On social justice and social justice warriors

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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#281  Postby romansh » Dec 25, 2020 4:57 pm

Spearthrower wrote:Wow.

You forgot to mention attack helicopters, romansh. That might have apparently been the sophisticated nuance that could have elevated this discussion out of the school playground.

The interesting thing is, the Chinese word for foreigner, Mandarin or Cantonese, literally translates to devil man. When I first heard of this, I thought it was funny, and interesting as it reflected the historical interaction of China and the west. I wonder when this entered the lexicon of China.

Perhaps those social warriors (frankly this has ceased to have any relevance to justice) who have taken offence to this can petition President Xia to put an end to this use of lefkóphobic language in China.

But you are right, I can't take this too seriously.

edit - change made-up word
Last edited by romansh on Dec 25, 2020 5:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#282  Postby laklak » Dec 25, 2020 5:12 pm

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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#283  Postby Spearthrower » Dec 25, 2020 6:41 pm

romansh wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:Wow.

You forgot to mention attack helicopters, romansh. That might have apparently been the sophisticated nuance that could have elevated this discussion out of the school playground.


The interesting thing is, the Chinese word for foreigner, Mandarin or Cantonese, literally translates to devil man.


So what you're saying -supposedly in response to my post about how you employed a lazy alt-right canard - is that there's ingrained prejudice in Chinese culture against outside, foreign cultures?

Ok, sure, we can switch topics entirely if you need to... but just to note that the post you're not replying to is still there if you ever fancied actually replying to it.

Ok, so... onwards:

...

So what we're now talking about is that there's ingrained prejudice in Chinese culture against outside, foreign cultures? I would say that's probably a very accurate summary.

And? Does that then suggest it's thereby rational to return the favour? (If I am mistaken in this assumption of the connecting argument, then I think you're going to have to forgive me as you appear to have not attempted to make any logical connection yourself between the posts.)

Similarly, we could also consider the word 'alien' and it's usage in reference to undesirable foreigners... or dozens of other similar words, and we could perhaps even agree about the plausible ways in which these words can be used without any reference to the literal. Or we could take a whistle-stop tour through a bunch of cultures to see how humdrum prejudice is against other peoples - for example, the Thai word for Indians is "khaek" which also literally translates to 'guest' - as in, you're welcome to visit, but you should 'go home' once you're done. There's no question whatsoever that our base tribalistic prejudices are readily observable all over the world, but what I don't grasp is why a rational person would take that as an indication that there's no reason thereby to avoid engaging in it.


romansh wrote: Perhaps those social warriors...


Which ones now? I thought you were talking to me? Do let me know if I am obstructing the view from your soap box. :)


romansh wrote: (frankly this has ceased to have any relevance to justice)


I believe you mean that this is your opinion, and I presume it's one you think you can defend. But it's not actually a fact, although the format of your sentence there appears to suggest it is.

I think it's always good practice to make clear the distinction between fact and opinion. To wit: I think it's quite plausible that you are allowing some unexplored hostility to cloud your reason.


romansh wrote:Perhaps those social warriors... who have taken offence to this can petition President Xia to put an end to this use of lefkóphobic language in China.


Which what when and why?

So your offering now is that if people could possibly find Ming the Merciless offensive, their preferable recourse is to petition the President of China to have them change a word in the Chinese languages?

I mean, I would assume that just having a warning about the potential to cause offense on the film would be a rather more simple solution.


romansh wrote:But you are right, I can't take this too seriously.


Yeah, it's really quite obvious that you can't, and it's to your detriment too.

What's intriguing is how disconcerted you seem by others taking an action they believe is warranted ethically but you don't understand. There's actually a tang of irony about it.
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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#284  Postby The_Piper » Dec 25, 2020 6:49 pm

I was digging through some of the dvd's I have in storage, and came across 2 Flash Gordon ones from an old tv show. Funny coincidence. I also found "Jingle All the Way" which I set aside to watch. :lol:
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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#285  Postby romansh » Dec 25, 2020 8:15 pm

Spearthrower wrote: So what you're saying -supposedly in response to my post about how you employed a lazy alt-right canard - is that there's ingrained prejudice in Chinese culture against outside, foreign cultures?

What? Nowhere did I suggest that there is ingrained prejudice in China. What I did try to suggest is that some might look at the language and see it as ingrained prejudice.
Spearthrower wrote:So what we're now talking about is that there's ingrained prejudice in Chinese culture against outside, foreign cultures? I would say that's probably a very accurate summary.

Again false ... I did not suggest that the Chinese have an ingrained prejudice.
Spearthrower wrote:And? Does that then suggest it's thereby rational to return the favour? (If I am mistaken in this assumption of the connecting argument, then I think you're going to have to forgive me as you appear to have not attempted to make any logical connection yourself between the posts.)

Yep mistaken.
Spearthrower wrote:Similarly, we could also consider the word 'alien' and it's usage in reference to undesirable foreigners... or dozens of other similar words, and we could perhaps even agree about the plausible ways in which these words can be used without any reference to the literal. Or we could take a whistle-stop tour through a bunch of cultures to see how humdrum prejudice is against other peoples - for example, the Thai word for Indians is "khaek" which also literally translates to 'guest' - as in, you're welcome to visit, but you should 'go home' once you're done. There's no question whatsoever that our base tribalistic prejudices are readily observable all over the world, but what I don't grasp is why a rational person would take that as an indication that there's no reason thereby to avoid engaging in it.

What I do understand people rational or otherwise do read into things what they want to see.

Spearthrower wrote:
romansh wrote: Perhaps those social warriors...

Which ones now? I thought you were talking to me? Do let me know if I am obstructing the view from your soap box. :)

Those that might take offence to the term devil man, what else did I say?

Spearthrower wrote:I believe you mean that this is your opinion, and I presume it's one you think you can defend. But it's not actually a fact, although the format of your sentence there appears to suggest it is.

Of course whatever I write is my opinion ... unless I am giving someone else's opinion.

Spearthrower wrote:I think it's always good practice to make clear the distinction between fact and opinion. To wit: I think it's quite plausible that you are allowing some unexplored hostility to cloud your reason

Yes I agree you should make clear what is fact or opinion. I think you too have unexplored hostility. But I think me voicing that particular opinion is not terribly helpful. Was your opinion helpful, in your opinion?

Spearthrower wrote:So your offering now is that if people could possibly find Ming the Merciless offensive, their preferable recourse is to petition the President of China to have them change a word in the Chinese languages?

I mean, I would assume that just having a warning about the potential to cause offense on the film would be a rather more simple solution.

So when people on this broader forum expressed feeling of being offended how often have they been told to suck it up? If we look at films how often is a particular group cast in a bad light? Used to be in vogue to cast Afrikaners as bad'uns, of course Germans, and Russians.

Spearthrower wrote:
romansh wrote:But you are right, I can't take this too seriously.

Yeah, it's really quite obvious that you can't, and it's to your detriment too.

What's intriguing is how disconcerted you seem by others taking an action they believe is warranted ethically but you don't understand. There's actually a tang of irony about it.

Exactly how disconcerted do you think I am? And how do you come to that conclusion. Frankly you seem far more attached to the topic than I am.
My detriment? Fact or more opinion?
What it is some social warriors, in my opinion, are tilting at windmills, and occasionally the hit the imaginary giants and do damage ... eg Evergreen

What I hope for, is we can exchange ideas and points of view even if some are in jest without making it too personal.

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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#286  Postby Spearthrower » Dec 25, 2020 8:49 pm

I think that's made it all quite clear.
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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#287  Postby Cito di Pense » Dec 26, 2020 7:15 am

Spearthrower wrote:I think that's made it all quite clear.


My understanding of this latest round of playground stuff is that somebody on some film review board decided it was time to slap a warning label on a film from 40 years ago, justified by "modern sensibilities". These actually may be "postmodern sensibilities"; that is, somebody who graduated from some ethnic studies program somewhere, some time in the 1990s and who's otherwise unemployable except at some film review board somewhere, is just trying to make herself look useful. Should I include the warning label "IMO"?

