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New Poll - Author Morality
This week's poll, suggested by F_J, is very similar to one we did a couple of months ago. Instead of scandals or controversies though, the focus is on morality or the agenda the author is trying to push.

You can submit poll ideas here

Previous Poll Results:
Question: Would you become part of a collective consciousness / hive mind?
Yes - votes: 586 (19%)
No - votes: 2506 (81%)
There were 3092 total votes.
The poll ended: December 19th 2021

Could one argue that the mass media is already creating a lower form of collective consciousness?
Posted by lambchopsil on 
December 19th 2:05pm
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» ElKaichou on December 19th, 2021, 2:40pm

Honestly for me, it's pretty complicated.
The work has to be pretty enjoyable for me not to think about the author's views. And even so, what kind of morals are we talking about here. There's a difference between something like believing drugs are okay and thinking that women should stay in the kitchen.
And let's say that the author does believe that women should stay in the kitchen but I enjoy their work(s) very much, it's just not that easy for me to enjoy their work to fullest having to know that fact.


» residentgrigo on December 19th, 2021, 2:50pm

The "morality or the agenda the author is trying to push" would be the story itself. So yes, the plot of the work I have in front of me is kind of important.


» Ceiye on December 19th, 2021, 3:05pm

To all the "it's just fiction" people, take note of what's being asked here. Despite what it sounds, this is a significantly different question from whether an author is/did X thing and the question of how Y topic in a work should be portrayed. This is literally propaganda. In any situation, me KNOWING that a text, fiction or otherwise, is propaganda will affect how I interpret and enjoy the particular work. Sometimes it is a mesage I support or can ignore, and sometimes it's ultra nationalistic "Japan has done nothing wrong and also Nanking never happened." That is a bit of an extreme example, and I could probably point to that Shounen Jump manga that was like "Japan was perfect until dirty foreigners arrived. Now we live in Mad Max: Ninja edition" instead, but I'll take any chance to plug the Mothers Basement video on the cult that makes anime


» Unknown on December 19th, 2021, 9:23pm

Post Deleted


» VawX on December 19th, 2021, 11:17pm

Since it doesn't really affect their work, most of the time I don't really care about it mmm...
Like how Rurouni Kenshin is still a good manga no matter how degenerate Watsuki Nobuhiro actually is mmm...


» residentgrigo on December 20th, 2021, 9:26am

Not the question. There are no child grooming elements in Kenshin so he ain´t pushing that on you. We would have known since the 90s who Nobuhiro actually is otherwise.
The manga instead glorifies the Shinsengumi and its values (a politically motivated police task force), has a negative view of the weapons market or 19th-century prostituation and establishes that the killing of other people is dishonorable. These are some of the morals of the work that strongly inform the plot itself, moments of catharsis for the characters, etc. All harmless stuff or the most mainstream manga anthology on the market wouldn´t have published it as an all-ages manga. It's also why the potentially political Death Note is so tame and simply focuses on the mind game. It would have needed to run in their Seinen spin-off otherwise and there is less money in that. Interesting that Disney now owns the Punisher but his comics profile is currently being strongly reduced due to, well look it up.

Another example of an obvious moral. Spriggan, Spec Ops: The Line or Metal Gear preach with a megaphone that American military intervention is bad bad BAD. The limited US manga release for Spriggan even had some of its Anti-American content removed as it would have upset the apple cart back then. You will not like how the plot to any of these unfolds if you hold the conviction that the US military is a well-meaning world police and the 1998 Spriggan anime film got criticized for how it portrayed American soldiers when it came out in the US. Don´t expect that criticism repeated when the 2022 anime drops. The wind shifted even in the US.
You can´t have a high view of 20th-century communism and enjoy Animal Farm 1954 as that animated film was funded by the CIA. It is literally propaganda but fairly close to the book too. You need to see value in BLM to get anything out of Candyman 2021. Etc.
Behold, actual Japanese politics in a manga: Gekiga Hyouryuu. Run for you life kids! KAWAGUCHI Kaiji also does that and here is Imperial Japan did nothing wrong - The Animation:
The quite funny 1/10 review ain´t wrong. I have no idea which nation would date to license this on a lark.

@Ceiye El Cantare will reign for 20000 years and a day! Glory be to God Eagle!

Edit: A top to bottom Punisher reboot just got announced. How timely. He was benched for 1,5 years. Even the near 5 decades old logo got a redesign. Looks great but this is what happens if real-world politics and IP accidentally collide: vel-punisher-for-2022/

Marvel EIC C.B. Cebulski says "The Punisher is not a hero or a role model, a fact that's reinforced in the pages of our books. For readers who unpack Frank's character, there's a deep and compelling story about how his demons drive him to do terrible things that heroes would never do. And when you think about his story in that context, it directly contradicts how the Punisher has been appropriated."

