Quickies: Seth MacFarlane’s Humor, Down Syndrome and Becoming an Adult, and Jenny McCarthy is Still Horrible for Other Reasons. Also, Fart App.

  • Juvenile Misogynist Seth MacFarlane Is Not Funny – “He’s the kind of guy who can invent a humorous talking baby and instantly validate an entire career of outdated sensibilities and blatant misogyny.” What’s your take on MacFarlane–are you going to see his latest film?
  • Some Players Are Hunting Down Minorities In Watch Dogs – This article starts off talking about how some disgusting people are using a video game feature to target people of color, but ends with a hand-waving “don’t be surprised that people are horrible.” I don’t even. From 9bar.
  • Jenny McCarthy Does Another Tacky Thing: Trans Edition – Maybe I should stop being surprised when she does horrible stuff like this. [Insert “REALLY?” gif here.]
  • For Hire: Dedicated Young Man with Down Syndrome – This is a very touching article about what happens to one young man with Down Syndrome when he becomes an adult and tries to find a job.
  • A New App Uses Fart Power to Teach Kids About Nutrition – “Scan any item in the grocery store and the Fart Code app, will tell you if any of its ingredients are known to cause gas. The algorithm determines the level of toxicity on a ‘fartometer’ and produces the appropriate fart noise and vibration, emulating how your digestive system would process those ingredients. You can then share that fart via text message–complete with fart emoji–and on your social networks. Because why not? Friends can then click on a link and hear the fart you just created.” Wow…this is genius.

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Mary Brock works as an Immunology scientist by day and takes care of a pink-loving princess child by night. She likes cloudy days, crafting, cooking, and Fall weather in New England.

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  1. For years I’ve loathed Seth Macfarlane and “Family Guy” in particular. It’s one of the few shows where I actually think something negative about people I know who watch it. At any rate, after reading about what he did for Sagan’s collected papers and his production of “Cosmos,” I certainly gave him a bump up, but he definitely continues to keep exposing his privilege as if he’s wearing an ill-fitting pair of trousers.

  2. That story of Seth Macfarlane is interesting. This generation doesn’t get satire sometimes, I’ll admit it. *cough*claims that opposition to the Washington Redskins name is racist*cough* (Satire? Is that the X-shaped cross the goat man hangs from three days before Easter?)

    For Family Guy fans’ convenience, Cracked.com’s Gladstone has a good set of articles about it.

    TBH, I don’t even think I’ve ever heard a joke on Family Guy, much less satire. Mostly it’s reference to something from the 70s or 80s, maybe some moribund meme. (Seriously, Family Guy is like a Grim Reaper of internet memes.) Peter beating his wife and their entire family having sex together (Seriously, how many incest references does Family Guy make?) isn’t a joke.

    1. “This generation doesn’t get satire sometimes, I’ll admit it. *cough*claims that opposition to the Washington Redskins name is racist*cough*”

      If you’re referring to the #CancelColbert thing, this hardly strikes me as a fair or accurate summary of the issue: the objection was based on the idea that racism towards Asians (conveniently ignored in your description of events) is an inappropriate way to protest/satirize racism towards Native Americans. You may agree or disagree with this perspective, but at least acknowledge it. Dismissing the whole thing as a failure to understand the satire seems a bit insulting and dismissive: can’t people understand it and still object to it?

      1. That’s is how it was later couched but if you look at the tweet timeline it appears to have been post hoc. It’s a legitimate concern mind you, but I’m not sure it was the actual thrust of the initial outrage, or at least that wasn’t clear.

        Suey Park had every reason to be upset over that tweet, and at the sketch in general, and the question as to why the target of the satire had to fall on Asians is totally legit. The outrage however seems to have come before that focus, it would seem to have been a knee-jerk reaction to what was (out of context) a horribly offensive tweet that, when it was shown to be satire, was still offensive but in a different way. Suey Park has been attacked for that, which I think is unfair. We have all reacted strongly to things that we later found out were not quite as they seemed, her’s just happened to become a trending topic before it was found to be misconstrued and I think she did a good job of refocusing toward another legitimate issue rather than let it drop. And I’m not saying that she didn’t know for sure it was satire from the beginning, just that if she did it’s not clear and that is unfortunate.

