Monday, January 16, 2012

Food For Thought

I've been thinking about a few things lately.  Also drinking just a little bit.  Looking at this game of cat and mouse we've been playing and the notions we have of who the "good guys" and the "bad guys" are.  I want to ask a few questions.

Let's take a "runner" that a lot of people are familiar with.  Elaine, how about.  She's pretty popular these days.  Could be anyone, really.  Elaine's who we're using, but feel free to substitute it with any other "runner's" name.  It could even be your own, if that didn't automatically mean you'd have a biased opinion in the matter.  Just has to be someone who's not a complete pacifist, and who would kill if it became necessary.

Let's take someone like me, who works for The Boss for the sake of protection for themselves and their brother.  Again, could be anyone.  Just a "proxy" who works for The Boss willingly, but for good reasons.

Let's take someone like Poe, who really had no choice in the matter and is afraid for their life, yet actively pursues "runners."  It's their job, and they have to do it, no questions asked.

Let's take someone like Nee-chan, who clearly has some preexisting issues, like an inferiority complex and what's probably some sort of stunted growth of moral comprehension.  Someone who hunts down people and enjoys it, but who really doesn't quite understand the implications or repercussions of what they're doing, just because they're not quite there.

None of us have any sort of particular grudge against each other.  In fact, there might even be some respect, or even affection, returned or unreturned.  Sound neutral enough?  In the end it doesn't matter, because we're all just examples to set up a scenario.

And now let's ask ourselves a few questions.  Let's look at these six questions and give them a complete lack of context other than "they were in the same room together and they were on different sides." All we know is that the two of them were in a room, and only one of them ever left.  Don't start setting up different scenarios, just give me your first reaction.  On second thought, maybe give me the first scenario your mind assumes, too.  After all, we don't know what happened.  Do you just assume that the victor acted in self-defense?  Do you try justifying their actions?  Or do you instantly condemn them as the instigator?

How would you react if I killed Elaine?
How would you react if Elaine killed me?

How would you react if Poe killed Elaine?
How would you react if Elaine killed Poe?

How would you react if Nee-chan killed Elaine?
How would you react if Elaine killed Nee-chan?

Food for thought.


  1. Rolled eyes.
    Anger at everyone who would inevitably take Elaine's side on the subject.

    Indifference, possibly a small smile.
    RAEG, and also anger at everyone who would inevitably take Elaine's side on the subject.

    Raised eyebrows, and probably appreciation for the epic fight it likely was. (I have appreciation for that at least.)
    A sigh, and I would kind of wonder how the hell she did it. They'd make for a great fight, but no way in hell would Elaine actually win without cheating.

    1. Oh, hey, I can reply directly now or something? Thanks, Blogger, for a legitimately useful feature.

      As much as I appreciate the support, let's pretend it's a runner other than Elaine, if you've got a bias against Elaine. And let's pretend it's someone other than me, Poe, or Nee-chan. It's the spirit behind the thing, not the particular people.

      -Don't Shoot The Messenger-

    2. ... Clearly you don't have a whole lot of appreciation for my talents. Not that I have any intention of killing anyone, I just don't like people thinking I'm weak.
      Also, the fuck is your problem with me, man?

  2. It sounds like someone's having an awful fucking lot of buyer's remorse.

    You're trying so damn hard to make sure these people understand you. You want them to like you, or if not like you, at least accept that you're a human being like they are. You want them to stop, think, and question their beliefs. That's all this is: a pathetic attempt at trying to paint everything with a broad, gray brush.

    You, and your need to have people not despise proxies, makes me fucking sick.

    You're human. You've made mistakes that lead you here. Your life isn't fair. We all get it.

    You're also a monster, just like the rest of us. Suck it up.

    1. More like someone's having an awful fucking lot of insecurity about his reputation.

      Go cry some more, emo kid. Try not to let the razor slip.

      -Don't Shoot The Messenger-

  3. I'd have to go with, "shoot the lot of you" maybe just in the kneecaps?

    But seriously, out and out murder? I'd go with finding the nearest convenient tree to string the offending party up by. Not particularly concerned with whom.

  4. I'm not sure whether I should be flattered or annoyed that you used me as the example...

    1. Depends on whether you want to be flattered or annoyed that you're one of the most well-known living "runners."

      -Don't Shoot The Messenger-

  5. For the sake of countering redundancy, the answer "unless the reacting party is indifferent to the murdered party, in which case the response would be minimal or unexpected" should be taken into account for all of my following answers.

    I'm afraid this is an awful lot like a set of trick questions under the rule of 'nobody acts in self-defense'... especially for the last one in the set. The primary reason Nee-chan would be a target is if one was trying to prevent her from killing others.
    The death of someone such as her, inhumane as it sounds, would ultimately end in high praise from many members of the Runner party, given she is a perceived threat. While the reverse of that, Nee-chan killing a Runner, would be business as usual for her and receive the usual responses- vows from others to murder her, continuing the cycle.
    To answer the first four at once, the action would be highly uncharacteristic of all parties involved. So the only certain response would be... whatever anyone does in shock or disbelief, which ultimately varies from person to person. In my case, for example, I'd likely sever ties with the murdering party (assuming I had any). There would certainly be an unnaturally high number of death threats flying around in response from those who aren't as passive as I am.
    Although given your line of work I'm sure you're used to that.

