Orson Scott Card: Can we separate the artist from his views? Yes, but only if the artist is dead.

13 Feb

I love it, and the creator asks a pertinent question I want to write about:

“It’s an oft-had discussion: Can you as a consumer of art separate the artist in question from their past deeds or personal politics?”

The answer is, of course, yes, provided the artist is LONG since dead and buried and burning in hell. I think the average middle class milquetoast answer to this question is “let the artists believe what they must, we, as an audience should still be able to enjoy their work…”

Hold up, put on the breaks, what do you mean “we?”

There’s something to be said about the fact that Orson is alive today and sitting on the board of directors for NOM and actively contributing funds to the debasement of gay people in the US and (possibly) abroad (it’s hard to keep track of which religious coffers are going towards killing gay Ugandans and which are simply used for really rude commercials). 
This is a vastly different thing than when I look at my copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s collected works that my wonderful boyfriend gifted to me. Yes, Edgar Allan Poe was a racist, and not just “dad racist” but one of those weirdo “black people are monkeys for serious” racists.

The matter that a good conscionable consumer should be asking themselves when buying an Edgar Allan Poe book isn’t necessarily “should I be supporting ancient racism with my purchase?” but more along the lines of “is the Edgar Allan Poe estate funding insane racism now?”

The big bad question about artists and their non-work related opinions isn’t really as complicated as presented by most people. The question is: Is the thing I’m buying directly funding something I am against?

If you’re the average internet know-it-all you might point out that the very essence of money as a currency that only has value in its exchanges means that your spent money, at some point in time, will end up in the excel spreadsheet budget of some really violent nazis. Well, I can forgive you if that happens, you are expunged then, my son.

But to compare Orson Scott Card to some dead rotting racist is like comparing really live hateful apples to dead oranges with stupid ideas.


2 Responses to “Orson Scott Card: Can we separate the artist from his views? Yes, but only if the artist is dead.”

  1. taco July 28, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    This is by far the most “unbiased” article i have seen of more than several articles dealing with the Orson scott card/enders game controversy. I applaud you for that. We need more articles like this to get people to really see what they are doing.


  1. #SkipEndersGame Why Do LGBT Ender’s Game Supporters Lie? | Meanhood - September 9, 2013

    […] -Related: Orson Scott Card: Can we separate the artist from his views? Yes, but only if the artist is dead. […]

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