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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Great, we're back to this ****.

    Seriously. Telling your son about the Fetish content you make when he's visibly uncomfortable is not okay. It's very not okay. It's in fact ****ed up. That's not only edging into (sexually) abusive territory, it's also abusing a position of power over him.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2021-06-16 at 06:19 AM.
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    It's major squick fuel, but I don't know if I see an authority/power issue here.

    Mainly I just see one adult pushing borderline info on another adult that they clearly do not want, and don't need.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Lol, I assume that there will be +1000 Patreons today
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    It's major squick fuel, but I don't know if I see an authority/power issue here.

    Mainly I just see one adult pushing borderline info on another adult that they clearly do not want, and don't need.
    Hmm, yeah I think I agree. In true abuse situations, parent/adult child can certainly feel like an authority/power relationship, with "her house, her rules" being maybe enough to tip it over the edge. But the challenge then is to help the victim realise the parent doesn't actually have to have any power or authority (and to get them out of the parent's house). If there isn't any previous history of abuse, and this isn't one of Clinton's buttons that his mum pushes all the time/every time he visits, it could just be a random off-colour reminder that she is an adult and not just his mother (in just about the most inappropriate manner).

    Edit: I'm actually going to retract even that last bit. Discussing what you personally enjoy doing during sexual activity, while talking with a child not old enough to understand or consent to the discussion, would be sexual abuse territory. Making a joke abouit imaginary breasts on an imaginary character with an adult child who happens to be male? When the imaginary character is lactation-themed? Not that I think Jeph is getting at this, but I wouldn't be surprised if the whole "mommy milkers" thing is an explicit poke at the ideas that lactation=sex and that internet followers = sexual attraction. Aurelia is explicitly trying to avoid the latter and I haven't actually seen any signs that she is into the former either. But for Clinton, the fact of his mother having and talking about breasts is too much for him.
    Last edited by theangelJean; 2021-06-16 at 09:56 AM.
    I'm pretty much the opposite of concise. If I fail to get to the point, please ask me and I'm happy to (attempt to) clarify.

  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    I don't think what Clinton's mother is doing qualifies as abusive. I also don't think she'd have grounds to complain if Clinton's response to all future invitations to visit was "no, the last time was thoroughly embarrassing and unpleasant in ways you could have warned me about but didn't."
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    What she is saying is thoroughly silly and strange, not abusive. He is weirded out, not traumatized. And as he just demonstrated, has absolutely no problem with leaving when the conversation gets too weird for him. Its literally a cup of milk she takes a picture of and posts online and I get the feeling its less fetish and more funny. A lot of youtubers have regular gags that develop organically over the years and often become really strange. Especially to an outsider. I watch a seven days to die gamer play numerous series and he has a violently angry aversion to looting cornmeal. He even has merch based on it. Her being a cow woman where one teat produces vegan almond milk while the one next to it is a steamer is obviously silly and not yank material. At least thats the feeling i get from this. Im sure that at least a few of her followers are enjoying it a little too personally, but it feels more like its fun than freaky.
    "Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum"
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  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    What she is saying is thoroughly silly and strange, not abusive. He is weirded out, not traumatized. And as he just demonstrated, has absolutely no problem with leaving when the conversation gets too weird for him. Its literally a cup of milk she takes a picture of and posts online and I get the feeling its less fetish and more funny. A lot of youtubers have regular gags that develop organically over the years and often become really strange. Especially to an outsider. I watch a seven days to die gamer play numerous series and he has a violently angry aversion to looting cornmeal. He even has merch based on it. Her being a cow woman where one teat produces vegan almond milk while the one next to it is a steamer is obviously silly and not yank material. At least thats the feeling i get from this. Im sure that at least a few of her followers are enjoying it a little too personally, but it feels more like its fun than freaky.
    I think you've put more thought into this than the comic has. The joke is that Clinton's mom has a channel dedicated to a very specific fetish...and she is totally oblivious to the fact that she has done so. Even when shown that her entire fanbase is drawing porn fanart of her avatar.

    That's it. That's the entire joke. Clinton's mom accidentally started a fetish channel and Clinton is super embarassed about that. It's more of the "haha, aren't embarassing parents funny!?" bit we've seen with Marten's mother on multiple occasions.

