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Thread: Does society create its monsters?

  1. #1
    Banned 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member
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    Confused Does society create its monsters?

    I was watching Nisenmonogatari and noticed that there is a lot of fanservice, depending on how you like being serviced. There's even more of the stuff than in Bakemonogatari and even though it was tasteful in the beginning it gets a bit more risqué as the series goes on. I was surprised where in one episode there was a girl who couldn't have been any older than ten or eleven was completely in the buff and then took a bath with the sixteen year-old protagonist.

    The defense is that this is supposed to be OK because the girl is really a 700 year old vampire who isn't in her real form. Without that context however, there are some pedophilic undertones and in other episodes the incestuous themes are borderline suffocating. I don't want to paint Nisenmonogatari in a terrible light because even though it deals with a lot of..., unconventional elements, it plays them to a degree that is supposed to be funny because it's absurd.

    If these sorts of elements were unique to just this anime I wouldn't make a stink about it. But certain manga like Dance In the Vampire Bund has adults and teens engaged in inappropriate sexual relations with children and the fact that the vampiric lead is a little girl who is either stark naked or wearing a G-string in most panels doesn't help matters. Again, we're expected to not pay it much heed because this vampire is also hundreds of years old but...

    Far back as most people can remember, teens having sex has always been taboo in America. We all know it happens all the time just as we all know there are a thousand teens going at it right as you're reading this. We know it happens and we claim we don't like to glorify but we do, and we do it all the time. When we look at the American Pie movies it's easy to see that not only are teens portrayed having sex but it's glorified. So too is the case with Project X that while not nearly as vulgar as the American Pie movies has its naughty bits. I remember a few years ago Rob Zombie made his own version of Halloween but I couldn't tell if I was watching a slasher flick glorifying cult followed killer Michael Myers or if I was watching a porno with under aged kids.

    Of course we know that all these actors and actresses are (typically) well above the legal age but the in-world context of teens having sex is depicted quite often. We the viewers are seeing events within the context of those worlds and some people might get the idea that "Yeah those were some hot 15 and 16 year olds in that movie. I want to bang a couple myself. Think I'll swing by the high school."

    Now, I saw Alexa Vega in Repo The Genetic Opera (Alexa Vega, the girl from the Spy Kids movies and needless to say she's all grown up, been that way for a couple years) where she plays the 17 year-old daughter of Nathan Wallace, a Repoman played by Anthony Stewart Head. I'm watching Repo right now and yeah I'd hit that. I'm watching and I don't think "Oh yeah, Alexa Vega, 17 years old, I want to hit that." Rather, I'm watching it and I'm thinking "Oh yeah, Alexa Vega, silky smooth pale skin, long dark hair, silky smooth pale skin, Gothic attire, silky smooth pale skin, she's wearing so much black and I want to do her." Keep in mind the fact that Alexa Vega was like 23 or 24 when she made this movie so I like to think that my attraction is a healthy one.

    Y'know, cause I like Gothic chicks. But that's just me. And not everyone has tastes as healthy as mine. Omg look at what she wears to bed. Now THAT'S must see T.V. Has anyone else seen this movie? If I wasn't already stalking several women I'd steal the cake mix before I steal the bowl. I forgot where I was going with this.

    In movies, anime, video games, and manga we see that negotiation and compromise are thrown out the window in favor of more direct solutions. Run into issues with law enforcement in GTA and Saints Row? Blow their heads off. When Jimmy and Timmy (who aren't all the way there to begin with because their dad is too busy banging broads in his Ford truck and mom is at her weekly feminist meetings) think they can stop bullying by doing a re-enactment of Columbine things get real.

    We actually have literature, movies, television shows that glorify sociopaths and serial killers. I mean look at Uchiha Itachi. So many people herald Uchiha Itachi as a hero but in real life, people who fit Itachi's psychological profile are most likely to kill your family, and your dog, and make you watch while they do it before killing you. Jiraiya seems like a great teacher but people are locked up every day for the kinds of things that we tend to find humorous. If you walk into the girls locker room at your university and tell them you're just doing research you're going to jail.

    Now of course I'm not going to defend real world monsters and say something like society is at fault for creating them, but I'm quite sure there are some outliers out there who would be a lot less fucked up if society and the media we're exposed to was a bit more ethical, decent, and any other term that died at the start of the 21st Century.

    EDIT: It's 11:23 PM and I just saw an ad for American Reunion, yet another American Pie movie. Funny how life works out.

  2. #2
    The Viennese Pixie MH中毒 / MH Chuudoku / MH Addicted Josef K.'s Avatar
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    Re: Does society create its monsters?

    This is actually a central theme in Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. No one is born a killer, prostitute, criminal, they are all created by society. Media really became the top social influence in the 20th century. it dictated how people dressed, talked, socialized. For the most part it was not until media really kicked high gear somewhere around the 60s when it began to blend with the counter culture. Before it was kind of showing to be against it. All these things became mainstream during the counterculture. Though things were present but not the out in the open until after that time. Now after 50 or so years after that, which in this modern age is a hell of along time, we can see the sheer advance of everything from propaganda, to cultural influence.

