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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » David Walliams dressed as Kim Jong Un (Page 3)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: David Walliams dressed as Kim Jong Un
Anselmina
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# 3032

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I'm saying that using makeup to impersonate another group which has been maligned by doing so is disrespectful. As I have stated more than one on this thread.

Yes. You keep stating it. You haven't as yet explained 'why' using makeup to impersonate another group - maligned or otherwise - is disrespectful. I can easily see why it is sometimes disrespectful; minstrel shows, racism etc. Obvious. But you haven't said why it is always disrespectful. In fact, you yourself seemed to see the ambivalence of male impersonation of female (a maligned group?) involving much make-up. And you seemed quite able to rationalize a view which might excuse that, despite your own much-stated principle against it.

I'm not saying you don't have some valid points. Just you're not being consistent or particularly clear in what the problem is.

The OP was about Walliams and the ludicrous but dangerous leader of North Korea. He made himself up to look like him, presumably to point fun at him. Seems entirely reasonable. Why shouldn't someone lampooning a political target, look like the political target?

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
.You keep stating it. You haven't as yet explained 'why' using makeup to impersonate another group - maligned or otherwise - is disrespectful. I can easily see why it is sometimes disrespectful; minstrel shows, racism etc. Obvious.

There is no clean disconnect between those portrayals and the supposed “benign” ones. Because the inequities and prejudices which are root of the practice are still very real and significant.

quote:

In fact, you yourself seemed to see the ambivalence of male impersonation of female (a maligned group?) involving much make-up.

Wearing cosmetics or a dress isn’t what makes one female. The trans community isn’t doing it for laughs or to mock women. And gender-bending in the LGBT+ community isn’t the same thing as Blackface.
quote:

And you seemed quite able to rationalize a view which might excuse that, despite your own much-stated principle against it.

”much-stated principle”? I said one time that I didn’t care for it. And that is a personal thing, not a principle thing.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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AmyBo
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# 15040

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quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I'm saying that using makeup to impersonate another group which has been maligned by doing so is disrespectful. As I have stated more than one on this thread.

Yes. You keep stating it. You haven't as yet explained 'why' using makeup to impersonate another group - maligned or otherwise - is disrespectful. I can easily see why it is sometimes disrespectful; minstrel shows, racism etc. Obvious. But you haven't said why it is always disrespectful. In fact, you yourself seemed to see the ambivalence of male impersonation of female (a maligned group?) involving much make-up. And you seemed quite able to rationalize a view which might excuse that, despite your own much-stated principle against it.

I'm not saying you don't have some valid points. Just you're not being consistent or particularly clear in what the problem is.

The OP was about Walliams and the ludicrous but dangerous leader of North Korea. He made himself up to look like him, presumably to point fun at him. Seems entirely reasonable. Why shouldn't someone lampooning a political target, look like the political target?

Imagine every time you see yourself portrayed in the media it's negative. Imagine when you show up to school all the teachers are harsher to you than your classmates. Imagine that the behavior you were taught was appropriate and even respectful at home was considered rude at school. Imagine that when you did screw up some do-gooder decided you couldn't do any better and didn't help you improve. Imagine that all your peers had families with intergenerational wealth and your family just got into their first house because of redlining. Imagine you put your hair into pretty braids like your aunties and grandma and you were called names, but when your classmates who don't have that tradition did the same they were called edgy. Imagine people decided not to see your skin color, the reason you're treated so differently, and instead called you Urban with the same disdain they used to drop the N word.

Now put one of those folks in black face, that was used to denigrate your ancestors at a time when your uncles and grandfathers were swinging from trees. Or even now, when your mom's boyfriend who is raising you, is murdered in front of you by a cop.

How can that be anything but disrespectful?!

[edited for missing "and"]

[ 13. November 2017, 14:21: Message edited by: AmyBo ]

Posts: 122 | From: Minnesota | Registered: Aug 2009  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
The loss being the risk that someone of the ethnicity portrayed will be offended thereby. Is that it ?

Surprisingly, fairly close. Except that I'd argue out of respect rather than utilitarianism.

I was asking if you think it's only a problem if there's someone at this private party that's likely to take offence, or whether it's an inherently disrespectful action. Is it about someone who subjectively feels offended (whether it not it is reasonable for them to so feel) ? Or is imitation an inherently and objectively disrespectful action ?

quote:
I'm saying that using makeup to impersonate another group which has been maligned by doing so is disrespectful.
That's an answer.

If it depends on who is being imitated then it's not an inherently disrespectful act.

I think you're saying that the issue isn't really about makeup at all.

It's about awareness of the backstory.

You have in your mind a story. A history, a true story about makeup - a small thing in itself - being part of a system of oppression - a big thing.

