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Thread: Screen art and racism

  1. #76
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeshibu View Post
    the statues really do have it coming. Monsters should not be venerated in public. "Everyone did it" is an indictment of those times, not an excuse to keep honoring mass-murderous assholes.
    If you want to do something against "mass-murderous assholes", then let's put Henry Kissinger in jail (because Vietnam and because Cambodja). Let's put GW Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney in jail (because Iraq, and in a way, also IS and Syria). Heck, put Obama and Hillary in jail for letting the whole mess in Libya and Syria happen under their watch.

    That would be real action. That would have a real impact. On today's politics, and on tomorrow's politics.

    But no. Let's tear down old statues. Like that's gonna help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    Gryz: there's more nuance to some of these issues than you're talking about, and I'd prefer if you do that groundwork first. The JK Rowling thing, specifically, relates to her not understanding that trans people menstruate as well; it's not as simple as 'sex is a thing'.
    I admit that I just read about the Rowling thing 10 minutes before posting this.

    I'm not going to look into the issue, because I really couldn't care less about transgender issues. Again, I wish everybody all the luck and prosperity and freedom in the world. But I don't think transgender issues should dominate national news. To me, a lot of these "new left" issues are just issues to keep the people distracted from the real problem: wealth inequality. Everybody probably means well, but they don't seem to realize they are being used as a distraction from the real important issues.

    You mention the word "nuance". The thing with the counter-culture is that it seems that as soon as you don't fully agree with today's populair opinion, or use the wrong linguo, or make any misstep, you are directly placed in the camp of the enemy. Without nuance. "Either you are 100% with us, or you are against us". There seems so little room for discussion. So little room for nuances. Now the right-wing media have picked up on this. And they exaggerate it. But imho there is some truth to it.

    Like I said, I'm more left-wing than most people. But I think that if I have to discuss with current-day progressive people, they will very quickly call me an old right-wing fascist. And there will be no opportunities for nuances. Probably more so in the US, but I think even in NL we're going into that direction.
    Last edited by Gryzemuis; 12th Jun 2020 at 12:30.

  2. #77
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    Sigh.

    The swastika that the Nazis adopted was, firstly, reversed, which shows you how well they got things. We still use the swastika today, dude. You'll find it swinging from a rickshaw mirror in India from time to time amongst other places. It's not changed its meaning in its original culture because racists made a bad copy of it.

    Not only did the Nazis attempt to co-opt a religious symbol that has nothing to do with race or Nordic superiority, the entire Nazi ideology was based on a racist colonial theory to justify the UK's stance on occupying India. I don't need to tell you it's not true, but then you can't be too sure in this the year of our lord 2020. Evidence.
    That's true I completely forgot that they reversed the symbol. Interesting reading from the wiki on it.

    Jeshibu: Ok. Always racist for Song of the South. As a child watching that movie, that was a side I never picked up on. Where as nowadays with a more adult view, taking in all in the movie, totally fair.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fingernail View Post
    Icemann, you say about Song of the South not being deemed racist at the time... by who? Who had a voice at that time to express such opinions? Who would have dared? And did they think it would accomplish anything? Best not get uppity, after all. I think when you're an oppressed minority you probably have to pick your battles, and maybe at that time there were bigger issues around segregation to worry about rather than portrayal in the media.
    I will admit that that comment was 100% based on my parents when we watched it, my view and views from friends in childhood who loved the film. Racism was just not something we understood at that time. Nowadays hell yeah sure, we know exactly what that is. But it was never once until MUCH later (2000s and beyond) where I heard mention of the racism present. As a child I (and my friends + family) did not put 2 and 2 together to = that the Africian people were slaves. As a child, going completely off memory, I'm pretty sure we all thought they were families there as workers. The whole concept of slavery + racism was not something I even knew about until wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy later. So to articulate my words a bit better, the movie was not known to me as a movie with racism and slavery present, when I watched it back then (the 1980s).
    Last edited by icemann; 12th Jun 2020 at 12:13.

  3. #78
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Back Home
    Gryzemuis, bit of Whataboutery, we can take down statues AND work towards better things in politics.

    Interesting article about the Edward Colston statue that was torn down here: https://www.brh.org.uk/site/articles...G2B0Aj3M_pMZzY

    Turns out it was a struggle for them to raise the funds to erect it even in Victorian times (170 years after his death btw), there was a certain amount of invention of his myth to suit the mores of the day, and the campaign to remove it or alter the plaque has been going on for years without success (the so-called "legitimate" means certain politicians were encouraging everyone to use).
    Last edited by Fingernail; 12th Jun 2020 at 12:12.

  4. #79
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by Gryzemuis View Post
    If you want to do something against "mass-murderous assholes", then let's put Henry Kissinger in jail (because Vietnam and because Cambodja). Let's put GW Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney in jail (because Iraq, and in a way, also IS and Syria). Heck, put Obama and Hillary in jail for letting the whole mess in Libya and Syria happen.

    That would be real action. That would have a real impact. On today's politics and tomorrow's politics.

    But no. Let's tear down old statues. That's gonna help.
    Guess we should stop food banks, since they're not instantly solving world hunger. Bugger off with your "those actions do not result in a perfect world thus they are not worth taking" nonsense.
    Besides, have you considered that maybe having the public finally condemn ancient war criminals slightly weakens the position of the current lot?

  5. #80
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Should throw Trump in jail for negligence which has resulted in the deaths of thousands due to a lack of action on COVID19, but that'd never go down. If this was a company, and so many deaths had occurred due to a opinion / belief then they'd be sued to oblivion.

  6. #81
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    I will admit that that comment was 100% based on my parents when we watched it, my view and views from friends in childhood who loved the film. Racism was just not something we understood at that time. Nowadays hell yeah sure, we know exactly what that is. But it was never once until MUCH later (2000s and beyond) where I heard mention of the racism present. As a child I (and my friends + family) did not put 2 and 2 together to = that the Africian people were slaves. As a child, going completely off memory, I'm pretty sure we all thought they were families there as workers. The whole concept of slavery + racism was not something I even knew about until wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy later. So to articulate my words a bit better, the movie was not known to me as a movie with racism and slavery present, when I watched it back then (the 1980s).
    That's the thing, though: they aren't slaves. Song of the South takes place after the Civil War. And the problem wouldn't be that the film depicts slavery, even if it did. It's what it says about these times and how it uses its black characters to express a story where everyone, the former slaves included, yearn for a better, idyllic time, when everyone knew their place and was happy. That's just a very broad summary of some of the issues, but that's not the point: it's that these issues require a closer look and a more complete understanding. Half-remembered things and a faulty understanding of both the facts and the issues at hand may not be the best basis on which to form strong opinions.

  7. #82
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by Fingernail View Post
    Gryzemuis, bit of Whataboutery, we can take down statues AND work towards better things in politics.
    No, we can't. There's only so much you can do at the same time. When the whole country is only talking about X and Y, there will be zero time/energy/willingness left for issues A, B and C.

    Maybe I should emphasize that I'm not against tearing down some statues. I had never heard of Colston. No idea if he deserves a statue (probably doesn't). I have no problem with tearing down statues of Southern generals in the US (I applaud that). My problem is: a) it is mostly just symbolism, and b) it can easily go too far. Like the Fawlty Towers example.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeshibu View Post
    Guess we should stop food banks, since they're not instantly solving world hunger. Bugger off with your "those actions do not result in a perfect world thus they are not worth taking" nonsense.
    Food banks stop hunger. They help. They are not symbolism. They are great.
    (Although it would be better if people weren't so poor that they had to depend on "the kindness of strangers". Having food on the table, having a roof over your head, healthcare access should all be right. Not gifts).

    To be clear: I don't care if a single good deed doesn't solve every problem in the world. In fact, I applaud small efforts. We got to take it one step at a time. My problem lies with actions that don't do anything, don't work towards the goal. Things that are just done for the publicity. To give people a good feeling about themselves. If such a (political) action doesn't really do something, it's just a distraction.

    Putting living politicians in jail for war crimes helps. And will help in the future. I wish Americans could be trialed at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. But no. Americans are free to murder people around the world, without the risk of justice. So we rather take some symbolic action (tear down a few statues, call Rowling a cunt, wear a button, donate 10 bucks to a good cause). And call it a day.

    Besides, have you considered that maybe having the public finally condemn ancient war criminals slightly weakens the position of the current lot?
    Yes, I have considered that. And my conclusion is: no, it won't help a bit.
    Last edited by Gryzemuis; 12th Jun 2020 at 12:52.

  8. #83
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    How can we expect to take down war criminals if we can't even take down the statues celebrating war criminals? You're claiming that we can't do the former because we're doing the latter instead, but I think it's more likely that we can't accomplish the former unless we can first accomplish the latter.

  9. #84
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    I don't think taking an episode of Fawlty Towers offline is the first step on the path of getting GW Bush or Kissinger to the ICC in The Hague. I also don't think it will prevent an innocent African-American being shot by a policeman next week or next month.

