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December 14, 2004


matt rossi

Must not have a stroke... must not explode in rage

Todd Murry

Hmmmm, I think you are a little off with this one. Hiring Card doesn't seem to me to be at all like getting Karl Zinsmeister to write a book. Card is a writer that has also been hired to do an opinion column, giving him a forum to spout off. This doesn't seem to me to be that different from Stephen King turning in political EW columns. My point is that these are public outlets for opinion which are sepperated from the primary job of the writer, while Zinsmeister's primary job is full time flack for one point of view. No one would bat an eye if King were hired to write an ongoing Marvel comic (at least for political reasons).

The main question is - will the politics influence the story (seems very possible), and is that why marvel hired a known conservative writer (maybe). Card's a pretty good writer - maybe the best (opinion, obviously) novelist yet hired to slum it in comics - and this could be exciting news.



I think your questions are the right ones, Todd, but for many years now Card has struck me as someone who, like Dave Sim, can't help but inject his politics into his work, and I find those politics pretty unappealing.

As for the quality of his writing, I haven't really enjoyed a Card novel since the early 90s - and in retrospect even Ender's Game looks pretty repugnant, with its have-your-cake-and-weep-over-it-too genocide. (Genocide of the dirty "Buggers." Oh my.) This comic would be a pass even if I didn't know his politics.


All I want to know is, which real-life starlet will be suckered into lending her likeness to this series? I say Scarlett Johansen.

Also, how soon will it be before an actual conservative mouthpiece is hired to write a Marvel comic? I can definitely see them offering something to Dennis Miller. He's got the experience; he wrote a couple of jokes for one of the Batman movies...


Already happened, Pete. Follow the Zinsmeister/AEI link.

Jess Nevins

"I'd like to think that by now we all realize how sad and fraudulent the comparisons of antiwar protesters to Neville Chamberlain are"

Especially since Chamberlain was actually far more clever than the rap he's given.

Look, in 1938 Britain wasn't ready to fight a war. Radar wasn't widely installed, the British military hadn't been upgraded. Germany was ready to fight a war. If Chamberlain had taken a stand, Britain would have been defeated. Hitler knew this and was banking on Chamberlain declaring war. Hitler didn't want peace in '38--and when Chamberlain ceded Czechoslovakia, Hitler was furious, since he wasn't getting the war he wanted at the time he wanted. He knew Chamberlain had out-foxed him.

In 1939, when Britain's military was ready for a war, Chamberlain declared war over Poland.

The Prankster

It's actually worse than that--in one of his equally insane "Uncle Orson Reviews Everything" columns (in which he proves to have just as poor taste in movies and similar as he does in politics--for crying out loud, he names "Uptown Girls" as a great movie) he says something about how he's not interested in superheroes. Now, here he is, writing a superhero. That's almost as rich as his lambasting of X-Men 2 a few months before he praised the writers of said flick when they came on board to write the umpteenth iteration of the Ender's Game script.

The sad thing is, he is a talented writer at times. But how can someone who's apparently read so much about history, military tactics, and so on be so shrilly and simplistically pro-Bush? How can someone who is so clearly capable of empathy for characters he writes make such jaw-droppingly Manichean and juvenile arguments about the real world? That "Gay marriage" column is the height of idiocy. Also, check out one of his post-debate columns in which he somehow spins Kerry's comment about not legislating his religious beliefs into a virulent attack on religion.

Dom Guglieme

Ironic really, I see one of Card's greatest sins as a writer to be his tendency towards being maudlin. And, look at all of you. (Of course, my reaction was much the same as yours, I just am not committing it to words......)

In any case, Card on Ironman will likely have some intelligent tech and tactics talk. And, it will also have a good deal of over-drawn emotions.

I disagree about the unintended hilarity of the war story. I am more looking forward to (if only to get out of the way) Card's take on alchoholism.

As for gay/lesbain (meaning gays marrying gays and lesbians marrying lesbians) marriage, the issue is overdrawn. I have nothing against homosexuals (in fact, I have at least one gay friend who I love like a sibling), but am tired of hearing about the debate. My ideal solution would require radical social engineering. First let people marry who they want to. Gays and lesbians would not be required to produce kids of their own, but those who would make good parents would be forced to adopt kids and raise 'em to be productive. Most of these kids could be confiscated from inept biological parents.

Bah. I would like to see what Card has to say to *that*.

Good night. (I am so tired.)



Yes, look at us all, being so... maudlin... ? Also, I don't think any sentence that begins "I have nothing against/some of my best friends are [name of demonized minority group]" has ever ended well.

And more seriously, I'm not sure a third party's desire to stop hearing a debate is a good reason for those involved to stop having one, especially when people's basic human rights are at stake. Card, after all, isn't just arguing against same-sex marriage, he wants to throw people in jail for engaging in same-sex sex and to "discourage people from engaging in homosexual practices." Ignoring Card's (IMO repugnant) views is only going to give him more license to try and enforce them on all of us.