I'm not telling anyone what to say or not say about cultural messaging, or such like, but somebody other than I started this by telling Ironclad what not to say about something that isn't as much a sensibility as it is a line in somebody's CV. Should I say that Ironclad started it by giving his opinion? The extension of this thread is kept inflated by people who would not let that go and who won't let it go when somebody fails to grant their point because they believe their point is not just obvious, but is about justice or, rather, dignity. I smoked some dignity one time, but I didn't inhale.
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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#288  Postby laklak » Dec 26, 2020 3:24 pm

I stopped in Walmart but they were all out of dignity. Had some schadenfreude, though.
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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#289  Postby SafeAsMilk » Dec 26, 2020 7:37 pm

So we're still stuck at "I'm offended by a warning label". It might be less of a waste of time than the warning label, but nobody's made the case for that yet. Ho hum, my fellow attack helicopters.
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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#290  Postby Animavore » Dec 26, 2020 8:06 pm

Warner Brothers have been doing this stuff for a few years now.

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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#291  Postby Ironclad » Dec 26, 2020 11:01 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:What's actually going on is animus between acquaintances that have just known each other's political positions for just a little too long.


There was no animus coming from me towards Ironclad, and as my post said: I don't understand at all his tone or reaction in threads like these. I don't know why he routinely takes an apparently reactionary point of view. I did however understand him dismissing a prior post as a playground response, so I thought he might respond with some consideration and reasoned discussion to my post which aimed to set out some pertinent context. I didn't manage to net so much as a word in response, but as soon as romansh rushed us across right to the borders of alt-right country, Ironclad seemed to find that kind of playground response amusing.

Now dearest old Cito me laddie, I know you're an incorrigible crusty who's not at all sure that anyone ever can hope to better themselves, but I'm an eternal optimist - as I am sure you are all too familiar with by now! :)

So my post was genuinely meant to underscore why people could reasonably be offended by such cartoonish caricatures, that it's not just snowflakeism on their part to not enjoy being just an exotic fantasy trope for other peoples' entertainment.

Are you saying that I should never expect better than attack helicopter style responses on topics like this, or are you saying that my own post's motivation in establishing a plausibly rational foundation for discussion was, for all intents, culpably naive and basically just asking for it?

Yeah sorry Spear, I’ve been busy. Xmas, babies, house renovation. I’m here occasionally but am failing to follow the threads strictly lately.
The reactionary stance? I guess I get bored of reading that young folk are having to fan their faces in shock at often such trivial matters, lest they faint or something; and others with the power to control media, pandering to this new wave of butthurtery. A decade ago this forum would have poked gentle fun at such farce, I’m annoyed the edge has evaporated.
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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#292  Postby Spearthrower » Dec 27, 2020 12:22 am

Ironclad wrote:Yeah sorry Spear, I’ve been busy. Xmas, babies, house renovation. I’m here occasionally but am failing to follow the threads strictly lately.


Fair enough and a merry Christmas to you.


Ironclad wrote:The reactionary stance? I guess I get bored of reading that young folk are having to fan their faces in shock at often such trivial matters, lest they faint or something; and others with the power to control media, pandering to this new wave of butthurtery. A decade ago this forum would have poked gentle fun at such farce, I’m annoyed the edge has evaporated.


It seems a significant mistake to me to caricature all forms of aspirational equality by lumping it in with the extreme kooky ideas bandied about on the fringe. I don't know and can't see why a warning on media should be either problematic or cause for mockery. The media's still there to be consumed, but now it has an advisory similar to an age advisory and for similar reasons. I personally think parents should be proactive in monitoring what their kids watch, and these advisories can help with that. That's not to say that parents should censor these older films and programs, but that they might want to be prepared to have some kind of discussion, or explain the context for their kids.

