The Big Picture: Relics

templar1138a

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Very good episode. I more-or-less knew the information already, but you made it click. Now for my question.

Who would win: Anakin Skywalker or Gambit?
 

Orks da best

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Dear MovieBob, what do you think of fans, fanboys, fangirls, fandon hatred, fandom entitlemt, and fandon whining.

Also you opinion on MLP: FIM would be greatly liked.
 

Qitz

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Huh, certainly didn't know any of that. Though I went right to Indiana Jones and never thought about Tomb Raider.

Mailbag episode, sounds neat.
 

MovieBob

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The Temple of Doom was easily always my least favorite out of all three Indiana Jones movies.
Because there were only three
ONLY THREE.

Damit I'm too white to think of a question.
 

K_Dub

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That was cool lil history lesson! Bit of an eye opener as well! Bravo Bob!
 

RaikuFA

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What are your favorite movies and why?

Heres hoping it gets answered... or at least an ep about it.
 

PlasmaCow

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A good point well made there.

Mailbag question:
I recall that way back when you reviewed the first Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes film you mentioned that you hadn't seen any of the BBCs modern-day Sherlock series. I was wondering if you have seen any or all of the 6 TV-Film "episodes" since then and, if so, what your thoughts are on the modern day retelling and the series production as a whole.
 

jhlip

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Great episode as always Bob.

As for my question, I have to ask, what got you into the Movie Critic business? Besides your clear love and knowledge of movies of course.
 

Axolotl

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How about what's your opinion on the DC reboot now that it's happened?

Although I still want an episode on Science Fiction books.

Oh actually then: What's your favorite Sci-Fi novel?
 

scdallav

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Closer to home, there was a very similar phenomenon with the mound builders [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cahokia_Mounds] of the midwestern US
 

Xanthious

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Good episode. Thought it was gonna be another one of those politically correct soapbox episodes like last week. Not that I mind those exactly but I simply think the whole world has become fixated on political correctness.

Being black I can safely say that I've never felt that my race has ever been something that's kept me from opportunity or success in my life. While I'm sure there are certainly still racist people I think that the racism that went on as recently as 40-50 years ago is just a shadow of what it was.

Of course I'm not one of these over sensitive people that are quick to throw the race card around whenever someone looks at me crossed eyed either. For instance the fellas I play poker with, a bunch of retired cops and a few younger guys, we say some of the most horrible racially insensitive things you can imagine to one another.

Hell a few years back I got a bucket of fried chicken and a watermelon as birthday gifts (in addition to some very thoughtful gifts from the same guys). Both of which were delicious I may add. It was all in good fun and I've given as good as I got though as there is a couple of them that are Mexican, and few white fellas, and one Greek fella but nobody takes it seriously and we are all really good friends at the end of the day.

The bottom line is I simply think that people need to grow a pair and learn to stop being so thin skinned. Yes, things like sexism and racism exist but honestly in today's society neither are really an issue of any significance.
 

WanderingFool

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What I liked most about this episode, was that I already had a college course on African History, and knew some of this stuff, so I was able to fallow easily.

Question: Could you give your opinion, based off of just cursory information gained from Youtube and forums, about Mass Effect 3; more specifically, the amount of hate Bioware is currently getting from fans for things like "From Ashes" and ME3's endings?
 

beniki

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Huh. That's kind of interesting.

But wait... presumably they had guides and such that they could ask. Someone must have known the history of the cities, even if there was only oral stories.

Well... actually, I guess that's what the books were loosely based off, and then imaginations back home ran wild.

Here's a question for you though:

What are the other non-Tolkein fantasy ancestors?

Just wondering what there was before pointy ears and short bastards.
 

MB202

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I don't see why people will automatically tune Bob off when talking about racism... Well, I GUESS nobody wants to sit through these kinds of lectures... but I think they should anyway. >:|

Really, this just reminds me of all the people who refuse to hear what Bob has to say, just because Bob is the one that said it. That's ignorant, and it ruins an otherwise good point he may have made.

Anyway, I like these introspective looks at words, history, etc., it helps you think outside the box, and you might even learn some new things. I also think it's funny, in a very tragic sort of way, hearing about "the lost city" and it's supposed origins, and the whites throught it was some kind of ancient civilization that went unknown for years to come... without even considering that the humans that already lived there might have built them. :(

What's even more sad is the idea that anyone on the Internet will deal with this sort of thing in an "intellectually honest" way. Especially the "intellectual" part.
 

RJ Dalton

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Nice to see someone talk about racism without letting the conversation devolve into finger-waggling and guilt-tripping.

Anyway, I don't have any questions. Not that there aren't things I wouldn't ask if they occurred to me, it's just that generally speaking, the stuff I find most fascinating is the stuff that I know absolutely nothing about. And see, the way I work is that as soon as I come across something I don't know about, I like to go do some research, so I quickly start to know about it. Therefore, the stuff that I'd want to ask you about is stuff I'd go research on my own rather than wait around for someone to tell me about. If I were to want to hear something from you, it would be something totally outside my experience and, given this, it's kinda hard to ask you a question about it, because I don't know what I don't know about.

So . . . surprise me.
 

Orbot_Vectorman

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Yay, I learned something new! thank you sir.

As for a question... since you have worked in movie industrie, my question would have to be: How would you make video game based movies work?
 

MovieBob

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Interesting and informative episode.... funny how we take certain things in fantasy/pop culture for granted.

QUESTION: What's your opinion on the next generation of game consoles and where it will/might take the game industry? Failing that, where do you see consoles in the future i.e. 10-15 years from now?
 

RJ Dalton

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templar1138a said:
Very good episode. I more-or-less knew the information already, but you made it click. Now for my question.

Who would win: Anakin Skywalker or Gambit?
Gambit. Because Anakin Skywalker was apparently a cry-baby.
 

epikAXE

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I loooove all that lost city stuff in videogames/movies ect, but this take on it, i'd never even considered. Bob must really have an insightful mind to notice this kind of stuff right?

Loved the video btw, best one for a while.
 

SlothfulCobra

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I actually think of South America when I think of lost cities, since one of the archetypical lost cities, El Dorado is located around there, or in southern-North America, but I suppose the point of racism still stands.

I do think however, that the standard american perspective on racism does tend to mess up proper understanding of classic ethnocentrism. That is to say, people have been trying to claim that there must've been some mystical/alien force helping the ancients build their wonders from the great Pyramids to Stonehenge, where everyone doubts that the very white, but not-german and not-roman Celts could've built something that <a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju_6_7YJPWE>a man built in his backyard.
 

Tireseas_v1legacy

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The really depressing thing about this is that those European explorers would have likely known what the Spaniards found in the Americas, which included some of the largest cities in the world at the time, so the notion that non-Europeans/Asians could build such civilizations was not so inconceivable as to be ludicrous. Hell, even the then-legendary city of Timbuktu, which contained an ancient library and other buildings reminiscent of Alexandra, was located in Northern Africa and was almost inaccessible to those without guides.

As for questions:

-Any opinion on the current US presidential race?

-Are there any movies that you would like to be remade now that certain advances in cameras, film, and effects have been made? It's real easy to tear down reboots/remakes, but there's got to be a movie that you actually want remade well.

-Have you ever watched an okay movie and wondered if it would have been better suited for another medium?
 

Squin

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Wow, very informative, I had no idea "The Lost City" trope originated from Africa like that, pretty depressing when it's put like this.

When I see "The Lost City" my mind jumps straight to South America, Mayans, Aztecs, that sort of thing.
 

scdallav

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Same deal with the Mound builder cultures of the mid-west. Cultures and languages drift, populations migrate, civilizations collapse, etc. It's not like anyone in Britain has an oral tradition of the building of stonehenge, and for that matter for most if not all of the dark ages Europeans were unable to duplicate the construction methods and accomplishments of the Romans, though at least in that case they knew who built them.
 

Jegsimmons

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now if i may, do you (bob) think possibly that the reason they didnt think blacks built the civilizations was because that these were astounding castles and when they got there the people were....living in huts......thats sort of what is was thinking the whole vid. they probably thought that way because almost no other civilization has gone from castles to huts and seemed to move...backwards.
Now of course im not saying anything negative to be mean, i just like to think about all 3 sides of an issue (there's always at least 3 sides to any argument. Quiet frankly if i found a new civilization that lived in huts while finding remains of huge empires, i sort of wonder why the hell no one ever thought of rebuilding or replicating it for better living conditions. That may be part of the reason they couldn't believe they made it.
 

scdallav

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beniki said:
Huh. That's kind of interesting.

But wait... presumably they had guides and such that they could ask. Someone must have known the history of the cities, even if there was only oral stories.

Well... actually, I guess that's what the books were loosely based off, and then imaginations back home ran wild.

Here's a question for you though:

What are the other non-Tolkein fantasy ancestors?

Just wondering what there was before pointy ears and short bastards.
Same deal with the Mound builder cultures of the mid-west. Cultures and languages drift, populations migrate, civilizations collapse, etc. It's not like anyone in Britain has an oral tradition of the building of stonehenge, and for that matter for most if not all of the dark ages Europeans were unable to duplicate the construction methods and accomplishments of the Romans, though at least in that case they knew who built them.
 

Baresark

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This is one of the most level headed assessments of what racism is/was that I have ever heard a voice say (besides the one's in my head). So many things are racist and based on racism that have nothing at all to do with any sort of negative connotation that it outright gives me a headache when this subject is brought up. For instance, take affirmative action. It is racist in the sense that it's a social movement that defines some people of a certain race (or gender or backround or religion) as more deserving of something based on that very thing. And how about this, if you are positively racist about a person then you are by extension negatively racist about other people who are not like them.

What it all comes down to is choices. People want to define choices that other people make as a choice based on race, when many times that simply is untrue. No one is denying that there are folks out there who hate women, blacks, hispanics, jews, etc., based on those very things. But when you throw racism around so lightly as it's done today, then you basically are harming the cause of equality. And in conclusion, if you want there to be equality, you must get completely rid of any policies that are based on race.

PS. This does not mean it's ok to call someone who beat you League of Legends, the N-word or a jew or anything of that sort. as I have seen so many of the children who play that game, and others, do so often.
 

OniaPL

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Don't know if this is a bit silly or anything you know about, but anyways:

Why so many fantasy works repeat the same tropes of elves, dwarves, dragons over and over again? Why is it so hard to come across a fantasy work which feels fresh and new?
 

MovieBob

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Good episode Bob... Maybe next week you can tell us the origin of the villainous laugh.

My question is: Why is it when a director like Uwe Bol gets the film rights to a game, instead of making a decent movie he make a total pigs-ear of it?
 

Exterminas

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Is there any evidence in the comics that Batman and Robin had a homosexual relationship?
I mean aside from the chuckling-inspiring scenes of them having a Spa together. Or is that just one of these fun pop culture things, like saying that Bert and Ernie were Lovers?

(I don't want to bash homosexual people, mind you, I am just curious if there is actual evidence)
 

Rabidkitten

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The "Lost City" theme doesn't just refer to the continent of Africa though. Almost every place in planet earth has some kind of ancient ruin. You know because people have been living all over the planet for the last 20,000 years. And in Africa since the dawn of the species (Amy dates 3 million if I'm not mistaken). I totally buy that colonists were racist monsters, but I'm not sure I buy that those same adventures in racism bleeds into our own modern perspective of exploring lost civilizations. I think of a bunch of nerds carefully digging up a temple in a Central American jungle for months, then making a boring show for the discovery channel (pre motocycle fishing wtf madness discovery). With all sorts of ridiculous speculative fiction about what went on their.
 

Imp_Emissary

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That was cool.

Ok question time.
Now that BioWare are done with Shepherd's story and are on their way to finishing up Dragon Age, what do you think they will try next?

I kind of hope they try a RPG world that has magic (and I mean magic magic), but is placed in a future world. Not as far in the future as Mass effect maybe, but at least far enough that they have electricity and indoor plumbing.

Do you think they will be trying anything like that? Have you (or anyone else really) heard of a game like that?

Thanks for the brain food Bob!
 

beniki

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scdallav said:
beniki said:
Huh. That's kind of interesting.

But wait... presumably they had guides and such that they could ask. Someone must have known the history of the cities, even if there was only oral stories.

Well... actually, I guess that's what the books were loosely based off, and then imaginations back home ran wild.

Here's a question for you though:

What are the other non-Tolkein fantasy ancestors?

Just wondering what there was before pointy ears and short bastards.
Same deal with the Mound builder cultures of the mid-west. Cultures and languages drift, populations migrate, civilizations collapse, etc. It's not like anyone in Britain has an oral tradition of the building of stonehenge, and for that matter for most if not all of the dark ages Europeans were unable to duplicate the construction methods and accomplishments of the Romans, though at least in that case they knew who built them.
There were though, weren't there? Folk lore about druid circles and fairy folk?

Not certain if that's true, but if it is the case, then maybe those stories about lost civilisations in Africa aren't actually the product of racism, but merely using local folk lore... which would be an interesting book to write for someone of an explorer mind set.

Not that I'm denying that there may be racist origins, but like Bob says, we should approach this with intellectual honesty. Does anyone know any African folk lore about ancient civilisations?
 

Lunar Templar

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Deathlyphil said:
Non-Marvel, non-DC, possibly even non-Superhero comics please!
Antarctic Press has a lot of those
http://www.antarctic-press.com/

go, be free :D

OT:

did not know that about that trope, but its about as surprising as the sun coming up
 

Deathlyphil

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Kitsuna10060 said:
Deathlyphil said:
Non-Marvel, non-DC, possibly even non-Superhero comics please!
Antarctic Press has a lot of those
http://www.antarctic-press.com/

go, be free :D

OT:

did not know that about that trope, but its about as surprising as the sun coming up
Thanks for the link. Not quite what I was meaning, but thanks anyway. My point is that MovieBob only ever talks about Marvel and DC. It's like none of the other exist (Except when they are getting consumed by Marvel/DC).
 

Evil Alpaca

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Good Episode.

My only issue is with your statement about racism being an integral part of human history since the beginning. That's not really true since to be a racist, a person needs to feel as if they belong to a larger race of people than just their surrounding environment. The ancient Greeks weren't racist because they did not see themselves belonging to a superior race. An Athenian would see himself superior to his fellow Greeks and Greeks superior to Persians, Romans,or any other Mediterranean race. The concept of belonging to member of a "race" didn't come along much later until the Enlightenment when the scope of the world view had broadened.

Other than that, very good episode. It's interesting to think that the concept of "the lost city" being based on the skepticism of explorers who found it more believable to attribute buildings to a undiscovered people than the inhabitants.
 

WoahDan

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As a history buff you didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know, but you did it in an interesting way so that's OK.

With the whole "digital retail" idea gathering steam(heh)do you think we'll see a return to built-in modems like with the dreamcast?

(and because I am nothing if not a pedant: the idea of being racially tolerant isn't really new, there have been plenty of multi-racial empires and civilizations etc in the past, what is new is the idea of being racially tolerant being the norm in post-industrial western society.)
 

DarkSpectre

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I've never gotten the impression of Africa from most "lost city" stories. Almost always it seems to be South America and then it is pretty clear that it is the Mayans or Aztec, and we know they built them. The Spaniards just wiped them out. The other influence I see in the lost city trope is the Beng Mealea Temple. This second seems to be the source of more mystery than the South American ones. We know a lot of South America and why their cities are empty now (because they all got killed by the Spanish) what happened to Beng Mealea Temple is a lot more interesting of a topic.

The same does sort of stand for places like the Great Zimbabwe. It raises the question why are these people living in huts made from mud and sticks when they are living next to a bloody castle? It makes you ask if your ancestors built that huge place then why the hell are you living in mud huts now? Thus the conclusion that some "lost" civilization built it.

Its like the dark ages in Europe. If an outsider, like from China, saw the wooden shacks and huts of the people then these huge amazing ruins like Rome or Athens. They'd have to question what happened. Of course the answer would be from the barbarians that the sort invaded destroyed and killed the Romans without asking them how to make all that fancy stuff. A minor oversight yes.

What makes the Africa situation possibly racist is if you default to the belief that the former in habitants were obviously Caucasian. The former occupants were most likely Negroid, but the question still remains of what happened to them.
 

Daaaah Whoosh

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That's why I like science fiction. Because when they fnd lost cities, they ARE on the moon.

Also, I like how you dealt with racism in this episode. The fact that it is so pervasive in our culture, and in the culture of the entire world as well, makes it a lot easier to understtand, and deal with. Only when we are forced to come to terms with our own racism can we effectively eliminate the damaging forms of racism in the world.
 

UNHchabo

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Fawxy said:
QUESTION: What's your opinion on the next generation of game consoles and where it will/might take the game industry? Failing that, where do you see consoles in the future i.e. 10-15 years from now?
I think this video will pretty much sum up Bob's feelings on the future of the gaming industry:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/the-big-picture/2911-PC-Gaming-Is-Dead-Long-Live-PC-Gaming
 

SonOfVoorhees

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The Lost City? If most of Africans, at that time of colonialism lived in huts and where considered savage by our more civilised living - would you agree that seeing destroyed towns built of stone may seem unconnected from the races that lived there? Taking the evidence at face value.

