The Earth has been attacked twice by aliens called Formics, or more popularly, Buggers, and everyone is sure a third invasion is coming. So the military embarks on a crash program to breed the ultimate military genius to lead the fleet in a pre-emptive attack against the Formic home world. These kids are trained from age 6 in an off-world facility called Battle School, and their training consists mostly of games.
Ender Wiggins may be the child they are looking for. Brilliant, compassionate, and tormented, he is better at the games than anyone has ever been. But how can they manipulate a compassionate child into wiping out an entire species, and at the same time give him the skills to do it effectively? The adults who run the school are literally out to save the world: they will stop at nothing to achieve their ends, and one small boy, or even a school full of kids, are nothing but means to that end.
For many Ender’s Game is one of the great ones, a novel of extraordinary power that is among the very best the science fiction genre has ever produced. But the are critical voices being annoyed by the “chosen child” theme resembling the birth of Jesus itself. A redditor put it this way:
“It’s pure escapist fantasy for picked-upon kids in middle school who are relatively small and weak and think they’re smarter than everyone else. When read as a kid it’s a fantastic triumph of the clever over the brutal and a story of how the entire world learns to appreciate the true worth of a seemingly ordinary little boy.
Then you reread it as an adult and see how myopic it really is. It’s not that well written, the characters are shallow, the science fiction aspects are weak and the ending is obvious a hundred pages out. […] I’m not even going to touch on the fascistic social engineering he suggests is going on in the background. Overall the book comes off as much lamer than you remember.“
Orson Scott Card, the author of Ender’s Game, is what keeps some people from buying the book. He’s a right-wing Mormon who wrote opinion pieces against same-sex marriage and demanded laws banning homosexual behaviour to stay in effect (while his young, mostly male, characters spend a good part of the book completely naked. Makes one wonder…). He also suggested that there is a conspiracy to supress publications of scientists who don’t believe in global warming.
A film is in production with 15-year-old Asa Butterfield (pictured bleow) playing Ender. But as Declan pointed out in the milkboys forums: “The release date for Ender’s Game has been pushed back to Nov. 2013. Principal photography is still ongoing and going by his tweets, [Asa] seems to be having a blast with his castmates. Also, he’s apparently got himself a girlfriend recently, a news met with much wailing and gnashing-of-teeth by 12 year-old girls on tumblr –ell oh ell.
At some point in the future you will have to ask yourself how you’re going to deal with Ender’s Game. To watch it in theaters is to directly/indirectly support Asa –which, unfortunately, also means directly/indirectly supporting Orson Scott Card the homophobe.“
On any given night in the U.S., there are approximately 60,500 youth confined in juvenile correctional facilities or other residential programs. Photographer Richard Ross has spent the past five years criss-crossing the country photographing the architecture, cells, classrooms and inhabitants of these detention sites. The resulting photo-survey, Juvenile-In-Justice, documents 350 facilities in over 30 states. It’s more than a peek into unseen worlds — it is a call to action and care.
“I grew up in a world where you solve problems, you don’t destroy a population,” says Ross. “To me it is an affront when I see the way some of these kids are dealt with.”
The U.S. locks up children at more than six times the rate of all other developed nations. The over 60,000 average daily juvenile lockups, a figure estimated by the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF), are also disproportionately young people of colour. With an average cost of $80,000 per year to lock up a child, the U.S. spends more than $5 billion annually on youth detention.
On top of the cost, in its recent report No Place for Kids, the AECF presents evidence to show that youth incarceration does not reduce recidivism rates, does not benefit public safety and exposes those imprisoned to further abuse and violence.
Ross thinks his images of juvenile lock-ups can, and should, be “ammunition” for the on-going policy and funding debates between reformers, staff, management and law-makers. “My images were used by a senate subcommittee as part of a discussion on Federal legislation to prevent pre-adjudicated, detained [pre-trial] juveniles from being housed with kids who’d committed hard crimes. You shouldn’t house these populations together,” says Ross. “That’s a great thing for me to know that my work is being used for advocacy rather than for the masturbatory art world I grew up in.” Read on and see more of the photos…
- Yet another study finds homophobes often harbour same-sex attraction themselves
- Activists in St. Petersburg arrested for protesting law banning “gay propaganda”
- Budapest Pride 2012 banned, freedom of movement for commuters cited as reason
- European Union tells potential member nations: improve on queer rights or stay out
- Many gay actors still fear coming out of the closet will damage their careers
- Creators of Bully remove “strong language” from documentary to get PG-13 rating
- Principal ejects gay student from high school pageant for saying he’d like to marry
- Canada’s warrantless spying bill is coming back, and it’s worse than before
- Armed Neo-Nazis patrol Florida in case of “race riot” after death of teen boy
- “Kony 2012” inventor says his organisation is god’s “Trojan Horse” into schools
- Apple deems in-game teddy bear to be clandestine recruiting tool for paedophiles
- U.S. wants to ban sex offenders from games and social networks (reminder: Americans can be labelled sex offenders for peeing in public and the largest group on the list are 14-year-olds)