Author Topic: Chapter 35: Discussion  (Read 17366 times)

Brion Foulke

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #60 on: December 20, 2012, 02:56:11 pm »
I will gather that I didn't convey my words right. I'm not good at making arguments.

That's okay cause I'm not trying to "beat" you or anything, just pointing out where I wasn't following your logic.

Of course, having Bern try to force help out of people with the use of violence was a disservice to her cause. And maybe this is where you were going that I didn't catch on to.

Yeah, I'm not saying she was right or wrong, depends on your point of view.  When it comes to stories with moral dilemna, it's no good if it's easy to figure out the right thing to do.

Kiran

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #61 on: December 21, 2012, 12:02:18 am »

Of course, having Bern try to force help out of people with the use of violence was a disservice to her cause. And maybe this is where you were going that I didn't catch on to.

Yeah, I'm not saying she was right or wrong, depends on your point of view.  When it comes to stories with moral dilemna, it's no good if it's easy to figure out the right thing to do.
I like that about the comic when most of things go more into gray area, which can't be clearly admitted to be white or black.

Even whole issue and dynamics between May and Bern relationship and problems can be easily backed up from one of the sides, and both sides can be right depending on perspective.
I won't hide I'm more in a Bern camp of moral standards and monogamy in relationships area as my personal taste go, and she and her problems are something I can relate with more easily(I too love women and have a gf, regardless of gender issues) than supporting a cheating bisexual jester or a grumpy boy as Crest is ;)
Also if I ever was in Bern shoes I would confront May about the cheating long time ago and gave her an ultimatum then, and dump if she would not want to accept it, Bern is a saint for that she didn't do it and instead lived in misery knowing that the girl she loves each time she goes out is cheating on her(that makes you wonder if they have knowledge of STD there), or simply loves May way too much she doesn't deserves initially.
Let's say I'm one of the people who think that break-up would do good for both of them, even if temporary, they could taste new things then and see that they really want only each other...

Also about this Marvallo society, it seems to be based on extreme version of libertarianism, the state only use enforcers to protect it's citizens from harm and violence, every individual can do whatever he wants and is not forced to do anything if not wanted, in a way that's a total freedom on paper, but only gifted individuals which can manage on their own and offer something to society will be able to live in it and survive.
In the basics that is a perfect society, but as we see in this case of Bern sick father, it can backfire for individuals who can't afford medical help due to their poverty issues.
In a way such society should with time eliminate beggars, poor, disabled and all other individuals who can't cope and live in such setting by hard default standards.
The funny thing is that on top in such society should be the most wealthy person or group of people who would set it up like that, since as Brion said, they don't even need to pay taxes, and we see that this society doesn't have any kind of social or health care.
And from what Polly said the Enforcers are working for the guy who seems to be the "ruler" of this place. I suppose for Polly who lived here and see how the streets look now under this new set of rules and how it looked in the past, the system is quite good.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2012, 12:06:24 am by Kiran »

BurnGarn

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #62 on: December 21, 2012, 01:20:16 am »
In a way such society should with time eliminate beggars, poor, disabled and all other individuals who can't cope and live in such setting by hard default standards.

That's part of the dissonance. In theory, that would be true. In practice, capitalism is just an updated form of monarchism/feudalism, all of which inevitably produce their fair share of peasants due to society still being based upon caste.

Of course, having Bern try to force help out of people with the use of violence was a disservice to her cause. And maybe this is where you were going that I didn't catch on to.

Yeah, I'm not saying she was right or wrong, depends on your point of view.  When it comes to stories with moral dilemna, it's no good if it's easy to figure out the right thing to do.

Since Bern at least tried to compromise and play by the rules until forced to use violence due to sheer desperation, perpetual poverty and a lack of alternative choices, it's actually pretty easy to say she was 120% right. She worked within the system until said system (and those perpetrating it) failed her completely, at which point she could either let her father die or fight to protect him. Such is the choice that impoverished people across the globe face. If their government and community are founded upon greed and selfishness, using violence to compensate for a lack of money is perfectly justified once money and status become the only gods people worship. It's just another form of greed and selfishness, even if it's not one sanctioned by the state. When the conflict becomes evil versus evil, the lesser evil is always "right". Sure, that leads to a family unfriendly aesop for a people unfriendly society. But the comic's spot on portrayal of a conflict between social status and social justice is still one of the best plot points to ever be introduced. Even if the whole thing still came off as "wrong" in the sense that, once the inevitable extortion that was being hinted at happened, Bern humoring the Marvallons comes off as pointless in hindsight. Which leads to a bit of fridge brilliance in that it's symbolically important in context, as the futility of her efforts is the very thing that makes Bern more sympathetic than the Marvallons. Yeah...this might be one of the most well written parts of the comic, at least so far.

Besides, I don't think you're quite grasping his point: it's that in Marvallo personal responsibility is a necessary price they pay for having so much freedom and not having to pay taxes.  In this context "personal responsibility" means being able to take care of yourself.

I still don't really understand how Marvallo has freedom without taxes, if they're beholden to the Enforcers whom they pay taxes ("dues") to. The idea that they have the freedom not to pay is undermined by the implication that communities who don't pay are not "decent", which seems to be code for them being violent cesspools of scum and villainy where it's survival of the fittest and no one is safe. Let's call them "ghettos", the end result of the poor and disenfranchised being forced to live together and compete with one another for scarce resources, all while the wealthy entrepreneurs live lives of peace, prosperity and abundance like old world royalty and nobility. The reality is that oppression and taxes are the prerequisite for the wealthy class's faux freedom to live without violence, because it comes at the cost of other people's freedom to use violence in the first place.  The rich are enslaved to the state for fear of their community becoming a ghetto, and those from the ghetto are enslaved to the rich in order to attain the means to continue surviving. How is slavery freedom? Or was that comment meant to be taken as sarcasm? Everyone is still relying on everyone else, only they're all beholden to a skewed caste system.

My confusion mostly stems from the fact that the chapter brilliantly portrays the very real fallacies of such a socioeconomic system, while the author seems to defend the fake ideal that only looks good on paper. This is made worse by the fact that, in reality, relying on the Enforcers is the furthest thing from taking care of oneself. If Marvallons truly took care of themselves, there would be no Enforcers in the first place, because there would be no market for a protection racket in a truly self sufficient society.  Like real life modern conservatism/libertarianism/neoliberalism/anarcho-capitalism, the Marvallon philosophy seems to be little more than a sham founded upon delusion, nationalism, an unwarranted sense of self importance and the idea that the wealthy could succeed without government goon squads keeping the envious hordes at bay. Maybe there's some historical context (that I skipped) explaining why Marvallo became like that, but without it, it's hard to understand how any objective person could be sympathetic to their views. Especially not when their views are such that a cute girl's father should be left on the street to rot and die. The philosophy begins as a logical fallacy, but ends up escalating into an emotional one when put into practice. Are they really anything other than heartless fiends who're only masquerading as self-sufficient members of society?

