Sidekick Girl

Saving the City: Sans-Spandex

I cannot spell the word weird.  For the life of me.  I mean, I CAN, and I DO at least half the time.  But it NEVER looks right to me no matter what.

Nerd Intersectionality

30 responses to “HeroCon X”

  1. Black Rose says:

    Any Star Trek fans here know what this lady is talking about?!?

  2. SolCannibal says:

    Girl is gonna be beyond surprised at how MUCH Ilumina can actually relate to that….

  3. Well before the reboot the Kobayashi Maru was a simulation that Starfleet officers had to pass before they could be commissioned. TOS was a ship gone derelict and coasting into the Neutral Zone and as rescue operations were undertaken there were increasing numbers of Romulan (and later Klingon) vessels arriving. James Kirk managed to bypass security and reprogrammed the sim to give him for lack of a better term “street cred” and recruited the enemy ships to assist in rescue operations. But the original sim had no such options and ended up with the Federation ship destroyed no matter what the sim “captain” did. A good score was surviving 20 minutes and not starting an interstellar war. Kirk managed over an hour on his first attempt. Canon but only in the paperbacks.

    • Aavar says:

      in the book, Bones, Scottie, Kirk, Chekov and Sulu are in a broken drifting shuttlecraft, ie hopeless situation, and they all tell Bones about what happened when they each took the Kobayashi Maru scenario. I thought it was a pretty good read.

  4. Steve D. says:

    The point of the Kobyashi Maru test was to see how potential commanders acted when they were faced with a no win scenario. When they were staring down defeat and death. No matter what choice they made during the test it was always the wrong one. You loose every time no matter how hard you try and no matter what you do.

    In TOS Star Trek Kirk beat the test by hacking the simulation and changing the parameters of the test so that he could finally win. It took him three attempts before coming up with that strategy. He said he did not believe in the “no-win scenario.”

  5. Critical Theory Critic says:

    Either you man up and take it on the chin, making the best of it as and when you can, or you rig the rigged game and con the con, as Kirk did. Do either with style and panache for extra points.

    Or, you know, dress up like a lollipop, switch to a diet of self-pity and ice-cream. Keep up until you can’t even curl up into a ball in a corner any longer, but you are a ball of lard and such a sad sight you’ll have your very own corner wherever you are.

    Making the latter premise work as a writer takes real skill, for if you end up in the identity politics doghouse, you can howl all you want, you won’t get out.

    Personally I’d not worry so much about all the other people seeming to be smarter than you, but earnestly work on improving yourself. Maybe make friends and see if they’ll help and maybe you can help them with something else, like being an earnest good friend.

    • Tower015 says:

      Thankfully for the readership here, your personal opinion is relegated to the comments and the writers are allowed to write about whatever they want. Welcome to the world, where people have many varieties and problems, and you are entitled to view the world according to the way it makes sense to you.

      I would have considered this type of comment to be unremarkably predictable ’cause, lets face it, we are on the internet, but I caught a whiff of this part of your comment and decided to comment on it:

      “Making the latter premise work as a writer takes real skill, for if you end up in the identity politics doghouse, you can howl all you want, you won’t get out.”

      Yea, like anything else it will be bad if aren’t good at writing. I think that for you to not realize this entire comic is about identity politics, seven years of content wont save you. I mean, you and I agree that solving situations is preferable, but I get the sense that either you never had to figure out your identity from a negative place, or you forgot what it was like. I feel like the world is better off with a message that acknowledges the hardships and helps bolster people to meet them. Encourage people to be brave, see their merits, and show them the options and systems that can exist, and dont judge them if they just don’t get it.

      The other elements of your comment about dressing up like a lollipop and the ice cream and lard phrasing just say to me you are just trolling, and my hat is off to you for being so incredibly small, but still confident enough to make statements. You comment was a thoughtfully worded and concisely petty, and has a nice note of passive aggressive negativity and small world viewpoints.

      • Critical Theory Critic says:

        “Thankfully for the readership here, your personal opinion is relegated to the comments”

        As is yours. Thanks for reminding us all.

        “I would have considered this type of comment […]”

        Thank you so much for playing.

        “I think that for you to not realize this entire comic is about identity politics, seven years of content wont save you.”

        Maybe I misread the thing, but to me a coming-of-age story is very much about finding your place in the world, thus identity, but for centuries did neither necessitate nor imply to bring politics into it. It’s the politics part where things get interesting, in the Chinese sense.

