Lit Ignorance is Bias: The Diversity Manifesto

Discussion in 'Literature' started by CooperTFN, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. Mia Mesharad Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    Should've known you'd have just something to say here...
    What pass would she be getting? She took a one-page, nameless character that lacked any dialogue, and not only provided the name she was previously lacking, but began to flesh her out as an actual person. Open Seasons pretty blatantly implied that Arla would be violently raped―likely multiple times―and finally killed by the Death Watch. I don't think a "nice" ending was in the cards for her to begin with. If you read the comic, you knew what was coming. Traviss, however, subverted her implied death, and had the balls to deal with the result of her capture and subsequent tortures head on instead of dancing around the issue with implications and inuendo, beginning a plot that would have seen Arla onto the road to a recovery toward a normal life. Judging by her notes for Imperial Commando 2 and the follow-through in Legacy of the Force, she would've lived a long, and eventually happy life. I can't help thinking that beats rape and death, but that's just me...
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  2. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Oh yes because years of physical and mental rape together make everything better.o_O Open Season could easily have just had them shooting her on the spot to deal with her, but no Traviss had to come up with something "better", by making a potential implication certainty.

    If she had to quit in a hissing fit it might have, though having her mind wiped is a cheap cop out at best here.
    Last edited by Gorefiend, Oct 26, 2012
  3. Mia Mesharad Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    Wow. I mean...wow. That's an interesting viewpoint you have there. Maybe you should try spreading it around, see what kind of traction it gets. I'm sure the countless survivors of physical and mental abuse the world over would love to hear that instead of surviving, living, and trying to move on, they'd be better off dead. That's a great message. Thank you for that. Inspirational, truly.
    ...you do realize the thread is for calling out ignorance and bias, not contributing to it, right?
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  4. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Traviss took a character that Open Season just had killed and because she felt it was a good idea had her have years of mental and physical abuse. There is a difference, she literally just brought the character back to have her had suffered worse.

    I work with people that have suffered physical and mental abuse, which is what makes the mind wipe seem an especially cheap solution, and of course they can have happy and fulfilling lives, but bringing back a character someone else killed off just so she could have suffered years upon years of abuse is just wrong, especially just to have her rejoin a society that makes certain African warlord armies seem moderate.
    Last edited by Gorefiend, Oct 27, 2012
  5. Mia Mesharad Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    Just to get it out of the way first: LOL at the random Mando potshot that has not a single leg to stand on. Overlooking everything Clan Skirata has personally done for Arla―including rescuing her from prison, detoxing her from her drug-induced oblivion, feeding and sheltering her, and attempting to console and help her sort through her trauma, all of which was done with not a thought for personal gain on any of their behalves―please show me one instance of the warrior clans of this era―not the Crusaders, Neo-Crusaders, or the other conquerors of the past, but the modern soldier society of...let's say the Supercommando Codex of 60 BBY and forward―doing anything at all that would even remotely put them on the same level as an African dictator's army. Explicit canon examples only. Not including the Death Watch as they're a rogue breakaway sect, and not the actions of any specific individual or small group, as it is inherently unfair to judge a nation by its criminal minority.

    Really? You have a source then, which names her express intent for retrieving Arla from limbo as just a desire to inflict suffering upon the character for suffering's own sake? A source which says she had no interest in the character for the sake of narrative, but just as an amusing little chew toy? I'd love to see it, but I won't hold my breath.
  6. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    He you wanted to bring RL into it and as you already listed that groups of Mandos that behaved like it, I don't even need to.

    Can't really do that, as the Supercommando Codex guys are also a small group as are the warrior clans (or the Skiratas for that matter, who have problems of their own we already talked about in the Traviss thread), comes with being a deeply fractionalized society without an organized government and apparently killing the only attempt at one (the New Mandos) off, they by Traviss don't even have a nation, just a bunch of thrown together people of which 3/4 are spread across the stars and the only person that is supposed to unite them is a self crowned warrior chief, that often dosen‘t even really have backing by large chunks of the people.

    Though them having well know reputations as Slavers, Raiders, Killers for hire (Atlas, Warfare etc.) and a tradition of stealing children and then training them for Warfare from very young ages up, whilst having a social system that’s very feudal looking does have Warlord army directions, though those tend to start organize working governments down the line, something the Traviss Mandos apparently wanted to skip, so not to appear to civilized or something.


    I don't need one, it is what she did, just like kill of Mara, Bobas daughter or Pellaeon, just stuff that she actively did, she might not have really thought about what she was doing, but apparently still felt it was a good idea at the time of writing it.
    Last edited by Gorefiend, Oct 27, 2012
  7. Mia Mesharad Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    Didn't think so.

    You never do. It's so much easier to just make up things and spin what facts you do deign to acknowledge to suit your own viewpoint, that way.
  8. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Only because of the parameters you set for it and for the reasons explained aboth.

