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In case you have missed it, Orson Scott Card has rewritten Hamlet, and it may surprise many of you to learn that it's all about the Evil of Being Gay:

The extent of the novella's failure is surprising—and embarrassing, given that Card is a skilled veteran novelist and Subterranean a well-respected press. The most polite thing for us to do would be to walk away and quietly forget the whole painful exercise. But Card does not deserve our polite amnesia. His failures should be known and remembered, because the revelation in his "revelatory new version" turns out to be a nightmare of vitriolic homophobia.

Here's the punch line: Old King Hamlet was an inadequate king because he was gay, an evil person because he was gay, and, ultimately, a demonic and ghostly father of lies who convinces young Hamlet to exact imaginary revenge on innocent people. The old king was actually murdered by Horatio, in revenge for molesting him as a young boy—along with Laertes, and Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern, thereby turning all of them gay. We learn that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are now "as fusty and peculiar as an old married couple. I pity the woman who tries to wed her way into that house."

Hamlet is damned for all the needless death he inflicts, and Dead Gay Dad will now do gay things to him for the rest of eternity: "Welcome to Hell, my beautiful son. At last we'll be together as I always longed for us to be."

All of this is as horrifying as it is ridiculous. It is not, however, surprising that Orson Scott Card's primary purpose is to slander ten percent of the human race. He recently joined the board of the National Organization for Marriage, an institution which exists solely to crush gay civil rights wherever they emerge. Card has publicly stated that homosexuals will destroy America:

There is a myth that homosexuals are "born that way," and we are pounded with this idea so thoroughly that many people think that somebody, somewhere, must have proved it . . . The dark secret of homosexual society—the one that dares not speak its name—is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally.”

I've never really thought much of Scott's beloved novel, Ender's Game, which is the only novel of his that I have read, but after reading this review, and having having heard many other things said, I got to thinking.

I thought.

I thought, what if I, like, just, kinda, sort tweaked his book round:

"I've watched through his eyes, I've listened through his ears, and I tell you he's the one. Or at least as close as we're going to get."

"That's what you said about the brother."

"The brother tested impossible. For other reasons. Nothing to do with his ability."

"If his sister wasn't a girl. And there are doubts about him. He's too malleable. Too willing to submerge himself in someone else's will."

"Not if the other person is his enemy."

"So what do we do? Surround him with gays all the time?"

"If we have to."

"I thought you said you liked this kid."

"If the buggers get him, they'll make me look like his favourite uncle."

"All right. We're saving the world, after all. Take him."

I dunno, I dunno. Just one word--does one word really change the scene around? Would it be so easy to make Ender's Game a book about acceptance and diversity, when it came to sexuality?

Would it be so easy to just tweak and rewrite and be able to say, why yes, of course being gay is fine, there's nothing wrong with it. Have you read Ender's Game, a book that celebrates diversity in all its forms?

Why, I reckon it wouldn't be so hard, myself...


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Sep. 12th, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
I have read Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead before I found out Scott Card was not cool with gay rights and equality for all. It put me in a conundrum of whether to continue reading his books - because I liked them - or restrain out of principle. So far I've stuck to the latter decision.

I do agree it's a little shocking how his message for acceptance of divesrity in Ender's Game (though more so in Speaker for the Dead are quite contrary to his personal beliefs. But maybe he thinks we should accept diversity in terms of race and gender and species, but not sexuality... I didn't realize Ender's Game celebrated diversity in all its forms, including sexuality...

Edit: And it's pretty horrific he links homosexuality with rape, abuse, assault, incest...

Edited at 2011-09-12 06:49 pm (UTC)
Sep. 13th, 2011 06:39 am (UTC)
When the Oedipal complex just isn't enough...
Sep. 14th, 2011 05:47 am (UTC)
Ender's Game is definitely a classic - no two ways about it. We've certainly made excuses for thoroughly objectionable sf writers before. The book is a page-turning study of adolescence and war with a nice twist ending.

Everything else I've ever read by Card has been pretty much rubbish. All the Ender's sequels, his Alvin Maker stuff, etc. Nonsense.

I'm currently watching Sons of Anarchy which is also Hamlet-based. Bet it's better than Card's thing, even though it's not that good.
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