My 2 Cents on: Holes

my 2 cts on... on holes

zur deutschen ÜbersetzungThe first rule of holes. When you're in one, stop digging.

“I’ve had no criticism. I’ve had savage, lying, deceptive personal attacks, but no actual criticism because they’ve never addressed any of my actual ideas,” Card told the Utah publication. “Character assassination seems to be the only political method that is in use today, and I don’t play that game, and you can’t defend against it. All you can do is try to offer ideas, and for those who want to listen to ideas, great. For those who simply want to punish you for not falling in line with their dogmas, there’s really not much you can do about it.”

I'll give him this much. It's hard to criticize his assertions because they're so outlandish they demonstrate the truth of what Christopher Hitchens said, "That which may be asserted without evidence may be dismissed without evidence."

As I have said before, Card is a talented author who has written some marvelous books -- but he sure as hell doesn't understand public relations.

My read on it is that he thinks he's speaking into agreement, therefore those who disagree are a fringeworthy minority. The backlash that he perceives as savage should be a reality check -- but he doesn't appear to be listening. Card says he's been offering ideas. Yes, I've read some of his anti-gay screeds. Those aren't ideas, they're incitement. And he doesn't yet seem able to understand that if he's offering ideas, others are equally free to reject those ideas.

Myself, I think that as long as Card continues to perceive himself as a target of attack, as long as he continues to perceive the situation from a pedestal of self-righteousness, he's going to continue to damage his brand. With this interview and these words, Card further solidifies public opinion of him as a homophobe running a victim racket. (The last desperate resort of the bully: "They're picking on me.") He's reducing himself from being a major voice to a major embarrassment. I cannot imagine any major science fiction convention bringing him in as a guest of honor, because it would trigger an uproar among fans, not just LGBT fans, but fans in general who oppose anti-gay bigotry.

Likewise, there are other honors in the SF community that he has earned, but will probably never be awarded. I fear that history will remember him as an author who shot himself in the foot while it was still in his mouth.

It might be well here to remember what happened when the Academy of Motion Pictures honored Elia Kazan with a lifetime achievement award -- half the audience sat on their hands because Kazan had cooperated with the anti-Hollywood witch hunts of the 50s. Many could not forgive him. (Kazan made a stunning movie called America, America, which seems to have disappeared from movie history.)

Likewise, Mel Gibson's anti-semitic rants have earned him an exile from the mainstream. Tom Cruise's Scientology-infused performance on Oprah's show hurt the box office for War Of The Worlds and subsequent pictures.

Perhaps Card doesn't care about that. Perhaps he thinks his reputation is tarnish-proof. Perhaps he's living in a bubble of agreement. But there are many friends of his in the SF community who are saddened by his homophobic remarks, who cannot understand why a man who can be so friendly and generous in person can write such hostile things about a whole class of people. I've heard some interesting theories and speculations, none of which I'll repeat here, but many of Card's colleagues and contemporaries are saddened. Others have moved from there to simple dismissal. "He's no longer worth my time."

Maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel here. But first you have to stop adding more tunnel.

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