Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby Willowleafs » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:39 am

It could just be that that was because his discipline was already known at that time, or at least he was considered one al that time.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby Saladman » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:19 am

multilis wrote:For some vaguely described reason it appears that almost all sides *have* to wage bloody war in order to survive. (Not clear why they can't all simply disband what they can't support and stay at peace with each other...)


Prisoner's dilemna, pure and simple. They could all try to agree to peace, except they'd be vulnerable to conquest by the first side to break the treaty and build up, or even the first external foe who hasn't signed up.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby the_tick_rules » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:23 pm

plus it's just what they do. Black ops players don't throw down guns and have races. Fighting is just what erf does.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby DoctorJest » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:32 pm

pSycHOtic chICkeN wrote:
Kreistor wrote:
Raza wrote:An interest in BDSM isn't generally the result of some psychological trauma, if that's what you're getting at. It's not exactly normal, but 'normal' and 'healthy' are two very different things.


Wanda does not do BDSM. She does torture to Turn and extract information. There is no Safety Word.


Wanda uses magic to extract information. Wanda was reading Jillian's mind. The safety words are part of healthy BDSM because they allow the sadist and/or dominant to know that (s)he still has consent. Wanda knew Jillian enjoyed it. If it were possible to magically read someone's mind it would be much more reliable than safety words.


"Consent" is a pretty pointless idea in Erfworld to begin with. The entire concept is actually quite alien to most Erfworlders.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby DoctorJest » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:35 pm

Kreistor wrote:Wanda is a serial murderer, and may be a sociopath.


Who in Erfworld isn't? Aside from Parson, I mean.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby Whispri » Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:56 pm

Kreistor wrote:So? Does that make it not torture?

I'm not interested in YOUR sexual history. I am interested in Wanda's character. Wanda is a practiced torturer, and while she may have certain involvements with Jillian, those will not exist with other victims. Wanda has no issue using magic (Thinkamancy Suggestion) to attempt to ensure she has more control over those she "loves" than what is normal in a relationship, Wanda is vicious and cruel to her enemies. She casually orders the murder and enslavement of Ossomer and many others. This isn't a sexual tendency for her... casual viciousness is a part of her very being.

Wanda is a serial murderer, and may be a sociopath. At the very least, she is a religious cultist bent on converting the world to her own belief system using war and a brutal form of brainwashing. She's not confused about it: she long ago embraced her own cruelty, narcissism, and selfishness.

Um... Yes? If she wanted to torture Jillian she'd have had to tie her up and refuse to hurt her or something along those lines. Because the only thing keeping Jillian out of her own dungeon is a lack of skill at 'playing' on the part of her Turnamancer. Wanda can 'play'. That does not mean she has any skill or experience in the arts of torture.

Tish, pshaw, nonsense! Wanda hasn't tortured anyone to our knowledge, these victims you speak of exist only in speculation. It's possible Book Nought will reveal some, but it hasn't happened to date. Yes, she's used a suggestion spell, in service to her side. All the spell does is encourage the target to do things they were inclined to do anyway. Also, Jillian's a mad dog killer, she slaughters people purely for sport and appears to be incapable of living happily at peace. She needs to be put on a leesh and if that can't be done, she'll have to be destroyed.

Wanda hasn't murdered anyone. She's killed people in battle sure, in the defence of her Overlord and Side. She's Croaked and converted enemies true, but what of it? Her side's enemies have never shown the slightest iota of mercy in the brutal onslaught they unleashed on Gobwin Knob for the crime of existing. Her enemies are hell bent on ensuring their vision of the Titan's will comes to pass and on exterminating all desenters. Her 'crusade' is a counter-attack launched against sides who are utterly intent on seeking battle. The RCC wants war. So what choice does she have?

Never mind that she does not, in fact, rule a Side, the people she conquers get to live on as part of her army. What more could they hope for in defeat? It's not as if they've had their personalities altered via Turnamancy. Oh and she gave Bogroll his dream job, arguably the nicest thing anyone in Erfworld has done on screen.

