Issue 1CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Break Issue 2CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50 Issue 3CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3HolidayPage 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31p 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78 Guest ArtTuesdayWednesdayFriday Issue 4CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52 Issue 5CoverPage 1Page 2NewspaperPage 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60HiatusPage 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Page 113Page 114Page 115Page 116Page 117Page 118Page 119Page 120Page 121Page 122Page 123Page 124Page 125Page 126Page 127Page 128Page 129Page 130Page 131Page 132Page 133Page 134Page 135Page 136Page 137Page 138Page 139Page 140Page 141Page 142Page 143Page 144Page 145Page 146Page 147Page 148Page 149Page 150Page 151Page 152Page 153Page 154Page 155Page 156Page 157Page 158Page 159Page 160Page 161Page 162Page 163Page 164Page 165Page 166Page 167 Issue 6CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Page 113Page 114Page 115Page 116Page 117Page 118Page 119Page 120Page 121Page 122Page 123Page 124Page 125Page 126Page 127Page 128Page 129Page 130Page 131Page 132Page 133Page 134Page 135Page 136Page 137Page 138Page 139Page 140Page 141Page 142Page 143Page 144Page 145 Bonus Content1234 Issue 7CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112 Show Comments Francisco << facepalms Don't tell me that she's going to carry on seeing this –bleep–?! Izo People didn’t seem to have a problem with her seeing Patrick, who was a bona fide supervillain (and for whom there are a lot of cases of collateral damage deaths under his belt), or her touching visits with Daniel/Cleaver, who is a literal mass murderer. I don’t think they’d make a good boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, but friends I can still see, since you shouldn’t only be friends with people who are in an echo chamber with your exact beliefs. I’m sort of astonished that people think that being libertarian (or even an extreme libertarian) is worse than being a supervillain. Seems like overkill on the hate to me. Josh Jasper Man this guy is really turning up the charm. Olivier Faure I’m kind of annoyed at the way Max is depicted here. I mean, he’s making a lot of important points, yet I feel that because he’s disagreeing with Allison he *must* sound as much as an asshole as possible while making those points. Though maybe I’m a bit biased, because I guess it didn’t bother me so much when he was sounding like an asshole dissing the Axiology teacher. Izo Maybe he’s playing devil’s advocate. Or maybe he’s just a douche. He sort of goes back and forth so far in how he’s acting. He’ll make a logical point. Then act jerky. Then make another logical point, and now seems like he’s going to act jerky again about Feral. Rumble in the Tumble HIS FACE HE’S MELTING Flynn58 Okay, come on. This is just cartoonishly evil. weedgoku Watch out, it’s the greatest super villain of them all! The wretched scoundrel StrawMan! Beware his two dimensional political leanings and flat characterization, shun his cartoonishly evil antics for when you argue with StrawMan, he wins! Izo I wouldn’t say he’s a strawman. Or if so, he’s ‘Strawman has a point’ – like Carl Anheuser in 2012, because while he’s not anywhere close to Alison in terms of compassion, he’s not evil or even wrong about what he’s saying. He’s just… lacking compassion. Which is bad sure, but it’s not evil bad. Just rude bad. And you can’t force people to be more compassionate because then that’s false compassion. It’s fascism at that point, which brings us back to what Gurwara was saying, dammit. I hate Gurwara and hate arguing his points. But happily, Alison isn’t reacting like a lot of posters are wanting her to react. She’s being patient and talking instead of yelling or fighting. Asher Freeman Good grief, man! Did you have too much to drink before this started, or are you actively trying to dig your own grave?! Also, see? I called it. Gurwara WAS a bad guy red herring. Izo Um… actually I’ve been finding it very easy to tie in Gurwara’s argument to Max’s arguments, especially if Alison was to take the advice of half the posters on the forum about beating Max up for having an opinion like his. Which sort of sucks, since I can’t stand Gurwara and he’s a miserable individual. Lysiuj Allison get the fuck out of there. bta Okay, now he’s just doing his best to piss off the entire comment section. Izo Fortunately, Alison isn’t taking the advice of the comment section, because if she did she would be making Gurwara right. Pol Subanajouy Good god, he’s going from zero to jerky scum bag really fast. Izo And just like that, he explains his position logically. Without being evil. M. Alan Thomas II I would argue that his position is one of evil that he simply fails to recognize? And while it’s possible to defend an evil system without being evil because you have never had an opportunity to learn better, I have a hard time crediting Max with invincible ignorance. What’s your definition of “being evil” if it doesn’t include defending and thus perpetuating evil? I mean, he’s defending the employ of people with an extremely precarious position and very little job mobility as being a free market when it actually functions as an exploitative cartel because there’s functionally no freedom to negotiate or search for a better deal. Alternately, it’s evil because it results in poor living and working conditions for the workers. So it’s either