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Eric: I kind of like Davan in the beard.

Something Positive

(From Something Positive. Click on the thumbnail for full sized revisionist shared history.)

Randy Milholland might -- and I need to stress the word 'might,' here -- have a death wish.

Yeah, I know. Milholland personifies his creative process as an abusive razor blade. Maybe some thing can be left unsaid. But still, work with me here -- I'm trying to be all deep and shit.

Anyway, if there's a sacred moment for Something Positive fans, it's the day that Branwen left Davan for her new job on the other side of the country. After years of Davan getting the worst possible girlfriends -- abusive, codependent nutjobs with green hair on their best days, leading inevitably to the day they cheat on him and Davan catches them -- he got a sane one. Or mostly sane. "Sane in the ways we care about." Davan and Branwen truly cared about each other. They were good for each other. They had their moments of tension, and they had their moments of joy, but in the end they absolutely loved each other.

And, well, here's Milholland, fucking with that moment a year and a half later. Just full on fucking with it. It's like he wants the crazy stalker fan to break into his apartment and start lighting shit on fire.

Yeah, I'm swearing a lot, today. What do you want from me. It's production week for my play and every muscle in my body is sore from a full weekend of multihour rehearsal sessions. You're lucky I'm able to type, much less do so in a decorous fashion.

"...I was going to leave anyway. It was really over between us."

Here's Davan. He's lying on his bed in Texas, still helping his father adapt to the death of his mother. His core support structure is badly compromised. Aubrey and Peejee are in Boston, as is Jason. His mother is dead. His father is slowly beginning to deteriorate. And here's Branwen putting another knife into him. Saying that the sacred moment I alluded to before was somehow wrong. Was somehow a lie.

That's not true! comes the cry of the inner fanatic. They loved each other! Don't you fuck with that, Milholland! I was right there! I saw it!

This is followed, of course, by the urge to burn things. Resist that urge, okay? Milholland isn't fucking with the past at all, here.

Seriously.

I don't mean to say there were warning signs of dissatisfaction back in the earlier storyline. There weren't. I don't mean to say Branwen really was going to leave Davan if it weren't for that job. And I also don't mean to say she wasn't. I don't know and neither do you, just what Milholland meant Branwen's motivations to be, there. We can only go from the text of it, and the text seemed to suggest that Branwen did love him, and that this was a poignant and tragic moment, not one of relief as a relationship came to an end it was going to come to anyway.

That's not invalidated by this strip. And that doesn't invalidate this strip. This strip isn't about 2004. It's about today. And it's about the things we do to our own history as we move on.

Let's look at the rest of today's strip. Branwen and Davan have stayed in very close contact since they separated. We know that from when Mike "blurted" out that she had gotten married, and Davan had already known. And for better or for worse, we haven't seen those interactions. We haven't seen what Davan and Branwen have been saying to each other as the months pass. We just know they've been talking. And we know that Branwen got married -- early enough that someone had to figure there was 'rebound' involved, but we didn't know.

Branwen's impulse, knowing Davan is in pain, is to come down and see him. To help him out. To reach out for him. Davan brings that into perspective by reminding Branwen that her husband hates him. Her husband has never met Davan. He just hates him. And Branwen says that it's the idea of Davan he hates, because Branwen has nothing bad to say about him.

Well, here. Let me quote:

Branwen: I don't have anything bad to say about you. I think that really bothers him.

Davan: Is this where I apologize for not being a neglectful jerk who only cared about himself?

Branwen: ...that wasn't fair.

Davan: Fairness hasn't really come into play between us in a long time.

Consider this. Branwen's husband hates Davan because Davan, in effect, was good to Branwen, was a decent boyfriend, was considerate and was more concerned about her than about himself. The implication, unfortunately, is that Branwen's husband is none of these things. Certainly, Branwen's husband is insecure -- insecure about himself, insecure about his relationship with Branwen.

Contrast this with Gray, the man that Davan's last ex, Eva, was going to marry. Gray, from all accounts, was a kind and decent man who loved Eva. Rather than be threatened by her past with Davan, Gray encouraged her to keep reminders of it.

Of course, Eva left Gray at the altar and married her abusive ex, and then Gray started pretending to be Davan online and fucked with Eva's brain, but hey. No one said he was perfect. And anyway, I'm digressing.

