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Bad move. HanoverFist The rich kid doesn’t see a problem with exploiting people? Shocking. Mark Towler Ladies, here’s a hint: if you find yourself in a situation such as this or if your date is rude to the waitstaff, praises Donald Trump or tells you “All lives matter” then DO NOT FUCK THEM! Lostman I think most of the women readers here know that rule. The guys on the other hand… GreatWyrmGold Donald Trump may not be the president America wants or needs, but I’m suspicious he’s the president we deserve. Thrice.Great Oh Max…. and you were doing so well. I mean… he could be making a joke at his own expense since he’s noticing she’s assuming he’s a callous richjerk. For all we know those two landscapers have been working for his family for decades and he’s been to their anniversary parties, knows their children by name and favorite pokemon, and they both have extremely cushy salaries with benefits. But, you know, probably not. Zinc Is he actually bragging about his dad underpaying them? Is there a different possible interpretation of that dialogue? martynW Actually, they’re getting paid pretty well if it’s under the table. It’s the government that isn’t getting paid. David Gillon Doesn’t need to be especially well paid, a friend in the States mentioned they averaged under the minimum wage for physical landscaping work (given weather dependent working). It just needs to be a bit better than they could get by the normal route after taxes. OTOH the weakness of the under the counter route is when you find yourself needing to call on your worker’s rights and find you don’t have any. If your employer is mean enough to shaft the government on a few thousand dollars a year, while being able to afford a family helicopter (bottom end on a helicopter is about $300,000 for the R-22, with operating costs over $60/hr), then the chances are they’re mean enough to shaft you too. Mechwarrior Maybe they are and maybe they aren’t. For a place this swanky, paying the help under the table is likely to mean that they’re undocumented immigrants. GreatWyrmGold As always, the devil’s in the details. In this case, I doubt the details add up to a decent salary…especially with that “unpaid overtime” crap. Joshua Taylor …..and the dream is dead weedgoku Oh. Oh no. Can we go back to arguing about support group ladies instead? After the rape murder moral debacle I’m not sure I want to see the hot take on racism. Pol Subanajouy They are out of the helicopter, but I still think he better watch himself before he crashes and burns. Dean Okay, if this scene doesn’t end with Max offering to let Alison have a swim in his Scrooge McDuckian money pit, I for one will be severely disappointed. CoreBrute Dang it underwear guy. I wanted to give you the benefit of a doubt. This likely won’t end well. Nightsbridge holy shit man monsterzero Way to be rich at her. Chicks dig it when guys have no empathy. DeColumna Vanessa Uh oh. ∫Clémens×ds It’s easy. Too easy. Shall I be bold and gamble on the very small odds that’s it’s the setup for a joke? “Ahah, got you! These are actually Tom and Guy, my brothers. We all love to participate in gardening, our mother taught us. Remember the elephant last page?” “Last what?” “My very own! Anyway, sorry, it doesn’t break my character that much to set you up for an anger fit and then mock you for being gullible. Hey guys, I win the bet, she was *totally* going to jump to your underpaid workers’ rescue! Come sit with us, I’d like you to get to know Alison. My parents will arrive soon.” Liz Could be the setup to a joke, but then what does it say about him that he finds that he finds making his girlfriend angry about social issues to be funny? masterofbones That he is a snarky bastard? Gluten Tag Alright, now I’m actually thinking that’s what’s happening here. Well, not quite the scenario you’re putting forward, but the doubletake. Accept this premise: -Max knows that Allison is deeply concerned by social justice. Thus, he knows it is possible she would hold his wealth (pretty enormous degree of wealth, it looks like) against him. He’s inherently sarcastic, and apparently pretty intelligent. How would such a guy defuse that tension? Hocus-pocus Allikhazam: By repeatedly confronting her with signs of his privilege, then revealing that he’s actually more than the box she’s trying to put him into. Essentially building up her indignation, then deflating it through humor. Risky, but effective, particularly if he isn’t just a blind caricature of massive wealth and privilege. Shjade Have