        “I mean, you and I agree that solving situations is preferable, but I get the sense that either you never had to figure out your identity from a negative place, or you forgot what it was like.”

        I think you’d have to get to know me a lot better than I expect you’re prepared to, to work out if that sense you’re getting is closer to my reality or your imagination of how my reality surely must be.

        To me, the current “identity politics” movement is something else entirely, which for some reason always ends up with other people having to do lots of work to validate the specialness of the snowflake, and failure to do so gives some sort of right to social justice warriors to stand up and shout a lot, including shouting down everyone who doesn’t agree with them, manages some sort of microslight, potentially possibly maybe caused theoretical inconvenience for imaginary someones not even there, and so on.

        “I feel like the world is better off with a message that acknowledges the hardships and helps bolster people to meet them. Encourage people to be brave, see their merits, and show them the options and systems that can exist, and dont judge them if they just don’t get it.”

        We all have our crosses to bear, and coming from “a negative place” is to most of us no excuse to cling to that. At some point you decide to grow up and make the best of it with whatever it is you have. Failing that, put on your game face and soldier on. Some, though, derive their actual or perceived “negative place” origins as an excuse to throw “privilege” into everybody else’s faces. I think that is not constructive. Since we’re clarifying things: This is an understatement.

        Nothing wrong with helping each other, something that is fairly deeply ingrained in what we call “western culture” (but that works wildly differently in some other cultures I could mention) but what you’re saying goes much further: You’re basically saying that telling people they did wrong or simply could do better is not done because that might mean they feel slighted in the validation they’re entitled to.

        That is curious because you’re rather harshly judging me by what I wrote. What makes me so different from the people you’re telling me not to judge?

        “The other elements of your comment about dressing up like a lollipop and the ice cream and lard phrasing just say to me you are just trolling, and my hat is off to you for being so incredibly small, but still confident enough to make statements. You comment was a thoughtfully worded and concisely petty, and has a nice note of passive aggressive negativity and small world viewpoints.”

        And well done to you too. Always interesting to see people veign reasonableness and moral superiority in one easy go. As for convincing me you’re right, you have some work to do yet.

        • Livvy says:

          So….what does struggling in high school have to do with identity politics, other then the general fact that evey struggle one goes through in life informs who we are a bit? Is it because she is overweight? She didn’t say anything about her weight being part of her struggle. You’ve latched on to her appearance pretty strongly when how she is drawn currently has nothing to do with this story, and your comments about her weight is the most offensive part about your original comment. You being tired of identity politics isn’t a big deal, but your cruelty toward a random fiction character’s appearance is kinda strange.

          • Sidekickgirl says:

            Normally this is where Laura or I would chime in to remind everyone to keep it civil, but since we wouldn’t want to cater to all those entitled snowflakes who think civility is necessary to polite discourse, so please, have at it.

        • Tower015 says:

          The different between what I am regarding your comments with and other people is your word choice friend. We aren’t ever going to meet each other, and it is entirely possibly I misread your tone, but there were specific points in your original comment that caught my attention. I will judge people off of their intent and actions. To me,it came across like you were shaking people for not being able to handle thing the way you do.

        • DeeSarrachi says:

          “Maybe I misread the thing, but to me a coming-of-age story is very much about finding your place in the world, thus identity, but for centuries did neither necessitate nor imply to bring politics into it.”

          It must be really, really nice to have an identity that isn’t inherently political. Unfortunately, there’s a whole group of people (women, LGBT people, people of colour, fat people, people with disabilities, poor people, etc) who have to deal with the fact that our identity IS political. Coming of age means coming to terms with the way our bodies and our lives are relentlessly judged by those around us and bandied about by politicians who are making choices about our freedoms.

          “At some point you decide to grow up and make the best of it with whatever it is you have.”

          And “making the best of it” looks different for different people. Someone who’s just run 10K is going to be a lot more tired than someone who’s just started running, even if they’re at the same point on the track.

          “You’re basically saying that telling people they did wrong or simply could do better is not done because that might mean they feel slighted in the validation they’re entitled to.”

          You know there’s a difference between “hey, here are some tips for how you can do/feel better!” and “have you considered that you just suck, as a person, and perhaps if you just triiiiiiiied really hard, you could overcome [various issues, many of which might stem from oppression in society]?” Constructive criticism is different from insults. In case you were wondering.

