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  • Strawman


    • That…. might help.

    • palmvos

      wouldn’t weed work better? provided you can get him away from the door frame long enough to take it.

      • IE

        ….actually a pretty good idea.

    • Kid Chaos

      I think he’s already had too much. 😡

  • Eileen Young

    Poor Patrick. Poor everyone.

    • Lisa Izo

      My heart weeps for the poor mass murderer suffering. Truly weeps.

  • Callinectes

    Oh god, I hope that door frame is okay.

    • Lisa Izo

      Best post so far.

    • Markus

      Ah, the old Reddit switcheroo.

    • Olivier Faure

      … You monster.

    • Dean

      Alison could lose her security deposit!

    • thebombzen

      Patrick is just that hard-headed

  • R Lex Eaton

    Good cripes! That mental image is giving me post-traumatic Watchmen flashbacks!

    In all seriousness, I’ve been in Patrick’s situation before. Thinking that the best way to alleviate inner pain is to inflict outer pain on yourself. Via bashing your head against the nearest hard object.

    (I was not in a good place.)

    • Lisa Izo

      I think we’ve all been in Patrick’s situation before, have we not?

      Who has NOT been at that point in every person’s life where their telepathy becomes uncontrollable enough for them to need to smash their head into the wall to make the psychic images stop?

      • 3-I

        Come on, that was uncalled for.

        • Lisa Izo

          C’mon. Clearly it’s a joke, since Eaton said he’s been in Patrick’s situation before, and Patrick’s situation is one that no one could possibly have been in before, given what his situation is, involving out of control telepathy.

          • 3-I

            You seem to be under the misapprehension that I didn’t understand what the joke was. I did. I thought it was uncalled for. You can save that shit for when people aren’t talking about trauma and self-harm.

          • Lisa Izo

            Oh my apologies. I did not realize you were the thought police to know that I was in violation of humor law 482A subparagraph 2 on dark humor.

          • Zorae42

            Oh dang, so you’re a member of the thought police too? Since telling people that criticizing others is not cool is definitely something members of the thought police do. You guys need to get with your superiors and straighten that out.

            We’re allowed to make dark jokes, and we’re allowed to criticize them. And we’re allowed to criticize the criticism and criticize the criticism of the criticism. Feel free to post a criticism of my criticism of your criticism of their criticism.

          • Arkone Axon

            Yes. We are indeed allowed to make dark jokes. And we are also allowed to criticize them. I actually encourage that. It lets everyone know: “this person is incredibly immature and overly sensitive and would not be fun company at a social gathering.”

          • Todd


            >sarcasm starts heresarcasm ends here<

            I would dearly love to be a fly on the wall and watch your response to someone making a joke that you, Arkone (or Counsel), would at the very least disturb your sensibilities (if not outright hurt you) and your reaction to their dismissal of you by the words, "It was only a joke. Grow a sense of humour or a pair."

          • Lisa Izo

            I tend to subscribe to the rule that I learned back in Kindergarten of ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” So… I don’t foresee anything anyone saying, especially jokes, ever literally hurting me.

            PS – I love how people are calling me Counsel as if that’s an insult πŸ™‚

          • Todd

            Always assuming you’re not just lying for the Internet (or to yourself for that matter), you mean you haven’t yet run into someone who hurt you with their words. Maybe you’ll stay lucky. Maybe you’re already lucky enough to have a thick skin (although it’s reasonable that having thick skin has its downside).

            Take the word as a barometer reading, Counsel.

          • Lisa Izo

            “Always assuming you’re not just lying for the Internet (or to yourself for that matter)”

            Yes, I live in fear of someone accusing me of lying about my profession on the internet. πŸ™‚ Sure… lets go with that hon.

            Although even if I am lying about being an attorney (I’m not lying though), the actual laws which I’ve been citing are things that you can fact-check and see that everything I say is a correct statement of the applicable laws πŸ™‚

            “you mean you haven’t yet run into someone who hurt you with their words.”
            Correct, because I’m not irrationally fragile, and because words are just words.

            “Maybe you’ll stay lucky.”

            There’s nothing lucky about it. If random peoples on the interwebs hurl insults at me, or get bent out of shape over a harmless post and demand I stop my wrongthink immediately, I just don’t give enough care to be hurt by it. Even emotionally hurt by it. It’s not like you (or most random people on the cyber-net) are people I actually care about enough for your opinion of me to matter. It’s not like you’re my friends or anything. You’re just some random person who wants to control what I get to say and determine if a humorous post I make is acceptable to the thought police overlords πŸ™‚

            “Maybe you’re already lucky enough to have a thick skin (although it’s reasonable that having thick skin has its downside).”

            My skin is normal thickness, which is enough, since words have no penetrative quality. πŸ™‚ Since they’re words.

          • palmvos

            i think we need:

            there once was a really cool animated one but i couldn’t find it….

          • Lisa Izo

            I’m pretty sure that Todd will need more proof that that is a real cat, or that the cat is lying to itself about being a cat.

          • Arkone Axon


            Seriously… you’re so desperate to mock me that you’ve attacked me for holding the EXACT OPPOSITE of the beliefs I expressed there.

            You’re talking about jokes and comedy… to a Jew. We frickin’ INVENTED stand-up comedy. We were making fun of the Nazis WHILE THE HOLOCAUST WAS HAPPENING (seriously, check out the old Three Stooges short films where Moe plays a caricature of Hitler. “The world is mine!” *Snatches the globe and plays keepaway with it*).

