SFP

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  • thebombzen

    Wow Patrick, way to Cleave Clevin’s Naggin’ Noggin.

  • Dean

    All he needs to do is mention Nietzsche to get Philosophy Douchebag Bingo!

  • The Duck From issue 6 p.112

    Do you hear that wingless?
    These are the eyes of ultimate confusion.
    My eyes had that sight when the man with the duck cane shattered my reality.
    The Clevin one makes it now.

    • Arkone Axon

      “Why… why is this guy throwing pseudo-intellectual nihilist philosophy at me? Can’t he just say “I’m too badly hungover to appreciate chipper platitudes, please just let me get some sleep?””

    • Zach Edwards

      Didn’t expect a duck to make a Spoonyone reference

      • Gotham

        I didn’t expect the spoony one to be more well known that The Princess Bride!

        • Lysiuj

          History bcame legend… legend became myth…
          And some things, that should not have been forgotten… were lost….

          Inconceivable!!!

          • Kid Chaos

            You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means. 😜

  • rpenner

    Your despair is delicious to me. But if you make me french toast right now, and guess correctly if I want crispy or soft bacon with it, then maybe, maybe I will offer you an exit that isn’t a window.

    • Lysiuj

      French toast is more delicious than despair after all…

      • Anarquistador

        Not if you make it right.

      • Arkone Axon

        Heheh… I made french toast twice last week (I had leftover egg and milk “batter” to use up). Today… hmmm… gotta go make something good for breakfast now.

    • Eric Schissel

      Which floor are they on? If the first, it mightn’t be -so- bad. (That said, references like that now tend to remind me of Old George and Stross’ The Rhesus Chart…)

  • J4n1

    Patrick may be somewhat rude here.
    But that does not mean he is not correct.

    • Gotham

      The thing I love most is that it’s his /conclusion/, what with the “so you see…”, meaning he has been getting to that point from a much, much more detailed breakthrough of why Clevin’s words are so trite.

      God I wish I could have seen this.

      • Kid Chaos

        “You see, madness, as you know, is like gravity; all it takes is a little push.” [cue the maniacal laughter] 😈

  • Markus

    Racism, sexism, religious bigotry, jingoism, and all matter of other ill all stems from the phrase “everything happens for a good reason.” If you believe that, and you see bad things happening, you have to convince yourself that the people who had bad things happen deserved it.

    Pretending you live in a just world is the first, easiest step towards injustice.

    • Arkone Axon

      It’s funny you should mention the word “jingoism,” because I’m thinking about a book by the same author who also wrote “Jingo.” More specifically, I’m thinking about “Hogfather.” And the scene they put into the movie:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHSwvtHFsOU

      “You need to believe in things that aren’t true. How else can they become?”

      • juleslt

        There’s no narrativium on Roundworld.
        You’ve got to believe that things are possible, but not accomplished yet, to work towards them.

        Belief in fairness blinds you to the unfairness.
        http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195320916.001.0001/acprof-9780195320916-chapter-5

        • Steve Errington

          Narrativium is not required for justice and mercy to be created by human belief, in fact that’s the only way they can be created in a natural world red in tooth and claw. As Pterry said elsewhere a better name for humans, rather than homo sapiens, is pan narrans, the storytelling chimpanzee. It’s the “stories” we have told each other, and maybe more importantly ourselves, that have created human civilization, an important part of those stories are the abstracts that grease the workings of the machine we all form a part of.

          • juleslt

            We’re storytelling apes all right.
            And stories about a just world where you reap what you sow are indeed one of the ways that we built civilization.
            But that’s not because they made the world fair, but because those stories reinforced social norms.

            The march towards more fairness is started by people being revolted by the unfairness and rising up against it.

            (non-narrans animals have a sense of fairness and unfairness too, btw)

          • Anarquistador

            And when we’re dead, the unjust world will reassert itself and undo everything we hoped and fought for. It’ll all be proved to be a meaningless struggle, just an endless cycle of making and unmaking that no one has ever or will ever have a hope of breaking for good. But at least we’ll be dead, and won’t be around to witness it. Hooray.

          • juleslt

            Society *has* made significant progress over the generations, and there’s no reason to think that it will stop there.

            In the long run we’re all dead and humanity probably disappears, but in the meantime we can make things better by our standards, and some of us find that worth living for #existentialism

          • juleslt
          • Weatherheight

            I upvote this for the Randall Munroe reference.
            (It’s easier than collecting graft!)

          • Anarquistador

            Our standards are just our standards. Standards change. What we perceive to be right, and work toward doing, will be considered wrong by future generations. Because there is no right or wrong. Only majority opinion.

          • juleslt

            There are trends, though, and I’m pretty happy about most.
            I enjoy participating in these.
            You go and find what you enjoy, and do that! πŸ™‚

          • Anarquistador

            What if I enjoy hurting people?

          • juleslt

            Then hopefully (by my standards) society manages to persuade you to not do that or at least protect others from you.

          • Anarquistador

            That is a good thing to hope for. But too often that hope is not fulfilled. Too often the rules are made by the monkey with the biggest club, and there seems to be little motivation to aspire to be anything more than a bigger monkey with a bigger club.

          • juleslt

            And still, liberal values keeps spreading πŸ™‚
            Have a look at the progress on Millenium Development Goals and cheer up: things are getting consistently better!
            https://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/pdf/report-2013/2013_progress_english.pdf
            (note that yellow is for progress too, just not as much as we hoped for)

          • Anarquistador

            I’m not hopeful. Sooner or later, someone with enough money or enough guns will decide all this progress isn’t what they want. Then they’ll bribe, bully, or fool the right people and get themselves put in power, where they can remake the world in their own image, and convince everyone that it’s the right way to be. They will undo ever single instance of progress, purely out of spite, and because they can. And the cycle just resets for another generation or two.

            Oh wait…that already happened in the United States.

          • Arkone Axon

            Actually, what happened was the corrupt jerks who were running things set up a “false flag” candidate so that their handpicked choice for the next executive-in-chief would be certain to win, but everyone was so disgusted that the “false flag” candidate won instead. Now we’re seeing tremendous revolutions fomenting within both political parties, as well as increased interest in third parties.

            Meanwhile that “false flag” candidate-turned-president is finding himself unable to actually DO anything other than say stupid things that piss people off because Congress won’t approve the funding. And more recently he discovered that people like him when he does populist things like signing the budget bill to provide emergency aid for hurricane victims before his own side could start negotiating and holding the emergency aid “hostage” to demand concessions.

          • Anarquistador

            What happened was that, in a moment of fear and uncertainty, the people chose an authoritarian strongman to lead them, swayed by his promises to keep them safe and restore their prosperity. Because anyone was better than a political insider who might actually have been able to do things.

            Every republic commits suicide. This has been the fate, without exception, of every republic throughout history. In retrospect, it was the height of naivete to assume that it wasn’t going to be the fate of ours. I just didn’t expect to see it happen in my lifetime.

            So I don’t hold out a lot of hope for the future of my country. If the political system was broken enough to let this happen, then we can’t possibly expect to fix it with the same system. Historical precedent only indicates a couple of ways this will end, and none of them are good for the short term.

          • Todd

            Sorry, no.

            Some people were fearful and uncertain.

            A minority wanted (and still want) more wealth, power, and ability to oppress to get it.

            Enough just voted the way they’ve always voted.

            A crucial amount didn’t turn out because they saw little practical difference between the right and left buttocks of capital.

            Pessimism of the mind, optimism of the spirit is what’s needed, not just pessimism.

          • Anarquistador

            So, fear, avarice, complacency, and apathy.

            Still not hopeful for the future.

          • Todd

            >shrug< And, yet, it moves . . . .

          • Anarquistador

            Points for quoting Galileo, but I’m not clear on the relevance. Life goes on regardless?

          • You’re not wrong that things go back and forth. There are times in history that were pretty damn good, which then turned into pretty bad times. I wouldn’t have minded living in Wiemar Republic German, honestly. There was a lot of good going on there, along with the bad. And then came the Holocaust.

            The Roman Republic turned into the Roman Empire, which was an autocracy. But even then, it turned into a force for freedom and stability on the ground, until it turned into a force for oppression.

            The United States will fall at some point. It’s a mathematical historical certainty. But it may not happen within our lifetimes.

            The thing is, things go back and forth. And that means that, even though they go back, half the time, they go forth. And that we, personally, aren’t COMPLETELY helpless in whether they’re going back or forth at any particular time.

          • Arkone Axon

            What happened was that, in a moment of anger and frustration, the people chose an imbecilic nincompoop to sit in the white house, swayed by the reassurance that at least he wasn’t someone whose past record of actions were the exact opposite of what she claimed to uphold.

            “I will fight for the rights of minorities!” *people glance at her demonization of black teenagers as “superpredators” in the 90s, her close ties to the for-profit prison industry, and savage attacks on a political opponent who marched with Martin Luther King.

            “I will work to repair the economy!” *people glance at her record of cozying up to banks and corporations, the MASSIVE amounts of donations from corporate sponsors to her Clinton Foundation, and her questionable economic alliances with foreign governments*

            People looked at Clinton and Trump, and decided that the orange faced monkey with the dead raccoon on his head was preferable to the person who helped write the TPP, then tried to avoid taking a position on it long enough to get elected before ramming it on through. They decided an immature manchild with the vocabulary of a middle school kid in a locker room was better than the corrupt harridan who would claim one moment to be a genius messiah, then the next try to deflect questions about her breaches of security by pretending to be computer illiterate. They thought Donald Trump was better than Hillary Clinton. That’s how bad she is, how thoroughly the majority of Americans revile her.

            You wanted to see Trump defeated on election night? Maybe the DNC shouldn’t have cheated Bernie Sanders out of the nomination.

            (This is where some people will rush to deny that the DNC did what EVERYONE now knows they did. And what I knew a year ago, because I was a Sanders delegate at the Vegas conventions and my next door neighbors were Clinton delegates… who were disgusted by how the DNC behaved)

          • Jordan Hiller

            That still left you with a choice. A bad one, but still a choice. You could swallow that bitter pill and vote for someone who would might put through the policies you’d like to see, you could abstain or you could vote for someone who stands for the opposite of everything you believe in. Do I condone what the DNC did? No. Did I particularly like Clinton as a candidate? No. But I’ll be damned if you can tell me with a straight face that she’d be worse than what we have right now. You can continue to bitch and moan about what might have been or you can work to change what could be.

          • Arkone Axon

            *maintains a straight face*

            Clinton would have been far worse than what we have right now.

            *checks reflection to confirm that the face remains straight*

            Clinton is a horribly corrupt narcissist whose blatant disdain for the public shone through time and again.

            *rubs face to confirm that the face remains completely devoid of humor*

            Clinton and the DNC refused to allow us to elect a genuinely decent candidate, then tried to hold the country hostage, “Vote for Clinton or TRUMP gets elected! And then it’ll be all your fault!” And just as with a kidnapper who tries escaping the blame for what happens to their hostage, Clinton and the DNC are far more to blame than any of the voters they tried to guilt trip. Especially since the leaked materials prove that they actively encouraged the nomination of Trump as the Republican candidate, specifically because they felt he was the easiest candidate to beat. Translation: Clinton and the DNC are largely to blame for Trump being on the ballots in November in the first place.

            And their attempts to hold the country itself hostage with a threat of “vote for Clinton or we’ll have… President Trump! Dun dun dun!” proved to be a miscalculation, when it turned out that not enough people agreed that the orange faced baboon was worse than the candidate being rammed down their throats.

            *checks one last time*

            Clinton supporters continue to claim that she was a “brilliant, capable, wonderful woman and the most qualified candidate ever.” And she lost to Donald Trump.

            *bursts into hysterical laughter*

            (and every time someone tells me that my vote for a third party candidate was responsible for Clinton’s loss, it makes me happy! Yay! I love being told that! I know I’m not really responsible, but it feels good to pretend for just a moment that I really did help derail the aspirations of that monster. Yay!)

          • Eric Schissel

            Your claim that she’s a monster is interesting, but I still maintain I voted for the competent one (and with the amount of power presently lodged in the presidency in fact as opposed to Constitutional law, incompetence and whimsy are extremely dangerous). (Still, it doesn’t matter, since who I voted for had no effect on the _electoral_ college vote, after all…)

          • Arkone Axon

            I voted for a competent one too – Johnson, because Stein wasn’t allowed on the ballots here in Nevada and you can’t do a write-in with an electronic voting machine.

            I should add two things. One: the amount of power presently lodged in the presidency is the result of “power creep” over previous administrations. Right now Congress is working to take some of that power away – power that Obama was wielding without restraint (as was Bush). Which means that taking away all the most dangerous from Trump will be a good thing for future administrations as well.

            As it stands, he’s still being blocked left and right by the checks and balances in the Constitution. He still wants to build the wall – but he can’t do it without funding, which is not forthcoming. His statements about LGBTs are not only annoying the hell out of military leaders (including James Mattis, also known as “Marine Jesus”), but are also going to result in the Supreme Court handing down a more solid ruling to reinforce previous rulings on the subject. Which is also a good thing; it’s good when the bad guy is as incompetent as this.