Whats the point in have a lost city that was built 10 years ago, takes the whole excitement out of its discovery wouldn't it? Also its just a generic thing, nothing to do with race at all. I hate it when race is brought into everything even its unconnected.
 

bobtail123

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Question: Will you ever do any more American Bob on youtube or the escapist?
I hope you will
 

Quiet Stranger

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Why is it when you're a kid you think your skin color is "peach" I thought that for so many years until someone finally said our (our being white people) skin is white.
 

lralowicz

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Two things... Amm... Movie Bob?

1. I actually don't associate Lost City with Africa... More with South America... And I do know those cites were build by native people who lost their knowledge over time. Or were wiped out by more aggressive neighbours (or conquistadors...)
2. Isn't a bit racist (ok not racist... Equivalent of racism for nation - it's not nationalism either...) to use British as stereotype of stupid blind colonist? There were more countries sticking their noses to Africa than GB. It's like using Russians for baddies in almost every modern war game... Even upth years after end of cold war... (Vanquish... I'm looking at you)
And... No I'm not from GB nor Russia. I'm from Poland.
 

fnartilter

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beniki said:
scdallav said:
beniki said:
Huh. That's kind of interesting.

Snip
Snip
There were though, weren't there? Folk lore about druid circles and fairy folk?

Not certain if that's true, but if it is the case, then maybe those stories about lost civilisations in Africa aren't actually the product of racism, but merely using local folk lore... which would be an interesting book to write for someone of an explorer mind set.

Not that I'm denying that there may be racist origins, but like Bob says, we should approach this with intellectual honesty. Does anyone know any African folk lore about ancient civilisations?
The Romans killed the druids, and outlawed the native Britons' religion iirc.

Anansi is/was the African (at least in Ghana) spider god of mischief. Read Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, it's fiction but he does do research into some of the African deities (I guess?) and it reflects in his book. Also a fun read.


To Bob: Excellent show, ol' chap. What other fantasy/fiction tropes are used that come from the wild speculation of our racist great grandparents?
 

templar1138a

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RJ Dalton said:
templar1138a said:
Very good episode. I more-or-less knew the information already, but you made it click. Now for my question.

Who would win: Anakin Skywalker or Gambit?
Gambit. Because Anakin Skywalker was apparently a cry-baby.
*glare* Take a look at Luke. It runs in the family. Get over it.
 

Lunar Templar

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Deathlyphil said:
Kitsuna10060 said:
Deathlyphil said:
Non-Marvel, non-DC, possibly even non-Superhero comics please!
Antarctic Press has a lot of those
http://www.antarctic-press.com/

go, be free :D

OT:

did not know that about that trope, but its about as surprising as the sun coming up
Thanks for the link. Not quite what I was meaning, but thanks anyway. My point is that MovieBob only ever talks about Marvel and DC. It's like none of the other exist (Except when they are getting consumed by Marvel/DC).
XD!!

yeah, that's true, know what, I'm seconding you suggestion. there's gotta be more out that isn't Marvel or DC. hell i just stumble on to AP (and haven't left ether :D )

so yeah Bob, why don't you talk about the non Marvel and DC comic stuff ::Heresy inbound:: when there's, other, better company's out there that still HAVE imagination ::Heresy over::
 

Wuvlycuddles

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Jegsimmons said:
now if i may, do you (bob) think possibly that the reason they didnt think blacks built the civilizations was because that these were astounding castles and when they got there the people were....living in huts......thats sort of what is was thinking the whole vid. they probably thought that way because almost no other civilization has gone from castles to huts and seemed to move...backwards.
Now of course im not saying anything negative to be mean, i just like to think about all 3 sides of an issue (there's always at least 3 sides to any argument. Quiet frankly if i found a new civilization that lived in huts while finding remains of huge empires, i sort of wonder why the hell no one ever thought of rebuilding or replicating it for better living conditions. That may be part of the reason they couldn't believe they made it.
I was thinking that too, I mean, if they built it, why aren't they still building cities like that or improving on it or even still living there. From a "western" perspective, people have been living in the same cities for over 2000 years, Rome, Athens, London, Alexandria... It would seem odd that anyone would abandon these sites unless the people living there were no longer around, wouldn't it?

Anyway, question for Bob: Do you think movie theaters will ever "up their game" to compete with home viewing? Is simply being the place you can see it first good enough anymore when at home, its cheaper and more comfortable?
 

MovieBob

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Mr Bobby bob bob, What is your experince with the Warhammer 40k universie? Have you read any of the books (which and by whom if you have), played the tabletop game or any of the video games? Do you like it, or do you think it is stupid?
Bonus question: Do you think that Red Dead Redemption would make a good western movie? Whom should do it then and why?


From MacNille :)
 

RJ Dalton

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templar1138a said:
RJ Dalton said:
templar1138a said:
Very good episode. I more-or-less knew the information already, but you made it click. Now for my question.

Who would win: Anakin Skywalker or Gambit?
Gambit. Because Anakin Skywalker was apparently a cry-baby.
*glare* Take a look at Luke. It runs in the family. Get over it.
Yeah, but Luke grew up over the course of the three movies. Anikan never grew up. He just put on a Darth Vader mask and was suddenly a whole different person.

Now, if it was Darth Vader versus Gambit, then there might actually be a challenge. Not much, obviously, because Gambit's attacks involve throwing explosives at people and Darth Vader can stop laser blasts with his hands, so I think Vader has it in the bag.
 

templar1138a

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Even so, look at the difference between Anakin's and Luke's combat prowess. Whining doesn't enter into it.

It does enter into beating a long-dead horse. See what Bob has to say about that in this goody of an episode.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/escape-to-the-movies/5357-The-Phantom-Menace-13-Years-Later
 

rda_Highlander

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I personally always wondered, where did you get these popping heads from?
Also, I want to know your thoughts on Punisher, almost the only in popular comic scene anti-hero. Will you probably do an episode about him?
 

viranimus

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"move beyond it"

You mean by droning on about antiquated relics so as to draw attention to its existence?

I find this swath of social outcry about as predictable and impractical as the movie reviews.

Yeah dwelling on the past because it was part of the past because some minor degree of it still holds residual influence on the present really seems like the best way to "move beyond it" now doesnt it? Because every doctor will tell you the best way to heal a flesh wound is to periodically rip off the scab to remind you the wound is still there and see how much it has healed since the last time you checked, amirite?

This is not being socially progressive. This psuedo intellectualism actually stunts social progression because it is indirectly perpetuating ignorance to inflate ones self esteem unjustly about how socially progressive they are In focusing on an incredibly narrow view and remaining completely oblivious to the big pictures existence. In essence Faux enlightenment. Its becoming so common now that im starting to think that its generation defining.
 

Falseprophet

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Evil Alpaca said:
My only issue is with your statement about racism being an integral part of human history since the beginning. That's not really true since to be a racist, a person needs to feel as if they belong to a larger race of people than just their surrounding environment. The ancient Greeks weren't racist because they did not see themselves belonging to a superior race. An Athenian would see himself superior to his fellow Greeks and Greeks superior to Persians, Romans,or any other Mediterranean race. The concept of belonging to member of a "race" didn't come along much later until the Enlightenment when the scope of the world view had broadened.
It was defined differently, generally having more to do with ethnic origin than physical differences, but it existed. E.g., the word "barbarian" comes from an ancient Greek slur meaning "person who doesn't speak Greek". The concept was so pervasive that the Greek-speaking Byzantine Empire had a Bureau of Barbarians [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bureau_of_Barbarians] as late as a thousand years ago.

lralowicz said:
Two things... Amm... Movie Bob?

1. I actually don't associate Lost City with Africa... More with South America... And I do know those cites were build by native people who lost their knowledge over time. Or were wiped out by more aggressive neighbours (or conquistadors...)
You don't, but the early examples of this trope in fiction--Haggard and Burroughs, as Bob mentioned--were inspired by the finding of real lost cities in Africa in the late 1800s. Later writers moved the concept to other parts of the world. South America became a popular location after 1911, when the Incan city of Machu Picchu was rediscovered.

lralowicz said:
2. Isn't a bit racist (ok not racist... Equivalent of racism for nation - it's not nationalism either...) to use British as stereotype of stupid blind colonist? There were more countries sticking their noses to Africa than GB. It's like using Russians for baddies in almost every modern war game... Even upth years after end of cold war... (Vanquish... I'm looking at you)
That's true, but how many of those countries invented adventure fiction based on lost cities found in Africa, and if so, were they as internationally influential on later writers as the early British and later American writers in that respect? If there's a French or Dutch writer who inspired the creation of Indiana Jones, it's news to me.

DarkSpectre said:
Its like the dark ages in Europe. If an outsider, like from China, saw the wooden shacks and huts of the people then these huge amazing ruins like Rome or Athens. They'd have to question what happened. Of course the answer would be from the barbarians that the sort invaded destroyed and killed the Romans without asking them how to make all that fancy stuff. A minor oversight yes.
Ninja'd!
 

Scarim Coral

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Very interesting episode. While it was bigot for assuming that the African people weren't capable for building all of that stuff but one would think if they did build all that why is it in ruin? (Ok the answer is online somewhere I'm not going to dwell into it further).

As for my question to ask you- Who are those image of the guys you always use to repersent your emotion/ emote and also why use those image as your emotes?
 

MorganL4

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How high do you think the probability of a Justice League film is in the relatively near future? (within 10 years) The inclusion of Amanda Waller in the admittedly bad GL film combined with the soon to be reboot of Superman are my primary reasons for positing said question. In addition DC traditionally has found it hard to stomach it when Marvel gets a leg up on them.
 

Rabidkitten

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DarkSpectre said:
I've never gotten the impression of Africa from most "lost city" stories. Almost always it seems to be South America and then it is pretty clear that it is the Mayans or Aztec, and we know they built them. The Spaniards just wiped them out. The other influence I see in the lost city trope is the Beng Mealea Temple. This second seems to be the source of more mystery than the South American ones. We know a lot of South America and why their cities are empty now (because they all got killed by the Spanish) what happened to Beng Mealea Temple is a lot more interesting of a topic.
It should be noted that South America has a very long line of civilizations. The usual down fall of each one being the rise of another civilization. For the most part, the South American ancient civilizations had a bad habit of killing each other off. When you lost a war, the city was leveled, the men were killed, the women and children were taken. This is pretty par for the course of the entire planet's ancient cultures up until someone found value in control over pillaging. This is why we find ruins in Africa, the Middle East, and every corner of the planet. The end result of most ancient civilizations was simply genocide by a neighboring civilization. What the Spaniards did was horrible, but it was the remnants of a long human tradition of mass murder.

One of the reasons we know so much about the ancient Roman, Greeks, Egyptians, Persians, and other long standing civilizations. Was because they instilled control over genocide as the norm for conquest.
 

grigjd3

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@Jegsimmons, actually, most civilizations tend to move both forward and backward in terms of technology, quality of life, etc. Europe went through the dark ages after the fall of Rome. Incan and Aztec ruins are all over South America, Pakistan and Afganistan used to be the center of culture and learning in the world and China has moved forward and backward so many times on this scale its ridiculous. To believe that society generally only moves forward is, well, ignorant of all of history.
 

MovieBob

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I have a quick question? Is it not possible that "because they're black" was only part of the issue? I mean the colonials arrive and see tribes and villages and then discover abandoned cities. Is it not common practice for civilisations to become more advanced as time passes? Y'know, if they v=built they cities why weren't they living in them now? Like Stargate, the stargate is more advanced than anything humans have ever created so they could tell there's good odds it's not a human relic.
 

MovieBob

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grigjd3 said:
@Jegsimmons, actually, most civilizations tend to move both forward and backward in terms of technology, quality of life, etc. Europe went through the dark ages after the fall of Rome. Incan and Aztec ruins are all over South America, Pakistan and Afganistan used to be the center of culture and learning in the world and China has moved forward and backward so many times on this scale its ridiculous. To believe that society generally only moves forward is, well, ignorant of all of history.
We never said it's a good reason to think that way, just that a bunch of colonials might rock up and think it's odd that the natives are surrounded by relics that seem more modern than what they had. Plus these were adventurous types who were a little bit dull when it came to things like "there is no such thing as magic" and occam's razor. I think if it was a bunch of white people living there they would have come to much the same conclusion.
 

MovieBob

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/eyeroll Or maybe those 1800s explorers were surprised to find signs of higher civilzation at all in areas of vast unmapped wilderness populated by spear chucking savages. Geez, make those spear chuckers all white or purple or green for that matter. The Lost City isn't racist, it's a damn mystery.

Here are the ruins of a civilization now crumbled in a region currently populated by spear chucking savages who are even more primitive than the nearby ruins. Oh, that's not politically correct, shall we call them "Primitive Aborigines" instead? Should we add "Noble" to that to help assuage your White Guilt?

Guess what? If all Africans looked caucasion they would still have been spear chucking savages for the colonials to exploit but as genetics would have it, they don't. Get over it.
 

MovieBob

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Exterminas said:
Is there any evidence in the comics that Batman and Robin had a homosexual relationship?
I mean aside from the chuckling-inspiring scenes of them having a Spa together. Or is that just one of these fun pop culture things, like saying that Bert and Ernie were Lovers?

(I don't want to bash homosexual people, mind you, I am just curious if there is actual evidence)
They did share a bed.

http://www.oddballdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/batman-robin-in-bed-together-e1308928955169.jpg

Bear in mind they lived in a mansion, they're generally not short on bedrooms. Plus there's the implication they shower together. Though the cold shower is the mark of the sexually frustrated.
 

Gigano

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Yes, yes, and The Lord of the Rings movies are an antidemocratic celebration of a strongman - of superior numenorian genetics, no less - righting a society gone wrong through putting it under his authoritarian rulership. All in the face of a black/white conflict with an ultimate evil of easily identifiable dirty foreigners from a hellish desert wasteland.

Or maybe it's all just good fun which one shouldn't read all kinds of political messages into. The fact that these days people are looking to Uncharted to find their daily dose of "racism" to educate the dirty masses on should tell you everything about how much of a non-issue it is (in case the accusation against Deus Ex:HR [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.310500-Square-Enix-Responds-to-Racist-Deus-Ex-Character], Mafia II [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/102889-Mafia-II-Accused-of-Racism-Take-Two-Responds], Resident Evil 5 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/89834-British-Ratings-Board-RE5-Is-Not-Racist], Left 4 Dead 2 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/93597-Valve-Responds-to-Racism-Accusations], Civilization IV: Colonization [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/84721-Civilization-IV-Colonization-Called-Morally-Disturbing], and the Kinect motion controller [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.243277-Consumer-Reports-Claims-Kinect-Is-Not-Racist?page=1] didn't already).
 

ablac

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Actually im not sure this is/was the case. Thing is the people who lived near these ruins or in the same area at least had nothing similar themselves. It may well be logical to think that the locals might not have been responsible as if they were why would they have subsequently abandoned them for seemingly worse conditions. I dont know if this was the case because i aint studied it but i dont think its fair to say that it was blatant racism which brought these things about. Not saying it wasnt or that the locals werent responsible just sayinf that it isnt fair to say that was the reason without explanation of where these ruins did infact come from. Also considering these ruins usually are the handy work of locals in the stories, if they are made by people, means it might not infact be as racist as depicted. There was racism going on and it was pretty terrible but I just see holes in this.
 

JasonBurnout16

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My question is: What do you think it would take for a MMORPG to have more subscribers than WOW? Where is the next step for this genre?
 

Hungry Donner

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Excellent episode Bob, and a topic of particular interest to me. My father grew up in South Africa, and my mother lived there for a few years. We heard about a lot of outlandish racism growing up, but it was often the more subtle examples which had the most impact.

On the subject of subtle racism, and hitting you in home court, the last time I visited the Boston Museum of Science they'd opened a special hands-on room. It contained: bones, rocks, stuffed animals, and Native American artifacts. This was about a decade ago so maybe they?re better about such things.
 

Thistlehart

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SlothfulCobra said:
That is to say, people have been trying to claim that there must've been some mystical/alien force helping the ancients build their wonders from the great Pyramids to Stonehenge, where everyone doubts that the very white, but not-german and not-roman Celts could've built something that <a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju_6_7YJPWE>a man built in his backyard.
Wow. Mind=blown. Thank you for that link.

OT
Huh, interesting stuff. Thank you for the brain-food, Bob. I wonder what the civilizations were like that built those structures. I also have to wonder how far they progressed technologically before they were pillaged.

I mean, the Romans had developed concrete, and that allegedly became a lost technology until it was "rediscovered" sometime in the 18th century. The Mayans are rumored to have developed a primitive battery and had also developed sophisticated mathmatics and astronomy.

It boggles the mind what can be gained and lost over time.

Like a lot of others here, I tend to veer towards South America when I hear the phrase "Lost City", but then I wasn't exposed to a lot of the stories you're addressing. My exposure to lost cities was in studying Mayan ruins in school
 

grigjd3

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@Spot1990, well, there's tons of evidence of ruins throughout Europe that people lived in hovels next to. Anyhow, there is a prolonged historical argument that happened from around 1800 to 1950 about the origins of Inca and Aztec ruins that exhibits this sense of racism. You can read through letters of white historians saying there is no way these locals could have built such wonders. However, I am not so sure the transition to pop-culture icons such as turn of the century adventure writing and the Indiana Jones movies is real. If I am searching for a "Lost City", wouldn't it be more fun if I had to go somewhere exotic to find it rather than my back yard?
 

rancher of monsters

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Awesome episode as always Bob. While we're on the matter of race, what do you think about the character design change that Aqualad went through from the comics to the Young Justice TV show?