One example show that springs to mind for me is Rising Damp, which I think we're both old enough to remember! ;)

Rising Damp is interesting on many levels. It displays a period of time in recent British history that a significant percentage of tv viewers are too young to remember. In the mid 70's when the show was made, the first UK born generation of black british were growing up, going through the school systems, and entering the work-force. The violent clashes of the past had largely been replaced by a reasonable level of acceptance and a general social agreement that racism was the undesirable element, rather than the other races. The comedic crux of the show sets up the white protagonist as a foil to that old school racism with his views being shown as preposterous and the black antagonist as being charming, honest and intelligent. It's the political correctness of the 1970's and provides a really interesting window into social attitudes of that time in a comedy format. It's definitely not intended to offend black British people.

However, I think a younger black British person watching it today might still rightly be shocked at the cruder expressions of racism, even though portrayed ironically, that were still socially normal at that time (that's particularly the case when it comes to adults choosing what's suitable for their kids). The fact is that were that show made today, it wouldn't get funded or made. That's not to say that shows can't feature comedic racial based interactions between characters, but that they're comedic racial based interactions which people today find funny rather than crude and offensive.

For me, when it comes to talking about warnings on shows, there's a really simple aspect to this I think people don't acknowledge sufficiently. Firstly, it's entertainment, and shows are meant to entertain not fuck people off. Secondly, it's a business, and just as with any business, a show or network becomes successful by netting as many customers as possible, and so it needs to appeal to as many different potential viewers as possible. That wasn't the case with yesteryear when audiences were national and in many respects homogeneous, but just doesn't work from a business perspective today.

Finally, there's our aging. Just like your grandpa might have scorned the music of your day as a horrible din, so I think it's easy for old codgers like you :grin: to not grasp that society has changed already, and will continue to change, and choosing to dig in your heels isn't going to stop it; it's just going to make you a fossil. Perhaps you're right that a decade ago this forum would have poked fun at this (I don't actually believe you're right, unless you're referring to the Politics subforum which has, I am afraid to say, always been something more like a zoo from my perspective) but perhaps the world simply has changed in that time. Actually, I honestly think many people here would always have been able to recognize racism and reject it on rational grounds while also being able to spot the silly fringe nonsense and make due mock of it; I found Atheism+ to be a great big pile of wibbly bollocks for example, but I am pretty damn sure you wouldn't be able to find any post I've ever made on this forum which dismissed or made light of racism. For me, the 'edge' this place possessed was the ability to dissect bad ideas rationally - it was of course not ubiquitous among the membership which was, I suppose, at least part of the fun therein. But from that perspective, I can't say as I've seen any rational reason offered as to why such an advisory should not readily be supported. No butthurt fanned faces required.
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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#293  Postby Animavore » Dec 27, 2020 12:38 am

I'm not seeing the fuss myself. Movies have always come with a content warning written beside the age classification in the small print, you even see it at the start of every Netflix show. Currently watching Legend of Korra, which is a YA cartoon which is rated 12 with the disclaimer, "Self harm." Other shows might have more, Always Sunny in Philadelphia has, "Sexual violence, injury detail, language, drug misuse", etc. It seems like "racism" is a new category added on which some viewers may want to know about in advance, especially if they are considering a child might be watching.

I don't get getting in a tiz over something that has always been there in one form or other since classification began.
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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#294  Postby arugula2 » Dec 27, 2020 8:51 am

The_Metatron wrote:Fun practical application: In my Belgian friend's military field training, the way they simulated a nuclear detonation (to which they were expected to react correctly) was to shout at the trainees: "FLASH!", which would be the first effect. My friend told me his trainers were less than happy when his squad would reply to the announcement with their best Queen: "Ah-ahh".

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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#295  Postby arugula2 » Dec 27, 2020 9:14 am

1 or 2 valid concerns about both sides of the fuss which get lost, I think...

When people complain at the labels (or censoring) they do it for a number of reasons, and don't always fully express what the reasons are - sometimes they don't really know. It can sound like a general aversion to change, and that's boring. Something close to romansh's argument jives with me, but it, too, can be construed as an aversion to change. My version of the complaint would be that whatever the label (or censoring), it leans towards a kind of coddling of audiences, which implies infantilization, or shepherding, by distributors. That's fine in a broad sense, in that this goes on anyway. So the questions imo should only be, 'How much?' and 'Who decides?'

