Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoilers

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Aragorn, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi

    And the funniest thing to me was that our head of security here at work is named Mark Fallon too. :lol:
     
  2. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi

    btw, is it currently illegal or something to have a plot about actual Islamic terrorists? Did they have to make it American traitors?
     
  3. Jax

    Jax Admiral Admiral

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  4. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi

    Heh, forgot about that! Nice little digs.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi

    It is something of a cliched, discredited, and rather racist trope to stereotype Arabs and/or Muslims as terrorists. It certainly would not be a good thing to embrace that trope uncritically. There's also the fact that this is a mystery show, remember, so it's supposed to engage in misdirection. We're conditioned by fear and ignorance to expect terrorists to be Middle Eastern and/or Muslim (and to mistakenly assume those are automatically the same thing), and so a mystery story wishing to mislead us about the identity of a terrorist would naturally lead us to suspect a Middle Eastern or Muslim character and then reveal otherwise.

    Besides, it's just true to life. In the hours after the Oklahoma City bombing, the media pundits were all jumping to the conclusion that it was an Islamist attack until it turned out to be the work of domestic anti-government militants avenging Ruby Ridge and Waco. And that was six years before 9/11 (although two years after the first al-Qaeda bombing at the WTC). The "Arab terrorist" stereotype has been around in American mythology for quite a while, so it would be a smart move for any aspiring terrorists to find Arab or Muslim patsies to blame for it. As Fallon's reactions showed, it's just the sort of thing we'd fall for.
     
  6. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi

    All true, but the fact remains that Al Queda et all ARE still out there and still trying to screw with us. But it seems lately that if the entertainment industry dares make a terrorist in a TV show (or movie) an Islamic type, cries of racism and profiling and such immediately arise. It's not that there aren't domestic terrorists, but it seems like Hollywood is afraid to tackle the non-PC side of the story. Acknowledging that there are Islamic fundamentalists out to get us doesn't make us evil. But Hollywood would rather insult our own armed forces than be non-PC about an ethnic group.
     
  7. IndyJones

    IndyJones Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi



    :rolleyes:

    Really?
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi

    Actually al-Qaida has always been primarily focused on overthrowing secular regimes in the Mideast. They only targeted us because we backed those regimes, and because we made a convenient scapegoat to stir up hatred against. And if anything, recent events in the Mideast have demonstrated just how marginal al-Qaida has become, since they've played no role in the ongoing rebellions and demonstrations beyond watching them ineffectually from a distance and issuing statements pretending that the largely secular uprisings have anything to do with what they stand for. Our fear of the threat from al-Qaida is far greater than their actual threat to us, and this 2-parter did a good job of demonstrating that -- while also acknowledging that people like Fallon do play an important role in making sure they don't become a bigger threat.

    Which is because there's a dearth of portrayals of Arabs or Muslims as anything other than terrorists. That's the real problem. Even when Arab or Persian actors like Tony Shalhoub or Sarah Shahi get starring roles as TV protagonists, they never get to play their own ethnicity, and heaven forbid they get to play Muslims, because our culture is so ignorant about Islamic culture that it can't comprehend the idea of a heroic Muslim (even though many American sports heroes have been Muslims, like Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal). It is not "PC" to condemn that as wrong. It is simply fair.

    There was a time when criticisms were made about the tendency to stereotype black characters as criminals, addicts, or servants, and those were valid criticisms at the time, because there weren't enough positive portrayals of black characters to make it fair. These days, there are plenty of positive images of black characters in the media, so it's no longer seen as a problem when some black characters are portrayed as criminals. It's understood that it's not about their race.

    So if you want to see the "Arab terrorist" trope presented without being criticized, then work toward a media culture that has enough positive images of Arabs and Muslims to balance it out. You're focusing on the wrong end of the issue.
     
  9. AJBryant

    AJBryant Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi

    "She inhaled the scent of his co-LOGG-nuh."
    :guffaw: :guffaw: :guffaw: :guffaw: :guffaw: :guffaw: :guffaw:
     
  10. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi


    Apprently, yes.

    Note how Christopher gave a well-reasoned, polite response, and you only gave me rolly-eyes.
     
  11. Jax

    Jax Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi

    first of all its Hollywood is the generic term for movies not TV...

    second of all you want Generic foreign bad guys watch 24.

    third - its a TV show and using a plot about crazy ex members of the U.S armed forces who are trying to blow up a city DOES not insult your own armed forces because its just a plot device in a drama comedy show at 10pm.

    Nothing more nothing less.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi

    Err, no, the American television industry is based in Hollywood. Sure, a lot of the actual filming is done in Vancouver, but the production companies that make the shows are in Hollywood.


    Now, this is quite right. Portraying a few renegade members of the military is not an insult to the military, any more than portraying, say, a dentist or a magazine editor as a murderer in a Castle episode is an insult to the professions of dentistry or editing. It's the individuals that are to blame, not their organizations.
     
