History Main / StrawCharacter

2nd Dec '16 8:20:43 AM CaptainCrawdad
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* ''Film/LaCageAuxFolles'', and its [[ForeignRemake American remake]] ''Film/TheBirdcage'', feature an obvious strawman in the father of a gay man's son's fiancée. The French version has deputy Simon Charrier being played by Michel Galabru, who turns the straw into pure comedic awesomeness. This being a ''French'' movie, Sarrier was not meant to be a strawman conservative, but a religious extremist: unlike the US and its Two Party System, French religious extremists do not get along well with French conservatives and usually French conservatives do not feel they are targeted when watching the movie.\\
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While the Senator in ''Film/TheBirdcage'' looks quite a bit like a strawman, it's easy enough to view it as just a sign of the ridiculous exaggeration and silliness that pervades all the characters. He's a kooky, over-the-top example of right-wing politicians because the family of his daughter's fiancé is a kooky, over-the-top example of a gay couple. And his goal in the movie isn't that absurd: he wants to get reelected and is facing a scandal that ''really'' isn't his fault. What he's against is seeming even more ridiculous in the eyes of the American public, ''especially'' his supporters. If you're against gay rights, it would be bad to see your senator's daughter marrying the son of a kooky, gay couple.

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* ''Film/LaCageAuxFolles'', and its [[ForeignRemake American remake]] ''Film/TheBirdcage'', feature an obvious strawman in the father of a gay man's son's fiancée. The French version has deputy Simon Charrier being played by Michel Galabru, who turns the straw into pure comedic awesomeness. This being a ''French'' movie, Sarrier was not meant to be a strawman conservative, but a religious extremist: unlike the US and its Two Party System, French religious extremists do not get along well with French conservatives and usually French conservatives do not feel they are targeted when watching the movie.\\
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* The [[ForeignRemake American remake]] ''Film/TheBirdcage'': While the Senator in ''Film/TheBirdcage'' looks quite a bit like a strawman, it's easy enough to view it as just a sign of the ridiculous exaggeration and silliness that pervades all the characters. He's a kooky, over-the-top example of right-wing politicians because the family of his daughter's fiancé is a kooky, over-the-top example of a gay couple. And his goal in the movie isn't that absurd: he wants to get reelected and is facing a scandal that ''really'' isn't his fault. What he's against is seeming even more ridiculous in the eyes of the American public, ''especially'' his supporters. If you're against gay rights, it would be bad to see your senator's daughter marrying the son of a kooky, gay couple.
14th Nov '16 10:47:40 PM Fireblood
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* Admiral [=McAteer=] in the ''Literature/StarTrekStargazer'' novels is a staunch conservatist. His dislike for Picard stems purely from the fact that he thinks the latter is too young to be a captain in his ideal Starfleet. He can't do anything directly because he's not Picard's immediate superior, but he spends plenty of time trying to sabotage Picard in order to give him the excuse to demote him. He even develops a strong dislike for Creator/WilliamShakespeare after watching ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' and deciding that Shakespeare's message that ambition is bad is just plain wrong. In one of the novels, Picard's NumberTwo tries to reason with the admiral, asking him to keep an open mind about Picard. [=McAteer=] promptly replies that open minds are for those who lack conviction. The other officer immediately aborts his attempts, reasoning that people who believe that can't be reasoned with.

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* Admiral [=McAteer=] in the ''Literature/StarTrekStargazer'' novels is a staunch conservatist.conservative. His dislike for Picard stems purely from the fact that he thinks the latter is too young to be a captain in his ideal Starfleet. He can't do anything directly because he's not Picard's immediate superior, but he spends plenty of time trying to sabotage Picard in order to give him the excuse to demote him. He even develops a strong dislike for Creator/WilliamShakespeare after watching ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' and deciding that Shakespeare's message that ambition is bad is just plain wrong. In one of the novels, Picard's NumberTwo tries to reason with the admiral, asking him to keep an open mind about Picard. [=McAteer=] promptly replies that open minds are for those who lack conviction. The other officer immediately aborts his attempts, reasoning that people who believe that can't be reasoned with.



