Epilogue 21 – Vinny

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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby Arky » Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:39 pm

I feel like Caesar's plans for FAQ are an adjunct to a plan to supplant Don, not a case of Caesar planning to spin off his own side. Caesar's sense of worth is tied up in him being the heir to Transylvito. He wants Transylvito, not the "crazy broad's" land. He might be planning to use the resources of FAQ or to take FAQ after he takes TV... unclear.

From the way Bunny is obviously trying to influence Vinny against Jillian before he ever gets Caesar's note, I'd say Bunny has definitely talked to the Great Minds (although Caesar probably doesn't know yet).
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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby Oberon » Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:25 pm

gobe wrote:
Oberon wrote:In short, there's no reason at all that homosexual love should be any less prevalent on Erfworld than any other kind of sexual conduct. The relationship between Jillian and Wanda is only one example of this.
I agree with your general point, but I have to say I don't agree with that detail.

There's an excellent reason why homosexual love should be less prevalent on Erfworld than any other kind of sexual conduct. In our world, and in our fiction, and in our game worlds, straight love is more common than homosexual love - even when taking away imperatives due to culture, reproduction, laws, etc. Just the way people are born, there are more naturally straight people than gays, transgenders, bisexuals, etc. put together. And we know that Erfworld is mostly based on our own world, culture, fiction, and game worlds. Hence, this is no proof, but I give you a good reason, at least, why it wouldn't be as interchangeable as you claim.
Your reason seems to boil down to "the readers aren't made up of equal parts homosexuals and equal parts heterosexual, so the fictional world shouldn't be, either." For what underlying reason? To not scare away potential readers who might be uncomfortable with such a story? That may make sense for an author who is afraid of scaring away some readers, and thus some revenues, but it doesn't necessarily make sense for the world the author has constructed. And I'll prefer an honest portrayal of the natural social consequences of a childless, birth-less, marriage-less, venereal disease-less culture to one which panders to the majority of our culture any day.

And as for your assertion that straight love is more common that homosexual love in fiction, that may be true in general, but it is certainly not true in all cases. You may wish to read The Forever War or any of Rice's Sleeping Beauty trilogy.
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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby ManaCaster » Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:35 pm

No one in particular wrote:As far as Faq's layout goes, that's not new; we heard about how crappy it was against siege way back in Intermission 37.

I haven't forgotten that, but dwagons are hardly useless on their feet. Seems like Jillian forgot something crucial.
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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby CelebrenIthil » Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:39 pm

Oberon wrote:
gobe wrote:
Oberon wrote:In short, there's no reason at all that homosexual love should be any less prevalent on Erfworld than any other kind of sexual conduct. The relationship between Jillian and Wanda is only one example of this.
I agree with your general point, but I have to say I don't agree with that detail.

There's an excellent reason why homosexual love should be less prevalent on Erfworld than any other kind of sexual conduct. In our world, and in our fiction, and in our game worlds, straight love is more common than homosexual love - even when taking away imperatives due to culture, reproduction, laws, etc. Just the way people are born, there are more naturally straight people than gays, transgenders, bisexuals, etc. put together. And we know that Erfworld is mostly based on our own world, culture, fiction, and game worlds. Hence, this is no proof, but I give you a good reason, at least, why it wouldn't be as interchangeable as you claim.
Your reason seems to boil down to "the readers aren't made up of equal parts homosexuals and equal parts heterosexual, so the fictional world shouldn't be, either." For what underlying reason? To not scare away potential readers who might be uncomfortable with such a story? That may make sense for an author who is afraid of scaring away some readers, and thus some revenues, but it doesn't necessarily make sense for the world the author has constructed. And I'll prefer an honest portrayal of the natural social consequences of a childless, birth-less, marriage-less, venereal disease-less culture to one which panders to the majority of our culture any day.

And as for your assertion that straight love is more common that homosexual love in fiction, that may be true in general, but it is certainly not true in all cases. You may wish to read The Forever War or any of Rice's Sleeping Beauty trilogy.


The argument that non-straight/queer sexualities and non-binary gender performances are less "common", and even sometimes frowned upon (such as Trammenis' Signamancy) in Erfworld - and that despite all the arguments Oberon pointed out quite nicely in his post - is all due to Erfworld reflecting the very trends of pop culture (current, american-ish pop culture)... is a sound argument (sadly...). It doesn't make much sense to have such biases considering there are no actual downsides, but many other things in Erfworld barely make internal sense yet are as such because they derive from Stupidworld.

However, the assertion that there are just "naturally" more straight people than "anything else" in the world is very flawed. Once again, I will point to Oberon's insightful reply, but I want to stress that we are all influenced by those factors (sex being linked to reproduction, diseases and risks of pregnancy, cultural and religious biases...) and our own very human tendencies to try and fit everything in orderly boxes, and to reject outliers that don't fit in our views. Fear of ostracization and internalization of prejudice will easily funnel a lot of people into the "straight, gender-conforming" box. Though, in the absence of duress, they might have "naturally" developed much differently.
Not just talking sexuality here; for instance, it is believed roughly 1%-1.7% of children born are intersex - their genitalia/chromosomes do not fit the definition of neither "male" nor "female". (It varies even more because there are actually more than one system to define sex!) These people will nevertheless be made to fit into the "male" or "female" category, which in some instances will entail "corrective" surgery.

No need to be very well-versed in history or social sciences to notice that is considered "natural" here and now and what was considered "natural" at various other points in time or around the globe keeps on changing.

Now, for as much as Erfworld is a great story and Robb is an excellent writer (working with amazing artists), it can never be a true portrayal of a word without our own Stupidwordly biases because it is a work of fiction. Erfworld doesn't exist in a vaccum and Robb cannot help but be shaped by his life experiences, is environment, the media he's exposed to, etc.

It's a dang good story nonetheless, but, for instance, I am not surprised in the slightest that the comic has had multiple canon and overt same-sex relationships between females, but not between males as of yet.
This ties in with lesbians being better accepted by the amorphous blob that could be labelled the "heterosexual male" demographic - which is considered the default demographic in our society (you can throw in white, christian, american...) - because of the sexual titillation factor. On the other hand, males engaging in same-sex relationships is a lot less accepted, often decried as disgusting and "unmasculine".

These are rough generalizations, I know, before anyone claims "but that's unfair because not all heterosexual males are bigoted and people of other genders and sexuality are also bigoted!" But the result is there nonetheless.
Even open-minded writers with tons of open-minded readers can't help but be affected by social pressures and tropes.

So I guess, we can argue and argue forever on these forums, but in the end, Erfworld will lean towards a heterosexual/gender-normative narrative despite having no reason to be, mechanic-wise, for the simple reason that it is made by Robb (and a lil' by collaborators) who live in a world/society which currently leans towards the very same things. As much as I would like it to be free from such constraints. Who could ever write such a thing? Everyone is a fallible human affected by the world.
I guess I can only hope the story keeps heading in a more and more open-minded direction... Oh well!

/end rambling, sorry this is why I should keep only posting a few times per year
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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby MonteCristo » Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:45 pm

ManaCaster wrote:
No one in particular wrote:As far as Faq's layout goes, that's not new; we heard about how crappy it was against siege way back in Intermission 37.

I haven't forgotten that, but dwagons are hardly useless on their feet. Seems like Jillian forgot something crucial.


And air units and archers(which their is supposed to plenty of room for them on the tower) can still attack units on the ground... dwagons may not be useless on the ground, but they are certain to move slower on their feet than on their wings; so likely easier targets. Really, the only thing the dwagons might avoid by staying on the ground is spells on the tower since it seems like those are meant to shoot air units and not ground units (we have never seen tower defenses used on ground units). Furthermore, the main advantage of going in by ground is that you can bring hundreds to thousands of infantry along with you... the mountains however make that difficult. If GK doesn't get that infantry in, then all they have is the dwagons and whatever they carry on their backs.