            And not only that, but you’ve established your total ignorance of history with that other post. You ARE the joke here. :p

          • Xin

            With all due respect, I think that this situation *is* something that “would at the very least disturb your sensibilities (if not outright hurt you) and your reaction to their dismissal of you by the words” for almost everyone involved — yourself, Arkone Axon, Lisa Izo, Ian Osmond.

            As an outsider on this, everyone seems a bit defensive or hurt and attacking back out of it.

            I can really empathize with it… there are sensitive areas being stepped on for everyone, but is this truly necessary?

            As humans, sometimes there is an impulse to “hurt back” or “show” the other person, but perhaps this can be done with respect and care.

            Typically, the long-term outcome of “hurting back” doesn’t really seem great — it leaves people involved in worse moods overall… perhaps they will complain of it to their wife, counselor, etc. and it ripples outward.

            I think that this is actually an interesting discussion at the heart of it that could perhaps be had with respect.

            Usually the most sensitive things for people to discuss contain within them very great opportunity for growing and finding new ways of interacting with those… then perhaps everyone will end up happier.

            I’m not sure that this will end up happening with this thread of conversation.

            But, indeed from the outside, the responses mostly seem somewhat defenseive, hurt, and attacking back… and perhaps not to the long-term benefit of anyone on this thread?

            P.S. It is interesting to me that R Lex Eaton hasn’t himself really replied to this…

            Because of that, this seems almost more a philosophical discussion of what *might* hurt someone o rbe insensitive that could really be either way, but it’s actually not really involving the original poster.

            Why is that, I wonder?

          • Todd

            Yes, I could have simply sat back and done nothing. Assuming nobody else said anything, Arkone and Counsel might or might not have continued with their ridiculing (they do seem to enjoy it); what they had said would have certainly stayed to remind others of what happens when you tell those two you’ve been offended by something one or the other had said.

            Maybe I could have posted something directly sympathetic to 3-l, ignoring Arkone and Counsel. I’m quite confident one or both would have mocked anything smacking of sympathy for their victim.

            But I’ll have none of it.

            (And the only thing that “disturbed their sensibilities” here was that someone dared complain about something they’d said. I don’t believe for a moment they were offended, just ready to prove that only they and their words matter.)

          • CFuqua

            Oh my god. Bullying people who clearly have anxiety. Amazing.

          • Lisa Izo

            Uhh…. I have no idea what your post means here. 3-I gets butthurt about my making a joke, where the joke is literally my focusing on the WRONG part of Eaton’s post, and demands I pay a mea culpa for my wrongthink, I call him out on being the thought police…. and that makes me the thought police? What?

          • Zorae42

            Yes. You said something they found offensive and they expressed their opinion about it. Expressing offense about something doesn’t make you thought police. Although saying they’re not allowed to be offended by your statement is kind of thought police.

            You could’ve just offered condolences about the way it made them feel and state that while dark humor is not for everyone, it is a valid way to deal with troubling subject matter.

            Understanding offered to those who were hurt by your statement without any ‘mea culpa’ for it. Rather than attacking them for feeling upset about what you said.

          • Lisa Izo

            “Expressing offense about something doesn’t make you thought police.”

            When the implication is I shouldnt have said it, it is πŸ™‚

            “Although saying they’re not allowed to be offended by your statement is kind of thought police.”

            Hmmm where did I say they’re not allowed to say it. I just mocked him FOR saying it. 3-I is allowed to be as fragile as he wants to be by my oh-so-dangerous joke that is about capitalizing on the wrong part of a scene, and express that as much as he wants.

            “You could’ve just offered condolences about the way it made them feel and state that while dark humor is not for everyone, it is a valid way to deal with troubling subject matter.”

            Okay sir. I could have done that. Or I could have had my own free thoughts and said what I want to say, instead of the prescribed rightthink words which you have told me. I choose to say what I want instead of what you want, since it’s my brain that’s making me do my writing, and not your brain making me do my writing. Which…. yeah we’re back into now you doing thought police territory if you meant that seriously πŸ™‚

            “Rather than attacking them for feeling upset about what you said.”
            My joke literally is about taking the wrong part of the sentence and reacting to it.

            Like Harley Quinn said in Batman: The Animated Series:


          • Zorae42

            No, saying you shouldn’t be allowed to say it would be ‘thought police’. Just saying that you shouldn’t say something because it’s offensive is expressing an opinion about your statement. Not preventing you from making it. If they had threatened to report your comment then you’d be justified in calling them ‘thought police’.

            Calling someone ‘thought police’ implies they shouldn’t have said/done something as it infringes on your right to have opinions. Calling someone ‘thought police’ for having an opinion implies they shouldn’t be allowed to express that opinion, and makes you guilty of being ‘thought police’ yourself.

            No, you don’t have to be considerate of other people’s feelings while still maintaining your beliefs. You can just insult them. That’s well within your right. I didn’t say “You have to say these things,” or even “You should say these things”. I was simply presenting a mature and compassionate way to respond to people that have a justifiable negative reaction to your dark humor. That you are under no obligation to care about or use.

          • Arkone Axon

            There’s an excellent set of comics by a woman who decided to make Conan the Barbarian her spirit guide. This one sums it up nicely:


            (here’s her website for those who are interested: http://www.wealdcomics.com/?chapters=by-crom-the-collected-by-crom )

          • Lisa Izo

            “No, saying you shouldn’t be allowed to say it would be ‘thought police’. Just saying that you shouldn’t say something because it’s offensive is expressing an opinion about your statement. Not preventing you from making it. If they had threatened to report your comment then you’d be justified in calling them ‘thought police’.

            Calling someone ‘thought police’ implies they shouldn’t have said/done something as it infringes on your right to have opinions. Calling someone ‘thought police’ for having an opinion implies they shouldn’t be allowed to express that opinion, and makes you guilty of being ‘thought police’ yourself.”


            “No, you don’t have to be considerate of other people’s feelings while still maintaining your beliefs. You can just insult them. That’s well within your right. ”


            I salute and thank you for giving me permission to mock, in the way traditional to my people’s noble traditions.

            ” I was simply presenting a mature and compassionate way to respond to people that have a justifiable negative reaction to your dark humor. That you are under no obligation to care about or use.”

            Did you even get the joke? πŸ™‚ I’m thinking you didn’t get the joke. No apologies were needed.


            That being said, I didn’t have any opinion on the backstory of what Eaton was talking about. Just the sentence that he used to start it – that he’s been in PATRICK’S situation before.

          • Xin

            Well, we all have differing sensitivities to emotions, and in abusive situations, amotional abuse tends to be most harmful.

            …it’s a really curious situation. I can understand both your points, but I personally don’t think there’s need to fight over it.

            I believe it’s physiologically shown that in a state of post-traumatic stress wiring, perception of words and emotional bonds can be very, very sensitive.

            Having worked with many folks in differing levels of PTS, this is the case.

            Repeatedly — with all sorts of folks — people will feel attacked or attack back… fight-or-flight.

            So, given that it’s basically a physiological thing, perhaps it’s not worth fighting over.

            People are going to be a little sensitive in a state of post-traumatic stress or with thigns which trigger those neural pathways.

            (I can’t recall the studies, sorry — but I’ve worked with a ton of folk as well. Probably almost enough to get a statistical sample size)

            One of the best ways to change this is actually distraction, though it’s complex and there are ways to go through it.


            To put it out there: Everyone is different. I believe on a different thread, we were talking about not attacking those one doesn’t understand.

            Perhaps everyone has literally different inborn ability to tolerate post-traumatic stress, or have been through more.

            I think Lisa’s comment might have simply been perceived as invalidating the original comment from R Lex Eaton:

            “In all seriousness, I’ve been in Patrick’s situation before. Thinking that the best way to alleviate inner pain is to inflict outer pain on yourself. Via bashing your head against the nearest hard object.

            (I was not in a good place.)”

            Lisa Izo:

            “I think we’ve all been in Patrick’s situation before, have we not?

            Who has NOT been at that point in every person’s life where their telepathy becomes uncontrollable enough for them to need to smash their head into the wall to make the psychic images stop?”

            And that’s probably all that’s happening.

            In states of post-traumatic stress, people also tend to be a lot more sensitive to invalidation or the feeling of not existing. If you look around, you can see this happening.

            And I think Lisa was also genuinely trying to make a silly joke. πŸ™‚

            Maybe everyone can respect everyone’s differences. Perhaps the people feeling hurt or like Lisa’s comment was uncalled for actually are in real pain and have been through more, or anything else.

            Either way, we’re all different. From personal experience and talking to others, post-traumatic stress can hurt a hell of a lot, and also not being in that position, it can seem silly.

            It may mean that one is a “buzzkill,” sure, but if that’s the case – so be it.

            People also recover from post-traumatic stress and aren’t static things.

            I don’t think we all need to be “socially acceptable” at all times to all folks, though it can help.

            There is no need to character-assassinate each other, verbally attack, or do silly stuff over this.

            In defense of Ian Osmond’s feelings:

            If words truly don’t hurt, and those who are saying that believe that… then why target someone and try to make them feel smaller about themselves or poke at them?

            I mean, they don’t do anything, so poking at them is silly. πŸ™‚

            I do understand both points… can’t quite describe Lisa’s point of view as wel; —
            think Lisa might feel more attacked and policed by Ian’s response to it.

            Apologies if that’s not expressed well.

            To Lisa: Thoughts aren’t *quite* equivalent to words, but it’s very complex how individuals perceive verbal expression — whether feeling stifled because someone else felt hurt and thought it might be better not to have said something, or being the person hurt and affected by it.

            I mean:

            Truly, if words have NO impact, then we wouldn’t all be conversing on this forum and possibly being a tad silly fighting over this trying to be “right.” πŸ™‚

          • Lisa Izo
          • Arkone Axon

            Speaking as someone who’s experienced plenty of trauma and pain (including both the self-inflicted variety, as well as the kind inflicted by others who then told me it was my fault and/or for my own good)…

            Comedy’s the best anesthetic against pain. Laughter is the best medicine. And my people have used comedy to help survive for millenia… just to piss off all the people who want to see us dead.

          • Todd

            Your calendar’s off: modern Zionism’s been around for only a little over a century.

          • Lisa Izo

            Wait when did this become about zionism? Are you responding to a different thread? Is this because I’m jewish? Elaborate please.

          • Todd

            A little after it became about the (self-)righteousness of you and Arkone, Counsel.

            And, no, I’m not responding to a different thread.

