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Author Topic: Aragorn race-swapped?? What. The. Literal. Fuck?  (Read 5360 times)

Omega

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Re: Aragorn race-swapped?? What. The. Literal. Fuck?
« Reply #60 on: October 18, 2022, 11:44:51 PM »
Personally, I usually don't mind differences between the original and an adapted work as long as they're handled well. I liked the Men in Black movies, for example. Given the host of other changes typically done in adaptations, changing little things like hair color, accent, or race usually seems minor.

On the other hand, there are many times when it annoys me over how it is done.

MIB resembled the comic only barely so its like 90% changes anyhow and race or gender swapping a character has been a thing for a really long time.

The problem I have with the current craze is its not just tokenism, it is hateful tokenism. They spit on those they claim to be 'helping' and they spit on the original authors for their thinly veiled insinuations they 'had to fix it' because the original author was wacist! gasp!

And on and on ad nausium.

Ghostmaker

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Re: Aragorn race-swapped?? What. The. Literal. Fuck?
« Reply #61 on: October 19, 2022, 09:27:11 AM »
They actually did make a movie of one of the Imaro books, back in the 80s I think, but they totally recast it with white people.  That's why I've never watched it.  I'm not going to watch a whitewashed Imaro movie any more than I'd watch a blackwashed Conan movie.  If they'd made a decent Imaro movie with only black people in it, I'd have happily watched it.

The 1982 Conan movie blackwashed the main villain Thulsa Doom to be a black man, who was originally white in the stories and comics. Then again, there were many many differences bigger than this between the original stories and the movie.

Personally, I usually don't mind differences between the original and an adapted work as long as they're handled well. I liked the Men in Black movies, for example. Given the host of other changes typically done in adaptations, changing little things like hair color, accent, or race usually seems minor.

On the other hand, there are many times when it annoys me over how it is done.
Except they used James Earl Jones, who I would listen to if he read a fuckin' phonebook.

I

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Re: Aragorn race-swapped?? What. The. Literal. Fuck?
« Reply #62 on: October 19, 2022, 01:13:57 PM »
They actually did make a movie of one of the Imaro books, back in the 80s I think, but they totally recast it with white people.  That's why I've never watched it.  I'm not going to watch a whitewashed Imaro movie any more than I'd watch a blackwashed Conan movie.  If they'd made a decent Imaro movie with only black people in it, I'd have happily watched it.

The 1982 Conan movie blackwashed the main villain Thulsa Doom to be a black man, who was originally white in the stories and comics. Then again, there were many many differences bigger than this between the original stories and the movie.

Personally, I usually don't mind differences between the original and an adapted work as long as they're handled well. I liked the Men in Black movies, for example. Given the host of other changes typically done in adaptations, changing little things like hair color, accent, or race usually seems minor.

On the other hand, there are many times when it annoys me over how it is done.

True.  But liberals at the time criticized the movie for having the villain be a black man.  (Naturally, the fact that two Asian actors were not only main characters but heroes, and the female lead was everything they claim to want in a movie like this, was completely overlooked by them).  Roger Ebert was quite distressed about a white man decapitating a black man, though he did like the movie overall.  So if you think conservatives today are overreacting to blackwashing, fairness dictates that you also criticize liberals for the same thing.  Anyway, what was dumb was the fact that Thulsa Doom isn't even in the Conan stories and was borrowed from Kull, so it's not really disrespecting the source material.  Milius already disrespected it plenty, though he did produce a good movie at least, if not exactly a good Conan movie.  Having a black Aragorn or a white Imaro is most definitely disrespecting the source material, and the changes are pointless to boot.

jhkim

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Re: Aragorn race-swapped?? What. The. Literal. Fuck?
« Reply #63 on: October 20, 2022, 04:49:19 PM »
They actually did make a movie of one of the Imaro books, back in the 80s I think, but they totally recast it with white people.  That's why I've never watched it.  I'm not going to watch a whitewashed Imaro movie any more than I'd watch a blackwashed Conan movie.  If they'd made a decent Imaro movie with only black people in it, I'd have happily watched it.

The 1982 Conan movie blackwashed the main villain Thulsa Doom to be a black man, who was originally white in the stories and comics. Then again, there were many many differences bigger than this between the original stories and the movie.

Anyway, what was dumb was the fact that Thulsa Doom isn't even in the Conan stories and was borrowed from Kull, so it's not really disrespecting the source material.  Milius already disrespected it plenty, though he did produce a good movie at least, if not exactly a good Conan movie.

