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  • Bo Lindbergh

    Fresh new love at first sight, or old painful/embarrassing history? Find out on Tuesday, same Mega-time, same Mega-channel!

    • AveryAves

      I hope it is the former…actually I hope for both, this is wonderful. Probably wonderful.

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      Look at how dilated Tara’s pupils got. Last thing she looked with such boiling desire and disregard for its consent was the Big Ass Burger.
      Although I wouldn’t necessarily call it “love”…

      • cphoenix

        I don’t see evidence here of disregard for consent. I do see total lack of inhibition around her feelings. That’s a very different thing.

        She has not acted on her feelings yet. Right now, she is just feeling them, not holding back what she is feeling, experiencing it and letting it show.

        The ability to do that is often considered to be a good thing. There are times when showing feeling isn’t appropriate, especially if the expression of it impinges on someone else (e.g. very loud voice, distraction from someone else’s feeling, is perceived as a threat). But aside from those times, being able to freely feel what you feel, and be in a space where you feel safe to express it… isn’t that something we would all want for ourselves?

        • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

          I was making a dumb joke about Tara breaking the burger’s consent

    • p75369

      Time for her to find the love of her life just before Max’s effect runs out. Will she go back to the hospital with the increased personal cost? Just how much harder/easier will it make for Ali to conscript Max again?

      • Soqoma

        No, no no! Don’t break my heart like that!
        (do we have reason to believe Max’s boost is temporary?)

        • Tsapki

          We never got the exact details on how his boosting works, but what we do have evidence for is that Max disliked his power because he can only use it to help people. He never stated he dislikes it because it is temporary or it puts him in physical danger.

          • Izo

            Actually he did state that it could put him in physical danger. And Alison acknowledge that. Right before dismissing it.

        • bryan rasmussen

          mega girl doesn’t do temporary solutions.

        • p75369

          He implied that if it was public known, hero teams would be fighting over who got him. If it was permanent, there would be no need to fight, just form an orderly queue. Hell, given the limited number of biodynamics, if it were permanent, he could boost everyone within a couple of months and they wash his hands of it all again.

  • At the risk of just repeating points other people have already made: for this arc, there have been a lot of comments arguing about whether Alison or Max is in the right here. I don’t think it’s that simple. What Alison did was bad. Look at the previous page: she knows this. She used violence to get her way. Even if she never does this to anyone else, *to Max*, she is a tyrant now. Before, his dislike of her was comparatively petty, but now it’ll be completely reasonable for him to not trust her. Now, she’ll have to engage with what Guwara told her, and figure out what that means for her going forward. Guwara’s on the new cast page. I imagine he’ll be back.

    Then, there’s Max. Libertarians, I love you, but recognizing individual rights and eschewing violence aren’t enough for a comprehensive theory of ethics. First, most of the economic inequality that Max benefits from as a wealthy American is a direct result of violent historical oppression — wars, colonialism, slavery, takeover of Native American lands, etc. etc. etc. — rather than individual merit. His argument that his family’s treatment of his employees is justified because “free choice” is like declaring his family the winner in a Monopoly game after they stole everyone else’s money six turns ago. Also, just because you aren’t obligated to help someone in need doesn’t mean that it’s always right for you to not do so.

    tl;dr: Max lives in a moral garbage can, Alison should (and hopefully will) create a better moral house for herself to live in, and neither of these statements invalidates the other. Also, Feral is adorable and I’m already hoping Lisa agrees. <3 <3 <3

    • Lostman

      What I find so funny about the Libertarian, and liberal(progressives?) conflict is they shear similar grounds. However they dislike each other due to economic understandings, both sides I disagree with. As liberals believe in more government, while expanding social freedoms. While the libertarians do believe expanding social freedoms, they what decrees government control; mostly on economic front. While the libertarians are naive to think unregulated market would help, and not increase the class the divide.

      As the liberals move farther left, and as much they speak about taking down establishment. The truth they are very much pro-establishment as they wish to increase the government, and spread the resources out more evenly. Now I’m not sure how far many liberals are will to go, but a government with total control along with abolishment of capitalism can only spell disaster. See the bureaucratic mess the USSR was.

      • GreatWyrmGold

        Now I’m not sure how far many liberals are will to go, but a government with total control along with abolishment of capitalism can only spell disaster.
        “I’m not sure if anyone’s actually arguing for doing this, but here’s a slippery-slope strawman about liberals.”

        • Lostman

          Modern liberalism is very much a part of Alison character.

        • Graeme Sutton

          Liberals routinely call for the abolition of capitalism, in exactly those words.

          • Akiva

            No, that’s communists and anarchists. Leftists, I grant you, but I know lots of people who’d be deadly offended to be called liberals.

          • Graeme Sutton

            Would Michael Moore be a liberal? Because he made a movie a few years ago whose central thesis was “Capitalism is evil, and you can’t regulate evil.” I’ll agree that most liberal political leaders wouldn’t support anything like the abolition of capitalism (as Bill Maher said the difference between the right and the left is that the left has a place to put their crazies, for the right that place is elected government) however if the Sanders phenomenon teaches us anything it’s that those leaders don’t matter as much as they used to, and large segments of the broader cultural left are broadly opposed to capitalism.

          • Izo

            This is true actually. Liberal and leftist are two different things. Honestly, a classic liberal is someone like Bill Maher or Penn Gilette, who has more in common with a libertarian (as long as we’re not speaking Ayn Rand Objectivism Libertarians). It’s more about people’s liberties. Which is why it’s called ‘liberal.’

            A leftist is more about authoritarianism. Having a person or government or authority control things for the supposed betterment of the people. Leftists do, as a result, tend to be more about communism-mentality. But not anarchists. Anarchy is more on the right end of the spectrum. NO authoritarian rule at all

          • Re. anarchy meaning no rules: well, kind of — no government means you can’t execute people or throw them in jail, but there could definitely still be rules (traditions, norms, community values, that kind of thing). Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed is a really neat thought experiment about how an anarchic society might work, and how it would most likely be flawed even in the best-case scenario. Also, it’s a damn good story.

          • Izo

            Um.. no seriously Anarchy means ‘no rules.’ That’s the literal definition of anarchy. A state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority. Lawlessness. Lack of rules. and absolute freedom of the individual. If you have rules, you do not have anarchy.

            From the latin an-arkhos. An- = without + arkhos = rules. Without rules.

            I’ll check out the story though.

          • Lysiuj

            Anarchism, then. A very broad collection of political views, with the common ground of abolishing government and state, but not all of them support having no rules or structure at all. As I understand it, most of them support some form of collective oor community.

          • Izo

            It’s all the same thing. Anarchy. Anarchist. Anarchism. It all means a state of being without rules and no authority. A state of absolute freedom. Which is not as good as it sounds, and is not what libertarianism believes. One of the points of libertarianism is without rules, there can be no law, but without strict limitations and overview on the lawgivers, there can be no freedom.

          • Lysiuj

            I mean, it literally is not the same thing. Anarchy is a state of disorder, while anarchism is a blanket term for a number of different political and philosophical systems and ideas.
            Yes, most/all of them are derived, in part, from anarchy, and strive for some kind of anarchy (at least relative to the state – the order of the state is dispelled and brings about an anarchy), but most of them do also include ideas of what kind of society they would want to form afterwords, for example communities coming together spontaneously and deciding on the rules by which they want to live, or everyone having equal control of resources, etc. In other words these systems aren’t striving for a future with no rules or structure at all, rather they want to abolish the structure of the state and then each system has its own idea of what structure to build instead.

            I wasn’t making a comparison to libertarianism when I wrote this, I wasn’t even thinking about libertarianism. At any rate I don’t actually know enough about either anarchism or libertarianism to make a comparison.

          • Izo

            “I mean, it literally is not the same thing. Anarchy is a state of disorder, while anarchism is a blanket term for a number of different political and philosophical systems and ideas.”

            Adding an ‘ism’ to a word does not make it mean something radically different. The core of the word is STILL THE SAME THING. No rules.

            The words anarchism, anarchy, and anarchist are not somehow separate from ‘anarchy’ You’ve just substituted an -ism or -ist for -y

            -ism means ‘a belief in.’ From the latin ismus
            -ist means ‘a person who partakes in/person with a particular role as – from the latin ista

            Anarchy is the extreme. Whether you call is anarchism (a state of anarchy) or just call it anarchy. The extreme is no rules. You can’t get more extreme than no rules. Libertarians are not anarchists, although they are both on the right of the spectrum of authoritarian rule (minimal authoritarian rule). It’s a frustrating misconception that anarchists are on the left of the spectrum when they aren’t. Left and liberal are not synonymous any more than right and conservative are. It’s just dumbing down of words and ideas by a media that wants easier to categorize sound bites.

          • Lysiuj

            And? What’s your point? The two words have the same roots, therefore they must mean the same thing?
            There’s a substantial number of ideologies that call themselves “anarchism” and plan for some kind of future society with some kind of structure or rules. therefore, explicitly *not* advocating for “no rules”. (I’m not even any kind of expert on anarchism or anything, I just looked it up on wikipedia, but they do exist).
            Now, if you have a problem with the root “anarchy” being attached to an idea that includes rules, just because it doesn’t add up with the literal definition, or greco-roman origins, of the word anarchy… then take it up with the people who formed those ideas and decided to call them anarchism. I’m just telling you that there are two different words with two different meanings.

          • Izo

            “And? What’s your point? The two words have the same roots, therefore they must mean the same thing?”

            Uh… yes with what you’re saying. Adding an -ism doesn’t change the core root of the word. Saying anarchism rule is an oxymoron.

            “There’s a substantial number of ideologies that call themselves “anarchism” and plan for some kind of future society with some kind of structure or rules. therefore, explicitly *not* advocating for “no rules””

            You just made my point again. As I’ve now said about 8 times to different people, anarchy/anarchism/anarchic society is inherently transitory. You cannot KEEP a society in a state of anarchy. As soon as it’s replaced with a new set of rules, it is no longer anarchism.

          • Lysiuj

            Adding a suffix doesn’t change the root of the word but it does in fact create a new word, it wasn’t added merely as a stylistic flourish. And the new word can have a slightly or greatly different meaning, as new words tend to do.

            1 A state of disorder due to absence or non-recognition of authority or other controlling systems.
            2 Absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal.

            1[mass noun] Belief in the abolition of all government and the organization of society on a voluntary, cooperative basis without recourse to force or compulsion.

            Source – Oxford Dictionary

            You will notice that ‘abolition of government’ is followed by ‘ *organization* of society’.
            Now, and I feel I must stress this, I’m not advocating for anarchism, I really don’t care right now, I was just pointing out that it’s a term with a distinct meaning from anarchy. If you simply think the term doesn’t make sense because with a new set of rules it’s no longer anarchy or whatever, then your quarrel is with Oxford Dictionary and the english language, not with me.
            And that’s really all I feel like saying about it, if it’s all the same to you.

          • Izo

            I literally don’t believe I have to explain this to you. Or to anyone.

            Anarchy – a state of disorder due to the absence or non-recognition of authority or controlling systems (IE, RULES – that’s what controlling systems means… rules)

            Anarchism – the belief in anarchy.

            Notice what’s missing? How anarchism doesn’t suddenly mean rules are part of it?

            “And that’s really all I feel like saying about it, if it’s all the same to you.”

            Well… you’re going to have to deal with the fact that I’m going to respond if you’re ignoring the basics of language and word origin structure. Sorry.

          • Ordinary Tree

            Izo, what the hackberry are you arguing about this for?

            Lysiuj is simply stating that two words with different oxford definitions are in fact, two different words.

            Relation is irrelevant at this point.

            Absurd and absurdism are two different words with different definitions, absolute and absolutism are two different words. Having the same root word doesn’t mean the words are the same.

            Now for the love of geranium can we move on from this tedium?

          • Izo

            Look at the beginning of this ridiculous thread. I wasnt the one who started arguing about the meaning of anarchy, nor was I the one who tried to then distinguish anarchism from anarchy.

            Not to mention that’s not what the point was anyway – the point was that both anarchy and anarchism mean there are no rules. NEITHER mean that there are rules in place, because the first word is inherently a part of the second word as it’s root meaning.

            But as long as people are going to engage in making up stuff, I’ll dispute them.

            For example:

            Absurd = wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate
            Absurdism = the philosophy that individuals should embrace the absurd condition of human existence.

            Notice how the word doesn’t suddenly mean ‘sanity’ or ‘logic’? It just becomes an -ism of the first word.

            Absolute = not diminished in any way
            Absolutism = the acceptance of or belief in absolute principles

            Notice how the word does not suddenly mean ‘provisional’ when you add an -ism to it? It just becomes an -ism of the first word.

            Anarchy = a state of lawlessness, without rules
            Anarchism = a belief in anarchy

            And here, it doesnt suddenly make anarchy mean ‘rules are followed sometimes.’

          • Ordinary Tree

            I understand what you think you’re arguing about, and I also understand that what Sarah original meant by an anarchistic society.

            Sarah said that if anarchy was prolonged enough, eventually traditions and social norms would arise which would become the new rules. As you have said NUMEROUS times, that would mean the anarchy for this hypothetical society was over and they would have a kind of tribal rule where cultural norms are the basis of society.

            Thats it. Sarah was stretching the term anarchy there because as you say anarchy is lawlessness, which is impossible to sustain, and instead of simply addressing this misunderstanding and moving on, you got in a pointless argument about dictionary definitions.

            From this point onward I will know you as Izo the Pedantic.

          • Izo

            “Sarah said that if anarchy was prolonged enough, eventually traditions and social norms would arise which would become the new rules. As you have said NUMEROUS times, that would mean the anarchy for this hypothetical society was over and they would have a kind of tribal rule where cultural norms are the basis of society.”

            Then you’re sort of ignoring my original post which said that Anarchy can only exist in a transitory sense, between governments. As soon as you start forming new rules from traditions and social norms, you no longer have anarchy anymore.

            “Thats it. Sarah was stretching the term anarchy there because as you say anarchy is lawlessness, which is impossible to sustain, ”

            Which would be correct. Anarchy is impossible to sustain because eventually rules and social norms take over to give some basis of order to a society

            “and instead of simply addressing this misunderstanding and moving on, you got in a pointless argument about dictionary definitions.”

            Which only is an argument because people keep arguing it with me, after they STARTED the argument about not understanding the meaning in the first place, making up fake definitions of the word to support their claim, instead of just doing what you did – agree that anarchy cannot be sustained as soon as rules start to form again. Instead people start arguing that anarchism means anarchy WITH rules… which is an oxymoron and not what anarchism even means.

            “From this point onward I will know you as Izo the Pedantic.”

            Would it be okay to refer to you as Ordinary Tree the Namecaller or Ordinary Tree the Rude? :/ A person starts an argument with me based on flawed information or a mistaken belief in the first place. Others double-down on this by making up facts, and I’m pedantic for being accurate and consistent?

          • Giacomo Bandini

            Alan Moore seems to disagree with you.

            “Eve: All this riot and uproar, V… is this Anarchy? Is this the Land of Do-As-You-Please?

            No. This is only the land of take-what-you-want. Anarchy means “without
            leaders”, not “without order”. With anarchy comes an age or ordnung, of
            true order, which is to say voluntary order… this age of ordung will
            begin when the mad and incoherent cycle of verwirrung that these
            bulletins reveal has run its course… This is not anarchy, Eve. This is

            Alan Moore,

            V for Vendetta

          • Izo

            Well heck, if Alan Moore disagrees with me…. /sarcasm

            How about this. Alan Moore’s fictional character V is wrong, and V for Vendetta was a very stupid, misogynistic, and hypocritical movie. Not to mention that V was insane.

            This is a character who tortures Eve, plays mind games with her, then wonders why she is angry at him. Well heck, according to him, she should be grateful for being tortured.

            Heh, no wonder why you’re quoting V.

          • Giacomo Bandini

            At the end of the story, she is. Grateful, i mean.

            You know, Alan Moore was just reporting a very basic axiom of Anarchism, that Hierarchical society would end be substituted from a state of volontary order, of volontary cooperation.


            This is a list of anarchist societies. Guess what, they have rules.

          • Izo

            “At the end of the story, she is. Grateful, i mean.”

            Isn’t Stockholm Syndrome wonderful?

            “You know, Alan Moore was just reporting a very basic axiom of Anarchism,”

            No, he was either relating what an insane person thought anarchy is, or he doesn’t understand himself what anarchy is, because he’s a comic book writer, not someone with a degree in political science. He also wrote about destroying New York in order to prevent World War 3 (before it all went to crap anyway) and a giant octopus monster in Watchmen.

            “that Hierarchical society would end be substituted from a state of volontary order, of volontary cooperation.”

            Voluntary. Feel free to argue that with me as well and how voluntary is spelled with two o’s. Also you never actually see what happens to that society after he blows EVERYTHING up.

            “This is a list of anarchist societies. Guess what, they have rules.”

            Actually, I checked that list. None of them are anarchist societies. They’re communist societies, like the Paris Commune (which is, funny enough, almost the exact opposite of an anarchist society) or socialist societies (like Cantalonia, which was calling itself anarchist without actually BEING anarchist, since they had a functioning government) or a confederation (Free Territories, which is not anarchist, it’s like the first draft of the American Colonies). Christiania uses communism as well.
            Because they were states of transition, not valid societies. Once they got rules, they were no longer anarchist societies.

            Twink Oaks Commune. Strandzha Commune. Do you even understand what commune means? What sort of way a commune is run? Under what sort of political principles? Communism.

            Shinmin Autonomous Region? It was run by the Korean Anarchist Communist Federation. The name alone is ridiculous. If you’re communist, you are NOT ANARCHIST.

            Rojava is libertarian, not anarchist.

            Zomia has a tribal government.

            Bir Tawil Triangle is the only place on your list that can actually be considered ‘anarchist.’ And it has NO laws and NO RULES. It’s literally in a permanent state of lawlessness.

          • Giacomo Bandini

            No true scotsman, am i right?

          • Izo

            No, you’re not right. It’s not the ‘No true scotsman’ trope. Read the list you even posted. Even in the article itself, it describes them as communes and socialist societies and libertarian socialist societies and libertarian societies and tribal societies. Each of those places, except the triangle, mentions a government or confederation that makes rules. Which means a government. Which means it’s not anarchist. Even by the definition ‘no ruler’ used by your beloved V those places are not anarchist societies. One uses the word anarchist in its title…. along with communist. That just means they’re idiots and using the word as a tag, not as what they are. They’re communists, trying to get ‘useful idiots’ to go along with it by saying ‘we’re anarchists’ – when what they really mean is they’re against the old imperialist regime and for a new communist regime.

            The ONLY place on that list which actually IS an anarchist society is the last place, and it doesnt even have people in it. It just is an area of land that is not claimed by anyone, so has no laws. Therefore, it’s technically an anarchist society. Without the society part.

          • Giacomo Bandini

            The point is that a lot of people around the world have used, or are using, the word anarchism to try to teorize a stable society. Some of them whee idiots, of course, Others respectable phylosophers. And know we learn from you that they were ALL wrong, because by the very definition, any rules, regardless if spontaneous, traditional, or derived from an Hierarchy, is incompatible with an anarchist system.
            Yeah, right.

          • Izo

            “The point is that a lot of people around the world have used, or are using, the word anarchism to try to teorize a stable society.”

            No, the point is if you have a government, you’re not an anarchist. At that point, you’re just an idiot who realizes anarchy is untenable, but you still want to call yourself an anarchist. It’s like saying you’re a vegan who sometimes partakes of chicken parm. I’m a vegan carnivore! I’m an anarchist !

            “Some of them whee idiots, of course, Others respectable phylosophers.”

            Actually the origin philosopher (please start spelling better if you’re going to argue the definition of words) of that idiotic ‘anarchist communist’ movement considered himself a libertarian.

            “by the very definition, any rules, regardless if spontaneous, traditional, or derived from an Hierarchy, is incompatible with an anarchist system.”

            YES! Any rules (except for the spontaneous part) is incompatible with an anarchist system. I make an exception for ‘spontaneous rules’ because rules are not spontaneous. That’s why they’re rules. Spontaneous rules is the same as ‘anarchist government.’ For former runs counter to the existence of the latter.

          • Izo

            The really sad thing is I went through that list, society by society, explained why each one was not anarchist and what they were, and you ignore it and repeat the same statement (seemingly born out of ignorance of what I say, as if you didn’t bother to even read what I write and are just ready to respond with the same thing no matter what I write) without bothering to even TRY to refute what I said. It’s like you’re just covering your ears and saying ‘nuh uh’ the entire time.

            It’s like Wendy Testaburger arguing with Eric Cartman.

          • Giacomo Bandini

            “If you are a communist, you are NOT anarchist. ” tell it to these guys https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchist_communism

          • Izo

            They aren’t anarchists. They’re communists. And also describe themselves as libertarian communists. Which could mean they limit the rules while having a communist society. But that still means there’s a government.

            So they’re not anarchists. They’re communists.

            Putting the word ‘anarchist’ in front of a name does not change the government into anarchy. Because there’s STILL A GOVERNMENT. Quit with the trolling if you’re incapable of reading what I wrote. Actually try to refute it.

            The only time societies are EVER anarchist is during the transition between one government and another government, during which there is no government or ruler. An anarchist society can NEVER expand, because everyone is busy trying to protect their homes, their possessions, and their lives from everyone else. They have no time to be able to actually do anything else until they establish some sort of rules and governing body to enforce those rules if broken. Why this is so difficult for you to comprehend is beyond me.

          • Giacomo Bandini

            No. They use the world liberatrian non it in the sense that they want to limit the goverment, but that they want to eliminate it.
            “Déjacque wrote that: ‘By government I understand all delegation, all
            power outside the people,’ for which must be substituted, in a process
            whereby politics is transcended, the ‘people in direct possession of
            their sovereignty,’ or the ‘organised commune.'”

          • Izo

            “No. They use the world liberatrian non it in the sense that they want to limit the goverment, but that they want to eliminate it.”

            *rubs temples* No, now in addition to not knowing what anarchy means, you don’t know what libertarian means either. It must be quite interesting to make up definitions to words as you feel like it. Libertarianism is about limiting the government in order to maintain individual liberty. It is NOT about removing all government. It’s a basic tenet of libertarian philosophy that without any law, there is anarchy, but with too much government, there is tyranny – therefore you must limit government to the minimum necessary to prevent chaos, and give the government any additional power very carefully and cautiously.

            The existence of anarchy is a vacuum for something else to fill the void. The anarchists who create the problem of anarchy then fill that void by creating their own government, thus eliminating the state of anarchy and replacing it with a new government, with themselves creating the rules, which tends to be an oligarchy (like communism, socialism, or even democracy).

          • Sam

            “Arkhos” means “ruler”, not “rules.

          • Izo

            It means both.

          • Sam


            Cite a source for its use as “rules”, please.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            You know this is getting interesting when we get into petty squabbles about definitions. (Izo, it goes for you too. That’s enough)

          • Izo
          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            This would be less cringy if you weren’t on the wrong side of every argument you’ve been having about definitions, miss “will die on the hermaphrodite hill”.

          • Izo

            I’ve actually been on the correct side of every argument that I’ve been in on spelling, grammar, and scientific wording, and just had people argue with me with ad hominem attacks when they couldn’t refute my logic, but I’ve gotten used to that by now. I make sure to think about what I’m writing before I write it. Also I never said what you just quoted. And you’re going to get a certain person calling me a bigot if you bring that thread back to that debate on common grammar (which a distressing amount of people seem to not know) and accurate scientific nomenclature.

            I note that you didn’t say I was wrong this time btw. And not sure how it’s cringy. I understand that you’re the type of person who shirks away when enough people try to gang up on you – you’ve already told me as much in the past. I’m not that type of person. You said it yourself. I have a lot of self-confidence, including when people are namecalling at me, ganging up on me, threatening me, using ad hominems, inaccurately calling me a white rich male (TheDaviesCR, who seems to do nothing BUT namecalling and ad hominems if you check his history), playing white knight AGAINST me to make themselves feel more important, repeating refuted arguments without reading my own posts, leading me off on a tangent just for the sake of making an argument – then lying and claiming I started it, or going with the ‘hey… I’m not with her on this, attack her, not me’ mentality. When I know I’m right about something, I don’t just back down unless someone can use logic which can sufficiently refute my beliefs.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Actually, each and every time I’ve seen you use the excuse of the dictionary or approximate to argue an usage of the words in question that was colloquial and broadly shared rather than your strictly academic one. And the worst part is that each time, I see people uncomfortable and tiptoeing around telling you that you’re being oblivious, that they perfectly understand why “privilege” is defined as such in the dictionary and why it’s understood to be something slightly different in usage by everyone except you. Calling it now: this will happen again. And I’ll be there to tell you “Izo, I *know* what [specific word] is defined as and it’s a bit insulting of you to presume that I don’t, stop mindlessly following the Divine Scripture and actually engage with the actual point I’m actually making”

            Whether you’re right about what anarchy/ism actually means here doesn’t matter, it’s not the point, what you’re wrong about is your unwillingness to humor the argument whoever else is making. Case in point, there have been billions of ways to define anarchy througout history and a short detour via the wikipedia page is more than enough to stop saying something as mindless as “anarchy just means no rules”

          • Izo

            “Actually, each and every time I’ve seen you use the excuse of the dictionary or approximate to argue an usage of the words in question that was colloquial and broadly shared rather than your strictly academic one.”

            That would be because I do not agree with the idea that the ‘colloquial’ usage of the word is the actual accepted usage of the word among the broader public, let alone the official use of the word. Which it isn’t.

            “And the worst part is that each time, I see people uncomfortable and tiptoeing around telling you that you’re being oblivious,”

            I hardly think you can describe the way people act around me as ‘tiptoeing.’ People tend to get in line to try to tell me I’m wrong, usually by ad hominem attacks once they realize they don’t have a good argument using logic.

