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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    Look, you either rely on in-comic evidence or you don't - there's no halfway.
    There is nothing but halfway. Recall the bathroom strips. Was that the only time they went? Would that answer change if those strips had not appeared? How many times do we see the party sleeping? Nothing even remotely close to the 4000 cases of sleeping/trancing that we assume happened.
    Miko attacks the party off camera. No pictures of the battle at all. Did that battle happen? We infer it from the next picture? Sure, but that means we have entered the halfway, and we can and do infer other things despite an absence of direct evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    Roy did not see Blackwing in that instance. Also, noisy bird? 1 caw after moving away from Roy quickly (as indicated by speed lines on both Blackwing and the lizard) does not constitute "noisy."
    A lizard is grabbing your leg and you don't look? And Blackwing is right there, and he doesn't look? You are trying to say, "I don't see it, so it didn't happen", but we know we don't see a whole lot of things that did happen. The lack of something happening on camera in no way means it did not happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    Wait, wait, wait. Are you actually using the scene at the Oracle as evidence? You know, the scene nobody remembers because they forgot everything except their answer when they left the valley? And yet here you are using Roy's forgetfulness to justify a theory.
    Roy testifies that he in fact remembers several facts from his first trip, facts he should have forgotten if this was a perfect wipe. And when they leave the valley, the scene is identical to the first scene. This is not possible if they remembered only their own answers. That would mean they remember Blackwing's answer as well, and possibly some other facts as well. The Oracle is not perfect evidence because of the memory wipe, but it is still evidence that Roy knew of Blackwing.

    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    The trial was very obviously a gag.
    Several of them actually, but Roy has forgotten no part of the trial, and many of our future events are based on the trial. So the gag element of the trial tells us that 674 can be both gag and plot important. And again, it says that Roy should have known Blackwing.

    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    Roy does not demonstrably have an infallible memory - remember the forgetting of Durkon?
    He did not forget Durkon existed. Indeed, he didn't really forget Durkon at all. What he forgot was to check that everyone was present.

    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    So, Roy forgets the one instance he'd actually seen Blackwing. That's not exactly endorsement for your theory.
    As noted, you are trying to say nothing happened except what is pictured, and we know that to be tremendously wrong. We do not see even 1% of what is happening. Hopefully, we see the important 1%, but we are talking about events that fall well outside that figure. Prior to 674, we could have 1000s of cases of Roy viewing Blackwing without any showing on camera.

    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    Belkar has a long history of missing things in front of his face and not thinking anything through.
    But we do not have that long history of Belkar forgetting stuff. And he knows of Blackwing, a fact we are told of several times. But he is shown in 674 as just as ignorant as Roy. And we have Durkon, who healed Blackwing, in Vs hands. There is just too much here to say they forgot naturally.

    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    Everything is consistent? Like Xykon not being forgotten in the same manner? Like Roy, Haley, Elan, and Belkar not receiving the same effect from Girard's Gate despite standing pretty darn close to it when looking through it? Yeah, sure, whatever.
    Since V did not forget [at least not as long], we are dealing with a situation where we know there are varying conditions. Given our ignorance, we can't say these are exceptions. A set of rules based on distance from the rift and time exposed can easily handle all of these.
    And of course, as has been mentioned we don't even know that the rift is involved at all. We just know that the party has suffered Blackwing memory problems that are not explained by Haley's claim of a joke.

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by Loreweaver15 View Post
    Here's a simple example of a multi-level joke: You're watching a sitcom, and one character has an arc going on where they're trying to break into stand-up comedy, except this character really sucks at it. The would-be comedian tells a really terrible joke in an attempt to prove that they can be funny. Assuming the writers of the episode make it actually funny, then we, as an audience, aren't laughing at the joke the character tells--we're laughing at the joke being dumb.

    Therefore, the "joke" is that the joke is stupid.

    That's a really basic example, but this kind of meta-humor is very common.
    Well okay, yes, and I hope you understand I'm not actually comedically stupid. I'm familiar with the concept of a meta-joke. I just don't read this particular joke as a meta-joke (or any other kind of joke).

    Warning: what follows is such a torturous analysis of comedy it probably violates the Geneva Conventions.

