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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » On LGBT's boycott of the Ender's Game Movie. (Page 2)

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Author Topic: On LGBT's boycott of the Ender's Game Movie.
Tuukka
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Yes, OSC already got paid. Yes, the filmmakers are not responsible for OSC's positions. Yes, you can give a lot of arguments why it might be pointless to boycott the film. Yes, LGBT could use the same amount of time and energy attacking someone else. Etc, etc.

But that's missing the point. The whole point of a boycott like this is to gain maximum awareness with minimum effort. That's how you run an organization like LGBT smartly.

LGBT is doing this campaign, because it's a big Hollywood release, and the original novel is written by a fairly famous, controversial writer.

Those aspects give the campaign attention. LGBT is trying to maximize media coverage. They are trying to maximize the discussion about gay rights. Ender's Game the movie is an exceptionally good target for a boycotting campaign.

LGBT is just being pragmatic. This is a smart use of their resources.

Their mission is to raise awareness of gay rights in general. This boycott is just one stepping stone on a campaign, that might last for decades.

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Samprimary
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I hate to break my own kayfabe but just so everyone is aware LGBT is not an organization. There's no official position or campaign of "the LGBT" because it doesn't exist, and this is part of what I was mocking in my initial post
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by C3PO the Dragon Slayer:
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
what does Ender's Game have *anything* to do with the "anti-SSM" module?
OSC will use the money he earns from the Ender's Game movie to further both his personal and NOM's campaign of spreading bigotry, falsehoods, and fear about gay people (which has included the sort of boycotts we're talking about here).
Last I heard, OSC is not being paid a cut of the profits from the Ender's Game film. He has already been paid; whether you go see the movie has no bearing on how much money he'll give to NOM.
That wasn't what I was addressing with that quote, but okay. That strikes me as not well thought out.

Yeah, he's been paid for the writing for the movie, but is hardly the only way that he makes money from the movie and how popular it is. I can think of three offhand.

1) The major way that most authors make money off of smash movies is by drastically increased book sales of both the adapted book and the rest of their ouvre.

2) In general, you don't get much for the first movie. You get a lot more if that movie is a huge hit and you follow it up with others, especially sequels.

3) Having a high profile hit movie raises your profile and book sales and lets you get more money and offers for other projects.

---

Oddly enough, several of the people who took this tack also bemoaned the effect on the low level people (some of whom where definitely gay) who worked on the movie. I don't understand that. As far as I can tell, these are the people who wouldn't be affected at all by a boycott.

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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Oddly enough, several of the people who took this tack also bemoaned the effect on the low level people (some of whom where definitely gay) who worked on the movie. I don't understand that. As far as I can tell, these are the people who wouldn't be affected at all by a boycott.
Since most of the lower level people live project to project, your latest film doing poorly does not provide the same boost to your resume as a blockbuster, and your options going forward are more limited.

Sure you got paid for the original job, but people in the film industry are looking at the next 10-20 years worth of films they will apply to work on.

edit: I don't mean to say Ender's Game doing poorly would kill their careers, tons of major film talent worked on flops, and the cream eventually rises in many cases, also many people's talent shines through a movie that is crap overall and still get picked up by people who know what they are looking for. But overall, a flop just isn't a commercial success or an Oscar winner.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
OSC will use the money he earns from the Ender's Game movie to further both his personal and NOM's campaign of spreading bigotry, falsehoods, and fear about gay people (which has included the sort of boycotts we're talking about here).
Are you saying that you would never employ, hire, or buy from people who oppose your political views, lest they use the money formerly yours to donate to wrong causes?
There's a whole lot of extreme oversimplification packed into that statement, but I can address the pieces I think are relevant.

I'm going to exclude hiring and especially continuing to employ people right off that bat, as those are, to me, related but still pretty different issues than what we're talking about. I will say however, I wouldn't hire and would fire someone who was a very visible, prominent leader of say the KKK.

Two things that need Un-oversimplification are the idea of "people who oppose your political views" and "never".

first, one "people who oppose your political views". Maybe I'm being oversensitive on this, but I've seen this what looks to me like minimalization coming pretty constantly from people arguing against the ban. People insist, despite being corrected numerous times, that this is only about people disagreeing with OSC's personally held beliefs and/or portray OSC as just holding a simple belief that gay people shouldn't marry.

Let's be clear, OSC has consistently held that gays "cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within ... society". He has pushed false, malicious information about them and has even told outright lies. The National Organization for Marriage, which OSC is a leader of, was a leading organization behind the Prop 8 campaign, which was typified by fear mongering, bigotry, and dishonestly. They continue to use this style of message and advocacy and have tried to use the very same sort of boycott that people are decrying here against pro-gay companies.

So, I don't know, I think people should come out and say "Yeah, OSC is an anti-gay bigot who leads a anti-gay bigoted organization, but you still shouldn't use the same boycott techniques against him as he uses against others because..."

Or you know, maybe you don't agree with that characterization. We can talk about that. But it strikes me as disrespectful and irresponsible to respond to something making this point (heck, you even quoted it) by completing changing it.

I'm not too concerned about political disagreement qua political disagreement. Actively promoting and carrying out hatred, fear, and bigotry is a whole other story.

Second, on the "never". That's a pretty absolute term.

