Ding, ding, ding went the trolley.....

The teenage years. Friendships, crushes, growth... and hating. Lots of hating.

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Postby oddtail on Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:49 pm

Papuasblya wrote:
CEOIII wrote:
My eyes are up here!


No straight guy on the planet has EVER said that. EVER.


My point exactly. If he were straight he would have no idea what she's looking at for the simple reason that he'd be staring at her Dairy Queens or the Devil's Triangle himself. Look folks, as much as you want to believe otherwise, straight guys are hardwired differently than Marshall. Sure, some of them resist the urge to punch every ticket presented, but this guy doesn't even LOOK at her like she turns him on. I sincerely hope it's just because he's gay, because the other alternatives are really frightening. He could have been abused, he could be a religious nut, or worse yet, a Republican...


I can't talk for every guy on planet, but: I'm not gay (I'm certain of that), I'm not a religious nut (I disagree with what my religion says on sex actually, so I go with my conscience). I have never been abused in any way. And I'm certainly not Republican (well DUH, I'm not from US), not that I know what it has to do with anything (for the record: I'm politically liberal, more than your usual US Democrat, too).

And as for his looking like he's not turned on - I beg to differ. Note the exclamation mark in his sentence - he has to be reacting strongly if he raised his voice. We've NEVER seen him lose his calmness (is that the word?).

Last thing: if a guy is self-conscious (which is possible for Marshal) or shy or whatever, he'll do some staring, but he'll primarily feel concerned with his own nekkidness. I know for a fact a few guys like that. Don't know what it has to do with being gay.
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Postby Enaronia on Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:50 pm

Papuasblya wrote:
CEOIII wrote:
My eyes are up here!


No straight guy on the planet has EVER said that. EVER.


My point exactly. If he were straight he would have no idea what she's looking at for the simple reason that he'd be staring at her Dairy Queens or the Devil's Triangle himself. Look folks, as much as you want to believe otherwise, straight guys are hardwired differently than Marshall. Sure, some of them resist the urge to punch every ticket presented, but this guy doesn't even LOOK at her like she turns him on. I sincerely hope it's just because he's gay, because the other alternatives are really frightening. He could have been abused, he could be a religious nut, or worse yet, a Republican...

It took Karen that long to look. I think Marshall can resist a little bit longer. Especially since he's mad.

Sweeping generalizations about a huge and very diverse group of people or not, straight men, like everyone else, are not forced to stare stupidly at something that attracts them. It is sudden nudity that he's never seen before, but he still can look away, or make a point of not looking in the first place, which is what he seems to be doing.

I suppose that all straight men aren't wired that way--but that's why I don't make generalizations like that; I'm just talking about this one individual.
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Postby miarrow on Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:50 pm

Trollroot wrote:If he is not gay, he is seriously abnormal. "My eyes are up here"? That argues some kind of bad emotional trauma in his past. Maybe he has some endoctrinal difficulties, but I'd be more inclined to a psycological problem.


Or maybe he's not too keen on someone eyeing his package after jumping in on him the shower. I don't think that just because he wants to wait makes him gay (especially since they're what? 16?) and I don't think getting annoyed that Karen has made herself so forward (which really guys don't usually like) to jump in with him naked, it's a natural reaction.

Maybe Stan would have reacted differently. Maybe Rich too, but Marshall it makes perfect sense. I see Duane falling out the shower in a comically fashion and Jack probably not moving.

Just because Marshall at such a young age doesn't feel like screwing his girlfriend in a shower when he's already stated his view point (also, hello condom?), or even want to be in the shower naked with her (that's like the "oh we'll just cuddle naked thing).

I don't personally care what Marshall's orientation is (although the bagging on his name to make it strictly a gay or straight name is rude), but I don't think e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e should be considered gay, just because they're not a sex hound.
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Re: Just to clarify two things

Postby Ollie_Vera on Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:55 pm

Papuasblya wrote:2) I'm not down on Marshall: if he's gay, so what, so he's gay Marshall.

Then stop pushing it so much.
I'm just saying that the frames we have seen of him go beyond "oh what a nice boy" -- while it would be admirable for a straight man to proceed cautiously towards physical intimacy, it would be unnatural for him to do so with NO INTERNAL STRUGGLE whatsoever. He appears to have no sex drive at all.

