YMMV Dumbing Of Age Discussion

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NonoRobot
Topic
12:17:19 AM Jun 11th 2016
dmh3000 & Mr.Badguy: I am kindly asking you to resolve your issue regarding Strawman Has a Point (and potentially other edits) here. That, or we will need to bring this Edit War (because this is one) to the mods' attention.
KarkatTheDalek
02:41:13 AM Jun 11th 2016
edited by KarkatTheDalek
Would it be alright if I contributed to this discussion as well?
NonoRobot
04:22:40 AM Jun 11th 2016
I believe that eveyone's input is important and welcomed, so go ahead :-)
Mr.Badguy
05:16:50 AM Jun 11th 2016
The entry for Straw Man Has A Point is incorrect because:

- John's point isn't that Becky should already know, it's that she should have thought of all this before she was forced out of the closet.

- Becky wouldn't have any idea how to get her SSN because she was raised, essentially, as property to her father.

- Going through some kind of official channel would take months, as discussed by people who have actually been in Becky's situation.

Values Dissonance was removed because it was basically just "some people don't know that misgendering is a bad thing", so at that point we might as well put up "why are Ethan's parents so mean to him for being gay."

I'd argue that the robbery focuses extensively on Sal and how she feels about it, it took three years for it to be revealed that Amber was even involved, but I'm more willing to bend on this one.
KarkatTheDalek
10:57:00 AM Jun 11th 2016
^ Basically my stance. I'd also like to discuss the edits made by banhammer to Unintentionally Unsympathetic and Moral Event Horizon, as I feel that they come far too close to excusing Mary for her actions, and seem to be underestimating the severity of them.
NonoRobot
11:50:56 AM Jun 11th 2016
As far as I am concerned, I agree with both Mr.Badguy and Karkat The Dalek. The Straw Man Has A Point entry in particular should be removed, for all the reasons mentioned by Mr.Badguy. I am a little more conflicted about the Unintentionally Unsympathetic entry. I think this trope should be listed, but maybe the example needs to be rewritten.
KarkatTheDalek
12:54:03 PM Jun 11th 2016
edited by KarkatTheDalek
I'm not necessarily opposed to keeping the entry, even if I disagree with it - I believed I helped edit it to include the mentions of homophobia and transphobia. In particular, I specifically stated that some of the criticisms could delve into this territory, to avoid the implication that all of them do. I feel like these mentions of "blanket accusations" and "average fans" aren't really substantiated, and it leans too close to siding with Mary on the issue. And then there's the addition to the related Moral Event Horizon entry, with as far as I'm concerned has got to go.

Perhaps it might help to acknowledge Willis' stance on the issue, which was basically that while Carla is a jerk, that does not in any way justify misgendering her. That is, I believe, the entire point of this plotline.
Mr.Badguy
03:16:46 PM Jun 11th 2016
Yeah, I'm with Karkat. People should be allowed to express that Becky/Carla/Ruth/Amber/Whoever is annoying, but by the same token, I don't think it hurts to acknowledge that a ton of the backlash against Becky and Carla has been "why does she say she's gay all the time" and "if she didnt want to be misgendered she shouldn't have been annoying."
KarkatTheDalek
04:24:25 PM Jun 11th 2016
Well then, if we're in agreement, how do you guys think these entries should be rewritten?
dmh3000
05:38:25 PM Jun 11th 2016
Okay, I'm here to defend my position.

First off, Strawman Has a Point. In the specific strip John says, and I quote, "It should be written down somewhere" to which Joyce chews him out for suggesting it would be easily accessible. The idea that Becky wouldn't know how to get this information is fine, but the one making the argument is Joyce who has been shown using the internet and understand internet culture. Also, the whole thing with Becky not having a phone seems like a dumb retcon. For the first four books Joyce routinely calls her and isn't shocked that Becky is disobeying her father, despite this being a big thing for Joyce in the beginning (She's visibly shaken after lying to her mother that Becky isn't at home). At the end of the Whiteboard Ding-Dong Bandit arc, she's seen on her phone trying to get a hold of Becky, out loud asking why her friend isn't picking up.

