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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:02 pm    Post subject: How Come? ... Reply with quote

How does Mr Donaldson manage to pursuade our sympathies and support toward the thief, murderer and rapist that is Angus Thrmopyle? (views broader than 'genius' much appreciated)
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Angus eventually looks better than the true villains of the piece when contrasted to them and in light of his role in the demise thereof.

2. The layers of abuse which he endures prior to and during the story evoke our sympathies.

3. The glimpses of his internal thoughts and conflicts allow us to identify with the aspects of Angus which exist (albeit denied) within us.

4. Angus' redemption, and the role played by those who had great reason to hate him most, completes the emotional jigsaw and allows us to end up supporting him.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:51 am    Post subject: Re: How Come? ... Reply with quote

Nunez wrote:
How does Mr Donaldson manage to pursuade our sympathies and support toward the thief, murderer and rapist that is Angus Thrmopyle? (views broader than 'genius' much appreciated)


I'm one of the few people who did NOT sympathize towards Angus at the end.

I Loved the GAP series. Like, LOVED loved it. Right up until Angus got off Scot-free.

If he was just some sort of petty Ore Thief, then fine. Let him get away with the ship and all of its cargo.
But he killed entire mining camps.
He sold a SHIP LOAD of people to the AMNION.

When people talk about how he redeemed himself, they forget that about ten seconds before he killed Holt Fasner, he killed two innocent men.

I think he should have blown up Holt's ship, with himself on it.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. Interesting. I'm grateful Savor Dan, as I'm particularly interested in the means by which he achieves this, whatever our moral stance from that. Number 3 makes me uncomfortable, though I don't deny it. I'm looking forward to a re-read, more than ever. It's some time since I was last able to discuss writing in this way, with people who share the interest to this extent (actually, about 40 years! since I was at college doing Literature, history and philosophy). It can be one of the many layers I can take a closer look at. I love the notion that it's about the text .... that it's all in there. But ...

looking at Drew's response, makes me think it's also about what we bring to the reading, the people we are and the experiences we've had. The text is understood and interpreted by that. Hence people having different reactions to Angus. My personal experiences, as a product of my particular culture, make me take a standpoint of moral judgement I think, so I should damn Angus - he is, after all, a mass-murderer and rapist - and yet, I don't and infact regard him as a kind of hero. This can only be the text working on me and that's the bit I want to explore further and understand.

That's just my long-winded way of saying I'm so glad I'm getting my appetite back.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's ultimately what actions you believe made him despicable, in my opinion. If it was his treatment of Morn, like SD says, Morn 'allows' him to redeem himself of that action. Everything else, we see that he is merely trying to survive... and it costs a lot for him to survive.

If, however, it is other actions that make him despicable to you (as in Drew's case) it's tougher. The people he betrayed or killed are not there to enable him a 'clean' redemption.

Ultimately, I think we need to view him as a despicable character that did manage to do good towards the end and who may have even had a little change of heart. But his crimes still remain, his terrible acts were still done.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the simplest way, I think it is just
He was awful...[but for actual reasons, tough to say "justifiable," just saying "understandable."]
He isn't awful now [and the lessons that changed him are almost as harsh and terrible as the ones that made him awful].
He gave 20 or 30 to the amnion? But he also just saved a billion times that many.
Those last two may have been innocent/victims...but they were Holt's. And from what I remember of the descriptions of them, they weren't even people anymore.
But it's a kind of dynamic we can't usually abide in the real world, only in the fictional. [OR historical...we're fine with it as long as they've been cold a while].
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I talk about it a bit at the bottom of this post (in our Gap dissection), but not really about the how. More just the fact of it.

How I would have to think about. Or reread.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who is worse the corrupt law maker or the human who is driven by past experience too know nothing of right and wrong.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Angus was intelligent enough to know that selling a ship load of innocent people to an alien race, bent on taking over humanity, just so he can learn the secret of deleting files off of his datacore; the files of which would have had him executed on numerous subjects...was 'a not-nice thing to do'

Angus had a shitty upbringing; he wasn't mentally incompetent

I've been in this argument before.
I've read the GAP twice; I'm not changing my mind. I don't like how Angus got a get-out-of-jail-free card.

He wasn't just a petty thug; he had no remorse about (the dozens of innocent) people he ever killed...and I don't think he ever would.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If Ted Bundy had been broken out of prison, and then he single handedly rescued every kid from a burning orphanage, I still don't think he should be entitled to his own private jet. Full of money.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

drew wrote:
I think Angus was intelligent enough to know that selling a ship load of innocent people to an alien race, bent on taking over humanity, just so he can learn the secret of deleting files off of his datacore; the files of which would have had him executed on numerous subjects...was 'a not-nice thing to do'


He just didn't care. His own survival was more important to him than any other consideration. No, not his own survival...staying free of the power of others to harm him.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While Angus was certainly a monster... I can understand his choosing to become one, given his history.

