Harkovast- the forum

How golta see themselves
Tiberius at 11:55PM, April 6, 2011
(online)
posts: 111
joined: 4-3-2011
It occurred to me recently that the way people perceive another nation, is far different from how the nation itself perceives itself.
How does this apply to Harkovast?
I got to talking to Harkovast while playing total war (official score 3-0 in Hark's favor, unofficial 2-1, still in his favor). We began talking about Golta, and their charter. Apparently it's based in some ways on the constitution of the U.S., and the way the Golta treat it is also based on the way Americans are perceived to treat it. At first I saw this as inaccurate, and we talked about it, and I explained how I perceived the way me, and other Americans treated the constitution.
Now that I look back I realize that if that's how Americans are perceived to treat the constitution, but not how Americans think they treat the constitution, then maybe it's the same with the Golta.
From the outside it may look like the Golta follow the charter with almost religious zeal, but how do the Golta see it? do they actually see it as perfect? do they actually think that it should be followed as it originally was?
Basically; If your a Golta do you see your treatment of the charter as moderate, and do you feel free to think it imperfect in some way?

It may be that no-one is wrong about how the Golta see their charter, or how The U.S. treats it's constitution. Maybe compared to the rest of the world, Americans do worship the constitution like the Golta. Just a question of perspective.

Epilogue


Eventually the conversation led to a battle of the 13 colonies, vs. The British. The Americans almost won, but the British artillery was manned by Clones of Neo, and thus were able to dodge every bullet shot at them. The Americans could not dodge grape shot.

I also learned that Glenn Beck may be doing more damage to America's reputation, then bush ever did.

hopefully this will add something of value.
The post apocalyptic genre- one of the most optimistic of all genres.
Why?
Because we somehow survived the end of everything, and have built a pretty nice town to boot, sometimes with pig powered electricity!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
harkovast at 3:38AM, April 7, 2011
(online)
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
Potentially it could be ammended, I hadn't honestly given any thought to if it has ever been or not. But pressumably since the possibility exists, there will have been a few minor additions added to it.
It is more about laying out the over all principles of Golta civilisation, rather than going into specifics on individual laws. Unlike the US constitution it is has stuff to say on what is expected of Golta citizens in terms of what is a proper way for them to live their lives.
There is a lot of debate in Golta society on how the charter should be interpreted and what its authors were thinking when they wrote it, which to outsiders seems an odd argument. Why should the opinion of some Golta who was writing it years ago have any influence on whether or not what the document says is right or not?
It shuld be noted though that you wont get people in Golta society sayign “The charter is rubbish, we should get rid of it!” (well you might get one or two, but they would be seen as cranks at best and at worst subversive. Imagine if someone in America started sayng the constitution was all wrong, total crap and should be torn up and the USA start over with a new founding document. I would hazzard that americans would find such a person's views laughable, idiotic and possibly offensive and unpatriotic.) The overall goals and world view of the charter is accepted by almsot all Golta, it is only the subtle specfics and exact meanings that cause debate.

Golta would not describe themselves as “worshipping” their charter, and would find such a suggestion insulting. Indeed, it is very secular in nature. While Golta would very rarely voice criticism of the charter, if put on the spot they would acccept it is not neccessarily perfect, but would argue it is the best document of its type in the world. They see it as a unique and special document, that is better than anything that has been produced before or since anywhere in Harkovast. It's wisdom is, to the Golta, self evident. The failure of Tolpish to appreciate this wisdom is just further evidence that there is nothing to be gained talking to Tolpish!

The Golta certianly do see themselves differently to the way others percieve them. They dont even think of themselves as xenophobic, they are just protecting themselves from obvious tolpish threats!


With regard to similarities to the USA…
The Golta undoubtedly lift a lot of concepts from America, but the same could be said of the Zadakine and the Ivos and possibly others. The Golta are just a bit more overt about it.
The Golta also have lots of fantasy elements and elements of other nations (their isolationism for example.)
I certainly dont mean them as a critique on America in any sense. The elements that they take from America are presented neutrally (I hope). I am not saying this is a good or a bad thing for the Golta to do, it is just what they do.
The Golta are not bad for basing their society on their charter, any more than the Darsai are bad for basing their society on fuedalism or the Tsung-Dao for basing it on collectivism.

If Harkovast had a moral, it would be something like this-

There are a lot of different ways of life and different points of view in the world.
They are not all equally valid, some of them are completely wrong and need to be opposed and even the best of them have plenty of faults.
But most of them have some merit to them, and the majority have a lot of merit to them.
When you start seeing other ways of life only in terms of how much worse they are then yours, you run the risk of becoming blind to your own faults as well as their merits…and that is a dangerous place to be.




And Glenn Beck can go suck a dick.
Seriously.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
Niccea at 6:13AM, April 29, 2011
(online)
posts: 5,548
joined: 8-10-2007
You forgot the fact that the Charter has a treasure map imprinted on the back and Ki tried to steal it to obtain the greatest treasure in Vellastrom.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
harkovast at 6:50AM, April 29, 2011
(online)
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
Does that….does that mean Ki is Nicholas Cage?

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
Niccea at 7:01AM, April 29, 2011
(online)
posts: 5,548
joined: 8-10-2007
No. He is just the only one in the comic so far that I think is ballsy enough to steal the Golta Charter.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
harkovast at 8:38AM, April 29, 2011
(online)
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
I refuse to go and see the film national treasure for numerous reasons-
1- Evil English dude steals the American constitution so he can steal the treasure hidden by America's founding fathers? Piss off.

2- The plot is actually flawed in that at one point it is based on a clock on the money, but the films makers actually got the big and little hands on the clock the run way around. If they read it as they say in the film they would have got lost and been fucked.

3- The plot involves Americas founding father HIDING the biggest amount of treasure in the world. This being at a time when they were trying ot beg help from the French to help fund their war effort. I am sure Washington's troops would have really appreciated knowing that while they were marching through the snow with their crumbling shoes, he was stashing away all the riches in the world.

4- Unless the founding fathers were retarded they would have dug up the treasure themselves after the war and used it to pay for things in their (at the time financially troubled country)

5- It looked shit.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
Tiberius at 2:09PM, April 29, 2011
(online)
posts: 111
joined: 4-3-2011
The main villain was English? I never noticed.
Just cause the villain is a countrymen of your doesn't mean you shouldn't see the movie. They don't make a big deal about him being English, as evident by the fact that I didn't even know he was, and I've seen that film multiple times.
A plurality of movie villains are probably Americans, unless you count the movies of Bollywood.

