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Not Tropeworthy: Ambiguously Brown get usage counts

man, i cant believe i missed a whole 2 pages of this debate.

but shimas basically been saying every i have/would have said in/since my last post
 
so we're in agreement i take it

a character that adds visual diversity without explicit ethnic/racial/cultural diversity including Fantasy Counter Part Cultures
 
 178 Native Jovian, Tue, 4th Dec '12 10:57:45 AM from Orlando, Florida
Io vs Jupiter
I don't see why Fantasy Counterpart Culture(s) count. The idea is that the character adds visual diversity without bringing in any cultural baggage, right? If they're part of a Fantasy Counterpart Culture, they do bring in baggage, so why would someone like Ganondorf (who has attached baggage) be an example?
 179 shimaspawn, Tue, 4th Dec '12 11:01:06 AM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
[up] His fantasy counterpart culture has the baggage of a real world culture with the names and serial numbers filed off. That is why he's NOT and example.

On the other hand, there are fantasy cultures that just get a name and a general appearance without really making them significantly culturally different from anyone else, or their cultural quirks aren't based on a real world culture. Those cultures are Ambiguously Brown.

A real example would be something like:

There are two kingdoms that share a border. They both have generic fantasy cultures with monarchies and peasants nothing really special about them. One kingdom has pale skinned people with fairer hair and eyes. One kingdom has dark skinned people with darker hair and eyes. Both kingdoms have names but because the cultures aren't really fleshed out, not being the point of the story, the dark skinned kingdom is Ambiguously Brown.

edited 4th Dec '12 11:06:28 AM by shimaspawn

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
 180 Native Jovian, Tue, 4th Dec '12 11:18:58 AM from Orlando, Florida
Io vs Jupiter
Oh, yeah, I managed to confuse myself, there.

I foresee problems, though. Take something like Avatar: The Last Airbender's Water Tribe. They're generally dark-skinned enough to qualify for Ambiguously Brown, and their culture is distinct enough not to be a complete Fantasy Counterpart Culture, but there are elements of them that are enough to get them listed on that page (they're at least superficially very similar to Eskimos). So would they count as Ambiguously Brown or not?
 181 shimaspawn, Tue, 4th Dec '12 11:21:34 AM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
[up] No, because they're mostly based of sort of generalised Eskimos. If you can identify what culture they're based off of, they aren't Ambiguously Brown.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
 182 Marq FJA, Tue, 4th Dec '12 11:25:15 AM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
What if this Fantasy Counterpart Culture was essentially a mix-and-match of certain traits from two or more real-life cultures, but is generally not identifiable as being mostly/primarily one of those cultures?
Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
 183 shimaspawn, Tue, 4th Dec '12 11:33:51 AM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
[up] Then it's Ambiguous what culture they'd be in real world terms. Thus they are Ambiguously Brown. It's not particularly complex.

Is it Ambiguous what real world culture they're supposed to be? Are they dark skinned? Then they're Ambiguously Brown.

edited 4th Dec '12 11:34:23 AM by shimaspawn

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
 184 Native Jovian, Tue, 4th Dec '12 12:49:53 PM from Orlando, Florida
Io vs Jupiter
I think it comes back down to the "cultural baggage" thing. The Water Tribe, for example, has Eskimo (Eskimian?) aesthetics, but it doesn't really color their culture at all (at least from what we see of it). So the end result is some brown-skinned individuals without any significant cultural baggage carried over, which is what Ambiguously Brown is apparently about, but since there's a Fantasy Counterpart Culture, it's disqualified? It's not entirely clear.

That's what I meant when I said I foresee difficulties.
 185 shimaspawn, Tue, 4th Dec '12 12:57:46 PM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
There are always fuzzy things. Water tribe culture does have a lot in common with Eskimo culture, but we see almost nothing of the tribes themselves. They've been largely devastated by the war and large parts of their culture lost as a result. That doesn't disqualify them from being a Fantasy Counterpart Culture. They still have one and only one specific Real World source. If they're a little beige, well, not every reflection of a real world culture is a deep one.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
 186 Another Duck, Tue, 4th Dec '12 1:06:46 PM from Stockholm Relationship Status: Chocolate!
No, the other one.
And that's taking two different patterns and claiming they're the same. They're superficially similar, but not similar in how they're treated.

edited 4th Dec '12 1:08:07 PM by AnotherDuck

Check out my fanfiction!
 187 Lomerell, Tue, 4th Dec '12 1:22:09 PM from North Carolina
Jason R. Peters
I've seen many people suggest this isn't a trope. There are two examples this trope calls to mind, neither one is animated.

