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How do the dominant cultural narratives in art and mass media affect our politics?

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Robrecht Your friendly neighbourhood Regent
Your friendly neighbourhood Regent
Oct 11th 2018 at 4:39:59 AM

Well, there's also the fact that the Followers helped found the NCR and are part of it. The Followers faction in New Vegas'Old Mormon Fort isn't, like, the last remnant of the organisation or something, it just represents their independent humanitarian mission into the Mojave.

In Fallout 2, in large part due to the influences of Tandi and the Followers, the NCR was the unambiguous good guy. By the time of New Vegas, the NCR's rapid expansion has served to compromise their moral centre, but they still do some good and most of that good comes in the form of the policies that derive from Follower influence. (Like the NCR providing medical services and farming assistance to the local inhabitants, both of which are Follower programmes.)

So yeah, the Followers are pretty much the closest thing to a Big Good the Fallout universe has.

KazuyaProta Dancing All Night For The Greater Good!!! from Dal'yth Relationship Status: Married to the job
Dancing All Night For The Greater Good!!!
Oct 11th 2018 at 5:07:47 AM

[up][up] How bad SU redemptions get? Is a Redemption Equals Death ala Naruto or a "Killed millions but we're now buddy buddies" ala DBZ?

I really don't have issues with redemption arcs per se. Is think that writers should be more careful about who gets redeemed and the why.

Space Anime Fish Xenos >>>>>>>>> Gothic Gue'la
CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 11th 2018 at 5:11:35 AM

Re: Redemption

If you're going to give a redemptive arc to a villain, they shouldn't have too many moral even horizons under their belt.

At the risk of being flippant, then that means you don't believe in redemption. Redemption is, for me at least, when you are actually evil and decide to be good. You don't need it unless you have already done something unforgivable.

In the case of my books:

1. Agent G has murdered innocent people in the service of the Society. He lives with that guilt every day and knows it was unjustifiable.

2. Cassius Mass of Lucifer's Star blew up a space station as part of a Pearl Harbor attack that started a war which is side lost (badly), killing thousands.

They can and do attempt to save people but those actions will never be forgiven by those people they've wrong and can never be undone.

Edited by CharlesPhipps on Oct 11th 2018 at 5:16:00 AM

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
KazuyaProta Dancing All Night For The Greater Good!!! from Dal'yth Relationship Status: Married to the job
Dancing All Night For The Greater Good!!!
Oct 11th 2018 at 5:13:43 AM

Yeah. I think that one of the most interesting parts of Monster is that it outright deny that something as a Moral Event Horizon exist. Johan, the titular Complete Monster is iredeemable because he himself deny redemption.

Space Anime Fish Xenos >>>>>>>>> Gothic Gue'la
Oct 11th 2018 at 5:16:14 AM

How bad SU redemptions get? Is a Redemption Equals Death ala Naruto or a "Killed millions but we're now buddy buddies" ala DBZ?

The latter.

At the risk of being flippant, then that means you don't believe in redemption. Redemption is, for me at least, when you are actually evil and decide to be good. You don't need it unless you have already done something unforgivable.

If a person's crimes are unforgivable, then by definition, they cannot and should not get redemption.

CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 11th 2018 at 5:16:30 AM

It's also what I love in vampire stories.

When the Horror Hunger means you kill someone innocent. Your entire remaining life becomes compromised by that.

Suicide by sunlight might be the only right decision there...but is it?

If a person's crimes are unforgivable, then by definition, they cannot and should not get redemption.

Forgiveness does not equal redemption.

You don't need to be a person society accepts to be a good person. I think a lot of people equate these things since Christianity is about forgiveness of people who have done the unforgivable and putting aside hatred.

We also have a trope for this.

