Phoebe / What makes her tick? (Warning: long)

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Phoebe / What makes her tick? (Warning: long)

Postby MarkusN on Thu Apr 10, 2003 11:10 pm

Phoebe
What makes her tick?

Nobody will deny that Phoebe after "Love and War Part II"; is not the same Phoebe as the one before. Looking at her on-panel actions in her O.A.C. year made me wonder more and more what her motives are.

Hardly anything I have written down here is new. Most arguments have been stated before. Yet I am not aware that the whole scenario has ever been laid out connected as I did here.


Disclaimer: I don't claim that the following is the only way Phoebe and Avalon can be read. It just happens to be the last thing I have found probable for myself. I may have a different opinion once Josh has drawn the next strip or once I have gone over the archive for the umpteenth time.
I am not to be held responsible if reading this causes you severe brain warp or makes you smash your best china in fits of rage because you want to beat some sense into That.Particular.Lyncher.Who.Gets.It.So.Wrong.


OK, now that we have the fine print out of the way, in medias res:


Grade 9, Phoebe Falls out With Joe

It's impossible, of course, to understand Phoebe (as Joe, btw, and to a certain extent Ceilidh) without going back to grade 9.

So what happened then? Phoebe and Joe had been friends for the longest time. Then Joe feels that he is ready for something more. Phoebe doesn't feel ready yet (or at least never has considered such a thing and balks at the suddenness) and pushes him away. Why she does feel ready for something more with Todd remains somewhat doubtful, but it's quite natural to look at a new acquaintance with different eyes than at an old friend.
Phoebe also says that she thinks she accepted Todd's advances only to hurt Joe. Which means that she felt spite towards Joe already then. Why? Was she disappointed that he let himself be discouraged so quickly when she said no? (Hmm. re-read that part. According to Phoebe Todd picked her up after Joe started to go after Hel
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Re: Phoebe / What makes her tick? (Warning: long)

Postby Tenma on Fri Apr 11, 2003 12:01 am

My God, Markus. You are an Avalon scholar and a true fan. I bow to your l33t skillz. Your analysis goes to show me that I need to read the comic all the way through about a hundred more times to get the full picture.

I'm too intimidated by your mad knowledge to reply to your analysis with any depth. I also can't at this point see valid cases against any of your statements. Let me just say that I hope you are wrong for Ceilidh's sake. Personally I've always favoured her and never particularly trusted or otherwise cared for Phoebe. Both characters would really have to do a 180 in order to exchange my sympathies. (Anyone up for a "Favorite Female" poll?)

Later...
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Re: Phoebe / What makes her tick? (Warning: long)

Postby MarkusN on Fri Apr 11, 2003 12:14 am

Tenma wrote:My God, Markus. You are an Avalon scholar and a true fan.

If you read "fan" in its original sense ("Fanatic") you probably come close...

I'm too intimidated by your mad knowledge to reply to your analysis with any depth.

That's not what I wanted to achieve with this sermon.

Let me just say that I hope you are wrong for Ceilidh's sake.

I didn't say I liked the writing I saw on the wall. Though I can live with Ceilidh and Joe breaking up, if the result is that Ceilidh realises that she doesn't need others to define herself as a person.

Personally I've always favoured her and never particularly trusted or otherwise cared for Phoebe. Both characters would really have to do a 180 in order to exchange my sympathies. (Anyone up for a "Favorite Female" poll?)

Personally I find Phoebe at least as intriguing as Ceilidh, if for other reasons.
You may want to read this thread (and possible some of those linked within) before you make that poll
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Postby bunnyThor on Fri Apr 11, 2003 12:45 am

M, your analysis sounds very good. Lots of supportive innuendo and oblique reference all do seem to be pointing in the same direction. I'd say the case looks stronger than did my "Ryan + Deeds = Boom Chicka Mow Mow" at the time, and I was soooooo right.

However:

"I don't think we're right for each other, Joe."

Both seem to be pretty direct, explicit, and honest here. Now if you notice Joe never outright says that couldn't/wouldn't/shouldn't happen, so there is not necessarily any obstacle from him except his commitment to Ceilidh (which, I should mention, is so contradictory even in Joe's thought bubbles that I don't think that anyone, including Joe, really knows what Joe wants from whom to which extent). But since we're plumbing Phoebe's depths, we should pay attention to everything she says here.

3:9.1: It wouldn't have worked in the past, when we were younger and even dippier.

3:9.2a: We are not compatible now--Evidence: you are dating someone like Ceilidh.

3:9.2b: I am confused to my own feelings and desires at the moment. (Which might be a way to negate this whole strip, but only if you squint.)