          “To me, the current “identity politics” movement is something else entirely, which for some reason always ends up with other people having to do lots of work to validate the specialness of the snowflake, and failure to do so gives some sort of right to social justice warriors to stand up and shout a lot, including shouting down everyone who doesn’t agree with them, manages some sort of microslight, potentially possibly maybe caused theoretical inconvenience for imaginary someones not even there, and so on.”

          Please imagine that I inserted a jpg of that huffpo article titled “I Don’t Know How To Explain To You That You Should Care About Other People”

          • Critical Theory Critic says:

            Livvy, picture in your mind a red-nosed hairy guy with a beerbelly, wearing lederhosen and a matching hat, holding a stein while eating a hot dog. If you find offense in the idea, then was it because he was overweight, or any of the other attributes so obviously depicted? To many of us, the picture would obviously say “stereotypical German”, regardless of the tone of presentation. Of course I could “latch on” any single attribute and find it most offensive, but that would be deliberately missing the point. That point comes from the whole of the thing.

            It’s a good trick, though, to find a sackful of smallest (“micro”) objects, deem them offensive, and thereby find your subject to be infested with offensive objects, thereby multitudinously offensive on the whole, and thus worthy of ire.

            This is pretty much the entirety of what’s called “critical theory”: Say stuff sucks in tedious detail and derive moral superiority for yourself from that “critical” eyeing of the sheer offensiveness found. It’s fairly popular in academe at the moment, but not remotely scientific.

            Tower015 says: “The different between what I am regarding your comments with and other people is your word choice friend.”

            So run into someone using the wrong words, and you feel they have no rights. Had they used agreeable words, would you have defended them to death? That’s quite a modern spin on things. Certainly different from the words usually attributed to Voltaire regarding defending people to the death. I’m not convinced yours is a good idea, so you’re making no progress.

            DeeSarrachi says: “It must be really, really nice to have an identity that isn’t inherently political. Unfortunately, there’s a whole group of people (women, LGBT people, people of colour, fat people, people with disabilities, poor people, etc) who have to deal with the fact that our identity IS political.”

            Not more or less so than the people you think get a free pass to privilege by omission. The politics are only there because they’ve been put there by people with an ideological agenda. Ignore them and we might try and solve any real problems with real results.

            Besides, singling out for special treatment invites counter-reaction. This goes for many more groups than I expect you would believe.

            I’m reminded of the story of a poor gay making it to riches. He did it through years of hard work and inventiveness, improving himself every step of the way. His biggest hurdles weren’t running the business, or getting business, it was his poor family ostracising him for daring to even try and climb up. Dragging everybody down, as identity politics is trying to do, is not going to bring everybody riches.

            Making that future for your in-group is and remains hard work. If you do have the numbers you claim you do, it ought to be at least doable to give it a worthy try, right?

            “Constructive criticism is different from insults. In case you were wondering.”

            That sounds nice but is too simple. If it devolves into “anything that isn’t huggy-feely safe space and validating nice, must therefore be insults”, as it does in some spaces, then there’s no room for any criticism, constructive or not.

            You can see shades of that happening here too: Some commenters are really more eager to find fault than they are ready to consider what is being said. It’s really quite enlightening to close-read and see who is calling out whom, or what, on which grounds. That is, if you can put your ideological glasses aside for a moment and wait with deciding on an opinion until after you’ve read the whole thing.

            And, for example, sarcasm can be amazingly constructive, as it makes people more creative and think harder, on both sides of the conversation. It might not be your idea of nice, but when done right it can be constructive.

            “Please imagine that I inserted a jpg of that huffpo article titled “I Don’t Know How To Explain To You That You Should Care About Other People””

            Not only can you not explain this to me, you have neither the words nor the arguments, you actually should not, for it isn’t your business to be telling me that.

            You could instead be leading by example. Say, go out and volunteer at the soup kitchens. You’re not doing that either because not only would that require actual work but it’s entirely besides the point of the exercise.

            Instead, that rather gratuit sharing of images with some text pasted in is about sharing in the created victimhood, so you can righeously villify the imagined aggressor. (“Microagression and moral cultures”, Campbell and Manning)

            That’s exactly what’s wrong with the whole idea: It’s not “let’s make the world a better place”, it’s “you must make the world a better place so I can tweet my moral superiority by having told you.” Why should I put in the hard work when you so obviously will not? Worse, it’ll never be enough because you’ll make up some other slight for which I’ll have to atone, because your downtrodden “other people” are victims by definition, the reasons you’ll make up on the fly to make them so. That’s why you can’t explain: There is nothing to describe.

            leggedfish, those comics existed well before the politics got put into identity. Make of that what you will.