    The incident where Belkar and Roy are ignoring Blackwing's sapience is a joke on multiple levels--on the surface, the joke is a continuation of the running gag that the party cannot perceive Blackwing as fully real.
    Which already causes the joke to fail, to my mind. The gag that the party cannot perceive Blackwing as fully real isn't a humorous OR logical continuation of the (funny) gag that Vaarsuvius could never remember or notice Blackwing. The two aren't parallel or equivalent (unable to perceive or recall ≠ keeps forgetting he's there), the former is contradicted by established facts, and the humor from the former is derived from the indignation Vaarsuvius suffered as a result, which is absent here.

    On a meta level--the level at which we're actually laughing, if we find it amusing--the joke is that the joke is causing these characters to ignore Occam's Razor,
    Okay, I can at least grasp the comedic logic, even though it doesn't resonate with me in the slightest. Because the underlying joke is, to me, already a mess of contradictions, the meta-joke that rests upon it falls flat as well. The meta-joke also strikes me as distractingly unparsimonious - it would be funnier to simply allude to the earlier, underlying "joke" that they couldn't recognize Blackwing ("hey that bird that was on V's shoulder could talk! he sure would have been useful to have in the past!")

    and also that Blackwing's response to them acting in that way appears to support their silly conclusion.
    Okay, I totally agree that this was funny.

    On a larger level, from the beginning of the comic, Blackwing had only appeared when V acknowledged him, and V only acknowledged him when she needed him. V had to constantly be reminded by the party that Blackwing existed.
    With you so far...

    Then, when V tangoed with Xykon with Blackwing's aid, she started to make a conscious effort to not ignore her familiar, and then the joke gets inverted because circumstances have been inverted--V is fully aware of Blackwing and thus Blackwing never pops out of existence, but the rest of the party has either forgotten about the familiar or is pranking V.
    ... aaaand I'm lost. I mean, I can grasp it intellectually, your sentences make logical and grammatical sense, and I can just baaarely grasp the comedic logic. But frankly,

    • The inversion itself just didn't strike me as inherently funny,


    • The deployment of the inversion wasn't funny, as it involved too much talking, arguments, and objections by the characters, almost all of which were presented in a non-comedic way,


    • The inversion required introducing a set of glaring and distracting contradictions within the narrative, a set of contradictions that was itself also unfunny,


    • Reconciling the contradictions in turn required multiple explanations to account for the different characters (Haley was pranking but Belkar genuinely forgot? did Roy and/or Elan simply never see Blackwing in the first place? what about Durkon?),


    • An explanation was given for just one of those contradictions hundreds of strips later (Haley didn't forget, she was just busting V's chops), which simultaneously:

      • undermines any humor that might have been there (you don't explain the joke),

      • undermines the inversion on which that humor was tenuously based, because pranking Vaarsuvius by pretending not to remember/recognize Blackwing isn't an inversion of Vaarsuvius's own past inability to remember Blackwing,

      • precludes the interpretation that there isn't any explanation for the contradictions, that they're just meant to be funny (pure Rule of Funny),

      • hints that explanations exist for the others, but there isn't any promise that such explanations will ever be offered,

      • ultimately makes the joke even more meta-complicated, by retconning #674 to include an in-universe joke (Haley's prank) buried under the inversions, contradictions, and explanations already mentioned,


    • The only comedic anchor for the joke that really made sense to me (and the one that was actually in the punchline) - namely Vaarsuvius's indignation at the unexpected turn of events - was completely absent in the next significant iteration of the joke, where he/she wasn't even present


    • Even granting everything else for the sake of argument, the whole thing seemed unnecessarily cruel to Vaarsuvius, whom I thought should be rewarded rather than frustrated for his/her character development regarding Blackwing


    The joke is then turned inside out and presented inside-out for the rest of the book until Haley cops to doing it on purpose. This whole structure is another construct of humor at the mechanical level; humor often plays on subverting our expectations of what's going on, so refreshing a joke can be done by then subverting the way we've expected the joke to play out.
    By this point I think you can see why I find this "construct of humor", resting as it did on a foundation shakier than quicksand, to have already fallen apart before it was ever completed. (And also why I find the rift theory, itself full of holes and gaps, to be the simpler theory).

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    I'll do a more thorough response when I get up in the morning, but I'll leave you with this question for now--

    When has the comic ever shied away from the Rule of Funny? Hell, that's what the original joke about V forgetting the existence of her familiar and thus causing Blackwing to pop in and out of existence consisted of.

    And thank you for the sane, civil, and thorough response!

