字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント Here's an idea. "Steven Universe" demonstrates that there is no universal concept of family. [MUSIC PLAYING] "Steven Universe" is an animated Cartoon Network series created by former "Adventure Time" storyboard artist Rebecca Sugar. And you should watch it. It is great. Also, can we just literally pause here for a moment to acknowledge that Adventure Time is kind of like SNL in the '70s just churning out talent. The main character, Steven Universe, lives in Beach City with three aliens called the Crystal Gems-- Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl. Steven is the child of a gem, the late Rose Quartz, and a human, Greg Universe, who lives in his sweet van next to the car wash he works at. Steven and the Crystal Gems protect earth from extra dimensional threat, and, of course, always find a way to save the day. But really the focus of the show is the characters, their home, and their relationships, which feel real and intricate and ambiguous. Especially at the start of the show, the writing doesn't go to great lengths to make much about each character explicit. It even sort of pokes fun of itself in the first season when Mayor Dewey asks-- Are any of your sisters home? My sisters? Is there anyone else I can talk to about this? Regardless, or maybe because of that ambiguity, I think Steven Universe gets the idea of family really right. The easiest Western concept of family is that it is a group of people that one has a blood and/or legal relationship with. Hey, adopted brother. Slightly more complicated is the idea that a family is a network of supportive individuals. Maybe your coworkers or friends or collaborators or even your customers are a family. You'll be treated like family. You treat your customers like family. And we work together like a family. Treat 'em like family. You're not just a guest, you're part of our family. In other words, family is a group of people who care about one another with the implication that you should care about people you have a blood relationship with. But, I mean, come on, it's so much more complicated than that, right? Families are almost, by definition, hierarchical and highly regulated. In the states, at least, that hierarchy is based on the nuclear family and reinforced by laws, tax codes, and institutions, none of which, I think it's worth saying, can really make you love someone. Relatedly, families traffic to varying degrees in discipline and structure. A family is a group of people that encourages the behavior of and produces knowledge for one another. That behavior and knowledge is frequently based on social values, which makes the family an important political institution as well. Families also have a strong connection to history, both learning to cherish it and not wanting, under any circumstances, to repeat it. In other words, family is a cultural process that exists in tension with it's biological factors. A family is something we do just as much as it's something we are. And I think Steven Universe does family really well. For instance, in the Universe family unit blood relations, like the one between Steven and Greg, are celebrated but they're not hegemonic. They form the basis for relationships, but they are not their entirety. Steven's guardians can and do teach him about himself and the world, how he fits into its history, but they don't force that history onto him. They have expectations of him. They support and encourage him, but they also worry, underestimate, overprotect, and enable him. But in return, he challenges and surprises them, teaches them about his world as much as they do the same. Everyone, mostly, doesn't assert more authority over the others than they have. They are eventually honest about their problems. And they keep secrets because they are unsure or want to reveal themselves responsibly, not because they are deceitful. This is made all the more meaningful, I think, because Steven's family is highly functional, though it is highly nontraditional. I mean, besides the fact he lives with literal aliens. Its structure is not externally or institutionally determined. I can't imagine what their tax returns look like, but determined based on their situation. He's got three adoptive mother figures, one of whom is more like a big sister, another of whom has romantic feelings for his late mother, and a third who, depending upon how you read it, represents either a loving relationship between two other female characters or the possibility that someone with dissociative identity disorder cannot only reconcile their, in this case, obviously loving personalities, but also be a total badass because of them. Garnet is the best. Steven's dad doesn't cohabit, but that doesn't make him any less his dad. And as is often the case with nontraditional families, it sometimes feels like there is a whole world against them, which, in this case, I guess makes sense, because there actually is. That the Gems and Universes can so powerfully evoke functional family, though they exhibit few or none of the biological, institutional, or structural characteristics the West tends to require of functional families, shows