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According to Square Peg Round Trope, "Humans Are Bastards is supposed to be about how humans are complete jerks and worse compared to other sentient species. Humans being horrible people in general does not count as this trope. " I'd imagine that there's been some misuse of the trope term in the past, but taking a casual look at examples that are on the page now, it would appear that this trope is as unwieldy as ever. Several examples on the page have nothing to do with another sentient race of people viewing human actions as being evil, the trope's original function, and are just examples of human characters doing bad things to each other. Some examples only try to apply the trope to a single human character in a story that only features humans interacting with each other. Misattributed examples include:
edited 9th Sep '10 8:53:09 PM by SeanMurrayI
I'd also want to point out that a related trope page like Aliens Are Bastards has a notice, "This trope does not apply to animalistic aliens without intellect. Violent as they are, they aren't knowingly being bastards." Strangely, anything resembling a notice like that has been absent when describing how human actions qualify as bastardry, especially when Humans Are Bastards is overlapping with things that are already filed under Humans Are Morons for no clear reason.
edited 9th Sep '10 8:36:42 PM by SeanMurrayI
As you've noticed, I kinda pointed out this problem before. I'm not sure if simply cleaning it up will fix the problem of the trope itself being confusing. I think something needs to change, but I don't really have any ideas of how to fix this.
rationally insaneIs there a "people are inherently evil" trope? Crapsack World doesn't seem to quite cover it, since it's about more than than just human behavior and because there are also occasionally good people - they're just in the minority. I must confess I've misused this one myself. The title doesn't help — humans are considered the "default" species so if they're the only ones mentioned, it's not clear that they're actually being contrasted with the behavior of other beings.
...it's not clear that they're actually being contrasted with the behavior of other beings.Right near the top of the page description: "When compared to other civilizations, or another species, Humans are a bunch of bastards. They are all greedy, heartless, violent, cruel, selfish, egotistical, thoughtless, and in extreme cases, evil, as opposed to the other species, which will be better if not far superior: they are all peaceful, live in harmony with nature, are naturally good, floss after every meal, etc. Ironically the species in question almost always looks and acts just like humans anyway." After that paragraph though, the description does appear to warp at the edges.
rationally insaneRight, but I'm talking about the title. From what I've seen most trope misuse seems to come from an ambiguous title and Humans Are Bastards is kinda ambiguous in that regard. Humans Are The Bastard Species might be clearer.
Personally, I'd like to try to salvage the current title as is, if at all possible. If we can just work to clean up the misattributed wicks and buff up the description to enforce the trope's true purpose, it should be in a decent shape.
Well, hopefully anyways. I won't be opposed to that course of action.
rationally insaneWell then again I'd ask if there is a trope that means essentially what people seem to think Humans Are Bastards means — that humans default to evil, but not that humans in particular default to it where other races live in sacred holy harmony with nature. If so, the article should point people in that direction if that's the trope they're thinking of. If it doesn't exist, one could be made — and I'd suggest Rousseau Was Wrong, which currently exists as a redirect for THIS trope, which seems pretty misleading in and of itself. Okay so granted I don't know all that much about the guy's philosophy, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't "humans rule, other species drool."
edited 9th Sep '10 9:26:39 PM by Tyoria
Basically, the purpose of Humans Are Bastards is that, when other sentient life forms enter the picture, we're the bad guys. A lot of what some people are confusing it for, however, is something more like, People Are Evil To Each Other, and I'm not really sure if that can actually be a trope. Incorrect examples where humans are bastards in stories that are just about humans should be treated individually and categorized as whatever already existing tropes best fit it (be it Magnificent Bastard, Neutral Evil, Tested On Humans, or whatever other Evil Tropes work best).