 

Dr Jones

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I got it. people.

Dear Bob:
What is your favourite movie? (And for that matter what sort of music do you like aswell?).
Thanks for your time
 

TheFederation

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for my question, i was wondering... although i agree with you on your views on racism in the Help and other movies like it, i was wondering why in that movie white people solving the problems of black people made me angry, while in say, to kill a mocking bird it didn't.

on a less serious question, what do you think of yahtzee not liking new super mario bros.
 

MovieBob

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grigjd3 said:
@Spot1990, well, there's tons of evidence of ruins throughout Europe that people lived in hovels next to. Anyhow, there is a prolonged historical argument that happened from around 1800 to 1950 about the origins of Inca and Aztec ruins that exhibits this sense of racism. You can read through letters of white historians saying there is no way these locals could have built such wonders. However, I am not so sure the transition to pop-culture icons such as turn of the century adventure writing and the Indiana Jones movies is real. If I am searching for a "Lost City", wouldn't it be more fun if I had to go somewhere exotic to find it rather than my back yard?
Yeah as I said, it's not the best reasoning in the world. But people said the same kinda stuff about Newgrange here in Ireland. They didn't think we could have built it because based on our technology and culture at the time they didn't think we knew our arses from our elbows. It wasn't simply because "Irish people are stupid" they just couldn't see any evidence that Irish people of the time could've done something like that and by that logic more ancient Irish people certainly couldn't have.
 

ShadowKatt

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Well thankfully Bob added in that Liking the medias that take place in these locations doesn't make you a racist.

Otherwise this could have all been construed as another "If you don't think you're a racist then you're absolutely a racist" rants.
 

Saarai-fan

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I'll make a top ten list of questions. Hopefully one will be answered. Won't mind if it's only one.

1) What's your favorite book? (Non-fiction or Fictional)
2) What book or book series would you like to see turned into film?
3) If you could place one Marvel comics superhero in the upcoming Avengers film that's not copyright protected from another film studio, who would you pick?
4) Related to the last question, which actor would play said superhero if you had to pick?
5) Any non-Marvel/DC/Archie comics you'd recommend that hasn't gained a cult following, such as Kiss-Ass or Watchmen, yet?
6) Thoughts on the war on drugs?
7) Since you like baking, what do you like best to bake?
8) Thoughts on conservatives complaints about the liberal media?
9) Favorite non-alcoholic drink?
10) Boxers or briefs?
 

commodore96

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I feel like European explorers assumed these lost cities were something like the lost city of atlantis or king solomon's diamond mines because they hoped they were more than they were racist. I would rather tell the King, Queen, or company that I worked for I found something legendary than just your average ruins, so they would think my venture was a smashing success.
 

zefiris

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I actually assumed this would be about a very similar popular trope in pop culture:
Aliens building the pyramids with space technology, cause humans can't move big rocks. I hate this trope, because it ignores human ingenuity.

I am VERY glad it wasn't, because I learned something new. I thought the LOST CITY thing had a different origin. But this one makes MUCH more sense, so thank you Movie Bob. Very enlightening episode.

I found something legendary than just your average ruins
Notice your term "average ruins".

Average of what? Think about this. That's why they couldn't do it, they had no measuring basis to compare the ruins to. Sure, SOME people knew about old ruins in britan, for example, but the explorers themselves most likely didn't.

Racism is a MUCH more likely explanation since the attitude that africans could not have a culture is well documented. It therefore is more likely than explorers using knowledge they didn't have.
 

mronoc

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Orks da best said:
Dear MovieBob, what do you think of fans, fanboys, fangirls, fandon hatred, fandom entitlemt, and fandon whining.

Also you opinion on MLP: FIM would be greatly liked.
Wach episode 4 of Media Sandwich(part 2 of Bob's guest appearance). Near the end of the episode he has some positive things to say about the show, doesn't sound like he's full on brony though.
 

razing32

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Hey what was the game : 4:30-4:32 ? (The side scroller with the Indiana Jone look alike - sorry if its classic lore , I'm from Eastern Europe , not many classic game consoles in my youth - none in fact )


Question for Bob : I remember you joking about ID in the Paul movie review. Could it be you are a pastafarian and have been touched by the FSM and his noodle appendage ? If so wen did you convert ? /irony
 

CrazyBlaze

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Wasn't the Natives of Africa that the colonist came upon nomads primarily? I don't really know much about that time and their architect but if the tribes were mostly nomads or had more wooden and mud huts, (not trying to be racist I'm just not all that knowledgeable about architect in general and I'm going off what I have seen in videos today and read about in books like the Book of Negros) then it would be confusing to exploders about where those structures came from. Though still it is logical that the people who lived in Africa came from the builders of those structures.

My question: What do you think about events in comics that don't really change anything.
 

Kalont

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I have a question for you Movie Bob. What is your Opinion of the Mass Effect series? Do you think the franchise could stand as an example if interactive art?
 

DSQ

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PlasmaCow said:
A good point well made there.

Mailbag question:
I recall that way back when you reviewed the first Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes film you mentioned that you hadn't seen any of the BBCs modern-day Sherlock series. I was wondering if you have seen any or all of the 6 TV-Film "episodes" since then and, if so, what your thoughts are on the modern day retelling and the series production as a whole.
Aaaand you just asked my question. :D Next series starts filming early 2013, it's gonna be a long wait~ ;A;

OT: Very well put Bob, people forget how powerful language and the arts can be in shaping how we think of other cultures, other counrties and other 'races'.

Since you said TV is something you don't know about I won't ask you about Downton Abbey even if I dearly want to, I would like you opion on adaptions and the increase of the overt adaption in film and TV these days.

In the past when adapting a book or a play filmmakers would be, most of the time, more coy about their sources and sometimes audiences would only find out it was a loose adaption in the credits, but now adaptions shout to the rooftops they are adaptions even if they know that many fans of the orginal will never be pleased and that staying to close to the soruce can mean the film can't be as artisic (in the way only films can) as they would like to be.

Is it just about money and publicity? Or has somthing happened in the studios that have ment that the bosses just won't bet on a unknown property?
 

Something Amyss

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Interesting timing on this episode. Just yesterday, my father sent me information on the prevalence of the "monster" (in loose terms) in America and how expectations of monsters in the new world shaped early colonial beliefs about the Native population of the Americas.

It's not exactly the same, but it does sort of mirror the logic going on here. Just...Backwards.

DVS BSTrD said:
The Temple of Doom was easily always my least favorite out of all three Indiana Jones movies.
Because there were only three
ONLY THREE.
Uggh. that reminds me, did you see that ridiculous fan film where he fights aliens? I think it's called the Rise and Fall of Indiana Jones and the Spiders From Mars.

Sadly, no Bowie.
 

Something Amyss

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ablac said:
Actually im not sure this is/was the case. Thing is the people who lived near these ruins or in the same area at least had nothing similar themselves. It may well be logical to think that the locals might not have been responsible as if they were why would they have subsequently abandoned them for seemingly worse conditions. I dont know if this was the case because i aint studied it but i dont think its fair to say that it was blatant racism which brought these things about. Not saying it wasnt or that the locals werent responsible just sayinf that it isnt fair to say that was the reason without explanation of where these ruins did infact come from. Also considering these ruins usually are the handy work of locals in the stories, if they are made by people, means it might not infact be as racist as depicted. There was racism going on and it was pretty terrible but I just see holes in this.
Of course, you're trying to retcon history by applying today's filters to things.
 

MovieBob

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Haven't seen Temple of Doom nor do I get what Bob is implying about in the racism of Indiana Jones.

My guess is maybe he's referring to the tribe in the Temple of Doom.

Although that tribe is based off a real life tribe that really did kill tourists and people outside their religion all the time.

Again this is just a guess, it could be he's referring to something else, but just thought I should leave that there.
 

RaffB

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Good Episode as Normal :)


Question:

What one Comic/Book/Film/Random Hallucination would you like made/remade into a film?

Personally, I want a decent film version of Hellblazer. The Constantine film with Keanu Reeves was OK, but seem to lack the feel of the comics..
 

MovieBob

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About the lost city things. We have those in the U.S. and whatnot but we just call them ghosttowns and the tropes involved with them are a lot different.

Although to be fair the culture the ghost towns probably had is a lot more familiar than African culture.

I know this sounds like I'm saying the lost city trope is not really racist, but I'm not.
 

MovieBob

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Zachary Amaranth said:
ablac said:
Actually im not sure this is/was the case. Thing is the people who lived near these ruins or in the same area at least had nothing similar themselves. It may well be logical to think that the locals might not have been responsible as if they were why would they have subsequently abandoned them for seemingly worse conditions. I dont know if this was the case because i aint studied it but i dont think its fair to say that it was blatant racism which brought these things about. Not saying it wasnt or that the locals werent responsible just sayinf that it isnt fair to say that was the reason without explanation of where these ruins did infact come from. Also considering these ruins usually are the handy work of locals in the stories, if they are made by people, means it might not infact be as racist as depicted. There was racism going on and it was pretty terrible but I just see holes in this.
Of course, you're trying to retcon history by applying today's filters to things.
Well no, as I've said things like Newgrange have also raised those kinds of questions and guess what, there wasn't a lot of black people in Ireland. The colonials did see the natives as savages to be exploited no doubt, and they were racist of course but all we're saying is that that may not be the reason they thought there was some mystery behind these ruins.
 

MovieBob

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Racism isn't that old a concept, actually. It's mostly colonial, which means it's only as old as... well, the United States.

Earlier than that "racism" was not as much of a thing, mostly thanks to slavery.

Wait, wait, hear me out. In ancient times (think Roman Empire) slaves were people that had lost wars and been captured. They were mostly brought over to wherever the winners lived and sold to local people as indentured servants. What that means is that the more wars a culture waged the more forceful migrants were... erm... recruited.

Rome fought a lot of wars.

Plus the conquerors would also move to the new territories. Wars back then weren't a matter of months, but rather years or decades. People had children and mingled quite a bit more with the locals.

And, believe it or not, they treated slaves way better than Americans did when they took to the practice. Slaves weren't really property, in most periods and regions it was frowned upon (or even outright illegal) to beat them up or kill them. And it was a tradition to free slaves in celebrations or when you died. And when a slave was freed, he became a full-on citizen, with all the rights and privileges of the people who were born and lived as free men in the city.

See the picture that paints? Go to war, get yourself a bunch of prisoners, have them live in your house with your family for a decade or two, then free them and they become citizens themselves. Rather cosmopolitan, right? Add to that the fact that the Roman Empire ended up covering large parts of Africa, Turkey and all of Europe and you get a pretty blendy racial melange. Roman emperor Bassianus was born in Syria. Yeah, I'm not shitting you. He wasn't the only one, either, there was at least another one. And at least two were born in Spain. And one in France.

Later, in the Middle Ages, a bunch of kings and queens kicked out Muslims and Jews, most famously from Spain. Now, that wasn't because they were African or Israelis (they weren't actually, they were Spanish, born and raised), but because they weren't Christian. In fact, they were allowed to stay if they converted, regardless of their skin colour. That's not racist, either, it's religious fanatism.

Although I'm sure there were some racial prejudices (although I imagine they'd assume the guys in the next town over are from a different "race", too), it's during colonialism and the birth of nationalism when race, culture and the concept of "civilization" become one and the same and Eurocentric views degenerate into ethnocentric views. Which, of course, ends up leading to imperialism, which in turn leads to... well, the World Wars.
 

MovieBob

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RaffB said:
Good Episode as Normal :)


Question:

What one Comic/Book/Film/Random Hallucination would you like made/remade into a film?

Personally, I want a decent film version of Hellblazer. The Constantine film with Keanu Reeves was OK, but seem to lack the feel of the comics..
By that you mean it was lacking a blonde, cocky, wisecracking Scouse I'm assuming. Seriousy could Keanu Reeves have been further removed from the original character?
 

Ukomba

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Probably had less to do with the decedents being black and more to do with the decedents appearing to be more primitive than the people who built the ruins originally. The same thing happened with American ruins like the Mayans. Since the existing culture seems to be a step backwards from the older culture it makes people wonder what happened. This isn't a racial thing. There are ancient lost cities discovered in places like China and India, but since the culture there was as or more advanced than the ruins no one questioned their origins. Of course since the cultures in America and Africa were more primitive and looked down uppon it likely did color the line of reasoning going forwards.
 

XDravond

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Very good episode quite obvious but still good and, I admit, I've thought "who built this" (about ruins etc.) but now realize I shouldn't be asking the question that way. I should ask (because it's that part that interests me..) "why did the people who built this abandon it and where did they go?"
Almost same question but so very different answers...

For the mailbox:
Do you read books(non comics...), and if you do what kind and/or authors?
And how can so many really bad movies get funding (like Uwe Bols...)?
 

maconlon439

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Bob, I admired your stance that Star Wars Episode 1 was merely average bordering on bad instead of the "Worst Thing Ever" a lot of people claim it to be. I think that too is a victim of what I called the Ghostbusters 2 effect in other posts in these forums.

So my mailbag question is what Sequels/Prequels/Adaptations have received the most undeserved hate from fans?
 

anian

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I'm sorry, but I think this episode totally missed the target. It just looking into things too much. Or to put it in net speak and to show my stress: "WTH!?" and "This is bull!"
How the hell did this thought process come to be!?

Sure racism was present, but seriously look at it from the perspective of coming to an exotic uncharted lands (or poorly charted) and having no clue about the history of the place but you see a bunch of nomads and (let's face it, and this I'm not using as a insulting term) primitive agricultural tribes - would you expect to find a big lost stone city? The hell you would.
In for example Europe, there are ruins, but there are also contemporary buildings on a massive scale, in southern and central Africa not so much (at least not at those times).
I guess thinking Acropolis in Athens or the Pyramids in Egypt are amazing work and I still find it hard to understand how they did it way back then...then that makes me a racist?

And with all that, the whole of Europe shows that history of a civilization is not always consistent in progress - for example the knowledge from the ancient cultures was even lost until renesansse and such. Cultures disappear all the time, the only problem (and mistake) would be to think there wasn't something before the current dominant culture that is seen - that does not make you a freaking racist.
Some times it is a whole different culture. You have to assume if there's a big city a few miles from you, all tangled in bushes, but you live in a hut, that you probably don't even know the city is there or are not occupying because of some other reason, it does however imply that you are not directly connected to it - does that mean you culture got more advanced or not, not really important, it points to being a change in your culture for sure.

The authors you mentioned wrote stories about "lost civilizations" and "lost cities" as much as on Mars or somewhere else. Thing is it's UNKNOWN and EXOTIC. And what is it to a regular person living in North American and European cultures? Well Africa and South and Central America and Eastern Asia. Most have never been there and the cultures are really different.
They didn't talk about lost cities (unless underground I guess) in Europe, because people knew what was in Europe, Europe was charted and explored and familiar.
Besides that, those were basically adventure and fantasy novels, that's not really racism, though there is I guess racism in their writings.


Zachary Amaranth said:
Of course, you're trying to retcon history by applying today's filters to things.
And Bob was not? He actually said it himself racism was just there in those times.
 

VZLANemesis

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Vault Citizen said:
Sadly at this point in history it was an assumption held by colonialists that Africa had no history.
Here's the thing though... When you find a civilization much inferior to your own, and later you find something far more advanced right next to them, why would you assume its made by them. Confusingly worded, but here's my point:

Small villages in africa and "subdeveloped" tribes and shit, make their houses of mud and tree branches and such, if you find buildings made out of stone and with much better architecture/stability and size, why would you ever assume it was made by them. A culture deciding to go backwards in technology is not the norm and as such that thought would completely be illogical.

Anybody care to discuss this?
 

teebeeohh

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when i hear lost city i think of either
a) Atlantis
b) incan/mayan ruins in south america.
and even when i picture the people who lived in those places in my head they always have the skin colour i would consider dominant in that region
seems like i have been successfully unplugged from my racist cultural heritage, THANKS MUM AND DAD
 

CrazyGirl17

I am a banana!
Sep 11, 2009
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Well said, Bob. Those are the kinds of things you really don't think about...

As for questions, um... all I got is "What do you think of the 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic'" craze?

Though anything involving cliche fantasy tropes and what writers can do to spice them up would be good...

EDIT: How about the new DCU? Or even your favorite South Park Episodes?
 

maninahat

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Nice video, and all very true.

An excellent example of anti-African architectural ignorance: reader, name a World famous African building that wasn't made by Egypt.

What if I told you that the chief contender for the biggest structure in the World was African? The wall of Benin is five times longer than the great wall of China, yet the odds are, you've never heard of it. The alarming thing is that few have, specifically because British Colonists knocked it down for the sole purpose of "punishing" the state.

Not only did we stereotype Africans as primitives, we forcefully manufactured that stereotype by destroying evidence to the contrary. What a legacy.
 