I try to practice responsible consuming. So, yeah, I take other things into account when buying things or purchasing services other than price. Walmart treats its employees like crap and pays them below living wages with the understanding that this practice will be subsided by my tax money, so I don't shop there. Papa Johns tells my that they don't provide their employees healthcare because it would cost 17 cents more for a pizza, I buy pizza elsewhere. On the other side, other places have consciously chosen to pay their employees more, reduce their environmental impact, generally try to make the world a batter place and I am willing to pay more for goods and services from them. It's not absolute and I'm sure there is plenty of my money going to people who are doing things that I really disagree with, because life is like that and I am a limited and fallible person. But not being able to do something perfectly doesn't seem to me to be a good reason not to try to do it at all.

To me, it is like this. If there are two widget shops and one of them makes a lot of noise about how their money is going to support the KKK and the other is just some guy, I'm probably going to go to the other shop, even if they're prices are higher.

If I understand you correctly, you would go to the KKK shop and think it is wrong of me not to. Is that correct?

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
quote:
Oddly enough, several of the people who took this tack also bemoaned the effect on the low level people (some of whom where definitely gay) who worked on the movie. I don't understand that. As far as I can tell, these are the people who wouldn't be affected at all by a boycott.
Since most of the lower level people live project to project, your latest film doing poorly does not provide the same boost to your resume as a blockbuster, and your options going forward are more limited.

Sure you got paid for the original job, but people in the film industry are looking at the next 10-20 years worth of films they will apply to work on.

edit: I don't mean to say Ender's Game doing poorly would kill their careers, tons of major film talent worked on flops, and the cream eventually rises in many cases, also many people's talent shines through a movie that is crap overall and still get picked up by people who know what they are looking for. But overall, a flop just isn't a commercial success or an Oscar winner.

I don't know how Hollywood works but I'm not sure I buy this. If I do good work on a movie that doesn't do amazing because of a boycott, I'm not sure how that's going to hurt my career. First off, I'm likely already two jobs out from that movie. Second, I would hope that the hiring process for like a key grip or a gaffer or whatever is focused more on their ability than on how much money the movie they worked on three years ago made based on factors that have nothing to do with you at all. I very much doubt having worked on a Twilight movie is going to have people fall all over themselves to hire you, just because you were on it.

I could see how you might get a minor halo effect from being on an Oscar winner, but Ender's Game was never going to win a non-technical Oscar.

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Well, in this case it's hardly a 'distant association'. Card is a flag-bearer for NOM, and on the national political stage of the question of SSM, he's certainly a player. Substantial amounts of his time and influence are devoted to it. This isn't a matter of three or four transactions down the road.

That wasn't the distant association that was being referred to. More the association between the money leaving my wallet for a ticket to EG and the money being used by OSC to fund NOM.
quote:
Anyway, C3P0's broader point is that somehow, there is a single standard for what a 'valid' boycott is, because respecting rights to opinions and impracticality and all. In both cases, it's up to the boycotter and in one case it doesn't even pass the laugh test. It's your money and my money, Stone_Wolf, and if someone thinks we're spending or not spending it in a 'valid' way, alright, fine, but we should believe that belief carries any weight at all...why?
I think C3P0's broader point is we have such little control over where our money goes after it leaves our wallet that often times a boycott is more of a political statement then having any real financial impact. Further, I think he was simply sharing his opinion, not really declaring in any kind of authoritative voice what the rules for a boycott should be. And as such it carries as much weight as anyone else's opinion...and more if happen to agree with it, as I do.
quote:
If a person knows a small portion of their purchase will be used to fund cause x, in what way is making that purchase different from simply giving the smaller amount directly to the cause?
Because at the end of the day, people just bought a sandwich. The ripple effect is much too subtle and unknowable to be given much credence. At the end of the day one must search their intentions. Did you buy computer A over computer B because you knew that part of the profits of A go to disaster relief? Then that was your intention. Did you buy that chicken sandwich because you were hungry and the drive through was conveniently located next door to your previous errand? Or do you go out of your way to eat at Chick-a-filla because you agree with their politics? In the end, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
first, one "people who oppose your political views". Maybe I'm being oversensitive on this, but I've seen this what looks to me like minimalization coming pretty constantly from people arguing against the ban. People insist, despite being corrected numerous times, that this is only about people disagreeing with OSC's personally held beliefs and/or portray OSC as just holding a simple belief that gay people shouldn't marry.

Let's be clear, OSC has consistently held that gays "cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within ... society". He has pushed false, malicious information about them and has even told outright lies. The National Organization for Marriage, which OSC is a leader of, was a leading organization behind the Prop 8 campaign, which was typified by fear mongering, bigotry, and dishonestly. They continue to use this style of message and advocacy and have tried to use the very same sort of boycott that people are decrying here against pro-gay companies.

So, I don't know, I think people should come out and say "Yeah, OSC is an anti-gay bigot who leads a anti-gay bigoted organization, but you still shouldn't use the same boycott techniques against him as he uses against others because..."