Frankly i think Jillians kinda defnse kinda makes sense in that she is doomed if they manage to attack by any other way other than the air. Even if she had large powerful walls, she would not have nearly enough defenses to stop a ground siege; however the chances of ground attack are very low since the mountains make it difficult to attack by ground. So she places all her energy on the air defenses; the easier way to attack her and the way she knows she can defend herself.

TV seems to pretty much use similar logic. It would be very difficult for their enemies to attack by ground, so their city is built for defense from air.
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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby Lilwik » Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:57 pm

CelebrenIthil wrote:It doesn't make much sense to have such biases considering there are no actual downsides, but many other things in Erfworld barely make internal sense yet are as such because they derive from Stupidworld.
Some things just are, even if we can't make sense of them. This is a quality that Erfworld shares with Stupidworld, but remember that Erfworld wished for Parson, not the other way around, so we could just as well say that Stupidworld is derived from Erfworld.

CelebrenIthil wrote:Now, for as much as Erfworld is a great story and Robb is an excellent writer (working with amazing artists), it can never be a true portrayal of a word without our own Stupidwordly biases because it is a work of fiction. Erfworld doesn't exist in a vacuum and Robb cannot help but be shaped by his life experiences, is environment, the media he's exposed to, etc.
I think you are underestimating Rob. Since he can create Erfworld, I wouldn't put anything beyond his abilities. In this case he's obviously not trying to avoid being shaped by the media he's exposed to, but I bet he could if he wanted to.
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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby CelebrenIthil » Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:49 pm

Lilwik wrote:
CelebrenIthil wrote:It doesn't make much sense to have such biases considering there are no actual downsides, but many other things in Erfworld barely make internal sense yet are as such because they derive from Stupidworld.
Some things just are, even if we can't make sense of them. This is a quality that Erfworld shares with Stupidworld, but remember that Erfworld wished for Parson, not the other way around, so we could just as well say that Stupidworld is derived from Erfworld.


By all means, take whichever outlook you prefer. It's fun to ponder explanations and have thought exercises such as "Is Erfworld like this because Stupidworld is like that, or the reverse?" and I'm not going to begrudge anyone for deciding on either (or some other theory). My post more or less left the realm of meta-analysis from that point onward though, and rather went with looking at Erfworld as the work of fiction it is, ongoing and made by an author and all.
It wasn't meant to prove or refute any fan theory, nor saying any is better than another.
(Thankfully, Robb has not intertwined himself in the story like Andrew Hussie in is MS Paint Adventure epic, so hopefully it's easier to draw the line of discussing Erfworld-the-webcomic and not Erfworld-the-universe.)

Lilwik wrote:
CelebrenIthil wrote:Now, for as much as Erfworld is a great story and Robb is an excellent writer (working with amazing artists), it can never be a true portrayal of a word without our own Stupidwordly biases because it is a work of fiction. Erfworld doesn't exist in a vacuum and Robb cannot help but be shaped by his life experiences, is environment, the media he's exposed to, etc.
I think you are underestimating Rob. Since he can create Erfworld, I wouldn't put anything beyond his abilities. In this case he's obviously not trying to avoid being shaped by the media he's exposed to, but I bet he could if he wanted to.


Ach, sorry. I knew I would get such replies even though I tried to reiterate multiple times that I'm not commenting of Robb's ability as a writer, but I don't quite know how to express myself better.

I guess what I ultimately mean is that it's probably humanly impossible to create a "true" depiction of anything totally neutral/ free of our own wordly experiences - how could we judge if it is in the first place, hahah? (And we can't leave all frames of references behind of else it'll just be nonsense - not that it daunted some surrealist writers though. But I digress.) But heh, any attempts to push the boundaries and extrapolate "how would a world/society/etc. would work if..." are welcome! I love works of science-fiction and of fantasy world-building that do try to delve into that.

