Together 2012-12-07

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Atomic
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Together 2012-12-07

Post by Atomic » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:31 am

Nap time!

All tuckered out after a long day of soul-crushing catharsis.
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NOTDilbert
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Re: Together 2012-12-07

Post by NOTDilbert » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:35 am

"All us monsters....."
"Imagination is more important than Knowledge" - Albert Einstein
"History doesn't repeat itself, but it DOES rhyme" - Mark Twain
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zachariah
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Re: Together 2012-12-07

Post by zachariah » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:55 am

Awww. A group hug.

Or as a wise master once said: Bless our Happy Tome.

Deposit a library card into the PJ.
Ambush questions are fun. Watching the mental impact of them as they distort, or crumble, opinions based on faulty logic.

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Dave
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Re: Together 2012-12-07

Post by Dave » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:07 am

"Mischief managed".

Crisis defused.

Quite possibly, someone's death has been averted, at some unknown time in the future.

waldosan
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Re: Together 2012-12-07

Post by waldosan » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:14 am

^ isn't that how it always is?

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Re: Together 2012-12-07

Post by shadowinthelight » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:29 am

A regular print just wont do. This needs to be a big wall sized poster. :)
Julie, about Wapsi Square wrote:Oh goodness yes. So much paranormal!

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The Old Wolf
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Re: Together 2012-12-07

Post by The Old Wolf » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:23 am

I keep forgetting Nudge is 9 feet tall. Even next to Phix, this drawing brings out her size. Nice "family portrait."
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Jabberwonky
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Re: Together 2012-12-07

Post by Jabberwonky » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:51 am

shadowinthelight wrote:A regular print just wont do. This needs to be a big wall sized poster. :)
I've been trying to get my hands on a projector to sharpie something on the inside of my hooch. This would be a great one...
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TheDOCTOR
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Re: Together 2012-12-07

Post by TheDOCTOR » Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:45 am

Awwww. I think I'm gonna cry. :cry:
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go lie back down. Was up at 3 a.m. barfing, but I think the 'Pink-stuff' is doing its magic. Gonna get some crackers and tea and nap now.

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Re: Together 2012-12-07

Post by chibichibi01 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:49 am

Adorable <3 And exactly what was predicted to be at the end of this week.

Stay tuned for next week and Amanda's adventures in Photography or even more of Oskar that lactose-intolerant fish!
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Nimrod
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Re: Together 2012-12-07

Post by Nimrod » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:21 am

Atomic wrote:Nap time!

All tuckered out after a long day of soul-crushing catharsis.
I felt the exact same thing... so after you have been manipulated, modified and basically maneuvered into having some near mental breakdown let one of the primary players hug you and then it is nap-nap time? This just does not make sense to me at all.
If I had even one supposed "friend" do anything this subversive, let alone the half-dozen of so characters involved in the most recent Monica enlightenment plot I would seriously reconsider our relationship. I find this exceeding devious if not verging on cold callousness. They are all extremely lucky that Monica did not suffer serious psychological trauma - something I doubt her "Feedback Phoenix" power could repair.

As mentioned earlier nearly everything that Monica is has been the result of outside persons manipulating her to various points. Her major life events have been a series of planned occurrences or directed and cultivated paradigm shifting revelations. Her continued "empowerment" and these repeated life view alterations by others can not be a good thing when continuously conducted surreptitiously or "for her own good". Her "friends" do not care about her, they care about what she might be, might do or might not have realized about herself. Who are they to force her to live to their expectations, fears or alternative plans? They are not "friends" - as they are running very hard on the ends justify the means premise and have for years apparently.

I think the reason this plot line gets under my skin so much is that it leaves Monica with no control of herself. The people around her are what make her into what she is now so she really is not a fleshed out person but rather a plot point created by the whims of others. She is not strong, powerful, special or significant to anyone as they really do not care about who she could be naturally but really what they can poke and prod her into becoming.

So seeing her resting here on the back of one of her tormenters I get a totally different sensation that what I am sure was intended. These are entities who repeatedly press her to the breaking point are psychological and physical abusers with no real regard to Monica's actual well-being are secretly and sometimes aggressively manipulating her and wost of all, vial it all in a veneer of false caring and hollow platitudes.