  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    Her being a cow woman where one teat produces vegan almond milk while the one next to it is a steamer is obviously silly and not yank material.
    Literally anything can be yank material.

  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by geoduck View Post
    Literally anything can be yank material.
    Yes, but its so ludicrously niche that its very unlikely she is some sort of super famous streamer because of the vast market of furry fetishists who love them some cyborg cow ladies.
    "Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum"
    Translation: "Sometimes I get this urge to conquer large parts of Europe."

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama View Post
    Traab is yelling everything that I'm thinking already.
    "If you don't get those cameras out of my face, I'm gonna go 8.6 on the Richter scale with gastric emissions that'll clear this room."

  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    Yes, but its so ludicrously niche that its very unlikely she is some sort of super famous streamer because of the vast market of furry fetishists who love them some cyborg cow ladies.
    Aurelia has 20% of Marigold's audience, and Marigold is apparently making Top Ten Streamer in the world kind of money. Given how these sort of things work Aurelia is absolutely the most famous streamer for her particular fetish niche and also probably making a decent middle class wage off her streaming (and might well be a top 1000 streamer globally).

    Of course, nothing about the streaming situation makes sense because Jeph appears to have wildly misunderstood how the streaming marketplace actually works (and by this I mean he made a whole bunch of highly significant decisions without bothering to spend 10 minutes using google first).
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  11. - Top - End - #251
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    (and by this I mean he made a whole bunch of highly significant decisions without bothering to spend 10 minutes using google first).
    Why would he? The existence of AI audience (and content creators) completely invalidates data from our world.
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  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    (and by this I mean he made a whole bunch of highly significant decisions without bothering to spend 10 minutes using google first).
    Which pretty much defines Jeph's handling of most anything.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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  13. - Top - End - #253
    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    It does baffle me as a complaint. Between AI, private space stations, actual witches, cybernetic limbs, and the dozens of other zany gag things introduced, any similarities between QCverse and the real world are superficial at best. Why would streaming economics be the straw that breaks our back in realism?
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  14. - Top - End - #254
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    It does baffle me as a complaint. Between AI, private space stations, actual witches, cybernetic limbs, and the dozens of other zany gag things introduced, any similarities between QCverse and the real world are superficial at best. Why would streaming economics be the straw that breaks our back in realism?
    Yeah, to me the actual numbers don't matter. What bugs me is that Marigold went strraight from "does web design on the side to make rent" to "I could retire if I want to" money off-panel. There's a story there. Tell it.

    Aurelia doesn't have this problem. She isn't a primary character to begin with, so we only see her when someone who is (Claire or Clinton) stops by her house. She can do virtually anything off-panel and it's believable because we know nothing about her. I don't like the storyline because it's cringe comedy of a type I find distasteful, not because it's inherently unbelievable that someone Clinton and Claire don't visit very often could build up a respectable streaming audience without them knowing about it.

  15. - Top - End - #255
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    It does baffle me as a complaint. Between AI, private space stations, actual witches, cybernetic limbs, and the dozens of other zany gag things introduced, any similarities between QCverse and the real world are superficial at best. Why would streaming economics be the straw that breaks our back in realism?
    Because he hasn't shown us that streaming is different. And given all the ways in which similarity to the real world is NOT superficial, that's something he should have done.

    If the "best" defense of a plot hole is some readers saying "it could be different we don't know", then the writer has failed.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    Yeah, to me the actual numbers don't matter. What bugs me is that Marigold went strraight from "does web design on the side to make rent" to "I could retire if I want to" money off-panel. There's a story there. Tell it.

    Aurelia doesn't have this problem. She isn't a primary character to begin with, so we only see her when someone who is (Claire or Clinton) stops by her house. She can do virtually anything off-panel and it's believable because we know nothing about her. I don't like the storyline because it's cringe comedy of a type I find distasteful, not because it's inherently unbelievable that someone Clinton and Claire don't visit very often could build up a respectable streaming audience without them knowing about it.
    And the story of Marigold going from "computer stuff on the side" to "wildly successful streaming" could have also shown us any ways in which streaming might be different in the QCverse.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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  16. - Top - End - #256
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    There's a difference between a purely fantastical story premise and a story premise that would work more or less the same way in our own world.