Now the whole thing about not thinking about things before she left, that was dumb. That I have no argument with. But that wasn't the point I was arguing with.

Two, Sal and the robbery. I've already talked this over with Badguy in the P Ms and he conceded my point so we don't really need to touch on it. But I will restate that I don't like how much focus Amber gets on the event while we haven't even seen any indication as to how Sal feels. It just bugs me that the white girl who hid in the back gets more focus than the black girl who did the deed or the Jewish boy who had a knife against his neck.

Three, I agree with wanting to rewrite the entries about Carla and Becky but I think it's important to note they get a lot more leeway in-universe than other LGBT characters in the strip. Billie started the strip as a self-centred alpha-cheerleader and by the end of the first book had been knocked down a few pegs. She still had a few of the same flaws but they were shown to be bravado that were seeping away. At one point one of her old cheerleading friends calls her out on who she used to be. Or Ruth, who was presented as Billie's villain but then given more positive growth as well.

That's all I have at the moment, but I'm willing to talk things out further.
Mr.Badguy
06:25:13 PM Jun 11th 2016
Joyce doesn't get angry at him until John suggest that Becky "should have thought of that before...", which was almost certainly going to be him saying "before you decided to go all LGBQXYZ hipster."

We also know that Becky doesn't have a cell, because the phone she uses in the earlier strips is this massive blocky clearly not a cell phone thing.

We know how Sal feels about the robbery; she fucking hates how she's going to spend the rest of her life beholden to it. Literally the second line of dialogue she has in the entire series is how Tennessee felt like prison. It takes three years before we even learn Amber was involved and the entire time leading up to that was how unfair it was that Sal has to still be her parents' shameful criminal, and the length she goes to placate them. It's a bigger deal to Amber now because we're going through her arc of trying to live with her trauma, and Sal's already dealt with the immediate aftermath of the robbery. It's a more active part of Amber's character arc because she hasn't dealt with it in any positive way and has gotten magnitudes worse as the comic progressed.

Ethan, yeah, I would like to see more of how he took it outside of Amber's feelings, but that's kind of a consistent problem with Ethan's character in the entire series, where everything about him revolves around Amber.

Becky gets leeway because she's surrounded by people who adore her like Joyce and Dina, who wouldn't criticize her for anything. Otherwise:

- Danny called her obnoxious. - Billie soured on her when Becky said bisexuality doesn't exist and throws money and her dorm at her because throwing money at people is how Billie solves her problems. - Walky said he wanted to punch her in the face. - Firing Ethan was played as a massive overstepping of boundaries where she doubled over in guilt when she thought her wacky sassy prank had actually broken up Joyce and her boyfriend. - Dorothy's constantly trying to be the bigger girl because taking the high road is Dorothy's shtick. - Sarah thinks she's just using Dina as a rebound. - We literally have an arc right now about how Dina feels unappreciated.

And Carla? She has maybe one actual friend in Sal and her dorm thinks she's an asshole. The only "leeway" she's ever been given was Ruth stepping in when Mary misgendered her.

Billie and Ruth got shit because Billie and Ruth are kind of awful when they want to be.
dmh3000
08:11:36 PM Jun 11th 2016
edited by dmh3000
All right, let's try to get this resolved.

One, Joyce does get angry before. She very clearly has an angry expression when she's delivering that line. Also, flip phones do count as cell phones. That's what they were called before smart phones were invented. And as I said above, Joyce is the one having the argument. Willis has openly admitted Becky's story is so that Joyce can progress as a character, which is what's happening here.

