probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've ever seen

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probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've ever seen

Postby Istrom » Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:42 am UTC

"Thanks to /a/, Pokemon is now the deepest, most profound and ultimately depressing anime in existence."
I read it, and now all I want to do is download the first season and watch it again.

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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby lorenith » Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:49 am UTC

Wow, that's actually a pretty interesting read. (Scroll down to the replies)

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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby LE4dGOLEM » Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:35 pm UTC

o_o
seriously.
I was of the target age when the first series or two, and the first two movies came out. I only remember watching up to about when brock returned from Ivy. But... wow. It needs tidying up if it's going to be presented as anything serious (rambling, fragmented/repeated points), but do NOT tl;dr this. You must read it.
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby william » Sun Mar 09, 2008 5:10 pm UTC

holy fuck
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby 4=5 » Sun Mar 09, 2008 5:18 pm UTC

very amuseing, I wonder why he keeps presenting redundent information though

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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby podbaydoor » Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:25 pm UTC

Meh. Impressive that he went to all that effort, but I kept thinking, "there are so many simpler explanations for this."
tenet |ˈtenit|
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby backrub » Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:39 pm UTC

wow... i dont think i will ever look at Pokemone the same way again...

funny enough, my friends just got me a Pokemon DVD box set thingy. i watched the disc that had episodes about Pikachu (it included the first episode and the episode when pikachu almost leaves)... i seriously cried. it was sad.

nice find!

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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Kabann » Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:44 pm UTC

*sigh* My pokeymons is tragic. Let me show you them. *sob*
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby lowbart » Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:03 pm UTC

The name of the person who posted the theory is... unfortunate.
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Cheese » Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:22 pm UTC

...they're a genius.

Yeah, they're doing everything I hate about English lessons (reading into things what's obviously not there), but it's a great read all the same.
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Azrael001 » Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:26 pm UTC

That... makes sense? It's madness. It couldn't be... and yet...
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Belial » Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:16 pm UTC

Cheese wrote:Yeah, they're doing everything I hate about English lessons (reading into things what's obviously not there)


RAAARRRR! ::tears apart several infants::

If you can read it into the text, and the text supports it (ie, you're not ignoring or inverting passages to make it fit), then it is there! There is no single, one correct meaning of a text, just possible and supported meanings! Lit Major SMASH!
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby mazzilliu » Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:08 am UTC

Belial wrote:
Cheese wrote:Yeah, they're doing everything I hate about English lessons (reading into things what's obviously not there)


RAAARRRR! ::tears apart several infants::

If you can read it into the text, and the text supports it (ie, you're not ignoring or inverting passages to make it fit), then it is there! There is no single, one correct meaning of a text, just possible and supported meanings! Lit Major SMASH!

thats one thing i never got(and probably why i never did so well in english class), that reinterpreting some piece of text to pieces is fun i guess, but why would someone take any meaning seriously that isn't the intended meaning by the author? its just twisting words.


that said, the reanalysis of pokemon was pretty depressing and entertaining
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby pollywog » Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:28 am UTC

This is incredible. It really does need to be tidied up and expanded upon a little, and the redundancy taken out, but it has given me a much deeper view on Pokemon. It seems more interesting now.

Cheese wrote:Yeah, they're doing everything I hate about English lessons (reading into things what's obviously not there), but it's a great read all the same.


that's the best part of English. It means that you're thinking for yourself, and taking your own message away from literature / making literature relevant to your life, which is really what it's there for.

mazzilliu wrote:thats one thing i never got(and probably why i never did so well in english class), that reinterpreting some piece of text to pieces is fun i guess, but why would someone take any meaning seriously that isn't the intended meaning by the author? its just twisting words.

that said, the reanalysis of pokemon was pretty depressing and entertaining


How do you know what the author intended? Literature is there to provoke thought, present a worldview. It's not twisting words, it's interpretation.

And I found it less depressing than the thought of a tv show with no real meaning, set in an imaginary world, the only purpose of which is to entertain, and containing no message, apart from occasional pieces about friendship, being a good winner, and why evil people are always brought down by their own stupidity.
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Belial » Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:55 am UTC

thats one thing i never got(and probably why i never did so well in english class), that reinterpreting some piece of text to pieces is fun i guess, but why would someone take any meaning seriously that isn't the intended meaning by the author?