    (And I don't think you're stupid. You had expressed confusion at how what we were regarding as a multi-level joke functioned on multiple levels; I was presenting a basic meta-joke as a prelude to discussing the framework of this one.)
    Last edited by Loreweaver15; 2014-02-08 at 02:27 AM.
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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    But...the Bugs Bunny example is what happened. Rich never went back and made up a techno-babble solution for why people were ignoring Blackwing, the forum has now come along and made that argument, thereby missing the point of the joke.
    Yes, Rich did, in the last strip. He told us that Haley was merely "busting V's chops" in #674, rather than forgetting Blackwing's existence with no explanation.

    Further point to sink the argument - Blackwing has supposedly become so that people can't notice him. However, he successfully buys diamond dust from the shop that V got kicked out of the same day as the "contentious" event in question. Not to mention Qarr having a full conversation and battle with him prior to the Belkar/Roy conversation!
    I've already said multiple times that I have no explanation for these inconsistencies! I have no complete theory for what happened to Blackwing, I've simply rejected the explanation that it was all a joke!

    I don't see how there's even a single leg for the argument to stand on. I don't agree that the Order were acting "out of character", because they were acting the exact same way they've always treated Blackwing.
    NO THEY WERE NOT, AS I'VE ALREADY EXPLAINED AT EXCRUCIATING LENGTH. There is NO way you can argue that "Hey, V, don't you have a familiar that grants Alertness?" is consistent with "You have a familiar? When did you get a familiar?"! At least pay me the courtesy of actually reading what I have to say before you respond.

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    Honestly, I think all of these attempts to explain why the joke was funny are missing the point. Humor is subjective, and frankly I didn't think it was funny myself. But what really annoyed me about this "theory" was the way it was predicated on the idea that any joke that isn't funny must be a SECRET PLOT HINT. That's the mindset I really wish this forum could lose.
    My argument is ultimately premised on the idea that, not only is the "joke" not funny, it's not actually a joke at all, and was never intended as such by Rich. Its structure, its deployment, its underlying logic - none of it works, to my mind; and any claim by other forumites that it's just a gag strikes me as a shaky, post hoc explanation to justify a contradiction within the narrative. As the great detective once said, when you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. If it's not a joke, then all we're left with is the rift theory, however shaky and incomplete that might be.

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    That argument is essentially tautological, though. And perhaps more importantly it's extremely presumptive - I never had any urge to "explain" anything. It was obviously a joke, I can't see any way to read it as anything else, and when I found out people were building up theories around it not being so, both my immediate and thought-out responses were derision. And, again, I didn't even think it was funny, which many other people here claim to have done. It is outright ludicrous to say that it being a joke is "impossible" when there is no shortage of people here who see that as easily possible, and to say that they're all just coming up with post-hoc explanations is insulting.
    Last edited by ti'esar; 2014-02-08 at 03:08 AM.
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  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlo View Post
    My argument is ultimately premised on the idea that, not only is the "joke" not funny, it's not actually a joke at all, and was never intended as such by Rich. Its structure, its deployment, its underlying logic - none of it works, to my mind; and any claim by other forumites that it's just a gag strikes me as a shaky, post hoc explanation to justify a contradiction within the narrative. As the great detective once said, when you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. If it's not a joke, then all we're left with is the rift theory, however shaky and incomplete that might be.
    Okay. But it's a joke.

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by Loreweaver15 View Post
    I'll do a more thorough response when I get up in the morning, but I'll leave you with this question for now--

    When has the comic ever shied away from the Rule of Funny? Hell, that's what the original joke about V forgetting the existence of her familiar and thus causing Blackwing to pop in and out of existence consisted of.
    It hasn't, as far as I can recall. But Rule of Funny requires that something actually be, well, funny. I always thought the original Blackwing joke was hilarious (#658 is absolutely one of my all-time favorite strips), the more so because it made absolutely no logical sense. But this new Blackwing gag, to me, just makes no logical OR comedic sense.

    And thank you for the sane, civil, and thorough response!
    You're welcome, and thank you as well! Your explanation was actually very helpful in clarifying my own thinking!

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    That argument is essentially tautological, though. And perhaps more importantly it's extremely presumptive - I never had any urge to "explain" anything. It was obviously a joke, I can't see any way to read it as anything else, and when I found out people were building up theories around it not being so, both my immediate and thought-out responses were derision. And, again, I didn't even think it was funny, which many other people here claim to have done. It is outright ludicrous to say that it being a joke is "impossible" when there is no shortage of people here who see that as easily possible, and to say that they're all just coming up with post-hoc explanations is insulting.
    No more insulting than being dismissed as a crackpot theorist with no sense of humor.

