Date: 2009-11-26 08:09 am (UTC)
kamino_neko: Kamino Neko's grumpy icon. (Grumpy)
From: [personal profile] kamino_neko
What, it's nonsense that I don't agree?

No, your argument that it's realistic is nonsense.

It's not realistic, at all, to think that Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Lana Lang would keep up a love triangle after Lois and Clark were married - it's completely contrary to any of their characters.

Yes, it does happen.

But not to everybody. And not to people like Lois, Clark, and Lana.

You seem to be consciously ignoring the fact that Austen was choosing to depict Clark and Lois's marriage as unhappy during this period.

Quite the contrary. It's obvious that he's doing that. The problem is that there is no good reason to portray their marriage as unhappy, given the characters.

That he's completely ignoring the established characterization of established characters is not a defence of his writing.

I find it strange and unnerving that you characterize Lana as a "love-starved bitch" because she wanted to say to Clark, "Maybe you married the wrong person."

The fact that she won't let go of a man who's been in a happy marriage for years, and thinks he married the wrong woman, despite their having been happy for years? That's 'love-starved bitch' behaviour. That Austin decided to contrive it so that Lois and Clark were in the midst of marital problems doesn't change the fact that they'd been happily married for years.

Naming her son after Clark - who, when she's not written as an obsessive stalker, she's friends with, and who was also friends with her ex-husband? That, on the other hand, is NOT creepy stalker behaviour, on its own. It only becomes creepy when she's otherwise acting creepily. It's not at all uncommon to name children after friends. Especially when they're friends of both parents.

By the way, what the hell kind of stories do you think your super-boring Lana Lang could be in? By resolving the triangle you resolve out her entire reason for existing in the Superman cast (as opposed to the Superboy cast).

I don't know. Perhaps she can take in Clark's cousin. Or be part of Lois and Clark's personal and professional support circle.

Maybe she could try to help get LexCorp running as a legitimate company! (Or at least one not actively working against Superman.)

Nah, they'd NEVER do anything like that. It's not like Lana could POSSIBLY be a well-rounded character in her own right, after having dated Clark.

A Lana that exists only to be a complication in Lois and Clark's life - THAT is a super-boring Lana.

Also clich├ęd to a ridiculous extent, and utterly offensive.

Date: 2009-11-26 08:43 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lynxara
Your argument about realism is baffling. So it's not realistic because even though it happens, it doesn't happen to... people with imaginary personalities?

I mean, something happens or it doesn't. If it's a situation that happens, then the situation itself would qualify as realistic. Now, it may not be very convincing or interesting due to flaws of execution (such as "being written by Chuck Austen"), but that's another matter.

A writer needs no reason for writing a marriage as unhappy beyond, "I think this might be interesting." If you don't find it interesting, then maybe the story was poorly-written or maybe you just personally dislike stories about marital troubles. Either way, the problem isn't just that a writer decided to show a previously happy relationship becoming unhappy.

The thing with your analysis of Lana's attitude-- it ignores that Lana clearly stated that she once thought she was happy when she was married to Pete Ross. She believes that fell apart because deep down, her heart wasn't really in it. Lana does not have to be a defective human being to wonder if maybe Clark is in the same position. She is at worst projecting or deluded, which are flawed things people generally do.

I've got to say: all of your ideas for Lana are not things I would like to read. I do not believe they are things that would drive a plot with any sort of conflict or tension to it. These are ideas for half-page or page-long cameos you see once maybe every other month, especially the LexCorp stuff. None of them would explain why the camera is being pointed at her in a Superman book at all.

The "cliche" you attribute to Lana is in fact the only reason the character has ever been permitted to exist in a Superman book (as opposed to a Superboy book). It is her sole function. Anything you change it into reduces her to someone fundamentally finished, little more than set dressing that hints at an older, resolved plotline.

Now, that's fine if ultimately you just want Lana out of the books completely-- she is a character with a limited shelf life and Superman can get along just fine not acknowledging her. But if you're trying to argue that stripping Lana of her main function makes her a better character then you're mainly convincing me that you don't understand what a good character is.

As final note, I've got to say: rational people only seem to name kids after still-living friends in poorly-written stories, in my experience. I've never known an actual person to do this, usually because pediatricians and baby-naming books tend to advise against it (in my experience). It can give kids nasty identity complexes and baggage. If you know actual persons who behave like this anyway, I'm very sorry for everyone involved.