Media distributors aren't 'ideal' arbiters, so as much as it comforts many of us to know 'some people out there who aren't me' will find comfort in warning labels pre-emptively soothing them against possible 'offence' at a work of art... the idea is kind of silly on its face. It speaks more to the laziness/passivity of audiences than to any sincere investment any of us has in the refinement of culture or the betterment of human discourse. And frankly, we need the ugly stuff out in the open, and as many eyes exposed to it as possible.

But they are only labels... so any mature person can squint & appreciate them as part of the artform itself. No piece of art is static. Only the person is static, if he insists.
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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#296  Postby Cito di Pense » Dec 27, 2020 9:16 am

Animavore wrote:I'm not seeing the fuss myself. Movies have always come with a content warning written beside the age classification in the small print, you even see it at the start of every Netflix show.


No, movies have not "always come with warnings and classifications". That's why I think disputes like this may even break along some kind of generational lines. Anyone who's grown up with the progress from zero awareness to zero tolerance will know what I mean. Some other folks have ridden along, watching the grip of their white supremacy slipping, and have been radicalized in the other direction, but I suspect they are unmoved by trigger warnings.
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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#297  Postby Hermit » Dec 27, 2020 10:22 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
Animavore wrote:I'm not seeing the fuss myself. Movies have always come with a content warning written beside the age classification in the small print, you even see it at the start of every Netflix show.

No, movies have not "always come with warnings and classifications".

Content warnings and age classifications were unnecessary while film makers assiduously kept to their own Motion Picture Production Code. "One foot on the floor" and all that stuff. What's your point?
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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#298  Postby Ironclad » Dec 27, 2020 11:03 am

Spearthrower wrote:
Ironclad wrote:Yeah sorry Spear, I’ve been busy. Xmas, babies, house renovation. I’m here occasionally but am failing to follow the threads strictly lately.


Fair enough and a merry Christmas to you.


Ironclad wrote:The reactionary stance? I guess I get bored of reading that young folk are having to fan their faces in shock at often such trivial matters, lest they faint or something; and others with the power to control media, pandering to this new wave of butthurtery. A decade ago this forum would have poked gentle fun at such farce, I’m annoyed the edge has evaporated.


It seems a significant mistake to me to caricature all forms of aspirational equality by lumping it in with the extreme kooky ideas bandied about on the fringe. I don't know and can't see why a warning on media should be either problematic or cause for mockery. The media's still there to be consumed, but now it has an advisory similar to an age advisory and for similar reasons. I personally think parents should be proactive in monitoring what their kids watch, and these advisories can help with that. That's not to say that parents should censor these older films and programs, but that they might want to be prepared to have some kind of discussion, or explain the context for their kids.

One example show that springs to mind for me is Rising Damp, which I think we're both old enough to remember! ;)

Rising Damp is interesting on many levels. It displays a period of time in recent British history that a significant percentage of tv viewers are too young to remember. In the mid 70's when the show was made, the first UK born generation of black british were growing up, going through the school systems, and entering the work-force. The violent clashes of the past had largely been replaced by a reasonable level of acceptance and a general social agreement that racism was the undesirable element, rather than the other races. The comedic crux of the show sets up the white protagonist as a foil to that old school racism with his views being shown as preposterous and the black antagonist as being charming, honest and intelligent. It's the political correctness of the 1970's and provides a really interesting window into social attitudes of that time in a comedy format. It's definitely not intended to offend black British people.

However, I think a younger black British person watching it today might still rightly be shocked at the cruder expressions of racism, even though portrayed ironically, that were still socially normal at that time (that's particularly the case when it comes to adults choosing what's suitable for their kids). The fact is that were that show made today, it wouldn't get funded or made. That's not to say that shows can't feature comedic racial based interactions between characters, but that they're comedic racial based interactions which people today find funny rather than crude and offensive.