"There there dear, let's bandage you up from falling down the stairs... that I just pushed you down for the tenth time."

These are some strong contenders for Münchausen syndrome by proxy and not "friends".

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Re: Together 2012-12-07

Post by Julie » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:47 am

Nimrod wrote:
Atomic wrote:Nap time!

All tuckered out after a long day of soul-crushing catharsis.
I felt the exact same thing... so after you have been manipulated, modified and basically maneuvered into having some near mental breakdown let one of the primary players hug you and then it is nap-nap time? This just does not make sense to me at all.
If I had even one supposed "friend" do anything this subversive, let alone the half-dozen of so characters involved in the most recent Monica enlightenment plot I would seriously reconsider our relationship. I find this exceeding devious if not verging on cold callousness. They are all extremely lucky that Monica did not suffer serious psychological trauma - something I doubt her "Feedback Phoenix" power could repair.
Actually, I didn't find this section to show any friends being subversive at all. Maybe it's because I read a lot of it at once after being MIA for several days, but Nudge wasn't doing anything she isn't already known for doing. Yes, we can guess that she wanted to provoke M to lash out at her, but in my book she still gets a gold star for standing in that particular line of fire when she knew that it was potentially life-threatening to her now. Then Euryale and Tsillah...their reactions actually make sense when read consecutively. Anger at Monica losing control of her powers and taking it out on Nudge, then more light-hearted after M told them what she actually did (because they knew that Nudge wasn't dead at that point). *shrugs* Not really that subversive either. Could they have clarified to M sooner that Nudge wasn't dead? Yes. However, would an earlier explanation have helped her realize the full extent of how dangerous she is? Possibly not. Also, would she have listened since she was already trying to process what had just happened? Knowing Monica, not until after she'd had that break-down and someone shook her to get her attention.
Nimrod wrote:I think the reason this plot line gets under my skin so much is that it leaves Monica with no control of herself. The people around her are what make her into what she is now so she really is not a fleshed out person but rather a plot point created by the whims of others. She is not strong, powerful, special or significant to anyone as they really do not care about who she could be naturally but really what they can poke and prod her into becoming.
Which, IMO, is why her friends (and I do think they care about her as a person, not just as a power) had to push her to this realization of her dangerous potential. She can't learn to be in control of herself until she knows what she's capable of doing in the first place.
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Re: Together 2012-12-07

Post by Dave » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:14 am

Nimrod wrote:This just does not make sense to me at all.
OK, then, let's turn this around.

Put yourself in the shoes of Monica's associates (since you object to the term "friends").

You have learned, over the past months, that Monica has enormous latent powers... which have been growing increasingly active. These powers are potent enough to kill... in fact she could kill a great many people very quickly. You have seen her use some of these powers carelessly (sometimes in moments of anger, and sometimes while drunk) in ways which verged on endangering other people (including some people who have no defense at all against them). Several of you have spoken to Monica about how dangerous she is becoming, but she consistently refuses to discuss it... she just denies that there's a problem and diverts the conversation to another subject.

You are very concerned that Monica could kill someone, quite possibly by accident or in a fit of temper.

Oh, and her powers make it almost impossible for anyone to restrain her physically or kill her.

So... at this point, in this situation, what would you do? Would you intervene more actively, and if so, how? Would you abandon Monica completely, and move to a safe distance where you'd probably be OK? Would you just sit back and watch, confident in your own strength and power to protect you, and wait to see which person (possibly an innocent bystander) ends up dead?

What would you do in this situation?

(As the old high-school prank final exam says, "Underneath your chair you will find the disassembled parts of a high-powered rifle, and a box of bullets. In five minutes, a Bengal tiger will be released into the examination room. Be prepared to justify your actions."

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Re: Together 2012-12-07

Post by as363 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:03 pm

Aaaww - I did call for a peaceful weekend - and this will do just fine.

