The Big Picture: Correctitude

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The only thing I want to say is that while I do agree with a good portion of this I also would like to point out that there are people abusing the politically correct shield on the opposite side as well, flinging the concept at anyone who lays claim to an opinion in direct opposition to their own. Yes, generally speaking, people bring out the term to defend uninformed statements concerning so-called "hot button" issues, but please do not discount the people who claim their opinion is fact and then labeling any counter-argument as politically incorrect so as to discount their opponents, with varying degrees of accuracy. A perfect example is RE4 and 5. There were those individuals that were claiming the very valid arguments that Bob brought up this week, but let us not forget the people who used it as an opportunity to make themselves appear as the victims of some strange white superiority conspiracy using video games to teach children that African and Spanish people are dangerous. After having three games (not counting the multitudes of spin-offs) set in white American suburbia I think we can safely assume Capcom is not supporting racism, they're just not terribly good at their portrayals of other cultures, but then seeing as Disney recently made a princess movie to provide an African-descent heroine and decided to make a southern Louisiana woman fend off a VooDoo priest, let's go ahead and say that large companies may have this problem on epidemic proportions.
In either case, I'm Strormer, and that's a somewhat smaller picture.

Now, I'm a bit bothered by this Bob, because my complaints against the PC movement aren't anywhere addressed in this. The obnoxious minority (or so you claim them to be) who do shit like censure Huck Finn I argue against regularly and it's some small reassurance that you find their position indefensible, but my primary problem with the PC movement is that the majority of what they do is fucking pointless. It's founded on this bizarre and completely flawed notion that you can change what people mean just by changing the words people use. This is bullshit.
I know of old people who still use the term negro to describe black people because it was the term they were raised to use. They don't use it in a negative way and are not racist, it's just the word they're used to using, but they get called racist frequently. On the other hand, I've come across complete and utter assholes who use the term African-American with as much hate and bile as a KKK member saying the dreaded N-word.
Furthermore, while the PC movement may have good intentions at heart, they aren't actually doing anything truly effective. The image of tribal Africa is still grotesquely inaccurate in the minds of most Americans. When we think of Africa, a lot of people still tend to think of jabbering black people in loincloths dancing wildly around fires, despite this having absolutely nothing in common with any African tribe that I know of (and I know of quite a few). Instead of actually working to correct these misunderstandings, the PC movement has just tried to change the language people use. Instead of saying primitive when we describe our image of African tribes, we use words like "Ethnic" or "Cultural" but the image in our mind is still primitive and it's still incorrect.
Rather than focusing on just changing the words we use in every day language, the movement should be focusing on actually teaching the complexities of diverse cultures and correcting our mistaken ideas. This is something I've almost never seen anyone associated with the PC movement actually do.

SomethingAmazing:

Sartan0:

SomethingAmazing:
Hey, at least when I say that religion is harmful I retreat to things like facts and logic. Not the political correctness argument.

Like most broad statements that is less then helpful.

I wouldn't make the broad statement if it didn't apply to ALL religion. :)

Well you have a right to your opinion but stating that all religions are harmful on the whole is quite a claim. I would be willing to concede that all religions can be harmful when misused for political or other purposes but I would not claim they had no positive value as your broad statement implies. Another thing to recall is that someones religion or lack of one is a personal choice. I don't really see why everyone has to make the same one.

Thank you! Totally agree, and I'm and glad you adressed this.

I still think the term can be used in a non-annoying way, such as describing different kinds of humour.

My favorite kind of people in the media right now are the very few that raises questions that are interesting and thought-provoking and are politically incorrect and does it without trying to protect themselves with the "you're just PC" shield.

I really liked this week's episode. Not because I agreed with everything, but just because Bob took time to express his viewpoints on a subject that's a guaranteed button-pusher for a lot of people. That takes courage and a resounding belief in your stance, which is something not seen often in public speakers.

That said, it did get a little militant in certain parts, and expressing your own viewpoint as cold hard fact is usually not the most enlightened view to take. In subjects where perspective and opinion play large roles in deciding what views are valid and which are not, there aren't many actual facts to state.