It's true that I couldn't help but to notice Erfworld conforms to certain trends, such as the "work made by a open-minded male writer to a general audience introduces same-sex relationships: so happens lesbian relationships are shown explicitly (between conventionally-attractive females), whereas the homosexual male front is not ". This holds true as of yet, but might change. What else can I say? I'm not claiming Robb lacks the creative potential or talent or will to do otherwise, I'm just observing it so happens to have unfolded in a way I recognize, for having seen it before.

I posited that it might be societal pressures that cause this. Even with talent/creativity/open-mindedness/the best intentions in the world, these tropes happen in works of fiction enough to be recognized as such. Just like other tropes we can observe in media around us, like stories rarely having a 50-50 gender ratio (the more important the character, the more it being true), white being the most prominent/common skin color, narratives that favor individuality instead of conformism, etc. Tropes are not even inherently bad, btw. (Also, I'm not saying Erfworld contains all examples named above, hahah.)

Finally, I'd like to point out that I am in no way immune to biases, that I have a bunch myself, and am not saying I would do any better!
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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby BakaGrappler » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:00 am

I think what this really opens up is an open ended betrayal thread for Vinny to go down. Once Jill returns and Vinny gets tired of being treated like a jerk compared to the jackass in chains, well, we may just see a note appear inside Caesar's hat. It wouldn't have to happen straight away, but it's a loose potential that will haunt us readers as Vinny and Jillian's relationship begins to fray.

Or maybe Vinny tells the Don, and he's okay with the act and lets Caesar off his leash, sacking FAQ before Jillian get back and leaving her a Barbarian again. Or sets it up as a trap for Caesar and the warlords that are loyal to him, catching him in open rebellion.

So this note is not going to be good for anyone.
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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby Lipkin » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:56 am

I think it's worth pointing out that while Trem's orientation has been alluded to and subtexted like hell, this isn't what his father took issue with. No one ever said to Trem "You have nooky with other guys, and that makes you unfit to lead." The problem, in his father's eyes, is that Trem didn't have the Signamancy of a warrior. He was slight, cheerful almost to a fault, friendly and fun loving. Trem is a classic guile hero, not an action star like his brothers. And that's why Slately had a problem with him, before coming around and seeing things in a new light. We still don't have proof that male/male nooky and relationships are looked down upon.
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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby Tonot » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:34 am

Well, if people are being even remotely apologetic to one another, I won't post anything else myself on the matter.
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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby Tonot » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:45 am

Oberon wrote:
Tonot wrote:Me waffling.
You might recall that Vinny and Jillian shared their love of Ansom. That Vinny broke through Jillian's own wall of hurt and remorse over Ansom's death by revealing to her his own hurt and remorse.

And also, which may be the 4th or 5th time I've posted this: Erfworld has no pregnancy. No venereal diseases. And from what we've seen, no state religions with a long history of intolerance, and no easy excuse that the Titans must hate gay sex because it takes a man and a woman to create a child. On Erfworld, it doesn't. You just park the kid in the production queue like any other unit, but it's not really a kid. It pops fully adult. No marriage, and so no 'blessing' of a union by the Titans. No childhood, and so no point in a unit's life where being sexually active can be frowned upon, as with sexually active minors on Stupidworld.

In short, there's no reason at all that homosexual love should be any less prevalent on Erfworld than any other kind of sexual conduct. The relationship between Jillian and Wanda is only one example of this.