It sounds like you're OK with disrespecting the source material as long as it produces a good movie, given the example of Milius' Conan movie. And that's basically my position as well.

As for disrespecting the source material and making a bad movie -- well, obviously it's bad. On the other hand, 90% of everything is crap - so I don't necessarily think that it is bad *because* they messed with the source material. Likely, it would still be bad even if they stuck to the source material exactly.


Having a black Aragorn or a white Imaro is most definitely disrespecting the source material, and the changes are pointless to boot.

I can't find any mention of the white Imaro movie you mentioned by search. Do you remember any details about it? I also haven't seen the Magic: The Gathering set from the original post, so I don't know about that.

I'm fine to talk about respecting the source material for stuff that I've seen, but for me it depends a lot on what the overall product is.

I

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Re: Aragorn race-swapped?? What. The. Literal. Fuck?
« Reply #64 on: October 20, 2022, 11:20:28 PM »
They actually did make a movie of one of the Imaro books, back in the 80s I think, but they totally recast it with white people.  That's why I've never watched it.  I'm not going to watch a whitewashed Imaro movie any more than I'd watch a blackwashed Conan movie.  If they'd made a decent Imaro movie with only black people in it, I'd have happily watched it.

The 1982 Conan movie blackwashed the main villain Thulsa Doom to be a black man, who was originally white in the stories and comics. Then again, there were many many differences bigger than this between the original stories and the movie.

Anyway, what was dumb was the fact that Thulsa Doom isn't even in the Conan stories and was borrowed from Kull, so it's not really disrespecting the source material.  Milius already disrespected it plenty, though he did produce a good movie at least, if not exactly a good Conan movie.

It sounds like you're OK with disrespecting the source material as long as it produces a good movie, given the example of Milius' Conan movie. And that's basically my position as well.

As for disrespecting the source material and making a bad movie -- well, obviously it's bad. On the other hand, 90% of everything is crap - so I don't necessarily think that it is bad *because* they messed with the source material. Likely, it would still be bad even if they stuck to the source material exactly.


Having a black Aragorn or a white Imaro is most definitely disrespecting the source material, and the changes are pointless to boot.

I can't find any mention of the white Imaro movie you mentioned by search. Do you remember any details about it? I also haven't seen the Magic: The Gathering set from the original post, so I don't know about that.

I'm fine to talk about respecting the source material for stuff that I've seen, but for me it depends a lot on what the overall product is.

I'll answer the easy one first:  It's a Roger Corman movie called "Amazons."  I first read about the thing in one of Saunders' blog posts about the time that Thor movie with the race-swapped Heimdall came out.  I can't find the original blog post in a web search, but I did come across this Salon article that references it (and predictably thinks Saunders is wrong -- how dare a black man go off the plantation and disagree with his while liberal betters!):

https://www.salon.com/2011/04/20/thor_casting_viking_movies_open2011/

The question about the Conan movie is more complicated, and since I don't want to derail a discussion about Aragorn into one about Conan, I'll try to be brief.  Conan the Barbarian is an outlier -- a movie that may disrespect the source material, but it is not disrespectful of it.  It treats it seriously, it doesn't mock it, everything from the acting to the score to the set design is great.  It's everything the smoking dog-log of a sequel to it was not.  It even got Conan's relationship with Crom right.  Like I said:  it's a good movie, it's just not a good Conan movie.  I don't forgive it for not being a Conan movie, it's just that I give it credit for doing what it does so well.  Usually movies that venture that far from their source material are utter trash; this one is not.   I just try to forget that it's about Conan when I watch it, just like I try to forget that Braveheart is about Sir William Wallace.

jhkim

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Re: Aragorn race-swapped?? What. The. Literal. Fuck?
« Reply #65 on: October 21, 2022, 02:56:11 AM »
I'll answer the easy one first:  It's a Roger Corman movie called "Amazons."  I first read about the thing in one of Saunders' blog posts about the time that Thor movie with the race-swapped Heimdall came out.  I can't find the original blog post in a web search, but I did come across this Salon article that references it (and predictably thinks Saunders is wrong -- how dare a black man go off the plantation and disagree with his while liberal betters!):

https://www.salon.com/2011/04/20/thor_casting_viking_movies_open2011/

Thanks. It's apparently based on a Saunders short story, "Agbewe's Sword," which appeared in Jessica Amanda Salmonson's anthology, Amazons!, in the late 1970s. It's not in the collected Imaro stories, and I'm not clear if Imaro even appears in it. Saunders mentions it in this source:

https://differentdrumming.com/mistaken-identity

But it was about African characters that Saunders was asked to rewrite as white, which he hated.