          • Lisa Izo

            So…. something about my posts makes you want to become antisemitic and rant about zionism? That’s odd, Todd.

            Especially since nothing posted was about zionism. Like… at all. You just plucked that out of the aether.

            Also I think it’s hilarious that you’re calling me self-righteous because you think you’re morally superior to me, totally unfounded πŸ™‚ When that’s the definition of being self-righteous. Such a lack of self-awareness leaves me in awe.

          • Arkone Axon

            Probably because I mentioned how my (our?) people have survived for millennia just to piss off the jerks who want to see us dead… and he immediately thought: “Clearly that means… JEWS. Jews!” And out came the anti-semitism.

            If he makes one more anti-semitic post in this thread, I’m going to report him. Partially because he’s not trying for humor, he’s being fueled by hatred and a desire to be vile towards a couple of Jews… and partially because it’ll be funny as hell to report someone on the “take offense at everything” side of the issue. :p

          • Lisa Izo
          • Todd

            Spare me your whining conflating anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism, you Likudnik shmuck. (Same goes for you, Counsel.)

            Considering how Jews (as opposed to Zionists) have been treated for even requesting, let alone demanding, respect as 3-l did, I’d have expected you to do better than invoke them to defend mocking someone your buddy hurt.

            I very much doubt punching down is Jewish; I absolutely know punching down is Zionist.

          • Arkone Axon

            Wow. I’ll give you this much; you didn’t just double down, you triple downed. The only thing you didn’t do was have the guts to admit you’re an anti-semite (especially after going on to hurl yiddish insults at us mean old Jews – er, zionists).


          • Todd

            Anti-Semitism does not equal anti-Zionism. Get used to it.

          • Arkone Axon

            And David Dukes would say that there’s nothing racist about accepting that blacks are genetically inferior. Isn’t it interesting how some people think that if they say bigoted things and then say “but I’m not a bigot,” that makes them not a bigot? Including when they bring up Zionism literally out of nowhere while maintaining a diatribe against two other commentators who both happen to be Jewish?

            Yes, you’re anti-semitic. Get used to it (or just examine your thinking and get over your hate).

          • Todd

            Except that Dukes’s assertion is flat out wrong and easily disprovable (much as one can do with Zionist assertions, especially right-wing ones). Innuendo such as yours is more difficult to deal with.

            It’s telling you use the words “out of nowhere” when you, for no apparent reason I can fathom, decided to wrap yourself in someone else’s travails in order to back up your good buddy’s rather appalling behaviour. Were you fishing for invincibility, maybe, in a bid to prevent being called on your own action?

            You have plenty of gall to use Jewish history as a shield for behaviour I can’t see more than a handful of Jews, Zionists all, approving of.

          • Arkone Axon

            I’m using the words “out of nowhere” because nobody mentioned Israel, or even did more than reference Jews without naming them, before you started in with the continued hateful rhetoric (and you ARE hateful, and denying it just makes you all the more like Dukes).

            You still haven’t mentioned any actual behavior by the Israeli government or its citizens as an actual example. You’re accusing me of “fishing for invincibility” when this started with people taking offense at a humorous comment meant to amuse, when you have now gone on to make statements deliberately intended to insult and offend. With the blatant anti-semitism which doesn’t stop being anti-semitism just because you don’t like being called what you are – an anti-semite.

            You aren’t mentioning facts, you aren’t talking about specifics, you’re just lashing out with “you two are self righteous jerks and Zionists!” I’m reporting your latest comment as well, and then… I’m going to block you.

          • Todd

            Finish your sentence: “. . . nobody . . . did more than . . . reference Jews without naming them” . . . in order to use them to delegitimize someone else’s lived experience and complaint against my buddy.

            I pointed out, albeit in a very compact way, that your attempt to use Jews to do this was very characteristic of Zionism; “your people” are far more Zionists than “just Jews” who’ve endured privation. In short, you have no right to talk.

            Yes, I certainly intend to insult and offend you with my words. Aside from the support you gave to your friend’s odious behaviour (bad enough), you then apparently, quite cynically in my opinion, employ a group that’s endured much just to give even more cover.

            I can’t make this any plainer: you disgust me with your words. Even Counsel’s words didn’t go as far into forbidden territory as yours so blithely traipsed along into.

            (And isn’t that something, eh? Moral disgust for you coming from someone you’re desperately trying to paint as the lowest of the moral low.)

            Block away. I’m done with you, Scumball.

        • I think the issue is that a lot of us have also been there, and are therefore wanting to make a little bit of dark humor, by pretending that we’ve had the problem that we don’t have, in order to lessen the impact of the problem we did.

          Heh. “Impact”.

          I suspect Lisa Izo may also have been in a place where the mental pain is so bad that you hit your head against a wall, or cut, or punch yourself, but, instead of talking about that, which we HAVE been in, she jokes about the specificity of Patrick’s.

          It’s a way we damaged folk deal with stuff. It may be what humor is for.

          Hmm. Thought for discussion: humor has a similar evolutionary purpose as scarring.

          • Lisa Izo

            Impact. Good one Ian.

    • Arkone Axon

      Do you work in tech support, Eaton?

      • R Lex Eaton


    • I’ve had that as well. It’s not the ‘best’ way, but it works – distractions work in the short-term for most things. Fun, positive, enjoyable distractions are better. As long as you can concentrate on them. I’m in chronic pain, so adding more isn’t a sensible idea. But until I got the meagre offerings of painkilling medication I rely on now I used to bash bits of myself against hard objects to try and block the more insidious stuff out for a while..

