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Needs Cleaning Up: Humans Are Bastards get usage counts

 276 Xtifr, Fri, 26th Aug '11 2:16:15 PM Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
[up]I completely agree that what you're calling "the worst form of misuse" is irretrievable misuse, but I think Tyoria's comment, which you quoted, is an excellent start on defining the trope. Die Hard would not be an example at all, since most of the people in that are victims or the ineffectual cops or simply bystanders.

[down] That too. There's a horde of reasons why Die Hard wouldn't qualify! :)

edited 26th Aug '11 2:50:49 PM by Xtifr

"Existential Despair" is an oxymoron.
No, Die Hard wouldn't be an example because the work simply never brings up any issues about human nature. Again, any real examples of a new trope here would only come from works that clearly invoke the subject of human nature itself.

edited 26th Aug '11 2:39:18 PM by SeanMurrayI

 278 Tyoria, Tue, 30th Aug '11 12:48:07 PM from Portland, Oregon
rationally insane
Bumping. Can I get any feedback on the sandbox page? Good, bad, needs work?

 279 Xtifr, Tue, 30th Aug '11 1:01:48 PM Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
[up]Looks good to me. That's exactly what I had in mind.
"Existential Despair" is an oxymoron.
 280 Native Jovian, Tue, 30th Aug '11 4:46:03 PM from Orlando, Florida
Io vs Jupiter
So how is that definition any different from "very far on the cynical end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism"?

edited 30th Aug '11 4:46:13 PM by NativeJovian

 281 Tyoria, Tue, 30th Aug '11 6:12:17 PM from Portland, Oregon
rationally insane
Is Rousseau Was Right identical to "very far on the idealistic side of the Sliding Scale"?

Humans Are Bastards, Rousseau Was Right and all related tropes explain why any given work is on the sliding scale. Humans Are Bastards is a cynical concept, as is Good Is Old-Fashioned, Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!, and many others. That doesn't make them redundant to the scale.

Besides which, none of the sliding scales are actually present within any single work, unless the work shifts noticeably from one end to the other (e.g. Cerebus Syndrome and the Sliding Scale of Seriousness Versus Silliness). It's a comparison to other works. Humans Are Bastards applies within the work itself.

edited 30th Aug '11 6:18:00 PM by Tyoria

 282 Tyoria, Thu, 1st Sep '11 3:11:39 AM from Portland, Oregon
rationally insane
I think we made need to alter/sandbox the current Humans Are Bastards to Terrans Are Bastards, as well. Query: should it be considered a subtrope, related trope, etc.?

edited 1st Sep '11 3:11:52 AM by Tyoria

 283 Xtifr, Thu, 1st Sep '11 2:34:22 PM Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
I thought the current version was Terrans Are Bastards. What alteration is needed?

I agree that there's absolutely nothing wrong with having tropes defining either end of a sliding scale, especially when we already have a trope at one end.

I sometimes get the feeling that some people think misuse is something that should be punished, rather than an indication that we have a problem which needs to be fixed. At least, I'm having a hard time figuring out any other reason for some of the opposition to the obvious and popular top choice we have here. We have a solid writeup of a clear trope that fits a good percentage of the misuse, and clearly fills a missing place in our collection of tropes.
"Existential Despair" is an oxymoron.
Ecce Homo Superior
[up]I agree. I don't think we need a trope for "all people are bastards" that isn't already covered by other tropes.
(it's David Bowie)
 285 Xtifr, Fri, 2nd Sep '11 1:57:38 AM Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
[up]huh? sounds like you're disagreeing with me. We do need another trope for the other end of the sliding scale, since it's silly to have a trope for one end and not the other. We don't need a new trope for Terrans Are Bastards, because the trope currently named Humans Are Bastards works for that, but we do need the new Humans Are Bastards trope to counterbalance Rousseau Was Right.

If you think there's another trope that covers the opposite of Rousseau Was Right, what is it?

edit: the writeup I was referring to in my previous post was Tyoria's Sandbox.Humans Are Bastards, which isn't a trope yet.

edited 2nd Sep '11 2:02:13 AM by Xtifr

"Existential Despair" is an oxymoron.
Ecce Homo Superior
OK, I apologise. I misunderstood. My opinion is that "most to all people are bastards" is covered by Crapsack World and... related tropes (too lazy to look it up). Anyway, as others have pointed out before me, even the most cynical works usually have one or two good guys who aren't bastards.

But this trope is such a thorny issue, I don't even know where I stand on it. I'll withdraw now.
(it's David Bowie)
 287 Tyoria, Fri, 2nd Sep '11 1:36:52 PM from Portland, Oregon
rationally insane
What a meant was there are a couple of lines in the current Humans Are Bastards page that seem better suited to the new one, such as the line about how some people think humans are bastards like the Nietzsche Wannabe. A human who thought Terrans were bastards, but only Terrans, would be more like My Species Doth Protest Too Much.

