A while back (you can read it here) I noted the controversy regarding sci-fi author Orson Scott Card and his views on homosexuality. I’m not a big fan of Mr. Card’s works, though I have read what is arguably his most famous novel, Ender’s Game, which will soon be released to theaters as a major motion picture.
I noted in the previous column that the controversy surrounding Mr. Card may wind up hurting the film’s box office prospects, and it would appear that Mr. Card is himself worried about the very same thing and has tried to address the main controversy regarding his previous comments:
In many ways, I feel for Mr. Card even as I can’t find sufficient sympathy to excuse his previous comments. I feel for Mr. Card because he’s a victim of his own verbal venom in an age when such comments are easily accessible via the internet and difficult, if not impossible, to expunge. It is possible, for example, that over the years Mr. Card’s opinions have changed and he’s softened his stance toward homosexuality and homosexual marriage. I’m not saying this has happened, mind you, only that it’s possible. Unfortunately for Mr. Card, those previous comments he made will remain available for anyone to see and read and will always follow him, even after his passing.
More recently, Hugh Howley, the author of the hit “self-published” sci-fi novel Wool got himself into some similar trouble when he posted a blog entry verbally lashing a woman he met at World Con (http://www.dailydot.com/culture/hugh-howey-the-bitch-from-worldcon-rant/). Unlike Mr. Card, whose anti-homosexual comments can be found over the years, Mr. Howley appeared to realize rather quickly that his rant was inappropriate and offered an apology (http://www.hughhowey.com/to-those-whom-ive-offended/) and opened himself up to interviews where he further elaborated on the blog post and offered explanations as well as apologies (http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/CultureShock/archives/2013/04/19/hugh-howey-explains-why-he-removed-controversial-blog-post)
I suppose the point is this: Think about what you’re saying, whether it be to someone else or something you yourself post online. It’s common sense. On the other hand, perhaps it is also a good thing to look inside yourself and evaluate your own feelings and philosophies. After all, if you’re a public figure (or even a casual facebook user) and are “smart enough” to not make any controversial public rants, yet have such strong feelings, perhaps you should consider, and re-consider, them.
In the long run it might make you a better person.