SFP

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Hey gang! Brennan here! With the holiday season fast approaching, I wanted to draw your attention to this very cool website. Give Progress is an incredible project that allows you to create a wishlist of causes (like a gift registry), that you can send to your loved ones. They get easy links to donate to organizations that you like, and you get a warm and fuzzy feeling for making the world a better place! This project was brought to life by the brilliant and magnanimous Griffin Johnston, who lovingly hand-crafted the website you find yourself on at this very moment! Thanks, Griff!

https://give-progress.org/

Happy Holidays, gang, and as always, thank you for reading our comic!

Show Comments
  • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

    And my long held hopes that Clevin would have moved on go crashing in the ocean.
    This ship is still stearing dead right in the path of that iceberg called A Romance Between Clevin Was-Being-Honest-About-This-Really-Necessary and Alison Oblivious Green as Sounding Like The Perfect Thing

    • Danygalw

      I’m confused by your last paragraph. Doing what obliviously?

      • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

        Telling her unwarranted info about his feelings about her that implicitly nudge her toward making her feel responsible for him while she has no business doing so.
        She already said she hadn’t even noticed, Clevin. Why say something that will inevitably color the entire future of their friendship, most likely negatively?

        • Rumble in the Tumble

          Because he’s tired of her being oblivious of his increasingly awkward attempts at showing his feelings for her?

          I mean, he might not doing it in the most subtle way possible, but if he kept being subtle, we would have another ~100 pages of Super Friendzone-Man.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Here’s the problem: he didn’t say “I have feelings for you”, he said “I have feelings for you and it’s causing problems with my friends
            That may be true and honest but it’s still his problem, and his way of putting it doesn’t seem to acknowledge that it is the case.

          • Lysiuj

            It can go the other way around too – maybe he feels like he has an obligation to tell her, or at least that it’s the responsible thing to do despite the discomfort.
            As long as it was just him that was one thing, he could just repress them and not make a big deal about it. But if his feelings towards Al will start affecting how other people behave, then maybe she has a right to know the cause of that.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Yeah, that’s part of the problem. That’s entitlement. That’s living’n’feeling by the credo that your issues are everybody’s issues equally and everybody gets *deserves* to know and care no matter how unwarranted and intrusive it is.
            Bonus point in your case: you even delude yourself into feeling like sharing was the responsible thing to do!

            Alison had no problem with Clevin’s behavior at the party. Instead of being happy with that, he pressed on and now she technically has to because he made her.

          • Arkone Axon

            This is actually reminding me of how people behaved with Max (the Evil One!). Every little thing being said is being nitpicked to death here.

            In this page, we see Klevin do the following (horrible and blatantly manipulative!) things:

            Establish that while she was torturing a guy (who wasn’t really tortured because of his race and gender) into following her moral beliefs instead of his own (which is what religious and political fanatics have always done… except it’s different because she’s right and therefore it’s okay), Klevin was working to entertain people into freely giving money to help someone in need.
            Apologize if he might have possibly given her offense by choosing to spend time with his friends.
            Admit that some of his friends are uncomfortable around her.
            Confess his true feelings (the FIEND! The horrible, manipulative, psychologically abusive CAD!!!).

            He has just told her that he has feelings for her. That places NO burden or requirements upon her. She can politely decline. She can tell him, “I’m flattered, but I don’t feel that way about you.” She can tell him that she just went on a few dates with a guy and it didn’t work out, and she wants to clear her head before she does anything. He hasn’t pushed anything upon her, he has simply told her the truth without so much as even asking her a question in turn.

            There’s a great analogy about sexual consent that you can find online, comparing sex to tea. You offer someone tea, and they can drink it or decline. They can ask for tea and then change their mind when it’s made. They can sip it whenever they like, and as long as you’re not forcing them to drink it, it’s all good. Well… Klevin has just said, “I’ve been thinking about how nice it would be to make you some tea.” That is literally the most polite way of handling it possible… so let’s turn it around and ask you: How SHOULD he have handled his feelings?

            (And bear in mind that this is coming from someone who DOESN’T want Klevin to date Alison. She’s got WAAAAY too many issues and he deserves someone who is not both willing and able to throw his car through his apartment because he pissed her off, then float in the air and sob about how she’s feeling really confused and conflicted)

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            He has just told her that he has feelings for her. That places NO burden or requirements upon her.

            See that’s the thing, that is true, but that isn’t known. In a world where every man is born feminist and the patriarchy is overturned, sure, he can tell her something like that willy-nilly. But in ours, wherever his allegiance lies, telling a woman you like her is still putting her in an uncomfortable situation if you don’t do it carefully.

            And he didn’t. That’s my problem. Not that he did. But that he did using a personal problem as a pretext. How should he have handled his feelings? Watch me:
            […]
            “I didn’t take it in a bad way, I just thought you wanted to hang out with friends.”
            “Oh, cool. Sorry, super self-conscious and paranoid, I really couldn’t stop thinking you may have felt saddened because of me. It’s on the list of requirement when you’re an awkward dork.”
            “You’re not an awkward dork!”
            “Have you seen how I dress?”
            ‘Ahah, you got me there.”

            [A beautiful moment of silence in the pink haze of a lusciously animated yuri hentai passes]

            “Hey, Al?”
            “Yeah?”
            “You want to do this again another time?”
            “Sure I do! I told you I have to deal with a million things these d–”
            “No, no, I mean, yes, exactly. That’s why I’m asking for real this time. Do you really want to do this again? Is this… something… you want? To try? Like, uh, well, I mean maybe, maybe I should be more explicit for once… I’m interested in you Alison, and I’m not being an ass asking you on dates just to make sure your friendship is genuine enough, but because, well… I’m hoping that’s something you’d like too. Sorry I’m being all awkward but, like, it’s because you’ve got lots on your plate that I wonder if you’d rather I stop bothering. Which I won’t mind! You’re still welcome to crash at 3 in the morning in the theater any day.”

            [A million years later, Alison Oblivious Green catches up]

            “Oh.”

          • Arkone Axon

            O. M. G.

            You actually went there with the “patriarchy” comment. Wow. Just… wow. Let me… well, I can’t actually clarify this for you because you’re making it clear you will not listen (the increasingly emotionally driven tirade against everyone arguing with you since you responded to my comment kinda proves that), but… for anyone else, a bit of clarification.

            This is a webcomic about the exploits of the most powerful entity on her planet, and her attempts to do the right thing, even though she (like everyone else who has ever lived) is having trouble determining what the right thing actually is. And by “most powerful entity,” I mean “Can literally get away with murder.” The reason Max’s experiences have been justifiably compared to rape? SHE CAN COME BACK AND DO IT AGAIN, AT ANY TIME. No one will stop her. No one CAN stop her. Prior to that she repeatedly engaged in possibly reckless behavior (depending on how you feel she handled things with Moonshadow); threatened to commit mass murder in front of live cameras and countless witnesses; caused countless casualties as collatoral damage while battling giant robots and other dangerous threats; caused the collapse of a superhero team just by quitting when she was their powerhouse and greatest asset… hell, remember Patrick’s “oh crap” moment when he realized his attempt to piss her off had gone horribly, horribly right? He’s likely physically scarred now from that mug – and that’s AFTER she calmed down enough to refrain from ripping him in half like a phone book.

            I’m annoyed at Alison for what she did to Max because I believed her to be better than that. Because I respect the character. But you? You are INFANTILIZING her. You are claiming that the same character who can face down former friends turned enemies, despite painful injuries, and then (while still injured and reeling from the aftermath) accept a betrayal by her “friends” that leaves her literally homeless and in the rain, is too weak and fragile to hold up against an honest expression of interest from a member of the gender she has gone on record as stating she finds attractive. You are suggesting that this nonpowered, nonaggressive person who has yet to be seen doing anything more belligerent than raise money for the medical bills that an insurance company wouldn’t, holds power over someone who could turn him into a blood smear just by picking him up with one hand and shoving him into a wall. You are claiming that because of their respective genders, that literally nothing she can ever do, achieve, or establish, will ever give her enough power to avoid being victimized and harmed by the weakest male. Which is about the most sexist and misogynistic mindset I could possibly imagine (hell, even male misogynists aren’t that bad – they hate and fear women because they believe women have power over them. You don’t even believe that).

            I have seen a lot of people complain about Alison in these comments on the pages, some because they like her and disapprove of her actions, some because they don’t like her and want to see the comic focus on other characters… but I have never seen anyone insult the central protagonist of this comic the way you are doing now.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Ah, the perennial quotation marks around patriarchy. The golden seal of golden commenting.

            You are completely missing the point. What you’re saying is irrelevant. It’s not because Alison can take it that sexism becomes forgivable.

          • Arkone Axon

            I know it’s irrelevant – to you. You want Alison to be a victim here. You want Klevin to have power over her.To have so much power that simply informing her of his feelings, and that of someone else Alison doesn’t even know, is some sort of passive-aggressive assault upon her.

            Here’s how a person not viewing everything through the sexist lens of “all women are inevitably the victims of all men” would view that last panel. Klevin has just told Alison his feelings… which means he’s opened up to her, exposed himself emotionally. He has literally given her the opportunity to break his heart and she knows it. She has the power here, and she is expressing the usual shock and awe that people generally experience when another person tells them, “I am offering you my heart to keep… or to throw in a dumpster.” She’s not feeling put upon, or discriminated against, or victimized. She’s feeling the power to crush a boy’s spirit the way she could crush his body, and she’s trying to come to terms with that fact.

            (And yes, I do put quotations marks around “patriarchy.” It’s one thing to use that term when describing cultures such as the Pakistani tribal system, where old men can sentence teenaged girls to be gang raped because the girl’s younger brother spoke to a rich woman in the marketplace. It’s not quite as accurate to describe cultures where women hold property, vote, hold office, carry weaponry, serve in the military and reach the top echolons, and otherwise do literally anything a man can do. Especially when it involves the casual dismissal of transgenders and intersexed. To look back at the webcomic… where does Kiele fit in regards to the patriarchy? Is Kiele a patriarchal oppressor, or a feminine victim?)

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            You know in the midst of all your smug ignorance it would be less laughable to have such a lack of critical self-awareness if you at least knew how to write Clevin’s first name correctly

          • Arkone Axon

            Good point. I’ve seen the name spelled both ways in the comments, and thought “Klevin” was the correct spelling.

            But you never did answer the question. Where does Kiele fit in regards to the “patriarchy?” Is Kiele an oppressor, or a victim?

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            You know what, you are allowed to even feel confident enough to consider taking part in this conversation only when the obvious answer to that stupid question is so obvious it fucking hurts.

          • Arkone Axon

            The funny thing is, I could quote John Cleese at you, about how you have no idea of how stupid you are actually being… except by definition you think the same thing about me.

            For the record: I’m not actually trying to convince you. You are someone who thinks they don’t have to answer the question (which, btw, is only obvious to someone who shares your extreme ideology; the rest of us are still waiting for an answer), that I’m an idiot for disagreeing with you, and that facts and logic are wasted because I ought to simply accept your words as axiomatic proof in and of themselves. In this, you have a great deal in common with… among others, a morbidly obese Trump supporter I happen to know. So congrats there.

            I’m actually doing this to draw out your beliefs where everyone can see them, so that those you claim to stand in defense of can behold just how sexist, patronizing, and damaging your positions truly are. You are emphasizing that even the strongest woman is inevitably going to be the victim of even the weakest man. Further, you’re insisting that not only is an open and honest expression of desire from a male who is a potential romantic partner NOT a good thing, but is some kind of personal attack, “He shared his FEELINGS with me! How dare he force me to behold knowledge about his emotional state!?” In other words, you’re spreading the view that a male doing the one thing that heterosexual and bisexual women openly and loudly wish they would do, is a bad thing. Your idealogy is unreasonable, impractical, and insulting and unfair to every gender flavor, especially the ones who were born with ovaries.

            So for everyone else who reads this? Look at that page. See the little guy with the glasses? See the wealthy and famous (with plenty of clout at her university and with the government, to boot) young woman floating in midair with the invulnerable skin and the ability to juggle cars? Which one of those two has the power in this situation?

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Do tell, since you’re doing this and danced around long enough, you fine views about feminism. For context’s sake, this is only fair.
            Plus think of all the assholes who will (and already have) give you upvotes for it.

          • Arkone Axon

            Yeah… I do not like how feminism has been hijacked by immature, intolerant, and irrational bigots who demand that everyone else accommodate their views and feelings while simultaneously demanding the right to ignore everyone else’s feelings and views.

            Simply put: you’re not a feminist. You are an angry, overly entitled person who insists on framing everything things in terms of gender based oppression. True feminism means “Equality between the genders.” That’s all it means – an even playing field. It means that when a woman wants to start a business, or run for office, you don’t throw roadblocks in their way or tell them they can’t legally own property or imply that they’re inferior and shouldn’t be allowed to even try to do something that is “too hard.” Feminism is not Valeria Solanis, it’s Ronda Roussey.

            You still haven’t answered the question about Kiele. But… of course you still won’t. Meanwhile, I notice that you’re arguing with… pretty much everyone else who has posted on this page. And accusing every single person you’re arguing with of sexism. In spite of the fact that in order to even be posting on this page, they have to have not only been READING a comic titled “Strong Female Protagonist” (and which is literally about a college aged woman with the “Flying Brick” powerset and the exploration social issues), but care about it enough to post comments about the pages. The moment someone disagrees with you, your response has been to brand them as being in the same camp as a reader of RH Junior’s comics about strawman liberals getting beaten up and scifi space adventurers commenting on the conspiracy of evolutionary theory.

            You, and those like you, are the reason why Emma Watson is facing an uphill battle to convince mainstream society that “feminist” is not a dirty word.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            You know what the sad, very sad thing is?

            No.
            You are.

          • Jovial Contrarian
          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            This is so inappropriate considering my whole comment

          • Lysiuj

            His issues aren’t everyone’s, but if they involve Alison then they absolutely are her’s as well. That doesn’t mean he has to tell her, that it’s the only good thing to do or necessarily won’t have any negative fallout, but I wouldn’t fault him if he felt like he owed it to her to let her know.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            That is *so* entitled. Let’s shake it up a notch. You’re in love with your best friend’s wife. They’re having the grandest time together. It’s eating you away inside. Is it that woman’s problem as well? Does he owe it to her to let her know?

          • ampg

            *buzzer*
            Sorry! That’s a flag on the play! Straw man fallacy! Please sit out the next round of comments!

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Please allow me to ask you how this situation is clearly totally different than the other “woman with no business being responsible for your feelings” one.

          • ampg

            Nope, sorry. Part of the penalty is figuring that out for yourself. I’m sure you’re capable.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Yeah okay you too are totally wrong for a legitimate reason I don’t feel like sharin’

          • ampg

            Oh, FFS. I shouldn’t even bother, but here:

            Scenario 1: A person has potentially-unrequited feelings for an unattached peer.
            Scenario 2: A person has probably-unrequited feelings for a person who is not only romantically and legally bound to someone else, but that partner is the best friend of the first person, meaning a third person will also be forced to deal with the outcome of the conversation.

            BTW, I’m very aware of your tendency to argue things into the ground, so go ahead and respond if that’s how you get your kicks, but I’m done with the public-service portion of my commenting for the day.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Oh, my God, dude.
            So when a man gets involved you start to feel like bothering people with your deal is uncool, but women, pff, who cares about their place in the world right I mean aren’t they there just to accommodate us?

            …is what I would say if I thought you realized what you were even saying. Instead I mostly feel like your comments make the greatest argument for mine.

          • Sam

            Boy, really doubling down on the strawmen, huh? Yes, we get it, anyone who disagrees with you is sexist. Never mind the fact that the genders involved don’t actually change either scenario, or the fact that you volunteered the genders for the seconde scenario in the first place.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            I don’t know, I haven’t posited a woman being in love with her best friend’s husband, who knows what @ampg:disqus might have said then. The fact is that what we got here was dumb and kind of sexist and your attempt at arguing that being an ad hominem against me and nothing else surprisingly fails to convince.

          • Sam

            Well, I don’t know for sure, but I’m thinking that, given that scenario, they would have said something along the lines of:
            “Scenario 2: A person has probably-unrequited feelings for a person who is not only romantically and legally bound to someone else, but that partner is the best friend of the first person, meaning a third person will also be forced to deal with the outcome of the conversation.”

            Also, it’s pretty rich accusing me of using an ad hominem when that’s precisely what you tried to do to ampg. You’re not bothering to address their point regarding the differences between the two scenarios at all, in favour of leaping to an accusation of sexism.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Yes I did. Apparently the magic number is two people. As soon as you start bothering two people it’s too much for @ampg:disqus. (Coincidentally, that second person was a man, but that’s definitely a coincidence)

            Well, what the heck do you want me to say? I feel like bothering one person is enough to start putting on the brakes and I feel it makes much more sense that considering one’s okay but two, God no two is unthinkable, do you imagine? A third person will also be forced to deal with the outcome of the conversation. Madness!

          • Tylikcat

            I felt like that conversation went into a super awkward place because while he has many sterling qualities, this particular set of interpersonal skills is not among them. From my current information set, I think he was actually trying to look after Alison’s comfort, and then just stumbled over his own clumsy feet.

            Now, I tend to judge results more strongly than I judge motivations… but I’ll at least give him half a pass until I see greater signs of entrenched entitled attitudes, or a pattern of this kind of clueless behavior. He seems like a pretty nice kid, and he’s young. (Of course, this is something of a refrain with me and SFP “Aiie, what a pack of kids they all are!”)

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Hey, I’m settling for just acknowledging that it was really clumsily put of him, that’s more than enough for my point.

          • Tylikcat

            I’m good with that.

            And once again I realize that the only time I *actually* want a drink is when I have a cold. Bah.

          • Lysiuj

            Again, and I said this earlier – if it’s just your feelings, period, and the only outcome is something negative, then no, it probably wouldn’t be a good thing to tell her just to get it off your chest. Keep it to yourself and deal with your emotions.
            If it starts affecting other things, other people, then maybe, MAYBE, it’s preferable to let her know. She might have a right to know why people are acting weird around her, etc.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            My God, how are you giving this a pass? It’s somehow suddenly okay to tell everybody everything when you’ve become so much of a screwup everybody enacts their legitimate right to know what’s going on? Just because you absolutely have to because it’s gotten so terrible doesn’t legitimize you passing up the responsibilities that belong *only* to you to people a little more mature than you are. You still get scold! SCOLD!

          • Lysiuj

            Look I honestly don’t know what you want here, but by this point it feels like you don’t really want to have a conversation.
            Why do I feel like this? Because you keep taking every thing I say and twisting it into some extreme scenario, so you can mock and reject it out of hand.
            Like, I talked about confessing something because you think the other person deserves/needs to know, and how maybe sometimes that’s a good idea. But I guess it’s too hard to give me a straight answer what you think, it’s easier to act like he only feels entitled to her, or is trying to pass on responsibility, or is fixing his screw up. Luckily you know for a scientific fact that any man who ever confesses something to a woman is trying to be manipulative.
            Just forget it.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Look, you tried to convince me that some situation may sometimes in some circumstances lead to a point where making your love problems that of the other person is the good thing to do. I’m going to keep for myself my reservations that “thinking they needs/deserves to know” is never ever a good idea, but fine. You got it. Sometimes it is the right thing to do. It can happen. Okay.
            Also #NotAllMen while we’re saying these things.

          • Lysiuj

            Thank you.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            You really really need to question yourself on where this reflexive attitude of yours comes from and how to work on it, where any time someone mention the existence of sexism you’re instantly on the defensive trying to look for way to avoid confronting it.

          • Lysiuj

            Charming. Maybe all my posts confronting sexism were the ones that made you think I don’t want to confront sexism? Oh, the one downpage where I call the friendzone bullshit was a real puzzler!
            Anyway, if you repeatedly respond to peoples’s statements with strawmen then it’s not the other person who has a problem with a reflexive attitude of not confronting the issue.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Oh my God you went from #NotAllSituations to #NotAllMyComments

            This is amazing

          • Laurelinde

            I’m not sure why I’m jumping in here but yeah, for me at least, if I’m working on a principle of doing most good and least harm there isn’t going to be one absolute ‘rule’ for how to go about informing people, or not informing people of things. Because…people react to things in different ways, the information can have different importance, different context, different…I dunno, layers of connection to other things? Hell, the outcome people get from news can change dramatically just based on when they hear it, like if you’re in a good mood/emotional place or you’re in the middle of the worst day of your life. I’d feel uncomfortable saying it’s *always* dodgy because sometimes…it isn’t, it doesn’t turn out that way.