It's rather unfortunate that some of the most realistic and well written characters in the comic are also the most ridiculously ignorant. Or rather, it's unfortunate in a social commentary sense, but impressively accurate in a literary sense.

Brion Foulke

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #63 on: December 21, 2012, 08:18:13 am »
My confusion mostly stems from the fact that the chapter brilliantly portrays the very real fallacies of such a socioeconomic system, while the author seems to defend the fake ideal that only looks good on paper.

Because it's not as one dimensional as you make it sound.  You're very right that I am trying to portray the reality of such a socioeconomic system, and in a sense this chapter is all about highlighting it's weaknesses.  But at the same time, I want to hint at why some people might choose to live in such a system despite it's weaknesses.  Politics is not a clear-cut matter of right and wrong, different people have different philosophies, and prefer different styles of government.

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #64 on: December 21, 2012, 10:06:42 am »
I am having some difficulty understanding the angst regarding some folks feel.  I can easily see the point of view of the healer's father.  They are not responsible for anyone else, without regard to their particular profession.  Yes, it is an ignoble attitude and I would dislike them for it, but I would not condemn them.  Forcing someone to do something they do not want to do is called slavery.  And yes, taxation or corvee is slavery.

And Grant certain does seem to have chosen a life and death for himself.  Even his pretty daughter grown up has not swayed him from his path.  Perhaps there is more here, but even a confirmed alcoholic would likely suck it up a bit for his pretty daughter.

Upon some consideration, the Marvello system might be able to exist in a world of magic.  A near reasonably infinite resource could potentially improve enough people's lives to the point where this system might be feasible.  I suspect that Marvello is a recent experiment, or the leader who has been referred to is a very powerful and longlived wizard who can root out insurrection.

BurnGarn

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #65 on: December 22, 2012, 02:33:18 am »
Well, the point I was trying to make is that their philosophy isn't wrong because it's different. It's wrong because it ignores reality. In that regard, it is pretty clear-cut. Suffice it to say, it's harder to sympathize with members of The Benefactor's Flat Earth Society than it is to understand them. In fact, they're all essentially economic zealots with The Benefactor as their dark messiah. And that's before the baseless (but not disproven) assumption that he's also the big bad who happens to dabble in nightmare fuel and horrific human experimentation. There'd be no better place to do it than in Marvallo, where the government isn't just above the law, it is the law.

Either way, Marvallo's upper class neighborhoods are clearly a den of white collar scum, villainy and extortion, so much so that it's impossible to condense my earlier two attempts at typing up a reply because they degenerated into rants. That I can't figure out how to succinctly point out everything wrong with the Marvallon philosophy, blaming grant for where his life wound up or the recent portrayal of Trollem and Maytag as the trolls that they aren't makes me lament that my face can't hold all these palms.

So far, the only likeable Marvallon is still good guy Grant Everyman (whom we're supposed to hate for being a lonely alcoholic?), who did everything right only to have his life coincidentally spiral downward into suck after (but not necessarily because) he was denied custody of the girl he thought was his daughter (sniffle). That she reappears only after he's already doomed himself via substance abuse just drives those feels home. It's also kind of funny how, after 6 chapters, the only redeeming character in Marvallo is still the suicidal alcoholic who's about to die.  I'm still not sure whether this arc's meant to troll objective readers, or if it's just a stealth attempt at black comedy.

sunphoenix

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #66 on: December 22, 2012, 05:30:16 am »
Well, the point I was trying to make is that their philosophy isn't wrong because it's different. It's wrong because it ignores reality. In that regard, it is pretty clear-cut. Suffice it to say, it's harder to sympathize with members of The Benefactor's Flat Earth Society than it is to understand them. In fact, they're all essentially economic zealots with The Benefactor as their dark messiah. And that's before the baseless (but not disproven) assumption that he's also the big bad who happens to dabble in nightmare fuel and horrific human experimentation. There'd be no better place to do it than in Marvallo, where the government isn't just above the law, it is the law.

Either way, Marvallo's upper class neighborhoods are clearly a den of white collar scum, villainy and extortion, so much so that it's impossible to condense my earlier two attempts at typing up a reply because they degenerated into rants. That I can't figure out how to succinctly point out everything wrong with the Marvallon philosophy, blaming grant for where his life wound up or the recent portrayal of Trollem and Maytag as the trolls that they aren't makes me lament that my face can't hold all these palms.

So far, the only likeable Marvallon is still good guy Grant Everyman (whom we're supposed to hate for being a lonely alcoholic?), who did everything right only to have his life coincidentally spiral downward into suck after (but not necessarily because) he was denied custody of the girl he thought was his daughter (sniffle). That she reappears only after he's already doomed himself via substance abuse just drives those feels home. It's also kind of funny how, after 6 chapters, the only redeeming character in Marvallo is still the suicidal alcoholic who's about to die.  I'm still not sure whether this arc's meant to troll objective readers, or if it's just a stealth attempt at black comedy.

...This was insightful, and well articulated. I agree.  Though... Polly isn't so bad... I kinda feel sorry for her too.  Though... I suspect there is something ... if not 'sinister' at least unexpected about her absence...
"...no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free.  No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything - you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is Kill him." - Robert A. Heinlein


Kiran

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #67 on: December 22, 2012, 07:15:57 am »
I wouldn't look everywhere for some evil plots like that...

Polly left Bern side earlier, and left a message saying she's gone to do some Enforcers business, she didn't know Bern father will be dying next day, she couldn't know.

But we saw that Polly is supporter of this system and is working so it would stay like this...

About theory that the Thin Man is the creator of this Marvallo system and it's ruler?
That would connect everything nicely.


Brion Foulke

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #68 on: December 22, 2012, 08:17:57 am »
Well, the point I was trying to make is that their philosophy isn't wrong because it's different. It's wrong because it ignores reality.

Or maybe some people are just okay with that reality.  Not that I'm saying that I am, or that you should be.

BurnGarn

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #69 on: December 22, 2012, 11:11:10 am »
Though... Polly isn't so bad... I kinda feel sorry for her too.  Though... I suspect there is something ... if not 'sinister' at least unexpected about her absence...
But we saw that Polly is supporter of this system and is working so it would stay like this...

