Political Films/Political Discussion Ban - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:48 PM
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Default Political Films/Political Discussion Ban

This is not a thread about trying to have political discussion allowed on the forums. I'm not even a political person. But, a suggestion in how a balance can/should be struck in threads about political films (Bruno, Milk, Capitalism: A Love Story, etc).


After noting the irony of political bans in a thread about a political film, here, I thought it that it would be worthwhile to have a discussion about how to strike a proper balance.

My proposition is thus:

Continue to disallow purely political speech (Politics threads, tangential Political preaching), but allow respectful political discourse in threads where it is actually on point and appropriate. A discussion about gay rights in a thread about the film Milk makes just as much sense as a review of the film noting that Milk is a message picture. To try to be willfully ignorant of the fact that some films reviewed on this site are political and that political discussion bears a close relationship to discussion of the film as well as being the point of the film, is silly.

Now, the "slippery slope" of political debate is bound to be raised. But, then why not just issue infractions and bans for what the site is really trying to prevent by the political speech ban? Disrespect of other members. If people think they are making a political point by disparaging others, they are simply wrong and should suffer consequences. But, if a film is about homophobia in America (Bruno) and someone posts their analysis of the film through that prism, then they should not be censored or punished for it.

Or the site could simply review political films without threads dedicated to said reviews. I mean, if the reviewer would be negligent in not mentioning the political aspects of a film, then those discussing the film in the forum should not be punished for doing the same.


Being disrespectful or belligerent are wholly separate from making a relevant general (as in not a direct attack on another person) political point about a film though.
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Old 12-08-2009, 03:35 AM
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"I love the Last Pixar movie UP". This in itself is already a political statement.

So, what's your point again?
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BambooLounge View Post
This is not a thread about trying to have political discussion allowed on the forums. I'm not even a political person. But, a suggestion in how a balance can/should be struck in threads about political films (Bruno, Milk, Capitalism: A Love Story, etc).
I thought I made it clear: "The movie (Capitalism: A Love Story) is about Moore's opinions on negative aspects of our current Capitalist system. Posts supporting or opposing any of the views and opinions expressed in the movie, as well as posts about the blu-ray quality and features are fine, and encouraged. Delving into unrelated political discussion is not.". But apparently not, so here's some examples of post deleted from that thread:

Quote:
Or that Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck are real journalists.
WTF do O'Reilly, Hannity or Limbaugh have to do with Moore's movie? Absolutely nothing - it's off topic, and a perfect example of folks thinking anything remotely political in a discussion gives them a free range to spout off anything they think in a political point of view.

Quote:
But every fix is shouted down from the rooftops from one greedy politician or organization with their fingers in the pie or another. Look at this ACORN fallout...Finally, these fucking bastards get busted for being the corrupt, lying, conniving thieves they are...after how many years?
ACORN??? I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'd be willing to bet "Acorn" isn't mentioned once.

Again, discussing an issue raised in the movie is fine, appropriate, and unavoidable. But, no one gets a free pass to discuss anything political that crosses their mind. In a thread for the movie Star Trek, one doesn't start a conversation about NASA's budget cuts - it's off topic and contributes nothing to the discussion at hand. Same as the two examples above.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:02 AM
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Coch...your synopsis of what Moore's film is about is unfortunately your subjective opinion and oversimplified. As I explained to you in that thread. This is a film about an economic system tied to a political system.

As for your examples:

The mention of other political media mavens (of which Moore is one) is as related to a discussion about Michael Moore as noting the stylistic similarities of QT to Martin Scorsese in a thread about Reservoir Dogs. It is not an illogical leap. There is a very real and valid point to be made that Moore is of the same ilk as those people mentioned. And understanding that point, which seemed to be that those mentioned are propagandists like Moore, is relevant to how one views Moore's works.

The second quotation mentioned seems to actually be a synopsis of Moore's movie or at least a restatement of his point. the "corrupt, lying..." portion anyhow.


My point is that the film, and others, are political and were made to incite and encourage political debate among the public. So it should be par for the course to have political discussion in a thread for these movies.


It is the same as when in a thread about X movie, a person notes how a scene or sequence was cribbed from Y movie, then a tangential discussion about Y movie's worth springs up in the X movie thread. A discussion about a political film is obviously going to give rise to political speech tangentially related to the political subject of that film.


