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Source: (consider it) Thread: Hallowe'en costumes
lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Why must he be black? He's been black for at least 500 years.

He's been fiction for over 2,000. Nothing in the Bible says anything about colour or even number of magi. Somebody at some time decided to give them characteristics and in some of them one is black. Not likely out of inclusion, but to demonstrate God's reach and power.
quote:

Or are you suggesting - I'm guessing you are - that black people don't belong in European history, European stories, European religion, and should be erased because you don't like them being there. A black man, worshipping the infant Jesus, equal to his light-skinned colleagues, a Wise Man, a Magi? No, the past is racist. Only you are enlightened.

You are seriously trying to tell me that Mustery Plays are actually subversive attempts to give black people their due? What the Hell are you smoking? I do hope you are not driving or operating any heavy machinery.
And the past contains one hell of a lot of racism. There is argument as to which bits truly are and which bits are perceived, yes.
The initial inclusion of a black character in the Mystery Plays might not have had racist overtones. Blacking up 70 years ago certainly did. You want to be inclusive, there are real black people who could be involved. Some of them can even act!

--------------------
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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Moo

Ship's tough old bird
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
I have a problem with people who do not live in an area insisting that a team name be changed because they find it insulting.

Is this is the same sort of thinking that allowed Confederate flags to be accepted for so many years?
I don't see the parallel. In the situation I described all the local Indians who spoke up were opposed to changing the team name. Many of them said they were proud of it.

I don't think there has ever been a situation where local blacks said they wanted Confederate flags to be freely displayed in their area.

Moo

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Kerygmania host
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See you later, alligator.

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St Deird
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Enlighten me. Why is it important that Melchior be dark skinned?

Because he's a black man? Geez.
No, he is fictional.

Yes...?

Buffy Summers is fictional. And white. Mulan is fictional. And Asian.

--------------------
They're not hobbies; they're a robust post-apocalyptic skill-set.

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St Deird
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And going back a few posts...

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Teekeey Misha:
I'm not sure that a white person blacking up to look like a black person is about "reducing them to their colour"; it's recognizing that the black person is black. One could argue;

  • that merely recognizing that the black person is black is racist (although that would be a pretty shallow argument.)
Ridiculous is the word, not shallow.
quote:
  • that a white person blacking up to represent a black person is not "reducing them to their colour"; it is representing one important aspect of who that person is.
  • that representing a black person without blacking up is racist, since it ignores an important aspect of who that person is; it doesn't "reduce them to their colour" but removes even their colour.

  • It is funny, but a white athlete, actor, politician etc. is seen as being an athlete, actor or politician first. Race isn't part of the description. Add some melanin, and that is suddenly the most important thing.

    I wouldn't say race is an important part of the description - unless the description is about how someone LOOKS, in which case it is. If you're dressing up as someone, how they look is rather essential. (Should the boy have been dressing up as his hero's soul?)

    --------------------
    They're not hobbies; they're a robust post-apocalyptic skill-set.

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    Leorning Cniht
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
    Some of the theatres I frequent practise colour blind casting*, which can be fascinating.

    Sure - theatre doesn't attempt photorealism. If you can cope with an empty stage with a couple of polystyrene blocks being a castle, you can cope with Hamlet being played by a black man.

    If what you're making is a TV drama, then more realism is called for. Casting a short actor to play Henry VIII on stage is fine. Casting a short actor to play him in a TV drama wouldn't work.

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    Doc Tor
    Deepest Red
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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    And the past contains one hell of a lot of racism. There is argument as to which bits truly are and which bits are perceived, yes.
    The initial inclusion of a black character in the Mystery Plays might not have had racist overtones. Blacking up 70 years ago certainly did. You want to be inclusive, there are real black people who could be involved. Some of them can even act!

    Coming from you, that's almost an admission of being wrong. I'll take it as the first signs of nuance breaking into your impregnable binary worldview, and consider it a win.

    --------------------
    Forward the New Republic

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    lilBuddha
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Doc Tor:
    ]Coming from you, that's almost an admission of being wrong. I'll take it as the first signs of nuance breaking into your impregnable binary worldview, and consider it a win.

    So, instead of addressing the relevant questions, you claim that you are "winning". I think I have discovered Doc Tor's Real Identity.
    quote:
    Originally posted by St Deird:

    Buffy Summers is fictional. And white. Mulan is fictional. And Asian.

    If Buffy had been played by a black actress, would it have changed the part no. Mulan. Yeah, no one has ever cast a white person as an Asian. The public would never see such a film.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:

    If what you're making is a TV drama, then more realism is called for. Casting a short actor to play Henry VIII on stage is fine. Casting a short actor to play him in a TV drama wouldn't work.

