Main Space Whale Aesop Discussion

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04:44:29 PM Nov 20th 2014
Removed this one:
  • The message of one AT&T ad appears to be "Choose AT&T, the nation's fastest 3G network, and your future child will be President." Or "Let your penis guide your life, and your future child will be President."

Because that's not what the ad is about. The idea is that AT&T let's you seize the moment and anything can happen.
06:45:31 AM Jun 21st 2013
Does anyone agreee that a lot of these examples seem to belong under Fantastic Aesop?
10:59:26 AM Dec 23rd 2015
09:51:15 AM Feb 19th 2012
Do you think we could change the name to "Bogeyman Aesop"? "Space Whale Aesop" doesn't say that much about the nature of this trope. But "Bogeyman Aesop" fits, because the consequence of ignoring one of these Aesops is a "bogeyman", an imagined threat. And the original idea of the bogeyman was a Space Whale Aesop, a lie made up by parents to scare their kids into behaving.
02:38:49 PM Dec 31st 2012
I absolutely agree. Space Whale Aesop is not a bad name, but Bogeyman Aesop is way better.
09:34:43 AM Jan 12th 2013
Space Whale Aesop is a perfectly serviceable name. While it does require a bit of pop-culture knowledge, i.e. being able to recognize a movie from one of the most popular SF series, that knowledge is (a) really easy to get and (b) helps make the name memorable. Compare it with the Red Queen Hypothesis in evolutionary biology. It's based on pop-culture, but once you figure out what it's referring to and what the hypothesis states, it's really easy to remember what is going on.

Bogeyman might work, but it's my belief that a quirky name that requires a bit of knowledge is much more memorable than something more generic.
07:20:49 PM Feb 26th 2013
I had never heard of the space whale concept, and I still like Space Whale Aesop. What the title said to me at first glance was "Utterly Random Thing Aesop" which gets across enough of the general idea—plus it made me curious.
02:02:16 PM Jan 20th 2012
Removed the following line at the end of the description:

"If so, then ask yourself, "Is this a metaphor?" If it is a metaphor for a real consequence, then this trope does not apply."

It contradicts an earlier passage:

"When done right, the improbable consequence will be a close analogy or a sharp metaphor to the probable one - just increased in scale, speed, or concreteness."

Also, the consequences being symbolic of more realistic ones don't make them any less unlikely, and you can't always be sure whether something is meant as a metaphor or not.
09:34:16 AM Oct 28th 2011
Removed this entry. First, if that's true, then the mention would belong in the Fantastic Aesop article. Second, there's a difference between fantasy and religion. I will argue this and I only believe in one religion, not all of them but all of them belong in a separate category from fantasy, objectively speaking because they are presented as truth to be taken seriously while fantasy is not. (And yes, I'm aware that Hell is a contested concept among different groups even within the same religion, but its still debated in a way you wouldn't debate Lord of the Rings.)

Removed entry:
  • One could argue that being damned to Hell could also be considered a fantastic consequence, since there's no proof it's true.

11:08:38 PM Sep 9th 2011
So, what's the trope namer here? The article says both South Park and Star Trek IV at different points.
11:28:29 AM May 29th 2011
Who thinks we completely get rid of non parody examples or just lock the page out from examples entirely because this is a comepletley disfunctional page. No one is putting up actual examples beyond the star trek example, they are either not even bothering to think about what they are posting or delibrately posting overblown examples that all seem to be along the lines of "seems to be giving the message" and then saying a message they never even tried to imply and are looking way to much into something.
07:14:04 AM Jul 17th 2011
I don't understand why some of the examples, like the Persona ones or TWEWY (which is still referenced in the Mega Man Star Force example) were deleted. They look like textbook examples to me. For example, the vast majority of TWEWY's plot is about trying to convince the protagonist (and the player, thanks to some of the level-up mechanics and the Aesopy nature of the argument) to open up their world and interact with other people, despite differing opinions that they can either ignore or influence. And, of course, if the protagonist doesn't learn this, the rulers of the afterlife will either brainwash everyone to a single mindset or eliminate Shibuya entirely.

