Make Your Picks

Tarantino Disses Scorsese for Compromising the Vision of Taxi Driver

Tools    





A system of cells interlinked
Carrie definitely communicates that to us: we see her POV focusing on individual faces, with a kaleidoscopic effect floating around it. So unless you want to argue that a number of ancillary characters suddenly sprouted four extra flying heads, it's pretty clear that at least some of it is POV and hallucinatory.
It would also completely disregard the characterization of the gym teacher up until that point, who had up until the prom, been a stanch ally of Carrie in every way. That she would suddenly turn into a a simulacrum of a mean girl bully just doesn't follow.
__________________
“It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.” ― Thomas Sowell



It would also completely disregard the characterization of the gym teacher up until that point, who had up until the prom, been a stanch ally of Carrie in every way. That she would suddenly turn into a a simulacrum of a mean girl bully just doesn't follow.
Right, so we have to clues that this moment in Carrie is in the subjectivity of the protagonist. Without such clues we might conclude (fairly) that all of it literally happened as seen on the grounds that without evidence we might be skeptical of everything. Carrie, however, is not in a snow globe--we can, or so it has been argued, clearly mark where the camera's objectivity ends and Carrie's subjectivity begins.

Cool. Now, the question that remains is do we have evidence that supports the reading that some aspects of Taxi Driver are in the head of Travis Bickle and if so do we have evidence showing which specific events in the film did not occur as depicted?
  1. Is the best warranted assertion that not all of the black characters were actually black?
  2. Is the best warranted assertion that they were black, but they did not perform the actions depicted (e.g., throwing a bottle).
  3. Is the best warranted assertion that they were black and that the events did occur, but that they did not occur with the tone/menace shown in the film?
Our reading of Carrie arguably lands on #3, as she was covered in pig blood and people did laugh at her (but probably not everyone laughed at her and not so wickedly as she perceived the laughter--perhaps some of the laughter was awkward or thoughtless teen giggling).

Once we've landed on a reading (1, 2 or 3), the question that remains is does the film, on the basis of this evidence, support negative tropes about black people or merely show a racist's perception of such tropes in the world around him?



Yes, because the only way anyone can do anything in a film is if they underline it's specific intent first. Definitely no examples of this ever happening or being argued over in the history of literature or cinema or any art at all.


Now it's obviously something that can be disagreed upon or debated as Scorsese's intent cant be absolutely known....you know, like I mentioned in regards to the points made in the article Stu posted...But that debate certainly isn't going to happen with some bad faith schmuck.



A system of cells interlinked
Cool. Now, the question that remains is do we have evidence that supports the reading that some aspects of Taxi Driver are in the head of Travis Bickle and if so do we have evidence showing which specific events in the film did not occur as depicted?
We have evidence of the altered perception of our main character in the scene where he looks in the rear view mirror and we get an editing trick or perhaps an undercranked camera that alludes to the fact that Travis sees through a distorted lens. This most obvious tell appears at the end of the film as a nod to the viewer to reassess everything they had seen, perhaps by walking out of the theater, buying another ticket and heading back in to watch it all over again!



We have evidence of the altered perception of our main character in the scene where he looks in the rear view mirror and we get an editing trick or perhaps an undercranked camera that alludes to the fact that Travis sees through a distorted lens.
OK. Is there a YouTube clip of this or do you have a timestamp?



It appears that we also have evidence (per Stu's article) with regard to the female characters being shown to be different when not under the gaze of Bickle. Even though it is objected that the black characters do not get such a moment, it appears that this is nevertheless a signal that the world is not quite as Bickle sees it. Do you have a take on this bit? Do we get textual evidence on this score too?