            Two: The whole point of the electoral college is to prevent more populous states from disenfranchising less populous states. All the votes cast by the voters in California results in an electoral vote being cast… for California. Then all the votes cast in Nebraska result in an electoral vote being cast for Nebraska. That way California can not force in a candidate who has run on a platform of “cut off all federal funds to Nebraska and give it to California” (as an extreme example), or “push for laws that will negatively impact Nebraskans” (as a more realistic example).

            Clinton lost a large number of states that had previously cast votes for Obama because she took them for granted and made no effort to win them over. All the supporters she might have had in New York or California didn’t mean a thing as far as the electoral votes cast by the so called “flyover” states.

            That’s not “the electoral college stole the election.” That’s “Trump won according to the rules of the election, which were known in advance.” You don’t sit down for a game of poker and then demand to change the rules after the hands get shown and you’ve got a busted flush against their full house.

          • Eric Schissel

            Agreed mostly (generally my problem was the campaign, in part with how her campaign went, yes; while I grumble about the electoral college (and am glad we now have direct election of senators, e.g.) as an ex-mathematician I’m aware that _no_ electoral system will accomplish reasonable representative goals, not absolutely optimally.)

          • Arkone Axon

            Yes. It’s important to remember that the Constitution – and the United States – is our SECOND attempt at a democratic government, the first (The Articles of Confederation – which is where the secessionists got the name for their short lived insurrection) being too weak and decentralized to get anything done. And when the Constitution was written, it was an attempt to address the problems with the Articles of Confederation while also keeping in mind their most critical objectives/fears.

            Hence the “checks and balances” throughout the Constitution, specifically intended to limit the power of government and to prevent the rise of tyrants. One of the biggest ones being the Tenth Amendment – the one that says “any powers not specifically assigned to the Federal government are to be assumed to belong to the states, or to the people.” In other words: anything the Constitution doesn’t specifically say the federal government can do should be considered the providence of individual citizens. They were REALLY worried about “power creep” and tyranny (look at the Third Amendment, about the government shoving soldiers into private citizens’ houses so the government doesn’t have to pay for food and lodging for their own conscript slave soldiers. That really was a problem back then).

            But one of the big issues they had was the concern that more populous states would be able to dominate less populous states (just as they were concerned about states filled with a few wealthy landowners dominating states filled with less wealthy citizens). Which is why the Senate gives every state two senators regardless of population, while the House of Representatives assigns representatives based on population (which of course touches on another compromise, about making slaves count as “three fifths of a voter” without letting them do three fifths of the voting. And the hypocrisy of slave owners only got worse in the decades after that… >.> ).

            Hence the electoral college, meant to help assure the states that the person elected to be president would be sensitive to all their interests, not just that of one or two states at the expense of the others. Is it the best solution? Probably not. But the whole thing was worked out by pragmatic, practical men, adventurers and rum runners and soldiers – men with a lot of firsthand experience in things, and who wanted to make something “good enough,” that could be fine tuned later, and that would prevent would-be tyrants from ruining what they’d fought for. These were not the dry, stuffy academics who went to Cambodia and staged a revolution that destroyed it, these were boisterous “average joes” who threw the tea into Boston harbor after getting so hammered that the next thing they did was wonder if Ben Franklin knew a way to boil it, and where they could get enough lemon slices.

            And I type all that knowing you undoubtedly know all this, Schissel – but I’m stating it for the benefit of people who have been listening to media outlets that make it sound as if the electoral college is made up of a bunch of white male 1%ers who vote for whomever they want and nothing we do matters, as if we’re a Quidditch team and they’re the Seeker grabbing that golden snitch. (Yes, I hate that damned concept – Rawlings created 90% of an awesome aerial team sport… then added a rule that let Harry be off on his own winning the game singlehandedly and making nothing the rest of his team did matter. “I caught the snitch – game over AND the equivalent of fifteen goals right there!”)

          • Eric Schissel

            Agreed, even if one of the main differences between the Constitution and the Articles was deliberately the -greater- concentration of Federal power in the former. (I’m referring to the Articles. The first 10 Amendments do not exist for the same reason as the Constitution itself- though their reason for existing is somewhat confusing to me, I admit, since the reason sometimes given (to convince New Yorkers to vote in favor of the Constitution) — well, I gather they already had 12 states down and even felt certain enough of New York passing before the Federalist Papers and Bill of Rights began being pen-to-papered… which makes me wonder whether maybe they were also doing it for themselves, for clarity… (a lot of work though!!!!!) – or – something. I really don’t know.

            Tangentially, have you ever read any of the essays written by the “Anti-Feredalists” (who didn’t publish their essays in one contemporary book, afaik, but edited collections of their essays have been published. I’ve only read excerpts from them and not recently, but it was eye-opening (not surprisingly) to think about the issues that were up in the air then that haven’t – much – been since (… well, that’s not really true I guess. The consensus shifts in all sorts of ways. Just finished reading Beard’s Contemporary American History (1877-1913) and that, too, was fascinating- I knew some of what he writes about – thanks to having very good teachers in my high school days – but much in that book was new to me.)

          • a_lethe_ia

            hes a horrible person and plans horrible thinsg who dont happen because he has no idea how any of it works and breaks the little laws he cn break, so its not as bad as it could be…

            thats not reassuring nor is it any kind of acceptable argument at all.
            hes horrible but it could be worse because he hasnt found out any loopholes more and we overlook all the ways he already breaks shit (like having family in control of business, having that business get dosh from the govt like the little good opportunistic oligarch he is) and in 10 month he only was able to fuck up the lives of some trans people and of some immigrants who were forced into the country as child and now suffer for something they had no influence in…

            like thats almost as poor an argument as your set of ethics appear to be.

          • Arkone Axon

            Okay… first of all, if you’re going to start with the ad hominem attacks, at least learn proper punctuation and spelling – I can barely even understand what you’re trying to say here.

            You want to talk about someone with poor ethics? How about the person who had the DNC and their pet media outlets work to help Trump get the nomination just to improve her chances of winning (which we KNOW she did because the whole “RUSSIA HACKED THE ELECTION!!!” hysteria boils down to “someone leaked DNC e-mails to wikileaks, and we’re going to keep claiming it was Russian agents to detract from all the many, many damning things those e-mails prove)? The one who made President Trump a possibility in the first place just so she could try to blackmail and guilt trip the voters with “either vote for me or America is destroyed” as her campaign platform? If she truly believed that Trump was that bad, then that makes her even worse than he is – because that would mean she deliberately encouraged the nomination of someone she truly believed would damage America for her own probable gain (not even definite gain, merely to improve the odds of her success).

            Also, another thing to emphasize what a “wonderful and heroic” person Clinton is: In the last week, Bernie Sanders has been pushing a single payer “medicare for all” bill, and is making considerable inroads in that department. During this same week… Clinton has been promoting a book where she blames everyone except herself for losing the election, and complains on TV about how Sanders “hurt” her chances by not immediately bowing out of the primaries the moment she demanded it.

            Like I said elsewhere, I would happily accept the “blame” for Clinton’s defeat (since I would consider it an accomplishment worthy of note), but… the only one to blame is the person blaming everyone else (including the people who did everything they could to help her win in spite of herself). She’s basically Cobra Commander from that silly but awesome animated movie from the 80s:

            Golobulus: To raise a mighty army and to destroy this so called “human” civilization which had driven us into exile. You were my hope, Cobra Commander, and you failed me *miserably!*

            Cobra Commander: I was betrayed! My troops lacked courage! It was not my fault!

            (and here’s her response to all the many many many many accusations against her: http://ccletsitallout.ytmnd.com/ )

          • Wow. I COMPLETELY don’t have that read on her. I see her as a basically decent human being who actually cares about other people, but isn’t hugely charismatic like her husband. I see her as a nerd and wonk, and sometimes abrasive, but in ways that I don’t mind. I see her as way less corrupt than most people, and not at all narcissistic.

            I really am not sure where you are getting your read. It just doesn’t match anything I’ve seen. Bad candidate? Sure. But good person.

          • Lisa Izo

            I considered Jill Stein to be merely not that bright, not actively a bad person… until the stuff she pulled after the election to bilk people out of millions of dollars for selective recounts that never wound up happening in 3 out of 4 states.

            After she did that, I considered her not that bright, plus a bad person. Another person in Hillary Clinton’s pocket for political favors if she played ball. Not someone who believed in her ideals, which would have at least been something in her favor.

            I consider Bernie Sanders’ socialist platform to not be particularly intelligent either (because I think socialism is a particularly horrible political system that leads to fascism or bankruptcy when it gets too big or sticks around too long), and he ignores what a mess socialism is every time it’s been implemented (claiming they just ‘didn’t do socialism right’ or some other idiocy) but at least Bernie believed in what he was saying. I have to give him points for being consistent. I just wish he didn’t believe in a system of government that has directly caused over 150 million non-combatant (not even arguably potential combatant) civilian deaths by their respective States with corrupt leaders in the 20th century alone – like Stalin (20+ million officially killed, 60 million if you include 1936-1952), Hitler (11 million killed), Mussolini (900,000 killed), Mao (40-70 million killed), Castro (144,000 killed), Kambanda (800,000 killed), Suharto (1 million killed), Menghistu (1 million killed), Tito (1.15 million killed), Pol Pot (4 million killed), Brezhnev (1 million killed), Kim Il Sung (5.6 million killed), etc. And of course people like Guevara who personally shot several hundred non-combatants.

            So yeah, Bernie was mistaken, but more honest than Hillary or Jill Stein. That was probably the biggest advantage Sanders had, and I’m pretty sure he would have won if the DNC didnt put their foot on the scale to make sure Hillary won the primaries. If Jim Webb had been the Democratic candidate, I would have definitely voted for him.

            I wasn’t even particularly thrilled about Gary Johnson, and I’ve been a libertarian since I started voting – in a lot of ways I consider him to not be particularly bright either, but I also think that he (like Sanders) at least believes the things he says and is trying to be genuine, even if his ignorance shows sometimes). Still, he was a better choice than the other three (Trump, Clinton, Stein). I would have loved if Austin Petersen had been the Libertarian candidate though – both intelligent AND genuine – a ‘classical liberal.’ Rare combo nowadays.

          • Arkone Axon

            And note: you and I disagree regarding these candidates (and also regarding the difference between “socialism,” which translates as “the community working together to get something done,” as we already do with the socialist Federal programs called “the U.S. Armed Forces” and “the U.S. Postal Service,” and “communism,” which translates as “a bunch of well intentioned extremists forcing everyone to follow their plan using extreme levels of violence, only to eventually discover that plans that involve dissenters being silenced with violence generally turn out to have flaws that the dissenters noticed and you didn’t.”), and yet… we’re able to discuss the matter without resorting to name calling or demonizing each other for disagreeing.

            And you’re right – Sanders was indeed honest. But Stein… she wasn’t trying to bilk people. She was trying to force recounts to achieve her intended victory even in the face of obvious defeat – because let’s face it, she KNEW she wasn’t going to win the election, just as Johnson did. What both the Libertarians and the Green party are hoping to achieve is to win 5% of the popular vote. Because the Republicans and Democrats not only pay for their mudslinging campaigns with corporate sponsorships and backroom deals, but also with… federal funds. Our taxes go to pay for their shenanigans. So just 5% of the popular vote would be enough to greatly improve their chances in the NEXT election… and further build up momentum.

            But yes, Johnson, Stein, and Sanders all shared the quality of being genuinely honest – they might hold views you or I disagree with, but at least they genuinely believe in those views and weren’t simply trying to appeal to the largest number of voters. They were more like the politicians in “Starship Troopers” than either Trump or Clinton (the ones who had to be military veterans – even if their military service consisted of field testing life support equipment because they were blind, deaf, and in a wheelchair when they signed up – and therefore could be trusted to put the welfare of others ahead of their own).

          • Lisa Izo

            Yeah well… there’s no devolving into personal attacks. Makes it easier to disagree. But on that note, the US Postal Service and the US armed forces are not socialist. You may have fallen into a trap that people like Michael Moore have set up as the re-meaning of socialism, ignoring the actual meaning. Socialism is defined as one or more of the following:

            1) any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods;

            2a) a system of society or group living in which there is no private property.
            2b) a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

            3) a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.

            That’s the majority of different ways that socialism have been defined in practice since its inception. What socialism is NOT is ‘when the government does ANYTHING.’ That’s a ridiculous expansion of the definiton of socialism to mean ‘anything that isn’t total anarchy (or at best anarchocapitalism).

            The things that people like Michael Moore mistakenly consider proof that the US is already very socialist do not meet these criteria. They are what are known as ‘public goods’ (such as the CIA, FBI, police, military, courts, street lights, public monuments, roads, sewers, etc) – which are found in ALL manner of government (and the only way to claim they’re socialist is to say all government activity is socialist). The government doesn’t ban the use of private (and by privately owned publicly and commercially accessible) security, private military, private mail shipping services, private parks, private maintenance of monuments, private prisons, private creation of monuments, private roads, or private accessible intelligence agencies even.

            It’s also worth noting that the Constitution specifically limits the government’s powr in these things which Moore and others describes wrongly as ‘socialism in America.’