As heartbreaking as this is, it is dead on accurate.

quote:
I try to practice responsible consuming. So, yeah, I take other things into account when buying things or purchasing services other than price. Walmart treats its employees like crap and pays them below living wages with the understanding that this practice will be subsided by my tax money, so I don't shop there. Papa Johns tells my that they don't provide their employees healthcare because it would cost 17 cents more for a pizza, I buy pizza elsewhere. On the other side, other places have consciously chosen to pay their employees more, reduce their environmental impact, generally try to make the world a batter place and I am willing to pay more for goods and services from them. It's not absolute and I'm sure there is plenty of my money going to people who are doing things that I really disagree with, because life is like that and I am a limited and fallible person. But not being able to do something perfectly doesn't seem to me to be a good reason not to try to do it at all.

To me, it is like this. If there are two widget shops and one of them makes a lot of noise about how their money is going to support the KKK and the other is just some guy, I'm probably going to go to the other shop, even if they're prices are higher.

This too is part of what 3CPO was talking about that I was agreeing with...that a companies business practices are a -good reason- to boycott (or merely pick a competitor). Or "vote with your dollar". I often do this myself. But not always, because sometimes, I'm too busy or dealing with screaming children and there is a priorities shift. Sometimes the priority is that Wal-Mart simply has the lowest prices and I'm on a super tight budget.

My mom buys cage free eggs, because she likes the idea of freer chickens...I like the idea too, but can't really afford to pay double for eggs at this juncture in my life. I look forward to the time in my life when I can devote thought and money to such concerns.

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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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quote:
Originally posted by Tuukka:
Yes, OSC already got paid. Yes, the filmmakers are not responsible for OSC's positions. Yes, you can give a lot of arguments why it might be pointless to boycott the film. Yes, LGBT could use the same amount of time and energy attacking someone else. Etc, etc.

But that's missing the point. The whole point of a boycott like this is to gain maximum awareness with minimum effort. That's how you run an organization like LGBT smartly.

LGBT is doing this campaign, because it's a big Hollywood release, and the original novel is written by a fairly famous, controversial writer.

Those aspects give the campaign attention. LGBT is trying to maximize media coverage. They are trying to maximize the discussion about gay rights. Ender's Game the movie is an exceptionally good target for a boycotting campaign.

LGBT is just being pragmatic. This is a smart use of their resources.

Their mission is to raise awareness of gay rights in general. This boycott is just one stepping stone on a campaign, that might last for decades.

This may be true. From the perspective of an activist, whose life's work is to maximize public attention towards a specific issue, it is expedient to attack a Hollywood blockbuster associated with an individual who expresses the opposite opinion to that you want to promote. I don't think this is the most moral or even practical way to promote civilized discussion, but I can't begrudge someone whose job is to make noise about an issue when he chooses the easiest target to make noise about. I'm glad you are honest about the real motives for those who call for a boycott; allow me to be similarly honest.

As long as I afford these activists the understanding that they are just trying to do their jobs for a cause they believe in, I must make it clear that Ender's Game, to me and to many others, is a powerful, life-changing story that does not in the least touch upon the LGBT issues that have stirred this controversy. The public outrage is perceived by those who simply love the book as a groundless affront to something they hold dear. I do not exaggerate when I say that Ender's Game (and Speaker for the Dead, which I actually read first) was life-changing: I credit to these books the awakening of an introspective, empathetic maturity that is critical to my character. To see the book now being turned into a proxy for a culture war I don't really care about is grating, especially since the book itself has nothing to do with that culture war.

I think that's what this boils down to. Many people experienced cognitive dissonance when they learned that Orson Scott Card, the author of these powerful stories, expressed political opinions that were irreconcilable to their own. Some decided that they would sooner hold that every man who expressed these views was a horrible person and did not deserve their business. Others decided that one who wrote such sympathetic, human stories must be good at heart, despite having some disagreeable opinions. Both of these conclusions are logically invalid, but if I'm honest with myself, I fall into the latter camp. I'm not afraid to admit that.

Removing that bias, however, I still perceive injustice at the idea that a movie should be boycotted over the political views of the author of the source material. I have made it a habit to imagine myself in the shoes of various parties whenever there is a controversy, and I would be appalled if I ran or was employed by a business and there were calls to boycott that business because someone associated with it wrote some inflammatory opinions in a local newspaper and joined the board for an organization that promotes an unpopular opinion.

To clear up a misinterpretation I've been seeing, I do not speak of an individual's personal decision to not see the movie Ė that alone does not make a boycott. You are, of course, free to not conduct business with whomever you like. For purposes of this discussion, I will define a boycott as organized, subversive, and vocal. A boycott involves many participants, at least some of whom would have actually given the company in question their business were it not for the issue in contention, and some of whom actively try to persuade others to join the commitment.

The choice to boycott goes beyond an individual's buying discretion; it is aimed to harm a business in order to punish it, in order to get it to change how it does business. The Montgomery bus boycott during the Civil Rights movement was aimed at punishing the transportation system for its discriminatory practices towards its clientele. That's why I distinguish between "valid" and "invalid" boycotts (though those words may not be the best choice to describe the distinction I'm trying to make).

Honestly, I don't know to what extent the pro-LGBT community is organized to boycott the Ender's Game movie, so what I'm saying might not even be applicable. I know that you can't mention OSC's name or work on any online discussion board without someone bringing up OSC's politics and advocating for a boycott of his works, but I don't think YouTube comments and Reddit threads are indicative of the movement. On the other hand, I was appalled by the reaction to OSC writing that Superman comic, even though I had no intention of reading the comic. But that was for different reasons than what I'm articulating now.

quote:
Rakeesh:

First of all let me say that while I think you believe this, I don't think you mean it. Why? Because it would be quite simple to pose an example of a company whose causes you found repellent whom you wouldn't wish to support, even if you didn't make a media event out of it. Do you disagree?

