Author Topic: Apu is offensive!  (Read 462 times)

Offline Baruch

Re: Apu is offensive!
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2017, 06:43:58 PM »
Except not really.

As a society, we have agreed that certain ethnicities are not in taste to make jokes about; for example, jokes about "those" blacks in the hood by a white guy is racist, same joke by an African American isn't. That's just the way society works.

Humour and comedy does not have an inalienable right to be offensive; society and the consumer decides what is acceptable. And I don't see any logical reason for comedy to be hateful or offensive for offense sake. I love Carlin, Pryor, 9/11 and Holocaust jokes... but if society said the last two weren't acceptable in society because they only serve to shock and not to actually make a point, I don't think anything of value would be lost.

It comes down to how "free" freedom of speech should go, and ultimately that all comes down to culture; for every argument that it should be completely free, there is a just as logical and valid reason why it should be restricted. So at the end of the day all i can really count on is what harms the least amount of people and think that is what we should aim for.

Being rude and not understanding one another may be the norm, but that doesn't mean it's how it should or has to be.

Edit: And I don't mean that in that I personally think this is offensive; problematic? Certainly. But offensive? That's not my place to decide. It does further a derogatory stereotype though, and as I said... that is inherently problematic.

For the record ... FU ... and I say that because I am free to admire you so much.  SJW ... 7 billion people kissing the asses of the other 7 billion people ... and that kind of kiss is the kiss of the Devil BTW.  The world's largest human caterpillar, but circular, like Ouroboros.

So ... don't post anymore, unless every word is preapproved by your Chicago ward healer ;-)

As an aside, I piss on British Utilitarianism ... the mother of all Fabian bullshit.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 06:55:45 PM by Baruch »
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Offline Munch (OP)

Re: Apu is offensive!
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2017, 06:59:58 PM »
Baruch, I am sooooo deeply offended by that. We brits value our utility rooms for washing and cleaning at the most impeccable tastes.

Offline Baruch

Re: Apu is offensive!
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2017, 07:08:32 PM »
Baruch, I am sooooo deeply offended by that. We brits value our utility rooms for washing and cleaning at the most impeccable tastes.

Sorry, but I won't bother getting a glass of water from any of your WC ;-)
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Offline Munch (OP)

Re: Apu is offensive!
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2017, 07:23:32 PM »
Sorry, but I won't bother getting a glass of water from any of your WC ;-)

aww that made utility room sad.


Re: Apu is offensive!
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2017, 07:25:47 PM »
So why does one group have privileges another doesn't get?
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline Baruch

Re: Apu is offensive!
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2017, 09:23:31 PM »
So why does one group have privileges another doesn't get?

QEII and gay men who tend to dress like Vegas girls.
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Online Shiranu

Re: Apu is offensive!
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2017, 11:31:53 PM »
So why does one group have privileges another doesn't get?

A history (and present, in many cases) of oppression by the people making the jokes.

Let's take "race" out of it: Irish man makes a dark joke about the potato famine or take your pick English genocide against them, everyone laughs. English guy does the same, everyone kinda hesitates and is uncomfortable.

Is that racist, even though they are now considered the same race?

« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 12:04:31 AM by Shiranu »
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Re: Apu is offensive!
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2017, 04:22:38 AM »
A history (and present, in many cases) of oppression by the people making the jokes.

Let's take "race" out of it: Irish man makes a dark joke about the potato famine or take your pick English genocide against them, everyone laughs. English guy does the same, everyone kinda hesitates and is uncomfortable.

Is that racist, even though they are now considered the same race?


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Online Shiranu

Re: Apu is offensive!
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2017, 04:30:54 AM »
(Image removed from quote.)

I appreciate you admitting I am right, though I understand you have an image to keep and couldn't just outright say it.

Yo secret safe with me, fam.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 04:34:20 AM by Shiranu »
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Re: Apu is offensive!
« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2017, 04:54:42 AM »
Reserved words are racist by their character.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline SGOS

Re: Apu is offensive!
« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2017, 05:23:59 AM »
Reserved words are racist by their character.
I never understood what Hollywood was doing when they started having black actors saying "nigger this," and "nigger that" for 90 minutes of a movie until I started to think that was actually inherent in the African American culture.  But it's just as offensive to me coming from a black person as it is from a white person, and it's probably none of my business.  My closest personal friend at this time happens to be a black man.  He is happy to talk about what it's like to be black and the pressures he has to work against, but he doesn't say shit like "nigger."  I've never once heard him use that term.  Maybe he's trying not to offend me by referencing his race that way.

