The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: El Goonish ShiVe: Look! Squirrel!

    Liz is aware of the existence of cover-ups because what she's deduced from Ashley's various non-answers doesn't match the public narrative, ergo, someone altered that narrative. Honestly, this isn't the first incident either. By this point anyone who goes to either of the Moperville schools and has been paying attention to local events (which Liz apparently has) should be aware that weird stuff happens around town. Other characters, notably Charlotte, have made the connection.

    Moperville - probably because of Pandora - is clearly many standard deviations above the mean in terms of magic-use density, and a general awareness that weird stuff around town seems likely to have permeated the local population, something that can be observed through the reactions of secondary characters like George and Tensaided.
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  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    is it common knowledge that Tedd's dad is FBI?

    Because otherwise, Liz's claim that of course The Man covered up the Elliot/Cheerleadra connection reads like paranoid Conspiracy theorist garbage.
    We’re we ever told what the name Oxbridge Mr. Verres’ agency was?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Liz is aware of the existence of cover-ups because what she's deduced from Ashley's various non-answers doesn't match the public narrative, ergo, someone altered that narrative. Honestly, this isn't the first incident either. By this point anyone who goes to either of the Moperville schools and has been paying attention to local events (which Liz apparently has) should be aware that weird stuff happens around town. Other characters, notably Charlotte, have made the connection.

    Moperville - probably because of Pandora - is clearly many standard deviations above the mean in terms of magic-use density, and a general awareness that weird stuff around town seems likely to have permeated the local population, something that can be observed through the reactions of secondary characters like George and Tensaided.
    Or Nanase just casually floating around.
    Last edited by Fyraltari; 2019-07-01 at 03:13 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: El Goonish ShiVe: Look! Squirrel!

    Did your phone really autocorrect "of" into Oxbridge?

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lissou View Post
    Did your phone really autocorrect "of" into Oxbridge?
    You know what? I have no idea what happened there and I won’t change it.
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  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    You know what? I have no idea what happened there and I won’t change it.
    I'll be honest, I had assumed it was something perfectly sensible, and my sleep deprived brain couldn't parse it.

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: El Goonish ShiVe: Look! Squirrel!

    *facepalm*

    Elliot, Elliot, Elliot...
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  7. - Top - End - #97
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    This just casts Eliot in a bad light.

    It's one thing for Grace, who literally grew up in a lab cut off from the outside world, to not know about World War II. But unless the EGS world is vastly different from our own in more ways than we already knew, then for a modern U.S. citizen, with full access to books, internet, and cultural gestalt, to reach adulthood without knowing that police abuse is a thing...does not speak well of that person.

    I'm guessing that Dan was intending this scene to paint Eliot as "facepalmingly naive" rather than "reprehensibly callous". Being Dan, he will soon be scrambling to backpedal...unless he's reached the point where he's actually okay with giving an otherwise likable character a serious moral flaw?

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by mucat View Post
    This just casts Eliot in a bad light.

    It's one thing for Grace, who literally grew up in a lab cut off from the outside world, to not know about World War II. But unless the EGS world is vastly different from our own in more ways than we already knew, then for a modern U.S. citizen, with full access to books, internet, and cultural gestalt, to reach adulthood without knowing that police abuse is a thing...does not speak well of that person.

    I'm guessing that Dan was intending this scene to paint Eliot as "facepalmingly naive" rather than "reprehensibly callous". Being Dan, he will soon be scrambling to backpedal...unless he's reached the point where he's actually okay with giving an otherwise likable character a serious moral flaw?
    From what we've seen of Elliot, I think he greatly ignores "full access to books, internet, and cultural gestalt", at least the books and internet part.

    I think the strongest evidence of this comes from Ellen. I shouldn't take the time to archive-dig for the comic, but when Elliot and Ellen are talking about identity things, he's surprised she knows some of the jargon. Her response is something like, "Elliot. I'm a... duplicate of yours. I've spent a lot of time skimming Wikipedia."
    If a copy of Elliot with a strongly vested interest in things only goes as far to skim Wikipedia, I would think the real Elliot would quite reasonably not pay attention to news and such and thus truly be ignorant of all those things.