    A perfect example is Raiders of the Lost Ark. We're shown the Ark, we're shown what it can do, we're shown how it can melt faces off. There are fantastical elements in this story, and we can suspend our disbelief and accept that premise. However, in the same movie, Indy boards a submarine and then supposedly just hangs on, underwater, for an entire ride across the Mediterranean. No supernatural explanation is given1, so we're kind of left to assume that he just...held his breath?

    Even in a sci-fi or fantasy story, the audience will still expect certain mundane concepts to work the same way as they do in our world. For me, the "Marigold instantly gets rich streaming" idea breaks that suspension of disbelief, because my expectation of plausible employment is reinforced by the fact that almost everyone else in the cast has a mundane 8-5 job that functions 100% the same and pays roughly 100% the same as in the real world2, and they talk about their jobs and their concerns about income constantly.

    May might be a super-advanced AI that breaks all our assumptions about technology, but she was still working a convenience store job, and the narrative spent a good deal of time trying to make that concept feel believable and important in a very real-world way. Marigold's sudden job change is likewise not unassailable just because the world has other fantastical elements.

    1. Yes, I know that there are multiple interpretations of that scene, and that a deleted scene explains that the boat never submerged for very long. It's still vague and breaks suspension of disbelief, because normal things are not behaving normally, and no paranormal explanation is given for that discrepancy.
    2. Although, I've always felt the characters' lifestyles were a little too extravagant for them to plausibly be making service-industry wages.
    Last edited by Ionathus; 2021-06-17 at 09:54 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #257
    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    There's also a difference between "It could be different we don't know" and "it clearly is different, we don't know why". There's an oft-floated quote by the Giant that is relevant here, but I don't have it offhand.

    As far as explaining things...we have Station, owned by Hannelore's father. Jeph never explained to us how a private individual can own and live in his personal orbital habitat when in the real world such things are too expensive for anyone but the largest and wealthiest governments to maintain. Why are we not tearing Jeph apart for failing to do 10 minutes googling the economics of space station expense costs?
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  18. - Top - End - #258
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    Aurelia doesn't have this problem. She isn't a primary character to begin with,
    Not yet, at least. Give it a few more months Current list of side characters who used to be main characters: Marten, Dora, Raven, Steve, Hanners, Momo, Sven, Penelope, Tai. Faye is teetering on the edge of this but is saved by Bubbles, who is still apparently interesting enough to deserve 4-5 panels every few months :D

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    As far as explaining things...we have Station, owned by Hannelore's father. Jeph never explained to us how a private individual can own and live in his personal orbital habitat when in the real world such things are too expensive for anyone but the largest and wealthiest governments to maintain. Why are we not tearing Jeph apart for failing to do 10 minutes googling the economics of space station expense costs?
    Outlandish fictional concepts are often easier to accept, because they feel intentional. There's no way Jeph could've created Station by accident. He had to conceptualize that into existence, so we accept that it's a fabrication.

    But Marigold's streaming is just treated like "idk it happened, doesn't this happen all the time in the real world?" There's no effort put into it, and it strains credibility by being slightly outside what some of us consider realistic, but not in a big flashy way. Kind of like an Uncanny Valley, but for plot points rather than animation. If it's acknowledged, the audience is able to suspend disbelief, but if it's not acknowledged, the audience might stop and go "does...does Jeph really think that's how X works?"
    Last edited by Ionathus; 2021-06-17 at 10:00 AM.

  19. - Top - End - #259
    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    That...works, I guess. If its more relatable, we are more likely to assume it behaves normally until told otherwise.

    Though I do suspect that if Jeph introduced the Great Grapevine Plague of 2023 to explain why raisins have actually become an expensive luxury good in QCverse, we would still be castigated him for the plot holes this creates. I just lean back on the MST3K mantra to avoid stress like that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  20. - Top - End - #260
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    But Marigold's streaming is just treated like "idk it happened, doesn't this happen all the time in the real world?"
    No, it's not. It's treated like, "It happened, it's funny because it's incongruous, I'm writing a humorous webcomic and not a treatise on QC-world economics, and I'm writing like there weren't a dozen people actively looking for things to shout PLOT HOLE about." You're claiming the imagined handwave, of something Jeph does not seem to have any clue anyone would expect him to explain, is huge and central when it's not even stated in the comic.