Offline Munch (OP)

Re: Apu is offensive!
« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2017, 05:52:51 AM »
I never understood what Hollywood was doing when they started having black actors saying "nigger this," and "nigger that" for 90 minutes of a movie until I started to think that was actually inherent in the African American culture.  But it's just as offensive to me coming from a black person as it is from a white person, and it's probably none of my business.  My closest personal friend at this time happens to be a black man.  He is happy to talk about what it's like to be black and the pressures he has to work against, but he doesn't say shit like "nigger."  I've never once heard him use that term.  Maybe he's trying not to offend me by referencing his race that way.

I've always just looked at it as men trying to act tough with a give no shits attitude because their trying to overcompensate for something. "Yo my nigga" just sounds so silly, but saying that I've heard gay guys refer to each other as faggot before, not often, but still.
you just don't see someone like obama or morgan freeman saying that.

Online Mr.Obvious

Re: Apu is offensive!
« Reply #27 on: November 17, 2017, 06:39:34 AM »
How?

Look at it from an African Americans perspective: The people who enslaved generations of your ancestors, who fought tooth and nail to deny you civil rights, who continue to pass laws and regulations that keep you poor or murdered in the street to either gangsters or policemen are making jokes about your poverty and way of life... I don't think it is even remotely a stretch to see how some African Americans can find that offensive.

I don't understand how white people always find a way to make it all about us. That is not even remotely racist to think that the differences in social power makes it okay for a group to make jokes about themselves but not as acceptable for the oppressor to make jokes about them.

It would be like a Chinese man making a dark joke about Nanking and a Japanese man making the same joke, or a Congolese making a joke about the Belgian Congo and then a Belgian making the same... you may think it's horrible that they can't both say the same thing, but that's like finding the rising of the sun horrible.

Making it okay to casually joke about oppressed minorities makes any meaningful dialog about actually helping them near impossible. Comedians like Carlin are fine, because at the end of the day his jokes were about bringing awareness to an issue. But just a random joke like, "lol those Indians with their gas stations!", "ching chong ding dong I r Chinese" and "Lolol black people and grape juice, amirite?" bring nothing to the table and have no real reason to be defended.

How? Because it perpetuates this ideology that there are different races and we can assign differences to them. More than comedy does.  I'm not making this about 'white people'. I'm making this about people. And that's what good comedy does. That's its strength. Ridicule and mockery allow for us to see our own preconceptions and (possibly problematic) world views in a safe light and thus reëvaluate them. For instance, just saying "Lol those Indians with their gas stations!" isn't a joke. That's only the stereotype uttered. A joke, though admittedly not a very good one (but hey I'm on the spot here) would be saying "You have more chance of finding a gas-station not run by an Indian man than finding that dossier on your cluttered desk." And while not the best joke, it deforces rather than enforces our actual feelings regarding the stereotype; because it puts it in a mocking spotlight. That's the key strength of comedy. It can take, more than anything else, something that has power and authority, be it nations or religions or man-made absurd concepts such as race and gender-roles, and take the foundation out from right underneath them. By protecting something from mockery, such as the idea of race, you are putting giving it status and power and are making it excempt from ridicule. Thus making it valid and strong when it should be laughed at and destroyed. It's only when something is not allowed to be ridiculed, that I truly start to fear it.
And that's why I'm not offended when I hear a joke about anything I concider myself to be; be it from white to male to actor to social worker to socialist to atheist to ... There is a difference between an insult and a joke. Both can cause one to be offended, true, because joke's are always 'at the expense' of something or someone. Because they challenge the status quo. But that does not make them insults or insulting. And you can't say a joke is an insult. Most you can say is that you take it as one. And I'm sorry, because I do care about other people's feelings, but the fear of offending or insulting is not a good reason limit comedy and the freedom of speech. By rule it's more of an indication that it is necessary.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 06:41:14 AM by Mr.Obvious »
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Offline Baruch