      • R Lex Eaton

        It’s an odd thing, I’ll admit. One place in comics that illustrated it well was when Warren Ellis thankfully brought Speedball out of his Penance phase. *shudders in disgust*

          • R Lex Eaton

            Yeeeaaahhh. Not the finest hour for modern comics.

            Thing is, Speedball’s powers get stronger when he feels elation. As Penance, they got stronger with pain. Ellis reasoned that since people who commit self-harm experience a rush of endorphines similar to a high when they do it, Speedball’s powers hadn’t changed at all. Thus began his road to recovery. And now, no more Penance.

            Nothing of value was lost. x3

          • Tylikcat

            This is not the first time this month I’ve semi-seriously though “I think this should need to go through a statistician and peer review” …in the context of comics.* Yigh. Please, make it stop.

            * No, I am not nearly so foolish. Just… gah. That’s really terrible.

      • Chani

        yeah :/ and physical pain fucking sucks, but in the short term it’s easier to cope with than emotional pain. although I’m starting to learn how to apply my pain management skills to emotional pain as well πŸ™‚

    • Kid Chaos

      This kind of reminds me of something from “Full Metal Panic!” Check this at about 7:10. 😎


  • Dave Van Domelen

    Trepanation appears to have been independently developed by numerous cultures, not only because it’s the sort of thing that seems like it ought to work, but because it does seem to offer relief from some conditions (there are better treatments available now, thankfully, although a few modern adherents of trepanation remain).

    • Anna

      As a neuroscientist who’s tested a few methods of medical trepanation, it’s actually surprisingly effective for a wide range of conditions, if done properly. It depends on where the hole is made, how it’s made, its size, etc., but we reduced seizure severity and frequency, schizophrenia symptoms, propensity to addictive behaviors, and Alzheimer’s-like neurodegeneration with individually targeted variants. If you look at those ancient trepanned skulls, based on the targeting and hole size, it looks like a number of these cultures discovered some of the same effects we have.

      …that said, I don’t know that it’d necessarily be the best fix for Patrick here. Though frankly, our existing treatments for well, anything vaguely resembling his condition are not good ones. They’re a step up from beating his head against the wall, but more because of the chronic-mild-traumatic-brain-injury issues than anything else. They’re still very much blunt objects from a biochemical perspective.

      • Dave Van Domelen

        I expect there’s very little research into telepathic issues that Patrick would trust, in any case. But yes, doorframes make for poor trepans.

      • AshlaBoga

        I always love scientists commenting on superhero comics. It just makes the geek in me happy.

        I am curious how ancient cultures figured out how large a hole and where to make it, given their level of understanding wouldn’t that have required a great deal of trial and error?

        Wouldn’t the obvious treatment for Patrick be isolation from other people, a place for him to stay for several weeks or months where there was no other sentient life in a 10km radius? Or is it possible he’s got trauma and some psychosomatic damage at this point and he would be better of with extensive treatment?

        • Anna

          I’m glad you like it πŸ™‚ I know it’s silly to look at superhero things from a scientific perspective, but most of us get into science because we have that sort of silly. We like fantastical worlds and amazing powers – all the more so if we might have the chance to touch, or even make those worlds and powers ourselves. I don’t think I have a single coworker who wouldn’t jump at the chance to work with (or on) superheroes.

          Massive amounts of trial-and-error would be my initial guess, yes, combined with observation and tradition. It’s easier to keep these things going if it’s something required by the gods, spirits, ancestors, etc. Though I admit that I’m far more “brain” than “history.” That said, the more research we do, the more we find out that a lot of those ancient techniques or medicines actually have a respectable amount of medical value. Some are utterly ridiculous – like homeopathic, and most “naturopathic,” medicine – but even now we get a decent success rate from analyzing and building on the genuinely effective examples.

          Isolation would definitely be my initial strategy. The question, of course, being what’s actually wrong with Patrick. It’s presumably been going on for some time, based on Alison’s dreams and Patrick’s state. But there’s so much we don’t know.

          Was this a rapid shift – say, because he lost Alison as a stabilizing/humanizing influence, or even trauma from her attack? Or something progressive, like the augmentation of powers that we’ve seen? Is this development something psychological (which, in fairness, relies on biochemical and electrochemical effects), or purely physical, or superheroic (which seems to be at least semi-physical)?

          For that matter, what’s actually happening to Patrick? Is he losing control of his power? And if so, is this trauma, or slow power growth, or over-extending himself, or perhaps the result of a visit to Max? Or is this a new facet of his power – some level of uncontrolled projection to go with his baseline of uncontrolled reading? At a bare minimum, it does seem like his range (or perhaps the targeting of his abilities at range) has increased, considering he had the time-travel scientists brought to his office instead of reading them where they slept. Though it’d be interesting to find if his abilities were just generally disrupting the dreams of everyone in a wide radius, or maybe making it easier for people to remember those weird dreams, or if he was only affecting, say, people he was thinking about a lot.

          And of course, what is Patrick’s power to begin with? Remember that Alison’s power is now thought of as TK…maybe Patrick’s was less “mind-reading” and more “blurring the boundaries between his mind and other minds.” Especially since he’s talking about how he used to have trouble keeping track of which body was his. Certainly he, like (probably all) other superheroes, could use some serious therapy…though “Hi, I’m Menace” might go over poorly with even the best therapists. But at a bare minimum, it seems like minimizing the number of people he’s around would be good for both him, and the general population. Aaand I talk too much. Sorry ’bout that.

