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Cognitive Dissonnance: Orson Scott Card

Arkady

President
For those who don't know, Orson Scott Card is a famous sci-fi writer and bigot. He's best known for his sci-fi/kid-lit novel "Ender's Game," which is about to be a blockbuster movie. He's only slightly less well known for his wild-eyed ravings against homosexuals and gay marriage in particular. He quite literally said that any government allowing same-sex marriage was his "mortal enemy," which he would "act to destroy." He's also a typical right-wing nutcase when it comes to loathing Obama and feeding on the Benghazi paranoia.

Normally, when an artist of any sort says things that crazy or vile, I don't have trouble squaring it in my head. Typically, reactionary celebrities are third-rate hacks, or wildly overrated, so there's no great gulf between their schlocky output and their brain-dead commentary. If Chuck Norris, Ted Nugent, Kid Rock, or Michael Bay want to say something atrocious, well, it's not like their "art" hasn't already disparaged them in my eyes far beyond the ability of a little political lunacy to add or detract. Even David Mamet's neoconservative ramblings pose no challenge for me, because I always found his stuff to be shallow, stylized, self-indulgent twaddle, appreciated by critics only for providing foul-mouthed material for scene-chewing actors. But Card is in another class. Like few others I can think of (Clint Eastwood, I suppose), I have trouble squaring Card's work product, which I respect tremendously, with his personal beliefs.

If you haven't read "Ender's Game," pick up a copy. Like the Harry Potter books, it's aimed towards kids, but is good enough to engage adults. And, unlike the Harry Potter books, it has an intense and thoughtful view of human nature, and a couple characters who are fully realized in a way that is rare outside of great literature. It is one of the few true masterpieces of the genre. I just have trouble wrapping my brain around the idea that something that good could have come out of such a clown.

It occurs to me that this must be a FAR more common form of cognitive dissonance for those of you on the right. Assuming you aren't dead inside, you must regularly find yourself deeply loving artistic products made by people whose political views you can't stand. Most great artists, after all, have a decidedly liberal bent. Nearly all the great modern musical acts are fairly conspicuously lefty. Most of Hollywood's talented directors, screenwriters, and actors are liberal. Painters and sculptors have nearly all been well to the left of the societies of their time. With only a few prominent exceptions, both the great literary writers and the great popular writers of our time tend to lean well to the left of center. I imagine you conservatives must just be much more practiced at disconnecting your thoughts about the product and the person than we liberals.
 

trapdoor

Governor
I read all of the Ender's series that was available back about 1990, and enjoyed them thoroughly. I was unaware of Card's political extremism.
 

GordonGecko

President
There are many "built-in" contradictions in modern rightwing political philosophy....the attempt to resolve supposed support for libertarianism AND support for "traditional values" "social conservatism", etc.

You can't say "I support the maximum amount of individual freedom" AND "I want gays to not have equal rights and I want to take away women's right to choose on abortion"....atleast not without that aforementioned cognitive dissonance.

We see it here a lot...supposed "libertarians"...who toe the social con line. Same thing on interventionist foreign policy and war.
 

NightSwimmer

Senator
Yep... I suspect that cognitive dissonance is far less noticeable when experiencing it has become a daily routine.
 

trapdoor

Governor
I believe the cognitive dissonance under discussion did not involve conflict between libertarianism and traditional family values (a relationship that is readily aligned).

The cognitive dissonance I THINK Arkady referenced was based on this dichotomy: 1) I like the writings of sci-fi author Orson Scott Card; 2) I disagree with the political beliefs of sci-fi author Orson Scott Card.
 

NightSwimmer

Senator
I believe the cognitive dissonance under discussion did not involve conflict between libertarianism and traditional family values (a relationship that is readily aligned).

The cognitive dissonance I THINK Arkady referenced was based on this dichotomy: 1) I like the writings of sci-fi author Orson Scott Card; 2) I disagree with the political beliefs of sci-fi author Orson Scott Card.