            The only things that remotely comes across as socialist at all are the IRS (income tax IS very socialist in nature), and welfare (which isnt quite socialist, but is redistributive in nature, because of the idiotic way in which it was designed with very little thought about payments decades into the future).

            Bernie Sanders, whenever asked to define socialism, never actually gives a good answer because he can’t without looking at past failures or present cases which are on the road to eventual failure once it grows enough – like Venezuela, which years ago people were calling proof that socialism works. Or he defines it as ‘democratic socialism’ which is somehow different than ‘socialism.’ It’s not. Adding democratic before socialism does not make it no longer the same socialism that has failed time and time again. The nazis were democratic socialists. Not to mention it doesn’t acutally sanitize the concept – slavery used to be democratic, and was evil and wrong and not conducive to living in a society that encourages liberty. Same for socialism.

            Felipe Moura Brasil did a good video on this – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKhR9i5CGkA

            Steven Crowder did a good video on it as well –
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvF_D4tVfYU

            This isn’t to say that I consider Sanders a bad person. I just find him very uninformed about his chosen political system. He’s better than the other two, so I will grant you that, but not as good as any of the Libertarians who had been running, or even Jill Stein (who I am not a fan of because of what she did after the election was over, not because of the Green Party itself). The only reason I could see to vote for Sanders would have been because his ideas are so anti-American in how socialism works in practice that he never would have gotten anything passed. And a do nothing president is better than a corrupt or evil president. Then again, I think stupid is better than evil because can be tricked into occasionally doing the right thing by smarter people.

          • Arkone Axon

            1) any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods;

            That would be the military and the post office, yes. Especially if one remembers that capitalism is about the free market and the exchange of goods AND SERVICES (which is one of the things that communism completely ignores, the value of services and skilled labor versus simply a bunch of sweat and grunting. They completely ignored the very real benefits of transportation and storage provided by the “merchants” that Marx despised. The guys who make it possible to walk into a supermarket and buy all the food you want without having to go to the farms and orchards and ranches where it was produced). A collective/government ownership and administration of the means of production distribution of goods… and services. The military performs a service (one that can also be performed by private companies – i.e. mercenaries). The post office performs a service (one also performed by private companies such as UPS). They are literally government run programs to provide services that could also be provided by private companies… just not as well (for one thing, our military is far more accountable than the likes of Tigerswan or Blackwater).

            I think one of the huge problems is of the toxicity associated with the word. “Socialism” has been portrayed as identical to Communism (note the key differences between the definition of socialism and that of communism: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/communism ), coupled with the fact that Communism is indeed a horrible, vile socioeconomic concept that is responsible for far more deaths than Fascism. It was then further demonized during the Cold War by… the same “military industrial complex” that President Eisenhower warned the nation about in his farewell address (and today we spend more on our military than the next 11 nations combined. We’re buying tanks that the military doesn’t even want and can’t use. And then we’re told there’s no money for social programs… even for proper care for veterans). And then there’s the claim that socialism “never works.”

            …Except that it does work, all the time. For starters, it works with the vast majority of families – you don’t expect your kids to work for their food, you feed them and then tell them “do your homework and your chores.” It’s also worked in places such as Sweden (and I know that there are people who claim that Sweden has huge issues and is a “rape capital” and whatnot… and I’ve also got Swedish friends who are very tired of the mischaracterization; the only reason they’re called a “rape capital” is because they actually REPORT the majority of sexual assaults. By contrast, Pakistan has very few reported cases of rape… and look at what happens there). Also, in Israel – the “kibbutzim,” the “settlements” that have been demonized as “proof of Israel’s imperial genocidal evil,” are in fact… communes ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kibbutz ). Note that Israel is the only middle eastern nation to not have vast petroleum reserves to prop up their economy, and yet they’re an economic giant and a valued trading partner of… pretty much any country that can get over their entrenched anti-semitism.

            One of the best comments on the subject was the pilot episode of Star Trek: TNG, where Q refers to the Cold War as “a conflict over resource management.” Because that’s what it’s all about, really – a disagreement over the optimal method of ensuring resources will be allocated to where they can do the most good for the most people. Capitalism relies on an “invisible hand” (though it should be noted that Adam Smith actually believed in the importance of NOT letting businesses run amuk: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/adam-smith-and-inequality/ ) in order to make certain that everyone is fed, clothed, and cared for. Capitalism is a method, not the desired end goal… and if a method needs improvement, then it should not be religiously defended.

            Back to Sweden as an example of what I’m talking about. In the Scandinavian countries, a convicted criminal is placed in a prison that is practically a country club by American standards. Well fed, well cared for, with plenty of efforts put into rehabilitation. And then, when they get released… they’re handed a bill. And THEN… they’re assisted in finding a job so they can pay back their debt to society.

            By contrast, in the American system a convicted criminal can expect treatment ranging from the unpleasant to the truly inhuman (depending on whether or not they have someone like Joe Arpaio running things), forced to socialize with career criminals to reinforce bad behaviors, and when they get out they’re eternally branded with the stigma of their felony convictions, making it almost impossible for them to find employment or even housing. At which point the only alternative to privation on the streets is to go right back to criminal behavior (or even worse criminal behavior; get arrested for possession of drugs and end up resorting to robbery and drug distribution after getting out). Compare our recidivism rates to that of Sweden; results are what matter, and one method achieves far greater results than the other.

            Also, I would like to point out that the Nazis were never socialists, just as Kim Jung Un is not an elected president no matter how many times he insists his nation is called “the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” They were Fascists. In fact, they were very big on privatization of public utilities and other acts that essentially involved enriching a small elite at the cost of the nation. (Just like how Hitler and Mussolini didn’t “make the trains run on time.” They simply claimed they were)

          • Lisa Izo

            “That would be the military and the post office, yes.”
            1) No it would not be. I actually listed privatized alternatives. In fact, the post office itself didn’t start getting even partially good UNTIL there were private alternatives like UPS and Fed Ex. Like tracking numbers? That was Fed Ex… not the post office.

            2) Like I said before, the government running one constitutionally allowed aspect is NOT the same as socialism, unless you define socialism as ‘whenever the government does ANYTHING.’ That’s not what socialism is. That’s what any government has to do with at least some element of the nation that it governs, unless it’s an anarchic or anarchocapitalist system. Both of which are EXTREMELY transitory states (the former being between governments, not a substitution for government).

            “They completely ignored the very real benefits of transportation and storage provided by the “merchants” that Marx despised. The guys who make it possible to walk into a supermarket and buy all the food you want without having to go to the farms and orchards and ranches where it was produced). ”
            Correct. Little thing that’s often unknown nowadays, since people tend to foget history. America did have socialism briefly. Actual socialism. It was called Jamestown. They tried a socialist system essentially – a communial system of grain and food and other goods that people would take from when they need, and put into the pot when they make their stuff or grow their stuff. It was a colossal failure. Some people started just taking without putting in. Then everyone started doing that. Within a year, the colony was on the brink of starvation, half the people had died, and they were resorting to eating rats and shoe leather to survive through the winter. Then the town founder did away with the system, and gave each person who survived a plot of land, and said they can use it to grow their own food. He who does not work, does not eat. That was the basic motto. You were able to grow your own food, and if you wanted someone else’s food, you had to give them something of value for it. By the end of THAT year, they had surpluses everywhere and Jamestown was flourishing.

            “”Socialism” has been portrayed as identical to Communism (note the key differences between the definition of socialism and that of communism:”

            Because it actually is VERY similar. The only difference is socialism tries to just suggest it, while communism forces it. Socialism inevitably devolves into communism/fascism or bankruptcy, depending on whether the government forcefully seizes control of everything in order to maintain the socialist agenda. That’s what happened in Russia, the foundation of modern Marxist socialist thought.

            “We’re buying tanks that the military doesn’t even want and can’t use.”

            No offense but that really has nothing to do with socialism or capitalism. That’s just runaway government spending. If anything, it’s more proof that the government isnt able to intelligently handle money since they have no profit motive guiding them in order to be as efficient as possible.

            “nd then we’re told there’s no money for social programs… even for proper care for veterans).”

            That’s also not having to do with capitalism or socialism. That’s government corruption and waste. Again, more like proof that the government is ineffective when it comes to handling our money because of no worry about making a profit and looking good to the consumer.

            “And then there’s the claim that socialism “never works.””

            I’d say it’s more a factual observation than a claim. πŸ™‚

            “…Except that it does work, all the time”

            Literally incorrect. Every time someone points to an example of ‘socialism done right”…. wait a few years. And that country is in tatters. The last big thing was Venezuela. How’s that doing now? Before that it was Greece. How’s that doing now? They always point to countries with far smaller, usually homogenous societies, which are going to take longer until they run out of other people’s money. But eventually you will run out of other people’s money. Eventually the people actually producing will wonder why they should produce if the government will just seize everything and redistributes it at a loss to them. And they will stop. And then the country is in tatters because the government keeps spending money that it’s no longer taking in.

            ” It’s also worked in places such as Sweden (and I know that there are people who claim that Sweden has huge issues and is a “rape capital” and whatnot..”

            They actually address that in the Steven Crowder video. Specifically.

            “One of the best comments on the subject was the pilot episode of Star Trek: TNG, where Q refers to the Cold War as “a conflict over resource management.”

            Star Trek literally has something which actually makes socialism not absurdly stupid – the replicator. It literally brings scarcity to a minimum. And the basis for most economic systems working is the principle of scarcity. No scarcity, no supply and demand problems, no real incentive for profit anymore.

            When we have working replicators that make food and goods out of air, I’ll give Bernie Sanders’ system of government a try.

            “Because that’s what it’s all about, really – a disagreement over the optimal method of ensuring resources will be allocated to where they can do the most good for the most people.”

            Except no, it’s not. It’s about how one side’s ‘optimal method’ is to force other people to redistribute their goods as they want, against their will, removing their autonomy, and another group that lets them do what they want with their own goods and services, but letting them know if they don’t sell it at a fair price, someone else will and put them out of business and leave them with their goods/services but no money.

            “Sweden has huge issues and is a “rape capital” and whatnot… and I’ve also got Swedish friends who are very tired of the mischaracterization; the only reason they’re called a “rape capital” is because they actually REPORT the majority of sexual assaults. ”

            Um….. they actually don’t reports a lot of the sexual assaults, and they’re STILL the rape capital of the world. But I’m not really blaming that on socialism. Socialism, however, is why their economy is going to crap out in a few decades. They have a longer period before that happens because they were a small, homogenous population (although they’ve been changing that, increasing their population, which means increasing their welfare state, while not increasing their workforce to produce income).

            ” By contrast, Pakistan has very few reported cases of rape… and look at what happens there).”

            Again, not really having anything to do with socialism.

            “Also, in Israel – the “kibbutzim,” the “settlements” that have been demonized as “proof of Israel’s imperial genocidal evil,” are in fact… communes”

            Israel is not socialist. They’re VERY decidedly capitalist, in fact. And they have to be in order to survive as an economic powerhouse. Again – there is a difference between the government doing something and socialism. All governments do stuff within some limited capacity. That’s what government IS. That is not the same as socialism where the government controls all the means of production.

            “Capitalism relies on an “invisible hand” (though it should be noted that Adam Smith actually believed in the importance of NOT letting businesses run amuk:”

            Um… right? The invisible hand is what makes capitalism work. Steven Crowder explains this in the videos too. And Adam Smith was mainly concerned with not letting businesses become monopolies, oligopolies, monopsonies, or oligopsonies. Because that stifles the invisible hand of capitalism and makes the companies have the freedom to act as irresponsibly as a government.

            “Capitalism is a method, not the desired end goal… and if a method needs improvement, then it should not be religiously defended.”

            Capitalism doesn’t have a desired end goal. It has a cyclical desire to keep functioning by acknowledging that while some people are good, other people are greedy, and provide will profit incentive so that the greedy people will HAVE to do something good because that will make them more money. It makes greed work FOR the society. To quote Gordon Gekko, “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed in all of its forms. Greed for life, for money, for love, for knowledge has marked the upwards surge of mankind.”

            What’s important is to control the direction that they use that greed, not to stop them from being greedy. and remove their autonomy.

            “Back to Sweden as an example of what I’m talking about. In the Scandinavian countries, a convicted criminal is placed in a prison that is practically a country club by American standards.”

            Would you like the NUMBERS of incarcerated? We have more people incarcerated in the US than the total population of Sweden. Smaller population means less money that needs to be spent on prisons, because less crime overall as a number (even if not as a percentage of the population). If Sweden were the population of the US, the prisons would a nightmare, if they could afford to keep them open at all.

            “Also, I would like to point out that the Nazis were never socialists”

            No, they were socialists who became fascists. Because that’s the end result of socialism. Either bankruptcy or communism and fascism.

            It’s even in the name. The Nazi party was the National Socialist German Worker’s Party. They ran on a socialist platform. A very clear socialist platform in fact. Then they enacted their socialist agendas by taking total power and becoming fascists.

            I’d post more but my computer keeps freezing when I post on this forum for some reason.

