Main Clueless Aesop Discussion

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11:05:08 AM Mar 28th 2016
  • The (in)famous episode of Arthur called "Arthur's Big Hit." Ideally, the moral of the story was supposed to be "violence won't solve your problems." Instead, the story went out of its way to make Arthur the bad guy. What makes it even worse is that D.W. never got punished. Arthur spent a week making a model plane, and DW not only ruins the wet paint, then blames it on Arthur, but she then throws his plane out the window, after he specifically told her not to touch it. She's not even sorry that it broke, blaming the plane for being defective because it didn't fly. Arthur hits D.W. in retribution, but gets all the blame. Her punishment could have happened off-screen, but all the viewer is shown is their parents saying that they'll deal with her, only for them to let it slide completely while Arthur is punished for the whole rest of the episode.
Doesn't seem like Inept Aesop to me. Anvilicious yes, but not clueless. Kids willing to take advice from show like this probably won't be typical bullies punching others For the Evulz. If there were to punch someone it would be in emotions, like in episode in question. We have an act, bad portrayal of an act and why it's bad(it hurts). The point of an Aesop is that just because you don't like what someone did doesn't mean you can just punch them. You may or may not agree with it, but that doesn't qualify it here.
09:11:10 AM Dec 3rd 2015
Does anyone know where the page image comes from? It's actually pretty good, but I'd like to know the source.
06:47:10 PM Dec 3rd 2015
An image search suggests that it's from Mario Quiz Cards
07:00:11 PM Dec 3rd 2015
Here's the card in question if you're curious.
02:02:26 PM Jun 17th 2014
Should it be mentioned that The Incredibles example is a little off? It says that Dash loses the race at the end. What actually happens is that he starts using his powers to easily outstrip his competition. His parents yell because he's risking exposing his powers. He slows down to - quoting what he said earlier in the film - "be the best by a tiny bit"
01:08:48 PM May 2nd 2014
edited by ading
I've never seen the show in question, but this example seems dubious:

  • Highway To Heaven has many clueless Aesops:
    • Trust in God? No, an angel will do whatever you need.
    • Always do what God says? No, the angel breaks the rules whenever he sees fit, sometimes without remorse.
    • Be yourself? Sometimes, but not if you're fat. If you're fat, you need to lose weight so people will like you.
    • Avoid violence? No, take up for yourself, even if it's for something trivial, like a stolen sandwich.
    • Gambling is bad? Only if you haven't rigged the results for yourself (appears in numerous episodes).
    • Never lie? Flexible depending on the situation.
    • Money is the root of all evil if you have it. If you don't have money, money is the cause of all your problems, as is evidenced in episodes where a senior-citizens' home is being sold, a woman's animal shelter is being sold to developers, and an episode where kids won't have Christmas because their dad doesn't have a job.

1) From this it sounds like what's getting complaints are the mistakes made by characters as a result of not obeying the Aesop, not the Aesops themselves.

2) These are Family Unfriendly Aesops, not clueless ones.

3) Some of these Aesops that they're apparently supposed to show according to the writer are pretty ridiculous to begin with. "Never lie"? Really? So if you're in Nazi Germany and you are hiding Jews in your basement, you should hand them over to be killed? "Be yourself"? What does that even mean? Do whatever you want to do? Isn't that what Aesops are supposed to prevent? "Trust in God"? "Always do what God says"? How do those even apply to the viewers? Most of them aren't getting direct instructions from God, are they? "Money is the root of all evil"? So they should say that poverty is a good thing?
05:03:04 PM May 18th 2012
edited by VVK
Removed this:
  • This comics. The message was supposed to be to hve more confidence in your skills and create stories you want to do, not the ones other people want you to. But it was present in such clumsy way that the message most people got, as seen on the comments on individual pages, was Yaoi Fangirls ruins everything, with some small minorities getting messages like "If somebody tells you to do something the way you don't wat to, never confront them about it - just quiletly do things your way and everything will be fine" or "Writers are parasites, artists are only ones who understand how to make comics", among the others.

Firstly, there's nothing I can see here about the medium not being able to present the aesop, and that's enough.

Second, and this is more for the record, the judgement that it was clumsily presented sounds bizarre. This trope isn't "clueless readers", but that's what the above sounds like, especially after my looking at the comic. As far as I'm concerned, the aesop was pretty much obvious as soon as the whole "I'm not confident enough to write myself" thing came up. All the above interpretations just sound like examples of "Lots of people on the internet are lousy at reading comprehension," which isn't news. Also, comments for the whole thing that I glanced at didn't seem so confused about it.
09:34:23 PM Feb 11th 2012
Considering the value judgment this trope entails for the works in question and its innate subjectivity, it should really be YMMV (as should Broken Aesop, most likely).
12:02:19 AM Mar 12th 2012
edited by LoserTakesAll
That's definitely true of Family-Unfriendly Aesop but I think Clueless Aesop is pretty judgement-neutral in intent (though lots of the examples clearly missed the intent). It's just supposed to be when the message someone is trying to get across doesn't make sense because properly conveying it requires information considered too controversial (or otherwise off-limits) for the work in question. Like if you wanted to do a story about sexually-transmitted disease on a kids show that wasn't allowed to mention sex. Or doing a story about the dangers of playing with guns on a show that isn't allowed to show death or injury, or on which the only guns that exist are nonlethal stun weapons.
11:39:01 AM Oct 18th 2011
  • Superman: At World's End ends with an aesop about the evils of guns, and having Superman and some kids destroy a bunch of guns in a bonfire. A few pages earlier, Superman defeated his enemies with a huge gun. As Linkara argues, you can't make an aesop about how guns don't solve any problems, when that is exactly what you just did.

Broken Aesop, not Clueless Aesop.
07:50:36 PM Apr 24th 2010
Serious natter under Videogames/Fallout 3. Could somebody please clean it up?
05:50:03 PM May 7th 2010
I cut it all; here it is if someone who's actually played the game wants to rewrite it:
11:46:50 AM Oct 18th 2011
I'm not even sure that quest was meant to have an Aesop.
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