0513: "Friends"

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Lamiakuei
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Lamiakuei » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:00 pm UTC

FireZs wrote:
Lamiakuei wrote:Okay, you know what?

Your family, your business. It doesn't matter to us.

But I know what it's like to be saddled with a boyfriend who was acceptable as a friend but a total pussy-drier as a boyfriend. He was the one attracted to me. He was the one who asked me to be his girlfriend right off the bat. Fine. I dated him, to see if I could ease into an attraction for him.

Didn't take. And as a friend, I couldn't tell him point blank that I was uncomfortable about how he just wasn't well-read or interesting enough for me. How if I were to confide in him my problems, he would brush them off in typical "deal with it another day" fashion. How he would always be attempting to borrow money from me that I knew he would not pay back. How he WHINED about how I wasn't going to have sex when we were in high school and without contraceptives.

You think I liked that? It was nice and comfortable. We didn't fight. Mostly because we had nothing in common and he had no opinions on the things I was interested in and vice versa for me. It was easy. Day in, day out, go see him, kiss and make out. I could've gone for years on this familiarity alone. But did we? No. He dumped me over the phone and picked up a new girl within three days. Apparently, I was too unconventional and it embarrassed him in public the way I was, as his girlfriend, when before, I was fine as a friend.

Who wants to settle? Who wants to be in a relationship so inoffensive, so nonconfrontational, there is no passion, no ardor, no spark? Why is it that the speaker of the comic gets all the sympathy, when the girl is the one who silently suffers and floats in a malaise of polite relationshipness?

A relationship can chug along fine to outsiders, but inside it can be completely different. A basic lack of attraction did my first relationship in. I didn't think he was sexy. I didn't think his conversation was interesting. But you know, he's so nice. So generically unoffensive. Surely I must be missing something about him? No. No, I had not.

The both of us were immature and so on and so forth.

But if some clown with his lack of attractiveness to me the same way as my first boyfriend tried to weasel his way in instead of being up front and making an honest attempt the way I did? No. NO, I will not tolerate a boyfriend, I will love.


Wow. A situation where you would have been better off HAD HE NOT ASKED YOU OUT UPFRONT. Mind-blowing.


I'm getting the impression that you wanted any and all relationships that do not have any egregarious problems like beatings to be maintained, no matter the situation, just because they are in a relationship.

I'm just saying that it would be even WORSE if he had weaseled his way in and I had less clarity to draw the line between friend and boyfriend. For the both of us, it would've been much nastier to endure.

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Quixotess » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:05 pm UTC

Belial wrote:The outcome is that you've given her a true choice, as opposed to the false choices she had before. You've given her agency. She can't choose to act on a fact she isn't aware of. And now, she can choose to stay or leave with her eyes wide open and a full knowledge of the truth.

Which is why I think it's disingenuous to say that the goal with the comic is to break couples up, or to say that the comic has in any way caused people to break up. If people do happen to change something about their lives after reading the comic, it's not because the comic made them. It's because there was already something wrong and they only just realized it.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby FireZs » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:10 pm UTC

Belial wrote:The outcome is that you've given her a true choice, as opposed to the false choices she had before. You've given her agency. She can't choose to act on a fact she isn't aware of. And now, she can choose to stay or leave with her eyes wide open and a full knowledge of the truth.


Because in terms of how it affects how he would treat her in the future, it's irrelevant. You wouldn't be "giving her a true choice" any more than you would if you told her anything else about him that she didn't know before.

Quixotess wrote:Which is why I think it's disingenuous to say that the goal with the comic is to break couples up, or to say that the comic has in any way caused people to break up. If people do happen to change something about their lives after reading the comic, it's not because the comic made them. It's because there was already something wrong and they only just realized it.


Great, so we're not responsible, ever. How convenient.
Last edited by FireZs on Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:12 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Belial
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Belial » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:14 pm UTC

You wouldn't be "giving her a true choice" any more than you would if you told her anything else about him that she didn't know before.


If it's as irrelevant as you seem to think it is, then telling her would have no effect.

If it *would* have an effect, then she clearly thinks it's important. Why do you get to decide it isn't?

And further, in the comic, it's happening (or not happening, as the case may be) right now, not at some unspecified time in the past. That changes things.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Noc » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:14 pm UTC

Lamiakuei wrote:
FireZs wrote:Wow. A situation where you would have been better off HAD HE NOT ASKED YOU OUT UPFRONT. Mind-blowing.


I'm getting the impression that you wanted any and all relationships that do not have any egregarious problems like beatings to be maintained, no matter the situation, just because they are in a relationship.

I'm just saying that it would be even WORSE if he had weaseled his way in and I had less clarity to draw the line between friend and boyfriend. For the both of us, it would've been much nastier to endure.

To add to this, imagine two situations:

In one, person A asks person B out, and a relationship ensues. It becomes clear that the people involved are not tremendously compatible as a couple, and the relationship begins to deteriorate. One or both parties realize that they aren't getting what they want out of the relationship, and move to terminate it. Obviously, things are rather messier than this in real life, but this way both parties entered into the relationship of their own free will, knowing what it entailed, and chose to terminate it when it became clear that it wasn't working to their satisfaction.