How is this not an example? Unless you think the trope means something different.
01:22:29 PM Mar 9th 2011
Here's one that my own story holds: Always read the directions, or else you'll lose your leg and your friend will come back from the dead as some superhuman being hell bent on revenge and have an absured sensitivity about the mention of her under-developed breasts. That is all.
09:29:27 PM Oct 9th 2010
edited by PumpkinLore
I don't like it when people use this trope for fantasy works that doesn't do the aesop Anviliciously and are expected to have fantastic consequences to their problems. Case in point: The Nightmare Before Christmas: Don't pretend to be something you're not or else the army will fire missiles at you and the Boogie Man will murder Santa Claus. Seriously, the protagonist is a six-foot-tall skeleton, of course there'll be fantastic consequences!
02:22:14 PM Nov 4th 2010
Yeah, it seems like people are conflating the events of fantastic movies with the moral messages behind them. If a movie features, say, a malicious spirit possessing a squirrel who convinces his squirrel king to lay waste to his home forest by flattering and wheedling him into acquiescence, the moral might be that you shouldn't believe someone just because they say what you want to hear, not that squirrels make terrible rulers. I'd say that the Space Whale Aesop is when you make a link between a reasonable moral and a ridiculous reason (i.e., you should brush your teeth because if you don't, aliens will invade the earth), not when the moral is the subtext of a fantastical work.

Isn't there a Darth Wiki topic where you can deliberately misinterpret the morals of stories For the Lulz?
09:23:54 PM Mar 13th 2011
And let's not forget that in The Nightmare Before Christmas, the consequences for Jack's actions are due to more than simply "pretending to be something he's not". Between the kidnapping, the impersonation, and the (granted, unintentional) terrorizing of the public, getting shot at is a perfectly reasonable thing to expect.
10:27:16 AM Sep 11th 2010
edited by DaibhidC
From the Doctor Who entry:

  • Until you realize that the carbon dioxide produced in those catalytic converters is apparently threatening to trigger global warming and the end of all life as we know it, while it turns out that smog (the normal product of internal combustion engines, which is converted into "harmless" carbon dioxide by catalytic converters) actually protects the planet from global warming by reflecting the sun's energy.

The product of un-catalytic engines is carbon monoxide. Which turns into CO2 once it's in the atmosphere. It just has some unpleasant effects on human health along the way. And while smog may act as a sunshade, that doesn't make it a good thing.
02:08:35 PM Aug 13th 2010
edited by KaiYves
Would the entire idea of the mummy's curse be an example?

"Don't rob graves and tombs. Because it's disrespectful? Because it's stealing? Because you're taking things out of their archeological context and less can be learned about the past? No, because the dead people will come back to life and try to kill you for stealing their stuff!"
07:18:33 PM Aug 28th 2010
No that is an accidental Aesop
06:44:02 AM Jun 21st 2013
It IS a Space Whale Aesop. Grave robbing is still portrayed as wrong, but the reason for it being wrong is made up.
07:36:09 PM Jul 23rd 2010
Deleted the following example:

  • The otherwise mediocre cartoon Braceface had an episode that involved flat-chested main character Sharon, voiced by Alicia Silverstone, buying some kind of breast enhancement device... a pump. A literal air pump. Well, she tries to impress a boy at a party with it, and there's no two ways to say it... her boobs a'splode. One of them, anyway. The moral is supposed to be "Be happy with how you look"; but it comes off more as "If you want breast augmentation, don't cheap-out and buy some weird pump at Wal-Mart. Go to a professional". That's not so terrible a lesson. A ethical plastic surgeon should be able to discuss the realities of surgery with a teenager, and they wouldn't perform surgery without parents' consent. It's still a Space Whale even for that, though.

It wasn't actually a breast pump, it was an inflatable bra. And while the consequences may have been exaggerated, they were hardly unrealistic enough to put it into Space Whale Aesop territory.
10:48:02 PM Apr 29th 2010
Now I don't have a problem with this page per se, but some of the examples aren't space whale aesops so much as people deciding there are aesops where none were really intended, or else where the example wasn't intended to be taken seriously to begin with (the trope namer falls into the later category, the aesop is on purpose but the presentation of the aesop wasn't the point).
11:56:15 AM Apr 30th 2010
I cut a bunch of examples. Better?
12:26:53 PM May 22nd 2010
But the Pokemon example was hilarious!
09:18:14 PM Mar 13th 2011
Agreed, and I think there's still a lot of this. People need to learn the difference between "aesop" and "plot point"; take the Simpsons Movie example that is listed as "don't pollute or someone will put a giant dome over your city". Being this glib, we can take EVERY example of anything remotely outside of the realm of reality and turn it into a Space Whale Aesop. Just turn on Lord of the Rings and start rattling them off: "Always throw rings in the fire because they might have hidden elf text on them", "Invisibility always has a price", "elves can beat you in a drinking contest"... These are not lessons that the writers set out to teach us, they're just stuff that happens! I think, as with the mentioned Simpsons Movie example, we see environmental themes and automatically assume a Green Aesop, but the core themes of that movie had very little to do with the polluted lake.
08:36:14 PM Apr 25th 2011
I cut out alot of non aesops and failures to understand metaphor what do you think.
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