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Stupid Human Questions? - The online computery journal thingy of a turtle

Dec. 22nd, 2010

02:36 am - Stupid Human Questions?

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Is there a page on TVTropes about this? If not, I hope someone creates it and titles it "Stupid Human Questions".

In movies, TV shows, etc., in which humans interact with a nonhuman character (puppets, aliens, robots, etc.), the humans tend to let their curiosity get the better of them, ignore what the character is trying to talk about, and ask a bunch of dumb, annoying, often offensive questions or other comments about the character's physiology, biological habits, etc.

General and specific examples:
Kermit the Frog goes on a talkshow, and the host wastes a lot of time talking about tadpoles and eating flies, or worse, dissection in biology class or French restaurants that serve frog legs.
There was a sketch on Saturday Night Live in which Earth is visited by alien women whose eyes are on their breasts instead of their faces. They bring a message of peace and advanced technological knowledge, but the reporters interviewing them ask a bunch of questions such as "When you wear a black lace bra, is that like sunglasses?"

(I've noticed that furries are getting this from the general public lately, with reporters wanting to talk about the sexual side, and so on.)

Comments:

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From:deckardcanine
Date:December 22nd, 2010 03:00 pm (UTC)
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There was another SNL sketch in which a centaur applies for a job, but the interviewer just wants to ask centaur-specific questions. We might also count Fry on "Futurama" asking about Leela's eye, but (1) that was only one question and (2) I think she's a mutant rather than a nonhuman.

I suggest a different name for the trope. Maybe "Tactless Interspecies Questions."
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From:rikchik
Date:December 22nd, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)
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Even if it's not perfectly accurate, I think the tie-in with Stupid Human Tricks makes Stupid Human Questions work better. KT, I think you should just make the page and see if it gets merged into something.
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From:deckardcanine
Date:December 22nd, 2010 05:31 pm (UTC)
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It never sank in for me that you could just make a page on your own. I thought of some tropes that I pitched to tropers but never launched. Maybe I'll go ahead.
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From:athelind
Date:December 22nd, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC)
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It's a WIKI, man! It's all ABOUT DIY!

The fun thing about TV Tropes is the way Tropespeak slowly worms its way into general geek and litcrit vocabulary. This has gotten surreal for me, working in a comic book store: at least once, I've had customers use a trope name from a page that I've started (usually this one in casual conversation.

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From:xakko
Date:December 23rd, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
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you're supposed to start with a YKTTW page, right?

kudos on the trope name...
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From:darksasami
Date:December 25th, 2010 04:43 am (UTC)
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Ha, I know just what you mean...I started the original YKTTW page.
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From:nefaria
Date:December 22nd, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
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People aren't being taught tact or good manners much these days, so they don't develop those skills. I don't even bother to talk about furry anymore, everyone outside the fandom seems to think lunatic fringe furry is actually mainstream furry.
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From:orv
Date:December 22nd, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
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Eh, I don't talk about it because it's really nobody else's business. It's not like this is a religion I'm trying to recruit people into.
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From:tracerj
Date:December 22nd, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC)
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Drawing the interesting parallel, I tend to think lunatic fringe religion is actually mainstream religion. (Or did I get those backwards?) I suppose it's sort of a fair turnabout if they think that all furries are people who... have sex...?
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From:orv
Date:December 22nd, 2010 08:08 pm (UTC)
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Heh! Well, you do see the same phenomenon in religious groups. The craziest members of any religion are the ones that you'll hear the most from.
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From:tracerj
Date:December 22nd, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
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And similarly, we see the more moderate folks saying, "Well, we're not all quite that lunatic," while generally never bothering to actually excoriate the really insane folks. And therein lies the complexity, because if two people each refuse to relinquish their label – furry, Christian, American, whatever – but disagree, then who the hell can make sense of what any group is?

Ah, well. They're mostly granfalloons, anyhow.
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From:orv
Date:December 22nd, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC)
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And when it comes to the furry fandom, it's mostly a tempest in a teapot. The vast majority of the general public is utterly unaware of it. The only people who care about furries enough to even bother mocking them are other furries. Well, and self-hating ex-furries.
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From:bikerwalla
Date:December 22nd, 2010 10:45 pm (UTC)
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Yeah. Quite a lot of people still harbor those thoughts about gay people. Can't spell "homosexualist" without "sex", after all!
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From:vakkotaur
Date:December 23rd, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
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I think you've just mentioned a specific version of a general case: Everyone outside of X seems to think lunatic fringe X is actually mainstream X.
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From:orv
Date:December 22nd, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC)
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I've noticed that furries are getting this from the general public lately...

That's not exactly new. Almost all the early press coverage of furry fandom back in the 1990s focused on the sexual side...Vanity Fair, MTV, etc. Part of it is because that's what titillates, and part of it is because many of the more talkative furries are people who wear their sexual fetishes on their sleeves. This isn't that unusual for a subculture...look at gay pride parades, for example.
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From:octan
Date:December 22nd, 2010 06:39 pm (UTC)
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I remember a Garfield story or something where Garfield gains the ability to talk, and Jon predictably starts asking these questions. Specifically I remember this exchange: "What's it like having four legs?" "Confusing. *tries to change subject*"

Oh, this isn't YKTTW? Whatever then.
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