Correcting Smudgem, a Defence, and a Theory Confirmed.
Good Morning Burnchums!
This truly will be my last post on this topic…unless I write seven or eight more posts on the topic. In this final post, i will not swear or berate (if I can help it) and I shall adopt a sensible debating tone so as to show the world that Burndog is entirely capable of sensible debate. Take that world!
TLDR - Shannon’s argument has been strengthened rather than undermined by Smudger’s “retort”.
Now, Smudgem has posted about this topic again, and seeing as how nobody else cares about the assorted words of Smudge, it has fallen to me to rally against his nonsense. Hooray for me!
So, without any further fannying about, here’s my response to Smudgem’s latest piece, which was written almost entirely at my behest, so I’d best respond post haste!
”#3 ”Just because other “graver” things are mocked, doesn’t make them all ok. It makes them all wrong.”
I find this a bit revealing. So I would venture a guess that almost everyone will have seen at least one of the shows/films I mentioned in my original post and what Shannon is referring to, i.e.:
Only Fools and Horses
Life of Brian
If you laughed at any or found them funny, you are wrong to have done so, apparently, as they were all an example of the damaging humour you saw with SNL Korea that end up not just offending people, but infringing their rights. Now you see how I might say that there is a danger in political correctness ruining all our fun. I will leave my readers to decide, but I for one don’t think I am a bad person or wrong for having a laugh at the jokes in these shows/films or having a little giggle at the SNL skit.
Just for fun, how about this clip from The Simpsons, sorry it is in Spanish and a bit poor quality, I guess they delete the English ones from youtube, but many of you might remember this and if you don’t, you get the idea:”
Ummm…Smudgem…in case you’re not aware, your entire comedy theory was destroyed by Roboseyo in this post. I have nothing more to add to what Rob wrote except to say that (not for the first time on this or other topics) if you read it carefully, you might understand why you’ve lost all credibility on this topic. Read it closely. It’s a well researched, well considered, and very accurate post. The likes of you and I could learn a lot from it.
"#4 "You don’t get to decide what situations are worse than the subject of adoption or birth family search. unless you have actually been adopted or embarked on a birth family search. you acknowledge you can’t understand these situations but somehow you still think you can assign which ones are worse and which are not worth getting outraged about?”
I dealt with some of this in part 1, but I think I can say that having a family member brutally murdered (say your mother or a child) is worse than being adopted or searching for family. What do you think? Seems pretty obvious. I think both situations are horrible for sure, but I do think one is worse than the other, yes. I base this on the simple logic that having a living parent or child is better than having, not just a dead parent or child, but a murdered one.”
Wait. Are you serious? How is having a living parent who you will never meet, who lives in a different country, speaks a language that you were removed from, has cultural ties that you cannot comprehend and is in no way a part of your life any better than having a murdered parent? It’s just ridiculous. If my mother or father had been brutally murdered when I was a lad, then I would still be aware of who they were. i would still be living in the same culture that they lived in. I would still know exactly who I was. I would still know my brothers and sisters, my uncles and aunties, my family tree. Being an overseas adoptee means that you lose all of that. Having a parent brutally murdered is no picnic, but you need to understand that being an international adoptee isn’t great either. Everything has pros and cons, and you can’t arbitrarily state that this is worse than that, especially for things that you have no personal experience of. That’s ridiculous.
"My criticism was specifically about that comedy sketch and nothing about the general discourse. I would never say that being separated from your family, language, culture, and identity isn’t damaging or traumatic. I cannot judge anything other than the reaction to the skit in question, in every other way I cannot comment about their situation.”
But you just did comment on their situation….one paragraph ago. You said that being adopted wasn’t as bad as having a parent murdered. That’s commenting on their situation. This is why I call you a hypocrite, because you manage to contradict yourself from paragraph to paragraph. If you can’t comment on a situation, then don’t comment on it. Don’t say that you can’t comment on something, one paragraph after you’ve commented on it.
"This was a comedy sketch though, and not fact in the news or a documentary. Comedy has to be edgy and needs the freedom to be so. It is the price of freedom that sometimes people get offended, they can always switch off the TV. No one gets to decide what is funny for you.”
You really should read Rob’s blog. Really. Comedy definitely does not have to be edgy…comedy has to be funny. That’s why it’s called comedy and not edgedy.
