LCS proprietor bans Orson Scott Card’s literature. Censorship or standing up to hate?

lucstclair's picture
Today I read a ridiculous article in the paper that kind of got a wee bit under my collar. The owner of a LCS (local comic book shop) which shall remain nameless (don’t wanna start a war here) has drastically pulled all of Orson Scott Card’s work off the shelves and will only order his new Superman title by special order, after hearing that the writer is “allegedly”, I repeat allegedly (meaning not a 100% sure of the facts) against same sex marriage. Excuse me while I say WTF? The owner claims it’s not censorship, I couldn’t disagree more.
I’m all for same sex marriage, whatever rocks your boat people. The owner also says that he doesn’t want to promote hate, now I’ve never read Card’s novels or the comics, but who’s never heard of Ender’s Game? (the movie’s coming out), but I’m pretty sure they’re not about gay bashing or anti-same sex marriage. So the guy has strong personal opinions, who gives a shit? The owner needs to stop taking things so damn personally and start thinking as a business man selling his product.
I mean what’s next? What if he finds out later that Scott Snyder’s an atheist or that Jason Aaron’s a member of the NRA or that Grant Morrison drinks Pepsi? “Well I’m a Christian pacifist who drinks Coke and I’m putting my foot down and yanking all of these so-called writers’ comic books & trades off my shelves”. He would sound crazy, would he not?
The owner quotes “I can’t stomach hate”, he has no problem selling comics like Crossed & Ferals which displays horrific images of extreme gore, blood & mutilations or even sells & rents Hentai DVDs with tentacled monsters raping cartooned women. That’s not hateful at all. I take it back, he is a good business man, his store is located in the city’s gay village, if that’s not a publicity stunt to sell more comics, I don’t know what is.
On a final note, if I could just shift this blog to the movies for a minute. I love Roman Polanski’s movies, back in the 70’s he was involved in some controversy that he allegedly raped a teenage girl at Jack Nicholson’s house. He pleaded guilty and left the country (there’s doc movie about the whole fiasco, check it out). Whether you believe he actually did it or he didn't is your business and that's not my point here. He's still a brilliant film maker. Do I still watch Roman Polanski movies? Hell yes. And if the mood should strike me, I’d love to pick up a hard copy of Ender’s Game, I just can’t do it at this store.  


Let's start this at the top, shall we?


"has drastically pulled all of Orson Scott Card’s work off" - Right there, do you see it? That "drastically" tossed in. This shop owner didn't just make a choice based on how he feels and what he will tolerate when it comes to active hate speech being supported. No his actions were, in your eyes "drastic" Which shows that from this second on you will move to apologize for Card, defend and water down arguments against him. Right there, that early you set up shop. Congratulations!


"The owner claims it’s not censorship, I couldn’t disagree more." You can disagree all you want. It still isn't censorship in a legal or moral sense. It is a shop owner not buying copies of a book he does not want to support. You can still get the book. He isn't saying anyone else should never buy the book, and many of the stores refusing to order are ordering pull copies for customers that ask for them - not denying customers the chance to buy it at their store. So, deny whatever you want but for the record - you are now denying reality itself.


"The owner needs to stop taking things so damn personally and start thinking as a business man selling his product." No, he doesn't. Look, you can not like his choice, but if it is a bad business choice it will hurt his business. And he will suffer for it. And it will self-correct. Also "taking things personally" like you are, in this diatribe?


"I mean what’s next?" is code for - here is a slippery slope straw man argument, be warned. And then, thankfully, you do just that. Thanks for being predictable, pedantic, boring and wrong all at once. You make this too easy.


"if that’s not a publicity stunt to sell more comics, I don’t know what is." It's taking a stand. Taking a stand on something does not require to you to take a stand on everything else that someone else decides you should, in order to validate your own personal lines. That simply isn't how it works.


You do not get to decide this guy should do X or else he can't feel Y. Again there is this pesky thing I like to call reality standing in your way.


Then we come to Polanski - "he allegedly raped" "He pleaded guilty." Little hint. If you plead guilty it means you are admitting guilt. Which means "allegedly" is "did in fact, and admitted to rape" see how that works? "Whether you believe he actually did it or he didn't is your business and that's not my point here." No but my point is he himself believes he did. So why bring it into question at all? Roman Polanski raped a minor. Full stop. Factual. Taa-daa.


"Do I still watch Roman Polanski movies? Hell yes." ...congratulations? Do you want a medal? Look, you and the store owner don't agree. And that's fine. It's good! Healthy, open, honest debate is a wonderful thing. But this blog post is not that. It is full of cheap debate tricks and subtle word choices to pre-emptively shift the readers perception in an effort to make things look not quite as bad. You try to draw lines that don't exist between things and then lessen them. I mean you try to downplay Polanski's crime for no good reason I can see.