In another, person A does the "Friends" thing. Person B is, at some point, lonely, and since person A is at their side and has convinced them that no one else cares about them, they begin a relationship. It becomes clear that the people involved are not tremendously compatible as a couple, and the relationship begins to deteriorate. Person B is unwilling to terminate the relationship because they've been manipulated into believing that there's no one else out there for them, even though the present circumstances are mediocre. Person A is unwilling to leave the relationship, either because they're getting everything they want out of it (despite the other party's feelings) or because they, as person B's sole source of emotional support, know that abandoning person B would be traumatic in the extreme. Thus, the relationship continues to deteriorate. And deteriorate. And deteriorate further.

This is not a recipe for good things.
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mythago
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby mythago » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:16 pm UTC

FireZs wrote: Great, so we're not responsible, ever. How convenient.


I always forget if this one is reducto ad absurdam.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby 22/7 » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:16 pm UTC

FireZs wrote:
Quixotess wrote:Which is why I think it's disingenuous to say that the goal with the comic is to break couples up, or to say that the comic has in any way caused people to break up. If people do happen to change something about their lives after reading the comic, it's not because the comic made them. It's because there was already something wrong and they only just realized it.
Great, so we're not responsible, ever. How convenient.
Who is "we" in that sentence and how does "no responsibility" follow directly from what Quix said, and not responsible for what?
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby FireZs » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:18 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
You wouldn't be "giving her a true choice" any more than you would if you told her anything else about him that she didn't know before.


If it's as irrelevant as you seem to think it is, then telling her would have no effect.

If it *would* have an effect, then she clearly thinks it's important. Why do you get to decide it isn't?


If you're talking about just purely talking about the fact he became her friend in order to get her to like him, yes, you would be right. I was under the impression that you would be going in with the commentary here, about how her husband is a pathetic man for having done this, and fully with the intent to break them up, especially since you mentioned that you would be surprised if she decided to stay anyway after finding out.

Quixtess wrote:Which is why I think it's disingenuous to say that the goal with the comic is to break couples up, or to say that the comic has in any way caused people to break up. If people do happen to change something about their lives after reading the comic, it's not because the comic made them. It's because there was already something wrong and they only just realized it.


To clarify, this is kind of an ass-thing to do as well, because you assume that people won't see connections between their situation and the comic that aren't actually there. That the analogy may not actually translate, and "realizing" something wrong that wasn't actually there. To justify it by saying "if we caused any problems the problems were already there, so we're not responsible!" is very dishonest.
Last edited by FireZs on Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:25 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Lamiakuei
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Lamiakuei » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:21 pm UTC

Noc wrote:
Lamiakuei wrote:
FireZs wrote:Wow. A situation where you would have been better off HAD HE NOT ASKED YOU OUT UPFRONT. Mind-blowing.


I'm getting the impression that you wanted any and all relationships that do not have any egregarious problems like beatings to be maintained, no matter the situation, just because they are in a relationship.

I'm just saying that it would be even WORSE if he had weaseled his way in and I had less clarity to draw the line between friend and boyfriend. For the both of us, it would've been much nastier to endure.

To add to this, imagine two situations:

In one, person A asks person B out, and a relationship ensues. It becomes clear that the people involved are not tremendously compatible as a couple, and the relationship begins to deteriorate. One or both parties realize that they aren't getting what they want out of the relationship, and move to terminate it. Obviously, things are rather messier than this in real life, but this way both parties entered into the relationship of their own free will, knowing what it entailed, and chose to terminate it when it became clear that it wasn't working to their satisfaction.

In another, person A does the "Friends" thing. Person B is, at some point, lonely, and since person A is at their side and has convinced them that no one else cares about them, they begin a relationship. It becomes clear that the people involved are not tremendously compatible as a couple, and the relationship begins to deteriorate. Person B is unwilling to terminate the relationship because they've been manipulated into believing that there's no one else out there for them, even though the present circumstances are mediocre. Person A is unwilling to leave the relationship, either because they're getting everything they want out of it (despite the other party's feelings) or because they, as person B's sole source of emotional support, know that abandoning person B would be traumatic in the extreme. Thus, the relationship continues to deteriorate. And deteriorate. And deteriorate further.

This is not a recipe for good things.


Exactly. Later on, my ex's friends nearly all came to me, finally free to voice their opinion that they were amazed that I was able to endure his doofishness as a boyfriend and that they were at a loss during the relationship to come up with any reasons for me to be attracted to him because of what they knew of him as friends. And then there was the fact that I stayed with him for six months. His second girlfriend lasted six weeks. His third? Two weeks. They weren't his friends to begin with. Because I was his friend in the first place, I has constantly second guessing myself, constantly rationalizing, constantly saying to myself, he's my friend, surely I'd like him more now that we're in deeper? My tolerating him didn't do him any favors later on in the dating pool; he was surprised by the fact that my tolerance was not present with other girls who seemed far more compatible to him than me. In his opinion, of course. His compatibility to them is something I'm not objective enough to judge.

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Belial
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Belial » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:26 pm UTC

especially since you mentioned that you would be surprised if she decided to stay anyway after finding out.


Mentioned in reference to the hypothetical girl in the comic. This is a discussion about the comic, you realize, right?

