PDA

View Full Version : Remake reasoning


Daekyras
03-24-2015, 09:56 AM
Hey guys, just wondering about a trend I have seen recently.

In remakes they change character traits.

For example- there is a reboot of ghostbusters with four female characters in the main roles. In the equalizer last year a black guy(Denzel on good form) played the part of a previously white character. Up next is a planned reboot of MacGuyver with a potential Female lead.

I'm just wondering if this annoys anyone else?

By annoyed I mean that I don't see the point of doing it. It also seems counter intuitive. They aren't creating new characters as they want to use the recognition factor of the name. But surely people who recognise the name will associate it with the existing character?

Is there a reason for doing this that I don't see?

DahLliA
03-24-2015, 10:34 AM
Hollywood is stupid.

Like really, really stupid.

That's pretty much the explanation of all the weird stuff they do :p

yks 6nnetu hing
03-24-2015, 10:46 AM
well... yes and no. I think it's stupid to re-make a character just in order to re-make a character. On the other hand, if it's done well and if it brings something extra to the story (other than aesthetics), then it can be great.

Case in point: Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica.

GonzoTheGreat
03-24-2015, 10:53 AM
On top of that: if the remake is precisely the same as the original, then why not see the original (for a lower price, probably) and ignore the whole remake?

So they need to make some changes, and then the question is: what changes should they make, and what leave the same?

Nazbaque
03-24-2015, 11:12 AM
Well the reason behind it is pretty much the same as the adding of token characters to so many movies and series. Superhero comics in particular are dominated by the caucasian male characters. Sometimes the redesign works as in Samuel L. Jackson playing Nick Fury and sometimes it just comes across as patronizing. It mostly depends on what are the character's defining traits and what are the minor details.

Any reason why Spiderman has to be caucasian? Not really other than the fact that he is already so firmly established as a caucasian. Same with Superman. Batman however is a case of old money so even if he wasn't so firmly established, he couldn't be for example black. Same with Tony Stark. Magneto has to be Jewish as the concentration camps are a part of his background.

The gender swaps however like the Ghostbusters thing are cases of rule 63.

Daekyras
03-24-2015, 11:26 AM
well... yes and no. I think it's stupid to re-make a character just in order to re-make a character. On the other hand, if it's done well and if it brings something extra to the story (other than aesthetics), then it can be great.

Case in point: Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica.

I'll start by saying that I love the remade BSG. It completely changed tone from the original and is an example of how things like that can be done well.

I also loved Katee sackhoff's portrayal of Starbuck.

I do not think there was a need to change the gender of the character. What did changing gender bring?

A back story of her love affair with Apollo's brother. the possible romantic links with Apollo.

Her other character traits were boozing and sleeping around while been a shit hot pilot.

Now, lets just say they added the extra back story and romantic connections to apollo and kept starbuck a dude? Is that not a braver and more interesting choice?

connabard
03-24-2015, 11:56 AM
Unless the characters defining trait is their sex or ethnicity, I don't see a problem with changing those things.
In the case of Starbuck, it wasn't necessary to change gender but Katee Sackhoff played a brilliant Starbuck and it turned out fabulous. Could they have kept the character male and addressed homosexuality/bisexuality? Sure, but it's certainly possible that they had male actors audition for the role and not impress. And if it was just a writing decision that they wanted a female, that's still fine justification because the change is superficial at best.

My only problem with these changes is that, it seems patronizing to the under represented communities, because rather than create new and great characters that are black, or female, or not straight, they just change existing ones, which seems like a cop-out to me. Though, maybe riding off the success of already established characters is a great way to get people used to seeing under represented people in leading roles.

Either way, unless they change something that is a defining character trait, and nine times out of ten gender, race, and ethnicity aren't, it's no big deal

GonzoTheGreat
03-24-2015, 12:08 PM
My only problem with these changes is that, it seems patronizing to the under represented communities, because rather than create new and great characters that are black, or female, or not straight, they just change existing ones, which seems like a cop-out to me.
Well, yes, but on the other hand: if the added character isn't consider so great by the public when they see it, then all they have done is add a boring token black lesbian, which will produce criticism as well.

Kimon
03-24-2015, 08:23 PM
When I first glanced at this headline on the BBC page I assumed perhaps another example of your concern, but hey, look at the bright side, apparently X-Files is coming back, and with the original Mulder and Scully.

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-32035562

Slightly less tangentially, there are other examples, beyond just Battlestar (which clearly was far superior to the original) of remakes and reboots done well. I show the Liz Taylor and Richard Burton version of Cleopatra to my Latin I kids each year. That was a remake. What about things like Maleficent? Would you consider that a remake, or just a tangent? Either way, I enjoyed that too.

There are, admittedly, a lot of counter examples. As to why, there are two obvious reasons - greed and laziness.

Zombie Sammael
03-24-2015, 10:39 PM
I was so angry when they remade Doctor Who and recast the role of The Doctor.

Daekyras
03-25-2015, 05:04 AM
I was so angry when they remade Doctor Who and recast the role of The Doctor.

Which doctor were you angry about? The Caucasian male or the....Caucasian male?

And for the record a lot of people were upset at the casting of Matt Smith as the doctor as they feared it was too "trendy" a choice.

Daekyras
03-25-2015, 05:08 AM
My only problem with these changes is that, it seems patronizing to the under represented communities, because rather than create new and great characters that are black, or female, or not straight, they just change existing ones, which seems like a cop-out to me

Thanks connabard. Thats what I was trying to say. Silly Language is never my friend!

yks 6nnetu hing
03-25-2015, 06:29 AM
I'll start by saying that I love the remade BSG. It completely changed tone from the original and is an example of how things like that can be done well.

I also loved Katee sackhoff's portrayal of Starbuck.

I do not think there was a need to change the gender of the character. What did changing gender bring?

A back story of her love affair with Apollo's brother. the possible romantic links with Apollo.

Her other character traits were boozing and sleeping around while been a shit hot pilot.

Now, lets just say they added the extra back story and romantic connections to apollo and kept starbuck a dude? Is that not a braver and more interesting choice?

I think you're forgetting to look at the decision in the context of the time this decision was taken. IIRC, Starbuck was one of the first such gender conversions where the "girl" had all the same character traits as the "boy". Message being, that gender bore absolutely no consequence to the character of Starbuck - whether he or she, Starbuck was a cigar-smoking, whiskey-drinking loose cannon of a kick-ass pilot. Yes, this is now a fairly accepted way a female character can be converted, but at the time this was highly revolutionary.

Nazbaque
03-25-2015, 06:50 AM
My only problem with these changes is that, it seems patronizing to the under represented communities, because rather than create new and great characters that are black, or female, or not straight, they just change existing ones, which seems like a cop-out to me. Though, maybe riding off the success of already established characters is a great way to get people used to seeing under represented people in leading roles.

Well it isn't quite as simple as creating new characters vs. altering old ones. If you just create new ones, you'll be adding to an already working set of characters. Altering the old ones means that you won't be droping old characters to make room or throwing Mary Sues to the mix. I feel that altering where there is room is better than adding or replacing. I think the mistake is not in the direction they choose but in the way they execute it. Just because they bungled the job doesn't mean the base idea was wrong.

Mort
03-25-2015, 12:35 PM
well... yes and no. I think it's stupid to re-make a character just in order to re-make a character. On the other hand, if it's done well and if it brings something extra to the story (other than aesthetics), then it can be great.


One of the main reasons you do a remake is often because, just like with our beloved WoT TV pilot, a contract or option for that intellectual property is about to go bye bye. So for example, Sony Pictures makes a new movie with Spiderman so not to lose the right to that franchise back to Marvel. Artistic depth appreciated, but not needed. A movie is gonna be made anyways.

I'll start by saying that I love the remade BSG. It completely changed tone from the original and is an example of how things like that can be done well.

I also loved Katee sackhoff's portrayal of Starbuck.

I do not think there was a need to change the gender of the character. What did changing gender bring?

Now, lets just say they added the extra back story and romantic connections to apollo and kept starbuck a dude? Is that not a braver and more interesting choice?

One affront to God at a time please. ;)

I think you're forgetting to look at the decision in the context of the time this decision was taken. IIRC, Starbuck was one of the first such gender conversions where the "girl" had all the same character traits as the "boy". Message being, that gender bore absolutely no consequence to the character of Starbuck - whether he or she, Starbuck was a cigar-smoking, whiskey-drinking loose cannon of a kick-ass pilot. Yes, this is now a fairly accepted way a female character can be converted, but at the time this was highly revolutionary.

Yeah. Same answer to some degree to making the Ghostbuster leads into women. And I'm almost sure it wouldn't do as good in theaters for the sole reason they are women. A lot of guys won't be attracted to watch. But I hope I'm wrong.


So if it's no big deal if the lead is of a different gender, there is also no big deal if a movie was made with that intention. If it is a big deal, we know we have some shit to work out.

Daekyras
03-25-2015, 02:24 PM
Yeah. Same answer to some degree to making the Ghostbuster leads into women. And I'm almost sure it wouldn't do as good in theaters for the sole reason they are women. A lot of guys won't be attracted to watch. But I hope I'm wrong.

