Discrepancies

A discussion of the novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

Moderators: Bronze Haired Girl, una

Forum rules
Click for Forum Rules

Re: Discrepancies

Postby Knives » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:53 am

December wrote:Friendly tone reminder from your Fearless and Frost-clad Mod: This was not actually meant to be a debate thread -- or a fencing match. So not to spoil your fun or anything, but...a less adversarial mode of conversation would be welcome. There are ways of getting your point across without taking a rhetorical bludgeon to the opposing view. Thanks!


But how, O Great and Glorious Moderator? Retaining an advocatus diaboli (me) means, of necessity, the introduction of concepts and viewpoints which are, by their nature, oppositional. I can't make a statement like "Ms. Meyer has idiotically designed a being that invalidates the vermisilitude of her entire setting," (the short version of my side of the debate above) without being adverserial simply by making my point of view known. Naturally, folks who disagree are going to want to try and pick apart my reasoning, and I theirs - and thus does one get a debate.

The question, however, was honest - how can we discuss this without turning it becoming cut-and-thrust?
Openhome wrote:Knives, I believe that..
wait for it...
you are right.
Knives
Jump Starting Bella's Truck
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:01 pm
Location: Trudging Through the Ashes

Re: Discrepancies

Postby December » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:36 pm

Ah, well...now you've started a subject which I could discourse on far longer than anyone here will want to sit still for! (Ladies and Gentlemen, if you wish you may make your way to the exits now...).

I think it's possible to have a collaborative, unadversarial discussion even where participants' views diverge enormously -- it's all about abandoning the goal of establishing which view is right. So (for instance) I find that the tension between Edward's desire to cherish Bella and his desire to kill her gives Stephenie's story a kind of mythopoeic resonance; you find the insipidity of her "vampires" saps that story of any power to invoke myth. I lay out my thinking in a way that -- I hope -- answers the (politely) unspoken question in your mind: "how the hell can she be getting anything out of this banal love story?". You lay out yours in a way that -- I can attest -- makes it much clearer to me why the Twilight phenomenon irritates the hell out of you. Neither of us is, generally speaking, trying refute the other's position or prove the superiority of our own. That doesn't mean we don't query each other's exposition: identify elements we don't understand, or that don't seem to add up. The point is that we're not, on the whole, doing it to demonstrate the errors in each other's arguments but to genuinely try to understand what the other is getting at. In short, it's not a zero-sum game. You don't win points when I acknowledge the force of some of your observations, and vice versa. Which opens the way to a more nuanced discussion.

Now...WHY this is true of the conversation in question is an intriguing puzzle. It's hard to pinpoint just what the linguistic and rhetorical markers are which signal to you that I'm not out to show you up or challenge your arguments. Or precisely how you convey an amicable interest and respect for what I have to say. It's like that famous definition of pornography: one just knows whether or not someone's stance is confrontational -- no doubt (I say, clambering precariously out on a socioevolutionary limb) because recognizing combative behaviour is a really primitive animal capacity, one that goes back to our earliest mammalian ancestors....

Anyway, I think I'm right in saying that our earlier discussion of myth, vampire traditions and realism simply didn't have that confrontational character. And yet, unquestionably, this is a subject about which we disagree in many respects. So when you ask me "how can we discuss opposing viewpoints without it becoming adversarial?", my honest reply is: "I'm not sure. We just did." And how is a really good question! I'd be interested if you have any insights here, because (as you'll have gathered -- I did warn you not to get me started on this!) it's a topic which interests me unduly....

And yeah...this is really getting pretty off-topic. One of the mods will probably be along shortly to remind us to get back in line! (*grin*)


Image
“When did you ever promise to kill yourself falling out of Charlie’s tree?”
User avatar
December
Muse of Philosophical Discussion
 
Posts: 2711
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:09 am
Location: Putting the "Longa" into Ars Longa....

Re: Discrepancies

Postby Openhome » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:39 pm

So, to bring it back to a non-confrontational idea about vampires and such...

Knives, you are writing a wonderful novel about traditional vamps (that you need to come and update us about because I'm dying to know more). Andy, you like the twist on the vamps that SM created. Rings, you are our literary canon expert as far as the story goes. You may also be the reigning king of gaming, but I'll let you three handle that.

How does the idea of an indestructible predator affect the overall story line of a story. Back to my original question, what about the mythology of Twilight. How does it change things if Aro sees humans as a potential (small though it may be) threat?

I'm asking because it is an interesting character point for me. Knives, you have often said that vamps in traditional works get bored and loose themselves over the years, yet they are destructible. Rings, you wrote a beautiful story about an older vamp who kept up his hope against all odds. Does the presence of a threat make a difference when you are a killer? Can that very threat keep you from becoming insane with the boredom?
User avatar
Openhome
Corralling the Cullens while Esme's Away
 
Posts: 2595
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:54 pm
Location: Chatting with Esme and giving her parenting advice

Re: Discrepancies

Postby Knives » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:24 am

Openhome wrote:So, to bring it back to a non-confrontational idea about vampires and such...