Now that is a wild (Disney!) press release and note how the moral of the story is its selling point? No one is ignoring authorial intent. Certainly not the publisher. Not that these are always understood. See Fight Club, Starship Troopers (funny how the book and film are on somewhat opposite ends), etc.


» Careena on December 19th, 2021, 11:52pm

Not for me. I actually rarely look at the author's name unless I really enjoy something and want to read more of their work, and even then, I don't go searching for gossip. Same with art, acting, and any other media I consume.

If a work is pushing an agenda that I don't agree with:
- If the agenda is the whole point of the work to the point where it becomes unenjoyable, then it's a simple matter of not consuming what I don't enjoy.
- If I only see glimpses of it or if other aspects of the work are interesting, then such things are easy for me to ignore (or skim through if they're too much) because I consume media for entertainment, and if it's entertaining then it's served its purpose.

There are many things I don't agree with in media. If I were to look for a custom designed echo chamber for myself my selection would be very limited.

A not so heavy example: I don't agree that "cute" should be synonymous with stupid, clumsy, airhead...etc. and portrayed with childish mannerisms. These characters come off as developmentally challenged. It's actually something I feel strongly about, but if I skipped every manga or anime that has such a character, I'd be missing out on some works I really enjoyed (like Steins;Gate) because that stereotype is quite prominent in manga/anime. I may not like that character, but does it really matter if I like the rest?

Another more specific example: I absolutely hated how women (especially the romance interests) were written in Bakuman. Every part of those romances was against what I believe about gender roles and portrayal of women, yet I really really enjoyed the shounen aspects of it and rated it highly.


» ForeignerChan on December 20th, 2021, 11:14am

Could one argue that the mass media is already creating a lower form of collective consciousness?

lambchopsil asking the right questions.


» mattai on December 20th, 2021, 11:24am

I put yes.

I'm not going to scour the internet for information about every author whose work I read, and an author being a POS doesn't necessarily ruin a work for me (though I'm not going to want to support them), but...

It's kind of hard not to feel the author's opinion seeping into their work at times.

Anything anyone creates is going to be shaped through the lens of their own perspective, and if the author has especially unpalatable morals or opinions, it can easily lead to the work being less enjoyable - or more enjoyable, just from the novelty of seeing how a messed up person thinks. It can have an impact either way.


» blackkittycat15 on December 21st, 2021, 1:50pm

I put no ironically for the same reasons. If a bad morality/opinion of the author comes through the work, then I'll dislike their work. If they're able to separate it from their work, or if it's is so unrelated it doesn't show then I'll enjoy it.


» alidan on December 24th, 2021, 12:52am

but at that point it's not that the authors outside work ruins your enjoyment of the work, it's the work itself that you don't enjoy


» hkanz on December 20th, 2021, 12:09pm

I would say… usually no. Recently I read a manga that presented the idea that basic morals like ‘murder is bad’ are subjective and formed by the opinions of the majority of society, and I’ll admit that I decreased its rating by 0.5 because it included that idea, but not because I was offended, just because it was presented as something profound instead of something that every tween has thought of and most have already grown out of believing. But I read a lot of classical literature so I’m used to placing writing in its cultural and/or historical context and ignoring the casual racism and sexism.

Re: propaganda, I don’t agree that an author pushing a certain view makes a work propaganda (though it could be). Naturally any author would present their own worldview as correct and try to portray that in their work, but you can’t really get around that unless there’s no worldview presented at all. For me the point when it would become propaganda is if the mangaka included misinformation or skewed facts in a deliberate attempt to manipulate people.


» Sugarshark on December 20th, 2021, 12:29pm

I remember getting free tickets to an anime in theaters that was basically a religious recruiting platform;
likely, as there were persons taking questions before and presumably afterwards but I left halfway through.
not sure if hyper Christian or actual cult

morality messages delivered with a sledgehammer don't work for me; lacking nuance and persuasion
I'd much prefer to find the message, as it whispers to my own core morality.


» Ceiye on December 20th, 2021, 8:57pm

YOOO THIS IS IT! This is one of the anime that a cult made! Dude you should have stayed, you would have gotten to see Happy Science's bullshit in person. I'm just going to casually throw this here again...

