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  Toonami Infolink :: View topic - Pityfoolism - An A-Team Ideolgy
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Pityfoolism - An A-Team Ideolgy

 
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Shinobo

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Joined: Nov 05, 2002
Post subject: Pityfoolism - An A-Team Ideolgy
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Lookie lookie. Shinny just spent the last few days composing this wonderful little ditty for his final English 20 paper. Read. I think it's quite entertaining.


I pity tha fool!
Pityfoolism Human Conduct According the A-Team
Alternate Title: Rob Curls Rules of Conduct: as illustrated by the A-Team

In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to
prison by a military court for a crime they didnt commit.
These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles Underground.
Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune.
If you have a problem, and you can find them, maybe you can hire
THE A-TEAM!

With these words one of the most popular shows of American television in the 1980s came on the air. The A-Team followed the adventures and misadventures of a commando unit turned mercenary as they took on special jobs in the service of those unable to help themselves. As one watches episodes of the A-Team, one can draw certain conclusions about typical human behavior from the plots and characters playing themselves out. My ideology for the A-Team is one that applies specifically to certain archetypes in the shows character and story structure. By following my ideology, you can figure out whats going to happen in any given A-Team episode, including who the villains are, the method by which the A-Team will defeat them, and some dialogues that will occur between characters. In addition, my ideology recognizes that the universal underlying principle in the A-Team world is that the underdog always wins out in the end no matter what the odds. In recognition of this overwhelming universal force I have dubbed this major principal and the other parts of my ideology Pityfoolism (in honor of Mr. Ts famous catchphrase) as it is obvious that the A-Team universe takes pity of those who are the less fortunate.
You may wonder how this could possibly relate to reality. In truth, it does seem rather strange how an ideology based on stereotypes in American culture could help one in the real world. However, that is the exact reason why the ideology works: It is based on stereotypes. In order for these stereotypes to exist in our minds, there has to be some basis for them in the real world. In other words, in order to typecast Mr. T as B.A. Baracus, typical tough guy, one has to have a picture of what a typical tough guy looks like and acts like. I am aware that my ideology is not a solve all philosophy that provides answers in every situation. However, since it is based on cultural stereotypes, it can give general information about people and situations that one may find useful if depth and complexity is not required.

One of the first things one notices when you sit down to watch the A-Team is that the people who are smart/cunning usually do not do a lot of the physical fighting. Blakes proverb that best deals with this relationship is his proverb number 49: The weak in courage is strong in cunning. This statement directly applies to Col. Hannibal, as he is not the most courageous member of the A-Team but he is the most intelligent. The other A-Team members directly depend on him for plans and tactical cunning. However, this proverb has a flip side to it. Logically, if those who have the most cunning are not the most courageous, then this must mean that those who are strong in courage are weak in cunning. This interpretation is proved by the actions of B.A. Baracus during various episodes of the A-Team. B.A. is the groups strong man and usually is the first to beat up the various bad guys the A-Team fights. While it could be argued that the rest of the A-Team shows courage by applying some of their other skills, B.A. is the one who is on the front lines when they actually attack the current episodes bad guy thus making him the character with the most courage. But, while B.A. is the bravest member of the A-Team, he is not the most intelligent. While he has mechanical skill, he must rely on Hannibal for virtually all of his plans and tactics. In addition, he continually falls for the same trick of being drugged to be flown to various locations since he abhors flying. Obviously, he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

In addition to examples provided by the A-Team, the villains and their henchmen provide examples of this interpretation as well. If the villain the A-Team is facing is a cunning fox-like villain he will be physically weak and not very intimidating. He will usually hire henchmen who are extremely well built to serve his purposes. Since theses purposes usually involve dangerous work the henchmens actions can be seen as a form of bravery. However, these henchmen will be extremely idiotic, to the point where comic relief is sometimes found in their idiocy. Thus, it is proved that in Pityfoolism, the smartest people are not the bravest and the bravest people are not the smartest.

Blake has another proverb that applies to the A-Teams intelligence being concentrated with one man: If the lion was advised by the fox, he would be cunning. This means that if the strong man were advised by a smarter man he would seem wiser and perform better. This is the situation with Hannibal and the rest of the A-Team. It is Hannibals job to make plans that the A-Team carries out. Whenever Hannibal is incapacitated, the A-Team cannot function. Thus, the lions are not cunning without their fox. In Pityfoolism, those who are physically adept or strong are nothing without a strong mind to guide them.

While it is clear that Hannibal is the most cunning character in the show, this cunning is governed by several rules. Bierce defines cunning as The faculty that distinguishes a weak animal or person from a strong one. It brings its possessor much mental satisfaction and great material adversity. This means that cunning distinguishes the weak individuals from the strong ones, which is an interesting paradox when you consider the other rules discussed above which govern the distribution of physical strength according to intelligence. This means that while Hannibal may be weak in some areas (such as physical strength) his intelligence can be viewed in some respects as a great power, making him in effect the strongest member of the A-Team. In addition to being an identifier for strength, cunning also brings the person who has it great joy at their own intelligence. As I mentioned before, Hannibal is the brains of the A-Team. He provides the plans of action that never fail and always get the A-Team out of tough situations. This characteristic of being very intelligent and resourceful sets him apart from all the other characters and villains simply because he seems to be the only character with the mental capacity to think ahead. Thus, once again Hannibal can be seen as one of the most powerful and strong characters in the shows story arches. This strength gives him great pleasure. In fact, one of his favorite phrases is a self satisfying I love it when a plan comes together!, which is usually spoken while smugly chewing on a cigar. Thus, in Pityfoolism those who are cunning have their own form of strength, though these people suffer a bit of hubris because of their immense power.

While Hannibal may have his intelligence that gives him the flaw of hubris, B.A. Baracus has his own problems. While he is the physically strongest member of the A-Team, he suffers from a particular habit which causes him great pain and suffering: his addition to milk. Bierce defines habit as A shackle for the free. By Bierces definition, habits form a new set of restrictions or vices that can be as constricting and damaging for the free as the actual physical shackles of the captive. B.A. constantly craves milk, saying that it is his favorite drink. He even threatens his fellow team members with physical harm should they get between him and his precious milk: If you dont let me get my milk sucka, Ill bring the pain! This is obviously counterproductive to the A-Teams goals of beating the current bad guy theyve been hired to fight. Thus, B.A.s habit traps him into certain courses of action that can be detrimental to the A-Teams end purpose. Sometimes B.A.s milk addiction can be helpful to the A-Team, though once again harmful to B.A. B.A. does not like to fly to mission assignments, preferring instead to drive his van. When a mission requires a flight to a distant land, the A-Team will usually put some kind of sleeping powder in B.A.s milk, thus rendering him helpless to their attempts to force him to fly. B.A. is forced to perform actions that he has a deep seated dislike and even fear for simply because of his milk drinking habit, again proving how he is shackled in his freedom.
In addition to B.A., some of the villains the A-Team face have habits similar to the milk addiction. Usually, these habits cause the villains downfall as the A-Team uses them to somehow infiltrate their organization and/or destroy their evil plans in one fell swoop thanks to a tragic flaw caused by the habit. As you can see, habits in Pityfoolism cause nothing but trouble and end up being tragic flaws that be taken advantage of by other people.

While this explanation of Pityfoolism is nice, it lacks one thing: an explanation of the overall universal principal. When one watches the A-Team, one defiantly gets the idea after watching a few episodes that certain things will happen at certain times, and one of the major things to happen by about 49 minutes into the show is that the good guys (namely, the A-Team and the person who hired them) always win. But looking deeper we see something else: the underdog always wins. In anything this is proved by watching the first 10 minuets and the last 10 minuets of any given A-Team episode: Characters are introduced who are having a problem with a bad guy. This bad guy usually is in control of various resources, man power, or other such institutions to a far greater extent than the character that is having problems. Thus, the character having problems calls in the A-Team. When the A-Team arrives on the scene, they themselves are outnumbered (and usually out gunned). But, by Hannibals superior tactics, B.A.s brute physical strength, and the application of the other members special skills the A-Team soundly defeats the bad guy with the greater resources. In other words, in Pityfoolism the underdog always comes from behind to triumph over the favored winner no matter what the odds, proving that might does not make right.