Your girlfriend's sister might well decide that there's been enough time and enough good relationship-ness since then that she doesn't care that she was manipulated into settling, or that she is willing to forgive it. That's her call. That's also why it's something of a sillily slanted example.

The fact is, our hypothetical comic girl deserves to know what he's doing, right then. Which is why the deception that friendjerk is perpetrating is such bullshit.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby william » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:32 pm UTC

improbability driver wrote:Haha oh no, I didn't mean that in the "oh boo hoo how can he want That Bitch when I am clearly better than all girls ever" way, which is a mantra all too common for girls my age; more so commenting on the fact that if all of my male friends who hang around me (and not the other way around, which seems to be key) want to bone me, I think I would have noticed a little bit (unless I have been vastly overestimating my own attractiveness all this time, which I will never admit to even if it's true - OR WORSE, I myself am That Bitch AND a Nice Girl simultaneously, writing angsty LJ posts over a Jerk while totally ignorant of a Nice Guy who in turn is totally ignorant of a Nice Girl who is That Bitch to another Nice Girl who is ignored by another Nice Guy who is a Jerk to another That Bitch and ugh so complicated oh god don't look at it Marion, keep your eyes shut!)

Clearly, you need a little black book where you can write the names of all those bitches and jerks. Because let's face it, that would make the situation much simpler, at least until the detectives come in.
ZephyrSpark wrote:Now I know that this sounds very arrogant on my part, but... I am the Nice Guy. I mean the Nice Guy, and I'm damn proud of it. I have more female friends than guy friends, and every one of them I became friends with because I wanted to be friends and ONLY friends with them. True, with a few of them down the line I did develop crushes on them, but when I asked them out and they said no it didn't hurt our friendship at all (which I am eternally greatful for). It's because they all know that I wasn't trying to be friends with them just to get in their pants, and I'm disgusted at the people who do.

You aren't a Nice Guy(tm). You are a nice guy. Also, I don't think you were quoting an actual post, you were quoting somebody's summarization of a post. Which means a strawman.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby mythago » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:41 pm UTC

Belial wrote:The fact is, our hypothetical comic girl deserves to know what he's doing, right then. Which is why the deception that friendjerk is perpetrating is such bullshit.


Which is also why the comic is funny. Unlike in real life, FriendJerk is aware of exactly what he's planning to do, explains it all to his crush, and is shocked and horrified that she doesn't eagerly sign on to his fantasy. A comic simply documenting a woman falling into such a relationship wouldn't be funny at all.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby wisefolly » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:49 pm UTC

FireZs wrote:
Belial wrote:
You wouldn't be "giving her a true choice" any more than you would if you told her anything else about him that she didn't know before.


If it's as irrelevant as you seem to think it is, then telling her would have no effect.

If it *would* have an effect, then she clearly thinks it's important. Why do you get to decide it isn't?


If you're talking about just purely talking about the fact he became her friend in order to get her to like him, yes, you would be right. I was under the impression that you would be going in with the commentary here, about how her husband is a pathetic man for having done this, and fully with the intent to break them up, especially since you mentioned that you would be surprised if she decided to stay anyway after finding out.


The commentary has nothing to do with breaking the couple up because the husband is pathetic. You are the only one who added that little gem. This doesn't change the fact that she has the right to know that she was tricked into it. Sure, she's responsible for her own happiness, and therefore she is responsible for staying in the situation after realizing she is unhappy. However, that doesn't make him any less of a jerk for tricking her in the first place, and if she knew earlier, it could certainly save her a lot of heartache. He's clearly taking advantage of someone who is in a weakened state, thus reducing her decision making capacity. It can take a long time for people to snap out of that. The friendjerk name suits him well.

FireZs wrote:
Quixtess wrote:Which is why I think it's disingenuous to say that the goal with the comic is to break couples up, or to say that the comic has in any way caused people to break up. If people do happen to change something about their lives after reading the comic, it's not because the comic made them. It's because there was already something wrong and they only just realized it.


To clarify, this is kind of an ass-thing to do as well, because you assume that people won't see connections between their situation and the comic that aren't actually there. That the analogy may not actually translate, and "realizing" something wrong that wasn't actually there. To justify it by saying "if we caused any problems the problems were already there, so we're not responsible!" is very dishonest.


So wait. Composing this comic, or pointing out the realities in the imagined world of the said comic (not real life) is an ass-thing to do because people will suddenly see connections between their situations that aren't actually there? You're joking right?

If that were true, if a couple views any work of fiction that bears a slight resemblance to their situation and sees something negative in it that isn't actually a reality in their situation, but thinks it may be present in their relationship as a result of viewing the work bearing a resemblance (Life, meet art. Art, meet life.), then it is the author of the work who is culpable, not their poor comprehension (or poor understanding of their own relationship's dynamics). Gotchai

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby wisefolly » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:14 am UTC

mythago wrote:
Belial wrote:The fact is, our hypothetical comic girl deserves to know what he's doing, right then. Which is why the deception that friendjerk is perpetrating is such bullshit.


Which is also why the comic is funny. Unlike in real life, FriendJerk is aware of exactly what he's planning to do, explains it all to his crush, and is shocked and horrified that she doesn't eagerly sign on to his fantasy. A comic simply documenting a woman falling into such a relationship wouldn't be funny at all.


Amen!

For those that don't get it, this is what he is basically saying to the girl: "Hi, I'm a sociopath. Because you are vulnerable, you'll continue to date jerks, and I'll tear them all down while I pretend to care about your feelings. I will isolate you from others and so that you will come to think that I'm the only one who will ever understand you, and it will be hard to see how you could ever build this close a codependent connection again. Eventually, once you are lonely enough, you will have moment of weakness and give in. You won't really be happy, but that's okay because it is my wants that I really care about, and I will finally have you."

If you don't get why that is wrong, then I cannot help you.

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby infernovia » Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:51 am UTC

The nice guy is stupid simply because he isn't trying to understand the girl's feeling. He just wants her to fall in line with his thought and work with his idea of the world, although she might have completely different opinions than him. Simple as that.

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby xinu » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:21 am UTC

wisefolly wrote:
FireZs wrote:But the point is that regardless of the intent of the comic and how you or I perceive the point of the comic, there are a lot of people who are equating your first two paragraphs. Namely that the people in this thread with superficially similar stories are lumped in with the friendjerk in the comic. So it is effectively acting as anti-befriend-to-date propaganda, even if it wasn't designed to be so, and I found that a little unfair.


Befriending someone for the purpose of a future relationship (as a technique) is a bad idea in general, I think. However, I don't think the comic is propaganda against that. I think that is neither the authorial intent nor the actual way it reads, but we could just be seeing it differently.

Settling for friendship, but hoping for more is just fine. IMHO, friendship should be for the sake of friendship. Otherwise, I'm not sure how much you are really taking the other person's feelings into account. Real friends want their friends to be happy whether alone, in a relationship with someone else, or in an eventually relationship with them. To me, that the underlying morality theme of the comic, not simply, "Don't befriend as a dating technique," but "Don't be friendjerk who doesn't care about the other person's happiness."


I have to agree with FireZs on this one point: Intention or not, many people *do* read it as a broader hint -- evidenced by the many posts in this thread condemning befriend-to-date as immoral and manipulative in general (which I have already questionend in an earlier post), as well as the many posters who (probably wrongly) identify with the situation...

Regarding the intent, my take on it is that it's meant to say, "Look, you guys befriending a girl in hope of a relationship: you may not be consciously planning this kind of manipulation; but this is a slippery slope, and you may very well end up with the same outcome: tricking her into a relationship without real love. You better watch out, and reconsider your approach."

Whether the "propaganda" is really unfair, I'm not certain. I think it's meant as an eye-opener, to make people in similar situations think about what they are doing. It definitely succeeds on that score :-)

PS. Only a few more posts to go, and this will be the longest, i.e. most controversial comic discussion thread of all... As I said, clearly a success ;-)

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby fOSSil » Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:54 pm UTC

The comic and especially this threads discussion have enlightened my a lot. I am currently having a big crush on a co-worker of a friend. I cannot stop thinking of her every free minute I have. I tend to be the "take it slow" kind of guy and not tell someone, how much I like her, because of beeing unsure about her feelings, fear of rejection and also because if all goes wrong I would possibly not see her this many times anymore. And I don't want that to happen!

It all started little more than a month ago, when I got a phone call from her inviting me to a party. She got my phone number from my friend, who works with her. I knew her half a year before and noticed that I like her, but did only see her a few time in between. From this party on I felt that weird feeling deep within. It happens rarely to me and I recognised it as being major.

During the last four weeks I went to all the things my friends collegues got up to, mainly because I wanted to see her again and again... The feelings got stronger but I did do nothing to signal her my feelings, apart from behaving over friendly, and being weird and clingy, which I realise now reading the comic and this topics discussion (and I want to thank you all for that).

Then last saturday we went for a karaoke party and it was me and her sitting on a couch both singing along Mariah's "I will always love you", looking into each others happy smiley eyes. Wow, that was as brilliant as cheesy. On monday I wanted to go to cinema with her, but she already had a meeting with someone else that night. Since then I'm a bit down.

But reading this topic, today I know what I will do. I don't wait any longer. I will tell her my feelings now. After work I will call her and invite her to the city's christmas fair, complete with romantic ice rink and all. And then I will tell her how I feel about her.

And then - please wish me luck - she will tell me she feels the same.
Last edited by fOSSil on Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:56 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Marlayna » Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:41 pm UTC

About the ongoing argument between FireZs and practically everybody else, I have three things to say.

1) Many of you seem to have misunderstood his point. He never claimed that the end justifies the means; his claim was that, if someone freely chooses to be with a jerk, then there's no point in judging said jerk.

2) That said, I disagree with both sides on what would constitute a truly free choice. FireZs doesn't seem to think that people deserve to know the truth about their relationships, and the rest of you don't seem to realize that telling someone the plain truth (FACTS) is different from passing jugdement on someone.

Telling a girl that her (boy)friend is hiding (or has at some point hidden) his intents (I'm talking about intents here, not feelings), when you are 100% certain that you aren't simply misjugding him, is right. Yes, even if they have been together for years.

Telling the girl that the (boy)friend is unworthy or evil because of the aforementioned behavior is a mild form of manipulation and therefore wrong. In cases when she's in emotional distress over something and can't think straight, it's even more wrong.