2's just a minor point that requires more knowledge of American money then most people do, and is relatively minor, and of course I never get stuck on minor details. *whistle innocently*

3-4 annoyed me too. that money could have solved so many debt problems we have today. Why founding fathers? why?!?

I think you should give it a try, just don't get stuck on minor plot holes, and the fact that the founding fathers failed at economics, and “using the massive amount of treasure we have access too” class.

The post apocalyptic genre- one of the most optimistic of all genres.
Why?
Because we somehow survived the end of everything, and have built a pretty nice town to boot, sometimes with pig powered electricity!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
harkovast at 5:15PM, April 29, 2011
(online)
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
Tiberius, a vast number of villains in american shows and movies are english, often when it logically makes no sense for them to be so.
Examples of especially silly ones-
The film gone in 60 seconds has an evil British dude who runs a car stealing gang in America…I guess he came over on a evil criminal visa.

In Heroes, Linderman is an evil Las vegas gangster…who is English.
No explanation is even offered for that one.

Tiberius, the villain is played by Saun Bean, the guy comes from the city next to the town I live in.

A movie about how Americas founding fathers hid treasure to keep it from the evil British, and now in the present they have to save it before an evil British guy steals it.
There seems to be kind of a theme there.

You are right that American movies feature lots of American bad guys, but they feature positive depictions of Americans too, the vast majority of English people are shown as evil (or at best ineffectual and crappy compared to the bad ass Americans. In World War Two films the impression is generally given that the British being stupid and ineffectual is the main reason the Americans didn't win the war in a week.)

But more importantly…. I'm sorry but national treasure looks both cheesy and shit.
I don't think it looks any good and based on the content it would probably just annoy me.

Though it does serve one useful function.
In the movie Americas founding father are super smart and super important.
The own the greatest treasure in the world and also set out a “riddler on Batma”n series of clues (each hidden in plain sight) for people to find 200 years later.
These are not just a group of historical figures, these are some of the greatest people who ever lived!
You questioned why people from other countries would get the impression Americans idolise their founding fathers and the documents they created….that movie pretty much demonstrates the reason right there.

If they had cinema, you can bet the Golta would have made “Golta Nation Treasure” where those dirty Tolpish come back to steal their secret hidden gold!
It would have had a lot more guns in it, far more overt propaganda and a moral at the end that there was no treasure, because that kind of decadence is meaningless and Golta hard work and sacrifice are the real treasure.


For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
Tiberius at 10:37PM, April 29, 2011
(online)
posts: 111
joined: 4-3-2011
I've never seen gone in 60 seconds. I might love Nicholas cage and the ridiculousness of his movies, but I'm just not a car person.

In heroes, that was Malcolm Mcdowell. I can't think of one instance where he wasn't some sort of villain. That's his career. He's probably most of the villains your thinking of. He's not typecast as a villain cause he's English, It's cause his breakout role was Alex from a clock work orange.
Also in heroes he wasn't really a villain, he was more like an anti-villain. what he does might be considered wrong, but his motivation is to save the world (sound familiar?). His power was actually to heal.

I think your looking into the villain of national treasure being English too much. As I said I didn't even notice he was English, and neither have any of the people I've asked, one of whom was English himself. I barely remembered there was a villain at all. I mostly just remember Nicholas cage hamming it up, and the ridiculousness of the plot.

I think I figured out why there might be more English villains then say, french. It's not that we think your evil, it's that we think you're classy and sophisticated. So when you need your villain to seem sophisticated, You get an Englishman, or more specifically you get Malcolm Mcdowell.

As for the WW2 films, I'm not sure entirely. I haven't seen many, and the ones I have seen either just didn't have English soldiers, or just had one or two scenes with them to establish they existed. never saw them in a negative or positive light. WW1 movies seem to show the English wonderfully, The one I remember best is Joyeux Noel.

Wish I could get this good a conversation more often.
The post apocalyptic genre- one of the most optimistic of all genres.
Why?
Because we somehow survived the end of everything, and have built a pretty nice town to boot, sometimes with pig powered electricity!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
Niccea at 6:56AM, April 30, 2011
(online)
posts: 5,548
joined: 8-10-2007
Just to clarify. In my version, there is no treasure. Or rather not of the gold and silver and rare gems variety. I was thinking it would be more like compromising information on several of the other races.

And Tiberius is right. The movie did not stress the fact the the villain was played by an English actor. And beside the point that I have met several people who are English and American citizens. So technically, the actual character might not have been English. He could have just had an accent. I get asked if I'm English all the time because I tend to aununciate my words better than most people in Texas. (And enjoy gin and tonic)

The English make great villains. French make pretty lousy villains. But the role of villains in movies tend to go with the time. Not just the time frame. I've seen 007's enemies change all nationality all over the place. If you want to know who was the global “bad guy” at any time, you watch a 007 movie. Anywho, you shouldn't take the amount of English villains as an insult, it should be a compliment. You are the only guys capable of scaring the shit out of us. (Unless you are an Italian Mobster).

All that aside, I gotta question. Other than nameless, in Harkovast, what race would be portrayed as villains the most in Vellastrom if there were a such thing as movies?

Of course, in the Golta's case, the enemy would consistently be Tolpish…wait…they call everyone not a Golta, Tolpish.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
harkovast at 5:08PM, April 30, 2011
(online)
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
I didn't think the fact that villain was English was stressed, but he still is English, which is the point.

If I made a movie where heroic crusading knights hid treasure from evil Arabs, and then in the present some heroic guy was trying to find the treasure and an evil Arab was trying to steal it for himself….would you think my movie was having a go at Arabs? I assume unless you are really racist against Arabs, you would find such a plot rather uncomfortable.
Whether I stressed the point or not, the message seems pretty negative.

Unfortunately Niccea, to me, being portrayed endlessly as evil IS an insult.
I hate that.
Calling someone evil or villainous is a really nasty thing to say.
Whether individual examples might have explanations (like “well he was trying to do good etc”, as Tiberius said about the guy in heroes) its the overall effect that makes it insulting.
In the same way that there is nothing wrong with making a horror film in which a black guy dies…if there was just one movie like that. But when every horror movie has a black guy dieing it starts to become offensive.
Well the same thing is true of English Villains.
When EVERY English guy is evil, giving individual explanations is meaningless.
There are movies like Pocohontus, where the evil English guy waves flags every time he talks about stealing from the natives…while the one good English guy sounds American.
Or Lion King. Scar is from the same place as all the other lions but sounds English…and thus we know he is evil.

