Author Topic: Silver-Screen Scumbags: Damnation Doesn't Deter  (Read 1073 times)

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Re: Silver-Screen Scumbags: Damnation Doesn't Deter
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2019, 10:49:48 pm »
I agree with Al Qedic that Johnnyís use of Nietzche is the first goddamn time Iíve actually seen that quote in the (IIRC) intended context of the author. Itís gratifying. When we bay for blood, what separates us from the killers but a thin veneer of rhetoric?

Iíve been struggling with these issues for ages now, but havenít commented because, to date, Iíve never seen but one piece of media intentionally try to work on this sort of level even a little bit. That media was Bloodborne. A hacky slashy bloodsoaked horror videogame where you play a badass with trick weapons fighting people who literally became monsters. (Talking about the ďhowĒ is deep spoilers, and Bloodborne is a game that deserves not to be spoiled, ever. Half of the effect is experiencing it in real time.)

The fact is, some people have no capacity for self reflection and almost anyone youíll meet has infinite capacity for rationalization. Mix in this weird /thing/ with fame (a sort of any attention is good attention concept of reality, really) in the developed world, and itís kind of hard to find /anything/ you could do to break through.

I donít think we shouldnít try, but I have trouble seeing much difference between the ďgoodĒ takes and the ďbadĒ ones, and they seem to be about equally effective in transmitting their intended message (which is to say mostly ineffective entirely). I think if you want to communicate on that level you will have to use rhetorical and narrative devices that havenít even been invented yet, and I donít think Iím smart enough to come up with any.

But itís unsatisfying to say ďI donít think we can right now, and I doubt any existing ideas on how to communicate through those barriers will even work.Ē It just shuts down discussion when I think itís worth talking about, but I didnít just want to mittens Johnny and not address the OP either.  So I post this wall and encourage continued discussion, because Iím not that smart and Iím probably wrong and this is a problem worth solving.

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Re: Silver-Screen Scumbags: Damnation Doesn't Deter
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2019, 11:47:04 pm »
That sounds like a great game, but also very difficult to design, I would love to see how it develops.
"Difficult to design" is an understatement, my friend.  :lulz: This is but a series of ideas swimming in the heads of a handful of college freshmen. "Overly ambitious" is both a goal we hope to achieve and an apt descriptor for how this could all go wrong. We'll fight to refine and keep the concept afloat in the years to come, but I'll be pleasantly surprised if and when we get this thing out of our heads and into some funny metal boxes that go bleep bloop. Once something does come of this pipe dream of ours, I'll definitely keep you all posted.
O, the Frog fell down to Tehran.
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So sayeth the water, the words of Anahita,
But the Frog just made themselves a bog.

And lo, they said:

"May I have your shoes, miss?
O great Water Goddess,
I've a journey that I need to start."
She responded from her knowing, wise heart.

With this, said the Goddess,
"Go now, take these shoes with."
And covered their webbed feet with glee.
"You'll do good not to disappoint me."

Thank you for completing the free trial. To view the rest of this poem, nag me about it...I might not respond by giving you the rest of it, but when has that ever stopped you?

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Re: Silver-Screen Scumbags: Damnation Doesn't Deter
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2019, 11:54:34 pm »
The fact is, some people have no capacity for self reflection and almost anyone youíll meet has infinite capacity for rationalization. Mix in this weird /thing/ with fame (a sort of any attention is good attention concept of reality, really) in the developed world, and itís kind of hard to find /anything/ you could do to break through.

I donít think we shouldnít try, but I have trouble seeing much difference between the ďgoodĒ takes and the ďbadĒ ones, and they seem to be about equally effective in transmitting their intended message (which is to say mostly ineffective entirely). I think if you want to communicate on that level you will have to use rhetorical and narrative devices that havenít even been invented yet, and I donít think Iím smart enough to come up with any.
Yeah, it's tough to talk about this. On one hand, our brains love taking shortcuts, and using pattern recognition, so of course we'll generalize entire groups of people, of course we'll make certain assumptions across all cases, because that's so much easier than thinking with nuance. But that also makes actually talking about this topic frustrating; it's like we have to invoke cognitive dissonance in order to give any credence to the thought that "hey, killers are people too", and that's just...sad? Alarming? Weird? Yeah, weird.