to hope so. I’d hate to see Max go out this way when there was such a promising beginning. Not like this, Max. Not like this. Lysiuj I’ve thought about this option, but I think it would actually be more likable if he didn’t know their names. That would just be ignorance and privilege, or even just being unaware because he doesn’t live here (as some commenters have proposed). But if he’s giving her some secret test of character, or mocking her empathy, then that would be really douchey. (Note that this would be gross on his part, but not necessarily less interesting for the story). Jon Heeeeere we go. GreatWyrmGold I’m surprised he didn’t realize that sort of thing isn’t something most people would want to brag about… RantGirlRants Ooooh… That might not go over so well… Grant Gilchrist A little-known manifestation of Alison’s powere: economic spider-sense is tingling! “I’m in the presence ofan exploiter of the masses!” GreatWyrmGold By “spider-sense,” do you mean “even a spider would notice by now”? Frank So… Why was a guy with this amount of wealth caught in a random burning apartment building? Bought it, burned it down, waited to get rescued by firefighter superhero? Hawthorne This kinda supports my pet theory of “he was actually having a one-night stand at another girl’s apartment, and she was out buying morning-after croissants when the building caught on fire”. Unless…maybe his family comes from old fire insurance scam money? Rumble in the Tumble >the building just accidentaly caught on fire Nah, he burned it down to have an excuse from the awkward morning-after situation. zathura ……………….oooooooooooooh heeeeell nah persephone_the_wanderer ….has Max even met Al before? Why on earth does he think that bragging about violations of labor law is the way to her heart? spriteless I’ve been there. The reality of accepting pay under the table is you don’t have to pay taxes. But seriously, at the point where there’s unpaid overtime it’s not even worth it. LaChatSayWha Yep, been there as well. No overtime, day rate under the table, schedule completely erratic because the employer is free to do whatever, no job protection, etc. Also been in social settings later in life as a business owner/employer around other employers who hadn’t worked their way up. And unfortunately, it’s not so uncommon for people to subtly brag about how they game the system to pay the minimum to their workers. They think it shows business acumen. And to other like-minded people, it does. It’s one of those things that happens in real life that makes you think, ” I couldn’t write this into a movie, no one would believe me.” But it happens. JohnReinhardt Saw this coming. Sebastián Rodoni Figueras Oh Max. That pass was Fauxer than a 5 dollar Rolex ampg And here we go. I’m looking forward to this. Hawthorne Reeeeeally hoping the next comic isn’t “Hahaha you should see the look on your face really I’m a philanthropist and here is your free puppy”. #nottoomuchofaBroisfananymo Tylikcat The lowered lids is the self-mockery signifier? Please? He’s like, totally trolling her, right? I have a great deal of faith in Molly and Brandon. And I don’t hate Max, as much as I just haven’t quite figured out why I should care. I trust there is a reason, but the page by page reveal is tough, this way. (Whereas with Gurwara, I was sure from the start he would have been fun to go out to coffee with. We might have gotten into a knock-down drag-out argument, but that’s my kind of entertainment, so we’re good.) Insanenoodlyguy Ohhhhh buddy you are hemorrhaging points here. Dartangn And, we find out he’s a stereotype. Great work Allison, but swing and a miss. Liz http://i1.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/502/053/fd9.gif notquiteotaku “You have fucked up now!” Korataki This is one of those situations where being able to fly is super useful- else, Al would be stuck as a captive audience. Any woman who isn’t Alison would be find herself in an elegantly appointed hostage situation. …and now that I think about it, the combination of his obliviousness to the the workers who keep his family estate running added to the ease with which he puts people in compromising situations is more than a bit distressing- even if he’s not doing it with malice and intent. Officially do not like Max. Ryan B I’d say she’s still being “held hostage” in this social situation. If she leaves or objects to the whole undocumented workers thing, she looks like the bad guy for making a fuss when he’s trying to show her a good time. Robyn I’m finding the treatment of this guy a little heavy