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The policy decision on satire/parody

Who needs it, who got it, who hands it out and why.
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Hammurab
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The policy decision on satire/parody

Postby Hammurab » Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:58 pm

an offended NSG poster wrote:And I have yet to see one hint, either on the OP's part or on Czardas' (his was the particular inanity that got me riled) to indicate that they're joking.


The above was posted in my now locked thread. The thread is already on under scrutiny, which I can safely take includes a reading of the OP. It is alleged that there was not "one hint" that there was joking.

The same offended individual has stated in a Moderation thread that they have no sense of humor on the subject. I am willing to stipulate to this. However, they further argue that the absence of their sense of humor (coupled with what they claim is an absence of indication that the over content was not clearly shown to be presented in irony) means that Czardas's satire, and by extension my own, should not be allowed.

You have heard the accuser, they have voiced the offense. I would ask, if there is in fact a policy discussion taking place regarding satire/parody, that I might be permitted to request a chance to be heard in my own defense.

I don't question your authority; I don't dispute your power to do whatever you wish here. I ask that if there is such a debate about permissible debate taking place, that those who will be most affected, or potentially most silenced, be allowed a rebuttal, even if in the end it is no more than a eulogy for a style that mods feel they must lay to rest.

"Satire is a lesson. Parody is a game." -Vladimir Nabokov
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Melkor Unchained
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Postby Melkor Unchained » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:00 pm

Most of the discussion has centered around the use of satire for trolling purposes and where to draw the line. But considering Moderator activity in your thread, I would say its highly unlikely that you'll be warned or anything.
Last edited by Melkor Unchained on Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Big Jim P
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Postby Big Jim P » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:14 pm

One persons lack of a sense of humor, when they can simply chose not to participate in the thread, should not be cause for banning or restricting satire threads. Like TV programing that offends: either turn the TV off, or switch the channel.

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Hammurab
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Postby Hammurab » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:14 pm

Melkor Unchained wrote:Most of the discussion has centered around the use of satire for trolling purposes and where to draw the line. But considering Moderator activity in your thread, I would say its highly unlikely that you'll be warned or anything.


I would hope that whatever...leniency...is afforded would not hinge on the fact that moderators were doing it to. Would we acquit a bank robber because three of his partners were police? I ask to be judged as if there were no moderator activity present. Judge the OP on its own, if I may so beg.

And the phrase "satire for the purposes of trolling" is rather like saying "lovemaking for the purposes of rape". If it is one, then it is not the other.

If I won't be warned for this because of the mods being there, would I be warned next time? My threads are going to become more satirical, Melkor, not less. I'm planning one that juxtaposes the use of "nigger vs. black person" with the terms "tranny vs. Transexual", involving a character that exemplifies every negative stereotype in the transexual concept contrasted with a less pejoratively rendered transexual, paralleling the dichotomy between "niggers" and "black people".

Then I'm going to do a thread satirizing the claim made on NSG that "women abuse their power with men nine out of ten times and this gives good goddam reason for a violent reflex".

I wish I could say that I'm going to do it because I'm a brilliant satirist, that I'm here to speak truth to power. But I'm not. I'll never write for the Onion or the Daily Show. Aaron McGruder will never ask me to do a piece with him. I'm like a little kid with crayons in a back booth at Denny's, whose alcoholic parents think he's just amusing himself by scribbling on the menu while they work out a meth deal in the bathroom with a busboy who drives a late model G35.

But I'm not just amusing myself here. The colors, the shapes, they mean something to me. I'll never be a master of this style, but it means something.

A while ago, The Cat-Tribes compared me to Swift. Cat-Tribes, who I don't think I ever had time to tell that he was the reason I went to Law School. Me, the guy who nationstates had to save from a locked mental facility. Swift, one of the greatest satirists in the English language.

So, if I have a warning coming, warn me now, because if you don't get rid of me, I'm going to keep going, and if you don't like what I do here, you should know its going to get worse.

"Its difficult not to write satire." -Juvenal
Last edited by Hammurab on Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Melkor Unchained
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Postby Melkor Unchained » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:15 pm

Big Jim P wrote:One persons lack of a sense of humor, when they can simply chose not to participate in the thread, should not be cause for banning or restricting satire threads. Like TV programing that offends: either turn the TV off, or switch the channel.

Banning satire is not on the table. Many of our issues are satirical, after all. :p
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JuNii
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Postby JuNii » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:29 pm

Hammurab wrote:So, if I have a warning coming, warn me now, because if you don't get rid of me, I'm going to keep going, and if you don't like what I do here, you should know its going to get worse.


To be honest in my non modly position... I think the problem stems from those who fell for your joke (me included) that are upset that they were punked (not me included.) 8)
on the other hand... I have another set of fingers.