3:9.3: Let's stop fighting and be amiable.

3:9.4: Nibble me, stupid!

The big question here is 3:9.2a--Is it that we are incompatible now and for the forseeable future, or is it that we are incompatible because now mostly because you have the extreme bad taste of dating Ceilidh?

Storywise, I think that it could easily go either way of J&C or J&P and come out credible. I shy away from J&P mostly because I don't want to see Ceildih getting hurt--or at least getting hurt without getting anything in return. I see Ceilidh as a good person who is mostly without blame in this story, so by the logic of fiction she should not be "punished" by having Joe dump her for her other best friend--not without gaining a pretty big piece of personal development or epiphany in the process. Ceilidh wants to love and be loved, and I don't really see anything wrong with that. If Ceilidh doesn't get her stated prize (Joe, acting like a proper boyfriend) then she needs to receive some prize of equal or greater value. And if that prize is personal growth or self-esteem or the like, Josh is really really really gonna have to do an amazing job of selling it to us, because we all have gotten pretty focused on our expectations for Ceilidh's emotional well-being.
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Postby MarkusN on Fri Apr 11, 2003 1:14 am

bunnyThor wrote:Storywise, I think that it could easily go either way of J&C or J&P and come out credible.

I wrote:One detail in this scenario that I think is definitely true: Joe is the wildcard. He has to decide what he wants.
...
And the last part just goes to prove what a delightfully suspenseful story Josh has told us. You can spin the yarn on for some time, but when it comes to the crucial turning point all you can do is wait for the storyteller to catch up with you.

So no real argument there.

bunnyThor wrote:I shy away from J&P mostly because I don't want to see Ceilidh getting hurt--or at least getting hurt without getting anything in return... And if that prize is personal growth or self-esteem or the like, Josh is really really really gonna have to do an amazing job of selling it to us, because we all have gotten pretty focused on our expectations for Ceilidh's emotional well-being.

I'm soo with you there.

Remembering how long it took me to compile my piece I doff my hat to you in respect for what you created here more or less in real time. Good stuff.
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Postby Doctor Emmit Brown on Fri Apr 11, 2003 7:37 am

:o

You really put some thought into this didn't you? I must say that I have to agree with you on most points, except for her reason for following Ceilidh to university. You dtated that her reasoning might be that she thinks Joe is going to stay with Ceilidh ad that they would go to the same school. I got the impression that Joe and Ceilidh weren't goig to the same school. I think Phoebe is following Ceilidh because she still thinks that she is her only true friend, despite what was written in her yearbook. Ceilidh was the one who passed around the book, and Phobe probably thinks that nobody else would have done tha for her. It just seems to me that Phoebe doesn't want to go to a new school and not have anybody there that she knows (Hey Josh, have any of them applied to Western? I'd be happy to comfort Phoebe if she came here :wink: )

I also don't like your view of what will happen in the future. Ceilidh is IMHO the main character. She awas the first to be introduced, the website used to be named after her before it was Kenspotted (look at some of the earlier comics, the old site was http://ceilidh.dhs.org), and the story seems to focus on her more than many of the other character. Maybe I'm just a sap, but I envision a more happy ending for her. She and Joe may have to break up at the end of the summer as they go their separate ways (I doubt Joe will be able to follow her to university because of money issues), but I doubt it will be a messy "I don't love you, I love Phoebe" breakup, tha hurts Ceilidh more than defines her character more.

Wow, I typed a lot here too! I think I finally know how to correctly spell 'Ceilidh' (though I still have a hard time pronouncing it correctly from time to time as I read it)
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Postby MarkusN on Fri Apr 11, 2003 7:52 am

Doctor Emmit Brown wrote:... except for her reason for following Ceilidh to university. You stated that her reasoning might be that she thinks Joe is going to stay with Ceilidh ad that they would go to the same school. I got the impression that Joe and Ceilidh weren't goig to the same school.

We don't know. Ceilidh asks Joe if he would consider it, they have a brief quarrel over it (3:39), she retreats (3:40.1), but we don't see the final outcome. It's still possible that Phoebe thinks they go together. I also think that this is the weakest spot in my speculation chain; somehow it feels far fetched and wrong (especially after re-reading Josh's statement in that IRC log).

Ceilidh was the one who passed around the book, and Phoebe probably thinks that nobody else would have done that for her.

Actually no. She just set it in circulation, incognito (2:172.1), thus collecting a true image of Phoebe's popularity in AHS. It seemed to be quite important to Ceilidh to handle it that way (1:162.3). But you're probably right that only Ceilidh would have done that.