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlo View Post
    But Rule of Funny requires that something actually be, well, funny.
    Once again: why does "it was a bad joke" not appear to exist as a possibility for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlo View Post
    No more insulting than being dismissed as a crackpot theorist with no sense of humor.
    I think it is, actually. I may be attacking your opinion, but you are attacking the sincerity of everyone who disagrees with you.

    And I have neither said nor implied that you have no sense of humor. As I've now said several times, I didn't think it was funny either.
    Last edited by ti'esar; 2014-02-08 at 03:22 AM.
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    There is nothing more emblematic of this forum than three or four pages of debate between people who, as it turns out, pretty much agree with each other.


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  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    Once again: why does "it was a bad joke" not appear to exist as a possibility for you?
    I've explained this repeatedly and at excessive length, and I don't care to do so yet again.

    I think it is, actually. I may be attacking your opinion, but you are attacking the sincerity of everyone who disagrees with you.

    And I have neither said nor implied that you have no sense of humor. As I've now said several times, I didn't think it was funny either.
    "Post hoc" simply means "after the fact". I've made no comment whatsoever about anyone's sincerity. Regarding being insulted, I wasn't referring only to you.

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlo View Post
    <long post about people forgetting/knowing about Blackwing more or less random>
    Maybe Blackwing is a Schrödinger's familiar.
    Any given member of the Order needs to do a quantum measurement to see if they remember him

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  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianSt View Post
    Maybe Blackwing is a Schrödinger's familiar.
    Any given member of the Order needs to do a quantum measurement to see if they remember him
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianSt View Post
    Maybe Blackwing is a Schrödinger's familiar.
    Any given member of the Order needs to do a quantum measurement to see if they remember him

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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    That argument is essentially tautological, though. And perhaps more importantly it's extremely presumptive - I never had any urge to "explain" anything. It was obviously a joke, I can't see any way to read it as anything else, and when I found out people were building up theories around it not being so, both my immediate and thought-out responses were derision. And, again, I didn't even think it was funny, which many other people here claim to have done. It is outright ludicrous to say that it being a joke is "impossible" when there is no shortage of people here who see that as easily possible, and to say that they're all just coming up with post-hoc explanations is insulting.
    So much this. There's literally no way to construct a debate when the very premise is disagreed upon.

    I say with 100% certainty it is a joke, and therefore any theory that comes out of it is utterly baseless and "crackpot theorist".

    Others say with 100% certainty that it is not a joke, which then necessitates explanation.

    Without agreeing on that very basic point, there's really no reason to continue the discussion. And since that point is inarguable (it either is very obviously a joke, or is very obviously not a joke), there's no way anybody is going to budge.

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlo View Post
    The irrefutable fact is that Belkar knew of Blackwing's existence since basically the beginning of the comic, but then denied that knowledge later on (and was sincere in his denial, as evidenced by #809). This is an internal contradiction within the comic, full stop. You can reconcile it however you like - Rule of Funny, Belkar simply forgot about Blackwing, bad writing, exposure to the rift - but you can't deny that the contradiction exists.
    That's...an interesting claim. So people don't forget things without it being an "internal contradiction"? Even ones who are established as having catastrophically low Wisdom? I guess there is no ambiguity in your mind that Belkar remembered Roy's story about the king giants, that Xykon remembers Roy perfectly and could get his name right whenever he chose, and that each time prior to the arbitrary point you decided something happened to Blackwing that someone said "I don't remember him" in your own quotes they were lying for some reason?
    If you can't at least concede on this point, well frankly you're just 100% wrong, and this entire discussion is pointless.
    Right back at you.
    Last edited by Kish; 2014-02-08 at 08:54 AM.
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  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Sigh. I realize throwing my hat into the ring here is probably folly at this point, but I'm going to go down the list and see if I can't outreason this whole idea.

    The forgetfulness thing seems oddly selective if it is true. Several people have been exposed to rifts at pretty close range and none of them have been forgotten. For instance, Shojo sent paladins to do a full-on investigation of Lirian's rift. They came back just fine. O-Chul, Redcloak, the goblins and the hostages were pretty darn close to the very rift that supposedly made people forget Blackwing for quite awhile during the interrogation scene. They came back just fine. Roy, Belkar, and Durkon spent a fair bit of time hanging around Girard's rift during the battle with Tarquin's army, and were close enough to look inside, much as Blackwing did at Soon's, and they were just fine. The entire Order of the Scribble spent a ton of time around the rifts, and by no metric does it seem they were forgotten by anyone. So, from the perspective of exposure to the rifts, this theory makes no sense.