* Literature/InDeath series: Some characters are certainly this, with Commander Douglas Skinner from ''Interlude In Death'' standing out in particular. "Instead, he'd put in his fifty and then used that as a springboard in a run for Congress. And had fallen hard on his face. A half century of public service hadn't been enough to offset views so narrow even the most dug-in of the Conservative Party had balked. Added to that, his platform had swung unevenly from side to side. He was an unwavering supporter of the Gun Ban, something the Conservatives tried to overturn at every opportunity. Yet he beat the drum to reinstate the death penalty, which alienated the Liberals from mid-road to far left. He wanted to dissolve legal and regulated prostitution and strike out all legal and tax benefits for cohabitating couples. He preached about the sanctity of marriage, as long as it was heterosexual, but disavowed the government stipend for professional mothers. Motherhood, the gospel according to Skinner stated, was a God-given duty, and payment in its own right. His mixed-voice and muddled campaign had gone down in flames. However much he'd rebounded financially via lectures, books, and consults, Eve imagined he still bore the burns of that failure." Apparently, Skinner is supposed to be a Straw Conservative with TheFundamentalist mixed in, but even the Conservative Party didn't like him very much!
** This is hardly the biggest strawman character in the series... that honor goes to a conservative senator in the first book, who's a literal slobbering pedophile rapist (incestuous, at that). In general the series treats conservatives as being, nearly to a man (and they're all men), as misogynist assholes, while liberals (especially liberal politicians) are portrayed as being respectable if not likable. The series moves away from this a bit later on, able to treat at least some subjects considered conservative (such as religion) with respect, but at the same time goes back to referring to the conservative political party as the Republicans.

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* Literature/InDeath series: Some characters are certainly this, with Commander Douglas Skinner from ''Interlude In Death'' standing out in particular. "Instead, he'd put in his fifty and then used that as a springboard in a run for Congress. And had fallen hard on his face. A half century of public service hadn't been enough to offset views so narrow even the most dug-in of the Conservative Party had balked. Added to that, his platform had swung unevenly from side to side. He was an unwavering supporter of the Gun Ban, something the Conservatives tried to overturn at every opportunity. Yet he beat the drum to reinstate the death penalty, which alienated the Liberals from mid-road to far left. He wanted to dissolve legal and regulated prostitution and strike out all legal and tax benefits for cohabitating couples. He preached about the sanctity of marriage, as long as it was heterosexual, but disavowed the government stipend for professional mothers. Motherhood, the gospel according to Skinner stated, was a God-given duty, and payment in its own right. His mixed-voice and muddled campaign had gone down in flames. However much he'd rebounded financially via lectures, books, and consults, Eve imagined he still bore the burns of that failure." Apparently, Skinner is supposed to be a Straw Conservative with TheFundamentalist mixed in, but even the Conservative Party didn't like him very much!
**
much because he didn't agree with ''all'' their policies. This is hardly the biggest strawman character in the series... that series either. That honor goes to a conservative senator in the first book, who's a literal slobbering pedophile rapist (incestuous, at that). In general the series treats conservatives as being, nearly to a man (and they're all men), as misogynist assholes, while liberals (especially liberal politicians) are portrayed as being respectable if not likable. The series moves away from this a bit later on, able to treat at least some subjects considered conservative (such as religion) with respect, but at the same time goes back to referring to the conservative political party as the Republicans.



* ''Literature/TheEnglishDragon'': Liberal characters are prone to coming out with comments such as "you're racist because you're White" and "how do you know that you aren't a fascist?". The ignorant youths who kidnap Oliver's son, meanwhile, have dialogue like "St. George - He's someat to do with England...a king or someat" and "Nelson? Didn't he fight the Germans?" - Strawman Apolitical, perhaps.