Knives, you are writing a wonderful novel about traditional vamps (that you need to come and update us about because I'm dying to know more). Andy, you like the twist on the vamps that SM created. Rings, you are our literary canon expert as far as the story goes. You may also be the reigning king of gaming, but I'll let you three handle that.

How does the idea of an indestructible predator affect the overall story line of a story. Back to my original question, what about the mythology of Twilight. How does it change things if Aro sees humans as a potential (small though it may be) threat?

I'm asking because it is an interesting character point for me. Knives, you have often said that vamps in traditional works get bored and loose themselves over the years, yet they are destructible. Rings, you wrote a beautiful story about an older vamp who kept up his hope against all odds. Does the presence of a threat make a difference when you are a killer? Can that very threat keep you from becoming insane with the boredom?


An interesting question. Allow me to try to explain.

Let's say we're dealing with one of White Wolf's vampires, which everyone here should be semi-familiar with from previous discussions. However, to recap: These vampires will not age or die of natural causes. They may, however, be killed by (in order from most difficult to least) clubs, guns, cobra venom, animal attacks, slashing instruments, bombs & other explosives, decapitation, fire, and sunlight. They can shift shape, enhance their physical capabilities, develop super-senses (as well as psychometry, telepathy, and astral projection), learn blood-magic, crush minds with a glance, and sway entire crowds to their whims. Powerful being, right?

Inevitably, however, such a being grows bored. A businessman soon has phenomenal money and influence in death that he could never have dreamed of in life. The artist has created his masterpiece and finds himself incapable of true emotional insight any longer; the thrill-seeker, having tested the limits of death, has no more boundries left to push. What, then, do they turn to?

That's where the concept of a threat comes in. In White Wolf's world, they don't provoke humanity, not because humans are an insipid threat to them, but because the masses of the herd are simply too dangerous. In numbers, with knowledge and training, humans are dangerous even at night. During the day, when the Kindred sleep? There is no match. The humans will win.

Instead, they turn to treachery, plotting and scheming against each other for petty gain, personal vendettas, pet causes, or even the sheer vainglorious joy of having the most toys. This Danse Macabre is pointless, an endless spiral leading to change that never truly brings about improvement - but it also allows them to bottom out somewhere below "average moral being" and above "mindless animal". Are they cruel, selfish, and fractious? Certainly. But by championing pet causes, opposing contrary viewpoints, and even making attempts at morality, vampires can improve the world - but only by first corrupting some part of it.

Does that make any kind of sense?
Openhome wrote:Knives, I believe that..
wait for it...
you are right.
Knives
Jump Starting Bella's Truck
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:01 pm
Location: Trudging Through the Ashes

Re: Discrepancies

Postby ringswraith » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:37 am

Ah, Vampire. I'm more partial to Werewolf but the World of Darkness (a setting developed by White Wolf) intrigues me.

A threat is a threat, no matter who you are. Predators in the wild would react if a bigger predator happened upon them. If Aro (or indeed, any vampire) began to see humans as a threat, certainly things would change. The Volturi for one have put a lot of time and effort to get where they are now, and they're not likely to upset the status quo. They will ascertain the nature of the threat and work to counter it immediately. In fact, I believe they have layers upon layers of preventive measures in place in the unlikely event that something came to pass. (WW vamps certainly do, and they're quite more vulnerable than TW vamps.)
ringswraith
Running with Leah 'cause she thinks I'm hawt
 
Posts: 4633
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:46 pm

Re: Discrepancies

Postby Knives » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:01 am

ringswraith wrote:Ah, Vampire. I'm more partial to Werewolf but the World of Darkness (a setting developed by White Wolf) intrigues me.

A threat is a threat, no matter who you are. Predators in the wild would react if a bigger predator happened upon them. If Aro (or indeed, any vampire) began to see humans as a threat, certainly things would change. The Volturi for one have put a lot of time and effort to get where they are now, and they're not likely to upset the status quo. They will ascertain the nature of the threat and work to counter it immediately. In fact, I believe they have layers upon layers of preventive measures in place in the unlikely event that something came to pass. (WW vamps certainly do, and they're quite more vulnerable than TW vamps.)


All of that is well and good, but if all the threats have been dealt with, you're right back at square Immortal Boredom, aye?
Openhome wrote:Knives, I believe that..
wait for it...
you are right.
Knives
Jump Starting Bella's Truck
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:01 pm
Location: Trudging Through the Ashes

Re: Discrepancies

Postby ringswraith » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:15 pm

Well, of course. At least WoD got all the scheming and plotting down right. :)
ringswraith
Running with Leah 'cause she thinks I'm hawt
 
Posts: 4633
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:46 pm

Re: Discrepancies

Postby andypalmer » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:47 pm

I do agree that the threat level that humans represent to vampires in the World of Darkness is significantly more evident, if not actual, than that of those in Twilight. The addition of other supernatural threats (Twilight has the rare Werewolf and Shapeshifter, but nothing of the magnitude of the magical and supernatural of the World of Darkness) adds to the necessity of intrigue over overt actions.