You're absolutely right. I understand why you'd prefer to avoid discussion of the former variety.
 

GordonGecko

President
I believe the cognitive dissonance under discussion did not involve conflict between libertarianism and traditional family values (a relationship that is readily aligned).

The cognitive dissonance I THINK Arkady referenced was based on this dichotomy: 1) I like the writings of sci-fi author Orson Scott Card; 2) I disagree with the political beliefs of sci-fi author Orson Scott Card.
I think Arkady was making several points, trap.....cognitive dissonance being the over-arching one.

BTW, I note you didn't disagree with my premise. How doee a modern rightwinger say "Gun control laws won't work....but Drug War laws and potential laws against abortion will!"....without some cognitive dissonance?
 

trapdoor

Governor
I think Arkady was making several points, trap.....cognitive dissonance being the over-arching one.

BTW, I note you didn't disagree with my premise. How doee a modern rightwinger say "Gun control laws won't work....but Drug War laws and potential laws against abortion will!"....without some cognitive dissonance?
My honest answer is, "I don't know -- I've never been much of a social conservative." I would say neither work beyond a given point. As I'm not the top poster and don't want to hi-jack Arkady's thread, perhaps that form of cognitive dissonance is best left to some other thread.
 

GordonGecko

President
My honest answer is, "I don't know -- I've never been much of a social conservative." I would say neither work beyond a given point. As I'm not the top poster and don't want to hi-jack Arkady's thread, perhaps that form of cognitive dissonance is best left to some other thread.
1. trap....you support abortions rights? Gay marriage rights?

2. Arkady...your call. Am I "hi-jacking your thread"?
 

Drumcollie

Ending Racism with or without Hillary
Wow Arkady learned a new word...good boy...It is nice seeing the wealthy learn something new...BTW glad to hear it's not a rant about how you have to pay too much taxes again.

Nope this is a rant about Homosexuality...but let me guess I wont see you at pride this year again....Dissonance, but that being said I truly think no one better than Wealthy Arkady to express cognitive dissonance...rather being a Democrat and wealthy is it not a cognition itself? Of course it is...just in the same way that being a democrat and saying you are for equality for all, yet your own political history for the last 200 plus years says otherwise...and still you make the claim.

Might I suggest...and I will that before you try to look at conflicting ideas for others, rather before you try to use this "Cognitive dissonance" to blame others...that you look into the mirror and see your own reflection and look at the issues you have yourself.

1. Your A democrat and have elected Bush 2.0 for 2 terms

2. You claim to help the less fortunate...yet the Gini coefficient rises

3. You claim to be for racial equality but try to fund school programs with JIM CROW laws

4. Bush was wrong yet the debt rises even higher

5. Sequester...all that need be said

I could go on all day about conflicting ideals...these "cognitions" if you will...but again I suggest that you look into the mirror before you project on to cognitive ideals. Might I also suggest you try the social comparison model for yourself.
 
1. trap....you support abortions rights? Gay marriage rights?

2. Arkady...your call. Am I "hi-jacking your thread"?
You can always be relied upon to draw the wrong conclusion from any given statement. That's your special talent, Gordie, 100% inaccuracy...it's actually pretty impressive that you're able to get it wrong EVERY time. :laugh:
 

GordonGecko

President
You can always be relied upon to draw the wrong conclusion from any given statement. That's your special talent, Gordie, 100% inaccuracy...it's actually pretty impressive that you're able to get it wrong EVERY time. :laugh:
Marvin, what SPECIFICALLY did I draw a wrong conclusion from?
 

connieb

Senator
I think you grossly overestimate the "deeply loving" artistic products. I like some art - I don't really care who made it. I like various pieces of literature. I spend absolutely no time learning anything at all about the author. I like some songs and in some cases enough songs of one band I am willing to purchase their album or see a concert.