    It probably also depends on where you live. Although I wouldn't be surprised to hear of a crooked cop locally, I'd be really surprised to hear of any wide-spread corruption beyond basic nepotism. But that's where I live. It'd be way different in a large city. For Moperville, Elliot's view seems reasonable as extrapolating his own experience to the general reality (plus his "boy scout" view on most things making the assumption that folk are good.)

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: El Goonish ShiVe: Look! Squirrel!

    Quote Originally Posted by mucat View Post
    This just casts Eliot in a bad light.

    It's one thing for Grace, who literally grew up in a lab cut off from the outside world, to not know about World War II. But unless the EGS world is vastly different from our own in more ways than we already knew, then for a modern U.S. citizen, with full access to books, internet, and cultural gestalt, to reach adulthood without knowing that police abuse is a thing...does not speak well of that person.

    I'm guessing that Dan was intending this scene to paint Eliot as "facepalmingly naive" rather than "reprehensibly callous". Being Dan, he will soon be scrambling to backpedal...unless he's reached the point where he's actually okay with giving an otherwise likable character a serious moral flaw?
    Did you mean to say cultural zeitgeist? Gestalt doesn't make much sense in this context.
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  10. - Top - End - #100
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    I do wonder if part of the naivete also comes from the fact that the roots of the comic is based in the early Information Age, before instantly spread scandals were a thing. I am thinking of some mass scandals that were open secrets and not talked about, and could be missed if you literally were not looking for them. (Not giving details because board rules).

    I am not saying that these are new issues. But mass awareness of these issues is new in comparison to the comic.

    Granted, I grew up reading enough Cold War era books that reading stories where people have cell phones is weird, let alone smartphones.

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    This is a funny development, considering that the first figure of authority introduced to this comic was a Hitler parody.

    To Elliot's defense, he probably had a very nice impression from Jaguar and his men looking for them, and also from Ted's dad. His life experience simply doesn't match the news he probably doesn't watch anyway.

    Has Ted's dad change of position actually influenced the plot in any way, BTW?
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    Has Ted's dad change of position actually influenced the plot in any way, BTW?
    Well, it became a lot rarer for a solution to the plot to be 'let's call Tedd's dad!', which was the primary motivation for the change in position, I think.
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  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Only in so much as it made room for Authur to come in, be vaguely threatening, and make misguided but well-meaning overreaches of his authority.

    I guarantee you that Edward will be back in charge of the division just as soon as the government needs someone to social fu and/or exposit the general population into accepting the existence of magic.
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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    Did you mean to say cultural zeitgeist? Gestalt doesn't make much sense in this context.
    "Cultural gestalt" sounds like a pedantic way to say "melting pot".
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  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    "Cultural gestalt" sounds like a pedantic way to say "melting pot".
    My understanding is that "gestalt" translates more or less to "whole", not "melange"
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    I do wonder if part of the naivete also comes from the fact that the roots of the comic is based in the early Information Age, before instantly spread scandals were a thing. I am thinking of some mass scandals that were open secrets and not talked about, and could be missed if you literally were not looking for them. (Not giving details because board rules).

    I am not saying that these are new issues. But mass awareness of these issues is new in comparison to the comic.

    Granted, I grew up reading enough Cold War era books that reading stories where people have cell phones is weird, let alone smartphones.
    EGS seems to do the Simpsons thing where the setting continuously updates to the modern age, but time never passes (or, in this case, passes so slowly as to be almost irrelevant). In the early days, it was a sign of extravagant wealth that Susan had VCR player. Now, everyone walks around with smartphones. Yet, less than a year (I believe) has passed in canon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    "Cultural gestalt" sounds like a pedantic way to say "melting pot".
    That's how I read it, too, but that just doesn't make sense in context. The fact that our culture is composite has no affect on the availability of information or the ease with which information can be acquired.