I also don't like your view of what will happen in the future. Ceilidh is IMHO the main character.

As already said: I don't like it either. I also don't say that this is the way it will go. This depends largely on Joe. I am quite sure that we will see Phoebe take a pass at Joe, though.
On Ceilidh being the main character: Pretty much so, but Josh has said that he "likes Phoebe best in future" (something which has worried Lynchers already then; the link is up there in the "First Day" section somewhere.).
[edit: added linkage to supporting strips]
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Postby Doctor Emmit Brown on Fri Apr 11, 2003 8:15 am

MarkusN wrote:On Ceilidh being the main character: Pretty much so, but Josh has said that he "likes Phoebe best in future" (something which has worried Lynchers already then; the link is up there in the "First Day" section somewhere.).


Ah, but when Josh made that comment, it was before the entire "Cheer up Phoebe" plan, where much of her character was defined, and where she hit absolute rock bottom in her depression. That doesn't necessaraly mean that Phoebe will win Joe's heart in the end.
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Re: Phoebe / What makes her tick? (Warning: long)

Postby RJ Shep on Fri Apr 11, 2003 9:03 am

Let me just say that I hope you are wrong for Ceilidh's sake.

I didn't say I liked the writing I saw on the wall. Though I can live with Ceilidh and Joe breaking up, if the result is that Ceilidh realises that she doesn't need others to define herself as a person.


Yeah, me too...
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Postby Wheresmybeer on Fri Apr 11, 2003 9:08 am

Heh,

MarkusN thinks he's LtPowers.


Anyway,

Your suggestion that it was Joe specifically that cheered up Phoebe is pure genius. It seems so obvious now that you've put up so much evidence. The real question is to whom she is really attached. Joe and Ceilidh dating is the perfect situation for Phoebe, because they are two of her closest associations. The worst thing that could happen would be for Joe and Ceilidh to break up and start dating other people, especially if one of those other people is Helene.


And here is where I must differ from MarkusN and, it seems, the entire corps of Avalon readers. I find the possibility of Joe and Helene dating positively laughable. Sure Joe pines away for Helene, but she certainly doesn't reciprocate. Only a few times in the whole of the comic is she known to have directly spoken to him.

You see, while Helene probably considers Joe a "friend," Helene is the type of girl who has lots of "friends." In other words she is completely unaware of how prominent she is in the minds of her acquaintances. Assuming her relationship with Alan finally became truly meaningless (and thats got a long way to go in her mind), the only way she'd end up with Joe is if he swooped in for the kill in her moment of weakness faster than the legion of off-camera guys waiting to do so. Joe's not that kind of guy. He's too sensitive and lacks the stones for focused decisive action.

Besides, Helene's most useful function is as an archetype of the girl who is physically and even socially near-by, but at the same time completely inaccessable. She serves aptly as the wall against which Joe beats his head. Joe's feelings for Helene may play an important part of the final resolutions in "Avalon," but they'll never truly be a couple.
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Postby Mcfarlane Salsa on Fri Apr 11, 2003 11:07 am

That's my story, and I'm clinging to it.


Did you say that just becuase it was a dryer sheet?

Phoebe: what makes her tick?


Tick DNA of course!

Sorry, but there is way too much text in here, so i'm just lightening the mood.
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Postby MarkusN on Fri Apr 11, 2003 11:27 am

Doctor Emmit Brown wrote:That doesn't necessaraly mean that Phoebe will win Joe's heart in the end.

Agreed. If you read my post you will notice that I never said that would be the outcome. I just see evidence (none of it conclusive, and in fact I have, as is thorizers use to do, pointed out only the facts in favor of my theory. Look at bunnyThor's post for contradictory evidence) that Phoebe will go after Joe. If he will reciprocate is a different story altogether and pretty much in the clouds.

WMB wrote:I find the possibility of Joe and Helene dating positively laughable.

If you mean "going steady" I agree with you. As you know I am not one to predict future strips in detail. The scene I described (Hel
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Postby Doctor Emmit Brown on Fri Apr 11, 2003 11:45 am

Ok, I'm just a hopeless romantic, snd I wanna see Joe and Ceilidh stay togeather until the end. Whether they go to the same school afterward is still up in the air, but I like them as a couple.

Hey Josh, you are the only one who can prove one of us right ya know! Don't you just love having such power over your fans like this?
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Postby MarkusN on Fri Apr 11, 2003 12:20 pm

Doctor Emmit Brown wrote:Ok, I'm just a hopeless romantic, snd I wanna see Joe and Ceilidh stay togeather until the end. Whether they go to the same school afterward is still up in the air, but I like them as a couple.