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* ''Literature/TheEnglishDragon'': Liberal characters are prone to coming out with comments such as "you're racist because you're White" and "how "How do you know that you aren't a fascist?". The ignorant youths who kidnap Oliver's son, meanwhile, have dialogue like "St. George - He's someat to do with England...a king or someat" and "Nelson? Didn't he fight the Germans?" - Strawman Apolitical, perhaps.
14th Nov '16 10:39:31 PM Fireblood
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* Creator/KurtVonnegut was also quite the [=Strawman=] Political writer - using absurdly simplistic extremes which make a [=strawman=] look like ComicBook/IronMan: in ''Welcome to the Monkey House'', he attacks population-control with a society that forces people to take drugs that kill their sex-drive and encourages them to undergo assisted suicide in government clinics. Meanwhile in "Literature/HarrisonBergeron" he attacks egalitarianism by featuring a society where everyone is forced to handicap themselves so that everyone will be ''truly'' "equal," with strong people being forced to carry weights, smart people being forced to wear noise-making headphones to disrupt their thinking and marry stupid ones, and good-looking people being forced to marry ugly ones etc.
** "Monkey House" is attacking not "population control", but SexIsEvil Strawman Conservatives. The "nothinghead" Good Guys reject their "Ethical Birth Control" for the unethical old-fashioned Pill (of course the "good guy" also shows one straw character-a nurse in a suicide parlor-the light by ''raping'' her).
** ''Harrison Bergeron'' was likely a parody of this trope. It could have possibly been satirizing authors such as Ayn Rand.
14th Nov '16 10:14:25 PM Fireblood
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* The main antagonist from ''Film/GodsNotDead'', a Christian film that is basically one huge straw man against atheism. The villain is over the top and filled with hatred towards the perfectly decent Christian lead. As the movie progresses, he becomes more and more over the top. To add insult to injury, he turns out to be a HollywoodAtheist who is bitter about his mom dying. The film ends with him getting hit by a car and converting as he dies.

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* The main antagonist from ''Film/GodsNotDead'', a Christian film that is basically one huge straw man against atheism. The villain is over the top and filled with hatred towards the perfectly decent Christian lead. As the movie progresses, he becomes more and more over the top. To add insult to injury, he turns out to be a HollywoodAtheist who is bitter about his mom dying. The film ends with him getting hit by a car and converting as he dies. [[Film/GodsNotDead2 The sequel]] is much the same thing. It's so over the top many atheists find the films more funny than offensive, and enjoy mocking them for their idiocy.
1st Nov '16 1:00:19 PM tentakkelbj0rn
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* While primarily a Western in space, ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' can be seen as a {{Deconstruction}} of Libertarian philosophy, as an idealised Libertarian WarriorPoet (Captain Mal Reynolds) has to deal with the reality of [[CrapsackWorld a wild frontier where government control is minimal and corporate corruption and criminal activity are the norm]]. It's a testament to the show's writing that fan camps can make convincing cases for the Alliance being a government of liberal ''or'' conservative {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}s. It could even be said that the show fairly presents both the pros and cons of the Libertarian philosophy through OrderVersusChaos: the Core Worlds are highly developed and peaceful, but the government can pretty much do whatever they damn well please to their citizens up to slicing up a young girl's brain or [[spoiler:dosing entire planets with mind control drugs]]; the Rim Worlds, by contrast, are anarchic and comparatively destitute, but at least there you're free to live as you want, and if anyone threatens you, you can face them in the eye and settle it yourself, or even round up a posse of fellow victims for a little frontier justice. Of course, the overarching message is that a truly ideal society is able to keep a healthy balance, and that any attempt to "[[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans rid the world of sin]]" will just cause more harm than good.
1st Nov '16 12:47:38 PM tentakkelbj0rn
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* Most politicians in ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' get this treatment in some way - the good guys fall almost entirely into the Crown Loyalist or Centrist parties, while the bad guys and just plain nutcases/cowards are generally Conservatives or Liberals. That being said, Weber's more recent books have been rather more evenhanded in portraying political opposition, making a significant plot point out of Catherine Montaigne's reconstruction of the Liberal Party around sincere ideology instead of Countess New Kiev's hypocrisy. The two main non-strawman opposition characters are:
** Catherine Montaigne, a Liberal and yet not a total nutcase (though many of her views overlap with those of the [=Centrists/CLs=]). However, she first appeared in a side story written by Eric Flint. Her views overlap with the Crown Loyalists'/Centrists because their views are, obviously, in the center (both parties fiscally and socially conservative, so their centrism is relative). The only way to avoid finding at least some common cause with them is to be on either the extreme right or left, and extreme views rarely turn out well. CL's and Centrists are lumped together because the Queen herself is just right of center (when she isn't royally pissed), and you wouldn't be a CL if you didn't mostly agree with the queen, or at least think that what she says goes. Even New Kiev comes off as the best of a bad lot among the coalition government, to the extent that her partners hide things from her in fear of her ideals getting in the way.
** Michael Oversteegen, notable for having the mannerisms of an aristocratic twit. He's the cousin of the leader of the strawman Conservative party, sincerely believes in the importance of a hereditary (or elected, or drawn at straws) aristocracy (the Conservatives' main reason for existence), was granted a senior grade captain's slot while still a captain jay-gee... and despises the corruption his cousin tolerates in the party, his cousin's stupidity, and his cousin(s) in general. He's also a very talented and extremely brave naval officer who more than proved that he ''deserved'' that captain's slot after [[RememberWhenYouBlewUpASun that business at Tiberian]], and won the enduring respect and admiration of his peers as a result.
** The Graysons are early on strawman religious conservatives, but are at least mildly open to new ideas, and whose views shift closer to center for fairly realistic reasons (many of which center around Honor saving their asses several times, though their leaders had designs on reshaping the society even before she came along and gave them a symbol to rally around). The Grayson ultra-conservative faction are Strawman Conservatives, but look sane compared to the formerly-Grayson ultra-extremists of Masada, who are effectively the Space Taliban.
** The Graysons aren't really strawman types: they're very highly conservative, but it's a fairly natural development of their history and the [[DeathWorld extremely harsh conditions]] they live under.
** Oddly averted in the case of Pavel Young, who spends most of his time being either evil or holding the IdiotBall, but when he is invested as a member of the House of Lords, he breaks with the Conservatives to push for a declaration of war against Haven. It's partly motivated by political opportunism, but the fact that he was on the receiving end of Haven's opening salvo likely had something to do with it.