Polly as a character is decent. Polly as an Enforcer, not so much. It wouldn't come as any surprise if she reappeared as an enemy, since it's her job to stop people like Bern. While I'd hope defeat would mean friendship, the increasing focus on drama makes it just as likely that if Polly doesn't stay absent, one shouldn't expect her to be around for much longer unless she comes down with a sudden case of sanity. But from the way she talked about The Benefactor, she might be too far gone.

Or maybe some people are just okay with that reality.  Not that I'm saying that I am, or that you should be.

To say they're ok with living a lie implies that they know it's a lie and embrace the philosophy despite that. Is there actually a single character who's been shown admitting that the Marvallan philosophy is BS while simultaneously advocating in favor of it? Because they all seem to believe that dues aren't taxes and Enforcers aren't a form of government oppression. If they don't even understand the philosophy they choose to live by, isn't it more a case of ignorance than choice? Because choice implies they're informed enough about not just their own philosophy, but other philosophies as well, enough so to accurately compare the two and then decide.

Realistically, the only rational advocate of the Marvallan philosophy would probably be a violent crime lord who operates in the ghettos, doesn't pay dues, doesn't buy Enforcers and realizes that the ghettos are both the true embodiment of Marvallo's ideals of freedom and responsibility and also a result of those ideals taken to their logical conclusion.

Ironically, if Polly's becoming an Enforcer is any indication, any Marvallans in the ghettos who actually do experience real freedom and personal responsibility don't seem too eager to glorify it. Polly's goal of cracking down on crime is an example, even though the very concept of crime only exists in societies with rules and restrictions of people, the very thing she claims to be against. This leads to the unfortunate implication that even the ghetto dwellers are just as deluded as the upper class and Enforcers.

On a side note, have the neighborhoods that don't pay dues/"Marvallan ghettos" been featured in the comic yet? Because I don't want to keep making baseless assumptions about them if they've actually been shown. I just can't seem to find them within the past few chapters.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 11:18:23 am by BurnGarn »

Brion Foulke

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #70 on: December 22, 2012, 04:59:45 pm »
To say they're ok with living a lie implies that they know it's a lie and embrace the philosophy despite that.

Perhaps they don't see it as a lie.  (Not that I'm saying that all Marvallians embrace it.  There's probably a lot of them that dislike it, but don't have the capability to move.)

Because they all seem to believe that dues aren't taxes and Enforcers aren't a form of government oppression.

The "dues" they are talking about are optional donations to the Enforcers.  This is a little different from taxes; taxes are NOT optional.  You are forced to pay them, or you go to jail.  The donations, on the other hand, are technically optional... you can choose not to pay them and you will not be directly punished.  But as you may have noticed, there might be an indirect punishment in the form of less Enforcer coverage.

So is there a meaningful difference, or is an indirect punishment the same as a direct punishment?  Some people would say yes, and others no.  Depends on your point of view, right?

On a side note, have the neighborhoods that don't pay dues/"Marvallan ghettos" been featured in the comic yet? Because I don't want to keep making baseless assumptions about them if they've actually been shown. I just can't seem to find them within the past few chapters.

Not really, but they've been hinted at.  Remember the flashbacks to when Bernadette spent time in a gang?  That was in a "Marvallian ghetto."

BurnGarn

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #71 on: December 23, 2012, 09:31:55 am »
>Perhaps they don't see it as a lie.  (Not that I'm saying that all Marvallians embrace it.  There's probably a lot of them that dislike it, but don't have the capability to move.)

Makes sense. But...what exactly are the restrictions on travel in the Flipside world? The main cast doesn't seem to have trouble moving from place to place, even before a Phalanx joined their group. Is there a reason a sufficiently organized Marvallan gang, or even a small group of discontents, couldn't get together and leave for a better place? Isn't that just what Bern did, with great success? ???

>So is there a meaningful difference, or is an indirect punishment the same as a direct punishment?  Some people would say yes, and others no.  Depends on your point of view, right?

Indirect punishment has no limit. It scares people into paying dues by threatening with the alternative, which is chaos, anarchy and a violent death. Direct punishment coerces people into paying taxes by threatening them with imprisonment, all while providing shelter, food, water and maybe even the chance to plead their case. It's more infuriating than frightening. A person can go without paying taxes and still live a relatively long life, albeit in captivity. It's like how zoo animals have it better than those out in the wild who're unfortunate enough to be picked up by some scumbag abuser. It's just that the comicverse is a world of scumbags, so many that the Phalanx and Enforcers are a necessity for those not sufficiently blessed enough to be master sorcerers or badass normals. Which I'd bet is probably a vast majority of the nameless masses who're never shown in the comic.

It isn't so much that direct and indirect are the same. It's that indirect punishment is much, much worse.

This is even more anvilicious in the comic, where the Conclave are the ideal opt-in non-imperial government that for the most part seems to unrealistically respect the sovereignty of those who reject the Phalanx, despite having the power to subjugate all who oppose them. After going through the entirety of the comic, I have absolutely no idea what Marvallians are even afraid of, other than a straw boogeyman constructed by The Benefactor and their own ideological zealotry. Has the comic shown even one Phalanx who genuinely abused the power and authority for the evulz? Or are the Marvallians just paranoid conspiracy theorists? ???

>Remember the flashbacks to when Bernadette spent time in a gang?

Yes, but the flashbacks make my head hurt, so I take them with a grain of salt. I mean, you'd think the ghettos would attract the most violent criminals in the comicverse due to being lawless quagmires of crime and villainy, and that they'd be an absolutely horrible place for a group of cute young girls to grow up due to the guarantee that their very existence within the ghetto would attract a storm of rape and abuse. I mean, what would stop some random group of sorcerers from coming in, enslaving them all and then selling each one off to wealthy clients and gang lords? The Enforcers whose protection they can't afford? The upper class neighbors who care only about themselves? The Benefactor who maintains such a system in the first place? And if anyone tried to stop slave traders, wouldn't it just degenerate into a bloody gang war resulting in a mutually assured massacre? Under those circumstances, would anyone even try to stop them? ???

However, instead of hardship, sorrow and high octane nightmare fuel, the flashbacks only portrayed Bern joining a gang on a shallow whim because she had a crush on the leader, and then having a grand old time sparring with her friends with nary a care in the world. Even her reasons for leaving were petty, and Clairen was shown hating her life outside the ghetto. The underlying message of it all was that the ghetto was such a great and peaceful place that Bern and friends always had the luxury of following their emotions without ever having to worry about consequences. It was as if gang membership was just like joining a social circle, and not actually for protection. That whole crime thing Polly was going on about? Limited to harmless fisticuffs in a bar that's easily rectified with a bouncy ball and a stern lecture from an attractive woman. This impression is further enforced by how upper class Marvallo comes off as a horrible place to live, as it's filled with people who's only emotion is "GIMME MONAY".