    It's less extreme than "this one main character's father is implausible brilliant and implausibly absent-minded and lives in space with a near-omnipotent AI-controlled space station," but it occupies the same world, and the same world the comic's been in since the first comic that showed Marten having a wisecracking, small-human-shaped computer.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    No, it's not. It's treated like, "It happened, it's funny because it's incongruous, I'm writing a humorous webcomic and not a treatise on QC-world economics, and I'm writing like there weren't a dozen people actively looking for things to shout PLOT HOLE about." You're claiming the imagined handwave, of something Jeph does not seem to have any clue anyone would expect him to explain, is huge and central when it's not even stated in the comic.

    It's less extreme than "this one main character's father is implausible brilliant and implausibly absent-minded and lives in space with a near-omnipotent AI-controlled space station," but it occupies the same world, and the same world the comic's been in since the first comic that showed Marten having a wisecracking, small-human-shaped computer.
    Please see my comments above, about the other characters' jobs.

    I don't expect a treatise from Jeph about economics. I understand that this is a humor/drama webcomic. But I do expect some internal consistency. And a lot of this comic is about employment. Marten, Dora, Steve, Penelope, Wil, Hanners, Cosette, Angus, Faye, Dale, Emily, Faye again, Bubbles, Brun, Roko, May, and Claire have each had arcs that revolve around getting a job. Having Marigold suddenly become extremely wealthy from streaming is interesting, sure, but if it's done poorly then it doesn't really jive with what I know about the rest of this world...unless the narrative DOES something with that, and thus far I'm not convinced it will. It feels more like a "this would be funny, I'll throw it in" rather than any big plot development.

    And what's more, it feels thoughtless. Back-to-back jokey plot developments about Marigold suddenly getting super wealthy and Pintsize suddenly being able to afford a decent body despite having no established (significant) income both kinda pull the rug out from May's struggles. Jeph wants to write a fun comic where fun things happen? Great. He also wants to tell a dramatic story about somebody coping with the difficulties of being an ex-con? Also great. I loved that arc. But if he doesn't put in the work to keep those two from contradicting each other, I think it's reasonable to question the internal logic of his world.

    And while your proposed image of my viewpoint as skulking in the shadows, waiting to loudly criticize the slightest discrepancy is flattering, it's also inaccurate. I've been casually reading QC practically every week since 2013, and I don't like to nitpick. I'm only voicing my opinions now because these recent plot developments are particularly obvious. They are taking me out of the story, and it's frustrating, and I came here to see if others felt the same way. I don't appreciate having the words "PLOT HOLE!" crammed into my mouth, just for wanting to discuss a webcomic I like.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    That...works, I guess. If its more relatable, we are more likely to assume it behaves normally until told otherwise.

    Though I do suspect that if Jeph introduced the Great Grapevine Plague of 2023 to explain why raisins have actually become an expensive luxury good in QCverse, we would still be castigated him for the plot holes this creates. I just lean back on the MST3K mantra to avoid stress like that.
    People criticized the "raisins are expensive" thing? I always really liked that moment.
    Last edited by Ionathus; 2021-06-17 at 10:48 AM.

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Because he hasn't shown us that streaming is different. And given all the ways in which similarity to the real world is NOT superficial, that's something he should have done.

    If the "best" defense of a plot hole is some readers saying "it could be different we don't know", then the writer has failed.




    And the story of Marigold going from "computer stuff on the side" to "wildly successful streaming" could have also shown us any ways in which streaming might be different in the QCverse.
    The thing is though, its not "It could be different" its "Its VERY different because of all these long established facts of how the qc universe works." We know that ais are a thing, we know there are even more of them not bothering with bodies, and that ais tend to spend a lot of time online for various reasons. All this alone would obviously skew numbers for online entertainment because its adding in an entirely new population group to the total. Now, that said, I admit the entire marigold turning into a well off streamer off screen thing is a bit nuts and doesnt fit into the story for a variety of reasons that takes effort to plug plot holes on, but the idea of streamers averaging higher audiences due to ai boredom and search for the strange isnt one of them.
    "Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum"
    Translation: "Sometimes I get this urge to conquer large parts of Europe."

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama View Post
    Traab is yelling everything that I'm thinking already.
    "If you don't get those cameras out of my face, I'm gonna go 8.6 on the Richter scale with gastric emissions that'll clear this room."

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    Please see my comments above, about the other characters' jobs.