Kreistor wrote:The concept of honor, and Rules of War, still exist here. Parson violated Parley, a Rule of War, for instance. There is a spectrum. Not every Side is like Wanda, so we can judge her evil as a relative. Doing things not for survival reasons (ie. Parson killing Ansom was for survival, but killing Ossomer was just for saving time) is evidence of character.

Ossomer's information was not required. They could fight the battle without it. Parson suggested scouts. Wanda chose murder. That was Wanda's choice, and evidence of character.

Banhammer's FAQ. Did not fight its neighbours, and only sent out mercenaries when absolutely necessary for subsistence. Goodminton had the option of trading Wanda for peace and passed in favour of attack.

There is no honour amongst the RCC that is worth anything other than spitting upon. They routinely violate parley and murder helpless prisoners, difference is, Wanda raises the dead so that they may serve her. That's far better treatment than she could expect from the Demons of the RCC. Do you remember Ansom floating above Wanda wishing he could murder her again and again? That's the RCC in a nutshell. Even under the worst possible spin, Wanda's still a step up. She treats her enemies better than they'd treat her. And that's something worth admiring.

No amount of scouting could hope to match Ossomer's knowledge. I'd say more, but given the guy's currently hanging around with his family, I don't see the point.

Banhammer sent a homicidal maniac out to murder people he had no quarrel with whenever he needed money. Goodminton refused to sell a high ranking officer (who happened to be a girl less than three weeks old) into slavery to a war loving enemy who'd brought them to the brink of extermination once already. Quite the difference.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby Raza » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:45 pm

Kreistor wrote:So? Does that make it not torture?

I'm not interested in YOUR sexual history. I am interested in Wanda's character. Wanda is a practiced torturer, and while she may have certain involvements with Jillian, those will not exist with other victims. Wanda has no issue using magic (Thinkamancy Suggestion) to attempt to ensure she has more control over those she "loves" than what is normal in a relationship, Wanda is vicious and cruel to her enemies. She casually orders the murder and enslavement of Ossomer and many others. This isn't a sexual tendency for her... casual viciousness is a part of her very being.

Wanda is a serial murderer, and may be a sociopath. At the very least, she is a religious cultist bent on converting the world to her own belief system using war and a brutal form of brainwashing. She's not confused about it: she long ago embraced her own cruelty, narcissism, and selfishness.

No, it doesn't make it not-torture - but there being torture, magic or tactical benefits involved doesn't make it not-BDSM, either. Wanda has a BDSM-type relationship - in which elements of bondage, dominance and the exchange of pain are enjoyed, in this case even by both parties - with Jillian, at least, and nothing she does or doesn't do with anybody else will help your initial statement of 'Wanda does not do BDSM' become true.

Doing BDSM is not some voucher for a clean, moral character. She's entitled to whatever other personality and alignment traits she has on the side, without affecting that particular point of interest.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby Balerion » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:57 pm

I think we would do well to remember that Erfworld morality is different than ours. Erfworld has vastly different concepts of free will than we do; vastly different concepts of life (no children, no procreation); and even before Wanda treated death differently (no funeral for Misty, or Goodminton and Tommy caring for the fallen diggers more than as lost combat power). Each side is constantly at war. This warping factor on morality applies to Faq sending Jillian out to be a mercenary as easily as it does to Wanda capturing and killing Ossomer.

For instance, Wanda figures out a neat trick to do the scouting with less risk to the dragons, less use of their move, and far higher guarantee of success. Once she has this realization, does she have the free will to choose an inferior option? I think what we have seen of Duty etc would suggest that answer is no.

Same goes with Jillian on the mercenary missions. Her side will no longer be able to exist (being weak as it is) if it is discovered. If it runs out of money, it will either be discovered or people will have to be executed in order to meet upkeep. Mercenary work solves this problem in the best way possible for her side. With that realization and even perhaps an order from her father, how much free will is there in her decision? And without free will, there cannot be moral culpability.