        • IE

          “I am curious how ancient cultures figured out how large a hole and where to make it, given their level of understanding wouldn’t that have required a great deal of trial and error?”

          If at first you don’t succeed….

      • Tylikcat

        That puts you so much more on the clinical side than I!

    • reynard61

      “He needs trepanation like he needs a hole in the head!”

      (Sorry, couldn’t resist…)

  • christianaellis

    This is a terrifying situation to be in. He obviously needs serious help and yet, where could she possibly take him without having to explain a really complicated story that neither of them especially wants to share with anyone?

    • Lisa Izo

      It’ s simple, she can bring him into a hospital and say the truth.

      “This is Patrick, also known as the mass terrorist and murderer Menace, who I’ve been friends with for years ever since I had started hiding his crimes from the law and aiding and abetting as a known criminal by not turning him in. His powers have since increased and now he can project thoughts as well, possibly because of another biodynamic called Max who I once tortured and threatened to murder if he did not use his powers to augment another friend of mine, Feral, without her knowledge. Fortunately, since I am superstrong and invulnerable, none of you can do anything to me to punish me for any of this. Now help my terrorist friend who I once threw a mug at because I got fed up with him, or I will murder you all.”

      See? Easy Peasy.

      • christianaellis

        “Um… He probably has insurance through the mega-corporation he runs.”

        • Tylikcat

          “…though this might count as a pre-existing condition, I dunno?”

          • If anybody in this series can self-pay, it’s him.

          • David Brown

            I’d love for the trash in charge to make such a callous statement to individuals who could annihilate all of civilization with very little effort.

    • Shjade

      I don’t know that it would need to be that complicated, unless Patrick let it spill, which, in his current state, he might.

      Assuming he managed to get his mouth under control, though, why would anyone need to know the details? It’s not like he’s the first meta that’s come calling on her since her retirement, just say he showed up in the shape he’s in: drunk and out of control. Imagine if she DIDN’T know him; Alison is still the kind of person who’d try to get him some help, right?

      Now, what would happen to him after she got him somewhere that could help him, well…that’s another story. Ali could probably avoid collateral damage pretty easily as long as Patrick didn’t rat her out, but I’m not so sure he could get out unscathed.

      • Chani

        as a short-term fix, it might help him to be out of range of other humans. maybe Alison could fly him to some random island or desert or something with some food and water and a cellphone, and give him a day or two to recover.

        • palmvos

          oh man you want to add trespassing to the charges on these two? as most if not all such islands are national parks of one kind or another. (or privately owned.

          • masterofbones

            Alison doesn’t really need to follow laws. Nobody really gives a shit what she does.

          • palmvos

            actually there are at least two who do. and will at the drop of a hat list her crimes at length.
            ::drops hat::

          • Arkone Axon

            Oh, a lot of people care about what she does. They simply lack the power to do anything about it. The professor who lost his job because he carried a grudge against her for the death of his husband, the people at the party where she looked as if she were about to murder a friend…

          • lizasweetling

            the point is isolated: if there’s no one for miles- who’s gonna catch them to press charges?

          • palmvos

            isolated does not mean unmonitored.

          • lizasweetling

            so? there are plenty of places that are both- twenty miles into the pacific comes to mind (assuming her super strength+flying has enough stamina for that)
            then there would be the absolute minimum number of people around to be overwhelmed by

  • Scott

    Man, he really needs one of those telepathy blocking helmets that the X-Men seem to keep lying around.

    • Mechwarrior

      Or to attend a Disaster Area concert.

  • Ben Posin

    Well, looks like I was probably wrong about Patrick not being the cause of her dreams/visions…

  • D. Schwartz

    So if I remember correctly these superpowered folk’s abilities change and transform as they age.

    Allison can fly, Cleaver is becoming more a being of hard and sharp edges, and now Patrick’s telepathy is becoming more sensitive and is “leaking”?

    • Tsapki

      Specifically, their anamolies are becoming more acute or powerful.

      Al’s anamoly was always a sort of telekinetic-based but grew to the point she could use it for flight, Cleaver’s blades are growing and the edges becoming thinner (which will eventually kill him because the blades inside of his body will eventually skewer his organs.

    • VeggieBurgerPie

      I suspect that it could be something else… Someone who has the power to “juice” other abilities…

      • D. Schwartz

        Interesting but unproven so far.

        • If they’re all naturally developing stronger powers with age, it’s possible that Max’s powers are also growing in the same way. Maybe proximity to him is enough to slowly develop everyone else’s?

          Or maybe his targeting is off. Or Patrick was skulking around Feral’s hospital at the time.

        • VeggieBurgerPie

          True, but considering Max’s mother’s threat to Allison, what better way to subtly strike back at her than exposing the link between her and a known “menace?”

  • Arkone Axon

    This is unrelated to the current page, but it bears a great deal of relation to some of the arguments made regarding certain previous pages. I thought it was worth sharing here:


    • Lisa Izo

      I love this link more than anything else in my life now. Thank you.

    • palmvos

      this confirms my childhood. children are monsters.

      • Lisa Izo

        Their cuteness is usually their only protection from being murdered.