Case in point: Resident Evil 5. How do you place a game in those parts of Africa without causing controversy? Answer: You don't. Capcom did it anyway, and in that I applaud them. Backing away from controversy isn't a mature answer, either. Did they go too far by taking certain stereotypes and highlighting them? Answer: That's up to each and every viewer. Personally, I think they did. But if you don't, your answer is no less valid than mine.

That's my take, anyway. Some people won't like it, and that's completely their right.

samus17:
Not bad, but I don't remember the resident evil 5 racism scandal being quite like how you portray it. I'm pretty sure the complaints were "whitey killing blacks" and not "misuse of tribal imagery" But hey, I could be wrong.

Edit: Before the MovieBob defense force comes to crucify me, here's a quote from a group of the complainer's since the original article has been taken down.
http://gamepolitics.com/2007/08/01/african-womens-blog-critical-of-resident-evil-5-trailer

I remember hearing it both ways. The bigger and more publicized angle was certainly the "white guy killing all the black people" side but there was definitely talk about the things Bob mentioned. I know G4 specifically mentioned this on several occasions.

HankMan:
Seemed a little more aggravated than usual this week Bob.
I'm pretty sure changing stories and characters to reflect times that the stories aren't set in or adding races that simply weren't there IS political correctness. But otherwise spot on.

I kind of see it more as recognizing great talent over a minor detail. Sure they're supposed to be Norse gods and I can see that point of view as well but, if someone who does not meet the ethnicity but in inarguably better for the plot in the minds of the casting people then that's just rewarding talent.

se7ensenses:
Every single comedian he mentioned at the end of the video are the GREATEST COMEDIANS EVER (except Sam lol) Nice shoutout! Kudos Bob!

...and George Carlin just happens to be my patron saint. (Probably the patron saint of several people here too.)

I definitely agree with you, Bob. I think we need to show those who are trying to be Politically Correct, Politically Incorrect, or what have you just what they ARE trying to do and why we don't buy it.

You don't have the right to not be offended.

Also I'm still upset they made Nick Fury Black. Not because I'm rascist but because in every subsequent adaption of Nick Fury he will now be black. I just feel that it is disingenuous to the past Nick Fury and when a new generation of comic book readers that came out of watching the cartoons look on old nick fury they will go: "WHO THE HELL IS THIS GUY?"

Just take a look at what happened with people who only watched the Justice League cartoon watched the new Green Lantern trailer. All i heard from them is "why isn't he black?"

Although they could have been trolls.

Sartan0:

SomethingAmazing:

Sartan0:

Like most broad statements that is less then helpful.

I wouldn't make the broad statement if it didn't apply to ALL religion. :)

Well you have a right to your opinion but stating that all religions are harmful on the whole is quite a claim. I would be willing to concede that all religions can be harmful when misused for political or other purposes but I would not claim they had no positive value as your broad statement implies. Another thing to recall is that someones religion or lack of one is a personal choice. I don't really see why everyone has to make the same one.

Well, that is a topic for another time.

little perplexed why you dug a picture of william f buckley who was by all accounts the most reasonable challenging political thinker of this century and was widely reguarded by his friends and enemies as a great guy and greater debater. what was the relevance of showing him with the agrro non pc hate wing?

seems this article was as much a rant about the hyper right, in some cases sure. but most cases stabbing the right via the pc leftists that attack everything they say and take stuff out of context even "jokes" used sarcastically or to make a point and omg the left goes nuts.

Words mean little and they mean less and less in an age where people can speak anyway they want in a public setting and do whatever they want out of the public light. you can find many instances on the right of people talking good moral values and etc and demonstrating anything but good moral values. you can go up on the left and find many instances of people talking about standing up for the underdog or common man or women and doing anything but that in their dealings and personal lives.

try to be a bit more even handed bob half the people you seem to be attacking ate not hate mongers they are sensationalist talk show hosts that are after the same thing you are ratings. and have a certain demographic that responds to certain themes.

and its not like the other side of the isle of isale is equally or more hateful, like that ever so nice incident when tony snow got cancer bloggers on huffington post rejoyced and hoped he would die soon and very painfully. you can dig up the most heinous hateful speech that is said in a serious tone and not taken out of context, then you got a more solid foundation to bash people on.