  13. IndyJones

    IndyJones Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi

    Christopher could spit out a wall of text no matter what the topic was. And my response contained precisely as much thought as your post deserved.
     
  14. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi

    Well, based on that, then portraying an Islamic terrorist shouldn't be a problem.

    Re your earlier thoughts that it'd be okay if a balanced view is shown, i.e. also showing good members of whatever ethnic/religious/national group is cast as a bad guy - is it really a good idea to place such a restriction or rule on entertainment? It smacks of - well, I guess censorship isn't the right word. Some of the best entertainment is entertainment that follows no rules, that dares to show its ass at convention and propriety and rules. I'd hate to see an author constrained by, say, an editor or studio demanding certain plot points be included or eliminated just so some hypothetical people aren't offended. There's been way too much of that, IMHO, these days. It's a definition of PC - now, as a friend of mine (who happened to be an very liberal wromagazine writer) once said, there's good PC that makes sense, and there's "enough already!" PC. That seems to be the latter, to me anyway.

    It's one thing if you choose to write a story including a carefully balanced group of characters that softens offensive ones. But do you want to HAVE to?
     
  15. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi

    Uh huh.
    Why the vitriol?
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi

    Okay, I have to point this out -- they're not "Islamic terrorists." They're Islamists -- members of a political movement that uses a radicalized interpretation of religion as a rationale. Terrorism cannot validly be described as "Islamic," because committing terrorist acts is a violation of Islamic law against the killing of women, children, and non-combatants. These are not people practicing a religion, these are people pursuing the political goal of creating a theocratic state, and interpreting Islamic law very selectively (and often quite dishonestly) as it suits their political agenda.

    And again, it's a matter of context. The problem is not that there's an occasional depiction of Arabs, Muslims, or other Middle Easterners as terrorists. The problem is that it's a pervasive media stereotype -- and, worse, one that leads to a lot of real-life discrimination. Storytellers have a responsibility to enlighten and inspire, not to promote intolerance.

    I call straw man. There is no such restriction or requirement, however much it may seem that way to you. Like I said, it's a matter of responsibility. There's more at stake here than stories. Real people, good people, loyal Americans who practice Islam or are of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent, are being persecuted by ignorant or racist people. Any responsible American given the opportunity should speak out against that injustice, should do what one can to enlighten the ignorant and give succor to their victims -- not as a matter of some imaginary fiat, but as a responsible personal choice. Not because it's "politically correct," but because it's morally right. And the tellers of stories have a powerful forum for fighting ignorance, intolerance, and injustice. It's only right to use that forum to fight lazy stereotypes rather than perpetuating them. I applaud the writers of this story for doing that, because, contrary to what you're claiming, it's something that isn't done nearly often enough in my experience.
     
  17. kitkat

    kitkat Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi

    I just watched it again for like the 10th time! Still frakkin hilarious!! :guffaw::guffaw:
     
  18. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi

    I speak of terrorists who are Islamic. I used "Islamic" as an adjective for the noun "terrorist." I wasn't saying all Islamics are terrorists, just that my subject in this case was terrorists who are Islamic. And if I used it wrong, then, okay, fair (if nitpicky) point. :)

    As for the rest, it's a perfectly valid view, and I appreciate the reasoned response. I'm not saying writers of good conscience should avoid balanced characters, I'm just saying I'd hate for my entertainment to become dulled and homogenized, or devoid of opinions and personality, because everyonefeels, due to some kind of social stigma or peer pressure, that they have to do it.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi

    And I reject the premise that there is any such compulsion. And I think it's an ugly thing when something that should be an individual moral imperative is dismissed as "political correctness" or bowing to peer pressure. It's a straw-man attempt to discredit a sincere commitment to equality and justice by painting it as something self-serving and hypocritical. It's an attempt to discredit the idea by attacking the integrity of the person expressing it, and that is ad hominem and inappropriate. You have no basis to make such assumptions about the motivations of the people who choose to tell these stories.

    Is it really so hard to believe that people can speak out for equality and fairness out of personal moral convictions rather than external pressure to conform? Is it really so hard to believe that the majority of educated people (as professional writers presumably are) genuinely agree as a matter of individual conscience that racial and religious prejudices should be actively combatted, and that the preponderance of stories debunking stereotypes is merely the sum total of those individual convictions?
     
  20. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Castle: Season 3 (Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic) - Discussion & Spoi

    Not at all. But if a writer should fail to do so, say, by writing a story with an evil character of some particular ethnic/religious/whatever group without including a balancing good character of the same group, that doesn't automatically make that writer a bigot, and that writer shouldn't have to apologize. I can't bring any to mind at the moment, of course, but I've seen the occasional outrage in the press calling something racist just because the bad guy is of some particular group. I find that nonsensical.