Humans are weird.

Also I'll definitely keep Bloodborne on a list in the back of my mind of games to check out, especially when thinking of this sort of thing.
O, the Frog fell down to Tehran.
To fix the broken hourglass in the sun.
From the gates, to the city, to the market so pretty,
They'd not leave until they were done.

Said the Goddess to the Frog,
"You'd best be moving along."
So sayeth the water, the words of Anahita,
But the Frog just made themselves a bog.

And lo, they said:

"May I have your shoes, miss?
O great Water Goddess,
I've a journey that I need to start."
She responded from her knowing, wise heart.

With this, said the Goddess,
"Go now, take these shoes with."
And covered their webbed feet with glee.
"You'll do good not to disappoint me."

Thank you for completing the free trial. To view the rest of this poem, nag me about it...I might not respond by giving you the rest of it, but when has that ever stopped you?

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Re: Silver-Screen Scumbags: Damnation Doesn't Deter
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2019, 06:46:34 am »
Wanted to say a lot of excellent points here. Unsure if I can meaningfully contribute anything to the conversation, that I haven't said before.

Speaking of monsters, there was a time when, due to my harsh experiences with my childhood peers, social stigma from mental illness, and lack of many positive role models, I started down a rather dark path. I'm glad I didn't get too far with it before reality slapped me back to my senses... but I learned a lot about adjusting my perspective and confronting my own flawed rationalizations. Now, when I meet what many would consider a "monster" in real life, I do my best to see the person underneath the scars and empathize.

Sometimes just being there to listen, empathize, and offer a better way is enough to defuse a potentially horrible situation, perhaps even a string of them. It also feels good to make a positive difference for someone who needs help. I think my biggest fear in these situations is accidentally doing more harm than good, but one has to try.

This relates to movies and television in, a few ways. In my opinion, the most important is, I find a lot of television does more harm than good. Yes, there are very bad people out there that you simply cannot save, but much of the entertainment I've seen, for the sake of telling a compelling story, blows the problem way out of proportion. It doesn't help that many people I've met in life try to take their lessons from movies and tv, and simply reinforce the stigma of issues they simply do not understand. I like it when movies and television break from this trend.

A particular movie that helped me out, my mom refused to believe I had bipolar disorder for a long time. She watched "The Silver-Lining's Playbook", and about the time he flips out about the crappy ending to a book and throws it through the window, she thought, omg, this guy is just like my son! (then made me watch it later) Not to derail though, the flawed people in this movie aren't the antagonists, there really aren't any antagonists in this movie, it's just a feel-good comedy that explores living with these flaws. I personally think it provides a nice contrast that we, as a society, could really use more of.

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Re: Silver-Screen Scumbags: Damnation Doesn't Deter
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2019, 09:31:54 am »
thats the premise of the movie, a person whose entire life was a shit situation and everyone walking all over her one day starts killing people, not because they are an unhuman demon, but because they had no safety nets or support, society left them out in the cold to die, so at one point they snapped and stopped caring as others stopped caring for them...

Then theres the Joker... whats his catchphrase? ďAll it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day.Ē

And as cliche as it might sound, theres some truth to Nietzsches saying "He who fights with monsters, must take care of not becoming one himself".... in the sense that sure, serial killers tend to see their victims not as a fellow human but as objects, but so are we doing the same thing considering them not a fellow human but a "monster"...

