Join 3,523 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Goblin vs Brad
September 8, 2012 10:46 AM   Subscribe

Nekrogoblikon - No One Survives (SLYT) (NSFW)
posted by fearfulsymmetry (46 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Man is always trying to bring the Goblin down.
posted by The Whelk at 10:50 AM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lot of production value in that! My favorite in this genre is this.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:54 AM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I really didn't think I'd like that. But I really, really did.
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:56 AM on September 8, 2012


Aw, they're all so mean to the goblin because they perceive him as monstrous based on his appearance, but he sure proves them!
posted by clockzero at 10:58 AM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Feel free to post shit like this in the evening.
posted by phaedon at 11:03 AM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Awesome! Reminds me of that "white whale, holy grail" MSpaint comic.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:06 AM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have a new favorite band.
posted by starvingartist at 11:06 AM on September 8, 2012


If anyone watches ten seconds of this video and wants to flag it, I encourage them to watch the rest.
posted by workerant at 11:13 AM on September 8, 2012


I would be willing to consider any insight offered as to what I just watched.
posted by Daddy-O at 11:21 AM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would be willing to consider any insight offered as to what I just watched.

You can start by going here.
posted by phaedon at 11:23 AM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's a goblin that likes the fast life: the office job, the weed and the Guitar Hero.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:26 AM on September 8, 2012


Country of origin: United States
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Status: Active
Year of creation: 2006
Genre: Symphonic Folk/Death Metal
Lyrical themes: Goblins

posted by gwint at 11:27 AM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Daddy-O: "I would be willing to consider any insight offered as to what I just watched."

The "evil races" of fantasy literature are understood by many to be barely veiled references to the disadvantaged and the downtrodden. Even the word "villain" originally referred to a person who did not own property. And the word race that was so often used is also, of course, a dead giveaway. In our modern era we are able to look back at characters described as being primitive, tribal, stupid, inferior, cowardly, etc. and see a direct reflection of the race and class propaganda that existed at the same time those works were written. So it is a natural next step to look at the goblin in a modern retelling as a misunderstood victim of prejudice.
posted by idiopath at 11:28 AM on September 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


Yeah, I was definitely thinking along the lines of "goblins / drow / monster races of various sorts are frequently used as coded racism in fantasy novels [lookin' at you, R.A. Salvatore] so here's a different look at that" and then it ended with the stereotype being reinforced over and over. Soooooooo yeah. I don't know. For me personally it didn't have enough meat in there to justify the rape and violence imagery. But then I guess it is a music video, and that ain't my kinda music, so probably wasn't meant for me anyway.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:32 AM on September 8, 2012


Meh.. what started as a few groups in Scandinavia paying tribute to their ancestors and occasionally being incredibly racist about it has become a cottage industry of lukewarm folk metal bands who won't be around long enough to leave a lasting legacy like the originators.
posted by mediocre at 11:32 AM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


lazaruslong: "and then it ended with the stereotype being reinforced over and over"

Commercially successful art for and by marginalized groups often does wallow in the stereotypes and dismissals. I saw it as the goblin version of gangsta rap or a pride parade "yeah fuck you I'm a goblin, I'll tear your fucking throat out douchebag". All too understandable.
posted by idiopath at 11:36 AM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


infinitewindow: "Lot of production value in that! My favorite in this genre is this."

I think you mean this
posted by rebent at 11:42 AM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed both the music and the story. Thanks for posting.

(This felt like it went down in the LA of the Angel universe.)
posted by Rhomboid at 11:52 AM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


lazaruslong: and then it ended with the stereotype being reinforced over and over.

Right, but it suggests that the goblin's violence is a result of the cultural and social pressures against the goblin due to the existing stereotypes and prejudices against goblins. This is a self-perpetuating cycle of violence, and even the goblin himself becomes co-opted into the system that sees goblins as violent and "evil".

Of course, the video is also careful not to justify the goblin's revenge, because the viewer (via the camera's panning) is able to 'step back' and see the horror of what the goblin has done, and is suitably horrified. Nekrogoblin reinforces this theme by stopping the music at the point when the viewer is expected to have ceased to identify with the goblin, and it is deliberately a jarring moment.