There are a few reasons this goes on.
Tiberius is right that the English accent sounds classy and sophisticated to Americans, which along with the American stereotype of English people as uptight and snooty, this fits well for an arrogant villain. This villain can then be beaten by the heroic, down to earth American hero.
This also plays into a replaying of the American revolution.
In the mind of Americans, this is the supreme battle of good against evil.
The founding fathers were the most noble, heroic people who ever lived, and their cause the most righteous one is history. Thus, to the American mind set, the snooty, arrogant uptight English guy being taken down a peg by a heroic, working class hero American really resonates.

The other major reason is that, in America, you can get away with it.
It lets you have someone who you can transpose hate onto for being different without feeling guilty.
As I pointed out with my Arab example, if you substitute English for another group, it would feel horribly uncomfortable.
Imagine if Hollywood villains were always black.
Would that be a compliment to black people and how wonderfully scary most Americans find them?
Due to the American revolution (again), Americans do not identify themselves as “British Americans” as they do “Irish Americans” or “African Americans”.
What would be British Americans identify themselves as just Americans (indeed, their history is one of proudly rejecting Britishness.) So if you have a go at British people, there is no large group in America that is going to get offended (indeed, it would mostly inspire a sense of pride and patriotism.)
Basically, I fall into a group that is considered a safe target for Hollywood to insult.
Which sucks.
If you use English people as villains in your movies for no other reason than thats the accent villains aways have in other movies, you are being racist.

In answer to Nicceas question, it would depend on who was making the movie.
Darsai movies would have nothing good to say about “snooty Nymus”
Junlocks entirely demonise the Ivos.
Ano-chee and Onrapa would make films with each other as monstrous barbarians.
It is all a matter of perspective.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
Renard at 5:51PM, April 30, 2011
(online)
posts: 102
joined: 1-11-2010
I always love when people assume the English all have the “BBC Accent”, I'm more used to my Scoucer family!

You can find the same thing with Slavic people. My friend and I were watching a movie with the Russian mafia as the main villains, and she asked me how many Western produced films can I name where an Eastern European is a good guy, even when they are they're usually a secondary character and often a criminal as well.

And don't forget Die Hard and the Germans. I think Hollywood just has a hate on for foreigners.
Sweat save blood, blood saves lives, and brains save both. -Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
harkovast at 5:56PM, April 30, 2011
(online)
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
Renard, if it makes you feel any better, I always imagine Valatrek (who is a heroic Junlock warrior chick) to have a Russian sounding accent.
I will post a picture of her as the voting incentive next week.

The moral of Harkovast is always meant to be one of acceptive of different cultures and appreciating their unique beauty.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
Tiberius at 9:51PM, April 30, 2011
(online)
posts: 111
joined: 4-3-2011
You have a good point, and I can see how the use as English as villains can disturb you.

I disagree tho about the “proudly rejecting Britishness”. It's not a history of rejecting Britishness, it's just that the colonists were not culturally British by the time the revolution came around. They're was an ocean between them and Britain, so most of them had never been to Britain. A different culture emerged from the frontier mentality. This was probably the biggest driving force behind the revolution. the same thing can be seen between the north and south of America, and the east and west coast. they don't reject each others cultures, they're just different cultures that developed separately.
The reason you don't hear people called British-Americans, is because that's the default, and that after a couple of centuries the British heritage is distant. The Irish Americans on the other hand are more recent, and can trace their heritage back to Ireland easier with the better records of immigration. they also formed neighborhoods of Irish Americans so they could be with family, and friends, and because of some anti-Irish sentiment instead of diffusing out into the general populace.
British American is the default, so saying your British American, is like coming out of the closet as straight; most people assumed you were anyway, so why say so?

I've never met anyone who got a sense of pride and patriotism over a british villain, or most any villain outside nazis, aliens, and the movie the patriot (I will freely agree that that the patriot could easily qualify as a racist movie). You really overestimate how much we think back to our history, and how much we care where the villain came from. Few people take note of the villains ethnicity, nationality, or race, unless it's actually important to the story. There's more of a sense that anyone that emphasizes race, outside of a story ABOUT race, is outdated. This dates back to the civil rights movement, and the “I have a dream speech”, which sadly not enough people know of outside the title. Part of the dream he had was of black children, and white children freely playing together. This motivated a move to not just have equal races, but to have no barriers between races, and think of us as one big race.

So while the English may be overly represented as villains by Hollywood, I highly doubt it's because Americans hate British, or for any “patriotic” reason, if that was true Britain wouldn't be our closest Ally. You overestimate American nationalism. I'm beginning to learn that most of what's heard from the U.S. is the right wing nuts, and that paints a horribly distorted view.
The post apocalyptic genre- one of the most optimistic of all genres.
Why?
Because we somehow survived the end of everything, and have built a pretty nice town to boot, sometimes with pig powered electricity!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
Canuovea at 12:02AM, May 1, 2011
(online)
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
First off. Sorry Hark, but Scar was a brilliant villain, and only Jeremy Irons could do him that way. The British dude was just the best man for the job there.

Most of the leaders of the revolution saw themselves as thoroughly British right up to and during the revolution even. One of them said that they had never been more proud to be British only 13 years before the American Revolution, when the British defeated the French in the 7 year war. While a different culture did emerge, to a degree, from the frontier mentality, the people who were actually the movers and shakers of the revolution were not frontiersmen, they were the city folk who lived among the centers of authority. I believe Andrew Jackson was the first Scotch-Irish frontiersman president, and what was he? 6th or so? No, the backcountry and the frontier produced a different culture alright, but it was different from most of the rest of the Colonies. They were often also the worst lot when it came to getting along with the Indigenous population as well, a fact often overlooked by fans of the plucky American frontiersman.

In fact, I have read speeches and documents that discussed the relationship between Britain and the USA after 1860, rather interesting stuff. Some saw that there was a natural affinity between the two nations, suggesting that they got along. Some saw the British as an evil abomination no different from other European powers. Some thought that too many people in the USA actually liked the British. Some others thought that the USA was the true England, where the true ideals of England flourished. There were varied perspectives of England throughout history then, and the same is now, but it's probably more positive at the moment, simply because the USA isn't scared shitless of an authoritarian Europe.