The contrast between common sense and the rosy heartwarming flashbacks brings up a few questions. How could the gang scenes possibly take place in a ghetto, if such a place would realistically guarantee them all fates worse than death before they could ever organize themselves into a gang in the first place? Alternatively, if the ghettos are safe enough that even a group of young gals can live on their own without worry or fear, why does anyone pay the Enforcers in the first place? Or is it just that Bern's gang had a character shield protecting them from the harsh nightmare inducing abuse that would have undoubtedly resulted from living in a lawless haven that offers shelter to the worst criminals in the country? ???

The point is, those flashbacks are hard to make sense of on their own, which is why I was asking about an actual portrayal of the ghettos in the comic. Unless friendship, rainbows and sunshine is an accurate portrayal of the ghettos, and my suspension of disbelief is supposed to be shattered. Is that the case? ???

I...don't really understand Marvallo at all. It seems like a contradiction wrapped in hypocrisy and served on a plate of vagueness. It's hard to focus on the plot when the plot makes me wonder just how the heck Marvallo's ghettos can even function as anything other than a bloodstained hellscape, or how the violence doesn't spread into other towns. Or how Polly's ragtag band of misfits even survived. Is Polly some sort of invincible banchou whose power exceeds both heaven and earth? ???

It seems like every time I think about the current story arc, I wind up falling into an endless series of plot holes.

Brion Foulke

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #72 on: December 26, 2012, 09:53:43 am »
Makes sense. But...what exactly are the restrictions on travel in the Flipside world?

It's about the same as us moving to a different country in our world.

It isn't so much that direct and indirect are the same. It's that indirect punishment is much, much worse.

I don't really understand that, but that's one way to look at it, I guess.

The contrast between common sense and the rosy heartwarming flashbacks brings up a few questions. How could the gang scenes possibly take place in a ghetto, if such a place would realistically guarantee them all fates worse than death before they could ever organize themselves into a gang in the first place? Alternatively, if the ghettos are safe enough that even a group of young gals can live on their own without worry or fear, why does anyone pay the Enforcers in the first place? Or is it just that Bern's gang had a character shield protecting them from the harsh nightmare inducing abuse that would have undoubtedly resulted from living in a lawless haven that offers shelter to the worst criminals in the country? ???

Although this hasn't been explained yet, the gang was essentially a vigilante group; since some neighborhoods receive less attention from Enforcers, people take matters into their own hands.  Technically this would mean that the gang was breaking the law, but since they are protecting the neighborhood people turn a blind eye to it.  So, keeping that in mind, there were obviously some hardships and violence, and you're reading way too much into a flashback if you think that wasn't there.  It's not that it wasn't, it's just that that wasn't the focus of the flashback.

Stargoat

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #73 on: December 28, 2012, 12:30:58 pm »
Recent filler = funny as all hell

Brion Foulke

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #74 on: December 28, 2012, 01:46:35 pm »
Recent filler = funny as all hell

Thanks!  Funny is what I was going for!

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #75 on: January 01, 2013, 03:49:32 pm »
Back to the 12/31 comic: Yeah, mister, it would be wrong not to at least call for help to stop a crime (and I believe it's against our law not to do so). Granted, Flipside isn't in our time, much less reality, but for a society to worship money only is a prescription for disaster. Besides, who'd tell everyone that you rolled over and helped someone out of the goodness of your heart? Bern? Heck, she'd get her dad back, and would be grateful. Of course, he doesn't really know her, but seriously?

What infuriates me about this is how the dude is calmly explaining to Bern like he's in the right. Yeah, it's the way they do things in their city, but still...besides, I would wish Bern would ask her own questions instead of standing there like a blubbering idiot while he cuts her down, such as, "You'd coldly let a human being die just because they couldn't afford to pay you to live? How could you live with yourself?"

I'm thinking Brion is trying to subtly parallel the question of healthcare in today's modern society, where emergency rooms have to help the uninsured who suddenly show up and want help, am I correct?  ???

Brion Foulke

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #76 on: January 01, 2013, 05:07:38 pm »
Back to the 12/31 comic: Yeah, mister, it would be wrong not to at least call for help to stop a crime (and I believe it's against our law not to do so).

As far as I know, you are generally not compelled by law to assist in most countries, excepting certain situations.  (Like when you are the cause of the situation.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duty_to_rescue

I'm thinking Brion is trying to subtly parallel the question of healthcare in today's modern society, where emergency rooms have to help the uninsured who suddenly show up and want help, am I correct?  ???

It's not all that subtle, but yeah in most modern societies we have the hippocratic oath.  Because of that, we all end up paying for the uninsured in the form of higher premiums, which is one of the main reasons why healthcare is so expensive in the U.S.  (The other reason is that the uninsured tend to avoid preventative care, leading to more emergency treatments which is more expensive for everyone in the long run.)  The only two solutions to this problem are either: 1. let uninsured sick people die, or 2. universal healthcare.  Most people won't consider option 1. a good solution for obvious reasons, but I wanted to imagine what a world would be like where people placed such a high value on personal responsibility that they were willing to go with that option.

Most liberal democracies in the world have a form of universal healthcare, the U.S. is one of the last holdouts.  But we don't let sick people die, either... so we basically have a bastardized version of universal healthcare, in which everyone pays for the uninsured, but only emergency treatment, which ends up being more costly and less efficient for everyone.

SAGG

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #77 on: January 01, 2013, 10:51:31 pm »
Ah, I see. Thank you for responding, Brion.  ;D

BurnGarn

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #78 on: January 02, 2013, 06:54:32 am »
I would wish Bern would ask her own questions instead of standing there like a blubbering idiot while he cuts her down, such as, "You'd coldly let a human being die just because they couldn't afford to pay you to live? How could you live with yourself?"

I'm thinking Brion is trying to subtly parallel the question of healthcare in today's modern society, where emergency rooms have to help the uninsured who suddenly show up and want help, am I correct?  ???

It isn't just health care. There's also the case of the Enforcer protection rackets, where you get the protection you pay for. And they still might not help you even if you offer to pay them, especially if they're too busy helping other, wealthier clients, because there might not be enough of them to go around. Sure, it reeks of the dropping of a liberally biased anvil. But the reason it's so infuriating is because it is an accurate portrayal of conservatism, which puts personal responsibility above social justice.

