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Author Topic: Does Geek Mythology Prey on Bigotry?
Colonel Panic
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
Member # 1200

Icon 1 posted April 12, 2009 18:40      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You are thinking, “Why should I read this?

You don't have to.

After all, this is probably just some uppity minority view that doesn’t reflect YOU? Right?

How dare me?

"Let’s get all our white friends together and ban him!” Yeah, somebody get a rope.

Sigh.

Just give me a minute, will you?

Name me your favorite geek movie. Or favorite geek TV show? They don’t bother you? You don’t think they are entertaining you with your own racial prejudices? Hmmm.

First I have to hand it to Gene Roddenberry, at least had a he black receptionist on the command deck of the Enterprise, instead of an interstellar “Foxy Brown”, black Jezebel character that was popular at the time.

Other than that, some of your best geek movie friends are black huh?

Like on “Next Generation?” Sure, they have a Skinhead Captain, Picard, But…

There’s “Blind” Lemon Pledge playing Jordy he’s kinda cool, huh? After all, blind negroes sing real good, don’t they? There’s Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles and all those blind black blues singers. Why’d they have to make the black guy a comedy sketch from Cheech and Chong?

You trust black folks in the kitchen. You gotta – they’re feeding you! There’s the guy on the Cream O’Wheat box, and Aunt Jemima, the pottery that looks like a fat, black woman that keeps your cookies, and all those Mammies in old movies. So aren’t you glad Whoopie Goldberg was available to sling Nebula Fizz’s and homespun “The Color Purple” advice on the new show?

And Lt. Cmdr. Warf? Former Romulan enemy? Boy he’s scary! I’m sure glad he’s on “our” side now! I mean they wanted him to look scary, didn’t they? After all, they cast a big black guy with the mandingo voice, didn’t they? He used to be our enemy but now he’s our “friend.” Hate to meet him on the dark side of town, Huh?

Oh yeah, the dark side.

The dark side of town is the only place a lot of geek guys can find sexual comfort and illegal drugs, right? Fortunately, there is an entire series of movies to warn geek guys about the dark side. Wow! Thanks Mr. Lucas! I’m sure glad you made the bad guy Black, and hired a black guy with a mandingo voice to make sure I get the point: don’t go on the dark side of town, because there are big black guys who will hurt you!

And how about one of the biggest insults of all geek movies: T-2 – an entire movie full of white folks, except the one geek in the entire world who took future technology, made some money on it and ruined the world in the process? That geek was a black guy. It’s always the black guys making money who are destroying the world, aren’t they? Pimps, drug dealers, geek bad guys in the movies, and Barack Obama.

You don’t see it, because you are a white kid and you’ve never had the bad stuff that happens to people who aren’t white. You don’t understand it. You’re clueless why some people are offended.

You’ve never been threatened with lynching, as I have been, for trying to pass as a white kid in a whites-only school. You’ve never stopped for coffee driving across the country late at night and been told you can’t go in because “you people” aren’t welcome. You’ve never been denied a job because you weren’t white enough. You aren’t uppity.

You’ve never been told that your opinion doesn’t matter because of your heritage.

You have never thought of how you’d react if there was a movie with a black cast and the bad guy was white, and people weren’t supposed to go to the light side? Think I’m nuts? Three words: Jar-Jar Binks.

Me? I pass as white – except to the few who are looking to hate. I can only imagine how much worse it is for those with darker skin.

I just wish there were some in here who would take a few moments out of their day and imagine lives that aren’t as easy as theirs. That takes getting out of the cocoon.

Think about it.

CP

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Free! Free at last!

