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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 224 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: We are all elitist pigs!  (Read 5898 times)
Jack Spencer Jr
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2003, 09:34:13 AM »

Quote from: Ian Charvill
Despite arguments to the contrary, elitism holds no positive meanings for me.  Too often, elitism is embraced as a tool with which to assert that the tastes of the few are superior to the tastes of the many.

Really. My experience has been the opposite. It's not so much embraced by the elitist as it's what the masses do to label the person with different tastes.

Look at your own, I assume fictious, hiking example. At no point did you say that you thought that hill hiking was superior or better than woods hiking. This is a logic jump that the group makes. "He says he prefers a different kind of hiking than we do, therefore he must think that our prefered method of hiking is inferior. Oh he did say his tastes were not better, just different, but we know what he's really thinking. He thinks we're pathetic little wanna-be hikers because we do not like hill hiking. I cannot believe he just called us pathetic wanna be's. The nerve of that swagering know-it-all."

I know this all too well because I have be on both ends of this particular deal. This kind of 50's paranoia Communist witch hunt fear of the mutant, the one that is different, quick to judge, quick to offense, putting words in the other's mouth that they never said and then getting all upset by it.

I think that few people consider themselves elitist. I think it's mostly used as a label by people who simply refuse to understand that someone may have different tastes or ideas about things.
Ian Charvill

Posts: 377

« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2003, 10:05:21 AM »

Let me be exact: there's nothing wrong with liking high culture, it's when people like high culture to the exclusion of all else that I start to get a bit hinky.  The Art House, to me, is great, but so is the Multiplex - I like whatever I like from either.  Snobbery and inverted-snobbery are both forms of bigotry, and they both make me twitch.

The hiking example was invented.  Principally because I didn't want to come flat out and say two things explicitly.  I'm going to choose here to be honest rather than tactful.

Failing to pick up on the social cues the first time around ("I said to the group, 'could we do less of this woodland walking'. I just got blank stares") is a failure to pick up on fairly obvious social cues (unless you read the blank stares as ignorance rather than disinterest).

The line "I even went so far as to tell them if they weren't my friends I wouldn't even come out walking with them" is plainly passive aggressive.  It invites the listener to remember that every time you're out walking, you're doing them a favour, and they should be grateful for your presence.

I have a flat out populist bias, and I'm willing to stand to be corrected, but that's how I'd read the above parts.

Ian Charvill
Christopher Kubasik

Posts: 1153

« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2003, 11:03:05 AM »

Hi guys,

It isn't my intention to turn this thread into a discussion about my post, but since people are now posting words that suggest I said other than what I said, I feel a need to respond.  (I understand that people might not be misrepresenting what I said; I just don't want to read a post five pages down that says, "When that fucking eltist pig said blah, blah, blah" when I never said blah, blah, blah.  I just want to set the record straight now.

I said nothing about a preference for "high culture."  I said, "the best."  I gave plenty of examples of different media and within some media examples of popular successes.  (For example, I don't think Peter Jackon is anybody's idea of Ingmar Bergman, but I referenced him.  Because Fellowship of the Rings is one of the most beautiful movies in years.  It made $300+ at the box office.  That's popular.)  So, please, if the argument is going to move to prickliness about high and low are, please start off with something like: "I know no one has brought this up, but what really irks me is...."  Because no one has yet brought up high vs. low art.  I referenced comic books, board games, painting, movies and role playing games.

Popular work is often GREAT work.

Two more things, while I'm at it.  (What the hell.)

First, the fact that a tool can be used to ill ends does not invalidate a tool.  Hammers are used for instruments of torture, mutilation and death across the globe.  I see no reason to give them up -- because for most people they're very helpful.  A desire for the best can be used to bludgeon someone...  But the issue there is the issue of the idiot doing the bludgeoning... and that's snobbery.