Yesss. Because any man who made up his mind about something and has obvious morals is CLEARLY GAY.
We never see him kiss Karen,

Boy are you observant.
...about how to respond to Miss Do Me Now and her blatant offers of a quick trip to the Temple of Venus, we never see him taking a cold shower or coming out of a bathroom with a relieved look on his face, we never see him talking to anyone about her, we never even see him turning to some religious force to keep El Monstro from taking over his brain.

Uhm, just because we don't SEE it happening, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Marshall has had a fairly small amount of focus on him in general; all we REALLY know about him is that he's unsure of himself in the relationship, and Marsh seems like the type not to go into sex until he felt the relationship was really steady and felt more sure about it.
A chaste teenage heartthrob is possibly realistic

Possibly realistic?

Are you a girl who has known only guys who have a little self-control, or a guy who IS one of those guys? Because wow, how little you know. :-?

When we do see him encountering heterosexual intercourse, it is with either forceful rejection ('birthday girl wants cake'),

He already said no, and she kept pushing/complaining.
serious discomfort (the episode where Brandi is having A Real Good Time),

Karen had the same reaction.
or anger and disgust ('my eyes are up here').

Because he's trying to talk to her and she's not paying attention. :roll: It's just a girl talking to a guy about something, only he can't get her eyes off her chest. But of course, since it's a girl doing it to a guy, he's obviously gay for not liking it, right? Someone in another topic said it quite well: "Well, that could be why he said it. To make a point: He's saying the same thing to show her it's the same thing."
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Postby willow_41z on Wed Sep 27, 2006 3:53 pm

Remember that Marshall works at a gym and is used to seeing girls in various states of scanty clothing. In this strip, either he or the woman for whom he does yard work (probably the latter, look at the last panel) took off Aggie's shirt and pants; either way, he was right there, yet no one is questioning his lack of response/desire there. Granted, Aggie has underwear on, but I think he's just comfortable with the sight of the female form. Just because he's not staring at Karen doesn't make him gay; given that we don't know all that she's tried before, he may very well have seen her in various states of undress before this, too.
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Postby isobel on Wed Sep 27, 2006 4:01 pm

Jesus. Fucking. Christ.

"If a guy's not ruled by his cock, it's because he's gay!" That's one of the dumber things I've ever heard, anywhere. Marshall is probably treated like meat by women-- look at Karen's birthday party, they were ogling him like a new pair of Prada shoes. He seems like the kind of person to hate being objectified, and let's face it, who wouldn't? Now Karen comes along after he's made glowing speeches about how great of a girl she is in front of a massive audience and treats him exactly like a blow-up doll. Who in their right mind would not be pissed off about that? As for why he doesn't want to have sex with Karen, well, I strongly suspect based on his level of independence that verges on paranoia (See the strip where Aggie passes out jogging, and he freaks at her because "You have to take care of yourself, no one else will!" That says trauma to me), plus the fact he seems to be very sensitive and emotionally fragile (I have a friend, male and straight, who doesn't like sex because it's too emotionally intimate and he doesn't want to get hurt by a girl; he takes a while to give it up because it is a trust issue with him), indicates it is not her being ugly or him being gay, it is him having some serious qualms about sex, trust and intimacy. His girlfriend is a pushy bitch who shows no regard for his opinions whatsoever, and erection in the shower or no, he's going to be pretty fucking angry. Complain at me and call me names all you want, but the notion any man not fucking any woman who'll have him is beyond ludicrous.
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Postby Ollie_Vera on Wed Sep 27, 2006 4:22 pm

isobel wrote:snippo

Preach on, sistah! Image Or brotha, since I'm not sure which you are yet.
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Postby Miyo on Wed Sep 27, 2006 4:24 pm

isobel wrote:Jesus. Fucking. Christ.