Date: 2009-11-26 10:32 am (UTC)
kamino_neko: Kamino Neko's default icon... (Uuuh)
From: [personal profile] kamino_neko
So it's not realistic because even though it happens, it doesn't happen to... people with imaginary personalities?

There are serial killers in the real world, too - that wouldn't make it realistic for Superman to suddenly go out and snap people's necks because he wants to, or for Lois to kill and eat people after picking them up at bars.

Just because something happens in the real world doesn't make it realistic for it to happen to any given character - it's only realistic if it happens to characters whose personalities or circumstances lend themselves to it happening.

A writer needs no reason for writing a marriage as unhappy beyond, "I think this might be interesting."

If he's creating his own characters, that's true. If he's creating his own characters, he can give them whatever the hell personalities he wants.

But, nominally, that's not what Austin was doing. He was supposedly writing long established characters with long established personalities, and a long established marriage.

When you're doing that, then you have to have a damn good in story reason to have their personalities, and the marriage that grows out of them, change.

Either way, the problem isn't just that a writer decided to show a previously happy relationship becoming unhappy.

No, the problem was that he suddenly, without justification, decided that a happy marriage was unhappy, despite the fact that that makes no sense with the characters he claimed he was writing.

Lana does not have to be a defective human being to wonder if maybe Clark is in the same position.

No, but she does have to have little to no understanding of the man that Clark is...which is not how Lana's portrayed by other writers.

Again, Austin is completely changing an established character unilaterally, because he wants to tell a story that doesn't make sense with the established characters that he's supposed to be writing.

I've got to say: all of your ideas for Lana are not things I would like to read. I do not believe they are things that would drive a plot with any sort of conflict or tension to it.

These are not my ideas - these are stories she's been involved in for the last 3 years.

And it's utterly bizarre that you think 'catfight number 1048' is a more interesting conflict than a reformer against a corrupt system, or that fighting over a man is a more interesting story than the developing relationship between the same two women once the conflict is resolved.

It is her sole function. Anything you change it into reduces her to someone fundamentally finished, little more than set dressing that hints at an older, resolved plotline.

You're kidding, right?

You can't seriously mean that 'multi-dimensional character, who exists as part of a realized world, interacting with other multi-dimensional characters, and taking part in different sorts of stories' is REDUCED from 'one-dimensional plot device', can you?

(And I find it somewhat amusing that you think it's more valid to arbitrarily change the personalities the main characters of the series than it is to have a supporting character grow up.)

But if you're trying to argue that stripping Lana of her main function makes her a better character then you're mainly convincing me that you don't understand what a good character is.

You know what? I'm fine with that.

Since you clearly have no idea what makes a good character, I'm fine with you thinking the same of me.

'Good characters' don't have 'a purpose'. They have multi-dimensional personalities that consist of more than offensive stereotypes.

Good characters, to put it simply, are more than plot devices.

Lana has the same purpose as Lois, Jimmy, Perry, Cat, Ma Kent, and so forth - to interact with Clark and the other characters, as part of stories that doesn't necessarily have to do with her trying to snag Clark.

His relationships with everyone around him have changed - Jimmy's no longer the doofy kid Superman's rescuing all the time, Lois is no longer a professional rival, he's no longer a child, so his relationship with his mother has shifted its balance. That doesn't make Jimmy, Lois, or Martha purposeless characters who should be removed - because they're not one-dimensional plot devices. (This isn't to say that the changes in their relationships have always been logical, or well written (vis: Cat Grant), just that it doesn't invalidate their continued existence that their relationships aren't the same as they were 30 years ago.)

Yes, she's part of his past - that doesn't mean she can't be part of his present without rehashing their history.

And, hell, if you're going to insist on having a single purpose for existing - there's her purpose right there! She'll always be something to Clark that Lois can't be, that Jimmy can't be, that Ma can't be - his childhood friend and first love. To say that that is a worthless character type in the present reduces Lana and Clark as characters.

She'll always be to Lois something that Clark can't be, that Martha can't be, that Lucy couldn't be - someone who shares the experience of loving Clark romantically. That they've managed to get past the conflict based on that is exceptional, yes, but it's not unrealistic (it happens, and their personalities are exactly the type that would do it), nor does it 'reduce' them.

Old lovers don't always walk out of people's lives. They don't always cause problems when they're still in them, whether by choice, or by circumstances.

Sometimes they do that, yes.

But other times, when the personalities are right - when there's no jealousy, when lingering feelings are reigned in...then they can co-exist without problems. When the personalities mesh really well, they can even be friends.

But since we're clearly in completely different spheres, I'm done with this argument.

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