    Now, as for Blackwing being forgotten by the party, there are plenty of ways to explain it. For one thing, it is possible to remember something at one point, then forget it at another. That's how memory works. You can't forget something you never knew. And remember, the Order had a pretty eventful year spent separated from each other. So it's very possible that a lot of them forgot that someone they hadn't seen in ages had a pet that said person themselves was particularly known for forgetting. And even barring that, it is completely in character for most of the Order to forget anyway. Roy is totally known for being dismissive of people like NPCs, even when they're clearly plot-relevant (see the Deva who was trying to tell him about V or the Cliffport police). It's perfectly in character he'd dismiss a raven he saw in passing maybe once or twice. Haley? Well, we know from the bloody story saying so that she was messing with V, because she's mischievous that way. Elan? He may have grown up a bit, but he still has the IQ of a turnip, or maybe now a smart turnip. Belkar? Belkar forgets things that bore him, and even if he doesn't, he's perfectly willing to lie to get one over on V. Durkon? Well, I don't have an explanation for this one, but I still find the idea that he simply forgot a thousand times more likely than the gymnastics it would take to justify this clearly convoluted and remarkably particular rift-forgetting theory.

    Next, there's the foreshadowing problem. Rich uses a fair bit of foreshadowing in his work. Obviously not everything, as there are some whammies, but for the most part, very little comes out of nowhere, especially bits of the tale that would be far-fetched even for fantasy. If something had been obviously up during the forgetting Blackwing bit, V's response would probably have been something like, "My compatriots reaction to my familiar is most unusual. It is as though they do no remember him at all," rather than frustration at their idiocy. Also, it's likely that if the memory thing happened once, it would have happened again to another character, which I have proven it has not.

    Not to mention, I've played in long campaigns where I and the other players have forgotten characters more relevant than someone's familiar. Sometimes the DM tries to make someone or something important, and the players just don't notice or care. It happens.

    And if all that doesn't convince you, I'll paraphrase O-Chul himself. You find the idea that there is some secret magic, which is highly selective and effects only one character in one specific way and even then not completely and can't be detected at all to be SIMPLER...than the idea that there's no magic there at all?

    I await your nitpicks and parsing of my grammar.

  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by jidasfire View Post
    The forgetfulness thing seems oddly selective if it is true. Several people have been exposed to rifts at pretty close range and none of them have been forgotten.
    The difference with most of your examples is that they didn't actually see inside the Rift (or at least we aren't told that they did). Blackwing did; so did the OotStick.
    And Blackwing seems to have been exceptionally affected by doing so. He then suffered 6d6 Force damage (no save), and disappeared. When he reappeared a while later, he had changed.


    The entire Order of the Scribble spent a ton of time around the rifts, and by no metric does it seem they were forgotten by anyone.
    "Actually, I'm pretty sure that's excatly [sic] what will happen. Isn't that right, Soon?"

  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by allenw View Post
    The difference with most of your examples is that they didn't actually see inside the Rift (or at least we aren't told that they did). Blackwing did; so did the OotStick.
    And Blackwing seems to have been exceptionally affected by doing so. He then suffered 6d6 Force damage (no save), and disappeared. When he reappeared a while later, he had changed.
    What does Blackwing eating an Explosive Runes spell have to do with anything?

    He had changed how? By speaking to V? That was a direct result of V changing his outlook and his apology.

    Also, like you said, 4 members of the Order looked through the rift and are apparently unchanged. What's that do for your theory?

    That's completely irrelevant. That is Girard being angry that Soon won't make any effort to remember Kraagor and his sacrifice. That is not the rift erasing memories of Kraagor. If the rift had done that the Scribble wouldn't have fought over his death and Serini wouldn't have been able to build a dungeon based on Kraagor's beliefs because she wouldn't have known what they were.
    Last edited by orrion; 2014-02-08 at 11:54 AM.

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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Regardless of whether they think it was a joke, it baffles me that people can point out that it is internally inconsistent, then immediately respond with a theory that is NOT joke based that is even less internally consistent.