Branwen lives with her husband. She sees him every day. One assumes she cares about him. And she knows he hates Davan, at least in part because Davan clearly was better than he was. At the very least, he can't pretend that he was the best thing to ever happen to Branwen, because here's this other guy who didn't even have the decency to break up with Branwen and stomp her little heart into the carpet.

Is it so surprising to consider that Branwen will start revising history. "Well... honestly, the relationship was over anyway, hon. I was going to leave him anyhow. I didn't really love him more than I love you."

We edit our own past to make our present more palatable. We all do it. Is it so surprising Branwen does too?

It would make Branwen herself more comfortable too, really. After all, she left Davan and then she married this guy. And this guy is apparently not wine and roses himself. Having been in a bad rebound relationship myself, I understand the need to make it seem like I traded up instead of down.

Now, Branwen didn't "trade" anything. She didn't fly out to Vancouver to marry this guy. She flew out to take the job of a lifetime. But we don't think rationally when we think about our own pasts.

Davan isn't fooled, either. When he says "what if I had asked you to stay," he's not saying "but how can you say that? Did you lie to me?" He's saying "Oh, bullshit, Branwen. I know better, and right now, I'm not going to let you get away with it. Lie to yourself all you like, but I've got real problems right now, and I don't need this shit."

Of course, it did hurt. It was another blow to Davan at a time when he didn't really need it. The last two panels are telling -- Branwen can tell she's scored a hit, and more to the point she scored it because she needed to feel better about her past. "You know I love you, right?" is a laden phrase. It's co-dependent. It's not an affirmation of support or concern or love. It's a request for your own affirmation. "I know I just hurt you, but you know I love you, right? Right? You still love me, right? I didn't just fuck up, did I? Not too much. Right? Right?"

Davan, of course, doesn't play that. Davan has never played that. Honestly. He's up front. He expresses himself plainly, and he expects the other people in his life to do the same. He won't play the mind games and he won't feed the codependence of others.

Which, if you think about it, might be why all his other ex-girlfriends ended up cheating on him.

I have to hand it to Milholland. It's easy to take cast members off stage and put them into stasis -- never changing until the moment of their return. It's significantly harder to take cast members, put them off stage, and continue to let them and their relationships evolve. Branwen and Davan have stayed more than in contact with each other. They've been continuing to grow and change, and now that they're reaching a sharp point in their friendship (and lingering relationship), we're being let in to see it.

That doesn't take away from the past. That sets the stage for the future. A future between Branwen and Davan? Who knows. There aren't any promised happy endings here. We may never hear from Branwen again. But this puts Davan into the position Milholland wants him, for whatever comes next. And it does it well.

And in the end, he always has Choo Choo Bear, right?

Posted by Eric Burns-White at April 10, 2006 10:13 AM

Comments

Comment from: Brendan [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 11:15 AM

"The edited past is not worth telling, but the unedited past is too difficult to bear."

To be honest, I'm kind of surprised Branwen can't find anything bad to say about Davan...actually, that fact reflects well on her husband, because it kind of paints him as not being one for social bullshit.

Comment from: Eric Burns [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 11:19 AM

I'm assuming we're not talking about "he's grumpy and eats his peas one at a time," or the other thousand things you get annoyed at your significant other over. We're talking about "he done me wrong" stuff. "He was selfish. He was abusive. He was self-centered. He never made time for me. It was all about him." Et cetera, ad nauseum.

That's the stuff Branwen doesn't have to say. And it is problematic, because if Davan had nothing really wrong with him, in a relationship sense, then somehow it has to be Branwen's fault their relationship ended.

Which, of course, it was. She left him for a job. But no one likes to confront that.

Comment from: kamagurka [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 11:48 AM

I can't believe you of all people would misspell "altar".

Comment from: Eric Burns [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 12:01 PM

I can't believe you of all people would misspell "altar".

I was tired and sore. ;)

It's fixed now.

Comment from: 32_footsteps [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 12:05 PM

Hey, is it possible to talk about S*P without cursing? Damned if I could ever pull it off.

Here's the thing - is Branwen really putting a knife into him? I don't think so, simply because I think Davan sees through it. If he believed her, it would hurt him. But I think that was a transparent lie (as evidenced by what she says both before and afterwards), and it was obvious to Davan.

