Friday, April 25, 2008

Just shoot me

From a thread on RPGnet that started off comparing Revenge of the Sith and Return of the Jedi, and degenerated into a 'think of the poor orcs' cesspool of pseudo-intellectual geek wankery:

From Gary G.:
Of course the whole Tusken Raiders genocide thing comes right before the Clone Wars kicks off, literally days before. The Jedi may have some doubts about Anakin but at this point they've been decimated and every Jedi available is needed on the frontline which pushes the issue aside. The Jedi Trap might work on more than one level.
From Tom B.:
Wow. Um...yeah. So, that makes it alright to slaughter the entire village? By that logic, it must also be alright to wipe out the entire race. This is the first time I've ever heard anyone attempt to justify Anakin's slaughter of the village.

For me, this removed any possible sympathy I had for Anakin. The rest of the original trilogy seemed to be about seeing how long he could escape justice.
From Wolfwood2:
Oh come on, they tortured his mother to death. If some dudes tortured my mother to death, and I was a superhuman killing machine with magic powers, I might well kill their whole village too. How can I get all cold-hearted and condemn Anakin over it?
From Tom B.:
Sure. And I could see him killing the ones who did it. Not a good choice for a Jedi, but understandable. Killing all of them, though, including women and children, is a whole different magnitude and well into "evil".

'Well, they just would have grown up to be killers anyway' is an argument that his been used too often in our own past to see it as anything close to an acceptable justification. Especially since he gave no indication that that was what he was thinking. He wanted revenge and slaughtered a whole village. sympathy whatsoever.
From Wolfwood2:
Well, you and I differ. I can understand the urge to exact payback by killing a guy's family, kids included, in front of him to make him know what it's like to lose his entire family like he killed yours. Just before you follow up by killing him too. Because if you're going to go for and treat people like things for a night, might as well go the whole way.
From (excerpted) Balthazor:
We see Ripley take down an entire colony of hostile aliens in Aliens, but nobody's calling that genocide. She killed alien children, but nobody called her evil. Is the difference that the Tuskens just simply look more human than the aliens Ripley slaughters by the dozen?
From Tom B.:
I don't see it that way. It sounds too much like the stereotypical view of Native Americans during the 1800s. Do you know anything about their culture or about why they act the way they do? Or are you just assuming that they're "unquestionably hostile" because of what you see the few times they're presented onscreen.
From The Pill:
Well, if we go according to standard Star Wars fanwank, almost all humanoid aliens are representative of whatever race they are. For example, Mandalorians(Jango Fett) come from a nomadic bounty hunter culture. So, using the transitive property, Tuskens are all mindless brutes.
From Vaya:
In other words, George Lucas' world building lacks any actual depth.
From Wakboth:
Although this may be true in general, the blame in this specific case ("All aliens seen in the movies define their races!") lies squarely on the EU authors, and fans, who have exhibited all the imagination of a lobotomized garden slug on this subject.
And, if I'd bothered to actually post my thoughts, from me:
It's all fanwank, no matter which argument you subscribe to, and neither side is more worthy than the other.

The blame lies squarely on the people who take this shit too seriously/personally, get all riled up over their pet obsession with the mistreatment of fictional alien races (and robots), and then go around shitting on otherwise fun topics for everyone else.

Thank you for rekindling my burning sense of loathing towards all things fandom.
Now, does this make things clear as to why I hate internet fandom?

I mean, seriously, this thread compared the treatment of Native Americans to the portrayal of a fictional alien culture in a series of SF movies inspired by Flash Gordon serials and samurai movies about people who zip around in spaceships with laser swords. I deal with this sort of mind-numbing, pseudo-intellectual pomposity every time I try to join in on talking about the things I like with people who aren't the handful of folks I know that enjoy the same things as I.

It may seem like I'm being overly harsh, but this sort of nonsense dominates web fora, and it's very disheartening. It never used to be like this, but it's gotten progressively worse. It's either the pseudo-intellectual toss-offs from above, or else it's the ironically self-righteous indignation that's also known as geek rage.

As for the thread above, can you get anymore insulting?


These are the same people who get their panties in a knot over the treatment of orcs in D&D.

Orcs. D&D.

It's a game people, and don't you dare try to pull out the argument of it symbolizing something else, because it doesn't.

Orcs are fictional. Tusken Raiders are fictional. Jedi are fictional. The history of Middle Earth is.... yep, FICTIONAL!

Native Americans are not fictional. The years of mistreatment are not fictional. The stereotyping of them in films is not fictional. (Well, the stereotypes are, but that's not my point.) The history of the Native American people is... yep, you're getting this NOT FICTIONAL!

Why do they not comprehend the difference?

Why do they insist on masturbating in public like this?

As that's what it is: intellectual masturbation. They aren't using their powers of reason for anything other than self-gratification. There are far more important causes in the world to champion than the treatment of fictional beings. The petition to end Uwe Boll's career is a more important cause... and it's not important at all!


I'm going to have some tea now, and maybe take a nap.



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