Rooster Cogburn

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Spot1990 said:
grigjd3 said:
@Spot1990, well, there's tons of evidence of ruins throughout Europe that people lived in hovels next to. Anyhow, there is a prolonged historical argument that happened from around 1800 to 1950 about the origins of Inca and Aztec ruins that exhibits this sense of racism. You can read through letters of white historians saying there is no way these locals could have built such wonders. However, I am not so sure the transition to pop-culture icons such as turn of the century adventure writing and the Indiana Jones movies is real. If I am searching for a "Lost City", wouldn't it be more fun if I had to go somewhere exotic to find it rather than my back yard?
Yeah as I said, it's not the best reasoning in the world. But people said the same kinda stuff about Newgrange here in Ireland. They didn't think we could have built it because based on our technology and culture at the time they didn't think we knew our arses from our elbows. It wasn't simply because "Irish people are stupid" they just couldn't see any evidence that Irish people of the time could've done something like that and by that logic more ancient Irish people certainly couldn't have.
Spot, I think you asked a good question. "We know their outlook was highly racist, but can we prove this specifically is a manifestation of that racism?" I don't know the answer to that, but I do have a guess: most likely. I'm a history major, and I've perused endless primary sources from many time periods. Take it from me- people don't hold that shit back. Or if they do, it's very, very new. We really don't need to psychoanalyze any 19th century historians. If they thought black Africans lacked the capacity to construct sophisticated structures, they probably just fucking said so.

Like I said, I don't actually know the answer to your question. But experience tells me you will probably find it in very plain bold language.
 

Aerowaves

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Imagine how much it blew the minds of the Christian conquistadores to find fully living, breathing, functioning civilisations in South America that still worshipped a whole host of gods and who, in turn, were very much aware of the legacy left to them by still older, vanished, civilisations.

Also in terms of popular "culture" the concept of the Lost City is far older; see the already mentioned El Dorado in South America and the lost civilisation of the Christian king Prester John holding court somewhere in the wilderness of Africa/Asia that was fairly well-propagated as early as the Middle Ages.

I recognise the overall point of the video but I don't see how it follows. The Lost City, at least as I've always understood it, speaks to a hidden native nobility untouched by the excesses of the West and is not inherently "racist" so to speak, at least not how we'd understand it nowadays.

It is however, perhaps, inextricably bound up with the innately racial concept of the "other", which pre-dates the colonialist era and is probably, as Bob says, going to stick around for a hell of a long time.
 

MovieBob

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OniaPL said:
Don't know if this is a bit silly or anything you know about, but anyways:

Why so many fantasy works repeat the same tropes of elves, dwarves, dragons over and over again? Why is it so hard to come across a fantasy work which feels fresh and new?
This is my mailbag question please!
 

Gigano

Whose Eyes Are Those Eyes?
Oct 15, 2009
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VZLANemesis said:
Vault Citizen said:
Sadly at this point in history it was an assumption held by colonialists that Africa had no history.
Here's the thing though... When you find a civilization much inferior to your own, and later you find something far more advanced right next to them, why would you assume its made by them. Confusingly worded, but here's my point:

Small villages in africa and "subdeveloped" tribes and shit, make their houses of mud and tree branches and such, if you find buildings made out of stone and with much better architecture/stability and size, why would you ever assume it was made by them. A culture deciding to go backwards in technology is not the norm and as such that thought would completely be illogical.

Anybody care to discuss this?
Well, the Europeans kind of had a precedent to understand this on, in the form of the rise and fall of the Roman empire. They only needed to look to the ancient aqueducts and the Colosseum in Italy, then look to the millennium between the years 500 - 1500 to see how far a society can fall from such a cultural stage.

Of course, since unlike the Italians the people they encountered elsewhere had no written history to speak of, and generally didn't live at the site of the ruins either, there was nothing to actually link them to these ruins. And their culture was even less advanced than the Italian one had been at any point, making the gap even wider.

Combine this with a pre-existing cultural fascination of "lost cities" dating back to the myths of Atlantis (...and arguably a pre-existing fascination with the strong Christian imagery of societies suddenly being wiped out as well, such as Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah, and just the whole Flood thing), and they'd be quite likely to engage in such speculation; Absent any motive of racism.

It's pretty surprising that Bob mentions Atlantis - so well ingrained in our culture that he himself unconsciously links it with "lost city" - without pausing for a second to ponder whether that myth might've been the primary motivation for these fantasies when coming upon unknown ruins from a distant past. But I guess that'd kind of undermine his whole crusade against the racism he can apparently find everywhere.
 

Steve the Pocket

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viranimus said:
"move beyond it"

You mean by droning on about antiquated relics so as to draw attention to its existence?

I find this swath of social outcry about as predictable and impractical as the movie reviews.

Yeah dwelling on the past because it was part of the past because some minor degree of it still holds residual influence on the present really seems like the best way to "move beyond it" now doesnt it? Because every doctor will tell you the best way to heal a flesh wound is to periodically rip off the scab to remind you the wound is still there and see how much it has healed since the last time you checked, amirite?

This is not being socially progressive. This psuedo intellectualism actually stunts social progression because it is indirectly perpetuating ignorance to inflate ones self esteem unjustly about how socially progressive they are In focusing on an incredibly narrow view and remaining completely oblivious to the big pictures existence. In essence Faux enlightenment. Its becoming so common now that im starting to think that its generation defining.
Imperator_DK said:
It's pretty surprising that Bob mentions Atlantis - so well ingrained in our culture that he himself unconsciously links it with "lost city" - without pausing for a second to ponder whether that myth might've been the primary motivation for these fantasies when coming upon unknown ruins from a distant past. But I guess that'd kind of undermine his whole crusade against the racism he can apparently find everywhere.
I think you two have missed the point of what he's trying to say. He's not condemning modern culture for continuing to make films and stories based on a trope that was originally grounded in racism. He's pointing out how the racist attitudes of the past are still ingrained so deeply into human culture in ways that we don't even notice anymore. Another example might be the Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemimah brands in American grocery stores. Are any of these things bad? No. He said so himself. His point was that culture doesn't just rewrite itself from scratch every time people realize their attitudes about some issue were wrong all this time.
 

orangeapples

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What was interesting, because whe you mentioned the idea of lost cities, my mind went to the Central and Southern Americas because because they have still standing castles and monuments...

So is that a case where my not reading has made me more open minded? Because here reading was a product of and a device to spread ignorance...
 

T.rue

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Why ist the "Ancient Prophecy comes true"-theme so often used in fiction since it never happens in real life.
 

Shadow_Kid

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The first thing that came to my mind was New York,

I guess my question is why do movies like to show New York city desroyed ?
 

Creatural

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First, Bob this was an excellent video and I'm glad you put it up. I do wish though you had talked about something with more relevance to today and how racism still affects people, like how black students in almost every country still do badly on IQ tests because of a racist bias that states black people aren't smart and it's been reinforced in these kids' minds. Fortunately, these same kids will do better on IQ tests as soon as it gets pointed out to them that some of that racist thinking might still be hiding in their brains somewhere so it's a fairly easy fix.

Second, everyone who keeps bringing up the point of "well, if you had seen huts and didn't see people living in castles wouldn't you assume that these people were primitive too?" I'm sorry, but your point doesn't really stand here. Firstly, there's an assumption already here stating that things Europeans have had (castles) are better than huts and that's not always true. In fact, most huts were better to live in than some of those castles because the air flow was better and castles had to stay in one place where as with huts and similar housing you could move with greater ease and this is a huge advantage in most of Africa. I don't know if most people are aware of this, but there are a lot of crops you can't grow in certain parts of Africa that actually stick around, so it makes it dangerous to try and stay in just one place to live your whole life because you don't have a guaranteed steady food supply. The places that did crop up as castles had things growing there in the past, as well as certain animals there, that weren't necessarily doing as well as they were then and those civilizations used to have a lot of trade to rely on that they later didn't have.

Had the explorers just bothered to ask some of the natives there they would have gotten some of these stories from them, but that would also have required them to have believed them and not dismiss them automatically based on their race, which most of them did. The racism also didn't just come from people thinking that oh these huts aren't like our houses so they must be inferior (though that is unfortunately part of it because colonists from anywhere tended to assume that if a civilization was different from their own it meant it was inferior), you have to keep in mind part of the racist movement from this time period unfortunately came from people making some creepy interpretations from their bibles. People literally thought at one point that people with darker skin were descendants of Cain (the first murderer in history according to that text, just in case someone doesn't know that). This is only one small part of that though, there were people also using evolution (in the later proper time periods - the lost civilization thing kept being a thing for awhile sadly) to also say that hey people with darker skin are inferior to those with lighter skin. This primarily came up though because these people again thought the group they were already part of was the best one (so a French person would think they're better than non-French people as would and English person think that only the English were superior) and with their superiority they thought they could either help those "under" them or use those same people to make themselves better and further their own evolution.

Also, everyone who is saying that the behavior of the people living in Africa was also savage and should give reason to the explorers to believe they were inferior needs to step back and examine themselves really closely. You're firstly assuming that all groups of African people behaved the same, they didn't, and secondly you're also saying that the more acceptable behavior of people for that time was that of the explorers. The explorers regularly did horrific things to the native people there and to their own people and implying that they were somehow more well behaved than all of the diverse cultures in Africa is not that great of an idea, that can make you racist and it also ignores how differently groups of people there actually behaved. Can we just not give into that type of thinking anymore?
 

ReiverCorrupter

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Baresark said:
This is one of the most level headed assessments of what racism is/was that I have ever heard a voice say (besides the one's in my head). So many things are racist and based on racism that have nothing at all to do with any sort of negative connotation that it outright gives me a headache when this subject is brought up. For instance, take affirmative action. It is racist in the sense that it's a social movement that defines some people of a certain race (or gender or backround or religion) as more deserving of something based on that very thing. And how about this, if you are positively racist about a person then you are by extension negatively racist about other people who are not like them.
Pretty much. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regents_of_the_University_of_California_v._Bakke

Affirmative action is the laziest and most unfair way to try to correct social inequality. A capitalist society is a meritocracy. Academia is a meritocracy. Meritocracy is a good thing, it means that the person who is most qualified and most likely to be successful gets the job. The problem with affirmative action is that it gives the position to less qualified people, and by doing so you're taking the position away from someone who is more qualified. The funniest part about it is that it has quickly turned into a bragging rights competition over who has the most diverse staff/student body. Another major problem with affirmative action that we've seen is that sadly students from underprivileged inner-city communities are often completely unprepared for college and flunk out.

The answer isn't at the collegiate level. By then it's pretty much too late. The answer is to fix the broken primary school system so that everyone, no matter what their ethnic or socioeconomic background, has access to an education that will prepare them for college. But the American people just don't want to foot the bill.
 

_Russell_

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Question for MovieBob
What?s your favourite comic story arc?

Asking what your favourite comic is seems a bit bland, so your most liked story arc or character development? And can you explain it in detail?
Or if not your favourite then an interesting or unique story arc/character development?

I?ve never really got into comics but I?m always been interested in and entertained by the ?COMICS ARE WEIRD? episodes, I?d like to see more of them. :D
 

Mr. Omega

ANTI-LIFE JUSTIFIES MY HATE!
Jul 1, 2010
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A trio of questions:

1: What are your thoughts on the 3DS eShop and Club Nintendo?

2: What is your biggest concern for the WiiU?

3: Can you think of a series (any medium) where nostalgia has actually been a liability for it?
 

machinemade

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Norway's most well known cartoonist (Frode Øverli) was accused of racism because he did a comic strip about cannibals. He later went on record saying that there was no racial intention behind it and that he drew them that way because it is a well known cliché/stereotype/parody like Santa, Dracula and werewolves (meaning fictional characters).
This is the strip in question:

http://gfx.dagbladet.no/labrador/197/197571/19757111/jpg/active/x978.jpg

What do you guys think?
 

Gigano

Whose Eyes Are Those Eyes?
Oct 15, 2009
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Steve the Pocket said:
...
I think you two have missed the point of what he's trying to say. He's not condemning modern culture for continuing to make films and stories based on a trope that was originally grounded in racism.
I think you've missed my point of questioning whether even back then it was in fact (primarily) grounded in racism, or whether perhaps it could primarily have been motivated in the ancient and well established cultural tropes of Greek and Christian mythology, which were even more prevalent and well known at the time than they are today.
 

Iszfury

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Awesome episode; offered a unique perspective on the issue. Nice outside thinking.
Also, I know ZP has already done a rather thorough essay on this, but would you care to talk about how fantasy cliches might be turning the genre stagnant (in any medium)? It seems that the "elves and dwarves" aesthetic has become so hopelessly engraved in the genre it often feels like writers and designers of any sort are too timid to break into a new paradigm. Similarly, how SciFi has turned into an exclusively extraterrestrial and space-themed endeavor, etc.
 

maninahat

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VZLANemesis said:
Vault Citizen said:
Sadly at this point in history it was an assumption held by colonialists that Africa had no history.
Here's the thing though... When you find a civilization much inferior to your own, and later you find something far more advanced right next to them, why would you assume its made by them. Confusingly worded, but here's my point:

Small villages in africa and "subdeveloped" tribes and shit, make their houses of mud and tree branches and such, if you find buildings made out of stone and with much better architecture/stability and size, why would you ever assume it was made by them. A culture deciding to go backwards in technology is not the norm and as such that thought would completely be illogical.

Anybody care to discuss this?
Someone will have probably mentioned it to you in better detail, but I would care to discuss it. First things first: most major ruins appear to "surpass" the surrounding buildings because they were grandiose construction projects, commissioned by the nation's wealthiest people, designed by the best educated engineers, built with the finest resources, and specifically constructed for the purpose of withstanding a lot of clout. That explains why the castles remain, but the settlements around them disappear without trace: they were built to entirely different standards.

Secondly: Those "mud huts" tend to be more advanced than the castles. A castle looks big and imposing and impressive, even when compared to a 20th century bungalow. When you compare this [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/domesday/images/tower-of-london.jpg] to this [http://www.daisychainholidays.co.uk/images/bay-view-holiday-bungalow.jpg], it is easy to kid yourself into thinking that the bigger, stronger looking structure is technologically superior. It isn't: Terrible ventilation, drainage, foundations, insulation, difficult and slow to construct, exhaustive of materials, expensive to maintain. There are no doubt some excellent architectural features of a castle that make it stand the test of time, but it certainly isn't more advanced.

Finally, it isn't as if Europeans didn't have similar structures in similar circumstances. Europe is littered with castles and other displays of archetectural prowess, and they often seem far more imposing than the buildings that surround them. Had the Europeans thought to apply their logic to their own civilizations, they might have recognised the flaws with it.
 

Windcaler

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That was an interesting take but I would like to give a different opinion on the whole "where did this come from?" angle

I understand that racism being "how it was" back then made the colonials not even consider the African's responsible for those relics. However, for me, I probably wouldnt have thought they were the source because of how technologically advanced castle and city building is compared to the technological advancments of most African tribes today.

I think its hard for the human mind to see remnants of an advanced civilization and then think that it came from a more primitive one even though its a sign of cultural entropy. Our minds are hard wired to advance and evolve our technology but to have it, for lack of a better word, devolve is an alien concept. I think its easier for us to see or imagine a civilization being wiped out then it is for us to imagine a civilization going backwards in the technological scale
 

rayen020

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hmmm... kinda makes me wonder what the spanish thought when seeing nonwhite native americans building giant cities complete with monuments to pagan gods. One wonders why they wiped them out.

question - Applied to the escapist in general, Is it better if i watch the entire video or can i check out during the credits. I think i heard once that sitting until the end of the web-video is better for it's makers, something to do with ad-revenues and traffic numbers), and since then i've diligently sat through the credits. I probably still will even if i don't need to but sometimes though finger twitch or other external forces i switch it off before the video goes all the way through, and i'd like to know if that guilt associated with that is justified or not.
 

maninahat

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machinemade said:
Norway's most well known cartoonist (Frode Øverli) was accused of racism because he did a comic strip about cannibals. He later went on record saying that there was no racial intention behind it and that he drew them that way because it is a well known cliché/stereotype/parody like Santa, Dracula and werewolves (meaning fictional characters).
This is the strip in question:

http://gfx.dagbladet.no/labrador/197/197571/19757111/jpg/active/x978.jpg

What do you guys think?
The difference is that those fictional characters are obviously works of imagination at the expense of no one, whereas the "fictional image" of a cannibal is based on offensive stereotypes of real cultures (indeed, the word "Cannibal" was derived from the word "Carib" or "Caribbean").
 

ReiverCorrupter

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Steve the Pocket said:
viranimus said:
"move beyond it"

You mean by droning on about antiquated relics so as to draw attention to its existence?

I find this swath of social outcry about as predictable and impractical as the movie reviews.

Yeah dwelling on the past because it was part of the past because some minor degree of it still holds residual influence on the present really seems like the best way to "move beyond it" now doesnt it? Because every doctor will tell you the best way to heal a flesh wound is to periodically rip off the scab to remind you the wound is still there and see how much it has healed since the last time you checked, amirite?

