Problem with modern stories and how we consume them


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    Now the title says there is a problem, but that isn't neccesarily true (as this "problem" actually helps stories get popular). What are your thoughts on protagonists buying/owning slaves? and Sexual violence in fictional stories have elements of this "problem."

    This is a complicated topic that is hard to explain but to put it as simply as possible; it is about the Over-Political-Correctness and Sensitivity when it comes to stories and how we consume them.



  • Funny you started this just when I made a suggestion thread for Sensei no Shiroi Uso.
    Well, I'll be observing things unfolding for a while before commenting.


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    @drone205

    I recall the discussions of both of these themes.
    I think that it is important to realize that these themes are kept in context:

    • LN's were originally written for consumption in a culture different than my own (I live in the USA), The history of slavery in Japan is different than it is here; I don't believe that it carries as much historical baggage or is as conflated with racist overtones by default as it would be if written by an American/ intended for a primarily American audience.

    • What is 'appropriate' for fantastical stories (sexual or otherwise) is also very different. For example: "Loli yes, touching NO" wouldn't fly here.

    • Sexual violence in a fictional story and the description of same, in 2018/2019 I believe (rightly so) it is less acceptable for this to be 'casual' (at least in the USA). The audience will be more critical of this content (and the stories that contain it) if it isn't important to the plot or character development as opposed to mere titillation. Is the victim overcoming adversity to recover from an assault? Is the act establishing the evil nature of a villain? Is it gratuitous?


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    Censoring fiction or even outlawing fiction that goes outside the cultural mores is nothing new (just ask the Marqui deSade) and not unexpected. I rather doubt there’ll come a time in my lifetime where there isn’t a certain degree of this happening. Japan who censored genitalia in porn for decades is no stranger to this either. In fact, Japan is not a terribly permissive culture in many many ways. It’s one of the big reason that most of my Japanese friends have moved to the US.

    I don’t see any of this as a “political correctness agenda” as much as just the way society works. As someone else mentioned above “the west” and Japan have different cultural standards and as a result certain books are unlikely to be brought over than others. There’s also whole genres like “salaryman fiction” that are unlikely to be much translated due to the differences in culture. So yeah loli and incest stuff won’t fly as much here as there but neither does stuff that has no sexual connotation.


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    @drone205 said in Problem with modern stories and how we consume them:

    Now the title says there is a problem, but that isn't neccesarily true

    I believe ALL contributing opinions are very important. If you don't like trump and you voted your opinion is important, if hate something but hide your hatred then your opinion does not matter. This is one reason why I do not really see this as a problem. The context of the times we live in shape our own biases and opinions so the times we live in and what types of opinions it sparks are important for discussing new and old. There are some stories that can only be seen in a new perspective because of the times we live in adds context. The Yellow wallpaper at its time was seen as a spooky horror story but in our time we see it very differently.


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    @drone205

    I'm not clear on what you are trying to say in your last comment. Are you responding to one of the previous comments in this thread? Comments/topics in a different forum? What does politics have to do with any of this?


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    @jon-mitchell said in Problem with modern stories and how we consume them:

    @drone205

    I'm not clear on what you are trying to say in your last comment. Are you responding to one of the previous comments in this thread? Comments/topics in a different forum? What does politics have to do with any of this?

    I was saying that if you have an opinion and state it then your opinion matters. I used voting as an example because it is the easiest example to use.


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    As I've said before, I think that it is silly to see a fiction novel and go: OMG, this is a horrible novel because the content is something I disagree with.

    If that was the case, Game of Thrones should not be anywhere near as popular as it is. (Those who have read the original novels might understand what I mean there).

    To me, a lot of the hatred is somewhat hypocritical or at least double standards. "This is ok, but this isn't."

    I say that due to the fact that the same people that will hate on one standard will praise the other. "It is ok to discriminate against guys, but not against girls" is one mentality I've seen a lot recently, as a currently common example.

    Me? I don't care what your gender is, I don't care what your race or ethnicity is, I don't care about anything except what you or your family has done to me. If you manage to make me hate your entire group, you should probably rethink your life because even some of the worst criminals have a hard time doing that.

    Of course, there is that the society has a huge factor to how people think, but to me, if that is the excuse, then what makes humans different from lemmings? Society is a factor, but if you just go with whatever society and your peers say, then you aren't an individual. This might not be a bad thing, but it also means that if the society is wrong, you will follow.

    If we were in a world where Slavery (of the type seen in novels) was normal, nobody would even think twice about Slavery. I think one JNC title actually pointed this out to an extent.

    If we were in a world where everyone was a loli (legal lolis, obviously), nobody would think that lolis were offensive. In fact, if our society values were to go back a few years, people would think that marriage at the age of 14 was LATE. (In some places, it still is).

    Sexual violence is an issue, but at the same time, I do believe that the portrayal of sexual violence can be used to make the story go in a manner that it otherwise wouldn't. Whether this is a good thing or not depends on the readers and the author.


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    @sinnoaria said in Problem with modern stories and how we consume them:

    To me, a lot of the hatred is somewhat hypocritical or at least double standards. "This is ok, but this isn't."

    One problem I see is that characters just cannot be human, be an individual. This is especially true for female characters I find. Ppl will be outraged if you make a female character a damsel but switch it to male and at most they will be annoyed. Shield Hero has some of the most human characters I have seen in a long while and look at where the hate is directed at. Ppl are cruel, ppl are hypocrites, ppl are awful, and yet ppl are nice, ppl are helpful, ppl are friendly, ppl are human. And so should characters.


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    @drone205 said in Problem with modern stories and how we consume them:

    @sinnoaria said in Problem with modern stories and how we consume them:

    To me, a lot of the hatred is somewhat hypocritical or at least double standards. "This is ok, but this isn't."

    One problem I see is that characters just cannot be human, be an individual. This is especially true for female characters I find. Ppl will be outraged if you make a female character a damsel but switch it to male and at most they will be annoyed. Shield Hero has some of the most human characters I have seen in a long while and look at where the hate is directed at. Ppl are cruel, ppl are hypocrites, ppl are awful, and yet ppl are nice, ppl are helpful, ppl are friendly, ppl are human. And so should characters.

    I think one issue is people want their protagonist to be good. They can't stand to have a protagonist that is evil, but does good things (although arguably, grey is ok for a hero as can be seen with Batman (who used to be a lot more evil).

    A lot of hatred towards certain series appears to be the fact that the protagonists of those series do what those people consider 'evil' regardless of whether or not it is. (Remember that good and evil is mostly perspective). I think people use the term 'keyboard warriors' these days. People who have a vastly misguided sense of justice. Sort of like a certain 'Hero' from a certain Arifureta series, they think "If this doesn't match up with my idea of what is right, then it is wrong."

    (And if any of you feel like you need to argue with me about anything I've said about how people act, then you might want to think about why you feel like you need to.)

    There are just so many things that will cause people to go: This is wrong!

    And yet they don't consider in that a lot of what is considered normal now would be considered offensive in another culture or another generation. I mean, there was a time when if you called someone gay, it specifically meant that they were happy. Then it became offensive, now it is sort of both. That might seem minor, but it still shows that society values change quite easily.

    (P.S. According to my values, anyone that argues with me is wrong and doesn't have the right to argue.)


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    There's "I don't like X and don't want to read it"

    So, you know, I don't.

    Then there's "I don't like X and don't want anyone to read it and you must be evil if you want to read it"

    Which, yeah, pretty much can never be rationally justified, but for some reason a not insignificant portion of humanity subscribe to that newsletter....

    Can't live with em, can't fire em into the sun, whatcha gonna do?


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    @smashman42 said in Problem with modern stories and how we consume them:

    There's "I don't like X and don't want to read it"

    So, you know, I don't.

    Then there's "I don't like X and don't want anyone to read it and you must be evil if you want to read it"

    Which, yeah, pretty much can never be rationally justified, but for some reason a not insignificant portion of humanity subscribe to that newsletter....

    Can't live with em, can't fire em into the sun, whatcha gonna do?

    Yeah, the first one I don't really mind unless your reason for not liking it is likely a misunderstanding, then I might try to correct the misunderstanding.

    The second one is what I have a major issue with. Especially since I've seen it to a very extreme extent (like to the point where people are hurt or killed). I mean, don't get me wrong, I have my own sense of justice which may or may not be right, but my sense of justice is basically freedom. I'll argue with you (people in general), try to change your mind, but in the end, I won't try to stop you from taking action. Even if it means someone will die by your hand, I won't interfere unless the person who will die makes a contract with me.

    Basically, my idea is that everyone was given the freedom of choice. Taking away that freedom is the worst thing you can do and thus that is something that I refuse to do whether or not I like what someone is doing. The only exception will be if I'm directly attacked or if someone I'm contracted to needs me to interfere, but that is more of self-defense and work.

    But there are people that think that because they are right, they need to prevent people from doing the 'wrong' thing, even if it means killing those 'wrong' people. I call them Amedelusional psychopaths.

    Edit:

    @Drone205 For me, I'd say I lack that freedom because I'm not supposed to get involved. Besides, when I said everyone I mean living beings. Things like me don't really have any rights normally.

    Edit:

    Not sure if I already mentioned this, but continuing what I said before about double standards. A lot of times what you see in anime is booed as offensive or in bad taste while the exact same thing in a western film (hollywood or otherwise) is hailed as amazing and insightful.


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    @sinnoaria said in Problem with modern stories and how we consume them:

    Basically, my idea is that everyone was given the freedom of choice.

    And by that logic you are free to physically stop someone from say committing murder as you used as an example. Everyone exercising their freedom well rob some freedom from others, even if it is just a tiny amount. So just do whatever you believe is right. Everyone is the protagonist in their pen story with many antagonists; this means everyone alive is both a protagonist their own story and an antagonist in another person's story.