Can you tell I kind of miss being in college sometimes?
posted by capricorn at 12:01 PM on September 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


*Nekrogoblikon
posted by capricorn at 12:02 PM on September 8, 2012


"Lot of production value in that! My favorite in this genre is this."

I think you mean this


I think you mean this.

(Original)
posted by Pyrogenesis at 12:07 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's an interesting way of looking at it, capricorn. I can see your point about the goblin representing the co-opting and corruption of oppressed groups.

I got the sense though, in the end, that the brutality of the goblin's attacks on the Man were supposed to be indicative of it's 'true nature' finally having a reason to be used (the look in the goblin's eyes after the slap seems to indicate to me relief at having an outlet for it's nature), at which point the goblin is reminded that it's true nature is ALSO repugnant and unacceptable by the System personified in the horrified scream of Love Interest.

I can't believe I just wrote that sentence. I'm really not high enough for this, I think.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:19 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


WE ARE ALL MONSTERS, Y'ALL
posted by jscalzi at 12:33 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The "evil races" of fantasy literature are understood by many to be barely veiled references to the disadvantaged and the downtrodden. Even the word "villain" originally referred to a person who did not own property. And the word race that was so often used is also, of course, a dead giveaway. In our modern era we are able to look back at characters described as being primitive, tribal, stupid, inferior, cowardly, etc. and see a direct reflection of the race and class propaganda that existed at the same time those works were written. So it is a natural next step to look at the goblin in a modern retelling as a misunderstood victim of prejudice.

But that's incoherent. If you accept the premise that the evil races can be understood as humans who are being dehumanized for political/narrative purposes, using an actual monster moves us back out of the world of dehumanization and into fantasy, where it would make sense to commit genocide against goblins who are hopelessly murderous and less-than-human.

This story wants to have it both ways: goblins can be non-humanly monstrous and fundamentally human at the same time. Its internal logic is a complete mess of half-formed metacommentary and regurgitated but misunderstood cultural criticism.

Right, but it suggests that the goblin's violence is a result of the cultural and social pressures against the goblin due to the existing stereotypes and prejudices against goblins. This is a self-perpetuating cycle of violence, and even the goblin himself becomes co-opted into the system that sees goblins as violent and "evil".

The narrative is not clear enough to distinguish between a possible interpretation in which the goblin is inherently monstrous, and whose monstrous nature is drawn out by poor treatment, or one in which he is sorta turned into a monster by his treatment, which is at the very least untenable since he's portrayed as monstrous from the get-go, and at worst antithetical to humanist destabilization of mythologies about race.

It's more than a little naive to think that you can arbitrarily substitute qualitatively different figures in this kind of representation and come out with a metaphor which is both coherent and opposed to oppression. This kind of nonsense cheapens lucid deconstructions of dehumanizing cultural mythologies by shoe-horning an unsuitable figuration into the central place.
posted by clockzero at 12:45 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


he's portrayed as monstrous from the get-go

Is he? Monstrous-looking, sure.
posted by kenko at 12:48 PM on September 8, 2012


He's not merely monstrous-looking. A monstrous-looking human is not the same as a regular-looking monster, though one objective of this narrative seems to be an attempt at destabilizing the distinction. In the story, such as it is, he is a monster in the same essential sense that phenotypically-distinct human groups are thought of as something other than human, however any behavior to the contrary might temporarily confuse the issue.
posted by clockzero at 12:58 PM on September 8, 2012


If you accept the premise that the evil races can be understood as humans who are being dehumanized for political/narrative purposes, using an actual monster moves us back out of the world of dehumanization and into fantasy, where it would make sense to commit genocide against goblins who are hopelessly murderous and less-than-human.

This argument begs the question that goblins are 'actual monsters', but even assuming that they are 'hopelessly murderous', I'm curious as to what moral framework would admit that as a justification for systematic genocide.
posted by Pyry at 1:00 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


clockzero: "But that's incoherent. If you accept the premise that the evil races can be understood as humans who are being dehumanized for political/narrative purposes, using an actual monster moves us back out of the world of dehumanization and into fantasy, where it would make sense to commit genocide against goblins who are hopelessly murderous and less-than-human. "

On the contrary, you cannot make the statement without using a monster. And until the very end he emphatically only looks like a monster.