    By that logic Tom Cruise would not have a career.

    --------------------
    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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    Nick Tamen

    Ship's Wayfaring Fool
    # 15164

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Nicolemr:
    If I'm not mistaken the idea behind one of the wise men being from Africa is that there were wise men from each of the then-known continents, Africa, Asia and Europe, symbolizing the whole world coming to worship the baby Jesus. Therefore it is, symbolically, very important for one of the three to be black.

    Yes, and for a similar reason they were depicted as old, middle-aged and young. Of course, all of this is extra-biblical, including the idea that there were three of them. But yes, I'd agree that some of these traditions developed to convey theological ideas, including the idea of inclusion of the Gentiles/all nations.

    But even given that, I don't think it's unreasonable to question the tradition, particularly for a church. Does the tradition, or how the tradition is carried out, include or exclude? Does it convey or get in the way of the Gospel? Does it send the right message to those outside the church? Does the unspoken message actually drown out the intended message?

    And if there is agreement that the tradition is worth keeping, then I don't think it's unreasonable to ask whether, in a multi-cultural 21st Century society, the tradition should still be kept by having Balthazar wear black make-up, or are there other, better ways—such as maybe having him clothes made of wear distinctively African materials. Or, of course, actually having a black man play him.

    I know that where I live, there would pretty much be no way that portraying one of the magi in dark make-up would be at all acceptable. (Then again, the idea that one of the magi was African isn't nearly as common here as it may be elsewhere.) Ditto a white person wearing make-up to emulate a celebrity. Given our history, anything approaching black-face is simply unacceptable, and rightly so, I think.

    I fully recognize the answers may be different in Britain, or Europe or Australia, where histories and cultural considerations are different. But the conversations are worth having. As in most instances, "we've always done it this way" likely won't get very far.

    --------------------
    The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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    Teekeey Misha
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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    How is people who quote Stephan Fry's bit from that particular interview a characteristic?

    The things people say and the reason they say them is part of their behaviour; behaviour is a characteristic.
    quote:
    So you, from 9,000 miles away, are somehow qualified to judge that what people say is either an outright lie or self-deception?

    And you from thousands of miles away are somehow qualified to judge that what people say is [b]not[i] either an outright lie or self-deception?
    quote:
    Though I am also not in the proximity of the particular incident, so I choose to take the word of those who are unless you can show me that they are disingenuous.

    And I, having seen how quick people can be to assume offence without just cause, choose not to take their word. Whilst you're quick to demand that I provide evidence of their being disingenuous, meanwhile, your own argument is still based on 'your merely stating over and over again that "loads of people were offended"'.

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    Misha
    Don't assume I don't care; sometimes I just can't be bothered to put you right.

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    Doc Tor
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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    If Buffy had been played by a black actress, would it have changed the part no.

    And we were actually making progress when you nearly admitted that having a black Magi was kind-of-okay.

    If Buffy had been played by a black actress, of course it would have changed the part. Don't be such a fucking muppet.

    --------------------
    Forward the New Republic

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    Laud-able

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    lilBuddha:

    Doc Tor’s comment above regarding nuance touches the heart of the matter.

    You wrote earlier ‘However, it seems a good rule that what the majority feel about such things should be the guide.’ Does this imply that the ‘wrongness’ or 'rightness' of blackface might vary according to the circumstances? If this is so, then there is no argument between us.

    --------------------
    '. . . "Non Angli, sed Angeli" "not Angels, but Anglicans"', Sellar, W C, and Yeatman, R J, 1066 and All That, London, 1930, p. 6.

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    no prophet's flag is set so...

    Proceed to see sea
    # 15560

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    I didn't know that the wise men went trick or treating. Who knew?

    If anyone dressed up with a black painted face as a wise man in western Canada, it would be very inappropriate. There's absolutely no tradition of that. At all.

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    lilBuddha
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    # 14333

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Doc Tor:
    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    If Buffy had been played by a black actress, would it have changed the part no.

    And we were actually making progress when you nearly admitted that having a black Magi was kind-of-okay.

    If Buffy had been played by a black actress, of course it would have changed the part.

    OK, genuinely interested in how you think it would.

    This is a description of her character.
    quote:
    Buffy Summers (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar) is "the Slayer", one in a long line of young women chosen by fate to battle evil forces. This mystical calling endows her with dramatically increased physical strength, endurance, agility, accelerated healing, intuition, and a limited degree of clairvoyance, usually in the form of prophetic dreams.
    What part of that precludes black or is changed by it, Fozzie?
    quote:
    Originally posted by Teekeey Misha:
    your own argument is still based on 'your merely stating over and over again that "loads of people were offended"'.

