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The nature of comedy and insults in an enlightened society
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wasn't able to get the video to play.

But am I right then in understanding both of you are saying 'being offended' means a trivial 'hurting of one's fee-fees'?
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, I didn't find the original comic particularly offensive, but it doesn't bother me that people who have experience with rape do. Why? Because it's not up to me to tell rape victims how to feel about rape.
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Mindslicer



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That first PA comic makes fun of rape and rape victims the same way this one makes fun of mugging victims.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
I wasn't able to get the video to play.

But am I right then in understanding both of you are saying 'being offended' means a trivial 'hurting of one's fee-fees'?


Well I dunno about trivial but yes, being offended in itself merely tells us about hurt feelings. There is really no more information to get from those words than that.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
I wasn't able to get the video to play.

But am I right then in understanding both of you are saying 'being offended' means a trivial 'hurting of one's fee-fees'?

I never said anything of the sort., I was only referring to Snorri and myself as people who aren't easily offended.

I'd say being offended has a huge and broad spectrum.

And I'd say that second one, the PVP strip, is a great example of why I call offended people irrational.

Is it making fun of mugged victims? No, it's mocking a video game "morality system", and that morality system is what is actually making light of people who are mugged. The game was designed in a way that trivializes "minor crimes". Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation regularly goes off on games that have such weak morality systems; they often fail in many ways and you wind up with morality seeming dichotomous, which it definitely is not.

BUT this doesn't mean people aren't allowed to be offended by it, and for victims of mugging, there'a good chance that no amount of explaining is going to convince them that the author of this comic isn't being offensive to the victims of mugging.

*****************************
*****************************

BTW, this sort of issue is of UTMOST importance to myself.

Why?

Because I'm a writer. As such, I'm not always going to be trying to make you happy. I might shock you, surprise you, make you sad, make you angry, etc.

For instance, I might want you to REALLY hate a character. He's a bad guy, the kind of person that merely him looking at you, "it makes your skin crawl, makes you want to instinctively walk on the other side of the road so you can distance yourself from them. A character that if you were forced to stay in the same room with, it would cause nothing but suffering, and a character that when he meets his end, you are honestly glad about it and feel the world has been made a better place." But writing that is telling, not showing and generally makes for weak writing. So instead, he has a short conversation about "how fun it is to enslave humans, more so than dwarves or elves (he's an elf BTW)". I realize this is going to be offensive, but that's part of what writers do, we are good AND evil incarnate, we rescue abandoned orphans AFTER we've killed off their parents horrifically.

Ever read Stephen King? In the Dark Tower series, there's a part where there are vampires literately feasting on babies and children they've kidnapped, that's what I'm talking about. It's easy to see how people who've had their children abducted and never returned might be offended, but I highly doubt King wrote the scene with the INTENT of offending those people.

Now I'm not saying intent is all mighty, that it absolves of any sort of transgressions, but it should always be considered. If it isn't, that's when you step into the realm of irrationality. Being offended by a piece in one thing, assuming the author purposely meant to do so is an entirely different kettle of fish.

Which is fine. Victims are allowed to be irrational, they've had bad shit happen to them afterall. For the rest of us, if we claim to be offended, we need to make sure it's well thought out.
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snorri wrote:
stripeypants wrote:
I wasn't able to get the video to play.

But am I right then in understanding both of you are saying 'being offended' means a trivial 'hurting of one's fee-fees'?


Well I dunno about trivial but yes, being offended in itself merely tells us about hurt feelings. There is really no more information to get from those words than that.


So do you think this is like an entitled person who makes really obnoxious demands of customer service when out shopping or dining or whatever? And you think thereŽs nothing else to Žbeing offendedŽ?

IŽd also like to know what you think the word 'uncomfortable' means when marginalized people use the word. (As in "This problematic thing makes me uncomfortable.")
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darqcyde, if someone doesn't have the intent of offending transgender people, but believes and spreads the same ideas that lawmakers believe when crafting laws that hurt transgender people, what would you call that?
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
Darqcyde, if someone doesn't have the intent of offending transgender people, but believes and spreads the same ideas that lawmakers believe when crafting laws that hurt transgender people, what would you call that?


That's apples and screwdrivers from what I'm talking about.

Also, how can you say a person has no intent and then say what they believe? What lens are you using to examine their work?
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really?

Since I invented the hypothetical people, I'm saying they have no intent. You mentioned 'no intent' as a 'get out of offending free' card. Hence I used it in my example.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
Really?

Since I invented the hypothetical people, I'm saying they have no intent. You mentioned 'no intent' as a 'get out of offending free' card. Hence I used it in my example.

You're misunderstanding me, and I'll read back through my own stuff to clarify. What I'm saying is that an author's intent should be taking into consideration, but it doesn't equate to 'getting out of offending free card'.

There's a lot of ways this can go. It's something that is fluid and changes as the author and their reacting audience have a conversation.

An author might be completely ignorant that what they create is offensive, but once that veil is lifted, then you can start looking at how they respond and base you assessment of them upon that. If an author is creating something and says "Well yeah, I knew some people were going to be offended, but that's just the nature of the subject" then it's pretty much the end of it.

BUT what you're talking about is social responsibility. Did McD's make people fat? I would say no, it was people's poor eating habits, give me back my super sized fry you fuckers, but I digress.

What you're talking about is a hypocrite, they're actions are speaking louder than their words, and it negates the intent they profess. Like I said about the PA guys, they said 'We're sorry' (admitted wrong doing) then did it again. That's what gets me angry. If you're sorry, then be sorry, but don't say you are and then act otherwise. Maybe we need better language, like 'active intent' and 'passive intent', or maybe just call them 'inconsiderate'. You can say you were inconsiderate the first time and justifiably get a pass, but once that veil of ignorance is lifted, you're just an inconsiderate asshole and by proxy a passive bigot as an active supporter of negative ideas because of your lack of consideration for social responsibility.