It is perfectly coherent. I think most anyone who has been lied to or manipulated can readily work out alternative narratives to a story they are told. Given the existence of a book like "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and actually knowing real life Jewish people, it is easy to move on to retellings of the fairy tales and fantasy novels of our youth, recasting the monsters as misunderstood and persecuted others. Nothing in this story taken on its own says that he is inherently a murderer by genetics, or that his kind are deserving of genocide. That is only a potential cross reference with other texts. Is it so hard to think that a creature could be mistreated, break under the strain of mistreatment and act out violently, and still not deserve to have his whole species killed? Cruel petty treatment creates cruel petty creatures, and we cannot condemn a group for what one individual does in a moment of drunken rage.
posted by idiopath at 1:00 PM on September 8, 2012


He's not merely monstrous-looking. A monstrous-looking human is not the same as a regular-looking monster, though one objective of this narrative seems to be an attempt at destabilizing the distinction

Well, I dunno. To say that he's monstrous-looking isn't necessarily to say that he's a monstrous-looking human, but could be to say: his appearance is such that you wouldn't at first question his monstrosity. Obviously he's a monster—he certainly isn't a biological human. But that's compatible with thinking that he's still a person. He could even be a monster in the ho-hum sense in which we'd call anyone who beat someone to death a monster—but he's not that kind of monster in virtue of being the kind of monster he appears to be. (Or: not necessarily; they don't have to travel together.)
posted by kenko at 1:05 PM on September 8, 2012


I really like YouTube's choices for other videos to watch after that; what must be every other Nekrogoblikon video ever made all surrounding PSY's Gungnam Style & Bill Clinton's DNC speech. I'm sure there's a metaphor in there somewhere.
posted by scalefree at 1:07 PM on September 8, 2012


This story wants to have it both ways: goblins can be non-humanly monstrous and fundamentally human at the same time. Its internal logic is a complete mess of half-formed metacommentary and regurgitated but misunderstood cultural criticism.

Yeah, but it's not about race, it's about masculinity. This is the same narrative of violence and female acquisition that is pretty much a cliche male thing about having mis-shapen violent monster riding around inside and wanting to be a protector of women, but only the pretty ones.
posted by Phalene at 1:12 PM on September 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Pyry >

If you accept the premise that the evil races can be understood as humans who are being dehumanized for political/narrative purposes, using an actual monster moves us back out of the world of dehumanization and into fantasy, where it would make sense to commit genocide against goblins who are hopelessly murderous and less-than-human.

This argument begs the question that goblins are 'actual monsters', but even assuming that they are 'hopelessly murderous', I'm curious as to what moral framework would admit that as a justification for systematic genocide.


Well, yes, it does make that assumption, but it does so in the context of a narrative tradition in which that's the case, or at least in which it's plausible. I mean, I didn't write the Lord of the Rings.

idiopath >

"But that's incoherent. If you accept the premise that the evil races can be understood as humans who are being dehumanized for political/narrative purposes, using an actual monster moves us back out of the world of dehumanization and into fantasy, where it would make sense to commit genocide against goblins who are hopelessly murderous and less-than-human. "

On the contrary, you cannot make the statement without using a monster. And until the very end he emphatically only looks like a monster.


I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean here.

It is perfectly coherent. I think most anyone who has been lied to or manipulated can readily work out alternative narratives to a story they are told. Given the existence of a book like "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and actually knowing real life Jewish people, it is easy to move on to retellings of the fairy tales and fantasy novels of our youth, recasting the monsters as misunderstood and persecuted others. Nothing in this story taken on its own says that he is inherently a murderer by genetics, or that his kind are deserving of genocide. That is only a potential cross reference with other texts. Is it so hard to think that a creature could be mistreated, break under the strain of mistreatment and act out violently, and still not deserve to have his whole species killed? Cruel petty treatment creates cruel petty creatures, and we cannot condemn a group for what one individual does in a moment of drunken rage.