Wheter we like it or not were all human, despite all the sick motivations and flawed logic that gets used to do something.
I think your first point really gets at what chafes my cloaca about characters like this sometimes; assuming they're presented as a flawed hooman bean and not a mustache-twirling evildoer, it is frustrating as all hell to watch them get so entrenched in their own shitty life situations, mental illnesses, and harmful neuroses that they "turn into" the practically inhuman murder-cannibal-psychotic clowns that they're known as. I'm not going to make a case for the walking ham that is The Joker to be "just a widdle misunderstood babu", but seeing the likes of [insert murderer driven by mental illness here] get demonized because they're up shit creek without so much as a raft, I feel bad for the bastards. If Patrick Bateman had decent human beings as coworkers, chances are he wouldn't have moidled them. Doesn't change that he has psychopathy, but it would mean that he didn't ruin his life because of it.

I normally hate the "he who fights monsters becomes monsters" quip, but your recontextualization points back to our aforementioned hypocrisy of wanting to murder the people we watch murder. That was neat.

All of this is making me think more about the premise of a game my friends and I plan on making in the eventual future, where the intended morality as presented by the plot is that "Humans keep making their own problems and blaming each other for it. This leads to a cycle of, in the worst of cases, unbridled murder. So for better or worse, something needs to die; either the people doing the stabby-stabby, or the awful mentalities and situations that drive them to do so, if that's even a viable option in a given scenario." The crux of the gameplay is that your extraterrestrial (because alternate universes are neat, don'cha'know) supervisor is firmly in the "kill the killers" camp, and you, as a squad of highly trained human agents, have to follow his instructions, or make the more difficult, conscious effort to try and reform the less reprehensible murderers, and only off the ones that truly can't and won't be "saved". Is it worth letting a few more innocent victims die in the pursuit of changing people's minds? When does slashing the slashers become a bad thing? No matter what universe or country you're fighting in, you're still dealing with humans living human lives how they see fit. And that realization can make your actions feel like they have just that much more weight to them.

As a somewhat informed but amateur reader of TvTropes theres this trope of "black and white morality" that is just so droolingly and exasperantingly basic... bad guys are ontologically bad and should be exterminated and the good guys are the purest snowflakes with no flaws and are the manifestation of Gods will/plan... thats the terrain of childrens entertainment and those preferred by religious fanatics which funnily enough coincide.

Then theres "grey morality" (if i recall correctly) in which the consumer of the media product can within reasonable doubt emphatize or identify with either side (Thanos did nothing wrong btw,  :p, jk)... this type of media product is more advanced and elaborate because it permits character development... antanogists can turn into the protagonists side, and inversely... its also the terrain of the anti-hero, which can have deep flaws but its still doing the "right thing" despite not being "100% pure"... this media product is more realistic i would say, despite its edginess cliches.

I mean, i personally feel sorry for the Joker, that doesnt mean he doesnt need to be put down like a rabid dog... people are so bad with their emotions, they cant generally see others as anything more than a "good object" or a "bad object", either overlooking their flaws or overlooking their good qualities... its technically incorrect to call it a defense mechanism, but colloquially speaking thats what it is, its much easier to idealize or demonize rather than having a complicated appreciation of what someone actually is.

Only thing i can say about "American Psycho" is that theres no backstory and that theres no depth to the character, its just an excuse to show people how a character kills and fucks and has a rich lifestyle. Correct me if im wrong, havent seen it in ages.

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Re: Silver-Screen Scumbags: Damnation Doesn't Deter
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2019, 09:49:36 am »
The fact is, some people have no capacity for self reflection and almost anyone youíll meet has infinite capacity for rationalization. Mix in this weird /thing/ with fame (a sort of any attention is good attention concept of reality, really) in the developed world, and itís kind of hard to find /anything/ you could do to break through.

I donít think we shouldnít try, but I have trouble seeing much difference between the ďgoodĒ takes and the ďbadĒ ones, and they seem to be about equally effective in transmitting their intended message (which is to say mostly ineffective entirely). I think if you want to communicate on that level you will have to use rhetorical and narrative devices that havenít even been invented yet, and I donít think Iím smart enough to come up with any.

But itís unsatisfying to say ďI donít think we can right now, and I doubt any existing ideas on how to communicate through those barriers will even work.Ē It just shuts down discussion when I think itís worth talking about, but I didnít just want to mittens Johnny and not address the OP either. 

