[2013-oct-20] This comic is distracting from this comic

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[2013-oct-20] This comic is distracting from this comic

Postby Salty » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:48 pm

http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3150#comic

Alright Zach, you made your point. You are okay with gay people. You are representing them in media. Congratulations. You can make a comic that diverges from that topic for a day - we won't be offended. (Unless, the only real substance is the social statement itself, and taking that away would make your comics boring)

EDIT: My conclusions is this: Since these comics are no longer funny, they have to be thought provoking. But since they are not really thought provoking either, (outside of some idiosentric jokes about obscure physics references), Zach is simply using his characters as tokens. Making his comics with gay/interracial characters is liberal and thus smart. This attracts a readership in an effortless way.
Last edited by Salty on Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:11 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: [2013-oct-20] This comic is distracting from this comic

Postby Ysann » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:32 pm

If you think that gay people are the point of this comic, read again. But let's talk about it.
Zach is more than okay with gay people. He include them even when their homosexuality is not related to the topic.
It's like he rolls a dice every time he wants to draw a couple and he randomly choses if the couple is heterosexual or not.

I think it's great. Being okay with gay or not is not relevant to the fact that most of the gay couples go through the same problems as we do. Therefore, they are just as good as a heterosexual couple for most of the situations.
Including them in these comics makes the gay couple something that seem to us more common, less weird.
I know gay people that feel emprisonned by the society that dictates that heterosexual couple is the norm, implying that being gay is not something that can be publicly admitted.
Thanks, Zach, to do something about it.
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Re: [2013-oct-20] This comic is distracting from this comic

Postby Avant-Garde Asshole » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:05 pm

Salty wrote:http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3150#comic

Alright Zach, you made your point. You are okay with gay people. You are representing them in media. Congratulations. You can make a comic that diverges from that topic for a day - we won't be offended.

You being an asshole is distracting from your asshole.

Your sweet, sweet asshole.
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Re: [2013-oct-20] This comic is distracting from this comic

Postby Salty » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:21 pm

Good counter argument.

If we take away his social statements, the comics are lacking real substance. My point is for him to try to make something impressive, without having to resort to being impressive in the easiest way possible.
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Re: [2013-oct-20] This comic is distracting from this comic

Postby Salty » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:28 pm

Ysann wrote:If you think that gay people are the point of this comic, read again. But let's talk about it.
Zach is more than okay with gay people. He include them even when their homosexuality is not related to the topic.
It's like he rolls a dice every time he wants to draw a couple and he randomly choses if the couple is heterosexual or not.

I think it's great. Being okay with gay or not is not relevant to the fact that most of the gay couples go through the same problems as we do. Therefore, they are just as good as a heterosexual couple for most of the situations.
Including them in these comics makes the gay couple something that seem to us more common, less weird.
I know gay people that feel emprisonned by the society that dictates that heterosexual couple is the norm, implying that being gay is not something that can be publicly admitted.
Thanks, Zach, to do something about it.


So Zack is trying to make gay people irrelevant from the topic, and include them as they would naturally appear? Then rolling the dice is not the way to do it... Gay people are not 50% of the population.

If he was simply trying to allow them to arise in his comics in situations where they do naturally, he would not have them appear more frequently than even straight couples.
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Re: [2013-oct-20] This comic is distracting from this comic

Postby smiley_cow » Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:14 pm

After reading through this discussion I was expecting something a lot gayer than just 2 out of 8 of the scenarios in there. That's a lot less than 50%. Also you talk about overrepresentation of gay couples as though it's a bad thing.
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Re: [2013-oct-20] This comic is distracting from this comic

Postby Salty » Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:39 pm

smiley_cow wrote:After reading through this discussion I was expecting something a lot gayer than just 2 out of 8 of the scenarios in there. That's a lot less than 50%. Also you talk about overrepresentation of gay couples as though it's a bad thing.



I'm talking about a trend of unrealistically portrayed social situations designed to get him brownie points as his comics do not by themselves. It reminds me of his comic when tribal white men where chasing a black anthropoligist, and the comic was simply saying "why not to date a scientist." Am I being a racist for noticing the stretch he made? It was obviously made to gain looks. It is not "a natural set of characters" as has been previously suggested. it is being disingenuous towards reality, and is only helping his own ego and the moral status of his comics in a very easy way.