    No, it isn't. There was a lot of backlash. I choose, based on my own experience, to believe that they were genuine in their expressions. You choose not to.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Laud-able:
    lilBuddha:

    Doc Tor’s comment above regarding nuance touches the heart of the matter.

    You wrote earlier ‘However, it seems a good rule that what the majority feel about such things should be the guide.’ Does this imply that the ‘wrongness’ or 'rightness' of blackface might vary according to the circumstances? If this is so, then there is no argument between us.

    If you accept that those potentially being negatively portrayed have the greater weight of judgement, then yes. In this Australian case it would be the opinion of the Aboriginal Australians which mattered more than the white people.

    --------------------
    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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    mousethief

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Doc Tor:
    If Buffy had been played by a black actress, of course it would have changed the part. Don't be such a fucking muppet.

    How? What about the part says "white"?

    --------------------
    “Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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    Nick Tamen

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Doc Tor:
    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    If Buffy had been played by a black actress, would it have changed the part no.

    If Buffy had been played by a black actress, of course it would have changed the part. Don't be such a fucking muppet.
    Because her name would have had to have been Kendra?

    --------------------
    The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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    St Deird
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    # 7631

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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    If you accept that those potentially being negatively portrayed have the greater weight of judgement, then yes. In this Australian case it would be the opinion of the Aboriginal Australians which mattered more than the white people.

    Given that the footballer in question is Fijian, how are Aborigines the ones "being negatively portrayed"?

    --------------------
    They're not hobbies; they're a robust post-apocalyptic skill-set.

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    lilBuddha
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    quote:
    Originally posted by St Deird:
    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    If you accept that those potentially being negatively portrayed have the greater weight of judgement, then yes. In this Australian case it would be the opinion of the Aboriginal Australians which mattered more than the white people.

    Given that the footballer in question is Fijian, how are Aborigines the ones "being negatively portrayed"?
    Because it is in Australia and blackface has never been to concerned with the origin of those its mocking as much as the colour.

    [ 04. October 2016, 02:45: 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: 17091 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
    Curiosity killed ...

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    Addressing the historical reasons given above, I saw the York Mystery plays in York Minster this summer. There was no-one blacked up there. Lucifer's fallen angel status did have him charred and burnt, but that was more the wings than anything else and he ended up in red paint along with the other hellions (including Judas). The Mystery Play I saw before that was Isango's Mysteries based on the Chester Plays, where the entire cast was black and their devil was dressed in red.

    The Mystery Plays we have now are revivals of ancient traditions - with long gaps and adaptations. The York Mystery Plays were revived in 1951 having been suppressed in 1569, Chester's were suppressed in 1575 and revived in the 20th century. With those gaps, what we have now cannot be accurate recreations.

    We can't know how many black participants appeared in the community events that were the Mystery Plays, but there are paintings dating back to the 1700s of London street scenes showing the full palette of skin colours including black footmen, street vendors and entertainers. The Death of Major Peirson, 6th January 1781 has a black soldier depicted centre left and was part of the exhibition illustrating this point at Tate Britain last year.

    And to return to the presumptions of colour of characters, why should a statesman in Venice not be black? Casting Angelo as black made me think of trade routes around the Mediterranean. Why shouldn't there be black characters in a play set in Roman Britain, when we know there were African soldiers manning Hadrian's Wall?

    --------------------
    Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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    Leorning Cniht
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    # 17564

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
    Why shouldn't there be black characters in a play set in Roman Britain, when we know there were African soldiers manning Hadrian's Wall?

    There may certainly be black soldiers in a Roman legion, but it's unlikely that there were any black Iceni, and Boudicca wasn't black. Nevertheless I see no reason that a black actress couldn't play Boudicca on stage.

    But not on TV, unless she had really good makeup.

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    Laud-able

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    lilBuddha: You had written earlier:

    ‘And I do believe I acknowledged the mum and her son had good intentions.’
    and
    ‘Respect is what this argument is about.’

    and now you write:

    ‘Because it is in Australia and blackface has never been to[o] concerned with the origin of those it’s mocking as much as the colour.’

    The Fijian footballer was not mocked (unless you are harking back to the old sense of imitated or copied). The boy was making a compliment, and the school that ran the parade thought so well of his efforts that they awarded him a prize.

    I cannot comprehend your refusal to recognize a sincere act of homage - the epitome of respect. Nobody was harmed. Nobody had any reason to be offended. Why do you insist on raining on the boy’s parade?

    --------------------
    '. . . "Non Angli, sed Angeli" "not Angels, but Anglicans"', Sellar, W C, and Yeatman, R J, 1066 and All That, London, 1930, p. 6.

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    Golden Key
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    # 1468

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    Laud-able--

    lB can certainly speak for herself.

