I've enjoyed this comic so far, but man cannot STAND Lauren. Twist, you may not enjoy the criticism here, but maybe everybody's feelings on this is correct. Lauren handled this extremely poorly, complete lack of communication. Yelling at Sam and company is completely bogus. Why mention all this now? Why not mention it right at the beginning? Not acknowledging that Sam was being ignored did not help. Lauren is nowhere close to 100% being in the right as she feels.
Its amazing, but I think you managed to make Lauren the least liked character now by far. Can't wait for this storyline to end, I'd rather see more of other characters as Lauren at her best is boring bland predictable, and at her worst is loud overbearing and rude.
To take a break from the blame game that is sure to follow I felt I had to mention something. It just occurred to me that this is officially the only comic for which I camp out and wait for the updates. I disagree, rather often, with the very strongly expressed views of nearly every character in this comic, but I think that is one of its strengths. A couple people have mentioned that it is a testament to how well PoY is written that people can get so emotional about the lives of these characters and it's true.
I kind of agree.
Like one or another person has stated, I personally can't stand Lauren, Christo or Sam. I don't know if you grouped them together for a reason like being the least expanded on characters or something, but I don't know. I appreciate your writing and I understand sometimes yelling and letting it all out is the way to go, but she's really ignoring she's part of the problem too. Just like Sam and Christo have been offensive, she's been extremely defensive. If I were in the same situation I would have tried to get these people to talk and work something out. She instead got defensive and attempted to not fix the problem, then get insulted if somebody brought it up.
I honestly want to get back into the story with Peter and Wiley and the band members. I used to like Christo but ever since the break-up he has been unbearable. Hopefully this storyline ends soon.
@James: Hitting your girlfriend's friend in a bar is not overbearing? macho?
Hardly. Don't even get me started with Cristo. He acted macho and whatever from the start of this comic, though that is not the only 'side' of his character(it seems like I'm bashing him too much, but in this story act his actions are inexcusable). Never mind the supposed reasons.
And Lauren DID try to explain many times that in spite the fact Rick likes her, she wouldn't run off with him. She's not a doll.
I'M YELLING THINGS I COULD HAVE JUST SAID INSTEAD OH WAIT I DID SAY THEM BEFORE ONE TIME BUT THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH WHY WOULD I HAVE TO CHECK BACK IN TO SEE IF THE ISSUE WAS RESOLVED OR AT LEAST IMPROVING I DID SAY SOMETHING SO THAT MEANS IT'S FIXED RIGHT BUT NO I GUESS NOT BUT IT'S NOT MY FAULT I SAID SOMETHING THAT ONE TIME AFTER ALL SO NOW I'LL JUST KEEP YELLING UNTIL I'M READY FOR MY SLICE OF HUMBLE PIE RICK TOLD ME IT'S DELICIOUS AND SAM PROBABLY WILL TOO ONCE I STOP YELLING OH WHY AM I STILL YELLING IS MY PIE READY YET SHUT UP CHRISTO AND BRING ME MY PIE AND MAYBE YOU CAN HAVE THE LAST SLICE UNLESS I NEED 2 PIECES TO STOP YELLING AND CATCH MY BREATH MY MIND IS RACING WHERE'S THE GODDAMN PIE?!
Approximately how often, and how many times, in the point of view of the commentators, am I obliged to reassure my bf I'm not sleeping with them?
Because previous to the reaction to this storyline I would have thought the answer was "zero".
And sorry "she should have mentioned this right at the beginning" - do you often sit down with your Significant Other and be like "OK, what new friends did you make this week? Do they have a crush on you? Do you reciprocate?"
Everyone is talking about "communication". Yes they did need to talk: but it was about Sam being stressed, the two of them maybe going out on dates more, and whether or not Christo was the best room-mate. Not about which random folks fancy them.
Also "communication" takes two people. If Sam was hella stressed and feeling ignored it is not 100% Lauren's fault for not getting him to address it in a calm and civil manner.
I missed the state of the union post (I've been busy all weekend and then some, military life is like that), but I agree with Gibson one hundred percent.
Relationships (not just romantic ones, but with anybody- business, friends, etc. are built on two things: honesty and trust. They go hand in hand- you cannot have one without the other. For example, a frequent one I run into: me and some buddies want to go to the bar. We don't want to fork out a billion bucks for a cab ride back to base, so we designate a driver among one of us. We are trusting this individual to not only not drink (Legal limit for the state (and nation) is usually 0.08, but military rule says it's absolute zero), but to make sure everyone in the group gets home safely. We don't trick them into doing it, we ask, and they usually have our backs. Loaning a buddy some money until payday- you ask if you can borrow some cash, and be honest enough to pay them back when you say you will. Honesty/trust. Letting your kid loose with your car for the weekend? You bet your ass there's trust involved (and perhaps a little fear, but that's beside the point). The Air Force has adopted what is called "the wingman concept" (and no, it's not a game plan to make sure you both score at the club). Down range, when you're in a combat zone, you are entrusting your buddy or buddies to have your back, while you need to simultaneously have the integrity to watch out for theirs. If you are dishonest, or lackluster at taking care of your responsibilities, how can I trust you to protect me from enemy attacks/dangerous situations? I can't.