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    My understanding is that "gestalt" translates more or less to "whole", not "melange"
    Gestalt is basically a single word way to say the phrase "greater than the sum of its parts."
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  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    That's how I read it, too, but that just doesn't make sense in context. The fact that our culture is composite has no affect on the availability of information or the ease with which information can be acquired.
    I was making a joke. From the context I am 80% sure Zeitgeist was the intended word.
    Last edited by Fyraltari; 2019-07-03 at 12:21 PM.
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  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    I was making a joke. From the context I am 80% sure Zeitgeist was the intended word.
    Oh...
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  19. - Top - End - #109
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    Pretty sure Liz's expression tells us everything about how much of a flaw naivete is.

    a lot of flaws can have their roots in naivete, honestly. for what is naivete but believing in something that isn't true? it is a form of ignorance, for ignorance can seemingly be benign, it is not hard to see why too much trust in something can lead it to failing you.

    a swordsman who thinks they can kill everything in their way with his sword is naive, for he has yet to break his sword. then it breaks and he dies.

    for the ignorant and the naive always tend to assume something is all powerful and put all their trust into that thing. morality is just a common form of this, but not the only form.

    this is something to be said about the power of doubt, caution and being a little picky about what you trust.
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  20. - Top - End - #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    Did you mean to say cultural zeitgeist? Gestalt doesn't make much sense in this context.
    I meant 'gestalt' in the sense of 'the thing as a whole'; the forest as opposed to the trees. In this case, I meant that anyone who has been paying attention to the culture around them, even if they missed a lot of specific detail and sawn only the broadest sweep, should know that many people have quite serious reasons not to trust the police or their intentions. (Specifically, I wasn't using 'gestalt' as technical jargon from psychology; perhaps that was the source of confusion?)

    'Zeitgeist' is close to the mark too, and has the advantage of not also being a specific piece of psychological jargon. To me, though, 'zeitgeist' means the central driving spirit of a culture or an era. Concern about police abuse isn't quite our zeitgeist -- I hope -- though it is something even the most casual cultural observer ought to be aware of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    "Cultural gestalt" sounds like a pedantic way to say "melting pot".
    ...maybe I'm missing some way in which it could mean that? In any case, that's not what I intended to say here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    That's how I read it, too, but that just doesn't make sense in context. The fact that our culture is composite has no affect on the availability of information or the ease with which information can be acquired.
    I was intending to list an alternate source of information, not to comment on how easily information can be obtained: "Eliot could learn this from a book, or he could pick it up from the internet, or he could just have the minimal basic awareness of the culture as a whole you would expect of a citizen. In any case, this is a thing he shouldn't reach adulthood without knowing, and if he has, it reflects badly on him, and lessens his effectiveness as a Force For Good In His World."

    (Again, unless his world is so unlike ours that this topic is not vital knowledge for every citizen.)

    My other point was that, in past cases where Dan accidentally implied that one of his characters has a moral blind spot, he was quick to scramble to explain or outright retcon what they said. I wish he would stop doing that; it's fine for an overall admirable character to have unadmirable traits. I'm curious to see how he will handle this (because I'm almost certain people will call him out on this topic, in much stronger terms than any of us would use here on a nonpolitical board.) I kind of hope he will just let Eliot have a flaw.

  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by mucat View Post
    ...maybe I'm missing some way in which it could mean that? In any case, that's not what I intended to say here.
    I was making a joke...

    Gestalt = several different things assembled to make a new (greater) things.

    Melting pot = metaphors for how immigration mashes different cultures together creating a new one.

    Cultural Gestalt ~ melting pot.
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  22. - Top - End - #112
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    OK, now I think that Elliot has lived an impossibly sheltered life, or has suffered memory loss from the time he got whacked in the head with a flash-light.

    Or maybe his family name is actually Palmström.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

  23. - Top - End - #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    OK, now I think that Elliot has lived an impossibly sheltered life, or has suffered memory loss from the time he got whacked in the head with a flash-light.

    Or maybe his family name is actually Palmström.
    Or maybe he just grew up in a relatively small town like, I don't know, Moperville? As someone who grew up in a relatively small rural town to moderately wealthy parents I don't find Elliot's behavior and experiences that unrealistic.
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  24. - Top - End - #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeTess View Post
    Or maybe he just grew up in a relatively small town like, I don't know, Moperville? As someone who grew up in a relatively small rural town to moderately wealthy parents I don't find Elliot's behavior and experiences that unrealistic.
    Ditto here. Not really a small town, but a suburbs of a small city and I didn't watch any news until just a couple years ago, so qualitatively similar.