evil because it’s not a free market system or its evil because it’s inhumane in its consequences, but in neither case is it not evil. Richard Griffith Rather than be poor and have to accept crap work they should have chosen to be rich. Yeah, that is the way it works. Diana Ok, sir, you had already gone full asshole, you bag on Feral I’m going to have to decide you’re a supervillian and root for horrible things to happen to you. Izo One can be a douche without being a supervillain. Frances K R I, I, I… Alright, I try very hard to respect Alison’s decision to stay and continue to engage, here, but I confess that Feral’s decision actually brought me to tears and that little smirk on the last panel has gotten me going nuclear so I’m going to quietly just nope out with visions of red ink dancing in my head. Ganurath It’s like it was said before, Alison’s nature is inclined toward enduring until she can find the single winning stroke. I both suspect and hope that Montana Max here is setting himself up for a particularly devastating counter. Arthur Frayn Oh, yeah he does. Dominique Théberge I heard the argument that “true” selflessness didn’t exist because people got to feel good about helping, so in fact any altruism is selfishness plus hypocrisy and should be discouraged. I think it’s popular among Libertarians, especially of the Randian persuation. Johan Shouldn’t altruism be encouraged because it makes us feel good on top of the good it brings in the lives of the people we help though? I don’t get it. Darkoneko Hellsing Yeeep this conv is going worse by the minute. Oakreef Oh god it just keeps going Jason Rivest I think we all know what’s going on here. Allison’s politics lean towards socialism. Max is a libertarian at heart. What remains to be seen is if they can make their relationship work in spite of ideological differences. I don’t like Max, and I don’t think he’s right for her. At the same time, we might be looking at an opposites attract kind of deal, and it’s possible Max has something to teach Alison. Christophe2314 Their relationship is already over, that much is painfully obvious. At this point, I think Alison is staying only because she’s morbidly fascinated by Max’s ideology, like a horrible trainwreck that she can’t look away from. Sanguich Is it just me, or are his eyes kinda drifting apart in the last panel? I’m kinda waiting for his speech to become an evil monologe, transitioning him to full-on villain. Either way, this isn’t ending well for him. Kate Blackwell Eh. He’s technically correct. The problem is that people like this usually don’t have a choice, or the choice is something like “do shitty job for little cash or watch your kids starve”. This is a failure of society as a whole and not just the individual though. M. Alan Thomas II In more technical terms, anyone in a precarious economic position, particularly one with limited job mobility, quickly discovers that they’re selling to a cartel and not a free market. d4t4 Note subtle use of “that” instead of “she” as pronoun for Feral M. Alan Thomas II Ooh, I missed that. Good catch. fairportfan Ummm, i might very well phrase it the same way, and i would DEFINITELY not think of Feral as less than human or unworthy of regard. “That” as an indicator (I.e., “that one” not “this one”) is a legitimate locution. Laurelinde Oh gods, he’s one of those guys: the ‘I don’t feel altruism or want to do anything difficult so I go ahead and cast aspersions on anything altruistic to make myself feel better’ types. He’s gonna diss Feral. Methinks that may be too much for poor Alison. (Maybe I’ll be wrong, but so far he’s gone from ‘eh maybe’ to full on asshat in a very short space of time.) GaryFarber Max and Patrick are starting the Evil League of Bad Evil-Doing Evil-Doers of Doom, aren’t they? Eventually the Guardians will have to reform to deal with this, with the support of Alison’s new infrastructure and tech. Izo Uh….. Patrick literally is a supervillain who’s had people die as a result of being collateral damage, while Max is some rich guy who believes in individual choice and is not overly charitable with the day laborers. I don’t see how he’s bad, evil-doing, or doom. There’s quite a false equivalency there Also, the Guardians will reform what…. telling people how to spend their money? Why are people TRYING REALLY HARD TO MAKE GURWARA CORRECT? motorfirebox I’d say he’s playing with fire, but fire can usually be stopped. JohnTomato “I’ve got mine Jack!” Julio Lopez This is me yelling at the screen “Why are you still with this guy!?!” You know you are doing something right when you elicit that kind of reaction. Stuurminator Up next: Max continues to uphold the highest standard of assholery. TSED Yes, dumbbell, she is. That smug grin implies you’re going to try be clever about this, but from what I’ve seen so far you don’t understand the concept of ‘personal sacrifice.’ So, yes. She is. monsterzero Max is about to pull off his mask…and it’s Prof. Gurwara! Mwahahahaha! Ken Gagne “Donator” — is that different from “donor”? Insanenoodlyguy Oh man, we weren’t done yet? FFS RDW0409 Oh wow. He’s going there? He’s going to the place that is there? There, is the place that he’s going. He’s taking a swing at Feral, philosophically. Wow. And I thought he couldn’t get worse… Arthur Frayn And the debate continues. But if the landscapers are as he said earlier, “illegals,” then their degree of free choice is reduced by desperation, as in the case of subsistence prostitution. I wonder what Max’s next virtue-of-selfishness point is going to be. GreatWyrmGold “It’s their choice to be desperate enough that my family can hold them over the barrel, giving us an unfair advantage in negotiations. And it’s our choice to do so! …I probably shouldn’t have said that last part.” Dartangn And the spiral into cardboard cutout is almost complete. Sal Alright, this is getting silly. Tdoodle *faster hissing noise* Goatmon Man, this guy’s just diving headfirst into assholeville, huh? I’d hoped to see a little more nuance. Oh well. BGB So Max is Walmart? Or is he Foxcon? If I were in Allison’s position, I don’t think I could remain anywhere near as calm as she seems to be. Izo What’s Foxcon? BGB Sorry, I meant to write Foxconn (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn). Foxconn is a computer hardware manufacturer known for its horrible treatment of Chinese workers. Jon Here comes the fake deep but completely bullshit platitudes. Ben Posin I remember Alison once saying she was tempted to gather up Ayn Randites and throw them into the sun. That doesn’t bode well for Max and Al as a couple. I’ve been trying to figure out why our author has been so heavy-handed here in making Max spout, against all reason or sense, exactly the sort of thing designed to infuriate Alison and driver her away–things I frankly can’t imagine anyone saying in these circumstances. I’m sure I’m late to the party in thinking about this, but I guess this relationship is intended as a test and illustration of the ideas bandied about in Gurwara’s class. Max believes in his idea of freedom, with no veil of ignorance type social planning and mutual support–and if he and his family believed as Alison did, that “we got this” and that we’re all in it together, they could positively impact other people’s lives in a way they are not doing now. What is Alison supposed to do when faced with people who control the resources needed to make a difference, but aren’t interested in playing on the team? Guess we’ll see. Izo When did she say that? Also, Ayn Rand, the person who wrote ‘Anthem’? chaosvii This better not be a set-up for Max arguing that Alison is more selfless than Feral. Because that would be hilarious. It’s way less fun than an obvious alternative where he shows how detached from practical realities & social limitations his views are by claiming that what Feral does has a given value of self-interest, therefore having an insignificant “selfless” value attached to her actions. I mean sure, that would be deep & philosophical in that it would be basically arguing that selflessness is an all-or-nothing deal and thus an unattainable quality for humanity, but that’d be like, really vacuous too. His incredulity at the notion that the employee-employeer relationship here has power differentials is wonderful though. Sure he’s wrong, but at least he has a consistent narrative to work off of that reenforces everything about him we already know. I’m looking forward to him saying things like philanthropists are super and have more impact than a given hero providing resources for professionals to use. Major changes towards building infrastructure in countries that weren’t able to get in the same game that a good deal of Europe & non-Eurpean world powers (Russia, China, U.S) pulled off through decades of imperial-flavored investment (foreign exploitation was also a factor). Because that would at least give Alison something to contemplate even if she recognizes that the conclusions he draws from such notions are flawed. Eric Johnson Allison could no more physically throw poverty into the sea then rewrite the laws of Supply and Demand. The failures of the Soviets, the abandonment of communism by the Asian countries and the prison hellhole that is North Korea all testify that Supply And Demand is as immutable as the Laws of Gravity. noctuatacita Mmmmm… yes she is. Richard Hughes Wow, this is the worst date in the world. Guilherme Carvalho lalalaaa, I’m not hating him, not at all, laalala it’s just my teeth that grind like that on their own LAAAAALALALAAAAA Philip Bourque The thing is, if Max makes them go home, his dad will find out and those two will be out of a job. One could make the argument that Feral is repeatedly donating her organs in order to soothe her conscience and not because of any sense of altruism. Is doing an apparently selfless thing for selfish reasons still selfless or is it selfish? Hi, I’m a cynic. Christophe2314 It could easily be argued that no one ever does anything for truly selfless reasons. We do good things because it makes us feel better about ourselves in some way. Carla Welp, benefit-of-the-doubt-time is officially over. JanetBird Annnnnd Max is back to normal. What the freak happened last page?! Also I’m very interested to see what he has to say about Feral. Whatever it is, I don’t think Alison’s going to like it! Kt Squiggles LEAVE. Honestly, just leave. This guy sucks. DawnCandace Man, Allison is more patient then me. I would have flew out of their 5 minutes ago. Heck, I would have flipped the table for good measure. Stephanie Gertsch Awwwww I remember when I was little and my mother took me on her knee to say, “Now, whenever a friend confides if you about a selfless person they admire greatly, you must always answer right away, ‘Are they though?'” Not there aren’t people who miss conversational cues that a three year old would get. The final panel just cracks me up. Joshthulhu Oh you did NOT just… Math_Mage Ohhhhhh you did not just go there. #flyaway Lostman Max… your dig yourself a very deep hole here. Remember your not the one with superpowers. Christophe2314 But Max actually does have a superpower: the power to instinctively know what would be the worst possible thing to say at any given moment. The unfortunate side effect is that he becomes unable to say anything else. Izo Or he could realize that Alison isn’t a tyrannical bully who will engage in physical violence over a difference of opinion in words that he says. 3-I Aaaaand go fuck yourself. ikodata just reread the archives on feral this boy is barking up all of the wrong bushes The Dread Pirate Steve #812 So I hated this guy for not being the character I would have chosen for Alison to date. Thank you for giving me concrete reasons to hate him now! Kevin Thomsen propertarians: not even once Izo Why does it take such an absurdly long time for comments to post? I have comments from LAST strip, which still haven’t posted, from 3-4 days ago. Weird. Christophe2314 Because SFP has opted for a moderation system where they need to approve comments before they show up despite not having the manpower to efficiently manage such a system. I understand the need for moderation, but not when it comes at the cost of the conversation. Most webcomics comment sections moderate on the fly, letting comments appear immediately and deleting offensive ones afterwards, sometimes with the help of automatic filters. It’s not perfect, but it generally works out fine. Personally, I’d take the risk of occasionally seeing bad comments in exchange for being able to have conversations where I don’t wait days to see a reply. Izo I really like the discussions on this forum. It’s sort of a shame that it’s so slow to get posted though. Actually it’s more that I LOVE the philosophical discussions in the comic itself, since Alison is such a good example of power AND responsibility without bullying. Brou What patience! I would already have noped out of here! And that question… Ian Osmond Yes, Max. Yes, she is. John Well, this guy is cruising for a bruising. Alison!! Why won’t you just leave this scumbag?! Anna Why is Alison always attracted to guys who like to mess with her brain The Lord of Hats Ahahahahahhahahahaha The fact that he’s going wall-eyed in that last panel is perfect, to me. I’m imagining him just drifting up into the air, tumbling weightlessly in a still-seated position as he proceeds to talk about Ayn Rand. This is more ham-handed than the last story was. Tylikcat Please don’t day anything about “job creators”. Humorous Phlegm hoooOOOOOOOOOO B O Y SOMETHING’S ABOUT TO GO DOWN AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT pleasechangemymind Soooooo Max is an extreme libertarian, is what’s going on? His whole “my axiom is that no one should tell people what to do” thing, combined with his privileged stance on “it’s their choice not to negotiate an hourly wage,” combined with what I assume is about to be some “Feral is really just self-interested and getting fame and attention for what people see as a selfless act” Ayn Randian bullshit? Ughhhhh. pleasechangemymind That said, I kind of wish that he were a little less… I dunno, obviously hateable? I mean, give the boy some redeeming factors other than his good looks. Dirka This is it. I’m joining the presumably hundred-strong conga line of people who’re not buying this anymore. Or at least I hope it’ll be made clear why Al fails to react with more than a “Huh.” to his BS. It’s not even that I don’t like the guy, at least I can understand his words and thoughts in relation to his character, speaking from a Doylist perspective. But why hasn’t Al used his own words to eviscerate his ridiculous position. Choice? The illegal immigrants don’t play hardball with the rich family that could easily have them deported. Clearly they have a choice. And what about whatshisface’s choice? So by his own twisted logic, he chooses to be a garbage human being? Or maybe someone told him to be a callous dickhead, because clearly he has to do everything someone tells him to. After all, that’s what distinguishes Al telling him to be an actual human from his exploitations of the illegals. They have a choice. That’s the difference for him. What the actual flip. Why hasn’t Al taken apart his sham of an argument? From what I’ve seen she’s smart, driven, and not afraid to stand up for what’s right. Or is it all finally sinking in? The fiasco with the date-rape intervention, Moonshadow, whatever the hell Patrick pulled on her, and last but not least Guwara? Has the world finally started to erode Al’s inner superhero enough that she doubts herself in what should be a clear-cut situation? I’m kinda on the edge of my seat here. Edit: Also I refuse to take anyone seriously who uses the phrase “incentive structure” with a straight face. Double-also: sitting there going “Meh, could do better.” without even acknowledging Feral’s sacrifice? Not cool. Even if he’s got some inredibly clever utilitarian reasoning on how one could be more selfless than Feral, as long as he considers the lives of others worthwile *at all*, he should at least pay her respect. Wow, now I want to punch something. Well done, Molly & Brennan. scarvesandcelery I think Alison’s just shocked that Max, who from her perspective, seemed perfectly nice (although he has been saying a couple of things that hint at his Ayn Randian worldview before now, nothing outright confirmed it), has such a dismissive attitude to those workers, and has such an incoherent argument to justify that attitude. She’s not arguing back because she’s genuinely shocked by the awfulness (from a moral and logical