    But FYI: in the US, with our history and culture, for a white person to put on black face is always a very, very bad idea. No matter how innocently it might be meant. You (gen.) will offend people, stain your reputation long-term, etc. If white people around you are all egging you on, and think that it's absolutely ok and hilarious, you might consider getting new friends and neighbors.

    There may be a few exceptions in cross-racial makeup and costuming. For Mardi Gras festivities, New Orleans has a tradition of costuming as "Indians". I don't know the culture, nor how Native Americans feel about it.

    As to a dark-skinned wise man: if you're set on having one, then get someone with dark(er) skin to play him.

    There's just too long a history here, of slavery, minstrel shows, and prejudice, for putting on blackface to ever be ok.

    Much worse than when Prince Harry dressed up as a Nazi for a costume party, and caught a lot of heat for it.

    [ 04. October 2016, 06:22: Message edited by: Golden Key ]

    --------------------
    Blessed Gator, pray for us!
    --"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
    --"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

    Posts: 18156 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
    lilBuddha
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    # 14333

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:

    But not on TV, unless she had really good makeup.

    Why though? Years and years of white people on the telly and on the silver screen playing historical people of colour so why not the reverse?

    quote:
    Originally posted by Laud-able:

    I cannot comprehend your refusal to recognize a sincere act of homage - the epitome of respect. Nobody was harmed. Nobody had any reason to be offended. Why do you insist on raining on the boy’s parade?

    The woman did not intend insult*
    The footballer was not being mocked.
    These are true.
    It doesn't change that blackface isn't the best way to go as there is a history of mocking with blackface in Australia.
    I'm not raining on the boy's parade, I doubt he reads this website.
    I am saying the mother made a poor choice.

    *Though it appears she was aware there might be a problem before she did it, not no quite ignorant of the negative connotations of blacking up.

    [ 04. October 2016, 06:51: 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

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    anoesis
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    # 14189

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    All ye who read: This is primarily a reply to lilBuddha, which would be more immediately apparent if the nested quotes hadn't been irreparably stuffed up by yours truly...

    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    But I do know how to type words into this website and then read the results. I still might be incorrect, waiting for you to show me where I am.

    In regards to the All Blacks, that is.

    Right, then. Seeing as you asked, and all.

    First let's note that I'm in general agreement with you on most topics across the boards, and also in general agreement with you here. Still can't understand why this particular issue is bringing out the shitty in everyone either, but it seems I'm in now, and starting to feel a tiny bit shitty myself.

    Also, I find I simply cannot manage to weed little phrases out of all this nested coding and get them to look exactly right, with a glass of wine inside me. I couldn't manage yesterday evening either - I'm drowning out the stress of the school holidays. So I'm going for you said, I said instead.

    You say: Google suggests that the majority of Maori are not offended by the All Blacks haka.

    I say: my daily experience here suggests very much the same thing, so no problems with this. Although it should be noted that I don't exactly have scores and scores of friends who identify as Māori.

    You say: The All Blacks began as an all Maori selection.

    I say: I can see how you might have got that impression from that particular Wikipedia page - however, it is not the case for a number of reasons. Most crucially, this particular team are not the antecedents of the All Blacks because they were not a test team. I'm guessing this is much less of a thing in other sports/countries/jurisdictions, but it's a very important point in this instance. The team to which you refer were a team comprised of New Zealanders, rather than a New Zealand team, which was something not even a possibility until 1892, when the NZRFU was formed.

    You say: I see your one photo and raise you an article. It even includes the very same photo.

    I say: It most assuredly does not include the same photo. Check again. And also, tell me why on earth I should provide more than one photograph when referring to one test team? So we can appreciate their mustachios in profile as well? Now I must climb down off my high horse, having just been informed by Wikipedia that the 1905/6 team were NOT in fact the first test team, and a test side played Australia in Sydney two years earlier.

    You say: BTW, when the Ship's software fights a url, I use tinyurl to beat it into submission. Not being a smartarse, just a helpful hint.

    I say: I tried that. It told me it wasn't a valid URL, which I found odd, given that it, y'know, worked. In the spirit of helpful hints and being alive to the sensitivities of minority cultures, etc., here [remove the dots] [&.#.2.5.7.;] is the HTML/unicode you need for the ā in Māori.

    You say: Regarding the last bit of your post, it is a bugger of a thing. Cultural appropriation vs cultural appreciation/blending vs patronizing. There will always be some contention as to where the borders are. And everyone involved should be part of the conversation.

    I say: I've spent longer than I'd like to admit in marriage counselling, and it took quite a long time before I realised that simply the fact that we were talking, and continuing to talk (ie: having a conversation), was something to hang on to in itself. Obviously I only speak as a representative of the non-indigenous majority in saying this, but: hey, at least we are still having the conversation.

