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Thread: Screen art and racism

  1. #101
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I'm actually chuckling here right now. You actually see this as a reversal of fortunes, huh? That's cute. ^_^

  2. #102
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    No. Not at all. Will wait and see how things play out by those more articulate than myself. I shall wait to see what is said by others. Who knows, could go the other way entirely. And that's fine.

  3. #103
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I think you're going to find yourself more than a little disappointed about that. But go on and hide behind that 'not tolerating my intolerance is intolerance' argument, like it worked so well for, oh shucks, that's right - the nazis.

    Anyway, I'm done with this little stage play, ice. I see you've gone and edited out the 'I never said I wasn't racist' line from your blowout post. That ought to be reinstated so everyone gets, you know, a clearer view.

  4. #104
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    The thing your not getting here, is that I'm completely fine with being wrong on this one. I just want to sit back and see what others have to say. I've taken on board the comments said earlier about how I don't accept defeat and I'm completely fine with it.

    For now, your sounding like everything I used to hear about why people hated the U.S so much (and I'm not saying your from there, I'm using it as an example). Which was since they had a particular view of what was and wasn't acceptable and then went around trying to tell everyone else why they were wrong even though their culture was completely different. It's a flawed viewpoint. But I shall await to see what others here have to say (so all of you out there be sure to post, even if it's to say that I'm wrong), so we can see one way or the other.

    So Sulphur for a while, be quiet and let others speak so we shall see. And if I'm wrong, I'm wrong. I'm honestly quite curious on the overall consensus here, as should you. Just keep it without personal insults thrown at anyone. Thank you.

  5. #105
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Do yourself a favour and stop posting, then, because the amount of self-contradiction you manage in five minutes is enough to tilt the planet off its axis.

    hey ninja, these are observations first, insults second. They can double-team, but take them in stride, right?

    Well shit, I'm a time traveller too. I know the future before it happens! Look at deez precog skills: that's what she said, buddy.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 12th Jun 2020 at 15:03.

  6. #106
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    And he couldn't even last 5 seconds. Tsk tsk. Silence you. We have heard your opinions, and mine. Let others speak.

  7. #107
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    Don't be too hasty with the ferule, Renz. I think this is a fascinating conversation. Gotta say that dema said it for me, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    Nope. Just don't see the value in half an internet's worth of white people musing over what racism is.
    I will be interested to see what Merriam-Webster comes up with when they've updated their definition. IMO, racism is learned. White people musing and maybe through that musing come to re-educate themselves about what racism is and comprehend it has got to be good hasn't it?

    Nice to see you again, by the way.

  8. #108
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    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.
    Oh, and I'll still browse through your walls of text, because sometimes, when you're not acting like a big cheese, you can be right about something!
    (Okay, I'm done, I promise.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    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.
    Yes, unfortunately. Just the way news headlines and links have been worded for the last... decade? (Longer?) In to make people angry and click the link. And at the same time, companies and social media hosts demand that comment sections should be an equivalent of elevator music, which is obviously an impossible thing. I wonder how long this kind of surreal tension will last.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gryzemuis View Post
    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.
    I have to read up on the Rowling case first, so I don't understand what you mean either (yet). What I simply meant was that taking down a higher-up figure looks flashy, but doesn't solve much in the long run. Although now when I think of it, I could name at least one counter example, so maybe it's not so easy

  9. #109
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    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.
    Oof. No, man. Just...no.

    Listen, I can understand you're trying to save face right now, attempting to defend the point you were trying to make. But like I said before, if you refuse to be cognizant of all the issues inherent in the subject you're trying to address, you won't do yourself any favors in continuing to argue it. This is a dumb road you're going down, man.

  10. #110
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: uk
    Quote Originally Posted by Fingernail View Post
    I think if anything the show makes him out to be a daft old bugger and all his views are portrayed as fairly questionable. And when Basil attacks the Germans, or is shocked to see a black doctor, I've always thought the joke was how intolerant he was.
    Yes, the entire point is that it's deliberately and quite explicitly encouraging mocking of the intolerant.