perspective) of his argument. I’ve had the same moment – I’m an opinionated person (it’s a flaw sometimes, I admit – I need to be a bit more respectful of people with differing views to mine), and I’m usually more than willing to respond when someone says something I think is wrong, but I’ve had times where I’ve been stunned into silence by the sheer blind privilege of the person I’m arguing with. Christophe2314 Even if he’s got some utilitarian reasoning on how one could be more selfless than Feral, it doesn’t really matter. Alison’s statement wasn’t that Feral is the most selfless person in the world, just the most selfless person she knows. That’s difficult to argue against without extremely detailed knowledge of the lives of everyone Al knows. M. Alan Thomas II You react with a “Huh” because this is so outside your parameters for what it’s reasonable to think—it relies on so many underlying misconceptions—that you’ve never prepared for this and you have no idea where to start. And maybe you’re just a little stunned that this is actually happening and someone actually holds this opinion in person, in front of you, and not just as a position you read about or see in the comments section online. Dominique Théberge I think Guwara succesfully shamed her out of using her own privilege against others’: if she denounced him for abusing his power, she’s the tyrant, so she must let him act like a tyrant without opposition. (The same way some want to convince workers that unions are the true oppressors.) Extra guilt since she was the target then and standing up wouldn’t be selfless. I’m hoping someone else rats him to school direction and she realises that she’s been fooled and can resume learning to use her position responsibly, rather than feel guilty for having it. Ellis Jones Because Alison isn’t a perfect debater who instantly has perfect rebuttals to everything she disagrees with, I expect. Good character writing, I guess. I also don’t think Alison’s self-confidence was warranted in a number of situations- she’s not that introspective so self-doubt isn’t that bad for her at the moment- she too often just seethes in anger every time someone picks apart something she says and she can’t think of a good reason not to be convinced by them. That just means she was being arrogant and close minded. After all, arrogance is just unfounded confidence. It wouldn’t be very productive for her to proselytise here either- Max is unlikely to be convinced by anything she says- besides, instead of just running off or flipping her shit at everyone who disagrees with her on a philosophical level, it’s mentally healthy for her to at least try to understand other points of view, like Max’s. I mean, that’s good advice for anyone, (especially a number of people here who seem to be implying that such overreaction is the default for them), but for Alison, who is trying to broaden her worldview, this is especially useful. As for the last panel- Max is just likely to spout off the tired Randian argument that all actions, ostensibly selfless or not, are driven by selfish desires (for example, we donate to charity because it makes us feel good). Obviously that’s a moot point at best because if it’s true (which it is, psychologically speaking) it changes nothing about how we should act and is basically just sophistic pedantry that pops up whenever someone says “hey, this person does stuff which benefits other people at no material or social benefit (which they are trying to capitalise on, anyway) to themselves”. screechfox Not everyone has perfect comebacks 100% of the time. Philip Petrunak “Well I just dug myself out of one hole. Let’s see if I can’t dig myself into another.” Khlovia One of those folks who was born on third base and is convinced he hit a triple. Shjade Max: “Mmmmm…Is she though?” Allison: *eyes hardening* “What do yo-” *suddenly, cloud of smoke beside Max* Max: “What the hell?” *Johnny Temple leans down over Max from out of the smoke* JT: “Now you’re gonna wanna think real hard about what you say next, mate. Or we’re gonna have words, aren’t we?” Jack I’m amazed at how Max continues to get worse with each page. It’s reached the point where I’m predicting that his next line will be “Actually I’m the most selfless person you’ve ever met.” bta “Because everyone else is a phony while I’m just being honest.” bryan rasmussen well actually he is, it turns out that Max’s power is that he actually doesn’t have a self – just a bunch of talking points. chaosvii “Go home Max, you’re drunk.” “Don’t tell me what to do! Wait… this IS my home.” “Glad we cleared that up. Good night Max.” breaks sound barrier departing scarvesandcelery And here we see the perspective of a rich person who doesn’t question what it means to have a lot of money on poverty. Never mind that they’re not “making money” by working extra hours instead of going home to their kids/ whatever else they could do if allowed their legal free time, because they aren’t being paid for those extra hours. Never mind the skewed power dynamic between Max’s parents and the workers that means they won’t dare “negotiate for an hourly wage” for fear of being fired, because from a wealthy employer’s perspective, they can easily be replaced for someone who “knows their place”, and won’t fight for fair pay and working hours. It’s all their choice, the world’s a meritocracy, an “incentive structure”, everyone gets what they deserve. I still think you should ditch his ass, Alison. Christophe2314 On thin ice? Pretty sure he crashed a helicopter into the ice a few