    --------------------
    The history of humanity give one little hope that strength left to its own devices won't be abused. Indeed, it gives one little ground to think that strength would continue to exist if it were not abused. -- Dafyd --

    Posts: 989 | From: New Zealand | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged
    Doc Tor
    Deepest Red
    # 9748

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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Doc Tor:
    If Buffy had been played by a black actress, of course it would have changed the part.

    OK, genuinely interested in how you think it would.
    Are you? I hope so, because I'm about to waste some time where I could be working explaining Character 101 to you.

    Characters in fiction - if they are written well, and by well, I mean believably - are not just cookie-cutter characters whose physical, emotional and spiritual characteristics are merely swappable window dressing.

    For this reason: the characters should alter the plot. Whether they're tall (and find it difficult to find cover when they're being shot at) or pretty (the strategy of working a room is going to be significantly different) or old (can an old man be an astronaut?) or disabled (I'm giving chase at the top speed of my mobility scooter) or Muslim (prayer time again?) or gay (hello, main protagonist!). Or black.

    And if you're not altering your plot because your characters are reacting differently (like genuinely real people would), then you're doing it wrong.

    So, would Buffy have been different if Buffy had been black? Yes, of course it would. And not just because you've picked on one show that was notoriously, almost irredeemably white, where for 7 seasons there were 3 significant black parts. Because a black girl's experience of High School in an overwhelmingly white, upper-middle class suburban school is going to be different to that of a white girl at the same school.

    I could go through a list as to how Buffy's blackness would have changed how the writers approached her character. But almost as important would have been the viewer's reactions to her. If the default is a white character, if that's what we're expecting, then a black character is, by definition, going to be different.

    Simply put: a black Buffy would, while retaining the same foundational elements as white Buffy, have been a completely different tv show. (And, frankly, on my part, more interesting. I was never into the Buffyverse in the same way that some of my friends were). If would have been different if the Gate to Hell had been under a white, working class district, or a black neighbourhood, or a hispanic one. And it ought to have been different.

    As an aside, my last book was traduced in the Daily Mail for being 'dutifully multicultural' because I dared to have an almost entirely non-Anglo cast of Londoners. That's something I wear as a badge of honour (and I'm seriously thinking of having it made into a t-shirt). Would it have been a different book if I'd picked the Pevensies* to go through the portal? Damn right it would. Same world. Entirely different story.

    Same with Buffy.


    (*The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe)

    --------------------
    Forward the New Republic

    Posts: 8911 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
    Golden Key
    Shipmate
    # 1468

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    Re Buffy and ethnic diversity:

    However, the pre-historic First Slayer wasn't white, though she did wear white, ritual (?) face paint. And the actress who played her is Jamaican and dark-skinned. At the time, I thought the character might be Australian aboriginal, back in the Dream Time. But that first link identifies the shamans, who forced her to become the First Slayer, as African.

    And, IIRC, one of the potential Slayers who was activated at the very end of the series was dark-skinned.

    Plus Willow was Jewish, so a little diversity there.

    FWIW.

    [ 04. October 2016, 09:06: Message edited by: Golden Key ]

    --------------------
    Blessed Gator, pray for us!
    --"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
    --"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

    Posts: 18156 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
    Paul.
    Shipmate
    # 37

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    It's also worth noting that Buffy was conceived as a character to deliberately subvert a stereotype. The stereotype being "that blonde girl" that always gets killed early on in a horror movie. The idea being that when the monster chases her down a dark alley she trounces it rather than the other way around.

    In order to subvert the stereotype you have to be able to identify it - so Buffy was a blonde valley girl.

    Now that was mostly for the movie. The TV show developed the character differently and didn't need to play up to the stereotype quite so much. The TV show was less about that simple inversion and more about showing the tension between the normal life of a high schooler and this mythic supernatural demon-fighter role. As such you could have re-cast Buffy as any ethnicity although it would have changed the show (but not necessarily in a bad way). Maybe if the movie had been a bigger success then the show could have been a spin-off in the sense of a story taking place in that established world, rather than a re-telling and then expansion of the same story.

    Also IIRC the idea for the TV show came from a producer who still owned rights relating to the character from the movie. They approached Whedon thinking he wouldn't want to do it only to find he did. So whether the project would still have gone ahead if the response had been to essentially re-invent the character who knows?

    Posts: 3681 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
    Jane R
    Shipmate
    # 331

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    Doc Tor:
    quote:
    As an aside, my last book was traduced in the Daily Mail for being 'dutifully multicultural' because I dared to have an almost entirely non-Anglo cast of Londoners.
    I read that book and completely failed to spot the dutiful multiculturalism... it sounded like a fairly typical mix of modern Londoners to me...

