The Big Picture: A Guy Named Joe

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I'm sorry Bob, but I don't think "Role Model" means what you think it means.

Again an interesting insight into the other side of the great lake. Talking about the video as much as this thread (which iscontaining some great examples of incredible stupidity in shocking amounds)

By far the best episode so far! I love this show.

Hy Bob,

I've been watching you show from the very beginning and I love it, but I have one complaint.
In your last show you showed a picture of Vlad Tepes and called him a "dead conqueror".

Vlad Tepes was a Voievod (equivalent of a king) in the Romanian Country (part of modern day Romania). He is the historic figure that inspired the legend of Dracula.
He is a National Hero in my country and I resent you depicting his as evil.
Vlad Tepes never invaded anyone or conquered anything. He only fought of the Otoman Empires (Turks) relentless invasions in their continues efforts to conquer Europe.
He was a leader that fought for his people's independence and freedom.
He was demonofied by the Austro-Hungarian Empire because he was a thorn in their side and because he used to impale traitors and invaders on giant wooden stakes (common practice in medieval Europe).

I resent you calling him a conqueror or depicting him as evil.

Thanks

AdrianRK:
Hy Bob,

I've been watching you show from the very beginning and I love it, but I have one complaint.
In your last show you showed a picture of Vlad Tepes and called him a "dead conqueror".

Vlad Tepes was a Voievod (equivalent of a king) in the Romanian Country (part of modern day Romania). He is the historic figure that inspired the legend of Dracula.
He is a National Hero in my country and I resent you depicting his as evil.
Vlad Tepes never invaded anyone or conquered anything. He only fought of the Otoman Empires (Turks) relentless invasions in their continues efforts to conquer Europe.
He was a leader that fought for his people's independence and freedom.
He was demonofied by the Austro-Hungarian Empire because he was a thorn in their side and because he used to impale traitors and invaders on giant wooden stakes (common practice in medieval Europe).

I resent you calling him a conqueror or depicting him as evil.

Thanks

I can appreciate that, and in the future will choose my words more carefully. But disrespect was not my intent.

The character being referenced was a GI Joe enemy called "Serpentor," whose backstory involves being made from the DNA of snakes and various military/monarchial figures of ruthless reputation from history; Vlad Tepes being one of them, Napolean, Philip and Alexander of Macedon, Ivan the Terrible, Hannibal, Ghengis Kahn, Attila the Hun, Rasputin and Caesar being the others. I picked Tepes' portrait because I figured he was the guy on the list most-immediately recognizable by his face (except for Napolean, who isn't as "interesting.")

The Patriarch is dead?

Really?

imageimageimageimage

The reason this generation doesn't have a G.I.Joe, is that it has a K-Mart Joe.

image

Your Chuck, Scott Pilgrim, Clerks, Wayne/Garth work as henchmen for the real battlefields of the day.

image

And selling is only half the battle.

image

This was an early one, but I can see some important issues nonetheless. If the actual issue is anti-war activists, then what could be the solution? Another world war? Even though I don't think anyone has the absolute confidence and complete disregard for life in general to use nuclear weapons, I'm not so convinced that I want to test that theory.

Therumancer:
Skips around the actual issue.

The problem is the rise of liberalism from the 1960s. A lot of the guys calling the shots nowadays are the same guys who were doing the anti-war crusades for Veitnam and Korea and have gotten to define morality and history according to what they wanted.

Stop. Right now. You can't blame a philosophy for the world's problems. I could blame the recession on rampant conservatism (in a global society, stockpiling, saving and taking what you can is a terrible idea), but that just doesn't make sense. I'd like you to first define morality as you see it, then we can get a perspective on how liberalism has failed society. As for history, I don't know what you're on, but historians haven't started addling facts to suit their philosophy (in fact, even less so than in the past, as now it's become a requisite to say what all of the larger groups think).

Therumancer:
The thing is that when the boomers were rising into power in the 1980s, it was the birth of Political Correctness. The idea that we could have no bad guys, no matter what they said or did. The USSR was to be presented as a potential group of friends and allies, as opposed to a giant enemy, and you saw this in children's media with a "get them young" attitude. Understand that while the primary enemy was fictional, groups like the Russians WERE present in the form of a USSR version of GI Joe, who despite tensions GI Joe ultimatly wound up teaming up with in most cases to fight a common enemy.