pages ago. Maplestrip Whoops, he’s not going to live this one down. Oh well, at least it will probably be interesting. Was nice knowing you! fairportfan Al? Time to fly away home. Cori J. More and more I feel like I have gone on a date with this exact guy, minus the helicopter. pcstl I am not surprised by this development, but I am profoundly disappointed. I actually hoped Max would turn out to be a sympathetic character, despite holding political convictions opposite to Alison’s. I find that this comic is usually good with making people question themselves about what they find to be intuitively right and wrong. Hell, the comic didn’t even have to support Max’s point of view, they just had to show him to be a reasonable person who holds views (which the comic might expose as wrong) for legitimate reasons. But no, he’s nothing but yet another caricature designed to bash libertarians. I just hope Gurwara doesn’t suddenly get a mini-arc where his obvious, ridiculously contrived flaws get pointed out to us just like is happening to Max. Prof. Gurwara is still the best thing to ever happen to this comic, but after this I expect him to get used as yet another character who only serves to confirm how Alison’s political views are the Right Thing to Think and If You Don’t Agree You Are Evil Or An Asshole™. Izo I don’t think Gurwara’s views will be shown to be right, because Alison is NOT taking the same stance that some posters are – to react with anger or with violence. Doing THOSE things would validate everything Gurwara said. Notice – she talks to him. She doesn’t yell at him, doesn’t threaten him, doesn’t beat him up, doesn’t just leave in a huff or throw a fit. She is behaving like a rational adult who happens to be a LOT more compassionate about the plight of others than Max is, but not a tyrant or a dictator or a bully using her powers (or even the threat of her powrs) to force others to see things her way. She has so far just used words. And in doing that, she proves Gurwara to be wrong in his assessment of her. bryan rasmussen Max, frightened of the power that Allison represents and the world turning a blind eye to the very real dangers of that power has decided to warn the world in the only way he knows, by goading Allison to literally knock his block off. Max is truly the most selfless person I know. a person Aaaaannnddd all the people who shit talked this guy were right. He’s a total ass hole. Here’s hoping he burns in the fiery pits of hell. Philip Bourque At no point did I say it was a bad thing, nor did I say she was a bad person if her reasons were selfish. People get to live off of her organs (assuming they can get around potential rejection and other issues) and she gets to feel good about herself. It’s a win-win. The issue is that people see selfishness as bad and selflessness as good. personally, I think the end results of a person’s action are more important than the reasoning behind them. I’ve been given to understand that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Christophe2314 If he grabs her arm, he might quickly find that he no longer has an arm. Adalena Berg “Is Feral really the most selfless person you know? I selflessly decided to let you continue being wrong about me underpaying my employees. I selflessly took you to my fancy house which I certainly wasn’t obligated to share. I selflessly continued to date you even though you haven’t slept with me yet. I even selflessly actually pay the landscapers instead of just demanding that they do it for free, and forcing their children to work in my 1900’s themed textile mill. Really, I’m a saint. You’re so very welcome.” Adalena Berg I really hopes it’s the former, because Alison’s been through enough lately. I do hope she says something brilliant, smacks him and flies away though. Presumably so she and ultimate cupcake Amanda can plan an appreciation party for the migrant workers. M. Alan Thomas II Ehh. *waffles* I see what you mean—colloquially we wouldn’t say “Is he . . . ?” in your example—but it would more correct to say “Are they . . . ?” than “Is that . . . ?” Ellis Jones As a young, apparently good looking child of upper-middle class parents, I admit I have some bias here. But I think judging people based on those few characteristics is probably not very sensible. Everyone has their experiences that bring them down to earth- I’m autistic, for example. Izo Just wondering how many days it takes for posts to be approved? I have a few which are 2 or 3 days old which still havent come up. Thanks in advance. ambermine He’s eating steak whilst talking about feral’s organ donations, which is not the worst thing here, but i think it sums up his apathy to other pretty well. Liz Remember Feral’s fashion designer friend? Black guy, could teleport, lives in London? Him. Random832 I’ll point out, again (though my first comment doesn’t seem to have been approved for some reason), that at no point did the subject of *how much* they get paid come up (it’s not *likely* they’re paid particularly well, but if it was the point shouldn’t she have asked?). The literal only thing we know about their compensation as it impacts them is that they don’t get extra for working more hours. And there are lots of people that happens to legally and with no-one passing any negative moral judgement on their employers, it’s called a salary. OoO! I think that Alison is going to lose her temper and thereby create a legal suit/scandal/media fire storm (aka “Has Mega Girl snapped?! The world trembles in wake of Alison’s temper tantrum”). Actually