Marvallo itself, as stated in a previous comic, abides by the anarcho-capitalist form of libertarianism, with all its plot holes, hypocrisy, inconsistency and parallels to modern America, along with all the inevitable tragedies that burst forth from turning economics into religion. Understanding that explains why Ron Paul is lecturing Bern on letting people die. It makes perfect sense in the context that capitalism and its cronies really are that abhorrent, and it leaves Marvallo open to criticisms that can be applied just as easily to real life countries.

Contrast the non-imperial opt-in one-country good government of the Conclave taking a bunch of steps towards libertarian socialism(/anarcho-communism), and looking like the Big Good because of it. Cue the unfortunate implications about lefitsm just being better for society as a whole.

Suffice it to say, the most important question isn't whether Ron Paul should let Grant die, or how it parallels modern issues. It's how long we'll have to keep reading his religious sermon on the glory of capitalism. There may be a valuable lesson in it, but if you're already a liberal, it's really just as groan inducing as Faux Newz. Or is this building up of resentment for Ron Paul supposed to make his comeuppance all the more enjoyable?

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #79 on: January 02, 2013, 09:42:54 am »
One thing I think Marvallo has going for it? It seems less dangerous. Bern's been running around there for awhile now, and grew up there even, and hasn't run into any trouble... besides some unhelpful people.
Compare that to the rest of the world where you had the Xibulba collar and its two serial killer products, Clairen, Bloody Mary, Suspiria, that sorcerer and his wife... Outside of Marvollo, there's some sort of enemy appearing every other week. Enemies that won't hesitate to kill people, and do so very easily.
If news of those sorts of people and incidents keep drifting down to Marvollo... is it really any wonder that people might stay there, pay their dues, and know that they'll live a safe, happy life as long as they keep making the money to do so?

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #80 on: January 03, 2013, 12:02:42 am »
I would wish Bern would ask her own questions instead of standing there like a blubbering idiot while he cuts her down, such as, "You'd coldly let a human being die just because they couldn't afford to pay you to live? How could you live with yourself?"

I'm thinking Brion is trying to subtly parallel the question of healthcare in today's modern society, where emergency rooms have to help the uninsured who suddenly show up and want help, am I correct?  ???

It isn't just health care. There's also the case of the Enforcer protection rackets, where you get the protection you pay for. And they still might not help you even if you offer to pay them, especially if they're too busy helping other, wealthier clients, because there might not be enough of them to go around. Sure, it reeks of the dropping of a liberally biased anvil. But the reason it's so infuriating is because it is an accurate portrayal of conservatism, which puts personal responsibility above social justice.

Marvallo itself, as stated in a previous comic, abides by the anarcho-capitalist form of libertarianism, with all its plot holes, hypocrisy, inconsistency and parallels to modern America, along with all the inevitable tragedies that burst forth from turning economics into religion. Understanding that explains why Ron Paul is lecturing Bern on letting people die. It makes perfect sense in the context that capitalism and its cronies really are that abhorrent, and it leaves Marvallo open to criticisms that can be applied just as easily to real life countries.

Contrast the non-imperial opt-in one-country good government of the Conclave taking a bunch of steps towards libertarian socialism(/anarcho-communism), and looking like the Big Good because of it. Cue the unfortunate implications about lefitsm just being better for society as a whole.

Suffice it to say, the most important question isn't whether Ron Paul should let Grant die, or how it parallels modern issues. It's how long we'll have to keep reading his religious sermon on the glory of capitalism. There may be a valuable lesson in it, but if you're already a liberal, it's really just as groan inducing as Faux Newz. Or is this building up of resentment for Ron Paul supposed to make his comeuppance all the more enjoyable?

First, I think I'm liking you more with every post.

Second, I don't think Brion is praising capitalism, he's in fact highlighting its reality behind the thin veneer of personal responsibility and choice.

As the fiscal cliff looms back on Earth, I am reminded of the real reason for government spending on welfare. It's not charity; it is the prevention of civil unrest. Welfare is the bread in bread and circuses.

We live in Marvallo; even Europe is just a toned-down version of that which unapologetically rules the roost here. Capitalism extracts from us our waking hours and repays us in fractions of the value we create by the work we do in those hours.

I think it'd be appropriate to end with this:

Quote
Is there aught we hold in common with the greedy parasite,
Who would lash us into serfdom and would crush us with his might?
Is there anything left to us but to organize and fight?

For united, we are strong!

BurnGarn

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #81 on: January 03, 2013, 02:07:45 pm »
One thing I think Marvallo has going for it? It seems less dangerous. Bern's been running around there for awhile now, and grew up there even, and hasn't run into any trouble... besides some unhelpful people.
Compare that to the rest of the world where you had the Xibulba collar and its two serial killer products, Clairen, Bloody Mary, Suspiria, that sorcerer and his wife... Outside of Marvollo, there's some sort of enemy appearing every other week. Enemies that won't hesitate to kill people, and do so very easily.
If news of those sorts of people and incidents keep drifting down to Marvollo... is it really any wonder that people might stay there, pay their dues, and know that they'll live a safe, happy life as long as they keep making the money to do so?

Social Darwinist Marvallo is not a safe or happy place to live.

Second, I don't think Brion is praising capitalism, he's in fact highlighting its reality behind the thin veneer of personal responsibility and choice.

As the fiscal cliff looms back on Earth, I am reminded of the real reason for government spending on welfare. It's not charity; it is the prevention of civil unrest. Welfare is the bread in bread and circuses.

We live in Marvallo; even Europe is just a toned-down version of that which unapologetically rules the roost here. Capitalism extracts from us our waking hours and repays us in fractions of the value we create by the work we do in those hours.

I think it'd be appropriate to end with this:

Quote
Is there aught we hold in common with the greedy parasite,
Who would lash us into serfdom and would crush us with his might?
Is there anything left to us but to organize and fight?

For united, we are strong!

United or not, there's no way for commoners to improve their circumstances when business and government team up to look out for their own monied interests.

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #82 on: January 03, 2013, 11:21:58 pm »
1.It only seems less dangerous because the only time Bern's spent in Marvallo has been in the good neighborhoods, protected by badass former gang leader Polly.

Bern spent at least three years in a ghetto when she was in that gang growing up. And Bern hasn't exactly been protected from anything except for loud drunks who weren't even bothering her specifically. We've seen literally NO actual enemies in Marvallo.
We have a hint that Bern's memories of this place are 'dark', but that's not that specific.

But it's not like Marvallo doesn't have villains. There's just no reason they'd appear out of nowhere.

