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:
- Vandread. Take much of the below and combine it. Then they started sending out fleets of killer robots to harvest their own colonists on other worlds for their organs; in the case of the protagonists, their reproductive ones. Note that the main characters are human as well, though, just a few generations removed.
- Ga-Rei -Zero- shows how cruel humans can be to others. After losing her inheritance,her father,as well as being branded a kin-slayer—doomed to a hospital bed for life unable to speak or move; the first thing Yomi's fiancee's father did was to cancel his son's engagement. This trope can also be said about Mitogawa, who enjoyed wrecking the lives of others just for the sake of resurrecting his mother.
- The eponymous Doctor Horrible laments that most humans are sheep and can't think for themselves. Obviously, only a complete overhaul of the system can fix this problem. Captain Hammer really only exemplifies this trope.
- The events of Being John Malkovich pretty much require this to be universally true.
- Battle Royale shows that both teenagers and adults can be horrible. The premise is that to keep kids in school, the government kidnaps entire classes of kids and turns their lives into a game: Kill or be killed. The last student of about 40 to survive is allowed to leave the island and be free. While the adults are the ones that begin this contest and do nothing to stop it, many of the teenagers that are put in the situation enjoy it and go on killing sprees against their prior classmates.
Additionally, there are some examples which seem to exist in a GRAY AREA
that have nothing to do with how other sentient species view humans but feature very cynical human characters expressing sentiments which reflect this trope. Personally, I think they're worthy enough to stay on this page, but I think it's worth discussing this one over because it doesn't exactly fit the trope description on a technicality.
Such examples include:
- In Stephen King's The Cell one character described humans thusly "At the bottom, you see, we are not Homo sapiens at all. Our core is madness. The prime directive is murder. What Darwin was too polite to say, my friends, is that we came to rule the earth not because we were the smartest, or even the meanest, but because we have always been the craziest, most murderous motherfuckers in the jungle."
- In The Punisher one-shot "The End," Frank Castle's last surviving act in the wake of a catastrophic nuclear war is to wipe out the architects behind said war - the only known surviving humans in the world. After killing them, he explains his actions simply by saying "The human race. You've seen what that leads to."
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal had a particularly good example as to why Humans Are Bastards
Lastly, there's this odd Humans Are Misguided
concept that has been shoehorned onto the page, claiming to be a related concept with this trope, but most of the examples described as such are credited to things like human ignorance and stupidity, which would make these examples much more at home on the Humans Are Morons
or Hanlon's Razor
pages. In fact, a few of these already appear on one page or the other.
- Finding Nemo takes the misguided point of view. The dentist believes that he has rescued the lame Nemo from the dangers of the reef rather than separating him from his father, and the main antagonist is a slightly hyperactive little girl who simply doesn't realize that if she shakes the bag too hard she'll kill the little fish inside. It's clearly ignorance rather than malice. (In addition to potholing Hanlon's Razor in the description, this one appears on the Humans Are Morons page and is filed under Humans Are Morons on its work page)
- Fraggle Rock stands dedicatedly on the "humans are misguided" side. Uncle Traveling Matt quickly dubs us "the Silly Creatures", which really says it all. On the few occasions Doc threatened the Five Races, he did so without realizing it (shutting down the pipes in his house shuts down the water supply for the Fraggles, Doozers, and Gorgs). When he finally meets Gobo face-to-face, he's careful to take this sort of thing into consideration.
- Most behaviors that Traveling Matt observed in humans weren't silly at all — not even, in many cases, the way he misinterpreted them. For example, he thought paperboys fed hungry houses. The main exception is that when humans noticed him, they apparently mistook him for one of them. (None of this has anything to do with humans being bastards)
- Several examples including Hellboy II and The Day the Earth Stood Still (both the original AND the remake) have nattery responses insisting that all of these attribute human actions to things other than willful malice and knowingly causing harm, citing both Humans Are Morons and Hanlon's Razor.
edited 9th Sep '10 8:53:09 PM by SeanMurrayI