To be sure, Jillian likes violence more than is healthy. And to be sure, Wanda shows a fairly callous disregard for life, friend or foe. I find those qualities disquieting. But it doesn't make them evil, especially when the simple physical differences in the world require them to have a different morality than we do.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby gameboy1234 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:03 pm

Rcam wrote:Interesting that Casters can't see others' disciplines, but Parson can. Book 1 Page 108


I think that's maybe a continuity mistake by Rob. Or perhaps a good illusion spell will fool a warlord into seeing the wrong stats, even for his own units, and therefore they're really in doubt of Delphie's discipline.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby multilis » Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:34 pm

gameboy1234 wrote:
Rcam wrote:Interesting that Casters can't see others' disciplines, but Parson can. Book 1 Page 108


I think that's maybe a continuity mistake by Rob. Or perhaps a good illusion spell will fool a warlord into seeing the wrong stats, even for his own units, and therefore they're really in doubt of Delphie's discipline.

Parson could see Jack's name as well, others didn't know it. Seems like he got better toys/abillities than everyone else.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby CunningChuck » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:02 pm

Balerion wrote:I think we would do well to remember that Erfworld morality is different than ours.

I tryed to remember..., about something Stanley explained to Parson when he was just summoned:
On book 1, page 32:
Stanley the Tool: There is no "Good" or "Evil" side, smart guy. That is a myth. That's propaganda.
Ansom and people like him like to put on airs. Nobility. Like they're not ruling by violence and fear. Psheh. But I'll tell you what there is, Mister Mountain. There is "Holy" and "Unholy". The Titans left this here for a reason. It chose me for a divine reason.

So Wanda is not evil, but Holy. As Delphie! As everyone trying to serve the Titans for divine reasons. For something Greater. It's why they do things against their rulers, against their entire side.
So Delphie is not a traitor, because the Titans asked her to ack that way. The Titans orders are more important than the side's ruler orders.
And it's why Maggie suggested Stanley, on book 2, page 33, to Appoint Parson. Of course, she told Parson it was because she thinks Stanley was wrong and Parson was right. But we later learned that she is part of a bigger plan. A plan that Wanda is swimming into.
The end justifies the means. So, Wanda is not evil, she only works for a Greater End.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby Kreistor » Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:44 am

No one ever considers themselves evil, Chuck. That someone finds a mental loophole to get out of that characterization doesn't make them right, and deny the existence of good and evil.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby Agaric » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:27 am

Got to love how sometimes Wanda has psychedelic furs before sleep comes down, since she's so pretty in pink. Plus she'll be the one to cause the fall of her side, which they never know until she comes ;)

Thank you, nice reference!
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby Kreistor » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:28 pm

Raza wrote:No, it doesn't make it not-torture - but there being torture, magic or tactical benefits involved doesn't make it not-BDSM, either. Wanda has a BDSM-type relationship - in which elements of bondage, dominance and the exchange of pain are enjoyed, in this case even by both parties - with Jillian, at least, and nothing she does or doesn't do with anybody else will help your initial statement of 'Wanda does not do BDSM' become true.

Doing BDSM is not some voucher for a clean, moral character. She's entitled to whatever other personality and alignment traits she has on the side, without affecting that particular point of interest.


That rationalization makes all torturers into BDSM, and that is clearly false. Causing pain to the unwilling is not BDSM, it's torture, and we can not be certain that Jillian is a willing participant without the Suggestion spell. We don't know what Jillian would choose normally, so we cannot conclude her participation is anything other than unwilling, rationalized by Wanda into something acceptable by hiding behind the immorality of mental persuasion spells.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby Balerion » Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:26 pm

Kreistor wrote:That rationalization makes all torturers into BDSM, and that is clearly false. Causing pain to the unwilling is not BDSM, it's torture, and we can not be certain that Jillian is a willing participant without the Suggestion spell. We don't know what Jillian would choose normally, so we cannot conclude her participation is anything other than unwilling, rationalized by Wanda into something acceptable by hiding behind the immorality of mental persuasion spells.


This raises confirmation bias to an art form, got to say. Suggestion spell: not mind control, makes you do things you are inclined to do anyway. We have the quote from Jillian of Vanna not knowing how to play right. Also, it would appear Wanda cast that spell only on their last session; so we have all the other times she got captured. Also, Jillian's reaction on seeing her "evil torturer" again was to make her an offer to join her, so they could rule the world together.

