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

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M84 Freedom is the right of all sentient beings Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Freedom is the right of all sentient beings
Oct 11th 2018 at 7:39:35 PM

In the original movies and expanded universe, the Empire's officer elite was characterized with a bias in favor of white men. It's noted in the Expanded Universe that Palpatine pandered to the prejudice against non-humans that was prevalent on the Core Worlds, though he made a few notable exceptions for very capable non-humans, such as Thrawn.

Making the Empire and its successor the First Order more cosmopolitan is a Disney thing.

Edited by M84 on Oct 11th 2018 at 10:40:25 PM

Disgusted, but not surprised
FluffyMcChicken Not a Crook, Never a Quitter, Needed Now from where Dicky can get Tricky with you! Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Not a Crook, Never a Quitter, Needed Now
Oct 11th 2018 at 7:46:58 PM

Plus, Thrawn's role of being the Token Minority character among the Imperial elite led to him being repetively assigned the most dangerous missions to keep him as far away from the human leaders as possible lest he attempt a coup.

So far away in fact, that he literally only returned from the Unknown Regions when the Empire was finally crumbling and his handlers dead.

You can call me queen bee . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeBihoUS3W8
Wildcard from Revolution City Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
Oct 11th 2018 at 8:02:43 PM

@Charles: If that isn't Christianity then a huge, and possibly the majority of it's followers have misunderstood it since it took shape. On the level of Catholics hating witches not because they don't believe they are claiming to be God's, but that they believe that Witch magic is real and from Satan. Since The whole Divine Right of Kings thing, the beliefs that women should be repressed, and that poor people should be okay with being poor and serve their masters well to get great rewards has been an established part of the popular beliefs of Christians since The Middle Ages.

But perhaps this was just a dominant narrative of the ruling class, who wished to use religions, (including Christianity) to their advantage? Care to expand your take.

METAL GEAR!?
Protagonist506 from 'MURICA Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Oct 11th 2018 at 8:11:18 PM

Well, with basing fantasy villains on real life ones, it's a mixed bag. I don't think there's anything intrinsically wrong with having an escapist fantasy about fighting real life injustices, and such narratives are basically propaganda for "the good fight" anyways. Having said that it's wiser to use more metaphorical approaches for a few reasons:

-Divorcing your work from real life can let it get around real life biases.

-Real life is sometimes just plain inconvenient. For example, if your villain is a literal Nazi then there's a lot of motives that go with that you may or may not want. This is part of why I think Marvel sometimes tries to distance HYDRA from Nazis, because it's a lot easier to write Terrorists Without a Cause than to go into all the political motives of Nazism.

-There is a kernel of truth in what Charles Phipps says in that if Evil Is Cool you can run a slight risk of, well, making a real life evil look cool (this is part of why I like Rapture as villains more than Columbia). To be fair, using a fantastic bigotry can fall into this problem as well-or even be worse. I would argue 40K (accidentally, mind you) glorifies fascism slightly in part by having the main target of the Imperium's racism entirely non-existent in real life.

-Missteps in portraying Fantastic Racism are, well, less offensive.

On a sidenote, when discussing bigotry in a story (fantastic or realistic) I think a thing that should be done is to figure out what your hero's actual stake in it is. They needn't be a member of the persecuted group themselves, but they should at the very least be friends with someone who is. For example, in my own story (where the villains are Fantastic Racists), the protagonist is not a direct target of their bigotry, but his girlfriend is so he has a personal stake in it. Even then you should make sure that the persecuted group is portrayed as having some degree of agency in that conflict.

[up]For what it's worth, for the majority of Christianity's existence the belief in witches was actually pretty rare. In fact, in the majority of Christianity's existence accusing someone of witchcraft would more likely get you burned at the stake because believing in it was considered heresy.

Edited by Protagonist506 on Oct 11th 2018 at 8:15:35 AM

"Any campaign world where an orc samurai can leap off a landcruiser to fight a herd of Bulbasaurs will always have my vote of confidence"
Wildcard from Revolution City Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
Oct 11th 2018 at 8:27:51 PM

@Protagonist: Sorry that last bit was basically what I meant with the whole "Catholics being against witches for the wrong reason" bit. I didn't communicate that bit well.

Edited by Wildcard on Oct 11th 2018 at 11:28:18 AM

METAL GEAR!?
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 8:45:37 PM

[up][up] It don't help that we rarely see the Imperium enacting their xenocides with the POV of the victims. The fact that their two biggest victim pools are The Eldar and the Tau and allies/servants don't help.

Plus, they capitalizing almost all lore don't help at all. The Horus Heresy is all about the IOM and Chaos. Leaving all other races out of it.

Edited by KazuyaProta on Oct 11th 2018 at 10:47:04 AM

Space Anime Fish Xenos >>>>>>>>> Gothic Gue'la
CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 11th 2018 at 8:47:18 PM

The Empire has never been biased to white men save in terms of the original movies and only then visually—which you might argue the Rebellion was to. Given the Rebellion was never meant to be biased towards white men, that is a mistake to assume.