            “that they perfectly understand why “privilege” is defined as such in the dictionary and why it’s understood to be something slightly different in usage by everyone except you.”

            It’s so odd that ‘everyone’ can use a word to mean something, yet it hasn’t gotten around to every dictionary on the planet.

            “Calling it now: this will happen again. And I’ll be there to tell you “Izo, I *know* what [specific word] is defined as and it’s a bit insulting of you to presume that I don’t, stop mindlessly following the Divine Scripture and actually engage with the actual point I’m actually making”

            In other words, you’re saying what will happen is someone will get tired of the fact that I’m using facts, then say ‘I don’t care what the facts are – just agree with me about what me and my friends say because my opinion and what I’m trying to MAKE the word mean in my newspeak matters more than what the word actually means. Yeah I am sure that WILL happen again, since you’re describing me being right about what a word means again, and someone else ignoring what the word means. I’m almost certain it will happen again. And it won’t be ‘tiptoeing’ because it will provide another opportunity for someone to be offensive in attacking, then acting like the fact that I am giving a correct definition somehow means I am attacking the person personally, since I seem to be able to separate people and ideas that people have. I find it astounding. I guess when I’ve been in court, I should hate the opposing counsel also.

            ” Case in point, there have been billions of ways to define anarchy througout history”

            Except no, there hasnt been!

            “and a short detour via the wikipedia page is more than enough to stop saying something as mindless as “anarchy just means no rules”

            Much as I hate using wikipedia since anyone can edit it, have you read the page you just linked to? Most of it states exactly that. That anarchy is about no rules. The part that doesn’t is where it’s been edited by someone who is defining part of it as ‘libertarian anarchism’/’free market anarchism’ – which isn’t even an actual thing. You should read any of the books they link to try to support this new definition – none of it is more than 6 years old and has been recent wikipedia edits.

            Which is yet another reason why you don’t use a website that anyone can edit as your source.

            Yes. Anarchy means ‘no rules.’ This is not mindless. This is common sense and the common use of the word for all of the history of the word. Mindless is saying that it doesn’t mean what it’s meant for all of history, because you’re thinking that it means the exact opposite because a single person wrote a book in 2011.

          • Izo

            Lets face facts a moment Clemens. A LOT of people don’t argue with me because of what I say even. Or at least not just for that. They don’t usually say ‘I see your point Izo, but…’ Nope. They see my name and decide to pick an argument instead, because they know that if they say something inherently and factually incorrect, I’ll probably respond to correct them. Then they can pile on me and it’ll be fun for them since they’ll be part of a group. Like this idiotic thread on word origins, which I not only did not start the argument about the origin portion, my original thread didn’t even have anything to DO with word origins. It’s just an easy way to try to feel important by trying to put down another person. And it’s usually fun for these other people because I’ve already shown that I don’t easily back down.

            Basically I’m the ‘Max’ that a group of people are liking to hate, so they can treat me with different rules of sensitivity, consideration, and politeness than they treat each other.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Holy mother of begmezus woman hate yourself a little

          • Izo

            Nah. I’m too adorable to hate myself. Besides, there are enough people who probably hate me already. Wouldn’t want to steal any hate from them. There’s only a limited amount to go around, after all.

          • MrSing

            Clémens I know you are frustrated and I understand why, but this kind of response is not helping.

            Tensions can start to run high during arguments, but as a Mod you have a higher responsibility to mediate and keep things calm on the forum.

            I don’t believe you meant to cause an argument or were malicious, I believe you to be a good choice for a mod, in fact.

            But I believe these recent arguments on the forums are making things a bit high strung around here. I know that I have sometimes been very curt and obnoxious when arguing with Stephanie and others.

            Still, I’d hope that even though we all might sometimes disagree with each other immensly, we can keep this all from escalating.

            I’m not trying to sound patronizing, and if I did I apologize. But I don’t know how else to communicate this.

            If you want to talk about, please contact me.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            I’m not a mod.

            I’m moved by how worried you got after seeing me become abrasive, but don’t worry, this was not intended as a loss of temper and personal attack against Izo, and only came out as such because of poor wording and a momentary oversight that everybody can witness a conversation wherein we may have unconsciously developed a peculiar relationship whose codes are explicit only to us. This is not the place to have these conversations, and I’ll put a stop to them.

          • MrSing

            I thank you for your response.
            I’m sorry I mistook you for a mod, I thought I had seen you mention it somewhere, but I must have misunderstood.

            I’m glad to hear you weren’t really angry at Izo, I admit I was getting kinda worried.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            I worded it “Right, totally do am a commenter, definitely”, as fakely as I could make it. Again, it’s on me for not managing to express the intended message to you.

            I’m definitely getting some measure of frustrated with this particular commenter. I’ve tried to speak with her privately to share my perspective on why this particular problem is recurring in patterns, but it did not help. A full on paragraph of her telling me she feels persecuted by us all in her quest to defend the Truth finishes to crystallize which is the specific problem we are consistently having.
            And I don’t want to have people either develop a reflexive negative attitude toward Izo or avoid her altogether. Maybe this is not my problem to solve and I hate with a furious passion how much of an arrogant mansplaining asshole this makes me sound like… but seeing these threads consistently devolve into heated arguments is getting to me and I really wish I could do something to help.

          • MrSing

            I think it is good when we are able to admit that we are getting frustrated.

            Hiding these feelings will only make us bottle them up and let them stew.

            I think a lot of us, me included, have been having troubles communicating with each other. It might be wise for a few of us to get together and explain and listen to why we are all frustrated and what we all think can be done about it, even if it’s just to get it all off our chests.

            I share your feeling of discomfort with seeing the threads starting to escalate, even if sometimes I participate in this, and think that this might be a good idea to de-escalate things.

            I’d like to hear what you think about it.

          • MrSing

            Izo, as someone who as agreed and argued with you in the past, I admit that I have not alway been fully polite with you.
            However I did, and do, enjoy the passion you put into your arguments and your dedication. I think you put a lot of effort in explaining what you believe and why, and I respect that.

            But I believe that you are getting very frustrated with these comments, not without reason, and that you are not enjoying yourself anymore. I’m sorry to say that you are starting to sound bitter.

            I’m afraid that with the way things are going things might get out of hand. And I’m not putting all the blame on your head. I know that having arguments with others can often lead to two frustrated parties who both say things they might not have meant or shouldn’t have said. But I see things escalating in a way that might not end well and I do not wish this on you or anyone using this forum.

            If you want to talk about it, I’m right here. But please try not to get too frustrated during these conversations.

            I hope this doesn’t sound patronizing or fake, that’s not my intend. I don’t know how to express it well otherwise.

          • Izo

            Honestly I’m not bitter (probably doesnt come across well in text, just like my sarcasm doesn’t always come across well in text), although it IS frustrating when people start arguing with me over minutiae, and argue about it incorrectly (if they’re going to argue over things that are inconsequential, they could at least be right), like the fact that anarchy is a society without rules or laws, then start nitpicking it when they can just drop it… then hypocritically act like I started the inane argument.

            Seriously, these people arguing with me over my making a point about grammar, spelling, and correct definitions, as if I’ve assaulted them in a parking lot with a tire iron then kicked their puppy.

            It also gets a tad frustrating when I have to actually repeat my points multiple times, especially since I’m verbose in my explanations already. I might as well put a TL;DR after everything. I got further with making my points for the couple of days that I was being sarcastic all the time.

            And no I don’t think you’re being patronizing or fake, and I don’t actually recall when you’ve ever not been polite. I’m not talking about you, or SJ, or even Stephanie (who I actually disagree with on a regular basis but she tends to be quite polite, even when she’s being adversarial – as if I have any right to complain when someone’s being adversarial – since I take a very adversarial stance as well). It’s just a lot of other people who seem to just try to pile on, often with arguments that they have not thought out, expecting that since they’re part of the mob, that it’s going to somehow intimidate me to back off any points I might make.

            Anyway, no worries 🙂 I’m fine and I appreciate what you said here.

          • MrSing

            I’m glad to hear you’re not letting it get to you. That was what I was worried about.

            I guess I worry too much sometimes. I’m not that good with conflict and when I see a conversation that looks like it gets out of hand I tend to project my own feelings on it.

            I wanted to let you know that we are not all against you and we do appreciate having you here.

          • Izo

            Thanks 🙂

          • Izo

            It’s in the link you even just showed.

            ‘I rule’

            See arkho.

            arkhos = ar. xos

          • Sam

            Yes, which is not the same thing as “a set of rules”. The fact that “rule” is a polysemous term in English does not mean that it is in Greek. You wouldn’t tell someone who cheated at monopoly that they had broken the king.

          • Izo

            It’s the same thing when talking about word origins. Praecepta is not used in word origins.

          • Sam

            Yes, and there’s a reason the word for the political system is “anarchy”, and not “anprecepty”. You’re conflating two semantically distinct terms.

          • Izo

            Are you seriously arguing this? Geez, you’re seriously arguing this. No, that’s NOT how word origins work at all. That’s not how LANGUAGE works.

          • Sam

            Archon means ruler. Precept means rule. Both have been been imported from Greek essentially intact. They are not interchangeable. “Anarchy” means, literally, “No ruler”. It does not mean “No rules”, any more than “monarchy” means “one rule” or “oligarchy” means “a few rules”.

          • Izo

            Again, no. You’re incorrect Your own link shows that you’re incorrect Rule. In your own definition. The fact that it does not mean the noun does not mean what you think it does. Language is fluid in that way

            Again, you’re wrong, as a matter of definition and word origin. Anarchy means no rules AND no ruler. If there is no ruler, then there is no one to give rules. There are no rules That is why it is called ‘ruler’ One who makes the rules. Monarchy does mean one ruler. It also means One person makes all the rules. Which means that there ARE rules. And all those rules come from one person. If there is no ruler, then there is no one to make the rules. Oligarchy. Same concept. Several people make all the rules. Which again means there are rules. And all those rules come from a group of people

            Democracy – demos kratia. Kratia ALSO means rule. Demos means the people.

            Demos Kratia. The people rule. Rule by the people. Ie, Majority rule

            The word ‘majority’ isnt ever used in the either demos or kratia, but that’s still what the word origin means.

            Republic – res publica – res meaning thing and publicus means public

            The public thing. The law. Written law. The idea that a written law prevails regardless of simply majority rule of the people

            Is the word ‘written’ actually either of the latin? Is the word law? No. It’s still inferred as part of the word origin history. Not sure why you don’t understand this.

          • Sam

            Stop. You were mistaken on a simple definition. It’s not the end of the world. Accept it and move on.

          • Izo

            Except I’m not mistaken. You are. I’ve already explained, multiple times, why I’m not mistaken and why you are. But instead of acknowledging it, you are just saying ‘You’re mistaken, accept it.’ You didn’t even bother to respond to the details of what I said. Since I’m right, me accepting being wrong is not something that will be happening.

            But you can stop and accept that you are wrong instead, if you’d like.

          • Izo

            I’d be more offended to be called a leftist than a liberal.

            Actually if I have to be honest, I probably don’t care what anyone calls me, but I’d consider being called a liberal to be more accurate and in line with my beliefs (if referring to the classic definition of what it means to be liberal) than being called a leftist, since I don’t agree with when things become too authoritarian a mindset.

      • Andrew Rian Hansen

        I don’t think liberals/progressives are anti-establishment. They just want more progressive social programs, freedoms, and ideals in the current establishment. And vice-versa for the conservatives. I’m constantly hearing both sides talking about reform and getting the other side to quit whatever they’re doing because its the Other Guy™ who is ruining the country.
        Your point has merit, but I think its one sided. Everyone is anti-establishment if they feel like their values aren’t being represented.

        • Lostman

          Thanks. I was on a rush when I wrote it, could of done better.

    • Graeme Sutton

      Individual Rights and eschewing coercion may not be a complete theory of ethics, but it’s a much more solid foundation for one than the radical egalitarianism the far left is embracing these days. In any event this is a strawman because Libertarians don’t believe that this is the extent of ethics, just that it ought to be the limit of government power. Very few people believe that it ought to be the job of the government to enforce the entirety of ethics.

      • Eric Meyer

        Yep. Libertarianism is a Political belief- it’s an idea of how Government should interact with Society and Economy, rather than a Moral belief. Libertarians aren’t going to abolish prisons or the judicial system due to ‘personal rights’, just because those governmental institutions interact with personal moral systems.

        Max’s morality was Randian Objectivism more than Libertarianism, and so dealt more with interactions between people (Objectivism, which I like to sometimes call “Selfishism” as that’s what people tend to use it to excuse).

      • I’m aware that libertarianism as described by, say, Nozick acknowledges its own limits — I was thinking of the discussion on previous pages in which at least one of Max’s defenders argued that it was totally okay for him to refuse to save people, because rights. That said, as long as we’re talking about straw men, “radical egalitarianism” is not actually a thing.

        • Lysiuj

          Though I’m kind of wishing it was…

          • Several egalitarian philosophers make very strong claims about the value of equality. Some are more convincing than others, but they’re all interesting reading. I can recommend a few articles if you like! “Radical egalitarianism,” however, is mostly discussed on third-rate conservative blogs and seems to be shorthand for whatever left-wing policies the article writer most disagrees with.

          • Lysiuj

            I’d like that, thanks!
            And I realized that the term was probably just a nonsense term, my point was how awesome would it be to take radical, forward-thinking attitudes towards how we think about equality etc.

          • I like the way you think. 😉 Recs:

            Rawls, J. (1971) A Theory of Justice
            – There are probably briefer and clearer summaries of Rawls elsewhere, but getting a handle on his main arguments is helpful since most recent egalitarian thinkers refer to him in one way or another.

            Anderson, E. S. (1999), “What Is the Point of Equality?” Ethics, 109 (2), pp. 287-337.
            – This is a lucid and convincing defense of democratic egalitarianism, and Anderson’s takedown of brute-luck egalitarians is g l o r i o u s.

            Phillips, A. (2004), Defending Equality of Outcome. Journal of Political Philosophy, 12: 1–19.
            – Read this for the next time someone tries to draw a distinction between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome.

            Scanlon, T. M., “When Does Equality Matter?” (available on NYU’s website, not sure if a link will look like spam)
            – This talks about different reasons why we might value promoting equality (and not just, say, fighting poverty) as a political goal.

          • Izo

            Do you mean promoting equality of opportunity or equality of outcome?

          • In general, it’s way more politically palatable to say “opportunities should be equal” than to say “outcomes should be equal.” But in that article, Anne Phillips makes an interesting argument: when considering groups of people in the aggregate (she uses men and women as examples), unequal outcomes between groups suggest that their opportunities are unequal. For example (off the top of my head), if a large majority of software engineers are men, then either men are naturally better than women at software engineering, or there are barriers, in practice, to women succeeding in this field. And if you actually look at the process of becoming a software engineer, there are a lot of reasons that it might be harder for women than men, even if their abilities are the same, so positing some additional inherent difference in ability doesn’t really make sense.

            So, if someone believes that equality of opportunity is important (as many people of various political stripes do), the best way to assess whether opportunities are equal for different groups of people is, in fact, to look at the outcomes these groups achieve.

          • Izo

            I can see some nobility in trying to achieve equality of opportunity. That’s egalitarianism. Non-favoritism and promoting the idea that everyone gets the opportunity based on merit, not being discriminated against on stuff like the color of their skin, their gender, their ethnicity, their religion, etc. Just based on what they show themselves to be capable of actually doing. Meritocracy.

            I don’t see the same nobility in trying to achieve, or more often, trying to ENFORCE, equality of outcome. Equality of outcome turns all this talk about equal opportunity on its head. It means that no matter how good a job you do, no matter how smart or dumb you are, no matter how lazy or diligent you are, no matter the value of your work to society, you are LIMITED to the same level as everyone else in the end. Eventually people wind up wondering ‘why do any more than the absolute minimum work if I’m going to end up in the same place as everyone else anyway?’

          • The point isn’t that outcomes should be equal across all people. The point is that if opportunities are equal, then outcomes will be roughly the same when comparing one group to another. For example, if men and women in a society have the same opportunities regardless of gender, then the average income of men will be the same as that of women. But individual men and individual women might have very different incomes depending on their choices and abilities.

          • Izo

            “For example, if men and women in a society have the same opportunities regardless of gender, then the average income of men will be the same as that of women. ”

            That’s actually incorrect. As in on a basic level incorrect. IF men and women have the same opportunities regardless of gender, then the average income of men would NOT necessarily be the average income of women, because it’s based on the choices that men and women make, of their own free will. Certain jobs make more money than other jobs. Certain jobs have a limited amount of people that can fill them before they become superfluous. Certain jobs require different levels of training. Certain people choose to spend more time with their family vs more time at work. Certain people are more confident than others and more willing to ask for a raise than others. People’s choices and preferences have a far bigger impact, even if you have totally equal levels of opportunity. Even if you take a group of only ONE gender and split them into two parts, they will not make an average that are identical to each other, regardless of whether they’re all men or all women. I’m not saying we do have total equality of opportunity, but I’m saying that equality of opportunity does NOT mean equality of outcome, and can’t mean that as a basic point of how people are individuals and do not have identical lives, abilties, preferences and needs.

          • Just to be totally clear, and then I’m off to bed: I was way oversimplifying the “average income” thing. What you’d really do is randomly sample each population and then test the difference between genders for statistical significance, controlling for other attributes such as age, race, and parental income. Unless there is an underlying difference, based on gender, between men and women in their ability to be economically successful, then you would not expect to find a statistically significant difference between the groups (controlling for all those other things).

          • Izo

            Oh okay. I thought you were trying to justify the wage gap thing, which isn’t actually accurate (or at least not to the level that they claim). The claim is based on a quote made in the 1970s, without any factual basis, that women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes – and they use this to act as if a man and woman, in the same job, with the same qualifications and same level of time in the job, at the same level, make a hugely disparate amount of money. It’s not only not true now. It wasn’t even true then for multiple reasons.

            It’s not true because when you take all jobs of all men and women everywhere, you’re averaging in the money that a CEO makes with the money that a doctor makes with the money that a street sweeper makes with the money that a nanny makes. You’re going to get ludicrously different amounts then.

            It’s also not true because, as you can see in the example in the first paragraph, there are MANY reasons for an income disparity.

            It’s also not true because, if it was true, all that any business would have to do to MASSIVELY increase their profit margins would be fire all the men, and hire only women. Bam… you just increased profits by 23 percent across the board without any difference in work quality or output.

            I believe they did an updated take on this recently, and found the number, within a single given field, was closer to 96 percent to the dollar, and the remaining disparity tended to involve working fewer hours (meaning less money in overtime) and taking off for having and staying with during the at least during the first year. Honestly, I know I made more than several of my male colleagues because I have more skills and experience in certain areas than they do, and I made less than other colleagues because I had less skill than they did, and even when I worked on an hourly basis, like in contract law jobs, I made more than most because I chose to work more hours for overtime – not only more than most of the men (although there were a few who worked as many hours as I did), but also more than most of the women, especially the women who had children and wanted to be able to spend time with their family (I had no children so it wasn’t an issue for me, although if I did have children I’d probably choose to spend more time at home as well, even if my husband chose to be a stay-at-home dad).

          • Lysiuj

            Adding to what Sarah said,
            It’s possible to strive for equality of outcome in other ways besides forcing it.
            As an example, I want for all people in the world to be in good health. But I don’t want this to be achieved by hurting those in good health, just so everyone will be equal. That would be a horrific mass harm of those people’s human rights, and it would also be completely ridiculous – achieving technical ‘equality’ between all people, but not actually making things better.
            Instead, we strive for all people to have good health, which means focusing our efforts on the people who don’t have that chance – put simply, improving health care in places where it’s of lower quality, and making all necessary health care available to all.
            So. Striving for equality of outcome through equality of oppurtunity (in some ways, I’m not talking about a long term plan of making everyone identical…).

          • You’re using the words, but either don’t understand them, or are deliberately ignoring the meaning used by those who advocate them.

            Equality of Opportunity: hand your job application forms in at the top of the stairs
            Equality of Outcome: and the wheelchair lift is over on the right.

            Equality of Opportunity is the simplistic assertion that everyone gets the same chance.
            Equality of Outcome is about taking that assertion and using it as the mandate to remove the unacknowledged structural disadvantages faced by certain minority groups, such as stairs. It’s about making Equality of Opportunity mean what it says, not about removing personal merit.

            Real life example from a discussion with a friend this week. They’re demonstrably at the top of their profession, getting flagship contracts. But the uber-boss contracting them noticed something. “Hey X, how come you only get jobs from my half of the organisation?”
            So X had to explain that, because they’re disabled, their CV/resume shows a non-traditional route into the profession. They apply for jobs at the other half of the organisation, but they never get past the first cut and never get seen by Uber-boss’s peers. Uber-boss went “WTF!” and started actively praising X to their peers and saying “You need to look at your processes, X is brilliant, but your minions keep binning their resume because they’re disabled.” Result, X got called the next time a contract opened up in the other half, impressed, and got the job.

            The organisation has a reputation for pursuing Equality of Opportunity, but that wasn’t enough, X was still being excluded. Equality of Outcome was someone with the push to make it stick pointing out that disabled people were being excluded for not having done something they physically couldn’t do, which was _irrelevant_ to the job at hand.

          • Izo

            “You’re using the words, but either don’t understand them, or are deliberately ignoring the meaning used by those who advocate them.”

            Or maybe you don’t understand the words, since you clearly didn’t read anything I wrote, including the examples.

            “Equality of Opportunity: hand your job application forms in at the top of the stairs. Equality of Outcome: and the wheelchair lift is over on the right.”

            What you wrote doesn’t make sense, because what you described as equality of outcome is actually equality of opportunity. Equality of OUTCOME is that, in the end, everyone gets the same equal result. Equality of OPPORTUNITY is everyone gets the same chance to TRY for a successful result.

            “Equality of Opportunity is the simplistic assertion that everyone gets the same chance. ”

            If it was truly simplistic, you’d have understood what it means.

            “Equality of Outcome is about taking that assertion and using it as the mandate to remove the unacknowledged structural disadvantages faced by certain minority groups, such as stairs.”

            No, equality of outcome means a guarantee that everyone will succeed after they’ve been given an equal opportunity. There are no guarantees in life. And if you think the world owes you a successful result, then you’ve never had to work for anything in your life, and any successes you do get are meaningless because they’ve been handed to you.

            “It’s about making Equality of Opportunity mean what it says, not about removing personal merit.”

            How can you make an argument when my post was ‘is this equality of opportunity or equality of outcome?’ Then arguing they’re the same thing, as if you didnt read my explanation at all. Go back and read, then respond.

            Guaranteeing an equal outcome DOES remove personal merit, because there is no point in trying hard if you’re guaranteed the same result.

            Everything you wrote in your post is you not understanding what equality of outcome means, and claiming it’s all meaning equality of opportunity. Including your last paragraph.

            “The organisation has a reputation for pursuing Equality of Opportunity, but that wasn’t enough, X was still being excluded.”

            Then they did not have equality of opportunity in hte first place if someone was being excluded for reasons other than that they simply were bad at their work.

            “Equality of Outcome was someone with the push to make it stick”
            I have no idea what that means, but it still looks like you’re describing equality of opportunity and don’t realize it.

            “pointing out that disabled people were being excluded for not having done something they physically couldn’t do at a junior level, which was _irrelevant_ to the senior level job at hand.”

            Seriously, this sentence makes no sense at all. If someone literally can’t do the work, you don’t guarantee them the outcome. If you’re a parapalegic, you’re not going to be a fireman. They can let you try out but all the equality of opportunity in the world isn’t going to mean they should give you the same income as the guy who can do the obstacle course in under a minute.

            For that matter, a person with an IQ of 85 and a guy with an IQ of 185 might both want to be a doctor. They might both have the same opportunity to go to school. But one of them is going to be successful. The other will not be. But hey…. want equality of outcome? You let the doctor with an IQ of 85 operate on you. I’ll stick to the smart person who was able to pass his or her classes without being given the answers.

          • Sigh, or maybe I just didn’t consider your examples to have any validity because they don’t addess the reality of ‘equality of outcome’ used by those campaigning for it. Remember before denying this is correct that ‘those campaigning for it’ describes both me and most of my disabled friends and has done for most of the last decade (Tory governments have that effect on minority groups they decide to demonise).

            Society talks about equality of opportunity, but is poor at understanding that saying ‘we won’t discriminate’ doesn’t actually guarantee that no discrimination will occur, because society is simultaneously poor at recognising the existence of structural/institutional discrimination.

            eg: “Now of course we would never discriminate over your being a woman, but this two year gap in your career makes you less attractive as a candidate.”
            “Yes, I had a baby”
            “Nevertheless, a two year career gap is not something I can ignore.”
            The candidate’s competence hasn’t changed, but the recruiters institutional prejudices work against them even if they obstensibly believe in equality of opportunity.

            As minority group activists we recognise institutional/structural discrimination happens (been there, faced that), and we need to campaign for a world free of it. Now what we’re talking about is true ‘equality of opportunity’, not the half-assed sham the rest of society thinks about when they hear the words, but they’ve already claimed that term. So we use ‘equality of outcome’ to describe a process in which equality of opportunity doesn’t just exist until opportunity runs headlong into structural barriers, but still exists at the outcome of the process, because we’ve addressed those social barriers. You can deny that’s what is meant, but that doesn’t make the denial accurate.

            TLDR: The problem isn’t what we mean by ‘equality of outcome’, it’s what society means by ‘equality of opportunity’, which is not actually equality of opportunity, but vague protestations they won’t consciously discriminate, without any intent to address structural discrimination.

