8FOLD: Daylighters # 1, "Pursued By A Bear"

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Tue May 28 15:07:33 PDT 2019

On 5/28/2019 10:50 AM, Tom Russell wrote:
> On Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 3:57:51 AM UTC-4, Drew Perron wrote:
>> On 5/28/2019 12:47 AM, Tom Russell wrote:
>>> On Monday, May 27, 2019 at 11:40:53 PM UTC-4, Drew Perron wrote:
>>>> Hokay, time to read Daylighters! I'm only six months late on this one, whee! X3
>>> ...
>> Look, the only way I'm managing to catch up without freaking out is to be
>> absolutely chill about how behind I am. >#>
 > Oh my gosh! I'm sorry, Drew -- I honestly didn't mean it like that but I can
 > totally see how it could be read that way. I intended it to be a
 > "<snip>"/ellipses. Blame it on the late hour and lack of sleep. Again, sorry
 > about that.

Aw! That's 100% okay. :> Really, I was talking it in a humorous spirit anyway. 
You're good.

 > Regarding your comments about Bethany and her thoughts on Jonah -- I hear what
 > you're saying. I don't think she's thought it through to that degree, because
 > she hasn't (and won't) extend him sufficient empathy *to* think it through,
 > simply because she sees him as someone who has hurt people (even
 > inadvertently) and (this is the important part for her) *continues* to hurt
 > people. Like, she doesn't buy it as unintentional because Jonah *knows* what
 > can happen and will happen every time, every day. But she also doesn't see him
 > trying to minimize it, doesn't think about where or how he'd get food, water,
 > shelter, etc., because at that point her empathy drops to zero.

*nodnods!* Yeah. And like, it's _hard_, because withdrawing empathy is a coping 
mechanism, and Bethany has clearly needed her coping mechanisms since Vegas 
fell. I mean, look at Loop - she literally withdrew from dealing with other 
human beings at all. Bethany's more functional than that, and obviously pushing 
herself to be as functional as she can, and that requires avoiding thinking 
about things that will hit your bad emotions.

 > We all of us have limits to who we will extend our empathy to -- like, I don't
 > want to read another damn sob story or manufactured redemption arc for the
 > rapists and abusers who lost their jobs after decades of entrenched sexual
 > harassment and misconduct.

Ugh, indeed. Like, on the one hand, I would rather we didn't live in a world 
where the entertainment industry was "you have to avoid social consequences or 
you literally can't do your job anymore", but I would *much* rather these people 
lost their jobs and the social power that goes with them than continue to hurt 
people without that power.

 > I'm not saying that Bethany is right; I don't think she is, at least in this
 > story, which is largely action-adventure and light in tone (even if Jonah is
 > Going Through Some Stuff). If the story had been Jonah's bad luck causing
 > buildings to collapse with hundreds of people inside, or nuclear reactors to
 > malfunction -- all things that would certainly be in the realm of the possible
 > given the power set -- I think while one might be able to have some pathos for
 > him, it would be overshadowed (and rightly?) by sorrow for his victims. In
 > this story, his misadventures are mostly victimless, and that's to make him
 > more sympathetic, and to make his "joy turn" at the climax enjoyable; if he
 > had any kind of death toll, I wouldn't really care that he felt good about
 > himself for once -- like Bethany, my empathy would have dropped very close to
 > nil.

Right. And like, that's the point where you'd have to ask why either he, or the 
Daylighters themselves, aren't treating him as a systemic danger. Like, if 
someone hapless person on Earth-8(fold) had a freak lab accident that gave them 
a Death Aura, you'd hope that Derek could pull some strings to get them put in a 
place where they wouldn't have to be a danger to everyone, and hopefully, have 
their condition reversed. (There's a STAR Labs-esque institution in Jolt City, 

And like, that might be a good thing to do for Jonah if possible (maybe have 
him-- wait, I'll email that), but it's not so imminently necessary.

 > One of the things I like about you Drew is that you have a lot of empathy;
 > you're always willing to look at things through someone else's point of view.

Aw! <3 Thank you. I've always had an intense empathy, and over the years, I've 
learned to focus it without withdrawing completely. It's hard, and I absolutely 
understand where Bethany's coming from. X3

Drew "making these huge feelings less overwhelming one day at a time" Perron

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