Reformed, but Rejected

Edited by CharlesPhipps on Oct 11th 2018 at 5:20:36 AM

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
KazuyaProta Dancing All Night For The Greater Good!!! from Dal'yth Relationship Status: Married to the job
Dancing All Night For The Greater Good!!!
Oct 11th 2018 at 5:18:06 AM

It depends of the setting. A lot, Our Vampires Are Different.

Space Anime Fish Xenos >>>>>>>>> Gothic Gue'la
CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 11th 2018 at 5:19:04 AM

[up]Yes, I don't like vampires who don't have a Horror Hunger.

Then it's just a form of superpower.

Ironically, Twilight is pretty solid on this as the vampires there need each other and their leader's "Hunger Suppression" power to not murder innocent people.

Edited by CharlesPhipps on Oct 11th 2018 at 5:22:17 AM

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 11th 2018 at 5:23:12 AM

Re: Redemption

One story I ran for a tabletop RPG was dealing with a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire dealing with a vampire hunter. The PC was a doctor, humanitarina, and as nice a guy as you could get—and had in one of his early days, ripped apart the family of the vampire hunter. There was never going to be a scenario where the vampire hunter stopped.

They said that the protagonist did not deserve to be able to wander around free just because he was sorry and if he was a genuinely good person then he would submit to being killed.

Nice moral conundrum.

The story ended with the player character killing the vampire hunter because he wanted to live.

Edited by CharlesPhipps on Oct 11th 2018 at 5:23:21 AM

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
SpookyMask Insert title from Corner in round room Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Insert title
Oct 11th 2018 at 5:27:03 AM

Also, I don't think Steven Universe has anyone who did something particularly horribly being treated in DBZ fashion. Like, if you are referring to certain leaders of fascism regime, they are less redeemed and more "currently on truce." redemption would mean that they would recognize they have done something wrong or change their methods.

Also, yeah, being redeemed doesn't mean "You have been forgiven for bad things you did", it means that person being redeemed is in constant state of atonement which continues as long they need to atone. If they can't atone, then they will never stop atoning. They stop being redeemed when they give up on atoning for what they did wrong

Edited by SpookyMask on Oct 11th 2018 at 3:28:39 PM

Time to change the style, for now
Oct 11th 2018 at 5:31:22 AM

Honestly, this was one of the reasons why loved the second season of Ao S so much, because they made pretty clear that sometimes a person is already too far gone to be saved. I also loved them clarifying in the fourth season that said person could have been saved if it had just meet the right people early on.

But I mostly adored that they did not go for the redemption arc. Some things are just unforgivable.

Edited by Swanpride on Oct 11th 2018 at 5:37:04 AM

SpookyMask Insert title from Corner in round room Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Insert title
Oct 11th 2018 at 5:35:05 AM

What did I just say? >:(

Seriously, redemption doesn't mean "You are a good guy now" or "You are forgiven and now we are friends" or "You have been saved from eeeeevil"(unless we are speaking in Christian context where it means being absolved from sin), it means you are trying to fix your mistake. As long as it takes, even if its "Never", if character is redeemed they will try to fix what they have done until they die even if its impossible.

Character who doesn't try to fix what they have done isn't redeemed.

Hence what was my point, those two characters some fans complain about in context of Steven Universe AREN'T redeemed by definition of the word.

Edited by SpookyMask on Oct 11th 2018 at 3:38:09 PM

Time to change the style, for now
CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 11th 2018 at 5:35:47 AM

I think that redemption is important to treat as something that doesn't free you from the consequences of your actions. But I also think if it's to have ANY meaning, then it also has to mean they have done something evil in the first place.

You don't have to be redeemed of parking violations.

You are redeemed of hurting innocent people.

