History Main / ConceptsAreCheap

2nd Sep '17 8:31:33 PM Eievie
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->''♫Justice is what he claims to fight for, but it's a mystery -- what does this 'justice' mean? He hasn't got a clue!♫''

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->''♫Justice is what he claims to fight for, but it's a mystery -- what does this 'justice' "justice" mean? He hasn't got a clue!♫''



Can't think of a convincing personal motivation for your hero? No problem. There are lots of useful words out there. [[MeaninglessMeaningfulWords Useful words]] like [[ForGreatJustice 'freedom' or 'justice' or 'peace' or 'mankind']]! [[LoadedWords Or 'love'! Or 'hope'! Or ' good'!]] Yeah! "Freedom" stirs up lots of warm fuzzy feelings in people. Better yet, any villains who oppose our freedom-loving hero [[DesignatedVillain must be, by definition, evil.]] Better than ''that'', freedom is an abstract. If nothing specific is added, a reader can fill in the blank with ''whatever they want''.

Concepts Are Cheap is the natural result of writers stuffing their narratives with lots of glossy one-size-fits-all words, rather than inventing motivations which emerge organically from the character's experiences. Like a cheap meal, it leaves you empty two hours after you've finished the work. Sure, the hero might have just told the villain that 'freedom' is better than 'tyranny' and then struck him with his laser sword, thus [[ViolenceReallyIsTheAnswer (violently)]] winning 'freedom' for all 'mankind'. But why? Why did he care? Why should ''we'' care? And would anyone but a CardCarryingVillain ''say'' that tyranny is better than freedom?

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Can't think of a convincing personal motivation for your hero? No problem. There are lots of useful words out there. [[MeaninglessMeaningfulWords Useful words]] like [[ForGreatJustice 'freedom' "freedom" or 'justice' "justice" or 'peace' "peace" or 'mankind']]! "mankind"]]! [[LoadedWords Or 'love'! "love"! Or 'hope'! "hope"! Or ' good'!]] "good"!]] Yeah! "Freedom" stirs up lots of warm fuzzy feelings in people. Better yet, any villains who oppose our freedom-loving hero [[DesignatedVillain must be, by definition, evil.]] Better than ''that'', freedom is an abstract. If nothing specific is added, a reader can fill in the blank with ''whatever they want''.

Concepts Are Cheap is the natural result of writers stuffing their narratives with lots of glossy one-size-fits-all words, rather than inventing motivations which emerge organically from the character's experiences. Like a cheap meal, it leaves you empty two hours after you've finished the work. Sure, the hero might have just told the villain that 'freedom' "freedom" is better than 'tyranny' "tyranny" and then struck him with his laser sword, thus [[ViolenceReallyIsTheAnswer (violently)]] winning 'freedom' "freedom" for all 'mankind'."mankind". But why? Why did he care? Why should ''we'' care? And would anyone but a CardCarryingVillain ''say'' that tyranny is better than freedom?



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]

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[[folder:Anime and & Manga]]
2nd Sep '17 7:19:06 AM vovan1
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* ''VideoGame/MetalWolfChaos'' has propaganda broadcasts from the Policy Promotion Department, making pronouncements like "A heart of '''Justice''' is a heart that loves '''Freedom'''." This is when they're not promising to execute everyone who's even tangentially connected to Metal Wolf.

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* ''VideoGame/MetalWolfChaos'' has propaganda broadcasts from the Government Policy Promotion Department, making pronouncements like "A heart of '''Justice''' is a heart that loves '''Freedom'''." This is when they're not promising to execute everyone who's even tangentially connected to Metal Wolf.
24th Aug '17 3:38:31 PM rjd1922
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** After their overwhelming success in the 2015 elections, the Polish ruling party PiS (Law and Justice) went to work on a series of reforms and other operations under the common name of "The Good Change". Several loud anti-government manifestations and badly received reforms later, they still haven't dropped the name.

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** After their overwhelming success in the 2015 elections, the Polish ruling party PiS [=PiS=] (Law and Justice) went to work on a series of reforms and other operations under the common name of "The Good Change". Several loud anti-government manifestations and badly received reforms later, they still haven't dropped the name.
18th Aug '17 11:26:01 AM Fireblood
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** It ''is'' possible to figure out politicians are all about by looking at what, specifically, they are planning to do if they get elected - and if you don't trust them to be honest about that (which most people don't), you can at least look at their track record so far. They just count (with some justification) on most voters not looking any deeper than those meaningless but nice-sounding sound bites.

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** It ''is'' possible to figure out what politicians are all about by looking at what, specifically, they are planning to do if they get elected - and if you don't trust them to be honest about that (which most people don't), you can at least look at their track record so far. They just count (with some justification) on most voters not looking any deeper than those meaningless but nice-sounding sound bites.



** After their overwhelming success in 2015 elections, the Polish ruling party PiS (Law and Justice) went to work on a series of reforms and other operations under the common name of "The Good Change". Several loud anti-government manifestations and badly received reforms later, they still haven't dropped the name.

to:

** After their overwhelming success in the 2015 elections, the Polish ruling party PiS (Law and Justice) went to work on a series of reforms and other operations under the common name of "The Good Change". Several loud anti-government manifestations and badly received reforms later, they still haven't dropped the name.



