Talking about things being non-PC

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    You know how a lot of us here love Dwarf but have felt slightly iffy about occasional things like Taiwan Tony, floppy tiddies, etc.

    I’ve just been thinking about how in some places anti-PC stuff has become so strong that I feel nervous to even say I have a problem with anything in case I get my head bitten off.

    For example, I liked the Ghost in the Shell film, I also liked the manga and anime years ago, but I thought it would have felt better to have a Japanese (or even Japanese/American) in the main role. I said that in a facebook conversation and got a load of hate, from people who didn’t even care about the film, but have just made it their business to angrily shout down anyone “PC”.

    Also, I’m a big fan of the author Kim Newman, and I’m skimming though his “Drearcliff Grange” novel right now, and he has an Indian girl as one of the main characters. And, I really don’t like how he’s portraying her. All his characters are like pastiches of pulp novels/early cinema, but in the past when he’s put a spin on dodgy characters like Fu Manchu, he’s done it in a smarter way that kind of explored their racist elements and felt better. But this girl is just a misguided mass of stereotypes to me.

    But I’d feel nervous saying that on a goodreads review or something, because I know I’ll get a bunch of people “online yelling” at me and trying to bite my head off and calling me a PC nazi. And what I don’t get is that some of these authors are broadly left wing and mostly anti racist themselves, yet they all seem to have a rabid set of un-PC fans.

    (Dwarf included – for example I don’t believe Doug anything hurtful to anyone in any of RD’s more controversial jokes, some of them may have been a bit misguided, yet elsewhere online Timewave and Tony both have angry un-PC fans ready to defend them with their lives. Probably more zealously than anyone involved in the show would)



    I actually think the film version of Ghost In The Shell worked better having someone non-Japanese in the lead role, given what we learn about the character later on in the story.

    It felt like a lot of the complainants weren’t familiar with the story and thought that Johansson was playing a Japanese character, when it’s more complicated than that – having her outward appearance be non-Japanese (and in fact closer to some Western idealised image of beauty) actually served the story very well.


    Ben Saunders

    It’s a very case by case thing, but so much discourse today dissalows​ nuance. Somebody can be misguided or ignorant without being a disgusting racist who should lose his job, and our goal should be to educate people or openly discuss things, instead of “cancel culture” and just writing off anybody who said anything even slightly dodgy fifteen years ago. Occasionally there’s sort of mass panic over shit that really doesn’t matter, but then of course there are a lot of genuinely horrible people out there doing various disgusting things, which should be fought.

    In general I’m against censorship and believe comedy should generally be able to tackle whatever subject it likes, but once it starts to delve into actual mean-spirititdness and actual harmful stuff you should maybe take a step back and stop being such a prick. By this criteria, floppy titties are fine and Taiwan Tony’s are a bit iffy, but since it was all in the context of just earnestly trying to make people laugh I don’t have a huge issue with either, although TT really never should have made it past the first draft. Somebody should have told Doug it wasn’t 1976 anymore


    Plastic Percy

    Generally speaking, I’m a big fan of Poltical Correctness. Basically, it boils down to (and I appreciate the irony of my next statement) ‘don’t be a cunt’. Treat people with respect and dignity.



    I’ve read a fair amount of PC and Anti-PC stuff online, and honestly I don’t really agree with either side of it. I guess that doesn’t really make much sense? I could talk at length about it but I don’t want to piss anyone off, so I guess I’ll leave it at that. Not being a cunt is a good idea, but there are cunts on both sides of the argument so it’s hard to agree or even care about it that much. My solution is to just turn the computer off and go and have some green tea or something


    Ben Saunders

    Bloodteller makes a good point. If you just distance yourself from this stuff and stop arguing with people who will never change their mind, you’ll have a much nicer time. Of course that can be difficult to do and I occasionally falter, but it’s a good idea in general.



    That said, it can be fun to read about it sometimes. I browse the website Kiwi Farms occasionally, which is like a forum dedicated to people complaining about SJWs. And when there’s a big load of controversy about something e.g. the shit Ghostbusters reboot, it’s interesting to sort of surf the web and see what everyone is saying about it. I’ve never actually got involved in any of those online debates though



    “Be excellent to each other” – Wyld Stallyns



    Hate is always foolish. Love is always wise. Always try to be nice, but never fail to be kind. With great power comes great responsibility. Never say never again. Don’t pay the ferryman.



    Do you believe in life after love?


    Flap Jack

    It always baffles me how some people think that art criticism in general is fine, but if the criticism is at all political it somehow becomes a violation of the artist’s human rights.