            Can a man expressing feelings to a woman be manipulative? Yes, absolutely, and I agree that there are aspects of our socio-cultural system that can exacerbate this. But I don’t feel like it always is, 100% of the time.

            But I’m neither a philosopher nor a polemicist nor even a very clever person, so what do I know. :S

          • SJ

            Yeah, that’s part of the problem. That’s entitlement. That’s living’n’feeling by the credo that your issues are everybody’s issues equally and everybody gets *deserves* to know and care no matter how unwarranted and intrusive it is.
            Bonus point in your case: you even delude yourself into feeling like sharing was the responsible thing to do!

            “That was so unfair! You know how unfair that was!”
            “What? It’s unfair that I’m in love with you?”
            “No, it’s unfortunate that you’re in love with me! It’s unfair that you felt the fucking need to unburden your soul about it!”

          • Cokely

            There is rich irony in this post.

          • Weatherheight

            To be fair – this is the very beginning of the conversation. I agree that the way it’s going now is manipulative, but this may be the very awkward beginning from a person who has shown a certain awkwardness in going forward with someone to whom he is attracted.

            As a person who struggles mightily with trying to find the balance Clevin is trying to find here, I have more than a few times began by saying the wrong thing. And had less understanding women than Alison drop on me like a ton of bricks because my communication style wasn’t in synch with theirs and we couldn’t find a common language. And over the course of the conversation, finally, finally managed to correctly convey where I was at in a way that was understandable and acceptable to those women.

            Relationships are hard.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Of course. And I’m not saying he’s a bad guy. Merely that he’s not saying the right things and considering the responses I got, this was not superfluous. Realizing you’re making the mistake is the first step toward improvement.

          • Weatherheight

            Amen to that.

          • SJ

            To be fair – this is the very beginning of the conversation…

            Well, that’s just great. [/sarcasm]

          • Weatherheight

            Heh. Yeah, I’m not looking forward to this all that much. I’ve been Clevin way too often and Alison more often than I’d like, so this is probably going to be poking at more than a few of my scars.

            What does not kill me makes me stronger… or at least writhing on the floor in barely endurable pain. 😀

          • JeffH

            To put a finer point on it, he said, “I have feelings for you and it’s causing problems with my ability to date someone else.” He’s been reaching out to Alison (granted, maybe not in the smoothest way), but he likely has to make a decision in the relatively near future, and Alison has not (in my opinion) given him much clarity.

            I don’t think she’s done anything wrong, but I don’t think he’s wrong to try to find out if she’s just not interested.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Would you agree that it’s kind of a jerk move in any case to add “oh and by the way this is urgent because it’s tearing my friends apart so hurry up” to a “will you go out with me?”
            It’s all I’m saying. He could have stopped there. What he added is undue pressure on her shoulders.

        • Markus

          Alright, time to pack it in, we’ve officially reached peak stupid. You’re actually arguing that the best foundational move in a relatively new friendship is to establish a history of lying about your feelings here.

          Saying something like “Hey, I like you. I like other people too cause I have a wide circle of friends and liking people is fun and easy. I’m gonna do my best not to make it weird, but I wanted to let you know and apologize for any weirdness I’ve already done” is the adult thing to do. Lying to someone through omission repeatedly throughout the course of your friendship because you don’t trust them to not think less of you for something you literally can’t control is pathological.

          • M. Alan Thomas II

            Thrusting information on someone that they may not want or need to know is not necessarily good. Omitting something isn’t a lie if there’s no need to know it. And some ethicists would argue that even outright lies in circumstances where they can’t hurt anyone but might help the listener are permissible (standard example: telling a dying person that their sacrifice achieved its goal).

            Assuming that your own personal feelings and their expression are more important than the effect that expressing them will have on anyone else—which may very well be something that they can’t control either—is arguably selfish. The effects that your actions have on other people matters in most ethical systems.

          • Julio Lopez

            This is absurd. Klevin has a responsibility to himself to be honest about his feelings, now if he gets “friendzoned” and can’t cope, this would be worthy of critique. But if we bash away a hand every time it is reached out to us because it may be akward then what are we?

          • M. Alan Thomas II

            I think he has a responsibility to himself to be honest about his feelings to himself. But that responsibility isn’t necessarily to anyone else; for example, you’re not lying by not giving me your full life story so I can judge the personal context of your argument, nor am I lying by not giving you mine. Any utility to the other person is just not sufficient to outweigh the privacy of the speaker. More generally, there are times when it’s polite to withhold your feelings out of deference to someone else’s’ you wouldn’t demand that he hit on her at a funeral, would you?

            Consider a longer hypothetical:

            Person A is happily married in a non-polyamorous, non-open relationship. Person B finds themselves very attracted to Person A but knows that the only things that can come of confessing their feelings are (1) rejection or (2) violating the rules of the other person’s relationship. Additionally, there are reasonable social taboos involved when one person is already in a non-open relationship. Moreover, Person A and Person B are coworkers or involved in an ongoing group social activity. If Person A is not already interested in Person B, confessing to Person A is highly unlikely to change that outcome but might result in a certain amount of discomfort as an unavoidable emotional reaction and thus negatively impact the workplace or cause drama within the social group, both of which are predictably probable, negative outcomes.

            I think that I have illustrated sufficient circumstances where there are factors that weigh more heavily than an obligation to announce information about yourself. We can argue about whether or not this is one of them, of course, but I reject the contention that there’s an obligation to go around announcing your feelings to other people.

            Beyond all that, of course, is the point of ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 that strategically timing “being honest” and doing so in the right way can be hugely emotionally manipulative, although Clevin doesn’t seem like the type.

          • Ellis Jones

            Strategically timed unexpected visit at work that he was clearly reluctant to initiate?

          • M. Alan Thomas II

            (1) I don’t think every aspect of the encounter has to be a setup in order to exploit an opening when one appears.

            (2) I stated in that same sentence that Clevin doesn’t seem the type, and ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 has made a distinction between doing it accidentally (“obliviously”) and deliberately, so neither of us is necessarily arguing that Clevin’s being deliberately manipulative. Nor would that disrupt any of the rest of my points about whether confession is the best policy in the abstract.

          • Ellis Jones

            Fair enough. Though my saying one specific point doesn’t make sense doesn’t mean you need to try and convince me of your point in general.

          • M. Alan Thomas II

            Sorry. I’d spent a bunch of time right before that writing a reply to an argument about the general point, so my head was still in that space.

          • Markus

            That would all be well and good if I were making an ethical claim. What I’m saying here is that any action that assumes a person would make worse decisions with better information is fundamentally distrusting that person.

            What I’m saying is the statement “Klevin should never tell Al how he feels” is equivalent to the statement “Klevin shouldn’t trust Alison to be better off with more information.”

          • M. Alan Thomas II

            If you think you’re not making an ethical claim, then we differ in our understanding of the domain of ethics (“concepts of right and wrong conduct”).

            To address your argument as you have now restated it:

            It’s entirely possible that someone will be worse off with more information, and I say that as an information scientist. The information could be irrelevant, misleading, biased, or a variety of other things. For example, it is possibly entirely irrelevant to Al’s decision-making and feelings towards Clevin whether or not he has a crush on her. Quite frankly, a lot of people aren’t going to find their feelings positively swayed by a romantic confession. Bringing it up could, in those circumstances, be uncomfortable for Al without any potential upside. I’m arguing that it’s not unreasonable to weigh whether or not you are putting someone else in an uncomfortable position.

            Furthermore, the point presented by ∫Clémens×ds 🐙, which you called “peak stupid” by reference to this argument, is that deliberately putting someone else in an uncomfortable position is a bad thing, especially if it’s being done with a view towards manipulating their emotions to achieve a favorable result for yourself. Yes, that does on some level assume that someone with more information will make a less rational decision, but the entire point of manipulating someone’s emotions is that it can make them make decisions that are more emotional than rational. Most people are not robots and thus are susceptible to this. Considering their emotional decision-making is a reasonable request and a necessary one when dealing with most of humanity.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            So how about you read the rest of my comment about how my *actual* problem is in the way he’s making her responsible for his relationship concerns and totally not him confessing and then you come back

        • Tylikcat

          There is a certain narrative symmetry in turns of them both walking in on each other’s dates.

          Alison is still holding the trump card* of awkwardness? “Oh, so that guy you saw me with? Um, so yeah, funny story about that…”

          * Are we going to have to retire that phrase?

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            (Please let’s)
            But he did invite her to go to the fundraising party with him, so what gives? He didn’t know his girl-friend was going to be there until she was?

            And that’s the kind of narrative symmetry that more often than not leads to both getting together (and the two others too for a clear conscience, so maybe Max will find eternal love and happiness with Clevin’s current love interest)
            I’d be a little more okay with the trope I railed against last time if both follow a narrative where they were mismatched and then found each other. But give that girl a name, please.

          • Tylikcat

            Oh, if we’re going for *that* kind of symmetry, Clevin’s love interest has to be an underpowered version of Alison’s kryptonite.

            I dunno. This sounds like real-life sort of awkward situation navigation. There’s a public event with lots of people. Here’s a person I’m fond of I can encourage to come to the event. …where’s there’s also a friend who I’m not currently on a date with who I’m thinking is more of a friend but who is a bit weird about this other person because they know I’m a bit crushed out on them.

            Al might not have come. Al might not have come over, or come over in that way / at that time. Hell – even though she did, and it was a bit weird, it might also have been useful in terms of advancing the “I like you as a friend but not a girlfriend” narrative. Who the hell knows?

            (Then again, I’ve mostly not been in monogamous relationships, and a lot of those conventions seem vaguely ridiculous.)

          • Weatherheight

            I suspect that the phrase is going to gain some additional meaning and layers and very soon indeed.

        • Danygalw

          …because it’s true, and it’s better to say it now than lie for the rest of however long even if you didn’t manage to say it earlier when you should have?

          I mean, I’m aromantic and no one has ever expressed that kind of interest in me so I’ve never actually been on either end of this conversation and everything I’m saying is theoretical. But. I’d rather know? And sooner rather than later?

