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Unclear Description: Badass Native get usage counts

 1 lu 127, Sun, 18th Mar '12 6:06:29 AM from the Forest of Thorns Relationship Status: Loves me...loves me not
As part of our Special Efforts thread.

Badass Native is one of those tropes where the problem is spotted, but I'm not too sure about the solution. The problems with this trope are the following:

It may be a stereotypical type of badass, but the description has a bunch of unrelated characteristics tacked on. If all of them were to actually apply, then it is not a Badass trope, but rather, a stock stereotype about natives.

The way the description is written, there is no clear distinction whether it has to do with a person, or a group of people in general. Does it have to do with powerful natives, or just one person in a cast of otherwise non-natives who is badass-er than them? No clue.

Lastly, the page appears to indulge in Zero Context Examples, or examples that are unclear.

As a reminder:

  • Tropes are just listings of characters people thing are badass who happen to have a certain trait. (The Badass + Trait Problem)
  • Badass X as a naming scheme is actually very vague and doesn't give a lot of insight into what the character trope actually is, assuming it is a trope.
  • Badass X as a naming scheme proliferates the use of Badass + Trait 'tropes'.

We are trying to rectify [up].

Usage counts:

Badass Native found in: 62 articles, excluding discussions.

Since January 1, 2011 this article has brought 52 people to the wiki from non-search engine links.

So, any ideas how to clear this murky trope up?

edited 18th Mar '12 6:08:42 AM by lu127

小さく揺れた向日葵
The core of the trope is the first paragraph. Everything after that is poorly organized window dressing.

  • Indigenous people tend to be, well, poor. Indigenous people also have a tradition of war, unlike the rest of the world. So of course they're badasses. No matter what era, you're in, if you live in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, or Australia, indigenous people will be badasses. Rarely seen in the rest of the world, though. The American version of the Badass Native has costuming and prop elements as well. Note that this is Always Male, will often be magical. Overlap with Noble Savage.

What the trope really seems to be saying is that certain "Native" tribes have a tendency to be depicted as a Proud Warrior Race who can easily walk all over the sissified civilized people from Europe and such. The only reason the latter types of people ever win is because of superior technology, which is almost regarded as "cheating".

It is a lot like the Magical Native American and Noble Savage idea, where "primitive" peoples are seen as being somehow more in touch with nature, honour, mysticism, and all the other natural and manly virtues instead of being corrupted by technology and civilization.

Yeah, I agree. It's not so much a badass trope as saying that natives tend to be badasses. It's more describing a group than a person.

Not An Avatar
I think we should keep it, but take the "Badass" out of it. There's a valid trope about the romanticized Noble Savage being a capable, supercompetent Proud Warrior Race Guy.
We're not just men of science, we're men of TROPE!
Is there something not covered by those two?
Becky: Who are you? The Mysterious Stranger: An angel.
Huck: What's your name? The Mysterious Stranger: Satan.
I think it's related to Proud Warrior Race Guy in a way, but not Noble Savage. Noble Savage is about them being morally superior in some sense, where this trope (the way I perceive it, anyway) is more that natives are all badasses.

Edit: Well, it's related to Noble Savage, but they cover different stuff.

edited 18th Mar '12 10:44:35 PM by Arha

 7 Deboss, Sun, 18th Mar '12 9:11:20 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
Hm... that sounds related to Crazy Survivalist. Perhaps a Civilization Makes You Soft supertrope to fold in the various versions of this? You tend to have these in any instance of things that are on some kind of frontier, Native Americans just being one of the most recent. Also, I suspect it's related to Death World.
No, Crazy Survivalist is really something quite different. It is about media depictions of the survivalism movement.