Another point: Saying there was an ocean between the USA and Britain didn't mean the same thing then as it does now. The ocean allowed better and faster connections and trade then overland did. It was seen as useful more than a hindrance.

I personally think that the Colonies rebelled because they were pushed too far and Britain was not able to hold on to them for a number of reasons. It was not because of a different culture. I bet you that if anybody in Britain had been treated the same way and had the same opportunity to escape, they would have. No matter how you spin it, the good king was being an asshole.

Another point. Really good villains are often difficult to do well, and I mean really. It also happens that, while everyone has talented actors, I fear the British may have more than most people. Jeremy Irons played Scar in the Lion King, but he was also darn good as Tiberius (haha) in Kingdom of Heaven despite just being a side character. British actors are just good, or, I notice them more. I mean, Alan Rickman was amazing in The Prince of Thieves (well, he was also the only good part), he stole from Kevin Costner and gave to the audience. Plus, I'm pretty sure that if they started being offended about playing bad guys then they would stop it. Actors have some say in the roles they play, so I fear they aren't quite as easily offended as you Hark.

Then again, that doesn't mean that there isn't some underlying preference towards British villains based on racism/nationalism in America. It may even be likely. I mean, Iron Man featured an Arab villain, and lets face it, the Arabs are the current target of popular US animosity.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
harkovast at 5:21AM, May 1, 2011
(online)
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
These answers still seem to over look the key point of my previous statement.
If I gave any race other than the British this treatment in movies, would you consider it okay?

If movies always featured black villains (even in places where everyone else is white and there is no logical reason the villain should be a different race to everyone else) would you think that was okay?

Pointing to individual villains and saying “Oh but there were a really good villain” or “That one was not that bad” completely misses the point.
Offering me justification for individual examples does nothing to mitigate the fact that it happens ALL the time.

Tiberius, I dont think Americans hate Britain, far from it. I just think we are considered a safe target.
A foreign villain is satisfying to beat.
It makes them different (which makes them easy to identify from the good characters, as well as making them “not one of us” so we can more easily project our hate onto them) but if you use British people you don't have to feel any guilt as you would if you used, for example, Arabs.
As I said, if you say bad things about Britain in the American media (the American media invariably does) there wont be any Americans protesting it…or even noticing it.

Tiberius, the argument “we don't care where the villain comes from” seems a bit bizarre. If Americans don't care, wouldn't all the villains just be other Americans? Or come from a random selection of countries? Obviously someone over there care enough to choose the same country over and over again (even if it makes no logical sense in the context of the movie.)
I don't think Americans consciously think “Haha! Evil British! We hate them cause of the Revolution.” But I do think that to Americans the default role for the British is uptight villain who gets taken down by heroic, plucky, working class American hero.
That is an ingrained idea that (when not thinking about it too hard) Americans will go to as a default.

As for my assertion of Americans proudly rejecting Britishness, American portrayals of this country as a whole always show it as having something wrong with it.
No American character is ever exposed to British culture and learns something valuable or admirable from it.
It is invariably the British that learn to stop being so up tight and loosen up like the Americans are.
We never have the American Chen-Chen who is filled with wonder at British culture. Such a thing has never happened in American media.
I've seen American characters filled with wonder at other cultures, so it is not like that is taboo or anything. But if it comes down to Britain and America, there is never anything of merit for the American character to learn.

Ultimately my argument comes down to this-

I don't think portrayal my nation as constantly evil (even when it involves sacrifices the internal logic of the story to shoe horn that message in) is okay.
It is not a compliment, it is an insult.
If Americans do it because they are just copying each other and doing it as a default without thinking about it, that does NOT make it okay.
Again, I would use the example of the black guy who always dies in the horror film. Film makers who did this were not all in the KKK, they were just lazily copying each other and going with their own underlying prejudices without thinking about them more deeply and noticing the trend.
The fact you don't notice the trend or don't think it matters is, to be honest, kind of disturbing. That is saying that you don't think calling my nation evil all the time is a bad thing or that to do so is such a casual default for you that you don't notice yourself doing it.
I don't think you would think it was okay if the situation was reversed.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
Tiberius at 6:05AM, May 1, 2011
(online)
posts: 111
joined: 4-3-2011
I didn't say it was a frontier culture, I said it came from a frontier mentality. the first colonists carved out the cities, and had to tame the land almost from scratch. Most of the people who came over, and didn't die, had children, who then grew up here, and never left. Thus while most of the colonists were not at the frontier and were more then likely working a farm, or plantation that had been there for awhile, or in a city that was thoroughly modern, they still had a sense of being a different culture due to their frontier roots, because many of them could trace their family back to an original colonist that had to found a settlement right off the boat.

An ocean is a big divide. it may help with trade, but it still keeps people from traveling from continent to continent without money, and a good reason. travel for passengers was still relatively expensive, and most people did not have the money, or a reason to go to Britain, so they remained relatively separate. the ocean may be faster, but it still makes travel harder. Just the English channel separating Britain from Europe has had a massive effect on everything, and it's not even wide enough to make France out of sight from England. Oceans were barriers then, and still are today, and probably will be for years to come.

Hark posted while i typed so here's a bit more-

I don't see it as offensive because I don't see an English race. It's a white person. I'm white. their white. the only difference is the accent, and that's just from a difference in location. I am British. I was born in America, but I can trace my roots back to Scotland, one of my ancestors took care of the Kings dogs. The only people in America who can't trace their roots to outside of America, are the native Americans. You're putting up a racial division, where I see none. British people aren't the acceptable target, It's white people in general. all of them. Creole/french, british, german, east europeans. So stop thinking me and you are of different races. We're the same, our accents, and an ocean are all that separate us. If the situation was reversed, it would be the same, and I would have the same feeling.
The post apocalyptic genre- one of the most optimistic of all genres.
Why?
Because we somehow survived the end of everything, and have built a pretty nice town to boot, sometimes with pig powered electricity!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
harkovast at 6:50AM, May 1, 2011
(online)
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
Tiberius I think your response dodges the issue.
If we are all one people, then how come its only my group that gets depicted as the bad guys?
Obviously there is some kind of divide because American media treats there as being a divide.

Saying it as white people in general also does not hold up, as its only the white people with the English accents that get this treatment, and are generally being defeated by the heroic people with the American accents.
Trying to claim that when there are English bad guys it is actually commenting on all white people some how does not make any sense.
As I said before, the aim is to have a villain that is foreign enough to play into xenophobia and nationalism but not similar enough that we don't feel any guilt while booing them.