probably not. But I just don’t understand the narrative purpose of Max otherwise. Why does he exist? Not giving the landscapers a decent wage shows that he is neither sociopathic, brilliant and meticulous nor empathic. Giving the landscapers a decent wouldn’t solve structural problems but if he were sociopathic, brilliant and meticulous he would care about looking empathic and if he were empathic he would care about the individual starfish. If he wanted to change the world he should fire the landscapers (landscaping is human labor better spent elsewhere) and spend the money on charity. Or think of something better. Izo “Nice house, I will be moving in, you will be moving out.” Actually with that sentence, you just described statism (and fascism), not libertarianism. And statism is actually what happens in socialism. The state is powerful, so it takes other people’s property because it knows better how to distribute it than the person who owns that property does. You literally gave a reason FOR libertarianism in your post. Plus you misunderstood what libertarianism is. Even among libertarians, they believe in some government, because as the ancient Greeks said, “Without law, there can be no freedom.” Because libertarian does not mean anarchy. But they require only limited government, set down in written laws while keeping in mind individual rights … to prevent anarchy AND statism (both extremes) – from people taking your property, from people murdering you/hurting you, from people trampling on your basic inalienable rights, etc. Unless you think it’s a good argument for Alison to say ‘I’m powerful, you’re not, so I will take your house.’ … in which case you’d be making Gurwara right, and also making Alison not act even remotely like Alison. Alison is a proponent of social justice, but her main problem (and main strength, in my opinion) is that she refuses to use her powers to force it like a bully or fascist, like so many people here seem to be saying she should. She was raised better than that and is an inherently good and decent person who tries very hard to not be a hypocrite in her belief system. Izo Would it be better for him to not employ them at all? Frankly there’s a problem with the fact that he is employing them in the first place because it enforces an unfair incentive structure, whereas if the workers were NOT undocumented, they could have a better choice of jobs to choose from, could possibly sue for overtime pay or demand an hourly wage if that state required it for manual labor, etc. Max shouldn’t be bragging about hiring undocumented workers/illegal immigrants as workers. His whole ‘incentive’ argument breaks down for the fact that what he’s doing is, to begin with, illegal, just like the workers being here undocumented is illegal. Although I suppose he would say they made a choice to be here illegally instead of through legal means. Izo Because deadly violence is always a good answer to a well-crafted argument with which you disagree…? Izo btw, technically speaking, his incentive structure is flawed since it’s based on both sides breaking the law to begin with. The workers are breaking the law by being here illegally. Max is breaking the law by employing them. You can’t justify an incentive program in order to perpetuate two illegal acts. Izo I think she’s learned not to get overly emotional in a debate after Gurwara, because that’s how you lose the debate. Izo No but it WAS their choice to come to the country via illegal means instead of legal ones. Aroel Okay, I tried to reply to this earlier, but it got marked as spam, so I’m going to try again: Here’s the deal though, in many cases, immigrating to the U.S. legally is very difficult to do. U.S. immigration laws don’t meet the immigration demand at all. There are four ways to immigrate to the U.S.: via employment, a relative in the U.S. petitioning for you, as a refugee or asylee, or through the diversity lottery. However, very few employment green cards are offered for unskilled workers, for many countries the waiting time to bring a relative to the U.S. takes years (in some cases decades), only a limited number of refugees are allowed in, applying for asylum is very difficult, and the chances of winning the diversity lottery are low. Source (without the spaces): http://www.immigrationpolicy . org/just-facts/why-don%E2%80%99t-they-just-get-line It’s an interesting read, if you’d like more information. And we don’t know the circumstances under which they left their countries. They could have lived under authoritarian regimes where they were being persecuted by the government and would have been killed if they stayed. Their homelands could be at war where they had a great risk of death if they stayed. So they might have had a “choice” between immigrate illegally or wait years to immigrate legally (if that was even an option for them) and risk death. Or maybe their lives weren’t in danger exactly, but they lived in poverty and had a choice between immigrating illegally or staying and risking not being able to provide for their families. And these aren’t very good choices. Izo You do remember that Patrick’s a supervillain, right? 🙂 How about Clevin. Not a supervillain, not an egomaniac. Just a nice person. Izo Words are never worth violent physical action in response. You combat words with words, or the point of your side is weak and meaningless. It’s a tyrant feels they can disguise or supplement the weakness or invalidity of their stance in a debate with physical force to win. Note…. Alison is NOT engaging in physical violence. She’s not a tyrant. Take that, Gurwara! Izo No, I’m not worried about that because he’s not a supervillain, or even a villain. He just disagrees with her. Btw, the supervillain is Patrick, who people seem to want Alison to wind up being with. 