I guess we're arguably in the subjectivity of Bickle if Bickle is in the scene. If he's not in the scene, then we're probably not in his subjectivity (e.g., Carrie is not in the gymnasium when the mean teens are prepping their pig blood trap, so we know that this event happens outside her subjectivity). This appears to be a premise in the alternate view of women argument from the article. Bickle being in the scene is a necessary (or nearly so?) condition, but probably not a sufficient condition. Thus condition 2 seems to be that we need some conventional signaling. We need the kaleidoscopic haze in the scene where people are laughing. We need something that happens out of character. We need under-cranking or an edit or a view of Bickle looking at the world in a mirror (we see as he sees-nudge, nudge, wink, wink). So, I guess we're looking for bits of the film where conditions 1 and 2 are satisfied, right?



We have evidence of the altered perception of our main character in the scene where he looks in the rear view mirror and we get an editing trick or perhaps an undercranked camera that alludes to the fact that Travis sees through a distorted lens. This most obvious tell appears at the end of the film as a nod to the viewer to reassess everything they had seen, perhaps by walking out of the theater, buying another ticket and heading back in to watch it all over again!

Yes. There are a number of techniques Scorsese uses to make us question (and this is the operative word) what we are seeing as absolutes.


But, unfortunately, if anyone continues to choose to be pedantic about needing proof of what Scorsese intends (even though this really isn't something that is buried very deep, as it's all right on the surface of the film) we can still argue this isn't enough forever.


This is one reason that looking for clear objective, foolproof reasoning for our interpretations of a film will quickly become pointless asshattery if what we are waiting for is a tap on the shoulder from the cinematic gods to tell us: 'hey, this is what it all means, you big dummy'. Otherwise there is always going to be wiggle room for some nuisance to come around and say 'nu-uh, it doesn't necessarily mean that'. Even in super obvious cases, like this.


For example, even the kaleidoscopic lens in Carrie doesn't have to mean we are entering Carries subjective view to the point reality has truly been distorted. She really could be being laughed at by everyone, and it simply a cinematic representation of her anxiety in the moment. This of course would be dumb to claim, but if we really want to waste our time, we could technically argue it. Or if we get into a conversation with the wrong person, we could also find ourselves needing to explain the obvious.


Thankfully, those who at least completed Film Viewing 101 can take a few easy leaps to determine that in Taxi Driver we are seeing the world through his delusions and prejudices. We don't have to wait for divine intervention to start talking about it.



Thank you for sharing the clip.

I didn't see any black people in that clip. We see Deniro looking in his rear view mirror at Cybil, so we're seeing his subjective view of her, right? This clip does not appear to directly lens our interpretation of black people via negative tropes. If anything, the lensing must be retro-active (i.e., this is the last scene of the film) and indirect (we must link it to people and events which precede this moment). This is not quite the Carrie kaleidoscope moment (which is direct and in the moment).

To be clear, I think (at least this my tentative view--I haven't seen the film in an age) that the film is fine as it is and that casting Keitel to avoid negative tropes was fine. I think the porridge is just right. Stu seems to think that it's too hot. Tarantino thinks it's too cold. I am not arguing that there is a problem here. That stated, I am not yet seeing how the film is clearly signaling to us to read events in the film depicting black people as non-literal, subjective, hyperbolic, or caricatured.

I guess I don't think that the film needs to have a schizophrenic split between the surface of the text (the literal reading) and the subjective depths being hinted at here to escape the charge of "present-thing-ism." If the events shown happen, more or less as they appear in the camera, then so what? I am open to there being depth here, but you don't need to prove it to me for me to endorse the movie.

As I see it, Bickle is still a monster even if what the camera shows is is basically how it all went down "in the real world." We can see Bickle as having a non-representative anecdotal experience and making faulty generalizations, for example. Am I wrong in that assumption?



A system of cells interlinked
Thank you for sharing the clip.

