#Magic: the Gathering
#Magic the Gathering
[TW: rape, assault]
Triumph of Ferocity got new art in Duel 2015. The original art (in the middle) depicts a veil-cursed Garruk Wildspeaker pinning down Liliana Vess with his hand around her throat and his other arm raised, poised to strike her. Liliana has a spell of some sort brewing in her left hand. The parallel card, Triumph of Cruelty (on the right) shows the tables turned, and Liliana has the upper hand.
In context of the story, the art makes sense. Both Liliana and Garruk are powerful planeswalkers, and they got beef with each other. Lilly cursed Big G, and he’d very much like her to remove the curse, or he’ll kill her. This had led to a few violent encounters between the two planeswalkers.
But the original art on Triumph of Ferocity has the potential to evoke certain emotions in people, and could possibly trigger some who have been victims of abuse. Magic: the Gathering is a game - and a story - about duels, conflicts, fighting, and, thus, violence (albeit fantasy violence), so depictions of violence are expected, and WOTC did nothing wrong per se, but it’s understandable how that particular piece of art can make people feel.
The game and the community should be about acceptance, tolerance, and making people feel welcome, and when something in the game takes away from that, it’s up to WOTC, along with the rest of the community, to do something about it. Fortunately, Wizards has done something. They addressed the issue and made a change for Duels 2015. Good on them.
But doesn’t this show a massive double standard on WotC’s part and the larger community that it’s okay to show men in times of distress and severe pain but it’s not to show a woman (specifically a woman who’s name is an anagram of “A villainess” and delights on the pain, suffering and death of others not only shown in flavour text but art as well and had this particular bit of violence coming to her for attacking another powerful Planeswalker) in similar situations.
When you remove context, you can put anything you want in its place. To see this art without the context, you need to actually find the singular image without the card border that has the flavour text:
"Rid me of this curse, witch, or die with me."
So you’d notice immediately that it’s not Garruk just going around being cruel to her, he’s reacting to the consequences of her previous action of cursing him with a particularly nasty spell that’s corrupting his mind and body. He’s actually telling her that he’ll let her live if she undoes her curse.
The worst thing about the new art is that it doesn’t even show Liliana now. The original Avacyn Restored art was a victim meeting his attacker and giving them their comeuppance. The new one completely dismisses that fact and has Garruk doing a generic pose that doesn’t even show him chasing Liliana. In essence, this is not doing the story of Magic the Gathering any justice by having Liliana’s wrongdoing being erased from new arrivals by not directly connecting her with the fact that the reason Garruk is now this dangerous Planeswalker Hunter is because he was cursed by her.
The absolute worst thing overall by this situation though is that it’s showing that WotC and the MtG brand doesn’t show the same level of respect to its female characters as it does its male ones. It shows them in their moments of glory or strength but it won’t show them in distress or weakness for no better reason than it might “parallel real life events”.
I’m not a fan of the new art, but that’s a different topic entirely. Your point about the original art and double standards would be valid if men and women were treated equally in our society. Your point would be valid if we didn’t live in a rape culture in which women live in fear and the masses blame the victim rather than the attacker. WOTC can show women in distress, because, like I wrote, Magic is a game and a story about conflict, but when a particular image can trigger an abuse victim, the correct response isn’t to stand by and do nothing. WOTC addressed the matter, and did so appropriately (in my estimation).
"I’m a white guy born and raised in the cocoon of white privilege. I have no idea what PoC have gone though, but I’m trying to learn, understand, and empathize. I don’t say that because I think I deserve a medal. I don’t. That’d be like saying I should get an award for not robbing a gas station. Point is, I wish other whites would at least try to see just how deep the institutionalized racism is in our society."
Amanda’s book cover.
It’s a remarkable book. It’s partly a memoir, partly an extended meditation and guide to asking for help in life and on the internet, and, which came as a bit of a surprise, there’s an awful lot about me and our marriage in there too.
Lots of ordering information at http://amandapalmer.net/ and NSFW blog with pictures of the cover body painting at http://amandapalmer.net/blog/20140820/
Unfriendly reminder that in America it’s reasonable to say an unarmed, poor black kid deserved to be shot six times because he might have robbed a convenience store, but a high school athlete shouldn’t be kicked off the high school football team just because he violently raped a girl.
#Uncle Sam Goddamn
Welcome to the United Snakes
Land of the thief home of the slave
Grand imperial guard where the dollar is sacred and proud
Lets do this shit for real, come on now
Smoke and mirrors, stripes and stars
Stolen for the cross in the name of God
Bloodshed, genocide, rape and fraud
Written to the pages of the law good lord
The Cold Continent latch key child
Ran away one day and started acting foul
King of where the wild things are daddy’s proud
cos the Roman Empire done passed it down
Imported and tortured a work force
and never healed the wounds or shook the curse off
Now the grown up Goliath nation
Holdin open auditions for the part of David, can you feel it?
Nothing can save ya, you question the reign
You get rushed in and chained up
Fist raised but I must be insane
cos I can’t figure a single goddamn way to change it
Welcome to the United Snakes
Land of the thief home of the slave
The grand imperial guard where the dollar is sacred and power is God
All must bow to the fat were lazy
The fuck you obey me and why do they hate me (who me?)
Only two generations away
from the world’s most despicable slavery trade
Pioneered so many ways to degrade a human being
that it can’t be changed to this day
Legacy so ingrained in the way that we think we no longer need chains
to be slaves
Lord it’s a shameful display
The overseers even got raped along the way
Cause the children cant escape from the pain
and they’re born with poisoness hatred in their veins
Try n’ separate a man from his soul
you only strengthen him and lose your own
But shoot that fucker if he walk near the throne
Remind him that this is my home (now I’m gone)
Hold up give me one right here
You don’t give money to the bums
on a corner with a sign bleeding from their gums
Talking about you don’t support a crackhead
What you think happens to the money from your taxes
Shit the governments an addict
With a billion dollar a week kill brown people habit
And even if you aint on the front line
when massah yell crunch time you right back at it
Plain look at how you hustling backwards
At the end of the year add up what they subtracted
Three outta twelve months your salary pays for that madness
Man, that’s savage
What’s left get a big ass plasma
To see where they made Dan Rather point the damn camera
Only approved questions get answered
Now stand your ass up for that national anthem