Eeeeeh. First time I find myself disagreeing with Bob here. I mean, yes, everything he said in this video is true, sometimes. But I really think political correctness shouldn't exist. It's true that words mean things. But, language is in a constant state of flux, and the meaning of any word is, to a degree, subjective.
As for offensive racial slurs and whatnot. I agree, they're stupid. People who use them, are stupid. People who think it's funny to act racist, whether they are or not, are stupid. But they should still be allowed to say it. It's the whole "I disagree with what you're saying, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it". I absolutely agree with this sentiment.
The main thing I don't like about the PC movement is how it really is "corrupting" things. Now, I happen to disagree that it's unimportant if movies or books or whatever are compromised for the sake of including everyone. Remember the fuss about the "Hobbit" movie? With a guy getting fired for advertising for casting positions for white hobbits. I think it's totally fair, non-white hobbits goes against the source material, and I for one, don't like that. Besides that, it's the principle of it all. It's stupid that they immediately fired the guy, just to save face (presumably). The stuff about Huckleberry Finn being released with that one "bad word" removed. Crap. Why don't we start re-releasing all rap albums to remove that same word?
And that's just it. Where do we draw the line? You get really stupid (in my opinion) PC claims, like how hard drives should no longer be "master" and "slave". You get people refusing to use words like "chairman", because it doesn't allow for women to be the "chairperson". And this stuff annoys me. I still use the word chairman, despite it being politically incorrect. There's no malice behind it, I'm not sexist, I'm just used to the word...
In fact, and I think this is my last point, context is the most important part. As Tim Minchin said, any word may well be offensive. The word finger seems innocuous enough, until it's used in the sentence "I want to finger your mum". Me and my mate use any insult under the sun we can think of to insult each other, because that's just how we express our love for each other. Or cause it's fun. Whatever. Anyway, neither of us are racist, homophobic, sexist, "anything"-ist. But we still use those words that have been labeled with those connotations.
Basically, I don't like how political correctness permeates society. But then, I don't think people should be offended more by the word retard, than the term mentally disabled. They mean the same thing anyway. I understand that people find some words more offensive than others, I just don't understand why. And I feel the PC movement may have something to do with that.
Sorry if this is a little unstructured, it's late here, I'm going to bed now. Great episode though Bob.

Ok, you are correct only 50 percent Bob. Sorry but PC has done damage, and not in making people use culturally sensitive remarks.

I'm going to go ahead and just use the easiest and most important recent destruction political correctness has wrought on out civilization. And that is the publishing of a version of Huckleberry Fin with the removal of the "N" word, and replacing it with the word "slave".

Simply put, they have annihilated the language in what is one of the greatest pieces of ANTI RACIST literature ever created. I will give the brief of what is wrong with this. Huckleberry Fin refers to his FRIEND who he is trying to help escape from the evil clutches of slavery as "N" word Jim, but its just a word. Huck is ignorant to the cultural implications of the word he uses to describe his friend, and changing said word to something "less offensive" dismantles the important meaning of the story.

This version of the book is being created for schools, because it's too hard to explain the use of such strong language in such a context? Are our children that stupid? Or are we just that weak?

Every time a racial slur is bleeped out on TV, the person who made the remark is essentially hiding behind what he just said without facing the true context of his statement. Is the softened term they use negate the point? or does it simple let people continue to be racist with more subtle language that people might find less offensive, without realizing the cruel message has remained intact?

Words do have meaning, and it is extremely important that each word is contained and understood in it's complete cultural context. And sure bigots will use "PC" as a weapon to protect what they are saying. But at the same time a term needs to exist when people censor, smear, and fraud history, literature, and what is actually being said in the name of their personal agenda.