"If a guy's not ruled by his cock, it's because he's gay!" That's one of the dumber things I've ever heard, anywhere. Marshall is probably treated like meat by women-- look at Karen's birthday party, they were ogling him like a new pair of Prada shoes. He seems like the kind of person to hate being objectified, and let's face it, who wouldn't? Now Karen comes along after he's made glowing speeches about how great of a girl she is in front of a massive audience and treats him exactly like a blow-up doll. Who in their right mind would not be pissed off about that? As for why he doesn't want to have sex with Karen, well, I strongly suspect based on his level of independence that verges on paranoia (See the strip where Aggie passes out jogging, and he freaks at her because "You have to take care of yourself, no one else will!" That says trauma to me), plus the fact he seems to be very sensitive and emotionally fragile (I have a friend, male and straight, who doesn't like sex because it's too emotionally intimate and he doesn't want to get hurt by a girl; he takes a while to give it up because it is a trust issue with him), indicates it is not her being ugly or him being gay, it is him having some serious qualms about sex, trust and intimacy. His girlfriend is a pushy bitch who shows no regard for his opinions whatsoever, and erection in the shower or no, he's going to be pretty fucking angry. Complain at me and call me names all you want, but the notion any man not fucking any woman who'll have him is beyond ludicrous.


Amen.
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Postby Freemage on Wed Sep 27, 2006 4:39 pm

Oddtail: "Strong reaction" could just be anger/discomfort, not necessarily arousal.

Ollie_Vera wrote:Uhm, just because we don't SEE it happening, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Marshall has had a fairly small amount of focus on him in general; all we REALLY know about him is that he's unsure of himself in the relationship, and Marsh seems like the type not to go into sex until he felt the relationship was really steady and felt more sure about it.


And just because we haven't SEEN the severed heads in his refrigerator doesn't mean they aren't there. And just because we haven't seen him beat Karen doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

So let's go with what we have seen--which is significant both in what's there and what isn't. There's no passion, no really strong show of desire on his part. There IS a lot of emotional distance and insecurity. Does that necessarily add up to 'gay'? No. It DOES suggest, however, that he's carrying around as many 'issues' as Karen--he just does a better job of not displaying them for the world to see.
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Postby courdorygrrl on Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:11 pm

Papuasblya wrote:
courdorygrrl wrote:
I'm just opinionated, offensive, and shallow-minded at times


In my experience...that IS the definition of a troll.



Ah, so in order not to be a troll I should also become self-righteous. Noted.


Oh, so now I'm self-righteous? Apparently, you didn't read any part of my post past the first sentence. Thanks a bunch.

I call double troll.
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Postby JK9000 on Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:23 pm

Freemage wrote:So let's go with what we have seen--which is significant both in what's there and what isn't. There's no passion, no really strong show of desire on his part. There IS a lot of emotional distance and insecurity. Does that necessarily add up to 'gay'? No. It DOES suggest, however, that he's carrying around as many 'issues' as Karen--he just does a better job of not displaying them for the world to see.


The hell you seeing this stuff, man? Seriously. Show me, quote me this emotional distance of Marshall's. 'Cuz as far I've seen...

Bam.
Bam.
Bam.
Bam.
Bam.


I don't know how you define "show of desire", but dating, kissing, hugging, bedside cuddling, groping (no, he didn't do the groping, but he wasn't complaining), giving gifts, defending her infront of a large crowd... All that checks out in my book. If you want roof top seranades, go look up Duane, 'cuz that's not how Marshall does it.

I did check out some emotional distance and insecurity, tho. Here. I would like to note, however; it is Karen who's mandating the emotional distance ("keep him at arms lengths"), and Marshall's who's insecrure about the relationship... 'cuz of Karen. Not any wierd past or hang-up of his.

Now, Karen is insecure, but it has nothing to do with emotional distance. It's physical distance- specifically, the no sex part. Again, I cite the panel where Karen cops a feel, and Marshall reacts with surprise, then turning to her with a smile. He clearly doesn't have a problem with physical romance, he just draws the line at sex. Which guys can do without being abnormal.

But that's not good enough for Karen. She has to have sex, and nothing less will settle. The mantra "pretty people do what they want" has ruled her for most of her life, and is she isn't pretty enough to do what she wants-- in this case, having sex with Marshall in direct defiance with his feelings and morals-- then what shifting ground she's built her newfound, shaking confidence on will be gone.