    The Internet is kind of like the needle in the eye to the media, even though it kind of has been adapted media wise as well. But the thing is, no mater how much one denies that as you said certain ways of entertainment worship drugs, sex, violence, it can never be said that media was the primary influence for it to take a mainstream turn. My particular knowledge comes from studying the development of music in the latter part of the 20th century, from jazz and blues to rock, and then to punk and metal to rap and hip hop. To the most recent new ones, which are kind of set in the 90s. I am not that good with music after the beginning of the 90s, most is just combination or repetition and mostly pop. Which comes form the term pop-culture! But music is just one way of influence, as you said even in manga one can find these influences, tv, media in general.

    Well, how does this tie in with Hugo and the monsters he thought society created? With the rising of science and technology it is FAR easier to do these things, than it was form sheer social pressure or economic pressure in the 19th century of Hugo's time. But the term society is where I disagree with Hugo, it is not all of society, it is just part of it. Part of it wants a sheer influence on others, the methods are really simple if one has will to study them and closely examine them.

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    Re: Does society create its monsters?

    We all have innate tempers, society, or simply our surrounding, also shapes our behavior by exarcebing or inhibiting these tempers and adding several values. Pornography largely contributed to a lot of changes about teenagers, through the image they think they should have.

    Now I'm not shocked by teens sex, I mean, biologicaly we're supposed to reproduce around this age after all. Pedophilia is another story.

    I find the USA quite hypocrite about this. There is a puritain side which is quite highlighted in everyday life and yet you see all you're describing yourselves.
    The problem is more about how this kind of relationship is glorified through the media. Is it okay to consider girls like tools ? etc

    About bad guys like serial killers etc, they always have existed, it's just that with the mass media we hear about them much more often. Actually it's getting better, horrible murders are rare in our occidental societies at least, it's just that media highlight this kind of event way too much, like any other bad things.

    Censoring is not a good idea, where would be the line ? People must pay more attention to their children surroundings. A serie where the main protagonist is a serial killer is forbidden to children, it's up to you to make sure that your children do not watch this too early. Or if they watched this despite everything, it's up to you to explain the context.

    Same with Itachi, the guy who reads the manga is supposed to be mature enough to know that the context of the story allows it (massacre of the Uchiha) to be "acceptable". Same with history itself, marrying very young girl and have very "early" sex was quite common during the middle age. That's also why I find stupid the bad criticism about "A Song of Ice and Fire" books because of the age of the girls involved.

    Do you really think that the same people (or at least the big majority) who are worshiping Itachi right now would do the same if it has been done in the real world today ?

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    Re: Does society create its monsters?

    It is about objective morality vs subjective morality, with things like religion, law, society, family, in the middle of it. Overall as our modern society is more about the individual than the collective I suppose we should stick to subjective morality? But here lies the hypocrisy of media which kind of represent society, or generally people who want to push their morality onto others, same with all other institutions. Same with everything that can be considered of showing progress and advancement in society, only a fool accepts these things without checking them, it should be known they would be his own demise.

    Now I really think the hypocrisy you mentioned is on a smaller level first, people like murderers, rapists, robbers are doing a hypocritical act on their own, they never ask themselves do all those things feel good when done to them? But you say children in contrast to adult readers, you do not think that adult readers with an unstable mental state not get effected by what the various types of media produce?

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    Re: Does society create its monsters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Josef K. View Post
    It is about objective morality vs subjective morality, with things like religion, law, society, family, in the middle of it. Overall as our modern society is more about the individual than the collective I suppose we should stick to subjective morality? But here lies the hypocrisy of media which kind of represent society, or generally people who want to push their morality onto others, same with all other institutions. Same with everything that can be considered of showing progress and advancement in society, only a fool accepts these things without checking them, it should be known they would be his own demise.

    Now I really think the hypocrisy you mentioned is on a smaller level first, people like murderers, rapists, robbers are doing a hypocritical act on their own, they never ask themselves do all those things feel good when done to them? But you say children in contrast to adult readers, you do not think that adult readers with an unstable mental state not get effected by what the various types of media produce?
    I don't care if there are unstable adults, they will always exist. I won't support censorship for the sake of a very little of minority who can't handle it the way they're supposed to. I'm still talking about occidental society. Rather than forbidding content, we should focus on this people's problem, through education or anything else to help them. Anyway, whatever we attempt to do, there is always a risk, the thing is : should we accept the risk or not ? Or : is it ok to endure this risk for X benefits ?

    The "medias" are no different than us in a sense about promoting their point of view. It's up to everyone to recognize to have their opinion. Of course sometimes the influence can be very subtle, but yet, you'll also have other people who'll try (by using the same tools) to warn you about it.

    The killer, rapist etc, let's say the bad guy. I'm not sure how you can know that they generally don't know how they would feel if they were the victims and the link with hypocrisy.