Second, I don't know anything about "unwashed masses."  In fact, I'm sure I would even "like" X2.  However, "like" doesn't seem enough right now.  Perhaps because of shortening years left on the planet, but the choice between "like" and "passionate" is getting clearer and clearer and I know which way I'm going to choose.

I don't think Brian Singer has any actual interest in superheroes, and thus am not driven to see his movies. However, I'm already rounding up people to see The Hulk on Friday because Ang Lee always engages me in unexpeced ways.

People can get defensive and make false distinctions to put in my mouth. But my words in my original post were clear on these matters and I would appreciate people not contorting the issues with the implicatin that they're responding to some thing I said when they are not.


Take care,

"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Posts: 16490

« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2003, 11:14:38 AM »


What Christopher said. That said ...

Moderator speaking - let's get this discussion back on track to the actual play involved.


Posts: 384

« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2003, 02:04:02 PM »

Ok I have a few of what I hope are poignant and helpful and insightful.

Question #1

Let me ask this one first.  What if the tables were reversed. A table full of people who were open and talked about their characters and there was one person who did not.

"I simply have never played like that. We always kept character information secret because we wanted to protect character integrity, even from inadvertant Player Knowledge."

What would we say to him or her? Your a dork? Get out of this game? Hey your playing in the dark ages? Your in the minority, play our way? Hopefully we might try and convince so and so to try coughing up the info and allowing us to explore his character with him (or her) ina kind and intelligent way. More then likely.  More then likely we would drive them back to their Hellish Anti-Forge Forum and villify them here.

Would we call this person an elitist? Would we call them old fashioned? Opinionated?  What would he or she think of us?

Question #2

Why do people who still wonder why Gamist seems to be looked down upon?  Why is there still a feeling that Narrativist Play is the preferred or "best" way to play.  If you sit back and read between the lines quite a bit can be construed to about the above statements.  I am speaking in generalities here and not pointing fingers.  

I think the reason is clearly that even if we are not Elitists in the pure or vulgar definition, that at times we are indeed snobs.  Yes. Snobs. I know I can be, even in simple ways like when people don't know how many Magic Missiles they get at 7th level. "Well duh! its 4. Duh!" lol

I mean honestly, we defend Matt because THEY jumped out of line because THEY don't play the way we think they should? Isn't that really it? I am not lambasting Matt or anyone, indeed I think you tried to handle it well.  Honestly though, we say "We the two styles are not compatible" but are we not saying"You guys are doing it wrong."  I am sure they felt that way.  Its difficult not to sound like that even when your being completely sincere.

Jack said:
I think it's mostly used as a label by people who simply refuse to understand that someone may have different tastes or ideas about things.

Now Jack wrote this but it could have been written by any number of people here, including myself.  Now I ask you does that not sound like us? At times I think it does.

My intention is not to offend anyone, especially since I am trying to point out that I do the same thing, I am simply trying to turn the tables a bit, play devils advocate, and really look at it from the point of view of the people we are painting pictures of.  



Posts: 338

Jeff Schecter

« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2003, 04:54:35 PM »

I, personally, have never been called 'elitist.' However, one of my players (who has recently left the group) reacts quite negatively when I attempt to use Ron's theorum to improve the game. His comments were along the lines of...

"What's wrong with plain old DnD?"

"Okay, just, like, shut up with your made up theory crap."

Unfortunately, he does not have the open mindedness of Matt's players. And one hypocracy specifically caused much tension between us: when I tried to alter my GMing style to be more simulationist (his preferred mode of play, esp. exploration of system, though he refuses to admit that modes of play exist) and asked if he enjoyed the game more after the session, he responded with a resounding yes, saying the game was much more realistic (even though it wasn't, really, in my opinion, but that's a whole different topic) and he had had more fun. When I brought it up a week later...

"Jeff, your game sucked."

That was just the last straw. I tried to fix the problem. It worked. But he refused to admit that it worked. I guess he just didn't want to accept that  'made up theory crap' could improve the game.

-Jef S.

Jeffrey S. Schecter: Pagoda / Other
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