Re: Apu is offensive!
« Reply #28 on: November 17, 2017, 07:13:22 AM »
It used to be a stereotype in the US, that cops were Irish-American.  But most people wouldn't get that as a joke today, because Irish-Americans have broadened out.  Indians in convenience stores is the same thing.  I have seen that, and Indians owning motels.  But in fact Indians are very upwardly mobile in the US, because we are mostly importing the best ones.
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Online Shiranu

Re: Apu is offensive!
« Reply #29 on: November 17, 2017, 04:42:17 PM »
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How? Because it perpetuates this ideology that there are different races and we can assign differences to them.

Except the dynamic has nothing to do with race, it has to do with power vs lack of power. I have used white-v-white to show that race isn't the key factor, but let me take race completely out of the picture...

A working class guy starts making jokes about poor people, it's funny. A multi-billionaire starts making the exact same jokes, it's offensive and wow, that dude is an asshole.

It's not about race, it's about power. That power might come from differences in ethnic background, but it can also be through economic, religious or other factors and is considered offensive for the same reasons.

And yes, there is no such things as races... but there are such things as different cultures, and that is what racist jokes (generally) target. While you have jokes about Asian's having skinny eyes or little penises, the majority of jokes directed at them have to do with cultural factors like language or owning laundry shops. Same with Jews and money, African Americans and the "ghetto" culture, etc. . The only group that an easy example doesn't come to mind is whites... which shows that there is something inherently problematic with that type of comedy.

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And that's what good comedy does.

Would you say using the exact same stereotype of Indians as every other comedy in the history of comedy does is "good" comedy, though?

What exactly does Apu bring to the table that is new, or good?

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For instance, just saying "Lol those Indians with their gas stations!" isn't a joke. That's only the stereotype uttered.

And yet that is exactly what we are talking about in OP; that Apu's entire existence is just a, "lol, Indian gas station owner!" and, "Tank u, com again!".

I am not saying I necessarily agree that is all Apu offers, having not watched alot of Simpsons, but I am saying that is apparently how he perceived by the people who are the butt of the joke, and to just dismiss their opinion as, "Lol butthurt, just get over it!" is both douchy and just moronic.

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And while not the best joke, it deforces rather than enforces our actual feelings regarding the stereotype; because it puts it in a mocking spotlight.

That's how you perceive it. Not everyone perceives it the same way you do, and you have to take into account the people who are the butt of the joke might have a little more invested in it than just, "comedy for comedies sake.".

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By protecting something from mockery, such as the idea of race, you are putting giving it status and power and are making it excempt from ridicule.

By protecting something from mockery, such as the idea of women have rights, you are giving it status and power and making it exempt from ridicule.

By protecting something from mockery, such as the idea that the Holocaust happened, you are giving it status and power and making it exempt from ridicule.

I'm sorry, what you just said literally just proves my point that comedy, when it comes to intentionally targeting a group to be offensive towards, should not just be something you casually do.

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Because they challenge the status quo.

And you proved my point yet again... you say you aren't offended by jokes about being white, or being male... being the status quo. But being an Indian, being an Asian, being black, gay, a woman, etc. is not "the status quo".

Jokes about minorities from majorities are not challenging the status quo, they are continuing to enforce it.

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And I'm sorry, because I do care about other people's feelings, but the fear of offending or insulting is not a good reason limit comedy and the freedom of speech.

I'm not saying there should be laws against it; I am saying we should be conscious that our words and jokes have consequences and we should go out of our way not  to be offensive. I am saying we as a society should realise that the majority of jokes and stereotypes about minorities are not funny and almost always boil down to boring cliches decades old. That's the difference between say George Carlin and Apu; while Carlin is offensive, it was to teach a lesson. Apu, Mickey Rooney's yellowface in "Breakfast at Tifanny's", etc. are just "comedy for comedy's sake", and at the end of the day will not be viewed fondly. If a joke isn't good, there is no point in telling it... and if it ends up being a flop, there is no point in continuing it for 20+ years.

And give me an objective reason why comedy is more important than people's dignity.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 05:06:07 PM by Shiranu »
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