Edited by CharlesPhipps on Oct 11th 2018 at 5:36:01 AM

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
SpookyMask Insert title from Corner in round room Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Insert title
Oct 11th 2018 at 5:37:00 AM

Also, you can't be redeemed if you don't realize in first place you did something wrong. If characters happen to switch sides to the "good guys" but never think they did something wrong, they aren't redeemed either. Redemption requires character to 1) realize they did something bad 2) try to atone for the bad thing they did

Edited by SpookyMask on Oct 11th 2018 at 3:51:25 PM

Time to change the style, for now
M84 Freedom is the right of all sentient beings Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Freedom is the right of all sentient beings
Oct 11th 2018 at 5:40:27 AM

SU has only had one actual redemption arc. Peridot. She joins the heroes at first for her own survival, slowly grows attached to them, decisively turns against her boss after a Broken Pedestal moment, helps save the world, becomes truly recognized as one of the Crystal Gems...and comes to realize the awful reality of what she once took pride in doing.

Disgusted, but not surprised
Kakuzan All the stars are closer. from Miami Relationship Status: What is this thing you call love?
All the stars are closer.
Oct 11th 2018 at 6:18:52 AM

I think the broader point of what Lily was making was that some writers have a tendency of trying to make us sympathize with villains even when they've done too many horrible things. Alternatively, she was basically saying that in SU's case, the writers try to hard to excuse the actions of the Diamonds, Pink Diamond included.

Not today, Satan! Not today...
Oct 11th 2018 at 6:34:59 AM

I personally think that redemption arc is at its worst in corny anime or its related media. Those stuff are obsessed with the ideas of forgiveness and redemption.

For example, I played Dragon Quest XI and there is this guy. His name is Vince and he is a famous battle arena champion who also uses all of his winnings to raise orphans. He seems like a completely nice guy, right? However, he also gets his strength from an evil spider and it wants human sacrifices just like your usual evil beings, so Vince has been kidnapping people and feeding them to the spider. As usual, I beat him and the spider, so you would think the next proper thing to do is putting Vince in jail for his crimes, right? Nope! Because Vince was doing it for the orphans, as long as he promises not to do bad things anymore, he is fine! It is all good!

There is one more case, but I guess this one is enough.

Let's not even talk about the usual pretty antagonist (This one can be male or female despite the pretty moniker.) stuff that also tends to pop up in those stuff. They might want to destroy the world and stuff, but they have totally sad and tear-jerking past and also so pretty, so you can't help but feel sympathetic about them. [lol][lol][lol]

Look, if you want to do sympathetic and redeemable villain stuff, don't make them too villainous or it isn't going to work, ignoring the usual stupid stuff with fanboys and fangirls aside.

Edited by SteamKnight on Oct 11th 2018 at 8:37:48 PM

CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 11th 2018 at 6:43:07 AM

There's:

Random Stormtrooper 101 joining the Rebellion is different from Vader turning against the Emperor.

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
Oct 11th 2018 at 6:57:24 AM

The thing is that "acceptance of the Protagonist" also requires of said Protagonists to be able to forgive what said person has done. And those are usually things which were pretty much unforgivable in real live. Like, Ao S also has something of a redemption arc for the Absorbing Man and there is is played as "okay, I accept that you aren't evil anymore, but I'll never be able to forgive you for killing my best friends either". And that works. In most cases though the audience is just supposed to forget what a character has done in the past.

Like, Crowley, from Supernatural. Not that he ever really "redeemed" himself, but somehow the audience is supposed to forget that he killed a string of characters we saw Sam and Dean rescuing in the past (in a lot of ways this is the worst thing any demon ever did to them), nearly killed Jodie, imprisoned Bobby in hell, and is the freaking king of hell. And yet we are supposed to feel for him because his feelings got hurt after Dean was mean to him. (and the shocking thing is that some people actually do feel for him, because Evil is Cool, even when it whines about his mommy issues).

SpookyMask Insert title from Corner in round room Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Insert title
Oct 11th 2018 at 7:00:57 AM

Bit confused about what Ao S is? I assume its Agents of Shield?