So no; the smart assumption is that Jillian was participating completely voluntarily. Now, there are bits of information that could force us to re-evaluate that; for instance, if Jillian showed trauma (as opposed to making Wanda job offers), that might be evidence for your view. Since that evidence does not in fact exist however... Not being certain of something doesn't mean we should assume the opposite. We go with what is most likely and what there is evidence to support. And of course, we remain open to new evidence to correct us, since we are not certain. Science, after all, is very rarely certain of anything.

Sure, not all torture is BDSM. It does require a willing participant, or its just torture. But we have nothing that indicates this is anything other than voluntary BDSM.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby Kreistor » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:23 am

Balerion wrote:Suggestion spell: not mind control, makes you do things you are inclined to do anyway.


False. That is not how it would present in a Legal court challenge. Any change in what the person would do eliminates that subjects responsibility for their actions, and transfers it to the person that influenced them via drugs, or other method. Rob is playing games with his description of that spell, and his explanation via the inhabitants of Erfworld is entirely false. His opinion that the victim of the spell is responsible for their action because they thought of it is entirely BS. Lots of people every day think of wanting to hurt someone that does some small wrong, but they do not because they choose to be moral. A spell that causes that person to cross over an edge to do something they merely conceived of and would not normally have chosen is mind control.

Parson is not responsible for the volcano spell, just because he thought of it. When he tried to get the casters to go through the Portal, that was his moral choice. Yes, he had thought of the Link, but he CHOSE not to implement it: he chose to be moral. The spell would not permit him not to try, which means he had no choice. He could not choose not to cast it, and that demonstrates the flawed view of the responsibility of Suggestion on Erfworlders by the Thinkamancers. Any change to what a person would normally do is mind control, no matter how small that change is, and the responsibility for the changed action transfers to the person that cast the spell.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby Balerion » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:09 pm

Kreistor wrote:False. That is not how it would present in a Legal court challenge. Any change in what the person would do eliminates that subjects responsibility for their actions, and transfers it to the person that influenced them via drugs, or other method. Rob is playing games with his description of that spell, and his explanation via the inhabitants of Erfworld is entirely false. His opinion that the victim of the spell is responsible for their action because they thought of it is entirely BS. Lots of people every day think of wanting to hurt someone that does some small wrong, but they do not because they choose to be moral. A spell that causes that person to cross over an edge to do something they merely conceived of and would not normally have chosen is mind control.

Parson is not responsible for the volcano spell, just because he thought of it. When he tried to get the casters to go through the Portal, that was his moral choice. Yes, he had thought of the Link, but he CHOSE not to implement it: he chose to be moral. The spell would not permit him not to try, which means he had no choice. He could not choose not to cast it, and that demonstrates the flawed view of the responsibility of Suggestion on Erfworlders by the Thinkamancers. Any change to what a person would normally do is mind control, no matter how small that change is, and the responsibility for the changed action transfers to the person that cast the spell.


No.

1)Do not compare Parson and the volcano to this. Parson had his Duty kicking in, which is a known free-will blocker. the subtle influence of ruthlessness wasn't what compelled him to take the final action, it was the Duty he had to his side. Ruthlessness (by my reading of Maggie's explanation) just nudged forward an idea he might not have considered otherwise because of the cost; it wasn't the force compelling him to act on that idea, it was the summoning spell doing that. Parson feels guilty mainly because he comes from a world where Duty doesn't exist and from a moral system that doesn't absolve him when Duty calls.

2)There is a whole mess of theoretical moral/legal argument we could get into here, but I see no reason to. The main question we have to answer is, did the suggestion spell at any point influence Jillian's behavior to compel her to have a BDSM session with Wanda? Cause we could argue all day about what the spell could do in theory (where you are right, it would be a morally reprehensible action in almost all cases to sleep with someone you have cast Suggestion on). But this is a concrete instance, and if in this specific it didn't (and Wanda had more than good reason to expect it wouldn't have that effect), that distinguishes it from the theoretical case.