    In fact, I would have been surprised (and irritated) if you'd done anything else. How likely is it that a random group of Londoners would be composed entirely of white Anglo-Saxons? Well, OK, maybe if you were looking in the House of Lords - but that's not a random group, is it?

    quote:
    That's something I wear as a badge of honour (and I'm seriously thinking of having it made into a t-shirt).
    Or you could just buy one of these.
    Posts: 3954 | From: Jorvik | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
    Callan
    Shipmate
    # 525

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Nicolemr:
    If I'm not mistaken the idea behind one of the wise men being from Africa is that there were wise men from each of the then-known continents, Africa, Asia and Europe, symbolizing the whole world coming to worship the baby Jesus. Therefore it is, symbolically, very important for one of the three to be black.

    Parenthetically, that's also why the Magi were upgraded to kings, symbolically they represent the homage of the world to Jesus.

    My maths isn't brilliant but if this happened seventy years ago, that puts it in 1946. At this point in history we were still occupying the Indian Sub-Continent, the Democratic Party was about to split because northern liberals thought lynching was a bad idea, Verwoerd was putting together a political movement to campaign for more racism in South Africa and the Germans had only recently been forcibly restrained from exterminating the Jews and the Poles, who hadn't got the memo, held the last pogrom (to date) on European soil.

    So on any list of Racist Things That Happened In The 1940s, a kid blacking up in a nativity play is probably not going to make the top ten million.

    [ 04. October 2016, 12:18: Message edited by: Callan ]

    --------------------
    How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

    Posts: 9702 | From: Citizen of the World | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
    Nick Tamen

    Ship's Wayfaring Fool
    # 15164

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Paul.:
    The TV show was less about that simple inversion and more about showing the tension between the normal life of a high schooler and this mythic supernatural demon-fighter role.

    I think it's fair to say that the premise of the TV show was simpler even than that, at least in the first seasons. The premise was simply "high school is hell." The demon-fighting was metaphor for the ordinary horrors of high school, and there's a reason that the hellmouth was directly under the high school.

    quote:
    Also IIRC the idea for the TV show came from a producer who still owned rights relating to the character from the movie. They approached Whedon thinking he wouldn't want to do it only to find he did.
    Probably worth noting that Whedon didn't like what was done with Buffy in the movie.

    /supertangent

    --------------------
    The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

    Posts: 2551 | From: On heaven-crammed earth | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
    Paul.
    Shipmate
    # 37

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Nick Tamen:

    quote:
    Also IIRC the idea for the TV show came from a producer who still owned rights relating to the character from the movie. They approached Whedon thinking he wouldn't want to do it only to find he did.
    Probably worth noting that Whedon didn't like what was done with Buffy in the movie.

    True but what I said about the Buffy of the movie was based on what he himself said about the origin of the character, not on how the movie turned out. (I'm pretty much paraphrasing one of the DVD extras)
    Posts: 3681 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
    Nick Tamen

    Ship's Wayfaring Fool
    # 15164

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Paul.:
    True but what I said about the Buffy of the movie was based on what he himself said about the origin of the character, not on how the movie turned out. (I'm pretty much paraphrasing one of the DVD extras)

    Right. I was trying to add to what you said, not contradict it. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

    --------------------
    The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

    Posts: 2551 | From: On heaven-crammed earth | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
    Paul.
    Shipmate
    # 37

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    Ah OK. Thanks.
    Posts: 3681 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
    lilBuddha
    Shipmate
    # 14333

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Doc Tor:
    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Doc Tor:
    If Buffy had been played by a black actress, of course it would have changed the part.

    OK, genuinely interested in how you think it would.
    Are you? I hope so, because I'm about to waste some time where I could be working explaining Character 101 to you.

    You explained absolutely nothing in relation to Buffy. Buffy was in a controlled universe. As far as I can tell, that universe was Generic Hollywood High School, California variant.
    They could have made the characters a rainbow of colour and it would have changed nothing.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Doc Tor:

    For this reason: the characters should alter the plot. Whether they're tall (and find it difficult to find cover when they're being shot at) or pretty (the strategy of working a room is going to be significantly different) or old (can an old man be an astronaut?) or disabled (I'm giving chase at the top speed of my mobility scooter) or Muslim (prayer time again?) or gay (hello, main protagonist!). Or black.

    Being black does not impart any physical characteristics other than being more resistant to damage by the sun. It does not create any inherent behaviour patterns, it does not have any inherent cultural attachment.

    Film and television haven't given one single shit about the authenticity of "ethnic" characters in the past. Why is the reverse so important?