handed. The last page gave me a general unease about him (with just not knowing who does the hedges) but this page makes an almost comical (sit-com esque) portrayal of an anti-allison. Also Allison totally seems to have a byronic hero issue. I don’t mean to be negative, I look forward to this comic every week and it’s always A+ writing and art, I feel like this scene just needed a little more subtlety. martynW Maybe it does. My first take is that nobody could possibly be this dense after what we’ve seen of him already. Mechwarrior Indeed. This page is so on the nose with how anti-Alison Max is that I’m starting to think that he’s actually trolling her. David Would be kind of epic if the writers put in this purposefully absurd page just to show the other readers how ridiculous they are being about the things mentioned here…like saying how he is such a bad person for not knowing the names of his parent’s gardeners. David Gillon Doesn’t know their names, does know their terms and conditions of employment, Tells us an awful lot about a person. Rumble in the Tumble “Heavy handed” is, sadly, the keyword here since the beginning of the fifth chapter :v Tuscahoma Oh my goodness, someone has a bad case of affluenza and doesn’t realize it. phantomreader42 “If he is nice to you, but not to the waiter, he is not a nice person” Tylikcat This always makes me think of our mother angrily telling my sister than she doesn’t need to thank the waitress every single time. I count that as the moment when my sister realized that our mother really was that bad. Khlovia I envy you your sibling-epiphany moment. Tylikcat It groans under the weight of so much backstory. Maybe the easiest way of explaining it is that it was always so much easier to identify that my mother was being awful when she did it to other people. My sister always found it hard to believe it was that bad when it was directed at her. (As the eldest, and protective of my younger siblings, I figured it out pretty quickly.) weedgoku “You don’t need to throw that in the garbage, they get paid to clean up!” is another good one. On the subject of being related to depressing people though; I’m related to someone who intentionally like mashes up their food or pours their soda on it when they’re done in a restaurant because they don’t want the waiters to “have a free meal on my dime” and it’s disgusting for so many reasons and I hate eating with them. Richard Hughes Maybe that day rate is amazing! Brad Elliott In your heart, Richard, you know that it is not. (At least not compared to getting overtime!) fairportfan “Amazing? It’s HUGE!” Asher Elbein Aaaand here we go Carla Welp. Bye Max. ZBass Oh dear Max. Your razor sharp cheekbones might not get you out of this blunder… RaeRae Well, I was rooting for him. I suppose the dumpster fire had to begin sometime. scarvesandcelery Ewwwww. I don’t like this. Ditch his ass, Alison. Daniel Martin And I thought we were going to have a slow buildup, but no: straight to maximum privileged asshole. Some guy Welp… ChattaStarhawk Hmm, not a good sign. That might just kill this relationship, or get her up on her high horse and start a lecture on treating people right. Matthew Dowd The horse is just off frame… Taylor Elnicki I think we might’ve been onto something with the squinty eye = evil theory… masterofbones He’s not evil(that we’ve seen). If he isn’t joking about this, he’s just an out of touch rich kid. Kinda bland really. Frances K R He does not appear to be actively malicious. But being comfortable with “it’s totally cool that people working overtime don’t get paid overtime” strikes me as, well, bad. masterofbones I suppose you could call it the evil of apathy. Ian Osmond That’s the most destructive form of evil there is. Because it’s so much easier than all other kinds, so it’s more widespread. ukulady7 Still sounds racist no matter how many times it gets said. Lysiuj It’s not racist if I say that I think it but not for racist reasons! Burke This guy’s appeal is falling by leaps and bounds. Coyotzin I can literally see all the red flags and hear the alarm bells in her head. Lheticus Videre Oooookay, NOW I’m with the anti Max crowd. He’s gone form “misguided” to “irreconcilably misguided.” He’s not right for you Alison! I have a feeling this is only gonna get worse! Captain-Quazi So Max wants to date a super hero who is very conscious about social inequality to the point where it is her career now and his plan to woo her is to show off his money, servants and privilege? In the words of Tony Stark from the Avengers movie ” Not a great plan”. 