...but we do need the new Humans Are Bastards trope to counterbalance Rousseau Was Right.

Only Rousseau Was Right already has a thematic counterbalance: Hobbes Was Right.

What a meant was there are a couple of lines in the current Humans Are Bastards page that seem better suited to the new one, such as the line about how some people think humans are bastards like the Nietzsche Wannabe.

Except the Nietzsche Wannabe doesn't believe humans are bastards, so that line would be wrong, anyway.

If anything, a Nietzsche Wannabe would believe that humans are worthless, and if anybody involved were a bastard, it be the Nietzsche Wannabe, seeing that one would view morality as pointless and meaningless.

edited 2nd Sep '11 2:42:10 PM by SeanMurrayI

 289 Tyoria, Fri, 2nd Sep '11 2:48:01 PM from Portland, Oregon
rationally insane
Hobbes Was Right is subtrope. Humans Are Bastards, therefore, the only effective form of government is tyranny.

A work that believes Humans Are Bastards doesn't necessarily believe any government is effective, and may not get into the subject of government at all. Much like the Rousseau Was Right page doesn't get into government either.

(Ironically, I just noticed that the Hobbes Was Right page is one of the many that refers to Humans Are Bastards in the form that we're proposing it be used here, clearly distinguishing it from said trope.)

I see your point about the Nietzsche Wannabe, although that still means it needs to be corrected.

edited 2nd Sep '11 2:58:15 PM by Tyoria

By virtue, Rousseau Was Right would be a subtrope of Humans Are Good. But again, how does this explain or justify a "need" for a trope to counterbalance Rousseau Was Right when it already would appear to have it's own a contrasting, directly related trope?

Even if there is room for some greater "counterbalance" here, I'm not sure if the sandbox article is a step in the right direction. The current write-up isn't so much a description of a stand-alone concept but a combination of details from Hobbes Was Right, Black and Gray Morality, Gray and Gray Morality, and Crapsack World rolled into one (and not in a way that I think is beneficial to these pages by themselves).

And the mention of Nietzsche Wannabe on the current Humans Are Bastards page has been corrected.

EDIT: Another thing that just dawned on me—where does In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves fit in with all this? If anything, I'd envision a "general" Humans Are Bastards page to be a lot more like this.

edited 2nd Sep '11 3:29:45 PM by SeanMurrayI

 291 Tyoria, Fri, 2nd Sep '11 3:34:29 PM from Portland, Oregon
rationally insane
Humans Are Good means humans are good compared to other species. Terrans Are Good, in other words.

ut again, how does this explain or justify a "need" for a trope to counterbalance Rousseau Was Right when it already would appear to have it's own a contrasting, directly related trope?

Because Rousseau Was Right does not have a "contrasting, directly related trope." "The natural inclination of humanity is towards goodness" is not the direct opposite of "the best form of government is tyranny."

The current write-up isn't so much a description of a stand-alone concept but a combination of details from Hobbes Was Right, Black and Gray Morality, Gray And Gray Morality, and Crapsack World rolled into one (and not in a way that I think is beneficial to these pages by themselves).

I tend to think "the nature of humanity is inclined towards selfishness and apathy" is distinguishable enough on its own. That other tropes would overlap it does not diminish its validity. Black and Gray Morality does not say anything about the basic nature of humanity, it refers to the nature of conflict within a setting (which may well be a result of the nature of humanity, but not necessarily). Crapsack World means the world is a rotten place to live, but does not assert that is the only possible condition, or that it must be that way because humanity's basic inclination is to evil. Again, that may be the reason the world is Crapsack.

Crapsack World is the nature of setting. Black and Gray Morality (and all other moralities) are the nature of the conflict. Humans Are Bastards is the nature of the theme. You can have Humans Are Bastards as a theme without needing a Crapsack World setting (though it is convenient), or without setting them against people as evil or eviller than they are. Maybe humans are bastards because they're raping the planet and sowing the seeds of their own destruction.

EDIT: Another thing that just dawned on me—where does In Your Nature To Destroy Yourselves fit in with all this? If anything, I'd envision a "general" Humans Are Bastards page to be a lot more like this.