    --------------------
    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: 17091 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
    lilBuddha
    Shipmate
    # 14333

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Paul.:
    so Buffy was a blonde valley girl.

    Black valley girls? I've met some. And, like, oh my God! It is, like, so totally hard to talk to them, like, I don't even try. Gag me with a spoon.

    --------------------
    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: 17091 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
    Doc Tor
    Deepest Red
    # 9748

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    lB. I'm sorry. You're officially Too Stupid To Breathe.

    If you don't think being black changes anything, how government officials, cops, shop assistants treat you, and how you act around them, then ... I suggest you open a newspaper sometime. You have all the imagination and empathy of a 3/8" wingnut, and I hope to God you never put pen to paper.

    --------------------
    Forward the New Republic

    Posts: 8911 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
    Paul.
    Shipmate
    # 37

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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Paul.:
    so Buffy was a blonde valley girl.

    Black valley girls? I've met some. And, like, oh my God! It is, like, so totally hard to talk to them, like, I don't even try. Gag me with a spoon.
    I'm sure. The point is though, black valley girls having sex then dying in the first reel were not a trope of horror movies.

    Oh I'm sure there are a few examples but that's not the stereotype.

    And btw, I think a black Buffy would have been fine. It could have been a great show. But it would have been different. That's all.

    Posts: 3681 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
    Leorning Cniht
    Shipmate
    # 17564

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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:

    But not on TV, unless she had really good makeup.

    Why though? Years and years of white people on the telly and on the silver screen playing historical people of colour so why not the reverse?

    "Unless she had really good makeup".

    TV dramas are much more of a realistic medium than theatre. If you have an actor playing the part of Boudicca on TV, she has to look the part. If she's a black actor, looking the part takes quite a lot of makeup. I don't have a problem with a black actor playing a white character, but I have a problem with a black actor playing a white character on TV whilst looking black.

    And you're right, the history of film and TV is full of white actors in dubious body paint playing black parts, and they're not very convincing at all. But, of course, they were produced for white audiences who didn't have much experience of actual black people, so they didn't need to be very convincing. Plus racism, of course.

    And then there are biblical films, where the Bible is clearly full of nothing but white people. Probably white people who speak Elizabethan English.

    Posts: 4893 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
    lilBuddha
    Shipmate
    # 14333

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Doc Tor:
    lB. I'm sorry. You're officially Too Stupid To Breathe.

    If you don't think being black changes anything, how government officials, cops, shop assistants treat you, and how you act around them, then ... I suggest you open a newspaper sometime. You have all the imagination and empathy of a 3/8" wingnut, and I hope to God you never put pen to paper.

    So, let me get this straight. You are telling me what it is like to be black? Seriously?
    Have you ever been stopped by the police for just your colour? Have you been followed through a store by security because of the way you look? Have people surprised that you can speak articulately and on on and so on just because of the colour of your skin?

    Step the fuck off, bitch.

    On the slim chance there is something redeemable about you, back to the discussion.

    I've never written a novel, but I have worked with character and story development and world creation. Context fucking matters. And in a Buffy context colour would not matter because nothing related to that was remotely part of the fucking point. That some of you think so betrays your ignorance at best.
    Buffy is not set in a realistic world. Not even fucking close to it.

    There is a Richard Gere film called An Officer and a Gentleman. The part of the drill instructor was originally thought of as white. When Louis Gossett Jr. was cast, he won a fucking Oscar with an unchanged script.

    --------------------
    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: 17091 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
    lilBuddha
    Shipmate
    # 14333

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Paul.:

    And btw, I think a black Buffy would have been fine. It could have been a great show. But it would have been different. That's all.

    Still not sure how. The real world isn't intersectional to every fantasy world.
    And, I would argue that putting people of colour into "default" character roles helps normalise race relations.* Not that real tensions should be ignored. There is room and, IMO, need for both kinds of depictions.
    As much as people like to, we cannot be neatly packaged into how we should act or how people respond to us.

    *Star Trek is a good example. Race relations were tackled, mostly with aliens, but the crew accepting each other with no colour issue was ground-breaking and, IMO, very helpful. Especially for its time.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:

    TV dramas are much more of a realistic medium than theatre. If you have an actor playing the part of Boudicca on TV, she has to look the part. If she's a black actor, looking the part takes quite a lot of makeup. I don't have a problem with a black actor playing a white character, but I have a problem with a black actor playing a white character on TV whilst looking black.

    If I'm honest, a Black Boudica** on the screen would bother me because of the historical inaccuracy, but on the stage it would be delightful. But I am not sure this is right.


    *Though, damn, such an awesome role to play.

    --------------------
    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: 17091 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
    St Deird
    Shipmate
    # 7631

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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    So, let me get this straight. You are telling me what it is like to be black? Seriously?