        1. Yeah, the actual timeline is unclear. I just dislike the framing that people could only object to the joke if they were unaware of the context or too dumb to understand the satire.

  3. I’ve seen interviews and appearances by MacFarlane and he is a very smart, charming, and funny guy in person. Unfortunately he is also a very lazy writer, and the misogyny pointed out by the article is a perfect example of what I mean by that. Like I said, I’ve seen talk show appearances and such and he does not seem to be (I know appearances can be deceiving) a misogynist but he goes ahead and uses lazy misogynist jokes and calls it “edgy”.

    It’s a trend I’ve seen in comedy for a while now, I call it “referential comedy” in the same way you would call a Seinfeld “observational humor”. Referential comedy is trite and lazy and it is best epitomized by Dane Cook, the Scary Movie type comedies, and Seth MacFarlane’s work. Don’t actually tell any jokes just make a reference to something else, that sense of “oh yeah, I remember that” will make your audience feel superior and they’ll forget all about how unfunny this comedy actually is. But then again you can only go to the misogyny, racist, ablist, homophobic well so many times before you lose site of whether you really mean what you are saying or not, perhaps Mr. MacFarlane has simply been at this for too long.

    And if you need animated comedy I suggest Bob’s Burgers, it’s funny and strange without being mean-spirited.

    1. mrmisconception, I mostly agree with you regarding Bob’s Burgers, although the “Child Molester” in the first episode put me off a little.

  4. I wonder who wrote the Saudi Arabia song in American Dad, which was… well, completely unsubtle, but accurate.

    I do have one objection to it – it says that living in Saudi Arabia is “great” for a man (and proceeds to unequivocally point out how shitty it is for women), but it never touches on how demeaning women demeans men, or how men who don’t fit into the strict orthodoxy of the state’s preferred culture are stigmatized and limited.

    Classic example of the right idea but not following through with the proper execution.

  5. The issue in watch dogs isn’t about people of color or even minorities. People of color have always been easy to target in video games. The difference is that now we have access to just a small piece of that person’s identity. It cuts both ways and it mainly serves to humanize the NPCs. You can do all sorts of things in a sandbox game, but playing the game as intended doesn’t involve hunting down and killing people for fun.

    Watch_Dogs is different from similar games in that you will likely be doing a lot of stealing from these innocent pedestrians. It’s technically possible not to do so, but it’s pretty much a necessity, especially since random pedestrians carry a resource that helps you avoid having to harm police officers.

    I think it’s important to have things like this in games. It’s one of the few things in the game that was actually done right. It’s an unsettling tool to have. I ignored it until I ran into someone that had just been through a really bad hardship. Then I found myself picking and choosing, but that made me feel worse. I mean, that just makes you a person that punishes people for having different beliefs than you. Eventually, I spent some upgrade points on an improvement that lets it flag people that were carrying large amounts of money (or that resource) without having to open the profiler.

    1. Cracked had an article about video game racism a while back. One reason for it is because of the tendency for all mooks to look alike, for memory reasons. Doesn’t explain why EVERY Asian mook is a martial artist, EVERY black mook is a gangbanger, etc., though.

  6. That said, the game is racist by omission and sexist as well. It features a black villain that seems to be the protagonist of a much better game. Also, there are female characters but none of them exist for any other reason than to get kidnapped or murdered allowing our hero to commit crimes without forcing him to actually be the kind of guy that would commit crimes.

    Nothing undercuts the sense of power they were trying to instill like a main character with absolutely no agency whatsoever.

  7. Family Guy “jokes” ranges between decades old Simpsons gags (http://bit.ly/1ulqaeG) to unfunny non-jokes. I feel depressed whenever someone I respect tells me they like Family Guy or references something from it. Mcfarlane does seem charming and entertaining in interviews and is but I will not be watching any movie he wrote and created.

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