It should warm your heart (not) to know that many college students, from my experience, laugh off ideas like "social responsibility" as mere fluff and not REAL concepts.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think everyone needs to watch this before we have further conversation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVm65tlhqw8

I'll say this, it says some stuff I've been taught WAY better than I ever could, but in the end it just muddies the waters. Fucking christ this shit gives me a headache. That's right literary theory, I'm talking about your smug ass.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
Snorri wrote:
stripeypants wrote:
I wasn't able to get the video to play.

But am I right then in understanding both of you are saying 'being offended' means a trivial 'hurting of one's fee-fees'?


Well I dunno about trivial but yes, being offended in itself merely tells us about hurt feelings. There is really no more information to get from those words than that.


So do you think this is like an entitled person who makes really obnoxious demands of customer service when out shopping or dining or whatever? And you think thereŽs nothing else to Žbeing offendedŽ?

IŽd also like to know what you think the word 'uncomfortable' means when marginalized people use the word. (As in "This problematic thing makes me uncomfortable.")


I don't think there's nothing else to being offended, I just think that I can't know what else there is to it without more explanation. Because you can be offended for a trivial reason or a valid one or a nonsensical one or any number of reasons. Being offended doesn't tell us whether or not something should change or not.

So when someone says they're offended by something I must necessarily ask what it is that offends them and why it offends them. I can't just go "oh so it offends you? well then it must be taken down!!"
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snorri wrote:
stripeypants wrote:
Snorri wrote:
stripeypants wrote:
I wasn't able to get the video to play.

But am I right then in understanding both of you are saying 'being offended' means a trivial 'hurting of one's fee-fees'?


Well I dunno about trivial but yes, being offended in itself merely tells us about hurt feelings. There is really no more information to get from those words than that.


So do you think this is like an entitled person who makes really obnoxious demands of customer service when out shopping or dining or whatever? And you think thereŽs nothing else to Žbeing offendedŽ?

IŽd also like to know what you think the word 'uncomfortable' means when marginalized people use the word. (As in "This problematic thing makes me uncomfortable.")


I don't think there's nothing else to being offended, I just think that I can't know what else there is to it without more explanation. Because you can be offended for a trivial reason or a valid one or a nonsensical one or any number of reasons. Being offended doesn't tell us whether or not something should change or not.

So when someone says they're offended by something I must necessarily ask what it is that offends them and why it offends them. I can't just go "oh so it offends you? well then it must be taken down!!"

The internet would become a very boring place if we appeased the Jehovah's Witnesses.
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fritterdonut



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not really finding the first PA comic that offensive. It's not even meant to be a rape joke. It's a joke about arbitrary 'rescue x number of people' quests in WoW and similar games, in which you pretty much say fuck it and leave people in shitty conditions (read: rape, pillage, and murder) because you only needed x number of rescues. It's not supposed to be "ha ha this guy is getting raped", it's supposed to be "ha ha WoW quests make no sense most of the time".

Versus tosh.o and similar acts that instead make rape the center of the joke and for which rape is the actual 'joke' part. Aka the infamous 'wouldn't it be funny if you got raped right now'.

I mean, I can see why you might be offended, but personally seems like a bit of a stretch for that one. Not to say that the people from PA aren't morons, though, especially after the transgender thing.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think i agree with something the dr. nerdlove article said about comedy: don't punch down. the original pa cartoon meets this; as fritters and others have said, it isn't making fun of the slaves, it's making fun of a reward system that says it's ok to leave people in horrific situations once you've met your quota, which is just insane in normal life. so the target of the joke is the oblivious gamer. the 2nd comic, though - that was just stupid. that missed the point of the upset completely. sure no one likes to explain the joke - but in this case, the best response would have been "we are really sorry we upset some rape victims, that wasn't our intent, our intent was to point out the stupidity of etc. etc." what really came across was "i hate that you criticized me when it's your fault because you were too stupid to get my comic". which seems to be the tenor of what he has said since.

but on to writing:
Darqcyde wrote:
Ever read Stephen King? In the Dark Tower series, there's a part where there are vampires literately feasting on babies and children they've kidnapped, that's what I'm talking about. It's easy to see how people who've had their children abducted and never returned might be offended, but I highly doubt King wrote the scene with the INTENT of offending those people.


i haven't read any of the dark tower series, but in general, it seems to me that the author describing problematic acts only becomes problematic if said acts are attributed to the hero. since this is vampires, i'm guessing they were the villains of the piece; you expect villains to act villainously, that's what makes them villains. so again, it's not so much what you say, as your target. (the exception would be if you go into such loving detail on said reprehensible acts that it moves over into the pornographic).

people who have been badly hurt (like rape victims or the parents of missing children) are highly sensitized to the subject; any mention can bring up bad memories, and their reactions may be due to those memories, and not exactly what was said. i don't think an author can hold themselves responsible for offenses like this; there is no predicting what someone might find painful, and if you did not intent to cause pain, all a reasonable person (in my opinion) can expect is an apology.

i guess i should specify - you can't know what about a stranger's life-experiences might hold painful memories. but you can know that many things about what a person is - a member of a racial group, someone whose sexuality is something other that cis-hetero, even being a woman with blond hair - have been objects of attack, and that such attacks are painful to the victim and reflect no glory on the attacker. so stuff like that, that's villain behavior.[/quote]
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