Romantic relationships are no different. My ex used to tell me she was spending time with friends all the time, and I didn't mind at all. (I kind of had the opposite problem: I really didn't mind what she was doing when I wasn't around, and, and I was gone from home a lot. In retrospect, I was kind of a shitty boyfriend, in that while I completely trusted her to be faithful, I didn't give her all the attention that she deserved, so she found someone who did, and while we laugh about it now, I still avoid that Dairy Queen like the plague.) That's how we were able to stay together. I loved her, and (thought that) she loved me, and because of that, I trusted her to do the right thing, and she was (usually) honest in what she told me she was doing, as was I.
Anyway, the last few pages kinda sum it all up: Rick told Lauren his original feelings, Lauren said she was faithful to Sam, and now she's explaining (angrily, but that's beside the point) why Sam and Christo are boneheads.
Women do not come with titles from the DMV; they are not bought, rented, owned, or rent-to-own. They partner with us because they want to, not because they have to. Bottom line.
Sick and tired
You know what? From now on, I'll only write in here if I want to comment on the -actual- comic page, instead of commenting in reaction to other comments. Because all the flame-throwing in here has seriously started to hamper my enjoyment of this comic, as has been the case with many other readers and Mr. Twist himself.
I mean, really? After what he wrote in his SotU, so many of you really feel the need to go back to bashing Lauren, or Sam, or whoever you feel is to blame for the situation or has "disappointed" you? Wow, your egos must be huge. And this is not about having a "reaction/opinion" about the comic, it's about you thinking that you are right, and everybody needs to know no matter what.
What struck me about today's page, is that while Christo has immediately been all up in defense, Sam hasn't said a peep after his rather unfortunately worded "wait, come here!". In fact, in the last couple of pages, he's been looking positively terrified, as if he is about to panic.
I still don't completely agree with Lauren (ONLY because I handle this kind of situation differently, so take my 'not agreeing' with her in that context). I gotta say, though, I absolutely fucking LOVE the first 3 panels. Seriously. I want to frame them and hand them out to lots of people I know, from women too timid channel Lauren all the way across a vast spectrum to men too primordial UGH UGH to believe a woman could be that strong.
Yeah, I love the first 3 panels. The last 2 relate a bit too much to the situation going on in the comic, but the first 3, wow. Power.
I'm grateful that neither my husband nor I are of a jealous nature. The majority of my friends are male and he has a lot of female friends, and we're honest with each other about everything, and we trust each other completely... but I've been sort of in this kind of situation prior to the start of the relationship with my current husband. It's thorny and prickly and damn uncomfortable, and spells the end of the relationship if you can't get to the 'complete trust' level... and sadly, some people just suck at the 'trust' thing, even if they try.
I'm still a little curious as to what exactly Lauren did wrong here. She made a friend. They're not screwing. Christo doesn't like him, and convinces Sam (perhaps with a little unintentional help from Rick himself) to think the same thing. Tensions build upon this base, and it came to a head.
I'm kind of in a mind that Christo was playing devil's advocate and suggesting there was an issue when there wasn't an issue to begin with. And I'm sure he really thought there was one, after all, all he sees is just some random dude hitting on his buddy's girl. He's never met Rick before, he doesn't know what's on his mind, and instinctively assumes he's trying to pick up on Lauren. (That's the key here, "assumes". And when you assume, you make an ASS out of yoU and ME!)
Sam was already stressed out from his deadline for his exhibit, so when Christo brought this to his door, it only added fuel to the fire. Then after meeting Rick, and feeling ignored, he further convinced himself that this was a real problem, and things went from there.
If he would have taken a deep breath, counted ten, and assessed the situation before reacting, he'd seen that Christo's worries were unfounded. Unfortunately, it's never that easy.
Once again, honesty and trust. the two things that are the foundation for any relationship.
Second-time commenter over here, been holding my tongue for a while now. Feel obliged to jump in and offer my two cents, because, wow.
I'm not going to delve too much into the "debate" about whether or not Lauren or Sam is at fault here, because it's a little worrying how many people are throwing Lauren under the bus for having a friend her boyfriend didn't like. Other people have already made the trust/honesty point very well, anyway.
Mostly just want to offer my unconditional support to the comic's creator for telling a story that's worth being told. Your characters are very well-designed - with human personalities and real, honest-to-goodness character flaws - that are a refreshing counterpoint to the two-dimensional archetypes I see in most webcomics. Please keep them real, as I much prefer them that way to the idealized, perfect versions that some people seem to have in their heads.