So if it's no big deal if the lead is of a different gender, there is also no big deal if a movie was made with that intention. If it is a big deal, we know we have some shit to work out.

If the movie looks funny I will watch it. I love the original. It contains one of the single best dialogue sections I've ever heard when they meet the mayor:

Mayor: is this true?

Venkman: it's true your honour, this man has no dick.

and it's true, the gender of the characters shouldn't be important. But surely replacing all four of the ghost busters with women is stunt casting? And reductive in terms of equality in my opinion.

Terez
03-25-2015, 03:20 PM
Unless the characters defining trait is their sex or ethnicity, I don't see a problem with changing those things.
That is what is instructive about the process, and I think, why producers keep doing it. It's amazing how upset we can get about such changes when the change is not an essential characteristic.

We sort of had a version of this debate in the WoT fandom, not with Aran'gar, but with Rand. Some fans (mostly females) wanted to know if the Dragon soul could be female in other Ages. RJ said no, because gender was a defining characteristic of any given soul, hence why Balthamel continued to channel saidin after his soul was put in a female body and he became, in nearly all other respects, she.

That was RJ's vision of essentialism vs constructionism in terms of gender. RJ put a lot of his thoughts on the debates in the humanities into his books, alongside debates in the sciences and mythological parallels. He said (paraphrased) that he tried to write in such a way that makes readers ask questions rather than giving them the answers. Probably a subtle Goodkind jab. But RJ's answers are often still there.

Morelikeunwisewoman
03-25-2015, 06:36 PM
and it's true, the gender of the characters shouldn't be important. But surely replacing all four of the ghost busters with women is stunt casting? And reductive in terms of equality in my opinion.

How do you mean reductive?

I am not a fan of changing characters without a good reason but it doesn't upset me as much as it seems to wind you up. As long as it adds to the film.

I wonder if they will remake xena: warrior princess, but cast a man? And yes I mean to keep the title. Hukka.

rand
03-25-2015, 06:47 PM
I hear they're doing a remake of Ben-Hur next year. Maybe the main character will be a woman and they'll call it Ben-Him?

I'm actually sort of interested to see how they redo Ben-Hur though. Most remakes nowadays take a relatively short original and pad it out with lots of fluff. For a remake of Ben-Hur, anything shorter than 3.5 hours would be almost disappointing.

Nazbaque
03-25-2015, 07:51 PM
How do you mean reductive?

I am not a fan of changing characters without a good reason but it doesn't upset me as much as it seems to wind you up. As long as it adds to the film.

I wonder if they will remake xena: warrior princess, but cast a man? And yes I mean to keep the title. Hukka.

Or make it Xena: Warrior Queen. A whole new twist.

Daekyras
03-25-2015, 07:55 PM
How do you mean reductive?

I am not a fan of changing characters without a good reason but it doesn't upset me as much as it seems to wind you up. As long as it adds to the film.

I wonder if they will remake xena: warrior princess, but cast a man? And yes I mean to keep the title. Hukka.

I'm not wound up. I'm just playing. And by reductive I meant it actually does the opposite of progressive casting.

In the theme of you and rand- maybe they could remake a show about a male cheerleader who discovers his town is built on a gateway to he'll and he is a chosen warrior. He would be in really good shape and the show would be called Buff: the vampire slayer.

Davian93
03-26-2015, 09:58 AM
I hear they're doing a remake of Ben-Hur next year. Maybe the main character will be a woman and they'll call it Ben-Him?

I'm actually sort of interested to see how they redo Ben-Hur though. Most remakes nowadays take a relatively short original and pad it out with lots of fluff. For a remake of Ben-Hur, anything shorter than 3.5 hours would be almost disappointing.

Remaking Ben-Hur would be like remaking The Godfather. Why try to improve on perfection? So I will likely not watch.

Same with Ghostbusters. Sorry but its not a male/female issue here but one of trying to reach the perfection that was the original Ghostbusters movie when Murray, Aykroid & Ramis were all in their primes. The announced new cast simply isn't near that level or even close. None of them are even particularly funny to be honest.


Speaking of somewhat dramatic potential new castings...people keep kicking around the name of Idris Elba as the potential next James Bond. Personally, I think he'd be awesome in the role...but it'll be interesting to see the fan backlash given how much there was over Daniel Craig being cast and "James Bond doesn't have blonde hair!!!" idiocy that was spewed about at the time.

On an unrelated note, I went to a performance of The Scottish Play last night and the titular character was an African American actor. It took nothing at all away from the role for him to be black instead of white and he did a phenomenal job in the role...honestly, he was by far the best actor in the performance which was otherwise hit-or-miss.

Nazbaque
03-26-2015, 12:36 PM
I know I'm going on a tangent here but I detest the term "African-American"

1) It is inaccurate. Logically it means a person who moved from Africa to America. Yet I have actually seen this term used of a person who was born in England and still lives there. It might actually describe a person whose ancestry is purely caucasian. Parents moved from Europe to Africa and where the person was born and then later moved to America. Born in Africa, moved to America. An African-American.

2) The attitude of black = Africa is actually enhanced through the usage.

3) It's a lot more insulting in my mind to suggest that people whose families have been living in a country since before the war that freed them from slavery still aren't properly its citizens.

Davian93
03-26-2015, 12:40 PM
FWIW, I don't care for the term either.

rand
03-26-2015, 06:42 PM
Remaking Ben-Hur would be like remaking The Godfather. Why try to improve on perfection? So I will likely not watch.
Well, yeah. There's a 99% chance I'll absolutely hate the Ben-Hur remake, as the "original" Ben-Hur (which is itself, admittedly, a remake of a film that's an adaptation from a book) is one of my favorite movies of all time. I think it's just the sheer ballsy-ness of remaking such a legendary film that has me semi-interested. Gladiator is essentially a remake of Ben-Hur, even though they don't really seem to acknowledge this. And that's one of my favorite movies too.

Terez
03-26-2015, 09:10 PM
I know I'm going on a tangent here but I detest the term "African-American"

1) It is inaccurate. Logically it means a person who moved from Africa to America. Yet I have actually seen this term used of a person who was born in England and still lives there. It might actually describe a person whose ancestry is purely caucasian. Parents moved from Europe to Africa and where the person was born and then later moved to America. Born in Africa, moved to America. An African-American.
I only use the term in certain circumstances, but I don't think it's inherently inaccurate. It can be used inaccurately (there is a black Londoner on the Malazan forums who complained about being referred to as African-American), but that's not inherent. As to what it means exactly, here in America, it generally refers to people who were born here but who have African heritage (which is different from having lived there at one point; it is race, ethnicity, and culture). People who move here from Africa are more likely to be thought of as just Africans. They weren't born and raised here, so they don't have that specific American heritage and perspective, and it's usually very obvious.

It's a lot more insulting in my mind to suggest that people whose families have been living in a country since before the war that freed them from slavery still aren't properly its citizens.
There's nothing in the term that suggests they're not proper citizens. Only white people say that, but some white people have been having problems with that concept of "proper citizens" since before the PC term was invented, I assure you. (See sig.) African-Americans are still Americans; they just have an added experience of life, whether it's through culture that has been passed down through the generations, or whether it's just through the everyday reality of racial discrimination. The term was chosen by black people because it focuses more on their cultural heritage than their skin color. That said, its usage is not really socially enforced. It's still okay to say "black" when talking about racial issues.

Nazbaque
03-27-2015, 04:17 AM
And how many actually practise their inherited culture? Let's take a hypothetical person whose parents moved from Finland to another country before he was born. That person has claims to Finnish blood but not in its culture until he has experienced a true Finnish sauna. Same applies to the African-Americans. Unless they actually honor their heritage with a tribal rite for example they have no claim to African culture even if they have some claim to the blood.

The African part of the term is only true for a very small number of the people the American part applies to. And since you don't use terms like "Italian-American", "French-American", "Irish-American" or even lump them and other terms together as "European-American" it makes the African-Americans a special case.

The oppression is not an African thing. The Europeans have imported mistreatment of Africans to a lot of places, but saying that being mistreated is part of being an African is a racist remark in itself.

Terez
03-27-2015, 04:37 AM
And how many actually practise their inherited culture?
In the case of African-Americans, it's usually not about deliberately "practicing" inherited culture (i.e. wearing African colors, studying the history etc.) but rather it's about a set of diluted cultural practices that are learned by absorption. Jazz is a nice musical demonstration. It can't be defined, really, but on the whole one can observe the African roots of the music as well as the distinctly American/Western influences.

In some cases it's a set of cultural practices that come out of the experience of slavery and discrimination, i.e. the tendency to stick together in big groups for safety and security, the black churches with traces of Africa in the music and traces of activism in the rhetoric.

But again, not all African-Americans are raised in these traditions. For some, the shared African-American experience is just the experience of racial discrimination within the context of American history. Obama for example would be one of those people who was raised without the churches and the general black family experience. He is closer to being actually African than most African-Americans, but further away from the general African-American experience.