In all seriousness Marc, I see what you are saying. If someone were to even consider hurting my lesbian friend (who I consider to be my little sister) I would hurt them. No question. (Of course, said little sister/friend is more than capable of taking care of herself, but you get the idea.)

But, I really do not think it is worth all of the debate. I would certainly never quietly stand by as homosexuals were imprisoned for the crime of being gay. ("Crime" in this case being based on the hypothetical assumption that it were an offense that could realistically land one in prison.) But, a mass round up of gays in hardly likely. I live near Boston. This past spring/summer, I heard nothing but "gay-marriage.........." Frankly, there were more important events happening in the world.

I am rarely moved by arguements about "human rights" having intrinsic value. What bothers me about making homosexuality illegal is that it is petty and small-minded. There are more important things to worry about, and much greater potential "criminals", (see above about "crime") to hunt down.

Do I agree with Card on gay rights? Certainly not. Do you? I assume the answer is a resounding no. But, are any of us likely to change his opinions on this? I doubt it.

Do we need to change his opinions on this? No. Last time I checked, Card was not a policy maker. Hell, he is not even really terribly influential beyond a given demographic. He is no threat to anyone. Yeah, he is a pompous ass. Yeah, his writing could be polished. But, he is not a great threat to anyone you or I care about.

If nothing else, and I am being really snitty here, maybe it is best not to try to convince Card of the error of his bigoted ways. Yes, I agree, Card is intellectually and morally deficient. Now, what better punishment for such a repugnant state of being can you think of than leaving Card in his own mental filth? Honestly, I do not think Card deserves the insight that could come with being forced to confront and reconsider such a wrong stance on any issue.

I hope he is ignorant for the rest of his life. (Well, an epiphany in the last half-hour or so that fills him with regret might also be a fitting punishment, but........)

Now to get back to comics, as for the impending Ironman run, I am morbidly curious.


I don't think any of us are likely to change Card's opinions, but then I don't think he's likely to be reading a blog called "I Am Not the Beastmaster" either. (Although subjects of previous posts have commented here in the past, so who knows?) Converting the opposition isn't the only reason to express an opinion; I'd say if this post does any good at all, it'll be to notify other comics readers about Card's politics and let them draw their own conclusions.

Also, if civil/human rights arguments in the abstract aren't your thing, it's worth considering that there are some very tangible, practical rights and privileges that come with marriage - hospital visitation rights, inheritances, child custody, health care coverage, and so on - that are currently denied to same-sex couples.

I do agree that there were many other important issues this year; we heard a lot more about gay marriage than I personally needed to, probably by design to mobilize anti-gay voters and put Bush back in office. But I understand why it's an important issue to so many people.


After being out of the closet for 16 years, I care a lot more about my partner having health care, getting Social Security and being my next of kin than whether Orson Scott Card thinks I'm swell. Like a lot of opponents of equal marriage rights, he's hung up on some symbolic "acceptance" of gays (and of course, sex.)

Listen to Card rant about how we all need to repress our desires and act "unnaturally" to save civilization makes me wonder what about sex frightens him so much.

the aardvark

Marc - couldn't find an email address for you, but this thread is as appropriate a place as anywhere to let you know that my friend's "Comic Book Politics" course that you helped out on a while ago is now on-line with a blog and can be found at http://www.comicbookpolitics.com.



Brave stance Zan, being out of the closet. Were I gay, I do not think I would come out, as I would see too many difficulties.

As far as tangible benefits go, power of attorney can take care of hospital visits and the like.

Child custody, health care and inheritance varies so wildly from state to state that I cannot even begin to consider them. In the case of health care, one might (if they are very desirable for a company) be able to strong arm a deal from their employer. In principle, I do support equal rights for gays, but I have other things to base my vote on.

I did not know Card was hung up over sex, so much as homosexuality.

As for what Marc said about mobilizing voters, he may have something. I do recall reading someplace (NYTimes maybe) that most Bush voters voted on the "guns, gays, and God" line. In other words, majority or not, Bush won on second tier issues. I tend to think Bush did in fact win a legitimate majority, which is an indictment of this country (and possibly democracy) more than it is of Bush.

I do not blame Bush or (Andrew) Card for the tactic. I blame the idiot voters who allow such tactics like "guns, gays and God" to be effective.



Orson Update: (stock news music plays)

He will be showing up at Barnes and Noble in Boston for a book signing. The B&N he will be appearing at is the store that functions primarily as the bookstore for Boston University.

Am I the only one wondering how a top-level school can justify inviting this guy to speak? Granted, it is more Barnes and Noble, but BU has tremendous sway at that store.

Links are posted below.




I know trying to get speakers banned from campuses is all the rage for the conservatives these days but I don't think I care to join in. If Boston-area progressive or gay rights groups want to protest Card's appearance, well, I think everybody ought to know how odious his views are. But this blog won't be pressed into service for whipping up some kind of artifical controversy...

...especially when its architect has admitted it's a prank and a retaliation for getting fired.

Don't pull this shit again.


Okay. Sorry. (I did not know you read ICOM.)

In any case, won't happen again.

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