Last weekend, Americans spent over $27 million for the chance to watch a movie called Ender’s Game. Ender’s Game was, predictably these days, a popular novel, before it was a movie franchise.
The book is one that I’ve often seen set aside in bookstores for student’s summer reading. I’m not sure if kids actually read it, but I suspect it was at least assigned.
I came down with a whopper of a cold this week and in between sneezes and coughs I re-read this little story. I last read it during college, which is getting to be over 10 years ago now.
Briefly, the story is about a society that needs to combat an alien menace and they decide to use the brilliance of childhood imaginations in that effort. The book comes from a pre-Hunger Games time, when the children enter mock combat, which only occasionally ends in physical violence.
Why am I telling you this?
Our society today, collectively, has a very, very bleak imagination. I take the popular science fiction and fantasy stories of the day to be sort of a thermometer to gauge that place where our collective dreams and visions come from.
Today that place is very dark, populated by the walking dead, vampires, ghosts in the machine, children killing children, fallen empires, forgotten places, and broken dreams.
This morning, we will look at what it takes to keep the faith in such a world.