Created By: 84788484 on April 4, 2012 Last Edited By: 84788484 on April 4, 2012

Token Strawman

A strawman of the writer's own side is included, but this Strawman Has A Point.

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Sometimes, in the course of waging The War on Straw, a writer realizes that they may have gotten a little too Anvilicious for their own taste. Rather than tone down the many strawmen they've already built, however, they decide to add a strawman version of their own beliefs; this way they can claim that the work is "fair, since it targets everybody!" Handled sincerely and very, very well, this attempt can actually work. More often, however, it comes off as a halfhearted attempt to avoid criticism for having a severe case of ideological Writer on Board.

The Token Strawman can be identified in a variety of ways:

They are still much more reasonable and sensible than their opponent. While they may occasionally overreact or take things too far, they will still have a higher moral standard and ultimately prove to be on the right side of things. They may have a few jokes made at their expense along the way, but at the end of the day they're standing proud. They'll also often forgive their opponent for the argument, proving they're the bigger person.

Conversely, they may be extremely and ridiculously more far-out than their opponent, beyond any possible belief that they're intended to reflect on actual people. While the opponent strawman could be seen as "this is what ______ actually believes", the token strawman is obviously pure comedy. (Strawman A: "I vote we end subsidies for Brand X, and let people who can't afford it go without! They're a drain on the system anyway!" Strawman B: "MANDATORY FREE INJECTIONS OF BRAND X INTO EVERYONE'S VEINS ALL THE TIME TWENTY-FOUR SEVEN FOREVERRRRRRR!")
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  • April 4, 2012
    So, neither token nor strawmen?