But why do we want to "break through the barriers" and what is it that we want to "communicate"?

I know a thing or two about brainwashing and counter-brainwashing, but idk if thats where youre going.

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Re: Silver-Screen Scumbags: Damnation Doesn't Deter
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2019, 01:11:18 pm »

I mean, i personally feel sorry for the Joker, that doesnt mean he doesnt need to be put down like a rabid dog... people are so bad with their emotions, they cant generally see others as anything more than a "good object" or a "bad object", either overlooking their flaws or overlooking their good qualities... its technically incorrect to call it a defense mechanism, but colloquially speaking thats what it is, its much easier to idealize or demonize rather than having a complicated appreciation of what someone actually is.


From society's point of view it's a useful shorthand. The group is probably strong enough to lose a bad apple or two whereas any attempt to give the benefit of the doubt carries a risk of the fucker doing the same thing again. Looking at it strictly pragmatically, why bother trying?

The question then becomes - what is considered too far gone? Thus we've become accustomed to find certain crimes particularly abhorrent and unforgivable. It varies from society to society but there are common themes. Painting these criminals as monsters is an easy way to avoid any moral backlash or cold feet about how they're dealt with.

To be honest I don't have a problem with this. Just because I can empathise with the set of events that led an innocent child to grow up into a demented fiend from the pits of hell doesn't mean I want the bastard living next door to me. Sure, there may be a way to  get through to them and rehabilitate but how many tax dollars do I have to stick in the pot to find out? What's the risk to me and my family? Maybe there's more important things to spend my money on than lost causes with a proven track record for mischief.
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Re: Silver-Screen Scumbags: Damnation Doesn't Deter
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2019, 05:36:58 am »
Is there anything that does parallel stories?  The characters have the same background and shit happening but due to their own decisions one goes hero the other villain?  Not even the whole one good person helps which changes their path but something that they think to do.
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Re: Silver-Screen Scumbags: Damnation Doesn't Deter
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2019, 08:06:24 am »
From society's point of view it's a useful shorthand. The group is probably strong enough to lose a bad apple or two whereas any attempt to give the benefit of the doubt carries a risk of the fucker doing the same thing again. Looking at it strictly pragmatically, why bother trying?

The question then becomes - what is considered too far gone? Thus we've become accustomed to find certain crimes particularly abhorrent and unforgivable. It varies from society to society but there are common themes. Painting these criminals as monsters is an easy way to avoid any moral backlash or cold feet about how they're dealt with.

To be honest I don't have a problem with this. Just because I can empathise with the set of events that led an innocent child to grow up into a demented fiend from the pits of hell doesn't mean I want the bastard living next door to me. Sure, there may be a way to  get through to them and rehabilitate but how many tax dollars do I have to stick in the pot to find out? What's the risk to me and my family? Maybe there's more important things to spend my money on than lost causes with a proven track record for mischief.

Oh i know were youre coming from, safety and not wasting resources on irredeemable criminal shitbags... i could even add that those that are in deathrow or for life imprisonment are in this stupid humanitarian limbo that is unfair for them and for society at large... theyve been marked as unfit to come back to society, so the supposed "rehabilitation" that is the purpose of prisons does not apply to them... so theyre just left to rot encaged despite never ever reintegrating to society while wasting truckloads of money on the facilities and systems to keep them there... i mean, speak of the industro-judicial complex and setting people as an example or w.e.

So like, in terms of criminals that get viewed as monsters and get thrown in the pokey or get the death sentence, fine, the mentality is reasonable and pragmatic... but the problems begin when other groups that arent irredeemable criminals are catalogued as monsters... illegal immigrants, the political opposition, you name it... then rather than a "defense mechanism" it becomes an "attack mechanism" so to speak, it becomes not about protecting ourselves but about demonizing the opposition so we dont feel guilty or have second doubts while curb-stomping them.