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Re: Together 2012-12-07

Post by Geezer » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:17 pm

In the thread discussing how M has been manipulated again and again, I think it might be worth reflecting on just how much we IRL are used and manipulated by a multitude of instrumentalities.

In the recent past, young men were drafted into our military forces. We can be confined to mental institutions against our will on the word of another. Our privacy, such as it is, is routinely used as a free resource by numerous entities on the internet and off. Our personal data is a commodity that is bought and sold en masse by big business. Advertisers spend huge amounts of money tweaking and tuning their commercials and ads to appeal to us as consumers. Free anything generally means ad-supported.

In short, we're perceived and treated as interchangeable production/consumption modules. Where's the worth of the individual in all that?

On the other hand, here in the Wapsi-verse, there are powerful entities who do use their abilities to tweak, teach, direct, influence, and enlighten other persons, just as powerful in their own right, or even moreso. And these powerful beings, to their credit, do take the time to deal honestly with this "manipulation" and its after-effects. In short, there is a respect for the person that too often is completely missing in the "real world."

This is a web comic. It is also a moral tale, with weaknesses exposed and dealt with, and strengths celebrated. Moral tales have a tendency to be upsetting at times. Frankly, I love being upset by Paul's work. I've been a reader for years. This is good stuff. :D
"No matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Banzai

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Re: Together 2012-12-07

Post by kingklash » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:48 pm

Awwww, that's nice. And one big mama cat to watch over them all.

I still want a Nudge Hug.

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Re: Together 2012-12-07

Post by Bathorys Daughter » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:08 pm

Concerning the morality of what is being done to Monica; I believe there are one or two major stages to this drama. The first is her innate ability to communicate with May while she was in the demon realm. Here is where she was initially used and abused and the start of all her problems. Did May know how much her influence would affect her? Probably, but she was, with Jin, trying to stop the endless repetition of the CM. That was more important than one person's life. Monica just happened to be the one. Problem is, that was not the end of it all. One thing we don't know is when she received the phoenix blood. Was it inherited? If so, she was doomed from the start and May could use her because she had the blood. I don't know.

Everything that occurred to this point would be justified based on that fact. That is to say, everything her friends have done is done with the certain knowledge her phoenix powers would, eventually, manifest themselves. When they did, they also knew that she could not only kill mortals, but even immortals like them. Their actions are as much self preservation as anything else. They also know she is a moral person at her core so they needed to do whatever was required to insure that core is in control. Just talking to her about would not work. That was apparent. Since she could unleash death at any moment, drastic action was necessary. Highly compressed therapy sessions. Monica had to KNOW what she could do when her Phoenix blood boiled, what she could become, not just be told. To do that she had to kill someone or fully believe she did. Nudge was elected.

Backing up a bit, it could also be she got the phoenix blood from Jin when she died in the bus accident in a last ditch means to keep her alive (That would have been stage two in the drama). In either case, the head knife thing simply had the side benefit of locking her regeneration to a reasonable point in time by locking her soul up at that moment. I kind of see it as, after death, her soul rushing through the time tunnel towards her birth but being stopped cold at the knife insertion point. After the blood injection stage (assuming there was one), the other things done would have been the same as if she inherited the blood. IOW, see paragraph 2.
A society should not be judged on how it treats its outstanding citizens but by how it treats its criminals... ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky.

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Re: Together 2012-12-07

Post by Dave » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:45 pm

Bathorys Daughter wrote:Concerning the morality of what is being done to Monica; I believe there are one or two major stages to this drama. The first is her innate ability to communicate with May while she was in the demon realm. Here is where she was initially used and abused and the start of all her problems. Did May know how much her influence would affect her? Probably, but she was, with Jin, trying to stop the endless repetition of the CM. That was more important than one person's life. Monica just happened to be the one. Problem is, that was not the end of it all. One thing we don't know is when she received the phoenix blood. Was it inherited? If so, she was doomed from the start and May could use her because she had the blood. I don't know.
I believe that Paul said, here in the forum, that the "key blade" with which Shelly brainspiked Monica was the source or carrier of the Phoenix blood.

Ah, yes.... here is his posting from the 10/18 forum.

