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Orson Scott Card Joins NOM Board


E.J.

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I've read a few of Orson Scott Card's science fiction stories, but only from books I borrowed from friends or the library; I own none of his books and neither does my dad who is also a science fiction fan. I'd read about his anti-gay bombast when I was younger, and decided not to let him have royalties paid from any of my book purchases.

Colin :lipssealed:

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Having read the link provided by E.J. (Thank you E.J.),

I am so tempted to do a full frontal attack on the religious aspect of the sanctity of straight marriage and its biblical origins.

Yet after I calmed down and had a cup of tea into which I dunked my cookie, I realised that such an attack crosses the boundaries of so many personal beliefs that it would serve no useful purpose other than to stir the theists into a frenzy of biblical quotations.

A rational study of the anthropological origins of marriage and its evolution from tribal mating practices might prove more interesting anyway. Certainly I think this could then be used as a basis to investigate the psycho, sorry, I mean the psychological aspect of the mind which developed the concept of marriage and decided it should be imposed on couples who just want to live and love each other.

Sociologically, marriage is little more than a classification to keep the spouse housebound if not captive at the rear of the cave.

I'm sorry, is my sarcasm showing? :icon_twisted:

Seriously, I have no problem with people wanting to marry. However, it must be said that what is good for the goose and the gander must also be good for all geese. That is only fair and equitable. Trying to work out who is the biggest goose should be left to consenting geese in private.

Okay, I'm done. Are there any more cookies? :lol:

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I'm torn on Orson Scott Card, because I'm a fan of his writing (both fiction and non-fiction), but I also think he's a judgmental, homophobic twit.

I have a similar opinion about Axl Rose of Guns 'n' Roses. I think his music (at least the late 1980s/early 1990s hits) were fantastic, but he's also an ignorant asshole who's sunk into very bizarre behavior, and has had his share of anti-gay rants.

My policy is to separate my opinions about somebody's artistic ability from their personal behavior. To me, it's not a crime if a person scores a 10 on one and a 0 on the other. There's a lot of actors who fall into that category, too. It doesn't stop me from enjoying their films, even if I know they're lousy human beings.

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[...]

My policy is to separate my opinions about somebody's artistic ability from their personal behavior. To me, it's not a crime if a person scores a 10 on one and a 0 on the other. There's a lot of actors who fall into that category, too. It doesn't stop me from enjoying their films, even if I know they're lousy human beings.

I agree in principle with your demarcation, Pecman. I have met people who won't listen to Wagner's music because the German Nazis adopted him as a favourite.

The movie, Taking Sides starring Harvey Keitel, is an interesting account of the allies' (American) interrogation of the German conductor Furtwangler. It is obvious the man was beyond politics and just wanted to make music. While that may make him ignorant and devoid of human sensibility of what was happening around him, it did not affect his music-making ability.

I have seen many movies with actors who were politically opposite to my own leanings, and yet the character they portray and indeed the movies they were in were very much in tune with my ideologies.

Ask any stage director (or film director for that matter) and if they are honest most of them will tell you that a actor's politics are not the deciding factor in whether they are cast in the production, except for those productions that are funded by people who won't hire artists who are not at least sympathetic with the aims of the work. To me that comes close to contributing to manipulation through art, and is commonly known as propaganda.

Of course some artists will not take part in a production because it is not agreement with their own views, whilst others are only to happy to take the money, as exampled by the phrase, gay for pay. Yeah Right! But to be fair, most actors who appear in a commercial, praising this product or that service, never use either of them. They are just earning a living. Same thing really, though I think I would hard pressed to be involved with a homophobic movie just for the money.

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The point that caught me in the article about Card was him calling homosexuality arrested adolescent sexuality.

That made me think. People who feel very strongly about something, as he obviously does about homosexuality, often have had at least some tangential experience with it. As he labels this as somehow being an adolescent problem, it makes me wonder what happened in his teenage years. It would be easy to extrapolate that he was involved in teen-aged same sex interplay, and perhaps the strength of his feelings about it, and then having to tear himself away from it to be a good Mormon, have caused the extreme angst we see in his angry, scornful, biased and judgmental writings about homosexuality. I have no idea if this is true or not, but speculation doesn't seem inappropriate here.

Could it be he protests too much?

C

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The point that caught me in the article about Card was him calling homosexuality arrested adolescent sexuality.

That made me think. People who feel very strongly about something, as he obviously does about homosexuality, often have had at least some tangential experience with it. As he labels this as somehow being an adolescent problem, it makes me wonder what happened in his teenage years. ...

Could it be he protests too much?

C

Sounds like you're on to something Cole.

His calling homosexuality arrested adolescent sexuality simply tells me that he's doing it wrong or he's very bad at it.

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The point that caught me in the article about Card was him calling homosexuality arrested adolescent sexuality.

That's an argument that's been made many times by different schools of psychiatry. I have to admit, after examining my life over the years, I think I fall into that category myself, but I don't necessarily think it applies to everybody. Nor do I believe there's a simple answer to why some people are gay, and why others aren't.

My problem is that Card also extends his negative views about homosexuality to the Bible, and justifies his beliefs with a lot of bizarre theories. Whether it's caused by genetics, environment, arrested adolescence, or anything else isn't the point; it's people's tolerance of gays (or lack of it) that get me riled up.

Card is violently against gay marriage (as shown by the references here on Wikipedia), and I think his stance is very troubling. But I still think he's a good writer.

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The way I'd interpret the phrase 'arrested adolescent sexuality' would be that the emotional depth of homosexual love is somehow lesser than that of its heterosexual equivalent. That the love adolescents feel is more lust than a profound emotional attachment. That adult love is a level or two above teenage love, and so the sexual activities of the two groups, adults and teens, are more meaningful, more sharing of love, for the former, while for the latter it's more simply getting ones rocks off. I see him saying teens having sex do so with the exclusion of deeper meaning, and he equates that to gay love.

