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How far would you dismantle 'PC (politically correct) culture'?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by aelf, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    But why is Scarlett Johanson playing Ghost in the Shell a bad thing while a non-white actor playing historical or mythological European roles is a good thing? Can't you see the hypocrisy? It's not about color blindness and anti-racism, is it?

    Basically you're saying that if a film has a non-European setting then for the sake of authenticity and even respect it should use a non-European cast, but if it has an European setting then it should use a "diverse" cast because obviously Europe doesn't need authenticity and respect?
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  2. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    Who determines the "protected classes" in PCness?
    And note that Christianity in the US is not just criticized by Christians and people of "Christian origin", everybody from all backgrounds feels entitled to savage it. The hypocrisy is gigantic, as with everything related to PCness.
     
  3. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    It was a trading city which means they were used to seeing some different people every now and then, that is, at least educated Athenians knew that black people existed and that the world continued after Persia with some exotic stuff and people coming from there. But if you really think Athens looked like modern Brooklyn, and that Athenians were "diverse" in the silly US conception of the word, you've been watching too much Hollywood.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  4. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    Exactly!
    PC apologists will pretend that it's all about politeness, and that those that criticize PCness are just ogres who want to call blacks the "N-word" or throw rocks at gay couples on the streets.

    That's obviously not the case. While its constant obsession with reinventing the "correct" terms for minorities is certainly annoying and a form of snobism, the real deleterious effect of PCness is the interdiction of some debates, which is always bad for democracy and sometimes have disastrous effects. The fact that PCness interdicted for decades a honest debate on integration of Muslim immigrants in Europe (and the scale of their arrivals) has led to the current mess in France, Belgium and beyond.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
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  5. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    I'm sure it has nothing to do with culture war narratives that right wingers constantly push.
    Really? Because they seem like pretty simple concepts to me. White supremacy is where people considered white are put above those who are not, pretty damn simple if you ask me. Similar story with patriarchy.
     
  6. Peuri

    Peuri Game

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    Well if you look at how the extremes are employing those terms it is like there is a widespread malevolent conspiracy to keep women or pocs down, and to gun them down on the streets even. Speaking in this way is oversimplifying reality, and I think that is very damaging to social cohesion. Of course there are genuine racists too, and they are damaging to social cohesion too. The over looming "patriarchy" makes it sound as if people are actively sexist, for example, while I think that it's more to do with indifference. It's like with slavery. Europeans didn't enslave Africans because they hated them. They just didn't care about them, other than as cheap labour. If they could have enslaven russians, indians or muslims instead, they would have. They are oversimplified hyperboles where the tendency is not the principle of charity, but the opposite of that.

    Edit:
    It's also a pretty good example of a social construction. In the literature you discover things that have conspired to oppress a group. Then you name all those things as being a whateverocracy. After that subsuquent researchers that have bought the existance of said whateverocracy go out to discover more of that. Well, if you go out with the intention of finding something in social sciences, you will most likely find it eventually as you twist the evidence enough to fit your agenda. Take for example the well known case for claiming that modern science is inherently misogynist because Francis Bacon used violent metaphores of beating Mother Nature in order to find her secrets. That is of course a blatant anachronism even if Bacon and all of the other great names hated their sisters and mothers. The feminist scholar who originated this theory went in with the intention of finding patriarchy, and sure enough she found it by interpeting Bacon's texts as malevolently as she could.

    The same is with police violence. If you assume white supremacy, you will only employ evidence that is in your favour, but dismiss counter evidence. So these concepts basically legitimate confirmation bias.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  7. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Normal human being: "Hey, you're not supposed to say the 'N-word' anymore."

    Innonimatu: "The expression of contrary views is absolutely vital to democracy, it is absolutely vital to keep societies balanced, healthy, adaptable. It is an essential first step to identify and correct problems. Where PC is deployed problems are hidden - until they explode."

    it's frustrating because, as usual, Innonimatu makes a lot of individually valid points, but they way they're brought together is like a piece of furniture assembled by somebody who's lost the instructions.

    "But I'm right" is not a valid epistemological argument.



    "It's not important what race the ancient Greeks were, I MEAN OBVIOUSLY THEY WERE WHITE, but it's really a question of historical accuracy, y'know."
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
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  8. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    Well they were white in the same way that ancient Ethiopians were black. Indeed it would not be very accurate to portray ancient Ethiopians with irisih actors, and I'm pretty sure it would cause a giant outcry and accusations of whitewashing.
     