          • Arkone Axon

            Yeah… the freezing is from the size of these posts. Gonna have to skim it down to the bare essentials.

            1: Yes, the military is indeed an example of socialism. Yes, ALL examples of the government performing a service or taking over an industry is socialism. The reason why we socialize an industry (such as the military, or courier services, or anything else) is because we believe it’s more efficient and/or effective than the privatized equivalent. It’s like the recurring argument between my parents when it comes to driving. My mother hates the freeways and will go out of her way to take side streets; my father will detour several miles in order to get on a freeway. Some services are better left to private enterprise, whereas others do better under government oversight and control.

            2: What happened in Russia was that the people finally got rid of those bastard Czars and the aristocracy, started a democratic government… and then the Bolsheviks staged a coup and rammed communism down their throats. Communism has never been “slid into” from socialism; every communist regime started with a violent and hostile takeover by a bunch of gun toting fanatics determined to make the world a better place. Socialism is just people saying “hey, how about we redistribute some of the wealth so that nobody starves?” Which is to say… Socialism is something that Adam Smith actually promoted, when he was discussing capitalism in the first place.

            3:I had to look up who Steven Crowder is. Apparently he’s a conservative pundit who denies the existence of climate change (which at this point is beyond ridiculous, given what’s happening in Texas and Florida), and was employed with Fox News for a time before they fired him for being too offensive even for them: http://www.thedailybeast.com/the-unmaking-of-a-conservative-pundit

            Meanwhile, I repeat: I have friends who live in Sweden. They are not “the rape capital of Europe.” They are simply sufficiently honest that they report the sexual assaults that happen. In other words, they have more reported rapes because people in Sweden feel more secure in reporting that that they have been raped: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_in_Sweden#Swedish_rape_statistics

            (and yes, that has nothing to do with socialism. I only brought it up in the first place because in the past when I mention Sweden there’s an immediate claim that they’re being destroyed by Islamic invaders and whatnot)

            4: When Star Trek referenced the Cold War, that was Picard and Q discussing “ancient history,” not their current economic situation. But Q’s description was indeed apt: the Cold War was essentially a disagreement regarding resource distribution.

            5: The fact that the kibbutzim – the communes – are then able to export goods and services that can compete in the greater world economy are in fact a pretty compelling argument in their favor. A socialist grouping can still have external borders and deal with outsiders in a capitalist fashion. Agricultural cooperatives, family businesses, employee owned companies, are all examples of socialist groupings functioning within a capitalist society. That’s the big difference between socialism and communism – socialism doesn’t have a bunch of gun toting Alisons screaming at dissenters and making them do the “base level, bare minimum, no brainer decent thing” under threat of death.

            6: I didn’t say that capitalism had an end goal. I said that capitalism was a METHOD. The end goal is “make sure as many people are as well off as possible.” As P.J. O’Rourke said of the (Libertarian) Cato Institute, “their goal is to make everyone ridiculously rich.”

            7: Gordon Gekko was the bad guy. In the film he tries to destroy the airline (thereby depriving society of the benefits provided) in order to steal the money in the pension plan. Leaving all the employees bereft of both future income as well as robbed of the money they had already earned and saved.

            Yes, it is important to control the greed of others. That control would be the government regulations and socialist programs that get derided as “holding back progress.” As I’ve pointed out to the aforementioned parents (who run a fire alarm service and repair company), “government regulations are the only reason you’re still in business. Think about how much trouble you already have getting customers to pay what they think are “bullshit expenses” forced upon them by the government. If it weren’t for the NFPA, how many of them would tell you to go screw yourselves, unplug the panels, block the fire exits as security risks, and then when the place burns down and hundreds of people die, do the exact same thing they did a century ago before the NFPA was invented?”

            8:Yes, we incarcerate a truly horrific number of people. Incarceration rates continue to skyrocket, even as the national crime rate continues to dwindle. We have a for-profit prison industry (largely thanks to politicians like Hillary Clinton): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_prison

            We don’t have a problem with crime. We have a problem with fear-mongering and private companies getting paid taxpayer dollars to feed prisoners slop that would sicken pigs. Googling “private prison abuses” brings up a host of rather… horrifying links.

            9: Nazis were fascists. They were not socialists. Their actual policies were never socialist. Before they were in power, they were not socialists – they simply appealed to people who were literally starving because German currency was almost worthless thanks to the punitive terms of the Treaty of Versailles.

            What the Nazis did when they got into power is what’s been going on in our country today. A few close confidants of those in power establish economic alliances that enrich them at the expense of the state and taxpayer (i.e. the tanks that nobody wants, the for-profit prisons, companies that pay minimum wage and expect their employees to survive on food stamps… most of which get spent at the same stores they work at…). Then they pass the blame onto others in order to distract from what they’re doing. Blame the Jews, blame the homosexuals, blame the poor, blame everyone except the Gordon Gekkos of society.

            And yeah, these posts are getting huge… we should probably shelve this discussion. I do enjoy a good debate like this, but perhaps we should move on.

          • Lisa Izo

            ” Yes, the military is indeed an example of socialism”

            No, it is not. The only way you can define the military as socialism is to say that ANY country that ever has any military to defend itself from outside invasion is socialism. That’s obviously not true. The mere fact of government running one element of something is not socialism – you’re basically arguing that ANYTHING the government does is socialism and government is socialism period. That’s not the case. That’s never been the case. You’re making a fundamental mistake on what socialism is, and what the military is for ANY nation that’s ever existed. Pretty much what you’re trying to say is that every single nation state’s army is socialism. I hope you can see the fundamental disconnect in that sort of reasoning.

            “Some services are better left to private enterprise, whereas others do better under government oversight and control.”

            Other than the coinage of money (and I guess the handling of nuclear weapons), the former of which is specifically written into the Constitution as a function of government, I’ve yet to see anything the government has run which has not been done better when left to private enterprise (taking into account certain oversight to prevent stuff like monopolies and exploitation through unsafe labor practices without due compensation).

            Please show me something, and I’ll show you how private enterprise has done it better, more efficiently, and with less burden to the citizens of the nation.

            “The reason why we socialize an industry (such as the military, or courier services, or anything else)”

            The military is not a socialized industry. The military is not an industry at all, in fact.

            And as for courier services, it’s not socialized either… and private industry does a much better job at it, and was responsible for most of the advances in modern courier services which even the USPS benefited from. Like tracking numbers.

            ” What happened in Russia was that the people finally got rid of those bastard Czars and the aristocracy, started a democratic government”

            Um…. there was nothing democratic about it. It was all about soldiers deserting – first deserting the Tsar and moving to the Provisional Government or the Petrogard Soviets, then moving to the Bolsheviks because they were starving. The Provisional Government was utterly useless and the Petrograd Soviets took over within less than a year (more like less than 3 months), with Order Number 1. By the fall, there were at least three coup attempts. And it was the Provisional Government that the Bolsheviks took over from in the last successful coup, not the Tsars.

            “3:I had to look up who Steven Crowder is.”

            Or you could just watch the video.

            “Apparently he’s a conservative pundit who denies the existence of climate change”
            Actually no he doesn’t. You need to actually watch a video on what he says at least.

            “(which at this point is beyond ridiculous, given what’s happening in Texas and Florida)”

            Um…. no offense, but the hurricanes aren’t from climate change (the newest name for what was formerly global warming, and prior to that global cooling). The hurricanes are because hurricanes happen as part of the natural weather patterns on the planet.

            “, and was employed with Fox News for a time before they fired him for being too offensive even for them”

            Actually he wasn’t fired. He left because he wanted to start his own show and have autonomy on his show. Please watch some of it before writing things which aren’t accurate. Ben Shapiro actually helped him write the contract, and Crowder wasn’t a fan of Fox News because he wasnt a fan of people like Bill O’Reilly or Murdock. Not exactly a bad thing.

            “The fact that the kibbutzim – the communes – are then able to export goods and services that can compete in the greater world economy are in fact a pretty compelling argument in their favor”

            Repeating again, they’re not socialists. They’re capitalists.

            ” The end goal is “make sure as many people are as well off as possible.” As P.J. O’Rourke said of the (Libertarian) Cato Institute, “their goal is to make everyone ridiculously rich.””

            I’m… not sure how that’s a bad thing.

            “Gordon Gekko was the bad guy. In the film he tries to destroy the airline (thereby depriving society of the benefits provided) in order to steal the money in the pension plan.”

            He was the bad guy. But he was also right about greed being a driving force for good as he had stated during the stockholder meeting in the film. The two statements are not mutually exclusive.

            “Yes, we incarcerate a truly horrific number of people.”

            Actually we only incarcerate about 0.91% of the adult US population. If we were the size of Sweden and only incarcerated 0.91 percent of the US population, we’d be incarcerating less than 40,000 people total. Which would be a lot easier than 2.2 million. Population size matters when it comes to prison costs.

            “Nazis were fascists. They were not socialists. Their actual policies were never socialist. Before they were in power, they were not socialists – they simply appealed to people who were literally starving because German currency was almost worthless thanks to the punitive terms of the Treaty of Versailles.”

            It’s literally in their name. National Socialist German Workers Party. Socialism was their platform. It’s in the Weimar Constitution.

            They became fascist because socialism descends into fascism or bankruptcy. And the Germans were already bankrupt because of the Treaty of Versailles. They outright stated they’d fix it by socialist redistribution, and used the jews as the scapegoat, like Occupy and Antifa use the more nebulous term ‘1%’…

            Yes lets shelve it. Interesting talk, but it’s making my entire computer freeze now because of something happening to WebGL.

          • Arkone Axon

            I once had an argument with someone who said something… hurtful. Without going into details, I confronted them on it when they later tried to “apologize without apologizing,” one of those cases where the person thinks that if they can just explain it properly then you’ll realize they were in the right all along… and the more they try to explain the worse it gets.

            I finally told them, “there’s only two possibilities here. Either you were telling the truth when you said that, in which case every time you were lying when you said the opposite thing previously. Or you were telling the truth on those previous occasions and were lying when you said that to me the other day. Either way, the fact remains that you said something for the specific purpose of being hurtful, trying to shut me up by wounding me into a shocked, hurt silence.”

            And what does this have to do with Clinton? Answer: We now KNOW that the crackpot theory advanced back in 2015 (that Trump’s candidacy began with a backroom deal and the question, “so Hillary, how badly do you want to be president?”) was in fact true (we know this because Wikileaks, the website that the Democrats adored when it was the Republicans getting roasted with inconvenient truths revealed to the world, posted all those e-mails that show the DNC cheerfully pushing to make certain that Trump was the opposing candidate for Clinton). Which means that Clinton deliberately set up the possibility of Trump becoming president in order to try to force everyone to vote for her.

            There are only two possibilities. Either Clinton knew that Trump wasn’t as bad as she was claiming, and lied through her teeth with constant attack ads to try to convince us otherwise. Or she knew that Trump was indeed that bad… and deliberately exposed us to something she saw as a very real threat in order to maximize her chances of winning. Either way… she put herself ahead of the nation. She showed herself to be a very selfish, self-centered, and narcissistic sociopath.

          • While you’re right that, in hindsight, that was the effect, I think it helps to remember that I, for one, believed there was zero chance that Trump would become President. It turns out that virtually everything I thought I knew about the American people was fundamentally wrong, and that truly hurt to find out.

            But if Clinton, and the Democrats in general, made the same basic mistake that I did, on the same scale, then this became a tragic and horrific failure of judgement, rather than a failure of morality.

          • Arkone Axon

            I’m still not convinced that this was a failure on the part of the people. I have a favorite saying, “don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.” I came to favor it after spending several unpleasant years in a place where people loved to talk big. I call it “the East Coast Attitude.” Where you don’t have to worry about deficiencies of strength, skill, firepower, legal justification, or even the laws of physics, if you’re just enough of a BADASS. And you let them know it by talking tough and making sure they know you’re a fucking BADASS! And if they call your bluff and point out you’ve got nothing to back up your words, then you double down and you get ANGRIER! AND LOUDER! AND MAKE EVEN NASTIER THREATS! BECAUSE! YOU! ARE! A! BAD! ASS!!!

            …At which point you get the crap kicked out of you, and then when you get back up and try it again with the East Coast Attitude you get your ass kicked by the six cops arresting you. (yeah, he was not a very intelligent fellow)

            Clinton tried to be a honey-tongued politician (though she was never as good at it as her husband was). Trump is… not honey-tongued. But people listened to them both, and then dismissed their words in favor of their actions. And they concluded that Trump was as bad, or slightly better, than Clinton – by judging their actions, not their words.

            Yes, there are some angry people getting violent – on both sides (remember that poor special needs kid back in January who got kidnapped and tortured by people calling him a Trump supporter?). But most of us… not so much.

          • Gotham

            Oh my God why was I searching for the worst takes of all time all over the Internet when they all were right there in the same place I visit every day!

          • Arkone Axon

            I voted for Johnson, because I couldn’t vote for Stein.

            …But this kind of idiocy ALMOST makes me wish I’d voted for Trump. Just so I could say that I had. As it, I’ll just say it again: Clinton lost to Donald Trump.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rX7wtNOkuHo

          • Gotham

            Here’s a secret: if you use the potentiality of being an asshole at no cost to your safety as a threat, you’re an asshole.