edited 9th Sep '10 10:04:46 PM by SeanMurrayI
A lot of what some people are confusing it for, however, is something more like, People Are Evil To Each Other, and I'm not really sure if that can actually be a trope. Incorrect examples where humans are bastards in stories that are just about humans should be treated individually and categorized as whatever already existing tropes best fit it (be it Magnificent Bastard, Neutral Evil, Tested On Humans, or whatever other Evil Tropes work best).ISTM that the misuse of the trope is more along the lines of "people's basic instinct is to be evil, unless they have the strength of will to fight against it" which is definitely tropable seeing as there are several real-life philosophies that take that stance. Calvin Was Right, if you will. Although people would probably confuse that for another Calvin...
edited 10th Sep '10 11:54:17 PM by Tyoria
The Demon SlayerI'm also in favor of splitting this trope, being that there is definitely a trope in humans being evil in nature in regards to their dealings with each other (it's a hallmark of the cynical side of the Sliding Scale). Perhaps use Humans Are Bastards for that trope and use Humans Are The Enemy, Humans Are Bad Guys or some other name for humans being bastards to other species.
edited 11th Sep '10 3:26:58 AM by TwoGunAngel
rationally insaneWell, the other thread dealing with Humans Are Good / Rousseau Was Right seems to becoming down on the definition that Humans Are Good means humans > aliens while Rousseau Was Right means people (not necessarily exclusively human) are good by nature and only made evil by their environment. So if we were to split the trope it would probably be better to keep Humans Are Bastards as it is (humans < aliens) and make up a new name for "people are intrinsically nasty to each other, far more than the reverse." That way Humans Are Bastards and Humans Are Good are diametric opposites.
AXTE INCAL AXTUCE MUNJohn Calvin (or at least his followers) referred to the idea of humans being intrinsically bad as Total Depravity, which might make a good title. Or could just be confused with Complete Monster.
The Other TroperYeah, Humans Are Bastards does look like what it's been misused for. This should have a name that makes it clear there are other species for comparison.
I'm on the internet. My arguments are invalid.
If it comes down to renaming Humans Are Bastards, I feel Humans Are The Bad Guys or Humanity Is The Evil Race could make the original trope's focus better understood. Also, what does anyone think should become of the Humans Are Misguided concept on the page? It doesn't really fit with the trope's theme all too well, and most examples on the page that are considered this just sound more like something to file under Humans Are Morons, anyway.
PendingHobbes talked about the natural state of society being a war of all against all, with only the state preventing people from slaughtering each other at whim, so he's the obvious contrast with Rousseau, if he's well known enough - Hobbes Was Right. If we want more obvious names, how about Humans Default To Evil and Humans Default To Good? Since which is actually true is one of the dividing lines between left and right, the real life section of these tropes will definitely need watching.
Cattle die, kinsmen die. You yourself will surely die. Only word-fame dies not, for one who well achieves it.
Hobbes Was Right could possibly be retooled to better reflect what robert is getting at, as it's currently written up like an addendum of Democracy Is Bad, anyway.
edited 11th Sep '10 10:15:02 AM by SeanMurrayI
One this to note is that the Humans Are tropes are supposed to be about how Humans measure up to other species. At least, that's the impression I get.
Indeed, the Humans Are Indexed index is part of Speculative Fiction Tropes.
I see the Awesomeness.Would People Are Asssholes work better as a title since it simply uses the generic "people" instead of the species equivalent human?
That's it... Humans Are Bastards should be split; make one trope Humans Are The Villains and another People Are Bastards.
^^First of all, the word "Assholes" immediately rules that one out as an option as we try to avoid using swear words in titles. Second, examples don't define a trope.
edited 11th Sep '10 6:03:48 PM by SeanMurrayI
rationally insaneHumans Are Misguided sounds like Humans Are Flawed, to me. For the sake of simplicity I would suggest keeping the title Humans Are Bastards for now, since we can change it later once all the definitions have been ironed out. Repurposing Hobbes Was Right to be Rousseau Was Right's antithesis sounds like a good idea to me too.
edited 11th Sep '10 9:24:00 PM by Tyoria
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