  9. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    We regularly portray Greeks as Northern European actors- including casting an Irishman as Alexander, to tie this in a neat little bow- so that would really be an extension of the same logic.

    The objection to all this is no that historical authenticity doesn't matter, it's that "authenticity" seems to manifest itself in practice largely as policing the boundaries of whiteness.
     
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  10. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    If some non-Ethiopian black actor portrayed ancient Ethiopians there would be zero outcry, but if a white dude did it it people would scream "whitewashing". Color blindness seems to only work one way for the PC brigade. So Alexander or Achilles can be black, but even Japanese anime characters better be portrayed by Asian actors or we risk the fury of the melanin police. I did a quick Google search on "whitewashing" and examples abound of such outcries.

    And again, promoting "diversity" for Brits and Americans seems to be limited to the dishonest, condescending approach of pretending that Ancient Greece or Anglo-Saxon England were inhabited by blacks and Asians and "Hispanics", instead of, you know, actually telling different stories that are not set in the US or Europe.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  11. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Well, a non-Ethiopian African playing an Ethiopian would be rather like the already-uncontroversial practice of casting English actors as virtually every figure from Antiquity, so it's hard to paint that as hypocrisy.

    But, you're not entirely wrong. However, I don't think that this necessarily reflects sloppy thinking, or at least not sloppy thinking. [edit: That should have been "not just sloppy thinking" the second time.] The drawing of the "diversity" line between "White" and "not-White" was not drawn by those calling for more diverse casting, it was drawn generations ago by those making casting decisions. Studios have historically biased casting towards people of Northern European origin, not out of respect for historical authenticity, but because audiences, specifically American audiences, are assumed to more readily identify with people of that origin.

    For example, in stories with Greek protagonists, casting is predominantly Northern Europe. Gerard Butler is Leonidas, Collin Farrell as Alexander, and so on, because apart from the obvious concerns surrounding a billable lead, this is understood by American audiences as a short-hand for "Us". But when we want the Greeks to appear exotic, when we want to clearly signal to the audience that they are not-Us, we are free to cast actual Mediterraneans. For example, in the last season of Vikings, our impeccably Aryan heroes travel to Byzantine Sicily, where they meet a Byzantine governor played by a Portuguese actor, and an Abbess played by an Anglo-Moroccan actress. Greeks are permitted "authentic" complexions only when that complexion is a shorthand for the exotic and the Oriental. (I imagine that @Kyriakos can furnish us with more examples- his contempt for Hollywood mishandling of Greek history has been noted.) So it's clearly not enough to say that studios simply make too many films set in Europe when the same racialised coding appears in period pieces set in Europe.

    At any rate, consider that they set Exodus: Gods and Kings and Gods of Egypt in Egypt, and Noah in the Levant, and they still cast a bunch of Brits and Ozzies to play Egyptians and Levantines. There are few exceptions to this "Western Civilisation Is Very White" rule; the only one that leaps to mind is Hercules, which cast an Afro-Samoan as the titular character, but then filled out the rest of the cast with Brits and Norwegians. (And I don't know how much credit it gets when the film was mostly a vehicle for said Afro-Samoan lead.) The enduring problem is that studios assume audiences will only see films set somewhere in the march of "Western Civilisation", and that membership of "Western Civilisation" must be clearly shorthanded by peely-wally Nordic faces.

    So, the push-back tends to follow an uncoordinated call for non-Nordic faces because that is the barrier which exists. People don't spend too much time fretting over the historical nuances because so long as this subtle, informal racial barrier exists, historical nuance isn't really on the table. If breaking down that barrier means a few bizarre casting choices, if it means the occasional black Achilles or, I don't know, Puero Rican Charlemagne, that's not a terrible price to pay for a century of Aryan Israelites.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
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  12. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    But instead of calling for a Black Achilles or a Puerto Rican Charlemagne (all the while still freaking out about white people portraying anime characters), why not actually make movies set in Africa or Puerto Rico? It's like Hollywood (and its British equivalent) is telling us that that these places didn't really have a past or stories worth telling, so to be progressive and "diverse" they have to portray ancient Europe as a modern Brooklyn.

