Merlin spoilers (was Re: Ready for Merlin?)

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Sun Jun 29 14:43:40 EDT 2003


Ania wrote in reply to me:

>> There's no doubt that Nick resented it; though, he says so himself.  Not
>> entirely Rupert's suspicious mind, I think.
>Well, no-one is so noble that s/he would not feel at least one teensy pang
>of resentment at having some chance of a lifetime snatched away because some
>inconsiderate so-and-so chose to get into trouble, fall ill, die, whatever,
>at precisely the wrong time. It's not the same as acting on it.

I think we're agreeing furiously here.  I started out, as far as I recall,
from the basis that I don't think Nick is all that bad; he's just quite
young and has some learning yet to do, and has had to be self-centred as
all-get-out to survive having a mother like that.

>> Not sure I understand this.  If not-needy, then presumably everyone who is
>> needy at all is needier than him.  So not-pandering could be construed as
>> "lacking sympathy with something he doesn't himself suffer", which is not
>> so much confident as unimaginative, surely...
>What I was getting at was that confident people can be quite oblivious to
>the fact that others are not. Which forces those less confident/more needy
>to get off their own backsides and do something, instead of waiting to be
>rescued, so it's not a bad thing. I hasten to add that I am moving onto the
>general here, out of the DS/Merl context.

Ah!  Yes, makes sense.  Dragging it back briefly to DS/Merl, I'm not sure
how confidant Nick really is, his confidence that he can do things and that
he can survive things is clear enough but he seeks approval rather a lot.
It's in the "is it right?" bit, not the "is it possible?", that he needs to
be bolstered up occasionally and told he's doing ok.

>I think I may have ranted a little because neediness is a
>particular pet hate of mine. It tends to go with helplessness and utter lack
>of dignity. Another name for this revolting condition is 'psychic
>vampirism'. You know these people who leave you emotionally drained after
>spending anything more than twenty minutes with them? Who blame all their
>misfortunes on others? Who are incapable of accepting any responsibility for
>their own fate? Grrr....

Sometimes psychic vampirism is a very nasty thing indeed, involving a fit
and healthy individual who seeks out those in trouble, "sympathises", gets
*them* into dependence and then enjoys their helplessness.  That is one of
the behaviours I classify as simply "evil"; and if I meet it, I make a
mental note that the individual practising it is utterly unacceptable, to
me, now and forever.  No second chances.  If they fell into a river full of
hungry crocodiles, I would only pull 'em out on the grounds that the crocs
might be members of an endangered species and we souldn't want them
poisoned.

The "oh please look after me I'm only a poor helpless creature who can't
cope with the horrors of my cruel life and everyone always lets me down" is
a different aspect, and it is utterly utterly maddening but I don't feel
it's actively *evil*, it's more sort of passively ghastly.  I think maybe
it goes along with the old-fashioned word "fecklessness" (feckless meaning
spiritless, hopeless, futile, according to Chambers).  It may be a
thoroughly bad sort of habitual behaviour and need kicking, hard, or it may
be a temporary bout of depression causing it, in which case kicking won't
help.  The nuisance is working out which it is in order to treat it
accordingly.

Minnow


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