The African part of the term is only true for a very small number of the people the American part applies to. And since you don't use terms like "Italian-American", "French-American", "Irish-American" or even lump them and other terms together as "European-American" it makes the African-Americans a special case.
That's because it is a special case. In America, anyway. [PS: we do use those terms sometimes, e.g. Italian-American communities in the Northeast where certain aspects of Italian culture and experience are passed on: language, or just accent, Italian family restaurants, the Mafia, etc. ;)]

Unless they actually honor their heritage with a tribal rite for example they have no claim to African culture even if they have some claim to the blood.
Congratulations, you managed to define the nature of being African in an absurdly stereotypical fashion. :D And again, African-American is distinct from African.

Morelikeunwisewoman
03-27-2015, 05:12 AM
Congratulations, you managed to define the nature of being African in an absurdly stereotypical fashion. :D And again, African-American is distinct from African.

It is very hard to discuss any sensitive matter, in particular this sensitive matter, without someone pointing the finger and saying "Racist" or "thats stereotyping".

I'm not saying that's what you are doing Terez but by bringing up the phrase "absurdly stereotypical fashion" you are effectively labelling Naz despite the clear well meaning in his posts.

And for the record I am not a fan of African-American as a phrase.

GonzoTheGreat
03-27-2015, 05:40 AM
3) It's a lot more insulting in my mind to suggest that people whose families have been living in a country since before the war that freed them from slavery still aren't properly its citizens.
They are citizens nowadays, obviously, but they're not real Americans, only an imitation. Mind you, through hard work of real Americans, the imitation can be quite good, which explains the fellow currently residing in the White House.

1) It is inaccurate. Logically it means a person who moved from Africa to America. Yet I have actually seen this term used of a person who was born in England and still lives there. It might actually describe a person whose ancestry is purely caucasian. Parents moved from Europe to Africa and where the person was born and then later moved to America. Born in Africa, moved to America. An African-American.A couple of years ago, I read about a new immigrant to the USA who thought that he should be considered an African-American too. He had a US passport (he had become a US citizen as an adult), but he had been born in South Africa, where his ancestors had lived since before the USA itself was founded. But, because he didn't have the right skin colour, he apparently did not qualify.

2) The attitude of black = Africa is actually enhanced through the usage.From what I've read about it, that can annoy some Australian Aborigines quite a bit when they're called African-Americans.

Nazbaque
03-27-2015, 10:20 AM
Congratulations, you managed to define the nature of being African in an absurdly stereotypical fashion. :D And again, African-American is distinct from African.

And? I gave an example that would apply to every person on the planet. Everyone's ancestors practised somekind of tribal rites at some point. YOU are the one making the Africa = tribes connection here not me.

Davian93
03-27-2015, 12:21 PM
Well, yeah. There's a 99% chance I'll absolutely hate the Ben-Hur remake, as the "original" Ben-Hur (which is itself, admittedly, a remake of a film that's an adaptation from a book) is one of my favorite movies of all time. I think it's just the sheer ballsy-ness of remaking such a legendary film that has me semi-interested. Gladiator is essentially a remake of Ben-Hur, even though they don't really seem to acknowledge this. And that's one of my favorite movies too.

I believe Ridley Scott was fairly open about his inspirations for Gladiator including Ben-Hur and Spartacus to a lesser extent.

Davian93
03-27-2015, 12:23 PM
I only use the term in certain circumstances, but I don't think it's inherently inaccurate. It can be used inaccurately (there is a black Londoner on the Malazan forums who complained about being referred to as African-American), but that's not inherent. As to what it means exactly, here in America, it generally refers to people who were born here but who have African heritage (which is different from having lived there at one point; it is race, ethnicity, and culture). People who move here from Africa are more likely to be thought of as just Africans. They weren't born and raised here, so they don't have that specific American heritage and perspective, and it's usually very obvious.


There's nothing in the term that suggests they're not proper citizens. Only white people say that, but some white people have been having problems with that concept of "proper citizens" since before the PC term was invented, I assure you. (See sig.) African-Americans are still Americans; they just have an added experience of life, whether it's through culture that has been passed down through the generations, or whether it's just through the everyday reality of racial discrimination. The term was chosen by black people because it focuses more on their cultural heritage than their skin color. That said, its usage is not really socially enforced. It's still okay to say "black" when talking about racial issues.

I refer to myself as an Irish American regularly as I'm proud of my ethnicity...I see African American in the same light for the most part.

And how many actually practise their inherited culture? Let's take a hypothetical person whose parents moved from Finland to another country before he was born. That person has claims to Finnish blood but not in its culture until he has experienced a true Finnish sauna

I've been in a true Finnish sauna...can I be an honorary Finn now???

Davian93
03-27-2015, 12:28 PM
Jazz is a nice musical demonstration. It can't be defined, really, but on the whole one can observe the African roots of the music as well as the distinctly American/Western influences.


As an mere fan of music in lieu of a professional like you T, I've heard it said that Jazz is one of the few distinctly American forms of music for that very reason.

Terez
03-27-2015, 01:12 PM
It is very hard to discuss any sensitive matter, in particular this sensitive matter, without someone pointing the finger and saying "Racist" or "thats stereotyping".

I'm not saying that's what you are doing Terez but by bringing up the phrase "absurdly stereotypical fashion" you are effectively labelling Naz despite the clear well meaning in his posts.
Oh sod off, it was an amusing point, and he came much closer to calling me a racist than I did him.

Nazbaque
03-27-2015, 02:46 PM
Oh sod off, it was an amusing point, and he came much closer to calling me a racist than I did him.

While now you are going at the throat of a youngling, i.e. being a bully. And if you insist on holding on to racist ideas I'll call you a racist. It'll just be an observation, nothing more, nothing less.

Terez
03-27-2015, 03:17 PM
While now you are going at the throat of a youngling, i.e. being a bully. And if you insist on holding on to racist ideas I'll call you a racist. It'll just be an observation, nothing more, nothing less.
Fortunately for the world, you don't get to define racism, there from your lofty perch of racial homogeny.

Nazbaque
03-27-2015, 03:19 PM
Fortunately for the world, you don't get to define racism, there from your lofty perch of racial homogeny.

Yeah the world is so fortunate that it gets to tell itself a lie is true just because it sounds nicer.

Davian93
03-27-2015, 04:10 PM
I'm actually confused as to what the argument is here at this point...

Nazbaque
03-27-2015, 04:24 PM
I'm actually confused as to what the argument is here at this point...

Basically to me the evil in racism is in the judging of others based on what they were born as. Even when the judgement is in their favour they are still not being judged on their personal merits. The evil is in the attempted mental short cut.

Terez seems to disagree with me on this for some reason.

Terez
03-27-2015, 04:33 PM
Basically to me the evil in racism is in the judging of others based on what they were born as. Even when the judgement is in their favour they are still not being judged on their personal merits. The evil is in the attempted mental short cut.

Terez seems to disagree with me on this for some reason.
Again, because I live in a place with racial diversity and I have a real experience with it. Because I'm from Mississippi, a place with a real racial history that isn't going to go away just because you, or Gonzo, or anyone else make abstractions about it.

Nazbaque
03-27-2015, 04:41 PM
Again, because I live in a place with racial diversity and I have a real experience with it. Because I'm from Mississippi, a place with a real racial history that isn't going to go away just because you, or Gonzo, or anyone else make abstractions about it.

And this is what I mean when I complain about people confusing thought with emotion.

Terez
03-27-2015, 04:44 PM
And this is what I mean when I complain about people confusing thought with emotion.
And it's so much better to confuse philosophy with reality?

Kimon
03-27-2015, 04:45 PM
I believe Ridley Scott was fairly open about his inspirations for Gladiator including Ben-Hur and Spartacus to a lesser extent.

His inspiration was a bit more blunt than that. Gladiator was an almost complete (albeit in markedly crappier form) plagiarism of a Sir Alec Guinness movie - Fall of the Roman Empire.

Nazbaque
03-27-2015, 04:50 PM
And it's so much better to confuse philosophy with reality?

I use philosophy to define the more abstract parts of reality. I actually think about it instead of picking what feels right and going with it. You may think you know what reality is, but I actually make an effort to understand it.

Kimon
03-27-2015, 04:56 PM
Basically to me the evil in racism is in the judging of others based on what they were born as. Even when the judgement is in their favour they are still not being judged on their personal merits. The evil is in the attempted mental short cut.

Terez seems to disagree with me on this for some reason.

The pitfall with your contention seems to fall around one simple issue - do African-Americans like that designation and use it themselves, or do they find it offensive? I'm under the impression that it is the former, and frankly whether they find it offensive is far more important than whether you or I would, since neither of us are African-Americans.

As for the use of ethnic qualifiers in general, it seems like they are only used here by people of non-Anglo-Saxon ancestry, and as a way of maintaining a sense of group identity and cultural pride even while being absorbed into the essentially English milieu that is America. I would for instance think of myself as being of English ancestry, but wouldn't bother calling myself English-American, as English is already the dominant ethnicity. I'm also German and French though. I basically look at those the same way, being of French and German ancestry, but not German-American or French-American. These ethnic markers seem more a way of maintaining a sense of identity for non-WASP (are you familiar with that acronym) Americans.