So forget what could happen in theory. The most important thing to note is Jillian's opinion of the event, cause she would know best if something was off. If she cries foul, we take her opinion as truth immediately. We have tons of evidence that this is not the only BDSM session they have engaged in (and if you ask for that, I am done; at that point, you aren't even reading the comic); let's find a piece of evidence that says Jillian feels she did something she wouldn't have wanted to otherwise this time. Given that Jillian has no regrets, no thoughts about the GK incident as anything like the sexual assault you want it to be, I would say that evidence doesn't exist. Jillian was quite happy with how things turned out, as she is smiling while riding a dwagon in Wanda's arms just afterward. Before that, they had a chat about each other's days post session. Then there are all the easy way/hard way jokes they make with one another. Jillian apparently having tried a session with Vanna (which given the ruler/subordinate commands is much more questionable than this). At no point does she take any action which fits with your reading of events. It's not only that your evidence doesn't exist, it's that every other bit of evidence in the comic says that you are wrong, that this was typical for them, and that there is no reason to think the Suggestion spell did anything. So assuming your position makes no sense.

And if at any point Jillian takes action/says something to dispute that analysis, I will immediately shift my opinion. But from the evidence available, the Suggestion spell had 0 impact, and Wanda had very good reason to expect it to have 0 impact.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby Kreistor » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:02 pm

http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F064.jpg

Sizemore counters, "Suggestions can make her inclined to do things... lead recklessly, disobey orders. She provides her own reasons for these choices." And two panels later, he calls it rationalization.

That scene is just as corrupted by Suggestion as anything else. The Suggestion is making her rationalize her willing participation in the activities, using a rationalization. Jillian, being under the influence of a spell that helped her participate in something she may not have done without the spell, is forced by the spell to find a reason to continue to enjoy the thought of participating.

Jillian is not an unbiased observer of her spell-addled self, and so is not a valid witness to what she would otherwise have chosen to do.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby drachefly » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:22 pm

It is potentially corrupted by suggestion as anything else. We don't know what Wanda has and has not been using suggestion for.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 011

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:05 am

Kreistor wrote:False. That is not how it would present in a Legal court challenge. Any change in what the person would do eliminates that subjects responsibility for their actions, and transfers it to the person that influenced them via drugs, or other method.

You've wandered into a gray area. I can find both support and counter-evidence for your argument. It's clearly not as black-and-white as you are asserting.

The legal precedent that you cannot give consent if your judgment is impaired - as in "Date rape" cases - tends to support your statement here.

Milgram's experiment (in which people 'tortured' - and possibly 'killed' - other people because someone in authority told them to) falls under the suggestion category. The subjects involved were not influenced by drugs. They rationalized their behavior. And WWII has absolutely shot down the "I was just doing what I was told" defense.

I'd argue that Suggestion is more similar to the influence of authority that Milgram's experiment revealed than it is to mental impairment through substances.

Kreistor wrote:Parson is not responsible for the volcano spell, just because he thought of it.

"Duty" / "Ruthlessness" both strike me as being more like the Authority influence as well, so I don't think that Parson is absolved of this action either. He wasn't forced to make the choice - he was urged. Duty alone doesn't compel Erfworlders to do things 'by any means necessary' - if it did, the Royals would not be able to maintain any traditions of honor. And Ruthlessness has been described as more of a suggestion, so the Authority argument applies here as well.

Kreistor wrote:Sizemore counters, "Suggestions can make her inclined to do things... lead recklessly, disobey orders. She provides her own reasons for these choices." And two panels later, he calls it rationalization.
That scene is just as corrupted by Suggestion as anything else. The Suggestion is making her rationalize her willing participation in the activities, using a rationalization.


Rationalizations don't create affection. Jillian is shown to have genuine affection for Wanda. Rationalization allows someone to eat a donut that they know they shouldn't, and say 'I worked out yesterday, so it's ok'. You don't rationalize yourself into a BDSM situation - you do it because you're either (1) genuinely curious/intrigued or (2) have great affection/love for someone who wants to try it. Jillian strikes me as both.
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