I didn't see any black people in that clip. We see Deniro looking in his rear view mirror at Cybil, so we're seeing his subjective view of her, right? This clip does not appear to directly lens our interpretation of black people via negative tropes. If anything, the lensing must be retro-active (i.e., this is the last scene of the film) and indirect (we must link it to people and events which precede this moment). This is not quite the Carrie kaleidoscope moment (which is direct and in the moment).
[/i]
That isn't quite what I was responding to, as you had asked this:

Cool. Now, the question that remains is do we have evidence that supports the reading that some aspects of Taxi Driver are in the head of Travis Bickle and if so do we have evidence showing which specific events in the film did not occur as depicted?
Which I took as a general inquiry asking well...exactly what you are asking there. At the 2:30 mark (not sure if you missed my bolded time stamp call out below the video), Cybil has already left the cab. Watch the bit starting at 2:30, noting in particular the sort of odd time shift and warping of the images. It's subtle, but that was what I was referring to. That is evidence to me that some things could be in his head, but I think it more so direct evidence that he is experiencing a warped version of reality. The mirror itself could be signaling that he may be about to revert to the state he was in earlier in the film. Clearly, it is open for interpretation.



Ah, the point is not that he is a racist per se, but that his racism is a side-effect of him being disconnected? If so, this kind of out-Crumbs Crumb's argument about such moves distancing us from the character/aesthetic effect. We get closer to understanding the racist by not hanging a lantern on the racism? Makes sense. I doubt most people would start their slide into racism by donning white robes and burning crosses. Just about everyone, however, gets being afraid, bullied, and isolated.

My concern is more pedestrian. If the point is to produce some result in the audience, then the imperfections of the audience (or some significant portion of it) might prove a limitation. That is, we might do a very a seemingly sympathetic bio pic of Adolf Hitler as a post-modern winking ironic gag, but if the result were that 30% of the audience concluded, "Hey, the guy really had a point," would the result be worth it? Paul Verhoeven's Hitler might look a lot like Starship Troopers. I think it is good not to lean into stereotypes so as to avoid hardening them (even if they may be demographically representative in some way). However, I don't think that the answer is to make some other demographic the permanent villain as compensation as this just supports another stereotype. I think the multiracial hooligans of 70s film and television is a fair way to communicate (for most purposes) that the point is not that the villains are not relevantly white or black or Hispanic.

I think I might be in favor of Netflix randomly assigning "races" and "genders" to characters in the same way that they randomly produce stories. Just throw a dart at a dart board and find which race, gender, sex, and religion the character shall have. Make an explicit mention at the start "the demographics depicted were chosen at random and are not directly representative of any group." If our random number generator just happened to arrive at POC baddies and non-POC goodies, however, I wonder if people could accept this as a non-racist result. "It doesn't matter that it randomly generated a derogatory stereotype! What matters is that it did. Now, run the procedure again until the villains are white male cis-gender Christian conservatives!" I think that this would be the result, because what matters today is not intention, but the perception of harm. Under Mill's old harm principle the line was drawn at physical violence, but that's long gone. Today, the line is drawn at the smallest instances of discomfort (e.g., micro-aggressions), so a "harmful" outcome (e.g., this looks racist to me) would be unacceptable.

It's a tough question. The extremes are ridiculous, but it seems quite difficult to do the balancing of "log-rolling" the equilibrium between the two without getting thrown off the log into the water.
I guess what this thread makes me think about most of all is just how central race/racism is to Taxi Driver as a film. Maybe a better way of framing my comment is this: Racism is obviously there in no small degree, but I would still stop short of calling it a film about race/racism---in that racism is a significant part of Travis' worldview but not necessarily the best path towards reaching its center.



Cybil has already left the cab. Watch the bit starting at 2:30,
Gotcha. Even so, there seems to be a bit of subjectivity with Deniro looking back at her?



To communicate that we're entering into a character's subjectivity we need a cue that we are "seeing with their eyes." We can do this by shifting to a first person view (very on the nose) or we can be shown what they're seeing from their point of view by moving in over their shoulder or seeing what they're seeing in a mirror or some other signal that we're moving through the looking glass. Thus, I was thinking that the rear view was inviting us to consider that this is Bickle's POV, at least, in this moment--even if this is how it went down, this definitely how he was experiencing it. This bolsters the case that what follows is "Into the Bickleverse," no?

noting in particular the sort of odd time shift and warping of the images.
What stands out to me in that clip is that he jerks his head looking at something, seeming to indicate that he's "on patrol" and looking for the next baddie. Discount Batman driving his cab enters the night.

