The Wachowskis’ “Jupiter Ascending” Trailer

Jupiter Ascending looks amazing! I don’t really like sci-fi but I would see this in an instant. We’ll have to wait until July 25, 2014 for the Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski written/directed space epic to open, though. Jupiter Ascending stars Mila Kunis as Jupiter Jones, a Russian immigrant janitor with the same genetic makeup as the Queen of the Universe, which grants her immortality and other cool powers.

[Spoiler alert] Because of this, Jupiter’s existence threatens the Queen of Space and so she must be killed. Channing Tatum is Caine, a genetically engineered hunter, part human albino and part wolf.  (What is it about pointed ears that is so irresistible…. ). Sent to Earth to finish off Jupiter and preserve the Queen’s reign, Caine decides that Jupiter is indeed awesome and switches sides, becoming her protector.  The duo must then evade the other hunters sent by the Queen, who is understandably angry and frightened of losing her throne…

In this future world as envisioned by the siblings Wachowski, humans are a lower life form, and human genes are spliced with other creatures’ to make them “better.” Soldiers are crossed with wolves to create a pack killer mentality; workers have bee genes to increase the hive mind and make them work harder. Some humans are hybridized with peacocks, according the cast list which shows actress Alexandra Fraser from World War Z in that role.

Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam has a (mysterious) role in Jupiter Ascending. The film also features James D’Arcy and Sean Bean, so basically it’s eye candy in space (as if Channing Tatum with pointed ears wasn’t enough!).  And with both a female protagonist and antagonist, it appeals across the board (like I said, I don’t really like science-fiction and I want to see it), which is good, since it’s set to be a Warner Bros tent-pole.

(Side note: Jupiter Jones was the name of the main character in the Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators young adult mystery series which I read as a kid. Jupiter lived in a junkyard with his aunt and uncle, and I still remember details about the clues. Jupiter Jones is also band in Greenville, North Carolina)

Skip “Ender’s Game”: Geeks OUT Making an Impact

Thanks to Geeks OUT, the bad vibes on Ender’s Game are being felt beyond the LGBT community. Tonight I went to a signing at La Luz de Jesus, our local Los Feliz art gallery/alt.culture general store (books, candy, action figures, robots, stationery, statuary, shower curtains, rugs, blankets, stuffed toys, candles, flashlights, purses, clothing, tee shirts, make-up, perfume, soap,  CDs, jewelry, bones, taxidermy, Haitian sequined prayer flags–basically any thing you’d need to survive emergency gift-giving, lost luggage, a bad break up, or an earthquake) for Heavenly Bodies, Dr. Paul Koudounaris’ glorious photo book full of images of bejeweled skeletons, cult figures from a bygone time when  saints were believed to have worked miracles.

Matt Kennedy, the gallery director, and I were chatting about what we were going this weekend. Matt’s really into comics (he recently scored an original panel from Gasoline Alley, one that contains a pivotal plot point), loves weird history and science fiction (he and his wife play a drinking game centering around the TV show  Ancient Aliens–narrator says “alien” and you drink; narrator says “extra-terrestrial,” and you take three sips, etc.),  and has an encyclopedic knowledge of movies. In the midst of our geeking out I blurted:

Please don’t go see Ender’s Game!

He replied vehemently:

No way! No way would I see that. And I gotta tell you, a guy came in from the the film company, wanting to put up a poster from the movie and said, ‘Hey, maybe we could do a promotion with you.’ I told told him, ‘No, that’s not gonna happen,’ and he shook his head and went,”I know, I get it, I get it.’

Matt went to say that he did half-joking suggest to the film company promo guy that maybe he could try Lassen’s (the Mormon-owned health food store up the road that donated to support Prop 8–I won’t shop there, even though it’s the only health food store close by). The poster guy went away unhappily aware that the word was out on Ender’s Game–that the man behind the story, Orson Scott Card is a bigot.

Geek’s OUT has been the instrumental primogenitor in raising awareness about Orson Scott Card’s nastiness, his homophobia, his anti-equality activism through their Skip Ender’s Game campaign. In the Advocate, Patrick Yacco, a Geeks OUT board member writes brilliantly and passionately about why he is skipping Ender’s Game, and explains more eloquently than I what his group of sci-fi-loving queers has done and why. Their activism has shown what motivation and determination can accomplish. Geek OUT are true superheroes.

Since Geeks OUT launched this campaign earlier this year, we’ve faced a slew of criticism, ranging from “you need to separate the art from the artist” to “this isn’t big enough to make a difference.” To the first argument, I have to draw on my experience of being a queer geek and knowing that Orson Scott Card doesn’t respect who I am as a fan of science fiction. We’re not talking about someone who at one time or another made some stupid comments and is now apologizing for them, like James Gunn, director of the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy. Card actively works to target and undermine the LGBT community’s progress, and he’s quietly begun attacking people of color as well. To me, consuming any of his products is extremely problematic, and I’m addressing that in the fashion I see fit.

On the other hand, to say that the Skip Ender’s Game campaign won’t have an impact is completely moot at this point. Geeks OUT has pushed Card’s atrocious attacks on the LGBT community to the forefront of mainstream media, with nearly every outlet that reports on Ender’s Game commenting on his radical activism. Even if people weren’t aware of his views, they’re learning about them now. Regardless of Ender’s Game’s box office tally, Geeks OUT has helped raise awareness of Orson Scott Card’s fear-mongering, and no amount of ticket sales can change that.

Matt Kennedy isn’t the only straight sci-fi fan who’s skipping Ender’s Game. On Facebook and in real life, straight sci-fans have told me they are not going to see Ender’s Game, period, not even by paying for a ticket at the megaplex and sneaking in. That’s huge.  Geeks OUT are true superheroes. Their activism has shown what motivation and determination can accomplish.

Skip Ender’s Game!

Need something? La Luz de Jesus probably has it.

Left to right, Matt Kennedy, artist Christopher Ulrich, Paul Koudounaris PhD.

Koudounaris and two of his Heavenly Bodies.

Ender’s Game: Gay Hating Sci-Fi Author Names Villains “Buggers,” Advocates Govt. Overthrow

Okay yes that’s an extreme headline, but here’s what Orson Scott Card, author of the  Ender’s Game series, wrote in 2008 about marriage equality:

What these dictator-judges do not seem to understand is that their authority extends only as far as people choose to obey them.

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.

Card is on the Board of Directors of the National Organization for Marriage, and one can only surmise that some of the money he has made from writing the Ender’s Game series, selling the rights to the book and being a producer on the film have gone, and may continue to go to fight marriage equality. (You don’t get on the Board of Directors for any organization with a simple $23 donation. You donate pay. A lot)

Geek’s Out has called for a boycott of  the film version of Ender’s Game due to open in the U.S. on November 1 because of the author’s extreme, gay-loathing views. The film’s producers Robert Orci in the Wall Street Journal:

I was never aware of in the book – and we’ve read it three or four times during our lifetime before we got into this movie – I never saw any sign in “Ender’s Game” of anything that offended Alex [Kurtzman, co-producer] or me.

Dude, seriously? WTF! The villains who take over Earth are called Buggers. BUGGERS. A derogatory term for male homosexuals (and yes, I know I am typing the term “homosexual” which is considered derogatory but it’s to point out the utter archaic hatred Card displays for LGBTQ).  So in what universe (except Card’s hate-filled one?) is it okay to call another lifeform (especially the “bad guys”) by a hateful epithet? Like, wouldn’t seeing an invading force called words I never say and cringe when I hear be a tip off that maybe you’d want to reconsider the whole idea?

Wait, let’s back up a second. The producers were not offended by villains called Buggers. At all. Okay that’s it. I want back the $7.50 I spent for Star Trek: Into Darkness, aka Enterprise 90210.2 because clearly the people behind it are either liars or morons.

Stuff comes out when writers write, when you fall through a page the unconscious and subconscious take over, and fiction writers also use their work to consciously push their own agenda (In Battlefield Earth, author L. Ron Hubbard, who loathed psychiatrists and referred to them in his logorrheic non-fiction as “psychs,” called his bad guys “Psychlos.” Oh gods, please let Ender’s Game be as big a flop as Battlefield Earth and whatever that last Will Smith movie was). Even without Card’s hateful bile and NOMing, wouldn’t the terms “buggers” be a tip off that something is a leetle odd? One sci-fi fan I spoke with said:

strange term to use in the 80s – everyone knows what it meant

How could the producers have ignored that?
As the Geek’s Out call for boycott/avoidance of the Ender’s Game movie gain momentum, Card released a statement to Entertainment Weekly:

Ender’s Game is set more than a century in the future and has nothing to do with political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984.

With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot.  The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution will, sooner or later, give legal force in every state to any marriage contract recognized by any other state.

Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute.

Orson Scott Card

There’s a difference between tolerance and acceptance. Tolerance, Orson, means your movie will be released and people will walk past the ticket booth without a second glance. Acceptance means we would pay to see it. And we won’t be.

(BTW, Card’s comment about the “political issues that did not exist when the books was written” is BS. According Wikipedia, Card revised Ender’s Game in 1991, making several minor changes to reflect the political climates of the time, including the decline of the Soviet Union. Why would he revise his book to reflect the decline of the USSR, if as he claims his book has nothing do to current politics, but rather those a century in the future?).

HT PoliCyBear


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