I can't actually say I have ever ( at least not since I was a tween or teen) "deeply loved" any work of art. There should actually be no connection really between the product and the person. Why would there be? Sometimes if I have heard about something that was really awful and horrible and distasteful, I have boycotted or discontinued purchasing things made by that person, etc. or watching their movies. But, for the most part - the who made the art remains a complete unknown to me beyond their name. And, really, I can';t for the life of me fathom why I would even be more interested in them that than.


connie
 

Arkady

President
My honest answer is, "I don't know -- I've never been much of a social conservative." I would say neither work beyond a given point. As I'm not the top poster and don't want to hi-jack Arkady's thread, perhaps that form of cognitive dissonance is best left to some other thread.
You're right that I was only focused on the cognitive dissonance of liking the artist's work and having trouble squaring that with the artist's despicable beliefs. Ezra Pound's fascist sympathies would be another good example. But, I was curious how right-wingers cope with what I'm sure is a more common experience for them. If people want to posit that they have more practice because of a much broader form of cognitive dissonance within their worldview, I think that falls fairly under the thread's topic.
 

Arkady

President
Wow Arkady learned a new word...good boy...It is nice seeing the wealthy learn something new...BTW glad to hear it's not a rant about how you have to pay too much taxes again.

Nope this is a rant about Homosexuality...but let me guess I wont see you at pride this year again....Dissonance, but that being said I truly think no one better than Wealthy Arkady to express cognitive dissonance...rather being a Democrat and wealthy is it not a cognition itself? Of course it is...just in the same way that being a democrat and saying you are for equality for all, yet your own political history for the last 200 plus years says otherwise...and still you make the claim.

Might I suggest...and I will that before you try to look at conflicting ideas for others, rather before you try to use this "Cognitive dissonance" to blame others...that you look into the mirror and see your own reflection and look at the issues you have yourself.

1. Your A democrat and have elected Bush 2.0 for 2 terms

2. You claim to help the less fortunate...yet the Gini coefficient rises

3. You claim to be for racial equality but try to fund school programs with JIM CROW laws

4. Bush was wrong yet the debt rises even higher

5. Sequester...all that need be said

I could go on all day about conflicting ideals...these "cognitions" if you will...but again I suggest that you look into the mirror before you project on to cognitive ideals. Might I also suggest you try the social comparison model for yourself.
Since this still hasn't sunk in for you, I just wanted to reiterate: I actually think my taxes are too LOW.
 

Arkady

President
I think you grossly overestimate the "deeply loving" artistic products. I like some art - I don't really care who made it. I like various pieces of literature. I spend absolutely no time learning anything at all about the author. I like some songs and in some cases enough songs of one band I am willing to purchase their album or see a concert.

I can't actually say I have ever ( at least not since I was a tween or teen) "deeply loved" any work of art. There should actually be no connection really between the product and the person. Why would there be? Sometimes if I have heard about something that was really awful and horrible and distasteful, I have boycotted or discontinued purchasing things made by that person, etc. or watching their movies. But, for the most part - the who made the art remains a complete unknown to me beyond their name. And, really, I can';t for the life of me fathom why I would even be more interested in them that than.


connie
I'm far apart from you on the issue of deeply loving art. There is a list of books, paintings, sculptures, poems, films, and especially songs for which I don't think it's hyperbole to say I love them deeply. Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata, for example:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_Sonata_No._21_(Beethoven)

Anyway, I generally don't get too wrapped up in learning about the person behind the art, since it shouldn't matter in the appreciation of the art. But when you love something enough, it's hard not to want to know about how it came into being -- a bit like how it would be hard to be in love with a person and yet have no curiosity about that person's childhood.

I don't think I'm unusual in that. There's a reason there are so many books and movies about the lives of famous artists and musicians. One of my favorite films is "Amadeus," which is about the life of Mozart. People who have been moved enough by his music are naturally curious about the man behind it.

Plus, sometimes you just stumble across these details without even meaning to. I didn't go researching Orson Scott Card. But I've encountered his anti-gay screeds in my wanderings.
 
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