    Artists/filmmakers/studios etc. can use their free speech rights to make art however they like, and others can use those exact same rights to speak out against that art, regardless of whether the complaint is “I can’t believe Warner Bros. would cast a known domestic abuser in a blockbuster franchise” or “I can’t believe Doug brought back the pencil ship design, what the hell?”.

    Ultimately democracy gives people the freedom to sell, but also gives people the freedom not to buy.

    The type of online randos hypothetically shouting tombow down for voicing “PC” opinions aren’t genuinely anti-censorship, they just don’t want to confront or admit the real reason why they disagree.


    Dollar Pound

    I like the night mayor a lot, it’s very red dwarf I find, back to reality. the thing of it’s always raining and 2am is like it’s always Christmas in Bedford falls, or always 1954 or whenever it is, lots of things remind me of the show like that. the characters are in black and white, like rimmer was going to be. I want to write something about this properly


    Ben Saunders

    It is quite interesting to see just how much some people will dance around saying “I hate black people and feel threatened by their presence” without actually saying it outright. 9/10 for mental gymnastics



    “I browse the website Kiwi Farms occasionally”

    I remember falling into the cruel rabbit hole of reading about the antics of Chris Chandler


    Ben Saunders

    Never heard of Kiwi Farms, but have heard of Chris-Chan and wish I hadn’t



    Wow, this thread is not as awful as it could have been.

    Thanks G&T.



    > Generally speaking, I’m a big fan of Poltical Correctness. Basically, it boils down to (and I appreciate the irony of my next statement) ‘don’t be a cunt’. Treat people with respect and dignity.

    I’m reminded of Mel Brooks saying he’s not a fan of political correctness, but rather “a fan of decent behavior, which is different from political correctness. Because political correctness demands too much respect for being good.” Now I basically agree with Plastic Percy that decent behaviour really *isn’t* different from political correctness, but I can see where Brooks is coming from. I suppose what he’s getting at is that virtue signalling is a real thing, and I agree that it is. However, it seems to me that when people are accused of virtue signalling, most of the time that’s not what they’re doing – they’re merely exhibiting decent behaviour.


    Plastic Percy

    That Brooks is always upstaging me. Just because I aren’t good with words what he is like.



    Primordial Soup volume 3 – Fathers and Suns original script

    The crew approach TAIWAN TONY, a vending machine of Asian food, to ask it’s opinion on the Chinese Whispers question. TAIWAN TONY speaks in cultured tones with a soft, barely perceptible east Asian accent.



    I was just thinking, one thing which me and all my friends laughed with at the time, which I way don’t think is ok now, is the trans taxi driver in League of Gentlemen. I can’t think how they thought it was ok even then, I mean I was a teenager and the world wasn’t as social justice aware as now, but they were adults, one of them part of the LGBT community.



    I liked the way the recent LoG specials addressed this, and essentially copped to the fact that our understanding of these things has moved on, and then managed to make a whole different (and non-problematic) joke about it.



    oh really? I’ll have to watch those, I’m way out of date with LoG, Last thing I saw was the film I think. I was just clearing out my old dvds and found the stage show, xmas specials, etc,



    Yeah, they were on last Christmas. Really good I thought.


    Bexley Heath

    > a whole different (and non-problematic) joke

    Ouch. You had my hopes up for a second there. :/



    That article is a terrible attempt to twist it into a controversy.

    Did you find the joke in the new episode problematic? When I watched it I thought it was a good way of dealing with the fact that they no longer felt comfortable with the past material but didn’t want to sweep it under the carpet.


    Ben Saunders

    Better to just leave it, honestly. You don’t need to cack-handedly apologise for past “transgressions”, especially not with the show itself in a shit joke like that. Just move on and set a better example going forward.

    Pronoun/lgbtaqbbq+ jokes are what you expect from that smug, loud dude in college who loves reciting the latest memes, not a television program made by industry professionals



    It didn’t come off like that in the show itself. It felt like Benjamin represented a genuine feeling of the LoG being apologetic for the past gags, the pronoun discussion didn’t feel like it made the trans community the butt of the joke, and the ACRONYM thing was just a silly language gag, not a knock at LGBTQIA+ or anything like that.

    I think an uncomfortable truth is that the current clickbait news cycle means that any joke about any remotely sensitive topic will be made the target of the kind of ‘outrage’ you see in that NME article, whether or not that requires willfully misunderstanding/misrepresenting the joke in the first place. It’s very cynical and deliberate.

    That’s not to say that every complaint is invalid – there are still lots of unpleasant and unjustified jokes made that really are ‘punching down’ to vulnerable communities – but it does make it harder to pick out the genuine outrages from the manufactured ones.

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