Humans need not destroy themselves in order to be bastards. Having it in our nature to destroy ourselves does not mean we are bastards either — it could just be tragic. I was recently reading one of the Xenogenesis books which postulated it was in our nature to destroy ourselves, but not because we were inherently bastards. We just couldn't reconcile two basic parts of our nature. Then a bunch of aliens came in and "saved" us. Sorta.

edited 2nd Sep '11 3:43:35 PM by Tyoria

 292 Cider, Wed, 14th Sep '11 6:32:54 PM from Not New York Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
The Final ECW Champion
I say narrow the definition. It should only count if another species calls humans bastards, or another species is argued to be morally superior to humanity. If humans are bad in the setting but no point is brought up it shouldn't count. If the aliens/orcs are hate people but don't state it's because of their bastard behavior then it doesn't count.

This whole Planet of Hats thing needs to go. If that's a hat for humanity in a setting, then leave it on Planet of hats, otherwise this should only be about other species of comparable intelligence calling human bastards and situations along those lines. Tropes Are Flexible but not enough for overlapping definitions to make another Ridiculously Similar Trope.

edited 14th Sep '11 6:33:24 PM by Cider

Modified Ura-nage, Torture Rack
How is this a Ridiculously Similar Trope to Planet of Hats? At worst, all we have is a Subtrope, and that's not a problem for us at all.

Just because we have Planet of Hats does not mean we cannot make tropes out of individual hats that can be commonly observed in fiction and media.
 294 Cider, Wed, 14th Sep '11 8:57:06 PM from Not New York Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
The Final ECW Champion
Because people are using it as an excuse not to include other species so long as humans defining trait in the series is bastardy...that would be Rousseau Was Wrong but that's not what the trope is about, the very redirect is wrong.

This is supposed to be about other species calling human bastards, it doesn't matter if humanity actually has War, Xenophobia or any other bastardry as its hat so long as the Aliens/Animals/Robots/Orcs think they do. If it really is humanities hat then it should go on planet of hats. Shoehorning a hat into this trope is another symptom of its decay.
Modified Ura-nage, Torture Rack
Because people are using it as an excuse not to include other species so long as humans defining trait in the series is bastardy...

What people? Where is the trope being used to deny non-human species from being listed in examples? Why should non-humans not be denied when the trope in question is so explicitly called Humans Are Bastards (unless it's an Inverted Trope)? Is Aliens Are Bastards somehow not good enough for those non-human examples?

If it really is humanities hat then it should go on planet of hats. Shoehorning a hat into this trope is another symptom of its decay.

Even in the event that Humans Are Bastards is made the basis of a Planet of Hats (which it doesn't necessarily have to be, anyway), such a work would still contain elements of the Humans Are Bastards trope that would be significant enough to get it listed on the Humans Are Bastards page. After all, just because a Criminal Doppelgänger can usually be referred to as an Identical Stranger doesn't mean we suddenly cease adding examples to Criminal Doppelgänger and move everything over to Identical Stranger; that's just not how categorizing things works (at least, not when we acknowledge things like Subtropes and Supertropes).

Are there any examples of this "shoehorning" that you could point out here to help explain how it contributes to the trope's decay? Whatever it is you're describing here, I'm just not seeing it on my own.

edited 14th Sep '11 10:13:14 PM by SeanMurrayI

 296 Cider, Wed, 14th Sep '11 10:19:52 PM from Not New York Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
The Final ECW Champion
Two examples.
  • In Warehouse 13 H.G Wells becomes of this opinion after her daughter dies and she Bronzes herself to go to the future which she hoped would be a better world but is disapointed to find out that humanity has gotten worse and tries to destroy the world becasue she believes humanity is that bad.
  • It is heavily implied in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker that most humans are part of this trope: The big bad, Hot Coldman, has a tatoo on the back of his head depicting a wolfman holding a peace symbol that also has the phrase "Homo Homini Lupus", A Latin phrase that translates to "Man is a wolf to [his fellow] man." Which is a phrase meant to be the ultimate depiction of the trope, and he either believes all humans are like this, or is meant to show how much he himself fits that phrase. In addition, Paz's true beliefs in peace are that she doesn't believe in it, as humans are naturally going to be absolute jerks to each other and battle each other, and even in her peace-loving teenage ambassador act, she states that Peace is an unnatural state for humans.

cut of coarse but there is still more in the page's viewable history.

The basis of this trope was never supposed to be about hats anyway, it was supposed to be about other sentient species declaring, or argued to be to be superior to humanity. Planet of hats? It was more related to Cultural Posturing, Can't Argue with Elves, Screw You, Elves!, Ape Shall Never Kill Ape, or Moral Myopia. That it has now shifted to a planet of hats sub trope is part of the decay here.

edited 14th Sep '11 10:23:20 PM by Cider

Modified Ura-nage, Torture Rack
it was supposed to be about other sentient species declaring, or argued to be to be superior to humanity.

No, the trope is supposed to be about other sentient species viewing humans as, or believing humans to be, bastards and their reasons for holding such an opinion, hence the title, Humans Are Bastards—not Aliens Are Superior.