Two, A) yeah that's her second line but as I said when I messaged you, it's a quick throwaway. We are not given much more insight beyond that. Also it doesn't have anything to do with the robbery. Tennessee was her punishment but did it make her learn anything from the experience? B) It barely came up in the first three books. Where are these strips where it's shown as being shameful? In fact Sal barely appears in the first three books, her main contribution to the story was that her absence motivated the Billie V Ruth arc. C) You're kind of just adding to my argument. And while Sal got over it we don't know how she feels about it in hindsight. D) I am glad we can agree on Ethan. But that just adds to my point. His story is being whitewashed because Willis won't give him an arc that doesn't revolve around his white ex-girlfriends. Hell, even the Danny thing is pretty much about Amber.

Three, yes she's occasionally called out but it never sticks. She still hangs around Dorothy and Walky with no issues and at the beginning of chapter two of book six she has other people in the dorm trying their best to keep her from being spotted by Ruth. She's homeless and then she gets a dorm. She draws attention to herself with a noticeable haircut and screaming at the top of her lungs she's a lesbian, nobody notices she shouldn't be at the University. Her Dad shows up to take her away and then he's put in jail. Everything falls into place for her.

Carla... more debatable considering how little screen time she's had at the moment. But, as mentioned in the Walkypedia entry, if you don't hate her it's because she hasn't been trying hard enough... yet we're supposed to like her? The strip does clearly put her in a protagonist role so obviously we're supposed to and Willis does get very defensive to anyone who goes against her.

This is getting a little heavier than I'd like. I'd rather this not turn into a flame war so I might try and stay out of this since I think everything I have to say has been said. Could someone else chime in with their thoughts?
KarkatTheDalek
09:52:26 PM Jun 11th 2016
edited by KarkatTheDalek
Willis seems to have made his stance pretty clear - Carla's a jerk, and it's fine to dislike her for that. But that does not justify Mary misgendering her, and to claim that Mary was somehow pushed into doing so is really offensive.

Looking back, Joyce didn't seem all that angry until John began criticizing Becky. She was mad about the children's menu, but that was more of a joke than anything. She doesn't really get seriously pissed off at John before then.

As for Becky, her arc is still in progress, and to be honest, not a whole lot of time has passed in-comic since she showed up. I think it's also worth noting that Willis has stated that he doesn't want her to end up a "tragic lesbian" character.
Mr.Badguy
02:18:35 AM Jun 12th 2016
I don't get your hang up about Becky. People are helping her because she's in a bad situation. Are they not supposed to? Like, "protagonist succeeds at things" is, you know, a basic, fundamental building block of a story.

Anyway we obviously aren't going to agree on Sal, so if you want to put that up sure whatever. I'll just say that we already know how Sal feels about the robbery because her entire life since has been resigning herself to the fact that she's always going to be her parents' shameful criminal. That's the entire point of her arc in the Freshman Family chapter; that she dresses up like a princess and hides her scarred hand and then gets blatantly ignored. We don't know how Sal feels, specifically, about the robbery and what transpired because it's an ongoing storyline. You think that's a thing that won't be brought up when Amber actually confronts her?

Willis gets defensive on people when they try to say that misgendering Carla was an acceptable response. If he thought Carla was a perfect snowflake he probably wouldn't be writing her as an annoying pest who steals cookies. I mean, he outright stated "yes its okay to think carla is a jerk, because carla is a jerk" because people kept acting like a trans lady who isn't constantly nice and meek MUST have deserved it.
Wackd
10:12:46 AM Jun 12th 2016
edited by Wackd
I know this is a minor point, but it'll bug me if I don't say it—the phone we see Becky using is not a flip phone. There are no visible hinges and its spine is consistently drawn as one long curve rather than bent. It is a portable phone, one that connects not to a wireless signal but to a dock hooked up to a phone line somewhere in the dorm. My family's been using them for at least half a decade now.