          • Arkone Axon

            This from the person who just admitted that she actively searches the internet for things to be angry and offended about.

            Let me give you two pieces of advice (this would be the bit where you cover your ears, except you’ve already plugged them up with your fanaticism).

            One: You have a shockingly low opinion of the First Amendment (given that you accused me of being a sexist because I… support the free speech of hateful bigots), given that it’s that First Amendment that’s keeping people from backhanding you and telling you to shut up right now. That’s not me reiterating sexism, that’s me telling you: your right to speak your mind and the rights of white supremacists to speak their mind are the same right.

            But of course you think we should waive the First Amendment for speech you disagree with. Which… is the point of the First Amendment, to protect the speech people disagree with. And that protection is more useful to you than to them. If we acceded to your childish whim and allowed people to use violence to silence dissent, then you would be at a tremendous disadvantage, given that you stand in opposition to people who (by definition) are going to be larger, stronger, and more capable of casual violence than you are, on average.

            Two: You don’t like what someone else has to say? There are two mature ways of dealing with that. The first is what I already tried with you, honest and courteous discourse, a debate of the issues in which one or both of us changes their beliefs as a result of learning new facts and seeing things from a different point of view.

            The second is to simply ignore the speech you disagree with. If you truly cannot stand the text you’re seeing, then here’s how you do it on Discus. You click on the downward triangle in the corner next to the person’s post, and you click “Block User.” Here, I’ll demonstrate.

          • Gotham

            So after a crash course in sarcasm, I’ll just say this:
            There would be nothing, /nothing/ funnier on the Internet than the nigh-conspiracy theory level lack of understanding of remotely anything displayed by the fourteen year olds in their “cynical edge” rebelling phase making their terrible, terrible and adorable baby steps into critical thinking, and the sad ones who never grow out of it because they haven’t been cowered into humility and learned to shut up by the scorn of people who actually know what they’re talking about when they open their mouths… if it wasn’t so dangerous.

            This is the cross I have to bear. On the one hand, it got so bad it’s the same breed of untamed ignorant arrogance that ended up in your white house. (The words you chose for Trump being pointedly, so deliciously ironic.) On the other hand, your argument is so, so pathetic and hilarious. Look at him! Not only does he genuinely think he knows politics, /he says he solved it all on his own!/

          • OccamsTireIron

            Sanders? Really? The candidate even MORE corrupt and hypocritical than Clinton. That’s where you hung your hat?

          • Arkone Axon

            More corrupt and hypocritical… seriously? Are you referencing how he bought a house after the election (after selling a property his wife received as an inheritance to finance it in a fully above the board manner), and the media rushed to misreport it and imply he’d embezzled funds (the way Clinton does all the time)?

            Or perhaps you meant how he claimed to have marched with the civil rights protestors, when he was actually arrested in the 60s… oh, wait. He got arrested in the 60s BECAUSE he was in the civil rights movement and got charged with… resisting arrest (because that’s what cops do when they want to harass people who haven’t committed an actual crime).

            Or when he claimed to have been pushing for healthcare for women… oh, that would fall under the “single payer healthcare” he was pushing, the healthcare system that everyone wants, the system that every other developed nation has, the system that Clinton claimed was “unrealistic?”

            Or did you mean an attempt to make a mountain out of a molehill regarding how his wife took out a loan for Burlington College, and one of the cosigners may not have been prepared to cover as much of the collateral as she thought? Yes, that’s certainly a fine example of corruption: “This vile con artist let his wife make a mistake on paperwork while taking out a loan for… a college, while not actually pocketing any money for herself.”

          • LordofBlackulas

            Some days I skim the comments here. Other days I read them more in depth. It depends on the discussions that happen to be going on. Having seen a few of your posts here & there, I can’t help but wonder…Arkone Axon…what do you get out of commenting here? This question is genuine. It’s not meant as some kind of insult, nor is it asked in bad faith. I am honestly curious.

          • Arkone Axon

            A number of things. Enjoyment, for one thing – some of the comments are hilarious, not to mention the pleasure of discussing the comic and the characters. Enlightenment for another – there are plenty of people who know things I don’t, and many of them talk about those things here as well as elsewhere. Even the people I disagree with make for some excellent posts – or should I say, ESPECIALLY the people I disagree with, particularly if they provide factual information and new ways of looking at things.

            I will admit that there’s also a sense of satisfaction out of popping the comfort bubbles of people who need to be pricked. It’s why I took a great deal of pleasure from the aftermath of the election – even though I still detest Trump and always did, it was a joy to see so many complacent and arrogant members of the establishment and their supporters have such deliciously public meltdowns. A reminder that the cyberpunk genre is mired in a defeatist pessimism not mirrored in reality (and I say that as someone who always enjoyed cyberpunk… though the “post-cyberpunk” stuff is even better). I have a refrigerator magnet that sums it up: “Comfort the disturbed. Disturb the comfortable.”

          • juleslt

            Re: “They will undo ever single instance of progress”
            To name an egregious example: segregation was in the sixties, that is to say yesterday, in history. And going back to that is unthinkable even to the orange clown.

            There will be ebb and flow, but lots of progress happens that becomes incredibly hard to undo.

          • Weirdly, not entirely. Monkeys, besides having a desire for safety and, yes, control, also have a desire for other monkeys they know to do well. The issue is what you do with the monkeys you don’t know well — chimpanzees are quite happy to capture and eat other monkeys, and will kill other bands.

            But the bigger your brains are, the more you tend to expand your monkeysphere, and society is just a tool to expand it further. While “the rules are made by the monkey with the biggest club” isn’t FALSE, exactly, it’s not the whole story, either. Animals have some sense of fairness, of altruism, of communal work. And the monkey with the biggest club can be defeated by two monkeys with smaller clubs. And that’s relevant. Especially when altruism has the tendency to create a desire for coordinated action among many, many monkeys.

            Yes, selfishness, cruelty, and brute strength can get you a long way. But it has limits, and altruism, cooperation, and fairness can defeat it at points. It’s not 100%, and it doesn’t always win, but it’s a factor, too.

          • Arkone Axon

            Actually, you just reminded me of one of the things I admire about Christianity (and I speak as a Jew). One of the key concepts of the Christian faiths is to assume that literally any person you might could very well be Jesus in disguise, or at least that every single person is a Jesus proxy. And since you love Jesus so much (he’s not just part of your monkeysphere, he’s supposed to be one of the most important monkeys in your sphere), that means literally anyone you run into can then be viewed as part of your monkeysphere. Literally every single individual you meet can be received as an individual.

            Unfortunately, Christianity’s gotten a bad rap over the years, largely due to “pseudo-christians” who think that Christianity is about being BFFs with Jesus and therefore entitled to pass judgement on everyone else. I know one person in particular who is incredibly self-righteous, judgemental, and self-centered – and hypocritically judgemental, because she has a lot of sins in her past (but that doesn’t matter anymore because Jesus). I recently learned that she happens to maintain a facebook page where she refers to herself as “a wife, a mother, a daughter, and Daddy G-d’s favorite daughter.”

            …And here I thought humility was supposed to be one of the more important virtues… >.>

          • For what it’s worth, I’m also Jewish. πŸ™‚ But, yeah, if you are in the United States, you pick up stuff about Christianity, and friends have told me of the concept of the Body of Christ, at least among Catholics. (I’m in Boston, and part Italian, so most of my friends and the chunk of my family who aren’t Jewish are mostly Catholic).

            To Catholics, the idea is that when you take Communion, you are communion with God, but also, transitively, with all other people throughout the world and throughout history who have also taken Communion. That the Body of Christ refers to the Eucharistic wafers themselves, sure, but it also refers to ever person who has ever consumed them, and, in a real and semi-literal sense, all Christians are not only a community, but, in fact, one person.

            That is an extremely effective way of extending your monkeysphere to billions of people all at once, at least, if that is how you internalize the concept.

            Our Jewish concept of Am Yisrael, of the People Israel, does a similar thing, but, since there are only, what, on the order of a dozen million, maybe a couple dozen million, of us, it’s less.expansive.

            Nonethless, when you said you are Jewish, I, sw a person who emotionally internalized the idea of Am Yisrael as a child, genuinely and involuntarily felt a kinship with you. I mean, I’m already predisposed to do so, because we are fans of the same webcomic, and it’s not universal — I don’t feel any kinship to, say, Bernie Madoff, Joe Lieberman, Jared Kushner, and like that, but, well, you, Carrie Fischer, Leonard Nimoy, Paul Simon, Gal Gadot, Natalie Portman, Rachel Bloom, yeah.

          • Arkone Axon

            That’s because when someone says that Bernie Madoff is Jewish, that’s just a dry statement devoid of any emotional significance… assuming it’s even true (and yes it is, but it’s hard to emotionally accept that the guy ever spent time in a synagogue. You know it intellectually, but emotionally it’s not quite as convincing). But here you’re talking to someone who shares your interest in a comic, and evidences a shared morality. You’re seeing ME as a person.

            I think that’s the REAL problem with internet anonymity. It’s not that we feel safe about offering insults and threats as long as we’re anonymous, it’s that we feel justified as long as our targets are anonymous… they’re not really people, they don’t have faces, there’s no kinship. The other day I had to block someone for deciding I was a truly horrible person and a sexist and a racist and yadda yadda… and she was ignoring anything I said in favor of what she was imagining, and seeing only the strawman caricature she’d erected to represent me. It’s a lot harder to scream about violence at someone you see as a person.

          • Arkone Axon

            Then you eventually run into someone else who shares your interests… and is a lot better at it than you are.

          • Anarquistador

            I don’t know if I’ll ever find her, though…

          • David Brown

            It’s a valid question.

          • Roborat

            Then go find someone who enjoys being hurt. Win-win.

          • Eric Schissel

            -not- wanting to sound like someone who worshipped the paper pTerry’s words were inked on, but I find more inspiring an interview in which he said basically that even though it’s an uncaring universe doesn’t at all mean _we_ shouldn’t continue to care about things (and people) , or require the universe’s seconding for what we value to -have- value.’

            (Not because Pratchett said it, but because I find it makes sense, for what little that’s worth.)

          • R Lex Eaton

            You must be a joy to have at parties.

          • Anarquistador

            Somebody’s got to watch the coats and purses…

          • R Lex Eaton

            So the party has a despairmonger for us coming and going?

            Better set up some signage for anyone looking to avoid the misery whirlpool.

          • Anarquistador

            You know I’m taking that as a supervillain name.

          • R Lex Eaton

            You know… I’ll cut you a break. That actually made me laugh.

          • Gotham

            I somehow managed to read “watch the boats and purses” and I was like, wow, they go to fancy parties

          • Gotham

            Speak for yourself, I intend to never die and prevent the Heat Death of the Universe.

          • Anarquistador

            Will you be a benevolent demiurge?

          • Gotham

            I mean how hard could it be, right

          • Lisa Izo

            What a coincidence. I plan on not dying as well, but I also don’t think there will be a Heat Death. I consider the universe to be on a moebius strip via brane cosmology πŸ™‚

            Mainly because it’s cool to say that.

      • juleslt

        “You need to believe in things that aren’t true. How else can they become?”:

        That actually works with belief as in “I do this because I believe in justice”, rather than “I believe the world is just”.

    • Glotos

      What Patrick’s saying is “everything happens for a reason.” It doesn’t have to be a good one.

      • BadExampleMan
        • Evelyn Shea

          I die a little inside every time I see a comma splice.

          • CalvinCopyright

            Wait, that’s not a period?

          • 21stCenturyPeon

            No; ironically, it’s a bad decision.

          • It looks like the photo is in bad weather. Clearly, it’s a semicolon, but the top bit blew off.

            That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway. It’s a semicolon.

          • Gotham

            You English speaking /freaks/ and your unhealthy obsessions with halves of colons.

      • David Brown

        Patrick didn’t say it. Clevin THOUGHT it. Without Clevin even getting a chance to speak, the second he thinks something Patrick is already verbally responding to it.

        • Robbie X Pierce

          Nah, he said it three pages ago.

      • Lisa Izo

        And I thought Brad was unnecessarily wordy…”

      • Elaine Lee

        It doesn’t even have to be a reason that involves good or bad at all. It can be completely random and have nothing to do with morality.

        • Gotham

          I myself like to pat the hands of strangers who’ve inflicted self-harm and tell them “Everything happens as a consequence of previous things happening”, and the nihilistic tirades as a response have gone down 23% ever since!

    • Gotham

      Oh come on I mean sure, but it’s not like Clevin put any thought into it. He was just awkwardly trying to say something, anything to the weird vomit-smelling hobo sleeping in his lover’s bed with his lover’s shirt and a piece of his lover’s doorframe stuck in the forehead and coming short of anything appropriate.

      You just sound like Patrick right now. Beware thrown mugs.

  • zarawesome

    Clevin wasn’t ready for pure undiluted Patrick.

    • Tylikcat

      I dunno, this seems kind of juvenile as far as these things go? I mean, maybe this is in fact the sum of Clevin’s fears… But maybe it’s more about Patrick slipping.