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Read the rest of my comments. It’s not about the confession. (Which really a lot of people make a great deal about for Honesty reasons but whatever)

          • Danygalw

            “I have feelings for you and it’s causing problems with my friends” is… not what I took from that & not what I’d expect Allison to either, so whatever.
            wait no: not what I’d expect Allison to either, unless she’s feeling guilty about all problems in her vicinity, which I guess she is, but that’s her problem, so whatever.
            One friend feels weird, who Clevin… doesn’t exactly see eye-to-eye with… for her own reasons? Yeah nah that just reads as a segue.

          • Danygalw

            also gah, *tell me*, don’t lie to me if you felt that way about me *tell me*, I’d rather know than not and—

            Yeah, I’m sitting here with all this hypothetical deciding that it would be worth giving up an indeterminate period of indeterminate quality friendship for the sake of not being around someone who was romantically attracted to me. (Wow, how did I ever think I could be allo?) I’m feeling some pretty intense undeserved hostility towards you right now for advocating against my right to *know* and discretely avoid said person for however long I felt necessary.

  • ALIBOT.THE.MURDEROUS.LESBORG

    PINKNESS LEVELS: 96 PERCENT
    STILL NOT PINK ENOUGH

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      Thank God ALIBOT was distracted by the movie during this romance nonsense.

      • Nathanaël François

        At first I thought that was about blushing (and not about the color of the screen), and I was like “wait, Al isn’t blushing that much! WHY ISN’T SHE BLUSHING! I DEMAND BLUSH!

        • Weatherheight

          Of course, now I’m wondering what’s happening in that exact moment of the movie that requires a psychedelic pink paisley explosion onscreen as being more or less essential to the plot (Ralph Bakshi, wherefore art thou?)

          The questions, they keep on comin…

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Clevin, fully distracted by the presence of his levitating crush, hit his elbow against the machine and mistakenly put on the next movie, which happens to be some hardcore lesbian orgy action flick.
            Oh he’s noticed, but Alison hasn’t turned her head back to the screen yet. She attributes the moaning to Zulie’s pet seal. [Superego’s note: I am so going to hell] To prevent the awkwardness, Clevin creates some awkwardness of his own and suddenly his behavior is okay by all accounts. Canonical victory!

        • Urthman

          Clevin purposely waited for the pinkest scene in the movie so Alison wouldn’t be able to tell whether or not he’s blushing.

    • Lostman

      What happen if you hit 100?

      • ALIBOT.THE.MURDEROUS.LESBORG

        IN ROBOT SLANG NUCLEAR OBLITERATION AND ORGASM ARE SYNONYMS

        • Lostman

          Oh! that not good…

  • conan

    I think I just want to throw my hands in the air regarding this arc. Al acting OOC to drive home some dumb point about tyranny, Max being a complete strawman on an unexpected TWO fronts, as well as the ***pull about his superpower, plus said superpower being such a specific deus ex machina. (As cute as having reformed!Feral back is, it’s still bad writing.) And now it looks like chances are high Al is gonna be paired off with this guy for completely stereotypical reasons without any sort of reasonable arc to describe their relationship. Whoo.

    • Philip Bourque

      My disbelief was suspended to it’s limits, but snapped at the conclusion of Feral’s recovery. Now I simply can’t take the comic seriously anymore. Pity.

  • Sendaz

    How weird would it be if Clevin’s possible GF in the wings was also Violet, just to add to the discomfort level?

    • Who’s Violet again?

      • bta

        That sorta obnoxious girl that used to be Allison’s roommate, I think?

    • Insanenoodlyguy

      Oh god I hope not.

    • Tylikcat

      It seems unlikely, since the conversation implies she was present?

      • Sendaz

        Why would Violet not have been at the fundraising party?
        She is still going to school there so it is still possible she would have been there.
        If the next objection was Clevin wouldn’t go out with someone who got Alison bumped from her dorm room, that assumes that particular bit of drama was known to anyone outside the dorm room.
        I grant it is unlikely, but not impossible.

        • SJ

          It’s as close to “impossible” as makes no odds, never mind suspending disbelief. If Violet had been present in the group of friends that Clevin was with when they encountered Alison, there is roughly a zero percent chance that Alison and Violet wouldn’t have recognized each other.

          • Sendaz

            Except we didn’t get to see Clevin with his group of friends at the fundraiser. We got to see the main room they were performing in along with a shot of the band.
            http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-6/page-77-3/

            The next page we see Alison walk up to him after they finish playing where he was talking with his two bandmates who go on to give him some room.
            http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-6/page-78-3/

            Now if you are arguing that the two bandmates are his sole group of friends, then yes Violet was not one of those two. Otherwise the whole defense of she couldn’t have been there sort of falls flat. This is when the movie card was given and he was now apologizing if it seemed like he was brushing her off to get off to his friends who are still unseen at this point.
            I can understand why nobody would want to see Clevin with Violet, he certainly deserves better and again it is unlikely, but not impossible odds or even close to it.

          • SJ

            Whatever, man. Is it possible that it’s Violet? Yes, it is “possible” that it’s Violet, for differing values of “possible.” From my point of view, it strains credulity to believe that it’s Violet, so I stand by my statement.

            OTOH, I also feel like this series has been hemorrhaging credibility for months now, so who the hell knows?

          • Sendaz

            That’s cool… I doubt it too. Clev seems smarter than that, but crushes are a funny critter and there is that certain draw like that of a trainwreck that such a combo would doubtless cause.
            As for the cred thing, well all things have ups and downs, just have to be patient for now.

        • Tylikcat

          Oh, I mean present in the small group of Clevin’s friends, where Alison would have seen her. I just think it would have been super obvious.

  • zellgato

    Well. I don’t think she really fully realized haha.
    but most of all………..
    Your not gonna be watching that movie much

  • Lucy

    Oh c’friggin’ COME ON. Seriously? Just…

    Men and women CAN be just friends, they really can. They do have deep, emotionally intimate, trustworthy, sincere friendships, I promise. I mean, you wouldn’t know it from, er, literally any action girl franchise, wherein every single guy falls for the female lead, always, no exceptions. but it does happen.

    ughhhhh. I realize this kind of thing probably annoys me moreso than it annoys most people (and, clearly, many people want this ship to sail, and I have nothing against y’all) it just gets really, mm, repetitive I guess?

    I dunno. I’m not sure why it bothers me so much. It just does. Maybe it comes from definitely *not* being the girl all the guys fell for, and, therefore, not the protagonist in my own mind? Maybe it comes from under-valuing and ultimately messing up great friendships with dudes who just weren’t into me, by wanting something from them that they couldn’t give rather than appreciating what I already had? Maybe, on the flip side, it makes the romantic-orientation of guys so ubiquitous that is makes expecting platonic friendship seem unreasonable for ladies?

    🙁 Probably am unreasonably disappointed by this turn.

    OTOH, Give Progress seem excellent, so thank you for promoting it! And overall, I really do love this comic; Molly and Brennan are doing a great job. I hope everyone has a good holiday. I myself just have to get through finals and then I’ll be good to go.

    • Eternal

      I get what you mean, and I agree in the general case, but here *his* feelings were quite obvious from the first time we saw him.

      What would surprise me is if she reciprocates those feelings. From what we have seen he does not seem to be her kind of guy, so there would normally be no chance of that happening (except for bad writing). That being said, I’m not so sure right now: she has already expressed her choice for “something uncomplicated” when she chose to date Max, and if you add in the fact that she’s emotionally vulnerable right now, this might just happen.

      • Lucy

        Yeah, I guess. I just thought, like, he seemed to have a crush on her but then it faded (in the party scene), so they could be non-romantic friends.

        I mean, she could reciprocate or not; I don’t think either choice would be necessarily ooc.

        It’s just…there is so much emphasis on romance and prioritizing of romantic relationships…basically everywhere. In every story.

        Like, Feral is finally re-introduced as a character and I get all excited because, hey, now they can develop a closer friendship; how will Feral handle it if she ever finds out the truth? Or how will Alison avoid telling her, or will she decide to be honest? Will they bond more closely because of shared pain, do they have shared interests, will Feral feel awkwardly indebted to Alison?

        Ah, but no. No, Feral is pretty quickly whisked offscreen so we can enjoy yet another romantic subplot scene.

        Gah. I promise I’m not trying to rain on people’s parade; Clevin is cute and nice and all. Just. Alison needs a friend, and readers need more good stories about complex friendships.

        • Eternal

          Well, there’s Pintsize, for a start 🙂

        • Otakusensei

          This is a story about complex friendships. Ali has quite a few already.

        • Arizona Hurn

          Also, I think it’s unfair to be upset about Feral’s romantic subplot when you got a HUGE plot with her already and because it’s a queer relationship. It’s not excessive, it’s nice.

          • Random832

            I think you’re reading that wrong – the complaint isn’t about Feral’s romantic subplot, it’s that Feral disappeared after only a few pages so that we could get back to Alison’s romantic subplot.

        • BrandySandy4Life

          I like a lot of your criticisms. While I’m not sure I share all of them, they’re very interesting, and they make lots of sense to me (especially about Feral).

          But I think this could be an opportunity for the story to explore a complex friendship. It might not go that way, but it might. But just because Clevin has expressed his feelings doesn’t mean that it can’t be a story of a complicated friendship. I’d honestly love for her to turn him down softly and for them to work through that. I think that’d be an awesome exploration of friendship.

          We’ll have to wait and see. And if not Clevin, hopefully there is some interesting friends for Allison on the horizon.

      • masterofbones

        yeah, he seems mentally healthy. Definitely not the kind of guy alison is interested in.

    • Markus

      I mean we’ve already seen Al’s friends who haven’t fallen for her. Pintsize, Sonar, and Menace were all friends with no romantic interest in her, although Menace definitely put airquotes around ‘friends’ and was definitely stringing her along a least a moderate amount.

      Like, I feel like we’re mentally retconning her relationship with other male characters because people don’t like the clicheness of the “two romantic prospects that contrast each other and are easy to moralize against one another” trope.

      Also, let’s not forget that it’s entirely possible that Klevin closes this with something like “Yeah, I kinda got that you either didn’t know or weren’t interested. I’m not gonna make things weird, but it seemed like it’d be kinda a schmuck move to not at least tell you so you knew why I was being weird before. If you wanna hang out with my friends and me sometime we play board games on Tuesdays.”

      It’d be kinda a non-ending, but honestly I feel like stories with romantic scenes are really stupidly obsessed with endings.

      • M. Alan Thomas II

        Markus, you forgot Cleaver and John the fire chief (she’s probably too young for him, but he’s definitely a male friend/mentor), plus at least two bi/lesbian female friends who haven’t been obviously into her, plus more peripheral male characters who are at least friendly acquaintances but haven’t shown any interest in being more (e.g., Rich Diaz, Johnny Temple). The percentage of people who had a crush on her, however brief, out of those who could have is reasonably low.

        And, yes, Lucy, most stories have a romantic angle, especially if they’re nominally not dramas. Action is frequently leavened with drama and tragedy with comedy. A romantic comedy in a dark, action series can realistically occur in the time reserved to the B- or C-plot (see: every real-life battlefield romance ever) while creating all of the necessary counterpoints to the A-plot. Also, romance is a common thing to happen to young people; I find this selection of options over time far more realistic than, say, the premise of “I’ve Got Beginner’s Luck” from An American in Paris.

    • Lysiuj

      Just want to add, that it really feels more like it’s not going to go that way. Like, “let’s put it all on the table, I like you, you don’t like me back, so let’s just stay friends and put the awkwardness behind us.”

    • There is a LOT more truth in the trope than you realize. And part of the way I know that is that I am a guy, and I know how I am, I know how other guys are as well (from talking to them, not just from my own experience), and I know how oblivious women are about what it is like from the guy’s point of view.

      At least this much: if a guy’s best friend is a woman, there’s a >95% chance he’s in love with her. And I assure you this can easily be the case for over 10 years, the situation can be pretty much obvious to the guy himself and to everyone around, and she can be totally, 100% oblivious, completely, truly, honestly, convinced that they’re “just friends.”

    • Incendax

      An enormous number of great friendships happen AFTER one side is romantically interested in the other and is told “No”. After some time to heal from the rejection of course.

    • Arkone Axon

      I do have a purely personal question for you, Lucy. Please don’t feel offended, and you don’t have to answer it here if you don’t want to.

      The guys that didn’t fall for you… did you ever approach any of them? They never told you that they had feelings for you, but did you ever tell them that you had feelings for them?

    • Ellis Jones

      I’m not feeling that here. Whilst I agree that romance isn’t something that necessarily belongs in a plot unless it serves it in a way that a different relationship couldn’t (what you’re saying is actually a pretty massive complaint of mine for many narratives, for similar reasons to yours), this *is* what amounts to a biographical comic of Alison. Romance happens, and it does serve Alison’s character development (being exposed to how society works for ordinary people), and is fitting with the theme of the comic, that this occur. It’s also less cliche that it is Clevin, and not a pre-existing character, who fills this particular trope.

      Alison has other guy friends- what about the rest of the old superhero team? Cleaver? The teleporting English guy?

      Biologically, people become naturally attracted to other people they find suitable for mating with. That often happens to be physically attractive friends. People have different subconscious priorities for suitable partners, or are exposed to different information about similar people. It makes sense that even when two people have similar priorities, their desires may not match up. It happens all the time, and it does undermine the friendship if it isn’t resolved in some way. If nothing else, it certainly prevents the infatuated party from seeking more compatible partners.

  • Manuel Simone

    It’s easy to see that Clevin REALLY LIKES Alison and he even makes her aware of his feelings. Now, the question is, will he be ok with her friendzoning him or he’ll be pissed once he’ll find that she doesn’t like him as he wants and maybe even reject her friendship? I’m very curious how their relationship will evolve.

    • I would be disappointed in him if he doesn’t accept it.

    • bta

      Obviously it will be revealed he has powers too and he will become her new nemesis.

      • bryan rasmussen

        Clevin’s power is being in everyone he meets’ friendzone, Max will augment his power so that he is in the friendzone of everyone in the world.

        Everyone in the world will pause randomly during the day to think, aw Clevin is such a good guy, too bad I’m just not into him that way.

        • Eric Schissel

          Well, that actually -would- be quite a power, to be able to be a _friend_ to more than a few people, and vice versa! (If you think about what friend means and how rare a friend is, you’ll realize why “friendzone” as used is such a stupid term, but… eh!)

          • Khlovia

            I was thinking, best superpower ever ! Send him on a world tour for peace!

        • Lysiuj

          I can be friends with everyone in the world? Wow, that sounds awesome!
          (#thefriendzoneisbullshit)

        • Eric Schissel

          Otherwise said, if someone offers to be a friend and _really means it_ (and is not just putting you off), accept without hesitation and be honored…

        • Oren Leifer

          Sounds like a really Nice Guy (Worm-type, not jerk type). But yes, being someone that everyone thinks is a good guy, just not someone you’re interested in could be a fascinating and possibly horrifying power. No matter what they do, they’re your friend. No matter how recently you met them, they’re your friend. No matter how hard Clevin tries to form romantic or non-romantic close connections with people, they’re still just casual friends. That would be terrifying for all involved.

          • Weatherheight

            To up the level of horror, add into the power description the effect that, once you’ve moved past the initial “hot and bothered” stage and in fact have noticed some very good reasons not to get involved with that person and the attraction just isn’t there anymore…

            then the other person gets interested.

  • bta

    ‘Oh, come on! You’re deadly afraid of me too?”

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      “What? No. I despise you. A hatred so thick it’s tangible, I feel it burrowing and boiling. I can barely stand this close to you without reflexive vomiting. Did you think…? Oh my, this is embarrassing.”

  • “Because she, like a lot of my friends, {and unlike YOU} knows how I feel about you…”

  • scarvesandcelery

    Y’know, much as I hate guys pulling the “she totally friendzoned me” narrative when they get rejected by a girl (as if someone wanting to be friends with you is a bad thing), I don’t think that’s what Clevin’s doing here. I might get proved wrong in the next page, but right now, it just seems like he’s being honest about the fact that he likes her, without wanting to push any expectations or obligations on her (I’m kind of expecting him to say something to that effect in the next page). Getting angry about someone you like “friendzoning” you (note the scare quotes, it’s not actually a malicious thing people do deliberately, which is sort of what the word’s common usage implies) is not cool. But it’s also unhealthy to just sit on your feelings for someone without telling them, both for you and for any potential platonic interactions you can have with that person. Between these two things is just being honest about your feelings without placing any expectations on other people, which is usually a reasonable and healthy thing to do.

    • bta

      >without wanting to push any expectations or obligations on her
      Well that’s kind of the problem, sometimes you do just that even without wanting to.

      Though in his defense, he can’t possibly know how Allison is feeling at the moment. But that’s another thing: You can never “just” speak your mind, the other side of the conversation have their own perspective on things and their own problems. That new information can put them on the spot and make them feel pressured.

      • Markus

        By that logic, though, you can’t say or do anything, because any action of yours runs the risk of putting unfair pressure on another person.

        Like, we have to give points for good faith here. He’s not trying to twist her arm about anything here. If anything, he’s going out of his way to diffuse the situation as much as he can.

        • ampg

          I was on the receiving end of one of these conversations in college, and it did clear the air a bit, honestly. In my case, it was over email, which was easier. But I do think it’s possible to end in a good place.

        • Rumble in the Tumble

          >He’s not trying to twist her arm about anything here
          Ayyyyyy

      • Weatherheight

        As Markus said…

        And where do you draw the line between honesty (which is generally a better way to go in interpersonal relationships) and not trying to be a controlling jerkwad (which is altogether too common)? Even if it isn’t going to happen, how do you know it isn’t going to happen unless you put it out there?

        Tough questions – relationships are hard.

      • Alex Hollins

        and so, he’s finally comfortable telling her,,, when shes flying, on the other side of a wall from him, cant see him, and can escape in moments if she’s uncomfortable.

        Clevin just earned a shit ton of points with me. Well done dude.

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      But it’s also unhealthy to just sit on your feelings for someone without telling them, both for you and for any potential platonic interactions you can have with that person

      No it’s not! It’s a myth! Punching a pillow to expiate your held down anger only makes you more angry. Taking about your problems makes them seem more like problems to you while getting busy being concerned with something else is the “healthy way”.
      And I’m not saying sharing your issues when in trouble is always a bad thing, but on the list of people who could help him deal with his feelings are in order:
      – An unrelated, uninvolved friend able to speak impartially and give sound advice he most likely already knows but needs to hear from someone else (“she’s just not into you. How about this other girl? She likes you.”)
      – A psychiatrist if the issue is really affecting him to worrying degrees (who would tell him the exact same thing about focusing on that other girl)
      – Literally every other human on the planet
      – Alison

      • Philip Bourque

        Is it really a myth if there are anecdotes (personal experience, in my case) that support it?

        • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

          Anecdotal evidence doesn’t get the best rap, no.

          • Philip Bourque

            Again I wonder what your background in psychology and psychiatry is that you can make these statements. I’m sure you think you know what you’re talking about, but do you have the education to back it up? I’ve taken one class in psychology, so I can’t even pretend to be knowledgeable about this.

          • Seer of Trope

            You’re not required to have an academic background in psychology and psychiatry to give a meaningful perspective and advice as long as you’re not explicitly claiming objectivity. In implying objectivity, they’re merely inferring that that’s what they believe to be true.

          • Philip Bourque

            Perhaps not, but clemens makes these assertions and I can’t help but be very sceptical.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            @disqus_YkBLAy5x4P:disqus made an assumption too, that I challenged. Why question my own but not his?

          • Philip Bourque

            Because yours stood out to me, while his didn’t make an impression.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            I suspect neither of us is a psychology expert, though.
            It’s not a criticism or me being smug but don’t undervalue the importance of questioning the assumptions you’ve readily accepted your whole life.

          • Tylikcat

            Ye gods, I just decided, on a lark, to cruise through the literature…

            …and mostly reminded myself of just why I hate the psychology literature so much. I wish it were easier to separate out the bits that involve actual experimental evidence as opposed to people just talking about shit. Aaaah.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            You’ve got the full scope of my compassion. I’m into a lot of nonfiction science books and so damn much of it is freaking rotten with spiritualist mumbo-jumbo about information being sentient or the observer effect meaning we can control the universe with our mind and such and so on. Raaaah

          • Tylikcat

            Maybe stick to popular books by scientists writing about their own fields who agent widely panned by other members of the field? Eric Kandel, is solid, say.

          • Tylikcat

            Eh, as it happens, I do seem to recall reading (in a review article describing a psychological study) that doing things like hitting a pillow or other controlled violent things doesn’t release one’s feelings as was ones postulated as much as increase them.

            I’m not a psychologist. I am a neurobiologist (among other things) but I do read outside my field rather a lot. But this was just one of those things that drifted past my notice. I didn’t go out of my way to evaluate the sources, and I’m certainly not going to bother to track down the reference. Y’all have access to google scholar, use it. (If you really need institutional access, I might help you there.)

          • Seer of Trope

            Probably because it’s quite possible that there is a contradictory anecdotal evidence.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Well that’s my point yes

        • Cokely

          There are a number of studies which indicate that engaging in aggressive behavior following a “cathartic” exercise like pillow punching only increases the level of the aggressive behavior. Here is a summary of some of them with links to more in-depth examinations of the same: https://youarenotsosmart.com/2010/08/11/catharsis/

          As for anecdotes: Congratulations, you are a statistical outlier! Truth is not binary.

          • Philip Bourque

            Always said I was weird. Now I have scientific evidence to support that.

      • Here’s a Name

        I think scarvesandcelery was saying that it’s unhealthy not to tell someone you like that you like them. It’s not the same as gratifying anger or other emotions, it’s being honest with a person you’re trying to maintain friendship with. If you like someone, and you have not told them and there’s a chance that they could like you back you’re probably going to hold onto those feelings, but if you like someone and give them the chance to reject you then you get to move on and be clear about where you stand with them. That seems like the healthiest option if you want to maintain friendship. Alternatively, I suppose you could stop being friends with everybody you’ve ever had a crush on, but that seems really sad to me.
        We don’t even know if Allison is into him or not. She does not have a crush, but maybe she’d like to go on a date. People like to go on dates.

        • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

          I get you, and I agree.
          What you’re talking about is someone having feelings for someone else and wanting to know if the other shares them, what I was more concerned with is the fact that… Clevin doesn’t really say he wants an answer from Alison. Going on a limb, maybe he doesn’t, maybe if she says “okay let’s date” next page he’ll say “well no not now with the other girl it’s, well, it would be really mean of me”.

          When you’re in this situation, that your feelings cause you grief and that you think sharing them with the person concerned will help solve the problem –not get with them but solve the particular problem of your feelings hurting you or other people– that I disagree with.

          • scarvesandcelery

            Okay, I can understand that perspective. I was reading this more as Clevin putting his feelings out there so that Alison can either reject him or give him a chance – but if the situation you outline pans out, then I’d agree, that would be unfair of him.

    • Elaine Lee

      It’s fine to share your feelings, as long as you don’t expect the other person to act on them. But lots of times, people are just shy, or not good at reading signals, or not good at sending signals. Clevin just wants to know if he’s got a shot. Now it’s up to Alison to say whether she wants that or not. Much better than continuing the dodge, weave and miss thing they’ve had going on!

    • Alex Hollins

      But it’s also unhealthy to just sit on your feelings for someone without telling them, both for you and for any potential platonic interactions you can have with that person

      I’ve lost too many friendships to that line of thinking. I became VERY careful when choosing if I could tell someone I was developing feelings for them, or not. Unless i had what I considered a very definite sign that my feelings were returned, I kept my mouth SHUT. unhealthy? Maybe. Worth it to not lose a friend.

      • scarvesandcelery

        Fair point. I do think there are times where it’s inappropriate and not worth telling a friend who’s just not into you that you like them. Sometimes it is better and healthier just to move on without telling a person that you have feelings for them. I think what I was trying to say in my original comment is that I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with this specific instance of Clevin telling Alison he has feelings for her: he doesn’t seem as passive aggressive as some people in the comments section are making out. Being honest about one’s feelings is often a good thing, if difficult.

      • scarvesandcelery

        I’d also point out that I’ve had plenty of occasions where I’ve decided that I don’t need to tell someone that I like them,and have instead just moved on, because they’ve had their own stuff to deal with, and in said instance, I would have been imposing unreasonably by telling them my feelings to no useful end.

      • bta

        “You never tell a girl you like her, it makes you look like an idiot.”

  • Walter

    D’awwww!

    Go for it, Alison.

  • Walter

    Alison, remember that check you ripped up? Here is a person who worked for hours to raise a few hundred dollars. Just saying. You could do a lot of good with a little tape. Nobody needs to get kidnapped and tortured.

    • Axel_Celosar

      It’s not about the money, it’s about where it came from.

      • Walter

        That’s the kind of thing that people with money say.

        • Axel_Celosar

          Im sure as hell not rich dude and I wouldn’t accept a buttload of money if I knew it came from exploiting people or even from murder.

          • Walter

            Alright.

            I know a dude who makes a living reminding panhandlers to get out of the gas station parking lot before they start begging again, because otherwise the cops will get called. The beggars lady friends pay him a pittance to do this, because if their guys get picked up it is a huge hassle for them. He had two decent meals during the week of our acquaintance, and both times I was the one who bought him the food.

            If you had the choice of giving him a few thousand dollars or leaving it with Menace, which would you choose? He is one of a legion of sufferers. Should they all live anguished lives of misery rather than take comfort from money that you disapprove of the source of?

          • Stephanie

            To expand on this, there is even at least one organization whose entire method of achieving good is to deliver straight-up cash transfers to some of the world’s poorest people. They have taken great care in choosing the parameters for eligibility to receive transfers, and also in monitoring the outcome of their transfers to verify that they accomplish significant long-term good with minimal harmful side effects. So it wouldn’t even be difficult to immediately turn even “tainted” money into something positive–an apparatus already exists to facilitate that exact thing in the most straightforward way possible.

            I can understand Alison’s desire to avoid tying herself and Valkyrie to Patrick–I wouldn’t trust him or anything he gave me as far as a baseline human could throw him–but if the money had been genuinely no-strings-attached I don’t think I could forgive her for turning it down.

          • Stephanie

            Would you accept it in order to immediately give it away? You may have the luxury of turning down money on principle and being basically fine afterwards, but there are many people for whom that money would be the difference between life and death. Would you prioritize your desire to avoid “tainted” money over those people’s lives?

          • Michael Smith

            I would accept it and tarnish my good name, sure. And in doing so, I’d happily sacrifice any future chance I had to make major changes in this world. That would be fine. BUT I, as a regular person, will almost certainly never get the chance to make another huge change like that again, so it would be worth it. Makes sense for me. Alison has much bigger fish to fry.

          • Axel_Celosar

            Then tell the guy giving the money to you to give it to them directly, not make you a middle man.

          • Stephanie

            What if he says no? Also, why does it matter if you’re the middle man or not? It’s not like the evil money is going to leave evil stains on your hands as it passes through you and to its final recipients.

          • Axel_Celosar

            No, but it means you’re just as much taking advantage of said evil for yourself.

          • Stephanie

            How are you taking advantage of it for yourself if you use it solely to help other people who are desperately in need? I’m not talking about giving away most of it but keeping a little bit to pay your rent that month, I’m talking about using all of it altruistically.

    • Philip Bourque

      The major issue with cashing that particular check was that it would have tied her and Valkyrie to Patrick and his company. At the very least there would have been legal concerns in the future. My problem is that Alison wasn’t thinking about any of that when she ripped it up; she did it because she was pissed off at him.

      • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

        And as we all know, Alison wouldn’t like to compromise her principles

      • Walter

        It doesn’t though? Like, it is a check. Cash it, and the money is yours. Menace gets nothing. She threatened him, he paid up. Make a legal stink and the next mug goes through his head. The cops will just look the other way like they did for all the other illegal stuff she’s done.

        I tend to agree with your concerns about her mind state. Like, there is a consistent ethical framework for kidnapping Max and using Patrick’s money. There is a consistent ethics that yields respecting Max’s decision and declining Patrick’s money.

        The mixed case, what she did, doesn’t make any ethical sense no matter what your morals are. To a deontologist, why is kidnapping and torture ok? To a consequentialist, why are you starving all those people by leaving the money in Menace’s hands? It seems like she isn’t using ANY ethical framework, and is just navigating by her gut instinct, which is terrifying for someone as mighty as Alison.

        • Philip Bourque

          It’s a check with a name on it, it has a source. Banks keep records on every transaction, from whom, to whom, the amount and when the transaction was made. It would not be very difficult to get this information nor to figure out Patrick’s villainous identity (once a super-villain, always a super-villain) and use that information to blackmail Alison or throw it out to the public to destroy Valkyrie through mistrust.

          • Walter

            I feel like we are seeing this differently. Let me try to explain my pov.

            Like, Valkyrie is something she made up a week ago. It is a name. If protecting it is worth not giving 250 people a hundred thousand dollars each, then something is wrong. The good that she could realize with that money exponentially overwhelms anything that has been invested in Valkyrie so far.

            So she gives the money away, proceeds.

            First off, no one knows what’s up with Patrick/Menace, right? Like, he’d be under arrest if it was that easy to figure out who he is. If anyone DID figure it out, it seems like using this mighty secret to try and blackmail a podunk charity would be a bit of a waste. Like, fundamentally, you’d target Patrick, not Alison, for blackmail, yeah?

            Say you are right. Say someone shows up with blackmail in mind (I do think you are sort of presuming the ‘out Patrick as Menace’ difficulty. No one has done that yet. It might not be as easy as you think it is). Alison can pick an option:

            A: Shutter Valkyrie. In a week she did 25 million dollars of good. That was an excellent week. In a month or so most of the same people (maybe minus Alison? She doesn’t really do anything) get together and launch Seraphim, which looks suspiciously similar.
            B: Tell the blackmailer to do their worst. Let them release what they like. The public isn’t going to turn on Valkyrie because it is proven that they robbed a supervillain. Patrick goes to jail if he feels like it.
            C: Figure out who is behind it using Menace, Paladin, etc. Alison punts the blackmailer into the sun.

          • Philip Bourque

            First of all, Valkyrie is more than just a name; Alison has done paperwork for it and the cheque was made out to Valkyrie.
            Why target Alison? Because she is ‘inconvenient’, because she steps on authoritative toes, because she’s the protagonist. It wouldn’t take much for someone who hates and/or fears Alison to take such actions.

