Danke Schoen – Afterthought 38

Afterthought Logo https://systemmastery.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/afterthought-38-danke-schoen1.mp3

Hey everyone, thanks so much for enabling this dumb thing we’ve been doing for three years.  Here’s an Afterthought episode to celebrate our anniversary, which I’m sure you’ll enjoy.  Since three years is a dumb time to quit, we’ll see you in a week with more System Mastery!

22 responses to “Danke Schoen – Afterthought 38

  1. Great podcast! Glad you are enjoying Dungeon World. Any chance we might see an Actual Play podcast of it soon?

  2. I really don’t understand the OSR/story game feud. Part of the reason I like OSR games is because they’re light on the rules that the narrative can really shine. (Unless, of course, you’re playing a 1st edition retro-clone with all its bullshit charts and graphs.) All I can figure is that a lot of it has to do with folks like The RPG Pundit, a legit terrible human being who refers to people who don’t play the types of games he likes as “swine” and has knee-jerk reactions against anything he perceives to be a PC agenda to destroy RPGs.

    But yeah, I think it’s less a feud between the communities at large and more between certain personalities within those communities. It’s kind of silly.

    And I can’t hear people talk about being “poly” without hearing it as “Paulie” and imagining Rocky’s brother-in-law.

    • I’m sure that some people like OSR games because it gives them the freedom to play with the narrative, since there aren’t rules that otherwise try to shape it.

      Some people really like OSR games because they like discovering the impact that their choices have, though – “if we just role-play our characters, and impartially follow these rules to adjudicate any uncertainty, then what will happen?” – and rules that act on a narrative level undermine the legitimacy of the process. Treating the game as though it was a story just doesn’t jive with treating your character like a real person who lives in the game world.

      • That seems like a fine set of rains to enjoy some games. That said it seems a lot like the term OSR has somewhat fallen into the same trap as GNS, that of the term having migrated to meaning “a game the OSR fan likes”.

    • If you don’t see how a guy who goes on stage with a puppet called “Akhmed the Dead Terrorist” isn’t racist, I really don’t know what to tell you. 🙄

      • ‘Terrorist’ isn’t a race.

        Jeff Dunham is one of the most popular comedians in the middle east.

        Making fun of terrorists is kind-of universal.

    • Here’s a quote from a 2009 New York Times feature/interview with Dunham:

      “[Dunham] defends himself by noting that he tries to insult all races and ethnicities equally, and ultimately seems to treat jokes about all Indians being customer-service operators or all black people drinking malt liquor not all that differently from jokes involving other well-worn comedic tropes — like all wives being annoying nags or Florida being way too humid.

      “Dunham does concede that he’s extra-sensitive to one of his largest constituencies: the conservative ‘country crowd.’ ‘That’s why I don’t pick on basic Christian-values stuff,’ he told me. ‘Well, I also don’t like to, because that’s the way I was brought up.’ He then stopped himself short and said: ‘Oh, boy. I’m walking into something here.’

      “Dunham started to explain — as if realizing it for the first time — that this would appear to make the jokes he does about Islam with Achmed ‘hypocritical.’ But he quickly unburdened himself of the idea. ‘I try to make the majority of my audience laugh,’ he said. ‘That’s my audience. They’ll laugh at the dead terrorist.'”


      I find it interesting that he begins to skirt the edge of self-awareness there and then immediately dismisses it because following it to its logical conclusion would pretty much mean he’d have to really fundamentally change some things about the way he does business.

      • None of that points to him being a racist. He uses racial stereotypes to make jokes and understands a lot of his audience.

        I would suggest looking up all the comedians saying that PC culture is ruining comedy. When Jerry Sienfield is complaining about his jokes being “too offensive” for college campuses, I have to think that maybe people are being too sensitive.

      • Also the NYT editorialized the crap out of that interview. Twisting his words and adding thoughts to fit a narrative. It’s pathetic.

      • Effectively saying you make fun of people who are different from you but don’t make fun of people who are like you betrays a bit of prejudice at the least. (Also saying, “Well, I also don’t like to [pick on basic Christian-values stuff], because that’s the way I was brought up,” heavily implies that he respects that particular group but not the others.) Other people have pointed out that, despite the fact that he blames the racial/ethnic stereotypes on the puppets as part of his comedy, Jeff Dunham the never really contradicts them or attempts to let on that he doesn’t share the views of his puppets while playing the straight man in the routines. (I admittedly could be wrong about this. I’m not about to mine every second of his material to see if he ever once scolds one of his puppets for saying something racist.)