Holt, on the other hand, had no excuse for his corruption.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is Angus absolved by his past suffering though? He shouldn't really be. Or is he redeemed by keeping his bargains?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess another question would be,

"Is the Angus that flies off at the end of the series the same Angus that committed all of the crimes?"

He was fundamentally transformed in a number of ways, both physically and emotionally by the events of the story. And let's not forget - he isn't technically "free".

Spoiler:
He still has programming that prevents him from ever returning home.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spoiler:
...and there is one remaining uninvoked keyword in his datacore. In computer parlance, such are called Easter Eggs -- but this one is rather the opposite of the literal sense of Easter Egg, both in the context of the keyword and in its effect on Angus when/if invoked.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why are we spoiler tagging everything here?? Very Happy

The original question pertains to the ending of the series.

Safe to say, that if someone is joining in, then they must have read the ending. Wink
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough, drew.

It also occurred to me that the only people who knew about "sepulchre" were Hashi and Warden. Warden only knew when Hashi told him about that additional level of programming...and Warden is gone now. This means that Hashi is the only one who can invoke this command...unless he shares that knowledge again.

I am also thinking that open access to the databases and capabilities welded into Angus are a greater gift than the ship and data which he acquired from Holt...but I don't think any of us expect SRD to return to this story, so we really do not know what use Angus will make of his gifts and freedom.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith and Drew have given the salient points here, I believe. I agree with Drew that Angus shouldn't have been rewarded with freedom and a ship. He should have paid for his crimes, much like Warden (who didn't commit nearly the crimes of Angus) did. Sure, he helped to save a lot of people, but I think the only way he could have even approached redemption would have been to sacrifice himself, to give his life.

However, as Vraith says, this is fiction and not real life. We cut Angus some slack as readers that we wouldn't cut him in real life. All the points Vraith listed are good, but he left one point out: sheer badassery. Angus was a freakin cyborg, with badass powers, and the ability to hand that dick Succorso his ass. As members of an audience craving an exciting story, we enjoy seeing someone get what is coming to him, particularly if it is done in a spectacularly dramatic fashion. Boring bad guys are probably a greater "sin" than human-selling badasses, from a story-telling perspective. We are able to "forgive" Angus (as a character, not as a person) because he entertains us, he thrills us. He is a *good* character, in terms of being well-crafted, not morally good ... and our mind blurs the distinction. Now granted, Nick is a good character, too. But he's arrogant. Even worse: he becomes pathetic, even as he clings to his arrogance long after it's even remotely justified. Though his crimes aren't a fraction of Angus' crimes, we don't like him as much because he's a dick, which is a worse crime from a character standpoint than being a monster. Monsters are fascinating for their horror. Dicks just piss you off.

One final facet of the "badass factor" is that we all wish we could ignore authority. We all wish we had the power to break the rules, to get revenge on those who wronged us, to be free from those who would control us. Angus allows us to live out these fantasies vicariously.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Angus did pay for his crimes--he was tortured while being held in Com-Mine lockup for months before being reqqed and welded.

What allows us to feel sympathy for Angus is the fact that the crimes committed by other people--specifically Holt Fasner (withholding the immunity drug, underfunding the UMCP, keeping his mother alive) and, to a lesser extent, Ward and Hashi (agreeing to withhold the immunity drug, welding people, etc)--are worse than Angus' crimes because of their magnitude. Angus committed crimes against individuals or small groups only as needed; Holt committed crimes against billions of people for decades.

Don't forget Angus' mother. Is anything he did worse than what she did?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:


Don't forget Angus' mother. Is anything he did worse than what she did?


-Selling a ship-load of innocent people to the amnion?
-Blowing up an entire mining camp, and severely torturing the only survivor, and only letting her go when he had to?


If Warden didn't have Angus, he would have tried to find someone else.
The only reason Angus worked so well for him, is that Angus can kill people without any remorse. For Example; the people on Billingate.

I DON'T feel empathy for Angus. Never Once when I read the books.
It suck that he was abused as a child, yes.
What if some of the people he tortured and killed over the years had also been abused children. Does that make it better or worse? It doens't actually make any difference.

Yes, he was abused (severely) as an innocent child.
But he went on to (severely) torture, abuse and murder people, without a shred of remorse.

Never in the books, does he ever feel any remorse for anybody that he tortured or sold, or murdered; other than feeling slightly awkward around Morn.

Granted, I felt bad for him when Milos was shitting in his mouth. Milos was a prick.

But Angus wasn't just a neighbourhood thug. He was Timothy McVeigh + Jefferey Dahmer. And in the end, he made out like a bandit. And still didn't feel a shred or remorse for anything he had done.
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