February 12, 2013

Heaven forbid! A conservative comics writer is against gay "marriage"

... and as such, he is under fire from the ever-hypocritical intolerant tolerant Left:

Comic giant DC has commissioned Orson Scott Card, author of the award-winning and best-selling Ender's Game sci-fi series, to write for DC's Adventures of Superman series. The digital comic is set to be published in April.

The news has sparked a furious backlash from Card's critics. Card is a long-time critic of homosexuality and has called gay marriage "the end of democracy in America". In 2009 he became a board member of the National Organization for Marriage, a group that campaigns against same-sex marriage.

"Superman stands for truth, justice and the American way. Orson Scott Card does not stand for any idea of truth, justice or the American way that I can subscribe to," said Jono Jarrett of Geeks Out, a gay fan group. "It's a deeply disappointing and frankly weird choice."

Fellow comics writer Gail Simone has publicly called out Card on Twitter, saying "I have no use for Card or his anti-gay activism whatsoever, period." Which is perfectly fine. But a lot of folks don't have use for your views on certain matters, Gail -- like gun control, for instance.

The aforementioned Jono Jarrett of Geeks Out, wants Card off the Superman book:

"If this was a Holocaust denier or a white supremacist, there would be no question. Hiring that writer would be an embarrassment to your company. Well, Card is an embarrassment to your company, DC. And of all the characters Card could have been hired to write, you give him Superman? The character that taught me to lead by example? To do the right thing, even when it was hard? To keep going, even when it seemed hopeless? What an insult. Kids are killing themselves. They are killing themselves in a climate of intolerance and homophobia publicly fostered by people like Orson Scott Card. You don't have to contribute to this. You shouldn't. You mustn't."

Ah yes, the insanely ridiculous comparisons come forth. Holocaust denial? Puh-lease. Yes, Card is opposed to gay "marriage." Does this mean he hates gay people, though? I don't know if he does or not (I doubt it; the Left, however, always has a predilection to conflate opposition to something they favor as "hatred") but a sizable portion of the American public feels as Card. Are these people entitled, say, to employment for feeling as they do, Mr. Jarrett? How is opposition to gay "marriage" but being for civil unions with the same rights as "marriage" "homophobic?" Further, is Gail Simone also "intolerant" and an "embarrassment" for her views ... on the Second Amendment? Why or why not?

The last couple of days I've traded some tweets with a gent who thinks it's silly to refuse to buy comics from outspoken creators and/or creators who infuse their titles with preachy politics. As I've stated here and elsewhere, I will buy a good story from a creator whose views differ from mine (like Mark Millar's Superman: Red Son of Kurt Busiek's Avengers Forever); however, when such political preachiness in the comics and/or in social media becomes such that it essentially calls you stupid for the [contrary] views you hold, then that's when I'll keep the $3.99 in my pocket.

Carl's Comics has more.

Posted by Hube at February 12, 2013 12:42 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

I just wrote about this myself. So much for that "tolerant" left, eh?

Posted by: Carl at February 12, 2013 02:43 PM

I know people who are against all marriage as it is an outdated institution. Are they homophobic, heterophobic or misanthropic?

Posted by: Duffy at February 12, 2013 02:54 PM

I vaguely remember that many years ago Stan Lee or Roy Thomas got Harlan Ellison to guest-script an issue of the Incredible Hulk. Ellison was also controversial for a lot of his views at the time (albeit in different directions). A couple years later I saw an interview in which Roy Thomas said that never bothers them because there was so much more upside to having Ellison's name attached than downside. Similar situation here.

I don't agree with Card's politics, but he has never made any secret of his political leanings, and he is one of the best all around story tellers working anywhere. Has been for decades. His name on the logo would actually make me WANT to buy a few issues of Superman to see what he would do with it.

I will also say that anybody who thinks Card is a simplistic thinker or writer has never read "Speaker for the Dead" or "Treason" or any of this best work.

Posted by: Steve Newton at February 12, 2013 04:05 PM

Steve: Yeah, Speaker of the Dead is excellent. I've never read Treason, however. Pastwatch and Alvin Maker are the only non-Ender books by Card that I've read. Card is the only writer to win back-to-back Hugo and Nebula awards for Ender's Game and the aforementioned Speaker of the Dead.

Like I said at my place, these people who are protesting Card writing Superman are acting on emotion and not on logic.

Posted by: Carl at February 12, 2013 04:15 PM

And another question: weren't the Ellison-written Hulk comics the ones where he was shrunk to that subatomic world and he fell in love with a woman named Jarella?

Posted by: Carl at February 12, 2013 04:16 PM

Yep, I think that was it--and if I recall he worked in titles to about a dozen Ellison short stories in the script. It was also drawn by Herb Trimpe, who has always had a place on my list as one of the worst silver/bronze age artists that Marvel ever employed.