  • JohnTomato

    It’s not easy being actively evil.

  • Zechariah Val Judy

    My compliments on the lettering in Panel 3. Very nice.

  • Eva SmiljaniΔ‡

    Yikes. Been there, done that. Feels so frustrating when your own mind isn’t under your control. Thankfully people thought it was funny that I face-desked so hard by forehead bled.

  • Caitlin Yilmaz

    Alison’s powers escalated to the point of achieving flight, Daniel’s escalated to the point of escalating even his cancer cells, and Patrick’s has now escalated to the point where he’s projecting into people’s dreams and even exhibiting signs of a sort of identity disorder. Is every super getting upgrades (or in some cases downgrades) as time goes on?

    • Lucy Merriman

      Ohhhh I just had a related thought. Feral’s powers were boosted intentionally (artificially?) by Alison, not by whatever mechanism Alison, Patrick, and Moonshadow’s powers increased. If this boosting / changing of people’s powers is going to affect all biodynamics eventually, what happens to Feral? She can already heal the maximum amount, so increasing the underlying mechanism to her healing can only be dangerous.

      • Mechwarrior

        As I said before, her healing factor reaches Deadpool levels and everyone who received a transplant from her turns into Ryan Reynolds.

      • Eric Meyer

        It’s entirely possible that what Max does is merely accelerating the ‘evolution’ of their biodynamism.

  • Solthas

    He’s a menace to society! A menace to architecture!

    • Tylikcat

      I think *she’s* more of a menace to architecture…

  • Cori J.

    I really want Clevin to hurry his butt home because between the two of them, he is WAY more equipped than Al to handle this mental health emergency.

    • Kid Chaos

      Speaking of whom, maybe Alison should text her doctor about this. Biodynamic problems are right in her wheelhouse. 😎

      • palmvos

        Ill bet she wishes she could before this is over.

      • Evelyn Shea

        She’d probably be suspicious of an exceptionally powerful telepath that wasn’t on her radar before. Patrick is tier 1, and if the doctor realized that there’s very little connections left to be made. There’s probably only one of those known and unaccounted for.

        • Kid Chaos

          Better to roll the dice with the Doc than just let Patrick’s powers flare out of control. πŸ’€

          • Evelyn Shea

            Fair, though I doubt he’d appreciate it much.

          • palmvos

            you act like mass psychosis hasn’t happened before…

        • AshlaBoga

          I’m 100% certain that the highly intelligent USA Government doctor would figure it out within minutes if not a single minute of the problem being described.

          And that she might report him to her superiors meaning that Alison would have to either take him and fly, or hand him over…

        • David Brown

          The doctor definitely can’t be trusted. I’d rather bring him to Cleaver in some secretive way. Still probably the wrong person, though.

          • Kid Chaos

            What’s Cleaver going to do, cut his head off? And Cleaver’s still locked up in a in a Federal prison, so…maybe Patrick can get the cell next door? 😜

    • Lisa Izo

      I’m not sure how mentally healthy Klevin is. Have you seen his heart-shaped glasses? That’s not a good sign of mental health right there.

      • Rando

        Not to mention the hair…

        • Lisa Izo

          The hair might be just an art style of the artist, but those glasses are alllllll Klevin πŸ™‚

    • Arkone Axon

      I’d say Brad would be the best suited to handle this.

      • Cori J.

        SAME. He’d be my first call for anyone else, but he’s much harder to dupe than Heart Glasses.

      • Kid Chaos

        What about Pintsize? Maybe he could suggest something! 😎

        • Arkone Axon

          He’d probably freak out over the fact that A: Alison has been hiding her friendship with their archnemesis Menace, B: that Menace is the one who inadvertently guided Alison towards her decision to remove her mask and quit the team on live national TV, and C: Menace is still a supervillain in his eyes and he never gave up on the superhero concept the way Alison did.

          Brad would be more likely to focus on the fact that Patrick is clearly suffering. He’d still make it VERY clear to Alison that they’d be discussing her numerous transgressions (at least, the ones immediately apparent) at a later date, while focusing first on someone else’s suffering.

          (And of course Moonshadow would slice Patrick’s throat and then taunt Alison about it, before slicing open Clevin’s other leg to aid in her escape)

  • Rando

    Quick Al, break his arm and threaten to ruin his life unless he stops acting crazy.

    Wait, what do you mean that won’t work in this situation? That is your only play!

    Uh….offer him some ice cream?

    • R Lex Eaton

      But enough about Manchester Black, we’re dealing with someone who actually cares about the consequences of her actions here.

      • Arkone Axon

        IIRC, Manchester Black thought he was the good guy too.

        • R Lex Eaton

          Yeah. Unlike Allison, though, he didn’t believe in the inherent goodness of humanity.

          “We need to show them that there’s a better way! That people can be better!”

          “But that’s the problem. They can’t.”

          • MrSokar

            Sounds like you agree about the ice cream.

          • R Lex Eaton

            Of course. Can’t think of a problem sweets don’t at least soothe.

          • Arkone Axon

            Agreed. He had a different set of beliefs… but he was absolutely convinced of the rightness of his cause and decided to start being proactive with violence rather than merely reactive. That’s when the problems start.

          • R Lex Eaton

            And let’s not forget his interpretation of the human conscience as motivated by fear, rather than nobility.

            “We turn bad guys into memories. So mind your manners, lads and lasses… or we’ll blow your house down.”