It's your story to tell, and I am greatly looking forward to seeing where it takes us. (And honestly, people, if you're annoyed at the turn the story appears to be taking, maaaaaaaaaaaybe you should go back and read the prologue again. The story is not 'Happy Fun Perfect Times' by Gibson Twist.)
First time commenter
The reason I have always liked this comic is because you do not necessarily create wonderful likeable characters, but you create wonderful real characters. Whether or not we like Lauren or agree with her, we know someone who would act the same. You have a talent for making the entire cast resonate with people. This has been one of my favorite web comics for a long time, thank you.
out of line...
Yes Christo fucked up, and so did Sam.. But I still think that it adds up, thinking of how Lauren treated Christo, when Michelle broke up with him.. Besides it will work out for Lauren and Sam somehow (read the beginning of the comic)
Okay.... I dig the whole "independent woman" thing, but that's taking it a bit too far. I have, in no way, seen how Sam was overbearing about it. He talked to her about it and never not once forbade her to see him (that I recall.... feel free to prove me wrong) nor did he ever pull what Michelle's boyfriend did at the beginning where he never let her hang out with anyone but him.
I respect Lauren and love her as a character, but no. I cannot condone this.
Everything Lauren's saying is completely reasonable from her perspective. She's not overreacting, Sam was in the wrong from the beginning, and was miles out of line in hitting Rick.
It would be nice if Sam could point out that being offended that a guy was-in his view, regardless of whether or not Lauren agrees-hitting on his gf right in front of him isn't actually the same thing as assuming his gf isn't capable of choosing not to succumb to his advances. She's making a lot of really ugly and asinine assumptions and accusations.
But in any event, I stand by my original views; Sam's mostly at fault, Lauren could have handled it better too, and if Rick *wasn't* trying to get into her pants, then he was being irrationally paranoid that Sam was abusive.
Sam was overbearing in the sense that he imposed his insecurities on Lauren (http://picturesofyou.smackjeeves.com/comics/1642546/4-08-third-party-29/).
He was overbearing in the sense that he was generally rude and agressive towards Rick (http://picturesofyou.smackjeeves.com/comics/1695028/4-13-driven-home-12/).
He was overbearing in the sense that he punched the guy in the face damnit!
Sam lost it. Not cool. Not excusable. Now he seems on the right track. The one where he actually listens to his girlfriend, and not to Christo, who is the worst of influences right now. I don't like the look of fear in his eyes tough. Fear obstructs clear thinking, puts the insecure guy in the driver seat. You know, the one that caused Sam all those problems until now? Just hope after listening, he'll take the time to calm down before answering anything.
Lauren acted pretty maturely most of the time. She never once led Rick on, not even by wearing prettier clothes. She tried explaining her point of view in a calm manner to Sam, on more than one occasion. But his insecurities, fuel by Christo mostly, made him lose hes ability to think clearly. He can however use this as a learning opportunity. For his own benefit, and if not for Lauren's, for the next girl to come along.
And now, Lauren is finally calming down, driving the point in a way that hopefully should even get trough Christo's thick skull.
She did one HUGE blunder by hitting her boyfriend. It's a slur on her character that sadly can't be undone. She always will be the girl who hit her boyfriend, and there are no lessons to be learnt from that. I wonder how they will (or even if they will, as men who are assaulted by their spouses tend to just let things slide) assess this. But I guess they'll cross this bridge when they're done putting out the fire in their home.
I cannot fault Lauren for having a bit of rage vomit all over Christo and Sam right now. Although her character has definitely made me mad a lot in the last story arc (especially hypocritical way she is not okay with Sam hitting Rick, but okay with hitting Sam), I completely understand the need to just yell.
But the problem is that Lauren has a history of running away from conflicts (page 861, 967) rather than stopping to solve them on the spot. The "I AM SO MAD" *flee* solution to fights is something that only really works in kindergarten. When you are an adult and are in an adult relationship you have to realize that kind of mentality is not going to work for the long run. I know that a lot of character interaction has to go around behind the scenes (page 976 we find out that Sam apologized for his actions etc. etc.), but I have a feeling that the the two of them never really sorted things out.
What is funny is that they most "effective" argument that Lauren has had to date has been with Christo (pages 963-965). That really needed to be the conversation between Sam and Lauren (about about Rick). Yes, Lauren and Sam did talk on pages 870-972, but it had no finality. She needed to say "Sam, I love you but this has to stop or I can't be with you." just like Christo flat out told Lauren "I like you, but this has to end if we are going to live together.". And, yes, I realize that I am inadvertently giving Lauren relationship advise from Christo. It's a scary thought. :|
ON THE FLIP SIDE, however, Sam is an idiot too. You don't tell someone that you are sorry and that you are okay (pages 872 and 976) and then keep doing the same things you said you were sorry for. Being stressed out is not an excuse - you should not take your stress out on the people that you love.
But then again people are emotional beings, and perhaps that is true to a fault in this situation. I think that we all tend to forget that all of these people are little less than teenagers, living away from their mommies and daddies and off campus for the first time. Maybe neither Sam nor Lauren is actually ready for an adult relationship yet?