    Again, I'm not against some/most of the stuff that's happening. I'm just stating that there is a lot of fluff action and a lot of noise, and it's not really gonna change much. Too much focus on words and things that are not the core of the problem. It risks people polarizing more.

    See the Rowlings thing. Rowlings has not said anything negative about trans people. She has no suggested any action, any change of law. She didn't argue against trans rights. She didn't try to paint them in a negative light. Nope, the whole Rowlings thing is about a word. "Women" or "people who menstruate". That's what this fight is about. A word. I find that ludicrous. Newspeak. 1984. Kafkaesk.

    Let's hope Trump will lose the next elections. At least then all the current events will have lead to something concrete.
    Last edited by Gryzemuis; 12th Jun 2020 at 13:31.

  10. #85
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    So if you don't like what I have say? Well fuck you. I aint going nowhere so you can go to hell. If I irritate you - Good. Put me on ignore then.

    Oh and PS - FUCK YOU
    That's a lovely comeback and wise words of a scholar. The university you got hired by must be lucky to have you. So on one hand you got false sense of authority, but on the other you have a meltdown so easily just because some random strangers on the Internet call you annoying? Your childhood bullying doesn't make you a special snowflake, I bet a lot of us had such period in their lives (I know I did, for quite long time actually, had to deal with it, never used it as an excuse). Guess what, you're still annoying. Most of us are. I know I'm definitely annoying, and I know best because I have to live with myself 24/7, right? So take a break if you must, but nobody is onto you, or insisting that you have to leave. It's just a forum, and if your self-esteem relies so much on it, then I agree with Jeshibu that you might have a problem. We're all just a bunch of internet strangers trying not to get on each other's nerves too much. And sometimes that doesn't work too well, but hey, let's try to live with that.

    Back on topic, I disagree with "it's just words" kind of dismissal. Words with their meaning, sounding, the whole language syntax, it all shapes and determines how we see the world. That evolves constantly, and those who can, do everything in their power to shape it. It's why corporations and politicians use nice tone and euphemisms about every atrocious thing they do. Having a company name being used as a verb in everyday life by everyone is corporations' wet dream, because they know language is a tool and a weapon.

    Also presidents and dictators are the hardest people to put on trial. They usually live safely until the old age. Making a systemic change at the bottom doesn't sound as flashy, and it requires long hard work, but at least it has chance of being more effective.

  11. #86
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    "It's just words" should be square 1 on "white people discussing racial slurs" bingo.

  12. #87
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    No, I'm saying that it's not relative in any way, shape, or form. Racism is racism whether it was okay in your country a hundred years ago or not, end of. Trying to justify it by saying cultural or social normalisation allowed for it therefore it wasn't racist back then is either incredibly poor thinking or a sign of warped values.
    Maybe I'm extrapolating too broadly, but this reads to me like you are arguing that the offensiveness of a word or label is detached from cultural norms. If so, that seems an odd position to take, given that the meanings of words are inherently cultural.

    I mean, the word 'colored' seems like a prime example of a word formerly used as a neutral descriptor (even by Black Americans, eg the NAACP) that has gradually become seen as racially pejorative. To suggest that it has always been as pejorative as it is considered nowadays, and couldn't have been considered an inoffensive descriptor 'back then', seems to be just imposing circa-2020 cultural values and then saying culture is irrelevant.

    I apologize if I've misunderstood your meaning. To be clear, I'm not defending the term that started this discussion. It is, and always has been, a slur.

  13. #88
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I'd forgotten to put Judith on ignore. That's better. Resorting to personal insults, rather than debating an issue. I take my hat off to you.

  14. #89
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I'm entirely with you on the "it's just words" thing, Judith. "Words and things that are not the core of the problem" were in no small part what brought about Brexit and got Trump elected. Words are the tools that direct the anger of the frustrated and disaffected away from the actual causes of their anger towards those that they'd actually have common cause with in many ways. To my mind, it's pretty naive to dismiss them so glibly, because language and symbols have a real-world impact.

  15. #90
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by catbarf View Post
    Maybe I'm extrapolating too broadly, but this reads to me like you are arguing that the offensiveness of a word or label is detached from cultural norms. If so, that seems an odd position to take, given that the meanings of words are inherently cultural.
    That's not it. Something that was used in a racist context but was normalised by society at the time - like the n-word, and I don't mean 'negro' though that it's also had fall off in usage is acceptable collateral damage from the diminutive slur it spawned - doesn't make it not racist. If the cultural norms that spawned a word are racist, you can't really validate that as 'acceptable (and not racist) in the past but not okay now'. It's not a subjective matter.