Again, any discussion about "America's capitalist system" is political discussion. There is no separating politics from national economic policy, since such policy is a product of the political process.

Just because someone voices a political opinion in a political movie thread should not be a defacto infraction or post deletion. In neither post did the user attack a member of this forum or another member's beliefs. Simply saying something that another person may or may not agree with strongly or otherwise, should not be an auto-infraction.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BambooLounge View Post
Coch...your synopsis of what Moore's film is about is unfortunately your subjective opinion and oversimplified. As I explained to you in that thread. This is a film about an economic system tied to a political system.

As for your examples:

The mention of other political media mavens (of which Moore is one) is as related to a discussion about Michael Moore as noting the stylistic similarities of QT to Martin Scorsese in a thread about Reservoir Dogs. It is not an illogical leap. There is a very real and valid point to be made that Moore is of the same ilk as those people mentioned. And understanding that point, which seemed to be that those mentioned are propagandists like Moore, is relevant to how one views Moore's works.

The second quotation mentioned seems to actually be a synopsis of Moore's movie or at least a restatement of his point. the "corrupt, lying..." portion anyhow.


My point is that the film, and others, are political and were made to incite and encourage political debate among the public. So it should be par for the course to have political discussion in a thread for these movies.


It is the same as when in a thread about X movie, a person notes how a scene or sequence was cribbed from Y movie, then a tangential discussion about Y movie's worth springs up in the X movie thread. A discussion about a political film is obviously going to give rise to political speech tangentially related to the political subject of that film.


Again, any discussion about "America's capitalist system" is political discussion. There is no separating politics from national economic policy, since such policy is a product of the political process.

Just because someone voices a political opinion in a political movie thread should not be a defacto infraction or post deletion. In neither post did the user attack a member of this forum or another member's beliefs. Simply saying something that another person may or may not agree with strongly or otherwise, should not be an auto-infraction.
First, no infractions were issued in that thread as far as I know; I do know for certain no infractions were issued for the two deleted posts I quoted, as I was the Mod who deleted them as "off topic, political".

A "discussion about Michael Moore as noting the stylistic similarities of QT to Martin Scorsese in a thread about Reservoir Dogs" would be appropriate, as they are both film makers. But I think you are stretching it by saying discussing news anchors O'Reilly & Hannity, news commentator Beck, and talk radio host Limbaugh belongs in a thread for a movie by Michael Moore because they're all "media mavens". C'mon, that's all completely different fields and type of media. You might as well say "well, they're all human beings, and even all males, so any discussion of them is related". And it was clear that post was not intended as a comparative discussion of them; it was a political statement.

As for the second quotation tying in because of "corruption" and "lying" . . . . . there's corruption and lying in the Afghanistan government, and no doubt in Bangladesh and Kashistan as well. Does a discussion of those countries and government belong in the discussion of Moore's movie?

The bottom line, once yet again, in threads discussing movies with political views, discussing the specific issues raised in the movie is appropriate and on topic. Using that as an excuse to espouse any and all political views is not.
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:07 AM
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Your bottom line does not make sense though because what is a "specific issue raised in the movie?" Something lit. said by a character in the movie?

I mean, if you take Milk for example. No characters spoke about gay marriage iirc, but the film was obviously one with a pro-gay rights message, even if objectively it was a captivating biopic. So, a subtextual analysis of the film as being about contemporary gay rights issues would be relevant.


The "media maven" comment as read did not seem to be a tangential soap box preaching about them, but simply drawing a relevant parallel btwn they and Michael Moore, the filmmaker in question. Had posts proceeding that one begun to discuss those mentioned without citing them in a manner, which connected to the film or its filmmaker, then those would be out of order and irrelevant.

The second post was not simply discussing "corruption and greed" in some abstract irrelevant context as you make it seem when you bring up Afghanistan government, but it was discussing something rather on point. A governmental agency that deals with trying to correct for what some percieve as negative consequences of capitalism in this nation. That is exactly what the film in question deals with. The negative aspects of the American capitalist political structure. ACORN is quite relevant in that discussion.