Posts: 1809 | From: Glacier Melt, USA | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Callipygous
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
Member # 2071

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted April 13, 2009 04:28      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You want to know our opinions on racism? Well I believe that because man is a social animal and bands together in groups, and those groups define themselves not only by whom they include but also by whom they exclude, that the evils of racism and its cousin xenophobia are nascent within all of us. It is simply the dark side of the same impulse that lies behind virtues such as community spirit, military esprit de corps, and patriotism, which are often the motive for some of the noblest and most heroic acts of self sacrifice. I simply cannot believe anyone who claims they are completely free from this vice, and it is something we all need to guard against in ourselves. If you want more I can only refer you to Obama's brilliant campaign speech A More Perfect Union, which combines uplifting sentiments and serious political analysis in equal measure, and in which he condemns those that seek to use racism as an excuse to avoid personal responsibility, as well as racists themselves. I believe it may prove to be the most influential single speech on race and society since Dr King's famous speech.

But are you posting a serious disquisition on race and geeks, or trying to find a roundabout way of telling us that we are a bunch of racists, so that you can leave with your amour propre intact and your head held high? If so I would not be the one to deny you that self deluding crumb of comfort, but please just cut to the chase, don your martyr's cap and wave us a cheery bye bye. As you said in the other thread, the silence here is deafening.....

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

Posts: 2922 | From: Brighton - UK | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Colonel Panic
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
Member # 1200

Icon 1 posted April 13, 2009 04:59      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You have very thin skin Cali. Not everything is about you.

I ask the question in earnestness. Yes my tongue is in cheek in tone, but it is a serious question.

I've long wondered about the really awful stereotypes on "Star Trek, The Next Generation" and had earnest discussions about that. The "Star Wars" reference is an old discussion. The T-2 reference is my own observation. And one that is glaring to me. But that doesn't quite have the "geek"cache, does it?

Here's another sci-fii, maybe it has some fairy-tale morality to it, but in "Enemy Mine" does the protagonist have to be the white guy (Dennis Quaid) and the "enemy" have to be the black guy (Louis Gossett Jr.)? How would the movie play if roles were reversed?

Then again, there are some movies starring Will Smith that could be geek movies, like "Men in Black" that are considered quite mainstream. Is it because they are cast differently?

Interesting.

Ever wonder why TV shows that have geek appeal don't attract a more widespread audience?

CP

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Free! Free at last!

Posts: 1809 | From: Glacier Melt, USA | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sxeptomaniac

Member # 3698

Member Rated:
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Icon 1 posted April 13, 2009 17:14      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, CP has thrown more accusations of racism around than anyone I've ever met at this point. The runner-up was a meth-addicted certifiably insane woman. That's quite an accomplishment beating her. She thought her (downstairs) neighbor was crawling around in her attic tying into her HVAC and plumbing systems.

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

Posts: 1590 | From: Fresno, CA | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Colonel Panic
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
Member # 1200

Icon 1 posted April 13, 2009 17:35      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Good to see you up to your old mudslinging, Sxepto.

Meth-addicted woman?

CP

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Posts: 1809 | From: Glacier Melt, USA | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
TMBWITW,PB

Member # 1734

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted April 13, 2009 17:50      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You know, I am really trying to be conscious of my white privilege and see things from other points of view, but no matter what I do I can't help thinking you sound exactly like Hooper X from Chasing Amy.

You're making some pretty big assumptions there that everyone here at GC is white and no one else has experienced racism, oppression, or marginalization. You do make some good points in your post there, but there hard to pay attention to with all the vitriol they're swimming in. If you want to have a serious discussion about discrimination and prejudice I'm all for it, but I don't think anyone here is interested in playing Oppression Olympics.

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"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."
—Miss Piggy

Posts: 4010 | From: my couch | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Colonel Panic
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
Member # 1200

Icon 12 posted April 13, 2009 20:06      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Peebs,

Go to the internet and search "racial stereotyping and star trek, the next generation: or any of the other flicks I mentioned and you will find some very robust conversations. The opinions are diverse.

Here, though, there is no discussion. Instead there is no opposing view. There is only attack on somebody who presents a view that makes people uncomfortable.

Look at Cali, when challenged to substantiate his definition of "regime" he can't do it. He just blows up and says, "Well, you know."

Is that how you got your degree, Peebs? Do you write your papers on the role of glycosaminoglycans in platelet aggregation and athrosclerotic lesion development in diabetics with footnotes referring to "Well, you know?" If you do, I'd like to see that published in Nature.