    There are numerous examples of characters being in proximity to an open rift (the same one even) and not being affected in the least. At the very least, Xykon has not been erased, and people who have NOT been affected by or interacted with a rift in any way CAN perceive Blackwing, as well as Xykon.
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    I think the problem is that because we're reading a fantasy story, technically anything is possible. Therefore, people can rattle off whatever batty theories wander into their brains and justify them by saying, "Hey, it's not technically impossible, because magic!" But in order for fantasy to have any meaning whatsoever, it has to follow at least some level of internally consistent rules, and D&D is actually built for just that. So sometimes, even if a lot more is possible in the OOTS world than in our own, we have to draw the line at things which take massive amounts of bending both the text and human reason in order to make sense, and I would say that this is one of those.

    I'll be generous and assume that people concoct these ideas largely because they love the work and think about it a lot rather than assume they're just scrambling for miniscule internet bragging rights, but I do find it baffling that even when the text itself basically says such theories are wrong, there are still those who will fight to the death to defend them.

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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlo View Post
    It hasn't, as far as I can recall. But Rule of Funny requires that something actually be, well, funny. I always thought the original Blackwing joke was hilarious (#658 is absolutely one of my all-time favorite strips), the more so because it made absolutely no logical sense. But this new Blackwing gag, to me, just makes no logical OR comedic sense.
    Here's the thing: there are plenty of people who thought it was funny. You're basing an entire argument--and your insistence that there must be something going on--on the premise that you didn't find it funny or sensible, and that therefore it must not be a joke, and if you can only reach the heart of the matter you'll figure out what dark secret the Giant is hinting at, a secret you've already said makes no sense whatsoever.

    Here's the thing, though: as fantastic a storyteller and comedian Rich is, he is not infallible. Not every joke will strike everyone as funny; not every intentional contradiction for the sake of a chuckle is going to hold the same weight. You're faced with a large number of people who immediately responded to the construct of humor that I described with "oh, haha! That was funny." or even "Oh. Huh, that wasn't all that funny. Moving on." and all recognized it as a joke, and your conclusion is that it can't be a joke, because you're not laughing.

    Rich didn't invert his joke because there was a contradiction; Rich made a contradiction because he was inverting his joke.

    I invite you to consider these points I've made and reach whatever conclusion you like, but really, that's what we're all telling you: just because you're not laughing doesn't make it not a joke.
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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by Domino Quartz View Post
    Darf ich diesen zu meiner Signatur hinzufügen?
    Sorry if this is a horrible mangling of the German language. It's been a few months since I did German 101 at Uni.
    You may

    (And yes the German is a bit off, but not that much. I at least understood what you wanted . You should use "das" instead of "dieser". "dieser" doesn't make it clear what you refer to. With "das" it is clear that you mean the stuff I posted)

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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlo View Post
    It hasn't, as far as I can recall. But Rule of Funny requires that something actually be, well, funny. I always thought the original Blackwing joke was hilarious (#658 is absolutely one of my all-time favorite strips), the more so because it made absolutely no logical sense. But this new Blackwing gag, to me, just makes no logical OR comedic sense.
    Not everything is funny to everyone. I surmise (though I could be wrong) from your comments here, for example, that you laughed in 658 when V remembered Blackwing. Well, guess what - I didn't laugh at all. I didn't even interpret that as a joke.

    I've seen people post in discussion threads that a certain joke made them laugh out loud - jokes that got a smile or a chuckle from me or even nothing at all. That doesn't mean that I didn't see the joke or get the reference. It just means that humor is relative.

    You can't really base a theory on the idea that you didn't find a particular joke funny. Especially a theory that basically requires reinterpreting every other instance of that joke as something else entirely.
    Last edited by orrion; 2014-02-08 at 01:24 PM.