    Why not? You're telling us what it's like to be Australian.

    --------------------
    They're not hobbies; they're a robust post-apocalyptic skill-set.

    Posts: 319 | From: the other side of nowhere | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
    lilBuddha
    Shipmate
    # 14333

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    quote:
    Originally posted by St Deird:
    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    So, let me get this straight. You are telling me what it is like to be black? Seriously?

    Why not? You're telling us what it's like to be Australian.
    No I am not, not even close. I said there were Australians of colour who were upset.
    I explained why blackface is upsetting.

    --------------------
    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: 17091 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
    Leorning Cniht
    Shipmate
    # 17564

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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    If I'm honest, a Black Boudica** on the screen would bother me because of the historical inaccuracy, but on the stage it would be delightful. But I am not sure this is right.

    Yes, that's my opinion as well. And it's purely one of appearance - if you want to take a black actor and make her up in whiteface to match the historical descriptions of Boudicca that we have then I don't care, but on TV, she has to look the part.
    Posts: 4893 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
    lilBuddha
    Shipmate
    # 14333

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    I do not think she would need whiteface on the stage. We accept so many conditions, substitutions and stylizations on stage it would be unnecessary as well as award.

    --------------------
    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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    Paul.
    Shipmate
    # 37

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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    And, I would argue that putting people of colour into "default" character roles helps normalise race relations.

    FWIW I agree with this. I just don't think the Buffy character was a "default" in that sense.

    But I don't really have the heart to try to explain why, again. It's a picky technical point really and a bit of a tangent to the thread.

    Posts: 3681 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
    Leorning Cniht
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    # 17564

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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    I do not think she would need whiteface on the stage. We accept so many conditions, substitutions and stylizations on stage it would be unnecessary as well as award.

    We're violently agreeing with each other. Stage and TV aren't the same.
    Posts: 4893 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
    Doc Tor
    Deepest Red
    # 9748

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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    Step the fuck off, bitch.

    So far on this thread, you've managed to explain things to everyone else who knows more about what they're saying than you do. Read the responses to you. You're telling people about their own lives and how to interpret them because they're doing it wrong.

    I say something that's actually true in your own experience and suddenly you can't stand it.

    Get off your nose-bleed high horse. You're coming over as an insufferable bore, tedious and vexatious. If that's not what you are, you might want to change the record.

    --------------------
    Forward the New Republic

    Posts: 8911 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
    no prophet's flag is set so...

    Proceed to see sea
    # 15560

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    Are you both dressing up as Buffy for Hallowe'en?

    --------------------
    Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
    \_(ツ)_/

    Posts: 11163 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
    Doc Tor
    Deepest Red
    # 9748

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    It's as likely as anything.

    Do you need anything about Canadian culture explaining to you while you're here? I'm sure our resident expert will take your questions.

    --------------------
    Forward the New Republic

    Posts: 8911 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
    Kelly Alves

    Bunny with an axe
    # 2522

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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    quote:
    Originally posted by St Deird:
    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    So, let me get this straight. You are telling me what it is like to be black? Seriously?

    Why not? You're telling us what it's like to be Australian.
    No I am not, not even close. I said there were Australians of colour who were upset.
    I explained why blackface is upsetting.

    Couple questions:
    1. Can you remind me where to find the relevant article in which Australian people of color gave their reasons for being upset? So far I've only seen the rugby guy being quoted as having what appears to be mixed feelings. (I do note nobody seems particularly concerned that his feelings were mixed )

    2. If Australian people of color are on record as expressing difficulty with the issue, the fact that their opinions are virtually absent from this mostly white bread discussion strikes me as rather... meta.

    --------------------
    "Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

    Posts: 35057 | From: Pura Californiana | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
    lilBuddha
    Shipmate
    # 14333

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Doc Tor:
    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    Step the fuck off, bitch.

    So far on this thread, you've managed to explain things to everyone else who knows more about what they're saying than you do. Read the responses to you. You're telling people about their own lives and how to interpret them because they're doing it wrong.
    No.
    Much of this has been white people explaining why brown people should not be upset about blackface. Which is them telling other people how to interpret their lives. The very thing that you seem to be upset by, yet is OK from them.

    I've been saying why I think they are wrong to do this.

    I did tell anoesis that s/he was wrong about the All Blacks and it appears I misinterpreted part of their history. Not sure how much of anoesis life the All Blacks represent.


    quote:

    I say something that's actually true in your own experience and suddenly you can't stand it.

    Yeah. They were saying other people don't know their own experience and you said I do not know mine. Wow, you are correct, there is no reason for me to be annoyed with you. [Roll Eyes]
    You know where I think you can put your high horse.

    --------------------
    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: 17091 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged



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