  6. Oh Mack and…catgirl?…two peas in a pod, they are.

  7. Kaian says:

    First honey the scenario was a test to see how you face no way to win. And it is still not widely know. So do not knock your knowledge yet. Biggest hurdle in schools is they are often inflexible in How they teach. The method used is probably one you can’t grasp because they talk around you and not to you. You want to get good at something? Find a hobby that uses those skills. Role Playing games actually can teach math better than many teachers. Spatial recognition and the ability to read technical manuals. Build plastic models. As someone who has worked with people who spent their entire lives in academia till coming to me. They have a hard time with real world applications.
    Or you pull a Kirk. Change the conditions of the test. What does the grade process really tell you? What things interest you that your friends and peers are clueless on.
    It sounds trite.
    Silly perhaps.
    But you do. not. fail. Till you surrender and stop trying.

  8. leggedfish says:

    But wouldn’t the whole point of any superhero comic be about (secret) identity politics?

  9. DeeSarrachi says:

    “The politics are only there because they’ve been put there by people with an ideological agenda. Ignore them and we might try and solve any real problems with real results.”

    Ignoring policies being passed the actively harm minority groups isn’t going to make things magically better. Ignoring institutional racism/sexism/homophobia/etc isn’t going to make them stop existing, or stop affecting people’s everyday lives. The politics are the entire reason there are problems in the first place.

    “I’m reminded of the story of a poor gay making it to riches. He did it through years of hard work and inventiveness, improving himself every step of the way. His biggest hurdles weren’t running the business, or getting business, it was his poor family ostracising him for daring to even try and climb up. Dragging everybody down, as identity politics is trying to do, is not going to bring everybody riches.”

    I feel like you took a massive 180 in your last sentence there. Like, I’m with you for sentences one through three — “Oppressed people have to work extra hard just to get to the starting line! This poor sad gay man spent all this effort and managed to get successful; just imagine how well he’d be doing if his family supported him!” — and then suddenly it’s “So those awful people who say ‘hey, maybe we should be nice to people? Just a thought?’ are clearly in the wrong!”

    “And, for example, sarcasm can be amazingly constructive”

    Except it’s not. That’s like saying, “Hey, telling people they’re stupid and will never succeed can be constructive! Because sometimes it makes people do well out of pure spite!” Constructive criticism has a specific meaning, as most words do. It is constructive. That means pointing out things that were done well, and phrasing things done badly as “ways to improve”. It also means giving specific ways to improve. “Hey, this could be better” isn’t constructive criticism.

    “You could instead be leading by example. Say, go out and volunteer at the soup kitchens. You’re not doing that either because not only would that require actual work but it’s entirely besides the point of the exercise.”

    It’s pretty cool that you can tell all kinds of details about my life based solely on a comment I posted online! Have you considered trying to monetize that super power? Betcha “telling people what they do in their spare time” is a lucrative industry.

    “Why should I put in the hard work when you so obviously will not?”

    And here I thought spreading the idea that you should care about other people was, in fact, putting in the work of making the world a better place.

    • Critical Theory Critic says:

      “Ignoring policies being passed the actively harm minority groups isn’t going to make things magically better. Ignoring institutional racism/sexism/homophobia/etc isn’t going to make them stop existing, or stop affecting people’s everyday lives.”

      In short: I’m sure there are lot of discriminatory practices, but that includes “affirmative action” and suchlike, so from a distance it’s hard to assess what the net effect is.

      But that really isn’t the question here. The question is whether the “social justice” movement with its warriors and its identity politics, is a constructive counter to the ills of society, such as they may be. And to that, I say no.

      “The politics are the entire reason there are problems in the first place.”

      Not the entire reason. Besides that the relationship between some groups in the USA has reached the state of “bad marriage”, as in neither side can do any good in the eyes of the other whatever they do or intend, there’s at least one other thing going on.

      You’re not going to get a job at a bank if you come to the interview sporting studded leather, facial metal, and a large purple mohawk. So if you really want to go to work like that, well, you’re going to have to look for a different job. Or perhaps start your own mohawk-bank.