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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    I say with 100% certainty it is a joke, and therefore any theory that comes out of it is utterly baseless and "crackpot theorist".
    We have to classify this as exaggerated, if not completely false. This strip is comedy and everything in it is in one degree or another a joke. Anything in the strip can be a joke, but a great many are not "just" a joke. They contain meaning that affects later strips.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    Without agreeing on that very basic point, there's really no reason to continue the discussion. And since that point is inarguable (it either is very obviously a joke, or is very obviously not a joke), there's no way anybody is going to budge.
    It is obviously enough it is a joke, but it is not at all obvious it is only a joke.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    That's...an interesting claim. So people don't forget things without it being an "internal contradiction"? Even ones who are established as having catastrophically low Wisdom? I guess there is no ambiguity in your mind that Belkar remembered Roy's story about the king giants,
    Belkar is well established as liking to rag on Roy, and is clearly doing so by the end of the conversation. That he was doing so at the start of the conversation is not so clear, but we can't dismiss that possibility that he remembered all the way. In any case, we are comparing dimes to dollars. Belkar forgets one fact heard about once vs a fact he has seen and heard dozens of times. [Note too that Belkar says he doesn't see Blacking in 674, which fits the ideas he is trying to get V's goat or something happened, but not the idea Belkar has forgotten anything.] And several other people also suffer memory problems at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    that Xykon remembers Roy perfectly and could get his name right whenever he chose
    This is a fact established firmly in text, unlike Belkar's alleged memory problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    , and that each time prior to the arbitrary point you decided something happened to Blackwing that someone said "I don't remember him" in your own quotes they were lying for some reason?
    The point is that they are all saying that at one time, and as far as I can find, at no earlier time.

    Quote Originally Posted by jidasfire
    The forgetfulness thing seems oddly selective if it is true. Several people have been exposed to rifts at pretty close range and none of them have been forgotten.
    We can deduct from that that there are major limits on the power, not that the power does not exist. The power would be only short range, and may be require a period of exposure [While X was near the rift, he was not as close as Blackwing for nearly as long], and seems to be temporary, losing effect within a month. That not everybody was affected does not mean nobody was affected. [We can note here that a disease may affect only 1% of those exposed to it, and still be considered infectious.]

    Quote Originally Posted by jidasfire
    it is possible to remember something at one point, then forget it at another. That's how memory works.
    Sure, but we are talking Roy, Belkar, Haley, Durkon, and Elan all forgetting the same thing at the same time, and still not remembering when reminded of it. That is getting us into really large numbers.

    Quote Originally Posted by jidasfire
    You can't forget something you never knew.
    But we have established they did know, so that possibility has to be crossed out.

    Quote Originally Posted by jidasfire
    And remember, the Order had a pretty eventful year spent separated from each other. So it's very possible that a lot of them forgot that someone they hadn't seen in ages had a pet that said person themselves was particularly known for forgetting.
    But all of them?

    Quote Originally Posted by jidasfire
    the gymnastics it would take to justify this clearly convoluted and remarkably particular rift-forgetting theory.
    I do not like the theory either, but paid authors have used it, and been paid afterwards by professional editors. That the idea may be stupid does not mean it is not being used here.

    Quote Originally Posted by jidasfire
    Rich uses a fair bit of foreshadowing in his work. Obviously not everything, as there are some whammies, but for the most part, very little comes out of nowhere, especially bits of the tale that would be far-fetched even for fantasy. If something had been obviously up during the forgetting Blackwing bit, V's response would probably have been something like, "My compatriots reaction to my familiar is most unusual. It is as though they do no remember him at all," rather than frustration at their idiocy.
    This would be rather blatant foreshadowing. As we can see from the Scoundrel case, it is often not underlined at all. [not that I consider that case to be good foreshadowing, but it still shows there is no need for foreshadowing to shout.]

    Quote Originally Posted by jidasfire
    Also, it's likely that if the memory thing happened once, it would have happened again to another character, which I have proven it has not.
    Lots of things have happened only once to one character. Our writer has a dislike of repeating ideas.

    Quote Originally Posted by jidasfire
    Not to mention, I've played in long campaigns where I and the other players have forgotten characters more relevant than someone's familiar.
    And the most likely result was that somebody said "what about the forgotten?" and the others say "oh yeah, forgot about him", not "he never happened"

    Quote Originally Posted by jidasfire
    And if all that doesn't convince you, I'll paraphrase O-Chul himself. You find the idea that there is some secret magic, which is highly selective and effects only one character in one specific way and even then not completely and can't be detected at all to be SIMPLER...than the idea that there's no magic there at all?
    This would seem to be a pretty close approximation of how diseases were viewed a few centuries ago. The diseases were real anyway.
    And we are trying to explain an event here, not the lack of one. They just all forgot may be simpler, but it belongs near the bottom of our list of possible explanations.
    Last edited by David Argall; 2014-02-08 at 01:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    That's completely irrelevant. That is Girard being angry that Soon won't make any effort to remember Kraagor and his sacrifice. That is not the rift erasing memories of Kraagor. If the rift had done that the Scribble wouldn't have fought over his death and Serini wouldn't have been able to build a dungeon based on Kraagor's beliefs because she wouldn't have known what they were.
    I believe Gerald's anger wasn't because Soon wasn't going to make an effort to remember Kraagor's sacrifice, but because, worse yet, he was already planning (page 3, panel 1, text box 2) to have the Sapphire Guard actively destroy all mention of the rifts and gates (and thus, of the sacrifice). (Your actual point, that it isn't about the rift destroying memories, still stands.)