  16. #91
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    Making a systemic change at the bottom doesn't sound as flashy, and it requires long hard work, but at least it has chance of being more effective.
    I'm not sure what you mean here. If people slowly change their minds and opinions on certain issues (racism, transgenders, etc), and while that change occurs, they start to use different words, that's the way it works. I think. But changing the words first ("women" -> "people who menstruate"), and then hoping people's opinion will then automatically change too, I don't think that'll work. That's pure 1984 Newspeak.

    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    "It's just words" should be square 1 on "white people discussing racial slurs" bingo.
    Just to be clear, I don't oppose to banning words like the n-word or w-word. I understand that racial slurs have a real impact.

    But I'm a bit less anal about removing such words completely from anything and everything. E.g. the use of the w-word in the Strangler's song I linked to early has a reason. It's there to make the lyrics of the song (which is anti-racist) more powerful. I'm not sure removing the song from YouTube, or removing it from the universe will help remove racism. Maybe even the opposite.

    In Django Unchained the n-word is used a lot. Because in the time of that movie, the word was used a lot. Hearing that word bites, which imho helps getting the message of the movie across. Is Django Unchained a racist movie ? Does the use of the n-word there promote racism ? Should Django Unchained be removed from society ? Or maybe all the uses of the n-word should be bleeped out ?

    And this is what I mean by "no nuances". Just by asking these questions, I'm sure there will be people who think I'm an arsehole and a racist. Just because I think actions, laws, money, poverty, education, etc matters more than words, Faetal, you just labeled me a racist. Regardless whether we have the same goal (no more racism, no more sexism, etc), just because we disagree about the path to get there, I am now labeled a racist.
    Last edited by Gryzemuis; 12th Jun 2020 at 13:57.

  17. #92
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    That's not it. Something that was used in a racist context but was normalised by society at the time - like the n-word, and I don't mean 'negro' though that it's also had fall off in usage is acceptable collateral damage from the diminutive slur it spawned - doesn't make it not racist. If the cultural norms that spawned a word are racist, you can't really validate that as 'acceptable (and not racist) in the past but not okay now'. It's not a subjective matter.
    How do you define and know that it was used in an intended racist context though hmm? And by the question, I'm not talking about the N-Word, but what Gryz was talking about.

  18. #93
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Read a history book? Next question.

    And I dunno what Gryz is talking about, because it's pure waffle at this point.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 12th Jun 2020 at 14:07.

  19. #94
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    It's fortunate I'm too distracted at the moment to mete out some stern lecturing and condescension, so I'll keep things brief.

    KEEP THINGS FUCKING CIVIL, OR I SWEAR AFORE GOD ALMIGHTY ABOVE THAT I WILL LIBERALLY APPLY THE FERULE TO ALL THOSE I DEEM DESERVING!

  20. #95
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by Gryzemuis View Post
    Faetal, you just labeled me a racist.
    Nope. Just don't see the value in half an internet's worth of white people musing over what racism is.

  21. #96
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Listen, here's what I can say about this conversation here.

    We're all oldschool members contributing to this thread. We've been around here for a decade or more. By the merits of the conversation, I can say that everyone here means well, even though some might be tonedeaf, and others might be a little lost up their own asses. I won't name names just yet, but you can all rest assured that, one very suspicious and rather obvious exception aside, there isn't a single post here that's purposefully bigoted, or outright racist trying to dogwhistle their way through a conversation by "just asking questions".

    You all aren't arguing with strangers on Reddit or where the fuck ever. Don't act like you are. Keep things civil.

  22. #97
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    catbarf: just to add, I see where you're coming from, but this conversation has always been about derogatory terms and usage like the one that started this off in icemann's post. We're not extending this to every possible word in the language used in a racist context or time; that'd be a bit much.

  23. #98
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Now whose strawmaning hmm? :P. The term I referenced was not used in a derogatory context. Not here in my culture (and by "my culture" that's in a multi-cultural society made up of hundreds of different nationalities). Fair enough if in yours it is, but here it isn't.

    Culture, country, location determines it all. That is why there is geographic differences in the meaning, context, and intention of words, symbols and imagery.

  24. #99
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Whether you intended it as derogatory or not is entirely incidental. We don't care; it's the topic now. The history of the word's laid out for you in detail in this very thread, but you don't want to engage with that, so I don't really need to care about going over it again.

  25. #100
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    There is no "you" in this anymore Sulphur. I'm not the one you need to convince this time. And secondly you do not have the right to judge my culture. That to me is racist.

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