* The Occupy Wall Street movement has been criticized by people from all over the political spectrum for seemingly having little more of a goal than making rich people feel bad. The organizers (and their counterparts all over the globe) stated that they didn't want to elaborate on their stances too much because they didn't want [[WeAreStrugglingTogether to divide the movement along factional lines]], instead opting to unite as many people as possible by getting them all to agree that the rich being greedy was a bad thing that needed to change. The result was very large crowds and very little clarity. Also, if you dug a little you would find that these different factions already existed beneath the surface, they just all found it in their interest (and no doubt belief) to imagine that each of them represented the 99% rather than a tiny proportion of a broad but ultimately not very effectual movement. It was repeatedly pointed out Occupy's overall goal wasn't to push through specific changes in public policy, but to raise awareness there is a problem in the first place.

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* The Occupy Wall Street movement has been criticized by people from all over the political spectrum for seemingly having little more of a goal than making rich people feel bad. The organizers (and their counterparts all over the globe) stated that they didn't want to elaborate on their stances too much because they didn't want [[WeAreStrugglingTogether to divide the movement along factional lines]], instead opting to unite as many people as possible by getting them all to agree that the rich being greedy was a bad thing that needed to change. The result was very large crowds and very little clarity. Also, if you dug a little you would find that these different factions already existed beneath the surface, they just all found it in their interest (and no doubt belief) to imagine that each of them represented the 99% rather than a tiny proportion of a broad but ultimately not very effectual movement. It was repeatedly pointed out Occupy's overall goal wasn't to push through specific changes in public policy, but to raise awareness that there is a problem in the first place.



* The basis for real life PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny. If you can't be bothered actually ''making'' your government democratic, then naming it so is the next best thing. Whether or not this actually fools anyone though is unknown.

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* The basis for many a real life PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny. If you can't be bothered actually ''making'' your government democratic, then naming it so is the next best thing. Whether or not this actually fools anyone though is unknown.
18th Aug '17 10:34:50 AM Fireblood
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* {{Discussed|Trope}} and {{invoked}} in Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/TheCavesOfSteel''. [[FantasticRacism Robophobic]] detective Elijah Bailey scoffs at the notion that law-enforcement robot R. Daneel Olivaw has a "justice circuit," saying that justice is too abstract a concept to be programmed into a robot. When asked to define justice, Daneel says "That which exists when all laws are enforced." While that would not be any human's concept of justice, it is perfectly adequate for a law-enforcement robot to function.

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* {{Discussed|Trope}} and {{invoked}} in Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/TheCavesOfSteel''. [[FantasticRacism Robophobic]] detective Elijah Bailey scoffs at the notion that law-enforcement robot R. Daneel Olivaw has a "justice circuit," saying that justice is too abstract a concept to be programmed into a robot. When asked to define justice, Daneel says "That which exists when all laws are enforced." While that would not be any human's many humans's concept of justice, it is perfectly adequate for a law-enforcement robot to function.



** "Heal the World"'s vague message -- "There are people dying/If you care enough for the living/Make a better place/For you and for me" -- is reflected in the music video for it: Kids go up to soldiers occupying some territory and give them flowers, which immediately convinces them to throw their weapons away. Huh?

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** "Heal the World"'s vague message -- "There are people dying/If you care enough for the living/Make a better place/For you and for me" -- is reflected in the music video for it: Kids kids go up to soldiers occupying some territory and give them flowers, which immediately convinces them to throw their weapons away. Huh?



* In third edition ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', clerics can choose to devote themselves to some broad concepts rather than a deity. This allows the cleric to act pretty much however he or she wants as long it can be said to not violate the concept rather than worry about how his or her patron deity feels. Of course, some deityís concepts can be just as cheap as those of patronless cleric, too.

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* In third edition ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', clerics can choose to devote themselves to some broad concepts rather than a deity. This allows the cleric to act pretty much however he or she wants as long it can be said to not violate the concept rather than worry about how his or her patron deity feels. Of course, some deityís concepts can be just as cheap as those of a patronless cleric, too.
18th Aug '17 10:16:52 AM Fireblood
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* ''Music/{{Evita}}'': Late in the film, when Eva [[spoiler:is dying]], she and her president husband Juan start talking about how their "dream" may never come to pass. It's never really revealed what this dream was supposed to be, unless it turns out it was "Enjoy the perks the Presidential office."