🙂 I find that ironic. Izo I hope not, because then he would be moving from ‘logical argument’ to ‘douche.’ Izo I’m really confused about why people are hoping that Max is wanting to drug her or rape her or call her the B-word and get physical with her. He does NOT seem, based on everything known about him from his actual actions, to be the type to do stuff like that. Is it because then there would be justification to use physical violence on him? Izo Did Feral ever give her real name? Izo Ohhh. chaosvii I think that Alison’s lessons learned from Axiology should have an impact on her ability to point out that the game is stupid. She already has the skill to ask straightforward questions so that he can have all the rope needed to hang himself with, and the indicating of idiocy flows from there.. Johan Got to hand it to Brennan though, he introduced two characters we all feel very strongly about in a short time. Personally I feel I don’t need to see any of them in those pages ever again, but it’s impressive. But yeah, both formulations work 🙂 Beroli Except, he said upfront, “They get paid under the table, so there’s no overtime or anything.” It’s true that he didn’t spell out, “They work hours that would constitute overtime if they had a legal job, heh heh,” but he certainly implied it. Jackson Um, technically it’s a metaph— *gets mauled by a bear* Superfrick It’s a testament to how engaging this comic is, for me to feel so strongly about this little exchange between Max and Alison. It’s one I’ve had before, and it’s one that pushes all of my “Fight or Flight” buttons. Let’s see if Alison is able to show more decorum than I am 😀 JM NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPENOPENOPENOPE pleasechangemymind I would agree with you, to an extent. But I would argue that just because she grew up with a supportive, feminist family and good role models doesn’t mean that she didn’t also grow up in modern America. I mean, I had one of those, and I still have to function as a woman within a patriarchal society. And for most of her formative years (she is still 20, right?), she *didn’t* have powers. While she may know that she is physically the most powerful person on earth, Alison has been struggling this whole series with the notion of strength not being the same as power: she can’t “hurl poverty into the sea,” as she once said. In terms of social dynamics, Alison is still very much a regular human, like the rest of us. This is also one of the first dates she’s been on in… However long, if ever. So pretty socially intimidating. And that brings us back to where we agree: this is a social (and social-sexual) power issue, which is an area where Alison doesn’t feel like she necessarily is more experienced than everyone else, as opposed to crime-fighting/physical strength. But I am just pleased as punch that she gave him a chance, gave him another chance, tried to help him get his foot out of his mouth, and finally realized: fuck this guy. X’D Silverwizard Because Alison has mentioned more than once that violence makes her feel powerful and it’s the only place she has confidence? Because a relationship to violence and unlimited violence are core themes of the comic? Because the desire to drop to violence is one of Alison’s core character conflicts? Ian Osmond Paul Ryan is a far, far second to Martin Shkreli in the Backpfeifengesicht contest, though. I explain the term to people by showing people ANY picture of Shkreli, and ask them how they feel, and they all say, “I have no idea why, but I want to punch that person.” Then you explain that he’s the guy who jacked up the price on lifesaving medicine by huge margins, and they feel fine about wanting to punch him — but the desire to punch him in the face happens FIRST, before you even find out who he is. Tylikcat I can’t disagree. I have more trouble avoiding Paul Ryan. Eric Johnson “What’s the difference between you telling them they have to work all night, and me telling you that you shouldn’t make them work all night?” The answer to this one is simple. 1) In a market based economy, wages are set through the law of Supply And Demand. Raking leaves is not a highly sought after skill, it requires little to no training and anybody could do it. As such it will not fetch a high price in terms of wages. If those guys want more money then they’re just going to have to learn some skill or trade that is in demand. Even in the workers paradise of the former Soviet Union, the city street sweeper did not have the same wealth and privileges of the Commissars. 2) It’s not your money. You want to pay someone 20 buck an hour to push a lawn mower, be my guest. Eric Johnson “We’ll demand $15 an hour minimum wage and completely refuse to enforce Immigration Law. What’s the worst that could happen?” – Every Liberal Ever Todd Cole Tune in next week for the thrilling conclusion of Mega-Girl’s battle against the nefarious… STRAW-MAN! Magicat Thanks everyone for the tips! masterofbones 1. No it doesn’t. That is a classic example of how to show someone that they crossed a major line, not a way to intimidate people into obedience. 2. If we are using real-world power as a way of magically interpreting any strong reaction as a threat, then Alison has threatened to kill him just by being angry at him.