Advising the girl to leave her (boy)friend is blatant disrespect for her decision. Don't tell her what to do! Just give her the facts and let her decide. Or judge. Or whatever. And I feel that mythago was extremely irresponsible in giving advice katyism (even moreso since he can't know for certain what her boyfriend's intentions were).

In general, keep in mind that you can never be sure how happy or content the girl actually is, or how happy she would be if she had made a different choice. People and situations are more complicated than they seem to an outsider.

3) The comic is ambiguous. I think it can justifiably be considered responsible for accusing the wrong people and/or passing unfair judgement. The actual intent of the author is irrelevant; it's how the comic will be used that matters.




On another note,
Belial wrote:
Don't want to be an evil manipulator? Too bad; should have thought about that before being too shy to ask someone out. The only way to save yourself is to cut yourself off from her."


And simply asking her now isn't an option somehow? No one saying you have a 20 minute window or anything, just that she deserves a chance to make a frank choice in a clear state of mind, and that deliberately engineering the situation in order to avoid that is some serious dipshittery.
Belial seems to think that the only way for her to make a clear-headed choice is if she is directly asked to. I'm actually not so sure about that.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby mythago » Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:23 pm UTC

Marlayna wrote:About the ongoing argument between FireZs and practically everybody else, I have three things to say.

1) Many of you seem to have misunderstood his point. He never claimed that the end justifies the means; his claim was that, if someone freely chooses to be with a jerk, then there's no point in judging said jerk.


Actual quote from FireZs: "Well, the ends justifies the means IF the girl willingly chooses the guy." He backed off that, of course, once the 'sisterhood is powerful' feint turned out not to be quite so effective. See, as Belial has pointed out over and over again, the issue is FriendJerk's behavior. There are women who choose to be with guys who have severe drug additions, who are verbally abusive, who leech off their money, who insult them and make them feel ashamed of how "fat" they are, and so on; are you (or FireXs, who I get the impression is a RL friend of yours) arguing that we can't even talk amongst ourselves about what an assjack said boyfriend is, because She Chose Him?

And I feel that mythago was extremely irresponsible in giving advice katyism (even moreso since he can't know for certain what her boyfriend's intentions were).


I feel that it's extremely insulting to katyism to assume that she's an idiot who can't put "opinion of a stranger on the Internet, given in the context of what I've said on a forum post" into its proper context, and decide for herself whether or not it's good advice.

3) The comic is ambiguous. I think it can justifiably be considered responsible for accusing the wrong people and/or passing unfair judgement. The actual intent of the author is irrelevant; it's how the comic will be used that matters.


The comic is mean and some people may misinterpret it; therefore if anyone got a different interpretation, or misunderstood it, or prefers to misinterpret it because it hit a little close to home, that's all Randall's fault.

Did I miss anything?





On another note,
Belial wrote:
Don't want to be an evil manipulator? Too bad; should have thought about that before being too shy to ask someone out. The only way to save yourself is to cut yourself off from her."


And simply asking her now isn't an option somehow? No one saying you have a 20 minute window or anything, just that she deserves a chance to make a frank choice in a clear state of mind, and that deliberately engineering the situation in order to avoid that is some serious dipshittery.
Belial seems to think that the only way for her to make a clear-headed choice is if she is directly asked to. I'm actually not so sure about that.[/quote]
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Belial » Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:56 pm UTC

Marlayna wrote:About the ongoing argument between FireZs and practically everybody else, I have three things to say.

1) Many of you seem to have misunderstood his point. He never claimed that the end justifies the means; his claim was that, if someone freely chooses to be with a jerk, then there's no point in judging said jerk.


Not really. My contention is, and has always been, that she at least deserves to know that she's choosing a jerk, but that the jerk's behaviour is specifically engineered to make his jerkery imperceptible. Which is what makes it bullshit.

An informed choice to be with a jerk is an entirely different animal.

2) That said, I disagree with both sides on what would constitute a truly free choice. FireZs doesn't seem to think that people deserve to know the truth about their relationships, and the rest of you don't seem to realize that telling someone the plain truth (FACTS) is different from passing jugdement on someone.


All the "she deserves to know, what she does after that is her call" posts seem to disagree with that, but since I basically agree with everything you're saying in bullet point #2 here, I see no point in engaging in the "that's what I was saying all along" "No you weren't" "Yes I was" argument. So, let's just say that I agree with the entirety of #2, and if I ever disagreed I was wrong.

3) The comic is ambiguous. I think it can justifiably be considered responsible for accusing the wrong people and/or passing unfair judgement. The actual intent of the author is irrelevant; it's how the comic will be used that matters.


It is about as clear as it could possibly be without disclaimers saying "if you're not acting like this guy in the ways that make it really bad, you're not bad, carry on".

On another note,
Belial wrote:
Don't want to be an evil manipulator? Too bad; should have thought about that before being too shy to ask someone out. The only way to save yourself is to cut yourself off from her."


And simply asking her now isn't an option somehow? No one saying you have a 20 minute window or anything, just that she deserves a chance to make a frank choice in a clear state of mind, and that deliberately engineering the situation in order to avoid that is some serious dipshittery.
Belial seems to think that the only way for her to make a clear-headed choice is if she is directly asked to. I'm actually not so sure about that.
[/quote]

Not quite. Sometimes things just work out that way, and that's fine. But if you (figurative you, obviously) catch yourself specifically engineering things to avoid asking, it's worth asking yourself why, and whether you're trying to avoid giving her a clear decision in the matter. Remember, the main thrust of this comic isn't "these people are bad, burn them at the stake!" it's "This person is bad. DON'T BE LIKE HIM."

To wit, no one knows your intentions but you. You know what you're doing, and if you think hard and examine yourself honestly, you probably know why you're doing it.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Marlayna » Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:28 pm UTC

mythago wrote:
Marlayna wrote:About the ongoing argument between FireZs and practically everybody else, I have three things to say.

1) Many of you seem to have misunderstood his point. He never claimed that the end justifies the means; his claim was that, if someone freely chooses to be with a jerk, then there's no point in judging said jerk.


Actual quote from FireZs: "Well, the ends justifies the means IF the girl willingly chooses the guy." He backed off that, of course, once the 'sisterhood is powerful' feint turned out not to be quite so effective.


I still think he meant what I said.

mythago wrote:See, as Belial has pointed out over and over again, the issue is FriendJerk's behavior. There are women who choose to be with guys who have severe drug additions, who are verbally abusive, who leech off their money, who insult them and make them feel ashamed of how "fat" they are, and so on; are you (or FireXs, who I get the impression is a RL friend of yours) arguing that we can't even talk amongst ourselves about what an assjack said boyfriend is, because She Chose Him?


Why do you feel the need to do that? Judging someone is generally useless unless you plan to do something about it (well obviously not the fictional guy from the comic, but people who behave similarly). If you feel the need to judge, could it be because you also feel the need to act based on your judgement?

mythago wrote:I feel that it's extremely insulting to katyism to assume that she's an idiot who can't put "opinion of a stranger on the Internet, given in the context of what I've said on a forum post" into its proper context, and decide for herself whether or not it's good advice.


I don't assume anything. Katyism may or may not be an "idiot", or in an emotionally vulnerable position where she might make bad decisions. I can't know and you can't know, and that's why I think you were being irresponsible.

mythago wrote:The comic is mean and some people may misinterpret it; therefore if anyone got a different interpretation, or misunderstood it, or prefers to misinterpret it because it hit a little close to home, that's all Randall's fault.


Not all. But the comic plays a part.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Nifar » Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:30 pm UTC

Am I the only one who didn't figure out what was wrong here until I read the posts discussing what was going on?
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby ethraax » Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:38 pm UTC

Nifar wrote:Am I the only one who didn't figure out what was wrong here until I read the posts discussing what was going on?

Given the volume of "Randall get out of my head." posts, I would say no.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby 22/7 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:39 pm UTC

Marlayna wrote:Why do you feel the need to do that? Judging someone is generally useless unless you plan to do something about it (well obviously not the fictional guy from the comic, but people who behave similarly). If you feel the need to judge, could it be because you also feel the need to act based on your judgement?
Be careful not to fall into the "judge not lest ye be judged" bull shit, or the even less sensible "don't judge me". We judge other people constantly in our day to day lives and this is a good thing, it's how we protect ourselves from people who would do us harm (regardless of their intent) and how we know whether people are worth investing in. Similarly, we "act" on that judgment any time we decide not to hang out with that hurtful person or simply not to talk to them in the hall or not to get into a relationship with them. Beyond that, I'm curious where you're drawing the line of judging and acting that are so very harmful.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Nifar » Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:56 pm UTC

ethraax wrote:
Nifar wrote:Am I the only one who didn't figure out what was wrong here until I read the posts discussing what was going on?

Given the volume of "Randall get out of my head." posts, I would say no.

I'm not sure whether or not that's a good thing.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby wisefolly » Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:04 pm UTC

infernovia wrote:The nice guy is stupid simply because he isn't trying to understand the girl's feeling. He just wants her to fall in line with his thought and work with his idea of the world, although she might have completely different opinions than him. Simple as that.



You make a valid point. I went way overboard on my last response, and was exaggerating a bit because I was frustrated with another poster. Sorry. Perhaps he is just stupid, but the point still stands that he is being a bit of a jerk by not taking her feelings into account, though that doesn't exactly make him into the sociopath I described. Anyhow, an ignorant jerk is still a jerk. Being clueless doesn't make him any more of a considerate person.

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Marlayna » Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:05 pm UTC

@22/7: When you go so far as to share your judgement with other people (*), wouldn't that imply that your desire to act on it is just as strong?

(*) ...which is already an action - although irrelevant to the ones involved (girl, boy, "jerk"...)
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby setzer777 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:42 pm UTC

FireZs,

I realize the argument has drifted quite a bit, but I'm not sure what exactly your objection to the comic is. You say: "Yes he's a jerk, but it's still her choice". But if the manipulation he engages in doesn't qualify as taking away her choice, then certainly someone reading this comic and deciding to dump her boyfriend (which seems to be the negative result you're worried about) isn't taking away her choice either.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby 22/7 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:03 pm UTC

Marlayna wrote:@22/7: When you go so far as to share your judgement with other people (*), wouldn't that imply that your desire to act on it is just as strong?