Now that paragraph could easily be turned in the opposite direction. Watch as I change a single sentence.

The thing is that when the boomers were rising into power in the 1980s, it was the birth of Political Correctness. The idea that we didn't need to have any bad guys, that everyone could work together. The USSR was to be presented as a potential group of friends and allies, as opposed to a giant enemy, and you saw this in children's media with a "get them young" attitude. Understand that while the primary enemy was fictional, groups like the Russians WERE present in the form of a USSR version of GI Joe, who despite tensions GI Joe ultimatly wound up teaming up with in most cases to fight a common enemy.

Equally fanatical and equally incorrect. There don't have to be any "enemies", but there is always a villain, a perpatrator. When there is a problem, they must be targeted first or risk horrible reprecussions after the fact. Case and point: nobody truly respects russians anymore. They didn't have much of a chance to stop being a people of evil in the public eye before the institution that was making life hell for everyone collapsed. Now we know, but nobody's quite gotten over it.

Therumancer:

This kind of mentality has given birth to a situation today where we can't clearly identify a culture like that of The Middle East as an enemy, rather we need to take a reactive perspective and only target very specific individuals like those ACTIVELY engaged in terrorism rather than the core issues. The same could be said about China, or anyone else. Unlike previous generations where the media was making no bones about treating our enemies as enemies, and suggestiong violence and military action as a method of dealing with them, today the message is a naive one where violence is always wrong, there are always magical solutions that will arrive to avoid large scale violence, and worst of all is identifying an entire broad group of people as the enemy.

Today's mentality is one where we would not go to war against "Nazism" if it was to rise the same way. Rather we'd make a big deal about only opposing those guys at the top of the food chain, and misunderstanding the huge, international culture, with the fanatical millions behind it, we would of course wind up getting our tails kicked. It says a lot when you consider that people have made arguements that Patton was unworthy to wear a US uniform by modern standards because you know... he made no bones about wanting to destroy the enemy.

There is a VERY clear difference between nazi Germany and the middle east. Several, in fact.

-- Germany had the nazis as a governing body. These militant groups aren't in charge, they're guerilla fighters, minority organizations within their own countries. How can you target a whole society when the society as a whole asks for help? (Afghan majority does not want foreign troops to withdraw)

-- There is currently no major political group on the planet implimenting mass extermination, and until someone with a will and a way pops up, there's absolutely no reason diplomacy can't be attempted.

-- The middle east is a collection of societies that hasn't advanced culturally the same way as the rest of the world. Even if international forces moved in, took down the government and set up an occupation force, that wouldn't magically turn them into a U.S. mirror. There would still be rebel groups (incresed in number by people not wanting to lose their freedom) and society as a whole wouldn't change. It needs time for that and right now providing a stabilizing force is the best anyone can do for that.

Therumancer:

The point is a society that won't let you identify the bad guys as bad guys, and does everything in it's power to avoid confrontation, or at least confrontation on the level of a "total war", "us or them" level which would actually see a resolution.

On a lot of levels the problem is your dad's day (so to speak) rather than your grandfather's day. His toys were pretty much made by his grand-dad's generation. Consider that "Dad's" generation were the "make love, not war" generation, who had no sense of national duty, dodged the draft (as opposed to seeing it as a responsibility), and even if the wars at the time were a mess took things to an absolutly ridiculous level in opposition because none of them wanted to get shot at. "Dad's Generation" pretty much defined itself by tearing down society in favor of what it wanted at the moment, and while some good did come of it, a lot more problems occured.