I stand by what I said. Let's say the Westboro Baptist Church (which I, like any good citizen, despise with a passion) put on a bake sale in my neighborhood. You are right in that I would probably not wish to support them. But if all they were doing there was selling cookies, I wouldn't try to interfere with them by calling on everyone else to not give them their business. If, however, they were in any way using the bake sale itself to try to spread the provocative slogans that the Westboro Baptist Church is infamous for (which I suspect is inevitable given their track record), then it would, under the guidelines I gave, count as a business practice that I have every right to object to via boycott.

If a non-affiliated organization puts on a bake sale and just one of the organizers happens to be a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, I don't feel boycotting that bake sale would be justified. I don't think I'm a hypocrite on this one.

quote:

As for 'immature', I don't know why you make it a point to deride and insult, rather than state your case. Impractical? Hardly. Boycotts are practiced with great effect far from rarely. Ask Target.

I apologize for sounding derisive or insulting by using the word "immature." I didn't mean to demean those who think it's their moral imperative to boycott the Ender's Game movie, I meant to suggest that that conviction is not unlike a child's social decisions.

My understanding of the Target boycott is that Target, the business, donated to a certain political candidate, and that upset those who didn't like what that candidate espoused. Please correct me if there's more to it than that or if I misunderstand. Anyway, this boycott is "valid" under my definition because the business itself donating to a political candidate is part of how the business is run. If, however, Target did not make the political donations, but one, or even several, individuals employed by the business made private donations to the same candidate, it seems unjust to punish the corporate entity for those matters that do not concern the business.

(As a side note, I don't believe it's morally or democratically right for a business to donate to any political candidate. I don't care WHO the company supports; it's anti-democratic to spend corporate money on political campaigns.)

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Rakeesh
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C3P0, it becomes difficult to take this conversation seriously when you continue to cast your disapproval as feelings of disagreeing with people who are simply upset because of Card's opinions on SSM. People have gone to some trouble to explain why this outlook of yours is badly mistaken, and if you continue to gloss over or even outright ignore it i won't be able to believe it's just a misunderstanding.

If Card had merely held a politically unpopular opinion on SSM, it's likely very few people would have even heard of it. He's done quite a lot more than that, and it's not only a matter of expressing opinion.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Huh? I'm not seeing that at all.
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Rakeesh
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Seeing what?
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Stone_Wolf_
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"...you continue to cast your disapproval as feelings of disagreeing with people who are simply upset because of Card's opinions on SSM"
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Rakeesh
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Stone_Wolf,

quote:
...it is expedient to attack a Hollywood blockbuster associated with an individual who expresses the opposite opinion to that you want to promote.

I'm glad you are honest about the real motives for those who call for a boycott...

Removing that bias, however, I still perceive injustice at the idea that a movie should be boycotted over the political views of the author of the source material.

Well, the list goes on, but I hope you can see what I mean.

Even if we are to-for some reason-forget Card's leadership in an organization that does precisely what is being objected to here, and has for years, it would still remain true that people's problems with Card go further than disliking someone for a mere political opinion.

For example there are at least three Hatrackers I can think of before I finish asking myself the question, who are either ambivalent or opposed to legalizing SSM-an opinion I disagree strongly with. Nonetheless I don't at all dislike them, and in fact while I disagree with their opinion, now that it is becoming unpopular I respect them for speaking their minds plainly in the face of disapproval.

None of them have spent years supporting and advocating and leading an organization that organizes the exact sort of 'invalid' boycotts being discussed here, none of them makes a point of writing lies and using them as reasons for continuing homophobic, bigoted legislation. None of them have chosen to effectively wear a NOM flag as a shirt.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I see what you are saying, but they are opposite political views. Where he saying "simply an individual's opinions" I could see making such a large objection, but in and of itself I am not seeing anything objection worthy. Especially as he has explained the why of his stance at length, which included his opinion that both sides are boycotting improperly.

Pro-LGBT community should boycott Rino-times (or whoever it was who published Card's anti-homosexuality rants), not Ender's Game, a story that has -nothing to do with gays-.

Yes, Card has made himself a legitimate target with his antics, no question in my mind. But it isn't about if Card is a good target or not, it is if Ender's Game is. They are separate entities.

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Rakeesh
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I'm not sure how meaningfully Ender's Game-Card's book, which more than any other brought him recognition (justly so!)-can be separated from Card himself.

NOM and Card are *all about* this Culture War business. What C3P0 is suggesting is the right thing to do here is that one side fights it, and the other side just plays nice-guy martyr. It doesn't work like that, and I confess exasperation when people speak up about this stuff *now* and point out a perceived injustice. I can't speak to C3P0's past politics or words or posts, but there's frankly something a bit unjust in and of itself to say to people, "Hey, guys, I know you've been taking some beatings from these guys for, well, decades, but don't now start to behave in a very, very slightly similar style, because it's invalid and immoral and immature."