    I don't expect a treatise from Jeph about economics. I understand that this is a humor/drama webcomic. But I do expect some internal consistency. And a lot of this comic is about employment. Marten, Dora, Steve, Penelope, Wil, Hanners, Cosette, Angus, Faye, Dale, Emily, Faye again, Bubbles, Brun, Roko, May, and Claire have each had arcs that revolve around getting a job. Having Marigold suddenly become extremely wealthy from streaming is interesting, sure, but if it's done poorly then it doesn't really jive with what I know about the rest of this world...unless the narrative DOES something with that, and thus far I'm not convinced it will. It feels more like a "this would be funny, I'll throw it in" rather than any big plot development.

    And what's more, it feels thoughtless. Back-to-back jokey plot developments about Marigold suddenly getting super wealthy and Pintsize suddenly being able to afford a decent body despite having no established (significant) income both kinda pull the rug out from May's struggles. Jeph wants to write a fun comic where fun things happen? Great. He also wants to tell a dramatic story about somebody coping with the difficulties of being an ex-con? Also great. I loved that arc. But if he doesn't put in the work to keep those two from contradicting each other, I think it's reasonable to question the internal logic of his world.
    Yes, it certainly would be, in a fundamentally different kind of society than the current American one. (I hope saying that does not qualify as violating the no-politics rule.)

    Here, either you've considered Hannelore's presence next to Faye's as "contradictory" as what you're complaining about now (a billionaire's daughter who only works because she chooses to, and someone living paycheck to paycheck, in the same town and interacting, how can this be?) or, for some reason, Pintsize and Marigold strike you as somehow more sharing money with May than Faye does with Hannelore. (One could make a case for Marigold, though I think it's evident that she didn't yet have the streaming money when May was going through her donation drive; Pintsize too is just bizarre--and to repeat what I said earlier, every time Pintsize and money are mentioned in the same panel, it's about Pintsize mysteriously having large amounts of disposable money, including during the donation drive.)
    People criticized the "raisins are expensive" thing? I always really liked that moment.
    Yes. People claimed that the idea that anyone, ever, could have been so poor as to not have tasted the archetypal cheap snack food was implausible, done poorly, and contradicted the internal logic of the world.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  24. - Top - End - #264
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Yes, it certainly would be, in a fundamentally different kind of society than the current American one. (I hope saying that does not qualify as violating the no-politics rule.)

    Here, either you've considered Hannelore's presence next to Faye's as "contradictory" as what you're complaining about now (a billionaire's daughter who only works because she chooses to, and someone living paycheck to paycheck, in the same town and interacting, how can this be?) or, for some reason, Pintsize and Marigold strike you as somehow more sharing money with May than Faye does with Hannelore. (One could make a case for Marigold, though I think it's evident that she didn't yet have the streaming money when May was going through her donation drive; Pintsize too is just bizarre--and to repeat what I said earlier, every time Pintsize and money are mentioned in the same panel, it's about Pintsize mysteriously having large amounts of disposable money, including during the donation drive.)
    It feels like you're ascribing an argument to my position that I'm not making.

    This isn't about how much each of them gave to May's donation drive, or whether or not they should all be sharing money with each other. The money itself is not the issue. It's about how "finding a new job" is one of the most common plots in QC, and has been a source of stress for many characters (most recently May). The same thing with AI bodies.

    It's stylistically and narratively jarring for either of those issues to suddenly have a big anomaly like Marigold's streaming or Pintsize's new body appear, especially with little foreshadowing and characters not really talking about how that compares to everyone else. Roko's troubles when she was dissociating with her new body had an effective foil with May saying "don't come to MY work and complain to ME about your NEW PERFECT BODY when I'm stuck in this trashcan" and that was a powerful moment. Pintsize buying a new body on a whim is in-character, but the two panels of "oh yeah would that be insensitive to May" "nvm May thinks it's funny" were funny at the time, but didn't sit right with me as I thought more about it.

    Random, "throw it in" sci-fi humor has been a staple of the comic since its beginning, but that's very tricky to balance when you also want to tell a grounded dramatic plot about somebody struggling to find work. It feels like the comic wants to have its cake and eat it too. That's not a sin, as long as you can make it work. I just don't think it's executed with enough forethought or internal consistency to get the buy-in it's asking of me.

