Had a fight this morning with my Mormon friend, who for whatever reason saw fit to break our usual detente with a bunch of crap pro-violence pro-war bullshit; I ended up yelling and hanging up on him, but it's kept bothering me. I hate having to know that people I like - well, I guess that's what comes into question, isn't it? if they really are people that I can like. G. repeatedly described himself this morning as "pro-imperialism," and I sort of think you can't come back from that. He doesn't get it from nowhere - like Orson Scott Card,
my friend did mission work in Brazil, and however much they dress it up as charity or whatever the Mormon missionary scene is totally imperialism in practice. And, no matter the polygamy bans, the Mormons are really patriarchal, moreso than I think people understand. This is the religion that makes eighteen-year-old white boys "priests" with all these "spiritual powers." See the recent excommunication of Kate Kelly
for Mormon patriarchalism in action.
but we're getting old enough that this shit is no longer cute.
It's always creeped me out a bit that my family contacts with Mormons have been so gendered: we've got G. and an older friend of his, a painter like my mama, and the both of them do this man-about-town skirt-the-rules thing where they drink cocktails and mama's friend paints nudes. Mama and her friend go gallery-hopping in New York, and he's married, but his wife is never with him: he explores the city art scene while she, seemingly, stays home with their children and obeys the laws of their church. It's like the men have the authority to bend the rules, and so can make fun playmates for leftist folks like me and mine - but that actually kind of makes it all worse, because they're not only cult members, they're hypocritical cult members who subject their women to harsh standards that they themselves cannot keep to.
(The OSC link above goes to a fascinating chapter-by-chapter deconstruction of Speaker for the Dead.
before reading through it, I'd managed to forget enough of the book to think that I liked it better than Ender's Game,
, and had tended to position it as the one thing of Card's that was maybe still worth it. There are now a number of things freaking me out about my own personal relationship with Speaker
. I'd managed to miss the implication, as a child, that Novinha and her family are Black, and it's breaking my brain, because on the one hand, I'm not surprised that OSC didn't succeed in getting a message of diversity across - and then on the other I wonder if I wasn't engaging in defensive ignorance, because as the linked decon shows, Ender's interactions with the Ribeiras are fucking horrific
if he's the lone white dude on a Black planet. Even as a twelve-year-old, I knew I didn't want to read an interracial romance authored by Card! I kind of wish I didn't have to know now! but then again, erasure and whitewashing are, we know, not cool responses to a text. Gahhhh. In even further "I don't know what to do with this," I was also struck, given the really really central place that Komarr
has had in my ability to think through my abuse, with how much Speaker
felt similar: I can really see Miles/Ekaterin as a rewriting of Ender/Novinha, even down to the role of the children. idek man.)
(I've been feeling angry and bitter and intense and fighty a lot of late, and idek about that either. are things more shit than usual in the world, or is it just me?)