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Stone_Wolf_
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Unless there is a post of his I'm missing, I'd have to say you are inferring quite a lot into what his words actually said. He is talking about the general idea of boycotts, which applies to both sides equally, and in no way saying that one side is right to boycott and other is wrong so just shut up and take your lumps. And at the risk of sparking off more hostilities, I must say that I question your objectivity for reading so much in between the lines.
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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Stone_Wolf,

quote:
...it is expedient to attack a Hollywood blockbuster associated with an individual who expresses the opposite opinion to that you want to promote.

I'm glad you are honest about the real motives for those who call for a boycott...

Removing that bias, however, I still perceive injustice at the idea that a movie should be boycotted over the political views of the author of the source material.

Well, the list goes on, but I hope you can see what I mean.

Even if we are to-for some reason-forget Card's leadership in an organization that does precisely what is being objected to here, and has for years, it would still remain true that people's problems with Card go further than disliking someone for a mere political opinion.

For example there are at least three Hatrackers I can think of before I finish asking myself the question, who are either ambivalent or opposed to legalizing SSM-an opinion I disagree strongly with. Nonetheless I don't at all dislike them, and in fact while I disagree with their opinion, now that it is becoming unpopular I respect them for speaking their minds plainly in the face of disapproval.

None of them have spent years supporting and advocating and leading an organization that organizes the exact sort of 'invalid' boycotts being discussed here, none of them makes a point of writing lies and using them as reasons for continuing homophobic, bigoted legislation. None of them have chosen to effectively wear a NOM flag as a shirt.

I think we have differing interpretations of what I mean when I say that someone holds certain political views. I can't imagine a democratic society where there is a moral line between holding a view and expressing it, or between expressing the view and advocating it.

I have no interest in defending NOM. I am not intimately familiar with their track record, but I know they use underhanded scaremongering tactics like "think of the children!" and name-calling. I know they are largely funded by a small number of large donors, which seems undemocratic. I know they take positions that even many reasonable people who oppose SSM are uncomfortable with, like staunch opposition to civil unions and gay adoption. I know they try to find loopholes in the system to help maximize their clout. I don't know what role Card himself had in any of these things, but even if all of the evils of the organization were masterminded by OSC alone, I still don't see why you should draw the line between that and simply holding a personal conviction, as far as a boycott of a tangentially-related movie is concerned. The Ender's Game movie is not OSC and OSC is not NOM.

I wouldn't be surprised if NOM has advocated for boycotts that I would consider "invalid" under my definition, even if I don't know of any examples. But that doesn't change the fact that I believe it's "invalid" to boycott the Ender's Game movie based on Card's political views and actions. Why should I resort to eye-for-an-eye morality? Especially, need I remind you, since the recipient of the repudiation is not NOM itself.

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I'm not sure how meaningfully Ender's Game-Card's book, which more than any other brought him recognition (justly so!)-can be separated from Card himself.

NOM and Card are *all about* this Culture War business. What C3P0 is suggesting is the right thing to do here is that one side fights it, and the other side just plays nice-guy martyr. It doesn't work like that, and I confess exasperation when people speak up about this stuff *now* and point out a perceived injustice. I can't speak to C3P0's past politics or words or posts, but there's frankly something a bit unjust in and of itself to say to people, "Hey, guys, I know you've been taking some beatings from these guys for, well, decades, but don't now start to behave in a very, very slightly similar style, because it's invalid and immoral and immature."

Why doesn't it work that way? It worked great for the Civil Rights movement when Martin Luther King Jr. advocated peaceful methods and not sinking to the level of the blatant racists who would use any tactic at their disposal. I see taking the moral high ground not as a sacrifice of vengeance, or even justice, but as an opportunity to show why you really are the good guy.

If you don't see things that way, and think that it's right to use "invalid" boycotts because an organization two degrees of separation away from the company you're boycotting does the same thing, then I believe I've found where our perspectives are incommensurable. Because although I have nothing but sympathy for those who have been systematically ostracized or oppressed, I will universally advocate for the moral high ground. This belief is part of my core values, and I will not readily give it up without a very good reason.

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Rakeesh
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It's not in between the lines, really. I've given multiple examples of how he's either misreading or misrepresenting what other folks are saying-I don't insist on the latter, in fact I think that the former is more likely.

As for the rest, I didn't mean that that is what he is definitely saying, or that he has been silent in the past. I was only referring to a...problem when you come on a fight that's ongoing, and one side has taken much worse than the other and just when the weaker side is about to get a real shot in along comes someone to say, "Hey, neither side should be doing this."

Well, that very well may be and I can respect that C3PO actually believes that-even though his standards on what is a 'valid' boycott seem arbitrary and strange. But it somewhat ignores context. NOM isn't going to be the nice guy-they likely never will. No one is deceived on that, so given that why exactly should their opponents take the high road that isn't exactly a high road anyway, given Card's flag-bearing for NOM?

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Rakeesh
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C3PO,

quote:
I think we have differing interpretations of what I mean when I say that someone holds certain political views. I can't imagine a democratic society where there is a moral line between holding a view and expressing it, or between expressing the view and advocating it.