It's all physical for Karen. Emotions don't play into it for her... Or at least, Marshall's don't. Selfish is the word. I feel pretty good about placing most of the blame for this shame of a relationship on Karen. I mean, Christ, what do you people want from him? Being kind, generous, supporting, and loving is no longer good enough?

Also, not a troll, people.
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Postby TheTeague on Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:57 pm

Ok, JK9000 has convinced me to stop raggin on Marshall. He is an all-around great guy and hasn't done anything wrong.

Although, I still don't like him. The problem with the Mr. Perfect characters is that they don't think of themselves as that great. And that humility along with the pretty boy looks, boringly sereine emotional center, and Budda-level wisdom just make him that much superior to all the actual human beings surrounding him.
But try I'll not let my personal bias color my judgement anymore.
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Re: Just to clarify two things

Postby Papuasblya on Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:36 pm

Sebastian wrote:
Papuasblya wrote:
Rinoa wrote:
Papuasblya wrote:We never see him kiss Karen...

That's not true. Proof by contradiction: http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20050927.html
And for the record, he looks far more into it than she does. Does that make Karen a lesbian?


1) Guest artist, not canon, not useful as evidence.


The artist was a guest but the writer was always T. It is canon.


And Marshall is planting it on her CHEEK.
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My last word

Postby Papuasblya on Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:51 pm

Okay. I've read everything all of you wrote and I am not going to heckle my disagreement. Instead, I'll say the following:

1) Whether straight or gay, Marshall IS interesting for the fact that he acts against type.

2) If straight, then he is also interesting because there's more than just moral fibre here -- he's certainly acting with admirable restraint and care, but the sheer force of his rejection of her physical advances suggests that, as many of you noted, there must be some story to why he is so reactionary (not politically, just in terms of reflexes) about his no-sex-yet stance.

3) If gay, he is interesting because it's about time a character in this story fill out that segment of the population. I happen to believe he's gay, and if he is, I believe that the way that will be dealt with in the story will be in terms a lot more sensitive (albeit probably a lot less funny) than the ones I use. It will also be interesting to see how everyone reacts -- Karen, I suspect, will be a nightmare about it.

4) For the umpteenth time, I'm not condemning him, straight or gay, for his position on sex with Karen. It's admirable. I'm not condemning him for the strength of his convictions. That's also admirable. I'm not saying that in order to be straight he'd have to be a dog. I do believe there are a lot of guys his age who are making the same choice faced with the same temptations -- I just have trouble believing that he's really tempted.

Now that's all I have to say except to ask, how hard is it to become a TRIPLE troll?
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Postby Freemage on Thu Sep 28, 2006 12:58 am

JK9000 wrote:
Freemage wrote:So let's go with what we have seen--which is significant both in what's there and what isn't. There's no passion, no really strong show of desire on his part. There IS a lot of emotional distance and insecurity. Does that necessarily add up to 'gay'? No. It DOES suggest, however, that he's carrying around as many 'issues' as Karen--he just does a better job of not displaying them for the world to see.


The hell you seeing this stuff, man? Seriously. Show me, quote me this emotional distance of Marshall's. 'Cuz as far I've seen...

Bam.


Kiss on the cheek, and I've danced closer with girls I had no interest in, and who had no interest in me.



If they were standing, they could pass the classic "shine a light between them" test that used to be insisted upon by chaperones in a more genteel age. Look at the body language--he's facing the ceiling, she is facing him.



You seem to have stopped reading this right after the grope. Note that even with that lead-in, he's simply not thinking on that level, at all, until Karen re-introduces it.



Probably the most persuasive of the strips, for your argument, because of the off-camera lines (and I WISH we could have seen him, rather than Aggie, during that exchange). However, again, look at the body language in the background of frame 4. Is he leaning over, embracing her closely, maybe even murmuring something romantic in her ear? No. He's standing ramrod-stiff, hands on her hips, like they're about to waltz.



Frankly, this left me unimpressed. Again, it's the sort of thing a good friend might do, as well. He admires Karen, supports her--but he doesn't say anything about how he feels about her. Oh, and by the way--a pedestal is just another form of distance.

I don't know how you define "show of desire", but dating, kissing, hugging, bedside cuddling, groping (no, he didn't do the groping, but he wasn't complaining), giving gifts, defending her infront of a large crowd... All that checks out in my book. If you want roof top seranades, go look up Duane, 'cuz that's not how Marshall does it.


