a damn fine statement in favor of inclusion and acceptance. As I said, how better to counter the modern Card's intolerance than with his own far wiser writings from an earlier time?
     
  16. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    My take on things is that supporting the movie at the least increases the chances that more of Cards books would be made into movies, putting huge amounts of money in Cards pockets that he could use in his hate group, and that a success of Enders Game the movie would send a negative message that homophobes can get away with hatemongering without consequences. I think that message would spwak stronger against gays than anything positive in a movie with a theme of tolerance but with LGBT invisibility. Many would walk away with that message thinking that tolerance didnt extend to gays.
    The studio may be gay friendly but they arguably made a huge blunder choosing to work with Card.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But Ender's Game itself is not hatemongering -- exactly the opposite. It's a beautiful, positive story and one of the best statements against bigotry and xenophobia that's ever been written in science fiction. I don't care what side you're on, if you condemn something without understanding what it is, then you're guilty of the same mistake as people like Card.

    Also, Card is not the only person involved. If there are 400 people involved in making a movie and exactly one of them is a homophobe and racist, should the other 399 be made to suffer too? Especially if many of them are themselves LGBT and their studio is known for actively supporting LGBT causes? It is grossly oversimplistic to assume Card is the only person involved. That might be true of his books, but it isn't going to be true of any movie based on them.

    The problem with boycotts is that they're negative, and negative reinforcement generally does more harm than good. It's generally more effective to encourage positive behavior than simply to discourage negative behavior without offering an alternative. The best way to counter the efforts of people like Card is to do something constructive. Like, say, donating the equivalent of your ticket price to a pro-LGBT charity.


    Then they'd hugely miss the point of the book and the film, and be ignorant of the entire concept of allegory. Ender's Game is not just about inclusion happening to occur -- it's fundamentally about the pattern of thought that enables us to empathize with everyone different from ourselves and to see the folly in any kind of us-vs.-them rhetoric. You don't need every specific example spelled out for you if you understand how to think empathetically and inclusively, and Ender Wiggin is a hero precisely because of his empathy and love for others no matter how unlike him they are.

    For that matter, I think one could easily read Asa Butterfield's Ender as subtextually gay. He's given an inkling of a token romance with Petra Arkanian, but it doesn't amount to much. And he's an outsider who's bullied for his soft-spoken, sensitive ways and who forms close bonds with male teammates like Alai and Bean -- not to mention that Alai is a sympathetically portrayed Muslim, in the book as well as the film, in striking contrast to Card's modern writing.


    No, they didn't, because a writer and his works are not the same thing. Card himself, the person he is now, is contemptible, but in his younger, wiser days he wrote one of the best, most important works of science fiction literature of all time, and Gavin Hood made it into a pretty terrific movie that nobody who actually watches it with an open mind could possibly see as remotely homophobic.

    And really, think about it. The number of people who went to see Ender's Game in the theater, even with a boycott possibly shaving off a couple of percent, would far outweigh the number of people who read Card's blog and know about his politics. So sure, even if the profits from the movie had let him promote his hatemongering causes (which I don't believe they did), that message would probably have reached far fewer people than did the movie with its well-stated message of the value of empathy over fear of the other. I still say that promoting positive messages is the best way to fight negative messages.
     
  18. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I had thought that Card was one executive producers, and would have made craploads of money off the movie. Knowing that he isn't making tons of money of it actually does make me more willing to Netflix it.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Hmm, IMDb does say he gets a producer credit, but I've seen it said that it's mainly "honorific" and he's already long since made whatever money he was going to make on this, because the deal has no "backend".

    http://www.slashfilm.com/orson-scott-card-wont-make-money-off-enders-game-movie/

    However, he does still profit off sales of the book, which no doubt were boosted by the movie.

    If you like, though, you can always borrow the film from the library, so you won't be spending any money on it. That's actually what I did, because I'm generally a cheapskate and because I was on the fence about the whole "putting money in Card's pocket" thing. But now I see (and I was inspired by an essay I read on the subject) that the movie and book themselves are really a very strong counterargument to the things Card believes now, and I think supporting those positive ideas can do more good than declining to contribute to his negative ideas which are going to get support from other people anyway.

    EDIT: I don't think this is the essay I read, but it makes a lot of the same points, and talks about all the active work that the participants in the film like Harrison Ford, Gavin Hood, and Roberto Orci have made in support of the LGBT community:

    http://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/film/2013/11/01/op-ed-why-im-going-see-enders-game

    EDIT #2: Okay, I think this is the essay:

    http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2013/11/04/2881391/enders-game-hate-boycott/
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  20. CaptPapa

    CaptPapa Commander Red Shirt

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    I really do not know . . .
    My basic question is; what are they (homophobes) so afraid of? Are they afraid that if they touch one that they will become homosexual; as if it's a disease? Or, heh, heh, maybe they're secretly afraid they are 'that way' themselves and need to constantly deny it by lashing out. Anyway, I don't know what the big deal is . . . who cares! I think everyone ought to be as happy as possible and being with a loving mate makes everything else so much better.
    Now to be more subject specific, and I know a number of others have mentioned it, but how is it possible for a Star Trek fan to hold those kind of beliefs? Is that not an oxymoron?
    And kudos to Mr. Mack for expressing it well . . . though I could have done without the f word. That's another thing I don't understand; what's the fascination with using that word? Does that somehow give a person's dialog more meaning, or gravity; or is it just that they can't come up with a more intelligent term. And while we're on the subject, kudos to Mr. Bennett for his viewpoints (well, most of them anyway) - especially since I don't remember his ever having to resort to using what I was taught was foul language.
    Finally, I rather enjoyed the part of Harbinger which was so objectionable to the emailer that Mack took to task.