      • Oren Leifer

        I think Patrick has finally figured out how to read his own mind, but gotten caught in a spiral of despair. Or he thinks he’s figured it out, but is just stuck in his own angst (in the sense of ennui, not the modern sense).

  • McFrugal

    Patrick pls.

  • Arkone Axon

    I can’t wait for the next page, when Clevin finally manages to choke out, “…My gawd… you… you’re REALLY unhappy, aren’t you? C’mon, let’s get you into the shower and I’ll make something hot to eat; you’ll feel a little less nihilist after a good night’s sleep.”

    I mean… for crying out loud, Patrick – you already TRIED this. You tried it with Alison. Remember how that turned out for you?

    • Brandon Quina

      I really want this to happen now.

    • Julien

      Something tells me that Clevin may not be as strong as Alison in this situation.

      • Tylikcat

        And Alison was working with a lot of knowledge of Patrick.

        • Arkone Axon

          Actually, if you look back at that incident, Alison didn’t “break” from Patrick’s “Hannibal Lecture” speech. What finally made her snap was when he whispered a few choice truths that hit way too close to home. At which point she pointed out that his “Hannibal Lecture” was nothing but complete and utter bullshit that even he didn’t believe.

          But this… you don’t need a lot of knowledge of the guy saying it to know that it’s a load of crap. Of COURSE Clevin knows the world can be cruel; the first time Alison realized how awesome he was it was when he was raising money to pay for a friend’s medical care. Optimism is NOT the same thing as naivete; optimism means looking at the world, seeing it for what it really is… and saying, “welp! It’s a fixer-upper… but let’s apply a little elbow grease and see what we get…”

          • Tylikcat

            I don’t think Patrick is working at his manipulative best at the moment. He used to be pretty good at this, most of the time, and this seems to be just drivel.

            However, I do think Alison was working from previous experience of Patrick when they had their big fight. I’m thinking of the last four panels of this page in particular:

            http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-5/page-111/

            He did a really good job of pushing her buttons. He saw them accurately and pushed them. Which is why she went full on telekinetic for the first time, I’m pretty sure. And she did a better job of seeing him. Which, I suppose, is part of what happens when you hang out a lot. (Sort of. It’s still different.)

          • Arkone Axon

            Maybe. But… wow.

            This is why it’s important to debate with people we disagree with, in a courteous and rational fashion. I was GOING to say how the previous page bears out what I’ve been saying:

            http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-5/page-110/

            A few choice truths. She didn’t buy his villain speech crap. It wasn’t until he hit hard with the statement about her being a poor role model (because she retired after finally facing her nemesis and… starting to crush hard on the guy) that she went ballistic. Big speeches about philosophy that incorporate lots of polysyllables don’t slam the psyche; short statements with little words with massive meaning do that.

            But then I went a page earlier and noticed something I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t been debating this with you, if I hadn’t gone looking:

            http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-5/2509/

            That last panel there. That’s HIS berserk button. Optimism. Cheerful platitudes.

            No wonder he’s trying so hard to break Clevin. Clevin represents everything that bugs the hell out of him. I can’t help but wonder what made Patrick so repulsed by cheery optimism?

          • Tylikcat

            Maybe that he can read minds? I suspect a lot of people who are making cheery optimistic statements are in part using them to cover their own fears, and that conflict is likely grating (especially if we’re to read Patrick as a high Int but not so high Wis character.)

            I’ve that exchange as being about a central problem in Patrick’s life. How can Alison know anything about him? He can’t help but know everything about her, and yet by his standards, everything she knows about him is guesswork. There he is, an involuntary telepath, and yet in many ways isolated from intimate relationships because of this asymmetry. (He is, after all, a young twenty-something.)

            And, of course, the irony is that Patrick deals with his own fears by being a rat bastard to Alison. Who goes on to demonstrate that she knows him better than he knows himself, at least in that particular way, while telling him off… and then throws his present at his head and storms off. And the dysfunction roles on.

            Poor Clevin does not deserve to be in the Al and Pat show.

          • Arkone Axon

            “Poor Clevin does not deserve to be in the Al and Pat show.”

            We are very much in agreement about that.

    • Lance Allen

      YES. It’s not how you feel, or even what you think. You can’t help either of those, most of the time. But what you choose to DO in response to situations and feelings and thoughts is what really tells you who you are.

      We’ve already been shown that Clevin is a really genuine dude; If Patrick can see the less positive, less caring side of Clevin, well it’s already established that his Negativity Bias is in overload.

      I’m rooting for Clevin, here.

      • Lisa Izo

        Patrick reads Clevin’s mind and finds out “WOW, this guy has a really amazing recipe for pasta, and his poofy hair runs in the family via the poof gene.”

    • Incendax

      If even half the things about Clevin are true, he’s actually pretty damn brave for dating Alison and pushing aside his insecurities to be a seemingly decent guy.

      But I actually suspect that Patrick’s mind reading is broken right now, and he’s just getting a mishmash of things from people in the apartment around him.

      • Oren Leifer

        And maybe Patrick has finally figured out how to read his own mind (but hasn’t realized that it’s his mind not Clevin’s he’s reading).

        • David Brown

          Questionably accurate, you two. But it also somehow feels like the gaslighting I’m all-too familiar with…

    • Walter

      Clevin doesn’t know that Patrick is a mind reader. It will make a HUGE difference, I think.

    • Grayson Towler

      I wouldn’t characterize Patrick’s position as “nihilism,” at least not as I understand it. I think the nihilist would volley back that we live in a universe without reason or meaning. Patrick is more saying that the existence of meaning should not necessarily be a comfort to us, because the nature of causality is unknowable and possibly malign.

    • Clevin’s a bit more vulnerable, though. And Patrick seems to be bitter enough right now to tear into anyone.

  • juleslt

    Patrick is being an asshole, but…
    Seriously, Clevin? Telling someone in a shitty situation that “everything happens for a reason”?

    • Moose

      He’s not telling them that, he’s just thinking it.

      • juleslt

        That’s not what I understood from:
        “everything happens for a reason” is not something to be *said* reassuringly

      • Some guy

        He literally did tell him that a few pages ago.

        • Moose

          Yup, you’re right. My mistake.

        • juleslt

          C: “Everything happens for a reason”
          P: “Hmm. Truer words were never spoken. But I wonder what comfort it is you draw from them.”
          P: “May I speak frankly, Clevin?”
          C: “Sure!”
          P: “Oh goody…”
          http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-7/page-28-5/

    • Kid Chaos

      Trying to be vaguely reassuring while thinking “WTF is going on with this guy?” doesn’t work too well with a telepath. And when Patrick starts going on about life, the universe and everything, well…you have to know how to when to say “Dude, you’re full of shit. Now shut up and drink your orange juice.” 😜

    • Gotham

      On the other hand…

      That is so paramount of depression. Pushing people away because even when they love you, even when you can /read their thoughts/ telling you they love you, you’re terrified that by actually opening up to them, they would know you, and hate you as much as you hate yourself as an imagined inescapable consequence.

      Alison’s saddest (although definitely not her worst) choice was to give up on Patrick.

      • Tylikcat

        Okay, granted Al and Pat’s relationship is kind of messed up.* But darn, Patrick was seriously fucking with her. (I was going to say “limiting the scope to pre-present throwing” but of course that has nothing to do with it. It’s just a question of whether she reacted violently.) Yeah, I suspect I know why (or at least, general area thereof.) But if you’re going to posit an alternate reality in which she didn’t give up on him**, let’s make sure it’s also one where she enforces some appropriate boundaries, or I am Out Of Here.

        * And it’s a kind of messed up that seems horribly familiar. I find Patrick a lot easier to believe in than Alison. Actually, I think that goes for most of the characters… And maybe by believe in I mean relate to.
        ** If stomping off is exactly doing that. I don’t approve of the present-throwing, but pretty much the rest of it strikes me as well handled on her part. And clearly, when drunken stinky Patrick showed up on her door, she still took him in, so at least some of it was pique and confusion (which is pretty understandable considering the circumstances.)

        • Gotham

          Oh, I’m definitely not recommending she had reacted differently. Her own mental health and concerns come first. The greatest tragedy of our universe is the paradox that everybody deserves love and validation on a fundamental level, but not on a logistic, legal one. They are not owed to us by anyone else.
          It was a good call to make to leave his toxicity behind her, but a sad one.

      • David Brown

        Best response I got regards the princess and the grovel-hog.
        Was he fighting her? Yes. But she held on even harder, until all his broken pieces fit back together (the end of that story. Jim Henson’s Storyteller).

    • alexikakon

      It riles me up, too, but I’m cutting Clevin a *little* slack on this one just because this is an absolute stranger that he’s been left with, who is clearly going through some shit, and because Clevin is nice he wants to help and likely has no idea where to start. Generic statements that people fall back on in times of trouble can be seen as the safest bet, if you don’t know anything about the person or situation; this one just very much backfired, but with Patrick? Probably any of them would. Still, Clevin, get better cliches in your repertoire!

      I do hope though that the twist of the next page is that Clevin waits a beat and then just hugs Patrick. Or offers some other kind of sympathy instead of being upset. Because man does Patrick sound like a scared, angry kid lashing out with big words to hurt someone else like he’s hurting.

  • Lostman

    Why did you leave your boyfriend alone with him Alison?

    • Kid Chaos

      Inability to multitask? πŸ€”

    • Weatherheight

      No punching involved, no interest…

  • Bob Stewart

    “Cheer up, Clevin ! In 100 years we won’t care about any of this. WE’LL ALL BE DEAD!! AHHAHAHAHAHA!!!” That oughta make everybody feel better! (sarcasm off)

    • Oren Leifer
      • cphoenix

        All the upvotes! This is awesome!

      • R Lex Eaton

        And this is why I love Existentialism.

        • Eric Schissel

          … what does this have to do with existentialism?

          • R Lex Eaton

            This is the basis behind the philosophy, as a reaction to nihilism. There are lots of permutations, but this is the core of it.

            As it was explained to me, existentialist thought provides the most clear cut meaning of life: to find meaning in life.

          • Eric Schissel

            I’ve always understood the core of existentialism to be closer to Sartre’s argument that one can never choose in a way that wholly sloughs off one’s own responsibilities. (Or per Google/Wikipedia/etc. – “existentialism: a philosophical theory or approach that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will.” Which fits what I remember of what I read of Sartre years and years ago pretty well, anyway. Not that there aren’t quite a few other existentialist philosophers, of course.)

          • R Lex Eaton

            Indeed, that’s the framework. On the one hand, you are morally responsible for everything you do, and that can be terrifying. The idea towards doing good and living life for its own sake just seems to be a popular takeaway.

      • Weatherheight

        See? It’s just that easy!
        Upvote for you!

      • Eric Schissel

        God is defined as something that gives our existence purpose, now? Theistic philosophers keep reducing its content the better to ease the proof, I suppose…

      • palmvos

        if this isn’t the top post for the page… it should be. where is that lawyer!

      • Zorae42
  • serenagold

    Wow. Way to be creepy Patrick. You just can’t help being a dick.

  • Lysiuj

    “Anyway, wanna fuck?”

    • Arkone Axon

      “Well, you are kinda cute when you’re quoting emo philosophy and trying to look all dark and brooding like that.”

    • Gotham

      I can’t decide if it’s more hilarious if it’s Patrick’s line or Clevin’s

      • Lysiuj

        They both blurt it out at the same time.

        • palmvos

          and the ship rises again from the place which it hides. may the original poster be rewarded.

  • Seven Circle

    And this is why his moniker was “Menace”

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Holy shit that’s brΓΌtal.

    May have been a bad idea to leave them both alone. Is Patrick Jealous ?

    • Kid Chaos

      Yes! 😍

  • Gotham

    Oh my God!

    We have the same eye color!

  • Gotham

    Ideally, the next page follows up on the previous one as if nothing happened and we’ll never go back to this conversation.

  • AustinC123

    Me just now: Oh my God, with the bandages Patrick’s head looks exactly like Dr. Manhattan, and he’s spitting very similarly nihilistic predestination sentiments! I am gonna blow everyone’s minds.

    Me now: Hey, does anyone else misremember Dr. Manhattan’s forehead symbol? isn’t that relateable?

    • Arthur Frayn

      No, it’s just you.

      • AustinC123

        Ah dang.

    • elysdir

      Fwiw, I too was thinking of Dr Manhattan here.

  • Philip Petrunak

    “So, how is everything?”

    “Fine. I got bored so I decided to break your boyfriend.”

  • Charles Moore

    It’s like that band-aid is the opening of his third eye.

  • Walter

    Patrick is showing off his bully side here. Very daunting, I suspect Alison has never seen him like this, except maybe a glimpse on the night she dumped him.

  • Lucas Hoffmann

    Can we take a moment to be happy that this is what’s happened?
    I mean Clevin seemed almost too good to be true. I can’t be the only one worried that he had some secret motive or power.

    But Patrick went digging through his head, and all he found was an innocent naivete. That’s reassuring, right?

    • Tylikcat

      If this really is all Patrick found, that’s awful. Though I suppose I don’t identify with Alison that much, so I don’t really know who she should date?