Not sure if all the other Americans would agree, but in general, I'd think that's the most common version as to how and why these ethnic markers are used.

Addendum:

Mind you, this WASPyness also can give rise to some serious problems both past and present and has been directed at just about every non-Anglo-Saxon group that has entered the country, and often continues long after they're here. Today you see if mostly directed against two groups - Hispanic (which in some cases can be non-American Africans) and African-Americans. In the past it obviously was also directed against the Irish, Italians, Jews - are you starting to note which types of groups often use these types of ethnic markers. Yeah, it's not a coincidence.

Terez
03-27-2015, 05:11 PM
I use philosophy to define the more abstract parts of reality. I actually think about it instead of picking what feels right and going with it. You may think you know what reality is, but I actually make an effort to understand it.
I doubt you make as much effort as you think. Nearly every day in MS media there is a report of some racially motivated crime. Today, it's the indictment of a frat student at Ole Miss for putting a noose around the neck of a statue of James Meridith, the first black student at the school. You're probably thinking, that's a crime? But you live in Finland. Last week it was the news of a black man being hung from a tree by a white sheet. On each of these stories, there is a George Wallace or a Naz in the comments accusing the media of stirring up racial hatred by reporting on these things.

It takes more effort than usual to understand something of which you have no experience. Try a little harder.

Nazbaque
03-27-2015, 05:27 PM
The pitfall with your contention seems to fall around one simple issue - do African-Americans like that designation and use it themselves, or do they find it offensive? I'm under the impression that it is the former, and frankly whether they find it offensive is far more important than whether you or I would, since neither of us are African-Americans.

As for the use of ethnic qualifiers in general, it seems like they are only used here by people of non-Anglo-Saxon ancestry, and as a way of maintaining a sense of group identity and cultural pride even while being absorbed into the essentially English milieu that is America. I would for instance think of myself as being of English ancestry, but wouldn't bother calling myself English-American, as English is already the dominant ethnicity. I'm also German and French though. I basically look at those the same way, being of French and German ancestry, but not German-American or French-American. These ethnic markers seem more a way of maintaining a sense of identity for non-WASP (are you familiar with that acronym) Americans.

Not sure if all the other Americans would agree, but in general, I'd think that's the most common version as to how and why these ethnic markers are used.

And there you are thinking of "African-Americans" as a group that thinks and feels the same way in all situations. A subtle form of racism.

I find the idea of continent = race idiotic. It doesn't matter who does it it's still stupid. This is my personal opinion on the matter. To me race and culture are just extensions of a person not the other way around.

And I grow tired of these "our opinion gets more votes so it's the right one" arguments. I don't care about who agrees with who, I search for the truth so I can agree with that. This is why I define myself as "insane". I think sanity is defined by what truth is, not the other way around. And since truth is as of yet largely unknown all concepts of sanity are mere guess work. So I'll be insane until I can define a reliable sanity to be and that possibly makes me the most honest person on the planet.

Kimon
03-27-2015, 05:32 PM
And there you are thinking of "African-Americans" as a group that thinks and feels the same way in all situations. A subtle form of racism.

I find the idea of continent = race idiotic. It doesn't matter who does it it's still stupid. This is my personal opinion on the matter. To me race and culture are just extensions of a person not the other way around.

And I grow tired of these "our opinion gets more votes so it's the right one" arguments. I don't care about who agrees with who, I search for the truth so I can agree with that. This is why I define myself as "insane". I think sanity is defined by what truth is, not the other way around. And since truth is as of yet largely unknown all concepts of sanity are mere guess work. So I'll be insane until I can define a reliable sanity to be and that possibly makes me the most honest person on the planet.

So you think your opinion on this matter is more important than someone about whom the term could actually be used? How does that make sense? Especially considering that you aren't even living in the same land that they or we are. This is ridiculous. Just let it drop, Naz.

Nazbaque
03-27-2015, 05:55 PM
I doubt you make as much effort as you think. Nearly every day in MS media there is a report of some racially motivated crime. Today, it's the indictment of a frat student at Ole Miss for putting a noose around the neck of a statue of James Meridith, the first black student at the school. You're probably thinking, that's a crime? But you live in Finland. Last week it was the news of a black man being hung from a tree by a white sheet. On each of these stories, there is a George Wallace or a Naz in the comments accusing the media of stirring up racial hatred by reporting on these things.

It takes more effort than usual to understand something of which you have no experience. Try a little harder.

Actually that's not something I would do. Clear up in your head exactly who you are lumping me together with. Unlike the people doing these things and the people flying off the handle when they hear about it I am not a slave to my emotions. And the core of these crimes is in the culprits' inability to control their emotions. And if you can't control yours you'll never see beneath the surface. Did you ever for example think that some of those crimes might have been set up to look like racial crimes when they were motivated by something more personal. A black man hanged with a white sheet is first and foremost a man hanged. Was his killer perhaps another black man going for revenge and then making it look like a racial crime to create an alibi for himself? I don't doubt that most of those crimes are committed out of racial opinions, but aren't you letting potential murderers escape by assuming that no-one could have a personal grudge with a black man that has nothing to do with his skin colour?

Nazbaque
03-27-2015, 05:58 PM
So you think your opinion on this matter is more important than someone about whom the term could actually be used? How does that make sense? Especially considering that you aren't even living in the same land that they or we are. This is ridiculous. Just let it drop, Naz.

If my opinion is based on truth it matters more because it is the truth. Truth's opinion matters more than anyone else's so I'll agree with truth.

Daekyras
03-27-2015, 06:03 PM
The pitfall with your contention seems to fall around one simple issue - do African-Americans like that designation and use it themselves, or do they find it offensive? I'm under the impression that it is the former, and frankly whether they find it offensive is far more important than whether you or I would, since neither of us are African-Americans.


How did my thread turn in to this??

As you all know I'm not one for the serious issues but what kimon said here made me laugh. In my youth I listened to quite a bit of rap. Mostly performed by African American men. And vanilla ice but you can't hold that against me.

They used a particular word a lot that I'm fairly certain if I used I would get arrested in most countries. (Certainly here)

And just to back naz up a little, does it matter that he comes from Finland, a predominantly white country? It's just that it's been mentioned a few times and I'm wondering if it does matter. I Didn't meet a person that wasn't white irish til I was nearly 17!!!

Nazbaque
03-27-2015, 06:13 PM
How did my thread turn in to this??

As you all know I'm not one for the serious issues but what kimon said here made me laugh. In my youth I listened to quite a bit of rap. Mostly performed by African American men. And vanilla ice but you can't hold that against me.

They used a particular word a lot that I'm fairly certain if I used I would get arrested in most countries. (Certainly here)

And just to back naz up a little, does it matter that he comes from Finland, a predominantly white country? It's just that it's been mentioned a few times and I'm wondering if it does matter. I Didn't meet a person that wasn't white irish til I was nearly 17!!!

Pretty nasty assumptions too because the part of city I live in is reserved for university students and thus also home to a lot of foreign students. I once heard five different languages on a half-a-mile walk to pick up a kebab none of them Finnish or Swedish or even English.

Terez
03-27-2015, 06:22 PM
Pretty nasty assumptions too because the part of city I live in is reserved for university students and thus also home to a lot of foreign students. I once heard five different languages on a half-a-mile walk to pick up a kebab none of them Finnish or Swedish or even English.
This comment makes it really clear that you still have no idea what I'm talking about. But it's okay. You can get annoyed at the term "African-American" from Finland, and no one cares. I tried to help you understand it, but you don't want to, so I'm done.

Daekyras
03-27-2015, 06:24 PM
This comment makes it really clear that you still have no idea what I'm talking about. But it's okay. You can get annoyed at the term "African-American" from Finland, and no one cares. I tried to help you understand it, but you don't want to, so I'm done.

I'm genuinely asking here T, does it matter where naz comes from?

I'm trying to write that in a non-confrontatiinal way!!! You know you're always cool to me :)

Davian93
03-27-2015, 06:54 PM
Basically to me the evil in racism is in the judging of others based on what they were born as. Even when the judgement is in their favour they are still not being judged on their personal merits. The evil is in the attempted mental short cut.

Terez seems to disagree with me on this for some reason.

That's not what I got at all and that's not what the term means to a native English speaker. As I stated earlier, I regularly refer to myself as Irish American and many of my other "white" friends would refer to their specific ethnicity as well whether it be Italian American, etc. My wife proudly references her Mexican and Indian (the American Indian type) heritage.

We're a melting pot culture in a very positive sense. The term African American is not one to denote a lower class or an outsider. Yes, African Americans are often unfortunately treated as a lower caste (despite SCOTUS telling us that racism is dead) but it has nothing to do with that descriptor.