First, the Seinfeld episode "The Wizard" in which Elaine suspects her boyfriend is black. He has marginally darker skin than "white" but much fairer skin than "black." He Ambiguously Brown, not too light, not too dark. But Seinfeld (as usual) is only lampshading and deconstructing a trope that appears elsewhere.

Consider the "party" scene underground in the Matrix sequels. We're so far in the future that there aren't "Australians" and "Africans"; everyone is from one place: Zion.

The genetics of skin coloring currently theorizes that fairer skin was developed at northern lattitutdes due to limited sun exposure, so why are people so dark in the underground/overcast world of the Matrix?

Simple: The Waichowskis wanted to demonstrate how multiethnic the celebratory HUMANITY of the future would be, complete with tribal music. The people aren't African or African-American or Mexican; they're Ambiguously Brown. Contrast these mostly-dark-skinned humans against the Merovingian and the Albinos(villains all), and even the ethnic makeup in the Merovingian's restaurant.

The latter example is debatable because it interprets the work, but Seinfeld offers the trope codifier of Ambiguously Brown to this troper, lampshading an existing trend in visual media: The brown character whose race you cannot tell.

edited 4th Dec '12 1:24:19 PM by Lomerell

Flower Fairy
So, again, are these the rules that make a character qualify for this trope, or are there other rules? I think putting down a rule sheet will make this trope a lot clearer.
Please help out our The History Of Video Games page.
 189 shimaspawn, Tue, 4th Dec '12 5:20:38 PM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
[up] Character or culture. Cultures can be Ambiguously Brown.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
Flower Fairy
Okay, revisal of rules to incorporate that[up]:

  • 1: The character or culture must have non-white features.
  • 2: The character or culture must have no real life racial stereotype (that would instead fall under Space Jews in the case of fantasy works).
  • 3: The character or culture must not have a stated real life nationality.
  • 4: The character or culture's nationality must not be based on a real life nationality (that would instead fall under Fantasy Counterpart Culture).

Should we have a crowner so that we can decide on which course of action to take?

edited 4th Dec '12 10:23:37 PM by WaxingName

Please help out our The History Of Video Games page.
I would alter number two to include "...or possesses a set of ambiguous stereotypes from multiple Real Life cultures".

 192 shimaspawn, Tue, 4th Dec '12 10:04:27 PM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
[up] If they possess a set of ambiguous stereotypes from multiple real world cultures, then they are an example. That would make point two very confusing.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
Flower Fairy
I've made a Page Action crowner, and I'm hollering to hook it.
Please help out our The History Of Video Games page.
Flower Fairy
*bump for votes*
Please help out our The History Of Video Games page.
Flower Fairy
Looks like it's ready to call.

Have all the examples been cleaned up?

edited 7th Dec '12 9:37:46 AM by WaxingName

Please help out our The History Of Video Games page.
 196 shimaspawn, Fri, 7th Dec '12 9:45:45 AM from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
Calling crowner. Add the rules. Do the clean up. And then we can lock this thing up.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
 197 Marq FJA, Fri, 7th Dec '12 12:19:33 PM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
And be sure to account for cases where Word of God or All There in the Manual says "if this character were a real person, he'd be Nationality X", even if the character's actual design and culture does not really indicate that (though perhaps s/he has personality traits that are considered stereotypical of that nationality).
Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
Are we still accepting real life/live action examples for the trope?
 
 199 Septimus Heap, Fri, 7th Dec '12 1:04:55 PM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
Live action, yes. I see no way to keep Real Life examples here, given the criteria.

Flower Fairy
I've zapped the Real Life folder.
Please help out our The History Of Video Games page.

Page Action: Ambiguously Brown
4th Dec '12 10:22:55 PM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
At issue:
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