Nope. Again, it's not desire--looking at the strips you highlighted, all I really see is someone doing all the things he thinks someone in a relationship should do.

I did check out some emotional distance and insecurity, tho. Here. I would like to note, however; it is Karen who's mandating the emotional distance ("keep him at arms lengths"), and Marshall's who's insecrure about the relationship... 'cuz of Karen. Not any wierd past or hang-up of his.


So, then, he was just a bundle of personal security and intimacy before he met her, hm?

Now, Karen is insecure, but it has nothing to do with emotional distance. It's physical distance- specifically, the no sex part. Again, I cite the panel where Karen cops a feel, and Marshall reacts with surprise, then turning to her with a smile. He clearly doesn't have a problem with physical romance, he just draws the line at sex. Which guys can do without being abnormal.


And standing a bit further from her.

But that's not good enough for Karen. She has to have sex, and nothing less will settle. The mantra "pretty people do what they want" has ruled her for most of her life, and is she isn't pretty enough to do what she wants-- in this case, having sex with Marshall in direct defiance with his feelings and morals-- then what shifting ground she's built her newfound, shaking confidence on will be gone.


The closest intimacy we've seen between them is a butt-grab (which she initiated) a cheek-kiss and being simultaneously horizontal with no contact between them.

It's all physical for Karen. Emotions don't play into it for her... Or at least, Marshall's don't. Selfish is the word. I feel pretty good about placing most of the blame for this shame of a relationship on Karen. I mean, Christ, what do you people want from him? Being kind, generous, supporting, and loving is no longer good enough?


Oh, I fully agree that Karen's ignoring Marshall's emotions and being selfish. I have yet to hear anyone posting that her behavior is typical, normal and totally acceptable, though. But there's this contingent that seems to believe that Marshall craps gold and walks on water in his spare time. I don't buy it, and I think there's lots of hints indicating that there's more going on underneath the surface than these folks realize.

Since we've been looking at identical strips and seeing the opposite content, I really don't see much more point in going 'round and 'round on this; if there's a dramatic reveal coming about Marshall, it'll come when T and Giselle are ready for it to, and no sooner.
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Postby isobel on Thu Sep 28, 2006 6:31 am

My final thought on the Marshall matter is this, not that it's particularly important: I will not consider Marshall gay until I hear it from him, because so far his actions don't lead me to believe he is.

Yeah yeah, I know gay guys can be confused or in denial or even trying to "fix" themselves and date girls, but that's not all of 'em. I think he's just a sensitive, probably traumatized young man who doesn't feel up to the responsibilities and potential consequences of sex (with anyone). If he chooses to tell us otherwise, so be it.
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Postby atristain on Thu Sep 28, 2006 6:50 am

Papuasblya wrote:
catpryde wrote:If he was female and Karen were female it would be seen as attempts at rape.


If he was female and Karen were female, this comic strip would have a much larger readership...

It would also require a fee and a login to access it...Not that I know those kind of comics . :-|

isobel wrote:"If a guy's not ruled by his cock, it's because he's gay!"

So, people with "alternative life-styles" are those free of being mind-controlled by poultry? :-?

Freemage wrote:But there's this contingent that seems to believe that Marshall craps gold and walks on water in his spare time.

You forgot turning water into energy drinks, and raising girls from complete exhaustion, you...you... heathen. :wink:
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Postby JK9000 on Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:04 am

Freemage wrote: But there's this contingent that seems to believe that Marshall craps gold and walks on water in his spare time. I don't buy it, and I think there's lots of hints indicating that there's more going on underneath the surface than these folks realize.


Well, as to that... I can't speak for others, but I'm not really a fan of Marshall. I think he's overly reserved, naive, and has problems dealing with people. I'm pretty sure we agree on that point.

I just don't think it's wrong him to be so, I suppose. I mean, yeah, he'd benefit from learning how to interact with people better, and if we met I probably wouldn't like the guy too much, but I can't say his personality as-is is aberrate or defective. It's not like he has this soul-crushing inability to connect with people on an emotional level.

Mostly, I just see him as a victim here.