I personally think this is indicative of massive guilt on Bran's part. Remember how Davan said he didn't want to be the focus of Branwen's guilt if she passed up the job to stay with him? Well, it seems nobody considered the idea that she'd have even more guilt if she left him and took the job.

Branwen, I think, has been weaving a web of flimsy lies to keep from dealing with that. Except that it isn't fooling anyone at all. She can't get over Davan because it never really ended - they just stopped going through all the motions of a relationship.

And to be fair, this could be the problem Bran's husband has with Davan. It's not that he thinks Davan is a bad person at all. He just knows that Bran loves Davan still, more than she loves her husband. That's the idea he hates - she loves someone more than me. If Bran could somehow get over the relationship and love her husband first and foremost, then perhaps he'd stop hating Davan.

I don't think the words really have any effect at this point. I think, instead, the problem is the simple fact that Davan and Branwen still love each other. And until both can move on, or until they reunite, there will be uncomfortable tension that won't be resolved.

Comment from: Arra [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 1:08 PM

And in the end, he always has Choo Choo Bear, right?

Don't say that, or next thing we know Choo Choo Bear will come down with feline immunodeficiency virus, or get run over by a car, or run off to Vegas with a fangirl. Nothing is sacred!

Which is why we read Something Positive in the first place.

Comment from: jrleek [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 1:20 PM

I'm not sure it's really fair to say the husband is a bad guy just because he hates the idea of Davan. An ex-boyfriend that your wife still communicates with regularly and even wants to fly down and hang out with? That's no small thing. He has a right to be worried, even if he's the kindest, most wonderful husband ever. Sure, it shows a little insecurity about his relationship with Brawen, but do you know anyone who's honestly that secure? I don't, and I don't think Davan ever was. In reversed roles, I think Davan would've allowed her to visit, but not at all happily. He may or may not have said anything about it. The boyfriend's dislike of Davan may just be a kind of honesty.

Comment from: Eric Burns [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 1:43 PM

jrleek: I think "Is this where I apologize for not being a neglectful jerk who only cared about himself? " is supposed to be a contrast to the husband. Which is why Branwen's response is "...that's not fair."

I think that's an indication that Branwen didn't marry a winner.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 1:51 PM

He has a right to be worried, even if he's the kindest, most wonderful husband ever. Sure, it shows a little insecurity about his relationship with Branwen, but do you know anyone who's honestly that secure?

No one that age is that secure. The hormones are still too fresh, or something. I remember it well.

Comment from: Ford Dent [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 1:56 PM

I'm not sure what's going to happen in this situation. After all, I will immediately assume that whatever I come up with will not happen, because Milholland is the master of doing precisely what I least expect.

That said, I don't think there will be a Davan and Branwen again, at least not beyond what they currently have via telephone. There's been too much development, I don't think it's possible for them to go back to what they were.

The verbal sparring is an indication of just that. While previously snarky comments were the order of the day, they can't do the same banter-some things are off-limits now.

And this is totally unrelated, but any English major (or literature-inclined person) should get a kick out of it. I want some of their shirts.

Comment from: Alexander Danner [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 3:09 PM

Interesting -- I interpreted the main thrust of this exchange very differently. While I agree with you that Davan's "Is this where I apologize" line is a jab at her husband, I don't see Branwen's line as an attempt to re-write history. As I saw it what her line meant was "It doesn't matter if you're better than he is. I didn't leave you for him. It was over between us because because I was leaving, period." Which prompts Davan to wonder what would have happened if he had fought for her, instead of just letting her go. Could he have convinced her to stay? Which is a question she really can't (and probably shouldn't) answer.

Comment from: quiller [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 3:32 PM

Ford: Strangely enough, I was just discussing the idea of a blog for Chaucer with a friend of mine, recently, and how amusing it would be to have a blog in Middle English. (We'd been rehearsing a song written in Middle English at the time). Of course, we had in mind actual Middle English, not just misspelled standard English with Ich and ys in it, but we're into that sort of thing. Still, thanks for the link.