This is not being socially progressive. This psuedo intellectualism actually stunts social progression because it is indirectly perpetuating ignorance to inflate ones self esteem unjustly about how socially progressive they are In focusing on an incredibly narrow view and remaining completely oblivious to the big pictures existence. In essence Faux enlightenment. Its becoming so common now that im starting to think that its generation defining.
Imperator_DK said:
It's pretty surprising that Bob mentions Atlantis - so well ingrained in our culture that he himself unconsciously links it with "lost city" - without pausing for a second to ponder whether that myth might've been the primary motivation for these fantasies when coming upon unknown ruins from a distant past. But I guess that'd kind of undermine his whole crusade against the racism he can apparently find everywhere.
I think you two have missed the point of what he's trying to say. He's not condemning modern culture for continuing to make films and stories based on a trope that was originally grounded in racism. He's pointing out how the racist attitudes of the past are still ingrained so deeply into human culture in ways that we don't even notice anymore. Another example might be the Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemimah brands in American grocery stores. Are any of these things bad? No. He said so himself. His point was that culture doesn't just rewrite itself from scratch every time people realize their attitudes about some issue were wrong all this time.
The problem with what Bob is saying is that it's an intellectual sleight of hand. Bob is still implicitly arguing that culture needs to rewrite itself, which bares the question: does culture really need to rewrite itself so it no longer acknowledges the existence of race? He's going back to a descriptive definition of racism and then saying it's still prevalent. So what? If racism is just distinguishing between people or things according to race, then it isn't a bad thing. Saying, "I like Japanese food" would be racist by that definition. "Hey man! That's not cool! All foods are created equal, no one food is better than another!". Then Bob goes back to a more traditional form racism that many would consider bad, and then implicitly argues that negative racism is still prevalent. It's fallacious equivocation. Sure, there's still plenty of the bad kind of racism out there, but not every instance in which we distinguish between people or things based upon race is evil.

As far as the lost city thing goes, most people think of a lost city as just an abandoned city. While the early literature that Bob was referring to was undoubtedly racist, I don't think any of the modern incarnations of the meme bare the same racial connotations. Frankly, when most modern people think of a lost city, they probably think of the Mayans or the Aztecs in South America because they are the two biggest examples that come to mind. That doesn't strike me as terribly racist. If anything, it says something negative about white people, because we played some role in the death of the Aztec civilization. (Though the Aztecs' neighbors were more than willing to help the Spanish because of the human sacrifices and all that.)
 

Li Mu

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maninahat said:
Nice video, and all very true.

An excellent example of anti-African architectural ignorance: reader, name a World famous African building that wasn't made by Egypt.

What if I told you that the chief contender for the biggest structure in the World was African? The wall of Benin is five times longer than the great wall of China, yet the odds are, you've never heard of it. The alarming thing is that few have, specifically because British Colonists knocked it down for the sole purpose of "punishing" the state.

Not only did we stereotype Africans as primitives, we forcefully manufactured that stereotype by destroying evidence to the contrary. What a legacy.
Interesting, although you should probably clarify that it wasn't a single continuous wall, but in fact hundreds of walls and earthworks. It also took 600 years to reach that size, so was presumably not a single project.
 

stueymon

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Good episode but I have one bone to pick

I don't there was the assumption that these lost cities were made by white people, more so that the black builders of said cities had themselves vanished. That's not to say all colonials thought like this but the more enlightened of them just wondered where had the city builders gone? why hadn't they continued and advanced like other major civilisations.

Of course there are minute things that can hold an entire civilisation back, the early Chinese empire, while having gun powder, was still less advanced than their European counterparts because the Chinese used china.

This may seem a bit of an odd point, but because glass blowing and the use of glass provided the Europeans with an advantage, that their scientific minds could work longer with better eye-sight and such devices as microscopes, telescopes and everything else used in glass work helped advance their society.

Civilisation, what a weird thing. (apparently, a good book to read on this is Guns, Germs and Steel. A book on why Eurasian society has prospered but refuting any intellectual superiority http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guns,_Germs,_and_Steel )

Also, A question for Bob himself! I wonder what impression he would have on the Assassin's Creed series on it's handling of race and religion, despite the immediate disclaimer at the start of each game.
 

Oro44

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Tolkien is another good example of culturally entrenched racism, only this time in a fantasy setting. Think of it, Dwarves. Short, big noses, obsessed with gold and riches and a language based on Hebrew....yeah. Elves, fair skinned, blindingly beautiful, the pinnacle of enlightenment. The hatred between them is all a metaphor for anti-Semitism. However, this has a happy ending with Gimli and Legolas becoming friends. The point being that Jews and Gentiles have no reason to hate each other.

Don't even get me started on Lovecraft.
 

Deathlyphil

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Shadow_Kid said:
The first thing that came to my mind was New York,

I guess my question is why do movies like to show New York city desroyed ?
I'm guessing they do that because:

1. New York is world famous. It's iconic. The first time I went there it felt like I'd already been there because I knew the streets, the buildings, and part of the history. I'm guessing that's the same for a lot of people.

2. From a non-American point of view (because I'm not American) New York is often heralded as the First City of the US. Since the majority of films and tv programs are also American, the US is always portrayed as the greatest civilisation ever.

So, to sum up, it is an ideal target because at some base level, anyone who has watched television or films will almost certainly recognise, and have some sort of attachment to, New York City.
 

Monty McDougal

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What ideas would you implicate into a 'good' transformers movie?
Do you think that Zack Snyder's 'Man of Steel' is headed in the right direction?
Why does everyone like Blade runner?
 

Random Argument Man

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Mailbag? Oh boy!

1. You've already mentionned once that a live Super Mario brothers movie is possible. How would you see it?
2. Not to snipe at you too directly, but you once said that "the 90s sucked" because it was a bad time in your life. You still use sometimes that image of the wrestler saying the same thing. Why do you persist in doing so?
3. Do you think you'll do an episode on the canadian "film industy" at some point?


I'll edit if there's more questions that I would like to hear your answer.
 

retrochimp

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A great point on how memetic evolution is as slow and cumbersome as genetic. Certainly worth remembering. Until memory is selected for vestigiality, that is.
 

Vault Citizen

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VZLANemesis said:
Vault Citizen said:
Sadly at this point in history it was an assumption held by colonialists that Africa had no history.
Here's the thing though... When you find a civilization much inferior to your own, and later you find something far more advanced right next to them, why would you assume its made by them. Confusingly worded, but here's my point:

Small villages in africa and "subdeveloped" tribes and shit, make their houses of mud and tree branches and such, if you find buildings made out of stone and with much better architecture/stability and size, why would you ever assume it was made by them. A culture deciding to go backwards in technology is not the norm and as such that thought would completely be illogical.

Anybody care to discuss this?
I don't mean that they didn't think the Africans could have built those structures, they literally believed that the African continent had no history.
 

Zydrate

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Did he always need to make an "announcement" for his Mailbag episodes?
Seems unnecessary. Surely he gets emails and questions anyway?
 

Semitendon

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I suppose the point of the episode was pretty good overall, but the example was terrible.

You said " Lost City- what do you think of?"

You said my answer was: "Africa- Because of Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, and Tarzan among others, all take place in either Africa, or places like Africa, and that's racist because way back in the day people were surprised and mystified to find ruins of cities in Africa" Paraphrased of course.

The reality is, I immediately thought of South America, Asia, and the Middle East. In fact, Africa is pretty far down on the list. The argument would then be, "Why didn't I think of Africa, isn't that racist?" And the whole damn thing just gets worse after that.

But, before jumping into that, I'd like to address a couple of things first. For the most part Indiana Jones doesn't take place in Africa, I realize that the Lost Ark was found in Egypt, but aside from that he doesn't spend much time there. Tomb Raider is the same, there is a map on wikipedia that shows places where Lara Croft has been in the games, most of them outside of Africa. You used Tarzan as an example of the Africa lost city concept, congrats that's valid. . . and very old. Counterpoint: The Jungle Book- Lost City, not in Africa, very old.

To return to the "Why not Africa?" mention. Quite frankly, outside of Egypt, Africa doesn't have any mysterious ruins. Not compared to Asia and South America anyway. Sure, as stated in the video, "ruins like these are found all over the place" and that's very true. It's also true that in terms of sociaties mastering complex buildings and math before their "time", nobody in Africa holds a candle to the Asians, South Americans, and Middle Easteners, with the exception of Egypt.

My point is, this whole episode was a strawman argument. Pity, when there are so many good examples of modern day, unrealized, and indvertant racism.

P.S. Bob, when you say "places like Africa" when refering to Asia and South America. . . that's racist. lol
 

Cat of Doom

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Question: why do Video Game Movies always fail, and what do you think needs to be done to get them over.
 

maninahat

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Good episode but I have one bone to pick

I don't there was the assumption that these lost cities were made by white people, more so that the black builders of said cities had themselves vanished. That's not to say all colonials thought like this but the more enlightened of them just wondered where had the city builders gone? why hadn't they continued and advanced like other major civilisations.

Of course there are minute things that can hold an entire civilisation back, the early Chinese empire, while having gun powder, was still less advanced than their European counterparts because the Chinese used china.

This may seem a bit of an odd point, but because glass blowing and the use of glass provided the Europeans with an advantage, that their scientific minds could work longer with better eye-sight and such devices as microscopes, telescopes and everything else used in glass work helped advance their society.

Civilisation, what a weird thing. (apparently, a good book to read on this is Guns, Germs and Steel. A book on why Eurasian society has prospered but refuting any intellectual superiority http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guns,_Germs,_and_Steel )
Cool. Another big advantage Eurasian cultures have is their geographic location. According to economist Charles Wheelan, equatorial nations (particularly much of Africa) had the disadvantage of a harsher climate, with scaulding dry seasons and torrential wet seasons. This meant that tropical diseases were far more common, whilst soil quality was often poor. Thus, famine and plagues would constantly hamper attempts at advancement.

This also had knock on effects: Climate often has a big influence on how Colonists (the guys with the most advanced technology) behave in any given region. The more inhospitable, the lesser chance of colonists attempting to develop proper settlements. In places like Africa (and to a lesser extent, India) colonists focussed more on stripping as much resources as possible, without bothering to attempt any long term plans for sustainability. In more hospitable climates like the Americas, Europeans found it easier to settle for the long term. The upshot of this is that the locals in harsher climates get their precious resources stolen, whilst the ones in accommodating climates get completely replaced, leaving a developed, advanced civilisation in their stead.

This still is a huge problem that continues to hold back African countries (along with the many others). A severe lack of drug research on tropical diseases means that this is unlikely to change any time soon.
 

yunabomb

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Some thing that comes to mind: One of the big criticisms of Ancient Aliens is how is discounts the idea that non-European civilizations could have attained any knowledge of math, science, engineering, or construction on their own.
 

Ariseishirou

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maninahat said:
What if I told you that the chief contender for the biggest structure in the World was African? The wall of Benin is five times longer than the great wall of China
I hadn't heard of them before, so thank you for sharing that bit of interesting info with us.

However, the wiki article straight up starts out with:

It was considered the largest man-made structure lengthwise, second only to the Great Wall of China...
Which, given the geography of the two regions just makes sense. It's impressive enough all on its own, no need to exaggerate it.
 

Oly J

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Dear Moviebob, would you rather be chased by a horse-sized duck or 50 duck-sized horses?

alternate question, of DC and Marvel which aspects of each do you prefer and why?
 

VoidWanderer

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Very well done. Great episode. I confess to have never considered the trope of 'The Lost City'. I have definitely learned something new and insightful today.
 

ManInRed

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Since lots of people are claiming they thought of the Mayans first, in a vain attempt to prove they're not racist, I might as well say Angkor if the first place I think of as a lost city. Its a terrific ruin, and just first image that jumps to my mind. It deserves some love too. Ah, there's something about stone buildings being swallowed up by juggle that is just cool anywhere, I doubt this concept will ever fade.

It is easy, and to be honest encouraging, that people today have a hard time thinking certain bad ideas were so universally accepted in the foundation of a lot of our tropes. Sure we can rationalize other reasons for these conclusions than straight up racism, but that would be ignoring the forest while trying to depute the existence of the trees.

Just take Piltdown Man, and obvious forgery that was originally ignore as such at the time by those who should have known better because it supported the argument that humanity emerged from Britain. Which means accepted science at the time told people that ancient civilizations were all white, thus the notion of lost white cities in Africa was not such a stupid idea back then. Still, however the idea happen, racism help shape it, as it influence so many things it was impossible for it not to have played some hand in it.
 

SnakeoilSage

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So the lesson is, what? That we should just stop whining about people being racist because "that's how it's always been?" That calling a racist out for his unsubstantiated hatred for someone based on the melanin count in his skin is something we just have to put up with because it's traditional?

Consider the fact that for the past 100,000 or so years since humanity appeared, there has not been a great deal of advancement. Certain moments saw progress, but our species has advanced faster in the past century than it has in all its existence. Yes, I goddamn do expect racism to pack it in and leave. Along with sexism, persecution based on and/or because of religion, and every other backwater ideal that has held us in a state of cultural stasis for centuries. A resigned attitude to its presence is like a doctor just shrugging off a man's health issues because "that's what happens at your age."

Fuck. That. We have computers, microwaves and saran wrap. FUCKING FIX IT!
 

MovieBob

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Creatural said:
Also, everyone who is saying that the behavior of the people living in Africa was also savage and should give reason to the explorers to believe they were inferior needs to step back and examine themselves really closely. You're firstly assuming that all groups of African people behaved the same, they didn't, and secondly you're also saying that the more acceptable behavior of people for that time was that of the explorers. The explorers regularly did horrific things to the native people there and to their own people and implying that they were somehow more well behaved than all of the diverse cultures in Africa is not that great of an idea, that can make you racist and it also ignores how differently groups of people there actually behaved. Can we just not give into that type of thinking anymore?
That's not what we're saying at all. We're just saying it might not have been as simple as "No way could black people do that", because as I said, they thought the same things about ruins in countries populated by white people. No one's denying they were definitely racists.
 

Canyoureadmydeadpan

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I always assumed Lost City mythology was South American in origin and originated from the tons of lost cities left behind when the Spanish killed of Indian tribes.
 

e.wlmo4

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Great episode bob but to think that something so entrenched in popular culture came from such of a backwards place really sucks.
Now my question for you is with the release of Red Dead Redemption and LA Noire do you think that Rockstar has used their tech for better and more varied storytelling. Also has your 360 collection grown beyond Arkham Asylum and Bioshock.
 

immortalfrieza

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Excellent episode Bob, as always, and it's quite true, racism is and probably always will be part of our society in some for or another.

Now for my mailbag questions, I'll put out a few, and considering the topic of this episode, I'll make them about your own personal experiences with racism:

1. What kinds of racism have you personally been a victim of?

2. Consciously or unconsciously, what kinds of racism have you personally perpetrated?

3. For you, at what point does racism cross the line between joke and serious and starts to piss you off?
 

immortalfrieza

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SnakeoilSage said:
So the lesson is, what? That we should just stop whining about people being racist because "that's how it's always been?" That calling a racist out for his unsubstantiated hatred for someone based on the melanin count in his skin is something we just have to put up with because it's traditional?
What Bob's saying is that racism is deeply entrenched in the society and culture of the ENTIRE human race, and that humanity has only made any real effort to get rid of racism in the past couple decades. Bob's saying it's unreasonable and unrealistic to expect every last form of racism to disappear overnight, or even in the next several decades for that matter.
 

SnakeoilSage

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immortalfrieza said:
What Bob's saying is that racism is deeply entrenched in the society and culture of the ENTIRE human race, and that humanity has only made any real effort to get rid of racism in the past couple decades. Bob's saying it's unreasonable and unrealistic to expect every last form of racism to disappear overnight, or even in the next several decades for that matter.
I understand that. But it feels like the worst kind of cop out on an important issue. I don't think expecting racism to vanish overnight is a bad thing even if it isn't realistic. If we don't hold ourselves to higher standards right this very instant, then when are we going to? Like an unhealthy lifestyle: we make time for it now or we'll be forced to later.
 

immortalfrieza

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SnakeoilSage said:
immortalfrieza said:
What Bob's saying is that racism is deeply entrenched in the society and culture of the ENTIRE human race, and that humanity has only made any real effort to get rid of racism in the past couple decades. Bob's saying it's unreasonable and unrealistic to expect every last form of racism to disappear overnight, or even in the next several decades for that matter.
I understand that. But it feels like the worst kind of cop out on an important issue. I don't think expecting racism to vanish overnight is a bad thing even if it isn't realistic. If we don't hold ourselves to higher standards right this very instant, then when are we going to? Like an unhealthy lifestyle: we make time for it now or we'll be forced to later.
Don't worry man, progess to eliminate racism IS being made all the time, it's just going to take a while. However, I seriously doubt racism won't exist in some form or another anyway regardless of what we do to stop it.
 

gring

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I think you're right to a certain extent. But I think you're missing the point on why their minds were so blown.

First of all, these kinds of ruins aren't just exclusive to Africa, and even in movies/books/games that use the idea of "lost ruins" don't just use African examples. Sure the original stories that brought the inspiration for other stories were based off of them, but by now most take other locations into consideration, and inspirations built off of other inspirations means the original stories aren't as relevant as they originally were.

Second, most of these ruins they found were made of massive stones that even our cranes today wouldn't be able to lift, and usually placed very precisely on top of each other and made massive structures with them, the reason why they're still standing today is because they're so amazing. It's the same with the Mayan temples, the same with the Asian temples, even the same with the Pyramids. Besides, why were Africans at that time living in tribal villages if they could just go build a castle out of stones?