With this universal principle, Pityfoolism serves as a true predictor and explanation for all the happenings in the A-Team world. While it may have limited application in the complex real world, Pityfoolism can serve as a potential predictor of real human behavior in situations where depth of understanding or complexity is not required. Using the rules of behavior laid out above, including the rules for distribution of intelligence in regards to strength, the rules about the innate hubris that comes with cunning, and the universal principal of favoring the underdog, one could theoretically live life in the real world.
PostTue Dec 03, 2002 12:23 pm
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Dreadnot

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WoW, That is very well written, and very interesting. I hope you pass with flying colors.
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'Oh,' he said.
YES, said Death.
'Not even time to finish my cake?'
NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.
T. Pratchett - Night Watch*
PostTue Dec 03, 2002 12:48 pm
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Beatdiggga

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All I'm writing is a dumb essay on the Picture of Dorian Grey. I'd rather write about the A-Team

A.
PostTue Dec 03, 2002 3:31 pm
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Ladymercury

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Totally well written, dude, I hope you get an A+ on this report.

Very Happy
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PostTue Dec 03, 2002 5:30 pm
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Paintball_Guy

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That was very good. I am not an english teacher, but I liked it very much and thought it was very well written. Smile
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PostTue Dec 03, 2002 5:55 pm
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stFalcon5

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I'm so gonna hand this in to my teacher. For credit.
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PostTue Dec 03, 2002 9:49 pm
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The_Dragon_Master

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That was great. A+ material.
stF why do you keep coming and going?
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PostTue Dec 03, 2002 9:52 pm
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John_Bono_Smithy_Satchmo

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Very nicely done, although you could do a little better in the synonym department--but I complain about that with everyone. Good job--very nice.
I pity the foo' that doesn't give him an A. After all, it is the A-Team...
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PostTue Dec 03, 2002 11:16 pm
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Daikun

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You want this to be popular? Here's a tip: Change some of the words around (i.e. change "the A-Team" to "great spirits" or "pure might" or something like that) and preach to people about it. If you're lucky, you might even get your own cult following/religion out of it. Hey, it worked for Karl Marx, Jesus H. Christ, and Buddha, right?

I can see it all now: The Shinobist Party. Or the Shinobist Coalition. Or something like that...
PostSat Dec 07, 2002 12:11 am
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dougisfunny

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would they all get paranoid whena lawn gnome shows up on their doorstep?
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PostMon Dec 09, 2002 3:02 pm
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dougisfunny

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his addition to milk

the only major error i saw... hope you fix that before turning in... though it isn't a big deal
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The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?
PostMon Dec 09, 2002 6:49 pm
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Zechs

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/\
|
|
Grammar Nazi
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PostMon Dec 09, 2002 6:58 pm
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dougisfunny

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ja wolle herr schmidt!
Mach Schnell! Oder ich werden sie totgeschlagen! Ubel abfeicher zwerg!
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The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?
PostTue Dec 10, 2002 11:03 am
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John_Bono_Smithy_Satchmo

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Daikun wrote:
You want this to be popular? Here's a tip: Change some of the words around (i.e. change "the A-Team" to "great spirits" or "pure might" or something like that) and preach to people about it. If you're lucky, you might even get your own cult following/religion out of it. Hey, it worked for Karl Marx, Jesus H. Christ, and Buddha, right?

I can see it all now: The Shinobist Party. Or the Shinobist Coalition. Or something like that...

That brings me to the popular works of a one J. Smith. He started a cult in the 1850s or something like that.
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PostTue Dec 10, 2002 9:27 pm
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