You do realize that this is just a story, right? As I said before, I think this kind of imaginary counter-oppressive stance is at best orthogonal to reality, especially as allegory. It unnecessarily complicates the issues of cultural influence and expectation by making the figure a monster. It's a shitty and borderline-insulting metaphor because the purpose of racist mythologies is to create an imaginary category of sub- or non-humans, and the key there is that it's imaginary and political in nature.

kenko >

Well, I dunno. To say that he's monstrous-looking isn't necessarily to say that he's a monstrous-looking human, but could be to say: his appearance is such that you wouldn't at first question his monstrosity. Obviously he's a monster—he certainly isn't a biological human. But that's compatible with thinking that he's still a person. He could even be a monster in the ho-hum sense in which we'd call anyone who beat someone to death a monster—but he's not that kind of monster in virtue of being the kind of monster he appears to be. (Or: not necessarily; they don't have to travel together.)

That's true, but I don't see how it's the kind of fortuity of the dramatic arc in this specific case that he is both the sort of monster who would beat someone to death and the sort who is clearly not biologically human that would make this a meaningful distinction in this context. The problem with goblins and orcs and trolls and whatnot in fantasy literature isn't that they're not persons, in my reading, it's that their personhood is constituted in such a way that they are incapable of existing in peace with humans (clearly this is a narrative choice that exists to give humans the opportunity to define themselves in opposition, and doesn't afford those beings the opportunity to exist as anything other than foils, but that seems to be the idea nonetheless). This story dares us to imagine that this is at least partially the fault of humans ourselves, which seems based on a fundamental misunderstanding because it conflates human mistreatment of other humans who are understood to be something other than or less than human with human mistreatment of beings who actually are inhuman: it literalizes the working of racist mythologies and thereby robs the inhumane imaginative leap of dehumanization of its meaning and significance.

Phalene >

Yeah, but it's not about race, it's about masculinity. This is the same narrative of violence and female acquisition that is pretty much a cliche male thing about having mis-shapen violent monster riding around inside and wanting to be a protector of women, but only the pretty ones.

Now that's an interesting interpretation.

I think you're right, Phalene; if we ignore the weird phenotypic symbology of the protagonist for a moment, it's easy to see that this is indeed a story about men competing for women, but with a figurative twist that is tacked-on rather than integrated.
posted by clockzero at 1:48 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Having seen the video and read the bean plating, allow me to add: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRDEEEEDEEEDEELYDEEDEELYDEEDEELYDDOMBADOOMBADOOMBADOOMBATHRANGTHRANGTHRANGTHRANG
posted by Sebmojo at 1:56 PM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


When someone asks me what Metafilter is I'm going to print out this thread and show them.
posted by The Whelk at 2:00 PM on September 8, 2012 [11 favorites]


it's easy to see that this is indeed a story about men competing for women

She's not even a woman, per-say, she's a symbol for social acceptance and moral achievement. This is the Nice Guy story, that the persecution is attached to the victim's specialness, and it's always about how if he only let the inner monster off the leash... if only, they'd be sorry!

Even the woman shrieking is a cliche too, the classic dualism of the belief that women (and life) only reward assholes and that the so called Nice Guy is gifting us by his restraint.
posted by Phalene at 2:19 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


clockzero: I want the rejection of not only the idea that one group or another is a monster, but the usefulness of that category of "monstrosity" altogether. I think that humans are much simpler than we care to admit, and most of our ideas are smattered together jumblings of the metaphors we find most familiar. Metaphors generally become familiar because they are useful, sometimes because they help us understand the world and one another, sometimes because they stimulate some emotion or instinct in a way we find satisfying.

My claim is that the particular metaphor of outsider group as monstrous has no place or beneficial utility outside emotional indulgence and primate level inter-group politics. Fantasy literature is not as innocent as we would like it to be, the monstrous race is not just a narrative copout, it is part of a pornographic indulgence in hatred, in stories that want the emotional power of pure hatred without the moral consequences that accompany that hatred and the acts it inspires.