 9 Deboss, Tue, 20th Mar '12 12:56:11 AM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
It's a view I've seen held by survivalists and a few other groups of people. The Granola Girl won't have it but some of the more hardcore "I hunt with nothing but a knife" types are likely to use.
 10 lu 127, Wed, 28th Mar '12 3:24:32 AM from the Forest of Thorns Relationship Status: Loves me...loves me not
Proud Warrior Race Guy has to do with a guy whose culture teaches that being a Blood Knight is a source of glory.

Noble Savage is a someone who is presented as morally superior among the rest of the savages.

In light of this, what does Badass Native cover?
小さく揺れた向日葵
[up]That Native Americans are, man for man, braver, tougher and better fighters than white people.

Cure Candy
I always thought that this was the "Badass Native American" who uses all the traditional tools garb and yada and kicks ass (occasionally guns too.)
 13 lu 127, Wed, 28th Mar '12 3:42:52 AM from the Forest of Thorns Relationship Status: Loves me...loves me not
In that case, if it's strictly a Native American trope, there should be no other races on that page.

Hmmm, do we have any other tropes pertaining the depiction of Native Americans in media? Methinks I'll take a trip to Lost and Found.

Oh, and should we rename this for clarity?
小さく揺れた向日葵
Cure Candy
We have Magical Native American which usually shows the spiritual side of Native American culture.

People like Natan in Shadow Hearts From The New World were the Badass Native American s that I was thinking about.

edited 28th Mar '12 3:47:13 AM by Raso

I forgot to mention that it also explicitly includes natives of Australia and New Zealand.

Also, there is something to be said for including groups that are a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to the various cultures mentioned on the page.

This is sorta kinda related to Rock Beats Laser, though the former is more about the technological contrast and this is more about a character/cultural stereotype.

edited 28th Mar '12 4:20:00 AM by Catbert

I don't think it's confined to any specific indigenous group. It's simply that if there is such a group, they're probably going to be badasses by default.

 17 lu 127, Mon, 23rd Apr '12 5:58:12 AM from the Forest of Thorns Relationship Status: Loves me...loves me not
So, do we want to take a stab on clarifying the description? Obviously, all the window dressing has to go, but any other modifications?
小さく揺れた向日葵
 18 ccoa, Thu, 24th May '12 9:12:03 AM from the Sleeping Giant
With Mod Hat On
Clocking due to lack of activity.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
 19 lu 127, Fri, 25th May '12 12:35:34 PM from the Forest of Thorns Relationship Status: Loves me...loves me not
For now, this is the only part of the description that looks relevant:

Indigenous people tend to be, well, poor. Indigenous people also have a tradition of war, unlike the rest of the world. So of course they're badasses. No matter what era, you're in, if you live in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, or Australia, indigenous people will be badasses. Rarely seen in the rest of the world, though. The American version of the Badass Native has costuming and prop elements as well. Note that this is Always Male, will often be magical. Overlap with Noble Savage.

Is there anything else we want to keep or modify?

小さく揺れた向日葵
That looks like the core of the trope to me. It's more about the culture than the specific individuals.

 21 lu 127, Thu, 31st May '12 9:47:57 AM from the Forest of Thorns Relationship Status: Loves me...loves me not
Ok, I chainsawed the fluffy description. Should we sort throigh the examples to see which fit or not?
小さく揺れた向日葵
Probably. Also, as a minor thing, shouldn't it be Badass Natives if the trope is about a group or culture rather than an individual?

 23 ccoa, Mon, 16th Jul '12 7:17:06 AM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
We still need to sort through the examples to make sure they all fit.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
 24 ccoa, Thu, 13th Sep '12 6:32:59 AM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
Still waiting on cleanup here.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
 25 lu 127, Sat, 15th Sep '12 6:16:05 AM from the Forest of Thorns Relationship Status: Loves me...loves me not
Well, I just pulled a bunch of ZCE to discussion, and there's plenty more.

Since this is evidently not a single character trope, do we want to rename it to Badass Natives? Or, preferrably, to something that doesn't include Badass at all?
小さく揺れた向日葵
Total posts: 29
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