Like I said:  it's a good movie, it's just not a good Conan movie.  I don't forgive it for not being a Conan movie, it's just that I give it credit for doing what it does so well.  Usually movies that venture that far from their source material are utter trash; this one is not.   I just try to forget that it's about Conan when I watch it, just like I try to forget that Braveheart is about Sir William Wallace.

I'm ambivalent about this. I think a lot of movies are better for straying far from the source material - like Men in Black or The Wiz, to take some examples. Obviously this is highly subjective. Film is a very different medium from novels, and what works in one often doesn't work in another.

Regarding Thor -- the MCU films are very far from the original comics they were inspired by, which I thought generally worked well, compared to some closer adaptations of comics.

I

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Re: Aragorn race-swapped?? What. The. Literal. Fuck?
« Reply #66 on: October 22, 2022, 12:54:46 AM »
Thanks for the Saunders correction.  I was misremembering when I thought it was Imaro, obviously.  I remember some of Saunders' original blog, in which he said he wasn't happy about the changes, but frankly he needed the money so he accepted the deal.  I respect Saunders because instead of latching on to somebody else's creation and whining about how it didn't suit him and he was going to set out to "correct" it, he did what so many of us here advocate -- he created his own thing instead.  I think it's pretty telling that so many of us "right-wing white supremacist Nazis" here are at least aware of his work while the douchebag in that Black Gate article apparently never heard of him.

jhkim

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Re: Aragorn race-swapped?? What. The. Literal. Fuck?
« Reply #67 on: October 23, 2022, 12:43:29 AM »
I respect Saunders because instead of latching on to somebody else's creation and whining about how it didn't suit him and he was going to set out to "correct" it, he did what so many of us here advocate -- he created his own thing instead.  I think it's pretty telling that so many of us "right-wing white supremacist Nazis" here are at least aware of his work while the douchebag in that Black Gate article apparently never heard of him.

Oliver Brackenbury from the Black Gate article created his own fiction magazine and is publishing original new stories in it. So he is creating his own thing. As far as I can see, none of the stories in issue #0 are adaptations.

There are plenty of other differences, but the core thing Brackenbury is doing seems exactly like what Saunders did - new stories that feature non-white characters and themes in otherwise the same genre as previous stories. I don't even see that much difference in how they talk about what they are doing. Here is the start and end of an essay from Saunders, for example:

Quote
"Die, Black Dog!"
A Look at Racism in Fantasy Literature

For an avid reader of fantasy who happens to be black, the exclamation in the title of this essay pops up far too often for comfort. The genre-related problems of reader identification and suspension of disbelief become immeasurably magnified with these words, because the ethnic epithets that spew from the mouth of a Conan are all-too-well represented in the grim world of reality. When blatant racism does occur in a fantasy tale, the black reader is rudely jerked from its escapist world. And when the escapism dies, so does the story.

Even a cursory examination of the roots of today’s fantasy reveals a great deal about the ethnic attitudes of some of its pioneering authors. I refer, of course, to the Unholy Trinity of the Golden Age of the Pulps: Howard, Lovecraft, and Smith. Though pure fantasy can be traced back to Homer, the sword-and-sorcery that is popular today was born in the pages of Weird Tales. Unfortunately, these beginnings were steeped in racism, as is every other American institution.
Quote
And that brings me to the point of answering the question that those who are still reading this must be asking by now; “If you don’t like it, why in Crom's name don't you stop reading it? But I do like fantasy. It is my favorite form of literature. What I don't like is the racism in it.

Being a black fantasy buff can be a somewhat schizoid existence. It is another instance of cognitive dissonance. On one hand, I often feel like killing certain authors, even while I'm enjoying their stories. On the other, I sometimes feel that the wonder, the excitement, the sheer unreality of fantasy may transcend the attitudes of its authors. That I can still enjoy it despite occasional outbursts of rage and disgust is a tribute to the genre -- a tribute I'm still not certain it deserves...
Source: http://www.reindeermotel.com/CHARLES/charles_blog42_dieblackdog.html

So Saunders didn't like the racism he saw in fantasy, and so he wrote his own stories that changed it.

