Feb 20, 2013
Anthony Elmore

Great Writers and Bad Politics

The hardest thing to deal with is the bad behavior of those you love. Yet, you try to look past the faults, but many times they become an obstruction.

Recently, DC Comics has hired Orson Scott Card to write the first two issues of Superman: Man of Tomorrow. He’s better known as the author of the classic Ender’s Game, one of the must-reads of the sci-fi genre. However, his views of gay rights has overshadowed his contributions.

Let me fine tune it. He’s not a hetero guy uncomfortable around gays or let slip an insensitive remark. He believes, as an article of faith, gays are a threat to democracy and the gay rights movement is engineered by the Feminists and the Left to destroy the American family. He chairs the National Organization for Marriage.

When a favorite author has disgusting political views, some will reevaluate his merit. Critics hack away at the artist’s reputation and start backtracking on their glowing reviews. Fans muffle their praises around friends who’d take offence at their fandom. Like a Soviet Revolutionary who has fallen out of grace with the Party, the artist’s reputation is disassembled to where even mentioning his name might land you in the Gulag of disapproval.

Some comic fans want Card to be pinkslipped From since Superman is the champion of the oppressed and white, hetero guys don’t seem all that oppressed. Card’s views are repellent and irrational, but that shouldn’t discredit him as a writer nor should he be fired.  No one should be discriminated to their employer for their political beliefs no more that their race, sexual orientation or religion. Yet, given Cards reputation and Superman’s visage as the defender of the vulnerable, it was a bad hiring choice. Perhaps DC made the hiring decision since an Ender’s Game movie is nearing release and they wanted to capitalize on Card’s brand. Expect the Ender’s Game movie will meet with protest, especially since Harrison Ford is among the cast.

Ban DC, you say? Go ahead. How did Chic-fil-a fare after their anti-gay contributions were aired? People quickly forget the controversy and recall the quality. Some conservatives love some Pro-Environmental Chunky Monkey and some liberals like Coors with their locally grown, exploitation free arugula salad.

If fans are also quick to overlook the personal behavior of their artists. Have a look at the following video.

Shout “Charles Bukowski” in Atlanta’s Little Five Points and about ten hipsters will prostate themselves on the cobbles in worship. Yet, there he is abusing a woman during a taped interview. If this had been some shirtless low-income scumbag, everyone would be equal in their derision. Yet, this is one of America’s revered poets, author of Post Office, a man who’s inspired careers and unbearable coffeehouse poetry. Yet, if you read the YouTube comments, there’s a few who try to justify his behavior. She was a gold digger who was after his money. He was part savage, like any good poet. His generation had different views on women.

So does genius automatically redeem someone from their politics and behavior? If you want to lighten your bookshelf, have a look at the list of artists and their political views. See if they offend you based on your polarity.

Salvador Dali – Supported Spain’s Franco regime.

Bertolt Brecht – Supported Soviet intervention in the East German Uprising of 1953 and possible Stasi informant.

Jack London – A fervent revolutionary socialist and promoted the violent overthrow of the United States. His racism would make your racist in-laws blush.

Richard Wagner – The guy who put corpulent ladies in operas also was a fierce anti-Semite and was influenced by the forerunners of Nazism.

Commies. Nazis. Snitches. Homophobes.  Democrats. Republicans. Heroes to many. All our heroes are 1% gold leaf and 99% plaster, and we add the gold leaf. They’re hardly Superman.

 

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