I think that the narratives we use are one of the ways we maintain our toolbox of metaphors, and a narrative like this one can remind us of the relative uselessness of the "monster" metaphor, and can help us take a closer look at the similarities between the stories we tell about the oppressed and the stories we tell about the objects of our fear.
posted by idiopath at 2:26 PM on September 8, 2012


Is this a good time to say I love metafilter? Because I love metafilter so much right now.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:58 PM on September 8, 2012


She's not even a woman, per-say, she's a symbol for social acceptance and moral achievement. This is the Nice Guy story, that the persecution is attached to the victim's specialness, and it's always about how if he only let the inner monster off the leash... if only, they'd be sorry!

Even the woman shrieking is a cliche too, the classic dualism of the belief that women (and life) only reward assholes and that the so called Nice Guy is gifting us by his restraint.


I think you're right, very well put.

I want the rejection of not only the idea that one group or another is a monster, but the usefulness of that category of "monstrosity" altogether.

I want that, too, but I'm not optimistic about our collective chances in the short term.

My claim is that the particular metaphor of outsider group as monstrous has no place or beneficial utility outside emotional indulgence and primate level inter-group politics.

I agree. I think this kind of thinking is related to perceived in/out group membership, and so the key would be getting people to recognize "others" as part of their group. That's not easy to do, it seems, especially when prominent group members are opposed to the effort.

Fantasy literature is not as innocent as we would like it to be, the monstrous race is not just a narrative copout, it is part of a pornographic indulgence in hatred, in stories that want the emotional power of pure hatred without the moral consequences that accompany that hatred and the acts it inspires.

I think your diagnosis has value, although there is variation in the degree to which subaltern races in Fantasy are fodder for ethnic cleansing fantasies which are packaged to be guilt-free.

I think that the narratives we use are one of the ways we maintain our toolbox of metaphors, and a narrative like this one can remind us of the relative uselessness of the "monster" metaphor, and can help us take a closer look at the similarities between the stories we tell about the oppressed and the stories we tell about the objects of our fear.

To describe the monster metaphor as "useless" is a normative judgment about its worth that I would agree with in a moral sense, generally, but I think that this phenomenon is too pervasive and important to describe it that way, in the interest of understanding. It's extremely useful, but not always for ends that decent people would approve of. I do think you're right that those kinds of stories have interesting similarities, in part because making people perceive the already-oppressed as inherently threatening is a great way to ensure their continued marginalization while ignoring the fact that we're all inherently threatening to one another in terms of our potential to do harm.
posted by clockzero at 3:10 PM on September 8, 2012


"Brad" is both the villain and the director's name.

This is another of his videos you may want to check out for context.

I think if John Waters was a straight white male – a bro, I think they're called now – these are the kinds of movies he'd be making in 2012.
posted by noway at 3:17 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fucking Brad
posted by nathancaswell at 4:26 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is your goblin.
This is your goblin on pot and booze.

(gore, screaming woman)

Any questions?

(Seems like a public service announcement from the "drugs are bad" people.)
posted by mer2113 at 4:30 PM on September 8, 2012


How does the significance of the goblin's combover re his place in society, and the defining role of hair in metal circa 1985, relate to Hester Prynne's scarlet A and her role and expectations in a society governed by a religious patriarchy?
posted by zippy at 6:20 PM on September 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Definitely masculinity. The douchebag is a bully who deserved to be torn apart but it was never justified until he struck the woman. It was a cool video but really the goblin should've stayed out of it, now he's going to be put to the sword for defending someone who chose to be with a bully.
posted by yonega at 3:28 AM on September 9, 2012


She's not even a woman, per-say, she's a symbol for social acceptance and moral achievement.

She's also a porn star (previously).
posted by homunculus at 10:42 AM on September 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


And she's doing an AMA.
posted by homunculus at 4:15 PM on September 10, 2012


This story wants to have it both ways: goblins can be non-humanly monstrous and fundamentally human at the same time.

Have it both ways? Human beings can be non-humanly monstrous and fundamentally human at the same time.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 8:27 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


« Older Lawn and garden products company Scotts Miracle-Gr...  |  “Feminine stereotypes historic... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments