Ender’s Game is a forthcoming movie adaptation of a book written 28 years ago by Orson Scott Card. Like most major studio releases, the movie is the collaborative effort of dozens if not hundreds of people. As to Card’s involvement in the movie, Ender’s Game lists 8 producers and one director, and the screenplay was written by someone other than Card. Any of those producers might favor a flat tax, and the head location scout could well be a big fan of racial profiling. We’re not sure. Here’s the totality of what the public knows about the political views of people associated with the movie:
- Star Harrison Ford hates the Bill of Rights, or at least 10% of it, and would prefer that innocent potential violent crime victims cede the right to defend themselves;
- The producer listed 7th out of 8, Card, feels the same way about homosexual marriage as do most voters in the nation’s most populous state.
Card’s insufficiently inclusive views have made him the subject of criticism, and the movie itself the target of protests that may or may not materialize. The message is unambiguous: “The views of one person tangentially involved with the production of this commercial enterprise are so offensive to me that I refuse to pay the $12 to patronize it, and will encourage others to follow suit.”
There’s short-sightedness, and then there’s posturing. Combine the two and you get a mental condition that defies classification.
The last major purchase we made at CYC headquarters was a new submersible well pump. Including labor, it ran around $3000. Which is cheap, given that the alternative was to not have running water. Then we’d be looking at dysentery, diarrhea, maybe even brucellosis, not to mention the stares and sniffs that go with appearing in public without ever showering. The crew who handled the job spent most of the afternoon digging into the earth’s crust and left us with the peace of mind that comes with knowing we won’t have a similar pump problem for decades. We gave them a check and thanked them.
However…what if the company founder (who’s also the chief technician) expressed a political view we disagreed with? What if his primary passion in life, other than the replacement of faulty well pumps, was getting Islam recognized as the U.S.’s one official state religion? Or even something less jolting but still damaging, such as providing billions in subsidies for wind energy companies?
You know what we’d do instead? We’d thank him for his time and, depending on how good a job he did, recommend him to people.
A similarly expensive recent purchase was a big-screen TV, which had more hands in its creation than the installation of the well pump did and perhaps as many as Ender’s Game did. We don’t know the political opinions of Samsung’s chief technology officer, and even if he ran for the South Korean national assembly on the pro-natural disasters platform, it wouldn’t have affected our decision. The moral stand of people wanting to make a statement about Orson Scott Card’s rejection of homosexual marriage does nothing to benefit anyone or anything, save the ductile psyches of the statement-makers.
Buy what you want, on its own merits. Not those of the mostly faceless people responsible for its creation. It’s a financial decision, not a moral one. If you can’t enjoy a movie because you think the guy who wrote the book upon which the screenplay was adapted is looking for modern-day Matthew Shepards to hang from trees, then best of luck leading an economic life free of taint. It can’t be done but selectively, which is to say, hypocritically.
The CYC principals’ principles require us to treat animal abusers with disdain at best, and seething hatred most of the time. The Philadelphia Eagles pay millions of dollars to a sociopathic quarterback who not only did unspeakable things to innocent dogs, but has yet to show remorse for doing so. In other words, Michael Vick’s net contribution to the universal grand total of unjustified violence, bloodshed and evil is far, far, greater than anything Orson Scott Card can proffer an opinion about. Our opinion of an organization that would grant a lucrative lifeline to Vick is only slightly less uncharitable than our opinion of Vick himself, regardless of how many respectable people the organization might employ. Thus we’re never going to buy any Eagles’ merchandise, nor ever go to a game, which is easy to accomplish seeing as we don’t live anywhere near Philadelphia (thank God.) Our involvement with the Eagles will remain at the level of cheering for their opponents every Sunday and praying that Vick gets paralyzed.
And you know what? That stance doesn’t make a bit of difference to Vick nor to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie. The boycott is a way to feel better about ourselves and nothing more, although at least we’re self-aware enough to admit it. If we’d found out that the guy from the drilling company was a dog murderer, we’d have worked a little harder to find a competitor. Same thing with the Samsung executive, maybe. But tabulating and assessing the opinions and thoughts of everyone associated with the creation of every good or service we purchase would create only one thing – inertia. Standing up for what you believe is swell. Making self-defeating financial decisions because you’ve appointed yourself the supreme magistrate of opinions (not even actions) one, two, three degrees removed from the subject at hand is stupid. Henry Ford made cars for the Nazis. Bayer aspirin is manufactured by a former subsidiary of the company that synthesized Zyklon B. Chase Bank froze Jewish customers’ accounts during the occupation of France (and stole billions from American taxpayers.) And at least a couple of the pennies you spend here will doubtless go toward something you disagree with. Get over it.