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Posts posted by Blambo

  1. Yeah, I probably should've been less hasty to impose some intentional sexism on the part of the creators, and to be honest I only have a very shallow experience with the shows I listed (I only got halfway through the first episode of Girl und Panzer). But I feel that this knee jerk reaction could be somewhat valid at least, since what I'm talking about is the subconscious effects that this arrangement has on the audience that might be residual to the actual aesthetic/narrative takeaway of these shows. I don't mean to judge the shows, I meant to comment on the existence of moe period, before any context of the show is taken into account.

    Also I didn't mean to express that all characters must be well rounded and that all anime should be deep character studies, I meant to underline the effect that shallow characters have in this specific arrangement of male-female,tsukkomi-boke, or all female cast of adorable wackos (K-On was this to me) where the audience effectively acts as tsukkomi in the consumption of it. Nichijou was really not deep at all, but I felt that it presented its female characters in a way that was way more acceptable to me as respectful, since it was less about "look at the daily lives of high school girls and look how silly the girls are", it was "look at the daily lives of these high school girls and how they, as regular people, would react to weird things in life and each other". I might have a ridiculous selective memory of nichijou but it felt way more like the main characters had personalities and reactions that were more self-identifiable by the audience, which made the series as a whole more focused on the jokes than on the characters telling/being jokes.

    Also I have mixed feelings about using the bechdel test as a metric for how well women are presented because of this specific thing. You can have an all female cast with completely un-male related plot, but if the audience doesn't properly identify with any of them, they are all objects. Objects to be adored, but still objects. This is also probably why my friend could stand watching a whole season of K-ON and the movie, and I couldn't, since I really couldn't identify with any of it. But I could see why it's attractive to sympathize with and have a vicarious experience of a perspective I have no access to, or to just watch cute girls being wacky.

    Nichibros apparently has a pretty big female audience, and I suspect for the same reasons above, but with the genders reversed.

    So I guess I'm just not the right audience for it, but statistically, I should be, which is why this concerns me.

    I'm not actually very literate in anime so I probably should be reading more than writing (I'll check those recommendations out, thanks!).

  2. I had this conversation with a female friend (who along with me is kind of new to anime) about the treatment of girls and women in this specific style moe/mostly female cast anime (haiyore nyarko-san, non non biyori, girl und panzer, chuunibyou). I was kind of surprised that she was totally ok with the weird porcelain doll effect I get from these kinds of series, where female characters are kind of just shallow, perfectly formed caricatures used to appeal to a male audience, with most male characters being similarly shallow and mostly generic audience surrogates that foil the antics of the female cast by being a voice of reason.


    She told me that she was happy that there were girls doing crazy shit and being awesome, and didn't really care if it appealed to a latent sense of superiority in the male audience. It's possibly because she didn't really get the effect that I (a heterosexual male) got when I tried to watch stuff like it. I see this arrangement as portraying women to be universally silly and illegitimate, including characters that are "serious" or fit a less wacky or sexual stereotype since they still have a caricature to fill.


    I feel weird about it. Most of the anime that are like that I view as inane trash anyway probably due to their being extremely refined appeals to a narrow otaku audience for the purpose of making a franchise, but it's such a huge part of the medium that when I bring up anime, "cartoons for sad horny dudes" is a universal touchstone.


    Maybe I'm not looking in the right sources, but I never see this being critiqued or brought up since moe is supposed to be light and carefree with a feminine focus aimed at males. But I see it more as "watch this dynamic theater of extreme stereotypes and adore these half-humans", which just feels really wrong. Like sure it's comedy, but it's also often billed as "slice of life".

  3. Re: The Conversation Meta Conversation


    Good communication is not about scrubbing your vocabulary down to only the safest and most universally acceptable words; It's about caring enough about the sensibilities of the person or persons you are interacting with to know when you have crossed a line. Then you apologize, remember for next time and life goes on. Human relationships are messy and it could be argued that expectations to the contrary are kinda naive.


    This does not mean running around hurling abuse at people and then acting surprised when they take offence. You should respect where peoples boundaries are and, unless you are deliberating trying to antagonize them, you should endeavor not to disrespect those boundaries. But it also does not mean walking on fucking egg shells. I hate that. It's hollow, self serving bullshit that sucks the potential for candid conversation down the drain. 


    Yeah in the end it's about combating latent problematic culture, not achieving a platonic ideal of politicalcorrectness (had to omit the space to get past the comedic censor). Human empathy comes first.

  4. Come on. His latest videos have him wearing a cowboy hat. Indoors. Regardless of the "weird kid on the playground" factor, someone doing that while trying to pull off a gordon gekko is just funny.


