Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.


Ununnilium: Taking out "on the Ideal end of Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism", because it doesn't seem to discriminate by that.

Earnest: It goes without saying, which is why it should be said more often: "Thanks for all the spiffing up of articles you do". ^_^

Phartman: I'd like to subvert that trope...

I think this is an expression of a very Western, or at least American, idea: edged weapons are inherently evil. Compare the iconic Wild West gunfighter heroes with slasher-movie crazies.

Earnest: Knives are a lot scarier than guns (imo) because they're a lot more personal than guns. You have to get close, and actually see who you're stabbing or getting stabbed by with a knife, guns can be fairly anonymous (albeit more dangerous). In regards to the trope, it applies to anything with the ability to instantly kill; blunt or bludgeoning weapons are mostly exempt. It probably helps pad out fight scenes because in Hollywoodland you can beat someone with a bat/pipe/baton repeatedly without killing them instantly or spilling blood that would raise a movie from PG-13 to R.

Morgan Wick: Does the Technical Pacifist use knives?

Phartman: Nine times out of ten, it's only guns that the Technical Pacifist won't use. The tenth is the guy who uses no weapons at all, and prefers to just beat opponents to death with his bare hands. So, mostly yes.
Should the fight scene in Anchorman be mentioned here, since that lampoons this trope?
zinfandel: I deleted a reference to Carrie killing her mother with a sharp object since it A) has nothing to do with this trope, and B) ... A) was enough. I also took out the "subversion" from The Matrix. The argument was, since two dudes come at Morpheus with razors, and he gets respondes with a katana (they're just better), this trope was somehow being toyed with. If anything, this was an aversion. Which we don't list. Seeya!
"Subverted in just about every beat-em-up video game ever made": I'd say it's not so much subverted as it is not applicable in the first place. —Document N


Zixinus: I'd like to make a note here about real-life knife-fighting, related to the "truth in television" part. I base my opinion on Don Peterson's "Take 'em out, put 'em down" book, based on his experiences in Folsom prison.

Martinal artists often like to claim that they can teach you sure ways to defend yourself from such an attack. Anybody who has actually been to a street fight or the like will find these techniques likely useless or unable to use them. There is allot of myth about knife attacks. Sure, a black-belt martinal artist will likely have a good chance to defend themselves.

However, most anti-knife techniques are based on myth and on the assumptions that the attacker in inexperienced. Against a experienced and well-trained opponent, a martinal artist WILL have problems.

The biggest mistake is that many people, even martial artists whom follow tradition rather than actual fighting experience, will assume that a knife attacker will lead with the knife (that is, extend it forward). Unless the attacker is an idiot or someone who doesn't have any kind of combat training or sense, no one will do this. I'll leave the others for the book.

That doesn't mean that martinal arts is useless altogether, obviously. However, this idea IS NOT truth in television.