For me, when it comes to talking about warnings on shows, there's a really simple aspect to this I think people don't acknowledge sufficiently. Firstly, it's entertainment, and shows are meant to entertain not fuck people off. Secondly, it's a business, and just as with any business, a show or network becomes successful by netting as many customers as possible, and so it needs to appeal to as many different potential viewers as possible. That wasn't the case with yesteryear when audiences were national and in many respects homogeneous, but just doesn't work from a business perspective today.

Finally, there's our aging. Just like your grandpa might have scorned the music of your day as a horrible din, so I think it's easy for old codgers like you :grin: to not grasp that society has changed already, and will continue to change, and choosing to dig in your heels isn't going to stop it; it's just going to make you a fossil. Perhaps you're right that a decade ago this forum would have poked fun at this (I don't actually believe you're right, unless you're referring to the Politics subforum which has, I am afraid to say, always been something more like a zoo from my perspective) but perhaps the world simply has changed in that time. Actually, I honestly think many people here would always have been able to recognize racism and reject it on rational grounds while also being able to spot the silly fringe nonsense and make due mock of it; I found Atheism+ to be a great big pile of wibbly bollocks for example, but I am pretty damn sure you wouldn't be able to find any post I've ever made on this forum which dismissed or made light of racism. For me, the 'edge' this place possessed was the ability to dissect bad ideas rationally - it was of course not ubiquitous among the membership which was, I suppose, at least part of the fun therein. But from that perspective, I can't say as I've seen any rational reason offered as to why such an advisory should not readily be supported. No butthurt fanned faces required.

And a very merry Christmas to you and your family too.
The levelled playing field is something to aspire to, I cannot argue there at all. It is the retrospective ‘horror’ of what once was, the Cancel Culture and the demands that annoy me. There are chances now for all to grasp, and the future needs to be written, so the youngsters could get out there and do it. Rather than changing popular culture by demand.
Rising Damp is an excellent example, we’ve had this chat recently.
For Van Youngman - see you amongst the stardust, old buddy

"If there was no such thing as science, you'd be right " - Sean Lock

"God ....an inventive destroyer" - Broks
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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#299  Postby Spearthrower » Dec 27, 2020 3:57 pm

Do you remember Andrew4Handel? Now, he was a self-declared atheist, but his atheism entailed nihilistic natalism. Can you imagine if people thought that he was representative of atheism, and that all atheists wanted the same as him just because he happened to disbelieve in gods? I think that's the mistake here. There are undoubtedly expressions of kooky nonsense coming from the fringes of left identity politcs, but there's no reason to thereby take everyone as being representative of any wider group.

I'm all up for removing from public display statues of, for example, past slave traders - not because I want to cancel history (quite the contrary: it's vital we remember and understand how we arrived at today) but because public statues continue to confer a contemporary value on the individual celebrated in stone. Modern society doesn't agree with past society that slavery is either benevolent or was a necessary evil.

I am not in support of cancelling books or works of art based on modern sensibilities. I do, however, believe that contextualising them is part of the value they possess as a window into the minds and times of our forebears.

Anyone who espouses the former, I can find agreement with. Anyone who espouses the latter, I can't. I would be much more demanding in denying any argument that tried to conflate the two positions, or a suggestion that if I am for one, I must also be for the other.
I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
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Re: On social justice and social justice warriors

#300  Postby I'm With Stupid » Dec 27, 2020 4:19 pm

Animavore wrote:Warner Brothers have been doing this stuff for a few years now.

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I find it becomes more of an issue in other contexts though. It's an easy decision for Warner Bros to put a content warning on something like that, where people have chosen to watch it. I can't think of a decent reason why anyone would have a problem with that. Where you often get more of a debate is in something like a TV channel choosing whether or not to show something. Would it be okay to show Song of the South on mainstream TV as the Christmas day movie, for example? Would it be okay as long as there was a warning beforehand? Or should it be relegated to the status of something you have to seek out if you want to watch it? We've had a similar thing the last few years with Fairytale of New York and it all revolves around radio play, not whether it should be censored, banned or warned against on Spotify, for example (interesting that music warning are usually based entirely on swearing, never on the content of the lyrics).
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