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Sarzonia
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Postby Sarzonia » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:47 pm

Hammurab wrote:The same offended individual has stated in a Moderation thread that they have no sense of humor on the subject. I am willing to stipulate to this. However, they further argue that the absence of their sense of humor (coupled with what they claim is an absence of indication that the over content was not clearly shown to be presented in irony) means that Czardas's satire, and by extension my own, should not be allowed.


Writing as someone else who has no sense of humour on the subject, I'd like to see the line drawn at stopping the satire when it's clear that someone has taken offence to it. That would likely Czardas's post reported in the other thread actionable.

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Postby [violet] » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:08 pm

Hammurab wrote:If I won't be warned for this because of the mods being there, would I be warned next time? My threads are going to become more satirical, Melkor, not less. I'm planning one that juxtaposes the use of "nigger vs. black person" with the terms "tranny vs. Transexual", involving a character that exemplifies every negative stereotype in the transexual concept contrasted with a less pejoratively rendered transexual, paralleling the dichotomy between "niggers" and "black people".

Then I'm going to do a thread satirizing the claim made on NSG that "women abuse their power with men nine out of ten times and this gives good goddam reason for a violent reflex".

...

So, if I have a warning coming, warn me now, because if you don't get rid of me, I'm going to keep going, and if you don't like what I do here, you should know its going to get worse.

We have no problem with satire, of course. We like satire. It can short-circuit brains and throw new perspective on old issues. We consider posts to be less malicious/threatening if they are clearly parody, satire, or jokes.

But it's not a Get Out of Jail Free card. We've been through this with the Nazis: you can't post that you want RL people to die, then say "lol j/k." We don't (and can't) tolerate some content here, whether the poster means it in earnest or not. Where satire is very subtle, meaning the average poster may not realize it is satirical at all, we have to judge it as if it's a straight post.

I like your work, Hammurab, but please don't think that writing satire lets you post whatever you like. That will force us to take action against some of your content even if we truly believe you didn't mean it to be taken seriously. That would be a loss for us.

I actually think you are more effective when you skewer attitudes and ideas, not stereotypes. I think you can make your points better without bringing up the most hateful opinions of the people you're satirizing. If you're not posting that you hate particular RL groups, or endorsing violence against them, you can be as subtle as you like, and I think generally people will find that more thought-provoking.

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Grays Harbor
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Postby Grays Harbor » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:11 pm

Sarzonia wrote:
Hammurab wrote:The same offended individual has stated in a Moderation thread that they have no sense of humor on the subject. I am willing to stipulate to this. However, they further argue that the absence of their sense of humor (coupled with what they claim is an absence of indication that the over content was not clearly shown to be presented in irony) means that Czardas's satire, and by extension my own, should not be allowed.


Writing as someone else who has no sense of humour on the subject, I'd like to see the line drawn at stopping the satire when it's clear that someone has taken offence to it. That would likely Czardas's post reported in the other thread actionable.


This would most likely result in all satire and/or irony being banned as it is almost guaranteed that there will be somebody in NSG who is offended by something. Has NSG really become that thinskinned that we now have to regulate any and all satire? Mandate that nothing but overly serious posts be made? I hate to say it, but it seems as if "butthurt syndrome" is taking over all posting convention in NSG.
Last edited by Grays Harbor on Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[violet]
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Postby [violet] » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:12 pm

Sarzonia wrote:I'd like to see the line drawn at stopping the satire when it's clear that someone has taken offence to it.

You can always find someone to take offense at anything!

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The Republic of Lanos
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Postby The Republic of Lanos » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:15 pm

[violet] wrote:
Sarzonia wrote:I'd like to see the line drawn at stopping the satire when it's clear that someone has taken offence to it.

You can always find someone to take offense at anything!


but what if a mod offends someone/breaks the rules? what is the policy on that?

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[violet]
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Postby [violet] » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:18 pm

Mods are subject to the same rules as everybody else, of course.

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Dread Lady Nathicana
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Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:18 pm

I would imagine if they break the rules, it will be taken care of. As for offense, well gee. There is no way to guarantee any given player will never be offended, by a moderator or otherwise. If a person is that thin skinned, I would suggest the internet is not the place for them. I can be offended by any number of things on the forums. That doesn't give me the right to demand people not be able to have their say, within the site rules.

EDIT: Certainly not trying to post over the top of Those In Power, just offering another player's take on it.
Last edited by Dread Lady Nathicana on Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sionis Prioratus
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Postby Sionis Prioratus » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:24 pm

I'm also "a homosexual man" (what's wrong with gay?), and I was NOT offended.

On the contrary, I totally ROTFLMAO'd.

