Orson Scott Card is what I’d consider to be a deeply mentally ill person. In addition to other things, for decades now, he’s continually spouted off in a jaw-droppingly rabid fashion about just how much he doesn’t like gay people. It takes a special kind of crazy to get that worked up over something that, theoretically, has no effect on your life whatsoever.
The first one was his big vomiting up of crazy in 1990 about how gay sex should stay illegal, among other things:
“Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books…to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens.”
That’s right, not only does he think that “homosexual behavior” should be illegal, he doesn’t think that gay people should even be considered equal citizens. Which explains his views on gay marriage a bit. Personally, I’d venture the opinion that the ones who shouldn’t be permitted to remain a part of society are the people so seething with bigotry and ignorance that they find it difficult to cohabitate the planet in proximity to anybody who isn’t like them, even when those people are doing nothing that in any way affects them.
But that wasn’t it, not nearly. That was Orson Scott Card around 20 years ago, and he’s continued to drift from reality.
Of course, when you’re a mentally ill person, reality seems pretty relative. In his big 2004 essay on the subject , because I guess Card felt that people were lying awake at night wondering just what the fucktard was thinking about gay people now, he makes labored, poor analogies using Alice in Wonderland to talk about how the gay agenda is pulling society into a rabbit hole where the reality of marriage, as he sees it, is being distorted. That’s right, we’re being pulling into some terrifying, strange alternate reality in which everybody has equal civil rights and consenting adults whose actions have no effect on your life can do as they choose. Sounds pretty harrowing, doesn’t it?
Then there was the big one, Card’s 2008 explosion of retardation in which he actually suggests the overthrow of the Government if Prop 8 was struck down. No, really:
“How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, 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, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.”
I can’t link to the original version of that essay because, as near as I can tell, it’s been taken down, but the salient details have largely circled the web and you can find them any number of places. There are lengthy excerpts on this blog here and also a good editorial on it with more quotes here .
It speaks a great deal to his character that Orson Scott Card would feel strongly enough about something that his delusional mind would start talking about overthrowing the Government, but then allow the article to be removed when the fallout from his bigotry becomes too great. He’s not just a bigot, he’s a slimy, lying, cowardly bigot, who time and again has gone on these long screeds, and then immediately played the victim card and said he was being mischaracterized, and that the evil Liberals were out to get him.
The 1990 rant, for example, he has since characterized as actually being pro-gay, I guess because he wasn’t actually proposing mass extermination. If you want to read his verbal gymnastics trying to explain how a rant in which he talks about how gay people shouldn’t be considered citizens is actually pro-gay, it’s above the essay itself at the link I provided above.
He goes further than just claiming his comments have been mischaracterized, which they haven’t, and, as bigots often do when they’re trying to victimize others, he attempts to cast himself as the victim: “Please remember that for the mildest of comments critical of the political agenda of homosexual activists, I have been called a ‘homophobe’ for years.” Apparently in the World of Orson Scott Card, saying that gay people don’t deserve to be considered equal members of society, calling them, “tragic genetic mix-ups,” and saying that it all upsets you to the point that you think the Government should be overthrown if it supports it, in Card’s World these are, “The mildest of comments.”
If those are the mild comments, what does the nutjob *really* think?
He’s at it again these days, after writing a new book, Hamlet’s Father, which exists largely to repaint Hamlet’s father from the Shakespeare play as a gay pedophile who, by molesting them, turned Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and apparently a lot of the other characters, gay. No, really.
Card has said before that he thinks that gay people are turned gay by being molested. How they are *turned* gay, and then also, “tragic genetic mix-ups,” is the type of self-fulfilling mind-trick of which Card seems fond. He’s now written an entire book devoted to rewriting Shakespeare chiefly for the purpose of turning one character into a gay pedophile so that Card can illustrate how gay pedophiles work in his World- In this case, they’re pretty busy, because it seems that Hamlet’s father molests pretty much everybody in the story- and then further to show how being molested has turned these characters gay. Other than that, he doesn’t seem to have added much to the narrative, other than his basic lack of understanding of the characters in the original play. He used the story more or less just to illustrate his version of gay culture.