This is the comic I was talking about. http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db ... 1480#comic

(I was actually counting the panel where the man was already qualified as being bisexual, but who's counting...)
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Re: [2013-oct-20] This comic is distracting from this comic

Postby smiley_cow » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:09 pm

Salty wrote:I'm talking about a trend of unrealistically portrayed social situations designed to get him brownie points as his comics do not by themselves. It reminds me of his comic when tribal white men where chasing a black anthropoligist, and the comic was simply saying "why not to date a scientist." Am I being a racist for noticing the stretch he made? It was obviously made to gain looks. It is not "a natural set of characters" as has been previously suggested. it is being disingenuous towards reality, and is only helping his own ego and the moral status of his comics in a very easy way.

This is the comic I was talking about. http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db ... 1480#comic


It's not really any kind of really interesting, or substantial commentary on racism, true. But since the whole non-white cannibal tribe eating poor European explorers is basically a made up thing anyways, anything he had done with that wouldn't really have had much to do with reality. I dunno, I guess I just don't really the see any real problem with it. Besides, sometimes subverting common tropes is fun.

And maybe he is doing it for brownie points, I don't really know his motivations though, so I can't really comment on that side of it.

(I was actually counting the panel where the man was already qualified as being bisexual, but who's counting...)


Ah, well then, if we're going by characters in that strip then it would be 4 out of 17 that are being shown as some sort of GSM. Still less than a quarter.

(I guess I'm counting. But I'm bored, so I don't mind. =) )
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Re: [2013-oct-20] This comic is distracting from this comic

Postby Salty » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:40 pm

smiley_cow wrote:And maybe he is doing it for brownie points, I don't really know his motivations though, so I can't really comment on that side of it.


Think of it this way. Imagine a male professor walks into class every day wearing a pink dress. Is their anything wrong or immoral with that? We all agree, no. But if the class is about urban planning and not gender studies - (and Zach's comics are about fill in and not just making a social point - then the professor and Zach are being presumptuous about what is necessary and even okay. Is it a valid point to discuss how our society designs genders? Yes. Does it need to be made every single class while the proffesor is discussing something entirely unrelated? No

All I'm seeing is unfunny, repetitive comics that only leave a "did you know I'm so not homophobic/racist" aftertaste, regardless of whatever the comic was about.
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Re: [2013-oct-20] This comic is distracting from this comic

Postby Carcinogeneticist » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:08 pm

See, I didn't even notice the race thing in that tribesmen comic.


Zach is not making any sort of political statement with his individual comics by including same sex or mixed race couples. Today's comic was not about same sex relationships.

There is an overarching philosophy in SMBC comics as a whole to normalize these kinds of relationships by casually inserting them every so often, but any frequent reader should realize that this does not make the jokes any less funny or any more political. That is kinda the point. It should be such that you barely even notice them over time.

If you're still super aware of the same sex pairings to the point where it annoys you, I'd say that's indicative of an implicit homophobia (note: not explicit. I'm sure you're pro gay rights and are accepting and tolerant of gay people but you can still harbor a knee-jerk reaction of disgust/distaste/resistance towards that normalization).
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Re: [2013-oct-20] This comic is distracting from this comic

Postby Salty » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:19 pm

Carcinogeneticist wrote:See, I didn't even notice the race thing in that tribesmen comic.


That, I have a hard time believing. Am I implicitly racist for noticing?

It would be pretentious of me to say I know anything about psychology, but I am convinced that it is some people's ego trip to "not even notice" something like this. And I am increasingly convinced that this ego trip is the prime reason many people entertain this type of media.
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Re: [2013-oct-20] This comic is distracting from this comic

Postby smiley_cow » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:32 pm

Salty wrote:
smiley_cow wrote:And maybe he is doing it for brownie points, I don't really know his motivations though, so I can't really comment on that side of it.


Think of it this way. Imagine a male professor walks into class every day wearing a pink dress. Is their anything wrong or immoral with that? We all agree, no. But if the class is about urban planning and not gender studies - (and Zach's comics are about fill in and not just making a social point - then the professor and Zach are being presumptuous about what is necessary and even okay. Is it a valid point to discuss how our society designs genders? Yes. Does it need to be made every single class while the proffesor is discussing something entirely unrelated? No

All I'm seeing is unfunny, repetitive comics that only leave a "did you know I'm so not homophobic/racist" aftertaste, regardless of whatever the comic was about.



So just to be clear, so I understand you, you're arguing that these types of discussions/challenges to social norms should be kept to specific areas designed to challenge them? If so, I don't think I agree. We live in a society that's pretty saturated in strict binary gender roles, heteronormative culture and white washing. And assuming we want to break out of that, we can't normalize it if we keep it only to specific areas designed to discuss it. It's normal if people can break them anywhere and it's no big deal.

To talk about your hypothetical professor, I don't actually see an issue with wearing a pink dress everywhere. I mean, there's huge stigmas on men wearing women's clothes, and a lot of very complicated reasons for that, and I'm sure a professor insisting on crossdressing everyday would be an issue for a lot of people. So I see why people would think it's inappropriate, but should it be? A lot of men really like wearing traditionally feminine clothes. If his female colleague can teach urban planning in a pink dress, why can't he?


Salty wrote:
Carcinogeneticist wrote:See, I didn't even notice the race thing in that tribesmen comic.


That, I have a hard time believing. Am I implicitly racist for noticing?

It would be pretentious of me to say I know anything about psychology, but I am convinced that it is an some people's ego trip to "not even notice" something like this. And I am increasingly convinced that this ego trip is the prime reason many people entertain this type of media.


No, I don't think it's racist just to have noticed. He did a deliberate subversion, I'm sure he intended people to notice.
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Re: [2013-oct-20] This comic is distracting from this comic

Postby Salty » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:43 pm

smiley_cow wrote:
So just to be clear, so I understand you, you're arguing that these types of discussions/challenges to social norms should be kept to specific areas designed to challenge them? If so, I don't think I agree. We live in a society that's pretty saturated in strict binary gender roles, heteronormative culture and white washing. And assuming we want to break out of that, we can't normalize it if we keep it only to specific areas designed to discuss it. It's normal if people can break them anywhere and it's no big deal.

To talk about your hypothetical professor, I don't actually see an issue with wearing a pink dress everywhere. I mean, there's huge stigmas on men wearing women's clothes, and a lot of very complicated reasons for that, and I'm sure a professor insisting on crossdressing everyday would be an issue for a lot of people. So I see why people would think it's inappropriate, but should it be? A lot of men really like wearing traditionally feminine clothes. If his female colleague can teach urban planning in a pink dress, why can't he?


I might not have made myself clear. There is no "specific area designed to challenge them." However, we must be true to our society's condition. By wearing a dress, whether he intended to or not, people will notice that and the situation will become about that. To summarize, Zach making comics, "slipping in" gay/transgender couples more frequently than we see almost anywhere else, is making his comics about that topic. So there is nothing "wrong" about wearing a dress, but if the professor honestly does not want his lessons to be about that, he shouldn't wear it. If he does want to wear it, by all means he should, but he shouldn't pretend he is not making a deliberate point by doing so.

Of course, there are people who are too morally perfect to notice this. (I am being partially satirical, but partially not). I believe many of you do not notice this anymore, and it's even possible some people didn't notice the tribesmen's race. But the majority of casual readers (including those who are not homophobic/racist) will notice this.
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Re: [2013-oct-20] This comic is distracting from this comic

Postby smiley_cow » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:21 pm

You're saying then that the problem is that it overshadows the actual point of the story, then? Yeah, I understand that. And it can be a balancing act sometimes based on what you want audiences to get out of something. Though personally I'd rather it was done to desensitize audiences rather than encouraging creators to avoid doing it.
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Re: [2013-oct-20] This comic is distracting from this comic

Postby Salty » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:26 pm

smiley_cow wrote:You're saying then that the problem is that it overshadows the actual point of the story, then? Yeah, I understand that. And it can be a balancing act sometimes based on what you want audiences to get out of something. Though personally I'd rather it was done to desensitize audiences rather than encouraging creators to avoid doing it.


I couldn't have said it better myself. And there are some legitimate comics to be made about gender equality, too! But what he is doing now is neither here nor there. The comics aren't particularly funny, nor are they making any coherent or directed statements about gender/race equality. Zach needs to figure out what his comics are.
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