To repeat what pollywog said: You don't know what the author intended. Even if he *tells* you what he intended, he could be misremembering, or lying, or covering, or just fucking with you. All you can really know is what meaning you, as a reader (or viewer, in the case of pokemon), are able to see in the text.

Furthermore, if the author intends one meaning, but fails to convey it, but accidentally conveys a different meaning entirely, what does the text mean? Does it mean what the author intended, even though you have to stretch and twist and ignore certain passages just to be able to see that meaning? Or does it mean what you saw supported in the text, even though that meaning was an accident?

To give a recent example, Ray Bradbury recently started insisting that Fahrenheit 451 is actually about the evils of television. That is, in my opinion, stupid. The text does a pretty shit-tacular job of conveying that message. If anything, television is incidental to the book. But for years, people have been reading the book as a cautionary tale about the dangers of societal self-censorship. The text does a really good job of conveying that message, even though Bradbury insists that that isn't what he meant when he wrote the book.

So what does the book mean?
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby lorenith » Mon Mar 10, 2008 3:26 am UTC

My English teachers always did a horrible job at making us do the whole interpreting stuff thing, basically to them there's only one "right" interpretation for whatever we were reading at the time, and that always made me really...irritable. I just don't like having other peoples interpretations rammed down my throat like that.

Coming back to this pokemon thing, it was a fun read, although some bits kind of bugged me. (Mostly the idea that Giovanni is Ash's father...a lot of people speculate on that, but I don't think that it's the case...)

It makes me feel...really weird to think of what was presented, but not so much about pokemon itself as just the core idea of the interpretation. I get the same feeling when I think of the Cowboy Bebop Movie, it's one giant mind body problem and it just makes me feel weird to think too deeply about it.

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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Solt » Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:30 am UTC

Belial wrote:
Cheese wrote:Yeah, they're doing everything I hate about English lessons (reading into things what's obviously not there)


RAAARRRR! ::tears apart several infants::

If you can read it into the text, and the text supports it (ie, you're not ignoring or inverting passages to make it fit), then it is there! There is no single, one correct meaning of a text, just possible and supported meanings! Lit Major SMASH!


That is such crap. I'm surprised how English as a field manages to survive like this. The only people who are ever going to take such a thorough and coherent message away from a work are other English majors. Basically academic English is science, but the concept of absolute truth is replaced by a sort of relative truth.

I mean, what do you gain by claiming Pokemon is some kid's dream? Why can't someone just write a book that really is about someone's dream world? And maybe everyone can study the implications of that, instead of seeing how tall a tower you can build on a base that doesn't even exist.
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Belial » Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:40 am UTC

The only people who are ever going to take such a thorough and coherent message away from a work are other English majors.


Or anyone who's ever read a work of fiction and come away with a meaning different than the one the author intends (or claims to intend). The wankers are the ones who then try to crush that interpretation with "nuh uh, it's really about this and nothing else because some guy says so, so nyah!"

Par example, "Animal Farm". Story about rebellious farm animals. Also a story about the Russian revolution and the rise and subsequent corruption of communism. You know that because Orwell said so, right?

What if he hadn't? What if he'd set out to write a story about farm animals and nothing else, and the parallel was just a complete accident? Would it no longer be about the Russian Revolution? The text would still be the same. The parallels would still be there. You could still see that meaning, receive the same statement, learn the same lessons, it just wouldn't be intended.

The author's intent doesn't matter. Just what's on the page/screen, and what you can take from it.

I mean, what do you gain by claiming Pokemon is some kid's dream?


Another way to look at a work? A new interpretation? A new meaning? What else do you want?

And you're not "claiming" anything. That would imply that there was an absolute true meaning and that you knew what it was. It would be like looking at a cloud or an inkblot and insisting that it actually was a horse or a squid or whatever it is you saw. That's stupid. You're just interpreting. Seeing what you can see.
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Blubb3r3ng3l » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:05 am UTC

I want to be *sniffle*
The very best *sob*
Like no one *snort* w-

w-

w-


was before. *cry*

To catch them

was my real test.

to train them is my...
*2 minute sob-fest*
DEATH YOU ARE MY BITCH LOVER

/gunshot
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Solt » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:08 am UTC

Belial wrote:Par example, "Animal Farm". Story about rebellious farm animals. Also a story about the Russian revolution and the rise and subsequent corruption of communism. You know that because Orwell said so, right?

What if he hadn't? What if he'd set out to write a story about farm animals and nothing else, and the parallel was just a complete accident? Would it no longer be about the Russian Revolution? The text would still be the same. The parallels would still be there. You could still see that meaning, receive the same statement, learn the same lessons, it just wouldn't be intended.

The author's intent doesn't matter. Just what's on the page/screen, and what you can take from it.


You see, Orwell is one thing, but this pokemon thing is an example of something else entirely. If you accept the Orwell interpretation, there's actually something of consequence that the work is saying. But the Pokemon interpretation uses a framework that is so pliable and easy to manipulate, it means absolutely nothing. Basically what I'm saying is that there's no proof, such as it may exist in a work of fiction. It's just wild posturing about what this and that could mean.

Let me put it another way. By comparing Animal Farm to the Bolshevik Revolution, you gain something meaningful. What you gain is so meaningful that I don't even need to qualify my use of "meaningful" with a definition. On the other hand, by interpreting Pokemon in terms of Freudian psychology, you create no new value, no new discourse. One of the reasons for this (but certainly not the only reason) is that Freudian psychology is known to have no scientific support (in other words, it's nothing but hot air). But some guy can go off and write about a work using Freud's language and he'll be taken completely seriously because, well, there's nothing in the work that contradicts it, right? And it doesn't matter whether any of it is possible and thus applicable, because all that matters is the interpretation we get from it, right?
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Belial » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:21 am UTC

And it doesn't matter whether any of it is possible and thus applicable, because all that matters is the interpretation we get from it, right?


Of course. Because it's not science, it's art. (And here's the part where I realize I'm discussing literary criticism on a board full, predominantly, of science geeks. I clearly hate myself and enjoy headaches. I should probably see a doctor.) That said, the point isn't whether a given meaning is scientifically or historically verifiable (and even if it is, that doesn't make it good literature), what matters is if a given meaning of the text has value to you, if it helps illustrate or clarify or simplify or just give you a new angle on some kind of understanding or concept. Or even if it's just entertaining or satisfying.

Now, obviously, this particular meaning, in this particular work, doesn't have a lot of value to you. It probably doesn't have a lot of value to anyone as anything other than entertainment. For my purposes, this is the literary equivalent of the face/vase optical illusion. "Ooo, if I look at it this way, it's two faces! But if I look at it this way, it's a vase!" More amusing than just a picture of a face, but still not terribly interesting. That's why it was largely done as a semi-joke, from what I can tell. What I objected to was Cheese's statement that interpreting literature, as a whole, was stupid.
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Gelsamel » Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:09 am UTC

That.. is so awesome hahahahahahaha.


Edit: Interpreting literature is fine - but I hate when people insist that all movies/literature etc. have some sort of deep moral story it's trying to convey (I'm looking at you Mr. English Teacher).
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Solt » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:53 am UTC

Belial wrote:Of course. Because it's not science, it's art. (And here's the part where I realize I'm discussing literary criticism on a board full, predominantly, of science geeks. I clearly hate myself and enjoy headaches. I should probably see a doctor.)


Hey, I've got nothing against art. I love art. It gives life meaning and all that. But literary analysis isn't art, it's analyzing the art, so it is indeed a science. But it isn't held to very rigorous scientific standards.
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Belial » Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:32 pm UTC

Solt wrote:Hey, I've got nothing against art. I love art. It gives life meaning and all that. But literary analysis isn't art, it's analyzing the art, so it is indeed a science. But it isn't held to very rigorous scientific standards.


Erm. How is it a science precisely? What would "scientific" literary analysis even look like?

Appreciating and interpreting art is just the other side of art itself. Art is not art without someone to create it, and someone to see it and interpret it. Literature is not literature without an author to create it and a reader to interpret it. Both are part of the process, both are, in essence, part of the art. I'm not sure why the latter part would suddenly become a science.
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:43 pm UTC

*Reads most of it*

I guess the episode that gave everybody epileptic fits is when they try electroshock treatment.
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby zenten » Mon Mar 10, 2008 3:15 pm UTC

mazzilliu wrote:thats one thing i never got(and probably why i never did so well in english class), that reinterpreting some piece of text to pieces is fun i guess, but why would someone take any meaning seriously that isn't the intended meaning by the author? its just twisting words.


Why should the intention of the author be relevant in most cases? I mean, I can see why it would be relevant to the author, or for people who are aspiring writers wanting to see how to best get the intended impact from their art, but for the most part you want to analyze a book to see its cultural impact.

Belial wrote:
Solt wrote:Hey, I've got nothing against art. I love art. It gives life meaning and all that. But literary analysis isn't art, it's analyzing the art, so it is indeed a science. But it isn't held to very rigorous scientific standards.


Erm. How is it a science precisely? What would "scientific" literary analysis even look like?

Appreciating and interpreting art is just the other side of art itself. Art is not art without someone to create it, and someone to see it and interpret it. Literature is not literature without an author to create it and a reader to interpret it. Both are part of the process, both are, in essence, part of the art. I'm not sure why the latter part would suddenly become a science.


The problem is the type of analysis done in university and highschool tends to be very unnatural. It doesn't help you appreciate a book better, or understand the cultural meaning or anything, it just helps you predict what other English majors will say about it.

I'm probably biased though, as once I read/hear about/participate in a literary analysis of any given story I end up liking the story much less. It's like taking an attractive person, and then going over every pimple, ingrown hair, blemish, etc in fine detail with a magnifying glass, and writing an essay about it. It makes the person much less attractive.

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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby lorenith » Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:42 pm UTC

Solt wrote:Hey, I've got nothing against art. I love art. It gives life meaning and all that. But literary analysis isn't art, it's analyzing the art, so it is indeed a science. But it isn't held to very rigorous scientific standards.


No, it isn't. I dunno about written art, but some visual art is made to be analyzed, and really all art can be and done so for enjoyment. It's my favorite part of visual art, is to scrutinize it and contemplate the process gone through to create it. This aspect of art is called "Time" it's an element of art, and sometimes it is even used without having to focus on the process, if I had time I'd dig up some non-religious art that uses time as an element be it on purpose or accident but since I need to run to classes I'll just throw out Stone Henge (if it is indeed a calender anyway...but it's also a nifty construction with people buried in a circle around it).

Anyway, it's fun to see new takes on things one likes, especially in this setting since it's not an academic one being done by some pompous English teacher. If I was being taught this in school, I'd probably take issue with it cause it's a kids anime. It shows all the stuff at face value that culturally anime and manga generally show, I don't believe trying to interpret something like this any deeper is so good in an academic setting, it's still fun and interesting though on it's own.

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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby LE4dGOLEM » Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:08 pm UTC

Pokémon was, If I am not mistaken, the first animé to be shown in England/America. Even if it wasn't, it's certainly the largest by now. Many animé(s?) since then seemed very similar in face-value message-- friendship's good, good people win because of their friendship, be nice to people, bad people have flaws and fail against good people. To analyse an animé other than pokémon would be to give said animé greater "credibility", where some would argue unwarranted.
To make such an analysis of a show directed towards children, such a happy show, to turn the whole idea of adventure and discovery into a coma-fantasy is a very large blow to anyone who became very involved in the show. To people of the "target age" ($protagonistAge and slightly younger) when the show aired, such an interpretation is even more of a blow. Even if the interpretation isn't really your thing, this is a non-porn "fulfilment" of Rule 34 - childhood successfully destroyed.
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Cheese » Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:55 pm UTC

LE4dGOLEM wrote:Pokémon was, If I am not mistaken, the first animé to be shown in The UK/America.
...fix'd, as I am a pedantic bastard.

I would make a decent reply to the conversation about the interpretation of literature, but my younger brother wants to use my computer to print off a history essay that he should've had in about three weeks ago. Which is something I greaty disagree with, but my parents don't...

Confession: This should've gone in the new rant thread, although I'd have had to expand on my point a bit.
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Garm » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:14 pm UTC

lorenith wrote:
Solt wrote:Hey, I've got nothing against art. I love art. It gives life meaning and all that. But literary analysis isn't art, it's analyzing the art, so it is indeed a science. But it isn't held to very rigorous scientific standards.


No, it isn't. I dunno about written art, but some visual art is made to be analyzed, and really all art can be and done so for enjoyment. It's my favorite part of visual art, is to scrutinize it and contemplate the process gone through to create it. This aspect of art is called "Time" it's an element of art, and sometimes it is even used without having to focus on the process, if I had time I'd dig up some non-religious art that uses time as an element be it on purpose or accident but since I need to run to classes I'll just throw out Stone Henge (if it is indeed a calender anyway...but it's also a nifty construction with people buried in a circle around it).


Art isn't necessarily done for enjoyment. Evard Munch, for example, painted because he had no other way to express the feelings that he experienced because of his various mental illnesses. Likewise not all art is meant to be enjoyed. Such was the statement of Marcel Duchamp when he entered a rotated urinal into the Paris Artshow in 1917. Art is often meant to be thought provoking, intriguing and sometimes disturbing. Likewise the analysis isn't necessarily enjoyable. Neither is it scientific. There is no scientific process that brings us to viewing things, like physics, through the lenses of marxism, post-modernism, or bio-feminism. This very conversation is a fine example of debate regarding different forms of analysis. Most people seem to be lensing through a rigid scientific framework instead of through the more flexible liberal arts form.

Anyway, it's fun to see new takes on things one likes, especially in this setting since it's not an academic one being done by some pompous English teacher. If I was being taught this in school, I'd probably take issue with it cause it's a kids anime. It shows all the stuff at face value that culturally anime and manga generally show, I don't believe trying to interpret something like this any deeper is so good in an academic setting, it's still fun and interesting though on it's own.


Well.... Welcome to academia. This sort of intellectual wanking is the very meat of the academy. In seriousness tho', this sort of analysis is very common. Personally I think that the post-modern freudian analysis of this piece on Pokemon is sort of tired. I have a bit of a disagreement with post-modernism and it's fixation on rampant deconstructionism. If we could move on as intended I think life would be better. What I think would be really interesting is if one were to couple this analysis with a study about escapism among pokefans (or whatever they're called). A great deal of this deconstruction of the TV show deals with escapism from the realities of sex and abuse, a mental retreat into fantasy land. How would that connect to say... playing WoW 16 hours a day or some other similar activity? Or taking lots of drugs?
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Thousand » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:20 pm UTC

My name is Sam Tyler Ash Ketchum. I had an accident, and I woke up in 1973 Kanto. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? Whatever's happened, it's like I've landed on a different planet. Now, maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home.

:D I must admit, the similarities are striking.

But still, a cool read. I may read more of it later; I second what's been said though, could be a lot more concise.

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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Blubb3r3ng3l » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:22 pm UTC

LE4dGOLEM wrote:Pokémon was, If I am not mistaken, the first animé to be shown in England/America.


Astroboy.
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby aleflamedyud » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:45 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Cheese wrote:Yeah, they're doing everything I hate about English lessons (reading into things what's obviously not there)


RAAARRRR! ::tears apart several infants::

If you can read it into the text, and the text supports it (ie, you're not ignoring or inverting passages to make it fit), then it is there! There is no single, one correct meaning of a text, just possible and supported meanings! Lit Major SMASH!

Authors almost always (excepting mindfucks like NGE, Big O, Serial Experiments Lain (is it just me or is mindfuck a popular anime genre?)) intend a single primary meaning for their text, which can always, when present, be read obviously by interpreting the text in the cultural, linguistic, and temporal context of the work's composure!

WRITER SMASH!
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:55 am UTC

Authors almost always (excepting mindfucks like NGE, Big O, Serial Experiments Lain (is it just me or is mindfuck a popular anime genre?)) intend a single primary meaning for their text, which can always, when present, be read obviously by interpreting the text in the cultural, linguistic, and temporal context of the work's composure!


And if you're actually a good writer, the meaning that people come away with will be the meaning that you intended. But it's the obvious meaning of the text because it's the one they come away with, not because it's the one you intended.

On the other hand, if your meaning is that obvious, and that unmistakable, chances are it's also simplistic and boring. Other adjectives, like "heavyhanded", leap to mind. Yes, it may be the meaning you obviously had in mind. I can tell, perhaps, because you are hitting me in the head with it. That doesn't mean I, the reader, have to care.

The ones you find when you dig deeper, whether they're intentional or accidental (and the distinction is largely irrelevant), are often much more interesting.
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby lorenith » Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:19 am UTC

Garm wrote:
Art isn't necessarily done for enjoyment.


I never said it always is. That wasn't even the point of what I was posting. The point is that interpreting the meaning of a piece of art isn't a science, because it can't be interpreted perfectly by anyone. Especially since an awful lot of artists just BS the "meaning" of whatever they made to the public. Or as Belial has said several times whatever they claim they meant to show was interpreted as something completely different by different people.

However it can be done for fun, without being the "there can only be one way to see it" idiocy that comes up in school sometimes. I have actually done "interpret this" things in class that were fun. Your lovely little "welcome to academia" bit was a pretty pointless comment to make, considering I was just expressing my distaste of how people do the whole interpreting bit completely wrong and give people like some of the posters in this thread the wrong idea of "interpreting" various forms of art really means.

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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Solt » Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:03 am UTC

Belial wrote:
Solt wrote:Hey, I've got nothing against art. I love art. It gives life meaning and all that. But literary analysis isn't art, it's analyzing the art, so it is indeed a science. But it isn't held to very rigorous scientific standards.


Erm. How is it a science precisely? What would "scientific" literary analysis even look like?


Garm wrote:What I think would be really interesting is if one were to couple this analysis with a study about escapism among pokefans (or whatever they're called). A great deal of this deconstruction of the TV show deals with escapism from the realities of sex and abuse, a mental retreat into fantasy land. How would that connect to say... playing WoW 16 hours a day or some other similar activity? Or taking lots of drugs?


You see, this doesn't sound like art at all. It sounds like Psychology and Sociology. If someone tried to write this sort of literary analysis, they had better have a degree in one or both of those fields or they will basically be making it all up.

What would "scientific" literary analysis look like? Well look at any field that actually uses English as a formal tool. History, for example, is a fine example of applying a pseudo-scientific method to first hand written sources through literary analysis. You try to interpret historical documents, fiction or non-fiction, in a way that will offer a series of fairly consistent conclusions and insights about the time period in which they were written no matter who is doing the interpretation.

"Art" is not a completely abstract entity. Art is in fact defined by the boundary where the abstract interacts with the quantifiable. People talk about art being thought-provoking or enjoyable. Thus, the art must, in some way, have some measurable effect for us to perceive it at all. True, the rules governing this interaction are so complex that no one has yet been able to decipher them. How we interpret a painting depends on quite literally thousands of variables- possibly anything from the texture of our bedroom wall as a child, to the current level of lighting, to the quantity of red roses within a 100 foot radius of our home. Real science simply can't deal with the complexity, so literary analysis fills the role. While the art itself isn't bound by any rules, the way in which it is percieved is nothing but rules. And the study of those rules is, in essence, science. If we completely understood the psychology of how Starry Night evokes emotions in the human mind, there would be no wonder in the painting anymore- and it wouldn't be art. But that doesn't stop art critics from trying to figure out its secrets.

Literary analysis has established methods. The schools of thought each have their own names. Different writing techniques are likewise efficiently classified. By stringing together these identifiers you can classify a work irrespective of its actual content, forming models to describe the various systems. By further drawing on experimentally established relationships between these models and pretty much anything under the sun, literary analysts are able to manipulate and better understand the work in terms of other, grander systems. Those relationships don't depend on specifics about the work, they can operate directly on the representation in a meaningful way. In this way, they are essentially manipulating formulas and equations.


Garm wrote:There is no scientific process that brings us to viewing things, like physics, through the lenses of marxism, post-modernism, or bio-feminism. This very conversation is a fine example of debate regarding different forms of analysis. Most people seem to be lensing through a rigid scientific framework instead of through the more flexible liberal arts form.


Ah, but don't you see, your "flexible liberal arts" framework is just that- another framework, another paradigm through which to interpret things. The only difference between liberal arts and science, then, is that the concept of absolute truth has not been established in the former (and indeed, probably will never be).
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:42 am UTC

Solt wrote:You see, this doesn't sound like art at all. It sounds like Psychology and Sociology. If someone tried to write this sort of literary analysis, they had better have a degree in one or both of those fields or they will basically be making it all up.


Of course it does. Because she's proposing coupling a literary analysis of the work with a psychological study. The study would be science. It's also above and beyond the call of the analysis.

If we completely understood the psychology of how Starry Night evokes emotions in the human mind, there would be no wonder in the painting anymore- and it wouldn't be art. But that doesn't stop art critics from trying to figure out its secrets.

Literary analysis has established methods. The schools of thought each have their own names. Different writing techniques are likewise efficiently classified. By stringing together these identifiers you can classify a work irrespective of its actual content, forming models to describe the various systems. By further drawing on experimentally established relationships between these models and pretty much anything under the sun, literary analysts are able to manipulate and better understand the work in terms of other, grander systems. Those relationships don't depend on specifics about the work, they can operate directly on the representation in a meaningful way. In this way, they are essentially manipulating formulas and equations.


That's...pretty much what the human brain does when one analyzes a literary work, yes. But the formulas and equations, the possible interpretations through all the possible lenses, are nigh-unto infinite (if only an infinite slice of infinite). So it's largely irrelevant, you're back at intuition and association, staring at highly ordered clouds and finding patterns.

So what was your point?

Solt wrote:Ah, but don't you see, your "flexible liberal arts" framework is just that- another framework, another paradigm through which to interpret things. The only difference between liberal arts and science, then, is that the concept of absolute truth has not been established in the former (and indeed, probably will never be).


Which happens to make it a hell of a better framework for interpreting art. It's probably why "art" is right there in the name.
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Solt » Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:36 am UTC

Belial wrote:So what was your point?


My point, sir, is that life is short and we all ought to just head out to the pub and forget about it over a few beers.



Actually, it was that Literary Analysis is more of a science and less of an art than you give it credit for.
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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby Ashbash » Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:10 am UTC

Thousand wrote:My name is Sam Tyler Ash Ketchum. I had an accident, and I woke up in 1973 Kanto. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? Whatever's happened, it's like I've landed on a different planet. Now, maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home.

:D I must admit, the similarities are striking.

But still, a cool read. I may read more of it later; I second what's been said though, could be a lot more concise.


Dear God, that's exactly what I was thinking! *highfive*

Like several others on this board, I absolutely hate teacher ramming interpretations down my throat, and calling me wrong, and not acknowledging the whole 'death of the author' thing that Barthes said. The worst was when they tried to convince me that "van Helsing" was deep and meaningful. I was not allowed to think that it was utter trash.

I believe I used the word craptacular in my essay.

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Re: probably the most depressing look at pokemon I've every seen

Postby pollywog » Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:16 am UTC

LE4dGOLEM wrote:Pokémon was, If I am not mistaken, the first animé to be shown in England/America. Even if it wasn't, it's certainly the largest by now. Many animé(s?) since then seemed very similar in face-value message-- friendship's good, good people win because of their friendship, be nice to people, bad people have flaws and fail against good people. To analyse an animé other than pokémon would be to give said animé greater "credibility", where some would argue unwarranted.
To make such an analysis of a show directed towards children, such a happy show, to turn the whole idea of adventure and discovery into a coma-fantasy is a very large blow to anyone who became very involved in the show. To people of the "target age" ($protagonistAge and slightly younger) when the show aired, such an interpretation is even more of a blow. Even if the interpretation isn't really your thing, this is a non-porn "fulfilment" of Rule 34 - childhood successfully destroyed.


Sorry, but I don't (personally) believe that "destruction of childhood" or "it hurts the children" are valid reasons not to do something.

(This is assuming I read and understood your post correctly)
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