What it says to me is that as gay teens become gay men, they can never feel the same depth of emotions their straight brothers can because their psyches are somehow stuck in the lustful stages of their youth, which they never, over the course of a lifetime, grow out of.

I myself think this is hogwash, and the Card in saying this is trying to defend his homophobic attitudes to the best of his ability, trying to persuade others that there is a difference between them and us, and trying his best of cast pejorative sentiments on what he himself doesn't like for who know what reasons. 'Arrested adolescent sexuality' has the ring to it of many aspersions that degrade and disparage but sound plausible and scientific.

C

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The way I'd interpret the phrase 'arrested adolescent sexuality' would be that the emotional depth of homosexual love is somehow lesser than that of its heterosexual equivalent. That the love adolescents feel is more lust than a profound emotional attachment. That adult love is a level or two above teenage love, and so the sexual activities of the two groups, adults and teens, are more meaningful, more sharing of love, for the former, while for the latter it's more simply getting ones rocks off. I see him saying teens having sex do so with the exclusion of deeper meaning, and he equates that to gay love.

What it says to me is that as gay teens become gay men, they can never feel the same depth of emotions their straight brothers can because their psyches are somehow stuck in the lustful stages of their youth, which they never, over the course of a lifetime, grow out of.

I myself think this is hogwash, and the Card in saying this is trying to defend his homophobic attitudes to the best of his ability, trying to persuade others that there is a difference between them and us, and trying his best of cast pejorative sentiments on what he himself doesn't like for who know what reasons. 'Arrested adolescent sexuality' has the ring to it of many aspersions that degrade and disparage but sound plausible and scientific.

C

Setting aside the issue of Cards writing ability, I am not in total agreement with Cole's assessment on love and lust.

Card's phrase, 'arrested adolescent sexuality' is quite obnoxious in the context he uses it, and I think Cole is correct in analyzing that Card believes puberty is accompanied by lust and thus temptation to explore sexuality.

Objectively, I think Card is not far from the mark in this. However he has not followed through logically from his premise.

From the moment at puberty when the hormones are switched on to the moment of first release at ones own hand, so to speak, there is only a physical biological process. However the moment the release occurs at the hand of somebody else, is the moment that, affection is born or begins to mature. Simultaneously there is lust for more of the same. I would hasten to add here that I am using symbolic hands, and indeed the other person does not have to be anything but a fantasy in the mind of the person for affection to be born. This is part of the pubescent process. Biological lust is normal at puberty, but the moment the biological aspect is accompanied by affection then love becomes the means of the release and not lust. The depth and nature of that love grows and intensifies throughout life, sometimes not always for the better as evidenced by crimes of passion.

Some people do not grow beyond the lust no matter how much they feign love. However they are not restricted to being homosexual or for that matter heterosexual.

My guess is that Card rejected affection as a teen, or substituted it with dogma, because of the interpretation of his own lust, and therefore believing the biological emission to be a sin unless it is between a man and a woman in marriage as he was taught by his religion. In this regard anything outside of his definition of marriage is lust and thus a sin. For Card, marriage turns lust into love and therefore he wants to keep it as his definition of heterosexual union. That is why he gets so upset by what he sees as a threat to the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman.

Where Card's thinking goes further astray is in his compliance to the idea that he has the God given right to impose his concept of marriage on others. His idea that gay love is merely lust is insulting and obnoxious to every teenager and adult, even those who do only seek someone just to get their "rocks off."

Promiscuity can be nothing more than using someone else, but it can also be a sharing of affection between human beings who are learning about the nature of love.

Some lucky teens mate for life. Other people will not find love for many years. But in either case the affection will, if given the chance, deepen with time and be celebrated though the act of making love.

Card and his religiously controlled views almost certainly condemn people to a life of misery, because he confines lust to be acceptable, not love, by the union of marriage. He seems to have missed the whole point of affection growing into love which gives rise to the state of marriage, or de facto relationship, and whether approved by religion or not. Sadly he is not the only one as shown by the high divorce rates.

SO in the end Cole and I come to regard Card with the same disdain, by somewhat different paths.

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The way I'd interpret the phrase 'arrested adolescent sexuality' would be that the emotional depth of homosexual love is somehow lesser than that of its heterosexual equivalent. That the love adolescents feel is more lust than a profound emotional attachment.

I interpret it differently. I think a lot of psychiatric theories hold that many boys go through a homosexual phase in their adolescence, but eventually outgrow it and start dating with girls. Some of us didn't. With me, it was like a switch turned on (almost literally), and I said, "ah -- that's what this is all about." Once I accepted that, everything made sense.

As far as degree of love goes, I think some of the most intense loves of my life happened when I was a teenager, and hardly a day goes by when I don't think of those relationships. Some of them didn't involve sex at all, so lust wasn't part of it. I know of straight people who also had intense (albeit brief) affairs in high school or college that affected them for the rest of their lives. One can make a good argument that the first serious love affair you have is bound to influence you. Lust is only part of it.

I think all of the novels I've written so far in my life have covered this ground -- the effect of intense love affairs on teenagers -- partly because it's a fertile ground ripe for conflict and stories, and partly because it echoes my own experiences. But I don't think that kind of love means any less just because it's gay (or not gay).

Again, my criticism of Card is in his bad judgement and lack of tolerance. I'm not the first to raise these points. Card insists he doesn't hate or even dislike homosexuals, but is well into the "hate the sin, not the sinner" category. To me, the moment you bring up religion and try to relate it to my relationships, game over.

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