Freemage wrote:Since we've been looking at identical strips and seeing the opposite content, I really don't see much more point in going 'round and 'round on this; if there's a dramatic reveal coming about Marshall, it'll come when T and Giselle are ready for it to, and no sooner.


Agreed.
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Postby isobel on Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:51 am

atristain, that was kind of my point. The general tenor of the comments have been that Marshall's not being a horndog is the key factor in his being gay, and/or that the only thing to keep him from boning Karen would be homosexuality, since all "real" men would jump her the minute she looked at him. I find that silly. I have known horny gay boys, as well as gay boys who did not sleep around or even sleep with their boyfriend that much. I have also known straight man-sluts, as well as straight guys with no sex drive whatsoever. Orientation does not determine how much sex you want to have, just who you wanna have it with.

I am now done stating the obvious, sorry for the tangent, I just felt the sudden urge to waffle on and on like a crazy old bat. XD

EDIT: I am terrified of creating another big gigantic issue over Marshall's sexuality with this random tangent of mine, so I will say now that yes, it is also possible he wants sex, just not with Karen or any other girl. I know there is always that possibility lurking in the shadows. I'm just tangenting and I'm not going to say Marshall is definitively straight (I think he is, but I'm not omniscient) until we hear it from him. So please please please leave this?
Last edited by isobel on Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Stella Polaris on Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:54 am

I thought Karen looked delighted at whatever was going on in Marshall's lower end. I'd say he did have a hard on, he just isn't ready for sex yet.
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Postby atristain on Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:28 am

isobel wrote:atristain, that was kind of my point.

Oops. Guess it was the wrong moment to do a pun to lighten up things a wee. :oops: Sorry if my comment offended you. (or anyone else) Perhaps it was the emoticon the one that misled you.
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Postby Yawnitz on Thu Sep 28, 2006 12:56 pm

My complaint about this whole thing is T&G have been consistent in how they present the comic, and you've been ignoring that.

If a person likes someone, they're depicted observing them from afar before they act on their desires. If this happens in an up-coming comic between Marshall and some other guy, then I'll post to admit how wrong I was.

It's okay if you assume Marshall is gay, but it would really help your argument if you include a link to a strip where he's googly-eyed looking at a guy. So far, any emotion he's expressed at all has only been directed at Karen.

Yes, Marshall can still be a bit of a wild-card, but I think the foundation has been pretty well laid, as far as Marshall goes. For some reason, you want to make something else of the groundwork. It hasn't been completely revealed, but we do have a lot to go on.

I'm curious about something, though. If a comic were drawn where Marshall were standing there, minding his own business, would you still think he was gay if an angel and a devil appeared on each side of him and shouted, "HE'S NOT HOMOSEXUAL!" Then, as an aside, the devil thinks to himself, "Believe me, I've tried..."
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Postby isobel on Thu Sep 28, 2006 2:23 pm

I'm so paranoid on this board that I've done something un-PC or that I'm about to have people ripping into me that I feel it's safer to go off on a big explanatory tangent just in case.

But for what it's worth, my first reaction to that was "Snrk. Hurr hurr, chicken joke." XD
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Postby Grizkey on Thu Sep 28, 2006 3:04 pm

hm...just out of curiosity, has anyone thought of how Karen will react of Marshall really is gay (unlikely)

The girls self-esteem is already pretty warped,
so imagine what that little revelation will do to her.

It'd be like a slap in the face, almost as if Marshall would be saying
"You were no good, so I'm switching sides".

Just a thought.[/i]
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Postby Archon Divinus on Thu Sep 28, 2006 7:54 pm

Yawnitz wrote:It's okay if you assume Marshall is gay, but it would really help your argument if you include a link to a strip where he's googly-eyed looking at a guy.


I disagree, after all look at how many people think that Sara is gay without her ever getting googly-eyed over girls. And if we don't need overt hints about Sara's sexuality, we don't need them for Marshall. His actions are enough to make him seem gay to some people,and I'm inclined to agree. Just about every time we've seen himwith Karen lately, he's been very stiff and distant. And it could be because he feels objectified or is uncormfortable with sex at thispoint, but all his actions seem very, very strange to me. I don't know a single teenaged boy that would push away that hard who wasn't religious.
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