I know that, you could not be more right I am sure, but I just have to admit that I can't break my OWN cultural conditioning enough to consider Ansom as anything other than a Homophobe. I grant you have made the absolute correct reading of Erfworld possibilities mind you, your reasoning is unassailable, there is no reason to consider him a Drop-forged Anti-Hippy, or to think he would be offended by a sexy grin and an offer of a wrestling match with a plus 2 to pin from Vinny . . . :P

I just look at him and can't consider it as anything but him, first being surprised as all hell, THEN getting offended and offering to clean Vinnys clock for him.
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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby Tonot » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:52 am

gobe wrote:
Oberon wrote:In short, there's no reason at all that homosexual love should be any less prevalent on Erfworld than any other kind of sexual conduct. The relationship between Jillian and Wanda is only one example of this.


I agree with your general point, but I have to say I don't agree with that detail.

There's an excellent reason why homosexual love should be less prevalent on Erfworld than any other kind of sexual conduct. In our world, and in our fiction, and in our game worlds, straight love is more common than homosexual love - even when taking away imperatives due to culture, reproduction, laws, etc. Just the way people are born, there are more naturally straight people than gays, transgenders, bisexuals, etc. put together. And we know that Erfworld is mostly based on our own world, culture, fiction, and game worlds. Hence, this is no proof, but I give you a good reason, at least, why it wouldn't be as interchangeable as you claim.



If as you say it is based on our world, that means there HAS to be acceptance, substantial and growing acceptance, of all sorts of sexuality. Cause, you know, there is in our world?.
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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby Mrtyuh » Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:09 am

Faq has a couple of weaknesses that could be exploited, but Transylvito is probably in no position to exploit either. The first is mountain-capable heavies, like the Western Giants. If Charlie were to decide to destroy Faq, the Western Giants would be an ideal force to do so, given their lack ground defenses. The other weakness is tunnels. Faq can be approached by tunnel. Assuming Gobwin Knob ever manages to get any Gobwins, that would be the best assault route, especially since they have tunnel-capable heavies in Golems and Spidews. Given how heavily Faq is geared towards repelling an aerial assault, a tunnel assault would probably be very effective.
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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby Oberon » Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:34 am

Lipkin wrote:I think it's worth pointing out that while Trem's orientation has been alluded to and subtexted like hell, this isn't what his father took issue with. No one ever said to Trem "You have nooky with other guys, and that makes you unfit to lead." The problem, in his father's eyes, is that Trem didn't have the Signamancy of a warrior. He was slight, cheerful almost to a fault, friendly and fun loving. Trem is a classic guile hero, not an action star like his brothers. And that's why Slately had a problem with him, before coming around and seeing things in a new light. We still don't have proof that male/male nooky and relationships are looked down upon.


Excellent! I'm glad to see someone posting what I intended to post. It's nice to be ninja'd on occasion.

To reiterate and supplement: In all the interactions between Ossomer and Tremminis, I saw no hint at all that Ossomer saw his brother as anything other than a brother. With all the love and rivalry and ball-busting and jokes that typically go along with that.

Nor did I see anything from Slately which suggested that Trem being "fabulous!" was in any way an issue between them.

I'd also like to point out that we really don't have any pure lesbians in this comic, which I feel supports my position regarding the natural evolution of sexuality in Erfworld. Jillian is clearly bisexual, what with her relationships with Merica, Wanda, Ansom, and Vinnie. And while you could argue that Wanda was just using her feminine whiles when she seduced Stanley, she still pitched him a lay and Stanley was seemingly convinced that it was a genuine coupling and not just a pity fuck or designed to manipulate him, despite the manipulative subtext.