In the same sense that it is offensive when French characters are portrayed as cowardly or every German character is a Nazi, insults based on nationality are not okay.
Saying someone is evil is an insult.

In American movies, my culture is the bad culture, I don't really see how you can spin it that this isn't the case.



For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
harkovast at 7:07AM, May 1, 2011
(online)
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
To support my case of Britain getting especially bad treatment, lets look at the most liberal, left wing, white-American-male-hating cartoon show ever made-
CAPTAIN PLANET!
This show was so PC is makes me want to vomit at its heavy handed moralising.
Of the main characters, two are white.
One is a Russian chick who is really smart, competent and generally useful (and apparently there is nothing bad about her home land, no sir) while the other is Wheeler, the seemingly semi retarded white american male who grew up on the streets (cause America is just so awful.)
Wheeler is the mouthpiece for stupid on the show. He cant open that hole in his face for a moment without something idiotic spewing out that the other characters have to disprove.
His magic power is fire, but they might as well have given him the ring of “fuck up.”

So you would assume that on this, the most self loathing of all American cartoons, the English would not seem so bad, right?

Wrong.

While none of the good guys are English, two of the villains are (are evil super computer and evil industrialist Luton Plunder…who might have the best name of anyone ever.)
So even in a multicoloured ethnic rainbow of diversity like this show…the English are still the evil group!
Even while putting down their own nation, the shows American creators cant help but go back to their default role for the English.
The show takes the time to be sensitive to the Russians (who at the time were the enemy cause of the cold war!) but still cant throw us English a bone.
Wheeler might be a moron, but at least he isn't evil!


God damn, captain planet was fucking stupid.
That is going off topic but…damn….
Makes me want to go out and burn some tires or poison a river, just to show em!

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
Niccea at 8:48AM, May 1, 2011
(online)
posts: 5,548
joined: 8-10-2007
Off topic again. I'm looking at the AFI's top 100 for Heroes and Villians. Bruce the shark from Jaws is 15. Man from Bambie is 17.

Back to a bit on topic. Yes it did bother me that Jazz from that Transformers movie died. It bothered me even more that I knew he was going to die the minute he said his first words. My dad was watching a horror movie a couple years back. And I told him that I had never seen the movie before but I bet him 5 bucks that the blonde and the African-American were going to die rather quick. (Because you forget Hark. The ditzy, screaming blonde also dies) Dad told me that was a horrible thing to say. But, 5 minutes later, I was right.

And Germans aren't really portrayed as Nazis any more unless it is a period piece.

And do I like stereotypes? No. I'm tired of it being assumed that I own a horse and an oil rig just because I'm from Texas. I have only ridden a horse a few times in my life and that was always with a group with me being somewhere in the middle (pretty much feels like the horse is on a track). And, yes, actually there is oil in my family, but I don't see any of the money from it. My uncle is an off-shore engineer in Africa. Consequently only a few months after 9/11 he invited some of his friends from work over here for his daughter's wedding…Off topic.

Point:
I don't like being a Jesus-loving, Southern hospitality, cowgirl.
Harkovast doesn't like being a tea-drinking super villain.
Bruce Lee hated the movie, Breakfast at Tiffany's.(Though he did something about it and became a big movie star)

But, we can't really control what they write in Hollywood. Case in point. Transformers 2 sucked big time (over sexed and very racist), but it was still watched by a ton of people that thought it was the bomb and now Transformers 3 is coming out. (Transformers 2 was the only movie I had ever thought about walking out of. But, I wasn't the driver so I didn't have much choice.)

last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
Tiberius at 9:52AM, May 1, 2011
(online)
posts: 111
joined: 4-3-2011
I've thought about this, and have come to the conclusion that this discussion is a road to ruin. I still think you're wrong, and you still think I'm wrong, but if we continue this discussion then it will end horribly, with large amounts of animosity.
Let's just end it here, and talk about anything else.

The post apocalyptic genre- one of the most optimistic of all genres.
Why?
Because we somehow survived the end of everything, and have built a pretty nice town to boot, sometimes with pig powered electricity!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
harkovast at 10:20AM, May 1, 2011
(online)
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
I think all stereotyping is wrong, harmful and potentially insulting to people.
While we can joke about such things I think its important to aware of them and avoid presenting them without irony because they are just our default.

Niccea I have seen clips from Transformers 2, with the two black sounding robots who indicate they are unable to read…

To quote one black mans response I saw on youtube “I feel like Michael Bay just called me a nigger!”

Michael Bay movies invariably feature ridiculous “comedy” ethnic characters.
For some reason he seem intensely amused by black people constantly talking about “my momma!”
In the first transformers he had TWO black characters like this (Bernie Mac AND fat programmer guy.)
He redefines the idea of appealing to the lowest common denominator!
There is no denominator lower than him.

Tiberius, don't worry about offending me.
I do feel strongly about this issue, but I am not about to hold you responsible for the fact Hollywood is full of arseholes (Like the aforementioned Mr Bay.)
But I suspect now you will at least be more aware of the trend and notice when they do it in stuff.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
Canuovea at 12:11AM, May 2, 2011
(online)
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
Okay, there is some kind of trend towards English villains, but I've gotta say that there are other non-English villains.

As for your question about other ethnicities? I don't care what ethnicities the villains are, so long as there is a generally decent reason for it. For example, anything from the setting calls for it, to the British/Black/Arab etc actor was the best one for it. If the villain is just British, whatever, just for the sake of being that nationality, then yes I have a problem with it. I don't like stereotypes.

Here is something that was an interesting example. I didn't like the movie “The Last Airbender”, it was boring and the fighting looked like they were killing each other with interpretive dance. But it turns out that the different factions had “races” assigned to them. The Water people were white, the Earth people were, I think, Asian, the Air people were white, and the Fire (the baddies) were Indian (actual, you know, Indian). Turns out that they actually chose the “races” based on the people who they based the main characters of each group off of. They literally chose the “best” actors for the job, and made the rest of the actors the same “race” as them. Interesting approach.

Anyway, second point is that not all movies have British baddies. I know Babylon Five isn't a movie, but there was that one baddie with a Texas style accent in the episode where there was that brainsucking thing posing as Ambassador Kosh. Dear goodness me that guy was creepy. The Last Samurai (a movie I hated) managed to not make the main baddies English against all reason. Prince of Thieves had British baddies cause, well, it was in Britain. I'm also pretty sure that the Harry Potter series has baddies that are British… because it was set in Britain and JK Rowling insisted that ALL the actors be British. There was that one Chuck Norris movie that had Arab baddies, hard to get more American than a Chuck Norris film. Aaaaand Bond films often have American baddies. Americans love Bond films. Etc. Darth Vader was half an awesome black dude, and he was the most captivating villain in the bloody series.

Yeah I do have a problem with the portrayal of British as evil as a group, or the choosing of a British guy as a baddie if there is no reason for it. Like if the villain in a movie set in 10th century Asia was a Redcoat. That's stupid.

Now, I don't see a character as necessarily a reflection of an actor either. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If a bad guy is played by a British guy, it isn't quite so simple. Technically Kevin Costner's Character in Prince of Thieves was British, he was a good guy. Robin hood is a good guy, played by an American. So bloody what? So we can only use Italians to play Ancient Romans in movies? I mean, the show Rome was stuffed full of British Actors. Unless their is a purposeful playing to stereotypes, I don't have a problem with it.

Blargh, so what I'm interested in knowing, Hark, is what bothers you. Is it when British Actors play bad guys or the bad guy Characters are British? I doubt that having an American actor play the evil British dude from Patriot would make the movie any less shit, but still… Which is it? Or is it both?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
harkovast at 5:18AM, May 2, 2011
(online)
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
It is the fact that the characters are English.
If you get a British actor but have him do another accent, I'm okay with that.
(Such as Alan Rickman's turn as a German terrorist….German terrorists? Where did that idea come from?)

I am not saying we cant have any British villains in anything, in the same way that I wouldn't call foul if a movie had a black villain.
But if EVERY movie has a black villain or every black character is a villain, then I would have a problem, and the same applies to British people.

Okay, to give people a fair crack, here is the system I try to use for this sort of thing.
If all the British/English people in the movie are evil, then the movie is jumping in with a racist trend.
But if you put in a good British character as well, I will let them off.
So by this logic, Lion Kings gets off the hook, cause it had the lovable Hornbill voiced by Rowan Atkinson.
Also star wars escapes my wrath due to having Obi Wan Kenobi.

BUT that still leaves fuck loads of movies and shows that don't!

Also if Britishness itself is portrayed as the problem (such as happens in Pocohontus, or an especially ill conceived episode of Sliders) then that can also fuck right off.

If a film uses American actors doing English accents to do evil, that is just as bad. The actor doesn't make any difference, it is the actual plot and characters being depicted that matters.

Basically I shouldn't be able to walk in during a movie where I don't know whats going on or what its about and go “He's going to turn out to be a baddie, you can tell by his accent.” and then usually be right (as I can at the moment. Seriously! That works!)

As for Avatar the Last Air Bending, making all the villains one race was just asking for trouble! This is why every race in Harkovast looks like animals, people are not going to get offended cause I am making talking wolves look bad or something.
The people in Avatar should look Chinese, or other similar asian ethnicities, cause that is the whole style of the show.
They make Ang white AND they mispronounce his name constantly!
I need to see that film cause it sounds so wonderfully bad.
“We need to show them that we believe in our beliefs as much as they believe in theirs!”
Now THAT'S dialog!


For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
Canuovea at 2:00PM, May 2, 2011
(online)
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
Okay so the characters are English… but Zazoo in the Lion King isn't English. He's a bloody bird. The character isn't English, just voiced by an English actor. I also, as a kid, I couldn't tell that Scar was voiced by a British actor at all. Remember, I'm Canadian, there are so many accents over here that I lose track. My grandma is Scottish and I can rarely pick it out in her voice.

So is it really the accent + character? Would you prefer that British actors pretended not to be British? Adopt a different accent? Kinda unreasonable. And I think that Alan Rickman sounded the same as he usually does when playing the German terrorist. I don't think actors should be seen as limited to playing whatever nationality they are.

I'm pretty sure that not every movie has a villain who is English. There may be plenty of English actors playing villains. Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars isn't English. There is no such thing as English in the movie. The actor who played him was English, was he supposed to change how he spoke so he sounded different? I think that is unreasonable. Same goes with Obi Wan. Actually, same goes with most fantasy stories.

Lion King and Star Wars both have NO British Characters, only British actors.

Pocahontas. Yeah, Mel Gibson is American, but he plays a British character who is a good guy. And unless you are saying that greed, intolerance and colonialism are part of “Britishness” then I don't see how Pocahontas is that bad. Plus, the Powhatans don't get away Scot (haha) free either. They also end up looking like intolerant idiots. But hey, if you think that all that is an attack on Britishness, then yeah, I don't like Britishness either. Colonialism and intolerance are bad things, that is what the movie was saying and I agree, it has nothing to do with Britishness being portrayed that way. In fact, only one character, Ratcliffe is portrayed as really evil (which was unhistorical). And it would have made no sense to make the characters anything other than British in that movie, though there was a bunch of good British characters!

So, what if there is an American playing a British character, who is a good guy? I see nothing wrong with that so long as the character is British!

Waaaaait… Ozymandias, the “villain” in Watchmen was a British actor, and he kinda did sound like it too I think. They should totally have been able to tell based on the accent that he was bad (I'm joking). But he was supposed to be an American Character I think…

Well, technically the villains as all one race is… accurate to a degree I think. Except that not all of that race are actually evil, the person in charge is evil and so… blah blah blah. Plus, I think that taking the best actors for the job and modeling the entire nation after them was an interesting idea!

But don't get me wrong. That movie was boooooooring…

I gotta go wash dishes, so I may have not been so clear here. I'll be back later.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
harkovast at 6:09PM, May 2, 2011
(online)
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
Canuvea okay let me break this down for you.
No, technically scar was not British, he was a lion from Africa.
But he had a British accent. Which is my point.
Evil people sound English in movies, even if logically they should sound the same as everyone else.

Saying “Ah! But Grand Moff Tarkin is not English” seems a bit silly to me.
The point is that the bad guys could have any accent, but they sound English.
Why must my accent always be the default one for evil doers?

There is such a thing as allegory.
I could make a race in Harkovast who are all hugely over weight and stupid and live in a really big country where everyone wears a cowboy hat.
These guys re imperialist jerks who are always invading other countries to steal their oil.
“What? Nothing offensive there! They aren't Americans, they are just a fantasy race.”
Obviously such a defence would be bullshit.
That is an overly simplified and exaggerated example, but it serves to make my point.