Posted by: Steve Newton at February 12, 2013 05:58 PM

Two things though...

First off, you're leaving out the part where many people are calling a boycott of Card's work not because of his political OPINION, but the fact he sits on the board of the National Organization for Marriage, an activist org that works to keep same-sex marriage from being legalized. Their argument is that supporting Card financially by buying his work in turn supports his cause, because financial stability allows him to donate time and effort to the NOM.

Second, I think your comparison of Card's anti-gay agenda and Simone's anti-gun agenda is as flawed as the type of comparison you criticize (Holocaust survivor/gay person). While an anti-gun stance is a political opinion (at least in your country it is), some of the things Card has said has bordered on hate speech (I'm being generous). I'm not equipped to debate the 2nd amendment with you, but there's a big difference between gun control (setting limits on a right, and if you check most rights have legal limits already) and denying an entire class of people a right others have. Substitute "gay" for "black" and get a snapshot of a past the vast majority accept as unacceptable. I don't think you can make the same substitution with "gay" and "gun owner".

Like you, I've knowingly bought and read material written by people I disagreed with politically and morally, but so far as I know, my dollar wasn't put to work for those politics, which I think is the real argument against buying Card's work at this time, perhaps lost in a lot of the reactionary commentary going around.

Posted by: Siskoid at February 12, 2013 07:22 PM

So, by financially supporting people like Simone, does that mean she has more free time to lobby for more gun control -- whether she's on a specific organization or not?

If gun rights, like all rights, have limits, then why isn't being against marriage for gays a legitimate view, as long as you believe that they should be permitted civil unions which grant the same benefits (as I say in the post)? Sorry, but the "gays are just like blacks" nonsense doesn't wash. There are actual biological differences pertaining to reasons for traditional marriage whereas skin color is just that. (And you'd be hard pressed to find a majority or at least a sizable minority of blacks that agree with what you just equated.) In addition, if homosexuals are permitted "marry" in exactly the same manner as heterosexuals are, then why not a trio instead of a couple? What about if I want to marry my cousin? Who are YOU to tell me, an adult, what I can or cannot do? As a libertarian, I don't believe the state (or anyone) should tell anyone how to live. But there are restrictions set on just about anything you can imagine (as you said above). A 40 year old moron can vote, but a 16 year old genius cannot. You can't drink until age 21, even though you can die for your country at age 18. And so on. Why is it so distressing that biologically different humans marry, but biologically similar join in a civil union?

Perhaps you can provide some examples of Card's "borderline hate speech." I don't mean to put you on the spot, but as I also noted in the post, WAY too much of what the Left doesn't approve of is so labeled. Simply being against gay marriage and saying so is NOT hate speech. If it is, almost half of the United States is comprised of "haters."

Lastly, do you know to what organizations Gail Simone or other lefty writers belong? Hell, Simone will be writing a comic devoted to the Occupy movement. Doesn't that grant legitimacy to that organization -- and its politics? And thus, all associated with it?

Oh, and let's face it -- Card is hardly alone in such a situation. Cripes, even Frank MIller got grief because he wanted Batman to go after al Qaeda -- AL QAEDA!! -- for heaven's sake. Conservatism in comics since probably the 1980s has virtually always been portrayed in a negative, or at least a satirical, light. Ronald Reagan was an affable dunce. Capt. America's rightist replacement (John Walker) had a screw loose. And so on.

Posted by: Hube at February 12, 2013 08:13 PM

Well, you're trotting out some tried and not so true arguments against gay marriage there, like the hyperbolic sequence that has me marrying my toothbrush. If you want a gun control equivalent, it's why can't I have a nuclear missile in my backyard? No one is advocating for man-dog marriages, and I don't believe the slope is that slippery. The argument is also insulting to gay people because it equates same-sex marriage with bestiality, and ridicules their relationship by comparing it to man-toothbrush love. You didn't actually do that, but it's the argument some have taken to its extreme. You used trios and cousins, which are still not advocated for, and you gloss over religions where polygamy is okay. Or do you mean polygamy where more than one man is involved? In which case, we're right back where we started.

As for my comparison with black people, I think it does hold water because here's a minority group that was denied the same rights as the majority, and when it comes to marriage in particular, to marry a white person. This is the kind of discrimination felt by the LGBT community, though obviously, the human rights violations are nowhere near as horrendous as those suffered by African-Americans from slavery on up. Nor was my comparison meant to equate the two groups. My rhetorical point was a litmus test to see if a policy/opinion was really a question of human rights or not. I could just as easily have used any minority or even majority group in my example. Let's try it with White People: On the marriage issue, it becomes "White people can enter civil unions but cannot get married, while everyone else can do either." Is that fair? On gun control, it sounds like "White people can own handguns, but not assault weapons, just like everyone else."