Flatfrog:

tkioz:
come-on there is a thing as going too far; just look at that LA ordnance that wanted to change how hard drive jumpers were labelled, it took an issue with "master" and "slave". ( http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/outrage/master.asp )

This is an interesting one because there's an implicit racism in the idea that Master and Slave are racially loaded terms - obviously there's no reason why slavery has to be white-on-black. However, in the context of US politics I can see why it could offend some people and I can't see any reason why we shouldn't question word usage and seek alternatives where possible. If there's a less offensive pair of words we could use (shepherd/sheep?), why not?

Okay that's incredibly offensive, slavery and race aren't inherently connected, hell African tribes supplied slaves to Europeans, Europeans were slaves, etc. Slavery is an evil institution going back the majority of human history, not just something that happen to America. Of course going by revisionist "Hollywood" history you'd never know that, it was all something cooked up by "evil white men to make a buck".

As for hard drives, it is a master/slave relationship, shepherd/sheep doesn't even come close to describing it accurately.

The very fact they wasted time and money on this crap offends me, there are better things to spend both on then some obscure (really how many non tech people even know that it is used?) terminology.

Carlos mencia and jeff dunham are not politically incorrect but they are funny.

God damn, Bob. You aren't automatically right about everything you know. I used to dislike bigotry too, but later I realized that just assuming their wrong is intellectually shameful.
And yes, their ARE being politically incorrect, what you just described is what being politically incorrect means.

Ok so for some perspective my general stance on most issues is that nether side is ever fully correct or conversely fully wrong. As a guy with a lot of time and an obsessively overactive imagination I tend to read a lot into things. So I am usually able to see both good and bad points in most arguments on both sides. Because from a practical stand point ANY defence people put up for their opinion could be considered a flimsy shield to protect their ego.

In that context I was a little baffled about where you were going with this one Bob. The list of people and arguments at the end definitely made things clear however. I can see your drawing a distinction between a thoughtful defense and a reflexive one with no effort behind it. Ok I can agree with that. 2 thumbs up.

I will admit that the first time I saw Jeff Dunham I ROFLMFAO'd and then felt immediately horrible about it. It's the kind of feeling you get when you see old WW2 propaganda posters of a very stereotypical Japanese guy in a straw hat getting punched with large captions reading "Gab a Jap" or something like that. It's funny for about 2 seconds cause pain inflicted on others is funny out of context of the real world, the three stooges taught us that. Then you realize just how mean and ugly the context of the poster is and feel bad. Then you think about it more and say to your buddies "I can't belive how racist people were back in the day. I'll never do that". Then several years later you find yourself laughing at Jeff Dunham and get a sick knott in yer stomic.

Again I need to give context. For me emotions are the genesis of thought. what do I mean by that? Well to put effort into thinking about something I first need to care. Ulness I'm emotionally invested in a topic I really only give a cursory glance. So with that in mind I hope you don't take offence at the next comment Bob cause it's ment to be a compliment.

I consider you to be the Rush Limba of the interwebs. Why? Cause you say things in a way that gets people emotionally involved in what your talking about. And then you follow it up with a genuinely solid argument and an honest opinion without trying to manipulate our emotions. This is something that makes a difference between a speaker that can hold the peoples attention and one that can't in my opinion. It's nice to hear someone in media who is left of center that can get me thinking about things. Again 2 thumbs up Bob.

p.s. I think I will get flamed for comparing MovieBob to Rush Limba but I don't really feel like defending this point as it's just my opinion and I may be wrong about it. I don't say that too often. I also realize that Rush Limba is sometimes a loudmouthed gas bag who does try to manipulate peoples feelings so the comparison is not entirely accurate. He is however good at getting people to listen to him(Rush Limba).