    I really don't think that the tokenistic approach does minorities any favors.
     
  13. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    I understand that Hollywood movies that are not typical white-male-hetero based are making in general more money.
     
  14. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    Let's say the Chinese want to make a movie by Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace". If they hired all white European actors for that, it would be ok, I guess.
    If they didn't bother to do it, just invited good Chinese actors, that would be ok too.
    But if they made the cast something like 20% of white Europeans, 20% of blacks, 20% of Asians, 20% of Arabs and 20% of Latinos, just for the sake of racial diversity, that would be utter idiocy.
     
  15. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Well, it's certainly a separate albeit related problem that most stories set in Africa or Puerto Rico tend to portray them as violent backdrops for white protagonists to have experiences in.
    But generally speaking your question can be answered with: why not both?

    What matters is not whether a portrayal was authentic to what "actually happened" in the past, the question is how the audience looking at it today connects with it. That's why Hamilton is considered by many people to be one of the greatest musicals ever while it's largely only racists who complain about "historical accuracy" of having people of color on stage.

    Now, I don't like Hamilton myself (I mean, I don't really like musicals in general) but it's because the popular history that the musical is based on is good hagiography and terrible history.

    I don't think you understand what the word "tokenism" means. It doesn't refer to casting an actor of color in a leading role. It refers to including a character with no real role in the story except to be the "black guy" or whatever to score diversity points.
    In South Park this is lampshaded by the fact that the only black kid in school is named Token. But Token, in South Park, is not an actual token as several episodes center on him and his character is more than just "the black guy."

    Why tho? Like what on Earth would make this "utter idiocy"?
     
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  16. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    Not both for the same reason that portraying Shaka Zulu or Montezuma by Danish actors would be sub-optimal. They might be great actors and the audience might even connect with them, but surely the movie would lose in terms of visual authenticity. Same with a black or Chinese Charlemagne.

    I do agree that in theater, roles have been cast in a largely color blind way for decades, and it works great. But that's not what's happening in cinema (and theater is quite different from cinema anyway). In cinema it's about showing how "progressive" and "diverse" Hollywood is. If it was about colorblindness and reflecting today's society, you'd also see white guys in Wakanda, and people wouldn't whine when white actors play anime characters.

    As for Hamilton, I never saw it. Maybe it's great, but maybe the casting was just a cheap gimmick (and the critics LOVE cheap politically correct gimmicks). Nobody in theater really cares about the skin color of actors (at least non racist people in theater), which makes the whole thing look even more gimmicky. But again, I didn't see it.

    But what Hollywood does is indeed largely tokenism. Among 10 Ancient Greek heroes they will cast a black or Asian or whatever one. It's largely to score diversity points (and the PC brigade is satisfied if you score enough diversity points, regardless of how condescending or tokenistic the approach is). This only "increases diversity" if you take an idiotic approach to diversity (which is indeed the one taken by Hollywood, American marketing campaigns, American universities, etc). It would be more "diverse", in a real sense, to actually tell different stories.

    Doing that for the sake of "diversity" would indeed be very stupid, because "diversity as different skin tones" is a moronic American concept. If they just cast the best actors then it's not stupid, even if the result can be a bit weird (like a black couple having an Asian or white son).
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  17. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    Because, in my humble opinion, actors should be hired basing on their professional qualities and/or authentic appearance.
    Not because they visually represent part of the Earth population.
     
  18. Sprenk

    Sprenk Prince

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    Peuri, you say you voted for left-wing parties, but you rail against Women's Studies departments (in a later post) for being inhabited by "radical feminists." Which is exactly the sort of language (and stereotype) used by the right since the '80's. You're coming off to me, from reading all your posts as a whole, as mouthing conservative ideology--including their way of describing things they don't like. So if you're indeed left-leaning, it must be on economic issues, because you're not only not neutral on cultural issues, you're actually hostile to the exact same groups and positions the right is hostile to.
     
  19. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    I really don't think you read what I posted, so let me highlight the important bit:
    Surely you, as someone with such great opinions about how historical figures are depicted in movies would know that movies, as a visual medium, use visuals to communicate things to an audience without needing to do exposition dump.
     
  20. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    So you're saying that portraying Greek figures such as Achilles with black or Asian actors is actually meant to show that there were foreign traders in ancient Athens?
     

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