I expect to read a whole lot of Hammurabi's satire in the future. Hope he is not discouraged.
Last edited by Sionis Prioratus on Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby [violet] » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:34 pm

In general, we look at the merit of a post. With a post that's mildly offensive but is also a genuine attempt to making an interesting argument, we might decide the good outweighs the bad. If it's widely offensive with no redeeming value, it's less likely to stay. And we try to judge how the content will be viewed by the audience as a whole, not just whether anyone in particular gets offended (or not).

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Hammurab
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Postby Hammurab » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:47 pm

Sarzonia wrote:Writing as someone else who has no sense of humour on the subject,


That is to say, someone who cares so much about a subject that they close their mind to principle sense by which we penetrate difficult subjects. Humor is the nexus of logic, insight, intuition, complexity and simplicity. Once you've lost your sense of it, you get:

Sarzonia wrote:I'd like to see the line drawn at stopping the satire when it's clear that someone has taken offence to it.


Then you've drawn your line across the throat of the thing you seek capture. If these threads have clearly and indisputably shown anything, its that there are some people who will take offence to anything. Anyone who can look at that OP and claim there was "no hint" of the humor is proof of that.

Sarzonia wrote: That would likely Czardas's post reported in the other thread actionable.


Well, since you're seeking to constrain a mode of discussion that allows self-expression to amplify and inspire public discourse, and you do so in the name of making sure nobody gets offended, you're essentially a living obstacle to exactly the humanity you think you're defending.

I'd be offended, if I didn't see how its funny.
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Quintessence of Dust
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Postby Quintessence of Dust » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:09 pm

Could you maybe limit whatever action you feel is needed to encouraging people to think carefully about a set of criteria before they post deliberate parodies:
- whether it is reasonably obvious that the post is in fact parody
- whether in doing they so are mocking a view or opinion, and not a person or group

Not to say that the above need to be rules - surely this is something that of design can't be rule-bound? - or that some gruesome "Guide to Parody" sticky needs to suck all the fun out of life, but maybe a couple of pointed suggestions would be helpful: as I see it, the main fault with Czardas's post is simply that it is not very funny, not very good satire. Some people can do it well, some can't. When it gets mangled, it's much more likely to seriously offend.

Edit: not that you've asked for like 10,000 drive-by posters' opinions on this, but hey.
Last edited by Quintessence of Dust on Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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New Chalcedon
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Postby New Chalcedon » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:03 pm

Hammurab wrote:
an offended NSG poster wrote:And I have yet to see one hint, either on the OP's part or on Czardas' (his was the particular inanity that got me riled) to indicate that they're joking.


The above was posted in my now locked thread. The thread is already on under scrutiny, which I can safely take includes a reading of the OP. It is alleged that there was not "one hint" that there was joking.

The same offended individual has stated in a Moderation thread that they have no sense of humor on the subject. I am willing to stipulate to this. However, they further argue that the absence of their sense of humor (coupled with what they claim is an absence of indication that the over content was not clearly shown to be presented in irony) means that Czardas's satire, and by extension my own, should not be allowed.

You have heard the accuser, they have voiced the offense. I would ask, if there is in fact a policy discussion taking place regarding satire/parody, that I might be permitted to request a chance to be heard in my own defense.

I don't question your authority; I don't dispute your power to do whatever you wish here. I ask that if there is such a debate about permissible debate taking place, that those who will be most affected, or potentially most silenced, be allowed a rebuttal, even if in the end it is no more than a eulogy for a style that mods feel they must lay to rest.

"Satire is a lesson. Parody is a game." -Vladimir Nabokov


You've missed one important stipulation, Hammurab.

When I've said that it's a topic near and dear to my heart (hence, my "no sense of humour" remark), I'd appreciate knowing if the person whom I flagged down with this remark (i.e., Czardas in this case) is actually joking; basically, some kind of indication would be welcome. Also as noted, a spoiler tag, or a TG indicating it as satire, would be more than enough. I only made the complaint after the remarks continued without any kind of indication of satire.

So stop trying to label this as a free speech issue - it's not. I didn't ask for the thread to be locked, I don't especially want satire to cease. I'd simply like to know when people are serious in their garishly offensive remarks, and when they're trying to wind people up. That way, the latter can go about their business, and I can complain about the former. My bitch with this issue is that the thread was in NSG, without a scrap of "It's satire!" on your part as the OP or Czardas' as the person who I asked to clarify.

Or better yet, why not put satire in F7? F7 is where you go when you don't want to be taken seriously, after all - NSG is for fairly serious stuff, like news, events and philosophical debates.
Last edited by New Chalcedon on Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Euroslavia » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:14 pm

New Chalcedon wrote:Or better yet, why not put satire in F7? F7 is where you go when you don't want to be taken seriously, after all - NSG is for fairly serious stuff, like news, events and philosophical debates.