          • Walter

            Uh. I guess if you think Valkyrie is an entity worth forgoing 25 million dollars of charity to protect then fair enough. In my mind it is a catchy name and a few forms. I guess we disagree.

          • Michael Smith

            But SHE is Valkyrie. Everything she does or can do in the future would be stained forever. And if she wants to really make some differences, she can’t afford that.

          • Walter

            Wow. We disagree on several levels.

            I don’t think people are their corporations. It seems possible to me that a corp you found goes out of business and you are able to start up another. This seems doubly true for someone above the law.

            I also don’t think that taking Patrick’s money would even be in the top 3 most disgraceful things that might cause someone to reject Alison’s aid.

            It doesn’t seem like I’m going to convince you, though. If you respond to this, whatever you post can stand as the last word in our dispute.

          • Michael Smith

            Sure, I’ll take that last word: If having a simple private email server can cost Hillary the election, then Alison taking 25 mil from a known murdering super villain can obviously cost her all the public trust she’s earned and make her an object of hatred and suspicion.

          • phantomreader42

            It would not be very difficult to get this information nor to figure out Patrick’s villainous identity (once a super-villain, always a super-villain) and use that information to blackmail Alison or throw it out to the public to destroy Valkyrie through mistrust.

            I don’t think Patrick is widely known to be Menace. I get the impression his tracks have been covered reasonably well.
            But, Alison DOES know that Patrick is Menace, knows his history of underhanded and manipulative acts, and it would be reasonable from her perspective to assume that he’s either using the donation to manipulate her now, or is likely to do so in the future. And letting a manipulative man gain influence over a project intended to protect women from abuse does not sound like a very good idea.

        • Michael Smith

          I think I’d be a lot more frightened if her decisions were made so strictly inside any ethical framework. Those ideas/systems weren’t carved into a tablet and then brought down from a mountaintop. I’d argue human beings work best when they judge each situation individually, not by some ethical position they choose and then surrender all free will to. Being human means juggling and considering a lot of different shit and doing the best you can.
          And patrick could use the donation to discredit her, and maybe she’s not willing to murder him to prevent that, even if that would prevent it. Probably not. He could just, you know, keep a draft email or something. Tell a friend.

          • Walter

            Blackmail:

            I dunno man. If Alison is worried about being “discredited” by Patrick, couldn’t he do that in like a hundred ways? He is a mind reader. Plus, it seems like he has way more to hide than her. Being Menace and all.

            And how would that even work? Like, Patrick’s name is on the check. What’s dirty about that? He’s not publicly known to be a supervillain. Is he going to out himself as Menace in order to smirch her good name as someone whose charity he funds?

            Beyond that, I don’t think Alison cares about being discredited. She left Patrick alive after she assaulted him. She left Max alive after she kidnapped him and tortured him. She gave away the Go Pro with the footage of her telling Moonshadow that the reason you don’t murder rapists is what if you are wrong about whether they are guilty or not to a random couple. Like, Alison seems comfortable letting the world see the darkest side of her. What are they gonna do?

            About ethical system vs do whatever you feel like:

            It’s a matter of predictability. Cars can share an intersection with each other, because they all follow the rules. Well and good. You can also have an intersection where a train passes through. It obeys its own rules, but everyone knows what those are, and accommodates it. But if you had a train that just did donuts anytime it felt like it, no one could drive through that intersection without fear. What if the train went through your space?

            That metaphor may not have been the best. To make it explicit, Alison is stronger than society, and can do as she likes. That’s not the best, but it can be dealt with if Alison is willing to stipulate what “she likes” will be, going forward. Like, imagine Pogo Obsessed Alison, who demanded that everyone in her vicinity adopt hop on one foot. Dr. Doom, basically. But Latveria worked something out. Society would have to bend to deal with that, but it would be possible.

            Similarly, Ruthless Consequentialist Alison is something that you can deal with. Ten Commandments Alison is something you can deal with. But Gut Instinct Alison can’t be predicted or accommodated. She is not Dr. Doom. She is Godzilla. Society can’t deal with her at all.

          • Michael Smith

            You’re assuming she wants to be “dealt” with. Or that she owes that to others. I disagree.
            Are you saying it’s her responsibility to pick a consistent system of ethics so that society can handle/prepare for her? That doesn’t feel like something she’s interested in. She flat-out wants to change things. She’s said so many times. Because things kinda suck. She’s not into maintaining the status quo.
            Sure, if she decides to force everyone to hop on what on one foot or whatever, yeah, that’s bad. And if she randomly decides to murder and start organizing gang rapes or something, hey, that’s bad too. No argument. But it doesn’t feel any of that is really gonna happen. I don’t think you can argue making various choices depending on specific situations inevitably leads to all that.
            Why would anyone owe society a certain definitive consistency just so everybody else can be reassured nothing bad will ever happen? That sounds kind of…bad. She shouldn’t neuter herself so the status quo can breathe easy. Why would she do that? She wants to make some good changes. She wants to disrupt things, so why would she ever choose to be predictable? Why would you want her to be?

          • Walter

            I guess I was assuming that participating in civilization remained her goal, but in my defense I don’t think that is a huge stretch. Like, there is lots of evidence. Alison has been depicted, credibly and consistently, as interested in improving the culture that she lives in.

            The disdain you have for ‘others’ seems to me to be entirely counter to Alison’s ethics. Hurting people is never her primary goal. It has sometimes been instrumental, but she’d always prefer that it not be. She occasionally laments that there is a part of her which enjoys dispensing violence and pain, true. I am, as a reader, a fan of her reason, her conscious mind, rather than being a fan of this cruel impulse. For this reason, I root for Alison to successfully change society, which requires that it understand what she wants.

            I confess I’m getting close to an axiom when you ask me to explain why she should prefer cooperation to coercion. Like, bargains are better than orders is pretty much a belief that I believe humans generally share, but to justify it I have to start explaining how suffering is bad, and you could justifiably point out that I’m making that up arbitrarily. Ultimately, if you don’t accept that “society” is made of people, and hurting it/them is bad, then I think we are going to be unable to come to a conclusion about what is owed to society.

          • Michael Smith

            Dude, you are going waay off the deep end here, which is fine, but don’t bring me with you. Just because she’s not sacrificing all her decisions to a specific ethical framework that makes you comfortable does not mean she is not “participating in society.” Besides, she’s always maintained her goal is to save/help more people. Fix everything. If by participating in society, you think she must become a fair and balanced member of some paralyzing form of group consensus…well, that hasn’t ever been one of her goals.

            Also, just because I said the word “others” and stated that Alison (or anyone) doesn’t owe them total consistency does not imply disdain on my part. And sure, cooperation is preferable to coercion—hey, but not always! Sometimes you gotta twist a dude’s arm. This common sense does not require an axiom. We agree suffering is bad. I do not believe you are making that up arbitrarily. (Dunno even know where that one came from.) As far as the rest goes, yes, society is made up of people. Hurting them is bad. All agreed! And in the instance of Max, I’d say hurting him led to a real benefit for society. When she took down Daniel’s rampage early on in chapter one. That helped. In another instance, like if she killed all the people who were protesting Feral, well, that would have been bad. Things change depending on the situation. Humans aren’t math. Ethical frameworks are here to help us, not imprison us within a set of internal logics that we sacrifice all our judgements to. Also, you said, “I root for Alison to successfully change society, which requires that it understand what she wants.” Where did that rule suddenly come from? That doesn’t seem to be true at all. That one does seem arbitrary.

          • Walter

            I feel as though I’m failing to understand you.

            It feels as though you think that being consistent would somehow represent Alison being imprisoned, or controlled. As though consequentialism or whatever is a puppetmaster whose grasp she is escaping by acting out of instinct. If that were true, I would of course agree with you.

            But the mind that set down these rules would be hers. The author of the tenets that she follows would be herself. If Alison sat down for a couple hours and worked out what she thought was the right thing to do, she wouldn’t err so flagrantly.

            Currently, no matter what Alison believes to be right, she is mucking it up. If she is trying to help the greatest number, whatever the means, then tearing up that check was evil. In that framework she put her own taste before the tangible opportunity to help numerous people. If she is trying to do the right thing, as defined by a series of rules, then the whole kidnap and torture bit is probably not going to sit well.

            She would benefit, greatly, from thinking about these questions when there is no pressure to act, working out what she believes and developing a coherent vision.

            People may not be math, but things go best when we try to be. Reason will always outperform randomness.

            As for changing society requiring that you tell it what it changes into? Well, yeah? Successful activists make demands. Successful armies give terms of surrender. Letting the other party know what you want is a big part of getting it.

          • Michael Smith

            We’re failing to understand each other. It’s not just you. You’re being nice, which I appreciate. I want to do the same.
            To you, it feels Alison’s inconsistency represents an illogical failure of reason. I think it represents a mind that can shift and adjust to each situation, and that. to me, a good thing. We seem to just be seeing this with different eyes.
            You think she’s mucking up. To me, she just totally heroically rescued everyone in the entire world dying of a failing organ! IT’s enormous! That’s mucking up? That one thing is world changing right there. And she did it in secret. She made an enormous change and it did not require that the world understand her wants in any way. She’s not an activist or an army. She can use both tactics, and many more, and isn’t defined by any one. There are more than two ways to be an effective agent of change.
            And I’m not sure having a coherent vision is the point. Of being an activist or of being human. Who says we should have that? In a way, it seems very selfish to me to give yourself that in a changing and complicated world.
            And about the check, again, we disgree, but I believe (she believes) that the taking it would open her up to blackmail which would prevent her from creating even greater change in the future. That’s how I see it. I don’t see a contradiction there with her past actions. It’s a painful sacrifice in the short term to allow for bigger, longer-term gains. It’s smart.
            So I do see you point but I don’t agree. I’m guessing the feeling is mutual. That’s cool.

          • Arkone Axon

            I should note… just because she accepted a check from Patrick for her charitable work… that doesn’t make it even remotely blackmail-worthy. There’s an old joke about that, where a mobster gives a huge amount of money at the church on Sunday. A would be do-gooder tries to convince the priest not to accept the donation. “That money came from the Devil!”

            The priest’s response, “well, the Devil’s had his hands on it long enough. Let’s see what the Lord can do with it.”