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    I don't expect a treatise from Jeph about economics. I understand that this is a humor/drama webcomic. But I do expect some internal consistency. And a lot of this comic is about employment. Marten, Dora, Steve, Penelope, Wil, Hanners, Cosette, Angus, Faye, Dale, Emily, Faye again, Bubbles, Brun, Roko, May, and Claire have each had arcs that revolve around getting a job. Having Marigold suddenly become extremely wealthy from streaming is interesting, sure, but if it's done poorly then it doesn't really jive with what I know about the rest of this world...unless the narrative DOES something with that, and thus far I'm not convinced it will. It feels more like a "this would be funny, I'll throw it in" rather than any big plot development.
    Right. At it's core QC is about the lives of twenty-somethings, and those lives are all about work, relationships, and sometimes hobbies (though the comic has never focused on the third). However, the functionality of all work/money/rent related plots has dropped over time. In many ways I suspect this has to do - as seemingly most issues in the comic do - with Jeph's personal situation drifting further and further from the situation of his characters. Once upon a time Jeph was an underemployed twenty-something too (for all intents and purposes Marten is a self-insert character and QC makes so much more sense once that is understood), but now he has 12,471 patreons and I've seen speculation that he takes in something like 20K per month from that alone. Meaning that he's at least quite comfortably well off and probably legit rich depending on other income streams like t-shirts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish
    Yes. People claimed that the idea that anyone, ever, could have been so poor as to not have tasted the archetypal cheap snack food was implausible, done poorly, and contradicted the internal logic of the world.
    Mostly people, myself included, claimed it was a stupid choice of food type and revealed a lack of forethought and attention to detail. Expensive, luxury, or just rare snack foods exist and Clinton could have easily mentioned something along those lines like dried mangoes, chocolate-covered strawberries, or chocolate truffles. Instead Jeph picked raisins, a choice that was just blatantly ridiculous. it was choice that shattered suspension of disbelief and as such totally rendered the purpose of that comic moot.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    It feels like you're ascribing an argument to my position that I'm not making.

    This isn't about how much each of them gave to May's donation drive, or whether or not they should all be sharing money with each other. The money itself is not the issue. It's about how "finding a new job" is one of the most common plots in QC, and has been a source of stress for many characters (most recently May). The same thing with AI bodies.

    It's stylistically and narratively jarring for either of those issues to suddenly have a big anomaly like Marigold's streaming or Pintsize's new body appear, especially with little foreshadowing and characters not really talking about how that compares to everyone else. Roko's troubles when she was dissociating with her new body had an effective foil with May saying "don't come to MY work and complain to ME about your NEW PERFECT BODY when I'm stuck in this trashcan" and that was a powerful moment. Pintsize buying a new body on a whim is in-character, but the two panels of "oh yeah would that be insensitive to May" "nvm May thinks it's funny" were funny at the time, but didn't sit right with me as I thought more about it.

    Random, "throw it in" sci-fi humor has been a staple of the comic since its beginning, but that's very tricky to balance when you also want to tell a grounded dramatic plot about somebody struggling to find work. It feels like the comic wants to have its cake and eat it too. That's not a sin, as long as you can make it work. I just don't think it's executed with enough forethought or internal consistency to get the buy-in it's asking of me.
    I mean, may going from "Thats insensitive of you to do" to "Lol funny!" Makes sense when you realize her entire situation has changed. She has a fancy top shelf body now and just got herself a better job. Her personality is also very much so "me" centered so its not surprising that she wouldnt be bothered by pintsize just buying a new body on a whim because it no longer is rubbing her nose in the fact that she cant get one. Had he done this while we were still dealing with the social justice search before they gave up and gofundme'd her a body, its likely it would have ticked her off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama View Post
    Traab is yelling everything that I'm thinking already.
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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionathus View Post
    Jeph wants to write a fun comic where fun things happen? Great. He also wants to tell a dramatic story about somebody coping with the difficulties of being an ex-con? Also great. I loved that arc. But if he doesn't put in the work to keep those two from contradicting each other, I think it's reasonable to question the internal logic of his world.
    This is where most of my conflicts come from. You can defend a lot of the plotllines by saying "it's just sitcom wackiness" but that defense falls apart when you start putting serious plotlines into the world as well. Don't get me wrong - I like having the serious plotlines in. Faye's various slow-moving disasters contain some of the better writing in the comic.