Can't you present a legitimate argument one way or another to the topic of this thread? Cant you be objective? Some of the other arguments I read online are quite cogent. Am I seeing that there isn't a geek in here with the ability to present an argument outside a personal attack?

Because for all the talk of having an legitimate intellectual conversation in here -- there is none. The cabal must have its way. The cabal must decide who is offended and who is not.

Peebs, you can at least google "Star Trek, The Next Generation Stereotypes" and fake it, couldn't you?

Here's another insight into the usual suspects who get so upset in this forum over my ideas. I read it just before Cali suggested I shut up about Barack Obama being a better President than GWB.

The Washington Post surveyed over 8,000 posts on their own web forum. Of those posts over 6,700 were either critical of President Obama or critical of people who supported President Obama -- attacking opposing viewpoints with wild accusations. The editor of Washington Post then pointed out that 2/3 of all Americans support the President. The numbers didn't jibe. Something, the editor surmised "wasn't right."

And it's not.

Right now, the usual suspects are engaged in their usual attacks. That is all this is.

You see, the test in this thread is, can you make an intellectual argument for or against the proposition or not?

Right now, the cabal would rather liken me to a meth addict and claim that is not a personal attack.

CP

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Free! Free at last!

Posts: 1809 | From: Glacier Melt, USA | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sxeptomaniac

Member # 3698

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted April 13, 2009 23:12      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Colonel Panic:
Right now, the usual suspects are engaged in their usual attacks. That is all this is.

How true. Unfortunately, you don't seem to realize that the "usual suspects" making the "usual attacks" is just you. Occam's Razor would be useful to apply here, as what's more plausible: (1) a conspiratorial group of racists picking on one guy who apparently doesn't even appear black, or (2) one person going off the deep end and blaming the lack of support for his behavior on a non-existent cabal?

Honestly, meth is starting to seem more and more plausible as an explanation for CP's behavior.

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

Posts: 1590 | From: Fresno, CA | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
fs

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
Member # 1181

Icon 1 posted April 17, 2009 01:04      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Colonel Panic:
Ever wonder why TV shows that have geek appeal don't attract a more widespread audience?

I don't think it has as much to do with the race of the characters as it does with the race of people that those shows appeal to. TV is a reflection, not the cause. If you want more people of different races to watch geek TV shows, you need to encourage them to be geeks, and the TV shows will change to reflect that. That gets into bias in education and other social problems.

Also consider, girls are more likely to read books that have a boy as the protagonist than boys are to read books with a female main character. I imagine the same applies to sci-fi TV, and that minorities are more likely to watch shows with a predominantly white hetero male cast than white hetero males are to watch TV shows with a predominantly minority cast. In that case, it makes more sense from a business perspective for shows to be cast in a way that won't turn off a large segment of viewers (especially, as you point out, CP, most of the audience already consists of white heterosexual males).

I find it interesting that the show that took the most flak in CPs opening essay is probably the most diverse. I guess it's easier to tear apart the show that has actual examples.

I'm not justifying any of it. Just explaining why I think it might be, in response to your question. I've always thought science fiction full of white people is kind of weird, since that's not how I imagine the future will actually be.

And since we're on the topic of sci-fi and race, why not expand it to culture? I read this article on Urdu science fiction and I found it really surprising. India and Pakistan are very focused on science--why doesn't it appear in their fiction?

(I know, I know, I should just let sleeping dogs lie, but I thought the topic was interesting and worth discussion, actually.)


quote:
Originally posted by Colonel Panic:
You see, the test in this thread is, can you make an intellectual argument for or against the proposition or not?

While I appreciate what you're trying to do in opening the topic, CP, I don't think that by immediately getting down and slinging mud with the best of 'em, you get to take the moral high ground. Your responses, when your motives are questioned, have been just as much emotional rhetoric as anyone else's. If you actually want to discuss racism and stereotypes in science fiction, get back on topic. Otherwise, stop wasting my time.

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I'm in ur database, makin' moar recordz.

Posts: 1973 | From: The Cat Ship | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged


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