Monica wasn't "pushed" in the direction of paranormality and power just once. There were several such incidents... May's interactions with her as a child, all the stuff which went down at the time of her bus accident (the "door blocking"), the appearance of Monica's poiting ability (which I'm not sure has ever been entirely explained... is it just because she's a Glyph reader, or is there something else as well?), the possible intervention by the demons during the Calendar Machine incident (Jin's Doubt-demon "queen" said that Monica couldn't be killed at that point, and that was before Monica was spiked with the Phoenix blood)... the spiking itself...

She's definitely been aimed and directed and shaped and influenced, and I don't think we know even today just how many times, or in how many ways, or by whom. We've only just recently learned that Bia apparently played a significant role, as she seems to be the one who made the Phoenix-blood spike.

No question, she's been jerked around and manipulated. I don't wonder that she feels rather overwhelmed at times. It's very understandable that she might deal with this by retreating (physically and emotionally) from the implications of what has happened, and what her progression of new-found powers and abilities may mean.

However... desired or not, asked for or not, comfortable or not... she has these powers now, and may have others she doesn't yet know about. She's responsible for them (in the literal sense of the word - she is the person who is able to make response to these things). Either she learns to manage them, or she runs the risk of doing things that she can't predict or control... and as we've seen, those unpredicted reactions could easily have lethal consequences.
Monica had to KNOW what she could do when her Phoenix blood boiled, what she could become, not just be told. To do that she had to kill someone or fully believe she did. Nudge was elected.
Or, Nudge elected herself. We don't know for certain how much Euryale, Phix, and Tsillah knew in advance, or whether there were others involved in planning what went down (Brandi, for example?).

It could have been a "grand conspiracy" by the whole gang. Or, it could have been Nudge acting pretty much alone, doing as she saw necessary, and putting her own furry form "on the line." Nudge may just have trusted in her knowledge of the other players (and the fact that she'd asked Euryale to drop in, timed to arrive just after the blowoff) to resolve the situation. The dialog so far isn't clear on this point.

Either way, Nudge couldn't have been entirely certain whether Monica would pick up on her "lava-bath fear" and drop her in a volcano, or do something really nasty which was lethal even to a demigod. I think she took a serious risk here.

And, as to how the "conspiracy gang" feels about Monica... I can't look at Nudge (last panel here) or at Euryale (second and third panels here), and believe that they don't care about her as a person. Paul has drawn too much compassion into the characters' expressions and behavior for that.

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Re: Together 2012-12-07

Post by Leak » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:46 pm

shadowinthelight wrote:A regular print just wont do. This needs to be a big wall sized poster. :)
I'd also go for a 1920 x 1200 donation desktop version... ;)

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Re: Together 2012-12-07

Post by TlalocW » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:18 pm

I don't know... if I were Monica, and I had all these powers, I definitely would be seeking out info on how to control them, origins, etc. from everyone involved - from glyph reading (May) to the more destructive ones like astral fire (maybe from Phix) as well as whatever reference material there is in the library (if Nudge learned to shapeshift from reading, chances are good there's stuff about astral flame, being a jaguar girl, etc). It seems like Monica learns something new about herself then decides not to deal with it - luckily some of it seems instinctual like poiting.

As for being manipulated, ultimately I'd have a sit-down with everyone who knows something - Tepoz, the GGs (especially Brandi since she created the MIB apparently), May, Phix, Euryale (she seems to know a lot from an outsider perspective), Shelly (I think she's leapfrogged Monica in knowledge), and I would have the library whip up a big ol' piece of paper for a flowchart, and I'd have everyone start spilling their guts so I could get the whole story. Because if there are still people manipulating me, and I were essentially an unkillable immortal with the power to take down demi-gods, then I'm going in search of those people to tell them to knock it off (Kukulkan, maybe? Bia?).

Maybe that was a side goal of Nudge insulting her - trying to get her to stop just "getting by." Learn about what you can do and then take charge of your life.

And then after I did all that, I would return to the library to research how to fart rainbows. http://wapsisquare.com/comic/rainbows/

TlalocW

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