  11. #111
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    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.
    I got it, yeah, fair enough.

    My angle is that, relating to this thread, it's useful to apply cultural context when unpacking a work of art to determine the author's intent: whether it was designed to support racial injustice, unintentionally does so through cultural tropes, invokes language or imagery that has acquired negative connotations since when the work was made, or was written from a position of ignorance that manifests as racism. This requires acknowledging the culture that it originated in and examining it from that perspective.

    To be clear, historical context doesn't excuse or justify racism, and these elements should still be called out for what they are- a slur or stereotype is still racism even if it was in casual use at the time. But I think intent can inform how to treat these now-controversial works. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? Give it a disclaimer, acknowledge the problematic aspects, and keep it in the public. Birth of a Nation? I really have no problem with it disappearing from the world, maybe save film classes.

    My concern, and the reason I replied as I did earlier, is that I feel that a lack of nuance endangers works that probably shouldn't be censored. Gone With The Wind is problematic, but reflective of an era in history that we shouldn't try to hide. Blazing Saddles is blatant satire, but with its directness in employing stereotypes to mock them it seems like the kind of film that might be lost as collateral damage. And Twitter teenagers just now discovering Tropic Thunder is a thing.

    Anyways, pretty sure it was mentioned earlier in the thread, but I really like how Warner Bros handles it with their old cartoons. For those who haven't seen, this is the disclaimer presented before Looney Tunes films. It makes it clear that attitudes have changed, but they still own up to the racism and don't make excuses for it, and the films are still made available.
    Last edited by catbarf; 12th Jun 2020 at 17:04.

  12. #112
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Wow, this blew up.

    Imma step in here and defend iceman on one point. It really depends on where you are whether a word is bad or not, and that goes for racism. I don't buy this bs that it's racist "wherever it is". The obvious US to UK one is the word "fanny". If you told me your friend was rubbing his girlfriends fanny when you were at the bar it would mean a completely different thing in the UK than in the US.

    I don't know where everyone is from or has lived but I grew up in Africa and lived there until I was 18. The n-word in the 90s had almost no power of abuse or offense at the time and the only way that anyone would get annoyed would be from realising that you were trying to be racist.

    In fact the n-word was used in my school, up to the age of 18, every day, by every. single. person. And the word honkey too. These were simply descriptors, really. Additionally mixed race people (anyone with African heritage but not actually black) was described as "coloured", something which Benabum Candlewax had to apologise for using last year or something, because in the UK it's considered very racist. I doubt it even is in the US, is it? Almost all the "coloured" people would be classed as black in the USA, because Americans are ridiculous. (Side note: there was one family with a white father and a "coloured" mother. These guys and girl had very pale skin and looked almost white except they had definite afro hair and big afros. The sister was really hot. This "class" of ethnicity was named after this family so if you had this make up you'd be a Langmore (name changed) whether you were related or not. Everyone found this hilarious, no one got offended).

    There is another word, the k-word if you will, that racist white Zimbabweans and South Africans used to use, and THAT would one into trouble. Big trouble.

    When it comes to language, it really is all relative.


    RE: The major in Fawlty Towers. It's not "wog" that's the problem. I've left the clip here for you all to see. The issue I have with this is a. his story is ridiculous, which is why it's funny and b. he's clearly from a past era and the joke is on him and the person he's describing. Idiot racists will find it funny because ha ha wogs, and this is the problem with humour that's even one level more sophisticated than a knock knock joke - dumb people can like it because they don't get it and dumb people can get offended for the same reason.


  13. #113
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    When I moved to Sydney 10 years ago, I was surprised to hear people using "wog" in casual conversation. As far as I knew, it had always been a derogatory term for people of darker skin in the UK, most often used against people from India, the Middle East, North Africa. But in Australian English, I found out it refers to Southern Europeans. Based on my (just a few years) experience there, wop seemed to be a neutral term that could have harmless or pejorative intent depending on context, in the same way that Aussies called Brits poms, Americans yanks, and New Zealanders kiwis.