It's subtle, but that was what I was referring to. That is evidence to me that some things could be in his head, but I think it more so direct evidence that he is experiencing a warped version of reality. The mirror itself could be signaling that he may be about to revert to the state he was in earlier in the film. Clearly, it is open for interpretation.
Sure and I agree that this is a plausible interpretation. I do not contest that we're in his head in this moment. Alas, as evidence that the film is not racist, this is alas indirect and retroactive (i.e., your comment about inviting us to watch the film again).



I guess what this thread makes me think about most of all is just how central race/racism is to Taxi Driver as a film. Maybe a better way of framing my comment is this: Racism is obviously there in no small degree, but I would still stop short of calling it a film about race/racism---in that racism is a significant part of Travis' worldview but not necessarily the best path towards reaching its center.

Internet discussions have a tendency to circle a drain on one particular element of a film, which is exactly what is happening here.



You're right. It's very much not a film about racism. But racism is impossible to extract from the conversation about this particular character.


This shouldn't make us put our blinders on when looking at Taxi Driver though. We shouldn't let online dumb-talk funnel our opinions to the worst hot takes imaginable.



Probably unavoidable though. Deeply, painfully unavoidable.



The unreliable narrator or the presence of unreality from a perspective of a character, doesn't have to be made 100% clear.

Personally I love it when I come away from a film thinking "wait.....did that actually happen or was what we were seeing in the character's mind?"

The ambiguity of this sort of thing is often what makes it interesting.

The end of the film 'Tar' is a little like this. And is an example of brilliant film-making because it forces the viewer to question the character study we've just seen and think about it and analyse whether it's real or not.

Anyway, as you were......



The unreliable narrator or the presence of unreality from a perspective of a character, doesn't have to be made 100% clear.

Personally I love it when I come away from a film thinking "wait.....did that actually happen or was what we were seeing in the character's mind?"

The ambiguity of this sort of thing is often what makes it interesting.
This is all true, but this also has concerning implications for defense of Taxi Driver.

If we are to defend Taxi Driver against the charge of promoting negative tropes about African Americans, we cannot clearly do so if we are not clearly in Bickle's POV.

At best, the POV Defense leaves us with "Schrodinger's Racist Film." When the film is objective, it's racist. When the film is subjective, it's not. We can't say either way, because the POV is unclear. If someone were to accuse you of being racist, would you want your publicist to argue, "A big part of what makes ScarletLion a fascinating person is that we can't really tell if this person is racist. Personally, I love it when ScarletLion says something and I have to ask 'Did Scarlet really say that in racist sense?' There is a case to be made either way."?

I prefer to defend Taxi Driver from the charge of racism on the grounds that it's not racist even if what we are shown is "true" in showing us "how it really happened" (in that world from the God's-eye-view of the camera).



This is all true, but this also has concerning implications for defense of Taxi Driver.

If we are to defend Taxi Driver against the charge of promoting negative tropes about African Americans, we cannot clearly do so if we are not clearly in Bickle's POV.

At best, the POV Defense leaves us with "Schrodinger's Racist Film." When the film is objective, it's racist. When the film is subjective, it's not. We can't say either way, because the POV is unclear. If someone were to accuse you of being racist, would you want your publicist to argue, "A big part of what makes ScarletLion a fascinating person is that we can't really tell if this person is racist. Personally, I love it when ScarletLion says something and I have to ask 'Did Scarlet really say that in racist sense?' There is a case to be made either way."?

I prefer to defend Taxi Driver from the charge of racism on the grounds that it's not racist even if what we are shown is "true" in showing us "how it really happened" (in that world from the God's-eye-view of the camera).
I'm not a film character so I have a professional and personal reputation to uphold and defend.

