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Aonaran
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:11 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Retlaw83 wrote:
political satire


You keep saying satire as if by sheer repetition it will become so. That is a self-fulfilling prophecy I'd rather not participate in. It just isn't there. An "Apartheid is bad, mkay" film with poop jokes does not equal satire.

Retlaw83 wrote:
South Africans of all races have xenophobia for other African countries bred into them, even under the new government.


So how is reaffirming all the negative government sanctioned stereotypes satire? I didn't see the government oppressing the Nigerians, only the filmmaker portraying them as animals. So what is the cutting satire here?

Also there was no context for your statements. The reason the aliens didn't function in society wasn't because they were discriminated against or lacked schools, they were just the same hive-minded beasts when they were in their spaceship as when they were in the slums. In fact, if it hadn't been for human intervention, they would have died. So what exactly is the message here?

My main complaint with this film isn't that it is some malicious attack, but rather it is so ill conceived that it wound up undoing all it attempted thematically. I think you are giving Blomkamp far too much credit here.
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Smiley
Righteous Subjugator
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:36 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Not to derail the interesting discussion, but I have a few quirks I'm wondering about..

Regarding the "fuel" which pretty much set the entire movie, I thought it was somewhat corny that it turned Wikus into one of them.. But I'm thinking maybe they weren't always like that, and that this fuel which perhaps originates from something else entirely has made their people become the way they are now. Thoughts?

What's the point of the DNA locked technology?
Again, apart from setting a major key-point in the movie of course..
Why would their weapons be keyed to their DNA if anyone of the race could use it?

Some of the more obvious answers would be;
In order to combat other races.
In order to "fuel" the weapon through chemistry.
Or in connection with the aforementioned theory that they're not "themselves", they might be either in superior standing or a sort of foot-soldiers.

It's just a bit strange and seemed like an excuse for having things go the way they did. Thoughts?
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Wolfman Walt
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:50 am Reply with quoteBack to top

If you remember during the science video segment that they mention that all the Prawn technology is biologically based. Their entire society seems to be based on their biology. It makes sense that something biologically based wouldn't work for us just like things biologically based for us wouldn't work for/on them. It'd be like taking one to get a retinal scan. It just wouldn't really work for them because they're biologically different which I thought was one of the interesting ways to reinforce the notions during apartheid. They're not just strange and from another place, they're completely different in every way possible to the point of incompatibility which was basically the stance during apartheid if I remember correctly.

This is just conjecture: It's also mentioned that the Prawn aren't actually the intelligent ruling class, they're more of a slave segment which I guess could be reasoned to also be whatever's conscripted force of expendable morons and all their technology that they came with was created by some other power. In theory, maybe they created a way to lock out certain segments of their race/empire/whatever and allow only one section to use _____. It'd ensure no one has more power than the theorized "master class" or whatever. But again, just some passive thinking based off of what I remember.
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Retlaw83
Goatse Messiah
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Joined: 17 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:31 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Aonaran wrote:
Retlaw83 wrote:
political satire


You keep saying satire as if by sheer repetition it will become so.


And you saying it isn't over and over again doesn't change the fact that it is satire.

Retlaw83 wrote:
South Africans of all races have xenophobia for other African countries bred into them, even under the new government.


So how is reaffirming all the negative government sanctioned stereotypes satire?[/quote]

It's culturally based. If you think Apartheid is culture, then you need to get your head examined.

Quote:
I didn't see the government oppressing the Nigerians, only the filmmaker portraying them as animals. So what is the cutting satire here?


If you read "this group of people from this country is bad" as "everyone from the country is bad because these people are bad," then you have to agree that the movie Godfather says all Italians are mobsters. End of story.

Quote:
The reason the aliens didn't function in society wasn't because they were discriminated against or lacked schools, they were just the same hive-minded beasts when they were in their spaceship as when they were in the slums. In fact, if it hadn't been for human intervention, they would have died. So what exactly is the message here?