I have to agree with the thought that Davan wasn't that affected by the line from Branwen about planning on leaving anyways since he called bullshit immediately. Which isn't to say he's happy that she's trying to revise the past or that she's happy for being called on it. It reminds me a little of me and my ex-girlfriend, in that she sometimes seems to want to revise the past with selective memory, and I will call her on it as I feel like she is soiling the memories in a way. I think it is similar with Branwen and Davan here, she is trying to revise the past to keep her focus on the present, while he is still focused on the past with relationships, and wants to keep his memory pure.

Comment from: Fishdinner [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 3:49 PM

Alexander Danner: That's what I got out of it too.

Comment from: Wistful Dreamer [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 3:51 PM

"jrleek: I think "Is this where I apologize for not being a neglectful jerk who only cared about himself? " is supposed to be a contrast to the husband. Which is why Branwen's response is "...that's not fair.""

Y'see, that's not how I took it. I read it as, "my husband doesn't like the fact that I have an ex with no glaring faults(and thus I could still be in love with/leave him for)", to which Davan responds with a, "well I'm sorry that I am so un-flawed." I don't necessarily see any of the "neglectful jerk" stuff being a reference to Husband, although I see that as possible now that you mention it.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 4:19 PM

No one that age is that secure.

It's an assumption on my part which may be incorrect that the husband is about the same general age as most of the S*P cast. Which shows up the point that we the audience know nothing about him, except that he "doesn't like the idea of" Davan, and we can only be as sure of that as we are of Branwen.

Comment from: jrleek [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 4:30 PM

Eric + Wistful Dreamer: I took the exchange more like Wistful Dreamer did. I thought Davan was just making an off-the-cuff "sorry I'm so perfect" remark. However, I've noticed in the past that Eric is usually right on this stuff, he pays a LOT more attention than I do to the details. Perhaps he thinks more like Milholland than I do as well.

Comment from: Dragonshark [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 5:11 PM

I saw this at work, and knew I had to get home to comment on it. (Work's browsers apparently hate Typekey)

I always looked at the Branwen relationship as a watershed for Davan.

he did the right thing,
*cliche alert*
if someone loves you, let them go, if they return, it was meant to be


Branwen was (and apparently is) dumb (sigh, I want to curse right now)
---------------------------------------

I have read this a couple of ways (The hardest part is separating my feelings about personal breakups from how I read this)

But where I am right now, I look at "the neglectful jerk who only cared about himself" as a reference to her. Except for the new job, there was not a reason to break up. The new job was therefore more important to Bran than Davan. She is the bad guy in this. She doesn't like being the bad guy, remember, she and Davan had a common bond of hating and baiting the neglectful jerks.

I tend to agree with 32 footsteps on this one, Bran is trying to assuage her guilt by saying what she did, that somehow letting Davan know that "she was going to leave him anyway" would somehow make her feel less hurt. Even Eva uses that excuse to assuage her guilt.

"Fairness hasn't really come into play between us in a long time" that refers to her and him, and therefore it's unfair. But I don't see Davan as being the unfair one, so it's Bran that Davan is referring to.
---------------------------
"What if I'd asked you to stay?" no answer

She can't answer, because the answer appears to have been that she would have stayed. She can't handle that. He let her leave because he would never stand in the way of her being happy. She left him knowing she would hurt him.

KNOWING THIS she left

-------------------------------
The most telling thing for Davan is the ending though

"Talk to you later, Take care Bran"

ignoring her question

Now is he doing that because the question is needy, and he's being dismissive, or because he honestly can't answer that question.

After all, if he says "yes", then he's forgiving her prior statement, not to mention opening up her unasked question, does he still love her?

She has hurt him, and may realize (or not) that she's continuing to hurt him with their regular communication (but this analysis is colored by one of my friendships, which should have died right after the breakup, but didn't for a while afterwards -- might as well start every conversation with "I know you feel your heart ache every time we talk, so I thought I'd call")

He may not want to go over that ground with her. He says yes, and that means she may have just acknowledged that she is the bad guy in her current relationship


He says "no", she may then try to explain what proves she "still loves him", which would be pathetic for her, and painful for him.


It's like she needs what Eva wanted

http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp12262002.shtml

a different ending. An ending where Davan is the bad guy, that Bran can go on with my life knowing Bran wasn't the one to take the person she loved and fed them to a meat grinder. An ending with a real reason for the breakup, not just ambition/greed/career.