I find the danger of humans in Twlight to be more subtle. Humans do not have a demonstrable ability to defeat vampires, yet can be argued to have the potential to do so. I think it is this potential that Aro fears. Your typical vampire thinks of humans as nothing more than herd animals; it is the fear of the Volturi that maintains a level of subterfuge in their activities. You could say that, to 99% of vampires in SM's world, humans are not considered to represent a threat. However, as long as Aro perceives that humans are a potential threat, if not only to vampires in general, but to him and the lifestyle he has created specifically, then he will continue to drive the Volturi to enforce his own version of the "Masquerade."

Knives and I may disagree on the degree of potential that humans have to defeat vampires, but I believe that we would both be agreed on Aro's view on that potential, based on his words in the Saga.
andypalmer
Learning to Love Green
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 8:24 pm

Re: Discrepancies

Postby Seeker-Mar » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:57 am

Knives wrote:Alright, I've said it before, and I'll say it again - in a world containing intelligent twi-pires, "modern earth" would not exist.

Let us assume, just for a moment, that Twi-pires came into existence shortly before the Inquisition, since the Voulturii remember those guys. What medieval weapon could possibly pose a threat to them? None. What force of arms could overcome one? None. Vampires were truly invincible.

This leads to the next statement - it's easier to farm than it is to hunt.

If the Big Vs were to act as intelligent as we're expected to believe they are, vampires would rule the world, openly, and without fear. Humans would be food, slaves, and fodder, not allowed near true technology. Promising mortals can be turned into vampires; rebellious mortals can be hunted down. After all, Twi-pires don't need to rest, drink, or stop for any reason short of their total destruction. Human beings have to eat, drink, sleep, avoid injury and still manage to throw off pursuit by beings with super-senses, confirmed telepaths and confirmed precognitives - beings which have forever with which to chase them, at speeds humans cannot match, with a dozen other advantages that merely add insult to injury.

Which is why, earlier, I was getting annoyed by the various statements that the Volturii were smart to hide. Hiding was the dumbest move they could have made. Why let your enemy get strong when you can conquer them?


Maybe it's as simple as this; vampires like to hunt not herd. When you are the worlds best predator why would you want to farm? Their lives are so static perhaps this is a way for them to feel a little bit alive? Of course this only fits if they take turns gathering up the humans. If only one member does this then it is a little like farming already.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure and full of quiet gentleness. Then it is peace-loving and courteous. It allows discussion and is willing to yield to others; it is full of mercy and good deeds. James 3:17
User avatar
Seeker-Mar
Wandering Through Town
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:49 am
Location: Michigan, USA

Re: Discrepancies

Postby olorin » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:16 am

Sorry, I didn't read much of this thread, but I still want to voice my opinion to it. :oops:
Knives wrote:Alright, I've said it before, and I'll say it again - in a world containing intelligent twi-pires, "modern earth" would not exist.

Humans would be food, slaves, and fodder, not allowed near true technology.

Hiding was the dumbest move they could have made. Why let your enemy get strong when you can conquer them?

You're thinking the vampires would join together and conquer their common enemy, the humans.
But this world doesn't work that way. The humans aren't enemies, just easy inconsequential food.
The enemy is anyone who tries to destroy their long established way of life, like other vampires tying to
take over, throwing the world into chaos and messing with their beloved homes.
Vampires are very independent, territorial, protective of their hunting ground and don't bow down to authority.

Now I suppose after a few more centuries, when the humans become an actual threat, exposing them and even
destroying some of the Volturi, then the vampires would be forced to do something about them.

But they wouldn't enslave humans and become farmers. :? That's too much work.
Why farm animals, keeping them under constant observation, when they multiply on their own right in front of you.

Instead they would probably destroy all civilization, throwing mankind back into the Stone Age,
and then hide again for a few generations, until they become myth again and slowly be forgotten.
(Maybe they already did that a few times. ;) )

Of course humans have superiority in numbers, but the vampires can quickly change that, by creating
Newborn armies. (while others hide under ground or in the oceans somewhere waiting it out)
The southern wars in Mexico almost wiped out the humans there too, and that were vamps trying to be careful and fighting each other.
So unless the humans develop some miracle disease or radiation, to destroy all vamps around the planet very quickly, I don't think the humans would stand any chance.

Now the time afterwards would be very violent for the vamps too, fighting each other over the new scarcely populated hunting grounds.
So in the end only a fraction of the humans and vamps would survive, and things would start anew.
olorin
Settled in Forks
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:21 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Walking Around in the Newbie's Shoes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron