23-06-18 Gotta little ketchup

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worldshaking00
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Re: 23-06-18 Gotta little ketchup

Post by worldshaking00 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:25 am

Well put, @suranae. Of course there are some conveniences that have to be sacrificed considering a four-panel thrice-weekly black-and-white webcomic. And "how deep can someone lust another before it emulates love," is another factor. I think Zii, having a musician's/artist's heart, might understand love conceptually as you put it. But Zii has lost one relationship after another, usually because of her own bolluxing; or, was just too horny to care.
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Spidrift
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Re: 23-06-18 Gotta little ketchup

Post by Spidrift » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:36 am

And all this gets tangled with the problem of the way that both characters have been written up until now.

Normally, if readers say “these two characters are supposed to have an emotional bond, but we haven’t seen it”, one option is for the writers to say “hmm, you’re right”, and go off and write some more scenes in which those two characters bond. But DiDi has consistently been shown as incapable of that, because she’s completely emotionally clueless. Even if she uses the word “love”, none of us believe her. Because why should we? She’s totally unreliable, emotionally. Suddenly showing her as emotionally serious just wouldn’t be believable.

Zii, on the other hand, has recently been shown as making a serious effort to deal with emotions in a mature fashion. Great, the writers have made that credible. But, well, I know that I keep banging on about Ménage à Zombies when most people here haven’t read it, and it’s obviously not canon, but it seems to be true to the personalities of the cast, and...


...at the climax of that story, Zii is shown choosing eternity with DiDi, despite the fact that it isn’t DiDi at all, but a murderous demon possessing DiDi’s body. In other words, Zii literally does not care about DiDi’s mind, but only wants her for her body — and wants it so bad she ends up sacrificing the world (and DiDi’s actual mind) to get it.
And if you ignore that as non-canon, you’ve still got the longing looks that Zii keeps throwing at Gary.

Doesn’t look like a healthy romance to me.
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TCampbell
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Re: 23-06-18 Gotta little ketchup

Post by TCampbell » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:42 am

Cortez wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:11 pm
TCampbell wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:06 pm
DiDi has said she loved Zii on at least two separate occasions, too.
She also said she loved Kiley. And again, only because she got her to orgasm. So it feels more like she confuses love with lust.
All due respect, this seems like confusing cause and effect. DiDi can get pretty far with sex without getting off, but she only seems to get off when she feels something like love, and feels it before the act, not during or after. Yeah, it stunned Kiley how quickly DiDi's feelings kicked into high gear, but that's what happened.

It'd be a stronger argument to say that she told Kiley she "loved" all the disposable men she'd had before Kiley, "each in their own way." But even DiDi seems to understand that there's a big difference between how she felt about them and how she later felt about Kiley or Zii. She appreciated Erik's company all right, but he was pretty close to "out of sight, out of mind" for her, and she sometimes forgot his name. She'd never have treated him like her one and only, made him a picnic lunch, or tried to build a life around him.

Another better argument would be to say "That's not love, that's infatuation; I thought I knew what love was when I was DiDi's mental age, and hoo boy, did I ever not." But again, this seems like trying to apply a smart-person yardstick to a character who's not built for that.
worldshaking00 wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:25 am
Well put, @suranae. Of course there are some conveniences that have to be sacrificed considering a four-panel thrice-weekly black-and-white webcomic. And "how deep can someone lust another before it emulates love," is another factor. I think Zii, having a musician's/artist's heart, might understand love conceptually as you put it. But Zii has lost one relationship after another, usually because of her own bolluxing; or, was just too horny to care.
DiDi may have a great deal to learn about love, still, but the thing is, whenever she gets the idea that her loved one needs something from her... she does it! Immediately and without complaint! She gets the dumb idea that her love of wrestling will threaten Kiley? Okay, so she'll try desperately to maintain the falsehood that she doesn't love it that much to spare Kiley's feelings, and then even sincerely offer to quit it. She gets the good advice from Roxy that you need to keep asking your lover what's wrong? She charges off immediately to do just that. She gets the really BAD advice, from a questionable source, that pursuing an open relationship will make things better with Zii? [Insert Scooby-Doo running noises here.]

Sure, that last one lined up neatly with what SHE wanted, but if she really didn't care about Zii, if she were really just a selfish boob(s), she wouldn't have needed to be talked into it. To me, that just doesn't line up with the lack of non-physical feeling that "loveless" seems to imply.
Last edited by TCampbell on Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Cortez
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Re: 23-06-18 Gotta little ketchup

Post by Cortez » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:53 am

TCampbell wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:42 am


Sure, that last one lined up neatly with what SHE wanted, but if she really didn't care about Zii, if she were really just a selfish boob(s), she wouldn't have needed to be talked into it.
But by that same logic, if she really loved Zii and it wasn't just lust, Lynn wouldn't have been able to convince her in the first place.

And the only reason they didn't hook up was because Lynn decided she preferred Maura, not because DiDi changed her mind.

And Zii was ready to hook up with Gary too.

It really looks more like lust.

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Re: 23-06-18 Gotta little ketchup

Post by suranae » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:57 am

So why isn't she built for the smart person stick because she was certainly shown bright enough to be measured amply by it at the beginning.
Over the 10 year run you've made her so dumb functionally speaking that a sack of potatoes looks like a mental giant.

I'm arguing that didi, feminine titan that she is, does not love Suzi in a romantic sense at all. If anything it'd be a sisterly/familial love based on the very limited selection of screen time the roommates have together.

The same with Didi & Gary, their together time is insificent to sell building romantic/sexual tension.

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Re: 23-06-18 Gotta little ketchup

Post by TCampbell » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:11 am

Spidrift wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:36 am
And all this gets tangled with the problem of the way that both characters have been written up until now.

Normally, if readers say “these two characters are supposed to have an emotional bond, but we haven’t seen it”, one option is for the writers to say “hmm, you’re right”, and go off and write some more scenes in which those two characters bond. But DiDi has consistently been shown as incapable of that, because she’s completely emotionally clueless. Even if she uses the word “love”, none of us believe her. Because why should we? She’s totally unreliable, emotionally. Suddenly showing her as emotionally serious just wouldn’t be believable.
See above: you're certainly right that there's no way DiDi's cluelessness is going to magically vanish, but her willingness to do things is possibly a better yardstick.
Spidrift wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:36 am
Ménage à Zombies...


...at the climax of that story, Zii is shown choosing eternity with DiDi, despite the fact that it isn’t DiDi at all, but a murderous demon possessing DiDi’s body. In other words, Zii literally does not care about DiDi’s mind, but only wants her for her body — and wants it so bad she ends up sacrificing the world (and DiDi’s actual mind) to get it.
Um, well...


If we're going to take up arms in defense of the idea that MaZ is "true to the characters," then I'm not seeing why one would consider Gary and Zii a serious prospect, since she barely showed a shred of regret about his demise. But I feel like that story ramps the insanity up so high that several characters end up more like self-parodies than completely consistent versions of the people we know. It doesn't take Zii's recent changes into account, either.
Spidrift wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:36 am
And if you ignore that as non-canon, you’ve still got the longing looks that Zii keeps throwing at Gary.

Doesn’t look like a healthy romance to me.
I mean, Zii and Gary clearly have potential, sexual and otherwise, and yes, if everything was completely fine between DiDi and Zii, then that wouldn't be a factor. But it's a bit of a jump from that to saying "Zii and DiDi are in a loveless sham of consecutive sexual encounters that they tell themselves is a relationship."

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Re: 23-06-18 Gotta little ketchup

Post by Spidrift » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:26 am

Well, I'd say that Zii showed a couple of shreds of regret on-screen there. But sure, everything was obviously raised to the level of parody. Zombie apocalypse and all that .That's "parody", though, not "total character rewrite".

The problem for readers is that we've seen so much of DiDi's rampant stupidity and utter emotional illiteracy that we not only don't trust a word she says, we don't trust anything she does either. We see her as a completely unreliable narrator with zero self-control. We assume that she's always going to grab the wrong end of the stick, and then very likely beat someone (possibly herself) to death with it by accident.

So it doesn't matter how much the editor waves his hands and says "Nononono! She's serious this time! She means it!", even if that is based on what the authors have said about what's "really" going on inside the heads of these non-existent people; we automatically assume that anything DiDi says is gibberish, and anything she does is stupid.

And if we have to go by her actions rather than her words, well, her recent actions included running off to shag Lynn, with a smug smile on her face and cheerful thoughts about how much sex she'd have there. Likewise, her attempts to please Kiley by denying her interest in wrestling collapsed within five minutes. When it comes to the crunch, to actual choices, we've been shown that her selfish desires override her token attempts to act nice.
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Prydonian
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Re: 23-06-18 Gotta little ketchup

Post by Prydonian » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:48 am

Spidrift wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:53 am
Actually, he never said anything about wanting a stable relationship until recently. He was prepared to take one if it seemed to be what was on offer, but when he started, he just wanted to get out of the mopey rut he was in then. he wants one now, and good luck to him, but I don’t recall him setting that as a specific goal until that post-coital conversation with Peggy.

And his sexual encounters mostly seem to be moderately satisfying for him at the time, and certainly not tragic. (I don’t think that word means what you think it means...) The porn stars and Traci have used him rather badly, for sure, and the thing with Peggy started out as an imposition, but even he now uses the latter as a marker for how far his life has come on. (It works fine on its own terms, he’d just like something deeper.) The encounters with people like Kiley and Senna tended to leave him with a (slightly confused) smile on his face. He still tends to be passively obliging, but that’s Gary being Gary.

And there’s no “maybe” about him having good friends. There’s a whole list of people he can talk to, who share his interests in various ways, and who’ll do him favours when he needs help. They’re all comedic weirdoes with a large closet full of issues each, of course (except Jung, who has his act together), because this is Ma3, but he’s not alone and he’s not unloved.
Well, if you say so. Stridently.
TCampbell wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:42 am
But even DiDi seems to understand that there's a big difference between how she felt about them and how she later felt about Kiley or Zii. She appreciated Erik's company all right, but he was pretty close to "out of sight, out of mind" for her, and she sometimes forgot his name. She'd never have treated him like her one and only, made him a picnic lunch, or tried to build a life around him.
Yes, but, as far as we’ve seen, that’s only because Erik never brought her to orgasm. And it all it takes for that is for someone to say something genuinely nice to her. On the other side of it, the fact that she forgot the name of someone she was having sex is hard not to read as a mark of what kind of a person she is.

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Re: 23-06-18 Gotta little ketchup

Post by TCampbell » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:32 pm

I promised myself I'd make my last post when the next strip loaded, and here it is. So others can have the last word if they so choose. Being a forum regular is just more time-consuming than I can manage on more than a very occasional basis.

I wish I could resolve things more peacefully, but I can't say I agree with much in the last round of comments. Suranae, I don't think DiDi was ever shown as particularly bright in the strip's early days, though it may have been easier to project things on her when she was a bit more of a figure of mystery. Prydonian, it's pretty clear that DiDi's list of sexual conquests is extremely long, and while forgetting their names isn't ideal and may have hurt the feelings of a few who expected more, I don't think it's clear-cut evidence of heartlessness. Love does not confer experience and sophistication, so Cortez's idea that if DiDi loved someone, she'd "just know" not to do anything in particular doesn't do it for me. (Far more intelligent people who loved each other have tried the open relationship thing, though I do think its success rate is generally low.)

Spidrift, I'd take real issue with your "five minutes" description (it was considerably longer than five minutes, it involved a lot of visible effort, and the offer to actually quit wrestling at the end of it, while misguided, is not insignificant). And I don't really have a problem with DiDi indulging her wants when they are NOT (as far as she knows) in conflict with someone else's desires. In fact, most recently, she honestly thought she was helping things with Zii, just as you or I might ultimately strengthen a relationship by getting a little alone time to pursue a hobby in which the other can't participate.

Again, her cruelties are accidental; her kindnesses are intentional.

You may have given up on expecting anything from her actions or words but random stupidity. That's your right. But for all the thought you've obviously put into your reading experience, I'm not sure it's one that's universal. I can think of a number of intellectually challenged characters like DiDi whom I'd read more sympathetically, and that's how I do my best to write them.

And with that, it's probably time I got back to it.

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Spidrift
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Re: 23-06-18 Gotta little ketchup

Post by Spidrift » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:23 pm

TCampbell wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:32 pm
Again, her cruelties are accidental; her kindnesses are intentional.
Or to put it another way - her cruelties are frequent; her kindnesses are intermittent.
TCampbell wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:32 pm
You may have given up on expecting anything from her actions or words but random stupidity. That's your right.
It's kind of a "fool me once..." situation with DiDi, isn't it? Whatever she says, every time Charlie Brown takes the run-up, she whips the football away.
TCampbell wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:32 pm
But for all the thought you've obviously put into your reading experience, I'm not sure it's one that's universal. I can think of a number of intellectually challenged characters like DiDi whom I'd read more sympathetically, and that's how I do my best to write them.
Other "intellectually challenged" characters are frequently written as nice people, by both intent and action. DiDi just isn't.
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Re: 23-06-18 Gotta little ketchup

Post by TheFoolishOne » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:21 pm

and so the trolls killed the writer

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Spidrift
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Re: 23-06-18 Gotta little ketchup

Post by Spidrift » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:42 pm

Nah, the writer (well, editor) went off to write (well, edit). So things are back as they should be.

<Withdraws under bridge.>
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Re: 23-06-18 Gotta little ketchup

Post by Cortez » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:06 pm

TCampbell wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:32 pm
Love does not confer experience and sophistication, so Cortez's idea that if DiDi loved someone, she'd "just know" not to do anything in particular doesn't do it for me.
People that are truly in love rarely jump at the opportunity to sleep with someone else though.

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Re: 23-06-18 Gotta little ketchup

Post by Fluffy » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:26 am

@Cortez - Especially when that decision is made on a whim.

No matter how much a person loves their SO, it's not easy to go without nookie for an extended period of time (I'm talking months/years, here). If Didi had been waiting that long for the big O after her last one with Zii, I think many people could sympathize with her need for a side piece.

But it had only been four days! since Didi last climaxed; and was already looking for an excuse to get nookie elsewhere that she jumps into action the moment she misunderstood Zii when she said they should have an open relationship - choosing to read it as 'sexually open' instead of 'openly honest'.

And the editor expects people to buy his claims that Didi truly loves Zii? :-o
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Re: 23-06-18 Gotta little ketchup

Post by Vitocap » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:31 am

Cortez wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:06 pm
People that are truly in love rarely jump at the opportunity to sleep with someone else though.
How would you know? Have you studied extensively the question? Can you point us to any scientific work of survey or specific piece of scientific evidence to back up your claim?

Frankly, your assertion makes as much sense as stating that people who are truly in love would never eat food cooked by someone else.
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