I figured that I'd at least respond to this part of your post. NSG is not all serious stuff. Something that we've understood is that the General forum, when Jolt was our host, was a more relaxed environment. Lately, we've been pushing for General to be less of a "Oh my god, everything here is serious!" forum, and attempting to inject some of the humor and light-hearted nature that existed back on the Jolt forums. Forum 7 is a place that's specifically for things that would not have been allowed back in our Jolt days (word games, etc).
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Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:15 pm

New Chalcedon wrote:Or better yet, why not put satire in F7? F7 is where you go when you don't want to be taken seriously, after all - NSG is for fairly serious stuff, like news, events and philosophical debates.

Sometimes we have to use our heads, or ask before assuming. A big huge 'btw this is satire' sort of defeats the purpose of it, but hey.

As for srs bsns ... NSG has never, to my knowledge, been only for Serious Threads. It is General Discussion, which means any number of things can and do come up. Not every thread will always fit your definition of what should be there. Nor should it. How many more times do things need to be compartmentalized to suit the comfort zones or sensibilities of some?

I'm not talking about this particular issue which will likely always be a sore spot or point of contention for some - I'm talking about the concept overall. It isn't so much about some 'freedom of speech' idea as 'just how far do we have to sanitize the internet' when we all have the choice to read, to participate, or not.

It isn't all about you. Or me. Or any other one person.

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Chumblywumbly
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Postby Chumblywumbly » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:20 pm

New Chalcedon wrote:Or better yet, why not put satire in F7? F7 is where you go when you don't want to be taken seriously, after all - NSG is for fairly serious stuff, like news, events and philosophical debates.

If I may be so bold, I believe Hammurab's satire is akin to philosophical debates.

It's not simply for entertainment.
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New Chalcedon
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Postby New Chalcedon » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:31 pm

Euroslavia wrote:
New Chalcedon wrote:Or better yet, why not put satire in F7? F7 is where you go when you don't want to be taken seriously, after all - NSG is for fairly serious stuff, like news, events and philosophical debates.


I figured that I'd at least respond to this part of your post. NSG is not all serious stuff. Something that we've understood is that the General forum, when Jolt was our host, was a more relaxed environment. Lately, we've been pushing for General to be less of a "Oh my god, everything here is serious!" forum, and attempting to inject some of the humor and light-hearted nature that existed back on the Jolt forums. Forum 7 is a place that's specifically for things that would not have been allowed back in our Jolt days (word games, etc).


Fair enough, Euroslavia. My apologies for misinterpreting the situation, and I see no particular reason for no satire in General, in light of this.

Dread Lady Nathicana wrote:
New Chalcedon wrote:Or better yet, why not put satire in F7? F7 is where you go when you don't want to be taken seriously, after all - NSG is for fairly serious stuff, like news, events and philosophical debates.

Sometimes we have to use our heads, or ask before assuming. A big huge 'btw this is satire' sort of defeats the purpose of it, but hey.
*snip - "Srs business" point addressed above.


Again, you miss the point. I would like to see a situation where, if asked, the poster would then clarify, whether by TG or via spoiler tag. Not a situation where warning labels have to be stuck over every piece of satire in case someone is offended - that's clearly silly.
Dread Lady Nathicana wrote:
New Chalcedon wrote:Or better yet, why not put satire in F7? F7 is where you go when you don't want to be taken seriously, after all - NSG is for fairly serious stuff, like news, events and philosophical debates.

It isn't so much about some 'freedom of speech' idea as 'just how far do we have to sanitize the internet' when we all have the choice to read, to participate, or not.

It isn't all about you. Or me. Or any other one person.


By that logic, linking to websites such as Stormfront are OK. KKK is OK. God Hates Fags is OK. After all, you can always choose to not read them. Consider that, please. You're saying that posting a thread praising such sites would be OK, because I, as an offended person, would be able to walk away.

If this is the case, why even have Moderators at all? After all, a flamed party can always "walk away".
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Sarzonia
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Postby Sarzonia » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:33 pm

The problem is, we don't get to see if someone is being serious, is joking or whatever on the Internet. In many cases, all we have to go on is words on a screen. Sometimes, someone puts an emoticon in.

In this case, I disliked Czardas's attempt at satire. In my opinion, it fell flatter than Ann Coulter's boobs.

I qualify that by saying that I get the sense that Czardas isn't a homophobe, but I could be wrong.

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[violet]
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Postby [violet] » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:38 pm

New Chalcedon wrote:why not put satire in F7? F7 is where you go when you don't want to be taken seriously

Good satire is funny and serious!

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The Republic of Lanos
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Postby The Republic of Lanos » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:40 pm

[violet] wrote:
New Chalcedon wrote:why not put satire in F7? F7 is where you go when you don't want to be taken seriously

Good satire is funny and serious!


but it can offend too, regardless of who does it. ;)

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