Then I simply have to ask: why on Earth is what is being considered here, these boycotts, not exactly another case of 'holding a certain political view'? Do you see the, well, I would prefer to use a kinder term than double-standard but it really seems made to fit, that you're using here? You object to various LGBT friendly organizations contemplating and organizing a boycott of Ender's Game, a film based on a book written by an author who they most particularly oppose because of his association with...contemplating and assisting in boycotts, among other things. Your criticism of them for doing so is that they are behaving antagonistically towards someone for 'holding a political view', that is Card, but the deepest roots of that antagonism lie in Card's 'holding political views'!

quote:
I don't know what role Card himself had in any of these things, but even if all of the evils of the organization were masterminded by OSC alone, I still don't see why you should draw the line between that and simply holding a personal conviction, as far as a boycott of a tangentially-related movie is concerned. The Ender's Game movie is not OSC and OSC is not NOM.

First of all, you continue to repeat your assertion that 'Ender's Game isn't Card and Card isn't NOM'. I don't think you've really made this case at all. Card is the author of the story, and he has gone on to write a very lengthy saga based upon its foundations. Comic books, short stories, nearly a dozen novels at this point I believe, a film, and if it does well sequels, video games, possibly cartoons, etc. etc. It doesn't make sense to dissociate the two in the way you're doing. You might as well say 'hey, let's not focus too much on Mark Twain when we're discussing Huck Finn'.

And as for Card not being NOM, well I'll simply have to say that's just bunk, C3PO. If you spend years and hundreds of thousands of words and accept a leadership role in a support of a cause, people are allowed to associate you with that cause without being somehow irrational, immature, or unfair. We might almost as well chide people for criticizing, say, one of the leaders of the DNC for various flaws in the Democratic party.

quote:
I wouldn't be surprised if NOM has advocated for boycotts that I would consider "invalid" under my definition, even if I don't know of any examples. But that doesn't change the fact that I believe it's "invalid" to boycott the Ender's Game movie based on Card's political views and actions. Why should I resort to eye-for-an-eye morality? Especially, need I remind you, since the recipient of the repudiation is not NOM itself.

Yeah, Gandhi doesn't carry the weight you might think he does. I respect the man, but paraphrasing him isn't a ticket to the head of the line. In any event, it's strange how many of these qualifications for a 'valid' boycott render so many famous boycotts invalid when we look through history. You've invoked the Civil Rights movement. How many boycotts against organizations which didn't make their own rules-say, municipal transit-would be rendered 'invalid'? The boycotts threatened harm to that system-taking money away from it by lack of passengers. Those bus drivers didn't make the rules that said blacks had to sit in the back, nor did their bosses. Shouldn't people have protested by voting and not an 'invalid' boycott? Was such a thing really a 'business practice' or was it actually 'holding a political view'?

So on and so forth. The more closely you examine the standards you're applying here, the more the frays and tears show. People have a right, if they choose to do so, to purchase or avoid purchasing goods or services from providers they disagree with. It's really that simple. No vendor has any sort of right that I spend my money with them. I'm not hurting anyone by refusing to buy from them. If they want my money, they have to meet my requirements. Particularly in the case of, for pity's sake, a PR/popularity contest that is advertising and selling a major motion picture. This moral high ground of yours might as well be a mountain range on Mars, because it starts from fundamentally alien bedrock.

The actual bedrock here in the world, away from this uneven high ground line, is that if someone wants to sell something, they need to convince people to buy it. If someone perceives an injustice on one side or another, they ought to attempt to persuade their fellows to think as they do. Sometimes that perception will seem arbitrary or even unfair to individuals or even groups, but so what? That's what persuasion is for. Had you started this by listing the reasons-two degrees of separation, holding political views, etc. etc.-you thought a boycott wasn't warranted, that would be one thing. I would disagree with you but wholeheartedly respect your right to approach the matter in the same way I am-as an individual who has a right to an opinion, and to attempt to persuade others to that opinion.

But when you throw in jabs about 'invalid boycotts', accusations of immaturity, and claim the high ground for yourself and chastise those who don't join you after decades, centuries really of injustice...well. That's where we part ways, actually.

quote:
Because although I have nothing but sympathy for those who have been systematically ostracized or oppressed, I will universally advocate for the moral high ground. This belief is part of my core values, and I will not readily give it up without a very good reason.
First, thanks for joining the fray in 2013. Second, if you're going to 'universally advocate for the moral high ground' (as you call it, a claim I don't yield to you), why not instead of attacking the people who are being lied about and opporessed, and those who wish to speak for them, why not speak up against NOM, call on them to abandon their tactics that have invited this response? I think the answer lies in what you've said in this thread-and I do credit you for acknowledging your bias. It's because of the two groups, NOM is aligned with Card, the author of the beloved story (which I love too, by the way); the other, which isn't actually a single group at all, are the ones threatening the story you love. I wonder if you've considered whether or not that, rather than the shifting murky lines between moral high ground and 'vengeance' (another description I strongly dispute), might be as much or more of an explanation for your feelings on this subject.
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bCurt
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Interesting response to the call to boycott the Ender's Game movie


I find the boycott idea nonsense. All it really does is call attention to those who already agree with you. It changes nothing and doesn't even often hit the "offender" but is more collateral in impact.