But then, I also don't have a problem with people like Milius who adapt others' work, even though it is stretched far from the original. I have enjoyed many loosely adapted movies like Conan, Men in Black, and The Wiz.

What I dislike is purely negative criticizing and whining. I prefer showing examples of what one likes - or better yet, helping create such.

oggsmash

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Re: Aragorn race-swapped?? What. The. Literal. Fuck?
« Reply #68 on: October 23, 2022, 07:41:52 AM »
  He can make whatever he wants IMO...but...he uses the term "fellow whites" in a sentence and becomes a literal meme.  Using language like that is from a position of agenda and not simple create something new.  I am not whining I am just point out a "fellow" who might not be a fellow trying to use that as some odd way to legitimize his criticism of a genre.

I

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Re: Aragorn race-swapped?? What. The. Literal. Fuck?
« Reply #69 on: October 23, 2022, 08:23:51 AM »
I don't argue that Brackenbury didn't create his own thing -- I argue that he's ignorant.  Didn't even mention Saunders, for just one example.  And I don't think Saunders saw any "racism" in traditional fantasy -- do you have proof that he did?  Because he wanted to write about black people who "looked like him" doesn't mean he only did it to strike a blow against The Man.  Because he was interested in traditional African folklore doesn't mean he had a beef with white people interested in their own culture.   If REH or other writers had ever written a non-white as a main character, SJWs would have accused them of cultural appropriation; if they stick to white protagonists, they're racist.  As another poster on this board wisely observed (and I'm sorry I can't remember who it was so I can give proper credit), when it comes to dealing with SJWs, the only way to win is not to play.

jhkim

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Re: Aragorn race-swapped?? What. The. Literal. Fuck?
« Reply #70 on: October 23, 2022, 11:39:53 AM »
I don't argue that Brackenbury didn't create his own thing -- I argue that he's ignorant.  Didn't even mention Saunders, for just one example.  And I don't think Saunders saw any "racism" in traditional fantasy -- do you have proof that he did?  Because he wanted to write about black people who "looked like him" doesn't mean he only did it to strike a blow against The Man.

I just quoted from his essay. I think you missed it. I'll post again for clarity, and I'd invite you to read the full essay in the source link.

Quote from: Charles Saunders
"Die, Black Dog!"
A Look at Racism in Fantasy Literature

For an avid reader of fantasy who happens to be black, the exclamation in the title of this essay pops up far too often for comfort. The genre-related problems of reader identification and suspension of disbelief become immeasurably magnified with these words, because the ethnic epithets that spew from the mouth of a Conan are all-too-well represented in the grim world of reality. When blatant racism does occur in a fantasy tale, the black reader is rudely jerked from its escapist world. And when the escapism dies, so does the story.

Even a cursory examination of the roots of today’s fantasy reveals a great deal about the ethnic attitudes of some of its pioneering authors. I refer, of course, to the Unholy Trinity of the Golden Age of the Pulps: Howard, Lovecraft, and Smith. Though pure fantasy can be traced back to Homer, the sword-and-sorcery that is popular today was born in the pages of Weird Tales. Unfortunately, these beginnings were steeped in racism, as is every other American institution.
Quote from: Charles Saunders
And that brings me to the point of answering the question that those who are still reading this must be asking by now; “If you don’t like it, why in Crom's name don't you stop reading it? But I do like fantasy. It is my favorite form of literature. What I don't like is the racism in it.

Being a black fantasy buff can be a somewhat schizoid existence. It is another instance of cognitive dissonance. On one hand, I often feel like killing certain authors, even while I'm enjoying their stories. On the other, I sometimes feel that the wonder, the excitement, the sheer unreality of fantasy may transcend the attitudes of its authors. That I can still enjoy it despite occasional outbursts of rage and disgust is a tribute to the genre -- a tribute I'm still not certain it deserves...

Source: http://www.reindeermotel.com/CHARLES/charles_blog42_dieblackdog.html


I

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Re: Aragorn race-swapped?? What. The. Literal. Fuck?
« Reply #71 on: October 24, 2022, 10:54:39 AM »
OK, I stand corrected on Saunders.  You are obviously more informed on this subject than I am.  I see he wasn't immune to squealing "racism" every time he saw an author like REH writing about people his own color.  Good thing they didn't write about non-white heroes too, or Saunders would have been squealing about cultural appropriation as well.  I now think quite a bit less of him.  Thanks for the tip-off; I do appreciate it.

jhkim

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Re: Aragorn race-swapped?? What. The. Literal. Fuck?
« Reply #72 on: October 24, 2022, 12:41:44 PM »
OK, I stand corrected on Saunders.  You are obviously more informed on this subject than I am.  I see he wasn't immune to squealing "racism" every time he saw an author like REH writing about people his own color.  Good thing they didn't write about non-white heroes too, or Saunders would have been squealing about cultural appropriation as well.  I now think quite a bit less of him.  Thanks for the tip-off; I do appreciate it.