(*) ...which is already an action - although irrelevant to the ones involved (girl, boy, "jerk"...)
My point was that we judge people all the time and we also "do something about it" all the time, even if it's just in the form of avoiding someone. As to what you're getting at here, I must admit I'm a little lost.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Lamiakuei » Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:34 pm UTC

The way I'm seeing it with FireZs, it goes like this:

He's got his woman and you know what, she's his now! You poke it, you own it, and guess what? NO TAKE BACKS! Manipulate, lie like a rug, fake concern, wear her down, so long as she is yours, who do the rest of the people on here think they are, complaining about tactics? You win! You win! You're a big winner and you get your prize!

Nevermind what the "prize" feels or deserves to know about how they were won. As long as they are in a relationship, it's all hunky dory! After all, don't women want relationships? Isn't the marriage industry a multi-billion dollar affair?

And even better, knock her up and she'll never escape!

Unless she does, and then you get to complain and moan about alimony and child support. Ungrateful wench that she is; weren't you nice to her? What's she got to complain about, that you don't turn her on, that you don't care that she is unfulfilled, that you just aren't compelling as a match? She had her moment of weakness and you moved in when the time was right! If she didn't want it, she shouldn't have been weak enough to exploit!

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby wisefolly » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:05 pm UTC

xinu wrote:
wisefolly wrote:
FireZs wrote:But the point is that regardless of the intent of the comic and how you or I perceive the point of the comic, there are a lot of people who are equating your first two paragraphs. Namely that the people in this thread with superficially similar stories are lumped in with the friendjerk in the comic. So it is effectively acting as anti-befriend-to-date propaganda, even if it wasn't designed to be so, and I found that a little unfair.


Befriending someone for the purpose of a future relationship (as a technique) is a bad idea in general, I think. However, I don't think the comic is propaganda against that. I think that is neither the authorial intent nor the actual way it reads, but we could just be seeing it differently.

Settling for friendship, but hoping for more is just fine. IMHO, friendship should be for the sake of friendship. Otherwise, I'm not sure how much you are really taking the other person's feelings into account. Real friends want their friends to be happy whether alone, in a relationship with someone else, or in an eventually relationship with them. To me, that the underlying morality theme of the comic, not simply, "Don't befriend as a dating technique," but "Don't be friendjerk who doesn't care about the other person's happiness."


I have to agree with FireZs on this one point: Intention or not, many people *do* read it as a broader hint -- evidenced by the many posts in this thread condemning befriend-to-date as immoral and manipulative in general (which I have already questionend in an earlier post), as well as the many posters who (probably wrongly) identify with the situation...

Regarding the intent, my take on it is that it's meant to say, "Look, you guys befriending a girl in hope of a relationship: you may not be consciously planning this kind of manipulation; but this is a slippery slope, and you may very well end up with the same outcome: tricking her into a relationship without real love. You better watch out, and reconsider your approach."

Whether the "propaganda" is really unfair, I'm not certain. I think it's meant as an eye-opener, to make people in similar situations think about what they are doing. It definitely succeeds on that score :-)

PS. Only a few more posts to go, and this will be the longest, i.e. most controversial comic discussion thread of all... As I said, clearly a success ;-)


Well, this is the most reasoned argument for that point of view so far, and I can't completely disagree with you here. However, FireZs seems to have a much more extreme take on it than you do. He seems to see something much more sinister than the slippery slope argument that you are presenting here, and not only believes that it is propaganda, but also holds the art or the artist culpable for the relationship decisions of it's audience. Some of his posts have even implied that there is some deviant attempt to break up coupes through the propaganda of this comic. Whether subject to propaganda or not, people are still capable of making their own decisions, and that is why we should all be more educated about logic and propaganda techniques.

As to whether or not the comic is propaganda (since you put it in quotes), using a slippery slope argument would make it propaganda. However, I do not feel the slippery slope fallacy is used in the comic. It's not saying, "Hey, look out! You may have bad intentions you don't even know about when you befriend that girl which will lead you unintentionally trick someone into a relationship with out love, where you'll continue to be an ass-hat who disregards her feelings." There is no slippery slope of vagueness between the bad intent of the character has when he befriends the girl (to trick the girl into a loveless marriage) and your intent (wishing and hoping for a future) that implies there is no difference between you. There is no slippery slope of causation between the act of befriending someone and the result being an ass-hat who would trick someone into a relationship without love. (You know, because you might be a friendjerk.) The comic is not vague about any of these things. The comic condemns the friendjerk for premeditating how to get what he wants by befriending the girl (not merely in hopes of a future), but with full intent to wait for her moment of weakness so he can take advantage of her and trick her into a codependent relationship without love and with complete disregard to her feelings as long as he has her. (Edited to add- He's doing it wrong!) Dude doesn't want a relationship; he wants to own her!

Moral of the comic: Befriending a girl with the intent to trick her into a loveless relationship is a pretty shitty thing to do. Don't be this guy.