As several people have pointed out, I keep coming back everyday to see how the story will unfold. These are real people in a world created by Mr. Twist. They have their flaws, some of them great and some of them small. But it makes them all the more real for having them.
This has to be my favorite comic that I read. I hop on here as soon as I get on my computer each day to see what has happened and how things are going to play out, because Mr. Twist writes a story that is worth doing so. I also curse the weekends because we won't know what happens until Monday.
I've noticed all too many people judge the characters based on what they would do, or what they think the character should do from the outside looking in. I try and keep in mind that these are early 20's college students that are still trying to get a handle on life. How often do you look at people in that age group and think, "Heh, kids."?
But the tl;dr version is that the story is awesome, the characters are real people, with real flaws and personalities, and Mr. Twist is awesome for spinning a tale to entertain us. I tip my hat to you, Mr. Twist. KKCO
@James: Christo was most definitely overbearing and macho right off the freakin' bat, which pissed me off. This fed Sam's insecurities toward Rick's intentions and what he perceived as Lauren's continued tolerance of said intentions. Perhaps he felt doing nothing at the bar would've been to 'passive' and instead went in a totally opposite direction of maximum aggression, thereby fucking up royally.
Lots of people, including myself, mentioned communication as a key element. As I've said before, an important place where this was lacking was between Rick and Sam. They had their preconceptions and just rolled with them. Rick ignoring Sam fed Sam's view of Rick as only having eyes for Lauren and seeing Sam as an 'inconvenience', as it were. Sam yelling at Lauren and blowing up at Rick fed Rick's views of him as an abuser. Either or both of them could've reached out, but the die had apparently been cast, which is unfortunate.
As much as I disagree with the idea that Lauren should've sent Rick packing from the get-go or run to Sam to report the situation, I still hold that her contact with both Rick and Sam, combined with her knowledge of their respective preconceptions of each other, put her in the unique position of being able to encourage such communication, instead of sitting back and expect it to just magically happen.
Now, I'm not saying she should've walked them to the local sandbox, patted each on the head and told them to 'play nice' with the Tonka trucks and plastic shovels. Again, I point to Kara's perspective during the "Six Conversations About That Guy" chapter, which I took as a highlight of Lauren's own perspective.
Someone made mention once that it wasn't Lauren's responsibility to police the emotions of the men she knows. I agree with this insofar as she doesn't have ultimate accountability for their actions. However, I see nothing wrong in noticing a conflict and intervening out of love, platonic or otherwise, instead of trying to act like it isn't there when the parties involved are present. This, in my opinion, is where Lauren dropped the ball.
Whether this was out of naiveté or simple faith that Sam and Rick had overcome their views after talking with them individually is up for debate, but considering how many balls were being dropped all over the place, it certainly doesn't justify all the blame being placed on her. Again, her not encouraging communication at that bar, either through inclusion of Sam in her convo with Rick or other means, was not that one thing that instigated all that ensued. As much as she could've done something, Sam could also have either shut the hell up or reached out himself, as could have Rick, for that matter. This is, in my opinion, what some people mean by 'everyone's at fault'. For what it's worth, it's what I meant.
The conflict is very likely due to different perspectives. Mr. Twist knows exactly what he intended to put out. He understands the characters as they are his creations; his thoughts are their thoughts. We, the readers, do not have the same perspective, the same knowledge of intent and frame of mind. We cannot, not matter how much we read and study the comic, ever know the characters as well as he does. Our own life experiences will color the words that express so much, giving us different ideas, different thoughts, an different interpretations on what the character was trying to express, their motivation, or what their actiosn really meant.
So much communication is non verbal, and even the best drawn comic cannot carry that. I can sense Mr. Twist's frustration in many of the reactions fans have made, but I hope he understands that it is a product of percieving things differently. To many, Lauren is coming off differently than how he portrayed her. I'm not saying its a failure of his skill in conveying his character: there are simply limits to every medium, and some times ideas and events take on significance and meaning the creator never intended due to the viewers/readers interpretation. They may be 'wrong' from the omniscient viewpoint of the author, but not seemingly wrong from the limited viewpoint of the reader.
@WJP I think Mr. Twist is dismayed at the people making things up, and at the sexism and misogyny. He has said that he wants to encourage debate, just not at any price. You know?
I for one, am really loving Lauren here, not because this situation has any "Saints", but because this is so real. The look on her face in the 4th panel is just heartbreaking.
I will say, count me in to those who think Lauren was the wronged party in this. It's true that it's wrong to slap your partner (and I never would, I rant), but she slapped him with an open hand, in a fit of anger (same as Sam punching Rick, though I think a better case could be made that he was ginned-up to do that for a while). I interpreted it as a "SNAP OUT OF IT" moment, regretful, WRONG, but yes, overly emphasized (in comments) in the sense that people who dislike the character (or have off ideas about women) have only that one act to really cling to. Put that up against all the serious mental shit Christo & Sam have put her through AND Sam PUNCHING her friend (and them being dicks to him). Well, there's an obvious discrepancy. I like that no one is "clean", but the bad behavior is not equal all-around.