            “This isn’t about love! People don’t want babysitters in spandex who spank them when they’re bad! They want surgeons to cut out the cancers that fester in us and make sure they never grow back! Doctor Black… at your service.”

            Sound like any other characters in this series?

  • martynW

    This dude badly needs a Magneto Helmet.

    • IE

      I wonder if there IS any material that would work to dampen his range/powers.

      Ironically, Paladin is probably the person who could figure something like that out… and he’s not exactly on her good side… XD

  • Amethyst

    When someone says “open your mind”, that’s not what they mean.

    • Lisa Izo

      Correct. When someone says ‘Open your mind’ they usually want you to hold hands with some freaky baby head and hands in some dude’s stomach, in order to help the mutants on Mars.


      • Tylikcat

        I’ve seen it mean a number of things…

        “Please take these drugs.” (The first hit is free.)
        “You are not thinking what I want you to be thinking.”
        “Open you legs.” (BTW, did you know I was your soulmate in a past life?)
        …it actually goes downhill from this point.

  • Ilasiak

    Just as her powers have developed and grown stronger, so have his. Thus it is harder for him to determine whose mind is whose, who he really is, and other parts. Pain is probably his way of understanding… which is also completely horrifying.

    • Kid Chaos

      So it’s totally like Prof. X in “Logan”. This is bad…very bad! πŸ’€

  • Rowena

    You’re ability expression emotion through faces is amazing! The last few Alison panels have been really beautiful.

    • Rowena


      just let me die

      • Lisa Izo

        No, I will not let you die, You have so many future typos to live for! So many grammar correcting anal-retentive people to annoy! πŸ™‚ I believe in you!

        • palmvos

          so.. you will deny him his freedom?

          • Lisa Izo

            Dammit, stop trying to use my libertarian beliefs against me.

          • palmvos

            but that’s what they’re for. didn’t you read the tin they came in? something like ‘warning contents will be used against you if someone does not use them against you you will use them against yourself…’ then there’s some stuff about governing laws. I think i managed to get mine before the mandatory clown arbitration clause came out, but i lost the tin so i don’t know.

      • Dean

        Psst, you can edit posts on Disqus.

        • Lisa Izo

          Even on guest accounts?

  • Guilherme Carvalho

    Welp, superpowers going wrong is always, *always* a nasty sight.

    Which makes me really worried about Alison’s (and every other biodynamic person’s) aging in this world.

  • Danygalw

    She looks so helpless, how can she think *quieter*

  • cannibalism

    Patrick, no :’o

  • Alex Hollins

    Fuck… I’ve seen this in fiction before. Lets hope he doesn’t throw himself into a coma, there’s no twin brother to get him out.

  • palmvos

    that’s right Alison. this time you are not doing anything. that means that this time you will bear the consequences. because life exists to spread entropy and chaos more efficiently.

  • ColaKitteh

    Allison I think your Patrick is broken, have you tried turning him off then on again?

    • palmvos

      Alisons response.
      ‘I don’t want to turn him on. i thought i turned him off before’

  • Johnny Awesome

    I think Patrick accidentally wandered into the President’s brain and realized with horror that [SPOILER] the Prez thinks pro wrestling is real and is seriously considering the Hulkster for a top diplomatic position[/SPOILER]. Patrick’s reaction seems perfectly justified.

    • Arklyte

      Or he’s just done with a nation who’s so full of themselves hat they think it’s still funny and they should mention how bad in their opinion their current president is… but when we were saying the same about your dear “captain Texas” when you a//holes invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, it was we who were bad guys, dear “dmocracy exporters”.

    • Lisa Izo

      WAIT! Waitwaitwaitwait.


      Pro wrestling ISNT real?!!!

    • Arkone Axon

      …Actually, Terry “Hulk Hogan” Bollea might actually make a decent ambassador. The whole point of being an ambassador is to curry goodwill with foreign nations and improve international relations (for the sake of economic deals, peace treaties… or just avoiding going to war). And Hulk Hogan was always a very popular and beloved Face. Depending on the nation, there could be a LOT of praise for Ambassador Bollea if they turn out to be a bunch of Hulkamaniacs…

  • S.I. Rosenbaum

    Sometimes I feel really bad about having suggested that this comic should have a comments section

    • AshlaBoga

      Please don’t feel bad. If it wasn’t for the comment section I wouldn’t have even realized it was Patrick at first since he looked so different. Also, where else would I learn about slug neuroscience?

    • Lysiuj

      These comments have brought more good than bad, overall. For what it’s worth I’m glad and thankful that you did.

  • Xin

    Oh noes, is that a pre-cognitive image Alison had in the middle panel?

    Seems to make sense, given the number of coincidences in Alison’s life, if either Patrick did or does end up inventing time travel… or if another person or people already have.

    The coincidence with the professor whose partner was killed in the fight against Templar who gave Alison the ‘F’ failing grade on her paper…
    Professor Gurwara… and the actual professor showing up thinking it was Feb 4th/two weeks earlier…

    Wonder what happened to his wife and such that nothing got reported, though. I suppose a ‘harmless’ time hop for all of them?

    Also kind of wonder whether Max was being honest about all his powers: He must know about Alison being in the area, but that was a very big coincidence. Or maybe some time-traveler/Alison herself set his building on fire to cause the meeting, somehow?

  • Comments on the next page have defaulted back to Closed, again.