Total war is a terrible idea. Today's world is a planet. The WHOLE planet. If anyone starts a war with anyone else, there will be reprecussions. A resolution of conflict is a great idea, now explain to me how total war must be initiated to end conflict. A distinct victor just means civil war or public unrest for a very long time. Example: The end of the first world war sparked tension in germany. Suddenly the common people were even poorer than before. Then came Hitler. Suddenly everyone realized that the Jews had money and they didn't (why? Nobody cared, but the Jews hadn't been allowed to own property, they had to be merchants. They also had to take that kind of crap for a very ling time beforehand. A culture constantly being pushed to the bottom prepares for the inevitable fall). Now there was a common enemy in the germans' eyes. The foreigners and the Jews. Hitler temporarily fixed the economy and used the war to cover up extermination, all because a country could unite against a common foe. Us or them, no?

Therumancer:

There are a lot of sociologists who believe we pretty much face the task of needing to rebuild our society after the US Baby Boomers, and it remains to be seen if the current, indoctrinated generations (given how long they lived, there is more than one, Gen X and Gen Y) can throw off a lot of the propaganda and get things back on track.

Such are my thoughts.

And now all the pieces fall into place. Remember the Xenu story? It's not worth $110,000.
There is no need to rebuild society, as it hasn't yet collapsed. The future will likely see generations willing to work harder for everything and possibly a revival in agriculture in the western world (not necessarily bad things). So back on track to where?

This itself is sorta inspiring! Great episode again, Bob!

Rapidly becoming my favourite reason to visit The Escapist.

Ugh, Lisa is still on the front page and you're not. Sorry Bob.

Sorry, after 2:22 all I could think about was porkchop sandwiches... Is that normal?

rokkolpo:
What the hell, I just saw rise of cobra 5 minutes ago.

How....peculiar.

Ironic,isn't it?

wow, bob. it seems like each week you become even deeper and more socially brilliant... who knows, you could probably solve world hunger in a year or two lol

Its funny that G.I Joe and Action Man were the same thing at one point (just a different name for other regions) when they clearly arent the same thing later on.

I know your never gonna read this bob but thanks man, your opinions are always awesome to hear. Also I have been trying to make this exact point to people for over a year now and nobody gets it...it's nice to know I'm not crazy

Therumancer, saddly, has the right of it :(.

The thing is Therumancer is the only person on this board with the rational to recognize the atrocities of war and in the same instance realize its place. War does exist in this fashion for a reason.

He's brought up several points that nobody has been able to logically counter - primarily why hasn't America win a war since WWII? because we didn't engage like we should have. I remember my Uncle (a coast-guard member whose done two tours in Afghanistan) told me that the head of the military quit during the Bush administration because he basically said "we need X number of troops to completely control this city; otherwise the insurgents will just bounce behind us as we go from area to area" he got declined that troop number and low and behold what he predicted happened. Instead, we hunted for targets of interest "mission accomplished" eh?

Lastly, you talk about books as if this viewpoint is ignorant, I implore you to read some books of your own. Books by generals, warriors, hell even "my war gone by I miss it so" which was by a journalist. I've read a lot of similar viewpoints to Therumancer from people who actually know war.

It's disgusting but man the **** up buttercups, it's the truth. Educate yourselves.

Edit:

One important question which I think people balk at is "why must we fight the middle eastern people?" And that's a very hard question to answer. I believe individually we can all get along; the problem is culturally we are very different. The books I've read about Middle Eastern philosophy/mythology (Arabian Nights, Quran, etc.) lead me to the conclusion that culturally we are vastly different.

A lot of the moral lessons in the stories I read from these books is that opportunistic actions that serve the self are to be divinely rewarded (By European standards). Imagine if the story of Gallahad instead of turning down the maiden he boinked her because "It was his reward for being devout" - you pretty much have Sinbad the Sailor (4th voyage I believe). Huge cultural difference mixed in with animosity towards us (see: links Therumancer posted) is a recipe for a dangerous enemy.

I would think that fake people fighting fake wars against fake threats would be a pretty accurate view of modern war.

At least as far as those directing the wars are concerned.

snakeakaossi:
As always: great movie, Bob. It sparks for discussion as it should.

One thing, though: when referring to male workers, don't use a bee in the picture. Worker bees are considered female.

That's a little nitpicky isn't it? A beehive is almost entirely female. The handful of males exist solely for procreation, and typically die shortly after doing so.

to be fair, expendables didn't pack cinemas with men... It packed cinemas with FPS fans & people who dreamed about fighting in a world war.