Or a more digestable 10 minute video, but Ryuho Okawa doesn't deserve actual documentation


» residentgrigo on December 20th, 2021, 12:58pm

All of this reminds me of this 2021 anime news gem.
Resident Evil's Netflix show asked reviewers not to mention politics: -reviewers-not-to-mention-politics/

Imagine 24 meets zombies and you are set. Capcom really went out there and said to professional critics that they need to stay away from any ideological analysis, they couldn´t even mention any political or moral level, if they wanted to get access to the screeners. Remind me of all these "non-politcal" Tom Clancy games by UbiSoft. If Clancy was alive to see this... He had a bad case of Japanophobia btw. The economic bubble collapsed 2 years before this (hilariously) racist mess released in 1994:
He was barking at a corpse. A rogue Japan Airlines pilot pulls a 9/11 on the US with a greater success than even Al-Qaeda and only days after Japan nearly tanks the US economy beyond the breaking point. Wild wild stuff.


» alidan on December 24th, 2021, 1:01am

lets be fair with this, games journalism is kind of extremely woke, and the last thing you really want to get out ahead of something is them trying everything to modern day politics because they couldn't get a job as a political pundit and had to write about video games. I have no idea what the netflix resident evil is about/is like at all, maybe it needs to be explained, maybe not, but i'm personally sick of looking up a review for a game and having 2/3 of it complain about non relevant to the story crap, or look at guilty crown, where there were reviewers who said if you liked the sourcers, you are a pedo, then going on to call the game horrendously sexist like dude, I want to know gameplay.

tldr, I get where companies are coming from barring political discussion in a review, you can easily call something crap without going into real world politics.


» SilverStorm on December 22nd, 2021, 10:16am

I used to think no, but then I encountered a few stories that I enjoyed and later found the author to be reprehensible. I could not enjoy their works anymore in the same way. It all really depends.


» TUnicorn on December 22nd, 2021, 1:35pm

If it's a good story, I'll read it. I couldn't care less about who the author is, or what they do in their free time.


» Dumber on December 22nd, 2021, 1:40pm

Quote from TUnicorn
If it's a good story, I'll read it. I couldn't care less about who the author is, or what they do in their free time.

Cant agree more.


» wotonito on December 22nd, 2021, 6:57pm

It depends on how the author injects his or her views into the work.

For example, Brandon Sanderson; a famous Fantasy/Scifi novelist; is very much Christian, but actually takes the care to understand Atheists and those of conflicting religious views when writing characters who are not modeled on Christians. Atheistic characters feel like actual people with real views; not just stupid children who aren't yet enlightened on the way things Really are.

On the other hand, Karen F. Williams; a minor lesbian-romance novelist; forced her Christian views into her novel Coyote Blues to the point that maybe 1/10th of the novel is a character explaining what her view of "Real Christianity" is and how "Real Christianity accepts LGBT" and such. I don't need to hear this, I just want to read the damn story. An otherwise good novel became something I can't recommend to my friends because of the Author's obnoxious self-injection.

So, to summarize: If the author can reign in their morals like Brandon Sanderson; the author's morals do not matter. If the author self-injects too much, it matters.


» ZiBaXn on December 23rd, 2021, 2:12pm

of course it has an affect, how much is the question. i don't assume all art is supposed to represent the beliefs of the artists, just perhaps their experience.


» Plumpuppeach on December 23rd, 2021, 3:02pm

For me I don't really care but I probably wouldn't spend money on it and read it where it doesn't profit them

Like you said it really depends, if I have already read it I'll probably continue but if I haven't I probably wouldn't start it


» alidan on December 24th, 2021, 12:41am

what the author writes and what they do outside of writing are 2 different things and I do not care at all about, the only time its an issue is if it gets hamfisted into a story.

there is one other time... the director Victor Salva, not knowing his history, I could watch his movies and largely not care, but holy shit, the person is a monster who is unrepentant. Real hard to seperate the art and artist in this case where after he was let go he went on to film what he did.


» Akatsubaki on December 24th, 2021, 10:27am

I think I’m easily triggered by political propaganda works. I remember getting so mad at reading Solo Leveling novel because the author inserted his ideology there. Mostly because I don’t expect the work to have such a thing. Unlike sexism in Chinese manhua, I know its there, so I only read them when I want to get angry.


» Bog Initiate on December 24th, 2021, 4:10pm

Even if they try, a piece of work will always include elements that reflect the author in one way or another. Even if he creates characters entirely to himself or his own thinking, the author will always have something to say about them. Especially in the world of manga or light novels, chances are that sooner or later you'll end up finding out something the author said and then you'll be certain that his or her views were undoubtedly reflected in his or her work.