    On the other hand, when I moved to Sydney I found out pretty quickly that I better start calling my wife my partner, otherwise everyone was going to think I was chauvinist pig.

    I'll throw out another one: guappo. I grew up in a town and school system with a sizeable minority Italian-American population and they were proud. Where I grew up, a guappo referred to a young man who was very image-conscious and tended to act tough and puff up their masculinity. If you've ever seen the TV show Happy Days, think of the Fonz. We didn't use it to refer to Italians in particular, but anyone who fit the stereotype regardless of family ancestry. We would sometimes use it to call someone out when they were getting overly-obsessed with preening their hair, trying to walk with a swagger, or just trying to play tough guy for no good reason. But it was also a term of flattery, with Italian kids complimenting each other on a new chain, new sunglasses, or dressing up nice for a dance, looking like a mafioso. But then I went to college in a city in a different state, where guappo was treated the same as "wop", a slur against poor Italian-American immigrants that was considered offensive enough to fight over.

    When I was a kid, the standard and respectful term for people and things from East Asia was Oriental. Somewhere along the way, that became offensive. By the time I was in high school, we were changing over to use the word Asian instead. Some people now find the word Asian to be insensitive and lazy, because it lumps together people from different countries who have visibly similar features but who don't want to be associated with each other. I would never use the word to refer to a specific person, i.e. "I have an Asian co-worker", "He's dating an Asian girl". It's still acceptable to say Asian or Asian-American when referring to demographic groups though.

    There's countless more examples. Language is fluid. It's constantly changing. Terms that were formerly acceptable are not anymore. Even terms that were once embraced by a minority may become offensive over the course of time and usage. The usage and meaning of a word can vary regionally and culturally.

    So I can't get behind the argument that if any group is offended by a word now, then it's universally racist. It depends on where and what context it's being used. Each word is going to have it's own rules, which can vary from place to place and time to time. And if you don't know the rules, just avoid using it. I especially disagree with the argument that if a word is racist now, it has always been racist, and anybody who thinks they used it in a non-racist context in the past is wrong and they were actually being racist.
    Last edited by heywood; 12th Jun 2020 at 17:52.

  14. #114
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: uk
    Quote Originally Posted by SubJeff View Post
    RE: The major in Fawlty Towers. It's not "wog" that's the problem. I've left the clip here for you all to see. The issue I have with this is a. his story is ridiculous, which is why it's funny and b. he's clearly from a past era and the joke is on him and the person he's describing. Idiot racists will find it funny because ha ha wogs, and this is the problem with humour that's even one level more sophisticated than a knock knock joke - dumb people can like it because they don't get it and dumb people can get offended for the same reason.
    Context though, the entire episode is about the hypocrisy of Basil thinking the Major's rather racist comments are (at best) out dated and irrelevant yet doing the exact same thing. That he would choose not to use a specific word whilst displaying the same attitudes is the whole point.

  15. #115
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    It's still a criticism of these people and not just ha ha racist words though, isn't it?

  16. #116
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: uk
    It's specifically making the point that pretending not to be a racist by refusing to use a particular word doesn't make you not a racist. It it the least appropriate piece of television ever to decline to show to people because it uses a particular word.

  17. #117
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Well, I'm certainly not knowledgeable about every word in every context, but I gotta say, a buncha white folks arguing about how it isn't racist when they say it is an absolutely terrible look. These things you're saying about w** were said about n***** by people who were very much racists, and not as long ago as you'd like to think. The argument that a bunch of people say it and don't always curl their lip and spit as they do so, proves nothing. You can't see a filter when all you see is through the filter. And if you know perfectly well that someone, somewhere IS offended, to the point where it's listed as derogatory in the dictionary, how sure are you that the person you're referring to with what you know perfectly well could be a slur, isn't affected? Because for the most part they won't act offended. They don't dare.

    Take Gone With the Wind. It was cited at the beginning of this thread as a product of its time. Of course, everything is a product of its time. Buuut… GWtW was widely called out and even protested for being racist as f*** back when it was released. The difference is that such observations had little power back then, largely because racism was so deeply entrenched. Where I'm going with that, is just because you think it was okay in its time, doesn't mean it was. And that's true for the present, too.

    I would err on the side of caution in these matters.

  18. #118
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by catbarf View Post
    I got it, yeah, fair enough.

    My angle is that, relating to this thread, it's useful to apply cultural context when unpacking a work of art to determine the author's intent: whether it was designed to support racial injustice, unintentionally does so through cultural tropes, invokes language or imagery that has acquired negative connotations since when the work was made, or was written from a position of ignorance that manifests as racism. This requires acknowledging the culture that it originated in and examining it from that perspective.


    To be clear, historical context doesn't excuse or justify racism, and these elements should still be called out for what they are- a slur or stereotype is still racism even if it was in casual use at the time. But I think intent can inform how to treat these now-controversial works. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? Give it a disclaimer, acknowledge the problematic aspects, and keep it in the public. Birth of a Nation? I really have no problem with it disappearing from the world, maybe save film classes.
    Yeah, and when you're talking about art, the context is different. It's a much more complex matter to deal with. We're mostly aligned on this - I'm sure you've seen posts prior talking about this.

    I'm of the opinion that problematic media shouldn't just be erased; if it's acknowledged as an attitude that is not tacitly endorsed by the content provider, I don't see people having an issue with that. Gone with the Wind and Huck Finn are problematic, but important works. They also work as historical record of the prevailing attitude of the time. Pretending they don't exist would do no one any favours; it doesn't fool anyone.

    The exception to this is when you have a thing like, yeah, Birth of the Nation - I wouldn't bat an eyelid if that vanished from streaming. We went over this earlier, but if it's an obvious racist propaganda piece, any content provider taking it down would be doing the right thing IMO. And even then, it's not like it disappears from public consciousness - you can still get it elsewhere if you really want to see it.

    Anyways, pretty sure it was mentioned earlier in the thread, but I really like how Warner Bros handles it with their old cartoons. For those who haven't seen, this is the disclaimer presented before Looney Tunes films. It makes it clear that attitudes have changed, but they still own up to the racism and don't make excuses for it, and the films are still made available.
    I think that's the best compromise for older works, all said and done.

    I wouldn't care if Little Britain dropped off the face of the Earth tomorrow, but it also falls under this umbrella of shitty attitudes that networks can and should acknowledge -- it's not really making any cogent points like, say, Fawlty Towers, but that's maybe an exercise for the viewer to decide. Even Fawlty Towers, which is a show I dearly love, earned an eyebrow arch for its treatment of Manuel back in the day, never mind the major and the episode with the Germans. But Fawlty Towers was also better at illustrating Basil as a terrible person and so delineated right and wrong while being funny. That doesn't excuse some of its more overt issues, but am I going to want it banned or censored for that? Please. It needs to be preserved as is so we have a record of the journey we've been taking.

    The work of acknowledging what needs to change is up to what we're doing now. And if Little Britain, as an example of a show that exists in some form even as recently as April 2020, can't do that, then that's really just an indictment of the society we live in.


    @heywood: I'd invite you to re-examine the context of the posts you're addressing. We're not discussing the chronology and lexicology of slang here, which would be a pretty odd sidebar; and this isn't a matter of semantic nitpicking. It's the tidbit about 'what is racist is subjective'. Let me ask you this: would there ever be a time in casual conversation where you using a phrase like 'that slant-eyed gook over there' would be considered not racist to someone from SE Asia?

    There's a world of difference between how culture changes the meaning of words over time, and the context from which a derogatory term is spawned. If you know the context and intent was racist at that point, the context and intent normalised that slur despite its racist meaning, then you also know there is no such thing as a good time to use that word from that point on. If the intent is to other someone with a term, like say wog, or curry, no one's going to cry over it being classified as pejorative. Well, except the racists.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 12th Jun 2020 at 23:45.

  19. #119
    El Shagmeister
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Under your fingernails.
    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    And sure if that makes me a racist that's fine really. Never said I wasn't.

  20. #120
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Mr Duck, I love you like a brother, but surely you could add more here than just glib img posts? I mean you are the only mexican here I think? Having moved to vancouver I am sure there are some relevant experiences you could relate here.

  21. #121
    El Shagmeister
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Under your fingernails.
    <3 Piggeh.

    My previous post was mainly for posterity's sake, seeing how icemann edited his original (now backpedaled) farewell, eliminating a bit of info that will surely age well, like milk left out of the fridge on a hot Summer day in the Sahara desert; it also served the double purpose of serving as an example of what Sulphur's said over and over again about icemann contradicting himself every five steps (or less). That doesn't mean I didn't feel like adding a wink to it. <3

    As for Vancouver (or Canada, to be fair), it's as racist as the US on a systemic level (just ask most indigenous folk there, for starters), and a lot of their national identity seems to be based on saying "We're not the US, we're better!" Not everyone, of course, but just enough to make me raise my eyebrow. Oh well, Mexico (and many places in Latin America) are far worse, so la-dee-daa. And that's my bit.

    <3

  22. #122
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Okay, I missed this wodge. I don't want to be a weekend warrior, but let's address this.

    Quote Originally Posted by SubJeff View Post
    Imma step in here and defend iceman on one point. It really depends on where you are whether a word is bad or not, and that goes for racism. I don't buy this bs that it's racist "wherever it is". The
    obvious US to UK one is the word "fanny". If you told me your friend was rubbing his girlfriends fanny when you were at the bar it would mean a completely different thing in the UK than in the US.
    The topic is not anatomy, it is not genitalia.

    I think a few of you are missing the obvious here, which is these words are not separate from the context in which they are used, especially when we're talking about their racist origins.

    I don't know where everyone is from or has lived but I grew up in Africa and lived there until I was 18. The n-word in the 90s had almost no power of abuse or offense at the time and the only way that anyone would get annoyed would be from realising that you were trying to be racist.
    And there you go: if someone was trying to be racist, and called someone the n-word, here is the context we're talking about. You've now experienced a situation where you understand the wider problem of it. Let's address the elephant in the room: if you're white, or from a certain race, and you've called somebody from another race a word knowing full well that it is racist somewhere, do you think that's okay?

    In fact the n-word was used in my school, up to the age of 18, every day, by every. single. person. And the word honkey too. These were simply descriptors, really.
    So you were there when apartheid was a thing, I'm assuming.

    Fair Skinned Person to Black Person: 'Yeah you know, my class is like half niggers and half chinks. 's all good.'
    Last edited by Sulphur; 13th Jun 2020 at 02:48.

  23. #123
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    So you were there when apartheid was a thing, I'm assuming.
    I was, but not in South Africa.

    Interesting that you made that assumption.

    Also - I'm not white, I'm mixed race. Did you assume I was white all this time?

  24. #124
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I know. That's the reason I put 'certain race' in there, because this isn't just about prevailing white attitude.

  25. #125
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    Mr. Duck! We are better than the US!

    Plenty of systemic and endemic racism here in Canada and yet some ongoing programs to counter racism and redress damages. Nevertheless, First Nations are neglected even as they struggle to recover from generations of genocidal policies like Residential Schools. On the other hand, First nations art, language and culture is being re-envisioned and revived while territorial greetings and acknowledgements, are a standard part of government and community events.

    On the other-other hand, reserves are often places of crushing poverty where basic housing, water and food are at third world levels and diseases which are extinct in European populations, still ravage the inhabitants.

    Canada prides itself as the destination of the Underground Railroad even though it was a full patch member of the Slave Owners Club even after Britain abolished the practice. Many escaped slaves established colonies here in the 1800's. Africville, in Halifax Nova Scotia was a thriving community for over a century until it was rezoned and bulldozed in the 1960's in a completely non-racist way, of course.

    And don't get me started on the Chinese. We only just apologized to them for the head tax and now they are being assaulted over the COVID19 epidemic.

    On topic - is it true that Net-Flix has dropped Die Hard because it stereotypes Germans? My German girlfriend says so but I can't find any news on it.

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