Nice video Bob :)

Heh... I always personally thought GI Joe was the opposite.
Cobra was an evil organization made of larger than life versions of THEN existing caricacturized bad guys. I mean, Major Blood would have been at home in any "evil British" tank Brigade, and if Baroness wasn't the iconic depiction of "Sexy, sultry, evil NAZI", I don't know what is. The scientific mind of Destro, a man whose very face was encased in an IRON MASK for all time and yet Destro constantly floated back and forth on a moral seesaw between committing an evil act and doing what he felt was "necessary, yet misunderstood" for the betterment of the Human race (as he saw it). Cobra commander himself... well he was just a hooded representation of every faceless boogieman, the shadow behind the darkest armies, the puppet master. Where most people remember him as being comically dimwitted and foolish (thanks to Chris Latta's voice), I always found Cobra Commander chilling... behind that comic-relief, bumbling nonsense was a man who inspired enough fear and terror to not only unite those other "bad guys" in Cobra, but to run the entire operation as it's iron-fisted RULER? No no, there is something we aren't seeing there... Cobra was comprised of some of the worst scum on the planet (and some of the Best.. I mean, Zartan was stone cold, and Storm Shadow could get it done). None of them would have served someone like Cobra commander unless Cobra commander was someone they themselves feared.

So here we have this evil terrorist organization Cobra, single greatest threat to mankind there is. Who will stop them? IF such an organization truly existed, you'd need the combined might of a unified military to do it, and that is what GI JOE is.
I saw GI Joe as an opportunity to showcase the various armed forces, I mean, Bob you kinda missed the mark on that because just like your DAD's GI JOES, OUR GI JOES were pretty faithful recreations of their various sources. Low Light was a marine sniper... he came dressed AS a Marine sniper. WITH proper weapon. Doc was a black army doctor (The doctor they had before Lifeline, who came with a pistol even though he was a pacifist haha). Doc came with a STRETCHER, and was dressed as a Vietnam era Army doctor.

Sure there were a few hit and misses: Spirit, the Eagle sporting indian who served as the mystical "Western" power to balance Storm Shadow's mystical "Eastern" powers. Most people don't seem to recall that in the beginning, Storm Shadow was Spirit's nemesis, not Snake Eyes.
Later, either due to Snake Eyes (a special forces, black ops guy) increased popularity, or someone realizing that the Indian stereotype wasn't working out for the best, Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow were eventually paired off, which sparked a whole lot of nonsense and rumors (Remember, the "Snake eyes is Storm Shadows brother!" rumors filling playgrounds everywhere?)

I forgot where I was going with this...

I was sent here by Extra Credit because they said I would enjoy your videos. I had a bittersweet taste of your opinions when you released your first video about Halo and it's "racist" undertone, which I completely disagreed with. But, even though it foreshadowed something undesired, this is much more refreshing. I enjoyed it, and I hope to see more.

LadyRhian:

Armored Prayer:
I just thought of something interesting though. You mention each generation's version of G.I. Joe and I though "whats this generation's version?" The first thing that came to mind was military FPS like CoD, and how popular it was for both men and boys. Its like the old G.I. Joe what with being about real life soldiers and special forces except its an interactive game. Maybe thats one of the reasons its so popular.(besides being a great game)
Try not to take most of this seriously. Like I said its just an interesting thought I had.

But do the kids who play the game aspire to be those soldiers? Does playing the game make them want to be one when they grow up? That is why I don't think it holds the same kind of place as the other G.I. Joes. It's easier to pwn n00bs in COD than it is to become a real, honest to God soldier or member of the special forces. And that's why most people would rather just play the game.

Speaking as someone who played MW+MW2, I can safely say that John "Soap" MacTavish is a freaking legend, and Captain Price is pretty inspiring too. You mention pwning n00bs, but thats multiplayer, the singleplayer, can be challenging, painful and pack a hell of an inspirational gut punch. I'm pretty sure quite a few people REALLY wanted to kill that General by the end...

miraclefilms:
I'm sorry Bob, but I don't think "Role Model" means what you think it means.

This
----

Also, please, not this expendables vs scott pilgrim thing again.