        And it’s not like he was assigned to a particular audience and had to tailor his material to them. He had a style of humor that turned out to be popular with a demographic, and he pursued that demographic to expand that audience.

        The thing is that there are comedians like Patton Oswalt and Louie C.K. who are by no means “politically correct” but are advocates for equality and understanding. I’m not saying that Dunham has to involve himself with politics, but if he’s going to explicitly make an effort to be “un-PC” without trying to temper his material with any sort of indication that he doesn’t mean the things he says, there should be a reasonable expectation that people will think he’s prejudiced or even racist.

      • Never once in any of his sketches does he say that a certain group is superior to another. Y’know, like a racist would because that’s the definition of a racist. Until he does that, he’s not a racist.

        Poking fun at racial stereotypes isn’t racism, people need to get that out of their head. If he was actually racist, then why would he perform all around the world, including the middle east? Even if you just say ‘Money’, then why would he be popular in those regions? It makes no sense.

        If you actually watch his comedy, you can see that indeed he plays as the straight-man in the duo with the puppet, constantly saying “that’s not true” and the like. But he has the puppet yell over him, because that’s more funny to have the puppet be raunchy and loud.

      • Poking fun at racial stereotypes is racism. It’s weird you slid that into the middle of your argument like it was just true and obvious. Racial stereotypes are racist. Using them for jokes is just relying on racism for a joke. Racism isn’t powered by intent. He’s an adult who is responsible for his actions, and he can be a nice as can be but saying racist stuff surprisingly will remain racist.

        As to your dumb question about why he’d perform in the middle East if he was racist, I assume the answer can be broken down as follows: a. He works in the middle East because he gets paid, and b. The denizens of the middle East are not a monolithic hive mind that hates racism. There’s a lot of people there in a lot of countries with a lot of varying opinions about race. Many of them are also very racist. Oh and c. A person need not have malicious or even racist intent to do something racist. Dunham could love Mexicans like no one ever has and waving his lazy stereotype on a stick around will remain racist.

      • Add to this that I don’t even find Jeff Dunham particularly funny. He’s good at being a ventriloquist, but I generally just rolled my eyes at his “humor”.

      • Racism is purely intent. You’ve made racial humor on the podcasts before, I never once thought that either of you are racists. But I guess I am wrong and both of you are just a single step away from being KKK members. My bad, I hope you get better soon Jeff.

  3. Redletter Media didn’t put out a video on “How you’re sexist if you didn’t like Ghost Busters, in a sarcastic tone” What you may be thinking about is Scientist Man Analyzes Ghostbusters, where they talk about the manipulation of and horribly stupid buzz in the media surrounding Ghostbusters, which also included “only sexists and manchildren don’t like the new Ghostbusters”. It also talked about the events that led to the film being as lackluster as it was (as they perceived). Within the episode, they did make jokes about being sexist because you don’t like Ghostbusters, but that wasn’t the overall message.

    If they were entirely serious, I’d say for them to avoid talking about the subject too, but they’re also comedians (making jokes) so they’ll bring up subjects with irony and humor in them. You guys even added a bit about it in your own Ghostbusters review’s description.

    At the end of the day, anyone who thinks that someone can only hate a movie because they’re sexist is ignorant, but it’s also stupid how much the subject has been the forefront. It just shouldn’t be a thing. I, myself? I haven’t seen the movie or have any opinions on it. It’s been grating to have to listen to people talk about it over and over.

    That’s all I really have to say about the subject.

  4. The movie Clue, Escape From/Conquest of The Planet of The Apes, the 1978 Superman movie, Denny O’Neil/Neal Adams’ run on Batman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow, Kamen Rider, Supaidāman, and Elvis Presley’s cover version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. There, NINE good things about the 70’s.

    • Clue came out in 1985, but sure, the others work. I’d also mention:

      American Graffiti
      Apocalypse Now
      Blazing Saddles
      Close Encounters of the Third Kind
      The Exorcist
      The French Connection
      The Godfather
      The Godfather Part II
      The Life of Brian
      Monty Python and the Holy GrailNetwork
      The Poseidon Adventure
      Taxi Driver
      The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
      Young Frankenstein

      Also, I’m a huge prog rock nerd, so the 1970s is a great decade for music, in my opinion.

      • Oh yeah… I was thinking of “Murder By Death”, which is a pretty good film, as ong as you know at least some of the old-timey fictional detectives being parodied, and are okay with Peter Sellers in yellowface.

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