-------------------------------
SP ends soon, doesn't it?

hmmm, Davan will have to be roadkill by then....I wonder what's next

PS, I hate Davan in the beard (Eric, it looks good on you yes, but Davan, no)

Comment from: Eric Burns [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 5:17 PM

I have heard nothing to suggest Something Positive will be ending any time soon.

Comment from: Ford Dent [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 5:34 PM

"Of course, we had in mind actual Middle English, not just misspelled standard English with Ich and ys in it, but we're into that sort of thing. Still, thanks for the link."

I hate to be the one to say it, but most of Middle English is misspelled standard English with ys and Ich (though Chaucer never used Ich (at least not in any of the stuff I've read, maybe he used it in his prose, which irks me whenever I read the site). There are some true Middle English words (swynke, ken, swyve, dronkenesse, gentilesse, that sort of thing), but a lot of Middle English is odd spellings of regular words.

And to keep from going too far off topic, I fully support bearded Davan. Beards rock.

Comment from: Dragonshark [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 5:59 PM

---I have heard nothing to suggest Something Positive will be ending any time soon.--

(yes, I stink at quoting, be quiet)

Sorry Eric, I must have confused it with something else

Comment from: Eric Burns [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 6:14 PM

Or, alternately, I missed a memo somewhere. ;)

Bear in mind, I could as easily be wrong as you are.

Comment from: Darth Paradox [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 6:16 PM

IIRC, Randy intends to end Something Positive. But I believe he's got the ending planned for sometime after 2010. So... not any time soon, no.

Comment from: Dragonshark [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 6:36 PM

---Or, alternately, I missed a memo somewhere. ;)

Bear in mind, I could as easily be wrong as you are.---


Not allowed Eric, nope

sorry

you rock

only flaw I see is GC not updating

ok, maybe that's a tad silly(petty? Suo-shee?)

I'll go back to lurking

Comment from: 32_footsteps [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 6:40 PM

Yeah, from what I remember, Randy has at least a couple years' worth of plans (should he not go on a homicidal killing spree before then - and I only hope I'm abetting it and not victimized by it). S*P isn't planned to end in the very near future.

On the other hand, there is always Adventurers! - if not for the theoretical promise of an ending, this would have gotten a You Had Me... essay out of me a while back.

Of course, Webrunner is currently trying to make me wistful for the absurdly long battle I had to end Final Fantasy V with the rate he's handling the end of A!.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 7:26 PM

I've seen Randy write or be quoted that S*P has a definite end date, which is some years in the future yet. Or maybe the date I saw was his estimate as to how long till the story he's telling runs out. I am certain he's stated that there's a Planned End.

Comment from: Dragonshark [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 7:34 PM

AAAARGGGHHHH

----can go on with my life knowing----

I wrote, read, reread, and rewrote my first comment again and again and again and still managed to screw it up

it should be

"" Bran can go on with her life knowing""

I had originally written my comment as Bran justifying herself to God (sorry, thoughts of Job always go through my head reading SP),or a group of Davan fans, so everything was first person

because I wanted her to be a white hat, but I couldn't describe Davan as the bad guy, I couldn't see Bran describe Davan negatively. Even her attempt to distance herself, "I was going to leave you anyway" still assumes the guilt of action. In this situation, I can't describe him as even any shade of grey.

and that makes the storyline more painful

and doesn't that p.o. me about Mr. Burns

stop making me think

-----------------------------

PS apparently he's over it enough that choo choo bear remains happy, rather than reflecting its owner's pain

Comment from: RMG [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 9:36 PM

I just noticed that in the newest S*P, a "snark" is mentioned as being a possible sort of lizard for Davan to capture.

Hee hee!

Comment from: Prodigal [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 11:14 PM

You just broke my fucking heart, Eric.

Excellent entry. But regardless.

Comment from: Minivet [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 11:17 PM

But oh, beamish Davan, beware of the day,
If your Snark be a Wednesday! For then
You will softly and suddenly vanish away,
And never be met with again!

Comment from: nedlum [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 10, 2006 11:27 PM

Random thought: of the main cast, Davan is the only character to go through sustained hair shift that isn't clearly a part of Randy's evolving style. He's gone black, had it trimmed, had it go long again, and the colors have shifted. By comparison, Jason and Aubrey's hair are pretty constant; while PeeJee's hair shifts, it's cyclical, rather than any clear progression. The only other characters to have actual, inarguable changes are Jhim, who as I recall has become less bald than he originally was, and Eva, who has (Felix-like) given up her unnatual green for her true hair color.

