aditantimedh on August 03, 2008, 03:47:16 pm
Someone like Susan la Muse is a reaction to, as Rocketman points out, the millions and millions of people who will keep on doing things completely counter to their personal interests, who will react in the most manipulable way to serve other the interests of powerful groups. 

As Scott said, is it going to take someone really terrifying to do something about it because so many people just want someone else to come along and take responsibility for them? 

Is Susan a hero or a monster?  That is a question I want everyone reading to ask.  The story's job is to take you inside  a main character's head and make them understandable, especially if they do monstrous things. 

And the character everyone should really keep an eye on throughout the story is Libby.

Rocketman on August 03, 2008, 04:43:31 pm
Well said Aditantimedh.  I thought of Libby as basically a sidekick sort of character for Susan throughout the majority of the story, but one that at least to me was pretty appealing.  I really liked the part when Libby used electroshock to save a life.  Not one person in a thousand would have thought of doing that.  Maybe I liked the way she was drawn (definitely HOT!!!  :-*) but she was a much more "grounded" person than her sister.  When it became clear that she was at least as powerful as her sister it felt to me that she had lost a little something because she didn't need to use her brains to think her way out of a jam.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2008, 04:45:58 pm by Rocketman »

aditantimedh on August 03, 2008, 07:15:17 pm
Libby had been someone who chose not to use her powers to solve problems, since she's much less arrogant than Susan about the world.  She's also much more aware of the price to be paid if she were to become Queen of the Universe.

That's why she's reluctant but resigned at the end.

Rocketman on August 03, 2008, 07:56:24 pm
And that's why Libby would make a much better "ruler" than Susan ever would because she would at least consider her actions before taking them.  I am reminded of a quote allegedly made by King George III of Great Britain "I desire what is good, therefore anyone who does not agree with me is a traitor".  >:(

enemyofthestate on August 03, 2008, 09:55:24 pm
Do you mean like "save the rainforests", and "It's a jungle out there"?
Or "wetland" and "swamp"?

I'll stay away from the moving target of the labels that have been used for different human groups over the years.

Symbols enable a human to organize his perceptions, engage in abstract thinking, planning and innovation, and symbolic behavior.  To communicate these symbols and the conclusions they enable to another human being there must first be an agreed upon set of labels attached to these symbols.  This is called language.  Which came first is a "chicken and egg" problem evolutionary science is still fighting about.  Personally I prefer a strict Darwinian hypothesis making the Great Leap Forward about 50 KYA an emergent cultural shift.  But not everyone agrees.

In any case, abstract thought and symbolic behavior combined with language -- which is really just an organized system of labelling -- is a large part of what enables a man to more than just a particularly clever species of chimp.

Which, to bring things back on topic, is the attitude Susan and Libby seems to have toward humans:  We are clever animals that can be trained and exist only for  their amusement.

Frankly if those two really represented what a "Superhero" is then I would have to become Lex Luthor.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2008, 10:10:09 pm by enemyofthestate »

aditantimedh on August 03, 2008, 10:10:59 pm
Rocketman -

That's why Susan keeps Libby around.  She knows her sister is her conscience.

aditantimedh on August 03, 2008, 10:14:16 pm
Enemy -

It's clear that Susan gave up on trying to be human and decided to be more. 

Libby wanted to just be human but her birth and her destiny thwarted her.

Both of them are more and less than human, and spent their lives lying to themselves and each other about whether they're human or not.  If anything, Libby had been more honest to herself about it.

Frank75 on August 04, 2008, 02:27:34 pm
So it's over. Let me just say: Finally!

The whole premise "let's wait for a superhero to clean up the messy world" is idiotic. as is the behavior of supposedly omniscient, omnipotent beings. Susan is a big bitch, and so is her stupid friend who was killed. Noone in the story is really a sympathic character.

You say you wanted to make Susan understandable? Didn't work. She's rather pretty crazy.

I still don't know what exactly your political POV is, but I don't like it. It looks pretty wishy-washy to me.

"labels are too narrow to encapsulate people and their contradictions"? You're just hiding your ignorance and/or indecisivity, it seems.

I don't want to read any more Bigheadpress stories. The Probability Broach and Roswell, Texas also had their flaws, but enough is enough. Goodbye.

Sean Roach on August 04, 2008, 06:11:33 pm
Oh, well.  Good riddance.  He only posted in this thread, and opened up with a comment about it "not being objectivism".