So that's not to say that the people who built them weren't black, and of course it's comical they would 'fill in the blanks' so to speak with a bunch of white people for the original stories you're referring too. I get that part. My point here is, of course the colonials were racist, but to practically say they were so amazed because they were "just racist" seems a bit far fetched. They may have been racist, but they at least had SOME intelligence.
 

yunabomb

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SnakeoilSage said:
I understand that. But it feels like the worst kind of cop out on an important issue. I don't think expecting racism to vanish overnight is a bad thing even if it isn't realistic. If we don't hold ourselves to higher standards right this very instant, then when are we going to? Like an unhealthy lifestyle: we make time for it now or we'll be forced to later.
He's not really proposing a solution. If racism is this entrenched in society, it's not something that you can just eliminate, and it's often not something that is immediately identifiable. Fighting against racism is something that will take much exploration, action, and most importantly, listening to those impacted by it*.

*Take the hint, users here who clog threads with the same BS every time some one makes a thread about race and/or sex in videogames.
 

Elf Defiler Korgan

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That was good, balanced, I got the message. He didn't try to beat us over the head with his politics or moral posturing.

Bob though, isn't exactly right. The orientalists from their origins were always interested in the middle east, and aware that brown, blacks, Mongols, Chinese, Thai etc had their own cities, civilisations, economies and military power once they encountered such and examined it, or when an advanced or organised army rocked up and had a go at the cities of Christendom (Ottomans, early Islamic conquerors, Moors, etc etc). The Ottomans after all, almost took Europe a few times, and the various coalitions of Muslim non-whites did defeat the crusaders. Orientalism studies, anthropology and archaeology would come to understand that black Africans too, like their pre-Islamic neighbours, did have cities, forts, civilisations. Even after the reconquista, the port cities of north africa were clearly there and known, because they were hassling trade through piracy, and had connections to the Moorish territories that had recently been taken by Spain.

So to put it more accurately, there was a lot of racism about, but also educated whites interested in getting to the truth, and there was plenty of ways to broaden their understandings and encounter blacks in cities.
 

1424nathan

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Here are some questions, feel free to pick and choose any you like?

Are there any movies that you reviewed in the "Escape from the Movies" where over time your opinion of them has turned an 180?

How do you feel about accusations of bias towards movies(ex:muppets)?

Are there any genres, media, or aspects of geek culture that you simply don't get or understand the appeal?

What is the difference between a good remake and a bad remake(maybe some examples)?

Do you think that this era of cinema where geek culture has such a heavy influence on the medium where we get movies like "The Avengers" or "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" will either die down or even backfire on itself?
 

BlackWidower

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I love what Penn Jillette said:

"Circumstances of birth are nothing more than random and should never be a source of pride or shame."

"Wanna really get rid of this bullshit racism? Stop seeing yourself as white, or black, or even American! Be yourself and fuck the tribe!"
 

Johnson McGee

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I have a question for Bob: why do people get duped into watching obviously awful movies time and time again? (cough, Jack and Jill, cough).
 

Pariahwulfen

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Imp Emissary said:
That was cool.

Ok question time.
Now that BioWare are done with Shepherd's story and are on their way to finishing up Dragon Age, what do you think they will try next?

I kind of hope they try a RPG world that has magic (and I mean magic magic), but is placed in a future world. Not as far in the future as Mass effect maybe, but at least far enough that they have electricity and indoor plumbing.

Do you think they will be trying anything like that? Have you (or anyone else really) heard of a game like that?

Thanks for the brain food Bob!
Why yes, I have heard of Shadowrun [http://www.shadowrun4.com/], I would like to see a videogame adaptation of it that does it justice though.
 

Nurb

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Considering the vast majority of us younger generations honestly don't have the thought "How could black people build this fantastic stuff?" running through our heads when the "lost city trope" is brought up, doesn't that mean we HAVE moved past it?

The fact he had to tell us how it came about shows that racism no longer affects that spesific part of the culture because the original meaning is gone and replaced by the appeal of wild, exotic locations and lost cultures.
 

MovieBob

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Semitendon said:
I suppose the point of the episode was pretty good overall, but the example was terrible.

You said " Lost City- what do you think of?"

You said my answer was: "Africa- Because of Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, and Tarzan among others, all take place in either Africa, or places like Africa, and that's racist because way back in the day people were surprised and mystified to find ruins of cities in Africa" Paraphrased of course.

The reality is, I immediately thought of South America, Asia, and the Middle East. In fact, Africa is pretty far down on the list. The argument would then be, "Why didn't I think of Africa, isn't that racist?" And the whole damn thing just gets worse after that.

But, before jumping into that, I'd like to address a couple of things first. For the most part Indiana Jones doesn't take place in Africa, I realize that the Lost Ark was found in Egypt, but aside from that he doesn't spend much time there. Tomb Raider is the same, there is a map on wikipedia that shows places where Lara Croft has been in the games, most of them outside of Africa. You used Tarzan as an example of the Africa lost city concept, congrats that's valid. . . and very old. Counterpoint: The Jungle Book- Lost City, not in Africa, very old.
I'm afraid you've misread the "narrative" of my argument, though to be fair that's concievably just as much my fault.

Obviously, there are more "lost city"-type ruins to be found in South America and Asia, and clearly that's why modern variations on the theme like Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider generally place their locales there - because they have the benefit of modern knowledge to know that it makes more sense that way. HOWEVER, the reason "Lost City"/"Lost Civilization" stuff pops up in Indy and Tomb Raider is because those are both modernizations inspired by classical Adventure Fiction, which in turn were inspired by King Solomon's Mines, which took place in Africa and was DIRECTLY inspired by the then-recent discoveries of real-life African ruins.
 

Monkeyman O'Brien

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Yes I suppose it could have been a "black people could not have built this stuff" issue. Or maybe, just maybe, it was a much more common sense "People generally advance. So people today living in mud huts are not likely to have been from the same people who built castles. Otherwise why would they have stopped building castles and started living in mud huts?" mindset...

Also this really had fuck all to do with racism... Tell me how this is at all relevant to say the black slavery issue people still harp on and on and on about. From people who were never slaves towards people who have never owned slaves.

Sorry, I am gonna go right on ahead and keep stating that the racism issue is bullshit, just something people like to whine about to make themselves feel like others owe them something. Because that, that selfishness, that self victimisation, is a very real and trait that has nothing to do with race or sex but purely on people being selfish cunts.

Oh and the whole "monkey is always a slander against black people" thing can go fuck right off. Look at my name, look at the last name... Yeah. Go die in a fire ya whiney jackanapes.
 

MovieBob

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Here's something a i think a lot of geeks want to know from you: marvel or DC? or if you'd prefer not to touch that, what super power would you pick? and yes, flight is a cop-out!
 

Piecewise

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Same thing happened with native Americans. The large structures that explorers found were explained away as the acts of a lost civilization known commonly as "The mound builders" in order to justify the explorer's feelings that the native americans were far to primitive to have ever made anything permanent.
 

Evil Alpaca

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Zaul2010 said:
Question: If you put loads of sugar on a bagel, does that make it a donut?
It makes it a very stale donut.

Back to the topic...

Wouldn't it also be true that the narrative for a lost city requires an area that a city could be lost in. I assume by the 1800s, Europeans probably had a good idea of what Europe looked like. Couldn't you also explain the setting in part due to general ignorance.

I mean, some early science fiction often had Mars or Venus as quasi-habitable worlds because it was assumed that they would be the closest to earth. Nowadays, science fiction writers set their sights on planets light years away because we have a more thorough understanding of our own solar system.
 

MovieBob

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Fawxy said:
Interesting and informative episode.... funny how we take certain things in fantasy/pop culture for granted.

QUESTION: What's your opinion on the next generation of game consoles and where it will/might take the game industry? Failing that, where do you see consoles in the future i.e. 10-15 years from now?
I second this question.

And I ot one myself: Bob, do you read Comics like Calvin & Hobbes, Ztis or Baby Blues? I want to hear a lecture about those.
C&B will always remain a masterpiece for me. I read it since I was a kid, and everytime I re-read it I learn something new. It's like The Simpsons, made for everyone, some things everyone can enjoy while others only when you get older.
 

BehattedWanderer

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So, the Lost City trope doesn't encompass finding lost Middle Eastern, South American, European, Eastern Asian, Southern Asian, or (admittedly rarer) North American cities, city-states, temples, statues, and other remnants of a long dead empire?

So the Arabian stories about finding ruins in the sands of the city of glass destroyed by the sun in a fitful rage when his lover slept with someone in the city didn't help found the concept?

The Chinese stories of journeying across the lands and finding overgrown idols of unknown gods don't help?

The islander stories of searching for a continent the gods hid across the seas, it's beautiful lands untainted yet by man, these don't matter?

Stories from all corners of the globe of people looking for a city sunk by the gods, or of passageways in tombs, or the exploration of bizarre monuments for treasure, knowledge, or more treasure don't hold up? Just the ones about white dudes in Africa?

It doesn't stem from a racist idea, it stems from a human idea--we in the present are impossibly complex, while everyone in the past was primitive. Through study and diligence (something most people avoid like it has cooties), we can correct this misunderstanding in ourselves. Yes, age of exploration white dudes charting out Africa were racist, but when they looked at either nomadic or agrarian tribal societies versus the immense complexity of the eroding civilization, they saw no comparable way that the two groups could have been anything alike, ergo someone else built it. If you found intricate iron lacework and precision-crafted alloys near a group of people that hadn't the foggiest clue of metallurgy, you would conclude that someone else built it. It's really not that hard of a leap. Applying racist overtones onto it does nothing good.
 

awesomepanda

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i'd like to find out a little about this john carter of mars. the movie trailer was the first i heard of it.
 

theSteamSupported

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Bob, here's my question: You've been called a hypocrite a lot of times. What do you think about these accusations? Will you ever address them? Like say, the gimmickry in 'The Artist' versus 'Sucker Punch'?
 

mykalwane

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Response to video:
I liked it, and made me think. I think more Makes you think, kind of episodes would work well. Since they appear to be easy on your part. Don't know if they are or not. Probably aren't but I think you could do it on anything you like and just dive into for a bit.

Questions:
1.Do you think webcomics are replacing comics?

I ask this because I think all you need to do is give a short answers. I wonder since I buy more individual comics from web comic artist then anything else. I have bought more merchandise and comics from webcomics like The Devils' Panties [http://thedevilspanties.com/], Something Postitive [http://www.somethingpositive.net/index.html], and Eerie Cuties [http://www.eeriecuties.com/] then I have from Marvel and DC. Its easier to find something you like, and often want to pay even if I have already read the comic.

2. Do you think comics will ever be back in the regular stores?

Just something I miss seeing. This is kind of the reason why I stopped buying comics was it wasn't readily available to purchase a new comic each week. It being tough to find that missing issue I stopped buying comics. I know buy collections like Marvel Zombies instead if I buy any at all. Just is easier and have the whole thing there when you want to read it.

3. Will there ever be if you like x episode?

I wonder this because I think this be easy for you. Usually your better episodes come after an easy one you had fun with. Thought this might work as a good idea.Start off on something you like that is fairly well known, say Kick Ass for example. Then could go off on other things that might be similar or might enjoy relating to that. For example if you like Kick Ass you may want to cheek out Super because has the whole blood and guts bit they tend to not have in a super hero movie.

4. What past(not currently on TV) shows do you think are worth picking up?

Since you watch DVDs more then anything else do you have any shows you think are worth cheeking out? I wonder this because I have Titus [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titus_%28TV_series%29] and Dinosaurs [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaurs_%28TV_series%29] up there with Freakaziod. You like Freakaziod as well, so thought you have some good ones worth cheeking out. Hell I think you could make a whole episode out that if you wanted to.
 

Endocrom

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Mailbag ep, eh? hmmmm...

-Are you tired of zombies?

-Where are your faces from?
 

Lieju

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Vault Citizen said:
Sadly at this point in history it was an assumption held by colonialists that Africa had no history.
Apart from Egypt, who MUST have been white during the ancient times, at least the ruling classes.

As for the Lost city, it might be just because I'm familiar with ancient cultures, but when I imagine a lost civilization in Africa or South America, I'm not going to assume they were white.

This is an issue with Hollywood fantasy/scifi in general, how many magical/alien races/species there are that are all white? And how many that are all black or Asian and portrayed in equally positive light?

Or even races that are mixed? Apart from having one black elf middle of somewhere where everyone else is white, which is just ridiculous.

There's still the view that

good, intelligent, civilised = blonde, white
evil, stupid, barbaric = if not black, at least dark

For example, how many pictures you have seen of Neanderthals and modern humans (straight out of Africa)? And which ones tend to be portrayed as white, and which ones dark?

BehattedWanderer said:
If you found intricate iron lacework and precision-crafted alloys near a group of people that hadn't the foggiest clue of metallurgy, you would conclude that someone else built it. It's really not that hard of a leap. Applying racist overtones onto it does nothing good.
Monkeyman O said:
Yes I suppose it could have been a "black people could not have built this stuff" issue. Or maybe, just maybe, it was a much more common sense "People generally advance. So people today living in mud huts are not likely to have been from the same people who built castles. Otherwise why would they have stopped building castles and started living in mud huts?" mindset...
True, but it becomes kinda racist if you assume it must have been some white people. (Or people of you chosen ethnicity) Even if that's not the most likely answer.


Monkeyman O said:
Oh and the whole "monkey is always a slander against black people" thing can go fuck right off. Look at my name, look at the last name... Yeah. Go die in a fire ya whiney jackanapes.
It is? I didn't know that. But who said it was? Did someone bring it up here? Because it sounds like you just want to get offended at something you are imagining someone is saying.
 

BreakdownBoy

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The history of Zimbabwe is very interesting, three prominant tribes are said to have originated from Zim, the Shona, Matabele and the Zulus. It is said that these three were all one tribe but got split up. The Shona trib and Matabele are still in Zim and while part of the MAtabele is in South Africa. The Zulu's moved to the east coast of South Africa.

All three of these tribes had a very violant/ warrior orientated culture (young men had to kill an enemy before they could choose a wife), I would not think it far fetched that they arrived in Zim with their vast heards of cattle and destroyed the more advanced African culture that built those ruiens.
 

blackrave

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Well there might be some cities that were built by ancient colonizing forces (romans, greeks, egyptians, etc.)
Some of the ruins might be also inspired by buildings of invaders
Were they all built by or inspired by ancient civilizations? Hell no!
There are too many ruins in Africa. So africans can build heavy buildings, it isn't always necessary, but they can.
BUT one proof that those were built by extinct civilizations- lack of fresh ruins or similar functioning buildings.
Yes, most of them were people with black skin color, and there might be descendants of those living in Africa now, but cultures that built those are extinct for sure.
Or at least they are hiding well.
 

Treefingers

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Rabidkitten said:
I'm not sure I buy that those same adventures in racism bleeds into our own modern perspective of exploring lost civilizations.
Are you familiar with the name Edward Said or the term 'Orientalism' ?

If not, I suggest you look it up.
 

squash1405

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the difference between The Spanish explorers of South America, who knew about the great civilisations of the Incas and Aztecs, and the 19th century European explorers of Africa, is the philosophical theories in vogue at the time.

In the 19th century, the Enlightenment idea of human progress led to the view that Europeans were more advanced and Africans, etc. were backwards. Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, with its racist implications, added to that. The idea that history is progress meant that Europeans of the time could not really conceive of the idea of cultures regressing, getting less complex or losing cultural and technological knowledge.
 

The Human Torch

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Whenever I played Tomb Raider games, I never thought that the ruins you explore were in South-Africa. South-America and Asia were my preferred locations (in thought).

Or is it racist to NOT think that South-Africa can have any ruins/lost cities?
I am so confuzzled.
 

Ramzal

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Oy friggen vey. Okay, people. You want racism to disappear? Stop talking about it. Stop acknowledging it. The problem is outwardly identifying people by their skin tones to draw a line in difference. Once we stop calling each other white or black, that's when racism will go away. In the mean time, constantly shining a light on it, talking about it in times that aren't called for just keeping the buggy man alive.
 

TheSchaef

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Actually, I always tie "lost city" mythos to the ancient South American indian tribes, the Aztecs, Mayans, etc. Africa never occurred to me. The snap taken from Raiders of the Lost Ark: south american indian temple. Apart from the original Tomb Raider (cue the Atlantis tie-in here), Lara doesn't really spend any significant time in Africa (to be fair, that title and the other matching title - Legend - are also the only two games Lara spends in South America).

Also, another thought about the idea of lost cities. The reason Europeans expect to find castles in Europe is because Europeans lived in castles; some still do. Moreover, societies that built stone buildings and cities have tended to stay in those cities and continue to develop their architecture into the modern age.

Taken in that light, is it possible that people were surprised to find castles because they encountered African natives living in primitive tribal communities, and not in castles, and not in any of the things that followed on from castles in Western cultures, rather than just because of the color of their skin?
 

maninahat

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Ariseishirou said:
I hadn't heard of them before, so thank you for sharing that bit of interesting info with us.

However, the wiki article straight up starts out with:

It was considered the largest man-made structure lengthwise, second only to the Great Wall of China...
Which, given the geography of the two regions just makes sense. It's impressive enough all on its own, no need to exaggerate it.
The Wikipedia article also says "The Walls of Benin are the largest man made structure in the world" in the image caption (sourced to a New Scientist article). I always get confused by biggest, largest and longest etc.
 

ExileNZ

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Hey Bob!

Don't forget: Atlantis.

That's the first "lost city" that comes to mind whenever someone mentions it - and it hails back to a lonnng time before the 1800s.