That does not mean, however, that Humans Are Bastards cannot be reflected in a depiction of Earth and/or human culture that is only distinguished by this one characteristic. These two tropes aren't even exclusive to each other; they can exist together in a single work so none of this is even a problem. Again, Humans Are Bastards only holds potential to be humanity's hat in a work or story; it doesn't have to be humanity's hat and nowhere has this matter "shifted" to become the trope's main focus.

The two examples you give don't even have anything to do with anything you are currently arguing about. Planet of Hats doesn't even play a role (let alone get "shoehorned") in either one of these examples. If anything, the examples provided could be better argued for contributing to decay for not involving a non-human perspective of humanity, which you yourself even say should be integral to this trope.

edited 14th Sep '11 10:50:31 PM by SeanMurrayI

 298 Xtifr, Thu, 15th Sep '11 12:19:17 PM Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
Getting a little off-topic here. The trope as currently defined is supposed to be about aliens' view of humanity, but the leading proposition on the crowner is to transplant the trope to match the misuse. Whether that misuse came because of the name (as I suspect) or because of bad examples/description seems a bit irrelevant. (Both were probably a factor, but I think the name was the main one.) The main question we have at this point is: is Tyoria's Sandbox.Humans Are Bastards worth the transplant? Detailed sub-questions are:

  • is it different from Crapsack World?
    • I think the answer is unequivocally yes; it's about humans, not the world, and neither implies nor requires the other, even if they do frequently overlap.
  • is it different from Hobbes Was Right?
    • I think the answer is clearly: they're not even close.
  • do we need a trope to cover the far end of Sliding Scale of Cynicism vs. Idealism?
    • We already have a trope for the other end, so why not? Also, sliding scales make for poor examples. Having tropes to mark the end points makes life easier.
  • already covered by other other tropes.
    • Nobody has given any specific examples aside from Crapsack World covered above, so this comes down to special pleading unless someone wants to stop being "too lazy to look it up" (a direct quote from above) and actually find these hypothetical other tropes.
  • We don't need it.
    • Massive use throughout the wiki suggests otherwise.
  • It's not a trope.
  • this won't address all the misuse.
    • No, sadly, nothing will do that, because a lot of the misuse isn't tropeable. This should address enough of the misuse to help quite a bit, though.
  • one or two humans may be an exception in many cases
  • Crapsack World covers all possible examples.
    • Not necessarily true in the case of a farce or comedy, and in any case, that would just mean that Crapsack World is a supertrope. This would still be a perfectly valid subtrope.

Did I miss any points?

edit: Note that if another trope is found that does cover this, then we could make Humans Are Bastards a redirect to that trope, and use Terrans Are Bastards for the current trope. Bottom line, though: I think having a trope that matches a lot of the misuse will be so helpful to the cleanup efforts that it's worth having one even if it is arguably borderline. I think the only reason for rejecting it would be that it's unquestionably unacceptable.

edited 15th Sep '11 2:27:30 PM by Xtifr

"Existential Despair" is an oxymoron.
it's about humans, not the world, and neither implies nor requires the other, even if they do frequently overlap.

The very first sentence of Crapsack World describes "a horrible place to live in" where the world's inhabitants "perpetuate that nastiness against each other". Given all one camp is looking to trope here is "people perpetuating nastiness against each other", anyway, I'd still argue that that very detail is already covered by an existing trope.

Ultimately, the differences between "a crappy world to be in" and "crappy people populate a world" are so minimal and indistinguishable (in the end, both these concepts could describe the same exact thing) that it would be much easier to lump them together, rather than keep them separate. These concepts don't merely "frequently overlap"; the latter idea completely embodies the former.

edited 15th Sep '11 1:57:39 PM by SeanMurrayI

 300 Xtifr, Thu, 15th Sep '11 2:25:25 PM Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
[up]That argument seems to boil down to: it's a subtrope of Crapsack World. I don't agree (though I suspect that any counter-examples would be farce, and only justified by Rule of Funny), but even if I accept that it's a subtrope, that doesn't make it not a perfectly valid subtrope. Not all Crapsack Worlds have "people are bastards" as part of their premise. Sometimes, it's just ordinary people trying to get along in a world turned to crap.

edit: added it to my list.

edited 15th Sep '11 2:28:28 PM by Xtifr

"Existential Despair" is an oxymoron.

Alternative Titles: Humans Are Bastards
24th Feb '12 7:38:44 AM
Vote up names you like, vote down names you don't. Whether or not the title will actually be changed is determined with a different kind of crowner (the Single Proposition crowner). This one just collects and ranks alternative titles.
At issue:
What do we rename Humans Are Bastards, the trope meaning "humans are bastards compared to other sapient species"?
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