Even though you do have some valid points (from which you sadly draw the wrong conclusions) i cant take them seriously, because at this point (roughly 3 videos ranting on the subject later) all i can see you being is just bitter, that a movie you liked didnt get the recognition you think it deserved.

At this point every time you bring up the subject it cant be taken seriously in any context whatsoever.

PS: i think Scott Pilgrim was a good movie hindered by actor performance. At the same time i admit that i didnt "get it". i fall into the age group this movie is intended for yet i do not understand the point of it. i never had any of the problems it adresses. It might be that it adresses specifics exclusive to the american culture.

We have to start paying attention to what we show our young. It does effect what they aspire to be as an adult. When you watch shows like The Moomins you start to realise that philosophy and complex moral choices in life can be broken down and simplified to help children build a sense of morals and identity. The problem is in underestimating children and over simplifying it to the point where they are just entertained and don't learn anything.

Oh By the way Bob...

I LOVE your work on the new Avengers cartoon series.
Your voicework of Iron Man is just how I always envisioned Iron man should sound.

Thumbs up buddy ;)

HyenaThePirate:
Oh By the way Bob...

I LOVE your work on the new Avengers cartoon series.
Your voicework of Iron Man is just how I always envisioned Iron man should sound.

Thumbs up buddy ;)

That's Bob? Wow, didn't expect that at all. o_O

3:31 Haha, that hit the pleasure center of my brain.

when he says "dead conquerors" he shows a picture of Vlad the Impaler (actual historical Dracula). Why? Vlad never tried to conquer anithing... in fact he defended a part of Romania (not Transilvania, that's just a stupid mith) frome turck conquerores

But it is an oversimplification to say that ancient cultures and prehistoric cultures suffered the same misogyny and male rule of the modern era. In many cases it is not really true. In times when WAR was NOT the defining charactistic of mankind's burgeoning civilisation, women were sacred, respected and worshipped. They had the most important role in the cosmos - the creation of new life. The shift towards resource control introduced a new patriarchal ideal to these societies, though in in many cultures, women still controlled the villages and communities and medicine and the arts. But this shift continued such that female gods and spirits were removed from power, supplanted by males. Abrahamic religion shows this transition in Genesis - God is male, Adam is the boss and Eve is his subordinate. She's even made responsible for the so-called "fall of man". The serpent, already a well established fertility and regenerative symbol, is demonised as the devil. Now in these new re-cons of religion, goddesses and their priestesses were made into demonesses and witches. The universe was created by male actions and that god's consort just a vessel often literally, "beneath" him. Eventually, many cultures even took art away from women, banning them from theatre and acting, even if a women invented those artforms. Ironically, women who are the very definition in cultures everywhere of NURTURING and CARING were forced out of such official positions my men. Anyway, interesting video none the less.

Therumancer:
Skips around the actual issue.

The problem is the rise of liberalism from the 1960s. A lot of the guys calling the shots nowadays are the same guys who were doing the anti-war crusades for Veitnam and Korea and have gotten to define morality and history according to what they wanted.

The thing is that when the boomers were rising into power in the 1980s, it was the birth of Political Correctness. The idea that we could have no bad guys, no matter what they said or did. The USSR was to be presented as a potential group of friends and allies, as opposed to a giant enemy, and you saw this in children's media with a "get them young" attitude. Understand that while the primary enemy was fictional, groups like the Russians WERE present in the form of a USSR version of GI Joe, who despite tensions GI Joe ultimatly wound up teaming up with in most cases to fight a common enemy.

This kind of mentality has given birth to a situation today where we can't clearly identify a culture like that of The Middle East as an enemy, rather we need to take a reactive perspective and only target very specific individuals like those ACTIVELY engaged in terrorism rather than the core issues. The same could be said about China, or anyone else. Unlike previous generations where the media was making no bones about treating our enemies as enemies, and suggestiong violence and military action as a method of dealing with them, today the message is a naive one where violence is always wrong, there are always magical solutions that will arrive to avoid large scale violence, and worst of all is identifying an entire broad group of people as the enemy.