And if you're saying that the act of seeking to look more like a darker-skinned person will always remind you of this historic context, then clearly we have to accept that. You feel what you feel.

But other people in other cultures have other stories. The meaning of the act to them may be totally different from what it means to you.

That doesn't make them any more blind or insensitive than you are. You can't reasonably insist that the meaning to them must be the same as the meaning to you. Or that your meaning is privileged over their meaning.

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 3027 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I was asking if you think it's only a problem if there's someone at this private party that's likely to take offence, or whether it's an inherently disrespectful action.

Why would a decent person want to do something disrespectful, simply because the persons disprefected mightn’t see it? Seems disrespectful all the same.


quote:
I'm saying that using makeup to impersonate another group which has been maligned by doing so is disrespectful.
That's an answer.

quote:

I think you're saying that the issue isn't really about makeup at all.

It's about awareness of the backstory.

Not sure what this means. If someone were ignorant enough to not know the backstory, a decent person would apologize for inadvertently offending.

quote:

You have in your mind a story. A history, a true story about makeup - a small thing in itself - being part of a system of oppression - a big thing.

just history, no story needed. Not a small thing, BTW. Less than enslavement, but still significant. And small things add up, so it is difficult to quantify things as less significant.

quote:

But other people in other cultures have other stories. The meaning of the act to them may be totally different from what it means to you.

This discussion isn’t about cultures which don’t have a history of Blackface. It is primarily about the UK, which does.
In a culture which has no history of oppressing people might indeed do makeup of other groups without inherent disrespect. . But oppression is the history of Europe and its colonies, so...

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16930 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Erroneous Monk
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# 10858

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

quote:

But other people in other cultures have other stories. The meaning of the act to them may be totally different from what it means to you.

This discussion isn’t about cultures which don’t have a history of Blackface. It is primarily about the UK, which does.
In a culture which has no history of oppressing people might indeed do makeup of other groups without inherent disrespect. . But oppression is the history of Europe and its colonies, so...

It is the combined British histories of oppression and of mocking the *appearance* of ethnic minorities that means it particularly grates.

I remember when I was a kid there was a "joke" doing the rounds in the playground:

Q: What three things can't a black man get?
A: A black eye, a thick lip and a job

Hilarious.

Not.

--------------------
And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

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Eliab
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# 9153

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:

But equally obviously, the sketch isn’t making any negative comment about anyone based on race.

Your posts seem to indicate that you either do not have the ability to understand or the willingness to; so going further on this example may be pointless.
What I really don't understand is how that's a useful response to my point.

I asserted (I think with good reason) that it is obvious that the M&W sketch is not making a negative racial comment. It's not saying Congolese and/or black people are [something bad].

It's possible that you think I'm wrong - in which case, why not just say what negative comment you think is being made?

It's possible that you agree that I'm right on this point (but still disagree with me for other reasons) - in which case why not confirm that we do agree?

I can't see how it's constructive to pick out a statement of mine which (as far as I can tell) is a perfectly reasonable one, and follow it with a vague "you aren't able or willing to understand". Do you think that I'm right that the M&W sketch isn't a negative racial comment or not?

quote:
quote:
I just think “respectful” is completely unworkable as a standard of behaviour in this area.

Sorry, you'll have to explain this one a bit better. Why shouldn't respect be part of it?

Because:

a) views about what constitutes 'respect' and how it is shown, vary enormously between and within cultures. We'll never agree about what is respectful;

b) I don't think it's part of a comedian's job to be respectful;

c) What I'm principally defending here is the liberal principle of harmless fun. My justification for (non-malicious) jokes, dressing up, LARP, re-enactment, Halloween or whatever is that people enjoy these things, and should be free to enjoy them as harmless fun, not a serious, respectful social commentary.

I'm sure you could, for example, do an ECW re-enactment as a moving act of tribute to the sacrifices of men and women who did the best they could according to their views of God, rights and royalty, and in doing so shaped Britain. But you could also do it because you like to dress up and shoot muskets. And both are OK.

Exactly the same applies to any other sort of dressing up, from an astronaut to a North Korean dictator. It might be serious and respectful. It might also just be for fun. Both are OK.

quote:
quote:

In my usual form of discourse (UK legal practice) “reasonable” is the word commonly used to make that distinction.

Yes, and then an explanation of why said thing is reasonable could be required to defend that determination.
And this is a conversation, merely making a simple statement without any reasoning is neither conversation nor makes your point.
Your single argument is one of intent and this does not negate harm, even in a legal application.

That's not my argument. It is, at most, the starting point of my argument.

I think that intentional racism is wrong, yes (and also care more than you seem to about whether offence that has been caused was intended), but I also I fully accept that something can be harmful without intent. I've said several times that it might well be wrong to do something that a reasonable observer could misconstrue as a racist attack. For, as far as I can see, the same reasons that you give.