Speaking of that act, despite me going, "OH NO." when it happened, it really is awesome character development. Also very cool to show how suspicion of outsiders and jealousy can hurt people. I think Lauren slapping Sam is showing how all this bad vibe is even affecting the the most unlikely actors. For the person who was complaining about these three being under-developed (don't agree, but) — hey, this is development happening right now.
I am so tired of people calling Lauren naïve. She isn't, she's optimistic. She thinks things will work out. And honestly, if Christo had went on tour with the band, they might have.
Speaking of—I see a lot of development with Christo, here. It's really interesting what has happened to his character once Michelle (and Peter, temporarily) have been absent from his life. He hides all of it in goof—but he's turned really sour.
I know some people hate this subgroup. I know some people want Entertainment, with a capital "E" that other characters bring. That's fine, really. But PoY is more, it's also real-life situations and relationships. That's the part I (and others) find really awesome and unique—and we're NOT tired of it. So just relax until you get back to the band, and let us enjoy our relationship stuff for now :)
@HipsLikeCinderella: While I agree with much of what you said, especially on the topic of debate and character development, I'd like to discuss thw following further, out of genuine curiosity: "It's true that it's wrong to slap your partner (and I never would, I rant), but she slapped him with an open hand, in a fit of anger (same as Sam punching Rick, though I think a better case could be made that he was ginned-up to do that for a while). I interpreted it as a "SNAP OUT OF IT" moment, regretful, WRONG, but yes, overly emphasized (in comments) in the sense that people who dislike the character (or have off ideas about women) have only that one act to really cling to."
Let's suppose the situation had been reversed, with Rick being a woman Lauren perceived as wanting to move in on Sam, with all the accompanying mistrust this entailed. Lauren would then lose it and punch her, and Sam would get upset. Then, said female Rick would try and talk Sam down outside, but Sam would ignore that and walk up to Lauren, who was by then completely passive, having expressed immediate regret at her actions and walked out of that bar peacefully, and slap her.
My questions are these: would your reaction to said hypothetical slap be the same as the current situation? Would you then go on to compare a woman's punch to a man's slap as if to lessen the impact of the latter?
You say that you took Lauren's slap as a 'snap out of it moment'. To be honest, it looked like Sam had done just that, in front of everyone, as soon as his punch landed, and left. Let me be clear, Lauren's slap in no way exonerates or lessens the impact of Sam's actions, or anyone else's, for that matter. Anyone saying anything to the effect of 'See? She slapped her boyfriend, so he's totally off the hook for that jealousy shit' is abysmally stupid. However, the timing of it was peculiar, which why I believe so many seemed more up in arms about it, seeing it as repaying violence with more violence.
Further, I agree that the core sentiment of all this, i.e. trust, was sorely lacking in both Sam and Christo, so Lauren's vitriol on that matter is wholly justified. Again, if this story arc showed us anything, it's that strong emotions can come from the unlikeliest of sources. I never thought Sam and Lauren had this in them.
@Jeffko: First, I went out of my way to say that Lauren was wrong in slapping Sam. She was. Anyone would be.
My problem is with people clinging to it as if she'd beat the shit out of him, many the same people who thought him justified. And that is not the case. It simply isn't. I also think people are way-off saying it was "premeditated" and not, I think obviously, in a fit of anger ("snap out of it" moment), which I intend to keep making the case for. I also think Sam similarly "temporarily insane", that doesn't EXCUSE the violence, but it makes a difference as to the character of the actors.
Yes, it would have been wrong if the situation was reversed (and once again, I am not saying the slap, or the punch, wasn't wrong). Although, here's the thing, it's very hard to easily reverse situations like this with the weight of history on you.
Asking a larger question (and I am addressing this tangent because I see you are thoughtful in your posts and will not be trollin' :) ), of how many in society VIEW mixed-sex violence, well, that's a tough subject. You have what is a pure idea, that all violence is wrong (I agree whole-heartedly!). But then you have the on-the-ground situation, that all violence does not have an equal outcome, and that some violence has historical implications. So my answer to that is "depends." I know this isn't a satisfying answer, but it is nonetheless, I think, the best one.
The outcome of violence is so dependent of so many factors, ones the participants can't even be assured of beforehand. Even with Rick, you see that he didn't take it as badly as someone else might have.
And this is not even to get into the cultural implications of mixed-sex violence (or mixed-race violence, for that matter). The truth is that we see man-on-women violence as more "wrong" than the reverse because the outcomes are so disparate. They are EQUALLY "wrong" in my eyes ETHICALLY, but don't get me wrong here, I react much more viscerally EMOTIONALLY to seeing a man hit a woman, or an adult hit a child, or a large person hit a smaller person, because of the disparate outcomes. I think it's okay to hold both thoughts, rational and emotional, at once.