    He would be completely harmless if 0 people agreed with him.

  5. Aurini is kind of sad to me because he also looks like the product of an deep seated identity crisis or great masculine overcompensation that drives him to seek solace in the fantasy of being a cradle fingered, not-trying-at-all alpha male.

    He's like the kid that wears a trenchcoat, eats alone at lunch and pretends he has special powers, except he's a grown ass man.

  6. They're trying to paint speakers as disingenuous and corporate so they can justify the idea that big truth-hiding conspiracies exist, but lacking any evidence they appeal to warping the aesthetic of "preparing a speech" and contrasting it with GG's apparent scrappyness and passion, an astroturfing strategy not seen since the days of Mao.

  7. It was like "gaming is for everyone! #gamergate" with a graphic that had an ostensibly feminine hand with nail polish holding one side of a controller and a hand that didn't holding the other end of it.

    Haha wait so either someone at google saw the hashtag floating around with tweets about diversity in games and innocently decided to use it or there's like one gater on their PR team. Good

  8. The point is that regardless of the subject matter, when you casually toss around offensive terms you're expressing an unconscious ideology in the language you use, the intent behind which is entirely opaque to the listener. So even if you're not around retarded people, you're presenting an ideology that normalizes the treatment of mental retardation as socially unacceptable or "bad".


    Rape is the same thing, except you're presenting an ideology that normalizes rape. It's the same practice.


    It's not about some arbitrary sliding scale of how offensive something is, it's the qualitative traits that you give them that permeates culture and makes everything shitty for everybody.

  9. It's cool though that there's quite a bit of japanese media as old as Rashomon that deconstructs the mythos. Come to think of it, most of the "scruffy, morally enlightened warrior" tropes I've come across are depicted as ronin or in some other way outside the social order.

    Still I'm waiting for a good Sengoku era Wolf Hall.

  10. I have a really big issue with people who say it's wrong, or "not helpful," to have an emotional response. Especially while under attack.


    Yeah crucifying someone for having an emotional response is stupid, sorry. Even with this, looking back Brianna was on the whole relatively civil and positive attitude, especially compared to the reactions she got.


    But I don't see how justifying an action because of its emotional context makes it any more constructive. Idk. I really don't want to focus on this kind of infraction, since on the whole the other side is far worse.


    Somehow I came across as a GG apologist in the last page. I wasn't trying to say "both sides are at fault" because clearly, objectively, GG started and perpetuated this, I was just trying to say that the sarcasm and nerd jokes on twitter come across as shitty. 


    I don't think Twitter in itself is necessarily that chamber, but the way we interact with it is.  What is trending at any given moment, or how many likes something got, or how much attention something garnered are now considered news stories.  Someone says something, someone else retweets it, someone else shares it, someone else posts about it on facebook, and very quickly the discussion goes from being about a topic to discussion about the discussion of said topic.  You can go on Twitter, or any social media platform, post anything from the mundane to the inflammatory, get some retweets, and feel vindicated in your actions.  I think the fact that twitter makes all of this so easy, and broken up into easily digestible chunks is what makes it seem like something more than it is.


    It's a personal thing, but the echo chamber claim always makes me a bit uneasy. I just think it's an unhelpful generalization that doesn't account for nuance in either how people use the platform or how they interpret social stuff, which makes me think that I'm about to be hit with some "both sides" guff, even though that doesn't necessarily happen.


    Yeah a lot of situations you see of people having constructive conversation over twitter doesn't seem to be in the spirit of twitter, which is about passing things around, parroting things in limited context, and silently signalling approval. It's not that it makes people into arrogant narrow minded jerks because you're only surrounded by people who agree with you, it's that a big part of the interactions in twitter (retweet, favorite) constitute your input more than actual conversation does. Also it's not that this thing is local to twitter, it's that this kind of interaction is amplified. The echo chamber thing doesn't come from only associating with people you agree with, it's how you signal approval in the unnuanced, slightly blind way (there's no "down thumb" or "i don't really agree with all of this but it's all for a greater good" on twitter)

  11. Yeah speaking of that, what time period does this take place in? It seems to be kept deliberately ambiguous, with Ginko looking like some modern high school teacher wandering around what looks like feudal/imperial japan. Not complaining or anything, and I should probably watch the rest of the first season, but I wonder if it's kept ambiguous.

  12. I don't think it comes across as concern trolling, but it is pretty unambiguously a tone argument, so... yeah. Not sure what one does with that.



    I guess so.