As to whether propaganda is unfair, it depends. In one sense, I would say propaganda is only unfair to those who are ill-equipped to recognize it either by lack of education or ability. Propaganda isn't influential upon those who have both the will and ability to recognize it and look out for it by continually checking their facts, and using various sources of information. (The propaganda technique of cherry-picking facts can be easily missed even by those educated in logical fallacies if they aren't aware of the omitted information.) Some people really don't have the ability to recognize it though. Plus it plays on people's emotions, which can trick even intelligent and highly-educated people if they are taken off guard. Then of course there is the fact that our perceptions are imperfect, and we fall for things like confirmation bias and look for things that confirm our belief. I do think propaganda is wrong. Using deceptive techniques isn't fighting fair even if your opponent can recognize them.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby setzer777 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:19 pm UTC

Lamiakuei wrote:The way I'm seeing it with FireZs, it goes like this:

Nevermind what the "prize" feels or deserves to know about how they were won. As long as they are in a relationship, it's all hunky dory! After all, don't women want relationships? Isn't the marriage industry a multi-billion dollar affair?


I disagree with FireZs, but I think that this is a misrepresentation of his views. Well, part of it: I think he would say that a woman's feelings are very important, but that the notion of "deserves to know" isn't valid if each party is completely happy and the thing she doesn't know is unlikely to have any impact on future happiness. I'd venture to guess that an analogy he would approve of is someone who has a one-night stand, doesn't plan to ever do it again, and never tells their partner about it because their partner is completely happy in the relationship and would only suffer from the revelation.

FireZs, would you say that's a good description of your point?
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby wisefolly » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:37 pm UTC

By the way, never forget that the girl is also responsible for her own happiness. She would likely never get into this situation in the first place (or if she did, she would recognize it and get out way before marrying the guy) if she had enough self-respect for her own wants and needs (not to the detriment of others per se). I understand her character doesn't want to hurt the guy, but clearly she's not happy. Despite what the friendjerk thinks, it's bad for him too. Basically ladies, I'm just sayin' that friendjerks can only do this to us if we let them. Sure the guy is a jerk. She made the decision to be with him though. I do feel sorry for her because though this hasn't happened to me, there were times when I was weak enough when it may have been possible, but I don't absolve her of her responsibility to care for her own emotional well-being.

P.S.- The is very important. Yes, I acknowledged that she made the decision to be with him in his scenario. Please note that this does not make what the character was planning any less morally reprehensible. His plan is manipulative and wrong. It remains manipulative and wrong regardless of her decision to stay with him. Even if she winds up happy and falls in love with the guy and they form a healthier bond, it is still wrong. This is definitely a case of the ends not justifying the means. The intent to deceive and cause probable harm without regard to a person's feelings in the pursuit of personal gain is wrong.

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Marlayna » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:50 pm UTC

To 22/7 I have nothing else to say, besides the questions I've been asking.

On another note, propaganda in the strict sense means simply propagation of information with a specific purpose. Not necessarily false information, and not necessarily in devious ways.
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby wisefolly » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:22 pm UTC

Marlayna wrote:To 22/7 I have nothing else to say, besides the questions I've been asking.

On another note, propaganda in the strict sense means simply propagation of information with a specific purpose. Not necessarily false information, and not necessarily in devious ways.


Yeah, I wasn't sure if it had to necessarily be deceptive by definition or not so I wound up looking it up after my post. That's a good point. I would still add a couple things though. According to dictionary.com's first definition it is information, ideas, or rumors that is propagated (not just information) for the specific purpose of helping or harming a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc. (I plugged part of their definition into yours. Much of it was directly quoted, but not all of it, and you can look up if you want to see the real quote. Just want to represent correctly.) Other definitions I've seen indicate that the specific purpose is to influence people, which of course is pretty much the same thing dictionary.com is saying. Of course such information can be presented without deception, but due to the specific purpose of influence, it is not usually practiced in that manner.

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby katyism » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:28 pm UTC

mythago wrote:katyism - I assumed from the tone of your posts that you're college-age (i.e late teens/early 20s). I didn't mean that in a condescending way at all; only that in that age range, there's a fairly large pool of available people (even in geekdom) and people tend to underestimate their ability to find/odds of locating a good SO.


Heh. Oh dear, my tone? Rest assured, my tone varies depend on the context it's used in. I hope so, at least, for fear that my boss thinks I write like a college student.

I'm almost 30.




mythago wrote:I feel that it's extremely insulting to katyism to assume that she's an idiot who can't put "opinion of a stranger on the Internet, given in the context of what I've said on a forum post" into its proper context, and decide for herself whether or not it's good advice.


Katyism feels that it's extremely amusing to see how much everyone loved using her as an example to support or make points in their various arguments. Katyism posted randomly in the middle of an argument and didn't notice it until later. Now katyism is entertained, and only returns to ctrl+f her name every so often and post something to see what people do with it.

But anyway guys, I'd love to tell you my full story about my boyfriend and opinions about this comic as compared to our situation, but it will just fuel the fire. I might do it later when I'm more bored.

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby mythago » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:54 pm UTC

katyism wrote:But anyway guys, I'd love to tell you my full story about my boyfriend and opinions about this comic as compared to our situation, but it will just fuel the fire. I might do it later when I'm more bored.


It's not really any of our business unless you choose to share it.

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Belial » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:58 pm UTC

...

::shuffles his early-twenties self quietly off of mythago's lawn::

Can I...

Can I at least have my frisby back?
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby 22/7 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:03 pm UTC

You are not in your early twenties (unless of course, you're assuming that there is no "mid-twenties" category).
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Quixotess » Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:06 pm UTC

*does cartwheels on the lawn with her eighteen year-old self*
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