The main point that I had made, which has not been responded to is thus:

Why are the post deletions or whatnot (I was not trying to be accusatory when I used the term "infraction") doled out in these political threads not for mere political discussion, but for say threadcrapping or abuse of other members?

Is it not more damaging to the site to have people randomly spitting out "commie scum!" or "THis Movee SUXorz" in a thread than mere political discourse about a political film? Why isn't the determination in political film threads a matter of value-adding speech rather than the normal other portion of the site hard line stance on politics?

It is one thing to say politics is not allowed generally (perfectly reasonable), but another to say politics is not allowed in a thread about a film whose very point of being is to generate political discussion as a natural extension of discussion about the film itself (seems unreasonable).
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Old 12-08-2009, 01:13 PM
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This thread is already becoming a thread, critical of one another, and one of those "im sorry, but your opinion is uninformed" scenarios.

I think this is precisely the issue that an admittedly, overly-broad, political ban is designed to avoid.

People don't need to discuss politics here really. The other day, I was thinking "hey, maybe this ban is stupid, or too far reaching" (just as you suggest). Then I popped into the thread about tiger woods' infidelities. What was in there? Well someone linked a picture of the 3 women - that was posted on fox news. And yep, you guessed it -- the next page had people bashing msnbc, then coming back with "fox is the only real news" and all sorts of ignorant comments - backed by nonsensical political ideology.

The problem isn't yours bamboo; it's that of the readers. People can't handle the responsibility that comes with having an opinion that is based on nothing more than belief (political opinions, and religion for example). When someone disagrees, a lot of those people feel DIRECTLY attacked, because those opinions represent who they are.

Put shortly, what you're saying is well-reasoned, and otherwise a good idea, but people can't handle it. How would you like your threads about a Milk review, or Bruno, to be entirely about Rush Limbaugh by page 2, and on page 3, why fox news is the only news, and page 4 - about the national enquirer making some story up about Obama nailing hilary clinton in the oval office as they both collude to sell California to the Chinese?

It's just nonsense.
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Old 12-08-2009, 03:30 PM
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badger, you got it. even bringing up a name of a news media syndicate reporting news brings out the political horse shit. people have proven over and over that they couldn't handle politics on this board. what happened? politics were removed from this board. there was a problem, and it was removed. the people who still have the problem are the ones next in line if they rack up those infraction points, showing they don't care about forum rules.

it's a shame we can't even have open discussions on REVIEWS of films like MILK, due to the people thinking it's free reign. it ain't. people need to toe that line on political movie threads. so W came out, and you want to comment that you think W is a war criminal...that's not movie related. that's called TROLLING. the thread isn't about your opinion on W. it's about the FILM W, and the review of the Blu-ray W. that shit is off topic.

Moore films have to do with Moore. who gives a rat's ass about Limbaugh or Hannity or Combs or Coulter or Bush or Clinton or Obama? They aren't the topic of the thread. the films made by one man are.

When people get these infractions, they are damn well deserved. the rule has been in place for some time, and if someone is so damn rabid that they can't control themselves, then they deserve whatever punishment they get.
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Old 12-08-2009, 03:51 PM
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unfortunately I mostly agree with Nate-hell there's one member in there now that can't even refrain from name calling over the release date of one of these films so unfortunately I think expecting civil discussion over these issues in this particular forum is a pipe dream, however well intentioned it may be.
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Old 12-08-2009, 06:32 PM
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I see that things can get out of hand, but the whole point of my suggested modified approach is to have the best of both worlds.

When the political speech (only in political movie threads) is non-offensive in the sense that it is not attacking anyone (but, may attack an ideology), it is should not be deleted just b/c it is has a political element.

If someone comes in to a political movie thread and randomly brings up FOX News and bashes it just because, (not being analytical in using it as an example to assess Moore's work) then they should be punished just like if there is a thread and someone enters it and says nothing of substance. There is a post just like that in this thread that I will not point out specifically, but just play "Which one of these is not like the others" by yourself.

It is the snide, useless post that is more dangerous than a post that actually has something to say, even if not everyone agrees about it. I mean, how hard is it to simply, let the initial constructive post stand then if people react to it like children just punish them...harshly. If you want to elevate the discourse level in the forums then start skimming off the bottom instead of trying to make everyone meet in a very vanilla middle.
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