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The Black Pearl
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It calls attention to several people who don't know who OSC is, and would have otherwise perhaps seen the movie had no one ever told them about his views.
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Chris Bridges
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Want to read all the arguments in one single, easy-to-understand post? Read John Scalzi's "Boycotts, Creators and Me in which he discusses the Ender's Game boycott. Eminently sensible.
Short version (although I recommend reading all of it):
So, to recap: Boycotts a perfectly valid exercise of political speech, participate in one if you think itís necessary. I donít tend to boycott creators but donít mind if you do, even if that creator happens to be me. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequence and everyone should remember that, especially folks whoíve spent a while pissing off a bunch of folks.

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Danathar
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Something for people to think about...

Probably 99% of the Movie staff and Actors are pro gay rights.

I'd say there is a non-trivial chance that their combined support and contributions of gay rights causes that are enabled from money paid to them for Ender's game in all likelihood are higher then what OSC contributed to his cause from what he is paid.

Of course there is no way to know. any more then knowing how much money from Ender's game that he was paid goes to anti-gay causes.

Money that you pay to see any movie will go into the pockets of people who worked on said movie and contribute to causes you might find vile.

Yes, OSC is more public then a gaffer on the set of a movie.

But is OSC's monetary backing stronger then the combined weight of all the pro-gay supporters who worked/acted on Ender's game?

I'd say probably not.

In fact, all this press will probably prompt them to give more money then they normally would to offset anything OSC does with his

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dansigal
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And in fact, it has prompted more money to go to such causes. Lion's Gate is doing a premiere event to benefit LGBT causes.

So is that an argument for or against a boycott? On one hand it shows that the movie may have a positive effect, but on the other hand, the reason for that positive effect is the press caused by the call for the boycott.

My stance is it's perfectly acceptable if you personally can't justify spending on the movie, but should also be judgment free for people who are ok with going to see it.

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Danathar
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I say if somebody is on the fence, donate an equal or greater amount of money than the ticket your purchase to the gay rights cause of your choice.

That pretty much cancels out any money card would get from your ticket (if any).

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Danathar
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quote:
Originally posted by dansigal:
And in fact, it has prompted more money to go to such causes. Lion's Gate is doing a premiere event to benefit LGBT causes.

So is that an argument for or against a boycott? On one hand it shows that the movie may have a positive effect, but on the other hand, the reason for that positive effect is the press caused by the call for the boycott.

My stance is it's perfectly acceptable if you personally can't justify spending on the movie, but should also be judgment free for people who are ok with going to see it.

It's hard to say. What it does say is that you really can't say that buying a ticket will be a net positive or negative for gay rights...any more then the money for any other ticket for any other movie.

Probably against.

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bCurt
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Just a note that OSC is no longer on the board of NOM and I do not know how much a part he plays with NOM currently nor does anyone who has participated in this discussion either.
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Obama
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One of the opinions being given here appears to be that if the Imperial Grand Wizard has a bakery, from which he makes money, then it is wrong to boycott that bakery, because after all what do cookies have to do with racism?

Okay, then.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
One of the opinions being given here appears to be that if the Imperial Grand Wizard has a bakery, from which he makes money, then it is wrong to boycott that bakery, because after all what do cookies have to do with racism?
To the extent that being an Imperial Grand Wizard is legal, and you support its legality, I think that's a reasonable position.

If you seek to deny a person's livelihood merely for doing something legal, I think you should at the same time be seeking that this something be made illegal.

Otherwise you're saying what exactly? That X is bad enough so that the person doing X ought be penalized even in unrelated aspects of his life, but it's not bad enough that it should be formally penalized by society via (at the very least) fines? This seems very contradictory.

(Mind you, in the particular case, I do NOT support the legality of being an Imperial Grand Wizard, I would be overjoyed to see e.g. the neonazi party in my own country banned altogether, and therefore I do support boycotts in such instances)

And as an extra sidenote, because NOM has supported similar boycotts in the past, I'm thinking that boycotts are justified against them. So consider that I'm addressing the more general point, not the particular NOM-related scenario.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
That X is bad enough so that the person doing X ought be penalized even in unrelated aspects of his life, but it's not bad enough that it should be formally penalized by society via (at the very least) fines?
It seems to me that is exactly what is being said, but it's not remotely a nonsensical position. Namely: this behavior is bad enough that I choose not to support it, will personally penalize this person, and will encourage others to voluntarily penalize him -- but do not believe that the full force of the state should be used to penalize him. Boycotts are inherently an expression of freedom.
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bCurt
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I'm officially boycotting the boycott!
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millernumber1
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quote:
Originally posted by bCurt:
I'm officially boycotting the boycott!

[Smile]
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BlackBlade
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The NYTs had an article regarding the boycott you might have missed if you don't venture to the other side of the forum.
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mickmca
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quote:
Originally posted by Obama:
if the Imperial Grand Wizard has a bakery

Is it just too obvious to mention the irony of this conversation in the context of Ender's Game, one of the great examinations of personal responsibility?
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by C3PO the Dragon Slayer:
Last I heard, OSC is not being paid a cut of the profits from the Ender's Game film. He has already been paid; whether you go see the movie has no bearing on how much money he'll give to NOM.

The first part may be true but the second is not. Let me explain.