      • Gotham

        Obviously a non-exclusive polyamorous relationship with Patrick Amanda Brad and me (I like it rough don’t kinkshame)

        • Tylikcat

          *blink*

          I feel old.

          • Gotham

            Wanna fool around?

          • Tylikcat

            Quite possibly! But not with Patrick, at least until he grows up a lot.

          • Gotham

            Oh well, I’m available until he is. Call me. β™₯

          • Tylikcat

            I’m generally perfectly happy with V arrangements, but your stipulations are probably wise in this case.

    • Some guy

      No. What Patrick found was the convincingly constructed facade that Clevin keeps running in his mind as a way to trap telepaths. Patrick doesn’t realize that he himself was being read, and has been found wanting.

      The assimilation will begin shortly, and another Clevin drone wearing another man’s skin will emerge from the apartment shortly.

      • Arkone Axon

        “We are the Clevin. Resistance is futile. Cease your struggles and prepare for additional hot cocoa. Breakfast is imminent; how do you like your eggs?”

        • That same guy

          “Trick question. Only pasta is acceptable. Assimilation has been completed. We are ready.”

          • Arkone Axon

            Oh, just because it’s “pasta” doesn’t mean there isn’t variety aplenty. Noodles (thin, wide, flat, round, short, long, rice flour or semolina or the whole wheat and multigrain I favor), flat sheets, shells, stuffed pasta (like ravioli and tortellini), gnocchi… and that’s before you look at the sauces and whatever proteins or vegetables to be added to it. Or whether you even bother to drain the pasta as opposed to serving it in the liquid (i.e. as noodle soup or ramen).

            “Uh… but… can’t I just have bacon and eggs?”

            “Negative. Spaghetti Carbonara imminent!” *dispenses noodles tossed in a mix of beaten eggs and grated cheese while still steaming hot, thereby lightly cooking the creamy egg sauce. With bacon in as well* “Bacon… eggs… pasta!”

        • ALIBOT.THE.YARR!DEROUS.LESBORG

          ACCEPT.NO.SUBSTITUTE

          • Weatherheight

            ::waves happily at ALIBOT.THE.YARR!DEROUS.LESBORG ::
            ::bounces around the pasture a little::

      • Eric Schissel

        Yes. Ah, Patrick and his excessive clevity has met his match.

    • Shjade

      It’s in response to Clevin having literally just said that to him. I suspect if he wanted to he could dig for more, and maybe already has, but it’s the most pertinent opener in this context.

    • Gotham

      I mean…

      I find it interesting that Patrick isn’t doing his usual stick of having the whole conversation on his own, likely answering to thoughts arising in Clevin’s mind as they appear. Maybe he doesn’t want to appear as a super, but he comes off much more as a douchebag who can’t let awkward comfort slide and not much as a mindreader.

      The sentence “everything happens for a reason” could have lead any nihilist clown on that tirade. No need to mindread. Maybe Patrick didn’t.

      And obviously this is not the case because we’re told he can’t help but do it but I find the prospect of Patrick being so far his own ass he doesn’t even bother and thus fails to realize Clevin /is/ hiding shady stuff… very, very interesting.

    • Arkone Axon

      Innocent naivete…

      http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-6/page-77-3/

      This is Clevin’s response to the fact that his friend Michelle’s family needed help paying the medical bills for her open heart surgery. He’s very much aware of pain and suffering. He’s aware of evil bastards who profit from the pain and suffering. He’s aware that there’s injustice. And his reaction: put on a pair of silly sunglasses and declare them to be cool (thereby MAKING them cool), and help raise money for those bills.

      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SillyRabbitCynicismIsForLosers

      ( “Then why?” said Sabbath, genuinely puzzled. “You’re not stupid about these matters. You’re not starry-eyed, or basically impractical. You can see what reality is. Why don’t you accept it?”
      The Doctor was sitting back in his chair, his clasped hands resting against his chest. “Because I prefer not to.”
      “I beg your pardon?”
      “Because I don’t, won’t accept. I don’t approve. Injustice is the rule, but I want justice. Suffering is the rule, but I want to end it. Despair accords with reality, but I insist on hope. I don’t accept it because it is unacceptable. I say no.”
      β€”Lloyd Rose, Camera Obscura )

  • DawnCandace

    Why do I find this hilarious? Poor sweet Clevin. He’s never experienced this blend of psychic BS.

  • Amanda

    really hoping for alison to step into the room and hear this and tell klevin not to mind and that patrick thinks this stuff makes him look cool somehow

  • Grayson Towler

    “…the cerebral anesthetic of a man recusing himself from the pursuit of truth.”

    Oh, bravo. Well said.

    I was a bit surprised by the angle of this conversation. This is, I think, our first encounter with Clevin’s spiritual belief system. I was expecting Patrick to go after some aspect of Clevin we’ve seen on display in the previous story… but in a way, this makes sense.

    The reader has never seen Clevin’s spiritual beliefs, because (I’m inferring) Alison hasn’t either. It’s further evidence of how deliberately safe and therefore superficial their relationship is.

    I look forward to more!

    • Weatherheight

      Safe and superficial…
      That sounds like every relationship I’ve ever been in during the first three to six months.
      Of course, I concede that could just be me…

  • MedinaSidonia

    Maybe I’ve lost sight of my college self, but I find Patrick’s “devastating” psychological attack to be massively disappointing. There’s nothing specific to Clevin in what he said; anyone with a modicum of emotional intelligence could have come up with it.

    I feel like I’m coming across as griping, and that’s not my intention. Usually I love the depth of the writing, so the fact that it’s suddenly leaving me cold may say more about me than it does about the writing. I just haven’t seen anything that makes me buy the whole “master manipulator” thing.

    • Rando

      Yeah, I don’t disagree with his point, but it doesn’t really seem like the kind of speech that would warrant that shocked “I’ve lost all faith in everything” look in the last panel.

      • MedinaSidonia

        Yeah, exactly. I’m actually enjoying the thought that Clevin’s look doesn’t reflect that at all, but rather “Holy shit, are you actually stupid enough to think that this fucking sophomoric nonsense will work on me?” I’m enjoying it because that’s exactly what went through my head whenever the cosmically awful boss at my last job tried her junior-high-school-level manipulation on me.

        • Rando

          Yeah, that last look isn’t incredulity though. It’s despondent.

        • Eric Schissel

          Yep. Pardon the banal reference, but the conversation between Corwin and the Crow (in The Courts of Chaos) is coming to mind, and Clevin may just be saving up an appropriate blistering rejoinder…

          • juleslt

            You can’t save a rejoinder against a mind reader…

          • Eric Schissel

            Point. πŸ™‚ You can only respond in kind…

    • Arkone Axon

      Yes… an EFFECTIVE psychological attack would be less “Hannibal Lecture” and more of a few short statements involving plenty of emotionally charged words of fewer than three syllables. Long polysyllables may sound intellectual, but they lack the sheer impact. Have you ever heard a statement that cut you to the core that was longer than… well, than a statement?

    • Grayson Towler

      Well… the conversation isn’t exactly over yet.

      Patrick ought to be an expert at exploiting psychological weak points. This could simply be the opening shot.

      I do think it would be pretty startling for someone like Clevin who is accustomed to being perceived as a “nice guy”–and probably thinking of himself in such terms–to encounter someone who immediately identifies the underlying feelings of fear, jealousy, and possibly even hatred he doesn’t want to show or even admit to himself.

      And then, on the heels of that shock, to be confronted with his fundamental intellectual shallowness… that might be enough to put Clevin into some unfamiliar and scary psychological territory.

      I am hoping Patrick has a good follow-up.

      • Arkone Axon

        I keep thinking about a show I’ve seen a few episodes of, “Scrubs.” There was a nurse who was deeply religious, and that offended Dr… Cox? I think that was his name. He kept trying to prove that her faith was illogical and stupid over the course of the episode, and finally she snapped. “Don’t you DARE try to take this from me. Do you think I don’t see the same things you do, day after day?”

        Not every idealist is naively on a crash course with cold hard reality. An idealist can also be someone who crashed into reality – and came out the other side declaring, “I see the problem, and here’s what I’ll do to fix it!”

        • Grayson Towler

          Very true.

          I think Clevin is what you might call an innocent. I get the impression he hasn’t had that hard crash with reality yet, and he’s understandably not sure how well he’ll hold up when it comes around. This is why Patrick says “the world terrifies you.”

          A lot of people have been speculating about smart and strong comebacks that Clevin might employ here, but I don’t see it happening. If he is an innocent, then by nature he’s pretty defenseless, especially against someone like Patrick.

    • Tylikcat

      I assumed that it was reflecting Patrick’s less than stellar mental state?

      It’s like he’s trying to put on a veneer of his usual persona, but… he’s sucking at it. I can’t tell if he really wants to torture Clevin, or if he just thinks he ought to.

      • MedinaSidonia

        Yeah, I was thinking “Oh… Patrick’s plan to get so fucked up that he can’t be an effective monster is working exactly as planned.”

      • MedinaSidonia

        Huh. Come to think of it, Patrick reminds me a little of Mindfuck from Adam Warren’s “Empowered”. She saw her psychic brother’s monstrousness, and hacked her own mind in order not to become that. Patrick might be doing something similar, but with a much simpler “hack” of alcohol.

  • JohnTomato

    The two overlapping band-aids look like a cheap knock off of Dr. Manhattan’s helium forehead logo.

    • Rando

      You are thinking of the stereotypical atom representation that he refused to wear, that was on the helmet.

      Dr.Man’s actual symbol was a hydrogen atom.

      • JohnTomato

        Arfsnargle! Hydrogen is correct. My error.

    • Weatherheight

      I was thinking every bad science-fiction rocket action adventure TV show from the lat 50’s and early 60’s but yours is actually a better pop culture reference than mine.
      Old… so old…

      • JohnTomato

        Was Ike president when you were born?

        • Weatherheight

          No, but he hadn’t been out of office all *that* long…

          • JohnTomato

            Back when a single breadwinner could support a family and get a new car every five or six years, take a vacation, have a mortgage payment of $101/month. Of course those weren’t such good days for women, blacks, latinos, Italians, Native Americans…

  • Brian

    Next Page:

    1.
    Clevin: Dude… you’re a HUGE asshole!

    2.
    *Alison walks in*

    C: Ali, your friend is a huge asshole.

    A: Oh, sorry babe, I should’ve said something. Yeah, he’s a douchebag.

    3.

    P: But, but…

    • Lysiuj

      Except Patrick will agree with them πŸ˜‰

  • cphoenix

    (I was half-expecting that on this page, Alison would return to the bedroom to find them both gone with no explanation.)

    As an atheist and a recipient of tragedy, I can confirm that “Everything happens for a reason” is 100% not helpful to hear.

    But my scientific/engineering side does find it helpful – it implies that the reasons can be identified, and stopped next time around. The opacity of the reasons is not soul-crushing; it’s merely a challenge.

    A bigger question is, “Why me?” and the answer is “You’re not special; random tragedy is common in the world.” What we do with that says a lot about our morality. There are places in the world where the infant mortality rate is 10%. Almost no one reading this (including me) cares enough about this to be the kind of moral person they wish they were.

    • Weatherheight

      Complex systems, they are a bitch.

    • Crow

      Sometimes the ‘reason’ is coincidence. But like, the literal meaning of coincidence. The location of your house (spinning as it is at great speeds through space) *coincided* with the path of the meteor. Your house is busted, you can make it an opportunity or just a loss. No karma, no “reason” as people actually mean when they say “everything happens for a reason”.

    • Tylikcat

      I will start babbling about stochasticity and non-linear dynamical systems theory. I even have a bit of a stochasticity song, if I’m in that sort of mood.

  • Olivier Faure

    It was then that Clevin realized his philosophy paper was due tomorrow.

    • Weatherheight

      “I spent five hours on that paper and this guy makes me realize it’s all crap in thirty seconds…
      “What the hell am I going to write about now?”

      • Tylikcat

        And here I was thinking: “Huh. I guess I’m studying philosophy because it makes it clear when those brooding guys in the coffeehouse are full of shit!”

  • Zaku

    Now i remember why i hated patrick

    • Crow

      Now I remember why the story lines were so much less pedestrian when Patrick was active in the story.

      • Zaku

        I will gladly take a slice-of-life superhero comic over a superhero comic whose sole source of intrigue and conflict comes from matching wits with a borderline sociopath.

  • Filthy Liar

    Excellent choice Alison. Patrick is still the absolute best.

  • Margot

    Patrick seems to be back to his usual self. So they can kick him out now, right?

  • GreatWyrmGold

    Does Patrick just break people for fun, or was Clevin’s optimism starting to grate on him?
    Oh, and I guess there’s the possibility that he’s trying to set up some kind of diabolical plot since, being a supervillain, he obviously can’t want good things for Alison, a superhero.

    • Arkone Axon

      Eh… ever deal with a grouchy person with a bad hangover who isn’t a morning person even at the best of times?

      • R Lex Eaton

        Thankfully, I haven’t. Guess that could be a factor, though. X3

        And yeah, Patrick is continuing to remind me of a young version of the Cigarette Smoking Man.