@HipsLikeCinderella: It does and thank you for clarifying your point. I agree that what we hold true ethically as a society and how we react emotionally as individuals are two very different things.
I guess that's what made that question mark pop over my head as I read your post. You did indeed make sure to stress that Lauren's slap was wrong. It's just that I believed you were somehow trying to downplay it as more harmless than Sam's punch, due to her being a woman, whereas I did not. This was, as you said, a simple case of my own emotional reaction differing from yours, though we both agree that both acts were wrong in the larger ethical sense.
@Jeffko: No problem. Just to clarify, slaps are physically less harmful than punches in a general sense (like if somehow you had to chose to get one or the other, I'd take slap)(not that you're saying they aren't). Sam was, in a way, very lucky that he's an inexperienced fighter and didn't hit very hard, considering how much that could have changed the outcome.
The lasting harm of the physical violence remains to be seen. It seems Sam & Christo's reactions toward Rick (including the punch) affected Lauren much more than the intended target (good commentary, don't know if it's intended), so who knows the repercussions, if any.
I really like this type of storytelling, it's much more interesting to me when characters' actions have surprising (but still logical) results, that when it's just a cliché-filled morality play.
EDIT: If I wasn't explicit, I am 100% behind Lauren telling off Sam & Christo.
@HipsLikeCinderella: I'll try to be as toughful as I can here, tough I have to admit that your position does have me a bit riled up. (Well, in parts, I'm mostly on board with what you've said). Something wich certainly stems from personal history, and I'll do my best to make abstraction of it.
I do agree with you on many points. It is true that there is a physical disparity between men a women, and that violence towards women coming from men generally creates a different emotional response, in that the man usually being larger and stronger, it appears worst. The thing is, this is the problem exactly. The violence really is'nt worst one way or the other, and this kind of thinking is one of many double standards that should be put down to rest. Right up there with "women are weak and needs men to be defended". Those two actually pretty seem codependant to me.
Also, you say you don't believe Lauren's slap was premeditated, but was made in a fit of anger.
I'll give you that my use of this term was a bit rushed and can't be taken in the absolute literal sense, as I'm sure Lauren did'nt plan her in great details before hitting Sam. However, it appears to me that she had way enough time to calm down. Have you ever hit someone in a fit of anger? I have. Once. When I was a teenager. Immediately after getting punched in the face. It was a reactionary action, and I actually don't even remember doing it, just seeing the other kid on the ground after. I have been in a lot of very heated arguments since, but I have never hit anyone. I sure felt like it a load of times, but just taking a single step has always been enough for me to calm down. I feel that a fit of anger needs to be immediate, a reaction to an agression, real or perceived, physical or other, to self or other. Again, I might be a bit strict here, but for those kind of things I'd rather be more strict than lenient. Good perspective is hard to have here, but from what I see in the strip, I estimate that Lauren was standing about a dozen feet from Sam. She walked her way to him. Walked, not ran. And he did'nt say anything at that time to agravate her any more. The dealbreaker here is the immediacy, or lack thereoff. To me, this is in no way a fit of anger, as she had plenty of time to calm down. And yes, I do consider "one mississipi, two mississipi, three mississipi" as being plenty of time.
Also, the victim is an important factor here. Rick is a stranger to Sam. Neither owes anything to the other, except to respect the general rules of society. (Which Sam obviously failed to do). Whereas Sam and Lauren are in a relationship, and with that bond comes an intrinsect pact of mutual protection. It might be the different emotional response you mentioned, but to me assaulting a spouse is much more serious than assaulting a stranger, as it breaks this covenant. Now, I'm not saying a person should be bound to protect his or her spouse against anything in any context. That would obviously make no sense. But in the context of the strip, all things considered, I do feel that Lauren's slap was, if not a greater offense, at least of equal gravity to Sam's punch. Physically, as far as we know there was no consequences to any of the acts. Lets hope it stays that way. Emotionally, Rick does'nt seem to care much about being punched. We'll see how Lauren feels about her boyfriend hitting someone else. But since she was not personally attacked, I'm under the impression that she'll recover from this pretty well. However, to Sam and everyone, Lauren will always be the girl who hit her boyfriend. When that sort of thing happens in a couple, a barrier has been broken, and things rarely are the same. There is no real way to solve this, and no lesson to be learned. I guess the only point of this moral rant is, if we are to be wary of double standards and stand for true equality, it is bad faith to criticize Sam for his actions, and pretty much let things slide for Lauren.
However, I am with you in being behind Lauren telling off Sam and Christo. This needed to be done, and her previous actions in no way change this. Punch or no punch, slap or no slap, those guys have been disrespectful assholes and Lauren does well to point that to them and remind them that she can stand for herself and is no one's property.