That aside, good ep.
 

darksakul

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Odd that the questions I want to ask are questions Bob would look at and say "I am not answering that you looney"?
 

NeoShinGundam

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MovieBob, can you please explain to everyone why the new Earth-Two by DC is quite literally the worst thing ever by throwing everything good that they had before and doing the EXACT OPPOSITE!!!

For reference:
Captain Marvel is now gritty and dark
Superman now kills people & is emo
<a href=http://jimsmash.blogspot.com/2012/03/jim-lees-earth-2-superman-costume.html>In fact, his new costume makes him look like Ultraman, his evil-universe counterpart
 

dragonburner

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I always associated the "lost city" thing as being based of the Mayan and Peruvian ruins. I guess I should've studied more of the history behind it.
 

Skjutentrast

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Because there are so many "lost cities" in Europe.
I mostly think of places like machu picchu or Ankor wat. Not any place in Africa. And in those instances we know who built them and they are prized as great engineering feats even by Europeans of the time.
Sorry. Can't see the racism here.
 

Jegsimmons

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grigjd3 said:
@Jegsimmons, actually, most civilizations tend to move both forward and backward in terms of technology, quality of life, etc. Europe went through the dark ages after the fall of Rome. Incan and Aztec ruins are all over South America, Pakistan and Afganistan used to be the center of culture and learning in the world and China has moved forward and backward so many times on this scale its ridiculous. To believe that society generally only moves forward is, well, ignorant of all of history.
Well here's the thing though... Europe's dark ages were fairly brief and followed up with booms in education and culture.
Asian is the same but they usually experienced some apocalyptic event and used previous tech to forward just a little more depending on seclusion...

Africa is (supposedly) the oldest inhabited continent on earth with the most resources and minerals.
and yet when they went backwards....they STAYED backwards. there are still tribes of African living in mud huts using stones. Tribes in Asia and south america use technology when they come across it, i remember seeing a documentary where they met up with cannibals in like Brazil and they wore friggin' shirts with logos on them and have metal and lighters.

So why is Africa the exception here?
 

dubious_wolf

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Mail time, Mail time.
Is mail tiiiiiiime!

Here's the mail, it never fails.
It makes me want to wag my tail.
When it comes I want to wail - Mail!
 

MovieBob

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My mailbag question for Bob: Why do you give Obama a free pass for doing the same things you criticized Bush for doing?
 

LordFisheh

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I imagine if we really weeded out everything that had roots or connections to something racist, we wouldn't have a culture left. But - for the most part - considering the relics a problem now would be like considering and 90 year old Frenchman who complains about the Germans down the road a threat to diplomatic relations.

Also, I'm thinking we need to start divorcing racism from the words associated with it. That 'white' playstation campaign? Admittedly I don't know the whole background of it, but I'm willing to bet that the colour white was a poorly thought out marketing gimmick that just happened to have a racial connotation. I mean, if there were green skinned people, would all of our 'go green' publicity suddenly become evidence of a subconscious love for greens over all others? Of course not.
 

Drake_Dercon

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I don't know that it was an *exclusively* racist tone taken by the 19th-century explorers. It would be pretty astounding to find a completely uninhabited city with cultural iconography you hadn't ever seen in a region where stone cities weren't frequently built. But that's knit picking. I think it was an interesting episode, though it may have meandered from the point a bit. What can I say? I'm not a reviewer.
 

MB202

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Hey, while we're on the subject of race:

http://www.change.org/petitions/prosecute-the-killer-of-17-year-old-trayvon-martin

A 17-year-old black teen was shot down while going to a convenience store to pick up some Skittles for his brother and some iced tea. George Zimmerman, police officer and self-appointed "neighborhood watch leader", saw him walking from the store, and reported it as "suspicious", then shot him in the chest... even though he was told to do nothing until other officers arrived.

Yeah, and yet people wonder why we still talk about racism these days. :/
 

him over there

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Alright to be frank the whole it is ridiculous that this ancient city is here because it must have been built by africans isn't exactly water tight. Wouldn't it be more bewildering and confusing not that it is in Africa but that it is incredibly intricate and technologically impressive stonework that is extremely different and more sophisticated than the immediate civilian surroundings? I mean for a while (perhaps still, I haven't checked up on it) people were still somewhat unsure of the methods used to build the pyramids. It was really more the dark ages that fucked over people's progress and technology so these ancient structures used techniques and technology beyond what was available in that time period (even for the wealthiest and most advanced countries) so they had to assume it was some sort of crazy incredibly different lost civilization of the past.

Though to be fair nobody here was there so unless there's some sort of evidence like an explorers journal that says "How the hell did the people from the dark continent do this" or something of that sort we are really just using logic and reasoning to assume things.

Personally I thought that this episode was going to be more about how come the lost city is always in africa or south america instead of perhaps east asian temples or anything of the greeks or romans etc. made.
 

MovieBob

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While there certainly are plenty of racist implications (well, not so much implied as directly stated most of the time, see the recent John Carter movies) in older properties, it's really hard to make the claim that more recent stories in the same vein are somehow also racist in implication just by pure association.

We tend to write ridiculous origin stories about ancient ruins even when we know damned well where those ruins come from and even when our (assuming you're white) ancestors built the things. Look at all the ridiculous lore surrounding old Roman forts, or Stonehenge, or midaeval castles. Or the fact that in more modern interpretations, the lost super-advanced alien-guided civilization building African ruins is black, even if said ruins are in the desert in northern Africa and that makes no sense whatsoever.

Also, you missed a rather important part of your definition of racism, it's not anything involving race, it's any philosophy based on the theory that mental attributes and social accomplishment are primarily the result of genetics. Stories that make no comment on the various merit of different races or attribute differences to culture rather than bloodline are not racist.
 

Marudas

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When I think of "Lost City" its usually a more Aztec or Mayan swing.

Further, I don't...completely agree with the idea. I follow what Bob is saying, and as i am no expert on the subject, so I can't say how full blown the disregard for the locals was. Here's the thing though- if you were an explorer, and went to a place where there were people living in relatively primitive societies (even for the time), and then found some abandoned ruins, I don't think its ridiculous to wonder who built them. I mean, if the locals can build castles, why aren't they living in castles? But, as Bob said, the fact that they never considered going off and asking the locals if they can build castles is where it starts to stoop to racism.
 

Beautiful End

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Q: What would be your definition of a nerd/geek? They're both different depending on who you ask. And some people consider themselves those when they aren't and vice versa. I don't know. it's still a very confusing topic/label to me.

Q: What is your favorite videogame and why? Or series. Mine would be Little Samson for the NES. I could do an entire essay explaining why but that's not the point.

Q: If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why? And how would you use it?
Or..
If you could live in a fantasy universe (LotR, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Pokemon, etc), which one would you choose and why?
 

spounz

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I receive a kidney last January. And just before last 2-3 weeks, I was talking to the new boyfriend (which comes from Haiti) of that girl I use to live by. And as I was talking about my surgery, I talk about the things that I knew about the donor: Her sexe, her age age and that was pretty much it.

But, as I was talking to him, I understood, that day, that the donor might be: white, black, brown, red, purple with green dots... I don't care, because that person gave me life. So yeah, I was a bit racist(or jumping to the conclusion too easily): a white guy, receiving "a white people" kidney, and all that really matters is the compatibility of both the donor and the receiver. So yeah, don't jump to conclusion to fast, think before you speak...

Nice work btw, love the show!
 

Shirokurou

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Kinda failed to understand the relation...
Lost cities presumably not being built by "primitive black people" also stemmed from the fact that hey that city is lost and unknown and the "primitive black people" are still doing their stuff, not inhabiting castles or any other likes of unlost cities.
Sure taking example of "the lost city" trope from say Uncharted 3 that deals with Lost Cities in Arabia... Arabs do have advanced cities, so they're not "primitive blacks" so technically that's not racism?

Racism isn't only black/white, just saying.
 

Triaed

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Wow, this was an excellent article. Thank you for sharing, Bob.
Perhaps I find it more interesting and relevant because I am what you Yanks like to call "visible minority", but in my ethnicity I am visibly a majority
Meh, potato po-tah-to
 

Therumancer

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Jegsimmons said:
now if i may, do you (bob) think possibly that the reason they didnt think blacks built the civilizations was because that these were astounding castles and when they got there the people were....living in huts......thats sort of what is was thinking the whole vid. they probably thought that way because almost no other civilization has gone from castles to huts and seemed to move...backwards.
Now of course im not saying anything negative to be mean, i just like to think about all 3 sides of an issue (there's always at least 3 sides to any argument. Quiet frankly if i found a new civilization that lived in huts while finding remains of huge empires, i sort of wonder why the hell no one ever thought of rebuilding or replicating it for better living conditions. That may be part of the reason they couldn't believe they made it.

I find it odd that Bob can start out with a point about the issue of racism and how the term is used (ie in connection to first world social movements) and then jump right off the deep end into something kind of ridiculous that undermines any point that he might have been able to make with his initial prognosis.

The British explorers of the time were not exactly shocked by the idea of non-white civilizations having built things like that. I mean the dusky skinned Mediterreneans built the foundations of their own culture (Greek and Rome) back when what we call whites were still the Barbarians, we knew about the Egyptians and Persians (who are very dark skinned) and their great civilizations even if they were past their prime, and so on.

The thing with the "Lost City" trope in Africa is that the people there had no real abillity to do anything like that. Even looking at say the Egyptians you could see a culture that might not be at the top of the game, but there is a lot of history and enough of a civiliation to understand how they could have constructed a lot of these things. The thing with the Pyramids for is that they are more advanced than the civilization there, but constructed with primitive materials (stone blocks) which leads people to wonder if the Egyptians lost technology, had help, or whatever else... but it's not shocking in the same way as the African "lost cities" because you can at least see the possibility.

With Africa the people there didn't really have much in the way of tools, archetecture, or any kind of organized social structure to have justified such constructions. What's more a lot of the guys "puzzling" over such things have to deal with the fact that they had been studying the people in the region and can track a lot of these tribes and the patterns of where people were living back for centuries or even hundreds of years, with a relative
amount of cultural stagnation. The peoples there dont have the remnants showing that they might have been more advanced.

One old, prevailing theory is that the Africans WERE more advanced, but wound up getting on the bad side of the Greeks at a time when they practiced total war, and wound up getting decimated back to the stone age from which they never recovered. Some supporting evidence for this theory is how if you look at some of the stories that were compiled into Greek Myths and Legends you'll find referances in the way the stories were told to gods visiting places like Ethiopia to explain why they were elsewhere, which implies a degree of advancement (or at least respect as a civilization) but at the same time there is little direct evidence of a war, or much in the way of proof that the Greeks wiped them out at some point. The theory being similar to a lot of the arguements about Vikings having made it to North America where there is some minor evidence, but nothing concrete enough to paint a definate picture.

To be honest, racism was present during the early 20th century, but I don't think this itself was racist, or has tainted the idea. To date a lot of these cities and structures remain mysterious (as do ruins throughout the world) because a lot of them defy any efforts to paint a consistant picture of progress in the region. You can't reconcile history of the people in rhe region which can be tracked with the existance of the ruins.

On a creepy note, this is also the subject of a lot of TV shows on ancient mysteries and such. Things like Crystal Skulls being found on more than one continent, and how some geologists and experts have claimed to prove that certain stones used in construction on one place came from another part of the planet at a time when nobody could have quarried and transported them.

That said, a lot of what Bob is talking about is the myth of the "invisible knapsack" which is used by those with a vested interest in preserving racism for political power (to hold together racial voting blocks by promoting a common enemey to be opposed, whether it exists or not). Globally racism exists, China for example is massively racist and it represents like a third of the global population alone, but in the civilized Western World it's pretty much over with in any kind of mainstream sense.

What passes for "racism" in places like the US generally boils down to minority status in what is spiritually a democracy (even if it's actually a representitive Republic). The basic issue being that in a democracy, or something akin to one, the idea is that everyone has a say, and whatever gets the most people behind it is what everyone does. The thing is that when you represent a minority with special interests and motivations, that means consistantly losing to points of view that vastly outnumber you within the society. This leads to arguements that boil down to whether the society is working as intended (ie, they get a say, but don't have enough people to succeed against the majority in issues where they wind up in opposition), or if various principles in the country mean that not everyone should have an equal voice, with smaller groups being given a much louder voice and representation to create parity with the majority. There are no easy answers to this which is why it remains an issue, and it can be argued either way (I'm not going to get into it). People tend to confuse this issue (and it's a big one, that reaches into a lot of things) with actual racism. Today your more likely to see issues akin to say 25 members of a minority (blacks, asians, whatever) going up against 250 members of the white majority in a vote, and then insisting that despite the numbers that the 90% of people who voted against them should lose because there weren't enough of them present. Arguements about how changing such results or trying to force parity for minorities undermines the point of any kind of process to begin with, vs. arguements about how if the system works that way it means Minorities will never get what they want on ANY level because as minorities they will always be outvoted and overpowered within the system which amounts to a form of oppression. There is nothing racist about it despite people using that term when certain minorities come up, but it is a big issue.

In an absolute sense to find real racism in the mainstream you have to move away from the western world. If you go to say China, Japan, The Middle East, with strong feelings of racial dominance, purity, and destiny still present into th emodern day, you'll run into plenty of racism. It can be especially shocking when your white "cruader for equality" comes to the realization that internationally whites are a huge minority and plenty of people want to take us down for various reasons, including their own beliefs in their inherant superiority.

The US is only a little over 200 years old as well, while Bob can talk about the sheer inertia of racism, it can be argued that the US was eventually at the very tip of civil rights (and annoyed a lot of other nations pushing for it), a few decades ago... going back to the 1960s is like 20-25% of the history of our entire country. We aren't old enough to really have the kind of inertia that older and more established nations do with such matters, which is in part why we irritate people when we come walking in to stop genocides, ethnic cleansing, and other things that are the result of thousands of years of history in many cases.
 

Creatural

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Spot1990 said:
Creatural said:
Also, everyone who is saying that the behavior of the people living in Africa was also savage and should give reason to the explorers to believe they were inferior needs to step back and examine themselves really closely. You're firstly assuming that all groups of African people behaved the same, they didn't, and secondly you're also saying that the more acceptable behavior of people for that time was that of the explorers. The explorers regularly did horrific things to the native people there and to their own people and implying that they were somehow more well behaved than all of the diverse cultures in Africa is not that great of an idea, that can make you racist and it also ignores how differently groups of people there actually behaved. Can we just not give into that type of thinking anymore?
That's not what we're saying at all. We're just saying it might not have been as simple as "No way could black people do that", because as I said, they thought the same things about ruins in countries populated by white people. No one's denying they were definitely racists.
You weren't saying that in particular, there was someone in here though that was literally calling the African people there savages and those are the type of people who that part of statement was addressing. I think, fortunately, that comment has since been deleted or otherwise banned from sight.

I was definitely not talking about you in that part of my comment.
 

Creatural

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Jegsimmons said:
grigjd3 said:
@Jegsimmons, actually, most civilizations tend to move both forward and backward in terms of technology, quality of life, etc. Europe went through the dark ages after the fall of Rome. Incan and Aztec ruins are all over South America, Pakistan and Afganistan used to be the center of culture and learning in the world and China has moved forward and backward so many times on this scale its ridiculous. To believe that society generally only moves forward is, well, ignorant of all of history.
Well here's the thing though... Europe's dark ages were fairly brief and followed up with booms in education and culture.
Asian is the same but they usually experienced some apocalyptic event and used previous tech to forward just a little more depending on seclusion...

Africa is (supposedly) the oldest inhabited continent on earth with the most resources and minerals.
and yet when they went backwards....they STAYED backwards. there are still tribes of African living in mud huts using stones. Tribes in Asia and south america use technology when they come across it, i remember seeing a documentary where they met up with cannibals in like Brazil and they wore friggin' shirts with logos on them and have metal and lighters.

So why is Africa the exception here?
Huts aren't actually a technological step backwards though for that area. Castles, while impressive architecturally, are actually pretty horrible to live in that environment for several reasons. Huts are better for your health because of how they let air in, you have less garbage to take care of in them, and they're actually better to use for your environment.

And the places where huts are used? It generally makes the most sense to use them instead of giant buildings like we have everywhere else. Just because a house is a good idea in Tennessee doesn't mean it's a good idea in parts of Africa.

Also, Africa has had, and still has, more war ravaging the continent than pretty much everywhere else on the planet and so people don't really have the time to put into making better structures while they're avoiding being murdered by their fellow man. Food is also still very hard to get in a lot of places, so that's going to get more attention than architecture too.
 

Jegsimmons

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Creatural said:
Jegsimmons said:
grigjd3 said:
@Jegsimmons, actually, most civilizations tend to move both forward and backward in terms of technology, quality of life, etc. Europe went through the dark ages after the fall of Rome. Incan and Aztec ruins are all over South America, Pakistan and Afganistan used to be the center of culture and learning in the world and China has moved forward and backward so many times on this scale its ridiculous. To believe that society generally only moves forward is, well, ignorant of all of history.
Well here's the thing though... Europe's dark ages were fairly brief and followed up with booms in education and culture.
Asian is the same but they usually experienced some apocalyptic event and used previous tech to forward just a little more depending on seclusion...