Good story.  I must say I prefer the utopia of "broach" and "Roswell, Texas", however, which was fought for, and fought to maintain, to one handed to the population, like it or not, by a superbeing.

aditantimedh on August 04, 2008, 06:22:01 pm
Hey, the guy read the whole thing anyway.

To me, that's a WIN!

Rocketman on August 04, 2008, 08:41:33 pm
Well Frank75 your certainly entitled to your own opinion but I think that your missing a few very important things.  Like how would you react if you woke up tomorrow morning and you had Susan's powers.  I'm guessing a few people might find fault with the way you run things.  How would you deal with the big government types that want to coop you or kill you, the skinheads that just want you dead, the hangers on that want something from you?  Every individual has certain ideas about how things should be done and written down and it seems to me that your not looking fairly at the story.  While I liked Roswell more it seems to me that being exposed to different points of view are important.  That is unless your mind is already made up and you learned nothing from the story.   :'(

aditantimedh on August 05, 2008, 01:27:10 am
The guy read through all of ROSWELL and LA MUSE, and then he read through this entire thread.  I think that's awesome!

I wouldn't be doing a successful job if I didn't piss somebody off somewhere.  He's made my week.

Leviathan on August 12, 2008, 12:43:53 pm
I'm reminded of the one Superman from The Watchmen.  Libby and Susan still identified with humanity more than would seem...  reasonable.  Though I suspect Susan mainly because she had the capacity to enjoy physical pleasure. Even so, having a consciousness like that one would be unlikely to ever really feel humans were more than that minimum.

I vote monster, myself.  One of the things I pulled from Baudrillard was that the only "real" thing is a thing unmanaged.  Let's say there's a species nearing extinction through a normal process like, say, the expansion of the human populace.  If we take the last examples of that species and put them in a zoo, they aren't real anymore.  They're a pet.  An extension of human playtime.  If we preserve a bit of the land they live on, that is no less a zoo than one where you can see the bars on the cage.  The entire land becomes an extension of humanity, no more itself than anything you'd see on the TV, when you start "preserving" such things.

Susan made a humanity-preserve.  She domesticated humanity.  She made of us her pet, and project plaything.  She caged us in a pleasant prison.  Live or die, the only real humanity is one left to run wild.

Oh, and the only thing Susan had going for her is that she wasn't exactly corruptible.  What do you offer to bribe a Goddess?  The power-players tried bargaining with the things that held value for her, and she just took them back without blinking an eye.  She even made a game of it, screwing just about every person involved and then turning it to her plans by making it rewrite a person who watched it.  When she could've just snapped her fingers like Q and "teleported" the hostages away.  Or stopped time.  Or just unmade all the kidnappers like she did those two.  Ever read Stranger in a Strange Land?  Michael Valentine Smith didn't have Susan's powerlevel...

Rocketman on August 12, 2008, 07:13:03 pm
Leviathan:  While I was reading your post I was thinking about an episode of Futurama where Bender is shot out of a torpedo tube and gets lost in space.  He meets God who tells him that the real secret of absolute power is to use your power so that no one is quite sure whether or not you've even used it.  That makes a lot of sense to me at least.  Begin moderating the weather so that droughts and floods are minimalized, have bad rulers frequently "die off" from strokes and "accidents".  Have scientists make "breakthroughs" in new technology that helps the human race and so on.  Without the extra problems that humans have because of rulers that think that they "know better than anyone else" I think that civilization would advance more rapidly.  And yes I am aware that by doing what I just advocated that in effect I am becoming one of those "know better than anyone else" rulers.   :P

Leviathan on August 14, 2008, 02:01:17 am
Yes, I too believe that without rulers meddling in the matters of us normal folk that society would advance more quickly.  However, the way I say it is I'm not telling anybody else what to do, though I have suggestions on what to do without government in the picture.  Check out "stefan molyneux" on youtube for some fairly eloquent stuff on the subject.  What I'm doing is standing up and saying I don't need someone else telling me how to live, what to spend money on, etc.  Saying nobody needs that imposed on them, though they're free to subject themselves to anything they want.

On the subject of deities, I really don't understand how the religious take solace in there being a god or gods.  Beyond all other questions, if there were such a being directing everything, we would be pets.  Playthings.  What kind of existence would that be?  Why would anybody want to be a pet?