Gaaahh, that's just dull. :evil:

Honestly, though: Do you experience them as a couple?!
There's a lot of trust between them now, as best seen when they work on university applications (3:40). But the most couple-like thing I have seen them doing is Ceilidh henpecking Joe during the preparation of hockey-night... (3:12.3, 3:18.1)

[edit: Added linkage to supporting strips. Punctuation and grammer ;)]
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Postby GrassyNoel on Fri Apr 11, 2003 12:48 pm

That's love, I reckon. Because Joe accepted it, and because Ceilidh wasn't for a minute worried that he wouldn't.

Most of all I want to see Alison fix the mistake she made.
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Postby Doctor Emmit Brown on Fri Apr 11, 2003 12:57 pm

well, Ceilidh sure seems to think they are a couple. Ah well, you kow what I mean. Maybe if She helps him get through this whole "my dad came back" problem, he'll see her as more than the friend he wants her to be.
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Postby Josh Phillips on Fri Apr 11, 2003 2:24 pm

This thread RULES. And it comes with perfect timing... over the past few evenings (and I do admit that it's because I just got the Love Hina #9 manga a few days ago and have been reading it from cover to cover constantly) I've been inspired to fill out everything that's going to happen between now (well, a year ago, whatever) and the end of Avalon. For the most part, I've decided what's going to happen to each character, and where they'll be when the end comes down.

So this thread is great because it's solidifying my ideas. The Joe-Ceilidh-Phoebe triangle is going to be the crux of Avalon's conclusion (well, at least it's the 50%-plus-one to the other characters' storylines), and after reading what Markus and everyone else have written, I'm feeling very happy about the conclusion in my mind.

Of course, I don't want to spoil anything, but at the very least I want to respond thoughtfully to MarkusN's post, and perhaps quell some fears.

So first off, Markus, you've done a brilliant job of analyzing and summarizing Phoebe, though you may have fallen into a trap that I've unintentionally dropped. Phoebe is *very* interested in Joe & Ceilidh's relationship (that much is obvious from the comic), but I'll suggest it's not for any simple, cut-and-dry reasons (that would be the trap... leaving an obvious explanation in plain view when a far more twisty one is sitting right beside it, being ignored). Phoebe *is* a changed person after last summer's debacle and the yearbook fiasco, but what has she changed *into*? One of the big differences is that she's more aware of the people around her and of what they think. In her depressed state, she could only assume that no one really cared about her, and she wasn't in any condition to try to prove otherwise. But that changed when it was proved *for* her by Ceilidh, Joe, Ryan, etc. But why did she believe it? Sometimes a person in Phoebe's state would assume it's all lip-service, just words meant to cheer you up, but there was a factor in all of this which led Phoebe to believe everything she was told, and that factor continues to drive her personality in the present. Other than that, I'd say Phoebe is quite lost, and very unsure of what she's to do with herself now. She's changed, definitely, but she doesn't know what she's become (and is afraid to choose what she really wants).

Now, about possible outcomes... I'd like to make it clear that there are going to be *many* major developments in the story before it ends. The current chapter is part of a series called "The End," and that series is actually in four parts (covering four major storylines, but not exclusively so). It's so titled because, not only is the story drawing to a close, but because the status quo is going to end spectacularly. And (perhaps just to be contrary) "The End" will not be the final chapter in Avalon. There will never be an actual *end*... the comic will cease, but it'll be clear that the characters will continue on, and that this is really just the beginning of the rest of their lives.

So it's probably unfair to say this for all the speculators, but it's not reasonable to predict Avalon's conclusion at this time. I'll explain a little as to why... first of all, Joe is about to experience some changes, thanks to the arrival of his father. It would be accurate to say that, until now, Joe has been generally clueless, and a bit too laid-back about what he really wants out of life. He hasn't taken many issues very seriously (that includes his relationship with Ceilidh), but he's going to see things differently shortly. And obviously that's going to affect Ceilidh, but I won't ruin the surprise in that arena (and I still believe that, in the end and despite a seemingly simple outcome, it *will* surprise).

Finally... well, it's fair to say that all of this inspiration has left me itching to have regular comic updates again, but real life continues to insist on kicking my ass. But ultimately, I'm feeling better about everything in general, and I'm still well on my way to making it happen eventually. This theorizing, analyzing, and speculation is great, but it can't survive without any fresh material. :-)

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Postby Doctor Emmit Brown on Fri Apr 11, 2003 2:55 pm

WOW! Josh is itching to get started again! Way to go MarkusN!