Anyway, there are two kinds of forgiveness. One done to absolve someone of guilt and second done to let your bad feelings go away. Redemption doesn't really require either of those(unless we are talking about Christian kind I guess)

But yeah, its dumb if show redeems character and then starts pretending character never did anything bad in first place

Edited by SpookyMask on Oct 11th 2018 at 5:03:51 PM

Time to change the style, for now
CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 11th 2018 at 7:08:34 AM

I think that depends a great deal on your RL morality. In real life, I forgave my brother who tried to kill me (he was on drugs) and had a history of terrible actions he did while on substance abuse. He spent decades trying to atone and never fully accepted our forgiveness before his tragic death.

The plot of Dead Man Walking is also the analysis of a nun's relationship with the family of a victim and the man who raped and killed their daughter. The Christian faith is about the idea that anyone can be pulled from the abyss of evil and reformed.

No matter their crime.

Now while this seems like a very Western "privilege" view. This view is actually INTENSELY relevant in countries where war crimes have been committed by both sides (or even just one and they're learning to live together). The Cycle of Revenge being based on the fact that when you kill Dave for being the man who killed your father, Dave's son Steve will kill you for the fact Dave may have been a murderer but he was Steve's father too.

Edit:

There was an Angelina Jolie movie called In The Land Of Blood And Honey which had an interesting take on the subject. Basically, a Bosniak and Serbian couple in 1992 before being ripped apart by the war only to reunite later. The couple reunite later and the man in the group has become party to numerous horrific war crimes, which were partially done in reciprocity to the war crimes committed against his people. He tries to explain his actions to his ex-girlfriend (who is of the group he's done them to) and come to terms with how he came to do these things.

A similar moment in a less serious but still pretty damn serious for video games is Nico Bellic in Grand Theft Auto IV where Nico believes he is irredeemable for the crimes he committed as a soldier during the same war. The game, in one of the few elements that is worth noting artistically, makes it clear that Nico COULD set aside being a hitman and murderer for hire but doesn't believe in redemption for himself so why bother? This despite many good qualities that make him more than the sum of his actions.

Which nicely dovetails into a theme? "Does Nico deserve redemption?" No. "Can he be given or try for it?"

Edited by CharlesPhipps on Oct 11th 2018 at 7:19:55 AM

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
TobiasDrake Always watching, never seen from Colorado, USA Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
Always watching, never seen
Oct 11th 2018 at 7:18:10 AM

Forgiveness seems to be a pretty big deal in Japan too, I've noticed. It shows up a lot in anime and video games. Way more than western media.

Not necessarily redemptions specifically, but the concept of forgiveness. In Japanese media, "I will never forgive you," is like the ultimate slam. It's the final F*ck You, the worst thing you can say to show your absolute disdain for a person. Usually spoken with a dramatic swell, like the narrative itself is going "OHHHHHHHHH SNAP".

By Western sensibilities, this seems weird. Like. I murdered your dad. I'm actively trying to murder you. The f*ck do I care about your forgiveness? And yet, it's all over Japanese media; if you want to make clear in no uncertain terms that you hate someone, withholding forgiveness is - for some reason - the way to do it.

Edited by TobiasDrake on Oct 11th 2018 at 8:18:45 AM

Drake's Razor: Never attribute to cold, dispassionate logic that which can be equally or better explained by emotional outburst.
Oct 11th 2018 at 7:40:40 AM

It's related to the Honor concept the Japanese follow. And bad Karma.

KazuyaProta Dancing All Night For The Greater Good!!! from Dal'yth Relationship Status: Married to the job
Dancing All Night For The Greater Good!!!
Oct 11th 2018 at 8:04:27 AM

I'm wondering how many tropes would be affected for the culture of the writers.

Space Anime Fish Xenos >>>>>>>>> Gothic Gue'la
M84 Freedom is the right of all sentient beings Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Freedom is the right of all sentient beings
Oct 11th 2018 at 8:05:46 AM

Pretty much all of them, really.

Disgusted, but not surprised

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