For the record: Card has done more than been a wee tad homophobic and hate-filled. He is like the giant Twinkie that walks like a man. Filled with creamy hate and lumbering forward until even Ghostbuster references strain their usefulness. He is on the board of directors of the National Organization for Marriage. He has also said “Marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down." Yes, you heard that right.


Anyway. Good luck with all of this. And the next time you want to argue this sort of thing - strip out the useless things and just disagree. It's all right to disagree. But this? This sort of thing - well that's self-correcting, too, I guess, huh?


 - In 1990, OSC called openly for a ban on same-sex marriage.

 - In 2008, he called for a revolution should gay marriage became law.

 - He is part of the Board of Directors of the National Organization for Marriage, a non-profit organization created to prevent legalization of same-sex marriage.

Orson Scott Card's talent as a writer is not what people is arguing about (and he's not that good of a writer, the Ender saga is awful IMO). Hell, if he only believed gay marriage was wrong people would not be doing this much fuss, but he is an activist that works in detriment of other people's rights.

He not only believes it is wrong, he works to impede other people from having the same rights as him! How convenient, don't you think?

People is rallying against him on the basis that he has done the same. Buying anything he writes is akin to fund his behaviour and activities. Supporting an anti-gay marriage activist is not something I will ever do, and I say this as a heterosexual male with no further interest in this.

Every man should equal under the rule of law. OSC works to prevent that from happening.

lucstclair's picture
Wow. Someone’s a little upset. You made some interesting points and maybe the Polanski comparison wasn’t the best of examples. I don’t want to dwell on Polanski too much, my point is we live in a society where people can’t seem to separate an artist/celebrity’s work from their personal beliefs or the sins or demons they carry. The reason I said I still watch Polanski movies, is that I know people who flat out refuse to watch any of his films because of his past.  These are also the same people who no longer watch Mel Gibson movies as well, we all know the shit he’s pulled. For me, personally I couldn’t give a crap less about how Polanski or Gibson live their lives. Who am I to judge? It’s none of our business. Period.
Now grant it, OSC is a lot more involved with his crazy mission to abolish same sex marriage that I was lead to believe. That’s my fault, I should’ve done my homework on that one. I haven’t changed my mind about the shopkeeper, it would be different if the shop was pulling books/comics about homophobic subjects, or if these comics depicted homophobia. But pulling them for the author’s personal views is just pandering.
I also believe that if the owner pulls all of OSC’s books off the shelves, he’s just hurting his business, regardless if he orders specific copies for his customers and especially with the Ender’s Game movie coming out this year.
As far as your advice on the way I argue, you can debate my opinions and you can criticize the way I argue all you want, but I’m not gonna change. I’m pig-headed like that, ask my wife. I’m probably wrong about half the shit I say (my wife will definitely agree to that). Now if you reply to these comments and you probably will, know this. I’m not going to reply again, I won’t play the “replying bickering game” with you. Life’s too short, I’ve got shit to do & comics to review. However, if you want to talk comics or even leave some quick pick reviews or recommendations, then by all means. This has been interesting to say the least.

This is not about his beliefs and personal views, it is about his actions and the causes he has chosen to support actively.

Do yourself a favor and read about your selected topic next time before writing anything. Actually, reading what comments you're replying to will help as well.

I think it's pretty obvious this is just a way to gain publicity and boost the store's sales. If it works, more power to them. Personally, I disagree with OSC's views, haven't read anything by him (not because of his beliefs, just because I haven't) and personally would not support a man or corporation that I knew used funds to oppress people. I DO think the Roman Polanski example is a good one, though. I don't think I've necessarily done very much, if anything at all, to add any money to Polanski's pocket, but I'm not exactly boycotting him. I watch Rosemary's Baby maybe once a year. I've seen recent films of his (not in the theaters, or honestly in anyway that involves me paying for them). And this is a dude that fled the country because he drugged and raped a young girl. I can't really explain or excuse this except to say that clearly I am somewhat hypocritical, as all humans are. The dichotomy of these two situations though is interesting though and therefore valid to bring up.

I just have to...

"Who am I to judge? It’s none of our business." Who are you to judge? A human being who gets to say "This behavior is fucking reprehensible and I won't support it." If you can't understand that, then no, don't reply. We all see you for the illogical, uncaring, idiotic person you are, causally tossing out hate because you can't be bothered to think and give a crap.


stephengervais's picture
^^ Wow just a tad over the top Adam. Heaven forbid someone has a different view than you or thinks differently than you. No hate was tossed around, the writer doesn't think the LCS should decide what the consumer wants. I'm sure half the stuff you are wearing or own is made and built in sweatshops around the world so get off your high horse and quit the name calling.