Which is to say that Becky's phone—if it is hers and not the school's—is a landline. Which is absolutely a way to keep Becky in line because it means that she can't wander too far away from campus and still easily contact Ross.
Mr.Badguy
05:58:50 PM Jun 12th 2016
Alright, so if there's no objections, and we have a mod agreeing, then I'll be removing Strawman Has a Point and those edits Karkat mentioned to keep the Unintentionally Unsympathetic entries without the added natter junk.

dmh3000
02:52:33 AM Jun 13th 2016
I have an objection, no one has actually responded to my argument, you guys just keep saying Becky when she isn't the point. Yeah, I screwed up identifying the make of the phone, but that wasn't my argument. I was talking about Joyce yelling at John.

The edits to Unintentionally Unsympathetic though, no problems here.
Mr.Badguy
03:17:40 AM Jun 13th 2016
Joyce yelled at John because he was treating her like a little whiny baby for being angry that she was held at gunpoint and her best friend was kidnapped.
KarkatTheDalek
10:34:35 AM Jun 13th 2016
edited by KarkatTheDalek
What should we do about the edits to Moral Event Horizon?
KarkatTheDalek
10:34:36 AM Jun 13th 2016
edited by KarkatTheDalek
Sorry, double post.
Mr.Badguy
03:02:59 PM Jun 13th 2016
Nuke the bits that banhammer added. They're completely unnecessary.
dmh3000
12:33:14 AM Jun 14th 2016
Idea for a compromise I just had, what if we got rid of the Becky and Carla entries with natter and just add a new Jerkass Woobie entry? That way we can talk about the prejudice they suffer while at the same time acknowledging it doesn't automatically make them nice.
Mr.Badguy
06:43:08 AM Jun 14th 2016
Except they aren't intended to be Jerkass characters the way, say, Mike is. Describing Becky as a Jerkass is flat out incorrect, since she's basically on the same level as Walky. Carla goes out of her way to be an annoying butthole, but there's never been any indication that it's a coping mechanism the way it's blatantly shown to be for Becky.

Their entries under Base Breaker are fine. What you're trying to get at is "these characters can be annoying even though they are not intended to be as annoying as they're coming off", and Jerkass Woobie is a much more definite statement on their characters, rather than it being an unintended audience reaction.
dmh3000
02:03:43 AM Jun 16th 2016
With Carla, I disagree because as I mentioned above, part of her bio is If you donít hate her, itís because she hasnít been trying hard enough and her main goal is to piss people off simply for attention. Though I agree, the woobie part was a bad idea.

With Becky, I think the Walky comparison is inaccurate considering Walky would never go up to someone and insult their appearance or be outright offensive. Walky is usually either being a smartass or just doing some friendly ribbing. I think we can safely put her in the Jerkass category.
Mr.Badguy
02:01:13 AM Jun 18th 2016

Walky is also the guy who repeatedly insists that Joyce's friendship with Dorothy is just because she super wants to lez out, but it's okay for him to be a friendly ribbing smartass because he's a straight guy.

Jerkass Woobie ain't fitting. That's the difference between your personal dislike for the character, and an inaccurate reading.
dmh3000
03:29:08 AM Jun 19th 2016
Which he only says jokingly to Joyce because of her over attachment to female relationships, which the strip itself pointed out as odd. You think that's bad because you're a racist, which is also why you hate Sal and think she should be put in the back. See, we can both play this game.

And this is just getting us nowhere, especially since you've already jumped the gun and altered the Strawman entry while we were still discussing it. So it's pretty obvious there's no point to this thread at all. You guys do whatever you want. I'm out.
banhammer
Topic
03:46:48 PM Jun 10th 2016
Is Jocelyn a significant spoiler when it comes to referring to Josh, to anyone who isn't familiar with works outside of Dumbing of Age? I certainly feel like it could be...
KarkatTheDalek
02:48:49 AM Jun 11th 2016
Might be a Late-Arrival Spoiler at this point.
KarkatTheDalek
02:54:36 AM Jun 11th 2016
Also, could we discuss a few of your edits? I have some concerns.
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