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    Re: Does society create its monsters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gats View Post
    I don't care if there are unstable adults, they will always exist. I won't support censorship for the sake of a very little of minority who can't handle it the way they're supposed to. I'm still talking about occidental society. Rather than forbidding content, we should focus on this people's problem, through education or anything else to help them. Anyway, whatever we attempt to do, there is always a risk, the thing is : should we accept the risk or not ? Or : is it ok to endure this risk for X benefits ?

    The "medias" are no different than us in a sense about promoting their point of view. It's up to everyone to recognize to have their opinion. Of course sometimes the influence can be very subtle, but yet, you'll also have other people who'll try (by using the same tools) to warn you about it.

    The killer, rapist etc, let's say the bad guy. I'm not sure how you can know that they generally don't know how they would feel if they were the victims and the link with hypocrisy.
    It is more about are these people a minority or a majority today? I think, and truly no factual evidence to back this up, since it is kind of impossible, but these people have grown over the years, it is just a side effect of progress, I truly think people in general are worst today than in the past, I am talking about the effect on society on them, with that becoming worst I think even if there are a few "monsters" I think they are even more ruthless and cruel.

    Opinion goes as far as freedom, freedom is a lovely thing, but what happens when you step on the freedom of the other? Here lies the key issue of freedom I think, the link between how far ones personal freedom goes is a bit shaken, due to cultural and social changes.

    Not them, but their act is hypocritical, just by doing the act, murder, rape, ect, they are doing something I am sure most would not want to be done on them, well maybe there are some who would want to be raped, seriously there is, but these are a minority, and some who want to be killed, really? Well there are, but I am pretty sure a murderer does not want to be killed, but that is his psychological structure again. Still the act remains hypocritical unless the murderer is willing to go through it all as well. In the end the act will lose the hypocrisy but the sheer horror of the act and the cruelty of it remains, always and forever. This is where justice, if any comes in play.

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    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member faintsmile1992's Avatar
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    Re: Does society create its monsters?

    People may have genetic traits but the only lead to 'monstrous' behaviour in certain circumstances. Beside what exactly is 'monstrous' is an aesthetic value judgement, to some people the abortionists are the monsters and to others its people like Eric Rudolf.

    In psychiatry its well known that 'antisocial', 'sociopathic' behaviours are caused by environment, and it seems also to be true for psychopaths as well.

    Emotional Capacities and Sensitivity in Psychopaths
    Willem H. J. Martens
    http://www.goertzel.org/dynapsyc/2003/psychopaths.htm

    About teen sex, historically teenage sex and parenthood used to be normal before the 20th century, as with the rest of society the problems delayed adult behaviours and responsibilities, not kids growing up too fast.

    And I'm sure people do turn to the media for their social norms which results in crime and social problems... but people who think kids (or adults!) simply imitate the telly and video games are nutters.
    Last edited by faintsmile1992; March 25, 2012 at 01:56 PM.

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    Re: Does society create its monsters?

    Quote Originally Posted by faintsmile1992 View Post
    People may have genetic traits but the only lead to 'monstrous' behaviour in certain circumstances. Beside what exactly is 'monstrous' is an aesthetic value judgement, to some people the abortionists are the monsters and to others its people like Eric Rudolf.
    Well, I think most things like evil, monsters, bad stuff, have an objective judgement by people I think. It is human instinct to recognize threat to your life, or the life of ones family or children. If we set a rule of ULTIMATE SUBJECTIVITY, we will not be able to agree on anything, there will be chaos, no state, that will lead to an even worst decadence and decline of society and will cause more problems, it is on mutual agreement that people find certain things a threat to society and agree on a few rules to keep a small objective agreement on how that society functions.

    It is not a matter of imitation, it is a matter of actually setting a media run world where people do not question their everyday habits, it is just that saying no influence of culture has been done throughout the ages on humans is terribly wrong. The main aspect of control is culture. If a culture decides to have rituals everyday like in Central America 500 or so years ago, where the Aztec would kill one person as sacrifice that can be said as being part of their culture, no problem though it is subjective right? Wrong, they get the objective agreement of all watching and participating, if it was subjective most would not go along with it.

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    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member faintsmile1992's Avatar
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    Re: Does society create its monsters?

    Culture-specific norms are subjective because they still exist in human perception, rather than being innate properties of a thing or action. Human sacrifice isn't itself wrong or right, but the usefulness of the practice.

    In Old Mexico the Aztecs used sacrifice as a means of social control and (more controversially) as a source of meat.

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    Re: Does society create its monsters?

    Quote Originally Posted by faintsmile1992 View Post
    Culture-specific norms are subjective because they still exist in human perception, rather than being innate properties of a thing or action. Human sacrifice isn't itself wrong or right, but the usefulness of the practice.

    In Old Mexico the Aztecs used sacrifice as a means of social control and (more controversially) as a source of meat.
    Hm, so killing someone as long as it is not yourself it up for a debate? How is that a form of perspective subjectivity?

    Again, that is a good thing?

  13. #11
    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member faintsmile1992's Avatar
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    Re: Does society create its monsters?

    Well there's no moral system that prohibits the taking of life consistently. The Spanish who stamped out human sacrifice killed enough indigenous people themselves.

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