I don't know if it means anything. I just find it interesting.

Comment from: siwangmu [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 11, 2006 12:16 AM

"An ending where Davan is the bad guy, that Bran can go on with my life knowing Bran wasn't the one to take the person she loved and fed them to a meat grinder. An ending with a real reason for the breakup, not just ambition/greed/career."

Um, dude. Meat grinder? That's seriously where you evaluate that choice? I've always seen it as a complex issue with no immediately obvious "correct" choice. And, yeah, sometimes a choice that you make that you know will hurt someone can also be the right thing to do. It has been known to happen. Making a choice even though you know it will hurt someone doesn't make you evil, it makes you subject to the same laws of "life sometimes sucking" as the rest of us. Am I saying I'm totally sure she was right to go? No. I don't know. It makes me curious to see where your point of view comes from that establishes it as clearly wrong, though. Can you explain?

Comment from: Meelar [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 11, 2006 1:19 AM

Thanks for snarking this one, Eric--I was surprised to see you not snark it the day it came out, but I knew it would get one originally. Also, I'd like to note that after reading this strip, I moved S*P to the end of my trawl. Now I can read my other strips without feeling all shitty, and still get my fix. It's very useful.

Comment from: Bertson [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 11, 2006 3:51 AM

More than that, I think the fact that she said she should go right after he asked "what if I had asked you to stay" shows, to me, that she clearly *knows* she's rationalizing and trying to reinvent the past, and wants to get out of the conversation before he breaks that illusion. This isn't a subconscious thing; she's putting a lot of effort into rewriting the past, and she's not going to let the past stand in the awy of that.

Comment from: Bahimiron [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 11, 2006 8:47 AM

"It makes me curious to see where your point of view comes from that establishes it as clearly wrong, though. Can you explain?"

I don't think anyone is suggesting that Bran is objectively in the wrong. Just that subjectively Bran is feeling guilt that she may have been in the wrong. In her own eyes. See?

"No one that age is that secure. The hormones are still too fresh, or something. I remember it well."

Just what age do you think that these characters are?

On another note, RKM constantly astounds me as being one of the few webcartoonists who seems to have devolved in his artistic style since the start of his archive.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 11, 2006 10:25 AM

"No one that age is that secure. The hormones are still too fresh, or something. I remember it well."

Just what age do you think that these characters are?

Mid to late twenties; half or a little more of mine. Am I wrong? Surely they're no older than early thirties.

Comment from: Fishdinner [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 11, 2006 10:40 AM

Mr. Burns (Eric): how does one e-mail you?

Comment from: Fishdinner [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 11, 2006 10:47 AM

Mr. Burns (Eric): how does one e-mail you?

Comment from: kamagurka [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 11, 2006 12:15 PM

Fishdinner: One doesn't. One simply publishes a message on the vast web, and if the machine elves will it, the Burns shall receive it.

Comment from: Johnny Assay [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 11, 2006 12:27 PM

Mid to late twenties; half or a little more of mine. Am I wrong? Surely they're no older than early thirties.
According to the cast page, Davan is 30, Peejee is 29, and Jason is 34. No date of birth for Aubrey, unfortunately.

Comment from: Kirath [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 11, 2006 1:24 PM

When I first read this strip I interpreted davan's fairness comment as a shot at Branwen, but I don't think that's quite correct,thinking about it. It seems more likely that Eric is correct and he means her husband, or that he is simply referring to the situation that caused their break-up in the first place.

It's clear to me that Branwen still has some very complicated feelings about all this, and that it's probably correct that one of the reasons her husband hates Davan so much is that he (the husband) considers Davan a very real threat to their relationship, a belief which could only be reinforced by her desire to go to Davan and help him out.

There's a part of me who wants to see Davan and Branwen get back together, but the much larger part of me doesn't *really* think that will happen. We'll see.

Comment from: Kirath [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 11, 2006 1:29 PM

Oh, and the post I was originally going to make, that I got sidetracked from, was to say that Aubrey is probably very close to the same age as Peejee and Davan (I THINK they were all in the same year at high school and such) Which leads me to think they are all not likely much more than a year apart in age.

Comment from: Wistful Dreamer [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 11, 2006 5:37 PM


Holy cow! I forgot about Linzie. Who else forgot that Davan has a current GF/FWB/WTF?

In what crazy world does Davan have two woman at least in some way wanting or pinning for him at the same time (three if we interpret Peejee right)? RKM is taking us on one wild ride.

Comment from: 32_footsteps [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 11, 2006 7:14 PM

Heh, I forgot about her, too. Though she does seem like the type Davan couldn't stand.

Actually, in regards to Nancy, my brain drew an interesting parallel. Remember how they said that Davan first was romantically interested in PeeJee, but she just wanted to be friends? Is it just me, or does Davan seem to have a similar dynamic with Nancy, except that this time Davan is the one who just wants to be friends?

Comment from: Jason [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 11, 2006 8:25 PM

Johnny Assay & Kirath: Aubrey's cast page has apparently gone away; if I remember right, she was born some time in 1979, making her 26 or 27. And now we can obsess over why Randy took it down.

Comment from: Rafilar [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 12, 2006 1:30 AM

I was fairly sure Aubrey was older than Peejee.

Comment from: Joshua Macy [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 12, 2006 8:57 AM

"I don't think anyone is suggesting that Bran is objectively in the wrong."

Well then, let me be the first to suggest Branwen is objectively in the wrong.

Shorn of pretense, Brawnwen's position was essentially: I love you honey, but not as much as I love the idea of spending time doing this activity far away from you. And the paycheck? Better than sex. Well, better than sex with you, anyway.

If later on she says "I love you," either she's lying or she hasn't a clue what love entails. Love only up until the point it becomes inconvenient isn't really love at all.

Comment from: KennyCelican [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 12, 2006 9:11 AM

Aubrey doesn't have a cast member page because Aubrey is not a human being, she's a force of nature.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 12, 2006 9:55 AM

ISTR from the "Woogie" eps that Aubrey is at least a few years younger than Davan. She was still in that "oh so cute" stage where she had trouble pronouncing words, and Davan was out of it. Leaving aside arguments for precociousness, I'd say that the 1979 figure sounds right.

Comment from: chalcara [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 12, 2006 11:44 AM

Actually, I think Branwen was right to leave Davan, even if it was hard for both. Afterall it was the choice between the dream and her life, and her boyfriend. She'd hated herself for the rest of her life if she hadn't picked that job. There are always other guys, but chances to fullfill your dreams are incredible rare.


And remember - Davan didn't value their relationship enough to follow her, either.

Comment from: kamagurka [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 12, 2006 12:18 PM

32_footsteps: I dunno about that. She did hook him up with the hot goth chick he ended up goinking.

Comment from: 32_footsteps [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 12, 2006 11:58 PM

Due to amazing ninja powers, I've found that Aubrey's date of birth was December 31, 1977. So she's about two years younger than Davan, and one year younger than PeeJee.

Eh, I don't think Bran was wrong per se, but she isn't exactly right, either. Again, I just think she didn't account for the fact that she'd end up regretting leaving Davan so much. That, and it seems like Bran's marriage is the classic rebound relationship gone too far. That's not exactly fair.

As for Nancy hooking Davan up with Linzie... true, that did happen. Bust still, She acts awfully concerned and protective of him in a way different from Aubrey or PeeJee. I'm fully ready to be proven wrong - forcibly - on the issue. But I'm still suspicious of it.

Though if I'm allowed to veer off for a slight tangent, going ahead a couple strips to PeeJee talking with Davan has me realizing why she's had bad luck in relationships. I mean, it's fairly blatant even before the last panel who Davan is talking about, and PeeJee knew that Davan liked her at one point. And it still takes her a bit to get it. It seems to me that if she has such a hard time seeing a friend give a compliment like that, she's not the sort who'd be able to easily discern a good potential relationship from a bad one until it's a bit late. If anything, this makes me really feel bad for PeeJee. While Davan might smell like Crazy Chow, he at least stands a chance for a good crazy (like Bran was). PeeJee is almost set up perfectly for a bad relationship in almost any circumstance.

Comment from: Bahimiron [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 13, 2006 7:30 AM

"Shorn of pretense, Brawnwen's position was essentially: I love you honey, but not as much as I love the idea of spending time doing this activity far away from you. And the paycheck? Better than sex. Well, better than sex with you, anyway."

So love is 'I will put my whole life on hold and never chase any of the dreams that I have had since I, at the very least, started college so as to be close to you'?

Man, you got a shitty sort of view of love.

As far as today's strip goes, who thinks we're going to get another snark? Two SP snarks in a row, Eric! Do it! DO IT!

Comment from: Bahimiron [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 13, 2006 7:33 AM

In happier news, Pat finally updated his blog.

I also wish that politicians would stop gerrymandering my clock.

Comment from: KennyCelican [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 13, 2006 9:10 AM

You know, there are so many ways PeeJee and Davan would be good for one another. The problem is she seems to start relationships exclusively based on 'attraction'.

While attraction isn't a bad reason to go talk to someone for a chance hookup, just because someone is eye / viscera candy doesn't mean they're going to be worth a damn in the long run. I've known women like Aubrey who, for whatever reason, are attracted to qualities that will cause relationships to flounder. In a way, Davan is similar: crazy is usually not a good relationship foundation. The difference being that crazy doesn't immediately invalidate a hetero relationship, where homosexual usually does.

Personally, I think the two would be good for one another in countless ways. Heck, they even know they can stand one another in the 'living together' sense, cause they've been doing that completely platonically for a while now.

Hmm... I'm now getting this awful thought in the back of my head that S*P may wind up being a long, rollercoastery 'romancing the PeeJee'. But RKM just is too mean and not romantic enough to do something like that. Right?

Comment from: 32_footsteps [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 13, 2006 10:38 AM

I wouldn't say that Randy is unromantic. Just reread the comics where he shows interactions between Davan's parents. Look at howFaye finally passed away - peacefully, in her sleep, after spending the day with her beloved, and her last words declaring her love. I think he is, deep down, a strong and incurable romantic.

I personally just think he's a bit misanthropic because he knows how good people can be, and how seldom they actually live up to that potential. Because when they do live up to their potential... well, you get things like Fred and Faye's relationship.

Comment from: Joshua Macy [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 13, 2006 12:08 PM

Bahimiron, the "shitty view of love" (as you put it), that being in love means that your lover's happiness is an important part of your own and further that you derive happiness from being with them, is a pretty common view. People in love will do their darndest to stay together and enjoy that love, or at least try to work out some long-distance thing; once they give up on that, it's no longer really love, but at best fondness or something. The view that you seem to have: it's still love even if you abandon it as soon as the prospect of something better comes along, is still a minority view, I think. For instance, most people are willing to admit they're no longer in love once they get divorced. Not everyone, but I claim that most of the rest are either fooling themselves or trying to fool someone else.

Note how you and chalcara have to totally romanticize Branwen's job to make it even vaguely plausible that there ought to be some kind of balance: it's the One True Job for her, it's Her Dream, her only chance in life to have job-related happiness, she'll hate herself and Davan FOREVER if she doesn't take it, her life will be completely on hold (i.e. a boring, meaningless, empty existence) if not for this and yadda yadda. It's all bullshit, of the sort a selfish person could say about any sacrifice or forgone opportunity. Not only is it probably wrong (people are incredibly bad at predicting their future satisfaction from things like jobs), it's not even really relevant. Imagine if instead of leaving Davan for a job, she was leaving him for another guy. You could deploy all the same arguments: the new guy is her One True Love, she's always dreamt of marrying a guy like him and how could you expect her to give up on that dream, she'd hate herself and Davan for the missed opportunity, was she expected to put her life on hold to be with Davan, etc. How many people would defend the sincerity of her love for Davan then?

I think chalcara is probably right that it's better for both of them that Branwen left, but that's 'cause I don't think she loved Davan in any meaningful sense (and I'd say the same thing about Davan for not leaving his hated job and following her--it cuts both ways), and not because I think love is compatible with abandoning your lover for some other activity that you prefer.

Comment from: Gorthaur [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at April 14, 2006 4:38 PM

I registered just to point this out... even back then, there *were* hints that the relationship between Davan and Bran was not doing amazing.

http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp09232003.shtml

Random interjection from a longtime lurker of snarkiness. Yep. On a side note, Randy is absolutely astounding at what he does.

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