Bisexuality would be the natural outcome of a universe in which there is no religion decrying homosexual love, or all the other things regarding sexual conduct which we suffer from in Stupidworld being absent from in Erfworld. I have to admit that the majority of sexual connotations have been hetero love. But then again our protagonist is Parson, who is from Stupidworld and who is pretty clearly a heterosexual male. Parson saying "humina" while visiting the neglige clad archons. Plenty of Maggie/Parson shipping moments. Maggie suggesting that Parson 'use' the archons. Were Erfworld to be as I think it should be given it's freedom from the so many sexual shackles which I feel we Stupidworlders suffer from, then Maggie might have suggested to Parson that he enjoy the company of a stabber. There's even a joke in there if you look hard enough and forgive the poor quality of the joke enough... :roll:
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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby Werebiscuit » Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:50 am

Arky wrote:I feel like Caesar's plans for FAQ are an adjunct to a plan to supplant Don, not a case of Caesar planning to spin off his own side. Caesar's sense of worth is tied up in him being the heir to Transylvito. He wants Transylvito, not the "crazy broad's" land. He might be planning to use the resources of FAQ or to take FAQ after he takes TV... unclear.

From the way Bunny is obviously trying to influence Vinny against Jillian before he ever gets Caesar's note, I'd say Bunny has definitely talked to the Great Minds (although Caesar probably doesn't know yet).


There's a reason Rob left the subject of the conquest vague by saying "plans to conquer SIDE "

Yes, Caesar had been talking previously about FAQ and thus it would imply that FAQ is the side in question...but... both Caesar and vinny belong to one SIDE and subjects of a side when they refer to side as opposed to "A side" or "The side" imply an "our side".

There are a few layers to the ambiguity as is usual with Rob's writing. For example did Caesar leave it ambiguous because the hat message might be intercepted or did he leave it ambiguous to test Vinny's loyalty since he knows any message to Don is likely to come through to Bunny..it even gives him the excuse of Vinny misunderstanding the note should it get to the ears of Don, if it infact is a request to conquer TV. Plausible deniability
Caesar as a warlord making plans to conquer FAQ is not treasonous, if that same side has just shown their untrustworthiness. It is only treasonous if he goes ahead with those plans against the wishes of Don King.
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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby raphfrk » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:55 pm

Werebiscuit wrote:Yes, Caesar had been talking previously about FAQ and thus it would imply that FAQ is the side in question...but... both Caesar and vinny belong to one SIDE and subjects of a side when they refer to side as opposed to "A side" or "The side" imply an "our side".


Personally, that is how I read it first time. "(I) plan to conquer (our) side." However, it does have both readings.
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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby Lilwik » Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:59 pm

Werebiscuit wrote:For example did Caesar leave it ambiguous because the hat message might be intercepted or did he leave it ambiguous to test Vinny's loyalty since he knows any message to Don is likely to come through to Bunny..it even gives him the excuse of Vinny misunderstanding the note should it get to the ears of Don, if it infact is a request to conquer TV. Plausible deniability.
He did it because he's drunk. The deniability is far too plausible to be deliberate. If he really felt there was doubt about his meaning, then they wouldn't be effective orders for Vinny. How is Vinny supposed to know what Caesar wants? Immediately after talking about Faq it makes a lot of sense that "side" would refer to Faq. I agree that it would also make a lot of sense for Caesar to be asking for a list of what Faq could provide in support of his attempt to conquer Transylvito, but I have doubts that Caesar would want to kill Don, and I have doubts that Caesar would use the word "conquer" if he meant killing Don.
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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby Lamech » Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:22 pm

He's asking for a plan to conquer FAQ. Which to be fair, since Vinny currently can order the military its a simple matter of "move all units to wall, break alliance". Also I agree with the Bunny corruption. Maybe not by the great minds, but her response was too perfect. She is undermining Jill.
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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby ManaCaster » Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:44 pm

Lamech wrote:He's asking for a plan to conquer FAQ. Which to be fair, since Vinny currently can order the military its a simple matter of "move all units to wall, break alliance". Also I agree with the Bunny corruption. Maybe not by the great minds, but her response was too perfect. She is undermining Jill.

Probably. All the commanders of Transylvito minus Don (and Vinny who's been away) are very unhappy with that investment.
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Re: Epilogue 21 – Vinny

Postby the_tick_rules » Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:54 pm

That's one way to get their loan back.
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