Dear Bob

I find that as a geek we often agree, but as far as social mores, and your high minded rage against people having opinions that you don't share, we couldn't be further separated. I agree with you that words have meaning, but that meaning is half what the speaker meant and half what the listener takes from it. People today have no ability to take criticism because they are raised being told their special. A good deal of our generation has gigantically inflated sense of entitlement. You aren't special, I'm not special, we're just a couple of smart geeks kicking around in a world and trying to define ourselves. You seem to want to go with the current understanding of "progressive" which to me is the opposite of progress, I tend to define myself as honest, because the world is a harsh angry place and the more you deny that truth the more you expect out of yourself and everyone else and the more you are let down and become bitter.
I am, by and large, not bitter. I drink, I play games, I read, I hang out with my friends, and I understand that not everyone will get along. Its my honest belief that, socially, if you don't or won't stand up for yourself and demand to be treated equally then you deserve to be stepped on, its harsh and people might call me mean or a bigot, but here's the catch: I don't give a shit what negative things other people have to say about me.
I'm from Alabama, people call me a redneck, people call me uneducated, they think I'm inbred, they ask how many times I have had sex with members of my family, and you know what the difference between me and a black person who's called a nigger(for those of you who will need this explanation see the at the bottom *) is? We've both been discriminated against for generations, we've both lost jobs because of our backgrounds, people think less of us because of how we talk, and we are both judged by and large by things that we have no control over. The difference is I know I'm not going to stop some asshole from being an asshole, I tell them that they are in fact an asshole, and I go on with my day. Words have exactly as much power over us as we give them. So if you feel like someone hates you because of something that you have no control over, realize that they are in fact small minded assholes and go on, that's on them, not you, and yes sometimes it might cost you something, but in the end it'll be ok, there are always more opportunities.
I may be rambling, but I'll give an anecdote and then I'm done. Back in the day when the English descended Americans made fun of every other ethnicity, the Polish being this example, and began making Polock jokes, do you know how Polish people coped? They made funnier Polock jokes, they took away the power of the people oppressing them by beating them at their own game. I think minorities today could take a lesson from that.

*And as an endnote I say nigger not the "n" word, because having to use little codewords like that is childish, we all know they word, and having to tiptoe around it is just showing how infantile the mentality of people discussing issues about it are. I am not a racist, I've dated women from handful of races and colors, I don't judge people by the color of their skins, but I will not give that word the power to frighten me out of saying it, especially when I'm just using it as an example, the fact that I feel the need to write this is enough to turn my stomach. Its a word, and words can hurt, but people can also get over it.

Quite a bit of a rant, and seeming to stem more from an attack against the Right Wing then a PC or Anti-PC debate... but all I have to say on it is there are plenty of jerks that will use 'You're being overly PC' to sway their argument... but there are just as many who say 'That's offensive, you need to be more PC' to back their own arguments... even if they are as wrong as the 'anti-PC' crowd. There's two shields in this fight, Bob, not a shield and a sword.

Frankly the PC crowd has done damage to free and open debate, you could come up with a reasoned, well argued, reason why you find (let's take a massive leap into the fire here) Middle Eastern Culture disgusting in parts, and bang, you're a racist, because you dared to have an opinion.

Yet take a shot at "white" culture and suddenly you're a champion for equality.

For a long time now I've held the unpopular opinion that RE5 was indeed fucked in terms of depictions of race.

And it's not even about a white dude killing black zombies. You encounter zombies, you're gonna kill them, no matter what race you or they are.

No. It's not about the zombies, but it is about this;

That's not sexy. It's just offensive.

I agree to an extent with Bob. Yes you should be nice and inclusive to people, you should be fair, you shouldn't be bigoted. But at the same time you should not be forced to be. Another poster mentiones Geert Wilders and that is an important point, people should be allowed to say what they want.

Is this the soap box of a white, (near) middle class, heterosexual male who's white knighting?
SHAME ON YOU BOB!
Don't get me wrong, I agree with the 'trolls' part - asking if Obama is our first black president or just a white boy in black-face is retarded (Yes, I've seen that question posed) - is just being a jerk.

However during the last election, and sometimes even now, I've been required to 'justify' not voting for him or else someone tosses the damn race card in my face.

Now, answer me this:
Why is it my ex-girlfriend, who was black, could say 'the n-word' in public but I couldn't for fear of being labeled a racist?