In Pocohontus the good characters sound American, the bad ones sound English.
The bad ones also constantly wave British flags and hark on about their Britishness, while the good ones do not.
All the negative traits of the settlers are associated with Britishness, we never see John Smith waving a British flag (only Ratcliffe….while he is being evil and imperialist.)
How come the hero did not sound British or show patriotism towards Britain? He had as much reason to do so as the villain. Yet strangely its only the bad guy who does so.
Frankly the film seemed less about critising imperialism and more about Americans deflecting their own imperial past onto Britain to alleviate their sense of guilt over killing the natives.
The movie was also about sucking…sucking a lot.
Cause it was shit.

Saying “oh they are just picking the best actor for the role.” also seems weird.
Are British people just naturally suited to being evil?
When you think of evil?
Cause that would seem to support my case that something is wrong with this, if you accept those points of view!
I would think that being good at acting would mean you would good at a variety of roles, rather than only being suitable as evil doers.

I really don't think the point I am making is all that controversial.
British get portrayed as bad guys in movies far more then anyone else.
This is insulting to me.
The people who do this in films generally know very little about my culture beyond what they have learned from other Americans, and really have no idea about what they are criticising or insulting.
If you want I can go and write out a huge list of films for you with evil british/english people in to illustrate the point, but honestly, I think we should all be aware of this trend if we've watched many films.
I think people see Britain as a safe target to insult in Hollywood.
And I don't think thats okay.

Edit-
I feel I ought to just clarify, I am NOT saying I don't want evil English guys in movies. I am saying I want to see a mix of English characters who are not all painful stereotypes and evil bastards.
I am asking for a variety, rather than being Hollywood's whipping boy.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
Canuovea at 8:22PM, May 2, 2011
(online)
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
You claimed that it was the fact that they were characters that were British and evil. So we should add to that the mere fact of an actor sounding British. I agree with you about making British people out to be evil, but I have some issues with this.

So, if there was no Alec Guinness playing Obi Wan, Peter Cushing, an amazing horror actor, should not have been allowed to play Grand Moff Tarkin? Or he should have forced to speak with a different accent? I think that would be more discriminatory against British people! The bad guys cannot have any accent, they have the accent of their actor, or it sounds stupid. Could you imagine Valkyrie with Tom Cruise running about speaking in a fake German accent? It would be (more) terrible! Sure, choosing an actor, voice or otherwise, to be a bad guy simply because of the accent/being British, is stupid (unless it makes logical sense for the villain to be British). Remember, Alan Rickman played a German while still sounding as he did and you said it was fine.

Second, there are probably hundreds of different British accents.

And an overly simplified and exaggerated example only really works if the reality of the matter is oversimplified and exaggerated. While there is a trend in US cinema that villanizes British people, this I am NOT denying, but I am not certain that the villanization goes quite that far.

Pocahontas is a case in point. Ratcliffe waves a British flag once. It is made clear that the British court hates his guts and he is obviously in it more for himself than Britain, far from patriotic. British colonialism was bad, no doubt about that. If colonialism is part of being British, then I don't like that part of being British. That is the message of the movie, intolerance and greed are bad. And what is that about deflecting imperialism from the Americans? Are you serious? Jamestown was founded by the British, an American identity would not be in the making for 100 years. The movie never had a chance to address American imperialism because there was nothing remotely in the subject matter about it! Furthermore, far from making the Powhatans tree hugging peace loving hippies, they end up just as intolerant as everyone else (minus Ratcliffe, who doesn't care so long as he gets gold). Making the victims of British imperialism just as bad as the British sounds very anti-British indeed.

They are not always just picking the best actor for the best role, obviously, but they sometimes are.

British get portrayed as bad guys more than everyone else? Yes, but I don't think to the extent you believe. Nor do I see some kind of vast conspiracy with people consciously deciding to pick on the British. There are individual cases, and there may be a subconscious trend, but a full fledged conspiracy? I don't think so, I could be wrong though. But there are also cases where having British as bad guys doesn't make it racist.

1) Fantasy/Sci-fi where there are no nations like England, USA, etc. This is okay for me because, unless the allegory is incredibly blunt (and accents don't count here for me), the characters are not British. Bad guys could be whomever

2) The subject matter involves something where the Bad Guy(s) should be British. Having an American bad guy in a movie about the evils of British imperialism makes no sense. Nor is it always necessary in these situations to have a token good British character. Why? Because I hate token characters when they are forced on a situation that it makes no sense to have them in. I like when groups of people are not shown as good or evil, so having variety appeals to me, but simply tossing a token character in there? No thanks. Sometimes realism demands lack of token characters.

3) The British guy simply is the best man for the job. This is particularly the case when it doesn't matter which nationality is picked. This can sometime extend to a specific nationality. This could mean that when it is generally important to have a group of people look like the main actor/protagonist/villain I have no problem with them casting all the people from one group as, say, Indian or English (so long as stereotypes are not the motivating factor, nor are played up to in the film).
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
harkovast at 7:29AM, May 3, 2011
(online)
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
I keep coming back to this point, so I will make it again.
Taken in isolation, having the bad guy in a movie be British or payed by a British actor is not bad, any more then having the bad guy come from any other part of the world is bad. The bad guy has to come from somewhere.

It only becomes bad when it becomes part of a trend, where an English accent is short hand for evil, which is the situation we are in today.

On a side note, Alan RIckman did do a German accent…perhaps not a very good one but he was doing one.

I'm surprised to see you defending Pocohontus so strongly.
It was, after all, pretty shitty.
You seem to also dodge around my key point.
The bad British guy sounds British, harks on about Britishness and waves a British flag while doing evil.
The good British guy never waves a flag or expresses a love for Britain…and sounds American.
If you cant see why this situation might come across as offensive, I don't really know where I can go with this conversation.
Saying “The bad guy was not really patriotic” is never implied in the movie. He was greedy and evil but this was never shown to conflict with his patriotism, so that is you adding something in that the movie never expresses. He is also really stereotypical, being posh, snooty, mincing and stuck up. The guy is a walking stereotype!
The movie actively down plays the Englishness of the hero to the point where if you didn't know you would think he was American (as that is how he sounds.)
So negative stereotype man who waves the flag and sounds English and harks on about being English is the bad guy…and the hero has his Englishness down played to the point that he is actually American?
But seriously, why are you defending such a shitty movie?
Even Disney has disowned that one (you never see Poco amongst the line up of Disney princesses, cause they like to pretend this one doesn't exist!)