Africa is (supposedly) the oldest inhabited continent on earth with the most resources and minerals.
and yet when they went backwards....they STAYED backwards. there are still tribes of African living in mud huts using stones. Tribes in Asia and south america use technology when they come across it, i remember seeing a documentary where they met up with cannibals in like Brazil and they wore friggin' shirts with logos on them and have metal and lighters.

So why is Africa the exception here?
Huts aren't actually a technological step backwards though for that area. Castles, while impressive architecturally, are actually pretty horrible to live in that environment for several reasons. Huts are better for your health because of how they let air in, you have less garbage to take care of in them, and they're actually better to use for your environment.

And the places where huts are used? It generally makes the most sense to use them instead of giant buildings like we have everywhere else. Just because a house is a good idea in Tennessee doesn't mean it's a good idea in parts of Africa.

Also, Africa has had, and still has, more war ravaging the continent than pretty much everywhere else on the planet and so people don't really have the time to put into making better structures while they're avoiding being murdered by their fellow man. Food is also still very hard to get in a lot of places, so that's going to get more attention than architecture too.
hmm, very true....but war ravaged? that in its self brings up some questions.
if you look back on history almost every society has had a huge benefit frow war (long term anyway) through the 'necessity is the mother of innovation' idea. thats true from almost every culture, even the ones who lost. in an odd way, war (or just competition) has been one of the biggest driving forces for man in history right next to religion (different topic but i digress), so why didn't Africa ever innovate? with all the tribal conflict and competition, other civilizations would either adapt or innovate.
So why didn't Africa? its still kind of baffling to me.
 

Jegsimmons

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Therumancer said:
Jegsimmons said:
now if i may, do you (bob) think possibly that the reason they didnt think blacks built the civilizations was because that these were astounding castles and when they got there the people were....living in huts......thats sort of what is was thinking the whole vid. they probably thought that way because almost no other civilization has gone from castles to huts and seemed to move...backwards.
Now of course im not saying anything negative to be mean, i just like to think about all 3 sides of an issue (there's always at least 3 sides to any argument. Quiet frankly if i found a new civilization that lived in huts while finding remains of huge empires, i sort of wonder why the hell no one ever thought of rebuilding or replicating it for better living conditions. That may be part of the reason they couldn't believe they made it.

I find it odd that Bob can start out with a point about the issue of racism and how the term is used (ie in connection to first world social movements) and then jump right off the deep end into something kind of ridiculous that undermines any point that he might have been able to make with his initial prognosis.

The British explorers of the time were not exactly shocked by the idea of non-white civilizations having built things like that. I mean the dusky skinned Mediterreneans built the foundations of their own culture (Greek and Rome) back when what we call whites were still the Barbarians, we knew about the Egyptians and Persians (who are very dark skinned) and their great civilizations even if they were past their prime, and so on.

The thing with the "Lost City" trope in Africa is that the people there had no real abillity to do anything like that. Even looking at say the Egyptians you could see a culture that might not be at the top of the game, but there is a lot of history and enough of a civiliation to understand how they could have constructed a lot of these things. The thing with the Pyramids for is that they are more advanced than the civilization there, but constructed with primitive materials (stone blocks) which leads people to wonder if the Egyptians lost technology, had help, or whatever else... but it's not shocking in the same way as the African "lost cities" because you can at least see the possibility.

With Africa the people there didn't really have much in the way of tools, archetecture, or any kind of organized social structure to have justified such constructions. What's more a lot of the guys "puzzling" over such things have to deal with the fact that they had been studying the people in the region and can track a lot of these tribes and the patterns of where people were living back for centuries or even hundreds of years, with a relative
amount of cultural stagnation. The peoples there dont have the remnants showing that they might have been more advanced.

One old, prevailing theory is that the Africans WERE more advanced, but wound up getting on the bad side of the Greeks at a time when they practiced total war, and wound up getting decimated back to the stone age from which they never recovered. Some supporting evidence for this theory is how if you look at some of the stories that were compiled into Greek Myths and Legends you'll find referances in the way the stories were told to gods visiting places like Ethiopia to explain why they were elsewhere, which implies a degree of advancement (or at least respect as a civilization) but at the same time there is little direct evidence of a war, or much in the way of proof that the Greeks wiped them out at some point. The theory being similar to a lot of the arguements about Vikings having made it to North America where there is some minor evidence, but nothing concrete enough to paint a definate picture.

To be honest, racism was present during the early 20th century, but I don't think this itself was racist, or has tainted the idea. To date a lot of these cities and structures remain mysterious (as do ruins throughout the world) because a lot of them defy any efforts to paint a consistant picture of progress in the region. You can't reconcile history of the people in rhe region which can be tracked with the existance of the ruins.

On a creepy note, this is also the subject of a lot of TV shows on ancient mysteries and such. Things like Crystal Skulls being found on more than one continent, and how some geologists and experts have claimed to prove that certain stones used in construction on one place came from another part of the planet at a time when nobody could have quarried and transported them.

That said, a lot of what Bob is talking about is the myth of the "invisible knapsack" which is used by those with a vested interest in preserving racism for political power (to hold together racial voting blocks by promoting a common enemey to be opposed, whether it exists or not). Globally racism exists, China for example is massively racist and it represents like a third of the global population alone, but in the civilized Western World it's pretty much over with in any kind of mainstream sense.

What passes for "racism" in places like the US generally boils down to minority status in what is spiritually a democracy (even if it's actually a representitive Republic). The basic issue being that in a democracy, or something akin to one, the idea is that everyone has a say, and whatever gets the most people behind it is what everyone does. The thing is that when you represent a minority with special interests and motivations, that means consistantly losing to points of view that vastly outnumber you within the society. This leads to arguements that boil down to whether the society is working as intended (ie, they get a say, but don't have enough people to succeed against the majority in issues where they wind up in opposition), or if various principles in the country mean that not everyone should have an equal voice, with smaller groups being given a much louder voice and representation to create parity with the majority. There are no easy answers to this which is why it remains an issue, and it can be argued either way (I'm not going to get into it). People tend to confuse this issue (and it's a big one, that reaches into a lot of things) with actual racism. Today your more likely to see issues akin to say 25 members of a minority (blacks, asians, whatever) going up against 250 members of the white majority in a vote, and then insisting that despite the numbers that the 90% of people who voted against them should lose because there weren't enough of them present. Arguements about how changing such results or trying to force parity for minorities undermines the point of any kind of process to begin with, vs. arguements about how if the system works that way it means Minorities will never get what they want on ANY level because as minorities they will always be outvoted and overpowered within the system which amounts to a form of oppression. There is nothing racist about it despite people using that term when certain minorities come up, but it is a big issue.

In an absolute sense to find real racism in the mainstream you have to move away from the western world. If you go to say China, Japan, The Middle East, with strong feelings of racial dominance, purity, and destiny still present into th emodern day, you'll run into plenty of racism. It can be especially shocking when your white "cruader for equality" comes to the realization that internationally whites are a huge minority and plenty of people want to take us down for various reasons, including their own beliefs in their inherant superiority.

The US is only a little over 200 years old as well, while Bob can talk about the sheer inertia of racism, it can be argued that the US was eventually at the very tip of civil rights (and annoyed a lot of other nations pushing for it), a few decades ago... going back to the 1960s is like 20-25% of the history of our entire country. We aren't old enough to really have the kind of inertia that older and more established nations do with such matters, which is in part why we irritate people when we come walking in to stop genocides, ethnic cleansing, and other things that are the result of thousands of years of history in many cases.
wow, good read, but thats very interesting.
Though i have to argue against the greek or roman intervention point. while the greek empires did get pretty far, as did the romans, i dont think they ever got to central or southern africa. North africa yes. but not further down than that from what ive found.
in fact, from what i found, nobody until europe has ever set foot in part of that africa.
 

Balkan

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Racist thought arent always a pure hatred . Sometimer they are just a naive like the white explorers is africa .
 

MBE

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If you walked onto someone's rural acre of land, found a dilapitated abandoned house but then found the residents living in a mud hut not far away, would you not think the house was "lost" and that the people living in mud hut (instead of the fixer-upper house) would be, well, not exactly equal to yourself?

Why would a people move out of a perfectly advanced civilization/village and move into primitive mud and straw huts. It makes no sense.
 

the spud

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Who are some of your favorite internet celebrities? Any favorites? Any you despise? Anyone who inspires you?
 

arigomi

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MBE said:
Why would a people move out of a perfectly advanced civilization/village and move into primitive mud and straw huts. It makes no sense.
A civilization can fall due to war, disease, famine, or natural disasters. The survivors are forced to move away to settle elsewhere. It would take many generations before descendants would stumble across the ruins and choose to settle near them. During this time, a lot of knowledge about the previous civilization can be lost because oral tradition can be unreliable at preserving history.

European civilizations didn't experience this because their geographic location didn't impose as many challenges to creating a society. Sources of fresh water were abundant. The weather conditions allowed for agriculture and raising livestock. Natural resources for creating tools and constructing sturdy buildings weren't difficult to gather. In Africa, fresh water can be difficult to find. Unpredictable weather patterns made farming difficult. Many of the animals were unsuitable as livestock.
 

Creatural

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Jegsimmons said:
Creatural said:
Jegsimmons said:
grigjd3 said:
@Jegsimmons, actually, most civilizations tend to move both forward and backward in terms of technology, quality of life, etc. Europe went through the dark ages after the fall of Rome. Incan and Aztec ruins are all over South America, Pakistan and Afganistan used to be the center of culture and learning in the world and China has moved forward and backward so many times on this scale its ridiculous. To believe that society generally only moves forward is, well, ignorant of all of history.
Well here's the thing though... Europe's dark ages were fairly brief and followed up with booms in education and culture.
Asian is the same but they usually experienced some apocalyptic event and used previous tech to forward just a little more depending on seclusion...

Africa is (supposedly) the oldest inhabited continent on earth with the most resources and minerals.
and yet when they went backwards....they STAYED backwards. there are still tribes of African living in mud huts using stones. Tribes in Asia and south america use technology when they come across it, i remember seeing a documentary where they met up with cannibals in like Brazil and they wore friggin' shirts with logos on them and have metal and lighters.

So why is Africa the exception here?
Huts aren't actually a technological step backwards though for that area. Castles, while impressive architecturally, are actually pretty horrible to live in that environment for several reasons. Huts are better for your health because of how they let air in, you have less garbage to take care of in them, and they're actually better to use for your environment.

And the places where huts are used? It generally makes the most sense to use them instead of giant buildings like we have everywhere else. Just because a house is a good idea in Tennessee doesn't mean it's a good idea in parts of Africa.

Also, Africa has had, and still has, more war ravaging the continent than pretty much everywhere else on the planet and so people don't really have the time to put into making better structures while they're avoiding being murdered by their fellow man. Food is also still very hard to get in a lot of places, so that's going to get more attention than architecture too.
hmm, very true....but war ravaged? that in its self brings up some questions.
if you look back on history almost every society has had a huge benefit frow war (long term anyway) through the 'necessity is the mother of innovation' idea. thats true from almost every culture, even the ones who lost. in an odd way, war (or just competition) has been one of the biggest driving forces for man in history right next to religion (different topic but i digress), so why didn't Africa ever innovate? with all the tribal conflict and competition, other civilizations would either adapt or innovate.
So why didn't Africa? its still kind of baffling to me.
Well, no, actually a lot of civilizations didn't adapt well to war. There were a lot of civilizations and tribes that have been destroyed completely because of war, we just tend not to think about them since not a lot of history is left about the people our ancestors completely wiped out and not many people are going to care about people they can't be related to. And there are still groups everywhere that are suffering because they didn't win wars.

Look at Native American tribes in the U.S. in the modern day, they were war ravaged and most tribes still haven't recovered from it in one way or another. Parts of the ruling population still treat them pretty terribly too, kind of like in Africa where the groups with control you will notice have a lot of nice stuff going for them whereas the people below them have relatively nothing, so they can't recover as well as groups that don't have such things to deal with.

Also, history does show that there are actually more nations that do poorly after war than not. If you're using the U.S. as an example for countries that have done well after war you're using a very rare example and need to keep in mind that part of the reason the U.S. has done so well is that the wars didn't happen on U.S. soil. After WWI Germany, and other European nations, did terribly with everything they had and then it of course helped lead them into WWII. WWII did at first revitalize the economy for some of Europe, but after the war the economy began to tank for awhile. The U.S. was saved in economy because our entertainment industry boomed right after the war, but if you look at stuff now we're actually losing economy and technological advances right now partly because we're still in war (which is expensive) and there's no boom here to save us because we already have an entertainment industry, so we're not suddenly spending money on something newish and exciting, and because it's unfortunately not adapting to modern technology and the way it's being used.

War is actually very damaging for the most part and it's not really worth it unless you manage to pull resources from it that are worthwhile.

In the past Europe took a long, long time to adapt to war before any real innovations were made. The Viking raids on Europe actually destroyed a lot of things for Europeans and they didn't really adapt to survive them until they got the Feudal system going and even then the Feudal system was in many ways a step back from the things they had before and part of the reason it worked was that people had some land to retreat back into whereas people in Africa don't. They don't have other places to go and hide whereas most civilizations that have survived and made great innovations with war have had at least a few cities to retreat into. This only applies to the parts of Africa where that's happening though.

There actually parts of Africa that are extremely well developed in terms of buildings, health care, and several over things, but people tend to mistakenly still attribute all that development to people who aren't native or they just don't know about it. Johannesburg is a pretty impressive city, it's one of the largest cities in the world and it is the largest city that isn't next to a river, lake, or coastline (this is really impressive if you know how unlikely it is for cities to grow without bodies of water such as these), but people often unfortunately don't give the credit to native people there that they deserve for this city and they also just tend to not hear about the place.

But, none of that, of course makes it so that Africa as a whole is any less ravaged than it is or makes it so the people under attack there can automatically develop perfectly against it. The other thing to keep in mind is that a lack of education is also making it harder for most people to adapt. Even other places have had sanctuaries where people like monks could keep knowledge alive, without monks and nuns after the dark ages in Europe I can promise you that not nearly as many advances that needed to be made in technology to survive would have been made and we might even have had different civilizations dominating the world at this point. In Africa that's not really the case, sadly, and a lot of good knowledge isn't being passed around and the good knowledge being given to people is being given alongside some really awful ideas (like that there's actually a cure for AIDS and it's super easy to fix).
 

MarsProbe

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Funny this should crop up just now. It just so happened not more than a few days ago I downloaded a game on the app store called, strangely enough, The Lost City. With environments not that far removed from what Bob was describing here. Figures.
 

Proverbial Jon

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Nov 10, 2009
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Did I see racial stereotyping of the British in your mockery of the invading colonists there, Bob?

Oh ho ho, how very droll!
 

omega 616

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Actually when I hear "lost city" I think more of "I a am legend" or Racoon City with less zombies.

I dunno why I jump to more modern day cities rather than national treasure style stuff.
 

nelsonr100

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Pretty sure you are finding racism in your own assumptions of what these colonial explorers were thinking.

Surely if you were walking through a vast area of land, populated by many people living mostly in tribal communities of earthen and wooden huts/houses, when you came across a massive stone ruin, you would definitely wonder where it came from.

NOT because you are racist and don't think the local population could have done such a thing.
It was through simple observation of the fact that the local population no longer built things in that way, and that the cities which were built in that way were left to ruin! People think the same thing of stone henge fo goodness sake.... ugh, such an annoying episode
 

demalo

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My mail bag question: What movie or movie genre hasn't been portrayed well or lacks portrayal in the current entertainment industry?

It seems a lot of the same themes are played up again and again, is there anything you can think of that you feel would be a good change up or shake down?
 

Alex Sellers

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I don't know how funny it'd be, But since the SPC was this week i thought a thing on abridging would be funny. Maybe just a whole episode on Team four star?
 

MovieBob

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When Bob first mentioned lost cities I thought of temples in South America, rather than Africa. I guess Aztec and Incan temples filled with treasure just seemed more likely.

Anyway the assumption that the Africans didn't make these lost cities isn't a racist as Bob makes out. Firstly it should be pointed out that Europeans never claimed that South American, Middle Eastern, Indian, or Asian cities were made anyone other than the people living there. The reason for this was that the natives lived in these cities or lived in similar cities. The natives were able to demonstrate they had the technology to build these cities.

By contrast the sub-Saharan African people were tribal, lived in mud huts, and lacked basic technology. So either the Africans originally built these cities then suddenly regressed and lost all their technological knowledge, or someone else built them. The absence of any records left by the Great Zimbabwe civilisation didn't help, nor did the long history and Arab and Europeans colonising parts of Africa. Had Great Zimbabwe not been abandoned when the Europeans arrived then the European would never have doubted that it was built by the Africans.
 

monkyvirus

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nelsonr100 said:
Pretty sure you are finding racism in your own assumptions of what these colonial explorers were thinking.

Surely if you were walking through a vast area of land, populated by many people living mostly in tribal communities of earthen and wooden huts/houses, when you came across a massive stone ruin, you would definitely wonder where it came from.
That's what I was thinking, though I won't deny colonialists were racist I would think it was simply the fact they saw a ruined castle and then they saw people who weren't even using a lot of stone and thought "hmmm, well evidently this isn't the sought of thing they built.

I mean sure they were, by all accounts, pretty racist but I wonder if you've just applied that assumption of constant racism when it wasn't there.