The second sounds like a limitation on a right, across the board. The other sounds like you're depriving a group of the same rights (and limits on rights) afforded other groups. And therein lies the difference.

A quote from Mr. Card that some find offensive, and I think there's cause to: "The dark secret of homosexual society — the one that dares not speak its name — is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally. It’s that desire for normality, that discontent with perpetual adolescent sexuality, that is at least partly behind this hunger for homosexual “marriage.”"

The language is inflammatory, likens homosexuality to rape and abuse and that it is the fruit thereof, and takes for granted that it is abnormal and immature. By doing so, he justifies his advocacy against same sex marriage in a demeaning fashion. They can't have those rights because their relationships aren't as real or worthy as "ours", and implicitly, because they are of a lesser class of human being.

Either "All men are created equal" or they aren't, is what you could reduce my argument to, I suppose. The idea that "it's not biological" (as if we really understood the brain that well) somehow equates to "it's a choice of lifestyle" and thus meritorious of the disapproval you might have for a point of view or a person's choice, has tons of scientific and anecdotal evidence going against it. But that's irrelevant to the discussion because...

THAT SAID! Regardless of what you or I think of same sex marriage (and this is how I'll evade the civil union/marriage issue, which I'm not really equipped to debate), I wasn't actually advocating for same sex marriage, that's neither here nor there. I was first explaining the difference between boycotting someone for their opposing views and, what people say they are doing in this particular case, and boycotting the work of somehow who actively works for those opposing views. We're talking about a lot more than using your media platform to lend your voice to an issue, NOM is pouring a lot of lobbying money into this effort. Still, if you find Simone's advocacy of gun control distasteful to your views, by all means, feel free not to spend money on her work. My second point was pointing out where I thought your argument needed bolstering, which I've done again in THIS post, as I don't see how gun control and gay marriage, though both "rights issues", are really of the same breed.

Posted by: Siskoid at February 12, 2013 09:22 PM

"I know people who are against all marriage as it is an outdated institution. Are they homophobic, heterophobic or misanthropic?"

No, just moronic.

Posted by: uatu at February 12, 2013 11:06 PM

Siskoid: First, I certainly appreciate your thoughts on the matter. I believe I laid out my argument cogently, and while I think your last comment doesn't refute that argument, I certainly respect your POV. :-)

Basically, it all boils down to this (as you said): If a creator's views on an issue mean a lot to someone, then certainly, by all means, do not (or do) purchase that person's product. For me, it's not a single comment or viewpoint, but a culmination of comments, remarks and viewpoints that are not only made in public (usually via social media) but also inserted into the very comics I [used to] love. Again, the fact is Card is but one of a very few rightists working in the field today. But from what I've seen, he's never put his views into his comics (or novels). If I was a homosexual, yeah -- there's a good chance I wouldn't buy his stuff, I suppose. But again, the aggregate of left-of-center politics in comics today is a total turn-off anymore. Couple that with creators' public comments, it's as if they don't WANT people with my views buying their product.

And that's exactly what they're gonna get!

Posted by: Hube at February 13, 2013 07:39 AM

Exactly. We pay writers for the privilege of seeing inside their heads, in a sense. If it's not a place we care to visit, then we shouldn't pay for the tour. And that's true whether you're coming from the right, left or other direction. Thanks for the healthy debate, Hube!

Posted by: Siskoid at February 13, 2013 10:51 AM

For me, it was also a culmination of comments, remarks and viewpoints that creators made. It just alienated to the point where I asked myself why I was continuing to buy their stuff when they continually insulted me for thinking the way I did. And you're right, Hube: it's almost as if they don't want people with conservative/libertarian POVs to buy their product

These days, I stick to the classics. I've been happily building up my Marvel Essentials and DC's Showcase Presents collections.

Siskoid: Yep, you're right that if we don't like where a writer is coming from, we don't have to buy their books. I've been doing that for years now.

Posted by: Carl at February 13, 2013 02:20 PM

It's time to stop hiding behind the words and tell it like it is. Homosex is perverse. I can't tell anyone how to live but don't push this on the public. A man's love for another man's rectum is not normal. Then ppl say how can you deny their right to love? The same way we can deny one person from marrying 4 people they love. The same way we can deny a brother marrying his sister. It's not love, it's lust and I am not denying them love, just the institution of morals called marriage. The rectum was designed for one purpose only, can you deny that? It's for waste dispoal, not sexual relations. Think people, I am disgusted by people with poop on their pp telling me I am a bigot. Gay is to nice a word that hides the truth.

Posted by: john p at March 2, 2013 12:58 AM

John: Then why do heterosexuals frequently engage in anal sex, hmm?

Posted by: Hube at March 2, 2013 07:54 AM