If you watch the movie, it's pretty clear the aliens lack education and are discriminated against by the humans. The message of the movie is the aliens are people; conditions on their homeworld can't be too terribly great if that's the condition they came to Earth in.

The human intervention is very much in line with Apartheid. Apartheid viewed black people as uncivilized, hive-minded beasts and thought they were genuinely doing them a favor by give them the shitty existence that they gave them. If you view this as not satire and therefore the truth of the situation, then you have to believe the other half of the movie's "message" that all South Africans live in racial harmony with one another. You can't have it both ways.

Quote:
My main complaint with this film isn't that it is some malicious attack, but rather it is so ill conceived that it wound up undoing all it attempted thematically. I think you are giving Blomkamp far too much credit here.


I think you're complaining the movie is too in-your-face and heavy handed, when most of your problems seem to be that it wasn't heavy handed enough to spoon feed you everything.

I'm not saying this is the greatest story ever told on film, and I'm not saying the director is a genius. But it is a work of satire of a horrific period in South African history, and having lived through part of that period myself I'd say it was spot-on.

As for your assertion that it was based off of an occurrence in the 70s, scenes like that played out in Soweto for decades.
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Retlaw83
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:36 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Smiley wrote:

What's the point of the DNA locked technology?
Again, apart from setting a major key-point in the movie of course..
Why would their weapons be keyed to their DNA if anyone of the race could use it?


I thought this was the weakest part of the plot. Alien weapons were littering Soweto. Why didn't someone like Christopher get a bunch of the smarter ones together and launch a revolution? Or at the very least, take out the Nigerian gangs and then bargain with MNU for better conditions.
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Smiley
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm thinking because subterfuge seemed like a better idea at the time. Christopher managed to get the fuel for the spaceship, and if only he hadn't lost it that day everything would've been smooth.

The way he did lose it was pretty bad in my opinion.

I'm thinking most of the people were workers or civilians and likely not trained or brave enough to start an armed rebellion, even if only against the gangs. Then again, the gangs did provide them with some goods.

Like the suit, or mecha they provided them, it's as if they didn't know what to do with it themselves, or didn't want to get in trouble, so they sell it instead.

It's certainly not a perfect plot...
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Aonaran
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:04 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@Retlaw: wut?

I think you need to reread what I wrote and try again.
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Retlaw83
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:55 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Aonaran wrote:
@Retlaw: wut?

I think you need to reread what I wrote and try again.


Okay, for the too long didn't read version, and re-affirming my point: You take everything at face value without being educated about the facts. Some part of you either does not understand the basic concept of satire, or you refuse to believe satire can be presented as something serious. You complain that the movie is too heavy-handed when the problem is it's not spoon-feeding you enough information to put the situation in context.
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ApTyp
250 Posts til Somewhere
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

snip


Last edited by ApTyp on Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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Stainless
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:02 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Watched it last night, enjoyed it quite a bit.
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Flaser
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Joined: 25 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:51 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Retlaw83 wrote:
Smiley wrote:

What's the point of the DNA locked technology?
Again, apart from setting a major key-point in the movie of course..
Why would their weapons be keyed to their DNA if anyone of the race could use it?


I thought this was the weakest part of the plot. Alien weapons were littering Soweto. Why didn't someone like Christopher get a bunch of the smarter ones together and launch a revolution? Or at the very least, take out the Nigerian gangs and then bargain with MNU for better conditions.


The most probable reason is that revolution wouldn't have solved anything. They were dependent on the humans for food and water and whatever else aid they needed.

Rebelling would have deprived them of all that, and even with all their weapons they probably couldn't have won. They had missiles, they had very powerful rifles and maybe something like artillery. They had no air-power and most importantly: no resources to draw on. To wage a successful rebellion they would have had to secure those really fast. I saw no ammunition depots, no real manufacturing capability beyond hand-crafting stuff...