Today's mentality is one where we would not go to war against "Nazism" if it was to rise the same way. Rather we'd make a big deal about only opposing those guys at the top of the food chain, and misunderstanding the huge, international culture, with the fanatical millions behind it, we would of course wind up getting our tails kicked. It says a lot when you consider that people have made arguements that Patton was unworthy to wear a US uniform by modern standards because you know... he made no bones about wanting to destroy the enemy.

The point is a society that won't let you identify the bad guys as bad guys, and does everything in it's power to avoid confrontation, or at least confrontation on the level of a "total war", "us or them" level which would actually see a resolution.

On a lot of levels the problem is your dad's day (so to speak) rather than your grandfather's day. His toys were pretty much made by his grand-dad's generation. Consider that "Dad's" generation were the "make love, not war" generation, who had no sense of national duty, dodged the draft (as opposed to seeing it as a responsibility), and even if the wars at the time were a mess took things to an absolutly ridiculous level in opposition because none of them wanted to get shot at. "Dad's Generation" pretty much defined itself by tearing down society in favor of what it wanted at the moment, and while some good did come of it, a lot more problems occured. There are a lot of sociologists who believe we pretty much face the task of needing to rebuild our society after the US Baby Boomers, and it remains to be seen if the current, indoctrinated generations (given how long they lived, there is more than one, Gen X and Gen Y) can throw off a lot of the propaganda and get things back on track.

Such are my thoughts.

Good thoughts on such topics. Still I hope that Gen X and Gen Y (I am a part of Gen X) can fix the problems. But we will have to fix a part, a part that may be to late to fix. 1. There are "Winners" and "Losers". (There is no prize for "Losers".) 2. Take responsibility for our problems & Actions. (Stop putting it on others... GOP & DEMS; to make a point) 3. Just leave poeple to die when on death penalty. (Save resources, avg human uses 80 Gal of water per day.) Yes I am cold but I would like to leave my children some resources that they must not fight over. Give them knowledge of losing so that they learn to win. To understand what happens now can cause problems for them later of there actions. Oh well like little voice I have will ever get other poeple to act. To many are thinking of being to much P.C, and cant call something what it truly is. oh well might as well drive the car in the ground.

i know i'm too young to have fell in love with the awesome 80's (i'm 17), but i did anyway, so when i saw that g.i. joe intro play with the music in the background, a warm smile grew on my face, god i love G.I. joe (and transformers G1). but i didn't just love g.i. joe for all the surface reasons of lasers and bad guys (thats why i loved transformers) but i loved G.I. joe for all the reasons your grandfather loved his G.I. joe.

ever see G.I. joe the movie: the secret of cobra-la? course you have, it's on youtube. remember that opening scene where the have the fight by the statue of liberty while playing an even more epic version of their intro song? everytime i even think about Duke stand on top of the statue shouting "yo joe!" after shooting down that trouble bubble, tears fill my eyes b/c i know that's american right there. defending the free people from the forces of tyranny and hate, even when you're outgunned and outnumbered. god, i'm crying as i'm typing this, im gonna go watch that intro.

Civilization is falling apart all around him and Bob still things feminism is a great thing. What a klutz. Become enlightened Bob and read some real commentary on society:

http://roissy.wordpress.com/
http://onestdv.blogspot.com/
http://hawaiianlibertarian.blogspot.com/
http://voxday.blogspot.com/

Woah. 0__0
That got really deeply philosophical at the end.
It surprises me sometimes how similar Bob's thought processes are to my own.
Only he has a job at the escapist because he's funnier than I am.
=P

Just wanted to point out your line about "masculine strength" being an ideal from a bygone age (namely prehistoric times) is patently wrong. Now, it is an ideal from a bygone age, but we have no evidence that prehistoric times held an ideal of masculine strength. That's your conjecture. What you might be talking about are the Homeric ideals which were pioneered in "The Iliad and the Odyssey," and which would come to define Greek and Roman (and later American) definitions of strength and virtue.

Americans have taken so much from Rome and Greek before it that sometimes it isn't obvious what is an ideal "people have always had" and what is and ideal "GREEKS AND ROMANS have always had." And no, they're most definitely not the same thing.

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