The Legends Admiral, Natasi Daala, caught a lot of shit for the fact it introduced real life sexism into Star Wars which offended a lot of female fans. There was never a bias against ethnicity in Star Wars.

Basically, adding huge numbers of (male) fans arguing that women shouldn't be allowed in the Empire because they were incompetant and using her as well as Isard as examples.

@Charles: If that isn't Christianity then a huge, and possibly the majority of it's followers have misunderstood it since it took shape. On the level of Catholics hating witches not because they don't believe they are claiming to be God's, but that they believe that Witch magic is real and from Satan. Since The whole Divine Right of Kings thing, the beliefs that women should be repressed, and that poor people should be okay with being poor and serve their masters well to get great rewards has been an established part of the popular beliefs of Christians since The Middle Ages.

But perhaps this was just a dominant narrative of the ruling class, who wished to use religions, (including Christianity) to their advantage? Care to expand your take.

Covering a 2000 year old continuous institution and all of its offshoots is a large matter to handle in one forum but the short-short version. The short short version is that the Roman culture influenced early Christianity a great deal. However the focus on "getting into heaven at all costs" is a product of the Renassiance and actually something which is part of the reason America was settled.

Because the Christians of Europe thought the monofocus on Heavenly Reward, superstition about witches (brought about by individuals like James I—my biological ancestor), and general zealotry to condemn anyone not like them got them de facto exiled to another continent.

Which is why America has so many extremist churches.

Edited by CharlesPhipps on Oct 11th 2018 at 8:52:52 AM

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
M84 Freedom is the right of all sentient beings Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Freedom is the right of all sentient beings
Oct 11th 2018 at 8:49:49 PM

[up]The Rebellion biased? Bull.

Mon Mothma. Admiral Ackbar. Lando. Leia.

Edited by M84 on Oct 11th 2018 at 11:53:12 PM

Disgusted, but not surprised
FluffyMcChicken Not a Crook, Never a Quitter, Needed Now from where Dicky can get Tricky with you! Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Not a Crook, Never a Quitter, Needed Now
Oct 11th 2018 at 8:53:14 PM

Don't forget the female Rebel pilots that were cut out of Return.

You can call me queen bee . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeBihoUS3W8
CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 11th 2018 at 8:53:24 PM

And yet we didn't get many people of color joining the Rebellion until Return of the Jedi.

A New Hope was completely lily white.

Edited by CharlesPhipps on Oct 11th 2018 at 8:53:58 AM

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
Fourthspartan56 Technocratic Progressive from Georgia, US Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Technocratic Progressive
Oct 11th 2018 at 8:57:51 PM

And yet we didn't get many people of color joining the Rebellion until Return of the Jedi.

A New Hope was completely lily white.

It's not a Rebellion thing, it's a Star Wars thing. There's a reason that an old joke is that Lando Calrissian was the only black man in the galaxy, the movies themselves were super monochromatic and it's a tad ridiculous to blame a single fiction for that.

Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies. -Robert Kennedy
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 9:02:02 PM

Yeah. The OT Rebellion is pretty bigoted for us (where are the non whites??) but it was Fair for Its Day in terms of sexism. Leia become a pop culture icon for a reason.

There a reason why more modern SW material add more non whites to it.

Edited by KazuyaProta on Oct 11th 2018 at 11:02:57 AM

Space Anime Fish Xenos >>>>>>>>> Gothic Gue'la
CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 11th 2018 at 9:02:57 PM

On a sidenote, when discussing bigotry in a story (fantastic or realistic) I think a thing that should be done is to figure out what your hero's actual stake in it is. They needn't be a member of the persecuted group themselves, but they should at the very least be friends with someone who is. For example, in my own story (where the villains are Fantastic Racists), the protagonist is not a direct target of their bigotry, but his girlfriend is so he has a personal stake in it. Even then you should make sure that the persecuted group is portrayed as having some degree of agency in that conflict.

There's another issue that I think is worth talking about and that's appropriation as well as misuse of real life tragedies for escapist entertainment. In The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, there's a scene where there's a pogrom (explicitly called that) is carried out against the dwarves and elves in a town. It's a chance for Geralt to defend the helpless, oppressed, and understand the Scoiatael's POV.

Even if they reference the persecution of Jews, I'd think it be pretty sick to use actual Jews in this or, say, Dragon Age: Origin's "Elven Bride" Origins.

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 9:09:56 PM

I'm personally more familiar with ideological massacres (ironic, given that I'm descending from people that had being not!slaved* for race for centuries) than from race per se. So I go for ideological non-explicity-racial mass murder.

Thought is not really hard see ideology intertwined with racism.

-*Native Andeans weren't slaved per se and had more rights than Black Slaves. But worker conditions were awful and entire towns were forced to work in mines in ridiculously brutal conditions. Like, sending them to places that no one would go like the Potosi mines. It was like sending them to the Chernobyl reactor, a safe death.