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* Most politicians in ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' get this treatment in some way - the good guys fall almost entirely into the Crown Loyalist or Centrist parties, while the bad guys and just plain nutcases/cowards are generally Conservatives or Liberals. That being said, Weber's more recent books have been rather more evenhanded in portraying political opposition, making a significant plot point out of Catherine Montaigne's reconstruction of the Liberal Party around sincere ideology instead of Countess New Kiev's hypocrisy. The two main non-strawman opposition characters are:\n** Catherine Montaigne, a Liberal and yet not a total nutcase (though many of her views overlap with those of the [=Centrists/CLs=]). However, she first appeared in a side story written by Eric Flint. Her views overlap with the Crown Loyalists'/Centrists because their views are, obviously, in the center (both parties fiscally and socially conservative, so their centrism is relative). The only way to avoid finding at least some common cause with them is to be on either the extreme right or left, and extreme views rarely turn out well. CL's and Centrists are lumped together because the Queen herself is just right of center (when she isn't royally pissed), and you wouldn't be a CL if you didn't mostly agree with the queen, or at least think that what she says goes. Even New Kiev comes off as the best of a bad lot among the coalition government, to the extent that her partners hide things from her in fear of her ideals getting in the way.\n** Michael Oversteegen, notable for having the mannerisms of an aristocratic twit. He's the cousin of the leader of the strawman Conservative party, sincerely believes in the importance of a hereditary (or elected, or drawn at straws) aristocracy (the Conservatives' main reason for existence), was granted a senior grade captain's slot while still a captain jay-gee... and despises the corruption his cousin tolerates in the party, his cousin's stupidity, and his cousin(s) in general. He's also a very talented and extremely brave naval officer who more than proved that he ''deserved'' that captain's slot after [[RememberWhenYouBlewUpASun that business at Tiberian]], and won the enduring respect and admiration of his peers as a result.\n** The Graysons are early on strawman religious conservatives, but are at least mildly open to new ideas, and whose views shift closer to center for fairly realistic reasons (many of which center around Honor saving their asses several times, though their leaders had designs on reshaping the society even before she came along and gave them a symbol to rally around). The Grayson ultra-conservative faction are Strawman Conservatives, but look sane compared to the formerly-Grayson ultra-extremists of Masada, who are effectively the Space Taliban.\n** The Graysons aren't really strawman types: they're very highly conservative, but it's a fairly natural development of their history and the [[DeathWorld extremely harsh conditions]] they live under.\n** Oddly averted in the case of Pavel Young, who spends most of his time being either evil or holding the IdiotBall, but when he is invested as a member of the House of Lords, he breaks with the Conservatives to push for a declaration of war against Haven. It's partly motivated by political opportunism, but the fact that he was on the receiving end of Haven's opening salvo likely had something to do with it.
1st Nov '16 12:33:59 PM tentakkelbj0rn
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* Literature/TheCountOfMonteCristo: All of the good characters are or were supporters of Napoleon or Children born after the French Revolution, and nearly all of the bad ones are royalists [[VillainProtagonist (and The Count of Monte Cristo)]]. Creator/AlexandreDumas' father was a famous soldier in Napoleon's army.
25th Oct '16 11:51:10 AM Miracle@StOlaf
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* ''Film/ThePurge'' films are as close as mainstream entertainment has come to StrawmanPolitical: TheMovie, which becomes exponentially more anvilicious with each sequel. By the third movie, anyone of even the slightest conservative bent is depicted as a mass-murdering, white-supremacist religious fanatic out to slaughter everyone who isn't exactly like them for the benefit of their rich and equally white, racist, religious overlords. That said, the writers' overtly vicious {{Demonization}} and [[ArtisticLicense cluelessness about real-world politics, sociology and economics]] makes these characters come off so extreme as to seem like cartoonish abstractions, so it has to be difficult for most right-leaning viewers to take them seriously enough to be offended.