      I think there’s at least some of that going on with the various Offically Downtrodden groups, too. That means there’s at least some headroom to improve your own lot. Which used to be the thing to do, stateside.

      “I feel like you took a massive 180 in your last sentence there.”

      I didn’t feel that way, but then I was thinking of something quite a bit different than you were.

      “Like, I’m with you for sentences one through three — “Oppressed people have to work extra hard just to get to the starting line! This poor sad gay man spent all this effort and managed to get successful; just imagine how well he’d be doing if his family supported him!””

      That actually didn’t deter him. He didn’t like it, in fact it distressed him, but he had made up his mind to work himself out of poverty. He did it, too.

      “ — and then suddenly it’s “So those awful people who say ‘hey, maybe we should be nice to people? Just a thought?’ are clearly in the wrong!” ”

      Because “being nice” –read as “talk in a circle and affirm everyone’s validity!” that I’m told is about the whole of US education these days, though I honestly hope I’ve been told wrong– is completely besides the point.

      The point is that if you really want to achieve something, you can do it, even if it takes hard work, even if your spoon is plastic. That was the connection that I was thinking of but you didn’t pick up on.

      “And here I thought spreading the idea that you should care about other people was, in fact, putting in the work of making the world a better place.”

      And here I didn’t think so, for reasons stated. And also because you admitted inability to actually tell me, n’mind convince me. So, should you choose to continue down that path, you have your work cut out for you.

  10. Sidekickgirl says:

    Just taking a poll, guys, is anyone actually being amused by the troll-baiting, or should I delete all this bullshit and we can get back to talking about superheroes bettering the lives of others with a side of star trek?

    • Atros says:

      I just scrolled past all the nonsense tbh. As a rule, if it’s two sentences in and not about the comic then I skip the comment on, well, comment sections.

      • livvy says:

        He actually responded to me but my eyes glazed over after the first paragraph. Whoops. Couldn’t even bother to read about why I’m wrong.

  11. MP says:

    I get enough trolling from the President. It’s not amusing here.

  12. Atros says:

    How is it possible noones made this pun with that alt text? Fine, I’ll do it. So you’re saying that no matter how you spell weird, it still looks a bit… weird? Eh? Eh?

    • Mike says:

      Yeah I can never remember if it’s weird or wierd because both look weird. Though I suppose wierrd (or wiered?) could be a synonym for “docked”.

  13. Gilly says:

    The long comments were too long for me to bother reading, so they are whatever. Usually I enjoy pedantics and philosophy but it was not grabbing,me in the first comments.

    What I want to know, Billydaking, is what Spock did to teach Kirk about “no-win” senarios.

  14. Kaian says:

    Just a follow up to the advice I was trying to leave the young lady in the comic.

    Part of changing the conditions of the test is changing your own point of view. Not you or your interests. But how you look upon what you are struggling with. Many will tell you to get good grades and do well in what ever job you land. Because. That because is the beginning and end of the reasoning. The job is long, harrowing from abuse, and tedious. It is nothing you enjoy. Now look at what you Do enjoy. Living on your own with your own food, roof, and entertainment. These things matter to you? The painful job is what supports it. ‘Because’ now has a meaning you can feel.
    Some work so hard to support a hobby.
    Others to be independent.
    And some to support a family.
    What is important to you can focus your attention tighter than the ‘smart’ ones around you that will learn a lesson long enough for a test, then forget it.

    There is no one answer. One path to achieving. You have to find your path. All those around you can do is offer suggestions on possible paths.

  15. Captain Bill says:

    There is the solution no one has tried. Torpedo and destroy the derelict. If the enemy is Klingon they’ll admire you for it, Romulan they’ll shit their knickers. Either way you saved your ship, which is worth more than any derelict full of civilians.

  16. Storel says:

    Captain Bill, I shudder to think what kind of grade you’d get for destroying the civilian ship you’re trying to save…

    Regarding the political discussion, I too started skipping over all but the first sentence or two of the really long posts. I do have to admit that the tone of what I saw seemed to stay unusually civil for this sort of thing, but I don’t know if it stayed that way the whole time. I would say it’s up to you as the strip’s creator: if you feel the discussion was mostly on-topic and mostly civil, keep it; if you feel it was more off-topic or got too heated, or simply didn’t contribute much of value to the discussion of the comic, then delete it.

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