Why not? That's what happens everywhere else. Assuming the ghettoes are breeding grounds for the worst kind of people... wouldn't it spill over? Wouldn't there be stories of 'the twenty people murdered last week' or some other such gossip going on in the background?
The healer implied that being forced to heal is something that shouldn't happen in her neighborhood because of 'dues'. But no one has expressed any sort of fear or disgust for the ghettoes and what happens there, pity for those who live there, so on.

In short: The ghettoes don't sound so much like a hellscape of violence and awful, unthinkable deeds. They sound more like... the wrong side of the tracks, where you're likely to get mugged, or shot at if you piss off someone. Which, again, is a bit better than the monsters that Iscariot keeps pumping out.

Both Clairen and Bloody Mary just happened to be in Iscariot, because that's where the comic was set at the time.
...
Noventia's villainy taking place in Iscariot is also a matter of the comic's setting, since laws against violence wouldn't have stopped the clearly psychotic housewife from killing Seraph, who wasn't even "dangerous" or a villain to begin with.

Arguing away things with 'because that's where the heroes were', isn't really an argument.
Clairen, was already a capable swordswoman, and an assassin (I believe?) before getting the Thin Man treatment. And it was a pretty tame treatment. You can't blame her on the Thin Man, she did that stuff all on her own.

Bloody Mary was created, but she was loose in that town for... a long time. The Phalanx 'protection' is pretty equal to Marvallo's in that regard. Spots get missed, but that doesn't reflect on the system as a whole. It just means you need more people to keep those spots from getting missed: Which is what Polly was saying.

And technically, the psychotic housewife killed him once and managed to get away with it for like... MONTHS. No one ever caught her, and authorities didn't seem to be chasing after her. The only reason she was stopped was because of the murder/suicide thing she did with her husband.

In Iscariot we've heard about, or directly seen: mass murderers, insanely powerful magical objects that may turn you INTO a mass murderer, people disappearing, various Thin Man subjects of increasing horror, and so on. We've seen and heard of none of that in Marvallo.

The protection in Marvollo is probably about the same in Iscariot. The same number of people sign up to be Enforcers, as sign up to be Phalanx/guards/security for Iscariot. The difference is that in Iscariot, there's some seriously scary stuff going on that doesn't seem to have a parallel in Marvallo.

The rest of your stuff was a bit too political for me to tackle.

BurnGarn

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #83 on: January 04, 2013, 09:29:14 am »
Bern spent at least three years in a ghetto when she was in that gang growing up. And Bern hasn't exactly been protected from anything except for loud drunks who weren't even bothering her specifically. We've seen literally NO actual enemies in Marvallo.
We have a hint that Bern's memories of this place are 'dark', but that's not that specific.

Like I said. It's because the only time the comic shifts to Marvallo is in a rosy nostalgic flashback or when Bern's traversing the safety of upper class neighborhoods. There's a case to be made that Bern herself is an "enemy" considering she's in the process of mugging a healer in the name of justice. If the comic had taken place in Marvallo from the beginning, there would have surely been adversaries.

Why not? That's what happens everywhere else. Assuming the ghettoes are breeding grounds for the worst kind of people... wouldn't it spill over? Wouldn't there be stories of 'the twenty people murdered last week' or some other such gossip going on in the background?
The healer implied that being forced to heal is something that shouldn't happen in her neighborhood because of 'dues'. But no one has expressed any sort of fear or disgust for the ghettoes and what happens there, pity for those who live there, so on.

In short: The ghettoes don't sound so much like a hellscape of violence and awful, unthinkable deeds. They sound more like... the wrong side of the tracks, where you're likely to get mugged, or shot at if you piss off someone. Which, again, is a bit better than the monsters that Iscariot keeps pumping out.

It's more like the upper class in Marvallo is a lot like the upper class in real life. Rich people like a certain former post-Eisenhower Republican presidential candidate don't care about poor people. As long as what happens in the ghettos stays in the ghettos, why would they care? They've got Enforcers protecting them. The one time the ghettos were mentioned, though, it was with shock at Bern's use of violence. Which implies that the violent wrecking of business is commonplace, just not in "decent" neighborhoods.

As for the reason it wouldn't spill over is because the Enforcers are clearly good at their job. They'd have to be, otherwise people would stop paying them. That, and there's no reason thugs and gangs would seek to incite their wrath when they've got free reign to do whatever they please in the ghettos. Only an idiot would fuck up the chance to build a criminal enterprise in a lawless area filled with potential victims. And the vigilante gangs are the opposite. Polly's gang and such would have an interest in fighting other gangs to make sure the violence doesn't spread. Evil vs evil, so to speak. So it's probably a matter of the gangs being too busy killing each other to expand their territory. If you're a conspiracy theorist, there's even a chance that the Enforcers might have struck a deal with the ghetto thugs to stay out of their business if they stay out of the upper class neighborhoods. Just because it hasn't happened doesn't mean everything's all bright and sunny. There's just far too much of Marvallo that we've never seen. Even so, one can draw conclusions from deductive reasoning and real life parallels.

Also, Iscariot doesn't pump out monsters. It's the Thin Man, who is, as far as we know, not in any way affiliated with the Iscariot government and has eluded capture solely because he's a big bad (who might even possess with an omniscient morality license) whose asskicking equals authority amongst his ranks. Or he's a magnificent chessmaster whose talent and intellect allow him to come out as the victor in any gambit roulette. Either way, it's not Iscariot's fault that there just happens to be a sorcerer who's really good at it. What could the Conclave possibly do against a villain even the main characters are powerless against? How would Marvallo fare any better if he were to set up shop there? How do you know that the Thin Man, the one behind most of the villains the party has faced, isn't actually The Great Benefactor, who's using the dues paid to him to fund his research into monster girls?

Clairen, was already a capable swordswoman, and an assassin (I believe?) before getting the Thin Man treatment. And it was a pretty tame treatment. You can't blame her on the Thin Man, she did that stuff all on her own.

Bloody Mary was created, but she was loose in that town for... a long time. The Phalanx 'protection' is pretty equal to Marvallo's in that regard. Spots get missed, but that doesn't reflect on the system as a whole. It just means you need more people to keep those spots from getting missed: Which is what Polly was saying.

And technically, the psychotic housewife killed him once and managed to get away with it for like... MONTHS. No one ever caught her, and authorities didn't seem to be chasing after her. The only reason she was stopped was because of the murder/suicide thing she did with her husband.

In Iscariot we've heard about, or directly seen: mass murderers, insanely powerful magical objects that may turn you INTO a mass murderer, people disappearing, various Thin Man subjects of increasing horror, and so on. We've seen and heard of none of that in Marvallo.

The protection in Marvollo is probably about the same in Iscariot. The same number of people sign up to be Enforcers, as sign up to be Phalanx/guards/security for Iscariot. The difference is that in Iscariot, there's some seriously scary stuff going on that doesn't seem to have a parallel in Marvallo.

The rest of your stuff was a bit too political for me to tackle.

Clairen would've been dead ten times over if she wasn't immune to attack from half the world's population. Or at least she wouldn't have had as much success as an assassin if her targets could fight back. This is obvious in Book 0, where the only reason she was able to get so far into the castle with ease was because of the Thin Man's anti-man tat job. The moment she came into contact with a competent fighter, who wasn't even a famous goddess amongst swordsmen or anything of the sort, her ass was thoroughly handed to her on a silver platter. What's more, Bern was handicapping herself by using a child's fighting style. Clairen got owned by kiddy games. Clearly, she was not as formidable as you make her out to be.

As for Mary, it was only three months. But let's be real. The entire Flipside world is filled with dangerous sorcerers. The problem is, the Phalanx differ from the Enforcers in that they don't abandon those in need. Unfortunately, like the Enforcers, the Phalanx aren't unlimited in number.  Which is clearly why there's less protection and it takes longer. Protection is rationed and prioritized, but always equally distributed, even to small out of the way towns that don't even have a level 3 healer. But the problem is sure to be solved once the Phalanx get there, like Shepard's big damn hero moment pretty much made 10 chapters worth of conflict moot. Truly, Shepard is a badass.

The point is, it's not that the protection is "equal" or that spots get missed. Neither of those things is true. The Phalanx knew what was going on. Suspiria even rushed there without their consent, and her arrival was delayed by who knows how long due to the fact that she was traveling without portals. Still, it'd obviously take longer to organize the distribution of Phalanx forces than it would if they were solely focused on protecting the wealthy. If they were like the Enforcers, there wouldn't have even been any Phalanx in that small town. Not Suspiria, or her backup. The town would've been stuck at Mary's mercy, because even the heroes couldn't stop a nightmare fueled knight of cerebus. Suffice it to say, that town would've been doomed as fuck. Without Suspiria and Kin around to catch the tragedy ball, the heroes would've had their shit wrecked in any believable scenario. Bern would've been deader than dead, and the others would've soon followed unless they abandoned the townspeople. In that regard, Phalanx protection is just that much better than the Enforcers' pay-to-protect way of doing business.

As for Noventia, part of the reason she got away with it might've been the fact that Seraph was trying to be dead to everyone but his traveling companions. The guy's been killed once, and telling the authorities about Noventia would've just made him that much easier a target by broadcasting his location. I mean, the guy wanted to live to train his disciples, not get knifed in the middle of a city while everyone around him is powerless to stop it. What's more, a jerkass he may be, but he genuinely did seem to care for his wife up to a point, so much so that he didn't just dump her ass when she started getting bitchy. The only time he expressly wanted to harm her was when he was driven to do so out of desperation. Even when she appeared before him in public without an assassin, good guy Seraph was only concerned with preventing conflict. There's a case to be made that he's just too damn nice to want the Phalanx to kill her ass dead. Indeed, Seraph had a horrible case of nice guy syndrome. If he didn't still love Noventia to some degree, there's no reason he wouldn't have set it up so that she was killed by the Phalanx. But seeing as he was the only witness to the crime, and he still had the hots for Noventia's god tier hairjobs, that would put the Phalanx completely out of the loop and incapable of knowing, or even acting upon, what happened. They're not omnipotent. As far as they knew, Seraph was dead, killed by an assassin that wasn't enough of a national threat to send a one man army to tear her shit up. And they were right. All it took was a single knight using a child's fighting style to do the assassin in. Not just her, but also the other female assassins from the beginning of Book 0.

It's more like assassins aren't so much dangerous, as they are so weak that any decent bodyguard or knight would be able to stop them if the person targeted actually sought help. Unfortunately, by virtue of them being assassins, the only witnesses to their crimes are too dead to point the finger at them. It's kind of a catch 22 in that their line of work is self-protecting. But at the same time, if they ever ran into trouble themselves, their lives would be forfeit. But then again, assassins and jealous wives are the least of the Phalanx' problems with guys in Infinity +1 bondage collars and scythe wielding cannibals running around killing everything around them. Omnicidal maniacs are a much more important issue than hired thugs.

As for seeing none of that in Marvallo, well, we've seen, like, 50+ chapters of Iscariot, and about 3 or 4 in Marvallo, and it's more of a Bern centered side story than a main plot. One that takes place in a peaceful upper class neighborhood protected by a badass banchou that nobody fucks with. I think you're mistaking Marvallo for a paradise based on "out of sight out of mind." It's like going outside and saying there aren't any terrorists because you don't see them. Or that 9/11 never happened because you've never heard of it, weren't in new york and don't know anyone affected by it. It's more like you're thinking in a bubble impervious to facts, logic and reality, and drawing conclusions from that without ever seeing more than just a single neighborhood in Marvallo. It's like saying Wall Street is America, and everywhere in America is exactly the same as it is. And even within the bubble the comic has created, the people are still scumbags. So what would scumbag Marvallians not bound by law be like? I'd wager they're as bad as Iscariotian criminals, if not worse, unless the author intends to break suspension of disbelief and paint Marvallo as a realistically unsustainable capitalist paradise where chaos and anarchy breed rainbows and sunshine. Suffice it to say, Afghanistan knows what not having a strong central government is like, and it's not buying any of that shit about everyone in lawless lands just getting along fine and dandy.

And...how the heck do you know how many people sign up to be Phalanx and Enforcers? We've seen far more Phalanx than Enforcers, so by your "BECAUSE I SEE IT" logic, isn't it actually the case that there are more Phalanx than Enforcers? You're setting up a logical fallacy based on false equivalence using everyone's general ignorance of Marvallo's ghettoes as proof of Marvallo's perfection. Your entire argument is based on things you don't or couldn't possibly know. It even runs counter to logic, deductive reasoning and reality itself.

Suffice it to say, if politics makes you squeamish, then you're probably not well versed enough in the realities of governing and economics to accurately analyze the unfortunate implications that stem from the way Marvallo's being run based on what happens in such situations in real life. I mean, we've seen what happens when poor people are herded into lawless lands. And they're not places you'd walk into with the cocksure assumption that somebody isn't going to mug the fuck out of you. In fact, it's a wonder if nobody's done that to you yet. Because you seem to have a skewed perception of the world being safer than it is, if you judge the safety of a place based on whether you can see criminals around. That's...a horribly inaccurate standard to go by. Mostly because you can't possibly know based on what you see. Judging an environment accurately requires a more nuanced approach, as opposed to your "one neighborhood" way of viewing an entire society.