          • Izo

            “Sigh, or maybe I just didn’t consider your examples to have any validity because they don’t addess the reality of ‘equality of outcome’ used by those campaigning for it.”

            Do you realize the circular nature of what you just said?

            You don’t consider my examples of equality of opportunity being different than equality of outcome because my examples don’t address the equality of outcome with the equality of opportunity?

            Seriously, READ what I wrote about why they are totally different things, and why one is a good thing (equality of opportunity) while the other is not only bad it makes equality of opportunity meaningless. You don’t even bother to address THAT. You just mix the two up and start defining equality of outcome with examples of ensuring equality of opportunity instead.

            Which means you’ve missed the entire point of every portion of my rather long and detailed posts.

            “Remember before denying this is correct that ‘those campaigning for it’ describes both me and most of my disabled friends and has done for most of the last decade (Tory governments have that effect on minority groups they decide to demonise).”

            Oh for crying out loud, AGAIN, you’re describing EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY. Not EQUALITY OF OUTCOME. You have no right to equality of outcome, because if that was guaranteed, what’s the point of even HAVING equality of opportunity in the first place. You’d be guaranteed the same result even if you didn’t put any work into it anyway, and regardless of your ability to do any tasks.

            “Society talks about equality of opportunity, but is poor at understanding that saying ‘we won’t discriminate’ doesn’t actually guarantee that no discrimination will occur, because society is simultaneously poor at recognising the existence of structural/institutional discrimination.”

            You’re still talking about equality of opportunity. If someone says ‘we will not discriminate’ and discrimination still occurs, it means equality of opportunity has not been achieved. What it does NOT mean is that we should guarantee that everyone, regardless of how much work they do or the quality of their work or their abilities in regard to their work should achieve the same success.

            I’m going to try again to give you an example. I’m going to make the example exceedingly simple, and I’m going to hope you will actually read and try to gather what I’m saying in this example. I doubt you will because so far you haven’t with any of my other examples.

            Okay. Here’s the example.

            Billy and Becky are two kids who have jobs shoveling snow – they each charge $10 per house they shovel snow for. Billy is allowed to shovel snow for all the houses on the left side of the street, since all the house want the snow cleared and are willing to pay. Becky can shovel snow for all the houses on the right side of the street, since all the house want the snow cleared and are willing to pay. This is the equality of opportunity.

            After 6 hours, Billy has shoveled snow for 7 houses. Becky has shoveled snow for 3 houses. Billy makes $70 (6 houses at $10 each). Becky makes $30 (3 houses at $10 each). Well…. this is NOT equality of outcome. If you want equality of outcome, you would be forced to take $20 away from Billy and give it to Becky, so both have $50 each. THAT is equality of outcome. Aside from this being unfair to Billy, who shoveled snow for more than double the amount of houses, what is Billy’s incentive to do this again. He might as well just see how many houses Becky is shoveling snow for, and keep the same exact pace, because otherwise he’s doing more work for no reason. Equality of outcome encourages less work to be done as a result. Now, instead of 10 houses being cleared of snow next time, only 6 will be.

            Please tell me you see what I’m saying. Because if you disagree with this extremely simple concept, I don’t know what else to say.

            Now lets see your example, so I can actively refute what you’ve written. See… i’m actually going to look at it, and explain why you are wrong, pointing out where you’re wrong. I’m not going to just say ‘your examples have no validity’ and just repeat the same thing over and over again.

            “eg: “Now of course we would never discriminate over your being a woman, but this two year gap in your career makes you less attractive as a candidate.”
            “Yes, I had a baby”
            “Nevertheless, a two year career gap is not something I can ignore.”
            The candidate’s competence hasn’t changed, but the recruiters institutional prejudices work against them even if they obstensibly believe in equality of opportunity.”

            Actually, the candidate’s competency DID change. She has two years less experience than another person who did not have a two year gap in his OR her work history. Notice how I’ve said his or her. Because you not only ignore that there is such a thing as stay-at-home dads, you also ignore that a woman who does NOT have a baby is not going to have that work gap and and will have the same amount of experience as a man who worked the same amount of time. Both had equality of opportunity. One person decided to have a baby, AND to take off 2 years of work to be with the child during the baby’s formative years. It’s justifiable for the woman to want to, but that’s her choice. There’s no discrimination there at all, actually.

            What would you have the employer do – hire the person with LESS experience, rather than the person with more experience? In what world does that make even the slightest bit of sense? And in what way is that fair to either another woman who has NOT had a baby, and instead was working those two years, OR a man who has not taken off from work in order to be a stay-at-home dad for those two years?

            What exactly happens if they can only hire ONE of those candidates? How do you guarantee equality of outcome there? You already ARE guaranteeing equality of opportunity – there was no one saying that the woman had to have a baby. And the woman also did not have to take off two years. She did so because she wanted to be a good mother to the child and take care of the child personally, instead of, say, hiring an opere or nanny, or having her husband stay at home to take care of the baby while she works. No one prevented her from doing that.

            However, the only way I see to guarantee equality of outcome is to hire BOTH of them. But what if the employer can’t afford to hire both of them? Does the employer hire both of them at half salary? What if there is not enough work to make hiring both of them even remotely efficient? Or are you saying that the employer MUST hire the woman? How’s that equality of outcome for the person who did NOT have a two year gap from raising a baby?

          • Stop writing essays that try to force my points, written from the perspective of someone actually doing the damn stuff, into your political perspective that we’re all clueless idiots who want to remove competence from the equation. We don’t, and we aren’t.

            What we are doing is address the entire problem set (conscious AND structural discrimination, not simply conscious), not a superficial and flawed understanding of it. The language used is less than ideal, but that is because the better term has been preempted by those with the flawed understanding.

          • Izo

            “Stop writing essays that try to force my points, written from the perspective of someone actually doing the damn stuff, into your political perspective that we’re all clueless idiots who want to remove competence from the equation. We don’t, and we aren’t.”

            How about start actually reading my points and responding to them, instead of engaging in ad hominem attacks? I had posted explanations that were a lot shorter at first, but you keep repeating the same ignorant statements, ignoring EVERY point and description I write, then require me to refute everything you keep saying and repeating. So how about use logic and respond to my words, not make up stuff? That would be nice. You still haven’t even TRIED to refute my points – because you can’t. Plus you don’t understand the difference between opportunity and outcome.

            “The language used is less than ideal, but that is because the better term has been preempted by those with the flawed understanding.”

            Just because you can’t refute what I said does not mean it’s flawed. It means you don’t have an answer. Either you’re incapable of making an argument, or an argument does not exist that refutes what I said.

          • Lysiuj

            Wonderful, thank you! ^_^

          • Shweta Narayan

            (seconded. If I ever find the brain I want to read these too, thank you.)

          • Lysiuj

            “If I ever find the brain” heh, I’m gonna borrow this! Thanks!

          • Shweta Narayan

            ok but if you do find the brain could i borrow it for a lil while pls

          • Izo

            I’ve never heard of the term ‘radical egalitarianism.’ I’ve heard of radical feminism, because that can promote misandry, which would be the opposite of egalitarianism, just like the whole radical MRA stuff can promote misogyny.

        • Graeme Sutton

          I would describe the social justice ideology that sees absolute equality of outcome as the ultimate goal of social policy and automatically assumes that any inequality between groups is necessarily the result of discrimination as “Radical Egalitarianism”. If you disagree with my terminology then we can agree to disagree. If you don’t think that the ideology I described ‘a thing’ then you need to get out more. I can’t answer for everyone who’s defended Max on this forum but characterizing his views as representative of libertarianism is at best deeply dishonest. He’s a poor caricature of Randian Objectivism written by someone who makes no effort to hide their contempt for this worldview.

          • Max’s character isn’t designed to disprove Objectivism, but to make his personality contemptible to Alison. She’s fantasized before about punching Randians into the sun — well, now she’s actually hurt a Randian sort in the service of her ideals, and she has to face the reality of what that’s like.

            When you can engage in this discussion without resorting to the very things you complain about — straw men and contempt for other worldviews — then I’m happy to talk about this more.

          • Izo

            I think both you and Graeme are right about what you’re saying, actually. The way that he’s been characterized seems to be to make Libertarian seem foolish, by painting him in a light that actual libertarians do NOT act like. A simplistic strawman. He’s clearly designed to show that objectivism is wrong, and it’s a pretty fair guess to hypothesize that it’s because the author considers it to be wrong as well (although I can’t read the author’s mind).

            But it’s ALSO that he’s designed to be contemptible to Alison so that it becomes ‘okay’ to treat him against his will, less than human. The two reasons are not mutually exclusive, considering that Alison’s already stated that she hates Ayn Randites, of which Max seems to be an example.

          • Yes, the authors obviously disagree with Objectivism on principle, but that’s been fairly clear from the beginning, even when it isn’t discussed explicitly. If Max were more like the libertarians I know, Alison wouldn’t have to decide whether it’s okay to coerce him to save countless lives; he’d do it gladly. Max has to refuse in order to set up this choice for her. For his refusal to be both plausible and unsympathetic, he can’t be a “typical” libertarian, and he has to be a total jerk.

          • Graeme Sutton

            What part of my summary of social justice ideology is inaccurate? While it’s certainly true that I find your worldview contemptible I’m not sure why that would invalidate my criticisms of it. I’ve clearly described exactly what is wrong with your critique of libertarianism, you have yet to point out any flaws in my critique of social justice ideology other than to call them a “straw man” which absent any actual defense is simply name-calling of the “I know you are but what am I?” variety.

          • Ugh, okay, I’ll bite. 1) As I already said in my first reply to you, I wasn’t “critiquing libertarianism” but responding loosely to conversations on previous posts, which are obviously not 100% in line with real, true libertarian philosophy. 2) You haven’t actually criticized social justice ideology in this thread, not substantively — you’ve said it’s a bad foundation for ethics, and that it’s contemptible, but you haven’t defended those positions at all. 3) Yes, your simplistic, contemptuous definition of “social justice ideology” is a straw man. If you really can’t think how it might be inaccurate, I strongly suggest reading work by philosophers whose politics you disagree with, not just to convince yourself that they’re wrong and you know better, but to understand their viewpoint and see what you can learn.

            You’re a dude I’ve never met, telling me in an internet comment section that my politics are “contemptible.” What’s your endgame here? Do you expect this conversation to end with me changing my mind and admitting how very wrong I’ve been? (Those are rhetorical questions. This conversation may be a waste of your time, and I know it’s a waste of mine.)

        • MrSing

          As one of the people who defended human rights in favor of saving people.
          It’s a bit more complicated than that.

          I’m saying that everyone starts with the same unbreakable human rights. But as soon as you take up a job, a duty, a position of leadership, you bear responsibilities.

          It would have been acceptable if Alison had forced a doctor to save lives. Since a doctor has a duty to do so. And if the doctor refuses this duty, they stop being a doctor and can never be a doctor again probably.

          So, it is a human right to refuse to help people. But this means you can not be in a position of leadership over them or to bear the respect you get as a person who works in a postion to save human lives.

          A person can choose to shirk all responsibilities and never do anything. But this means that person is basically nothing and alone. If they refuse to pay taxes, it even means that they can’t be a citizen anymore.

          It is allowed to be free of all responsibility, but you will never amount to anything or have people in your life.

          • I think we have a lot of common ground here! (Note, I don’t remember exactly what arguments you’ve made before.) To me, Max’s refusal to help Alison may be his prerogative, but it’s also contemptible, immoral, and generally not okay at all, given that he’s in a position to save a lot of lives at minimal cost to himself (whether he asked for that position or not) and won’t do it.

          • MrSing

            I agree that it makes him a very uncompassionate and contemptible even though it was his right.

            I’d argue about it being immoral (even though I understand and sympathyse with people calling it an evil choice, my belief in rights doesn’t allow me to call it more than an extremely selfish neutral choice), but it certainly doesn’t make him a good person or one who I’d respect or trust.

            So I’d say you are correct when you say we agree on most points.

    • Andrew Rian Hansen

      “…just because you aren’t obligated to help someone in need doesn’t mean that it’s always right for you to choose not to.” -Sarah Brand

      I love this (partial) sentence. Well, I love this whole post, but this line makes it all succinct for me.

    • Markus

      Call this hyper-Utilitarianism if you will, but I genuinely think that Alison’s decision was less bad than doing nothing.

      • I agree, but it would’ve been even less bad if she’d gone about it differently. If she’d taken a day to regroup, she could have made a better plan with help from her friends — Brad, Lisa, Dr. Rosenblum, even Patrick. (Yeah, she’s still angry at him, but Captain I’ll Persuade You It’s Obvious might have some useful input here, no?)

        That’s philosophy, of course — from a story standpoint, it was only a matter of time before Alison gave in to her stress and frustration and tried to just fix a bad situation by punching something. She’s said before that the option was tempting, so now she’s taken it, and even in this situation (many deserving beneficiaries, sparing a person she cares about deeply from unthinkable pain, mostly-unsympathetic victim), she clearly wishes she’d found another way. I’m excited to see how she sorts this out for herself.

        • Markus

          I love how every meta tries to solve problems by maximizing for use of their own power. It’s interesting because it means they each have a roll that it feels like their biology is dragging them towards.

          Furnace is the perfect footsoldier.
          Moonshadow is the perfect assassin.
          Mega Girl is the perfect tyrant.
          Feral is the purfect martyr.
          Patrick is the perfect courtier.

          And they all end up in situations where maximizing their own powers isn’t actually useful at fixing their problems.

          • Oh, that’s really interesting! I hadn’t thought about it like that. Now I’m imagining some sort of Guardians 2.0 where these particular characters all cooperate, which would be either awesome or terrifying. Probably both.

          • Markus

            The only thing I was uncertain on is what Lisa/Paladin’s “job” would be. “The perfect engineer” seems a little too ambiguous, and maybe a little too redundant. Also, it doesn’t really touch on the fact that her power’s role, like Feral’s, involves a certain amount of self-flagellation and self-enslavement.

          • Izo

            She’d probably be the Iron Man of the group 🙂

            (or as they put it in Iron Man 3 – The Perfect Mechanic)

          • Izo

            Ok this was actually pretty well put.

          • Oren Leifer

            Yes, that’s why I (and other Worm fans) really have taken to this. There’s the same undercurrent of ironic superpowers that drive people to certain rules, and it’s interesting to see how more self-conscious and self-aware people who are (mostly) middle/upper-class and therefore have the luxury of time and money to spend figuring out what they want to do and be, yet still end up gravitating back to the roles their powers lay out for them.

        • Dan045

          Max is the single most game breaking super on the planet. Any group with him is unbeatable, and he’s soft enough that he can be forced to “help”. Six people can only keep a secret if five are dead. Tell 5 people, any 5 people, that he even exists and life as we know it ends.

          How does the Army not use Max to create an army of super soldiers? How does China or whoever not see Max’s potential? The light-gal and the fire-guy, with powers boosted by a factor of 1000x, could each incinerate a city with a snap of their fingers.

          How many people can reasonably be trusted with that kind of power, and how does it not reshape society so baselines matter little? Accelerated healing is very much the exception because it’s so hard to abuse that power.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            I’m not sure I’m sold on the idea that Max is a game changer. It hinges upon the idea that it’s somehow more of one that the fact that the world utterly changed forever when teenagers got superpowers. What would one guy who can amp one at a time bring more to such a table?
            One argument could be that not everyone gets amped but it’s not like superpowers were distributed evenly and their base level somehow equal each other in the first place. The Storm already threw everything off the rails and broke every game, China already sent people to capture and subdue their targets of interests, the army already created their army (Alison its flagship)

            This is old news.

          • Shweta Narayan

            Also, if everyone’s powers are still developing/increasing, it’s possible that all Max does is speed it up. He *said* his power was amplifying others, but I don’t think he has any idea that biodynamic powers are changing over time? Unless I’m forgetting them talking about it before the breakup.

            So if I remember right, he may well just not *know* exactly what his power is, or have the wrong idea about it.

            And if he can create a permanent change, without knowing exactly what it’ll be… then that sounds to me like what’s already happening without him.

          • Dan045

            The example in the comic was one gal with regen fulfilling the organ needs for the entire planet. That’s roughly 100x or 1000x empowerment.

            At the moment, Alison is the most powerful super on the planet. In theory Max could create 50 people a lot more powerful than she is. Better still those 50 can be selected for loyalty and ruthlessness before they’re super-empowered.

            This is the difference between one person in the school having a handgun and every person in the school having… what? Machine guns? Tanks? Pee-wee nukes?

            That fire-guy was somewhat comparable to a gun, at 1000x he is literally a walking nuke.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Again, what makes you think there wasn’t this drastic imbalance of powers already? Furnace qualifies for ruthlessness, I’d say, and we have never seen another fire spewing power. Maybe he actually was already 1000 times stronger than the world’s second fire breather.

          • Dan045

            There isn’t a drastic imbalance of power because supers don’t already rule the world, and at the moment that idea would seem silly to everyone in the comic. They can be powerful, but only Alison is powerful to the point where law enforcement probably doesn’t have a good way to deal with her.

            RE: Furnace
            So far we’ve been dealing with American supers. Assuming a random distribution of a global issue, the rest of the world has 20x. It’s possible America’s are 1000x as powerful as the rest of the world, but that’s probably not the way to bet.

            If Furnace, Alison, etc are each 1000x as powerful as the next person in line then the world really shouldn’t have any issues dealing with supers in general. A ‘make-a-spot-on-the-wall’ Furnace would be so weak to the point even he wouldn’t consider himself super.

          • MartynW

            There’s the “Midas” problem, which is where a power becomes so great that it’s no longer possible for the owner to function properly, or even survive.
            There was an X-Men comic from years ago where Unus the Untouchable had his personal force field increased to the point where he couldn’t touch anything anymore, and only his friend the Blob could force his way through it to even feed him. At one point it got bad enough that air couldn’t even reach him.

            I’m sure comic fans could think of other examples.

          • Izo

            PS238 has Rainmaker, who can basically use his augmentation power to send a person’s powers out of control. Like he makes this one woman who can increase her density increase it so much that she can’t move.

          • Heh.

            Max is the single most game breaking super on the planet. Any group with him is unbeatable, and he’s soft enough that he can be forced to “help”. Six people can only keep a secret if five are dead. Tell 5 people, any 5 people, that he even exists and life as we know it ends.

            At the very least, Max’s life does…

          • Markus

            Max is oil. He’s a commodity. A huge part of the reason he hates his powers is because he hates the idea of being an object.

          • Dan045

            I think it’s the being-soft part that bugs him. He can create gods, but never become one.

    • Virgil Clemens

      I think in the context of the comic, Alison was in the right and Max wasn’t. The damage is pretty damned minimal compared to the benefits attained. Could Al have done things differently to make the process better? Absolutely. But the perfect shouldn’t be the enemy of the good.

      • Shweta Narayan

        The physical damage she did was minimal. The psychological damage she did, both to Max and *herself*, is … from what we’ve seen, not.

        She picked the least wrong option she was capable of seeing at the time, but that doesn’t make it right.

      • Cyrano111

        The real problem is not in how to weigh the harm Alison did against the benefit Alison created: the problem is that deciding right and wrong by engaging in such weighing is the wrong approach.

        Civil society rests on the idea of having rules, rights, and common reasonable expectations. Within a pretty broad range it doesn’t even matter *what* the rules are: it primarily matters that there *are* rules. Once you remove that, *no-one* has any security.

        This becomes particularly true when we take into account that weighing harms against benefits is inherently subjective, so we can’t necessarily expect widespread agreement in individual cases. The question won’t be “do the benefits outweigh the harms”: it will be “does the person with the most power think the benefits outweigh the harms”. As a result, what we arrive is “justice is the will of the stronger”.

        Even here, isn’t it obvious that even if Alison was going to force Max to boost someone, there might have been better choices if she had taken the time to research the other options that apparently existed?

        Alternatively, what if Max was a genuinely nice person who devoted his time to charitable works but was afraid to let his power become known, while Feral was an utterly insufferable jerk who had only agreed to become a perpetual donor in order to avoid jail? On the truly important parts of the calculation, the result should be the same – force Max to boost Feral to solve organ donation shortages worldwide – but I suspect Alison would be less likely to physically harm her friend to force him to help a person she disliked. Indeed, I bet the notion would never even have occurred to her.

        • Shweta Narayan

          (Just want to note that uh, I think if 24/7 torture is preferable to jail for ANYone, we need to look long and hard at the setting’s prison system. Granted, I think we need to do that for the real US too, and most real countries, but even independently of that.)

          • I’ll just weigh in, working in a prison, that I agree with this statement wholeheartedly.

      • Dan045

        Max’s motivations are crass and selfish, but Alison just told everyone on the planet that there’s a way to increase a super’s abilities by 1000x. Alison is watched by every agency on the planet, and is a celib to an insane degree. So reviewing everyone she’s met in the last two months won’t be that hard.

        Whether Alison’s good intentions result in a net ‘good’ for the planet long term remain to be seen.

        • Shweta Narayan

          I look forward to finding out whether she just did exactly what Patrick wanted, or whether he underestimated just how bad she is at keeping a secret and now he’s panicking too. (Probably it’s #1 but I personally would find #2 hilarious)

        • Giacomo Bandini

          Well’ it’s a stroke of luck for Max that a couple of days ago Alison has taken part to a dynamomorphic convention. What is more probable, from an external point of view? That the rich shallow dude she has been dating, which she casually met when she saved his life, is secretly a biodynamic with augmentation powers, or that one of the hundred or more of the already renowed biodynamic has recently evolved, or has always had, an anomaly which can explained feral’s power boost?

          • Dan045

            That’s a really good point… although imho it wouldn’t be enough. The gov (and probably other governments, and the media/fans) would put huge resources into figuring out what every biodynamic can do.

            Time will pass, no more super-enhancements will happen, and at some point, that it’s a closet super will occur to someone. That closet super is sitting on a Billion dollar power.

    • Basically what you’re saying is Allison is ChG alignment, sometimes heavier on the Ch than the G.

    • Dan045

      You can justify doing anything to anyone if it’s proper to bring in what someone’s great-great(etc) grandparents. Everyone is related to everyone over a shockingly low amount of time. Thus NPR can talk about Einstein and Jeffrey Dahmer being related.

      “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” -very old saying from multiple cultures. Max is busy spending the money he got from his parents, he’ll leave little or nothing to his children and nothing to his grandchildren.

      We don’t have a problem with inequality, we have a problem with lack of opportunity. You don’t create opportunity by eating the rich because they or their parents were successful.

    • Shweta Narayan

      OMG THANKYOU I thought I was all alooooones in thinking they were both in the wrong

      • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

        what no you weren’t

        • Shweta Narayan

          I think it’s just that the arguments got to sounding that way.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            To me, what really balances the harsh criticism toward Alison isn’t really what she did, but the power imbalance between the two. No matter how petty or egoistical Max was or how many lives were saved, these variables are irrelevant in the face of the fact that the powerful subdued the weak and this should really color how everybody digests what went through. Had the opposite happened, it would have been so, so different.

          • Izo


          • I wouldn’t call the variables irrelevant, but they certainly conflict. Which elements are the big picture and which are the variables completely change depending on the lens we use to examine the situation, but the one thing that none of said ethical lenses obscures is that those two elements are at odds with one another. The powerful should not subdue the weak; the petty and privileged should not perpetuate the oppression of the weak; neither of these are acceptable situations; fixing either of them is extremely difficult.

          • Shweta Narayan

            …but one could definitely have done better than Al 🙂 …IF one wasn’t operating on exhaustion and incomplete theory of mind.

          • Shweta Narayan

            I half agree with that.

            Balancing it is the fact that Max’s wealth and parental influence is the only reason he was able to hide his ability & not help anyone as long as he did, like, he didn’t get to that point fairly either.

            Now we can take another step back and say the government grabbing all the useful(?) biodynamics for child soldiers was a problem in the first place, but Max’s mother didn’t like, use her power to fight for them. She abused her power to hide the fact that HER kid was an icky mutant.

            So Max coming into this situation has benefited, *is* benefiting, from his family’s abuse of power in a specific/distinct/directly relevant way. As well as just, y’know, being a rich kid, and having zero financial pressure to use his abilities helpfully.

            So: As I see it? They are both different varieties of powerful, they’re *both* abusing their power, and Alison’s abuse of power temporarily wins over Max’s. They both deserve harsh criticism.

            Most of the injustice in the world falls very distinctly in Max’s favor, to the point where he’s one of the few people who may be able to hit Alison back. (If he gains a little creative thinking ability, which he’s displayed a sad lack of so far.)

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            I mean all of this is true but his choice to help Tara seems to me quite divorced from any of this. I don’t think you can make up an argument where not helping her is an abuse of his power, –the same way the rich fighting for lowering their taxes definitely is– and doubly so considering Tara’s fate is self-chosen.

          • Shweta Narayan

            IDK about making up arguments, that’s a game I’ve never seen the fun/point of. The whole thing is pretty upsetting to me. But I don’t think his refusing to help Tara is totally *independent* of abuse of power.

            He has the choice to help or not *because of* an abuse of power
            in his favor in the first place. So it seems irrelevant to me whether
            the choice itself is an active abuse of power. It’s the direct result of
            abuse of power, *and* of his acceptance of power being abused in his favor.

            I’m also pretty… concerned that so many people think “Tara chose her fate” justifies anything. Tara’s coming from a background of extreme poverty, and of being a lesbian in a homophobic area; and then there’s the unrequited crush on an *incredibly* privileged girl (Alison) who self-centeredly expounds on her ideals to a Feral while she’s vulnerable.

            Tara’s got so little sense of self-worth to start with, and then Al crushes it even more, and then goes on about how we all have this duty to help people (as I recall) and Tara *then* decides to submit to constant torture *because she thinks it’s doing what Al was talking about*. If I remember right. I can’t reread that part, it’s just too painful.