🙂 scottfree Also, he’s trying to impress her with a helicopter. I hope when this all goes wrong she reminds him that her best friend built a size-changing micro-jet that can fly into peoples blood streams and stuff, so buying a helicopter doesn’t mean squat to her. EveryZig I can’t tell if that last line was sarcasm or if he is really that clueless. Guilherme Carvalho Yes, yes, work your charm on her. It’s going brilliantly. That being said, I suspect that Al will soon have another “it’s more complicated than that” moments pretty soon… David Yeah, Alison will be beyond the point of redemption to me, in terms of me still liking her as a character, if she honestly gets this upset that he doesn’t know the names of the gardeners that work for his parents. David Gillon Whereas for the rest of us she would be beyond redemption if she didn’t. David Why though? Why does him not knowing the name of his PARENT’S gardeners make him such a bad person? DaktariD Well, he just ticked one more notch up the scale: [X] Self-aware [X] Self-centered [X] Patriarchal [ ] Narcissist – pending [ ] Sociopath – pending [ ] Psychopath – pending Weatherheight First off – I found the scale entertaining. Sociopathy and Psychopathy are different words for essentially the same thing: a lack of empathy for others so severe that it becomes a problem on both the personal and social scales (well, to those around them – those with the disorder rarely suffer much from it in terms of affect [except as noted below]). Locus of control from social consequences are generally externalized, thus leading to an often linked symptom of paranoid behavior/delusions. The term Sociopathy was a “replacement” term for “psychopathy” starting in 1900 or so, to get away from the “baggage” of the earlier term. This happens fairly often in psychology; the bias of a label can interfere with treatment and diagnosis, while other times the definition gets tweaked and so a more precise name is given. More recent terms include antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) or dissocial personality disorder. What I found interesting when learning about the disorder in college is that the terms have covered a lot of ground over the years, sometimes referring to contradictory behaviors and affects. Also interestingly, the usual association of physical violence may not be as strongly positively associated as films, books, and television depict – there is some evidence that most folks with ASPD use social punishment and affective punishment far more often than physical punishment. The problem is that most folks who have a significant disorder are actually pretty damned clever when it comes to manipulation of others (which makes them harder to spot) and most don’t “feel” they have a problem and therefore won’t/don’t seek treatment. Moreover, getting diagnosed usually is linked to extremes of behavior, rather than other diagnostic tools (such as self-reporting or inquiry-based tools), so the variation on the scale on which the diagnosis might be based is set pretty high usually. Wikipedia’s section on this was better than I expected. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy Pizkie Okay, I realize I’m ruining a light-hearted badness scale here, but, uh… Narcisissism and psychopathy are distinct mental disorders with some overlap but generally different symptoms and expressions. Treating them as just levels of badness on the same scale doesn’t make any sense. Of course, give it another twenty years, and no one will remember that these were once genuine psychological terms (see also “dumb”, “retarded”, etc.), but right now it’s a little jarring to see. GreatWyrmGold I think the term “elitist” would work better than “patriarchal”. “Patriarchal” implies some level of misogyny, and unless he’s assuming that girls won’t understand the implications or something we don’t see that. Also the psychological stuff, but that’s been covered. Kid Chaos I sure hope so, or else Alison is going to dump his ass so fast it’ll make his head spin. 😜 Richard Hughes Someone’s not getting laid tonight! Philip Petrunak What’s amazing is to the people around him that’s a good thing. All his friends and family are super rich and can only see screwing over the poor as something that benefits themselves, and is therefore a good thing. He doesn’t see his actions hurting anyone and only sees the benefits so of course he think’s screwing them over is great. He probably knows they’re getting screwed for wages doesn’t help them, but doesn’t care. He never sees what their home life is like, what their struggles are. There is a reason the phrase seeing is believing carries so much weight. Just because he knows it’s happening doesn’t mean he understands it, and if you can’t understand something you can’t believe it. Personally I’m hoping she says “you know what, instead of having dinner why don’t you let the go, we can fly them home in your helicopter and you can see what their home life is like.” She could cuss him out for is egotistical plutocratic views, or she could educate him. JohnTomato Easy to over look the dirty hands people when you’re a douche bag. Gaurav Ouch! She will probably have to get him to attend some social sciences and economics lectures before they can continue this relationship. Arkone Axon Speaking as someone who used to work for a day rate under the table… MY question is how much they’re getting paid, and how reliable the checks are. Don’t assume they feel exploited. If they’re getting paid well and treated well, those guys are going to end up being the pissed off proletariat yelling at the well meaning but misguided progressive. M. Alan Thomas II Well, the implication in his dialog is that they’re being made to work massive amounts of functionally-unpaid overtime. If they were actually being paid a reasonable scale to work 12+ hour days ($191 for a 12-hour day, given the cost of living in that area), that might be something else. GreatWyrmGold Of course, if it’s a reasonable wage, there’s not much reason to pay them under the table. ∫Clémens×ds Oh so now you jump on the We All Knew it From the Beginning train. Obviously. Rumble in the Tumble Let me rephrase that: So a rich white guy in SFP turns out to be pants-on-head stupid and blinded by his own privilege, setting him up for a nice confrontation where Alison can monologue at him for a month, showing him and the world what a saintly and socially-conscious person she is. Ｗｈａｔ ａ ｓｕｒｐｒｉｓｅ ∫Clémens×ds My. Rich White Guys everywhere are so happy to have you to defend them against the endless torment that is their lives. #NotAllRichWhiteGuys chaosvii Oh man, actual conflict staring Max, here we go! Richard Griffith We have watched Alison for years and know her. Max has had one date. You don’t usually pull out the background moral character stuff on the first date. This is second date where the “I thought you were nice how can you be a republican/democrat/anarchist/scientologist” stuff comes out. Rumble in the Tumble I think I got it. One of Alison’s superpower is passing the Idiot Ball to her romantic interests, so they start spouting the worst things possible at the most inopportune times. It took Patrick, a skilled mind-reader, a few years to fall under the influence of the Idiot Sphere, but with the anomalies getting stronger and being a simple Mundie, Max got stupid already at the second date. ruhrow Sadly, Rhaggy never seems to pay me any mind… Jac “I also don’t read, I have someone do that for me too. I don’t know their names either, haha!” Hiram That last line is a weirdly counter-intuitive combination of pretty specific information about people whose names he supposedly doesn’t know and obliviousness about how his behavior will almost certainly be received by Allison. So. . . where’s Patrick hiding? I bet he’s inside the bush that looks like a horse. Trojan Patrick. David Gillon … and I just noticed he said ‘day rate’. Likely meaning you get paid when I want you and not otherwise. Aka day labour, see also Zero Hours Contract (well worse, as there’s no contract). That could be reasonable, but there’s a good chance it’s exploitative, it depends whether that’s the kind of work they want and whether they’re able to work for other people on the days they aren’t employed by Max’s family. If they aren’t employed every day their average salary will plummet. For the people claiming it’s unreasonable for Max to know their names, note that he does however know their terms of employment. It could be trolling us, but we’ve been running through a set of scenarios (Gurwara, Cleaver, Brad’s conference) where Allison is confronted with privilege. Sometimes her own, sometimes the effect it has on others. This would fit precisely in that pattern. Darkoneko Hellsing uh oh. Lysiuj [Bonus points if the assistant doesn’t know the gardeners’ names either.] Danygalw Nnnope. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt, partly because everyone else seemed to hate him, but this is just. No. Nooo. Gone. Aroel Only possible redemption for Max: he’s not bragging, just talking in passing about how odd it is that they’re working late, and honestly doesn’t realize the implications of what he’s saying (that’s how I interpreted the comic, since bragging about exploiting people in front of Allison would be mightily stupid). Allison will then clue him in heavily, and Max will either pledge to improve the treatment of his workers and show himself to be more than the rich stereotype we were expecting, or he won’t, and the relationship will end, possibly with Allison getting very mad. Alternatively, maybe for whatever reason the workers won’t appreciate Allison’s intervention on their behalf and she will learn a lesson about paternalistically trying to rescue people without knowing their full situation. BGB Wow, I just got randomly linked to this comic last night and have now finished reading the whole thing and it is amazing! I can’t wait to see what happens next:) Opal Eyes You know… everyone seems to be saying “Oh I hope it’s a joke” but look at his face. He’s not HAPPY about it. Chances are, he doesn’t feel like they deserve the obvious misuse. He likely wants them to GET overtime, he probably wants a lot of things for the people his father hires. So far nothing about Max has said that he’s a horrible person, just that he wanted to surprise his girlfriend, didn’t know her plans (she likely didn’t TELL him. They only went on one date, after all) and show her a lovely time. Yes, this lovely time happens to be on his father’s dime, but perhaps there’s a reason for that… perhaps showing Al around, is part of his plan to have her, help HIM correct some of the wrongs his family is doing. Ptorq I have been looking at his face … his smarmy, smug face … for some time now. The last few pages have been revealing pretty much EXACTLY what I would have expected from somebody who habitually smirks the way Max does. This page doesn’t do anything to change my impression of him. I am not at all seeing “I’m not happy about this,” I’m seeing “I’ll explain this in terms so simple even a female can understand.” Gluten Tag I agree. I also think that Max is likely serving a similar role as Mr. Gurwara. While we analyze these characters as actual people, they are also *created* with the sole purpose in mind of advancing the story. M. Alan Thomas II Yeah, I’m betting on the “jerk joke” but also maybe the “They know the hours when we hire them and we give them a day wage that matches how long they work, take care of their health care, and try to shield them from ICE” plus “They don’t want rich privileged white person attacking the only decent job they’ve gotten as undocumented immigrants and the knew what they were getting into.” That is, it could be another “Life and people are more complicated than your black-and-white morality” moment for Alison. M. Alan Thomas II I wish people would stop upvoting me after I’ve turned out to be wrong. 😛 Columbine I don’t know if you remember this off-topic earlier convo about whether there were any men’s rights groups actually helping people. I mentioned a movement in a UK focused on mental health and suicide prevention but couldn’t remember the name? Well I saw some more adverts for them today. They’re called CALM, the campaign against living miserably. Thought you might be interested- Christophe2314 Oh yeah, I remember… or at least I think I do? It’s amazing how often I get into this exact conversation. I really need to get off the internet sometime. Anyway, I’m not surprised: there has got to be at least one group dedicated to actually doing something productive. Presumably more than one. It’s just that the majority of MRA groups, or at least the most visible ones, are pretty awful. Honestly, if I were to start an MRA group, I’d probably avoid the MRA branding for this exact reason. GreatWyrmGold Well, maybe not the strongest, but if you’re a normal human it doesn’t much matter if you’re fighting a Brute 9 or a Brute 10. GreatWyrmGold “…Max, those guys look nothing like you.” chaosvii I figure that he saw them being paid in cash, and asked about that since he knows that people in his circle of friends are usually paid with checks & direct deposit. M. Alan Thomas II Oh, I agree. My comments on the most recent page discuss it as a cartel-like situation where the employers can extract more work for the money than they could in a truly free market. (Technically speaking it would be a oligopsony, but that word isn’t going to help most people figure out what I mean.) GreatWyrmGold I said I doubted that illegal immigrants would be paid well, not paid legally. The fact that you assumed I meant one when I said the other sort of supports my original point, doesn’t it?