Edited by KazuyaProta on Oct 11th 2018 at 11:36:15 AM

Space Anime Fish Xenos >>>>>>>>> Gothic Gue'la
unknowing "GREAT AND GLORIOUS DESAPAIR!" from somewhere..
"GREAT AND GLORIOUS DESAPAIR!"
Oct 11th 2018 at 10:28:28 PM

It depend on how much you need to implement real life awfullness to make a villian evil, is kinda a subcept of the whole "can rabe be used in a story?" thing, the galacic used stuff from the nazis but is not a 1:1 thing, sometimes I feel people want a perfect and blatant copy to get the allegory as hand fist as posible.

"This is part of why I think Marvel sometimes tries to distance HYDRA from Nazis, because it's a lot easier to write Terrorists Without a Cause than to go into all the political motives of Nazism."

There is another simple reason: using nazis was getting ridiculous before the alt right play a hand on it, the nazis in trope sense are the closest thing to orcs(or drow actually): a bunch of always evil murders you can hate and kill without ever feeling bad, specially during the 2000-10 were the US did so many shady shit it was hard to see the nazis as relevant...

And in a way they are right becuase after all the change that come with Obama putting the nazis is the most ballsy and ilogical step ever but such is life.

"There is only one truth in this life and that is DESPAIR!"
Oct 12th 2018 at 12:00:43 AM

??? Marvel has actually been pretty clear that Hydra are Nazis, no matter under which veneer they hide. At least in the MCU. And Marvel is right btw. Trump supporters are basically Nazis. They fight for Nazi ideals. Just because they don't have enough power just yet to set up Concentration Camps it doesn't mean that they are less dangerous. "Tender Care Facilities" are just the first step.

M84 Freedom is the right of all sentient beings Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Freedom is the right of all sentient beings
Oct 12th 2018 at 12:04:05 AM

Agents of Shield made HYDRA a bunch of Hive worshipers that predated the Nazis ages ago.

Edited by M84 on Oct 13th 2018 at 3:04:25 AM

Disgusted, but not surprised
unknowing "GREAT AND GLORIOUS DESAPAIR!" from somewhere..
"GREAT AND GLORIOUS DESAPAIR!"
Oct 12th 2018 at 12:18:26 AM

[up][up]Kinda except no: in first cap HYDRA are pretty much a more radical group who think the nazis are getting to soft and plan to nuke berlin as well, in winter soldier they evoled into a more america way thanks to Pierce(who I think is the real message of the movie) and by Ao S they are a alien cult.

Also in the comic they were a ancient conspiracy call the brotherhood of the spear.

In general marvel try to distance the naziness of HYDRA becuase it was getting boring...

And real life in a complete 180, make them topical again.

"There is only one truth in this life and that is DESPAIR!"
Oct 12th 2018 at 12:28:02 AM

[up][up] They didn't. They were clear about Hydra splitting at one point.

[nja]

Edited by Swanpride on Oct 12th 2018 at 12:28:19 PM

M84 Freedom is the right of all sentient beings Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Freedom is the right of all sentient beings
Oct 12th 2018 at 12:37:04 AM

[up][up]They were originally a cult who worshiped an Inhuman (which is not the same thing as an alien cult because Inhumans are not aliens), though The Reveal of that followed the Red Skull's take on it and Pierce's take on it.

The whole thing was kind of a mess and one of many half-assed ways Marvel tried to shill Inhumans before finally giving up on that.

The Framework version of HYDRA at least does seem more like Nazis.

Edited by M84 on Oct 13th 2018 at 3:42:30 AM

Disgusted, but not surprised
Oct 12th 2018 at 2:15:34 AM

Keep in mind that's in a virtual world within the universe. The real Hydra is basically a generic evil organization with no specific ideology beyond "take over the world" ala Cobra or Spectre.

CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 12th 2018 at 2:33:11 AM

Marvel is back and forth on whether Hydra is a Nazi organization.

Because you can't sell toys of Nazis.

The Red Skull is a Nazi. Baron Strucker is a Nazi. Helmut Zemo isn't (usually).

AIM is not.

The Secret Empire is..ish (because it's the "Secret Empire" of the KKK—the American Branch of Hydra) that went indepedent and became irrelevant.

Re: The Framework

America is denying the Holocaust and other obvious signs its a white supremacist state but it is apparently doing so in a way that means its only the Inhumans who are actively being exterminated. Mind you, you can't draw any kind of reality from the place because it's all made by magic.

Edited by CharlesPhipps on Oct 12th 2018 at 2:40:43 AM

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
Oct 12th 2018 at 2:33:28 AM

The Framework version of Hydra was an obvious commentary on Trump. Down to outright quoting him and his people.

[up] A major point of Hydra ideology is "us vs the others". It doesn't really matter who "others" are, if they have a different religion, a different skin colour or happen to be Inhuman. And that is Nazi ideology.

"First they came for the socialists…"

Edited by Swanpride on Oct 12th 2018 at 2:35:59 AM

TerminusEst from Finland
Oct 12th 2018 at 3:21:22 AM

No, it's just pretty typically authoritarian.

Edited by TerminusEst on Oct 12th 2018 at 3:21:32 AM

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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 12th 2018 at 3:59:42 AM

[up] Agreed. Is just regular authoritarian stuff.

Space Anime Fish Xenos >>>>>>>>> Gothic Gue'la

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