Let me address your numbered points-

1) If the situation is fantastical but you make everyone bad sound a certain way and everyone good sounds another way then you are sending a message whether you mean to or not. This is especially bad if you do it so that two characters within the same culture have different accents to denote which of them is good and which is evil.
These leads on to point two.

2) There are plenty of examples in history where British people were in the wrong, but saying that you don't want the “token” good English guy? I would not call that token. I would call that making the film more realistic and more credible.
Despite what Mel Gibson believes, the English are not and never have been universally evil, any more than they have been universally good or universally anything else.
Showing a mix of characters from each side seems a pretty reasonable thing to expect from a movie, rather then giving a dumbed down and overly simplified version of events.
If you are going ot do that, you might as well not make it historical and replace the two sides with elves and orcs. Then you can make it as cartoonishly one sided as you want.

3) Yes, if the English guy is perfect for the role then that makes sense. But I think its stretching credibility to say that every film the British guy just happened to be the best guy for that part.

I will go back to the example of the black guy dieing first in movies.
Having a black guy die in a film is not offensive. It may well have just fitted the story for that guy to die and the actor happened to be black. It only becomes bad when it becomes a trend in movies, where movie after movie repeats this pattern till it becomes predictable.
No one would want to put a blanket ban on any black character dieing, and I don't want a blanket ban on any English guy being evil, I just want to be on the same level of evil as everyone else. I don't like my culture , accent or nationality being used as short hand for evil.
Drawing on this example further, the people who write films where the black guy dies aren't going-
“Bwahah! Lets kill another black guy cause we are evil and racist!”
They are just going with subconcious stereotypes and lazy writing trends without thinking.
In the same way, I don't think American writers consciously want to have a go at England, they just do what other movies do without thinking about it. The bad guy gets made English because that just seems like the write accent for someone who is evil.
It is not a conspiracy, but that doesn't make it okay.
Now obviously it stands out way more to me than it does to people from other parts of the world, but I think everyone here would acknowledge that it is a trend.
I would just like people who make movies to be aware that this kind of thing sends out a negative message.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
Canuovea at 11:32AM, May 3, 2011
(online)
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
I don't see the English accent as shorthand for evil. Though I do conceed that the more stereotypical upper class accent has become a shorthand for… upper class arrogance.

Did Alan Rickman really do a German accent? I couldn't tell.

Sounds British does he? Ratcliff is played by David Ogden Stiers, an American from Illinois, who also voiced Ratcliff's assistant. I had assumed that he was voiced by a British Actor and so sounded British when you said he sounded British. I don't think he actually sounds British now after listening to his singing. I'm pretty sure that he wasn't doing some kind of funny accent. Here's the guy singing elsewhere, and it sounds similar to the Ratcliff role: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZlgUvk-wj0

Stiers also did the voice of the archdeacon in Disney's version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and several more. Just Wikipedia the guy. He isn't British and I don't really recognize his accent as such.

So I don't think he sounds British, certainly not in the same way that someone like Rowan Atkinson or Hugh Laurie does. I don't know my accents well, but I'd say he sounds some kind of American.

When does Ratcliff hark on about Britishness? He gives some kind of inspiring speech at the beginning then turns around and says to himself that he doesn't actually care so long as they dig up his gold. He's a greedy bastard, and it is made clear that everyone at the British Court hates his guts, except maybe the king… and the king is Scottish. I doubt that he qualifies as the ideal example of Britishness, even in the movie, as its made pretty obvious. As I said earlier, he obviously doesn't give two hoots about Britain or her ideals, as he is only interested in himself. He is not Patriotic. He waves the flag around when he claims land for Britain, while all the while more interested in making himself rich. This is an act of Colonialism, and tying that to the British flag makes a good deal of sense to me. Regardless, Ratcliff is shown as using everything to his own advantage to get gold.

It is true that Ratcliff is posh, snooty, mincing and stuck up though. And the Character is British. But how could it be otherwise? They couldn't have made Ratcliff Indian, despite the liberty taken with historical fact in the movie that would be going too far. He had to be British. But couldn't that be more of an attack on his class than his nationality? Ratcliff is the only wealthy (relatively) aristocrat (as he seems to be, but may not be) there.

Smith does seem the stereotypical American prototype though.

And there are also those two bumbling Scotsmen (which I gather due to one having red hair and both having the, er, accent… plus it kinda makes sense). But someone has to be the comic relief.

Again, I think you are overplaying the extent to which Ratcliff's Englishness is played up.

I kinda liked Pocahontas, in a weird twisted way.

But, Why is Pocahontas not a Disney Princess? Because she isn't. She is a historical figure. Disney couldn't have gotten away with it. Same with Esmerelda in the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Fairy tales are one thing, trademarked characters and people who actually lived (and have prominent descendants, Woodrow Wilson thought he was descended from Pocahontas) are an entirely different story. Disney got to make the movie and that is all.

1) Yes, I actually said that. So long as the analogy is not insanely obvious, as making the people from the same culture divided between a bad guy and good guy based on obvious accents would be. And doing that for the sake of that accent division is a no-no of course.

2) Sometimes its a good thing to have characters like that, it adds realism and make things better. In that case it is fine. But just tossing a token character in for the sake of it or to appease an audience? No thank you. If they aren't required they are a token character. There are some situations where a mix of characters simply cannot be expected.

3) Oh, of course it wasn't always the case, I'm just saying if the guy is perfect, then hire him!

Okay, so long as there isn't some kind of vast conspiracy against British people in the works. Talk of conspiracies worry me. Sometimes they are right, most times… no. And if it is often more subconscious than not, we can't attack individuals for it, we have to expose and attack the trend. Make people think: “Does it really make sense to have such and such happen? Why or why not?”

Still, I am not entirely sold on the accent thing.

last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM
harkovast at 12:48PM, May 3, 2011
(online)
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
I go by what the character is supposed to be, rather than the actor.
If they got the American playing Ratcliff to fake an accent…why didn't they get mel to do one?
Seems a bit contradictory.
If you kept pochontus the same but made John Smith sound English, that would pretty much fix it in terms of insulting the English, as then we would have a good example of Britishness and a bad example (which obviously no one could be offended by) rather than the overtly british villain and the anachronistically american sounding John Smith.

We need to be careful of conspiracies, they could distract us from the truth that the US government was behind 9/11!
They killed Osama Bin Laden! That proves it!
They killed him to keep him quiet so he cant reveal the truth!
Those bastards are cunning!

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:19AM

Forgot Password
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved