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Wednesday: Mind, they could just stuff Trish full of thorazine and lean her against the wall.

[Most women I know aren't actually that fond of real chocolate. From GPF.]
(From General Protection Fault. Click for logical disconnect. This is not part of the Blue Screen series, which has been temporarily stalled due to Ten Thousand Personal Health Crises.)

Okay, maybe it's just me. I've never actually been married, and I haven't had cause to attend very many weddings as a guest. But I have been in two wedding ceremonies, as a bridesmaid, and here's the funny thing:

Both times? There were only two of us.

Nick and Ki's wedding, so far, is yet another one of these things which happen the way they do based on reasons I absolutely can't get my head around. Already, Ki has opted to lose her name in part because Oshiro is somehow harder to spell than Wellington. (In a world where people ask me at least three times a week how to spell or pronounce "White," let alone "Wednesday," I think she's being optimistic.) She's got a cop working on the streamed media feed instead of, say, Sharon, whose geekish skills would be invaluable to a project demanding, well, over half a dozen people on one streaming media setup. She and Nick are getting married in a church for reasons I can't exactly fathom; as I've said, we have no way of knowing if any of these people have ever set foot in a church before, and many churches will turn away people not of their denomination, let alone of their congregation. (I'm not ruling out that Ki is falling into the Japanese vogue of Western church weddings, but we have no indication that that's a conceit her father would impose upon her. In fact, we don't really have much indication that the families have a great deal of sway in the details here to begin with -- a lot of this wedding seems to be shaping up the way it does because That's Just How It Works.)

And she's phoning up crazy Trish, whom no one really likes, to be the third bridesmaid because Nick's sister Lori can't make it, and Patty won't go there. (And, of course, Trish set it up that way by disposing of Lori's car.) And now there's argument: how are you going to tell Nick about the replacement bridesmaid, Ki? Why did you phone her to be a replacement bridesmaid, Ki? Why didn't you get someone else, Ki? Gosh, well, what else would we do, ask one of the mothers? (Would this be any less appropriate, honestly, than asking the crazy forty-seventh wheel? Nick's mom is probably about as emotionally close to Ki as Nick's sister, if not more so.)

I'm actually surprised that this wasn't countered with: why not ask one of the remaining guys? Ki has plenty of male friends who'd be appropriate here, not all of whom can possibly be bound up in the groom's party. The issue of dress-matching can be resolved by having the guy wear a cummerbund in the same colour and, if possible, fabric -- if the guy's renting a tux anyhow, this is far less expensive than coming up with a third dress. Then again, the arbitrary decoration/tech split happened by gender, regardless of qualification, so this might be one of those things which just isn't going to come up.

But the real question is: why not just do without? This hasn't even occurred to them, and it seems more respectful to Lori (let alone Persephone, someone Ki actually knows pretty well and cares about, who's just been rejected from the role on grounds of potential paparazzi). Furthermore: Ki is "fiercely independent," right? She told us as much during the Sam flashback. Why bridezilla on this? Why is she going for a disastrous replacement simply in order to fill a slot she doesn't need to have? Why it is so obvious that she would act this way? Did she have a childhood fantasy about one maid of honour and two regular bridesmaids? Is there some issue of symmetry in the wedding party that absolutely can't be circumvented, lest Mr. Oshiro beat someone with his cane? Did someone update GPF Premium with the background on this while I wasn't looking?

The answer, mind, seems to be that we need a reason to draw Trish back into the plot and have her set off at least some of the conflicts necessary for year eight. Again, it's the snail chess game at work: having set her up two years ago, long enough for us to need to go back and read up on her, she must now be maneuvered into place at all costs. Even if it doesn't make any sense outside of their self-contained world for this to happen, Trish must show up and kick off the conflict party.


Of course, Trish just makes me go "what" across the board. This is mostly because her cover crumples at a touch, and I'm amazed that the team didn't poke it immediately rather than playing "aww, poor isolated crazy woman." I realize that she's not actually crazy, just ineptly evil and fibbing badly as a result. But the fib she told falls apart in a very brief period of googling:

"I was diagnosed with a multiple personality disorder a few months ago. Unfortunately, I haven't been diligent in taking my medication." -- 25 November 2003

Now, the story arc's called "Schizophrenia," and Darlington's own cast page maintains:

'"Bad" Trish shoots "Good" Trish, quick disposes of the body, and then later appears to the rest of the gang, claiming she suffers from schizophrenia.'

There are different types of schizophrenia, and a wide variety of antipsychotics can be effective in treating it. And not medicating schizophrenia is a great way to make sure your mismanaged condition screws with you and everyone around you.

But that's not what she's said, and that's what she's continued to not say for two years. She said "a multiple personality disorder." I have to assume that, if Jeff Darlington hasn't corrected this in two years, he's not simply ignorant of the differences between the two conditions. So we have to assume that that's what she meant, and look at how things work accordingly.

You can't have "a" multiple personality disorder. There is only one thing called multiple personality disorder. It has two names -- dissociative identity disorder is what the DSM-IV labels it -- but they describe the same condition. There are other dissociative disorders, but they aren't the same thing as schizophrenia at all. ("Schizophrenia" basically means "split mind," thus the frequent confusion.) There are other dissociative disorders, but they wouldn't cause behavior patterns like Trish's. A stunningly broad overgeneralization and oversimplification here can serve to illustrate the difference, though: a multiple has other people talking inside of their head. A schizophrenic hears voices coming from outside of their head. (Again, this is a horrible overgeneralization, since not all schizophrenics are even hallucinating voices to begin with, but you get the idea.)

MPD is a controversial diagnosis, and a lot of the popular wisdom surrounding its origins and treatment is as much urban folklore or quack therapy as not. (It's beyond the scope of this essay to go into the excesses of the overlapping recovered memory therapy movement and ritual abuse panic which contributed to the controversy, save for something we'll touch on shortly.) But one of the few things you can sensibly track down is what kind of treatment one finds for the condition, even if there's no consensus as to whether merging the personalities or helping them to cohabit peacefully is the ultimate goal.

Unlike schizophrenia, there are no medications specifically indicated for treatment of MPD. When it is handled by a therapist who accepts the existence of multiplicity -- which you can't necessarily count on -- and is prepared to make that sort of diagnosis, talk therapy is almost always the way to go. Antipsychotics have very, very rarely been prescribed specifically to deal with an outpatient multiple whose internal state is horribly out of control; if this was the case for someone like Trish, she wouldn't have been functional enough to hold down the IT management job she held long enough to worm into Nick's life to begin with. She certainly wouldn't be together enough to handle a wedding.

(If Trish had been that far gone as a multiple, it's quite possible that she had some sort of comorbid condition which would require medication. She might also be schizophrenic, or bipolar, or have some sort of anxiety disorder, or suffer from depression. Given the stigma and controversy surrounding MPD's very existence, it'd make a lot more sense for her to chalk her issues up to one of those conditions. It's not like Robert Oxnard's book was out yet in 2003, say. But, well, she's sloppy, and we know she's sloppy.)

So. Trish has come out with this gem. Crazy Trish, who has some pretty futuristic and scary gadgets in her room. Ki is dubious. Everyone is cautious. And yet, the gang makes some effort to invite her to social functions, put up with her when she turns up places, that sort of thing, 'cause it's not like she has any friends.

Why has no one taken ten minutes to read about what kinds of things they could expect from someone who asserts that they haven't been good at managing their mental disorder, or about the disorder itself? If they have, we've got a couple of problems, not the least of which is "hey, what medication?! This is rubbish!" Among them: why would Ki trust an unstable multiple to be her new bridesmaid rather than drop the slot? And why is Sharon objecting on the grounds of Nick not liking or trusting her? Aren't there more worrying things about Trish than whether Nick is comfortable with her?

But, more contentiously: What use does a multiple have for such gadgets? At least, with a schizophrenic, you can chalk it up to grandiose delusions.

One of the paranoid conspiracy theories to emerge from the ritual abuse/recovered memory therapy panic in the eighties and nineties: that there are multiples programmed by cults and/or government agencies to act as spies and assassins. (Yeah, I know. I know. Bear with me here.) Given that we have organizations like CRUDE, agents like Fooker, people like Empress Trudy, and entities like the Gamester floating around in the GPF-verse, I don't think that an assassin-multiple with a deep cover alter is out of the question. (It'd be disappointing and disheartening, but it'd be plausible.)

Our gang deals with interdimensional travel, secret agents, slime molds and temporal rifts in its breakfast cereal. I should think that the combination of having someone act crazy and tell you that they're multiple, then finding Scary Future Gadgets in their room, would make one a lot less likely to try and be their pity buddy.

Or to have them in their wedding party.

Even if they are making it all up and are really just evil servants from another dimension... er... um... Yeah. I'm not buying it. The gang is way too smart, and should be far too paranoid under the circumstances, for this sort of thing.

Then again, they've got Sharon sticking streamers on the pews instead of testing codecs. I don't know.

Posted by Wednesday Burns-White at December 1, 2005 7:47 PM

Comments

Comment from: Meagen Image posted at December 1, 2005 7:56 PM

Look, nevermind *that*. Kestrel is in S*P! With a bandage on her head! Buckley is making a CAD animated series and is making people *pay* for it! Sluggy Freelance is... um... probably getting somewhere in another month or so. I think.

Anyways, get Eric! Or write something yourself! You guys used to be *cutting edge*, and you're totally getting left behind by Checkerboard Nightmare.

*sigh*

Where's Webcartoonist vs. Webcatroonist when you need it most...?

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at December 1, 2005 8:02 PM

Mostly because weddings have to be the way they have to be.

I mean, that's probably a cliche, but let me tell you what, when my wife and I got married it took some doing to convince her to let one of my best friends in all the world -- a woman -- be in the groom's party. My wife wanted her to be a bridesmaid, but my way of thinking was that she was my friend, you know? She was the one who convinced me to move to Richmond (which is where I met my wife) -- so it seemed logical (not to mention appropriate from the whole symbolism thing) to let her in the groom's party.

My wife eventually came around, and I think eventually even *liked* the idea -- but there was resistance at first. And the PHOTOGRAPHER was a complete asshole -- he insisted on taking a picture of the groom's party WITHOUT HER IN IT. I was just about ready to break his fucking neck over that, but my friend told me to let him do it, it wasn't worth the trouble.

(*I* thought it worth the trouble. But I relented. I still think I should have given him a good stomping, but I guess going to jail on my wedding day would have been awkward.)

Anyway, my first thought when Ki said that she needed *someone* was "yeah, or else it wouldn't be symmetrical." And that is a stupid reason, but it is also a perfectly valid and vitally important reason for a wedding, because many weddings have pomp and they have circumstance and that's the way it is.

Also, a lot of churches don't care if you're part of their deonomination as long as you're using their sanctuary for a traditional wedding. Sure, some churches do (more in the south, but even there it's not a huge thing) but some don't.

In fact, when I was living in Raleigh one church got in a heck of a lot of trouble with other churches in the area because they found out they'd rented out their sanctuary for a gay wedding. They didn't know it was a gay wedding -- they didn't bother to ask, and the people didn't bother to mention it. And they weren't a church that normally supported such things, but after the money had exchanged hands they decided it was poor form to back out.

Anyway. The crux to understanding a wedding is that rational choices do not always come into play, even when you go into it thinking "we're going to be sensible about this." Our wedding was pretty sensible, I think, and there was still madness running amok, willy-nilly, hither and yon and all of the rest of it.

So... yeah. It's not quite as out there as you'd think.

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at December 1, 2005 8:10 PM

Chris: You're seriously telling me it's more worthwhile to stick someone with what you believe to be an uncontrolled mental disorder, that results in inappropriate and unpredictable acting out in the specific case, into the slot, rather than risk asymmetry?!

That's absolutely bat.

Comment from: Dragonmuncher posted at December 1, 2005 8:35 PM

I totally agree.

So tell me... did this essay grow out of your rants in the Snarkoleptics post, or were you already writing this and just decided to vent in Snarkloeptics in the meantime before this went up?

Comment from: kirabug posted at December 1, 2005 8:47 PM

Also, a lot of churches don't care if you're part of their deonomination as long as you're using their sanctuary for a traditional wedding. Sure, some churches do (more in the south, but even there it's not a huge thing) but some don't.

Man, I wish it was that easy around here. Around here, if you're not part of the church, you have to promise to become part of the church, or the deal is off. One of my friends sat through church services at six different churches trying to find one that would marry them because his wife didn't want to be married in a Catholic church (no I don't know why.) After the church that used the powerpoint slides during the sermon, she relented.

As for the inane nature of Ki's choices, well, that's a big part of why I stopped reading GPF. You can see the disaster coming from a mile away, the reason the disaster's coming is because some idiot decided to trust someone that is obviously up to someone, and whoever gets to play "voice of reason" will be systematically ignored because, hey, they may be your best friend or future spouse, but what could they possibly know about judging people?

Someone in the Questionable Content thread said they stopped reading when they caught themselves yelling, "You idiots! Stop being so stupid!" at the monitor too many times. That was my cutoff for GPF as well. I tried to pick it back up when the YHM&YLM expired here, but, meh, lost patience.

Wednesday, if you're looking for a logical reason, you're going to spend a lot of time not finding one.

Comment from: wedge posted at December 1, 2005 8:54 PM

Look, nevermind *that*. Kestrel is in S*P! With a bandage on her head! Buckley is making a CAD animated series and is making people *pay* for it! Sluggy Freelance is... um... probably getting somewhere in another month or so. I think.

Anyways, get Eric! Or write something yourself!

...she did just write something herself. Did you miss it in your hurry to come post this?



Why don't you go write something yourself instead of stomping your foot just because other people wont write about what you think is important? You'd probably be happier in the long run, and it's certainly isn't anywhere near as rude.

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at December 1, 2005 9:15 PM

Chris: You're seriously telling me it's more worthwhile to stick someone with what you believe to be an uncontrolled mental disorder, that results in inappropriate and unpredictable acting out in the specific case, into the slot, rather than risk asymmetry?!

Well, I'm saying that it's reasonable to assume that some people get worked up enough over getting the wedding to "work" that they'd be willing to tolerate someone in the wedding party they don't necessarily like just to fill it out. Mental disorders, I don't know from Shelob.

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at December 1, 2005 9:31 PM

Oh, and you're right -- it *is* bat. Wedding == bat. At least, in my experience...

Comment from: Tangent posted at December 1, 2005 9:42 PM

Actually, getting back to the deep-cover agent... part of the reason the Boy Wonder (ahem, I mean Nick) is so distrustful of psycho-chick (ahem, I mean Trish) because he knows the difference between the two disorders and even pointed it out to Ki.

I've also had the impression that Ki keeps in touch with Trish behind Nick's back out of a sense of guilt; maybe if she'd been a better person with the other psycho-chick (ahem, I mean Trudy) than Trudy wouldn't have turned out totally evil and caused so much mischief.

Not to mention there's probably mind control devices involved.

But for those of you who want more S*P goodness, fear not! You can find a tangent on it here, written by my good friend Steve Anderson.

Enjoy!

Robert A. Howard, Tangents Webcomic Reviews
http://www.tangents.us

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at December 1, 2005 10:01 PM

Look, nevermind *that*. Kestrel is in S*P!

She already was. Got smacked down by a car. Snarked about it at the time, actually.

It is worth noting one person's priorities aren't necessarily anyone else's priorities.

My priorities today involved 12 hours in a car, vendor meetings, and a lot of walking. My priorities now involve finding my freaking headset, lying down on my couch, and talking to a very special person while staving off fatigue sleep.

Tomorrow?

We'll see.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at December 1, 2005 10:01 PM

Look, nevermind *that*. Kestrel is in S*P!

She already was. Got smacked down by a car. Snarked about it at the time, actually.

It is worth noting one person's priorities aren't necessarily anyone else's priorities.

My priorities today involved 12 hours in a car, vendor meetings, and a lot of walking. My priorities now involve finding my freaking headset, lying down on my couch, and talking to a very special person while staving off fatigue sleep.

Tomorrow?

We'll see.

Comment from: Tangent posted at December 1, 2005 10:09 PM

Oh, and now QC comes out with something that makes me go "Oh, fuck!"

And it makes Steve go "WTF? If that is why Faye is so man-shy, I'm going to track down Jeph and put him in a gimp mask..."

(Actually, he said: The only way this makes sense for Faye's manshy behavior is if there's a note pinned to Daddy's chest that says, "Faye, I'm sorry I made you wear the gimp mask and call me Theodore Roosevelt every time we played 'Pass the Kumquat,'" THEN i will believe this. not before! But I thought the gimp mask comment was more amusing in this context so...)

Rob H.

Comment from: Jamie posted at December 1, 2005 10:10 PM

Here's the thing. My father's family used to photograph weddings for a living so they have been to a few hundred. It depends greatly on the family, but in most cases if EVERYTHING is not perfect, someone, usually the Bride or the Bride's mother, is going to go apeshit. I've heard stories of brides actually wrestling on the ground in their wedding dress, so from my point of view, it is very plausible for someone to lose it over a bride's maid. 2 cents.

Comment from: JediLora posted at December 1, 2005 10:10 PM

Oh dear. Eric, you didn't see today then?

Kestrel is now a CAST MEMBER for S*P.

Although personally, I'm also boggling at GPF's bridesmaid choices. I'm helping no less than three friends prepare for three very different weddings here, and all three brides have said that they a)wouldn't pick Trish for a replacement and b)two have said they wouldn't want her within ten miles of the wedding.

Comment from: Tangent posted at December 1, 2005 10:12 PM

Oh, and Eric? It's that Kestrel is alive and well (well, with her head bandaged, but still, well enough!) and in yesterday's S*P.

Rob H.

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at December 1, 2005 10:18 PM

Tangent, JediLora: Eric knows. This does not make it a priority for either of us today. I didn't write about it because, so far, she's appeared in all of one panel and on a cast page -- what do you write about that? "Wow, she's in a panel. And on the cast page" Yep. Nothing one can really add. It's all potential. Speculating is pointless.

And, bluntly, with no disrespect intended towards Randy or Aeire, after seeing today's QC, I don't believe that Kestrel's appearance is now particularly significant by comparison.

Comment from: LurkerWithout posted at December 1, 2005 10:19 PM

Weds, thank you for reading this stuff and writing about it. It helps protect me from accidently stumbling into reading it. I appreciate your pain...

Comment from: Tangent posted at December 1, 2005 10:21 PM

Speculating is pointless.

BLASPHEMY!!!!!!

*shiftyeyes*

Sorry, I'm a renowned speculator. It's never pointless. Sometimes dull... but not pointless. :D

Rob H.

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at December 1, 2005 10:21 PM

Weds, thank you for reading this stuff and writing about it. It helps protect me from accidently stumbling into reading it. I appreciate your pain...

Oh look! It's the "Stone Soup" version of snark. Just bring your own. :P

Comment from: JediLora posted at December 1, 2005 10:21 PM

Righto.

And I'd missed QC on my daily trawl somehow.

Wow.

(I don't know what's been poured into the webcomics community's water supply lately, but truly, it needs to be kept up.)

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at December 1, 2005 10:22 PM

There was supposed to be a blockquote up there, but obviously I used the wrong tag. I blame UBB.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at December 1, 2005 10:27 PM

Yeah, I'm briefed.

For the record? Kestrel's appearance in the cast page list is two days old, not one.

Okay.

Here's the thing.

And please bear in mind I'm exhausted, and pissed off about something unreleated to Websnark. So you're getting more than a hint of that in this reply.

We don't have a "you must stay on topic" rule on Websnark.

Yet.

However, when the first comment to a thought provoking snark from either of this is "who cares, write what I want you to write," you've pretty well sealed the deal that we're not going to.

There's a livejournal community. If you want commentary on something we haven't commented on, write it.

It's right there.

You have fingers.

Write it.

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at December 1, 2005 10:35 PM

And write it *there*. Or in your own blog. Heck, start a blog. We're good with that too.

Yeah. I'm pissed off too, also on Unrelated Topics. But this is just ridiculous.

Comment from: lucastds posted at December 1, 2005 10:36 PM

^ More than that, there are a thousand other Webcomic blog-like entities.

Honest Webcomic Reviews by William G.

I'm Just Saying by Phil Kahn.

and of course

The Webcomicker
Comics Rock
Eyeballing It. Etc

Not to mention Tangents.

If you need affirmation that S*P made a big storyline jump from some outside source to give your life meaning... erm... yeah, no comment.

But if you really need it, there are several other good comicblogs out there. Read them. At least half of them mentioned the S*P thing today.

Yeah.

Comment from: lucastds posted at December 1, 2005 10:37 PM

Excuse my linkage.

Correct linkage for the william G. Blog:

http://doyourowndamnedcheerleading.blogspot.com/

Comment from: Tangent posted at December 1, 2005 10:42 PM

Eric. Chill. Seriously.

Yes, you have a bunch of enthusiastic fans who are waiting eagerly for your words on S*P. Well, you responded. You said "I'm uninterested right now" which plays into my pocket since I bribed Steve to write up a S*P rant by promising I'd read the archives (never said *when*... *grin*) so I'll have lots of people coming over to Tangents to see what Steve had to say... oh damn. I need to start cracking the whip and getting Steve to write more! *shiftyeyes*

Part of Websnark's charm is that discussions can tangent from their original topic fairly easily. So we've had a couple of tangents. And yes, I brought up the QC bit... but that's because it updated far earlier than usual (I was betting on an early update due to it being Friday and Jeph wanting to get an early start to the weekend). (To be honest, I had no idea about you having an LJ community. Not that I'll visit, I have enough difficulties getting around to visit the Foglios LJ journals, or Maritza's, or the half dozen or so that I read once a week. Nice to know you have one though.)

If you're having a bad day... then I suggest avoiding Websnark while being snippety. Because yes, your fans are extremely enthusiastic... but that's part of their charm. They don't need veiled threats saying you're going to force Websnark to remain on-topic or bullshit like that. NO forum or discussion group remains on-topic. There's always some drift. And trying to threaten a community that drifts all over the place with on-topickedness... well, it's ni-impossible to do. And you threaten to kill the fun, for your fans... and yourself.

Seriously. Relax. Chat with Weds. Ignore Websnark for the evening. And after a good night's sleep, then come back with your spirits and humor restored.

Take care...

Robert A. Howard, Tangents Webcomic Reviews
http://www.tangents.us

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at December 1, 2005 10:48 PM

Robert, if a guy can't be cranky on his own web site, what point does the internet *serve*???

Comment from: Tangent posted at December 1, 2005 10:49 PM

I thought you knew. Porn. :P

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at December 1, 2005 10:53 PM

Not even the lure of exposed fleshy bits could convince me to give up my god-given right to be surly on a domain I was shelling out cash to own!

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at December 1, 2005 10:55 PM

Robert, don't start. Please. Just... don't start right now on the purpoted charm.

Just don't.

Comment from: Jin Wicked posted at December 1, 2005 11:23 PM

"Part of Websnark's charm is that discussions can tangent from their original topic fairly easily."

Part of Websnark's charm is that it's intelligently written and interesting, and one can tell the two people working on it enjoy writing it. Posting something completely off-topic is not only incredibly rude, but half the time your plugging and name-dropping your own review site comes damn close to spamming in my opinion. I don't even read the comments on most of the posts here because they end up not being about the original snark at all. Or I have to cherry-pick the actual dialogue and sort through a bunch of irrelevant chatter.

I would prefer to not lose a nice website to a bunch of entitled "charming" fans who think it's their right and duty to demand commentary or what [i]they[/i] feel Eric or Weds should be writing about. I've had people writing me in the last month complaining about [i]my[/i] comic and telling me that they think they know better what I should be doing with [i]my own[/i] creation, and neither of these good folks here deserve to put up with that shit any more than I do. In fact cranky and entitled email from readers has gotten me to the point where I have lost almost all the enjoyment I get out of making a comic at all.

If you don't like what's being written about here, then leave. It's not your "community" it's [i]their[/i] personal website for which [i]they[/i] choose content and provide it. Go back to your own site, maybe if you work on improving it you won't have to link the crap out of it everywhere you post so people'll read it.

Comment from: ItsWalky posted at December 1, 2005 11:27 PM

Man, I thought people came to this site 'cuz they wanted to read what Burns and White wanted to say, not see what they wanted to hear. This isn't a webcomic news site, it's the "Burns and White talk about things they want to talk about" site.

This is a blog, not the freakin' New York Times.

But, yeah. Reading GPF, I felt really bad for the female mold-thing. I mean, c'mon. Ki's being Queen Bitch. Not thirty seconds after female mold-thing bursts into tears about not being able to be a part of Ki's special day, Ki's phoning up Crazy Evil Whore They Barely Know And Nick Hates to fill in the blank spot.

Paparazzi? Whatever, Ki. That's the lamest freakin' excuse ever. Arbitrary with a capital A. Possible national attention won't compare to the crapstorm you're creating right now. After taking a whole storyline to talk about how the slime molds are worth being treated as equals, Ki brooms them under the rug because of who they are to the world, despite who they are to HER.

Comment from: Jin Wicked posted at December 1, 2005 11:27 PM

Sorry about the shitty formatting, I just woke up and my brain isn't working yet. Meh.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at December 1, 2005 11:34 PM

This is where I'm supposed to make mention about the rules and shit.

And tomorrow, I'm going to feel badly about this, because that's the sort of thing that I feel badly about.

But tonight, I just don't care any more.

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at December 1, 2005 11:46 PM

Much as I don't either, and much as I don't want to do this:

The warning shot is being fired into the air.

Comment from: Zutto posted at December 1, 2005 11:53 PM

"One of my friends sat through church services at six different churches trying to find one that would marry them because his wife didn't want to be married in a Catholic church (no I don't know why.)"

I'm pretty sure the Catholic church requires you to do a lot of extra, rather unusual stuff prior to the wedding if you want to be married there.
Someone once told me they monitor things related to your bodily fluids...? Like blood samples, maybe. Sounded spooky and probably unsupported.

Comment from: Jamie posted at December 2, 2005 12:00 AM

I once put together a wedding album where the father of the bride was dead and still in the wedding ceremony. So, I have no problems w/ this storyline. Yes, he was in a coffin.

Comment from: Ardaniel posted at December 2, 2005 12:06 AM

Zutto: the Roman Catholic Church used to require that non-Catholics marrying Catholics promise in writing to raise the children Catholic no matter what. I'm told that's out of fashion now.

Also, to this other noise going on: at least over on the site where I work, we made a lot of forums go away rather than cater to overblown senses of fan entitlement. Sometimes, it's the only way to get people to shut the hell up-- since there's *no* way to get a certain subset of fandom to comprehend that you do not exist and work solely for *their* approval, pleasure, or self-aggrandizement.

Comment from: Tangent posted at December 2, 2005 12:16 AM

As in they had a picture of the coffin added into the wedding pics? Or you photoshopped his picture from another source into the wedding picture itself?

Rob H.

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at December 2, 2005 12:16 AM

Or was the coffin physically at the wedding?

Comment from: Wistful Dreamer posted at December 2, 2005 12:23 AM

Wow. I've never seen this high a ratio of people who have webcomics of their own or are regular webcomic bloggers on a reply thread.

That said, one thing GPF has always required was a massive suspension of disbelief. While a valid criticism of the comic, it is hardly unique to this situation.

As for S*P, this is big news for S*P fans. The QoW crossover was a rather random part of S*P, but it cemented S*P's importance in the webcomic field.

Eric, Weds, and Jin: we know. This is the parts of your collective arts that you like the least. All I can say is that commenting on it is very unlikely to reduce it. Sorry.

Comment from: quiller posted at December 2, 2005 12:33 AM

I'm just imagining the bride walking down the aisle with the coffin until she meets the groom. I may be correct in imagining this too.

As for the GPF, I have no idea why Trish would believe that the car thing would automatically put her in the bridal party, and there were certainly more rational things for Ki to do. But, that the bride might do something crazy before the wedding like that, I can believe that. If the purpose of the networking thing is to keep the guys out of the way, then why would she want Sharon doing it? I'm sure Fooker is competent enough to handle it, and guys just want something to do that doesn't have to do with flowers and what color white works better.

Umm, and now I'm going to go find the QC discussion on Snarkoleptics that has probably been recently posted.

Comment from: Jamie posted at December 2, 2005 12:36 AM

Archon wrote: Or was the coffin physically at the wedding?

Yes, the coffin was actually in the church and the guy was in the coffin.

Comment from: Tangent posted at December 2, 2005 12:39 AM

And plenty of air fresheners under the coffin... OO

My God... people are insane. A coffin! OO

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at December 2, 2005 12:40 AM

Wow. That's... a little bit odd.

Comment from: Shaenon posted at December 2, 2005 12:41 AM

"I'm pretty sure the Catholic church requires you to do a lot of extra, rather unusual stuff prior to the wedding if you want to be married there.
Someone once told me they monitor things related to your bodily fluids...? Like blood samples, maybe. Sounded spooky and probably unsupported."

Having recently been married in a Catholic wedding, I can reveal the hideous truth: the Catholic church requires couples to take a marriage-preparation class, sit in for a series of talks with the pastor, and go through some other procedures before you can be married. Also, at least one of you must be Catholic, and if the other one isn't some kind of baptised Christian there are extra forms to fill out. And, yes, you have to promise you will raise your children Catholic, and lie like hell if the priest asks you if you use birth control.

I think the class and the interviews with the priest, at least, are good ideas; the church wants to be damn sure that you're serious about this marriage thing. But I can also see why someone would want to ditch that crap and fly to Vegas.

Comment from: John Lynch posted at December 2, 2005 12:46 AM

I agree with writing your own blog posts. I have one I update sporadically, sometimes about my own webcomic, sometimes about politics, sometimes in a Websnark-style (although with much smaller words and not as long ;)) post about webcomics. It's fun. But I never come here upset cause Eric or Weds didn't mention webcomic X.

GPF: Dang. That's a good post Wednesday. In Jeff's defence, I'm expecting someone to come along and say "oi! Ki! Stop being such a bitch!" but in the event that someone DOESN'T point that out (which is quite likely) all of your points are fairly valid. Which is a shame! I read that GPF and enjoyed it. Then I came over here and find a well thought out post that pokes a dozen holes into it, and all I can say is "damn! She's right."

Good write up Weds. I hope in the near future you get a comic that makes you go "wow! This is terrific. I was wrong" because then I'd be able to agree with you there as well ;)

Comment from: WaveLine posted at December 2, 2005 1:05 AM

Yes, the coffin was actually in the church and the guy was in the coffin.
You know, that is quite creepy. The only way to really top that is to say that later on in the evening, said coffin was also at the reception. Dead people love cake.

Comment from: Jeff Eaton posted at December 2, 2005 1:17 AM

Possible national attention won't compare to the crapstorm you're creating right now.

Considering the fact that in GPF land an average weekend can involve a reality-collapsing trip to an alternate universe, and assassination attempts are par for the course, and the slime molds have already been subjected to national attention in a court case... Yeah, I can't imagine putting some bouncers at the door and making sure uninvited photogs don't get in would be that tough.

I got married about six months ago, and lemme tell you. It's true that even the most indie, convention-flaunting bride can have seirous bouts of 'Oh My God, It's Supposed To Be Like X.' It seems, though, that a bride in the middle of that sort of thrashing isn't going to immediately pick an unmedicated disassociative schizophrenic who has in the past tried to seduce her husband to be.

Or am I confusing Trish with a few of the other hot evil chicks who've tried to get into Nick's boxers, triggering Jealous Cattiness from Ki?

Comment from: Jamie posted at December 2, 2005 1:24 AM

I respect Eric and Wed a lot for their talent. I truly do, but after dealing with brides and brideĖs mothers for over ten years, someone getting all upset because they are one bridesmaid short doesnĖt strike me as odd in the least. (Points to post about coffin w/ dead father inside at wedding) As for Ki being a bitch right before her own wedding, well, thatĖs more the norm than the exception, from what I have observed. Around six months or so before the wedding, even the most pleasant hearted wisp of a girl can become a demon with the ability to suck souls from 50 feet away.

Comment from: John Lynch posted at December 2, 2005 1:29 AM

Possible national attention won't compare to the crapstorm you're creating right now.
I just realised what Weds meant with this. The papparazzi is just a cop-out. Ki's being speciest (think racist except for non-humans ;)) pure and simple. Sure she might have been fine with them and even stick up for them at other times. But they're not going to ruin her day or there'll be hell to pay.

Just my interpretation. I dismissed the paparazzi being the reason the second I saw it, which is why I was a bit confused at who the national attention whore in Weds post was suppose to be.

Comment from: miyaa posted at December 2, 2005 1:36 AM

A comment and a suggestion.

Comment: I do not read much of the General Protection Fault comics. But this seems to be not so funny. I mean marrying someone who is dead? Faux replacement bridesmaids? It doesn't register to me as funny, more like a faulty plot twist.

As for the Catholic Church marriage thing, in most parishes, they require you to actively be apart of services for at least three-months (some places at least six) and they heavily suggest that if the partner isn't Catholic that he or she undergo what is known as the Rites of Catholic Initiation for Adults (RCIA). It's seminars and meetings that leads up to getting permission from the Bishop (either in person or ceremonial) and either a Easter or Pentecost formal ceremony joining the Church. This is not required, but many believe (priests, RCIA lackeys, parishers, etc.) having both parents Catholic gives the marriage a better chance of not ending in a divorce.

Suggestion: I know I could probably find the Livejournal link-up via google, but if you're going to make a formal policy about keeping posts on-topic, could you include a link to the live-journal websnark site please? And do I need to register with live-journal in order to comment on the websnark live-journal site? (Because as you probably guess from all of my comments, I really don't have a lot to say. And it's not worth playing out my life's little dramas to a studio audience.)

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at December 2, 2005 2:09 AM

You know, that is quite creepy. The only way to really top that is to say that later on in the evening, said coffin was also at the reception. Dead people love cake.

It could get creepier, like if the reception was also a wake.

Comment from: Chaomancer Omega posted at December 2, 2005 2:19 AM

The schizophenia/mpd aside, Sharon has a huge point when she raises the fact that Nick doesn't like or trust Trish.

Nick -- the eternal optimist, the guy who always saw the best in everybody, even Trudy -- does not trust her. Even without any hard evidence, this should be sending most people's alarm bells ablare.

And yet, even if Ki chose not to examine the details, even if she thought Nick was "just being silly" or what have you... she still should respect his opinion enough to not have Trish in the wedding. This is Nick's wedding too. Somebody who he dislikes should not be in the wedding party unless they have *close* ties to one or both of them, such as Ki's father. Somebody who none of them know very well wouldn't have much place in the wedding party even if she wasn't disliked by one of the people getting wed.

For Ki to ask Trish into the wedding party without telling Nick first is immensely disrespectful. I'd be like him having Dexter as a groomsman back when they all thought Dexter was just a creep.

Comment from: Kirath posted at December 2, 2005 3:39 AM

Jamie: That? That was creepy.

Chaomancer: Exactly. Even with the claims of mental disorders, the fact that *Nick* neither likes or trusts her shouldn't be an inconvenience. it should be a GIANT FREAKING WARNING FLAG.

Weds/Eric/Jin: That does suck. If I had a blog such as this, or ever learned to draw well enough to do a comic of my own, I would hate to have to deal with it, too, and so I always try to avoid perpetrating that on anyone I am a fan of. Entitlement sucks.

Back to something Wednesday mentioned in her post(I can never remember the tags for block quotes so you get my horizontal dashed lines.):

----------------------------------------------
One of the paranoid conspiracy theories to emerge from the ritual abuse/recovered memory therapy panic in the eighties and nineties: that there are multiples programmed by cults and/or government agencies to act as spies and assassins.
----------------------------------------------

See 'The Bourne Identity' by Robert Ludlum. It is based on exactly this concept(As I recall). The movie starring Matt Damon was actually quite good, as well.

Something else she mentioned in passing:
I always have to go back and make sure I've spelled Wednesday correctly... it's pronounced so much differently from the way it's spelled that it throws me off every time.

S*P: I am totally excited about Kestrel showing up, I'm such a huge QoW fanboy..~Sigh~, even if it is in the one panel for now, and the Cast page. I was equally surprised that Kim showed up, though, and whatever happens, this will be interesting. I will say that I am looking forward to whatever you guys do have to say about S*P, if anything, when things develop more. (Actually, I would have expected the recent conversation between Davan and his father to draw a comment, if anything, but hey, you guys have been busy.) I'ma go read the Tangent now.

Questionable Content: OH MY GOD!

Comment from: Aufero posted at December 2, 2005 4:09 AM

You're seriously telling me it's more worthwhile to stick someone with what you believe to be an uncontrolled mental disorder, that results in inappropriate and unpredictable acting out in the specific case, into the slot, rather than risk asymmetry?!

Yes. Most weddings (in my experience as a musician at many) are crazier than that. It's the mother of the bride's lifetime opportunity to demonstrate she's less sane than everyone else in the room - no one will be surprised at a bridesmaid with MPD, even if it includes screaming fits and violence.

Comment from: cthulhu-maccabi posted at December 2, 2005 6:24 AM

Not having been a bride myself (or married, or female for that matter), I can only speculate as to what Ki's exact thought processes could possibly be. I can understand the "that's just how it's done" attitude though. Considering how horrendously complicated organizing a wedding can be (not to mention how most people view it as a fairly high stakes event), I think a lot of people fall back on tradition whenever they can just because they know it works and it's one less thing to think about. Of course, when tradition fails at the last minute, and they haven't thought about it, general panic and the bad decisions it leads to are pretty much par for the course.

Of course, all that said, it's still a totally transparent plot device. Or, I mean, it became one as soon as you pointed it out and broke through my "read it when I'm too sleep-deprived to notice" strategy for enjoying GPF. =P

As for the latest mini-drama, all I can say is that this sort of thing makes me wonder why exactly I would [i]want[/i] to attract a large following for CN. That, and Eric's old essay on Entitlement seems increasingly ironic lately.

Comment from: cthulhu-maccabi posted at December 2, 2005 6:29 AM

Argh, curse you bastardized html format I have inexplicably become accustomed to. Curse you and your brackets.

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at December 2, 2005 6:36 AM

Comment: I do not read much of the General Protection Fault comics. But this seems to be not so funny. I mean marrying someone who is dead? Faux replacement bridesmaids? It doesn't register to me as funny, more like a faulty plot twist.

Miyaa, no-one in GPF is marrying someone who is dead. There was a story in this thread about an actual wedding where the father's corpse was included in the wedding party -- different thing altogether.

Comment from: Meagen Image posted at December 2, 2005 6:44 AM

I'm sorry for the tone of my previous comment. I didn't mean to imply that I somehow have the will or power to force Ms. White or Mr. Burns to write about a particular subject in their own weblog. I simply wanted to express that I was really excited about changes occuring in my area of interest among webcomics, and was realy looking forward to an intelligent and thought-provoking article on the subject, of the kind that I've known these two authors to write in the past.

I deeply regret causing grief to Ms. White and Mr. Burns at a time when, by all accounts, they do not need any additional problems. I also apologise for posting off-topic and thus adding confusion and clutter to this discussion.

Comment from: mckenzee posted at December 2, 2005 7:21 AM

First, it may be the lack of sleep, but I love seeing you refered to as Burns & White. You sound so well established.

Secondly, Snarkoleptics are at http://livejournal.com/~snarkoleptics. If you do not join LiveJournal, you can post anonymously. Just put your name in the post if you want recognition.

Thirdly, I'm too tired to spellcheck and I love you Burns & White. Stop by for tea sometime.

Comment from: InkBlot posted at December 2, 2005 9:34 AM

The Elements of Webcomics by Burns and White. Sounds nifty.

Eric & Wednesday,
I love your writing, whatever the topic, and I'm very grateful you both share your thoughts with us all the time on Websnark. When I come into these comments, I feel like you're inviting us into your house as guests. So I feel embarassed when one of us acts up, even if I don't know them any more than you do. Whatever y'all decide to write next, whatever you decide about the Comments threads, please know that I'll continue to support you because I respect and appreciate your contributions.

Thank you,
InkBlot

Comment from: Allen Shull posted at December 2, 2005 10:23 AM

I was married recently and my wife is about to be maid of honor (or matron, now, I guess) in her maid of honor's wedding. I can say confidently that a constant in wedding is people with hurt feelings. Persephone getting looked over is one of those. I too flat-out reject the "paparazzi" excuse--this is a wedding, and she doesn't want to get shown-up, but These Are Her Close Friends. My wife had two cousins that got tacked on into the wedding, though, and they worked fine. I don't see why Persephone would be so deliberately excluded except if Ki is a little bit speciest. I mean, wasn't there just a long storyline about accepting people, even if they're slime molds?

However, Ki's constant backtracking seems odd in another way. As one of the three main characters, Darlington's presented her throughout as mostly the perfect woman. So it seems to me less of an actual problem on Ki's part as much as a peculiarity of the writing: Darlington's presentation of Fred and Persephone seems to go back and forth between "the main cast treats them like people" and "they're freaking slime molds for crying out loud. Weird!" Okay, I was just about to complain about Darlington's inconsistency, but I just realized that it's actually more realistic that way--we can't overcome our own prejudices, even if we want to. However, I don't know whether or not Darlington's doing that.

On the actual issue, though, it's simply shocking that Ki does this. To me, a hallmark of bad writing is doing exactly this. Ki loves Nick. Ki trusts Nick. Ki is reasonable and intelligent. Nick has shown himself to be even more reasonable and level-headed in making decsisions, along with being constantly easygoing and good to be around; this is the man that . Nick blatantly distrusts and dislikes Trish. In any real-world situtuation, wouldn't Ki consider the incredibly clear feelings of the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with, especially after his recent support and care? I just don't see it.

And the dark chocolate thing: Not enough in the world.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at December 2, 2005 10:28 AM

Burns & White: it's like Burns & Allen TIMES Strunk & White!

Comment from: John posted at December 2, 2005 10:31 AM

This is good. I'm liking it. Thorough analysis.

However (there's always a "however"), it's maybe a leedle bit much to expect the GPF author to be super-DSM-precise with his mental illnesses. The "evil twin" plot mechanic is as old as the soap opera; whether the twin is an independent human or another personality (and the author seems to be playing both sides, making for an interesting ambiguity), the explanation for the situation is of little importance. What's important are the conflict and confusion it creates.

Comment from: theliel posted at December 2, 2005 10:40 AM

having just been a groomsman in a wedding where the wedding march was moved from Queen's "Ming's Wedding March" to the Best Man's wife who just so happens to play the Harp very, very, very well, I can safely say that weddings can and do get very weird.

But again, I like horror movies 'cause me and my freinds can sit around and shout at the characters "ahh, you stupid wanker! don't go down there" mostly because, well, you can tolerate that for 2 hours while you mock and snark incessently.

putting up with that sort of behavior for going on what, six years now? same reason i just stopped reading gpf. the same trick seems to work on the same characters, over and over.
at least sam, elmer and the other looney toons krew forced bugs to come up with new schticks...

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at December 2, 2005 10:58 AM

John: persistent confusion of two completely unrelated mental disorders with radically different treatment paths and symptom sets -- particularly in the aim of giving colour to one's antagonist, a problem multiples have consistently had in the popular media disproportionate to their functionality in general society -- is disrespectful and insulting both to people with MPD and to schizophrenics.

Honest to god, I'm expecting "ten minutes of research" here and we're not getting it.

Comment from: Megs posted at December 2, 2005 11:09 AM

I don't think it's so much a question of whether it's unreasonable for some brides to want a perfectly symmetrical wedding party or not. It's that so much of what's going on is OOC. Shannon doing decorating instead of geeky things. Ki asking someone her husband-to-be doesn't trust to be in the wedding when we've seen no indication that she absolutely NEEDS a perfect wedding party, even if that means asking someone she doesn't know well and Nick doesn't like to be a part of what should be a very special day.
So what is it when you have characters acting out of character and evil plans that shouldn't work out going exactly as they should? It's a contrived storyline. Not that contrived storylines can't be good, it's just really, really hard. You totally loose that suspension of disbelief when you can so obviously see the author's hand. These aren't characters doing their thing because of who they are, they're just fulfilling their plot roles.

And the thing is, some people won't loose their suspension of disbelief no matter how contrived a story is. So it'll work for them. But for those of us who can't force ourselves to believe this is really Ki's character making these choices, or Shannon's, etc- it's no fun. And then we see how just a little bit of explanation could have given reasons to shore up our suspension (oh yes, that makes sense!). If we'd seen Ki or Nick going to or from church on some sunday, if Shannon had always had a secret love of flowers that was mentioned perhaps during the cleaning up storyline, etc. We want reasons. Just because someone can come up with reasons why these characters are acting they way they are doesn't satisfy. We want it in the comic.

And I think most religions require some premarital church sessions, and while not all require that you're a member, you can get a discount if you are. When I got married, my husband's dad was one of his groomsmen, which isn't unusual and is far more traditional and reasonable than asking some random person you've met. If Ki is going to be so traditional she can't have an uneven wedding party, why doesn't she go with the traditional person to ask, which would be either mom? Of course, I'd like to see Trish then have to disable yet another bridesmaid, hoping to get asked. Then when that didn't work because Fooker decided he could fit into the extra dress, she'd realize her defeat and have to come up with a plan that would actually work, not just be hilarious. Oh well.

Comment from: John posted at December 2, 2005 11:09 AM

Yeeeeah, but it's a comic.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at December 2, 2005 11:15 AM

The "evil twin" plot mechanic is as old as the soap opera

Soap opera? It's as old as the medieval romance, at least. Older, I'm sure, though just at the moment I'm having trouble thinking of one older than the False Guenevere.

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at December 2, 2005 11:23 AM

John: And comics criticism is a component of what we do here.

Comment from: TasteMyHouse posted at December 2, 2005 11:34 AM

Sadness.

Yo Eric, Weds.... We're sorry.

(i know i never posted anything demanding a S*P snark but i suuuure was thinking it)

This site is one of the things i go to for primary entertainment. Its like... Penny-Arcade, then Websnark.

So when we're all collectively messing ourselves over the kestrel development, (and we all remember the great snark from before when she got hit by the car) we're all waiting for your words!


And you're right, she was in one panel and the cast page.
that ISN'T much

and thats part of why we feel we need you

Because you're always there to put things in perspective, to tell us when it means.

I remember long snarks (like Its Walky's you had me and you lost me) that have totally mirrored my feelings on a subject,and i mean, sometimes even expressing opinions i didn't even know i had (You're right! it IS like we're missing 6 or 7 strips of backstory). And i remember short snarks (Like when margaret killed roger's mom) That were just a perfect EXPLETIVE of what i was saying. I dont need a WTF when i cna just point at the snark.


Anyway!

Kestrel is back in S*P.

This is like, the years biggest OMG! WTF? BBQ! for me, and, to sound more like a little orwellian, i'm really waiting for Big Brother Burns to tell me what to think about it.

;)

Comment from: Maritza Campos posted at December 2, 2005 11:39 AM

I think I've said it elsewhere, but yeah, there are several things that are hard to buy with it. The main problem with me is how easily Lori gives up on attending her *brother* wedding. I mean, your car got stolen? Try the bus. No tickets? Try the plane. Right, so those were out for several reasons. Well, then RENT A CAR. Or *borrow* it. Or take a bus to another city and take a flight from there. Right? Worse is, if she DOES make it, she won't get to be bridesmaid anymore.

The second problem is that yeah, it's more logical to prefer some asimmetry rather than bring something mentally unstable to the ceremony. I mean, even Persephone is more reliable than that.

I feel kinda sorry for Ki, because she's being a bit stupid if she expects her wedding to the perfect. I can tell you, I have gone to lots of weddings, and it's NEVER perfect. Sometimes it rains, or the music band never shows up, or the ceremony starts late and there's no time for pics, or the cake goes splat, the food goes bad, someone steps on the bride's dress, the groom faints... you name it.

Comment from: siwangmu posted at December 2, 2005 11:55 AM

Oh my God, I apparently had skipped over the title of this snark in favor of getting to OOH NEW STUFFS TO READ, but just went back and looked and HA!

My two cents: Uncontrollable urge for symmetry? Understandable.

Fixing it with vague acquaintance who is apparently evil, destructive and insane?

No.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at December 2, 2005 12:15 PM

I hope the recent posts mean the "Drama Aggro" sign can be turned off.

For the substance of the post - yeah, Wednesday pretty much sums up everything I was thinking. And I think I'm only reading GPF still because I've been doing so for years now. If this story goes where I think it might, I will finally give it up myself.

Actually, that leads me to a question - Weds, are you thinking of giving it up too? I mean, a great deal of this post echoes Eric's "You Had Me..." essay on GPF. It seems like you're approaching that yourself.

Comment from: Freeptop posted at December 2, 2005 1:23 PM

Well, I guess this was the topic that finally got me to register to comment here.

Anyway, I felt the need to comment on a couple things, and I hope folks don't mind.

First, I agree with Wednesday about the ridiculousness of picking Trish to be a bridesmaid. There are all sorts of reasons why I can't see anyone doing that in real life. However, that's not what got me to register. I felt a need to comment on some of the observations about weddings, having gone through a fair production myself, when I got married.

"Okay, maybe it's just me. I've never actually been married, and I haven't had
cause to attend very many weddings as a guest. But I have been in two wedding
ceremonies, as a bridesmaid, and here's the funny thing:

Both times? There were only two of us."

Wedding party sizes are highly dependent on the people planning the wedding. For my wedding, for example, I had a Best Man, and four groomsmen, while my wife had a Maid of Honor and four bridesmaids. Yep, five people on each side, not including the bride and groom. Why? Because there were so many people we didn't want to leave out. It was a decent sized wedding, though, with a 200 person guest list.

"Already, Ki has opted to lose her name in part because Oshiro is somehow harder to spell than Wellington."

You know, my wife is about as strong-willed and independent as they come. I told her she could do whatever she wanted with her last name. She chose to switch to mine. Despite my name being harder to spell (7 letters, and only one vowel, as she likes to point out). Why? She thought it would be easier on our kids when we have them, for both parents to have the same last name. Whether you agree with her reasoning or not, that was her reason, and since it was her decision, it was a perfectly valid one. Personally, I think it's a bit insulting to criticize Ki for deciding to change her name. For whatever her reasons, it was her choice, and it was no less valid a choice than keeping her own name would have been.

"She's got a cop working on the streamed media feed instead of, say, Sharon, whose geekish skills would be invaluable to a project demanding, well, over half a dozen people on one streaming media setup."

Ki pretty much said that was done to keep them out of their hair. It probably would have only taken one or two of them at most, but she wanted them out of her hair, and she wanted Sharon at her side to help her out (not necessarily with decorations; preparing for a wedding is stressful, and having one of your best friends around to help calm your nerves is greatly helpful). Yes, it may seem sexist that she's trying to keep the men out of her hair as she gets the rest of the wedding prepared. It may be, but it also seems to be fairly typical, regardless. Weddings, after all, are not exactly _logical_ endeavours - they're purely emotional (at least as practiced in the United States, anyway).

"She and Nick are getting married in a church for reasons I can't exactly fathom; as I've said, we have no way of knowing if any of these people have
ever set foot in a church before, and many churches will turn away people not of their denomination, let alone of their congregation."

My wife and I are completely non-religious. To the point that my wife wouldn't even accept having my mother's reverend perform the ceremony - our marriage was officated by a judge. Yet, our ceremony was performed in a church. We got married there, because it was the same non-denominational chapel (attached to a university) where, coincidentally, both of our sets of parents had gotten married. So, yes, it is quite possible to get married in a church when not religious, and even want to get married in a church when not religious.

That said, there is also another possibility for getting married in a church. See, the big open secret about marriages is that they are really more for the families than they are for the couple. I've had friends "convert" to Catholicism, simply to please the family by having a Catholic wedding. Part of the reason my own wedding party got so big, was because the family insisted we add one more person to the wedding party on the bride's side... which, yes, meant that I _had_ to add someone to my side of the wedding party. It didn't even occur to us for a split second that we should not have a symmetrical wedding party. After all, do you expect someone to go out and dance by themself during the traditional wedding party dance? Of course the wedding party has to be symmetrical! ;)

I definitely agree with the main idea behind this essay - there's no way Trish would have been asked to join the wedding party. In reality, someone else would have been found. Soemone who was at least a guest to the wedding, already, anyway. That was a lazy excuse to drag her into the story by the writer. Which is a shame, because I was actually enjoying the wedding storyline until then. There's lots of comedy gold to mine in a straight-forward wedding story, after all (and that comedy is probably a lot funnier to those of us who have gone through the whole mess, admittedly).

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at December 2, 2005 1:53 PM

Actually, my point was that I couldn't get my head around Wellington being easier to spell than Oshiro in a world where people can't spell White.

Comment from: Tangent posted at December 2, 2005 2:00 PM

Do note that the original bridesmaid might not be able to make it. It's not that Trish is a shoe-in. Instead, she's a stand-in if the regular person falls through. And it's EVEN STATED BY TRISH that yes, she understands it's only "just in case".

BTW, not everyone can afford plane tickets or limo prices or even taxi-fare. It could be that everyone's finances are tied up at the moment and no one can AFFORD to pay one more person's way.

And we also don't see every minute of these peoples lives. So we don't KNOW how much contact Ki has with Trish. Perhaps Ki keeps in touch with Trish out of feelings of guilt and the like. Not everything NEEDS to be spelled out.

If every aspect of GPF was spelled out every time, then we'd never get to the meat of the stories, and we'd end up having Snarks complaining how GPF never seems to get anywhere with the plots. Which actually seems to be a complaint about certain other comics that I've heard complaints about lately....

Robert A. Howard, Tangents Webcomic Reviews
http://www.tangents.us

P.S. - Jin? You don't like my little .sig files? Then ignore them. You're not required to click a link you know... Rob

Comment from: ItsWalky posted at December 2, 2005 2:16 PM

Mr. Tangent, a goal of a story should be to tell ENOUGH of it to make sense. Of course we don't want to see every minute of every person's day, but when serious questions that allow the narrative to make rational sense are not answered, that is a problem.

All of your rationalizations for how the comic ended up are fine, if any of them were to be found in the strip itself. We shouldn't have to provide the internal logic ourselves.

Of course, Jeff Darlington may provide answers in the next few strips, since this is still an ongoing story. To be fair to him, it might be a little early to be taking him to task. But we'll see in the next few days.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at December 2, 2005 2:32 PM

Last warning.

If you feel that someone else got to make the last snip at you and it's unfair? Life can be like that.

Comment from: larksilver posted at December 2, 2005 4:15 PM

(puts down the scissors). You sure, Eric? I was just thinking that somebody up there needed a haircut...

Okay, I'm going to go hide now. Smartass comments are going to get me in trouble one of these days. I mean no harm, really, it's just.. well, it's like Turret's for Smartalecs! yeah!

Maybe I should learn how to put in a blinking message that says "kidding!" or some such. heh.

Comment from: Patrick Harris posted at December 2, 2005 4:32 PM

I bet Hitler liked beating dead horses, too.

Comment from: Patrick Harris posted at December 2, 2005 4:37 PM

Hmmm, of course by the time I got to the actual end of the thread I see the sniping idiocy is mostly gone (I said mostly), so I guess the dead horse isn't being beaten anymore. So never mind.

(Do people still "Hitler" threads, or was that just my little corner of the internet, back when? I just realize people might be baffled as to where that came from if it's not a popular practice.)

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at December 2, 2005 4:47 PM

It's rare, mostly because people discovered actively proving Godwin's Law for the sake of ending/distracting a conversation generally doesn't work.

Now finding a metaconversation and potential extra layers of meta, that works.

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at December 2, 2005 5:02 PM

People familiar with Godwin's Law usually think that deliberately triggering Godwin's Law invalidates the whole thing.

Comment from: miyaa posted at December 2, 2005 5:15 PM

I'm not familiar with Godwin's Law. I am familiar with Goodall's Law, but that involves gorilla warfare and bananas.

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at December 2, 2005 5:18 PM

miyaa: Godwin is the Hitler thing.

Patrick: Dude, everyone used USENET.

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at December 2, 2005 5:22 PM

Actually, Wednesday, we might have reached the point where there are a sizeable group of people who *haven't* used USENET. Or if they have, it would be described as "That Google Deja Thing."

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at December 2, 2005 5:27 PM

Chris: Leave me my one bubble of denial on this dreadful day.

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at December 2, 2005 5:31 PM

Sorry! I take it back unreservedly...

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at December 2, 2005 5:33 PM

Thank you. :)

(Not that USENET was much of a utopia -- far from it -- but the idea of there being people who don't understand what it is to have a killfile, let alone why it sucks that we can't have one, is too much for me at the moment. Booze soon.)

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at December 2, 2005 6:41 PM

I've never used USENET.

Comment from: quiller posted at December 2, 2005 6:57 PM

Alright, all you guys take this to alt.flame ;->

I had one system administrator call me dirty names when I informed him that it was my Swedish Chef impression that indirectly caused the creation of alt.swedish.chef.bork.bork.bork leading to alt.french.captain.borg.borg.borg and other triple repeated imitators thereby causing extra disk space usage everywhere on the usenet circuit, and many a news administrator annoyances as they kept trying to kill the illegal groups. (It was originally intended to be a local group, but it wasn't setup exactly right and the first person to post to it used the default global setting.)

Umm, aaaaaand I bet Fooker used to use USENET back in the day, right, that's the connection...

Comment from: Tangent posted at December 2, 2005 7:24 PM

I'd bet ALL of the GPF crowd (with the exception of the Slimemolds and the kids) used USENET.

I never did. Back in '88 I was into the e-mail discussion groups. Never really saw the point to USENET. (Then again, due to flunking out in '92 and going into Net Exile for several years, I missed out on the formative years of the Net. I was just there near the beginning and then once it had blossomed into the World Wide Web.)

Actually... how old ARE the GPF crowd anyway? I mean, if they're in their 20s, they very well might NOT have encountered USENET....

Rob H.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at December 2, 2005 7:48 PM

I still read Usenet.

With Tin.

Comment from: sqbr posted at December 2, 2005 7:53 PM

Just a small 2c that probaly isn't that relevant: I and my fiance are atheists and don't want to get married in a church (also the christian/atheist members of our family all object to the idea, either becuase they feel it's disrepectful or refuse to enter on principle :) ) But at this point part of me is tempted to settle for a church/chapel becuase it is almost impossible to find anywhere decent to hold a ceremony indoors that isn't religious. (The few exceptions require you have your reception there and use their awful caterers)

I suppose it's possible things are different in America(*) but I'd assume not :) Also (some) churches are pretty and have nice seats and everything right there.

(*)The one difference being you have more pretty old buildings, given the best we have in western australia is 100 year old prisons.

Comment from: gwalla posted at December 2, 2005 7:56 PM

alt.alien.vampire.flonk.flonk.flonk

USENET STILL LIVES! It's useless but IT STILL LIVES!

Anyway.

Godwin's Law actually merely states that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." The "as soon as the comparison has been made, the thread is over" command form is merely a later convention.

Also, it was originally formulated on The WELL, not USENET.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at December 2, 2005 8:15 PM

Usenet was always useless. Take it from the person who decided to take a group of friends and take over alt-current-events.blizzard-of-93 in 1998 (nobody else was using it at the time). It was a ton of fun, but useless.

I'm also *the* inspiration for a group, quite defunct now, called alt.drunken-bastards.richard-healey. Not nearly as thrilling as alt.fan.wednesday, I know, but we take our 'net fame where we can get it. (As for why that name... well, let's just say I once angered a very incompetent m30wer.)

And Paul... you brought back many a misspent day in my computer lab. Oh, Tin, no news reader ever could compete with you.

Comment from: siwangmu posted at December 2, 2005 8:17 PM

DUDE!

There is a country on earth that thinks of America as a place with pretty, old buildings!

That is SO cool. (Used to the "silly Americans think 50 years old is antique" a la Eddie Izzard) (not that it's not totally justified) (Eddie Izzard, however he spells it, rocks my socks)

Comment from: Robert Hutchinson posted at December 2, 2005 8:18 PM

I suspect that Usenet (not gonna acronymify it) is still useful. But first I have to catch up on these three weeks' worth of unread messages.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at December 2, 2005 9:19 PM

tin. Hah. Luxury.

You haven't lived until you've read your Usenet on an IBM VM/CMS, accessing it by attaching the disk to your account so you could run NETNEWS.

Of course, that makes me thing of the old CSSERVE/UMNEWS server, where Superguy and the like were born. For that, I had to attach the disk the CSSERVE files lived on and actually append my posts directly to the distribution file. I swear, I'm not kidding.

Comment from: quiller posted at December 2, 2005 9:47 PM

OK, just to be clear you are talking about using some attach command kind of like mount in UNIX, not that you physically lugged around this disk that you appended to, right?

I read USENET on a VMS machine, but it wasn't like there was a whole lot else to do on the VMS machine except read news and play Moria. I got a UNIX account in order to play games, really. Though if I got on a SPARC machine I could play games, read USENET and chat at the same time.

Comment from: larksilver posted at December 2, 2005 10:01 PM

hmm. uhm. I did static bbs's on the commodore 64. Does that give me enough geek cred to get past the "I've never used USENET" thing?

I did, at least, know what it was, and have read news feeds from it.

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at December 2, 2005 10:15 PM

I can feel all my geek esteem fading away as I read about all these thngs that i don't understand. On the other hand, I'm glad that I've never had to use the internet in the old days.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at December 2, 2005 10:19 PM

quiller -- yeah. It was a mounting command. Only it was "attaching." Because... um... because this was IBM. And IBM did things differently than Unix. It says so right here.

Comment from: Plaid Phantom posted at December 2, 2005 11:01 PM

Archon- you and me both. Except for the 'glad' part. I ten to think that if I'd had a chance to muck around with that stuff, I'd understand a lot more of the workings of the net than I do now.

Comment from: kirabug posted at December 2, 2005 11:43 PM

Too tired for blockquotes. Quotes surrounded by asterisks.

***
Patrick: Dude, everyone used USENET.
***

'Cept me, and I'm technically old enough. I used gopher, VAX email (pine/pico) and used to Wizard on a telnet-based chatboard called the Lighthouse, but since none of my friends read usenet, I never did either. Husband did/does I think though.

The sixteen year old sister? Hasn't a clue. She doesn't remember a time before graphic web browsers. In fact, she doesn't clearly remember a time before Netscape 4.x. Kids.

***
But at this point part of me is tempted to settle for a church/chapel becuase it is almost impossible to find anywhere decent to hold a ceremony indoors that isn't religious. (The few exceptions require you have your reception there and use their awful caterers) I suppose it's possible things are different in America(*) but I'd assume not :)
***

The game in this area is to find the reception hall whose food you want to eat, then find out if they'll let you have the ceremony on the grounds. It's the American way: first, find food, then, hold whatever event you want at food. Food is the deciding factor.

***
DUDE! There is a country on earth that thinks of America as a place with pretty, old buildings! That is SO cool.
****

Ditto! When I went out to Colorado I felt like such a snot/snob when I realized that *our* buildings were 100+ years older than *their* buildings, because, well, everything here on the East coast is compared in age to Europe (pronouced "Yerp" if you're from Philly) and found wanting.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at December 2, 2005 11:44 PM

Oh, don't get me started on static BBSes. I met my wife through one (or a GT for one, at least). Not to mention the many days fondly playing Legend Of the Red Dragon.

I know Eric is itching to go on about geeking 10 years before I did... what can I say, most of my attention was focused on video games during my earliest years. And my family didn't have a computer for the longest time.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at December 2, 2005 11:57 PM

Also, just like to comment, that reading about other people's wedding experiences has me convinced that my wedding was the best of all time.

To give the quick version - took place in 2004, cost us $2,000 (yes, two thousand) for the whole thing for 40 guests, we picked every song played, I didn't have to wear a tie, and the only people in a position to say anything about anything that happened was my wife and I. To top it off, a fresh layer of snow was on the ground, but the sun was out during a wedding on Cape Cod in January. It looked beautiful.

Though we did kinda go traditional for one thing - the men were ushers/groomsmen and the women were bridesmaids. However, we figured it would be fair if my sister was a bridesmaid in exchange for her brother being an usher. We would have figured out something else if that hadn't been that convenient.

Comment from: gwalla posted at December 3, 2005 12:33 AM

The last wedding I went to was at an amazingly laid-back church. I mean, the paintings of "saints" they had lining the top of the walls of the main room (the church was Episcopalian, but the building was originally Russian Orthodox and they'd decided to stick with that sort of aesthetic) included (besides the usual suspects): Paul Erdos, Malcolm X, Charles Darwin (he was a deacon in the Church of England IIRC), Mahatma Gandhi, and other similarly unlikely figures. They didn't require the couple to join the congregation or anything else.

It was a very nice ceremony, too.

Comment from: gwalla posted at December 3, 2005 12:35 AM

Also, you have all outgeeked me to a ridiculous extent. I am far too young to be awesome, it seems.

Comment from: Thomas Blight posted at December 3, 2005 1:46 AM

Quoth Gwalla:

Also, you have all outgeeked me to a ridiculous extent. I am far too young to be awesome, it seems.

You probably have me outgeeked by a couple magnitudes. I mean, Eric had an internet girlfriend before I was born (If I've done my math right). That's some serious out-geekage these guys have.

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at December 3, 2005 1:49 AM

At least I can take sollace in the knowledge that I'm the biggest geek among my friends, even if I'm only barely a geek when compared to Eric.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at December 3, 2005 1:54 AM

Guys, guys. If there's anything that I've learned in my 26 years as a geek, you are no less of a geek because you were too young to experience certain geeky things. It just means you are a young geekling. Respect your elders for living in a day when 2400 baud was a huge deal, but never think you're any less of a geek because you don't even know what "baud" means.

Trust me, one day you'll be amazing future geeklings by talking about remembering a day when the Internet wasn't pumped directly into your brain. The measure of a geek's worth isn't what they remember using or doing, but how committed he is to his focus.

Comment from: miyaa posted at December 3, 2005 2:23 AM

Gwalla: So you're behind the famed swedish chef bork bork bork newsgroup? Cool.

I still use a newsgroup, the rec.arts.tv.mst3k.misc. Alas, one day it'll be a myspace.com thing. First usenet, then livejournal and now myspace.com. sigh

Comment from: gwalla posted at December 3, 2005 3:05 AM

miyaa: No, that's quiller, not me. I am responsible for nothing on USENET save some fairly unremarkable posts on alt.comics.sluggy-freelance, rec.martial-arts, rec.music.progressive and a few others. But not for a long while.

Comment from: sqbr posted at December 3, 2005 7:27 AM

There is a country on earth that thinks of America as a place with pretty, old buildings!

I'm basing this on my two days spent in Chicago (So Pretty!) and not so much on the week in Columbus Ohio :)

kirabug: I know, I know. Though part of me is still stupidly holding out hope that somewhere perfect will appear at the last minute. I don't like the outdoors (unfortunate given that's one of the things W.A. has going for it. Note that eastern australia is a different kettle of fish)

I don't know that I ever used Usenet, but for a long time I saw the internet as "That thing they have at school I use to research my elvish dictionary" so I don't feel undergeeky :)

Comment from: Jeff Eaton posted at December 3, 2005 11:12 AM

All of your rationalizations for how the comic ended up are fine, if any of them were to be found in the strip itself. We shouldn't have to provide the internal logic ourselves.

Well, the official rationalization as of the current strip is in:

Trish is the only woman left alive on the planet and she's not, like, plotting global domination or anything. So, hey! Bridesmaid!

Color me unconvinced.

Comment from: ItsWalky posted at December 3, 2005 12:23 PM

Man. "The only girl available," said right in front of two moms and a lady slimemold.

Comment from: Robert Hutchinson posted at December 3, 2005 3:18 PM

I still use a newsgroup, the rec.arts.tv.mst3k.misc.

(blink blink)

(google google)

Ah. Hello.

Comment from: Tice with a J posted at December 3, 2005 6:35 PM

In regards to the coffin being at the wedding: maybe it's not such a bad thing. After all, funerals and weddings have this in common: they're for the benefit of all the visiting family, not the people in the spotlight. I mean, you could just be married and be done with it, but with a wedding, you're sacrificing your immediate joy to allow all your relatives to be happy. And if it's your funeral, you're dead, you don't care if all your relatives gather around to comfort each other. So why not unite the two things?

That last paragraph was a horrible, horrible idea.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at December 3, 2005 7:13 PM

And if you have your funerals and your weddings in conjunction, you can get a deal on the catering as the royal family of Denmark likes to do.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at December 3, 2005 9:38 PM

If by "horrible," you mean "horribly funny," then yes, you're right.

Comment from: Archon Divinus posted at December 3, 2005 10:52 PM

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today, to celebrate the joining of these two people, and also to mourn the passing of the bride's father."

Comment from: Tice with a J posted at December 4, 2005 2:39 AM

"Dearly beloved, and departed..."

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

If you can name both of my references, you win!

Comment from: larksilver posted at December 4, 2005 9:39 AM

"Dearly beloved... you remember how Alexander always said that Moira would be marrying Phillip over his dead body? Well, we are gathered here today..."

Comment from: Freak posted at December 4, 2005 10:27 AM

I recall the Golf Hall of Shame mentioned a person who succesfully used golf as an insanity defense; perhaps weddings grant a similar automatic insanity defense.

Comment from: larksilver posted at December 5, 2005 1:46 AM

If ever I should marry, I want a dress of a soft, warm yellow and green, a grove of oaks, and a nosegay of tulips. No more than immediate famil(ies) at the service itself, with a larger party (not even that if they wouldn't lynch me) at the food-stivities. Oh, and I want my sister to sing, and the culinary artist of the family to bake the cake (she's got the wrong job, I swear). That's it.

I did my share of dreaming about The Ultimate Wedding as a child... before I attended a couple of Ultimate Weddings, and had the opportunity to a) observe the madness that consumed the Bride (Harridan #1) and often her entire party that IT MUST BE PERFECT, and b) interview the Newlywed later, to discover that she barely remembered the day in question due largely in part to that overweening terror that it might NOT BE PERFECT.

blech. I decided at about 12 that I wanted simple, and touching, and lovely. First man who asked me wanted the whole gazillion-dollar deal, and fought with me about it... and I knew he wasn't the one for me. I'd rather have a down-payment for a home than a ridiculous wedding, thanks. heh.

Large, complicated wedding plans? That way lies madness. I wonder how many divorces have their roots in the wedding day planning...

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at December 5, 2005 4:39 PM

Funny thing was, my wife and I didn't put that much stress into it, and it pretty much did turn out perfect. And even still, she only has spotty memories of the day. However, she does remember being incredibly happy, so that's a good sign.

As for wedding planning resulting in divorce... heck, I've been invited to an upcoming wedding where I think the seeds of the divorce *are*, in fact, being sown now. I believe an old cliche says that a good start doesn't guarantee a good end, but a bad start often presages a bad end.

Comment from: Caffiend posted at December 8, 2005 10:31 AM

Oh, hey, it looks like today's GPF is covering that whole schizophrenia vs. mpd/did thing.... That was bugging the bejeezus out of me, too, but I guess it could be that Darlington meant it like this all along, as a way to prove that Trish isn't as she claims. It's believable that the techie folks wouldn't have taken any psych courses or anything, and would be subject to the general misconception of schizophrenia. Or he didn't know, got corrected, and is now looking to repair the mistake. Either way, it looks fixed.

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