    What your going to say now that she didn’t write the stuff she wrote?! She brought back a dead character and imposed years upon years of torture on her.
    Last edited by Gorefiend, Oct 27, 2012
  9. Mia Mesharad Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    The parameters were the time constraints of the era, which in turn define the condition of the Mandalorian culture in the present of that period. Aside from the Death Watch and the occasional outcast, by that point, the clans had transformed themselves from their ancient raider, conqueror past, into a far more honorable, soldierly society. It is therefore as ridiculous to hold the "modern" clans responsible for the despicable behavior of their Crusader ancestors, as it would be to condemn everyone of European descent for the slaughter their own ancestors wrought during the Holy Land Crusades, and as small-minded to compare the average Mandalorian soldier to the outcasts and Death Watch as it is to compare an average Afghan citizen to Al Qaeda.

    She rescued a character who was never explicitly deemed dead from Star Wars purgatory, as part of a larger, more complex narrative to breathe life into the character, and whose trauma was unfortunately part of the deal as part of the explanation required for her return. Not for ***** and giggles, the way you would attempt to make it sound.

    That said, I've participated in this derailing of the thread long enough, and have no further interest in this roundabout argument.
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  10. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Like the warrior clans which are outcast by the New Mandalorians (see Atlas) and just keep figthing amongst themselves?

    Not really, yes the New Mandalorians where civilized and organized and all but those got overthrown by the these very outcasts which had made lives as raiders, mercs and slavers and then when they become the goverment enslaved their own people for a whole generation.
    Even the True Mandalorians (which should be about as honorable as you get) butchered a Rebel movement against a not very pleasant governor. No surprise Spar would later demand to only take victim-less jobs. Plus the utter lack of an organized state just is unrealistic and can really only lead to warring clans, even loose tribal societies had real government systems and bureaucracy in place, hell Traviss Mando “state” system is less organized than Gamorr.

    I blame the catholic church for that one actually.

    And it is short sighted to ignore them, because they are clearly enough of them around (and also what a lot of them did for a good 3000+ years) for the galaxy to stick the tag on Mandalorians , whilst one doses not on Afghan citizens.

    I do not, but bringing her back just so we can see that she really suffered and then have her trauma fixed by magic just doesn’t do it, sorry.
    Last edited by Gorefiend, Oct 27, 2012
  11. QuentinGeorge Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2003
    star 5
    And another thread is Mando-derailed.

    [IMG]
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  12. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

    Manager
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    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Colbert's had enough entertainment for the day. I believe this back-and-forth can conclude.
  13. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Lets disucess the lack of Alien space empires in Star Wars.

    I mean

    Tion – Humans
    Mandalorians – Basically Humans, originally Taung (though Traviss seem to try to claim they weren’t in her Culture article o_O )
    CSA – Human (though the only one I am not really sure on but the Direx board seems to be Humans)
    Hapes – Humans
    Chiss – Lost Human Colony
    Centrality – Humans
    Tapani – Humans
    Esseles – Humans (okay only some 19 worlds)
    Cassandran Worlds - Humans
    Sith – Lost Human Colony
    Senex/Juvex – Humans

    Other than the Hutts there are only a few loose planet coalitions like Bothan and Herglic space or other allied regions and ancient long gone small Empires (Gree, Kwa etc.). Either authors don’t want non-human Empires, or the humans in the GFFA must have done some alarming cutting down to size with any Alien powers.
    Last edited by Gorefiend, Oct 27, 2012
  14. RC-1991 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2009
    star 4
    Well if you look at the founding worlds of the Republic, you have all of two alien worlds (Duro and Caamas). The early Republic is a human-driven polity, whatever its ideals, and Warfare discusses how the Republic's encounters with other interstellar groups rarely turned out well (Waymancy Storm, Duininogwin Contention, etc.). There's no reason that both options can't be true, with the latter being the IU explanation for the writers doing this OOU.
  15. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Still strikes me as kind of alarming, I mean in the direction of Vong alarming who killed off anyone else in their galaxy.[face_plain]
  16. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    There's also the Rakata to consider. They wouldn't exactly have left humans with a pleasant taste in their mouths for alien cultures.
  17. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Yeah but one should hope they would move closer together with other enslaved societies, unless of course the Rakata where very "smart" and appointed alien overseers for humans, or potential even worse, human overseers over alien slaves.
  18. Likewater Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2009
    star 4
    All "alien" empires have been caricaturly evil, such as the dinosaurs from Truce at Baukra, the Yevetha and the Yuuzahn Vong, similarly in Star Trek seem focus on one aspect of human sociaty and bow that up to mean everything that alien culture is about. And that seems to be most sci-fi, unless its expanded on after its creation.

    The Diffrence between other Sci-fi like Star Trek, Star Gate, Farscape, they tend to introduce subversions and complexations in their series. No one is all bad or all good, Non militaristsic Sabacians, Spiritual Luxans, Klingons who are not only resonable but out right friendly, Jaffa that resist the gua'ould, Gua'ould who dont believe their own hype.

    it has been what 35 years of Star Wars and we are Just getting our first honerable sith (Species) with Lord Palvan (knight Story in Swtor) and the guy from Dawn of the Jedi. In Mass Effect 2 you got your first Decent (though still general unlikable) Batarians, and not Wrex Krogans who were engineers, and who spouted bad poetry, in ME3 you had a senseble converstion with a Vorcha.

    How often is a culture created as antagonists and simply remain so to a cartoonish degree.

    Remember the stink some fans raised over they Yuuzahn Vong's redemption, and allownce to live unmolested on Zenoma Sekot.
  19. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 6
    The Sith were also the Red Sith, and the interminglings between them and humans. And the Red Sith actually originated on Korriban; they are not a lost human colony.

    And as for the Chiss? Maybe they started out human. They're not, at the time of having their power and influence. They have diverged from humanity, and I think it's a tad unfair to say they are not an alien society. They even mature faster than humans, for instance, so it's not just the blue skin.
  20. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Thing is the Ssi-ruuvi, Tof, Nagai are all from the Unknown Regions, whilst the Vong come from another galaxy, where the Jedi/Republic just haven't gotten to yet. There clearly must have been other cultures that where rising up as well, that apparently just didn't have to pleasant encounters with humanity.

    SW has done this as well at least on occasion, with nice Hutts, evil Rebels and decent Imperials, hell even civilized Mandalorians.

    Which always baffled me, as it was clear from the start that they are not all evil.


    I was going for the Sith Empire which was human Dark Siders of which some intermingled with a Near Human Species because before that the Sith where just stuck on their little out in the nowhere planet.

    Still a rather strange if you think about it, that they are supposed to once have been human (even if they potentially are not, people in universe see it as viable that they are), whilst they should truly be fully Alien, but someone whilst writing their background still felt that they should make them lost humans. So that literally the only Non-Human „good guys“ Empire that fights against the Vong are the Hutts, whom are apparently just simply to stubborn and smart to have been beaten into submission by humans, though not from lack of trying.
    Last edited by Gorefiend, Oct 27, 2012
  21. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

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    Nov 19, 2007
    star 6
    Plus, who knows how many genuinely incompatible species they may have come into contact with over the millennia? The ones we do see are usually those closest to humanity in their mindset and culture, after all.
    Last edited by The Loyal Imperial, Oct 27, 2012
  22. Ulicus Lit'ari

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    Jul 24, 2005
    star 6
    Hutts are awesome. Next galactic war should be against them.

    And some of them can evolve into giant butterflies!
    Last edited by Ulicus, Oct 27, 2012
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  23. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    Regarding alien empires or the lack thereof, it is quite clear that the Star Wars galaxy has a deliberately created, in-universe legacy of speciesism. The Essential Atlas goes over the hows and whys of this in great detail, in particular how a number of pioneering alien species from the current civilizational epoc (as opposed to the Rakata-dominated previous one) were systematically disadvantaged by humans. Duros, Herglic, Givin, and others were all deliberately marginalized by human majorities of a millenia-long time frame. Speciesism was strong enough to spawn the 1,000 year monstrosity of the Pious Dea Era, which set back alien civilizations across the galaxy immensely and they have still not caught up in terms of territory development or population growth (I did some calculations here that show the utterly human-dominated Core represents a massive 35-60% of the total galactic population.

    It's not surprising that the largest and most successful non-human government in the Star Wars galaxy is the Hutts its the only one old enough, strong enough, and ruthless enough to have survived human oppression.

    So the explanation for this issue from a diversity perspective is that speciesism happened and speciesism is bad. That is a perfectly legitimate route to go. It is also, stepping out of universe, somewhat of an easier one. Uniting the galaxy under a human, generally Western civilization-based, though with some 'Eastern' mysticism thrown in, culture is simply easier to write for the particular audience and especially so in a shared world context. Every author can reasonably conceptualize the Star Wars human culture effectively enough, having lived it. Properly matching together diverse authorial perspectives regarding a complex alien culture are much more difficult. The largest Star Wars experiment in this, the Yuuzhan Vong, had drastically mixed results, and occasionally descended into caricature.
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  24. JediFreac Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    I'm a little late with this (and not watching TCW) but I just saw a clip on io9 featuring Saw Gerrera. Which like, cool, a protag who is a person of color--but listening to the clip, I noticed that while his name is spelled Gerrera his last name is pronounced virtually the same as Guerra, which is a Latino/Hispanic/Latin last name. (Coincidentally or not so coincidentally, Star Wars is called "Guerras Galacticas" in Spanish.)

    I'm just imagining a little Latino kid like the ones in my neighborhood who walk to to the local elementary school with Clone Wars lunch packs and backpacks, watching Clone Wars and getting really excited to see a hero who resembles him AND maybe even has the same (well, same sounding) last name as him.

    To someone who isn't Latino the fact that the character's last name is Gerrera might not mean anything, but to someone who is it might mean a lot. And this is what I mean by saying that authors can use real-world last names to help diversify their characters.
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  25. JediFreac Force Ghost

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    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4