            So like unless I have it totally wrong, it’s super misleading to call that Tara’s “self-chosen fate”. It’s a coerced choice made in a vulnerable and self-destructive state, even if Alison did not intend to either worsen that state or cause coercion.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Hm, I think you’re undermining Tara’s capacity to make her own choices. It’s especially odd considering you’re doing the exact opposite to Max, albeit ever so slightly. I’d call that some sort of fundamental attribution error.

          • Shweta Narayan

            Ack, somehow didn’t see this in notifications.

            I’m not saying Tara’s *less* capable of making choices than Max. I’m saying they’re *both* very young and fucked up, but what I see in discussions is that that’s only seen as a mitigating factor for Max. i.e. people are seeing him as less capable of making decisions, which is unfair to them both.

            Whereas with Tara people keep going “She made the decision so it’s her choice”, without acknowledging that when someone’s self-harming, it makes sense to look at their underlying hurt and think about helping, not just go O Well That’s Her Decision All’s Cool Now. Even if they’re helping others in the process.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Where I think you’re mistaken is that I feel it is greatly misguided to mitigate Tara’s choice insofar as coercing Max is concerned. I get what you’re coming from when it comes to preventing all that harm she’s inflicting herself, and there’s definitely an argument to be made that Alison needed to get her out well before she knew Max.

            Now, I haven’t seen a single person defend Max’ choice by pointing out external factors, and if I did I would disagree with them that they matter, he’s just being an assclown and that’s that.

            but, if Tara was held against her will, tortured to dig out organs and Max was the only one who could help, to little cost, the moral (and heck, even legal) imperative to intervene is very different.
            And it’s just not the case. So calling out that it’s not the case to defend the respect of Max’ body autonomy does matter.

            If you choose to handwave that away because Tara’s choice was a fucked up one you can’t defend then you’re hundreds of pages late.

          • Shweta Narayan

            nah I don’t disagree with you about any of that. I’m just poking at a different problem from the one you’re poking at.

            My problem isn’t with this discussion thread, or not in isolation. It’s that across stories, across media, across genres, commenters hone in on certain people’s mistreatment and care a LOT about it, while ignoring others unless convenient to the argument. And I’m seeing that trend play out here too. (You can disagree with me about that, of course, but like…. if you haven’t seen anyone saying that Max’s decision is all Al’s fault entirely for pushing him that way, but Feral’s decision was totally her call despite Al pushing her that way… then we’re just looking at different comment threads idk?)

            And I’m not saying any *given person* is ignoring everyone else to focus on Poor Max. That’s an aggregate result. Which wouldn’t even be a problem if it didn’t also happen in all the other stories everywhere.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Oh, definitely.
            The curse of the Personal Favorite White Boy (go read this site everybody it’s great! They dare hate the infamy that is Game of Thrones ♥) is a perennial one. I do hope in our case, insofar as it’s possible to get oneself rid of gender stereotypes, the fact that Max benefits the leniency you’re seeing while Tara doesn’t isn’t an expression of sexism…

            But maybe we are looking at different comments indeed, because I do have seen some people try to explore the effects of the events on Max and see some affecting tragedy to them (Tylikcat makes the best ones) I have failed to see some who could be summarized as “Poor Max”.

            I mean even I, when I was making my WhyYouAreWrong!Max comments I never, ever disengaged from the fact that the one we do have is a fucking douchebag.

          • Shweta Narayan

            oh yeah I’m definitely not thinking of you or Tylikcat at *all* in this. It’s more that I read some comments I really shouldn’t have before I learned that disqus *does* have a block feature 🙂

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Oh yeah. I did block a bunch of folks already ^^’

            (Also, in passing, rereading my past comments is so damn fun. “due to her status [Alison] should be real careful about insisting about anything” he said. Oh my, we were so young.)

          • Shweta Narayan

            So we were in fact reading literally different discussions 🙂 But now! I have fouund the precious block button n joined you in the nice warm pool instead of the uh… that’s-not-water pool

          • Stephanie

            I can’t understand saying that the lives saved are irrelevant. If you asked each of those people and their loved ones, I don’t think they’d say it was irrelevant that they got another chance to live. The powerful subdued the weak, yes; that’s a thing that really happened and it warrants acknowledgment, but so do the millions of people.

            Given the choice, how many of the transplant recipients do you think would rather die than benefit from Alison coercing Max? I’m guessing it would not be many.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Irrelevant to the question at hand. These are made up numbers that don’t mean anything in a fictional scenario so wild we have nothing close to a real world analogy to fall back to. What does matter is someone strong enforcing her owns ideas on what is right against someone weak.

            But to entertain your question: if given the choice between certain death and stolen organs, people choose death.

          • Stephanie

            I’m not sure why made-up numbers would be irrelevant to the made-up context in which they exist. We don’t need a real-world analogy to discuss what this event means within the universe of the comic. Within the SFP universe, the lives saved are not irrelevant.

            Stolen organs come at the cost of a life, and I wouldn’t accept one either. Max had to use his awesome superpower one time.

          • Izo

            “Stolen organs come at the cost of a life, and I wouldn’t accept one either.”

            For yourself you won’t. Would you for your daughter?

            “Max had to use his awesome superpower one time.”
            One time so far.

          • Stephanie

            I have no children, so I can’t definitively answer that question. I have no context for the experience of loving a child, unless pets count.

            I should probably specify that I would not accept the organ if and only if the person would then be killed to obtain it. If the person is already dead and the organ is already there, I’m not gonna waste it. Either put it in me or put it in someone else.

          • Izo

            You can’t hypothesize whether you would accept a stolen organ for your daughter, if you had one? That’s sort of surprising, but okay.

          • Stephanie

            I know that I would accept one if it had already been stolen. I don’t know whether I would agree to have someone killed to provide it. I would say “absolutely not,” but I’ve heard that kids basically mind control you into prioritizing them above everything else, so who knows.

          • Izo

            So you wouldn’t give the organ back to the authorities and take your chances on the organ recipient list? You know if you don’t accept the organ because it was stolen, they’re not going to just throw it in the trash right?

            For example, if someone has a kidney forcibly removed from them, and your daughter needs a kidney or she will die. Will you accept it? The person who it was taken from is still alive. It was stolen from them.

            I’m assuming you wouldn’t accept it if it was for you based on your past answer, although your past answer did seem to imply that it was stolen from a corpse, not a live person

          • Stephanie

            Obviously I would not accept an organ for myself that had been stolen from a person who was still alive and could have it returned to them. Not that that really relates to the Max scenario at all–there’s nothing to return to him.

            As I said before, I can’t answer questions about whether I would do things for my hypothetical daughter that I normally wouldn’t consider, because I don’t know what it’s like to have a daughter.

          • Izo

            That’s… sort of why it’s called a hypothetical situation.

          • Stephanie

            I would like to answer it, but I don’t trust myself to answer it accurately because it requires a frame of reference I don’t have. I don’t know what love for a child feels like, and I’ve been told that it’s all-consuming and overrides other priorities. Without actually having a child, I can’t know whether my love for my child would override my principle of not murdering people for their organs.

          • Izo

            I’m confused. In the past, you’ve used trolley problems quite a bit (and talked about how they’re GOOD to use as examples, while I feel that trolley problems are inherently flawed for trying to take complex problems and artificially whittle them down to a binary choice), despite the fact that none of us have ever been in the position of having people’s lives on the line based on our choices. Why, in this case, can you NOT make a hypothetical decision? Isnt that the point of a hypothetical situation? To see what you’d decide in a seemingly impossible moral choice? Would even the ‘toss a coin’ answer you once gave me be a non-starter here?

            I know that you feel it’s not right to use your own words against you from another conversation, but since this is a debate between us, rather than you and a third party, I think I’m able to ask this. You once did ask SJ about a hypothetical situation that he was unwilling to answer to your satisfaction. You seemed to think he should answer. What’s the difference between my hypothetical question to you, and yours to him?

            If you don’t want to go further on this thread, I understand and I’ll drop it since we will have hit an impasse.

          • Stephanie

            People know how they feel about other humans in general. They can extrapolate how they would respond to a hypothetical based on their experiences. In this case, I lack a critical frame of reference to extrapolate from. It’s like asking me what I would and wouldn’t be willing to do for heroin if I were a heroin addict. Heroin Addict Stephanie would almost certainly give different answers in reality than Non-Heroin Addict Stephanie would give about that hypothetical.

            “I don’t know” is a perfectly acceptable answer to a hypothetical, and is in fact the one I accepted from SJ in the end.

          • Izo

            Regardless of what Heroin Addict Stephanie or Real Stephanie would say, Web-Posting Stephanie hasn’t really answered the question yet about what’s different between this question to you and your question to SJ, 🙂 but I’ll drop it now since you did say that you accepted ‘I don’t know’ as an answer from SJ, although I read that thread a bit differently.

          • Stephanie

            There wasn’t a notable difference in the question. There was a difference in my response. I told you I didn’t know the answer and explained why, instead of going “why do I have a daughter? why can’t she get an organ anywhere else? where did this other kid come from that I can kill for the organ? explain why i’m not being arrested for stealing this organ” etc.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            This is why I’m saying this is utterly irrelevant to the discussion of ethics. Molly and Brennan can make up anything, they can say that Max can help quadrillions of people every time he eats a live baby, and being forced to counts. This isn’t a moral dilemma that’s worth weighing the costs and consequences of, this is meaningless.

            (And stolen organs come at the disrespect of a personal choice regarding one’s remains, more often.)

          • Stephanie

            Oh, I’d totally take an organ that was stolen from a corpse. Frankly, if it were up to me, people wouldn’t be able to refuse posthumous organ donations. You don’t exist anymore, it’s not your body.

            Anyway, if this scenario is irrelevant to real-world ethical questions, that means all of it is irrelevant. Including the part where the strong coerced the weak. We can either accept the scenario as it’s presented, in its entirety, and make judgments based on that; or we can throw out the whole thing as inconsequential; but we can’t pick and choose which parts of the scenario to take into consideration.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            What? No– we totally can pick and choose which parts mean something and which parts are the flourish, what are you talking about

          • Stephanie

            That doesn’t make any sense to me. The scenario in the comic is what it is. We can’t just decide “OK, this part doesn’t count, and neither does this part…if I only acknowledge this, that, and this other part, then I can conclude X.” You can’t make reasonable judgments about a scenario unless you take all aspects of said scenario into account. The lives saved are exactly as much a part of the scenario in the comic as the coercion is.

            It’s one thing if you want to argue that the coercion was such an enormous deal that the saving of millions of lives is inconsequential in comparison. But I don’t see the logic in just throwing them out because there isn’t a good real-world analogue for them. There isn’t a good real-world analogue for a superwoman grabbing a dude and flying him across the state either.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            So for instance what do you take from this webcomic about the treatment of real life people with superpowers?

          • Stephanie

            There aren’t real-life people with superpowers. However, in-universe, there are such people and I can form opinions on how those in-universe people should be treated. And when I do so, I take into account the entire canon. This includes both the fact that Alison coerced Max, and the fact that countless lives will be saved.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Okay well –and don’t get me wrong, the exercise can indeed be quite fun if a bit lacking in rules– I’m at the moment interested in actual morality, not morality as it exclusively pertains to a made up world.

          • Stephanie

            How do individual, out-of-context components of a fictional scenario pertain to actual morality?

            “The strong coerced the weak” just doesn’t mean anything outside of its context. You can’t take a lesson out of what’s just a statement standing alone like a cardboard cutout.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            You’re not following me, at all.

            I’m saying that if you ever stand to do something irreparable to save a lot of people, and wonder whether you ought to, whether it’s justified, the number of people you’re going to save doesn’t matter. It’s not enough of a safeguard to prevent endless, endless atrocities.

            What does is the power you have other those you stand to sacrifice. If you are stronger than them, then it’s not your call to make.

          • Stephanie

            I mean that basically circles us back around to the beginning of this exchange, where I disagree in the strongest possible terms that those lives are inconsequential.

            But if you say that it doesn’t matter because your other principle takes infinitely high priority, that at least makes sense. “It doesn’t count because there’s no real-world analogue” didn’t.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Geez make me say “lives are inconsequential” why don’t you. I said the number wasn’t, this is entirely different.

            And this is not really an issue of priority. I’m not sure why you can understand it like this and not like I mean it, it’s not that far removed. It’s not like the other principle has more weight than that one, the “number of lives” principle has never any weight because it is only works in nonsensical scenarii.

          • Stephanie

            Why would the number of lives principle never come into play in real life? Real life has all of the required factors: it has people with lives that can be endangered, and there are more than one of said people.

            It’s unreasonable to claim that there can never be a real-life situation where the possibility of saving a large number of lives must be weighed against a harm that must be committed to accomplish that. In fact, that justification is frequently invoked for real-life events, with varying degrees of plausibility.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            A scenario wherein coercing one person into action without causing substantial harm for the benefit of millions + the added bonus that this breach of personal rights is a one time thing + absolute certainty that it won’t leave gaping flaws ripe for abuse is a nonsensical one invented by people with a highly dangerous desire to question individual rights.

            Or the perfect set-up for a hero to make a choice that seems obvious and just only to be shown the terrible consequences befalling them.

            Unless you were on the CIA’s side this whole time when Snowden revealed PRISM.

          • Stephanie

            A “perfect” scenario like that is unlikely. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when many lives, with high probability, depend upon breaching someone’s rights. And when that happens, you have to weigh both sides of the equation to make a reasoned decision.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            I am *dying* to hear your examples you can triple assure me won’t come with an urging case of possibility for abuse of power so huge as to immediately cancel out the “weighing” and so blatant my answer to these would only be “…”

          • Shweta Narayan

            Lemme try a translation 🙂

            I think to Stephanie, when you say “the number of lives is inconsequential”, it sounds like you’re saying they’re unimportant, rather than irrelevant because the argument needs to rewind a level further, to “why am I the person making this call”.

            So it can sound like you’re saying “300000 lives are not worth more than 1 life, so the other 299999 people can bite it”, and the last part of that is what I *think* Stephanie’s objecting to.

            Whereas I think you’re saying, “Al being The Person Who Makes Unilateral Decisions is inherently wrong no matter how good the results might be in any given instance.”?

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Oh I do know that and I’ve tried to impart the nuance for a slew of comments now.

          • Shweta Narayan

            well if I got it right then you communicated that nuance to me anyway! 🙂

            I thought maybe a third person laying it out as they see it would help, is all.

          • Shweta Narayan

            lemme try a translation 🙂

            If someone’s having a medical emergency I know nothing about, and I try to help them (assuming an urban situation, not middle-of-nowhere), that is *wrong*. Whether it works or not. Because if it works that’s pretty much a coincidence. Because I’m not competent provide the help, so I *should* have spent the time finding someone who actually was.

            And if I run off n call 9/11 instead of directly trying to help, that doesn’t mean I don’t care! It means I have correctly realized that this is not my help to give.

            Similarly Clemens can *care* about all the lives saved, and still believe that Al was not the correct person to make this decision, and that she was doing the equivalent of banging randomly on a choking person’s chest instead of yelling for clueful help.

            Now, how she could possibly have asked for help without outing Max is… complicated, and kinda like being in the middle of nowhere in my analogy; and we can have different moral judgments about how justified she was in doing what she *thought* was best, given the situation – while still all caring about human lives. (I believe she could have done better. I also believe that she didn’t see how she could have done better. Because she’s so far failed to learn what Gurwara was trying to teach her.)

          • Stephanie

            I believe the number of people you’re going to save matters immensely. It matters to all of those individual people, for one thing, and it matters because that’s how many people you’re choosing to sacrifice if you choose inaction.

            In a decision like this one, you have power both over the welfare of the people you want to save, and over the welfare of the people who must be harmed to accomplish that goal. This power enables you to choose which of the two groups to sacrifice. It would be counterproductive not to weigh both sides of the scale before making a decision of that magnitude.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Again, this question is dwarfed to the point of literal insignificance by one you should really stop and ponder for a bit: who are you in this situation? Why do you have this power over these people? Who is making you do this and why the hell are they so intent on not having you question the validity of this scenario? Why do they insist there are no alternatives? Why don’t you find this suspicious that they ask you to stop questioning the situation and get on with it?
            Whether the ends justify the means, be it yes or no, doesn’t matter. These previous questions do.

            It comes down to one simple thing, really: when someone makes you chose between letting one people die or killing five, what you should ask yourself isn’t the balance of the scales but who the fuck exactly has the authority to ask you that question. Why are they so intent on making a pretend scenario where there is absolutely no alternative. Why should we discuss ethics given a very specific set of circumstances that we are apparently to accept. That would be like me making a story where slavery is somehow necessary and glorious (and trust me, there is nothing easier than this, come up with the right set up and the right rules and you can make up anything) and ask you to engage with it on its terms instead of righteously and warrantedly calling out its insulting premise.

            That’s all these kinds of “do something bad to save more people” scenarii are, and that’s why utilitarianism is inept.

          • Lysiuj

            It’s usually not about someone forcing you to make a descision, though, it’s just presenting a hypothetical – “imagine that you have the oppotunity to make a choice, and one of the possible choices is to harm some people in order to benefit other people. Would you make that choice?”
            And this isn’t purely some absurd logic game meant to play with your head or justify utilitarianism or what have you, it’s rooted in reality and in the reality that you might have to make those choices.
            Which is to say – there are in fact occassions in our lives when we could – could, not ‘will’, not ‘must’, but ‘could if we decided to’ – choose to hurt some in order to help others, this kind of situation wasn’t invented wholecloth by the trolley problem.
            And yes, most situations in real life have more than two alternatives, but not all of them do. The point of these hypotheticals is usually to see what choice you’d make between two alternatives, this doesn’t mean they have to be the entirety of the conversation.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Yeah, I may have simplified a lot. Some situations indeed put you into a corner having to choose between two evils. Be it voting for your next election (not something I agree with but a common sentiment of you American pals) or having to steal to survive.

            But this doesn’t change the fact that wherever the balance leans doesn’t matter, in any case. The right answer to “should we steal to feed our starving infant” is “we should build a system in which it never happens”, but even going as far as making a real answer mandatory, there is no amount of stealing that makes it turn toward a no or no amount of starving infants that makes it turn toward the yes. I’d argue again that what matters is your situation. What is the extent of your agency, what material resources do you possess, have you been treated fairly or unfairly by life. It applies there and also to the election: the US democratic system is a system stronger than you that you may not afford to choose to reform.

          • Lysiuj

            Well I basically agree with everything you’ve said. Except:
            “The right answer to “should we steal to feed our starving infant” is “we should build a system in which it never happens” ”
            Is a terrific point, but doesn’t matter right now to the parent of the starving infant, who still has to decide between a right action with a bad outcome, or a wrong action with a good outcome.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            That’s the point! The moral high horse one might be tempted to ride on is infinitely dependent on one’s capacity to afford it. That’s why Alison is never justified making any hard choice ever. She has the agency to do things correctly, to change the rules, so she’s always called out when she doesn’t and let it be nobody coming to tell me there was no alternative

          • Lysiuj

            Yeah, and I agree Al had many alternatives and I’ve criticised her for it. But choice hypotheticals can still be very useful to the rest of us. (Hell, a few more would have been useful for her, specifically to make her consider outcomes and alternatives more carefully).

          • Shweta Narayan

            Where I kiiinda disagree with you both is, I think while Al had many alternatives, the problem wasn’t that she “didn’t pick another one”. It’s that she didn’t figure out that she even had them to pick from.

            It’s something people do a lot when tired, and when emotional things come up, annnd also when it’s something we feel guilty about; we assume limitations to the choice that aren’t always there, including, we often don’t realize that taking a break, sleeping on it, and talking it out with other people are even options.

            But even beyond that, I think that this particular false-limitation – where it never even occurs to her that she’s the wrong person to make the decision, or that she has conflicts of interest that mean she should not just go ahead with her plan by herself – it’s one that has come up several times now, and so far Al has fallen on her face every time. Except maaaybe telling Patrick she’d alert the authorities (after 2? years?) except that even there, who died and made her god so she got to choose when to tell the authorities? So like, I think she needs to have some kind of major new insight and shift in her thinking before she’s even *capable* of making good decisions in this kind of situation.

          • Lysiuj

            If you can ignore the ethical meaning of the many people saved by the organs, than you can just as easily ignore the ethical meaning of Alison coercing Max. It seems kind of silly to pretend one matters but the other suddenly doesn’t.
            They’re both part of a made up world with made up rules, and if you’re not interested in debating morality and ethics in a made up world with made up rules… well, you’ve spent quite a lot of time in these comments doing exactly that, as have we all.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Sure I have, but then I stopped making jokes and spoke seriously about my actual opinions that don’t hinge upon impossible situations. I’m not– you don’t understand what I mean by “the number of people saved doesn’t matter”. It’s not about “ignoring” it, nothing of the sort, it’s about realizing this isn’t the point.

          • Lysiuj

            I hope you noticed my edit, I really didn’t mean to engage you about something you didn’t write, it was a misreading on my part.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            I did, hence why I edited as well.

          • Lysiuj

            Or considering what day it is…
            gay, agreement!

          • Izo

            I dunno, I think we have both have the superpower to make a record amount of webcomic forum posts and not back down no matter how many people argue with us.

          • Lives saved are a separate account. Lives abused is the problem tallied in this account.

          • Stephanie

            Both things happened.

          • Indeed, but they’re separate things, not like summing the credits and debits.

          • Stephanie

            Why can’t you sum them?

          • Becaue I don’t believe it’s ethically possible to disregard evil.

          • Stephanie

            I don’t believe it’s ethically possible to disregard outcomes.

          • Neither do I. But my position doesn’t give evil a bye for convenience.

          • Stephanie

            I don’t give evil a bye, but I don’t assign it infinite importance either.

          • Izo

            This post is interesting to me for some reason. Could you explain what you mean by it?

          • I don’t think good and evil cancel each other out. If you torture someone, even for all the best reasons, even if you save ‘countless lives’, you still tortured someone. So no matter the good Alison might have done, she still tortured someone, and that’s not a stain you can wash away.

          • Izo

            Okay, I think we found something with which we both agree. 🙂

      • Weatherheight

        There were quite a few of us, but we’re shy and demure. Right, ∫Clémens×ds 🐙?

        • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

          The 🐙 stands for shy

          • Shweta Narayan

            Definitely how I see you both ^-^

            (more seriously, I probably only saw a fraction of your posts, understood a fraction of those, and retained a fraction of those. Within posts I was noticing a whole lot of focus on either Max or Al as the poster’s ~precious innocent baby~ and not (where I noticed it) a lot of pointing out how they’re both wrong-headed. So, I got the wrong idea of how things were, is all.)

      • Tylikcat

        Heavens no.

        I think Max’s refusal was a dick move. And not a surprising one. I’m… maybe not as concerned about his immediate trauma as some people here.* (I’m more distraught about Alison doing it than him receiving it.)

        My protectiveness of him isn’t because I think he was right, but because I’m pretty appalled by the position he’s in, if indeed his security is linked to his anonymity. No matter how personally irritating I find him, I don’t want anyone to be so screwed.

        A lot of people have made comparisons between Alison’s choices to what Batman or Superman might have done in a similar situation… y’know, I wonder if the best question here is what would Wonder Woman have done? Because part of the worst thing about this is that having refused and been forced, I think it’s going to be even harder to negotiate with Max now, but that doesn’t mean was he has to offer is any less important. There’s some horrible parable about violence and non-violence in this. (Keep in mind, for all that I’ve taken vows of ahimsa, I am not convinced that there is always a non-violent solution, just that it’s worth looking for one, and that violent solutions tend to be worse ones.)

        * Personal issues, what can I say? Maybe I should be. It’s… Okay, when people start saying “Oh, noes, maybe he might get PTSD from this,” I really want to hit things – like walls, say – which really has nothing to do with how legitimately awful the experience might have been for him.

        • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙
          • Lysiuj

            Oh gods, seriously fuck that panel for all eternity. Wonder Woman is not some bloodthirsty murderer, she will kill if she feels she must but she will always struggle to reach another option.
            That isn’t Wonder Woman; this is Wonder Woman.

          • Izo

            Depends on the writer and artist actually. Wonder Woman is written horribly inconsistently. I do prefer the latter example though.

          • Lysiuj

            Fair enough. I meant more – what she is spiritually/symbolically, what she represents, even if she’s not always written that way.

          • Izo

            I can see that sort of argument being made. Although it’s more the idealized version compared to what actually happens in the books or what her origins were.

          • Walter

            Yeah, she fluctuates an awful lot.

        • Shweta Narayan

          Also given who’s writing them, batman and superman have done some pretty appalling things? So it’s hardly a justification if they would have done it too.

          Max’s security exists in the first place cause his mother abused power for personal gain, so I’m, hm. Unhappy at the thought of it vanishing because of Al’s heavy-handedness, but not convinced that it’s *necessarily* compromised, as it would be for someone with fewer personal resources. Basically I think he’s only compromised if the narrative wants him to be, and if so I really hope the point is for us to be horrified. If that makes sense?

          (& Yeah I sympathize. though I personally don’t want to hit things, I want to hide forever from the people who are hyperfocused on Max’s potential PTSD. Focus always says something about who we think matters, as well as what, and focus on Max’s internal state to the exclusion of everyone else is… a p strong danger sign to me.

          :writes a whole cycling ramble: :looks at ramble: :deletes: Oh yeah, it’s also a trigger, haha whups.)

          • Tylikcat

            Well, in fact I took a long hot bath, decided I was too tired even for late night sword practice and will soon be going to bed. I mean, at most, it’s just me stomping around and being grumpy. To me the issue isn’t so much whether or not it’s Max that it’s happening to – it pretty much pisses me off when people get into this kind of speculation about any characters.*

            If Max’s mom can provide security for him that will keep him safe from higher powered capes, it’s… probably getting into conspiracy subplots. Or it’s going to mess with Max’s life. I mean, at the beginning of this, he felt free and comfortable enough to flirt with Alison and make jokes about her touching his butt. Which I still think was below the belt, as it were, but… I just don’t see Max having that kind of lifestyle again.

            * Especially involved what I see as somewhat but not particularly overwhelming trauma, which tends to hit my fetishizing trauma buttons. As I said, personal issues. I has them, I mostly try to keep them mostly bound up in volumes and filed on shelves, and bring them out in a more or less civilized manner. Which, ahem, should be totally apparent from my writing here… (I do work at it, but I am not always a nice person. Well. Hm. Okay, nice might not be what I work at.)

          • Shweta Narayan

            I really don’t know how to judge that, so I’ve been giving people the benefit of the doubt wrt exaggerating what I personally see as fairly mild trauma. Like. Being strongarmed into doing something that didn’t itself hurt me… wouldn’t be overwhelming trauma for me, sure, but my self-image isn’t built around maintaining the illusion of total personal freedom. (Leaving aside all the unearned advantages one needs to have that illusion in the first place.)

            My unease is more that… there’s a (general) tendency to exaggerate extremely privileged characters’ feels, often to excuse away anything they do wrong (this applies to both Max and Al from where I’m standing) and to entirely ignore how they happen to be doing real & serious harm to less privileged characters. (like, how much Al has hurt Feral in the past, the harm Max is totally cool with the undocumented landscapers suffering, etc.) And this has real-life parallels that are incredibly oppressive, so, eek.

          • Tylikcat

            Oh, make no mistake, this is all about personal issues on my part, this is not about me making reasoned choices and being a nice person. Which I probably would have rambled about less had I not been quite so tired yesterday. (Stupid cold. Stupid cold which I really can’t afford before going to a conference with 30,000 people and then my first – if very short – vacation in almost a year… I am taking naps and hot baths and am so glad I’m ahead of schedule on everything.)

            When dealing with actual people, I really do deal with the experiences they have actually had, and they ways these have affected them. Which are varied. And what is, like, last Tuesday for one person can be pretty traumatizing for another.

            In fiction… there are a lot of cultural narratives around trauma that seriously rub me the wrong way, and because of my own experiences they do not tend to ring true. And they promote tropes I find annoying sliding over to offensive. Since we are dealing with fiction, and in this case the potential trauma that commenters are attaching to characters in a web comic… It is a little hard to not get super irritable and grouchy and make all kinds of disgusted noises about how this is a single incident that isn’t necessarily as traumatic as all that (…and I’ve talked way too much about life history stuff here already.)

            It’s not like I’m not perfectly aware that it’s not really a valid comparison. I mean, Max, besides being fictional, is likely is a sheltered little hothouse flower who never has know the harsher side of life. (And some darker side of my brain at this point is saying “Good! Teach the twit about how the other half lives.”* But it’s not really even aimed at Max the character, as much as the assumptions of people who apparently haven’t had even this much trauma in their lives.**) If it’s traumatic to him, then it is. If I were dealing with a real world Max… well, if I didn’t end up pushing him off a bridge (and I’ve never pushed anyone off a bridge yet – at least, I’m pretty sure, and if I did, it was one of my martial brothers in a sparring situation – Chasmek, do you remember me pushing anyone off a bridge? Anyhow, not seriously…) it would be a different issue. He might be an entertaining martial arts student.

            I guess I just find the tendency to dig for trauma to be distasteful. It comes across as trauma porn. This was a single incident. It was awful, but no one knows how awful except for Max (well, and Alison, but in a different sort of way.) For almost any incident of given awfulness – and let me repeat, while scary and awful, the way not nearly as bad as many – for any given population, you’ll see an awful lot of people who don’t get PTSD or suffer other obvious ill effects (and we’re talking long term, here.) Look at studies of soldiers, or children who have suffered long term abuse. I hate hearing all the “Oh, now he’s going to be scarred and wounded and broken forever!” because those tropes suck.

            …and yeah, you are correct that the privilege angle also sucks. (My personal feelings there get very tangled. Sometimes, being expected to be strong can be a hell of a blessing. But really, any time people see their expectations and not people, it’s bad.)

            * Which is really an odd statement. I mean, someday I am going to write a long form piece about the class implications of trauma and abuse, because there is something in there, but hell. I’m a professor’s daughter. That I’ve been poor was because I fled that household when I was fifteen – and did pretty well, but, still, it took some doing.
            ** Again, it’s the assumptions, not the people.

          • Shweta Narayan

            Oh yeah this is very much my feel too, I just. Also think that people have gotten a lot more invested in Max’s potential trauma than Feral’s, and for the same reason people always seem to zoom in on possible potential trauma for rich cis white boys on the mediocre to nasty end of the scale.

            …But then I hear myself and think I’m being way too mean, and try to compensate because I don’t want to be that person who blows off another real person’s comparable trauma.

          • Tylikcat

            Not just Feral, either. I mean, there’s Feral’s recent ordeal, which at least she chose, for all it’s complexities and ambiguities – but compare Max’s life, generally, to that of pretty much any other biodynamic we’ve met, certainly those who played superhero roles in their teens. Any of the Guardians? Any of Patrick’s gang (because hello, when you’re talking about folks in their mid teens, the hero / villain divide is pretty artificial.) Any of Brad’s ADA friends?

            …and it’s Max’s trauma we’re worrying about? Really? That is part of what’s frustrating me, at a meta-level. I mean, maybe Max is more… relatable for some folks?

            Eesh. I mean, Moonshadow, let’s say, it super off the rails. But she’s super off the rails at least to some extent because she was fighting the good fight first (and not getting appropriate support) while Max was hiding away. Furnace too, probably. This comic world, it is not a nice place. People are not getting the care they need. Max is more of a sheltered little snowflake than anyone we’ve previously met. (Which doesn’t make the bottom page of this bit any less horribly beautiful. http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-6/page-87-2/ )

            (I guess also can simultaneously think that Violet might have been technically sort of correct when she was going on about Alison having been a child soldier and maybe having PTSD and at the same time think she should STFU because she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. I mean, that kind of arm-chair diagnosis shouldn’t be casually thrown around, especially by clueless twits, and most especially to people’s faces – that’s just foul and uncalled for. And Violet was using that to divert attention from the inappropriate shenanigans of her Chill Friend. So Fuck Violet. But… it was a great way to get people thinking about hey, we have a whole genre built on super powered child soldiered and what does that really do to people?)

          • Shweta Narayan

            I’m not convinced that Furnace ever had good motives or considered other people over his own ego, but other than that *agreement* w everything. (I wish Moonshadow had been left more ambiguous though.)

            But! While I’m sure Max is “more relatable” for a lot of people, I think that’s a symptom of the problem. Cause “relatable” is just, “how much empathy am I the reader willing to afford this character”, and I am so. so. tired. of hearing that characters of color just ~happen~ to be less relatable, “objectively”. (I think it’s pretty telling how far people are willing to stretch to come up with defenses for Max. And Al, actually, but people seem willing to stretch so much further for Max that my annoyance over the justifying-Al trend is on the back burner atm.)

            I picked Feral as my example cause some of the stuff around her hits a sore spot of mine, personally. Not at all meaning to diminish allll the other characters who have more to them than Max. It’s just, there’s a certain type of treatment certain female characters get across media & fandoms, where… it’s like, they put on a brave face and we the audience go with it, because it’s nicer for us to ignore the pain under that face? Happens to darker-skinned men of color, too. But with a similar white male character, there’d be books of essays about how brave the darlings are and such pain they hide etc at every turn. And the way this mirrors people’s focus in real life is my actual sore spot.

            I mean I love most of these biodynamic kids but they’re *none* of them full adults making well-considered decisions from a safe and healthy space, and there’s a p clear pattern of who that counts as an excuse for, and who gets “but they made their own decision.”

            (Speaking of making suboptimal decisions, I sometimes consider how different the comments section would be if Gurwara were white, and if Max were a brown man or a white woman, and if Feral talked educated, and if Al was less conventionally attractive, etc. And I don’t have the excuse of being 20)

          • Tylikcat

            I think “good” is a pretty flexible sort of concept. Furnace clearly had a legitimately shitty upbringing, even if he was one obnoxious git. I’m not sure that the governmental response wasn’t “Okay, this is your particular bias, how can we best use you?” I’ve known guys that presented a bit like him. Some of them got a lot better. I don’t think his environment was doing him any favors.

            I was being pretty sarcastic on the relatable, so we are entirely in sync there – I mean, I think people probably are finding him relatable, but argh, have y’all thought this through? I really do not know. I mean, a lot of people I actually know in real life who to some degree like and admire me to not find me that relatable, even before they know about the scary trauma part of my history. (Which I’m pretty open about, because it’s so not my job to protect everyone’s delicate sensibilities. But it’s not like it always comes up.) And I think Max has been an ass, so there is part of me that kind of despairs of him being the touchstone character.

            Feral… Mm. Actually, I’d like to hear more of your thoughts there. I haven’t been reading these last few discussions as carefully as some. I know I tend to see her through a fairly specific lens, which is probably not the most helpful one in this circumstance.

            I *am* inclined to be a pretty strong Gurwara fan. But then hell, smart, can confuse the heck out of his students, not half my age, and clearly been through enough shit that we could probably relate – of course I am. (So much better than the cognitive dissonance of thinking “Lisa is awesome! – oh, and the age of some of my research students!”)

          • Shweta Narayan

            right??? they’re all BABIES o.o (Also, Gurwara is the kind of professor I would be if I hadn’t washed out from being mostly dead. He likes demos, he’s expecting a *lot* from his students, annnnd I suspect he could have done more signposting without losing his point.)

            I don’t disagree on this part re: Furnace, just, a lot of people have genuinely awful upbringings and somehow it’s coincidentally always the white boys who get excused for taking it out on other people.

            which takes us back to Max, and, oh, gotcha! I missed the sarcasm cause a lot of people do say exactly that in earnest.

            Feral – I keep running up against “She made her decision so she is 100% responsible for said decision and Max leaving her to it is entirely moral cause she chose it.” But there’s no balancing that with, say, making Max 100% responsible for all *his* decisions.

            The rich boy is allowed to make poor decisions and it’s not ~really~ what he means, because he can be pushed around by the situation hitting his buttons. And that’s fine, I just *also* want Feral to get that level of understanding and kindness.

            I guess in general people have no idea *how strongly* marginalized people, esp those who read female, are pushed into thinking we exist for the benefit of more privileged people and it’s always our job to be the mule and carry every burden we can while never asking for help. As far as I can tell nobody has even *tried* to talk that through with Feral. She may not even know it’s a thing. But she reads to me as really clearly existing within that mentality. And I did for too many years and it hurts to see the adorable kittenchild internalize it.

          • Lysiuj

            This actually puts me in mind of a lot of criticism vampire diaries fans have about the treatment of Bonnie Bennett – the only woman of color on the show, the only peson of color period I think, and her entire existence on the show is basically to suffer, to help others, and to put herself through suffering to help others, and both the writers and most fans don’t see a problem with this. (I don’t actually watch the show, but I’ve read a lot of opinions about her character).
            Anyway, yeah, people from marginalized groups, both in real life and in fiction are expected to carry the burden of however much pain and struggle, usually a lot, and carry it quietly, and aren’t given an inch of the sympathy or understanding their less marginalized counterparts are… I’ll admit I’m guilty of this myself, I haven’t for example considered how Tara’s decision was influenced by circumstances and maybe we shouldn’t have accepted it so easily.

          • Shweta Narayan

            It’s one of those things that can be invisible to all of us until it hits a personal nerve.

          • Tylikcat

            No clue what you are up to, and these things aren’t without cost, but I am a major advocate of life allowing do-overs and reinvention. I went into research in my early thirties, post software, with a lot of reasons to think that going back into academia was a non-starter. (My undergrad work being in chinese, and some weirdness with the chinese department being part of that.)

            I think as far as it goes Furnace shows all signs of being a pretty awful person.* And pretty much any situation in which people look at Furnace and Moonshadow and come out of it confident in their assessment that Moonshadow is The Bad Guy leaves me pretty horrified… but I guess I’m also pretty sickened by an overly comfortable reverse assessment. Furnace is easy to hate, but damn, I am in no way comfortable with his situation and I don’t think he was set up as a cardboard cut out villain.

            There is meta-world question here – to what extent do other biodynamics, at least high powered biodynamics, have someone along the lines of Dr. Rosenblum assigned to them, and what role is this person playing. I mean, Dr. Rosenblum seems to be a sweetie – but then, Alison is likely to get handled with kid gloves. We don’t have enough data, but what we’ve seen so far supports a government policy of a) keeping biodynamic individuals from causing harm, by whatever means necessary and b) using them as an exploitable resource. Their welfare doesn’t really seem to have been a big part of things, though perhaps that will change now that biodynamic folks are starting to organize politically.

            And Feral… yeah. I guess I found her situation pretty disturbing, and thought that with the authorial framing (Al being super fruck out about it) there wasn’t a lot of bias towards folks accepting Feral’s situation as okay. I agree, though, there wasn’t much exploration of context. Both in terms of Feral’s personal background (journey of self-discovery aside) and in terms of what the hell is going on the with medical ethics community.

            It’s going to be interesting to see Al dealing with actual Feral, rather than her guilt and symbolic Feral.

            (And then you have Max, who is a seething bundle of entitlement and resentment, while being protected from all of this by his mom. I suppose there’s a chance that this might accelerate his maturation process? But the reverse is probably more likely. I mean, Max is kind of the living embodiment of a dumpster fire, but Al actually lit the fire.

            And Al, who already has diplomacy as a dump stat, and figures that showing up in the middle of the night to accost her sort of ex boyfriend she just got in a fight with and humiliated, to ask for a favor, a really important world changing favor, is a good plan.

            And for that matter Patrick, who at best… thought that trying to get on Al’s good side was worth risking something this important. Though maybe this really was his first good shot at getting at Max?) Arrrggh.

            …there is definitely a big part of me that wishes we could pick and choose which characters we were following.

            * There’s a meta-conversation going on around the zendo (and elsewhere) about how to engage with, say, people in small towns with high unemployment, low education and… well, and strong tendency to be Trump supporters. The thesis question being: “these folks have legitimate problems, and yet on a personal level they drive us absolutely up a tree, WTF?” But, of course, the same problem in other guises shows up pretty frequently. The above casting, though, makes me think a lot of Furnace. Gods, though, I hope people will eventually learn to stop saying “crisis of masculinity” in my presence. Fuck That Noise. At least there’s a general agreement that you can’t make the same kind of earnest sad noises about a crisis of white supremacy in polite company.

          • Shweta Narayan

            pls pretend that I was able to upvote this like 20 times 🙂

            I do things, just not academia; I write fiction & poetry whenever brain works. So I come at this with a strong slant of, how do we get through to people about nuanced topics? And SFP is particularly interesting (and frustrating) because the comic-as-Text is constantly undermining tropes, but a lot of readers just go on thinking in terms of said tropes. I’ve always thought people did that to my work because I’m just not clear enough. But maybe you can’t be clear enough in any given piece, only loud enough for it to build up? IDK.

            Re: both Furnace and the meta-world question, I can’t remember, did he even know his powers would be altering/increasing? Did he die because he didn’t listen or because nobody bothered to let him know in time? And given that it *still* doesn’t seem to be a topic a lot of them are discussing (i feel like it would have come up at the con if it was) how many others are dying of neglect cause of being not as useful/dangerous as Al? (all of which is to say, yeah, srsly.)

            Sadly I think the reason ppl can’t politely make sad noises about crises of white supremacy, and have to use code words, is that… it’s impolite to even acknowledge out loud that white supremacy is a thing, much less that it’s been there all along for right wings throughout the Global North to take advantage of & deflect anger at the real causes of economic injustice :/ We’re, like, supposed to pretend that this *is* what racial equality looks like.

          • Salivation_Army

            I’ve been considering how different, if at all, the comments section would have been if Patrick had sat down with Max for an hour and Max still wound up doing the same thing. (Although Patrick wouldn’t, I just wonder if the outrage will still exist for mental coercion instead of physical.)

          • Shweta Narayan

            That’s not the only factor at play, though. I’m not even sure the reaction would be as bad if a white male version of Al twisted someone’s arm and went “nope, you’re doing this.”

          • Tylikcat

            Yeah. The extent to which casual violence is accepted from male characters and not from female characters if notable.

          • Tylikcat

            As far as we know, Patrick doesn’t exert direct mental coercion, he just knows everything you care about. (And, as he’s pointed out, if you can’t get someone to do what you want with that knowledge, you’re pretty pathetic.)

            He could, of course, have been lying, but I find that explanation to be elegant. (Of course, there is a general tendency for people’s powers to be increasing. As an involuntary telepath, I don’t know what this would look like for him.)

            The results of Patrick’s style of coercion haven’t really been explored, and they have the potential to be pretty devastating.

          • Chasmek

            No, I do not recall anyone being pushed off of any bridges. Though there may have been discussion of being pushed into the water as a result of sparring in/around your old houseboat…?

          • Tylikcat

            Discussion, certainly, but most of the time that would have been incompatible with my container garden… I mean, I certainly jumped in, fairly frequently, in the summer. (Unless you mean off the roof… actually, come to think of it I think we did have that discussion more than once. Hugely cinematic, horribly unsafe. I used to do sword forms up there, sometimes, though.)

            …and there’s at least one individual I sorely regret having not taken the opportunity to throw in during, say, January. But, sadly, I did not.

          • Tylikcat

            Even at that retreat up on Mt. Rainier? I am remembering something about recreating the Robin Hood and Little John fight.. (though I wasn’t one of the primaries, I was doing weight and balance work with a fierce woman you know well.)

        • Shweta Narayan

          Also uh I hope I wasn’t sounding like I’m saying “oh noes Max maybe might get PTSD from this.” I’m rather more concerned about the psychological damage Al seems to have done herself. (And the fact that I’ve been around too many people kinda like Al who took out said damage on people like me)

          • Tylikcat

            I wasn’t aiming it at anyone in particular. A lot of people brought it up, and I didn’t really attach people to it. It’s not even an unreasonable concern… even if it annoys me for personal reasons.

            …and I am tired, and I have been grading way too many exams, from Anatomy students who have more promising futures as fantasists than medical professionals.

          • Shweta Narayan
          • Tylikcat

            Pretty much! Now imagine that degree of remodeling done to the heart!

          • Shweta Narayan

            Ah so like, the blood goes from right atrium to right ventricle to left ventricle to left atrium?

          • Tylikcat

            I think that was one of the answers!

          • Shweta Narayan


          • Shweta Narayan

            …at least if their answers are uniquely wrong, you know they’re not cheating?

          • Shweta Narayan

            also (three replies! sorry!) Unless I’m misreading, I don’t think we’re disagreeing on any of this? We have different sets of personal issues is all.

          • Tylikcat

            No, we’re good. I probably shouldn’t have gotten back online after the bath last night – I was of quickly dissolving coherence. (And maybe catching a cold, which I really, really can’t afford right now. Okay, I know immune suppression is often correlated with burn out but… please, body, just a few more months…!)

          • Shweta Narayan

            oof I’d say “can you destress some” but it’s exactly when we do destress that bodies get symptomatic for the bugs we’ve pick up while stressed :/

          • Tylikcat

            I’m working pretty hard on work life balance (I mean, hey, I live in a zendo!) but the next bit is going to be a bit of an unavoidable slog. Also, my immune system has been in a bit of a tizzy ever since I had spine surgery a few years back – not that I know for certain that was the trigger – and while mostly its expressed this by some absurd new and severe food allergies, I’m not sure the frequent viruses this fall isn’t part of things.

            …or maybe skipping my summer vacation was a poor call. *shrug* I’m mostly annoyed now not because the cold itself is that terrible or ill-timed – I’m really in good shape for the conference already, and have time to rest up – but because I got sick a couple of time earlier I still haven’t gotten my flu shot.

            And after the conference I’m going up to Tuscon to see my favorite Aunt, and catch up with a former girlfriend, and I really don’t want to get sick. (Also, I was going to try to take in some family history stuff while in San Diego. And if we can manage it, a few labmates and I might skive off and go tidepooling. Who can stay at a conference for a week?)

          • Shweta Narayan

            May not have been the (only) trigger but immune systems don’t like surgery that’s for sure :/

            …Maybe rest up now & get the cold & be done with it before the conference?

    • MartynW

      “Also, just because you aren’t obligated to help someone in need doesn’t mean that it’s always right for you to choose not to.”

      True that. The key word is “obligation.” Ayn Rand was against forced altruism, or the idea that the main purpose of a human being is to sacrifice themselves for others. She acknowledged that the principle of generosity, choosing to help others, was valid.

      On a related note, I think that implying that nothing of value has been added to this country since the land was taken from Native Americans is a bit of an overreach.

      • Yeah, but choosing not to help others is equally valid, right? Apologies if I’m misremembering, it’s been ages since I read Atlas Shrugged. Are there any situations in which an Objectivist *is* obligated (by ethical principles, not the state) to help another person?

        It would have been an overreach if I’d said that, yes. I wasn’t talking about economic growth, but economic inequality. For example, if the Europeans who colonized North America had traded fairly with the Native Americans, there would definitely be smaller disparities (if any) between Native Americans and white Americans in terms of mean income, employment, etc. Same thing if Africans had come to this country as equal citizens, not slaves.

  • Sam

    “Second of nine lives”? We’re onto your catgirl ways, Feral.

  • Ellie K


  • Sendaz

    Oooh.. wonder if Paladin and Feral ever met before?

    Plus how wacky would a Biodynamic spinoff with Feral/Paladin playing an updated version of the Odd Couple be?

    • zellgato

      They probably have.
      Albiet without Feral knowing.
      and likely leaving an annoyed paladin

  • So will the unstoppable superhero and the unkillable superhero make good room mates, or drive each other spare? And will New York survive the experience.

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      One of them is immortal.
      The other is also immortal!
      And there’s one. Cookie. Left.
      Tonight on ABC Family’s
      How New York Got Obliterated

    • Soqoma

      I would watch this sitcom.

      • Weatherheight

        Professional Wrestling?
        Soap Opera?

        Endless possibilities…

        • Izo

          That’s My Feral!

          Professional Wrestling?
          Robots vs Catgirls

          Soap Opera?
          All My Biodynamics

          Technoregenerative Rainbow

  • “meet some cute ladies” – who aren’t me. Subtle, Allison.

    • AveryAves

      I was about to say “I think it was genuine, no undertones there” but then I remember the time Alison punched Feral so hard it would kill 3 people, so. Well, there we go, maybe *that’s* the reason there’s no need for implication.

      Everytime I think of that I just…WTF Alison

      • Dean

        They’re superheroes, everything is exaggerated. To Alison or Feral, punching someone across the room is the equivalent of a dirty look.

        • Tsapki

          More specifically, they are supers who can (and have) eaten live bullets and are no worse for wear.

          On a related note, the relative page where Alisin does just that is still in my opinion her most terrifying moment.

  • Danygalw

    I ship Alison with both of them but hey! This works too!

  • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

    Tara hasn’t pushed “Play” yet. Dream Weaver is the sound of her hormones kicking into high gear when her sight crosses that of a gorgeous creature.

    • Sendaz

      How awesome would it be to have the superpower of generating your own theme/mood music?
      Granted not much good when trying to sneak around, but still…

      • bta

        What? The right music will keep you sneaky enough…

        • telk

          NO SOUND AT ALL!

          • Soirbleu

            We never speak a word. A fly’s foot fall could be distinctly heard.

        • Rumble in the Tumble

          “Recite the Litany of Stealth (refer to Emperor’s Benedictions) to decrease your chances of being heard.”

      • Lysiuj

        Well, if you could also generate ambience then you could make background noises that fit the location… or make sounds for distraction…

      • GreatWyrmGold

        If Yugioh: The Abridged Series taught me anything, it’s that when you have your own theme music, people either tune it out or get annoyed by it.

        • Omar Khayyam

          My hair agrees with you.

        • Tsapki

          Only if you can’t turn it off or change it. Poor Duke.

      • Kes

        This is arguably the super-power of the Disco Dazzler, who can transform light into sound and vice-versa. She was a roller-derby-themed 70s Marvel B-lister who still pops up from time to time. My favorite use of her powers is when she surrounds Spiderman in a “soothing glow” because he’s so stressed out, man. I love me some Dazzler.

        • The Improbable Man

          *comic book guy voice*

          Actually, Dazzler can only transform sound into light, not the reverse. And I would classify her as an A-lister during the 80’s when she was a primary member of the X-Men for several years until she, along with every other X-Man but Wolverine, was forced to enter the Siege Perilous during a Reaver attack on the X-Men’s base in Australia.

          Don’t forget that she was one of the playable characters in the 1992 X-Men arcade game from Konami, which was based on the original pilot for an X-Men animated series, “Pryde of the X-Men” (which, I might add, would have been far superior to the show that was actually green-lit, in both animation and character selection). You might remember this game for the famous line delivered by Magneto when you finally confront him, “Welcome to die!”

          *pushes glasses up*

        • Weatherheight

          Dazzler was a one way trip from sound to light.
          Turns out she wasn’t so much of a B-lister, either – there’s no upper limit on how much energy she can transduce and store, given a powerful enough source. She was even a Herald of Galactus briefly (seriously, not joking here). Turns out when a cosmic power uses his tech to “fill ‘er up”, the only Herald augmentation Alison (heh – coincidence?) needed was to give her adequate ability to survive in space. After collecting.. I want to say Terrax (Galactus Herald with earth-manipulation powers) and returning him to Galactus, Galactus collects his augmentation after she declines to continue as his herald (and Terrax decided running for Evolution’s Embodiment wasn’t a winning proposition).