    • AshlaBoga

      I think he breaks people out of boredom.

  • Some guy

    “I’m aware of all of that, Patrick. I read a book in high school too. I was being polite, it’s what people do. No, Patrick, you are not a stranger. Yes Patrick, you are in danger here. Because everything happens for a reason.”

    • Crow

      We’re reaching levels of self-righteous condescension that shouldn’t even be possible.

  • damocles6

    Yeeeees, let the darkness flow through you…

  • pleasechangemymind

    I don’t think Clevin hates Patrick. And I think the moment that Patrick claimed he did, he failed. He’s not reading Clevin’s mind, he’s reading his own insecurities and assuming them to be fact. The moment he made that claim, everything else he said lost its sting – it wasn’t about Clevin, but about himself.

    I mean, when someone says “you don’t want to comfort me, you hate me”… if you don’t hate them, that’s going to annoy you a bit, but it will also make you pity them severely and recognize that they are in a really, really, REALLY bad place. All of this pretentious pedantry about whether or not things happen for reasons and why people say that to begin with… whether or not he’s right, I genuinely think it’s just going to make Clevin go “oh my god, dude, you’re really not okay, are you? Do you need to talk?”

    At least I hope so. He could also leave the room and go “Alison, I love you, but this is way above my pay grade. Dude needs a psychiatrist.”

    • Crow

      I think you might be projecting a little bit. Patrick’s whole deal is that he can’t turn his powers off. If anything Patrick in this conversation is a manifestation of his powers. the fact that he CAN’T stop seeing exactly what’s in Clevin’s head.

      Not to be rude, but the use of the words “pretentious pedantry” are kind of a red flag in the self-awareness department.

      • pleasechangemymind

        Given that his powers are obviously out of control, I’d say that makes him susceptible to hearing *everyone’s* thoughts rather than being able to specifically target people, in which case it’s fully likely that he’d be cherry picking the ones that fit his expectation of the person he’s dealing with. Of course, I could be projecting. I completely accept that, I just choose to remain optimistic. πŸ˜‰

        I don’t exactly understand where the personal criticism of my self-awareness is coming from, but yeah, kinda rude, intentional or otherwise. Like, how is my saying “I don’t think Clevin hates Patrick” pedantic?

  • Callinectes

    Something something DARK SIDE

    • Zac Caslar

      “Hello darkness my old friend…”

  • zellgato

    Jeebus Patrick. That went dark quick. Kinda hope clevin just goes “Dear god.. You really are fucked up on drugs and alcohol aren’t you?”
    That or hits on him just to throw him off completely.

    • 21stCenturyPeon

      Twenty quatloos on “Clevin throws a big ol’ hug Patrick’s way – for Patrick’s benefit rather than his own – as well as an offer of hot chocolate with marshmallows”.

      • Todd

        >pulse-pulse< Forty quatloos on the newcomer!

      • zellgato

        I would be highly amused if Clevin tossed “average joe humanity” in his face.
        Though I also still half feel Clevin has been a plant of some kind for a while.

  • Weatherheight

    Soooo darrrrkkk.
    Panel four is poetry – dark suffering poetry, but poetry.
    Nicely done, Brennan.

  • Liz

    Patrick must be a riot at parties

    • Gotham

      If by riot you mean “people rioting over the desire to smack his mouth off first” then interestingly yes

      • Eric Schissel

        Yep, in the “getting along like a house on fire” sense ;^)

  • The Dragon Beyond

    Well someone is in truly fine form today. Yes, there’s more then a bit of truth in all of that, but saying it DOES make you an asshole, kicking anthills because you can. We can and should judge you on those actions.

    • Weatherheight

      “Predisposed to be an asshole” at the very least…
      This should be a medical condition.

  • yumtacos

    Christ, what an asshole.

    • Tylikcat

      May I add you to my LinkedIn network?

  • David Forrest

    What does Patrick intend Clevin to do with this? Or Alison? Menace used his power to know just what to say to people to make them do what he wanted.

  • cannibalism

    Patrick, that was uncalled for. Apologize immediately.

  • Todd

    Oy vey. TOO MUCH LOVECRAFT, PATRICK!

  • bryan rasmussen

    so I guess the end game here is break Clevin and make him savagely attack Patrick just seconds before Allison walks in, thus breaking them up.

    Oh Patrick, you hopeless romantic!

  • HiEv

    Clevin: “… I’m sorry, I totally wasn’t paying attention because I was thinking about how silly those Band-Aids on your forehead look. What was that again?”

    • Kifre

      That line works so much better when the person you’re talking to isn’t a mind reader.

  • masterofbones

    Every time I see patrick monologue, I think “damn, he’s the kind of person that I love chatting with.” That kind of core-level understanding of concepts is so rare in your average person, so many people will use stupid sayings to get out of thinking about the reality of the situation.

    Its always nice to find people who cut through the bull.

  • Noah Nicholes

    I get what he is saying, but just hear me out, Clevin’s best answer to say outloud for his own benefit, “You’re an asshole”

  • Alex Harencar

    Man I love this comic.

    After their very first interaction I knew leaving them in a room together would not turn out well for Clevin, but I was also peeved and annoyed by what he said for reasons I didn’t expect to be articulated PERFECTLY in another panel.

    Maybe this will be good for Clevin. Hoo boy is Alison gonna be pissed though.

    • Alex Harencar

      :googles bromide:

  • David

    Clevin’s best response is to laugh uproariously and reply “All true! Fortunately, I’m not a slave to my hindbrain! Would you prefer coffee or hot chocolate?” – then, as he’s leaving the room, Clevin glances back and comments “The scariest thing isn’t finding the reasons, Patrick. The scary part is when they find you…”

  • Shiromisa

    Clevin was nowhere even near the vicinity of ready for Patrick, poor kid

  • You should run. dont stop.

    A+ for the deep, cutting talk Kevin is getting and for the fascinating discussions it sparked below.
    But i cant help wanting his answer to be something along the lines of:
    “Dude, do you need a hug? a cookie?”

  • David Nuttall

    Well, that was a reassuring talk. I wonder how this is going to upset his world view.

  • MedinaSidonia

    It didn’t occur to me until just now that there are a lot of themes common to SFP and Adam Warren’s “Empowered”. I’m curious as to how many people here are fans of the latter.

  • RPM314

    *CLEVIN INTENSIFIES*

  • Ricardo Alves Junqueira Pentea

    I always find it funny how this guy “super intelligence” and “super insight” is so shallow…

    However, if he is just using his telepathy to say whatever he knows will brake Clevin’s mind, despite how silly it is, ok, that works for me.

  • Lisa Izo

    Next words by Clevin: “Geez you are such a douche, man. It’s just a saying, sir pukesalot.”

  • Having bad flashbacks to late night conversations during my first year of college….

  • a person

    I love Patrick, I love him so much.

  • Sendaz

    It’s a good thing Clevin is fairly harmless, because if he was part of the big bad it could have looked like…

    *blinking slowly before smiling and removing his glasses*

    Clevin: Wow… one sec

    *fiddles with his collar setting off a gentle humming*

    Clevin: Sorry, had to flip on the grey noise generator. Just enough subharmonics to distort anything said without blanketing the area, which would just tip Feral off that something was afoot.

    Where was I?

    Oh yeah, wow. I mean the labcoats in Psych warned me when you turned up to expect some dark shit if we kept to the corny script, but damn.

    *Patrick has a bit of a confused look on his face*

    Patrick: Who warned you? You can’t know who I am… Allison wouldn’t have told and I can see you
    don’t know anything.

    Clevin: You don’t say… Mena, oops sorry… you prefer Patrick now don’t you?

    *Patrick stares as the names drop from Clevin’s lips*

    Patrick: Impossible.. you can’t… you DON’T know that! I would know if you knew, but there’s NOTHING there about me!

    Clevin: *shaking his head sadly* Pat, pat … pat. We’ve made some advances since we became
    aware you were looking for us. Can’t have you go peeking and ruining the surprise now can we?
    *taps his head*
    Neurowire transmitter… broadcasting Channel Clevie Live 24/7 on your FM dial.

    But all good things have to come to an end I suppose…pity really…

    Patrick: So, what? You going to kill me now? All I have to do is yell and Alison will be
    here faster than you can do anything.

    Clevin: Kill you? Oh no, I mean yeah there was some pretty gratuitous killing in the early stages, but that was the old guard doing. The newer cadre has plans for your sort. When we say everything happens for a reason, it’s because we ARE the reason.
    The cycle has come around again, but we are better prepared this time.
    There won’t be any Mount Olympus this time around for your kind to lord over us from.

    No, what’s going to happen is I am going to run out of here with tearful eyes and just repeat
    snippets of what you said before I bolt out the door saying I need some air.

    Hell, it’s not even a lie because you actually said it, so Feral won’t sense anything amiss.

    Alison will be torn between following me or bawling you out for being a jerk, but say what you will, she won’t leave you because she is a good person and will figure your safety is more important at the moment.

    Of course the next day this body, or I should say a body clone, right down to dental and DNA will wash up downriver. An unfortunate distraught jumper, even getting some kid to catch it on their mobile so it can go viral. Alison will be crushed and blame herself for not going after me.

    Patrick: And when I tell her you were an …. *blinks and steadies himself* an ag–gent. What’s
    happening?

    Clevin: You could tell her, if I hadn’t drugged you with a mini slap patch when I patted you earlier. Oh it’s nothing much, just a mild psychotropic that is going to play merry havoc in your brainpan for a few hours or so, you will be blathering alot of crazy stuff while it works it’s way out. By the time you come out of it, ‘Cleven’ will be dead, Alison devastated, and you … well you get to be in the doghouse,
    though Alison may put part of it down to the fever talking. Should still throw a fair monkey wrench in anything you have planned for a while.

    Plus now you know your best tool, that wonderful ability to listen in, isn’t going to help you because you won’t hear our agents now. We could be the guy down the hall or someone passing you in the street.

    /And – you – would – never – know…./

    *rubs the bridge of his nose before donning the glasses once more while Patrick tries to cry out, only to lean back against the headboard as the trip really kicks in*

    Clevin: *sniffles as he gets into the role* now if you will excuse me…we have a heart to break *turns and bolts of out of the room*

    ———–

    But again Clevin is a good guy, so nothing to worry about.

    Right?

    • Gotham

      “Wait before you go can you tell me why you told me all of this considering I’ll forget everything? Also even if I didn’t actually, considering you seem to control everything? You don’t see me going so you see, ants, I will now put you in your ant farm for all the world to witness and there is nothing your feeble bodies and minds can do about it! in a comically evil baritone, are you some kind of corny webcomic villain? And here I thought /I/ looked silly silently staring at my reflexion in windows overlooking the busy city for hours”

    • palmvos

      its too late at night for me to look it up but this is a major violation of the evil overlord list.
      because…
      it appears that not all of feral’s enhancements were known before this incident. so imagine Clevin’s surprise when an angry Alison repeats back to him much of what he said with feral filling in the gaps.
      ‘you have two choices ‘Clevin’ tell me how to remove the weave without killing you, or Feral and I will…. adjust your attitude.’

  • Stephanie Gertsch

    Are you suggesting “Everything happens for a reason” is an empty platitude and not a kind or helpful way to address human suffering? Wow. Much insight. Great smartness. So impress. Only the awesome powers of a mind-reader could possibly have figured this out.

    • Gotham

      What’s the upside of crippling anxiety and self-doubt if you can’t at least be smug about it

  • Alex Hollins

    I mean… he’s not wrong…

  • Ryan B

    Yeesh. Awfully ballsy to try to deliver a nihilistic rant so soon after collapsing on the floor and puking all over yourself.

    Anyways, as much as I enjoy this comic, its comments section may be one of the worst on the internet. Which is saying a lot.

  • Nice guy, that Patrick.

  • IE

    Bop him in the head again!

  • Eva SmiljaniΔ‡

    Am I the only one that would be immune to this nihilistic, angsty monologues of someone that can read my mind? I’d just agree with him. He’s not saying anything I don’t already now.

  • Dawn Smashington

    Hold on hold hold on hold on

    Regarding that last issue

    Does Al think that whoever is behind killing biodynamics is really only going to go after her, and not everyone else she’s recruited into her world-changing organization?

  • Lisa Izo

    When it comes to full bodied hair, Clevin is the powered one between these two.

    Probably cant even read his mind with that poofiness in the way.

  • Lisa Izo

    He didn’t really say anything that shocking for Clevin to have that expression. Just a bit pedantic and rude. I wonder why Clevin’s eyes are bugging out. Maybe he’s projecting a mental image into Clevin’s mind now, like he’s been doing to Alison?

  • Todd Cole

    “Your muttered credo is the cerebral anaesthetic of a man recusing himself from the pursuit of truth.”
    Is… is Patrick actually H. P. Lovecraft?

  • Hiram

    Hm, until now I was only familiar with ‘bromide’ as a shorthand for photography done with bromide paper.

    …Which I’m familiar with because you find a ‘naga bromide’ in a church in chrono trigger.

    Chemical names should probably not be used as shorthand given that you’ll inevitably end up with conflicts in their common use or application.