"I would also like to point out that me being a ‘White guy’ should not be relevant to the argument. Can you imagine what response I’d get if I used the line, "Who is she, just a random Asian chick" to belittle her opinion and score points in argument? I can, and it wouldn’t be pretty.”
Worst defence ever. The fact that you are a “white guy” does matter when you decide to say whether or not something about race is offensive or not. As a fellow white guy, let me tell you that there’s not a lot of shit that offends me. In fact, I would suggest that only when people claim that something is “worse than the holocaust” or something equally ignorant do I ever get truly offended. Why is that? is it because I’m so un-PC that I can’t be offended? Is it actually because I’m a WHITE GUY? What the fuck reason would we have to be offended by half of the shit that’s offensive? Really? Oh, there’s a singer in black face. I’m not offended. Look, there’s a sketch about adoptees. I’m not offended. Blonde jokes! Not offended. Why? Because we are never the target of this shit. We are never the punchline. That’s why, I generally recommend, that sometimes, it’s better to discuss the part of the issue that we (as white guys) understand. For example, Rob explained how comedy works…that’s a damn fine thing for a white man to do. So…if you really think that an asian adoptee is just “random” on this issue, then you need to have a good hard look in the mirror.
“Political correctness achieved great things, but it’s time has passed, to a degree. People are aware of important issues now, most are not racists, for example, like in the days of my grandfather and in need of consciousness-raising. General opinion is for equality and human rights (rightly so) so it is time to be open and honest about controversial issues and to not restrict freedom of expression. I admit, perhaps the situation is not quite this way in Korea and perhaps there is a greater role for political correctness in the form of raising consciousness, but comedy plays such a vital role as a tool for freedom of expression. To me it is vital that comedians are not always looking over their shoulders and are not pressured into trying to please everyone, because they never will be able to achieve it and culture at large would lose something too precious if this was the case.”
I’m sorry but this is the whitest thing I have ever read. If you really think that there is racial and gender equality in the world to the extent that people shouldn’t care about things that matter to them, then you’re totally misguided. Don’t get me wrong, I feel that in a lot of ways Australia has gone completely fucking nuts with political correctness and become a nanny state. I mean…mandatory bike helmets, you can’t buy beer at a bottle shop after 10 pm…the list goes on!
Comedians are in no danger of losing their freedom to be funny, or edgy or daring or what have you. The only pressure on comedians is that they understand their craft well enough to be funny and not simply offensive. Comedians have the freedom to joke as they wish, likewise, people have the right to speak against them if they wish. I don’t see that as a bad thing. If someone’s comedy is edgy and worthwhile, it will survive. If someone’s comedy is just trying too hard to be edgy without any comedic gains, then it will fail. The market speaks.
No one is saying people are calling for censorship, but prevailing public opinion at the moment in Western discourse encourages a natural censorship of many ideas by instilling fear of freedom of expression and opinions that I believe is very damaging and I will argue against this whenever I see it.
It’s interesting that you mention “Western discourse”. One of the reasons that I asked you for your references on this subject when you posted your first post is because I assumed something that has proved to be correct…you read a few English language posts and assumed that there was no Korean media about this issue. You assumed that it was some sort of western outrage. You assumed wrong. There were plenty of Korean media articles about the story. If you did even the slightest research you may have found this link which helpfully compiled 16 of them in one, handy, English language place. it doesn’t take a lot of time and effort to do that…and had you bothered you would realise that your assertion (and you made this assertion more than once) that the reaction was not a Korean reaction, but was actually a non-Korean reaction is false. Koreans were equally dismissive of the skit and were equally appalled by its portrayal of unwed mothers and adoptees. This is why you’re unqualified to talk about these issues. It’s not because you’re white. it’s because you launch into things without taking the time to do proper research. It doesn’t take long. Roboseyo linked to TRAK in his original post…the post that started your outrage train of counter outrage.
Interestingly, you suffer greatly from your selective omission of many of Shannon’s points. A quick read of what you quoted, vs what she wrote shows that you really did ignore a key point of her argument. Why? Because you know that she’s right? Because you know that you’re wrong? Because you have no idea? I asked you to speak to EACH of the points she made, and you couldn’t do it. Why?