However what Walliams, Mitchell and Webb are doing isn't racist, and isn't harmful, and can't reasonably be misconstrued as being meant that way. They (almost certainly) do not intend any racial insult, and looking at what they are doing it is unfair to assume that they intended it, because their actions are fully explained and better explained without inferring a racist motive. With the single exception of Kim Jong Un, you can't look at what they are doing and fairly conclude that you or your race are being mocked or ridiculed.

quote:
Whitesplaining is racist. Though, to be fair, the same comments could have been made out of a pompous disregard for others in general and...Oh, you think accusing you of whitesplaining is racist.
The term is similar to mansplaining. It is not directed at a general group, but a specific person, therefore the opposite of prejudice.

Yes, what you said was racist.

I don't know actually know what ethnicity you are, except that it's not the same as mine. I don't need to know. I am trying to engage with your arguments on their merits. If I appear dismissive of your arguments, it's because I (rightly or wrongly) see no merit in those arguments - not that I see no point in engaging with you. And I would be utterly ashamed if I gave the impression that the reason that I was dismissing something you said had anything whatsoever to do with your race.

I'm surprised that you do not feel the same way.

I'm even more surprised that on being called on it, rather than withdraw, you doubled down and called me racist.

Your "white-splaining" comment was clearly intended to be dismissive (which is fine), and explicitly links your dismissiveness to my race (which isn't). It is self-evidently a racial insult.

Alright, it's an extremely feeble racial insult, and reflects far more badly on you than it does on me, but my pleasure at being handed a rhetorical victory gift-wrapped and on a silver platter doesn't change the fact that your comment was undoubtedly meant to be insulting, and was undoubtedly meant to be racial. It's not any the less racial because you only directed it at one person.

--------------------
"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:

I asserted (I think with good reason) that it is obvious that the M&W sketch is not making a negative racial comment.

M&W are doing black face.
Blackface cannot reasonably be separated from the negative because it still happens and the inequities are still massively present.
The sketch uses the history of blackface as a throw away to get a laugh. I do not believe this was their intention, but this is the reality.
I'm not advocating this lapse as a reason to revile the pair, but it doesn't change that they didn't get it right.


quote:

a) views about what constitutes 'respect' and how it is shown, vary enormously between and within cultures. We'll never agree about what is respectful;

This is a cop out. "There will never be perfect agreement with everyone so fuck trying"?
quote:

b) I don't think it's part of a comedian's job to be respectful;

No, it isn't. But there are lines that, when crossed, are rightfully challenged. You are correct in that there will never be perfect agreement as to where those lines are, you are incorrect in assuming that you get to choose where the line should be in disregard to those the line stepping is aimed at.
And...oh fuck it the rest of your post is repetitive and useless at this point.

Except this bit.

quote:


It's not any the less racial because you only directed it at one person.

Yes, yes it is. The very definition of racism needs conferring an attribute on a group of people. Whilst you need to be white to whitesplain, it isn't an attribute of being white that causes it. It, like mansplaining, is referencing the blindness caused by a power differential and is very much an accusation directed at what an individual is actually doing, not on a conferred trait.
Put another way, your whiteness allows you to be deaf to what your are saying, it does not cause your deafness.

[ 15. November 2017, 17:18: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16930 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Why would a decent person want to do something disrespectful, simply because the persons disprefected mightn’t see it? Seems disrespectful all the same.

That clarifies even further - you're saying it's not about any offence that other people might feel. It's about an act that is objectively disrespectful even if everybody present is fine with it.

quote:

If someone were ignorant enough to not know the backstory, a decent person would apologize for inadvertently offending.

A decent person would indeed apologise if they realised that they'd inadvertently offended someone present.

But you've just said that's not what you're objecting to. You're objecting because it's an act that inherently disrespects those who suffered racial mockery in the past. Regardless of what those present feel about it.

quote:
small things add up, so it is difficult to quantify things as less significant.
You don't seem to find any difficulty with quantifying people's artistic freedom to use or not use makeup as something insignificant.

It sounds like you're saying that white-on-black racial prejudice is such an enormous issue for you that you don't consider anything related to that issue as insignificant. Which is understandable.

What grates is when you imply that everybody else ought to feel that way too.

quote:
This discussion isn’t about cultures which don’t have a history of Blackface. It is primarily about the UK, which does. [/QB]
And Ireland ? If the Sligo amateur dramatic society are putting on The Mikado, are they allowed makeup so as to look more oriental ?

Now I can quite see that if there were a significant oriental minority in Sligo, and if there were a history of that minority being mocked on stage, then it might be prudent to consult a sample of people to ensure no misunderstandings occur. And if the situation were really fraught, to do Yeoman of the Guard instead. But that's about the feelings of those around you.

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 3027 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged



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