Yet, at the same time, being white in a mostly Hispanic community I was called all sorts of slurs and if I ever used one against said Mexicans I was the 'real bad guy'.

Should I be penalized for the color of my skin while others get a free past just because maybe their parents or grandparents went through crap?

Double standard are BS - either we're all equal or we acknowledge someones' superiority.

Either a slut is a slut - regardless of genitals - or the person is just 'sowing the wild oats'.

When the ship is sinking it shouldn't be 'women and children first', it should be 'children and their parents first - regardless if they have an inny or an outie'.

RE5:
You do realize that...

1) Some of those 'stereotypes' are based on truth.
2) Most people I recall complaining about RE5 was more because white dude killing black dude.
3) Most games exploit social issues - FF10/FFT bad mouthed the Catholic Church and in FFT the main point of the game was to kill Jesus - but an evil female version.
4) It's a Japanese game and it's not like they've got a whole lot of black people in Japan, ever watched anime? Most black people in anime are basically just 'doing the white-face'.

John Poling II:

wildcard9:

P.S: "Gringo" is not a racial slur on par with the N-Word: it just means "white person" while the other is a hateful, disgusting term. That is all.

Actually the N-word comes from the Latin word "niger" meaning black.... Your argument is silly.

It probably also comes from the Spanish word for black...Negro. But a little context: I made that case after certain pundits called gringo a racial slur.

Holy crap Bob!
This has caused the most WALL-OF-TEXT answers ever and we are only on the third page?

MasochisticMuse:
For a long time now I've held the unpopular opinion that RE5 was indeed fucked in terms of depictions of race.

And it's not even about a white dude killing black zombies. You encounter zombies, you're gonna kill them, no matter what race you or they are.

No. It's not about the zombies, but it is about this;

That's not sexy. It's just offensive.

Why is that offensive and this

isn't?

Therumancer:
To be entirely honest my "problem" is that I think a lot of the groups that I criticize can do a lot better, they can meet the same standards set by the majority, humans are humans. People who think that these groups need to be protected ultimatly have attitudes that come down to those people somehow being unable to do better, which is why the protection is nessicary. On most levels that's actually far more bigoted than I am, and an even worse kind of sugar-coated racism than what the politically correct hope to decry.

I agree with pretty much everything you just wrote, and especially this part. People tend to glaze over the fact that "benign" racism is still racism.

tanis1lionheart:

However during the last election, and sometimes even now, I've been required to 'justify' not voting for him or else someone tosses the damn race card in my face.

Now, answer me this:
Why is it my ex-girlfriend, who was black, could say 'the n-word' in public but I couldn't for fear of being labeled a racist?

Yet, at the same time, being white in a mostly Hispanic community I was called all sorts of slurs and if I ever used one against said Mexicans I was the 'real bad guy'.

Should I be penalized for the color of my skin while others get a free past just because maybe their parents or grandparents went through crap?

Double standard are BS - either we're all equal or we acknowledge someones' superiority.

Well, no one said that racism is reserved for white people only. You have every right to be offended when they insult you based on your race, but it doesn't justify you using racial terms against them. You simply lower yourself to their level.

370999:
I agree to an extent with Bob. Yes you should be nice and inclusive to people, you should be fair, you shouldn't be bigoted. But at the same time you should not be forced to be. Another poster mentiones Geert Wilders and that is an important point, people should be allowed to say what they want.

Nobody's stopping bigots like Geert Wilders from saying what they want, or any other bigots like the throngs who inhabit these forums. They just don't get a pass on being called out for it. They are free to say it, not free from criticism for it. What is so hard to grasp about that? Why is it always "help, help I'm being repressed" every time the subject comes up?

Do you know any comedians who are politically incorrect who are, you know, still alive? Just sayin...

Dude, this definitely needed said.

Gold star for the week, Bob.

Frankly I do agree with most of the points you make (glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks south park has a brain :D)

pffh:
Why is that offensive and this

isn't?

Because that's not offensive, it's tacky

Iīm not from north america and i donīt know about half of the people that appear on this clip...

But that was an awesome episode.

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