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* ''Music/{{Evita}}'': Late in the film, when Eva [[spoiler:is dying]], she and her president husband Juan start talking about how their "dream" may never come to pass. It's never really revealed what this dream was supposed to be, unless it turns out it was "Enjoy the perks of the Presidential office.""[[note]]In real life it was to reform Argentina-the film doesn't really get into this.[[/note]]
11th Jul '17 9:33:06 AM Malady
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* ''Literature/DonQuixote'' is a deconstruction of this trope: In the first part of the novel, he wants to be a KnightErrant ForGreatJustice. In reality, he is TheHedonist and all his efforts are really guided to live his dreams, but he doesn't accept it because he is a {{Hypocrite}}. In the second part of the novel, his motivation changes ForHappiness. But this time Don Quixote is an honest man who must admit at the end of the novel that [[ShaggyDogStory his efforts didnít help anyone]] and his ChivalricRomance [[FanDisillusionment dreams were shallow]].
* [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] and {{invoked}} in Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/TheCavesOfSteel''. [[FantasticRacism Robophobic]] detective Elijah Bailey scoffs at the notion that law-enforcement robot R. Daneel Olivaw has a "justice circuit," saying that justice is too abstract a concept to be programmed into a robot. When asked to define justice, Daneel says "That which exists when all laws are enforced." While that would not be any human's concept of justice, it is perfectly adequate for a law-enforcement robot to function.

to:

* ''Literature/DonQuixote'' is a deconstruction of this trope: In the first part of the novel, he wants to be a KnightErrant ForGreatJustice. In reality, he is TheHedonist and all his efforts are really guided to live his dreams, but he doesn't accept it because he is a {{Hypocrite}}.{{hypocrite}}. In the second part of the novel, his motivation changes ForHappiness. But this time Don Quixote is an honest man who must admit at the end of the novel that [[ShaggyDogStory his efforts didnít help anyone]] and his ChivalricRomance [[FanDisillusionment dreams were shallow]].
* [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] {{Discussed|Trope}} and {{invoked}} in Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/TheCavesOfSteel''. [[FantasticRacism Robophobic]] detective Elijah Bailey scoffs at the notion that law-enforcement robot R. Daneel Olivaw has a "justice circuit," saying that justice is too abstract a concept to be programmed into a robot. When asked to define justice, Daneel says "That which exists when all laws are enforced." While that would not be any human's concept of justice, it is perfectly adequate for a law-enforcement robot to function.



* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' gives us the DJ Three Dog who spouts off fighting the good fight while simultaneously being really really vague on what the good fight was.

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* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' ''VideoGame/Fallout3'' gives us the DJ Three Dog who spouts off fighting the good fight while simultaneously being really really vague on what the good fight was.



** The trope is deconstructed by showing that while simply throwing the words around with no meaning is indeed cheap, the base concept of trying to save people is indeed beautiful. Shirou then decides to avert Archer's biggest flaw in order to [[spoiler: not become his future self]]: Being a perfectionist. You can't save everybody, but trying isn't a bad thing at all.

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** The trope is deconstructed reconstructed by showing that while simply throwing the words around with no meaning is indeed cheap, the base concept of trying to save people is indeed beautiful. Shirou then decides to avert Archer's biggest flaw in order to [[spoiler: not become his future self]]: Being a perfectionist. You can't save everybody, but trying isn't a bad thing at all.



** Played with in ''VideoGame/{{Wild ARMs 3}}''. Idealist Virginia is constantly harassed by GoldfishPoopGang leader Maya Schroedinger, who demands to know why she keeps traveling and fighting. Although Maya ostensibly is only motivated by greed and jewels, in the end she claims that that ideal also includes the planet she lives on - a blue-green jewel.

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** Played with in ''VideoGame/{{Wild ARMs 3}}''.''VideoGame/WildARMs3''. Idealist Virginia is constantly harassed by GoldfishPoopGang leader Maya Schroedinger, who demands to know why she keeps traveling and fighting. Although Maya ostensibly is only motivated by greed and jewels, in the end she claims that that ideal also includes the planet she lives on - a blue-green jewel.
27th Jun '17 5:10:40 PM nombretomado
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* More politicians than not, if not all politicians. [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glittering_generality See also]] TheOtherWiki.

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* More politicians than not, if not all politicians. [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glittering_generality See also]] TheOtherWiki.Wiki/TheOtherWiki.
9th Jan '17 12:13:53 PM urutapu
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** In the mini-series "ComicBook/JusticeLeagueCryForJustice", suddenly, every single major character spends the entire series demanding "justice" without ever bothering to define what it means or how it's different from what the other heroes are already doing. Their actions are also closer to that of [[{{Revenge}} another concept]] altogether.
* ''Comicbook/AngelaMarvelComics'': its main character Angela, and by extension all Angels of Heven (this is the in comic spelling), says her culture centres around materialism and EquivalentExchange. Justice? Honor? Family? All those big and important words they translate to '''Nothing''' or to put it more flowery:

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** In the mini-series "ComicBook/JusticeLeagueCryForJustice", "ComicBook/JusticeLeagueCryForJustice" , suddenly, every single major character spends the entire series demanding "justice" without ever bothering to define what it means or how it's different from what the other heroes are already doing. Their actions are also closer to that of [[{{Revenge}} another concept]] altogether.
altogether. Prometheus himself is the villain of the piece, funnily enough.
* ''Comicbook/AngelaMarvelComics'': its main character Angela, and by extension all Angels of Heven (this is the in comic in-comic spelling), says her culture centres around materialism and EquivalentExchange. Justice? Honor? Family? All those big and important words they translate to '''Nothing''' or to put it more flowery:
6th Dec '16 5:28:12 AM JamesAustin
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