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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by David Argall View Post
    And we are trying to explain an event here, not the lack of one. They just all forgot may be simpler, but it belongs near the bottom of our list of possible explanations.
    You've got that backwards. You're not trying to explain an event. You're using a far-fetched interpretation of a singular event as justification to reinterpret multiple other events and then using that interpretation for a theory about the rifts.

    I would say that any theory that requires a complete reinterpretation of events through 673 previous comics belongs near the bottom of the list of possible explanations, especially when you need to get increasingly narrow and specific to justify it in light of future events ("oh, they have to be exposed for X length of time," "oh, the power has an extremely short range"). No doubt if there's a comic that shows Tarquin standing in front of the rift with an army before going through, you'll hand wave it by saying the rift didn't have enough power to affect that many people.

    At some point the theory just becomes too outrageous to take seriously. This one reached that point a while ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by nabcif View Post
    I believe Gerald's anger wasn't because Soon wasn't going to make an effort to remember Kraagor's sacrifice, but because, worse yet, he was already planning (page 3, panel 1, text box 2) to have the Sapphire Guard actively destroy all mention of the rifts and gates (and thus, of the sacrifice). (Your actual point, that it isn't about the rift destroying memories, still stands.)
    Possible, but there wasn't even a Sapphire Guard at that point, though I suppose Soon could have envisioned the idea to wipe the records at any point before he actually implemented it.
    Last edited by orrion; 2014-02-08 at 02:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    Possible, but there wasn't even a Sapphire Guard at that point, though I suppose Soon could have envisioned the idea to wipe the records at any point before he actually implemented it.
    That is indeed my impression; that Soon had said something to make Girard realize that's what Soon was planning. I'm not sure why Girard would have said all that (including the angry remark directed to Soon) otherwise.

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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    What does Blackwing eating an Explosive Runes spell have to do with anything?

    He had changed how? By speaking to V? That was a direct result of V changing his outlook and his apology.
    There was speculation (I know, shocking ) at the time he returned that the Explosive Runes had actually killed him, and that he had been replaced by the Snarl/Rift/whatever. Or, as his new relationship with V evolved, that V was, indeed, imagining/creating him, and using him as an externalized conscience (a la Jiminy Cricket).
    I don't think that's exactly what's going on; but I don't think either theory has been disproven.
    Also: By D&D rules, a familiar pretty much *is* an externalized part of you, so V changing his outlook could directly affect Blackwing (even apart from the mundane route of talking to each other); *and* Blackwing changing could directly affect V.

    Also, like you said, 4 members of the Order looked through the rift and are apparently unchanged. What's that do for your theory?
    .

    It's not "my" theory per se, but the main theory you seem to be arguing against is that they *are* in fact changed, in that (at least some of them) now acknowledge Blackwing again.
    So, Blackwing looks through the rift, has a life-altering experience, and people seem to forget him; those same people look through the rift and then seem to start remembering him. It proves nothing, but hints at something.

    That's completely irrelevant. That is Girard being angry that Soon won't make any effort to remember Kraagor and his sacrifice.
    And that Soon will in fact work to destroy any possible records of it. Which yes, is irrelevant to the "what effect does looking through the Rift have?" question, except that I thought it was an interesting thematic parallel. Plus it was relevant to the claim that "the entire Order of the Scribble spent a ton of time around the rifts, and by no metric does it seem they were forgotten by anyone. "

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    Default Re: Blackwing's exposure to the rift

    Quote Originally Posted by allenw View Post
    And that Soon will in fact work to destroy any possible records of it. Which yes, is irrelevant to the "what effect does looking through the Rift have?" question, except that I thought it was an interesting thematic parallel. Plus it was relevant to the claim that "the entire Order of the Scribble spent a ton of time around the rifts, and by no metric does it seem they were forgotten by anyone. "
    More directly, nobody has forgotten Elan, Roy, Haley, or Belkar.
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