that maybe there isn't a perfect universal concept that defines such a thing. And I mean, spoiler alert, there isn't. Different cultures structure family differently, sometimes drastically so, and expect different things based on those structures. There is way too much to cover here. We'll put some links in the Doobly Doo. But I hope it suffices it to say that there are many kinship systems throughout the world's communities. And though they are all very different, they all equally define family. In this way, it might be fair to say that there is a kind of family resemblance for families. Not like, whoa, you really look like your sister family resemblance, but Ludwig Wittgenstein's idea of family resemblances, that there are sets of things with similarities-- affinities, he called them-- that don't really sit within a clear, rigid boundary. He wrote about family resemblances between languages, games, and numbers. We know when a certain thing is an example of each, but to clearly and accurately describe what makes all games, all languages, or all numbers alike would be impossible. Can we make a similar case for families? Maybe. Can we test that network's boundaries? Where does it get fuzzy? When are we definitely outside of it? For me, coworkers, collaborators, and customers remain outside that network. Of course, your experience may vary. But weirdly, certain fandoms, not all of them, but certain ones, might sit at an edge. Punk rock, I think, belongs here. I've never felt more whatever family is for a group of strangers than when I was in my punk rock days. That is, of course, until I started making Idea Channel and began meeting all of you guys. Also, in before, punk rock is not a fandom. And I mean, hey, what about the "Steven Universe" fandom? We can see how "Steven Universe" is in a family of shows. I might claim that that has created a family of fandoms. Does the "Steven Universe" fandom conduct itself in a family-like manner? Again, your experience may vary. But as the show has grown in popularity, especially over the last couple months, it seems like the people making it and its fans have had to deal with the kinds of things growing and popular fandoms-- deal with-- collective identity, hierarchy, new members' relationship to the past, and, in my opinion, the mostly fair and reasonable expectations of its "guardians." Of course, not all families struggle with these things. And all entities struggling with these things are not families. But I think the resemblance is strong, at least as strong as it is between Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl and Steven. And What do you guys think? What does "Steven Universe" demonstrate about the idea of family? And when do non-family things, like fandoms, become family-like? What's the edge of that network? Let us know in the comments. And if you want to join Idea Channel's massively nontraditional family, please subscribe. So when an Idea Channel video has a significant number of upvotes, should I feel bad because it means I haven't presented a sufficiently controversial idea? Let's see what you guys had to say about Reddit and democracy. Before we get to comments, two quick things. You can still send us records for the record wall until April 28. This week we received some records from Jason, who sent us the "BioShock Infinite Soundtrack," and from [INAUDIBLE], "The Super Bowl Shuffle," which I am very excited about. So if you want to send us stuff, details in the Doobly Doo, including some restrictions, which do apply. We're keeping the things you send us forever. And second, I was on of my friend Davis and David's podcast, "The Electric Cybercast II-- Online," talking about Zork and text adventure games. I made them play Zork, which was maybe, as it turns out, not a nice thing to do to your friend. So if you want to listen to that, we'll put a link in the Doobly Doo. OK. On to comments. Mica says there might be a deeper level to this discussion, specifically the divorce between the operations of governmental democracy and the practical needs of people who are affected by it, and asks this question of, you know, if the operation of government exists too much in the realm of ideas, maybe in the same way that the internet and Reddit does, that, you know, you're responding to ideas and not practicalities. And I think that this-- I think that this holds some water, in that there's always a threat. And I think that this is something that, like, I fall victim to-- of getting stuck in your own politics and not stepping back and trying to think about how it relates to actual people in the actual world. Yeah. It was a great comment. On the subreddit, Axylon talked about their experience with heavily moderated subreddits and the relationship that that kind of moderation has to the idea of oligarchy And a really, really great conversation followed that. So I would suggest checking it out. And it reminded me of another great conversation that followed a comment Christopher Willis left on YouTube about Athenian democracy, which sort of has this aspect of randomness. And that's a thing that Jacques Ranciere talked about, actually, a bit in "Hatred of Democracy,"