...they didn't have what it takes to wage war. Make no mistake: even guerrillas need these. However human guerrillas can hide in plain sight, scattered among the general populace. The prawns couldn't do that.

@Aonaran - either you're way too stupidly liberal (the film has shown people in ways that affirm stereotypes! It has nazi/conservative/racist agenda!) or your stupidly a conservative white man who never ventured outside suburban America.

I live in Hungary, a Middle European country and we too have issues with our gypsy minority. They are undereducated, violent crime and poverty is rampant among them and we pretty much don't know what to do with them.

...and Genocide, regardless whatever the PC crap they spout nowadays, WOULD be a solution - except once your start offing people with mere socio-economic/ideological justifications the becomes really hard to draw a line with all the blurry divides in society.

No I'm not a nazi, I'm actually a son of communist scions who had to see the system fall apart and the carrion picked to pieces by the new capitalist bedlam. I just like to see things with no illusions.

Morals are a necessary mechanism to keep a society functioning, and I had my morals programming in thank you - and therefore I see racism and genocide ans immoral and monstrous - but I won't take this state for granted.

Deep down we're still very much savages...
...especially the cultured ones. An uneducated savage is violent and feeble (his actions won't amount to much as they won't propagate through society). An educated savage with little moral scruples like the MNU CEOs can wreak massive havoc and get away with it since they "fake" the moral system by sending the apprpopiate signals to the rest of us... in simple words: lying through their teeth while sucking your blood.
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Wolfman Walt
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:09 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Flaser wrote:
your stupidly a conservative white man.


Hey, wait a second....
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Manoil
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:25 am Reply with quoteBack to top

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Kashluk
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:39 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Flaser wrote:
No I'm not a nazi, I'm actually a son of communist scions who had to see the system fall apart and the carrion picked to pieces by the new capitalist bedlam. I just like to see things with no illusions.

Talking of illusions, you do realise that when we take the concepts of communal ownership and corporatism out of the picture, we're left with the same type of authoritarian rule that presses the individual under the 'thumb' of surveillance, limited civil rights and outright oppression? The Eastern European communists didn't go anywhere; they just turned coats, picked up the ideas of free market economy and continued their business as usual (Ukraine, Belarus, Bulgaria...).
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Dogmeatlives
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:04 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Wolfman Walt wrote:
Flaser wrote:
your stupidly a conservative white man.


Hey, wait a second....


Its completely idiotic to be born a white male in the first place!!!, but then to have the nonsensical audacity to become conservative is just unbelievable, frankly. Grow a brain you guys, sheesh!
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Flaser
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:28 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Dang, I though I didn't have to spell out IRONY with a big fucking letters. How can you be "stupidly" conservative/liberal/socialist/mormon?

The same way the Internet can be stupidly important business.

@Kashluk - that's a comparison that's made way too often. It's not accurate. You just said the important part: take the concepts of communal ownership and corporatism out of the picture.

However all in all there's also a crucial difference: communist ideology on its own didn't call for a dictatorship. In fact it was not a dictatorship once Stalin kicked the bucket. It became a 3-party oligarchy, where the respective parties were:
-The Party (duh)
-The Army
-The NKVD later on KGB, or in other words the Secret Police

After Stalin each and every secretary of the soviet union had to balance these 3 forces against each other in order to remain in power. If he favored one of them too much the other two took him down.

Also there another crucial difference:
Nazism is inherently irrational. Its core beliefs and ideals are deeply infused with "feeling" and a rightful state of things that simply "is" with no rational explanation of why it should be so. Something that's rarely talked about is how much nazism lifted from Christian religion whose imperative to "save the world" was a critical factor in creating the "White Man's Burden".

Communism - as far as ideology goes - on the other hand was an experiment to define the value of things and correct the perceived injustice in the way it was distributed. The fact that this was a failed experiment doesn't invalidate the fact that this system at least tried to make a rational reason for it modus operandi.

However to a degree you're right: in the end all our "logic" fails as the world and especially society is not a product of logic but something that has evolved over time.

Still the degrees of rationality and the fact the later on the system became very different clearly separates the Far Left ideologies from the Far Right...

...so no, I think I'm right to call you on this one. The two are not the same.
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Manoil
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:33 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Flaser wrote:
How can you be "stupidly" conservative/liberal/socialist/mormon?

When did DACK get mormons?
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Kashluk
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:48 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Flaser wrote:
- that's a comparison that's made way too often. It's not accurate.

And exactly *why* is it not? I'm afraid you did not analyse my arguments any further in your post, at all, but instead went 'off-topic', so to speak. I wish you'd concentrate on what are the actual differences between left-wing and right-wing authoritarianism in practice? And by this I mean the differences from the viewpoint of individual liberties and civil rights?

Flaser wrote:
However all in all there's also a crucial difference: communist ideology on its own didn't call for a dictatorship. In fact it was not a dictatorship once Stalin kicked the bucket. It became a 3-party oligarchy, where the respective parties were:
-The Party (duh)
-The Army
-The NKVD later on KGB, or in other words the Secret Police

A direct comparison can be made to similar systems in Germany, Italy and Chile for example, yet those systems were extreme right-wing authoritarian by ideology. Fascism does not call for a dictatorship 'on its own' either, it just tends to favor idol worship in exactly the same way as socialism / communism (ie. Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Castro) does. But it is not a 'built-in requirement', per se.

Flaser wrote:
After Stalin each and every secretary of the soviet union had to balance these 3 forces against each other in order to remain in power. If he favored one of them too much the other two took him down.

In Mussolini's Italy economy was collectively managed by employers, workers and state officials by formal mechanisms at national level - the Partito Nazionale Fascista had to balance between these entities. Hitler was struggling to keep the key figures of Sturmabteilung / Schutzstaffel in his leash, not to mention all the upstarts in the NSDAP. You cannot simplify things by saying that fascist rulers were omnipotent without a doubt.

Flaser wrote:
Also there another crucial difference:
Nazism is inherently irrational. Its core beliefs and ideals are deeply infused with "feeling" and a rightful state of things that simply "is" with no rational explanation of why it should be so. Something that's rarely talked about is how much nazism lifted from Christian religion whose imperative to "save the world" was a critical factor in creating the "White Man's Burden".

Communism - as far as ideology goes - on the other hand was an experiment to define the value of things and correct the perceived injustice in the way it was distributed. The fact that this was a failed experiment doesn't invalidate the fact that this system at least tried to make a rational reason for it modus operandi.

I would have to disagree. As far as ideology goes, fascism (or national socialism) is just as 'logical' when compared to socialism (or communism). They have their roots deep in social darwinism, nationalism, authoritarianism, social interventionism and many, many other things that they actually share with the de facto communist regimes.

Flaser wrote:
Still the degrees of rationality and the fact the later on the system became very different clearly separates the Far Left ideologies from the Far Right...

This part here left me confused. A typo or grammatical error, perhaps? I did not understand this.

Flaser wrote:
...so no, I think I'm right to call you on this one. The two are not the same.

I never said they 'are the same'. What I said was that they have the same type of authoritarian rule that presses the individual under the 'thumb' of surveillance, limited civil rights and outright oppression.
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VasikkA
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:25 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Flaser wrote:
Communism - as far as ideology goes - on the other hand was an experiment to define the value of things and correct the perceived injustice in the way it was distributed. The fact that this was a failed experiment doesn't invalidate the fact that this system at least tried to make a rational reason for it modus operandi.

There exists no man-made system to define a fair value of things, so the reasoning behind it is utterly flawed. The perception of value is always subjective. Communism and Nazism are two different sides of the same coin, the coin being inherently irrational.
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Dogmeatlives
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:35 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

don't fuck with kashluk, ladies and gentlemen. He's on the ball!
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