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Re: Silver-Screen Scumbags: Damnation Doesn't Deter
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2019, 08:56:18 am »
Quote
Only thing i can say about "American Psycho" is that theres no backstory and that theres no depth to the character, its just an excuse to show people how a character kills and fucks and has a rich lifestyle. Correct me if im wrong, havent seen it in ages.
Not exactly, it comes across better in the book but,  Patrick Bateman is shallow materialistic, emotionally void, obsessed with the cost of products,  what they are wearing,  commercialism to absurdism. Everything in his life is false, the people the products,  everything.
In this sense he is interchangeable with any other male character in the story.
The only human characteristic he has,  the only thing real about him,  is a flaw.
He's a killer and its a irredeemable flaw,  but it is the only honest thing about him, it is sadly,  the only thing that makes him human.
The implication at the end of the book and less so the film is that there's no escape from the false materialiatic world, his peers wont allow it, either by covering up his flaw and thus invalidating his right to be recognised as human and to be punished accordingly, or worse still, that he only imagined this negative trait to imagine himself having some kind of depth or substance in reality. Either way, he is trapped like a rat in a maze.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2019, 08:58:27 am by Faust »
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Re: Silver-Screen Scumbags: Damnation Doesn't Deter
« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2019, 07:02:50 pm »
From society's point of view it's a useful shorthand. The group is probably strong enough to lose a bad apple or two whereas any attempt to give the benefit of the doubt carries a risk of the fucker doing the same thing again. Looking at it strictly pragmatically, why bother trying?

The question then becomes - what is considered too far gone? Thus we've become accustomed to find certain crimes particularly abhorrent and unforgivable. It varies from society to society but there are common themes. Painting these criminals as monsters is an easy way to avoid any moral backlash or cold feet about how they're dealt with.

To be honest I don't have a problem with this. Just because I can empathise with the set of events that led an innocent child to grow up into a demented fiend from the pits of hell doesn't mean I want the bastard living next door to me. Sure, there may be a way to  get through to them and rehabilitate but how many tax dollars do I have to stick in the pot to find out? What's the risk to me and my family? Maybe there's more important things to spend my money on than lost causes with a proven track record for mischief.

Oh i know were youre coming from, safety and not wasting resources on irredeemable criminal shitbags... i could even add that those that are in deathrow or for life imprisonment are in this stupid humanitarian limbo that is unfair for them and for society at large... theyve been marked as unfit to come back to society, so the supposed "rehabilitation" that is the purpose of prisons does not apply to them... so theyre just left to rot encaged despite never ever reintegrating to society while wasting truckloads of money on the facilities and systems to keep them there... i mean, speak of the industro-judicial complex and setting people as an example or w.e.

So like, in terms of criminals that get viewed as monsters and get thrown in the pokey or get the death sentence, fine, the mentality is reasonable and pragmatic... but the problems begin when other groups that arent irredeemable criminals are catalogued as monsters... illegal immigrants, the political opposition, you name it... then rather than a "defense mechanism" it becomes an "attack mechanism" so to speak, it becomes not about protecting ourselves but about demonizing the opposition so we dont feel guilty or have second doubts while curb-stomping them.

It's all in the nuance. Also I'm kinda on the fence a bit. A little devil's advocate to see if anyone has a better idea. It's a strong argument I've heard many a time and, with the extreme cases, the left don't seem to have anything to counter it with.
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Re: Silver-Screen Scumbags: Damnation Doesn't Deter
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2019, 10:57:19 am »
I think maybe Oliver Cromwell had this one right - "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken." There is always doubt.  Nothing is ever written in stone until you are dead; and then its too late to change anything. If judicial murder is permissable then where is the impetus to find other solutions? You say that
"with the extreme cases, the left don't seem to have anything to counter it with", well how about principle? If it is wrong to kill people as a private individual then it is wrong to kill them as a society. I mean, society is just a whole bunch of individuals, the biggest mob that you can get, isn't it? If you genuinely believe in the principle that it is wrong to kill people them it is fucking wrong to kill them. No wars, no murders, no executions; its a fucking principle. end of. unless you know different, that's just my take

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