But wait- does that sound just slightly homophobic to you? Well, according to Orson Scott Card, that means you’re obviously a biased Liberal with an ax to grind who’s out to get him! In this case, instead of an essay Card wrote an entire novel to showcase his mental illness, but, just like the essays, he quickly backtracked on that and lied about it, too. You can read his refutation of the accusations that the book is homophobic here .
“There is no link whatsoever between homosexuality and pedophilia in this book. Hamlet’s father, in the book, is a pedophile, period. I don’t show him being even slightly attracted to adults of either sex,” Card said. At some point, you have to wonder if he knows how ridiculous he really sounds, and if he’s just trying to be funny. The father in Card’s book molests boys, and because of that they grow up to be gay. And then Card says that there is no link between the pedophilia in his book and homosexuality. He’s passed that Ann Coulter point where you know he probably can’t even believe the shit that’s coming out of his own mouth, unless he really is just a seriously mentally ill individual.
He doesn’t even just hate gay people, either. In his marriage ramblings, he seems to have some serious problems with women. In his central idea of the ideal marriage that he thinks the Government is trying to subvert, he describes the role of women this way:
“Faithful sexual monogamy, persistence until death, male protection and providence for wife and children, female loyalty to children and husband, and parental discretion in child-rearing.”
He slips it in there carefully, like he always does, but female subservience to their husbands is, along with his hatred of gay people, a key part of Card’s World view.
He’s not crazy about female authors, either. He decided for some mysterious reason to go on a lengthy jag about JK Rowling when she was trying to protect her intellectual property by trying to prevent the publication of an unlicensed guide to her books that would have overlapped with something she wanted to create herself. For some reason, he doesn’t just debate the intellectual property aspect, he goes to great length to assault JK Rowling’s integrity in every way and imply that her overall success is undeserved.
As far as his skills as a writer go, which isn’t very, Card has discovered one effective trick. When he’s denying things that he’s said, and also when he’s accusing people or the courts of doing things in these essays of his, he’s figured out that he can just kind of make facts up, and if he tosses them out there in the middle of a long ramble, he figures they’ll be accepted at face value and his arguments will be supported by them.
When he talks about abortion clinics, he says, “It is now illegal even to kneel and pray in front of a clinic that performs abortions.” What? When, where? He’s just made this up, but it’s supplemental to his main argument about the overreach of the courts, so he thinks that people will just gloss over it and it will be assimilated as a fact to support his essay. About gay marriage: “When gay rights were being enforced by the courts back in the ’70s and ’80s, we were repeatedly told by all the proponents of gay rights that they would never attempt to legalize gay marriage.” Neat trick, he’s inventing more history there, and using it as an example of how the proponents of gay rights are liars, not him. Which again, is ancillary to his main argument, but he thinks that if he throws it in there, supporting the idea that gay rights activists are liars will support his main argument, which is that we’re being lied to about marriage equality.
He does the same thing when he talks about JK Rowling: “And don’t forget the lawsuit by Nancy K. Stouffer, the author of a book entitled The Legend of Rah and the Muggles, whose hero was named ‘Larry Potter.’ ” He just throws that out there in the middle of what he’s saying, knowing that, as he’s presented it, it makes JK Rowling look like a thief. The case in question, though, was dismissed and JK Rowling found to be accused baselessly, which Card probably knows, but he knows that the majority of people reading what he’s saying aren’t going to fact-check every detail, and he’s therefor accomplished his purpose, which was just to make Rowling look bad, and devalue her position.
The reason I wanted to do this portrait the way I did is because that’s pretty much what I think evil looks like: a harmless-looking smiling chubby guy in a bad Hawaiian shirt. Orson Scott Card lies about what he is. Every time his homophobia, misogyny, or whatever else is wrong with him, become apparent, he always does this little dance of, “What, me? I’m just saying the way I see it, shouldn’t I be allowed to express my opinion?” That’s how the worst bigots present themselves, as though they’re just voicing an opinion, what could be wrong with that? Orson Scott Card presents himself as a mainstream figure, publishing fun adventure novels, but underneath that there’s something much worse.
I have him saying the word Tragic in reference to his quote that gay people are, “tragic genetic mix-ups,” because that, combined with the smiling harmless guy he’d like to present himself as, is a good encapsulation of how I see him. He’s grinning and writing fun sci-fi novels, very often directed at younger readers, but what’s actually coming out of that mind is extremely, extremely tragic.