    It's when he moves away from the personal and onto social issues that cracks start to appear. Marigold buying Momo a new body works because it's a re-assertion of their friendship and shows how much Marigold cares for her. The actual price of the robot body doesn't matter much. When May can't buy a body because of her conviction, the actual price of a robot body matters a lot. Once the price of a robot body matters, you then have to go back and take into account what the price was in the earlier strips. That leads to the charity drive. Once you've established it took a charity drive, you then start wondering how the heck Pintsize managed it. It also means that Marigold suddenly striking it rich is questioned more deeply.

    Shows like Friends and The Simpsons can get away with it because there is no continuity, no serious storyline underlying it all. When someone strikes it rich and then loses it all, there are no serious consequences because by next episode it never happened. Homer never screws up enough to make Marge divorce him because by the next episode time has reverted to a point before he did those things. QC in contrast has real consequences - the episode where Faye shows up drunk to work results in her getting fired. She doesn't save Dora's life by the end of the episode and get hired back - she never returns to that job. Sven cheats on Faye and it isn't a wacky break-up - Sven is ostracized for weeks/months before he is able to show his face again, and his relationship with the main cast is forever changed.

    QC tries to have the best of both worlds - wacky antics and serious plotlines. And the lot of the time, this works. It's why I'm still reading after nearly 20 years. Sometimes though...it doesn't. And it feels like a long time now since we've had one that does.

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Mostly people, myself included, claimed it was a stupid choice of food type and revealed a lack of forethought and attention to detail. Expensive, luxury, or just rare snack foods exist and Clinton could have easily mentioned something along those lines like dried mangoes, chocolate-covered strawberries, or chocolate truffles. Instead Jeph picked raisins, a choice that was just blatantly ridiculous. it was choice that shattered suspension of disbelief and as such totally rendered the purpose of that comic moot.
    Huh, TIL raisins are an obviously cheap snack food! I rarely ate them as a kid either, but that was just because I didn't like them. And I have no idea what a box would cost right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    I mean, may going from "Thats insensitive of you to do" to "Lol funny!" Makes sense when you realize her entire situation has changed. She has a fancy top shelf body now and just got herself a better job. Her personality is also very much so "me" centered so its not surprising that she wouldnt be bothered by pintsize just buying a new body on a whim because it no longer is rubbing her nose in the fact that she cant get one. Had he done this while we were still dealing with the social justice search before they gave up and gofundme'd her a body, its likely it would have ticked her off.
    Fair point! I can definitely see how May's self-centered mindset would affect things. It's funny now that she's got hers, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    QC tries to have the best of both worlds - wacky antics and serious plotlines. And the lot of the time, this works. It's why I'm still reading after nearly 20 years. Sometimes though...it doesn't. And it feels like a long time now since we've had one that does.
    Same here, on both counts. The plotting has felt pretty disjointed recently.

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Instead Jeph picked raisins, a choice that was just blatantly ridiculous. it was choice that shattered suspension of disbelief and as such totally rendered the purpose of that comic moot.
    This is and has been such a weird hill to die on. Why is it so impossible to believe that someone could have gone their entire life without ever eating specifically raisins? What's so bloody special about raisins that someone, especially a poor person, couldn't possibly under any circumstances have eaten them? It's so bizarre to me that people have fixated on that one individual detail so aggressively.

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    Default Re: Questionable Content XVII: "My Brain Is Trash And I Live On The Internet"

    Quote Originally Posted by Delicious Taffy View Post
    This is and has been such a weird hill to die on. Why is it so impossible to believe that someone could have gone their entire life without ever eating specifically raisins? What's so bloody special about raisins that someone, especially a poor person, couldn't possibly under any circumstances have eaten them? It's so bizarre to me that people have fixated on that one individual detail so aggressively.
    Going without raisins is totally plausible. They arent that interesting a food. Being too poor to afford raisins though, is a problem, because theyre A: readily given out in school meals and other "donate healthy food to kids" type programs, and also pretty cheap on their own per quantity, making them a good food to have if you dont have a lot of spare cash to spend on it.

    Thus, being "too poor for raisins" is close to "living out of a tent in the woods" level of poverty and separation from society.

    Although Brun being raised by wolves would maybe explain a couple things, it probably wasnt what Jeph was going for there.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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