Monday, August 2, 2010

Roman Polanski, Stephen King, and those crazy conservatives

Hopefully this is all going to come together as a cohesive post and not just a random smattering of somewhat related thoughts.  I'm currently reading the Langoliers by Stephen King as part of a read-along of Four Past Midnight with some Nesties.  And I'm really enjoying it.  I appreciate King's writing so much and so many of his ideas mirror my own, although he would probably be surprised to hear it.  In his introduction, for example he writes

"I still believe, I suppose, in the coming of the White and in finding a place to make a stand...and defending that place to the death."

Guess what, Mr. King?  Me too!  And because of themes like this in his stories, they resonate with such a diverse group of people.  So basically, that's the quote that kicked things off.  And I was thinking of how Stephen King is able to appeal to such a broad spectrum and how so much of his writing just rings true with the human experience.  And then I remembered an article I read last week on Tiger Beatdown, which is my favorite feminist blog of the moment. 

This post about Roman Polanski basically covers exactly what I think about that entire situation.  Being an artist and making art that appeals to the human experience does not give you a license to rape thirteen year old girls.  Roman Polanski, no matter how talented and awesome, does not deserve a free pass.  And I won't be giving him one.  I won't be seeing his movies and I'll be sure that none of my money goes to support his continued success or the success of those who think that having an amazing talent means people should look the other way when you rape little girls.  The whole thing just makes me livid.

Which led to the thought...I don't necessarily agree with much of Stephen King's politics.  Don't worry guys, this is NOT a political blog, it's a book blog, so I won't be telling you what we do and do not agree on, but just know that if Stephen King is actively lobbying for something, there's a good chance that I'm actively lobbying against that something.  And vice versa.  SO, the question is - should I treat Stephen King the same way I treat Roman Polanski?  Even though Stephen King isn't actively doing something despicable, I have to assume that the money I give him through purchase of his books goes towards his funding of political candidates/parties/ideas that I don't support.  And please do not say I should just get his books from the library then because that, to me, is the all time cop out answer. 

Also this weekend I had a great conversation with Honey Bear about some people we know who have the attitude that we can't even converse with people who have different opinions.  Knowing that people have other ideas that aren't their own upsets them.  And they feel the need to correct everyone who doesn't 100% share their beliefs.  I don't want to be that way. 

So, if you've made it this far and you are still reading...the question of the day is:

Where do you draw the line in being open to hearing the ideas of people who aren't just like you, but refusing to support financially an author whose political or moral ideologies you disagree with?  I'm not talking about the widespread banning of books here, just you on a personal level.  I still haven't decided what my answer is and I think that's ok.  What do you think?


  1. Is Tiger Beatdown like Tiger Beat magazine? :)

    We've kinda talked about this before and yeah, I don't know what I think.

  2. I think if it is a piece of work that I want to experience even if I don't agree with the person who wrote/made it, I do what you call the all time cop-out. I borrow it from a friend or library. Just because I don't like someone, doesn't mean I will NOT experience something awesome that was written or made. I just won't pay/support the stuff I don't agree with.

    Except that time I accidently donated 5 dollars to the local republican party when they gave me all the beer/food I could drink for 5 dollars. THAT was trickery.

  3. You make a really good point. Sometimes I think I see things as too black and white. If I don't want to support an author, then I think of reading his books for free from the library as "cheating". But after reading what you wrote and thinking about it, I think you might have a point.

    PS: Watch out for Republicans - we are a tricksy bunch!

  4. I politically don't agree with Orsen Scott Card, but I've read and enjoyed a lot of books he wrote about Enderverse. And since sci fi/fantasy often hints at philosophical issues, this has indeed puzzled me...