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Old 05-28-2013, 05:35 PM   #48
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Default Re: Race changes that wouldn't bother you

Originally Posted by Spider - Man View Post
Maybe that's because no major black character can sustain their own series, much less a minor one.
Seeing as how they have and do, there may be more to it than that. You sound uninformed on this subject, first you ask who's trying, then you say they don't sustain series. Are you sure you know what you're talking about here?

Nice scientific method, there. Merely changing cars and buildings does not necessarily equal an improvement. Updating a property is not always the best way to go. And 'updating' does not automatically call for every group of 100 people to include 70 white, 11 black, 13 Latino, 4 Asians and so on. That's just trying to impose your view of how the world should be.
I didn't say anything about improvement. Some things work better as period pieces, like Indiana Jones. But if modernizing is the route you choose to go, then on some level, you'd want to represent other races as parts of your story, assuming you are updating it to modern America.

Exactly how does simply making a white character black make anything better? Does it increase sales? Does it decrease sales? Does it help black people 'stick it to the man'? I really want to know in what way you imagine that that one change makes anything better.
The same way that simply making a white piece of clothing black makes something better, the same way that making one of the members of the group 'edgy' or 'vegan' or anything different makes the thing better. It's art, more textures tell a richer story. Sometimes this increases sales, sometimes, not, but it always makes it a better story in the long run - unless the story is specifically about a certain set of textures or attributes.

The problem I have with your view is that you only want 'diversity' to mean black. If you really want diversity, as I've said in other threads, let's really be inclusive. I'd say that overweight people, as a ratio of society outnumber black people as a ratio of society so let's change a drastic number of traditionally lean heroes and make them obese. That should go a long way towards stopping alienating overweight people who want to feel included in the comics they read. And sexual orientation. We need to change that for a LOT of heroes to put it at status quo. And one out of every, what, 10 heroes needs to be physically damaged (missing leg/arm, being cognitively challenged, suffer from depression) - hey, this is a huge segment of society being excluded. My point is you want to try and belittle those who you view as less progressive than yourself because they want to keep white characters white while your preference is just as narrow-sighted. Let's make every group of characters a perfect cross section of society. Every group has to be 70% white, 13% Hispanic, 11% black, 4% Asian, 1% Native American, 1% other races. 35% of them have to be obese per the CDC. We have to make sure we get the blonde, brunette, redhead ratio right as well because, Lord knows, we wouldn't want anyone to feel underrepresented. So much more status quo to add to the mix but you get the point. Ah, diversity...the perfect formula for success in comics!
My first problem with your viewpoint is that it requires creating a viewpoint for someone else whom you don't know. This Dr. Cosmic character, if I didn't know him, I could review his posts in this thread where he refers to Asian characters as diversity, and see that what you're saying is just plain wrong. Not only that, I would not see any basis for you making this statement about Dr. Cosmic's perception of Diversity, other than the fact he was talking about black people like everyone else in the thread. I would also be able to read this post where he shares his philosophy of how diversity impacts art as inclusive of any and all differences. Even without going to other threads, or directly asking the guy, I would recognize the fallacy of ad hominem and begin to suspect that you don't actually have a point, since your argument rests on you positively knowing, without question or basis, what someone else is thinking.

Now, it just so happens, that I actually *am* Dr. Cosmic, and so not only do I know what my sense of diversity is, but I can be quite sure that your entire problem with my viewpoint is entirely of your own design with no relation to reality whatsoever. And no matter how strongly you may personally believe it to be true, it is, in fact, baseless, as your lack of ability to back up that I "only want diversity to mean black" attests to.

I suppose for someone who really believes they can read minds, this would seem to be me belittling those who disagree with me, but in reality, you cannot read minds, and your conclusion of my perception of diversity and this PC motivation of all those Hollywood types is fallacy, and that type of illogic has been and will continue to be belittled in every credible debate. The reason for this is simply that, if you examine it closely, it is not only not logic, but intellectually dishonest. I would be doing you and those reading a disservice if I did not highlight such illogic for what it is.

That said, my second problem with what is actually your point is that it imagines some statement about representation percentage-wise. I don't think anyone's said that, neither do any of these films have 100 characters, so what are you talking about? What is 11% of a cast of six people? Further, it assumes that representation is an issue of population number. The reason no one has said that is because it's not about the population number. Representation, a separate issue from the diversity issue I'm speaking of, is more about how and how much a culture or people influence society than how may of them there are just around. Showing that all these different types of people are part of the fabric of a given fictional universe - based on a reality that all these people are part of the fabric of. To do otherwise is to base a film not on reality, but some bizzarro whites-only world, or on a section of reality that is not impacted meaningfully by non-white people. Very few such sections of reality exist, so the more epic the story, the more glaring this lack of representation becomes.

Now, I'm not as familiar with the slippery slope fallacy that you seem to be using for these percentages, so I won't wring you over that one right now. What I will say is that stories about physically superior people would naturally exclude obese and handicapped, just as a painting of the ocean should naturally exclude the color yellow, or the story of Augustus Ceasar would naturally exclude other races. Diversity is a function of the story. This is a principle of storytelling that we all enjoy. It's what makes stories great, the differences, the tension, the subtext, the conflict. It's not based on race, it just applies to race like everything else.

Take Iron Man for example, physically damaged with a prosthesis, and PTSD to boot. That angle brings diversity to the superhero stable, and not only is it critically praised, but the filmmakers got thank you letters from sufferers. Have we seen a gay superhero yet? No, but when we do... I hope people don't make a big muck about it like they have the very idea of black Johnny or they did with gay Colossus in the ultimate universe.

Not for diversity's sake, not at all. As I and many others have said repeatedly, if anyone wants diversity, create more characters. Don't take the route of expecting that in the absence of being able to successfully create popular black characters that the companies should feel obligated to change their more popular white characters black.
See how much of your point relies on assuming other people's motivations?

No filmmaker is obligated to make these changes, but if they choose to, as several filmmakers have before, and more will in the future, what's wrong with that? Why is that inferior to creating new heroes? What makes one route 'right' and one route 'wrong?' Why should the filmmakers feel obligated to not change the race while they're changing so many other things about the characters?

As I said, your argument might sound more righteous if 'diversity' to you wasn't merely about skin color.
I think I've addressed that well enough. So, no, Endeavor, these are not good arguments, by any means.

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Last edited by DrCosmic; 05-28-2013 at 06:00 PM.
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