Garwulf's Corner

Garwulf's Corner
Emails from the Edge - Forum Post HARDER

Robert B. Marks | 16 Sep 2015 12:00
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It's installment #14, and that means it's time for another Emails from the Edge (which is still referencing emails instead of forum posts because of tradition...that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it). And, as usual, there were a lot of really great comments to choose from, and there's only space to quote two or three per installment, so please do not be offended if your comment was passed by.


Garwulf #8, "Dangerous Jokes", managed to generate an active discussion about the nature of satire, although not one with a great deal of disagreement. Fat_Hippo wrote:

If Rankowski had demanded that Wu be punished in absolutely absurd ways, like I don't know, being forced to play sexist games for 24 hours straight, it might have drawn some attention to the stupidity of the matters being discussed.


In any case, you can't simply emulate something and be as awful as some other people are already being, and then call it satire. The example about eating Irish babies works because it is so absolutely absurd that nobody would take it seriously. But Rankowski didn't do that. People were already sending death threats in manners concerning GG, and when you simply join in, there is not one grain of comedy in it.

While making it clear that this did not excuse Rankowski in the slightest, Thyunda spoke from personal experience about the difficulties of pulling off satire in general:

Unfortunately, no matter how absurd your satire, somebody, somewhere will fail to get the joke. I once took the piss out of a certain right-wing, British wannabe fascist organisation by taking on their mannerisms and describing Islam as an alien hive-mind that uses halal meat to genetically convert Pure White Christians, in response to yet another post about how every act of violence committed by someone with darker skin is (of course) ordered personally by ISIS and that halal means 'funds terrorism.' I said this in a left-wing group. Took five minutes for some old guy to say "That's disgustingly racist, Thyunda. Apologise." No matter how many people said "Mate, this is blatantly satire," he would insist that satire does not excuse racism. Especially not such absurd, extreme racism.

But it was Dynast Brass who managed to sum everything up, including the entire discussion, in a single pithy statement: "Poe's Law is a fickle and wicked mistress."

Garwulf #9, "Gimmick Busters," created a surprisingly small amount of discussion. But while there weren't many comments, Thunderous Cacophony did share this insight about shared universes in general:

Marvel has decades of comics, from stupid crazy stuff like Guardians of the Galaxy to serious topics like Stark's alcoholism and endless "personal trauma" storylines, that gives them grounds for spreading out a bit. Ghostbusters has literally told the same story 4 times (not including the video games): blue-collar workers in New York City doing supernatural comedy. It's not a bad formula, but not one that gives you any real new vistas to explore that don't feel "not like Ghostbusters."

Maninahat had a wonderful point about modern reboots and the challenges they face:

The main difficulty is that it has to do what all reboots must attempt to do, in that it must make a jump from a pre-internet to a post internet setting. The concept of mobile phones, instant access to information, and a more sedimentary lifestyle all present big problems for writers which never existed in the 80s...Inevitably, a movie which does take phones into consideration ends up having a different approach to exposition and ultimately to tone. I think that is what is going to risk turning viewers off more than anything else - a distinct tone that might make the project feel too unfamiliar.

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