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #84 on: January 04, 2013, 11:18:39 am »
Ugh... That's entirely too much stuff to respond to. K.I.S.S. You know?

The Thin Man is in Iscariot, has been for awhile, and hasn't been caught. Is that Iscariot's fault? No. But that doesn't matter to the average person.
The point is, there's a dangerous man creating monsters in Iscariot, and no one seems to be able to catch him. There is NOT a dangerous man of that kind in Marvallo.
There's no doubt that some people will choose the monster-free country, especially if rumour travels about what's happening in Iscariot.

People are living in Marvallo. All I'm doing is proposing one reason why they might have chosen to live there.
You seem a little jumpy at people who defend the place though.
Chill out a bit. There's no need to be quite as demeaning as you're being.

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #85 on: January 04, 2013, 01:34:47 pm »
No more walls of text in the chapter discussion thread, please?

BurnGarn

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #86 on: January 05, 2013, 12:12:15 pm »
No more walls of text in the chapter discussion thread, please?

You know, that seems vaguely contrary to some underlying aesop in the comic from back when it was good. Oh irony. But alright, I'll try to keep it simpler. For great anti-intellectualism!

There's no doubt that some people will choose the monster-free country, especially if rumour travels about what's happening in Iscariot.

People are living in Marvallo. All I'm doing is proposing one reason why they might have chosen to live there.
You seem a little jumpy at people who defend the place though.
Chill out a bit. There's no need to be quite as demeaning as you're being.

I apologize for being demeaning, but anyone with a brain knows that an entire society can't be judged based on one single upper class neighborhood. That's obviously moronic. It's the kind of thing anyone would realize is wrong if you just sat down and thought about it for a minute. But that stupidity is the basis for your opinion, and stupid opinions are kind of my berserk button. Now, I've already outlined examples of why you're wrong, which obviously nobody even read. But if you're going to continue arguing a logical fallacy, well, I guess it was my mistake for responding, since I can no better disprove broken logic than I can the existence of a deity.

Back on topic, the newest page is kind of funny. From the pathetic way Bern's behaving, I half expect her to collapse on the floor and burst into tears about how she never even wanted to be a knight.

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #87 on: January 05, 2013, 10:39:38 pm »
No more walls of text in the chapter discussion thread, please?

You know, that seems vaguely contrary to some underlying aesop in the comic from back when it was good. Oh irony. But alright, I'll try to keep it simpler. For great anti-intellectualism!

There's no doubt that some people will choose the monster-free country, especially if rumour travels about what's happening in Iscariot.

People are living in Marvallo. All I'm doing is proposing one reason why they might have chosen to live there.
You seem a little jumpy at people who defend the place though.
Chill out a bit. There's no need to be quite as demeaning as you're being.

I apologize for being demeaning, but anyone with a brain knows that an entire society can't be judged based on one single upper class neighborhood. That's obviously moronic. It's the kind of thing anyone would realize is wrong if you just sat down and thought about it for a minute. But that stupidity is the basis for your opinion, and stupid opinions are kind of my berserk button. Now, I've already outlined examples of why you're wrong, which obviously nobody even read. But if you're going to continue arguing a logical fallacy, well, I guess it was my mistake for responding, since I can no better disprove broken logic than I can the existence of a deity.

Back on topic, the newest page is kind of funny. From the pathetic way Bern's behaving, I half expect her to collapse on the floor and burst into tears about how she never even wanted to be a knight.

In United or not, there's no way for commoners to improve their circumstances when business and government team up to look out for their own monied interests. you said:

"Unfortunately, fascism is hard to fight. Normally you'd have business and government fighting and weakening one another. When they work together, you need some outside force like another country or a roving band of adventurers to come in and shake everything up. Otherwise, fascism remains intact and the people suffer under it. Let's just hope The Great Benefactor doesn't decide to try spreading the glory of Marvallo into Iscariot. Luckily, Iscariot is a land of badass ruled by the big good, so at the very least it's probably still safe from being overrun by the wealthy ruling class."

Normally you'd have business and government fighting and weakening one another? No, normally you'd have corruption, and lots of it. Flipside to my knowledge doesn't even have "modern democracies", and even those have plenty of lobbying and job offers to politicians from businesses, even if you try to focus on the "best" ones in Europe. "Lower" forms of government tend to have even more corruption. The only way businesses care less is if your nation is of trivial importance, but then your nation is beholden to other nations for defense, and they will twist your arm, including at the behest of powerful businesses if the powerful businesses really want something, if they have a reason.

You fancy yourself politically knowledgeable and intellectual, but you look like an extremist who "imposes" his assumptions onesidedly on everything to me. This is beyond your love of tropes and TTGL (Flipside is not TTGL; get over it). Tell me exactly why gangs ruling would constantly turn the area into a "hellscape"? In real life gangs try to gain money and power like other groups. It's true that they tend to accept fewer limitations on their acts when compared to other groups of the same level of power, but that doesn't mean that they want to constantly be murdering and thus be getting murdered in return. Just like nations, gangs will typically not war forever, and will work out their place in time, resulting in (in their case) an uneasy peace. I'm not saying it would be great, but there's no reason it must be a hellscape.

Anyway, you say so much, but you don't tend to admit that there are any upsides in a system that isn't of your own preference, nor do you seem to allow positive motivations to maintainers of such a system. This is not the same as favoring an inferior system over a superior one, even given agreement between you and others on the rankings of systems, which isn't a given. Perhaps you admit that "the wealthy" enjoy this system, but you naturally value that at zero, so it doesn't count for much. Perhaps you should just accept the story for what it is rather than skipping huge portions of it only to then constantly complain with huge posts that Brion isn't TTGLing, politicizing, and troping Flipside to your tastes? TTGL is a shounen, and if you had to similarly classify Flipside it would be a seinen. Therefore TTGL's heavily shounen aspects are not something you should expect in Flipside.

ipatrol

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #88 on: January 06, 2013, 02:43:35 am »
Fascism is just capitalism stripped of its democratic veneer. I would not call Marvallo fascist because fascism is by definition never crypto-anything.

We can fight this system of oppression. Us commoners can unite and together, standing firm, we will triumph. The system needs us for our labor, and that is its inherent weakness.

Quote
They have taken untold billions that they never toiled to earn,
But without our brain and muscle not a single wheel can turn.
We can break their haughty power, gain our freedom when we learn.

That united we are strong!

Shay

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Re: Chapter 35: Discussion
« Reply #89 on: January 07, 2013, 09:15:30 pm »
Oh. This latest page made me love Bernadette a little bit more.

I really like this arc.