You're welcome. More information is always better. In fairness to Saunders, though, I feel I should also quote some of the things that R.E. Howard wrote about race in real life. In reference to a trial in Honolulu where native Hawaiians were accused of rape, he wrote:

Quote from: R.E. Howard
I know what would have happened to them in Texas.  I don’t know whether an Oriental smells any different than a nigger when he’s roasting, but I’m willing to bet the aroma of scorching hide would have the same chastening effect on his surviving tribesman.

He also wrote to Novalyne Price saying,

Quote from: R.E. Howard
“[…] I guess you know if a Negro is found on the streets after dark in Coleman, Santa Anna, and several other towns around here, they run him out of town.  Chances are they might tar and feather him.”

and after a negative reaction, he returned,

Quote from: R.E. Howard
“Let me tell you something, girl, that you don’t seem to know.  Those people come from a different line.  They have different blood - ”

To add, here is the start of his story entitled "The Last White Man",

Quote from: R.E. Howard
THE MAN SHIVERED in the coolness of the early morning. He shifted his body to relieve the pressure on his elbows.

Cautiously he peered up over the great boulder in front of him, and down the mountain side. Fire twinkled there and the man cursed. An obscene song floated up to him and his curses deepened. The song was in a rich, guttural voice.

The man was a wonder, physically. Over six feet in height, his chest and shoulders were those of a giant. Weighing far over two hundred pounds, he yet gave the impression of sinuous speed. His face was sullen, savage, almost primitive, small black eyes glittering through tangled strands of sandy hair. In one hand he clutched a rifle. A curved scimitar of surprising proportions lay beside him.

He was a splendid example of a wonderful race. A race which reached physical perfection, sank to the depths of degeneracy and then regained the heights just before their fall. He was the last. He was thinking as he lay there, watching the camps of his enemies.

What heights his race had reached before luxuries, idleness and pleasures had sapped their might; had made of them a race of degenerate weaklings. He cursed beneath his breath.

There had been an age when his race had ruled the world. Their cities dotted the fertile plains. Their ships had furrowed the seas, bringing back the wealth of every land. Their armies had gone forth conquering and subjugating.
cf. https://archive.org/details/howard-collector-05-1964-summer/page/22/mode/2up

And to add a few quotes from later in the story:

Quote from: R.E. Howard
At first the white race held its own.

But not for long. The blacks were physical giants, mighty fighting organisms, whose highest wish was slaughter and plunder.

That century long warfare! The man thrilled with a savage pride as he reviewed the wonderful battle the whites gave, overwhelmed as they were with odds of a hundred to one.
...
Quote from: R.E. Howard
The last white man laughed with savage, unholy glee.

The black race was doomed. They were destroyers, not builders. When they slew the white men, progress ceased. The blacks reverted to savagery. They did not even know the art of making weapons.

They had destroyed and could not rebuild. And they were going back to bestial savagery, and to a slaughtering of one another which even their animal-like rate of birth could not control.

It was dawning. The last white man looked about him; gathered his weapons. The rush would soon come.

The story isn't very long - you can read the full text at my link. There are plenty of other writings and stories where Howard shows his thoughts on race. These are just a sampling.

jhkim

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Re: Aragorn race-swapped?? What. The. Literal. Fuck?
« Reply #73 on: October 25, 2022, 01:07:00 PM »
OK, I stand corrected on Saunders.  You are obviously more informed on this subject than I am.  I see he wasn't immune to squealing "racism" every time he saw an author like REH writing about people his own color.  Good thing they didn't write about non-white heroes too, or Saunders would have been squealing about cultural appropriation as well.  I now think quite a bit less of him.  Thanks for the tip-off; I do appreciate it.

Hey, I.

To be clear - I didn't mean to shut down conversation, and I didn't intend any offense against you. I have also greatly enjoyed many of R.E. Howard's stories, and I ran a number of Conan games. Here's notes on one, for example:

https://www.darkshire.net/jhkim/rpg/brawnythews/

But despite enjoying his writings, I am opposed to his racial attitudes.