Travis Bickle is a character on the edge of society. It's fine to say he may or may not hold prejudices. And going on a journey to analyse each case is fun.

Personally I think this discussion shows how good Schrader's screenplay is. That we're disucssing this decades later shows this,



Travis Bickle is a character on the edge of society. It's fine to say he may or may not hold prejudices. And going on a journey to analyse each case is fun.
True, but the accusation is not that Travis Bickle is prejudiced. Rather, the accusation is that the film itself is racist because the film allegedly shows African Americans in a negative light. For example, Stu states, "my issue with this aspect of Taxi Driver isn't because of the imperfections of the audience, but of the movie itself, because it so consistently portrays Black men in the highly regressive fashion that it does."

Analyzing a character's racism can be fun, yes. To accuse an artwork of being racist, on the other hand, implicates those who made it in a moral wrong. This is less fun, because if the charge sticks, then we must downgrade our evaluation of the film and its makers.
Personally I think this discussion shows how good Schrader's screenplay is. That we're disucssing this decades later shows this,
It might also be evidence that this generation sees racism in its soup. "Film 'X' is racist for having imperfect POC" is the war cry of the Assumption of Direct Representation™.



If any negative depiction of demographic X is taken to be an automatic conceptual activation of a negative trope, then we are no longer in a position to tell stories which include marginalized groups as actual people (see my prior post).
Well that's why you have to take the individual example of Taxi Driver we're talking about here, and focus on the specific details of its depictions of African-American males in order to figure out whether or not it's racially problematic or not, which for me it is, due to a combination of the following two factors: every single Black man in the movie reflects, to one extent or another, some sort of negative stereotype about the group (and some to a patently unrealistic degree, like Charlie), whether they're crooks, seducing/"stealing" a white man's woman, or just extremely angry or hostile figures in general, and every Black man in it is also very incidentally featured as background presences in Travis's story, which ends up being a problem, in my opinion.

Like, the characterization of Travis overall isn't a problem for a number of reasons, since he's a member of literally the most privileged demographic in American history (and world history as well, if we're being perfectly honest), and a group that has historically been the least victimized by negative stereotypes, but even if the trope (for lack of a better term) of the white male "lone wolf" had been as much a thing in 1976 as it today, it still wouldn't be a problem, because as the protagonist, he obviously gets more development than anyone else in the film, which takes all the time neccessary to flesh him out as a flawed, repulsive, but ultimately real-feeling individual, one that could easily exist in the real world right alongside us. But even with the supporting characters, the film still manages to make them feel relatable, like Betsy, which helps it avoid the pitfall of seeming misogynistic, despite depicting Travis's sexism to us, because any viewer with a brain can clearly see that she didn't do anything to justify that sexism on his part. However, that sort of depiction is a courtesy that the film doesn't extend to any of Travis's Black counterparts, which is where the problem lies for me.



Well that's why you have to take the individual example of Taxi Driver we're talking about here, and focus on the specific details of its depictions of African-American males in order to figure out whether or not it's racially problematic or not,
"Problematic" is a terrible word. It's a hollow word borrowed from academia which, in popular use, just means "wrong think" or "heresy."

To say something is "problematic" in the non-wokeaday sense is simply to say that a matter is unsettled, possible, or debatable. None of these offer a proper charge against Taxi Driver, because if the mere fact that were debating is proof that something is "bad," then all it takes to remove a film from the canon of the acceptable is to start a debate against it. Moreover, that something is possibly the case is only half an accusation, if even that. You don't send people to the big house for "possibly" being guilty. The charge is that they DID do it and the burden is to prove that they did beyond a reasonable doubt. Of course, film discussion is not a court of law, and we need not prove claims beyond a reasonable doubt. That stated, if you are going to claim racism about a film, it is not at all fair to make the charge that it is "possibly" racist or that its alleged racism is unsettled. Lower the bar this much and you can burn a witch on the merest suspicion. Sorry, you will have to prove your case "on the preponderance of the evidence" (mere suspicion and possibility will not do). And I'm not going to accept a word that would allow you to burn Taxi Driver on grounds of your suspicion. In new-speak, you would say "deplatform" or "curate," but the result is the same, a film is libeled because a new generation accuses it under the lowest standard that it looks questionable from their point of view. Well, the new generation is a group of twits, so no we're not rolling with "problematic" as an acceptable charge, because it implies a ridiculously low standard.

Now, there is a definition which fits here which we find in the Merriam Webster. And that is definition 1d. having or showing attitudes (such as racial prejudice) or ideas (such as falsehoods) that are offensive, disturbing, or harmful. This is the newspeak way of saying "heresy" or "wrong think." Oh no! What Jill said is disturbing. So what? What Jill said is offensive? OK, so what? How offensive? "Fighting words" offensive or just "annoying" offensive? What Jill said is harmful! Is it? How do you define harm? Because if there isn't physical harm involved (Mill's Harm Principle which governs free behavior--my freedom to swing my fist ends where your nose begins), then you can only be talking about psychological harm which is subjective and which means that "harm" implies nothing save for the aforementioned states of "offending" and "disturbing." And those two possibilities have already been dispatched.

And let's not forget that a significant purpose of art is to, on occasion, offend us and to disturb us (i.e. to get us to think). Thus, someone claiming that their feelings are hurt by something is a thin warrant cast an aspersion on an artwork.

Thus, there is only one portion of one definition that really fits, and that is the parenthetical reference to an example of an offensive attitude, "racism." However, if we plug this definition into your statement
it's racially problematic
becomes
it's racially racist
and saying this is, at best, redundant. If what you mean to say is that the film is racist, then just say racist, because you're going to have to prove it anyway; we're not going to equivocate the mysteries of the problematic (i.e., the merely possible).

There are acceptable uses of the word "problematic," such as to say that idea is freighted with conceptual problems such that we cannot confidently stand on that idea as a premise supporting a claim. However, your usage here is unacceptable as it invites equivocation and lowering the bar for proof to mere suspicion.

I only go through this exercise with you, because a large part of the problem with modern conversations is our modern vocabulary which euphemizes, concept smuggles, and allows one to "objectively" libel from the vantage point of an "academic" vocabulary.

I wouldn't let others in this thread off the hook with the argument to Schrodinger's Racist (see my response to ScarletLion) and likewise I won't let you convict Taxi Driver for being "problematic" which is to say "possibly racist" or "debatably racist." I also contend that we cannot definitively defend Taxi Driver as "proved innocent" on the grounds that it "possibly isn't racist" or is "debatably not-racist." Both of these are instances of weaseling about the burden of proof regarding serious claims.

Rant aside, I agree with what you say. Let us consider the particulars of the case to consider whether it willfully or negligently leans into negative tropes regarding African Americans.
which for me it is, due to a combination of the following two factors: every single Black man in the movie reflects, to one extent or another, some sort of negative stereotype
However, we also know that Keitel was cast in place of a black actor. All A are B does not mean the All B are A. The film shows all depicted blacks as negative people, but it takes care to show that NOT all negative people are depicted as black.

From here we have to ask, is this fact (Is this fact? I don't remember the film in eidetic detail. You say it is, so I shall presume that this is so for the time being.) making a strong implication? That is, if a film happens to depict five bratty teenage girls and no other teenage girls, does this mean that the film is stereotyping teen girls as "mean girls"? Maybe? Maybe not? Part of the answer has to do with how many people of demographic X are depicted negatively (enough to signal an inductive inference?). Part of the answer may has to do with whether other groups are also depicted negatively with regard to the same trait. Another part of the answer is whether or not we are seeing the world clearly. That is, are we in Bickle's subjectivity? Your opponents may be able to get Taxi Driver off on "reasonable doubt" even if they cannot themselves claim that this definitively proves that Taxi Driver is not racist. Remember, a court finding of "not guilty" is NOT a case of the court declaring your innocence (i.e., proving the negative), but rather the claim that the prosecution did not prove their case. If the debate were to settle here, ironically, you would be justified in concluding that the film is indeed "problematic" (in the sense of possibly or debatably being racist). And on this score, your opponents would be forced to agree with you (if they be reasonable persons of goodwill).

I don't get to duck out on this last possibility, however, as I have committed to the claim that there is not enough evidence to pronounce Taxi Driver to be racist even if everything that happened in the frame, more or less, "really" happened in that reality (don't let me waffle on this point, you may have me on the ropes).

On my view, New York is a tough city, and in the 1970s it was really tough. Therefore, seeing people on the street with negative character traits is just showing us New York in the '70s. Is it possible that a God's-eye view of the NYC in the 70s would show unfavorable depictions of humanity at the street level view, the view of a taxi driver? Is the film racist or just showing us how gross NYC was before it was cleaned up in the 80s?
about the group (and some to a patently unrealistic degree, like Charlie), whether they're crooks, seducing/"stealing" a white man's woman, or just extremely angry or hostile figures in general, and every Black man in it is also very incidentally featured as background presences in Travis's story, which ends up being a problem, in my opinion
Again, you may have me on the ropes here. I will need to watch the film again. Maybe it is implicated in racist depictions of African Americans. Perhaps I shall find myself converted to your side.
Like, the characterization of Travis overall isn't a problem for a number of reasons, since he's a member of literally the most privileged demographic in American history (and world history as well, if we're being perfectly honest)
Then again, perhaps I shall not be persuaded to your side, after all.

Your last comment is a racist comment. You have held Bickle responsible for a property of his person that he cannot control (the color of his skin) and essentialized his guilt (his relative privilege) to the sins of his group. If you see a person scraping by in poverty, working in a low class job, being viewed as low-cast, as "privileged" simply because of his melanin, you have a funny sense of what means to be privileged. Given the offer of reincarnation, I would take being born "rich and black" over "poor and white" ten of ten times.

You just said that it is OK to show Bickle as a villain because his group is villainous. I offered you a way out of this corner (see below).
You shouldn't be hinting that the Englishman really has it coming, because they deserve a negative stereotype (i.e., when you say "quite the opposite, actually...").* Rather the principle of difference is that there is no relevant negative trope associated with Englishmen, right?
Instead, you keep leaning back into racism. You shouldn't be arguing that we can show Bickle as a villain because his group is villainous (!!!), but rather we can show him as a villain simply because there are villains in the world, and some of them are white. You're laboring under the fallacy of the Assumption of Direct Representation™ which forces you to justify negative depictions as fairly representing a property entirely, or almost entirely, distributed in some group.

If I admit that Taxi Driver is racist, will you admit that you're relying on a racist argument? I do not suspect that you are a bad person (i.e., a racist), however, you're in the grips of a bad vocabulary which is making you a bad reasoner (i.e., offering the occasional racist argument). And at the every least, that's problematic.



Ten paragraphs delving into the semantics of how the word problematic is offensive because of what it implies.


As for anything in art that might offend any group other than those who fret over the word problematic, who cares? Grow a thicker skin.

This is an almost profound lack of self awareness.



Ten paragraphs delving into the semantics of how the word problematic is offensive because of what it implies.


As for anything in art that might offend any group other than those who fret over the word problematic, who cares? Grow a thicker skin.

This is an almost profound lack of self awareness.

Also, look how easy and provable it is to find racism against white people in Stu's post. Nothing to debate here as it's a settled matter.


As for Taxi Driver, no matter which way we decide to take it's depictions of black people, nothing to see here. Snowflakes should just stop snowflakin' I guess.


Just hilarious, if horrible and depressing are the kind of things that make you laugh hysterically.