Is Tarzan racist?

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by spidergoat, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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    Who were you responding to?
     
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  3. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    There is no slavery, or approval of slavery, in Tarzan. As far as I can recall, he didn't treat white and black antagonists any differently. I never read the books, so I don't know how the natives were depicted; in the movies, they had standard "savage" makeup and costume. (Most of the extras were probably white, but that's down to the producers; each round of remakes updates the prevailing Hollywood attitude.) For heaven's sake, it's pulp fiction, not immortal literature - why does its author's British superiority matter?
    Tarzan's foster-mother may have disapproved of his choice of mate , but we are in no position to: most of us marry someone of our own complexion, without necessarily disrespecting other races.
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry, it was a distant analogy.

    Racism : E R Burroughs :: slavery : Abraham Lincoln.

    In both cases a product of the times. But still bigoted (by today's standards).
     
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  7. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    I once read a story that had Tarzan getting some on the side with the native girls when he was a teenager.
     
  8. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    But never chimps or sheep, right?
     
  9. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    No animal sex. There was another book that had Tarzan vs Doc Savage which was very good if you have read both book series's.
     
  10. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    This is more than probably off topic...

    But I think it's this song that inspired my words:

     
  11. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    He was all the time among the black culture , Did he have any girlfriend that was not black, even he was blind.
    My point wa all the time critisize and scrutinize the white population , how about looking from the other side , the man was blind.
     
  12. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    Yes he did. He had an affair with Marci Soto, a married white woman from Louisiana.
     
  13. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    And ... which one had animal sex there?

    Doc was always uncomfortable around women...
    The pieces are starting to fit together.
     
  14. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Tarzan the character certainly is. He's a white man and surely didn't do enough in the original ERB novels or film versions to redeem himself in that respect. [If there were any attempts to correct and reimburse the surrounding communities for his devil-hood at all.]

    Now if later or recently Tarzan has been properly diversified, then that's another matter. I'm not sure a blaxploitation film of the '70s would qualify for that category do to the underlying capitalist motives. As well, the outcome of each trans-ethnic operation the character has had or will have must be examined on an individual basis. "White" has gradually become a broadened adjective that emphasizes cultural orientation, class status, etc as much as superficial appearance.

    For instance, what seems like a Latino Tarzan in the initial promotion efforts might actually be a "blanco-Latino". If he lives in a bourgeois to affluent neighborhood of the jungle rain-forest and considers individuals to be suspicious for no other reason than that they're wearing hoodies. He might be a "white-Black" if he serves as a game warden in that district of the tropical wilderness and causes a poacher to die who was excessively struggling in the coarse of apprehending him.

    IOW, it's no done deal that a trans-ethnic Tarzan has had his primary genetic flaw corrected if he still displays behavioral characteristics not adequately indicative of victimhood membership.
     
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    What did Tarzan himself do that was racist?
     
  16. mtf Banned Banned

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    Ah, a literature can produce only one Heathcliff. Tarzan is basically a modernized (and dumbed down) version of Heathcliff.
     
  17. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    Still no animal sex, however when they fight eachother it's an incredibly dirty fight. Quite unexpected.
     
  18. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Finger to the lips: Sshhhhh.

    You're not supposed to encourage those rumors that SciForums is a mecca for the ___ spectrum. That there are certain varieties of subtext which may be undetectable or go uncognized by some or many in here.
     
  19. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Unrecognized, undetectable subtexts are suspiciously close to imagined subtexts. It has to be overt to count.

    Of-bloody-course he was racist, sexist and elitist. Everybody in the British empire was. (... except maybe that one minister's wife, but she didn't fare well.)
    Why does it matter?
     
  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    OK
    1] How, specifically, was Tarzan these things? Why will no one answer this question? I've asked it several times.
    2] Are we talking while he was still feral?
    3] If so, he was not a product of the British Empire. (Though that is not to say ERB's central thesis was not "civility" is in-the-blood).
     
  21. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    1. I have no idea. I never read the books. I saw the movies when I wasn't old enough to know what, exactly, was wrong with the way natives were depicted, but it was skin-crawlingly wrong. That wasn't down to Tarzan; it was Hollywood, and I assumed (not knowing any better) that that's how it had been written. I didn't think the Tarzan character himself exhibited an obvious racial bias, though he did seem unnecessarily polite to the white hunters and treasure-seekers he would later have to fight.
    2. Again, I never saw him in that state: in the first movie, he already had the loin-cloth - v. fetching on Johnny Weismuller; no subsequent Tarzan came close.
    3. He may not have been a witting product of the British Empire, but he sure was a poster-boy for it! Nobility is in the blood; the bluer the more heroic.

    (PS - I was being jocular. I can't see this whole question as serious.)
     
  22. Ivan Seeking Registered Senior Member

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    Next up, who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman? Also, was Speed Racer racist?
     
  23. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    I don't like fighting.
     

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