    Also, Dan mentioned that e-cigarettes aren't a thing in the most recent commentary. That puts in mind that this comic is set a few years in the past, or at least is founded on assumptions from a few years in the past. I forget whether it was noted earlier in this thread or this was me talking with someone IRL, but someone noted that a lot of scandal and abuse wasn't common knowledge before things like social media and Internet news sites made events like that very prolifically known.

  25. - Top - End - #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeTess View Post
    Or maybe he just grew up in a relatively small town like, I don't know, Moperville? As someone who grew up in a relatively small rural town to moderately wealthy parents I don't find Elliot's behavior and experiences that unrealistic.
    Really? You didn't know anyone who smoked before 18? I'm just asking, it's something really odd for me.

    But I might be giving the wrong interpretation to that "gasp". It could be that smoking before 18 is unheard of to Elliot, but it could also be that he just wasn't expecting Smokey to dare to do something as illegal as underage smoking*, or it's just a concerned gasp as he's worried about her long-term health.

    *which would be odd, for someone who broke into a federal facility because it was more convenient than spending a month as a girl.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

  26. - Top - End - #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    *which would be odd, for someone who broke into a federal facility because it was more convenient than spending a month as a girl.
    Wasn’t Magus messing with his head at that point?
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  27. - Top - End - #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    Really? You didn't know anyone who smoked before 18? I'm just asking, it's something really odd for me.

    But I might be giving the wrong interpretation to that "gasp". It could be that smoking before 18 is unheard of to Elliot, but it could also be that he just wasn't expecting Smokey to dare to do something as illegal as underage smoking*, or it's just a concerned gasp as he's worried about her long-term health.

    *which would be odd, for someone who broke into a federal facility because it was more convenient than spending a month as a girl.
    I was thinking that post was still in response to his police statements.
    For smoking: I reckon Elliot (at least intellectually) knows some people his age smoke, but the idea of someone actually doing it is so shocking he still responds thus. Not naive in thinking it doesn't happen, but very 'Boy Scout' in his response to it happening.

  28. - Top - End - #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Wasn’t Magus messing with his head at that point?
    Oh yes, right. I mostly still remember those scenes as they were written, rather than how they were explained later. There also wasn't a real disconnect with how Elliot had previously acted (one of the reasons why I personally don't think that Magus had already been created at that point, and was added in later).

    By the way, I have been thinking about Tedd's dad, and I think that the best thing to do to remove the safety net would have been if Voltaire had killed him. I think it fits: Voltaire wants to traumatise Tedd, what better way is there? It would also have forced the main characters to mobilise. It would have made Tedd's relationship with Lord Tedd more stringent (REVENGE! POWER! MUST BE STRONGER THAN IMMORTALS!). It could have triggered a mistaken hunt after an innocent, unstable Pandora, trapped between her devotion to Tedd's family and the horrible things she did do, which make her look like a culprit; it would have allowed Raven and Noah to take a more active role without stealing the spotlight from the main 8, possibly opposing them. Tedd's mother could also have come into play.

    Yes, yes, too dark for EGS, but it could have been a good story.

    The problem with Mr Verres is that he is just too well connected. As his boss told him, he has too many friends. Yes, he has to take a back seat, and he cannot give orders. But, if his "children" were in danger, would it change anything? He can just call AD Liefeld or Arthur and tell him to send a squad. Verres himself still shows up during the Tengu crisis, together with his usual two agents. http://egscomics.com/comic/2013-08-20 In practice, the solution is a passage more, but that's it. It only gave room for Arthur's wacky plan of wearing a funny hat on TV.

    However, I must appreciate how the organisation handled this. "I need a new position for this guy, who, without warning, shot someone he was angry at... mhm... clearly diplomat material we have here."
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

  29. - Top - End - #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeTess View Post
    Or maybe he just grew up in a relatively small town like, I don't know, Moperville? As someone who grew up in a relatively small rural town to moderately wealthy parents I don't find Elliot's behavior and experiences that unrealistic.
    Moperville has two high schools. It ain't small.
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    It'd also caused problems for Tedd and Grace--unless Edward was loaded, they're basically out of a home. Even if he owned the house outright and left everything to Tedd, there's still properties taxes, inheritance taxes, funeral costs.

    Mama Kitsune would probably take Tedd in, but I'm not seeing a traditional Japanese Mama letting her nephew's girlfriend live with them.
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