    I've always thought that tone arguments were shit because they're used in bad faith or designed to make one side look bad. I don't intend to be trying to condemn people or behavior, and I really hope it doesn't come off as telling people to shut up. I was just wondering if it's even possible to fight back in earnest without slinging shit, though I guess that doesn't really apply here either because gamergate is the actual shit catapault.


    I've just kind of had it with people yelling over twitter.

  13. Yo, people are allowed to be angry and make fun of pathetic nerds. Is it really her shooting arrows that will be picked up or is it her picking up arrows that were already shot at her?

    Feminists are allowed to be angry. We don't all need to be level headed ambassadors all the time. Fuck that.


    See, I was afraid of sounding like a concern troll, so I kind of hope that what I'm trying to express seems to come out of good faith.


    I'm not saying that people shouldn't be angry at all, I'm just saying is making fun of pathetic nerds necessary? Doing a Tim Schaefer and meeting with Jontron to settle things personally doesn't help anyone, and seeming civil doesn't make you right, but still I can't see how you can ignore politics and expect to make a political difference.


    This might be an XY question and I'm being incredibly unrealistic/extending the metaphor way too far but isn't it better to shoot bullets instead of arrows? Make right arguments that are less likely to be used as ammunition against you and refrain from stuff that can be?


    I'm definitely wrong in only implicating Brianna Wu in this, since ignoring the fact that the people initiating shit is gamergate is stupid, and the fact that twitter is kind of an impossible platform to do what I'm suggesting, but I can't help but feel like the last few months haven't been very productive.

  14. My only issue with Brianna Wu was that she was really incendiary, along with David Gallant and a few really close friends but that's kind of just an opinion I've developed recently.

    In the heat of all of it, I also ranted on twitter and made fedora jokes, but in hindsight I doubt it made any difference other than make me seem like a shithead, and I didn't really receive any death threats or harassment ever (note my gender on twitter is kept unspecified).

    I also don't see why saying that someone was egging people on makes the harassers any less culpable. Isn't it possible to voice an opinion the way you want it without shitting on people?

    I asked in the social justice thread about the whole "male tears" thing and though I find it really funny, it feels to me kind of like shooting arrows at someone who picks them up and shoots them back at us.

    People who claim to be moderates deliberately take this as proof that "oh feminism is discriminatory against men" or "your feminism isn't REAL feminism", either because they don't understand feminism, disagree with the idea of unconscious ideology, pick it apart piecemeal to seem opinionated in a way that is different from me, and/or just hate women, but in every case wants to find every belligerent part of a positive movement and use it against it. I think this is a not insignificant part of why stuff like gamergate and MRA works, and idk if being dicks is justifiable anymore.


    EDIT: wait "p o l i t i c a l l y c o r r e c t" is comedy censored on this site?

  15. Oh my god Mushishi is amazing. It's really simple and kind of insultingly clear about everything but the plots and atmosphere and character design and sense of place carry it to infinity. I'm only done with three episodes so I'm in no place to start hypothesizing about an overall theme but so far everything's been about things kind of really sad sensory repression and lonelinesses that's incredibly evocative and ghhhhhhh

    I have no idea if it's gonna get weird and intricate but so far I like that it's straightforward and minimal, not leaning on gimmicks, stereotype characters or crazy bombast.

  16. All this stuff bums me out so much. Not that I'm capable of psychoanalyzing people from their twitter but i dont imagine totalbiscuit is a very happy person. All these things lead to is venom slinging and people further entrenching themselves in their beliefs...I just get depressed reading about it

    Yeah also twitter can be a crazy echo chamber of your thoughts without anyone writing a word. You can have 100 reply tweets making arguments against you but you would still feel right if you have your 5 favorites and 5 retweets.

    Also the more I imagine gaters as frustrated lonely manchildren the more I want to give them out hugs and books.

  17. Completed Non Non Biyori. Don't really know what I expected. It's just moe moe moe, just at a slower pace than usual. I kept watching because even though the characters are all sort of cliché, they're watered down because the focus of the series is the ambience of the countryside, and the low-key tone allowed for some funny dry humor. Though it would be much more convincing as a naturalistic stroll in the countryside if the characters seemed like actual children, rather than porcelain dolls meant to look and act like someone's idea of what elementary to middle school girls are like.

    I guess I'm still not over the creepy feeling I get when watching moe. It just seems too engineered and transparent for me to latch on at all.

    A series with a similar tone, Barakamon (thanks for the recommendation, thread), pulled off the "cute kids in the country are funny" thing way better and with decidedly less conventional moe.

    Though anyway I'm starting to really like anime with ambience art and atmosphere as a priority over plot. I'm looking into Mushishi which looks incredibly relaxing. Basically right now I'm only watching anime that are exactly like the first half of any Ghibli film.