Progressive Populism

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Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Cody87 wrote:

Michael Moriarity wrote:

I don't think it is a coincidence that you chose a cartoon to express your cartoonish view of reality.

That's a pathetic argument.

I don't think you got my drift. I claim that there is no basis in reality for your position, so you are forced to use fiction as evidence (which, by the way, is common among right wing "intellectuals"). As to the actual cartoon, it is a horrible little piece of work, deserving of a more detailed analysis, which I will try to provide later.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

OK, after watching the clip a few times and doing some research, I've decided that my first impression was mistaken. This is not a right wing video, it is just a really, really dumb commercial cartoon.

I had never heard of The Amazing World of Gumball until I saw this video, which is a snippet from one episode. Gumball is a commercial television program, not something produced by a politically active individual or group. It has apparently been quite successful, with season 6 in progress now. For these reasons, I do not attribute a right wing agenda to the producers of the video. The show in question was season 5, episode 33 of 40, so it probably appeared in fall 2017. It would be mildly interesting to see what else happened in that episode, but I don't have access to it. Just for fun, I made up a script of the clip.

Quote:
The characters involved in this clip are:
Gumball, a 12 year old blue cat,
Darwin, his adopted brother, a 10 year old goldfish,
Anais, his sister, a 4 year old rabbit, and
Carmen, a schoolmate and small, green cactus.

The clip starts with Anais entering Gumball's room, only to find him wired directly to a computer through his teeth and ears. On the screen, we see rapidly changing images. The only ones I could make out say:

Be Smart Be Tolerant
Celebrate Differences
Challenge Preconceptions
Help the gorillas

Anais: Uh, what's going on here?
Darwin: He asked me to plug him into Ranblur. (Raxinox, the guy who posted the clip, says that means Tumblr.)
Anais: Ranblur? What is that, a website?
Darwin: It's more like a bare-knuckle fight to see who's the most tolerant person on the internet.
Anais: Why? Isn't tolerance about being philanthropic?
Darwin: Giggles
Anais: What?
Darwin: Just thinking about wiener dogs. But yeah, no, tolerance on the internet these days is more about destroying people in an argument.

At this point, Gumball pulls the usb connectors from his teeth, and gasps "I know tongue fu".
Anais: Show me.
At which point, Gumball punches her with his tongue.

Then, the scene shifts to the school cafeteria, where Gumball is sitting down beside Carmen to eat his white bread sandwich.

Carmen (who seems to have broccoli on her plate): Have you ever tried whole grain bread? It's far better for you.
Gumball: Not everyone can afford organic stores, Carmen. Maybe you should check your privilege.

At this point, Gumball starts shouting, enraged.
Carmen (fearfully): I just meant that eating too much processed food is a big factor in weight gain and...
Gumball (interrupting): And what? Big people shouldn't be proud of who they are?
Carmen: Uh, no. Of course not. I mean, ask your doctor, and he will tell you...
Gumball (interrupting again): He? Why would you assume the doctor was a he? Is it because you assume a woman can't be a doctor?

As this dialogue is happening, waves of force radiate from Gumball and push Carmen backwards. At his final word, she is thrown violently against a pillar, then falls to the floor.
Carmen: What is this?
Gumball: I have studied the martial ways of the social justice warrior. Fight me in an argument if you dare. (A fiery blade appears in his hands.) Perish under the sword of my self-righteousness.
Carmen: But Gumball, exploiting those powers to win some petty argument will just hurt the cause of the people who really need our help.

At this point, Gumball's fiery blade disappears.
Gumball: Wait, no, my powers.
Carmen: Instead of fighting, why don't we just hug it out?
Gumball: Wait! Stop! What are you doing?
Carmen: I forgive you.
Gumball: No! The shame I've cast, it's all coming back at me.

Gumball is then thrown backwards, perhaps in an explosion of niceness, through the school wall, and onto the parking lot, where he lies looking somewhat broken.
Gumball: And I can't even be angry about it.

I'm not at all sure what the intended moral of this story was (if any), but there are no right wing ideas to be found anywhere, just the idea that if you pay too much attention to web sites which say things like "Challenge Preconceptions" you may turn into a self-righteous bully. Pretty incoherent, and certainly not worth the effort I've put into documenting it.

 

 

Cody87

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Cody87 wrote:

Michael Moriarity wrote:

I don't think it is a coincidence that you chose a cartoon to express your cartoonish view of reality.

That's a pathetic argument.

I don't think you got my drift. I claim that there is no basis in reality for your position, so you are forced to use fiction as evidence (which, by the way, is common among right wing "intellectuals").

First of all, I haven't said anything about "my position" in this thread. Another commenter mentioned that pop culture will soon be mocking the left, and I posted a pop culture reference of sorts that supports their argument. As you note in your following post, the show the chip is from does not appear to be particularly right-leaning, so I think that is quite telling.

Beyond that, you did not find my view of reality cartoonish when I wrote this. As I recall, you seemed to quite agree. Just because I can consider issues from multiple perspectives does not mean I am out of touch with reality. I like to steelman my opponent's arguments so that I can find the truth, not strawman them for internet cred.

 

Cody87

Michael Moriarity wrote:

I'm not at all sure what the intended moral of this story was (if any),

Except for...

Quote:
just the idea that if you pay too much attention to web sites which say things like "Challenge Preconceptions" you may turn into a self-righteous bully.

I wouldn't phrase it in such a biased fashion (I think "social media" would suffice), but I definitely agree with the self-righteous bully part. I'm not up to date on how Babble feminism views porn stars (sex positive? sex negative? who knows), but as I recall LGBTQ+ activists on Twitter bullied a porn star to death (a Canadian, August Ames, who had struggled with depression) because she exercised her right to deny consent (due to the fact that the "male talent" she was to perform with had previously performed in gay scenes, and gay porn has different STD testing requirements - but I was previously unaware that women needed a "valid" reason to deny consent). The tolerant activists told her to kill herself for being homophobic, and she did.

Quote:
but there are no right wing ideas to be found anywhere

How disappointing...?

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