Americans tend to be very proud and conscious of their ethnic backgrounds and like to think of themselves as "American" while still identifying with the old country...even if that old country connection is multiple generations in the past. For me, my great-grandmother came to the US in 1906 from Kilkenny, Ireland when she was 6 years old and my maternal grandmother was the first of that line of my family to be born in the United States (despite being 100% Irish from an ethnic standpoint). That was almost 95 years ago but we still call ourselves Irish Americans and we are proud of it.

My reason for not liking the term "African American" is that is isn't specific enough but that's an unfortunate reality that stems out of 300 years of the slave trade where many Black Americans cannot trace their genealogy any further back than that. Its rare for them to know what region, tribe, group they came from as all that was taken away from them. Thus, a more general term was and is used.

Nazbaque
03-27-2015, 06:54 PM
This comment makes it really clear that you still have no idea what I'm talking about. But it's okay. You can get annoyed at the term "African-American" from Finland, and no one cares. I tried to help you understand it, but you don't want to, so I'm done.

I understand it better than you do exactly because I'm looking at it from outside. "The onlooker sees most of the game", though you are of course going to take offense at the term "game". And if you truly understood your situation you would have drawn the proper conclusions: There is diversity in Finland => There is prejudice in Finland => There are racial crimes in Finland. But seeing as you were being so racist about Finns that you couldn't even think of the actual words I was using.

All that goes through your head is "Defend the blacks!!!" when you hear the word "racism" even when it's a case of Arabs vs Jews. If you can't control your emotions you won't be able to think, and if you won't be able to think you can't understand, and if you can't understand you won't learn and are doomed to repeat the same mistakes again and again.

Davian93
03-27-2015, 06:58 PM
And there you are thinking of "African-Americans" as a group that thinks and feels the same way in all situations. A subtle form of racism.

I find the idea of continent = race idiotic. It doesn't matter who does it it's still stupid. This is my personal opinion on the matter. To me race and culture are just extensions of a person not the other way around.

And I grow tired of these "our opinion gets more votes so it's the right one" arguments. I don't care about who agrees with who, I search for the truth so I can agree with that. This is why I define myself as "insane". I think sanity is defined by what truth is, not the other way around. And since truth is as of yet largely unknown all concepts of sanity are mere guess work. So I'll be insane until I can define a reliable sanity to be and that possibly makes me the most honest person on the planet.

Yeah, like say if a very large majority of African Americans were to say...vote for a specific political party unfailingly. I mean, it'd be crazy to say that, eh?

They are doing that because that is simply one very basic aspect of human tribalism where we tend to group ourselves by the lowest common denominator. A great example of this would be if two individuals of a foreign country meet each other while traveling overseas...they will automatically get excited to see another person of their group:

"Wow, you're American? I'm from Chicago, where are you from?"

"I'm from Cleveland!!!...Wow!"

It happens all the time. To pretend it doesn't is just ridiculous. It has nothing to do with racism at all.

Davian93
03-27-2015, 07:00 PM
Actually that's not something I would do. Clear up in your head exactly who you are lumping me together with. Unlike the people doing these things and the people flying off the handle when they hear about it I am not a slave to my emotions. And the core of these crimes is in the culprits' inability to control their emotions. And if you can't control yours you'll never see beneath the surface. Did you ever for example think that some of those crimes might have been set up to look like racial crimes when they were motivated by something more personal. A black man hanged with a white sheet is first and foremost a man hanged. Was his killer perhaps another black man going for revenge and then making it look like a racial crime to create an alibi for himself? I don't doubt that most of those crimes are committed out of racial opinions, but aren't you letting potential murderers escape by assuming that no-one could have a personal grudge with a black man that has nothing to do with his skin colour?

I don't think you are quite grasping the long history of white and black relations in the American South as you are clearly discounting the symbolism behind a "lynching" there. Sure, it could be a frame job but likely, when a black man is hanged in the South, its racially motivated. Just like when a wife dies violently, 9 times out of 10, its the husband...and when a kid is killed, its almost always a family member. Thus, people are going to look at those signs and investigate accordingly.

Nazbaque
03-27-2015, 07:07 PM
That's not what I got at all and that's not what the term means to a native English speaker. As I stated earlier, I regularly refer to myself as Irish American and many of my other "white" friends would refer to their specific ethnicity as well whether it be Italian American, etc. My wife proudly references her Mexican and Indian (the American Indian type) heritage.

We're a melting pot culture in a very positive sense. The term African American is not one to denote a lower class or an outsider. Yes, African Americans are often unfortunately treated as a lower caste (despite SCOTUS telling us that racism is dead) but it has nothing to do with that descriptor.

Americans tend to be very proud and conscious of their ethnic backgrounds and like to think of themselves as "American" while still identifying with the old country...even if that old country connection is multiple generations in the past. For me, my great-grandmother came to the US in 1906 from Kilkenny, Ireland when she was 6 years old and my maternal grandmother was the first of that line of my family to be born in the United States (despite being 100% Irish from an ethnic standpoint). That was almost 95 years ago but we still call ourselves Irish Americans and we are proud of it.

My reason for not liking the term "African American" is that is isn't specific enough but that's an unfortunate reality that stems out of 300 years of the slave trade where many Black Americans cannot trace their genealogy any further back than that. Its rare for them to know what region, tribe, group they came from as all that was taken away from them. Thus, a more general term was and is used.

Yes I know but you were confused as to what the argument was about at that point which was what I said.

What ever term is used the mentality of lumping people together is still there and that is something I object to. No-one should ever be judged as anything other than an individual. The term is mentally lazy on so many levels it gives me a headache.

Davian93
03-27-2015, 07:10 PM
I understand it better than you do exactly because I'm looking at it from outside. "The onlooker sees most of the game", though you are of course going to take offense at the term "game". And if you truly understood your situation you would have drawn the proper conclusions: There is diversity in Finland => There is prejudice in Finland => There are racial crimes in Finland. But seeing as you were being so racist about Finns that you couldn't even think of the actual words I was using.

All that goes through your head is "Defend the blacks!!!" when you hear the word "racism" even when it's a case of Arabs vs Jews. If you can't control your emotions you won't be able to think, and if you won't be able to think you can't understand, and if you can't understand you won't learn and are doomed to repeat the same mistakes again and again.

Finland is the least diverse country in the EU....per Wikipedia at least.

89.3% Finnish
5.3% Swedish (I'm guessing not a huge conflict there)
1.2% Russian (Probably a bit iffier given your recent history with them)

Every other ethnic group is well under 1% of the population...but even altogether, you're talking 4.2% of your total population.

From a religion standpoint, you're 75% Lutheran and 22% No Preference...hardly any major conflicts there either. I'm willing to bet a large chunk of that 75% Lutheran is about as religious as the average American Catholic too...going to church for weddings, funerals and maybe, just maybe Christmas or Easter at most. Given the conflicting polls on atheism there that have numbers as high as 60%, I'm guessing that's an accurate guess by me.

Mississippi, where T is from, is significantly more diverse. This is especially true near the Gulf Coast of the state where its in the 30-40% range for every county and there is a long, very bloody history of racial violence. Religious issues are also far more prevalent there where there are "white" churches, "black" churches, etc...and its in a very religious region of the country overall.

Nazbaque
03-27-2015, 07:13 PM
I don't think you are quite grasping the long history of white and black relations in the American South as you are clearly discounting the symbolism behind a "lynching" there. Sure, it could be a frame job but likely, when a black man is hanged in the South, its racially motivated. Just like when a wife dies violently, 9 times out of 10, its the husband...and when a kid is killed, its almost always a family member. Thus, people are going to look at those signs and investigate accordingly.

See? There you go judging a murder victim by his skin colour.

Nazbaque
03-27-2015, 07:22 PM
Finland is the least diverse country in the EU....per Wikipedia at least.

89.3% Finnish
5.3% Swedish (I'm guessing not a huge conflict there)
1.2% Russian (Probably a bit iffier given your recent history with them)

Every other ethnic group is well under 1% of the population...but even altogether, you're talking 4.2% of your total population.

From a religion standpoint, you're 75% Lutheran and 22% No Preference...hardly any major conflicts there either. I'm willing to bet a large chunk of that 75% Lutheran is about as religious as the average American Catholic too...going to church for weddings, funerals and maybe, just maybe Christmas or Easter at most. Given the conflicting polls on atheism there that have numbers as high as 60%, I'm guessing that's an accurate guess by me.

Mississippi, where T is from, is significantly more diverse. This is especially true near the Gulf Coast of the state where its in the 30-40% range for every county and there is a long, very bloody history of racial violence. Religious issues are also far more prevalent there where there are "white" churches, "black" churches, etc...and its in a very religious region of the country overall.

Uncontrolled emotion => no thought => no understanding => no learning => mistakes repeated.

Davian93
03-27-2015, 07:24 PM
See? There you go judging a murder victim by his skin colour.

http://i.imgur.com/tCHwawA.gif

Terez
03-27-2015, 07:44 PM
Mississippi, where T is from, is significantly more diverse. This is especially true near the Gulf Coast of the state where its in the 30-40% range for every county and there is a long, very bloody history of racial violence. Religious issues are also far more prevalent there where there are "white" churches, "black" churches, etc...and its in a very religious region of the country overall.
My high school was close to 50-50. I wouldn't be surprised if I was the only one on Theoryland who went to a school with near so many black students. That said, the Coast does not have the greatest concentration of black citizens in MS...that would be northwest MS, what we call the Delta, farming country along the Mississippi River. That's Bennie Thompson's congressional district (our one black rep out of 4). Jackson also has a higher concentration. A good visualization of the "black belt" here (for the furriners, the Mississippi river, which goes through the darkest portion of the map, forms the western border of the state):

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i111/Terez27/1990_zpshrabhcnv.jpg

GonzoTheGreat
03-28-2015, 05:59 AM
Nearly every day in MS media there is a report of some racially motivated crime. Today, it's the indictment of a frat student at Ole Miss for putting a noose around the neck of a statue of James Meridith, the first black student at the school. You're probably thinking, that's a crime?
Actually, I'm thinking: how does it help anyone to then be identified as an African American instead of just an American?

The whole "they are a separate (ie. inferior) group" approach is what is wrong with racism in the first place.

Ivhon
03-28-2015, 08:04 AM
Naz, I guess the thing that bothers me about your posts on this topic is the assumption that individual experience is universal. Cultural blindness can be forgiven because, hey, this topic has nothing to do with the culture you were raised in. It is purely academic. However, to be unwilling to have an open mind about the "why" of it from those who have or have a clue about what that experience may grates. It dismisses that experience, that history, that present in favor of flawed logic and semantic purity. You aren't from here. More importantly, you aren't African-American. You clearly have no clue of the symbolism and history bound in the term. That's ok. Approach it with curiosity and a willingness to learn. Instead you aggressively preach "shoulds" and your own personal "offense" from your lilly-white bastion of lilly-whiteness where you do not have any visceral connection to this experience. This comes across as aggressively and arrogantly uninformed, which grates.

So. Yes. You are absolutely correct. We absolutely should see others as equal individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or whatever. You're right. Kumbaya (see how I did that?).

Now. Leaving the world of philosophical abstractions and returning to the real world, that aint gonna happen. The mammalian brain is wired to quickly distinguish between same and other AND to be disposed to view the other negatively. Humans are particularly good at this (by 9 months human babies discriminate and react favorably to faces with their own perceived racial features over others'). And its going to stay that way because it provides an evolutionary advantage.

So the platitude that you so vigorously espouse - aside from being sophomoric - is nothing more and never will be anything more than a philosophical abstraction with zero grounding in reality.

To the topic at hand. With the above in mind, white people in America were using language to distinguish between themselves and black people already at the time that "African American" was chosen by the black community. This language was violently demeaning and I won't give examples of it here. Suffice to say, there are far more many words than the one that immediately comes to mind. "African American (along with "Italian American" and "Irish American" before it)" does not carry the symbolic violence that is intrinsic to the language applied by white people. Whether that fits with your simplistic notion of what "should" be is irrelevant. Its what is.

A word of...something. You seem to view yourself as having mythically superhuman command of logic. I suspect that some of your presentation is meant to be ironic. However, you retreat into this in nearly every argument. It makes it seem as if you are God and the rest of us mere mortals cannot comprehend the scope of your knowledge. It comes across as dismissive and belittling. Moreover, most of your premises - such as this one - are unsophisticated platitudes. Even more-over, your retreat into what you call "logic" is nothing more than stubborn adherance to some minor point at all costs. You don't reason or counter, you simply insist. Its juvenile.

Daekyras
03-28-2015, 09:11 AM
A word of...something. You seem to view yourself as having mythically superhuman command of logic. I suspect that some of your presentation is meant to be ironic. However, you retreat into this in nearly every argument. It makes it seem as if you are God and the rest of us mere mortals cannot comprehend the scope of your knowledge. It comes across as dismissive and belittling. Moreover, most of your premises - such as this one - are unsophisticated platitudes. Even more-over, your retreat into what you call "logic" is nothing more than stubborn adherance to some minor point at all costs. You don't reason or counter, you simply insist. Its juvenile.

Can't......resiiiist.....must....saaaaayyy......OH NO YOU DIDN'T!!! YOU HAS BEEN SERVED NAZ. WATCHA GONNA DO???

Sorry.

Nazbaque
03-28-2015, 04:07 PM
Can't......resiiiist.....must....saaaaayyy......OH NO YOU DIDN'T!!! YOU HAS BEEN SERVED NAZ. WATCHA GONNA DO???

Sorry.

Observe.

A word of...something. You seem to view yourself as having mythically superhuman command of logic. I suspect that some of your presentation is meant to be ironic. However, you retreat into this in nearly every argument. It makes it seem as if you are God and the rest of us mere mortals cannot comprehend the scope of your knowledge. It comes across as dismissive and belittling. Moreover, most of your premises - such as this one - are unsophisticated platitudes. Even more-over, your retreat into what you call "logic" is nothing more than stubborn adherance to some minor point at all costs. You don't reason or counter, you simply insist. Its juvenile.

The whole world could comprehend it if they weren't so insistent on not controling their emotions. A great part of what keeps that cycle going is the "that's evil so the opposite must be good" kind of thinking.

Think of the KKK lynching dispassionately. Don't ask why they go after the black man, ask why they go after anyone. What is that need to find a victim? The leaders are there for the power trip, but why do they have people to lead? Why is the rank an file there? Inferiority complex on a lot of levels is a likely factor. Not doing well at school and after that not doing well at the job market that failure seeps into marriage. Then the KKK gets to poison their mind and direct all that anger and frustration against something. Then there is a lynching. The rank and file man gets to join in on punishing someone. Finally he is more powerful than someone else. He becomes addicted to the feeling of punishing those who dare to rise above their place. And here we can see the other victims of this man. Can you imagine what it's like for his children? Too scared to even look at other children for fear of another beating from their father. Then as they are teenagers it gets out that their father was with the KKK and everyone treats them like garbage when in reality they were the ones who lived their whole lives in fear.

And the cause of all this is? Lack of emotional control.

Terez
03-28-2015, 05:58 PM
Actually, I'm thinking: how does it help anyone to then be identified as an African American instead of just an American?
In the abstract, it doesn't. Unfortunately, the reality is that (racist) people treat people differently based on race anyway, and until that ceases to be true, it is necessary for us to deal with reality as it is.

yks 6nnetu hing
03-29-2015, 04:22 AM
My 2 cents on this... Estonia is as similar to Finland as two countries could possibly be. We're like US and Canada, except neither of us has ever invaded another country. point is, the there are more similarities than differences. Now, having lived in The Netherlands for 8 years, whenever I go back home, some things are really jarring. I love my country but man, those guys are racist. And bigoted. Even the ones that consider themselves metropolitan because they've traveled to Thailand or Turkey or have held a conversation in a different language (Finnish or Russian doesn't count). But they don't know that they are, they most often think they're being very open minded and polite. I don't know how my family and friends see me, obviously it's me that's changed and not them.

Terez
03-29-2015, 04:49 AM
My 2 cents on this... Estonia is as similar to Finland as two countries could possibly be. We're like US and Canada, except neither of us has ever invaded another country. point is, the there are more similarities than differences. Now, having lived in The Netherlands for 8 years, whenever I go back home, some things are really jarring. I love my country but man, those guys are racist. And bigoted. Even the ones that consider themselves metropolitan because they've traveled to Thailand or Turkey or have held a conversation in a different language (Finnish or Russian doesn't count). But they don't know that they are, they most often think they're being very open minded and polite. I don't know how my family and friends see me, obviously it's me that's changed and not them.
I have observed the same thing with Poland; I am exposed to the immature MRA segment of the population through the Polandball comic on Facebook, but I think it even reaches into the more educated and thoughtful Poles just because they are so lily-white and don't have any real experience of racial diversity. It's often not so much willful bigotry as it is profound ignorance.

There was a Pole on the ASOIAF group on Facebook who kind of freaked out a little bit when they cast a black guy for Areo Hotah. I personally didn't realize he wasn't black in the books until it was pointed out on that thread. The guy wasn't being extremely bigoted or offensive, but it kind of goes back to the OP of this thread: i.e. it mattered more to him that the show made a racial change than it did to any of the Americans (forget the in-between). I pointed out to him that it might seem stranger to him than it did to the show creators because there are like 3 black people in Poland. He didn't respond, but he didn't make any more freak-out comments after that either; I like to think he self-reflected a little and got over it.

GonzoTheGreat
03-29-2015, 05:09 AM
My 2 cents on this... Estonia is as similar to Finland as two countries could possibly be. We're like US and Canada, except neither of us has ever invaded another country. point is, the there are more similarities than differences. Now, having lived in The Netherlands for 8 years, whenever I go back home, some things are really jarring.
Yeah, the Netherlands are a far more normal country; we've done our fair* share of invading. (And, alas, of being invaded; but that was done by evil countries, of course.)

* Not as much as the USA has done, not even relative to population size. Should we take action to remedy that?

Terez
03-29-2015, 05:17 AM
There were a lot more black people in the Netherlands than I expected. It was a noticeable difference from Vienna. I remember wondering at the time how integrated the races are there. Do you have de facto segregation in neighborhoods or schools? My guess is no, since society is more planned than in the US and the history and culture took different paths.

GonzoTheGreat
03-29-2015, 06:26 AM
Sort of, actually. I don't think we have many completely segregated schools or the like, but on the other hand, we do have some peculiarities of our own.
For instance, there had been less focus on "separation of church and state" than was the case in the USA. But on the other hand, we did not have anything like a single majority religion, so when in the early 20th century the state started to get serious about financing schools, it was (eventually, after lots of quarrels in parliament) decided to give schools on religious basis the same kind of financing that secular schools would get. This compromise is still in place (because no one can get a majority to change it) and as a result there are now also Muslim schools. Those often have very few if any non-Muslim pupils.

Then there is the normal human tendency for groups to live close to each other if possible, combined with a couple of neighbourhoods that were build all to the same (fairly cheap) standard, where less rich minorities can easily live while the somewhat richer (middle class) people would want to find other housing elsewhere.

A major reason why there are quite a number of black people is that until a couple of decades ago, Surinam was a Dutch colony. When that was given independence, the (mostly black) people living there got the choice: stay in Surinam, or keep their Dutch nationality and move to the Netherlands. Almost half of them came over here, and they make up a couple of percent of the total population. But, because of the effects I mentioned earlier, they are much more common in some parts (like Amsterdam, where you spend most of your time) than in other parts (like Utrecht, where you didn't come at all, as far as I know). Doesn't mean they are rare in Utrecht, of course, but if you look for it then you will spot fewer of them there. Though I have no idea how those proportions are nowadays; a lot of them have earned enough to move to "nicer homes" and thereby messed up this simple scheme, while leaving the cheap housing to new newcomers.

Daekyras
03-29-2015, 06:52 AM
The guy wasn't being extremely bigoted or offensive, but it kind of goes back to the OP of this thread: i.e. it mattered more to him that the show made a racial change than it did to any of the Americans (forget the in-between)

Is that how my original post came across? Crap! That wasn't my intention at all!! I loved denzel in the equaliser. I was just wondering why they were recasting ghost busters as four women?

The point I was trying to get across was probably more clearly written as this- if gender is not an important character trait for the ghost busters, why change the gender of ALL of them? That seems like stunt casting. If they changed Spangler or Venkman then no big deal.

Did I actually come across bigoted or racist?? :(

Morelikeunwisewoman
03-29-2015, 07:26 AM
Is that how my original post came across? Crap! That wasn't my intention at all!! I loved denzel in the equaliser. I was just wondering why they were recasting ghost busters as four women?

The point I was trying to get across was probably more clearly written as this- if gender is not an important character trait for the ghost busters, why change the gender of ALL of them? That seems like stunt casting. If they changed Spangler or Venkman then no big deal.

Did I actually come across bigoted or racist?? :(

You are a monster....

....but no, I didn't get that impression. What is the equaliser?

GonzoTheGreat
03-29-2015, 08:15 AM
What is the equaliser?
Just a spelling error (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Equalizer_(film)), really.

Terez
03-29-2015, 04:36 PM
Is that how my original post came across? Crap! That wasn't my intention at all!! I loved denzel in the equaliser. I was just wondering why they were recasting ghost busters as four women?
And yet you included Denzel's role in your list of things which annoyed you.

Did I actually come across bigoted or racist?? :(
Not so much bigoted as butthurt. :p

Davian93
03-29-2015, 05:40 PM
My 2 cents on this... Estonia is as similar to Finland as two countries could possibly be. We're like US and Canada, except neither of us has ever invaded another country. point is, the there are more similarities than differences. Now, having lived in The Netherlands for 8 years, whenever I go back home, some things are really jarring. I love my country but man, those guys are racist. And bigoted. Even the ones that consider themselves metropolitan because they've traveled to Thailand or Turkey or have held a conversation in a different language (Finnish or Russian doesn't count). But they don't know that they are, they most often think they're being very open minded and polite. I don't know how my family and friends see me, obviously it's me that's changed and not them.

VT is one of the most homogenous states in the US and I see more open racism here than I ever would when I lived in Virginia or in Philly (a very diverse urban area). They don't feel the need to "hide" their opinions here as we're all white so we must all agree.

One time, a guy was talking to me about how he moved here from DC because he "got sick of all the spics and n!ggers down there".(Sorry for the slurs but I'm quoting verbatim) I waited five seconds and simply said "My wife is a Mexican Indian" and walked away. VT is very odd in a lot of ways. We're ultra liberal in many areas but a mixed race couple still gets weird looks here and minorities definitely get treated differently.

Hell, somebody at my office was talking about a new employee who is Jewish and explained how he must be able to take lots of vacations (he does take awesome vacations BTW which is what led to the comment) because "Those people tend to be good with money". Completely anti-semitic and it shocked me as I grew up in an area with a large Jewish minority so I didn't really see/hear any anti-semitism as they were simply an integrated part of my local community and nobody ever cared...this was also a very heavily Catholic area which surprises me looking back that I didn't hear any Jewish jokes/comments. Honestly, I heard far more anti-Black comments growing up in an area of Italian-Americans, Irish Americans and Jews (three major groups) than anything else. To be honest, I didn't even know the guy was Jewish till she said that...mainly because I don't give a damn about religious affiliation and I don't go around asking/talking about such things at work.

So odd how racism works sometimes.

Davian93
03-29-2015, 05:43 PM
Is that how my original post came across? Crap! That wasn't my intention at all!! I loved denzel in the equaliser. I was just wondering why they were recasting ghost busters as four women?

The point I was trying to get across was probably more clearly written as this- if gender is not an important character trait for the ghost busters, why change the gender of ALL of them? That seems like stunt casting. If they changed Spangler or Venkman then no big deal.

Did I actually come across bigoted or racist?? :(

No, you didn't. Its not anti-feminist to say they shouldn't recast them. For one, the characters were created by Reitman, Aykroyd and Murray so its stupid to recast them as its their gag. Come up with your own idea instead of doing some stupid gimmick casting like that. Its not like recasting Bond or Batman or something. Its their intellectual property. Well, it was written by Reitman and Aykroyd and Murray was allowed to ad lib his own character for the most part as they both knew and trusted him to be funny.

Daekyras
03-29-2015, 07:58 PM
VT is oneIreland. most homogenous states in the US and I see more open racism here than I ever would when I lived in Virginia in Philly (a very diverse urban area). They don't feel the need to "hide" their opinions here as we're all white so we must all .

You might as well be describing ireland. Racism is incredibly weird here. It's weird because for generations it was a foreign concept. I mentioned earlier that I didnt meet a non-white til I was 17. And that is far from a rare story.

Because we were homogenous it was easy to see everyone else as different and therefor....wrong? Not inferior. It's not really in the irish psyche to be superior!

It was commonplace to hear racial slurs being used to insult each other.
its weird as words like the ones you quoted above are still often heard from children. It is getting better but still to frequent. There is also a lot of casual anti-homosexual sentiment thrown around. "That's so gay".

Dav, you have been in Ireland so you have probably heard "c#nt" used as a term of endearment. It's weird but what makes me despair is the casualness of it. Your average irish man would never think about saying the N word to a black man but would easily call their neighbour a "lazy N" and move on. It has improved but still not good enough.

We have had much bigger issues than racism and that could be one of the reasons it wasn't seen as a big deal until the recent influx of immigrants and asylum seekers. Remember this is a country were it was not uncommon to be killed for wearing the wrong football jersey. (Certain clubs representing religious affiliation).

yks 6nnetu hing
03-30-2015, 03:46 AM
Hell, somebody at my office was talking about a new employee who is Jewish and explained how he must be able to take lots of vacations (he does take awesome vacations BTW which is what led to the comment) because "Those people tend to be good with money". Completely anti-semitic and it shocked me as I grew up in an area with a large Jewish minority so I didn't really see/hear any anti-semitism as they were simply an integrated part of my local community and nobody ever cared...this was also a very heavily Catholic area which surprises me looking back that I didn't hear any Jewish jokes/comments. Honestly, I heard far more anti-Black comments growing up in an area of Italian-Americans, Irish Americans and Jews (three major groups) than anything else. To be honest, I didn't even know the guy was Jewish till she said that...mainly because I don't give a damn about religious affiliation and I don't go around asking/talking about such things at work.
ooh, did I ever recommend Jaques Le Goff's "The Birth of Purgatory (http://books.google.nl/books/about/The_Birth_of_Purgatory.html?id=4dzynjFfX7kC&redir_esc=y)" to you? if not, it's a great read about the way ideas sometimes evolve; and how clichés are born.

He obviously discusses mostly the idea of purgatory, but what I remember most from the book is his detailed analysis of why Jews became moneylenders in mediaeval Europe. In a nutshell, based on two of the Ten Commandments (I think the "thou shalt not steal" and "remember the Sabbath"), and a lot of nitpickery of the Bible, there emerged an idea that time belongs to God; and to make profit from time is stealing from God. So loaning money was fine, but for a Christian it was prohibited to charge interest. However, for anyone from another religion, it wasn't. The relationship with Muslims back then was somewhat strained, what with the Crusades, and besides, there weren't that many of them living in Europe. Jews, however, were relatively common, especially in cities. Considering that there were also many professions that were only allowed for Christians (all guilds, for example, were Christian only), if a Jew wanted to make a living and didn't want to be a tanner or butcher - which would go against *their* religious convictions... well, moneylending was a good option. Lending money for interest has the lovely effect of making profit, so yes, most of the money in Europe was indeed controlled by the Jews, even after the Christians gave up on the whole idea of time belonging to God and opened their own banks. The Jews had longer traditions and better foundation for dealing with money; just because Christians wanted in on it, didn't mean that the Jews gave it up. And obviously there was some resentment about the whole thing, because everyone loves to hate the rich guy(s). Personally, I find it tragicomical that the Jews were practically forced to become moneylenders, and then they were hated for it and persecuted for it.

As for the topic at hand, I must say that now that I am a minority, an immigrant in another country - you know, aside from what I mentioned before about Amsterdam in general... I've discovered that the best way to be polite is to simply refer to people by their name, if you know it. If you don't know their name, go with sir/madam or him/her. That does have its own potential pitfalls, but much less so than the vast array of ways to be an ass. There's a huge difference between saying "Those damn teenage boys" or "those damn teenage Maroccan boys"

Terez
03-30-2015, 04:06 AM
So odd how racism works sometimes.
There were a number of Southern apologist arguments made in Gone With the Wind, among them that the Yankee carpetbaggers who enforced Reconstruction were more racist than the Southerners. To demonstrate, the Yankee women were shocked that white people allowed Negroes to touch them and cook their food and nurse their babies, which Scarlett found baffling. The South is known for racism not because the white people who live there are all that more racist, but because that is where the black people live, and where the racial conflicts happen. You see similar situations in the red dot areas on the map posted above, the cities of the Great Migration. I know several northern liberals who probably voted for Obama but make racist jokes in the company of whites only.

Terez
03-30-2015, 04:12 AM
...what I remember most from the book is his detailed analysis of why Jews became moneylenders in mediaeval Europe.
I was taught that it was because they were barred from so many other professions in the Christian world.

GonzoTheGreat
03-30-2015, 05:20 AM
I was taught that it was because they were barred from so many other professions in the Christian world.
That was one half of it, but the other half was based on a prohibition for Christians to be moneylenders. That may have been based on the arguments that yks mentioned, but there are definitely other arguments for that idea too. For instance, there's the reaction Jesus gave when he encountered moneylenders in the Temple: he made quite a big fuss about that. And there is also the following passage, which fairly explicitly speaks against asking interest:

Luke|6:34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
Luke|6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

Mort
03-30-2015, 05:22 AM
I was taught that it was because they were barred from so many other professions in the Christian world.

Where did they get the money from if they didn't have any jobs? ;)

GonzoTheGreat
03-30-2015, 05:42 AM
Where did they get the money from if they didn't have any jobs? ;)
I don't think that was an issue; in those days everyone knew that Jews had money. :p

Terez
03-30-2015, 06:10 AM
Where did they get the money from if they didn't have any jobs? ;)
I said "so many" not "all". :p (The people of the time would say "By Jewry, duh.")

PS: Hitler loved Chopin, in part because Chopin complained of Jews in his letters, particularly as it concerned his music publishers, who were predominantly Jewish. He always thought they were cheating him, and he was popular enough as a composer that he managed to eventually demand some rather impressive prices for his music because they did not want to tell him no until it got really ridiculous.

PPS: Come to think of it, I'm not sure his publishers were actually predominantly Jewish. He referred to them all as Jews, though, even if they weren't. The only one I'm sure was Jewish was the French publisher Schlesinger, though the Paris agent for Brietkopf und Härtel in Leipzig was one Heinrich Probst.

PPPS: It's also worth noting that he once went over Probst's head and contacted B&H directly to let them know that Probst believed he was authorized to deny him x price for his music, which Chopin clearly did not believe.

It's also worth noting that Chopin did not learn this at home. His (French) father, back in Warsaw, wrote him early on in his Parisian career, responding to a lost letter: « Has your fine friend kept his word and paid for your compositions? You can say what you like, but I cannot approve of your disdain for certain people. I don't know what has turned you against them and I don't like such expressions as "muck". » Again, Chopin's letter is lost, but it's fairly clear what his father was referring to. And very interesting that the elder Chopin disapproved of his prejudice.

Davian93
03-30-2015, 10:24 AM
There were a number of Southern apologist arguments made in Gone With the Wind, among them that the Yankee carpetbaggers who enforced Reconstruction were more racist than the Southerners. To demonstrate, the Yankee women were shocked that white people allowed Negroes to touch them and cook their food and nurse their babies, which Scarlett found baffling. The South is known for racism not because the white people who live there are all that more racist, but because that is where the black people live, and where the racial conflicts happen. You see similar situations in the red dot areas on the map posted above, the cities of the Great Migration. I know several northern liberals who probably voted for Obama but make racist jokes in the company of whites only.

You could count my parents in that bunch...both are lifelong democrats that would never vote for a Republican and both aren't above making a racist joke in the presence of whites only. My brother is the same way albeit to a lesser extent. Its weird...he has black friends (actual ones not the classic figment of their imagination 'black friend' that racists pull out to show they oculdn't possibly be racist, he's voted for Obama twice and is an ardent democrat but he is definitely a bit racist.

I wonder how they feel about their son/brother marrying "outside his race" sometimes.

Daekyras
03-30-2015, 10:27 AM
You could count my parents in that bunch...both are lifelong democrats that would never vote for a Republican and both aren't above making a racist joke in the presence of whites only. My brother is the same way albeit to a lesser extent. Its weird...he has black friends (actual ones not the classic figment of their imagination 'black friend' that racists pull out to show they oculdn't possibly be racist, he's voted for Obama twice and is an ardent democrat but he is definitely a bit racist.

I wonder how they feel about their son/brother marrying "outside his race" sometimes.

Have you come across most prejudice over that dav? Mrs. Dav is mexican/Indian? ?

Davian93
03-30-2015, 11:50 AM
Have you come across most prejudice over that dav? Mrs. Dav is mexican/Indian? ?

I would say I'm over 99.9% of it. Ironically, given the conversation, my wife is also ethnically Jewish through her mother (and grandmother). Half Mexican/Indian and half Jewish. My wedding was "interesting" I think for my lily-whitebread extended family to meet her much more diverse family.

Daekyras
03-30-2015, 12:18 PM
I would say I'm over 99.9% of it. Ironically, given the conversation, my wife is also ethnically Jewish through her mother (and grandmother). Half Mexican/Indian and half Jewish. My wedding was "interesting" I think for my lily-whitebread extended family to meet her much more diverse family.

Haha, reminds me of my wedding. My straight laced military family of docs, engineers and academics and her much more diverse group of artists, musicians, "thinkers" etc. Mrs.Daek(psychologist) is the exception in her family and I think they were as shocked by our lot as we of them!!!

Davian93
03-30-2015, 07:58 PM
Haha, reminds me of my wedding. My straight laced military family of docs, engineers and academics and her much more diverse group of artists, musicians, "thinkers" etc. Mrs.Daek(psychologist) is the exception in her family and I think they were as shocked by our lot as we of them!!!

I think it was good for them...they loosened up big time once they relaxed (i.e. started drinking). My wife is fairly light skinned (she has her mom's coloring but her father's features so its an interesting mix) so they never really understood how ethnic she and her family is compared to them. Her brother is quite dark and looks like he just came off the reservation basically as is her father and most of our friends are pretty diverse too so it was a pretty fun time. Not to be stereotypical, but in my experience Latinos and Blacks tend to be a bit more expressive than straight-laced white people so it was quite a bit more crazy than my brother's very boring, very straight-laced wedding where there were maybe 5 non-white people present of maybe 100 total guests. Ours was well over 50% to where the whites were the minority.

Davian93
03-30-2015, 08:24 PM
Speaking of remakes and racism...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3015563/SEBASTIAN-SHAKESPEARE-Idris-Elba-t-Bond-isn-t-English-English-says-Roger-Moore.html

Roger Moore says Idris Elba can't play James Bond because he's not "English-English". You know, being English is a requirement for the role just like noted Englishmen Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan.

Apologies for linking a rag like the Mail BTW...

Daekyras
04-02-2015, 09:21 AM
Speaking of remakes and racism...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3015563/SEBASTIAN-SHAKESPEARE-Idris-Elba-t-Bond-isn-t-English-English-says-Roger-Moore.html

Roger Moore says Idris Elba can't play James Bond because he's not "English-English". You know, being English is a requirement for the role just like noted Englishmen Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan.

Apologies for linking a rag like the Mail BTW...

Idris Elba has such a great voice. In particular when he is doing an American. But great choice for bond.