Here’s the big paragraph that you missed -
”ummmmmm, i can assure that MOST adoptees know about these shows because they are basically one of the FEW ways we even have a CHANCE to find our families and so we all have to swallow our fucking pride and go on them, already hating feeling infantilized by the whole thing.if you think the show successfully mocked the way those shows use adoptees, and wasn’t mocking adoptees - then you do not understand korean well. don’t patronize us and act like we’re offended because we didn’t understand. also, even koreans (who are not the only ones who would’ve picked up on the cultural reference to those shows - again, adoptees know, thank you) were severely offended. but maybe you wouldn’t know that unless you can actually access korean media and SNS.”
No comment on that? It’s the cornerstone of your original argument. Yet, you’ve ignored Shannon’s response too it. She’s right, your original article did include the patronising line “Most foreigners living in Korea would not have known this and probably most adoptees - who had not spent much time in Korea - wouldn’t have known this either.” This is what I mean when I say that she schooled you on this topic. Your failure to respond to this argument, as well as her explaining that you are ignorant of the wider Korean response has been proven by your subsequent responses.
Now that I’ve been reasonable and debated on your terms let me address the following paragraph where you get all excited and decide to take a swing at Pappa Burndog -
"This same person got all upset and supported a guy in his outrage when I said he was "Fooling himself" and "Misrepresenting me" the other week for (specifically) a comment he made. The outrage of this statement went on for days. But when he accuses me of blatant dishonesty, that’s fine in his eyes - and he doesn’t see any hypocrisy - because I don’t agree with him and it’s him saying it not me. Seems this guy’s principles to and fro depending on what is beneficial to his arguments and who he likes and dislikes He even had the cheek to call me a hypocrite!
In the second part of the comment, he is referring to a comment I made by mistake because I followed the link given and thought it was just a reblog of his blog (if you go to both links [here andhere] you might understand why I made this error), which I had already read, so I didn’t read the link posted in my comments section. I have read the piece now and I am responding to it in this post and more specifically in the next. Nice to see he didn’t overreact or anything though, eh? The misunderstanding exposed what kind of guy he is, I think (see his post on his blog too! and his full comments in my comments section).”
Right. So…I apparently ”got all upset” and “supported a guy”. Here’s exactly what I wrote -
”Indeed, I found you saying that you were being mis-represented, and that Robert was ‘fooling himself’ to be a fair indication of exactly how far you appeared to be from understanding his criticisms of your blog post.
I think it’s a shame that you can’t take criticism or debate well. I personally don’t comment on your blog posts these days simply because it seems a futile exercise.”
That’s me “getting all upset”? Or maybe it was the second reply after he screamed like a stuck pig after my first one -
”Sorry to have the conversation here rather then there.
I was just talking in general. I think that you discourage debate with your attitude and if you want the sort of blog where people feel that they can have a good natured chat about the things that you discuss, then you need to consider being less aggressive in your defense of your ideas.
I mention this here rather than on the blog itself, simply because it’s a comment about blogging and methodology rather than about what you wrote in the post itself.
It seems a paradox to me that, I think, you would like people to engage with you on the topics that you discuss, yet when they do you often seem to put up walls and take things personally.”
”"Show me where I took things personally?" This is the sort of line that I think annoys people.
I personally have never had any issues with any name calling or your tone or any of that guff…but I’m not necessarily the kind of intelligent and decent soul that you’d be looking for a debate with. I’m an oath, AND an Australian! Two things that have no place in the world of online discourse!
I think that I’ve definitely had more luck in changing your mind on a few things (very few!) than the gentler souls who have tried to beg you into their point of view.
I am just offering an opinion of how it appears to come across from a neutral standpoint. It’s actually similar to advice that you gave me in one of our first discussions, where you thought that the Burndog character was looking for measured and interesting debate. You warned me that my way of dealing with people was off-putting, and I worry that you may be staring into the same dark pit.
There’s every chance that I have no idea what the fuck I’m talking about too…so feel free to ignore me.”
I would consider that to be an extremely reasonable discussion on my part. I think that the way that you’ve handled yourself in this debate does little to change my point of view that you’re not built for the controversies that you seem desperate to create. There’s no point writing a blog like yours and then being a stubborn cunt and refusing to give a fuck about the opinions of others. You’re a sensitive fella…maybe a little too sensitive for the rough and tumble of ‘public life’?
Anyway, I doubt any punter would have bothered to read this far, and to the intrepid one or two who have…I salute you.