            I mean, what are they going to reveal if she doesn’t play along? “Alison took MONEY… from a retired SUPERVILLAIN… which she used to… help victims of domestic violence… um… yeah, see, she’s so bad she took money from a guy who used to be a supervillain and may-or-may not be repentant, but… um…”

            But yeah… she SHOULD be worried about being dealt with. Not because she took money (or didn’t, as the case may be) from someone who’s done bad things. More about the whole “violent assault, kidnapping, and terroristic threats on the son of some very well connected individuals.” Not to mention the fact that the doctors involved were acting under false assumptions; they won’t be happy to know they’ve been made accessories to serious felonies, or that they’ve been made to violate their oath to “Do No Harm.” That’s a more serious problem… and as Walter pointed out, she’s like Godzilla. And when Godzilla starts rampaging… that’s when the military and the scientists figure out how to take Godzilla down.

            (And… she needs to breathe, she needs to eat, and we have no idea what effect toxins have on her… this is why Superman always gets in trouble when he leads with his chin the way he tends to do…)

  • Philip Bourque

    I’m relatively sure this isn’t the impression I’m suppose to get, but third panel it looks like she’s judging him in a “you did bad and should feel bad, you selfish monster” kind of way.

  • Alouncara

    First time I’ve opened the comments since starting the comic at least a year ago. Butr I wanted to comment that I really like the lighting and perspective/angles used on this page.
    Something about it was just eye catching and had nice flow?

  • scrubjay

    get it boi!!!

  • ampg

    I’ve been on both sides of this conversation in the past. When I was on the receiving end, it didn’t change my feelings for the person, but it did clear the air a bit, and we remained friends. When I was on the talking end…well, we’re still married.

  • scrubjay

    proud of clevin for getting that off his chest! he’s a sweet boy and has only ever been nice to alison so i hope whatever happens they’re both okay!

    also i think it’s fine for a story like sfp to have romance, cause romance happens in real life and alison has expressed an interest in it. esp considering her lack of experience, i think it’s good that a nice regular person like clevin shows a genuine, non creepy interest and expresses it best he can, if only because it 1) can allow their relationship/friendship to move forward and 2) shows to alison that she can be attractive to sweet, kind, non-manipulative guys. my personal opinion is that there’s nothing wrong with a little validation. but i also get the perspective that alison is dealing with too much shit already, and that she shouldn’t need some random unasked-for confession. i’m just here for clevin exercising his right to say what he feels!!

    ((don’t @ me with the discourse pls))

  • Lheticus Videre

    “I think we make more sense as friends.”

    Is he talking about Alison or the friend he’s gone on dates with?

    • scrubjay

      the friend he’s gone on dates with, i’m pretty sure

  • Burke

    “You guys do okay in that fundraiser?”
    “Yeah, we raised a couple hundred dollars, people were really generous. How’s that charity thing you’re working on going?”
    “I tore up a check for twenty-five million dollars.”
    “Oh.”

    • Flesh Forge

      Owned >:D

    • bryan rasmussen

      “that money could have helped a lot of people”
      “it’s not worth it if it means I have to compromise my principles!”

      • masterofbones

        “Huh”

        “And then I immediately rushed over to this jerk’s house and compromised my principles!”

        “….”

        • bryan rasmussen

          Maybe Patrick set this all up so he would have some amusing quips about her psychology the next time they meet.

          • bta

            There’s a concept in psychology called ego depletion (not a psychologist myself so I don’t know if I’m talking out of my ass here), which implies that willpower is a finite ressource and that doing a good action makes you more okay with indulging yourself.

            It’s not impossible that ripping that check already represented a significant mental effort for Allison and that she then felt more disposed toward breaking another principle.

            Now, if Patrick counted on just that happening…

          • Arkone Axon

            Eh… honestly? Her actions throughout that entire period of time were fueled purely by emotions. She didn’t take a moment to think about the check, she just ripped it up in a fit of childish rage. Then she went on to threaten to rip up Max’s body just as immaturely. I don’t think destroying the check qualified as any sort of resistance of temptation for her.

          • Svalbardcaretaker

            Unfortunately, as hyped as ego depletion was for a while, it fell victim to the replication crisis. E.g. it did not uphold under repeated scientific scrutiny, and is highly likely dead.

            RIP ego depletion, you felt like a good friend!

          • Weatherheight

            Per wikipedia…

            “Ego depletion refers to the idea that self-control or willpower draw upon a limited pool of mental resources that can be used up.[1] When the energy for mental activity is low, self-control is typically impaired, which would be considered a state of ego depletion. In particular, experiencing a state of ego depletion impairs the ability to control oneself later on. A depleting task requiring self-control can have a hindering effect on a subsequent self-control task, even if the tasks are seemingly unrelated.”

            Another way to look at it (which is what I was taught, but does not imply what you’re saying is wrong), that our mental energy for all decisions is a limited pool that takes time to replenish. Complex decisions (such as those requiring willful exercise of self-control) drain more heavily against this resource pool. Other factors, such as nutrition and sleep, also feed into this. Therefore, making a series of complex choices implies that our earlier decisions will require less effort than later ones, and that issues of self-control are easier when these resources are plentiful than when they are not.

            Sometimes, psychology goes a long way to say something that is seemingly pretty obvious.

          • MisterTeatime

            Huh. Sounds like spoon theory.

          • Weatherheight

            You’re right.. it does, quite a bit, doesn’t it?
            I suppose there really are few really new ideas.

        • Dean

          “And not even in a fun way!”

    • Ellie

      If that check was from an anonymous donor, Alison would have had every reason to accept it. But the check was from Patrick’s company, so if Alison tried to use the money for something he doesn’t approve of he could, legally, interdict her decisions. That donation wasn’t a gift, it was a manipulation tactic :p

      • Sam

        Well, not exactly. Once cashed, the money is straight-up the property of Valkyrie, with Templar no longer having any actual say in its use. That said, Templar apparently somehow has the legal clout to keep a blatantly ex post facto law permitting indentured servitude on the books in the USA, so I wouldn’t put anything past them.

        • danny in canada

          legal right, no, but he could definitely lord it over her morally.

  • Nebty

    This feels…weird. I dunno. I really really hope this doesn’t turn into an “Alison eventually realizes that what she needs is the quiet nerdy guy.” Because that trope is kinda gross.

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      Oh my Lord, thank you.

    • Margot

      I think if it goes that way it’ll be more like “Alison decides that what she needs is the quiet nerdy guy (who she can a least trust is a good person) but eventually fucks things up because she’s not actually that into him”.
      But I’m hoping she/they both see that coming, and decide to be friends. And then they live happily ever after…

      • scarvesandcelery

        Either of these would be a more original and interesting storyline for the comic than Alison and Clevin getting together, agreed. While I don’t find the way Clevin admits he likes Alison particularly passive aggressive, the storyline where Clevin turns out to be perfect for Alison would be tired and have some awkward implications.

        • Ellis Jones

          Better would be Clevin realising that Alison wasn’t right for him.

          Because I don’t really think Alison would be good for him.

    • masterofbones

      I only dislike it because in real life, the girl usually loses interest – the reason she had never gone for the quiet nerdy guy in the first place.

      • Mechwarrior

        Or in real life the guy loses interest, or they decide that they’re not long-term relationship material, or they realize that they do, in fact, make a good couple.

    • Smithy

      I feel like I’m opening a can of worms, but…
      He’s not quiet, he was involved in a huge fundraiser with a band?! Even if he wasn’t, why in the holy heck should she feel obliged to utterly dismiss the possibility? If she’s not into him, that’s one thing, but all this makes it sound that she should dismiss him now because she didn’t crush on him earlier…

  • JohnTomato

    Hormonal stew for EVERYBODY!

    I clearly recall just how much my own body was going wacko. (the crack of dawn wasn’t safe) I can only imagine what Al’s bod is going through.

    Carry on folks.

  • bryan rasmussen

    ok, so today’s episode of the odd couple – Allison and Clevin decide to give it a shot and end up back at Allison’s place, however Feral is already there with booze, drugs and 2000 adoring lesbians. Loud music plays – Dreamweaver over and over and over again!

    • Mechwarrior

      No, when they get back to Alison’s place they find that Feral and Paladin are both totally smashed and singing Shiny as they work through their Disney Villain Songs karaoke.

  • Jack

    Ah!

    I was honestly really annoyed at Clevin before. I didn’t think he was *awful* but I thought he was interested in Alison, and not really backing off when he should have done. Even though she really was just too busy, he doesn’t have a way to know if that’s the case, or if it’s a polite no.

    I wasn’t convinced by “just being a friend”. He could be, but he should be aware giving your cinema pass to someone is quite pushy for most people.

    But this conversation, he’s doing ok. He’s awkward and could have been clearer, but he expressed an interest rather than hiding it, without being overly pushy, which is a reasonable standard for him to meet.

    I honestly don’t mind which way it goes, if Alison is interested, or not.

  • Fluffy Dragon

    “They know I hate you for your lack of principles and they can’t stand to see me hide that fact and act like I don’t want to courtmartial you for crimes against humanity and common decency **gasps for air**”
    Then we find out he’s actually the super villian that is controlling Menace’s empire.

  • Lika Boss

    I’m just thankful that all the people who were in the comments last time with the whole “oh no! Hes gonna say he likes her, how predictable!” and “yeah, date the reliable nerd, that’s sexist!” have stopped with that kinda stuff and just Clevin be.

  • Cyrano111

    So it seems like Zach Weinersmith over at http://www.smbc-comics.com/ must have been reading the recent arc in SFP. Go meet his new superhero, “the Utilitarian”.

    • Smithy

      That comic did give me some sfp reminescence when I first read it^^
      Thankfully Alison hasn’t reached that level
      Yet :3

      • bta

        We’ll know SFP has become indistinguishable from SMBC when the people behind the evil conspiracy to keep the status quo going are revealed to be economists.

  • Love Alison’s face in the final panel. ‘Oh’ indeed.

  • Wikimancer

    “Look, Clevin, it’s not you, it’s me. I just found out that I’m a horrible person. To be fair, though, your name IS ‘Clevin’.”

    • Mechwarrior

      “And when I say ‘horrible person,’ it’s not in the only-tips-five-percent way, it’s in the violates-the-Geneva-Conventions way.”

  • Rabbits

    god damn but he is adorable