First of all, I think everyone has made mistakes. Where I think Lauren is off base based on my INTERPRETATION is thinking that Sam was worried that she was going to sleep with Rick. The way the story read to me was that Lauren allowed a guy who clearly had interest (though to say he had feelings early on seemed curious as, if I remember correctly, he sort of bumped into Lauren as if they had only kinda known each other) to completely marginalize Sam (and Christo) at every encounter. Yes, Sam and Christo clearly acted like a-holes but my recollection was that Rick "started it."
To me Sam always seemed more worried about Rick subtly worming his way into the relationship and slowly breaking them apart, which he indeed tried to do. Again, my interpretation, is that Sam was worried that Rick had Lauren's ear because she failed to, at least in front of him, stand up for Sam. I never though he worried about Lauren running right to Rick, I think he was worried about Rick coming between them slowly and subtly
@REBOUNDComic: I believe Christo was the one that showed initial hostility, basically out of nowhere to a guy he knew nothing about. As for Rick's motives, I initially didn't share your opinion, then did, and now not anymore. This guy has been too unpredictable for me! lol
(EDIT: Changed Sam's name for Rick - the one I meant, heh.)
@Fyb: EDIT: I actually am not sure if you were disagreeing with me or not on this first point, if not, don't worry, if so, I'm leaving it)
I feel a bit like I'm repeating myself here—but I'll try and be succinct, also, I'm not commenting on the comic right here:
"the man usually being larger and stronger, it appears worst. The thing is, this is the problem exactly. The violence really is'nt worst one way or the other, and this kind of thinking is one of many double standards that should be put down to rest. Right up there with "women are weak and needs men to be defended". Those two actually pretty seem codependant to me."
You are right and you are wrong. As I said above, equivalent violence carries the same ETHICAL problems no matter who the person is inflicting it (we're talking about people with their own volition here). HOWEVER, and this really is a big however, violence has very disparate results depending on the participants (willing and unwilling), not just appears to, but DOES.
It's the difference between Monaco threatening to invade your country and the US threatening to. The power dynamic is so important, sex, race, economics...
So yes, little girls and boys shouldn't be told "it's not okay to hit girls, but okay for girls to hit boys." BUT there is no doubt that the physical violence perpetrated on the weak by the strong is far "worse" in a PRACTICAL sense, in the sense of broken bodies and lives, than equivalent violence at the strong by the weak.
What am I saying here? I'm not saying that women are weak and men are strong: that is too simple and semantically trap-ridden. I'm also NOT saying it's okay to be violent if you are "weak." (Although some would argue that violence is often true weakness.)
I am saying that women (strong and not) occupy a much more fragile role. To not admit so is to do incredible damage, to say "it's just a flesh wound" when your leg is falling off. Talk about pride being a deadly sin. We have to admit our position if we want to change it.
Saying women are weak and defenseless DOES go hand-in-hand with saying they need A man to protect them. But admitting that women (and btw, other dispossesed people) are given a shit deal frees us to demand more.
A woman doesn't need a man to protect her, but she sure does need shelters to go to, a police force that will believe her and treat her like a human, jobs that respect her work as much as a mans, and a government that treats her like an equal. We ALL deserve that. We're not there yet, there's progress, but we're NOT THERE YET.
We ALL need people to protect us at some time or another, but those who are most disenfranchised need it most desperately, just as they are the ones who are last to get it.
Okay, on to Sam & Lauren:
If you are going to use anecdotal evidence to argue that Lauren had "plenty" of time to calm down, I must tell you that's pretty faulty. Right there, sorry, man. Lots of people have different ways of showing rage and dealing with anger. Just because it's enough for you just ain't enough for me. I look at the expressions and see the rage bubbling to the surface and exploding in those panels. And she looks to me like she's moving at a pretty fast pace.
I see when it suits your argument, you say that who the victim is is important. I'm not trying to get shitty with you, but that's not good for your argument. I maintain my position here.
Is assaulting a spouse more serious than assaulting a stranger? If we are to stand by our ideas, then ETHICALLY no. Also, creating random violence takes its own toll on society. However, practically? It depends. Sorry, I know that's a fuzzy answer, but it does.
Is slapping a spouse when they've been violent a transgression? ALWAYS (and I've never said different). Is it "worse" to slap a spouse for not folding the laundry correctly than to slap a spouse that's just punched someone? In a practical sense, yes.
I won't get into who you are, you may be very sensitive to any form of physical violence, and I can't emphasize enough that that is TOTALLY OKAY, and your right in a relationship. However, a lot of people can forgive a momentary lapse of MILD violence on the part of their partner. Just as we all forgive lapses of metal violence on the part of our partners. This is only a problem if the offending person doesn't admit they were wrong and act better in the future, basically, if it happens again and again. Should anyone stay with someone after major violence? My opinion is no, but even that has qualifiers.
I think if you think that Lauren will be stigmatized with this...well, you are mistaken.
SHOULD she "always be known as...", no, honestly, unless she turns into an abusive person, she shouldn't any more than Sam should always be known for punching Rick.