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* ''Film/ThePurge'' films are as close as mainstream entertainment has come to StrawmanPolitical: TheMovie, which becomes exponentially more anvilicious heavy-handed with each sequel. By the third movie, anyone of even the slightest conservative bent is depicted as a fascist, mass-murdering, white-supremacist religious fanatic out to slaughter everyone who isn't exactly like them for the benefit of their rich and equally white, fascist, racist, religious overlords. That said, the writers' overtly vicious {{Demonization}} of Conservatives and [[ArtisticLicense general cluelessness about real-world politics, sociology and economics]] makes these characters come off so extreme as to seem like cartoonish abstractions, so it has to be difficult for most any right-leaning viewers to take them seriously enough to be offended.
30th Sep '16 10:45:08 AM matteste
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* In ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIVApocalypse'', the Celtic demon Dagda takes the cynical side in a SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism argument between him and Danu. The game is dead-set of portraying him as wrong, setting him out as a stubborn, cynical jerk, often compared to a rebellious edgy teenager in a phase, who's just lashing out against the world and puts the player [[YouBastard as a bastard]] for daring to side with him.

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* In ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIVApocalypse'', the Celtic demon Dagda takes the cynical side in a SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism argument between him and Danu. The game is dead-set of portraying him as wrong, setting him out as a stubborn, cynical [[StrawNihilist nihilistic]] jerk, often compared to a rebellious edgy teenager in a phase, who's just lashing out against the world and puts the player [[YouBastard as a bastard]] for daring to side with him.
25th Sep '16 11:03:29 AM MagBas
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* In ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIVApocalypse'', the Celtic demon Dagda takes the cynical side in a SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism argument between him and Danu. Problem is that the game is dead-set of portraying him as wrong, setting him out as a stubborn, cynical jerk, often compared to a rebellious edgy teenager in a phase, who's just lashing out against the world and puts the player [[YouBastard as a bastard]] for daring to side with him. However to anyone who is even remotely familiar with the series meta-physics, [[StrawmanHasAPoint he makes the stronger argument]] in contrast to Danu, who seems completely blind to how their universe works.

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* In ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIVApocalypse'', the Celtic demon Dagda takes the cynical side in a SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism argument between him and Danu. Problem is that the The game is dead-set of portraying him as wrong, setting him out as a stubborn, cynical jerk, often compared to a rebellious edgy teenager in a phase, who's just lashing out against the world and puts the player [[YouBastard as a bastard]] for daring to side with him. However to anyone who is even remotely familiar with the series meta-physics, [[StrawmanHasAPoint he makes the stronger argument]] in contrast to Danu, who seems completely blind to how their universe works.him.
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