This is the first Card novel to be made into a major movie. Its success or failure will have a huge influence on any and all possible future movie deals. If the movie is a huge success, expect to see sequels in short order regardless of any controversy about the author. If the movie makes some money but not a lot and the boycott is hugely successful in raising awareness, studios may decide it's not worth the trouble for a minor franchise. If the boycott is so successful (it wont be but what if?) that the movie flops, studios will be far less likely to produce future movies based on Card's work.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
It seems to me that is exactly what is being said, but it's not remotely a nonsensical position. Namely: this behavior is bad enough that I choose not to support it, will personally penalize this person, and will encourage others to voluntarily penalize him -- but do not believe that the full force of the state should be used to penalize him. Boycotts are inherently an expression of freedom.
I suppose it does make sense from a libertarian perspective, where state-coercion must be minimized at all costs -- but my main disagreement with libertarians arises from the distinction I make between "freedom in theory" vs "freedom in practice".

If in practice one's afraid of losing their livelihoods because of the beliefs they have, then they're not really free to express those beliefs in the first place -- even though the law technically doesn't punish them, society simply chose a indirect, less measurable, decentralized way to punish them for it.

If it was a boycott from the opposite political side, e.g. a boycott of movies containing e.g. non-closeted gay actors, I doubt you'd call such boycotts an "expression of freedom". You'd recognize it as an attempt (among other things) to make gay people be afraid of the repercussions of being uncloseted; a means of oppression, not freedom.

Now, of course, let me restate that because NOM has supported such boycotts in the past, they may be fair game indeed, despite the above. Tit-for-tat.

But I'm concerned about the larger concept of "penalize via boycotts people whose opinions we disagree with". How do you avoid monolithicality of thought when you so penalize divergence from it?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
If it was a boycott from the opposite political side, e.g. a boycott of movies containing e.g. non-closeted gay actors, I doubt you'd call such boycotts an "expression of freedom".
No, because I'm not a hypocrite. Just because some people are stupid jerks doesn't mean that they aren't free to be stupid jerks.

quote:
How do you avoid monolithicality of thought when you so penalize divergence from it?
It seems to me that refusing to give money to people who promote something with which you disagree is one of the weakest possible "penalties" for "divergence." It's also worth noting, I believe, that there is actually positive value to society enforcing some form of shared standards, and I would much rather those standards be enforced in a "soft" manner -- through things like boycotts and public ridicule -- than through law.
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stilesbn
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Out of curiosity I went back to the Golden Compass thread in 2007 to see what the reaction to the Catholic League boycott of the movie was. Not too many people are still around but there were a few names I recognize.

BlackBlade was OK with the boycott
Rakeesh was OK with the boycott
Synesthesia was adamantly against the boycott (I don't know if Synesthesia posts much any more...)
TomDavidson "I don't see anything against a boycott. I think boycotting a given piece of entertainment always fails in the long run, but they're welcome to do it."
Ron Lambert's posts were too long for me to bother reading

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The Black Pearl
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I think the writer's strike may have really hurt that movie, with less people watching TV.
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Synesthesia
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It's just whenever they point out, oh, this book is blasphemous and evil and there's sex in it (There is no sex in Golden Compass) it just makes people want to read it MORE though. But really, they ought to READ the book first from a library before complaining about it. But, if they want to miss out on a great book without knowing what it's about. It bothers me more if folks are like this has blah blah blah ect, but they don't even know what is actually in the book than boycotting because you don't want to give money to someone who will give money to organizations who hate people like you and want you crammed tightly in a closet.

But folks have the right to boycott things and that movie was probably terrible anyway. They cut so much from it that made the book awesome. Even though that Handsome Man played Lord Asriel. He's hot. That guy has a SNOW LEOPARD FOR A DAEMON and I think I should have one because snow leopards are not actually cold and evil...

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Samprimary
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The Catholic League should have realized that by keeping people from watching Golden Compass (and thus playing any incidental part in preventing the two planned film sequels from happening) that they were inadvertently doing good. Shame on them; they have a reputation to keep.
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The Black Pearl
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The movie did suck, but killing New Line wasn't a good thing.
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Synesthesia
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True. Ugh. And they cut out all of the church stuff I think to keep the church from getting angry and i still didn't work. Man, screw movie versions of books I like. I'm just going to stick with the book!
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The Black Pearl
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The church themes were pretty tame in the first book in my opinion. The later ones felt less like raw escapism. They felt a little like a lecture. I still enjoyed the hell out of them, but at the time I was a little religious and I did feel like it was a bit of a bait and switch.
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millernumber1
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As an extremely religious reader, I found Pullman's construction of both God and the church to be so far from what I actually believe it was kind of hilarious. I didn't boycott the film, but found both it and the books a bit boring and overrated.
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The Black Pearl
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Golden Compass, Lord of the Rings, and ASOIAF is the holy triumvirate of fantasy.
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millernumber1
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That is...an interesting perspective. Care to elaborate?
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Aris Katsaris
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IMO Golden Compass doesn't belong in such a "triumvirate". I'd not put A Song of Ice and Fire there either.
--

Of the top of my head, I'd put the following three works as things that have been insanely popular, redefined their respective genres, and shaped all that comes after them:

Bram Stoker's "Dracula" for horror gothic romance fantasy.
JRR Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" for epic other-world fantasy.
JK Rowling's "Harry Potter" for children's adventure/coming-of-age fantasy.

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millernumber1
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That makes a lot more sense to me, Aris.

In other news: http://www.endersansible.com/2013/07/24/fan-community-launches-enders-game-fans-for-equality/

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