WILL she always be know for slapping Sam? I'm sorry, but that question is almost sweet. No, not at all. Look, just because I'm all liberal and think men and women shouldn't hit each other and think it's shitty when women slap men DOESN'T mean everyone else does. Quite the opposite. Most people almost find it charming, even romantic, PASSIONATE when a woman slaps a man. Blame movies, I think it's BS, but then my idea of gender roles makes most people's heads hurt.
Just look at Sam, maybe he SHOULDN'T be over it, but he seems pretty over it. And really, that's realistic, most guys are taught it's "no big deal" if a woman slaps them.
And I'm fine with his reaction on that level, just like I'm fine with the punch and the slap on that level. A story where everyone plays out our political views would be boring as all get out.
Even though we are mostly killing each other to see who's right and who's wrong with this sam-lauren conflict(which is a little stupid coz we are talking about our own perspectives on this situation, and is natural not to agree with everyone) I believe that is great that we are all so involved with this comic. One of the things, besides the great story, that keep me coming back for updates here time after time, is that I see that there's a lot of people that feels part of this fictional world as I do.
I don't think Sam ever actually thought that Lauren would sleep with Rick. I think that Sam is just reacting to his own insecurity in thinking that maybe Lauren is connecting with Rick on an emotional level more than she is Sam. Talking about this in terms of sexual commitment or gender roles seems to be confusing Sam and avoiding the actual issue here.
One thing we have to give Christo credit for, is his interesting duality. On one side, we have a sarcastic joker, who would rib anyone no matter who they are, and on the other we have a very serious and insightful person.
We know where he stands and when there is turmoil, he stands straight up and says something that makes others stop and think.
If I were to talk with Lauren, I'd tell her that it's genuinely good that she is an independent person and I wish her the best in life but she needs to recognize the signs of a guy that's hitting on her. And when she does recognize those signs, she needs to tell that person that she has a boyfriend and she's offlimits. Sure, she made an attempt, but she was also accepting and reciprocating his affections towards her. Christo saw it a mile away and Sam picked up on that. Rick either didn't clue in or didn't want to clue in and so here we are.
Thank you Gibson, for making some very interesting characters among characters.
@James: Reciprocating his friendliness, sure. We all know Lauren is a friendly person and that's what friendly people do, regardless of the gender of whomever approaches them in a friendly manner. As for reciprocating affections, however, I don't see that she did. If Rick were a woman, I'm positive they would've had the exact same initial conversations about their interests.
When Rick began to question Sam's behaviour, Lauren laid it down: she loves Sam. That's all there was to it. While that made me suspicious of Rick when I wasn't before, it didn't change my opinion of Lauren as a person aware and in charge of her own emotions and actions. The bar scene, however, was the point where all involved dropped the ball, in my opinion, with Sam dropping it the hardest.
I realize that people must be getting tired of my repeating my points of view every new page, so I'll back off for a bit.
How could i totally forget the town "Dildo" from Sam? That was the last time Rick talked to Sam directly.
And now Sam is calm and in the mood to take everything needed to save the relationship. But will Lauren listen?
I think they will break up that night because no one is mature enough to listen long enough for everyone calm down and talk it out.
Would be surprised that anyone would be surprised at Christo's behavior, since almost day one he's been a little walking bottle of testosterone... even as far back as when he met Michelle and said to Peter "she wants me" (or some such). Outside of Mulligan, and even there am not sure, he's the worst catalyst in this situation. Looking back with wonderful 20/20 hindsight, you could see the car crash coming in plain sight when mixing him into the situation with Rick. Just who is he from day one, and since the breakup with Michelle, seems to only be spiralling downward further in that direction, almost becoming one dimensional.
What has Lauren has been surrounded by since her start to college? Andy (sex, sex and more sex), Mulligan's mysogonistic approach to sex, Christo's tireless pursuit of any his "fly honeys", Peter's affair with the married women when Lauren had a crush on him and subsequent hooking up with Kara. All the (straight) men she most closely associates with OTHER than Sam have raging libidos. Could she have a bit of a chip on her shoulder about Sam's behavior/expectation when they are surrounded by a crowd like that? She finally finds someone outside of Sam who shares some serious interests (literature etc..) that DONT include sex drugs and rock n roll, and perhaps they try to cut him out, not trusting her to do the right thing, mostly because they have been guilt of it so often?
Hmmm, maybe Lauren IS the sane one and is rebelling against the drug dealing sex crazed sometimes lunatics she hangs with.... must be kind of frustrating by itself to deal their ongoing drama all the time.
Took the SOTU to regain a bit of perspective, but kudoes to Mr Twist for keeping us guessing on the upcoming events.
I read webcomics QUITE frequently, and there is not a character that I wish could disappear from a comic strip that Lauren.
Not only did I not like her character from the start, I cannot stand her, nor this story line with her. I hope that it moves on, because the whole storyline with her is unneccesary and it sucks.