    1. Oh, barring the possibility that one of the parties in the first four questions wasn't/didn't go totally and completely 'off the deep end' in every comprehensible way prior to the act, of course.

    2. You're missing the point here. I'm not speaking about these four people in particular. I'm speaking to the situations. Let's say that there were versions of these four that were inclined to kill.

      For example, let's say the versions of Elaine and myself are acting under "Do unto others before they do unto you."

      As for Poe, it's not at all uncharacteristic, as hard as that is to believe. She has, in fact, killed "runners" in the field before, just because it's her job.

      And you don't even really need to know any of this, since it's basically an "instant response" question. Don't think about context or ask "what are the circumstances?" You get news that Elaine killed me, or that Poe killed Elaine? What's the first thing you feel? I should edit that in.

      -Don't Shoot The Messenger-

    3. Huh, didn't know that about Poe.
      ~The more you know...~

      Okay, blind 'you (or another relatively sane, non-murderous proxy) died' then: Shock.
      Blind 'you killed someone': Shock.
      Blind 'Poe's dead': Shock.
      Blind 'Poe killed someone': Slightly less shocking now than when I didn't know that, but still not something that isn't advertised much, so... still shock I guess.
      Blind 'Nee-chan (or another proxy who DOES murder a lot) died': Alas poor Nee-chan, I barely knew ye, but you finally bit off more than you could chew.
      Blind 'Nee-chan killed someone': Oh look, it's Tuesday.

      Roughly the same results. What a twist.

  6. Oh a game, I do love a good game, and it involves killing people, somehow this seems appropriate for me, now.

    1. Congradulate the surviver.
    2. Congradulate the surviver.
    3. Congradulate the surviver.
    4. Congradulate the surviver.
    5. Congradulate the surviver, but keep a hand on my knife in case he or she wasn't finished.
    6. Congradulate the surviver.

    Of course, there really isn't any context for me to work with, but I belive you were trying to make a point and here's my basic response to that: I don't let what side someone's on really effect anything. The only time I might even consider choosing someone's side is if I know them personally, and even then, if they fall I gain nothing by pitting myself against the other.

    See you around

  7. Okay, I've edited the scenario a little bit so that the point comes across better. It's no longer "one of them kills the other for an vague reason," it's "we know that one of them killed the other, but we don't know what the reason was." This allows you to assume what the scenario was, which should help you figure out what your reaction was.

    -Don't Shoot The Messenger-

  8. 1-6: i would feel a little bit safer

    i mean, one party is full of nutjobs who think that they can do whatever they want because they're "surviving" and the other one are a working for some kind of entity who likes cameras and organs so... if most of you guys start to drop dead it would be awesome for the not-so-crazy kind of people (like me)

  9. If you killed Elaine (or anyone for that matter), I would feel confused. Killing just isn't your style.

    If she killed you, I'd be pissed. She'd have no bone to pick with you, in fact, you'd be a tad defenseless comparatively.

    If Poe killed Elaine, I would ask why. Not her job, and would take a damn good reason to go out of her routine.

    If Nee-chan killed Elaine, I would expect it. Especially after that damn wedding a while back. I'd be disappointed, but.. not much I could do about it.

    If Elaine killed Nee-chan, well.. that would be an awfully long way to go to take care of an old grudge. But, I couldn't blame her... I probably would anyway.

    I'm a tad biased, what can I say? You asked.

  10. I think in any of those cases, my reaction would be something along the lines of "Whoa, what? Tell me more! This should be interesting." Though if the killer was like Nee-chan in that they don't have a blog, I'd be rather disappointed because chances are the full story would never come out.

  11. My reaction to any of those scenarios would be exactly the same. I'd sigh, shake my head, close down my laptop and go to the library to drink for a while.

  12. Man, can't we all, like, get along? Get us a campfire going, roast some delicious marshmallows.

    Mmmmm. Marshmallows.

    Then we can all hold hands, sing Kumbawa, have a great old time.

    Until Nee-chan stabs someone, but it'll all be fun until then, right?

  13. Well you picked a winner, so for my answer to the first part of all three sets... I'd laugh for a little while. Then I'd stop caring forever. Which makes those scenarios very biased.

    So substituting with a name in my head... I'd be very upset and probably mad at the killer, but at the same time reluctantly sympathetic because I know they likely didn't have much of a choice. It's a mix of clashing emotions. Where it on the flip side of the coin, my reaction would be pretty much similar though. I'm having a really hard time responding to things in any other way. Certainly the who's and the why's would alter my initial reactions, but in the end it's all the same. And it all sucks.

  14. Frankly, I'd be indifferent no matter who killed who.

    I think you're interesting and all, but you're just names on a screen to me.

  15. Sadness. I'd be sad about it no matter what. I don't want to keep seeing people dying. And I don't want to see people keep losing themselves to darkness and insanity.