          Granted, her first few appearances were pretty lame – the early writers didn’t really understand the implications of a person who can generate and project photons (Ya know, the basis of the electromagnetic spectrum).

      • Balthazar

        Doesn’t stop me from playing the Mission Impossible theme when I’m sneaking into class late.

      • 21stCenturyPeon

        It comes with its own problems, as Family Guy showed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPM1o9QKw1Q

      • Weatherheight

        There was a compilation of Super Hero short stories from years ago that featured Theme Music Man, a sidekick. Turned out he was pretty powerful when he wasn’t thinking about it.

      • frenchis

        And how was no one thought of posting this yet omg


        • frenchis

          *has* not *was* thanks autocorrect

      • Tylikcat

        One of my favorite characters ever (in a Champions game, natch) has as one of her abilities a form of precognition that manifested as hearing background music. No one else heard it of course (I think later on she could elect to share it with party members) but it could be either a ton of fun or annoying as hell for the GM.

        (This was in the days before ubiqitous music via internet – hell, it was before ubiquitous internet. For a few sessions, my rather irritated GM ran me on “Peter and the Wolf”.)

        • Weatherheight

          Heh. Our group had one of those too!
          Her name was Tempo, and much like your character, she had precog based on “hearing the background music”. Lots of combat skill levels, a rather quixotic personality (she once told my character to “Stop with the ominous already!” once).
          She called up one of the quasi-villains of the campaign, told him we had found a secret base (his), and asked for advice on how to infiltrate it.
          He said he’d get back to us. 😀

      • Alex Hollins
      • Zoë
    • Psile

      The international expression for “Who daaaaaat?”

    • motorfirebox

      Tara’s anomaly has advanced much further than projected!

    • Urthman

      Yes, it’s either that or her iPod is set up to go straight to the sexy chorus of a sexy song the instant she turns it on and hits play.

  • Abel Undercity

    It’s funny, and I’m speaking from personal experience, how quickly “later” can sneak up on us.

  • Lysiuj

    Ooohhhh, I wanna dance with somebody…

    And I said “Oh my god, look at that face, you look like my next mistake”…

    Killing me softly…

    Well it’s a marvelous night for a moondance…

    At laaaaaaaast…

    If I lay here, if I just lay here…

    Everywhere I’m looking now, I’m surrounded by your embrace…

    When I see your face, there’s not a thing that I would change…

    Take my breath away…

    Caaannnn you feeeeel……

  • Alice

    Oh Feral, just you show her those beeeg pretty eyes of yours. <3

  • Lostman

    Now Alison friend meets her other friend, things are about to get interesting. So am I the only one here who mind went to conflict when saw those two meet last panel?

    • Lysiuj

      Seems that way 🙂
      But out of curiousity, what were you thinking?

      • Lostman

        The two were not going to like each other…

        • Lysiuj

          Oh ok, I thought maybe you had a specific theory or something

      • palmvos

        I wonder if they have met before…. in a less positive setting.

    • Weatherheight

      I didn’t head there – I went with the “yet another woman Feral is going to hit on to no avail” vibe.
      That said, your theory makes at least as much sense as mine, maybe more.

      Waiting with ‘bated breath.

    • Cyrano111

      Me too – rather than Dream Weaver I heard that “man-with-no-name spaghetti western” theme music in my head.

      But wasn’t Paladin in a costume which concealed her identity when she was a superhero? If I am remembering correctly, Alison did not recognise her when they first met. So Feral is not likely to think “here’s that person I’ve met before”? Probably?

  • 3-I

    No morality. Everybody focus on the adorable lesbian.

    • Lysiuj


    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      But is lesbians right? We got to know!

    • Zac Caslar

      Why LIVE when you can wallow in the self-righteous flagellation of stark and absolute morality?!

      What kind of SINNER has FUN?!

  • bta

    In fairness, few could resist Lisa’s snazzy outfit.

    • spriteless

      Those buttons over her arm, very classy.

  • Manuel Simone

    “meet some cute ladies” Well, Alison, I guess she already meet a cute lady, what a nice coincidence. The wild cat lady and the geek scientist lady. Feral and Paladin…hmm, they’d make an interesting couple if I think better.

  • Saine

    I was gay for both of them separately. Now they can finally be gay together.

  • Jaroke


    • Virgil Clemens

      Now we need to decide on the ship name. Feraldin seems the most natural, but Paral has some nice parallels…

      • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

        You sneaky bastard. And there’s a b in both and an n in neither, too?

      • Markus

        Let’s discuss fringe options as well:

        Bots and Cats

        • Mitchell Lord

          Bots and cats seconded.

        • *pshh*

        • Izo

          Does anyone else think Faladeral and Peraldin sound like medications?

          • Danygalw


          • Psile

            Well now I can’t unsee/unhear it.

            “Are you suffering from a divided fan base because of questionable moral choices of your protagonist? Experiencing lack of sleep due to comment moderation, finally having to give it up all together? Seeing an increase in flagged comments and a removal of a light-hearted tone? Then you might want to ask your doctor about Faladeral..

            Faladeral can unite even the most bitter of cordial enemies under the banner of adorable, wild cat girls finding romance with serious, classy engineering professors. Bring some joy to that super serious situation by asking your doctor about Faladeral today.

            Side effects may include:
            haters hating.

            Ask your doctor about Faladeral today.”

      • Balthazar

        I don’t want to sound like a jerk but
        Feradin or Feraladin, please

        paladin = pa+ladin not pa+ldin

        I don’t complain when people use irony or litteraly wrong or when they mix up “then” and “than”.


        • I think Virgil was splitting it as
          paladin = pala+din

        • Hawthorne

          But when they hook up, they’ll totally be making a feral din.

          • Balthazar

            So you include all of Feral but only part of paladin? That’s favoritism 😉

          • Hawthorne

            Mine was a “loud *cough*relations*cough” joke. 🙂

          • Balthazar

            I KNOW. But I think paladin might surprise you… *wink wink*

      • Izo

        Feraldin sounds like a medication.

    • Hawthorne

      Hahahaaa…you earned my high-pitched giggle-whistle-wheeze, when I’m laughing so hard and suddenly that a real, lower-pitched laugh can’t even escape. 🙂

    • Izo

      Pretty sure they already made Iron Man a 15 year old girl now. And… lessee…. Wolverine. I think Wild Thing might swing that way. Is that close enough?

    • MedinaSidonia

      All this ship talk is casting me back to my days in Brooklyn, watching lesbians kiss on street corners. That might be the thing I miss most about Brooklyn.

  • zellgato

    Here I was shipping her and Allison as people who honestly keep eachother pretty damn stable when they’re physically around each other.
    Well as long as she doens’t move out for a while they’ll still stablize.
    i hope
    they both can use some healing time

    Also I alwys thinks this but Feral has gorgeous eyes haha. Random but It always strikes me on her panels

    • bv

      In the words of my people*, Tara Alison
      I think with Lisa she’s looking for something a little more…flushed.

      • bv

        *My people are the homestuck trash

  • KatherineMW

    Definitely the latter. Paladin does NOT look happy.

  • sammybaby

    BAH HA HA. 🙂

  • Zintlions

    … I have made that exact face when a pretty lady has walked into the room.

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      Did you also ooze sexy tunes out of your very core like pheromones?

      • Zintlions

        If I did I wasn’t aware of it, but my artist may have drawn them in hovering next to me. 😉

  • Wood

    “…on second thought…”

  • Kt Squiggles


    • Zac Caslar

      I’m not a romantic, but SFP just has so much soul!

  • Fluffy Dragon

    Tara: Hunt’s over, she’s the one. Wait, whoa! She is pretty. For the love of God don’t say anything too stupid.

    Lisa: Great, another rival?

    Alison: (? _? )

    • Weatherheight

      Is it just me, or is there a certain kind of Carla Hall (from the daytime cooking/talk show The Chew) going with Lisa’s look today?

      Not complaining at all, mind you – I think Carla’s look is bitchin’ (as is Daphne’s). Maybe it’s the glasses…

  • A cool guy

    Hi! I love the comic. I just wanted to chime in and say that “y’all” is just the words “you” and “all” put together. In other words, it’s second-person plural – so you’d use it when addressing more than one person. It’s a common misconception…especially from TV shows when a non-southerner is portraying a southerner. Example: Steve: “Hey did y’all eat yet?” Barbershop Quartet: “Nope!”

    Source: I am from the American South

    • Ian Osmond

      The thing is, I’ve heard a few cases where you get y’all used for a singular, in precisely the same situations where the formal “you” would have been used back when English had “thou” as a singular. There is some sort of thing in the human mind that instinctively goes to the plural pronoun to show either respect or affection.

      You probably know all this already, but… As You Know, Bob…

      To back up — English used to have the singular “thou” and also the plural “you”. But you would use the plural “you” to address people with respect — it was always “Your Majesty” and “Your Highness”, never “Thy Majesty” and “Thy Highness” (with the weird exception of referring to God, where it was so important to hammer home that God was monotheistic that they made an exception for the “plural is respectful” thing). Over time, people kept expanding the pool of people for whom you used “you” for to be polite that it started to actually seem kinda disrespectful to use “thou”. And then “thou” went away.

      However, it turns out that y’all kinda NEED a second plural, so people ended up with “youse”, “you all”, “yinz”, “y’guys”, and so forth.

      And yet… that instinct to switch to plural out of deference still shows up.

      I see this as Feral feeling scared and excited, and showing deference, respect, and gratitude to Alison, which she tries to hide with her usual friendly snark and sarcasm, but it comes out in her pronoun choice.

      Or, y’know, it could be writers who do Southern accents wrong.

      But is that just me? Have other people observed the “y’all-to-single-person-out-of-deference” thing, or am I just imagining it?

      • Weatherheight

        I take annual trips to Dallas and “y’all” gets used pretty interchangeably between singular and plural. First time I noticed it for a singular was when I went out to lunch by myself and the server asked, “What can I get y’all today?”

        Of course, that may just be DFW, which is its own little world. 😀

        • The Elsewise

          According to my Texan relatives, “ya’ll” is the singular form, and “ya’lls” is the plural.

          Ex: To Bob, “Ya’ll should get in the house before it rains.” To Bob and friends, “Ya’lls should get in the house before it rains.”

        • bv

          That also seems like a reasonable situation to use the plural deferentially, and/or because she’s taking the order of a ‘table’/group (collective in principle), which just happens to only have one person.

        • Ian Osmond

          Does the idea of it showing up as a deferential mode make sense? I admit that I’m currently in a mindset of “plural address in respect” because the reason the Quakers held on to “thee” and “thou” — and even to the middle of the 20th century, some holdouts used a variation of it, and I’m sure there are still some folks out there today who do, at least among their friends and family — was because the use of plural “you” to a singular person was as a show of deference.

          So I’m wondering if the fact that the server was serving you might have had something to do with it. I can imagine myself calling an older or more respected person “y’all”; I can’t imagine me doing that to one child whom I was supposed to be in charge of. Have you noticed anything like that?

          • Weatherheight

            To be honest, I haven’t actually been thinking that deeply about it or taking notes or anything. It just struck me as odd enough to pay attention to it but not odd enough to think deeply about it. 😀

  • Mouser

    Don’t worry. Allison will get away with assaulting and threatening him. There’s no proof of anything, no witnesses, and he probably will never come forward due to being so scared and ashamed. Don’t worry that she feels bad; I’m sure she’s starting to justify it in her mind already.

    I don’t remember Lisa saying anything about her preference or sexuality before. Did I forget or miss it?

    • palmvos

      yes, she’s into boys as far as she knows. broke Tara’s neck figuring that out.

      • Ian Osmond

        Alison is straight. I don’t remember if we know about Lisa, though.

        • palmvos

          oops… your right….

        • Weatherheight

          I’m voting both ways, with a possible “occasionally with a certain donkey” clause in there.

          ::twitches his ears while staring vapidly at Lisa::

          • palmvos

            you actually want Lisa to do 1/2 of a dog and pony show?!?!?
            :: is standing well clear of Weatherheight::

          • Weatherheight

            Well, Yorp is pretty committed to Sidney and doesn’t hang out here so far as I know. 😀
            (Little joke for the GrrlPower fans..)

          • palmvos

            if we are going to do any crossovers from there- Dabbler needs to go full power on Alison. though it might be fun if Tara is in the same room….

          • Weatherheight

            And Clevin…

  • Zac Caslar

    For the first time in her entire life Feral feels under dressed.

    • Walter

      I think she is feeling like she (and another person) are OVER-dressed. They could wear less, is what she’s thinking.

      • bta

        As if Allison wasn’t feeling awkward enough.

    • Guilherme Carvalho

      probably also wishes she was already wearing too much, by the looks of it 😉

  • Walter

    Meet Cute.

  • Ellie K

    Oh wait a sec, Lisa looks like she’s already dressed for a date…

  • gs

    Wait, where’s Feral from again? She’s starting to veer into old-timey prospector territory.

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      Another side effect of Max’ procedure: the stronger the regeneration, the thicker the Southwestern accent.

      “Tara will you please stop stealing my shirts you know whenever you do they start growing Texas slogans!”
      “Ev’thang ‘r ah’ite piddlee’o dahlin'”

      • MrSing

        Is it a Southern accent or a ritual to summon the Great Old Ones.
        You decide.

  • Kifre

    Oh I needed that. Let’s get lost in some Feraladin goodness.

  • Crow

    I know how much flak I’m going to catch for this, but I feel like this is gay baiting. Something just strikes me as inexplicable fan-service and I feel like it cheapens the experience, Let the hate flow over me, I’m ready.

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      Heh, it would strike me as problematic if the webcomic flaunted its happy heterosexual relationship in your face on every page, but the Life and Times of Alison Green’s Disaster Romantic Experiencew comes to neatly counterbalance that.

      • Weatherheight

        Okay, we’ve got the working title for our cable TV series and a working list of characters. Now we just need living and working situations that won’t freak out the Muggles. 😀

    • Lucy

      I thought gay-baiting was implying that characters were gay without having them be canonically gay, thus trying to appeal to everyone without taking a solid pro-LGBT stance?

      I mean, Feral and Paladin are both canonically gay, so I’m not sure that this can count as gay-baiting.

      Is it fan-service? Sure. It’s a bit of a coincidence that these two likeable lesbians meet like this. But, if that’s fan-service, than literally the entire romance genre, whether you’re talking PG rom-coms, bodice-rippers, Victorian ladies books, or monster erotica, is fan-service. That is, an unlikely chance meeting + love at first sight is a staple trope. So I don’t think it’s a bad thing in and of itself.

      • Lysiuj

        Tara is canonically gay, but I don’t think Lisa is (I’m all for it of course).

      • Cyrano111

        Why do people think Lisa is gay?

        I’m guessing from context that this must have been the source of a lot of speculation in comments, but if so I didn’t read them. I can’t recall anything happening in the strip would would establish or even suggest that. Am I forgetting something?

        • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

          A recent reread of the whole comic have me fairly convinced there is not a single mention or passing clue pertaining to her sexual life.

          • Soqoma

            So she COULD be gay.
            (which means that, yeah, there may be some baiting there…but I’m not mad about it)

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Next page is going to be them two stuck to one another tongues interlaced into an elaborate dance, hands going into scandalous places and Alison failing to escape an unrelenting deluge of ripped clothes and you’re going to tell yourself that you may regret having spoken so soon

      • Pythia

        …Paladin is canonically gay?

    • Stephanie

      I think it’s difficult to judge that from a single panel. Let’s see how things develop.

    • nat365

      Well, there’s plenty of debate as to how far something has to go before it counts as ‘gay-baiting’, even among the gay community. For example, Rizzoli and Isles actually ended up with a large gay audience mostly due to flirting with the idea of the two women as a couple – but after a lot of people were upset they toned down those kind of jokes/intimate moments, almost to the point of removing them – and a lot of gay fans were upset by *that* too, because it changed the chemistry between the characters and thus the show they enjoyed.

      However, one thing that’s pretty universally agreed upon is that for there to be gay-baiting, it needs to involve either straight characters, or characters with no defined orientation, with the piece of fiction then having them flirt and putting them into ‘relationship-style’ situations without ever crossing *the line*. This is not that. We already know Tara, a main character, is an openly gay woman. If Lisa turns out to be straight then it’ll simply be unrequited love (like she had/has with Alison) – a perfectly common phenomenon (most gay women have fallen for a straight lady once or twice in their lives). If she’s bi/gay/any other non-straight orientation it could be the beginnings of a relationship. In either case, though, that is not gay-baiting.

      No hate for you though – I think you’ve just equated ‘fan service’ with gay-baiting. And ultimately, to me it doesn’t even read as fan-service. It makes sense for Feral to find some kind of romance with a pre-existing character, rather than one randomly brought in to serve that function. Feels far more organic to me. I mean, couples meet through friends pretty frequently, so it’s not like it’s even unrealistic for Tara to meet Lisa this way, at the home of their mutual friend with whom she is staying. I look forward to seeing how it develops.

  • Philip Bourque

    Now if this were made by Marvel or DC (especially DC), the next arc would have Alison travelling to THE FUTURE! ™ And in the future, she would find everything sparkling clean, crime would be almost non-existant and everyone would be happy, thanks to President-for-Life Alison! Thanks to her Axiom “We’re all in this together” she has created a utopia where everyone helps everyone… or else. That’s right, Future!Alison has created utopia for the price of a few little freedoms and free will and nobody even notices. Except Max; Max would be strapped to a chair somewhere so that he doesn’t commit suicide, except he’s been so brutalised and conditioned that he now barks on command. Present!Alison would find that not all are happy, as a small dwindling resistance lead by her sister still struggles against President-for-Life Alison. Present!Alison would then be convinced to fight Future!Alison, but would get her ass handed to her because Future!Alison had been MAXimized ages ago. Patrick would then send Present!Alison back to her own time while giving her a fatalistic rant about how the future cannot be changed and how this was the best outcome. Then it would be left ambiguous as to if and should the future be changed.

    • crazy j

      All to be forgotten in the next reboot.

  • Thank you for that bit of levity after all the seriousness of the past few strips.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    I ship it! I ship all of it! In all configurations and quantities!!!

  • Philip Petrunak

    Nope. Nope. Nope.

    Allison X Feral FOREVER. This ship is to big for even you to sink Brennan.

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      Well, Tara’s not the jealous kind…

    • Soqoma

      “Sink?” no… now, “expand” is another thing entirely…

      • palmvos

        is it legal to do poly ships?

  • Screencap’d the last three panels for maximum concentrated cuteness… which we needed a dose of after Ethical Horror Stories Theater. (Not that I don’t love EHST too).

  • “Dream Weaver”? Well, I guess she could have played Nick Gilder’s “Hot Child In The City”.

    • Weatherheight

      Maybe “Fox on the Run”, by Sweet?
      Ah, the days of glam rock… I remember them well.

  • Arkone Axon

    Those eyes… those eyes in that last panel… both pairs…

    Tara and Lisa are looking at each other like a lioness and gazelle who just waltzed into the lioness’ den.

    After the vile crimes and drama of the last twenty pages or so, it’s good to get back to something so shamelessly joyous. Let the Rule 34ing begin!

  • JohnTomato

    Who still has an iPod?


    • Lysiuj

      No! No, I say! Allison has done some messed up stuff, but I absolutely refuse to believe she buys apple products!

      • palmvos

        we here do not discriminate on the basis of religion. Apple, Window$, Andr0id. all paths lead to a gadget that barely works….

      • Izo

        It’s a slippery slope…

  • Carla

    I am so aboard for this ship. Also, is that a Wayne’s World reference?

  • Yirtimd2

    “Hello, my name is Alison, I am former superhero Meg…. I mean I am college student and I have two friends.

    One is very smart and intelligent, I can say she is a real genius, who outrun present+50 years in future in technological researching, and I think she born too early. She is also very kind and has the habit to protect the weak and help the bereaved. And she hates dirty scums, punks and other primative individuals who controlled by their instincts and emotions.

    Another is very, how should I say this, instinctive. She likes all types of pleasure she can get and she don’t have any moral controller in her head which can stop her from doing stupid things. And she is very, very high-primative individual, some sort of alpha-female, in old good days when mammoths were big and dinosaur’s eggs were main ingredient of breakfast I am pretty sure she could be some sort of Queen of the Amazons.

    And I am very good friend with both of them, but they don’t know about each other, because they are so different. I mean Paladin is so good in smart stuff and she is good as adviser and etc. And Feral is very good when I need to relax and to kick some asses, you know, and we now even live together as roommates, because she is single creature on Earth who can fight with me on equal terms if we will squarrel about some last cookie or TV channel or who must lift the toilet rim. Well she is also the only one who can stop me if I will become batshit-crazy-insane-messiah-type tyrant, who wants to control all people and make them happy by taking their free will, ha-ha, it was a joke, yeah, sure.

    And I had very much stories with them both, you know, Paladin is very helpful in my project, and Feral is my good buddy-roommate, yeah.

    And they are both LESBIANS.

    No, I am not, how could you think something like that, I am true hetero, really-really!

    But, you know, sometimes they both look at me with THOSE LOOKS, you know what I mean, yeah?

    And sometimes I think maybe I should think and discuss with them about our relationships, what kind is it and who we are to each other, and those thoughts heat my brains as electric kettle – water.

    But now all of this doesn’t matter, all of these thoughts, all my reflections on them, all these sleepless nights when I cried in pillow – all of this doesn’t matter.

    Because two people, who didn’t know about each other and thought that I hate those types of people -they meet each other and I am, the strongest and mig… I mean simple college student, don’t know what to do – all i can do now – is feeling how my soul is going down to hell through my heels, how cold air became, how my heart stopped beating and silence could be so dense that it could be felt if it wasn’t some DreamWeaver’s song instead.

    And now they look at each other and i don’t know what to do what will be where I can run whom I can call for help why all of this happening with me how I can survive this meeting and I don’t understand anything how I can stop my thoughts&!!!&”?????



    And this time Patrick decided to stop spying on Alison. Forever.

    • Stephanie Gertsch

      So Allision is the ego, Paladin is the superego, and Feral is the id? I like it!

      • Izo

        Although from their behavior, Feral’s been a lot more thoughtful than just being an ‘id.’ She may have been an id at one time, but she’s hardly one now, right?

        The id acts on instinct,the super-ego is the moralizing aspect, and the ego is the organized, realistic part.

        So it seems to me it would be more like:

        Alison is the id – lets her emotions get away with her. Alison is hardly realistic or organized, and has not been all that rational for a while now.

        Paladin is the ego – she’s the rational and organized one, who thinks in a realistic way.

        Feral is the super-ego – she’s the one who thought to use her powers to be utterly selfless just to help other people, while hurting no one other than herself in the process as a personal sacrifice, and she’s the one who stopped Alison the last time she went on a rampage.

    • palmvos

      ok, can someone point me to where we learn that Lisa is into girls or has acknowledged her flexibility on that subject?

      • Newbie

        I don’t remember any, but then I also don’t remember any instances of her expressing interest in guys, so regarding the comic I’d say we’re pretty up in the air at the moment.

        • Lysiuj

          She has an interest in robots!
          …well I didn’t mean it like that, but I do now.

      • Izo

        There has been no information on that. Doesn’t matter. People gonna ship who people wanna ship.

  • I know a lady boner when I see it drawn!

  • Soqoma


  • Izo

    And still nothing negative happened. I guess the only negative was Alison had some guilt-vomit.

    And now we can have people comment about how what Alison did was not so bad after all. Supported by the fact that nothing bad happened to her in this story. The end.

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      Nah, you don’t have spasms in an hospital last scene for no reason, this was foreshadowing. The other shoe will drop (or whatever else more appropriate idiom you silly English people use) and I kind of like that it’s taking its time because it means it will hit *hard*

      • Izo

        Nah. In the unlikely event that anything negative does come of this, it will so far removed from her evil action that no one will care, and will instead defend poor Alison, saying what she did wasn’t a bad thing.

        • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

          Not only are you wrong but your causal proposition is very strange. It’s not because something is far removed that it becomes less awful. I mean it can in some circumstances, but it’s just as much possible as to bring it to a steaming boil until it erupts.

          • Cokely

            From past discussion, it’s pretty clear that Izo believes very firmly in a strong form of cultivation theory – every day, every page that we are not exposed to some sort of consequence to Alison’s actions, we become more and more convinced that what she did was the right thing and it is something we should do ourselves. We have no control.

            Think of it like the idea that dogs need to be corrected immediately after bad behavior or they do not associate the punishment with the behavior.

          • Izo

            I wouldnt put it EXACTLY like that, but I do think human beings generally go for the path of least resistance and the easiest outcome, and if something has no negative consequences to it shown, they tend to do it. So no, it doesnt need t boe every day, every page that we are exposed to a consequence to Alison’s action, but we’ve had the OPPOSITE here. Every day, every page we’ve been exposed to the idea that Alison’s actions have NO negative outcome at all – only positive ones.

            Think of it like this. There are two wallets on the ground, both with tons of money visibly in them. One is sitting on the sidewalk, no one’s around to look or even judge you if you take it. The other is surrounded by broken glass and a vicious dog tied up next to it. Most people will take the easy-to-get wallet.

            Similarly, two wallets are on the ground. One is out of view of any eye witnesses. The other has a video camera over it. Most will take the one that’s not being filmed. This actually has been an actual behavioral experiment. Over 90 percent of people from a random sample take the wallet if they don’t think they’ll be judged. ONE person took the wallet that had a camera on it, then made a big show on camera to ask if anyone knew who’s wallet it belonged to.

            Now… what if, after taking the easy-to-get, no-judgment wallets, NOTHING happened bad to them. The next time they see a wallet on the ground, wouldnt they be more likely to take it again? However, if as a result of taking the wallet, they then saw on TV that a man lost his wallet an as a result his family was starving, they would be LESS likely to do it again. Or if, as a result of taking the wallet, the police somehow track the person down and demand the wallet back to give to the proper owner. Even if the police do not arrest the person, will the person be willing to take another wallet off the ground in the future? Far less likely.

          • Cokely

            I understand your logic. But you are your own counter-example. Unless you are suggesting that the longer you read this comic without Alison suffering a consequence, you – and I mean specifically you, Izo – would be more likely to do awful things based on a lack of consequences ascribed to Alison’s action in the text.

            If you are not more likely to do that, then why? What makes you an exception to your stated claim about human nature in this case?

          • Izo

            “If you are not more likely to do that, then why? What makes you an exception to your stated claim about human nature in this case?”

            Because people are not absolutes. People are more LIKELY to do one thing than another. It does not mean 100 percent of people will, 100 percent of the time. It just means an inordinately large percentage will, an inordinately large percentage of the time.

          • Cokely

            And what places you and the other people who have consistently argued that Alison’s actions are wrong in this fortunate minority?

          • Izo

            Did you read what I just said?

          • Cokely

            I did! Are you saying that you are one of that inordinately large percentage and trying to safeguard yourself? Or have you exempted yourself from this through some fortunate upbringing or other means?

          • Izo

            Uh… no. I’m saying I’m one of the smaller percentage that does NOT let themselves get easily influenced by peer pressure and outside narratives. That doesn’t change that the majority of people do succumb to that.

            Has nothing to do with a fortunate upbringing, except that my mother raised me to be independent-thinking and not think of myself as a victim or as a follower of herd mentality. Doesn’t mean most people aren’t. History is rife with people being led like sheep by one powerful or charismatic leader, or an influential story.

            Heck, that’s how most RELIGIONS are started.

          • Weatherheight

            Speaking as a GM, the look of shock and horror on the face of a PC when they realizes that they have done something horrible in the context of a campaign is always satisfying to me (the moment when after three years in game time, one PC realizes that they have done *nothing* to discover the fate of a PC who has vanished was very always interesting to me). And the greater the delta t, the bigger the shock and horror.

            Granted, this makes more work in terms of foreshadowing in the game on the prt of the GM, but so worth it. 😀

      • Soqoma

        On the one hand, yes, that makes narrative sense.
        On the other, I think a large part of Allison’s story is that she gets away with things, and those hard choices or moments of exemption accumulate in her psyche…and it’s her psyche that she will ultimately have to confront. (In a way, the absence of external accountability is what makes her such a perfect protagonist in what this comic grapples with: she is fully responsible for her own morality)

        • Stephanie

          “In a way, the absence of external accountability is what makes her such a perfect protagonist in what this comic grapples with: she is fully responsible for her own morality”

          God, that is such a perfect way of phrasing something I’ve tried ineptly to express in the past. Thank you for putting it into words!

        • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

          I… think I disagree with that last statement? This is interesting and I will need to think it through a little more but to me the lack of accountability makes her less of a perfect protagonist (well, our difference of opinion may relate to what that “perfect” entails for each of us) because that’s not really representative of the experience of real life, not even in a metaphorical sense.
          Meaning I don’t think morality is to be observed from a distance of detached objectivity to be tackled, but is necessarily crafted by the experience of not having this place of detached objectivity that every human has.

          For me, Strong Female Protagonist is a joke, albeit endearingly told. It’s a jab at the Strong Independent Woman type, a subversion of usual comic books tales of might making right, and every sentiment in that statement holds some mischief. The fact that she’s strong doesn’t matter, the fact that she’s a woman is purely incidental, and she can’t really be a relatable protagonist.

          • Soqoma

            Oh, yeah, it definitely comes back to how we’re defining “perfect.”
            I think I should have said “the perfect protagonist for this story.”
            I think the lack of accountability doesn’t make her a perfect protagonist at all, generally speaking. Like you, I think accountability is a huge part of what makes characters and their stakes–real.

            However, for what this one particular story is aiming to do; which I understand as having gone beyond the joke of its title/premise into sort of allegory for being/becoming an adult and wrestling with how to be a ‘good’ person in a world where the issues are overwhelming, endlessly complicated, and often self-contradictory–then it fits.

            If you think about it, the majority of child protagonists feature orphans, the lost, or the abused, because the story needs to convince us that the child bears the full weight of the plot alone–it makes for a neater and more acceptable hero when there is no trustworthy ‘parent’ to solve things or reign things in. Adult adventure stories do something similar, cutting out the ability to get help by circumstance or suspicion.

            I think that what Allison’s pattern of exemption does is to make her a “moral orphan” so that the full weight of having to figure out how to be a good person–which is the primary conflict of the story–is on her. This isn’t the reality of being/becoming an adult, exactly, but I think it’s very true to how being being/becoming an adult feels. So it works.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Okay, this deserve a double upvote. (Don’t mind the other guy)

          • Soqoma

            Aww, thanks!

      • Izo

        Nah. I believe that she had spasms because she had some bad clams for lunch.

        • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

          Don’t you have already responded to this comment of mine

          • Izo

            Yeah the response didn’t show up for some reason so I responded again with something else.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            I’m deleting the other ones then, I don’t want to spread all over the comment section again. We’ve seen what we told each other anyway, if you still want to respond we can do it in one thread and not five, so I’m encouraging you to do the same. I’m leaving you five minutes to see this comment.

        • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

          Gal, tease your bias down. I’m much more (trust me, much more) infuriated by Alison that you are and I haven’t lost all trust in the webcomic.
          These are the comments I would normally jokingly make myself pretending I care about such nitpicky details. Sure some corners are not realistically accurate (have you noticed? Some of these people have superpowers) but look! We’re out of the hospital. The plot is moving!

          • Lysiuj

            I wouldn’t be so hasty to claim you’re more infuriated by Alison than Izo is, if I were you…

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            I learned to tamper my feelings ever since I completely and irrevocably lost all my trust in her when she threw a mug into someone’s face.

          • Weatherheight

            In this corner, maintaining his anonymity by using no avatar and practically foaming at the mouth in indignation, Izo!

            ::loud sounds of cheering::

            And in this corner, wearing an extremely wide tower that looks vaguely Babylonian and a moral outrage that shines like the light of one pretty big sun, ∫Clémens×ds 🐙!

            ::loud sounds of cheering::

            Celebrity Infuriation Death Match! Let’s Get It On!

            (my apologies to everyone involved – I’ve clearly gone much too far with this)

          • Izo

            Not really foaming. I’ll accept the cheers though.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            This is too late. The fight has started, and will soon devolve into an offputtingly arousing affair until it is straight up intercourse hatefuck because me and Izo and you will be dragged in for every part of it

          • Izo

            Wait what?

          • palmvos

            ::has video camera ready::

          • palmvos

            no no you haven’t gone far enough… i want a claymation depiction of this bloody fight of polite disagreement.

    • Virgil Clemens

      Because in grand scheme of things, her action *wasn’t* that bad. You don’t need some kind of call to narrative authority to support that claim.

      • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

        No– stop– we’re taking a break and talking about all this stuff another day. Today is gayness appreciation day and we’re sticking to it

        • Virgil Clemens

          Gonna have a gay ol’ time?

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            The gayest of all!

          • Virgil Clemens

            We need more P!nk then.

          • palmvos

            we could watch He-man… or that Buck Rogers film with the queen soundtrack. after all He’ll save every one of us.

          • Izo

            … considering making a snarky comment.

            … no, too easy.

          • Izo

            … did you really just say that too?

      • Izo

        I’m pretty sure that I’ve already beaten you in a debate on this in past threads.

        • Virgil Clemens

          Whatever helps you sleep at night.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙


          • Virgil Clemens

            My apologies. I shall stop and return to gayness appreciation.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Thank you. Between Clemens, we ought to stand for each other.

          • Virgil Clemens

            How much is it like Gay Pride Day?

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            So much gayer.

          • Izo

            No I’m pretty sure I recall that you very clearly lost that argument. Also I believe you cursed me out because you couldnt refute what I said.

          • Virgil Clemens

            Closest thing I could find to Gayness Appreciation Day on short notice…

    • Virgil Clemens

      Ignore Alison for a moment here. Why haven’t I seen you even so much as hint at being against Feral getting pardoned and not punished for her evil actions?

      • Stephanie

        So I see where you’re coming from with that, and I agree with some other things you’ve said, but I think most people would agree that 24/7 vivisection without anesthesia is sufficient penance for Feral’s crimes.

        • MrSing

          Feral is a weird case of a self-rehabilitated person undergoing excessive punishment to do community service.
          It’s like she looked at what liberals, conservatives, and pragmatists wanted to happen to criminals and said “okay”.

        • Virgil Clemens

          But that has been rescinded to nearly three orders of magnitude smaller, thanks to Max’s boost. Besides, Izo has firmly established that the proportional good attained from an act should have no bearing on ethical consequences, so I hardly doubt independent actions can excuse a crime. If Feral can get away with casual murder because she happens to be a super organ donor, shouldn’t Alison get away with assault because she was given permanent scarring from a rampaging Cleaver?

          • Stephanie

            I don’t know, I guess it’s really up to Izo to respond to your question, but I think it’s easy to argue that the immense amount of suffering Feral has already endured goes above and beyond adequate punishment even for casual murder. Even now that it’s just 40 hours a month, it would be considered cruel and unusual to do that to any ordinary murderer.

          • Virgil Clemens

            It is self-inflicted of her own choice, independent of her crimes. We wouldn’t forgive someone of a crime because they engaged in self-harm, and as I said, Izo’s already established that no amount of independent charity or contributions can absolve you.
            This is more pointing out Izo’s seeming inconsistency rather than attempting to justify my own moral stance.

          • Izo

            Nothing inconsistent about anything I’ve said. You are making ludicrous false equivalencies between Max and actual violent criminals trying to kill people, and guilt vomit with having your organs harvested from you, and private citizen with government-sanctioned and culpable soldier.

          • Stephanie

            If I remember right, Feral requested a full pardon in exchange for her doing this. Of course a full pardon was necessary in order for her to be able to donate instead of being in jail, but I’d still say that she received this suffering in direct place of the punishment that she would have received otherwise. Even using Izo’s premises, if what Izo wants is for people who do bad things to genuinely suffer, she should presumably be satisfied with Feral’s suffering.

          • Izo

            I’ve actually responded to Virgil’s question above. Waiting to see how he responds.

      • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

        Mostly that we haven’t seen the extent of her crimes, so it’s very difficult to say. Does vigilantism, not being a state sanctioned superhero, amounts to what she’s accused of? Or is it just (“just”, he said) the random people she told Alison she killed just because she felt like it?

        Now that I think of it, Alison triggered that with her taking off the mask. Some more people to blame the deaths of on Alison, neat. It’s been a while since I didn’t blame her for something, I’m losing my mojo here

      • Izo

        You mean why am I not angry at Feral getting pardoned for the fact that she’s killed actual criminals while she was a superhero?

        Just going to repeat myself. Why am I not angry at Feral, who has been self-torturing herself for the benefit of humanity, getting pardoned for the fact that she killed ACTUAL CRIMINALS while government-sanctioned as a hero?

        Are you seriously asking me why I’m not comparing actual criminals to Max, who was in no way a criminal or even violent? Are you asking me the difference between a governemnt-sanctioned soldier essentially, and an individual who is culpable to no one, and who has not suffered any punishment as a result, unlike Feral?

        • Virgil Clemens

          Feral has explicitly admitted to killing more than just criminals. So I guess in this case it’s just tunnel vision on your part.

          • Izo

            It’s not tunnel vision. Its that we have NEVER SEEN ANY EVIDENCE OF THIS HAPPEN. How exactly am I going to focus on something like that? And compare it to the central moral of the current story arc?

            Moreover, if there was a story about Feral killing some guy who just said stuff that she did not like to hear, then I would think Feral should be in prison for the rest of her long, long life.

          • Virgil Clemens

            Ah, so we ignore direct testimony. I guess tunnel vision is the wrong term here…poor reading comprehension?

          • Izo

            Really. Tell me, who did she kill. Specifically. What were the circumstances behind her killing the person or people? Was torture involved? Was the person she killed a criminal who told her stuff she didn’t like, or just an average person who told her stuff that she didnt like? Did the government punish her in any way? Did she have a trial? Let me see the pages in which any of this was answered?

          • Stephanie

            “Was the person she killed a criminal who told her stuff she didn’t like”

            Does it matter? Is it morally acceptable to kill someone who is not an immediate danger as long as they’ve committed a crime at some point?

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            NOPE. You are not helping. I’m sorry to put my foot down but we are not derailing a full comment section today. Next Tuesday you have my blessing to go crazy but today you take example on Virgil’s behavior.

          • Stephanie

            I’m sorry if this sounds abrasive, but unless you’re a mod (I don’t know if you are), you don’t have the authority to order me around. I’m open to a request to drop the subject.

          • Izo

            Pretty sure Clemens is kidding around.

            Yknow what, I’ll drop this for TODAY.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Ahem, I, uh… totally am a mod? Right, I do am a mod. Cease your quarreling this instant.

            In truth, it’s me who apologize for being abrasive, but I hope you didn’t think I was a hundred percent serious. I’m going to delete these comments and let this thread go wherever it will but I genuinely encourage you to consider if the matter deserves discussing on this beautiful day when all everybody wants is cheer for Tara’s insatiable lust.

          • Stephanie

            It’s totally cool. I didn’t realize you were joking, but I can see it now that you explained. Sorry for overreacting–feeling like I’m being ordered around is kind of a button for me, which is my own responsibility to be aware of.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            No, really, I get to assume the consequences of constantly pushing people’s buttons by playing around, and I genuinely am sorry. For future reference, know that I will never be disrespectful enough to actually think I am allowed to even raise my voice at you.

          • Izo

            Given that the person in the picture was holding a gun and hunting for Feral with another guy, yeah, I think it might matter. To paraphrase you, how can I make a decision on something without having the facts available?

          • Virgil Clemens

            While I appreciate the fact you’re willing to ask me to hold your hand on how to read, I have already agreed with Clemens for the day. I will still hold your hand though…

          • Izo

            “While I appreciate the fact you’re willing to ask me to hold your hand on how to read”

            Well apparently your ability to read half a sentence over a picture of Feral killing someone who was hunting for her with another guy and an assault weapon of some sort gave you insight into all the questions I just asked, which you mysteriously don’t want to answer, so your ability to read must involve some sort of supernatural elements that I don’t possess.

            “I will still hold your hand though…”

            Not sure I’d want to hold your hand. I might have something you want that for which you feel breaking my arm would benefit humanity, for the greater good.

        • Stephanie

          To confirm and add to what Virgil said, what Feral has admitted to, IIRC, is that she’s killed people just for saying things she didn’t want to hear.

          • Izo

            I love how people like Virgil are trying to say that I have tunnel vision over something that I’ve now looked for and still can’t find, and compare that to entire story arcs of what Alison did being shoved in our face as being good.

            Who exactly did she kill? Do you know the story behind it at all? Did they attack her first? Did they attack anyone else first? WHAT HAPPENED in that encounter with Feral? Do you know? No, you don’t. Because it’s in what… one sentence maybe buried somewhere that I can’t even find it? And that’s the comparison with Alison? I’m not as angry at Feral because I don’t see any evidence of Feral ever actually doing anything, and definitely not enough to make a judgment about it, unlike what Alison did to Max. Regardless of Feral’s ACTUAL punishment that she’s given herself.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            There, second frame. Now please let’s keep this conversation for another day and enjoy your gay ol’ time

          • Izo

            So half a sentence, not actually describing who the people were, whether they were criminals or not (despite the picture seeming to imply that they WERE criminals or at least trying to attack her SINCE THEY HAD ASSAULT WEAPONS).

          • Stephanie

            If she were talking about killing criminals who were trying to attack her, I don’t think she would have said “killed people just for saying shit I didn’t wanna listen to.”

            If she’s talking about criminals who were just saying rude things in their downtime, Feral did not have the moral right to be their judge and executioner. Murdering criminals is still murder.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            You are being impossible. Can you please not gulp the bait, the fisherman and the fishing boat that Virgil threw at you? When exactly is “if you are angry at this why are you not angry at this other thing” ever a good argument anyway?

          • Izo

            “When exactly is “if you are angry at this why are you not angry at this other thing” ever a good argument anyway?”

            Good point.

    • Stephanie

      Nothing negative has happened yet. Can you imagine how rushed an archival reading would feel if it was like…

      Page 87: Alison makes Max boost Feral.
      Page 88: Alison goes to the hospital to meet Feral. The doctor announces that Feral can donate all organs to everyone now.
      Page 89: Feral sees the guilt in Alison’s eyes and immediately knows what she’s done. “I hate you, Alison!” she snarls. “I don’t even want to donate my organs anymore now that I know even you are corrupted by sin!”
      Page 90: Feral’s regeneration goes out of control and she becomes an ever-growing blob of meat parts, absorbing the entire hospital and forcing Alison to mercy-kill her from within her seeping mass as it screams curses from each of its thousand mouths.
      Page 91: Six panels of Alison ugly-crying in a pile of viscera.

      • Izo

        Wow. She feels guilty. What an awful consequence for doing something criminal and evil by threatening to kill another person then torturing them to bend to your will, before saying to them that you can do this any time you want and no one can stop you.

        Guilt vomit. That’s the consequence.

        No, just because it’s not that excessive progression that you just described doesn’t mean the alternative should be NOTHING BAD AT ALL HAPPENS.

        • Stephanie

          I don’t understand this reply. I didn’t say anything about Alison’s feelings of guilt. I didn’t argue that guilt vomit is the negative consequence. I also didn’t say that the only two options are “immediate consequences” and “no consequences whatsoever.”

          I said that I don’t think it would be good pacing for the negative consequences to be immediate. That was my one and only point.

          For that matter, if you want her to suffer consequences for coercing Max, shouldn’t the consequences be a result of her coercing Max, not a result of boosting Feral in and of itself?

          • Izo

            “I also didn’t say that the only two options are “immediate consequences” and “no consequences whatsoever.”

            There’s not even a HINT of consequences. Feeling guilty is not a hint of consequences. Every time I mention this, I’m told ‘it’s only been X pages.’ ‘It’s only been X+1 pages.’ ‘It’s only been X+2 pages.’ After how many pages does an actual hint that what she did was wrong and not going to be rewarded in every conceivable way happen, if ever? The longer it takes, the less likely I think it will happen and the more likely that the moral of the story is ‘Hurt people who are weaker than you if it will get you what you want.’ and and ‘Might makes right.’ Which seem like awful morals to me.

            “I said that I don’t think it would be good pacing for the negative consequences to be immediate. That was my one and only point.”

            And it’s already not immediate. But there’s not even foreshadowing of anything bad ever happening. Just that she feels guilty-ish that she will probably have to do this again to Max because of all the good that the idiot dohctor is saying can come of the totally unknown procedure that Alison did witout any medical oversight.

            “For that matter, if you want her to suffer consequences for coercing Max, shouldn’t the consequences be a result of her coercing Max, not a result of boosting Feral in and of itself?”
            Since the result was her RATIONALE for coercing Max, that rationale needs to be challenged.

          • Stephanie

            “There’s not even a HINT of consequences”


            ” Feeling guilty is not a hint of consequences.”

            I didn’t say it was.

            “But there’s not even foreshadowing of anything bad ever happening.”

            There are many shapes the negative consequences could take that it would be premature to foreshadow at this point.

            Let me put it this way. I don’t think of what Alison did as a Faustian bargain, but I think that’s closely analogous to how you see it–an unforgivable moral compromise in exchange for a seemingly wondrous reward. Faustian bargain stories are compelling because the deal initially seems worth it, and only gradually do the true consequences emerge. Faust would not be much of a story if right after the deal was struck, the devil immediately went “Actually instead of fulfilling my end of the bargain by giving you your payment, I’m going to kick you in the dick and throw your soul in Hell immediately.”

            “Since the result was her RATIONALE for coercing Max, that rationale needs to be challenged.”

            I don’t agree. If we look at this from the point of view (not mine, but I’ll run with it) that coercing Max was wrong no matter what, Alison’s reasons for coercing Max are irrelevant. From that perspective, it would not have been wrong to persuade him to boost Feral voluntarily, and it would have been wrong to coerce him for any conceivable reason. Therefore, an appropriate karmic punishment should be directly related to the coercion itself.

            In other words, if no rationale can justify coercing Max, then challenging the rationale is completely superfluous to making the point that coercing Max was wrong.

          • Izo

            “Let me put it this way. I don’t think of what Alison did as a Faustian bargain, but I think that’s closely analogous to how you see it–an unforgivable moral compromise in exchange for a seemingly wondrous reward. Faustian bargain stories are compelling because the deal initially seems worth it, and only gradually do the true consequences emerge.”

            Actually I agree with you on this assessment of how I see it.

            “Faust would not be much of a story if right after the deal was struck, the devil immediately went “Actually instead of fulfilling my end of the bargain by giving you your payment, I’m going to kick you in the dick and throw your soul in Hell immediately.””

            Fair enough, except this current story arc has timing on consequences EXTREMELY inconsistent with past story arcs in the same comic. It’s jarring.

  • Mechwarrior
  • Soqoma

    Is it just me or is “I will love to have you here” kind of a clunky sentence?
    Allison, you wouldn’t be feeling awkward by any chance, would you?

    • palmvos

      well given that Feral is offering to quiz Alison for the SAT’s in the next panel… id say they both are a bit nervous.

      • Soqoma

        hahaha, agreed.

  • MedinaSidonia

    Hi folks. Forgive me if I’m repeating questions already answered, but I have spent a good deal of time poring over the comments, and I’m still *so* confused.

    1. Patrick had to have planned Alison’s introduction to Max, yes? There’s no way that was a coincidence. Which means Patrick initiated the fire. Given his level of machinations, do we have any reason to believe he’s not mind-controlling Max and/or Alison?

    2. We still don’t know the nature of Max’s boosting power, correct? Presumably Patrick’s file would have contained details, but given what Max said about being shielded, *no one* knows much about his powers, yeah? There are two reasons why I’m wondering.
    a) We don’t know if his effect on Feral is permanent. What if she returns to her previous power level tomorrow? When I think of this, I hear sinister music in my head. That scenario sounds like it could have been tailor-made by Patrick to send Alison down a moral slippery slope.
    b) How do we/Alison/Max know that Max’s power was targeted? What is its range? They were on the roof of the hospital, right? So clearly Max didn’t need a line of sight. Why wouldn’t Max’s little fireworks display have boosted Alison as well?

    • Lysiuj

      To 1 – I haven’t thought of Patrick starting the fire as part of a long con, cool idea!
      That said, unless Patrick’s power has radically increased and changed then we have no reason to think he’s controlling their thoughts,
      Actually… “unless Patrick’s power has radically increased and changed” well maybe it has!

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      Unless he was lying (Oh my God, guys, what if he was lying) Patrick can’t mind control. But yes, there is no way Patrick came up with a file on Al’s ex boyfriend of one day prior by sheer coincidence.

      And the thing about Max power is, we all assumed it was temporary because it went along with the assumption that Max needed to be somewhere around for the effect to occur. I’m starting to think we shouldn’t have assumed that (there was no reason for it) and the effect is indeed permanent. And I guess they weren’t on the roof but in a dark room (meaning, close to Tara?), otherwise the scene wouldn’t have been this dark. I know New York light pollution is bad but it’s not *that* bad

      • MedinaSidonia

        I was thinking about this during my run, and now it makes less sense to me than ever. Regardless of how much time passed between Alison meeting Max and Alison receiving the file on Max, the bare fact that she met Max at all is a staggering coincidence. Of course such coincidences occur in real life, hence the bell curve. But as a rule good writers do not base their plots on them. We are clearly dealing with a good writer. Therefore I believe their meeting was no coincidence. That Patrick sent the file indicates that he is probably responsible. But *how*??

        Patrick could have manipulated Max into being at the apartment building that night, and he could have confirmed that Alison was on volunteer duty prior to triggering the fire. But the timing… it doesn’t work. Patrick was falling to his death. He could easily have died before Alison got to him. If Max was important enough for Patrick to go to all this trouble, Patrick wouldn’t have put him at such risk.

        So unless my logic is flawed, we are left to believe one of two things.

        1. Alison met Patrick by sheer coincidence.

        2. Patrick arranged everything, *including* a surreptitious means of saving Max if Alison didn’t get there in time.

        Given the amount of money Patrick has, #2 seems much more likely to me.

        • Izo

          I can definitely see #2 being true.

        • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

          Alison met Max by coincidence. If it wasn’t the case, she would have brought it up during their argument. The fact that she didn’t indicates how we are to understand it too. It definitely does sound like an awful contrivance but that’s all it is.

          • Izo

            Alison met Max because he was trapped in a burning building in the area where Alison was being a volunteer firefighter. How did the building catch fire? Who knows. You don’t think it’s possible that Patrick knew that Alison was a volunteer firefighter, or the area where she would get called in?

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            Oh sure it would have been perfectly possible, what with Patrick knowing absolutely everything about Alison this would even have been actually easy, but it’s just not the case. Alison accepting it blindly means we are to, as well.

          • Izo

            I don’t actually seeing it being at all outside of what Patrick is capable of, or contrived if that happened. In fact, it seems to be very in line with Patrick’s ability to manipulate people like pawns.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            that’s what i just said

          • Izo

            Then I agree with you wholeheartedly.

          • MedinaSidonia

            Oh, I’m not suggesting Alison knew about it. Quite the opposite. I’m suggesting that Patrick arranged both Alison and Max like chess pieces.

          • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

            That’s not what I mean. I’m saying the reason why Alison hasn’t even wondered to herself “hey, how come I rescued and then dated this guy who just happens to have such an important power to my current storyline?” and just blindly accepted it is that it is a pure coincidence as intended by the authors, and we should do as well to accept it blindly as the coincidence it is.

        • palmvos

          ok, with a good writer there are no coincidences. you are right. but that doesn’t mean every convenient plot occurrence has to be arranged in story. I will buy that Alison rescuing Max is no coincidence but buying that Patrick was involved in arranging it? that’s a staggering level of competence. bear in mind that Alison has not met with Patrick since before she met Max that we know of. now Patrick’s obvious knowledge of Valkyrie indicates some level of awareness of Alison’s activities true but Valkyrie is absolutely no secret- it is actively recruiting and organizing.

      • MedinaSidonia

        Whoops. I meant “*Max* was falling to his death”, obviously.

    • palmvos

      Patrick exerting mind control…..seems pretty weak. remember Alison threw a mug at him last time they were in a room together. The mug, based on the glue together scene, was at least given in friendship.
      long con-
      I am presuming that Max’s file came from the meeting that Patrick had with the Chinese just before the Feral riot. I learned something skimming. Max was introduced at the beginning of this issue so it has been several days since Feral’s sacrifice began- months likely as Alison gets a new class load at school in between Feral and Max. a quick skim of the top 1/2 of the early pages of this issue suggest that the Alison-Max romance comprised at least 3 days more likely a week or more culminating in the helicopter date. we don’t know what Patrick’s range is but from his ability to respond to Alison they are in the same metropolitan area. also Max was visiting a friends apartment at the time of the fire, so that’s a datum in both columns- depending on the friend involved could be harder or easier. By the way… why didn’t we meet the friend who lived in the apartment that burned? or did i miss that?
      my gut feel is that Patrick is good, but setting up that fire and ensuring that Alison would get to pick Max off the balcony is asking a bit much in my opinion.
      one interesting note- there was a fun thread previously that speculated that the New York Postal Service formed an integral part of the conspiracy because of the timing of that file. if you look at page
      there is no postage shown. that’s either an art error or this was in fact a courier delivery.
      i still think until Molly and Brennan get around to giving us a name New York Postal Service ™ is a good name. let us all thank ∫Clémens×ds for giving us that name.

      • Weatherheight

        I thought those folks were the apparently Chinese… group from Feral’s “Walkabout Montage”. Nice to see it wasn’t just me thinking that…

        • palmvos

          it does make sense- in the narrative of her travels feral started in Europe went to India afterwards. if you were on a low budget (land based) tour of the world from America that’s about the order most easily accomplished.
          nice avatar!

      • MedinaSidonia

        “…setting up that fire and ensuring that Alison would get to pick Max off the balcony is asking a bit much in my opinion.”

        Yeah, I’m right there with ya… yet I find Alison meeting Max by sheer coincidence even *less* likely. See my reply to ∫Clémens×ds from a few minutes ago. *scratching head*

        • palmvos

          and to clarify my reply down below- i think its easier to buy that Alison+Max meeting and having a romance (of sorts) is a coincidence in universe, than it is to figure out how or who in universe set it up. That Alison and Max could have cause to complain to Molly and Brennan for setting them up…let’s just be glad the Gay Deceiver isn’t active anymore….(we hope)

    • Weatherheight

      My take.
      1) Patrick claims not to have mind-control as a power, although his level of ability to persuade someone should be effectively a very similar thing.
      Assuming you believe him that he doesn’t have true mind control, he admits to being good enough at reading people to not need it to convince people to do what he wants.

      2) Max was tested for the anomaly and they discovered what it was in a formalized (if not laboratory) setting of some kind, if we can believe his self-narrative. To what extent isn’t exactly clear.

      2a) A lot of theories have been floated on Max’s powers – short term boost that fades, long term boost, enabling the powers to attain a point now that eventually they would have evolved to anyway. So far we’ve seen nothing to debunk or support conclusively any of these options, although Alison clearly seems to believe her one action will solve the problem permanently. I share your concerns about Patrick’s involvement.

      2b) The community seems to agree (and both doctor’s comments seem to support) that Alison arranged access to Feral… somehow (Dr. Rosenblum seems the best option, based on Dr. Walden’s comment), so while the roof is an option, it could also have been within the hospital (although the idea of moving Feral to the roof seems very Spy vs Spy to me and thus cool). On the other hand, given its very visible nature, doing something like that on a roof seems not very well designed to hide Max’s ID, so I still lean to a very big room with no windows right by a doorway that leads to the stairs to the roof.
      Panel 4: http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-6/page-91-2/
      Panel 4: http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-6/page-94-2/
      As to the rest, all very good questions. We’ve assumed targeted, but we don’t have have confirmation on that. Interesting ideas…

      • Sendaz

        >(although the idea of moving Feral to the roof seems very Spy vs Spy to me and thus cool).
        So long as they did while humming the Mission Impossible theme tune, I am sure they could have made it no problem. 😉

      • MedinaSidonia

        Huh. “arranged for a procedure”… you’re right. I didn’t pick up on that. Yeah, the doc was in on it. For some reason I read the night-flight as something Alison did in complete secrecy.

        • Izo

          Yep. Dr. Rosenblum approved of forcing people against their will and torturing them if need be. Then again she thought what Moonshadow was doing was acceptable and inevitable as well.

          • Stephanie

            Even if Dr. Rosenblum was involved in arranging access to Feral–which she wasn’t necessarily, the hospital staff could have done that on their own–it doesn’t necessarily mean that she was aware Max was being coerced. Unless Alison called her on the way over with Max–unlikely, since the confidence with which she described to him what they were going to do implied that the arrangements were already in place–they would have spoken and made all the arrangements before Alison had actually gone through with coercing him.

            Anyone who’s aware that Alison’s “procedure” involved another biodynamic most likely assumes that his participation was voluntary. After all, who would expect a human being to refuse to save potentially millions of lives, and who would have expected Alison to torture him into compliance?

          • Izo

            Dr Colonel Sanders, or whatever his name was, already implied that Dr. Rosenblum DID know of the ‘classified nature’ of what Alison did.

          • Stephanie

            Considering the importance of keeping Max’s identity secret, it would have been classified whether Alison had coerced him or not.

          • Izo

            Except why would Dr. Rosenblum know that Alison had used Max for this, other than that she was in on it. Remember, Alison also called up Rosenblum beforehand.

          • Stephanie

            Yes–beforehand. Before she had coerced Max. Their conversation wouldn’t have included that information, because it hadn’t happened yet.

            Although it’s possible that Alison has since confessed to Rosenblum that Max didn’t participate willingly, there’s no reason Rosenblum would need to have that information for the events so far to make sense.

          • Izo

            She told her beforehand, then knew what she did afterwards, since I doubt Rosenblum talked to the doctors before she did what she did, if she was keeping Max’s identity secret.

          • Stephanie

            I’m not clear on why it would be necessary for anyone, including Rosenblum, to know that Alison coerced Max. No one saw them.

            My guess is that arrangements were made with the hospital to have Feral out of surgery, alone in a room accessible from the rooftop, before Alison approached Max. All of that would have already been necessary in order to carry out the procedure while keeping Max’s identity discreet. And thanks to those arrangements ensuring that there were no witnesses, it’s entirely possible that nobody except Alison and Max knows that he wasn’t there willingly.

          • Izo

            Then Dr. Rosenblum is the least inquisitive person on the planet to not wonder how Alison found out about Max, and how Alison got Max to do anything.

          • Stephanie

            We don’t know that she doesn’t wonder, that she didn’t ask, or that she doesn’t plan to investigate further.

            There is, however, no reason for her to be aware at this point that Alison coerced Max. The only way that would happen would be if Alison contacted her after the fact and confessed, and that’s the kind of thing I would expect to happen on-panel.

          • Izo

            We can suppose that she did not ask since we havent seen ANYTHING about Rosenblum having even the slightest mention against this. And that she apparently took the time to talk to the doctors about the effect without saying they need to discontinue the donations until they know the possible repercussions of this secret action.

            Do you (not you specifically) always assume that if no one says anything, that they must have agreed to it? Even if the basis for them having learned about something would necessitate them questioning and preventing it from happening? All these pages, and not so much as a single panel of Rosenblum saying anything. Not a single sentence that ‘Rosenblum seemed to be against this plan.’ Not a single hint that there was any problem with any of it whatsoever because it’s being railroaded for people to assume this was a great idea, with no flaws or downsides whatsoever.

          • Stephanie

            “And that she apparently took the time to talk to the doctors about the effect without saying they need to discontinue the donations until they know the possible repercussions of this secret action.”

            Then perhaps, due to her expertise, she’s aware that that isn’t a concern. It’s hard to draw conclusions with certainty when we know so little about her involvement.

            “Do you (not you specifically) always assume that if no one says anything, that they must have agreed to it?”

            Not always. But in this scenario? Yes, that’s what I would assume if I didn’t witness the arm twisting, for the reasons I’ve already described. I would not instantly leap to the conclusion that violent coercion was involved.

            “Not a single sentence that ‘Rosenblum seemed to be against this plan.’ ”

            Why would she be against it unless she knew that Max was an unwilling participant? This is one of the reasons I don’t think she is aware of that part.

          • Izo

            “Then perhaps, due to her expertise, she’s aware that that isn’t a concern. It’s hard to draw conclusions with certainty when we know so little about her involvement.”

            Again, you’re making assumptions based on absolutely no information that would run counter to what a normal person with access to classified information would do.

            “Yes, that’s what I would assume if I didn’t witness the arm twisting, for the reasons I’ve already described. I would not instantly leap to the conclusion that violent coercion was involved.”

            And you wouldnt do something like, for example, the SIMPLE solution of asking to speak to Max himself to confirm that he is doing this of his own free will?

            I realize that Alison is stupid and doesn’t think things through if it takes more than 5 minutes of planning, but I’d have expected Dr. Rosenblum to be able to think of obvious confirmations like that if she’s intelligent enough to be expected to have classified information at that level.

            “Why would she be against it unless she knew that Max was an unwilling participant? This is one of the reasons I don’t think she is aware of that part.”

            Then why has she not even tried to confirm the plan with Max? She’s one of the people who already knew about him anyway. How would he be needing to hide his existence from someone who already knew and was authorized already to that classified information?

          • Stephanie

            Not an assumption. A possibility. I specifically said that we don’t know. Just like we don’t know that Rosenblum totally knew all about Max being coerced and went along with the plan in spite of that.

          • Izo

            But there’s enough information to make a presumption that someone with that level of classified information would know enough to ask Max if he was agreeing to this, especially given his file and how I’m going to make an educated guess, based on his current attitude and what he said to Alison about how he used to think of himself as a teenager, that his psychological profile would indicate that he thinks of himself before others.

          • Izo

            It’s not like hospitals have things like security cameras in the hallways….

            Oh wait…

            Well, it’s not like Rosenblum would know that Max is trying to be kept secret and not use his powers. Despite the fact that she knows who Max is and the classified nature of why he’s not known to the public. Oh wait, that doesnt even make sense that she would not know the WHY when she knows the WHAT.

          • Stephanie

            We know that the hospital staff knew that this procedure was classified. If they went to the trouble of putting Feral in a darkened room, they certainly would not leave the security cameras running in that area.

            “Max tries to be discreet with his powers” does not automatically equate to “Alison is forcing him to do this on threat of pain and death.” Again, the circumstances we’ve been shown do not require Rosenblum to be aware that Alison coerced Max.

          • Izo

            “If they went to the trouble of putting Feral in a darkened room, they certainly would not leave the security cameras running in that area.”

            1) Where did you get that they put Feral in a darkened room? It was night. Feral was sleeping because of one of the only reasons she would be sleeping – the machinery was being repaired.

            2) So you’re saying that the hospital knowingly did something to violate the law, or knowingly abetted breaking the law by turning off cameras as Alison used an unknown method to experiment on Feral, without Feral’s knowledge.

            Well shucks, that makes it much more ethical. Gee.

            “Max tries to be discreet with his powers” does not automatically equate to “Alison is forcing him to do this on threat of pain and death.”

            Except Rosenblum knows about Max. And Alison has let Rosenblum know that she knows. Yet nothing about HOW she knows was asked apparently by Rosenblum. Nothing asked about how come he will do this, when he could have at any time before now. I’m assuming that file had a psychological profile of Max also, or is it only okay to assume when the assumption would favor your belief. She didnt even ask if Max could tell her that he wants to do this for confirmation. All the mental gymnastics necessary to convince oneself that EVERYONE was blameless to allow Alison to do this to Max is rather amazing.

          • Stephanie

            “Feral was sleeping because of one of the only reasons she would be sleeping – the machinery was being repaired.”

            Just by coincidence? I think that’s unlikely. All that stuff about “arranging a procedure” strongly implies that Alison and/or Rosenblum requested the hospital to remove Feral from surgery and place her in a private room where the classified procedure could be carried out. Otherwise we’d have to assume that the machines just happened to be under repair shortly after Alison unexpectedly received the Max file from Patrick.

            ” So you’re saying that the hospital knowingly did something to violate the law, or knowingly abetted breaking the law by turning off cameras as Alison used an unknown method to experiment on Feral, without Feral’s knowledge.”

            I mean…if you want to assume that was against the law. We just saw the chief of surgery talk about the procedure being classified, so I’m pretty sure it would be way more illegal to film it.

            “Yet nothing about HOW she knows was asked apparently by Rosenblum.”

            That doesn’t really have anything to do with the coercion. Alison knew about Max’s ability before she coerced him, and she would have known about it whether she ended up coercing him or not.

            “I’m assuming that file had a psychological profile of Max also”

            From when he was 14?

          • Izo

            “Just by coincidence? I think that’s unlikely. All that stuff about “arranging a procedure” strongly implies that Alison and/or Rosenblum requested the hospital to remove Feral from surgery and place her in a private room where the classified procedure could be carried out.”

            You make a lot of assumptions with little justification to say that it’s strongly implied.

            “I mean…if you want to assume that was against the law. We just saw the chief of surgery talk about the procedure being classified, so I’m pretty sure it would be way more illegal to film it.”

            Actually no, it’s against federal law to disable the security cameras in ANY patient care area. That’s not an assumption. That’s fact. For them to have a legal means to remove the cameras, SOMEONE at the hospital would have to be told. If it’s too classified to let anyone at the hospital know, then it would not be allowed, or would have to happen outside of the hospital. If it can’t happen outside the hospital, it’s a strong presumption that it is not classified, but rather it’s something illegal that they’re trying to do in the hospital.

            “From when he was 14?”

            Yes, from when he was 14. Which is why she would have asked Max to confirm that he is doing this willingly, since his profile from then would imply otherwise, and you don’t ‘assume’ someone changes their psychological profile without even the minimal checking, which would be as easy as calling him up and asking him if he is agreeing to this. Is it so impossible for Rosenblum to call and ask?

          • Stephanie

            I don’t think it’s little justification, it’s pretty clear from the text. Two members of the hospital staff have confirmed that Alison made arrangements for a classified procedure to boost Feral’s powers. Alison knew in advance that she could complete the procedure without anyone seeing Max’s face. She knew in advance that all she needed to do was fly him over there, have him do his thing, and fly back. On arriving at the building, she was able to take Max directly to Feral, who was out of surgery and alone in a dark room that Alison and Max were able to reach without encountering any other people.

            It’s not outrageous to put the pieces together here. Alison and/or Rosenblum made arrangements with the hospital to have Feral made accessible for the procedure.

            “Actually no, it’s against federal law to disable the security cameras in ANY patient care area. ”

            In real life, where nobody has superpowers and there are no classified secret superpower-boosting procedures. SFP-verse government already works differently than ours. If this were “illegal,” would all of the staff have been discussing it openly with Alison and exchanging messages with Rosenblum about it? I

            As for Rosenblum not speaking to Max, there are many possible reasons for that, up to and including Alison telling her a successful lie. I maintain that, at this point in the narrative, we do not have evidence that Rosenblum is aware that Max was an unwilling participant.

          • Izo

            “I don’t think it’s little justification, it’s pretty clear from the text. Two members of the hospital staff have confirmed that Alison made arrangements for a classified procedure to boost Feral’s powers.”

            When exactly did she have time to make arrangements. IT seems clear actually that she did so AFTER the fact that she was going to force Max.

            ” Alison knew in advance that she could complete the procedure without anyone seeing Max’s face. She knew in advance that all she needed to do was fly him over there, have him do his thing, and fly back. ”

            I wasn’t aware that Alison had precognition as one of her anomalies.

            “It’s not outrageous to put the pieces together here. Alison and/or Rosenblum made arrangements with the hospital to have Feral made accessible for the procedure.”

            Then that will mean that either Rosenblum was in on forcing Max, or Rosenblum deliberately did not ask because she would have known that Max was going to be forced by Alison.

            “In real life, where nobody has superpowers and there are no classified secret superpower-boosting procedures. SFP-verse government already works differently than ours. If this were “illegal,” would all of the staff have been discussing it openly with Alison and exchanging messages with Rosenblum about it?”

            It’s very convenient that whenever something happens that common sense and the law dictate would be illegal, that just happens to be something that is simply different in the SFP-verse, even if that differences has nothing to do with people having superpowers.

            And that last sentence is exactly my point. SOMEONE there had knowledge of this. Most likely Rosenblum. The rest just showed an intense lack of curiosity because they knew what they’d find if they dug even a little. Then again, they were already doing something wildly unethical with Feral anyway. ‘What’s a little more illegality? We have the world’s most powerful meta-dictator on our side.’

            “As for Rosenblum not speaking to Max, there are many possible reasons for that, up to and including Alison telling her a successful lie.”

            ‘Sure Alison, I will take your word for it even though there’s no reason to not just ask Max if he’s doing this willingly and it would take about 2 minutes of my time to confirm what you’re saying before this risk of classified information which I’m not sure how you learned about it is used. I’ll make all the arrangements with the hospital.’

          • Stephanie

            “When exactly did she have time to make arrangements.”

            During the unknown span of time between Alison’s leaving a message for Dr. Rosenblum and initiating her conversation with Max.

            “I wasn’t aware that Alison had precognition as one of her anomalies.”

            She doesn’t, that’s literally my point. She knew that stuff in advance because those were the arrangements she had with the hospital.

          • Izo

            Okay. Then (like I said) that means the hospital engaged in something that was both illegal and unethical, not to mention untested with no way to know the outcome or side effects. But like I said, they’ve already been doing that anyway.

          • Stephanie

            I think it’s unlikely that the Feral thing has ever been illegal in the context of the SFP-verse. It’s not like it was a secret from the government–they gave Feral a full pardon in exchange for her doing this.

            I also doubt that facilitating the Max procedure was illegal in the context of the SFP-verse, especially if Rosenblum was involved.

          • Izo

            Well the Feral thing is unethical. It violates both the spirit and the word of the hippocratic oath (both original and modern), even if the SFP-verse does not have the same laws or medical codes of professional responsibility. I’m assuming doctors in the SFP-verse still at least take the hippocratic oath, just like I’m sure police still read miranda rights, even if laws are made up differently.

            And it seems incredibly convenient and even contrived if Rosenblum did anything to allow bypassing of security cameras in a patient care facility or to do an untested experiment on an unaware person (Feral) without their consent or knowledge, without so much as asking if Max was a willing participant or even talking to him ONCE.

            And that second paragraph is something I’ve now said several times.

          • Arklyte

            She didn’t. Alison’s powers are simply useless against Moonshadow. She can’t track her. She hasn’t accepted it as right thing to do BECAUSE it ISN’T one. In fact Alison is trying to find counter solution. Though I’d prefer not to discuss that chapter further.

          • Izo

            I think you may have misread what I said. I said that Dr. Rosenblum was excusing, accepting, and saying that what Moonshadow was doing was inevitable and understandable, not Alison. That’s the ‘she’ I was referring to in the last sentence – Dr. Rosenblum, not Alison.

          • Arklyte

            ouch, sorry. I guess I did misread.

    • Arklyte

      1)what would Max be doing alone in apartment so obviously out of his financial preferences? As well as being himself, Alison’s fan and it all happening in location where it would be her team saving him?
      2)Patrick is a comicbook villain in ridiculuos costume in your book because… why exactly? He can easily achieve everything he wants LEGALLY.
      a)As for Max, biodinamic powers progress without limit so after some time Feral could have reached this level herself. Feral’s power reverting back a bit is also expected, but she’s too far for it to change anything much. She’ll be in surgery for 2 weeks instead of a few days(if goverment will allow and logistics will be solved). And yes, Max’s powers boosting others with no apparent limit, seems like too OP to be alive.
      b)looking back, I see them standing right at Feral’s bedside. What do you mean? That they landed on the roof at first before going inside and to her room?

  • Dawn Smashington

    This…this makes me so happy.

  • spriteless

    The thing that realy bugs me is “y’all” is plural. Allison isn’t plural.

    • Nah, “y’all” is singular. The plural is “all y’all.” Source: grew up in Tennessee. 😉

      • Izo

        It’s not y’alls?

        • Jac

          I think that’s possessive.

      • spriteless

        Seems my having lived in central texas did not teach me everything about the south.

    • Mechwarrior

      Y’all actually works as both singular and plural, depending on which part of the South y’all are in.

  • zopponde


  • weedgoku

    Cool, another page that continues to keep everything in the dark. All the best writers never address their plots and instead just ignore it in fa-HEY GUYS LOOK LESBIANS

    • Izo

      Thank you for making me crack up RL.

    • Or set up for Lisa, post explanation, turning to Alison and asking “WTF did you think you were doing?”

  • Sam Paquette

    To ship or not to ship

  • Anna

    Not to put a damper on all this love talk (I love me a gay ship, I do) but it’s possible this isn’t a love connection. Maybe they’ve seen each other before in their superhero days, and as Feral wasn’t always exactly “good”, she and Paladin may have had some fights in the past. Also, I’m sure Paladin has heard a lot from Alisson about our Tara.
    This could really be anything (i hope it’s love but it could be anything)

    • Izo

      I do think the choice of music does do some foreshadowing. If not for both of them, then at least for Feral’s perspective.

      And lucky Feral, Paladin probably won’t punch her through a window.

    • Arklyte

      Tara designed Templar drones…

  • Spongegirl Circleskirt
  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Oh this either gonna be a big misunderstanding, or love at first sight.

  • Now here’s a thought, did Alison tidy up the shredded cheque before she ran out of the house to save Feral?

    (And the classified documents).

    • Sam

      Good catch. The check maybe, the classified documents definitely not. They’re still visible on her table as she’s leaving. http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-6/page-80-2/

      • Wikimancer

        Enough time has passed, though, that she probably had enough time to pop back to her apartment either before Feral woke up (especially since the doctors had to have enough time to assess Feral’s condition* ) or between the previous page and this one. I know that I’d want to tidy up my place before having someone stay over, and I’ve never even kidnapped anyone.
        *They gave numbers for heart regeneration rate and how long they’d need
        Feral in surgery, so they’ve clearly done more harvesting since Tinkerbell-time.

  • moriati

    Schwinnng! I relate to this moment, the same thing happened to me (more or less) back in 93, though I was eating a banana not whatever Feral is eating.

  • Crow

    I just had a thought that I highly doubt will pan out, but humor me.

    Dream Weaver comes on, Tara turns to see a stunning woman step through the doorway. The woman is Lisa Bradley, a strong and brilliant inventor. Tara recognizes Lisa as Paladin and CLOCKS HER for getting one of Tara’s friends and teammates killed during their super-ing days, or for her involvement with the Paladin drones.

    Not going to happen, but it would be such a hilarious twist to everyone seeing this and reading it as love at first sight.

    • ∫Clémens×ds 🐙

      I assumed that when her pupils dilated this much last time, it expressed her lust for the Big Ass Burger, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe what it means in Tara isn’t the craving to possess and please herself with, but the unstoppable urge to exterminate

    • Arklyte

      You’re not the only one. Feral’s expression might mean many things here.

  • Smartkittykhan

    Shipping it.

  • Laurelinde

    This moment of pure cuteness is just what we needed after all the philosophical angst of the last few weeks!

  • MinorGryph

    Feral is so moe now.

  • bryan rasmussen

    the thing is “Dreamweaver” and “time for girls…later” just as THE ONE walks into the room are such cliches I can’t help but think there is going to be some surprise on the next page. Has there ever been any earlier issue where Paladin has said anything about feral?

  • Lysiuj

    Come on!
    Why’s everyone gone so quiet?!
    It’s Lesbodynamic Appreciation Day!!!
    Party Pad! And we will love to have you here! And Y’all (W’all?) a NERDS, but we can still move like it’s (a worldwide storm in) 1991!

    • MrSing

      I think your something messed up the codes in your comment there captain.

      • Lysiuj

        Thank you kindly, will fix!

  • Khlovia

    Philosophy shmosophy. ‘Dorable Feral is ‘dorable.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Just occured to me, but “stay as long as you want” rarely actual end well in sitcoms 😀

  • Layla


    • Lysiuj

      That’s how it works… 😉

  • Jac

    Uh ohhh it’s ALREADY CUTE

  • Fluffy Dragon

    is it just the art-style or does Tara seem like she’s gotten younger?

    • Arklyte

      Damn, the smell haven’t even occured to me. Good thinking:

  • * DING *

  • Arklyte

    I hope this look means that Feral likes her and not “it’s her, she’s the one, she did it!”… even if paranoid part of me hopes for opposite.

    • Sendaz

      Hmm.. that is a thought. Lisa may have designed some of the surgical devices to keep Feral cracked open during harvesting since her system regens so fast.
      Not that Feral would be upset, just one of those awkward moments….

      • Arklyte

        Also a possibility.

      • Stephanie

        Not even awkward–my guess is that that would make Feral think really highly of her. Being able to save lives seems really important to her.