LNH: LNH Comics Presents #400: INFINITE LEADERSHIP CRY.SIG Episode 365

Tom Russell milos_parker at yahoo.com
Fri May 4 06:41:59 PDT 2007

I think the reason why the Legionnaires didn't pick up on the fact
that the pills were, in fact, miniature time machines might have been
because it was such an ordinary thing, they had no reason to suspect
it.  (The pills not appearing, as far as I can recall, until this and
the last episode might have been another reason.  Forgive me if my
memory isn't pristine on this fact: after thirty issues my grasp on
all pertinent facts and, indeed, perhaps my sanity might be slightly

But anyway.  It's not a mark of stupidity, incredible or otherwise;
it's that they have no reason to suspect it.  As readers, we have a
reason to suspect it, because as readers we are conditioned to pick up
on clues to a fictional mystery; but the characters do not share our
omniscent vision.

Let's say that you start to suddenly feel increasingly ill.  It might
turn out that your wife was replaced with an alien invader, and every
time you make bunnies with her, she drains some of your life force,
thus causing your illness.  Maybe she's acting slightly off.

Now, a reader would pick up on this-- she's acting funny, they're
having sex a lot-- eureka!  But a character would not connect the two
things-- behaviour of wife and increasing illness-- because he has no
reason to connect them.

But some readers are still going to yell at the characters and call
them stupid because they didn't see it.  It shows, I think, a lack of
empathy on the part of the reader-- something akin to the way
autistics cannot imagine anyone thinking differently than they do.

Note that I'm not saying this is the case with you; I'm just saying
that this is a common occurence, and sometimes it does us good to
really _look_ at what facts the characters have at their disposal, and
what linkages, if any, would naturally occur to them.

You have complained about the "stupidity" of Dani and Pam in not
sussing out the Green Knight's secret identity.  But again, they have
no reason to connect the two.  Now, if Martin Rock was to
conspicuously disappear whenever the Green Knight made an appearance,
then, yes, they'd have reason to suspect-- just as Lois Lane had, for
many years, reasons to suspect Clark Kent of being Superman.

I mean, whenever Osama bin Ladin makes an appearance, George W. Bush
is nowhere to be seen.  This does not mean that they are the same
person, and if it turned out that they were, that doesn't mean that
we're stupid for not seeing it.

(Note that this is a case of reducto ad absurdium, and not another
ridiculous conspiracy theory.)


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