Anywho, I found a strip that may prove that Joe loves Ceilidh. The earlier panels make it seem as if Joe is rejectig her (telling her not to kiss unless she really loves the guy), but in the last panel he says that he thinks he loves her, after she says that she wanted to kiss him. Meh, it could be random speculation, but I think this is a big step in their relationship (albeit it was early in the relationship).

Josh Phillips wrote:Phoebe *is* a changed person after last summer's debacle and the yearbook fiasco, but what has she changed *into*?


Umm, are you suggesting that she wants to see Joe and Ceilidh break up, not so she could hook up with Joe, but so she can hook up with Ceilidh are you? I thought we got over that whole "Phoebe is a lesbian" schtick. Although, it would make for a very interesting plot twist. :D

Can't wait to see the new comics!

Oh, and Love Hina rules! I've read the entire thing. Really good story, and it's better than the anime.
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Postby Bo Lindbergh on Fri Apr 11, 2003 3:02 pm

Josh Phillips wrote:Sometimes a person in Phoebe's state would assume it's all lip-service, just words meant to cheer you up, but there was a factor in all of this which led Phoebe to believe everything she was told, and that factor continues to drive her personality in the present.

How much frenzied futile speculation will that sentence inspire? :D

Vague guess: some old lie of Todd's which she still believed was suddenly and unmistakably proved false.
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Postby Spaceman42 on Fri Apr 11, 2003 3:02 pm

You're *ALL* overlooking the possibility of a [i]m
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Postby Wheresmybeer on Fri Apr 11, 2003 3:29 pm

That, sir,

Is the best damn speculation ever. If its been said before, it bears repeating.
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Postby Tenma on Fri Apr 11, 2003 3:34 pm

[quote="Spaceman42"]You're *ALL* overlooking the possibility of a [i]m
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Postby Doctor Emmit Brown on Fri Apr 11, 2003 3:38 pm

(Mind you, I'm not taking charge of that project. ;-) )


"We shall do no such thing!" - King Aurthur (Tenma)
"Oh, please?" - knights who say NI (me)

[edit] boy I'm dumb. I forgot the 'k' on knights! [/edit]
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Postby Spaceman42 on Fri Apr 11, 2003 4:48 pm

Tenma - bravo for fulfilling my precognitive speculations on what you would do in reaction to that. My figurative hat [a beret] is off to you.

[Except for the "I'm not taking charge of *that* project part. Unless that was sarcastic. But that's not the point.]


Anyway...

After reading today's Real Life, I decided to download the song Come On Eileen - the Dexy's Midnight Runners version; I couldn't find Trump's. Anyway, I listened to it a few times, it having become stuck in my consciousness once before, for reasons unidentifiable, then decided to download the lyrics.

As I read, I was struck by the undeniable similarities between it and the C-J relationship. The song is as follows:

(Come on Eileen!)
(Come on Eileen!)

Poor old Johnny Ray
Sounded sad upon the radio
He moved a million hearts in mono
Our mothers cried and sang along and who'd blame them?
Now you're grown, so grown, now I must say more than ever
Go toora loora toora loo rye aye
And we can sing just like our fathers ....

Come on Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)
At this moment, you mean everything
With you in that dress, my thoughts I confess
Verge on dirty ......
Ah, come on Eileen!

(Come on Eileen!)
(Come on Eileen!)

These people round here wear beaten down eyes
Sunk in smoke dried faces
They're so resigned to what their fate is
But not us, no not us
We are far too young and clever
Go toora loora toora loo rye aye
Eileen, I'll sing this tune forever

Come on, Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)
Ah come on, let's take off everything
That pretty red dress .... Eileen (tell him yes)
Ah, come on! Come on Eileen!!!

Come on Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)
At this moment, you mean everything

Come on, Eileen, taloora aye
Come on, Eileen, taloora aye
Come on, Eileen, taloora aye
Come on, Eileen, taloora aye
Come on, Eileen, taloora aye
Come on, Eileen, taloora aye

Go toora loora toora loo rye aye

Come on Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)
At this moment, you mean everything
With you in that dress, my thoughts I confess
Verge on dirty ......
Ah, come on Eileen!

Come on, Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)
Ah come on, let's take off everything
That pretty red dress .... Eileen (tell him yes)
Ah, come on! Come on Eileen!!!

Come on Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)
At this moment, you mean everything

Come on Eileen! Well, I swear (what he means)
At this moment, you mean everything


Josh - since we all want to know now - did you draw any inspiration from this song, or is it all happenstance? And if you did - should we expect any more references to 80's songs in Avalon?

[Edit: Listening to the song again, I realize two things: the lyrics are missing some echo parts, and Eileen sounds about the same in the song as Ceilidh would... Hmm.]
Last edited by Spaceman42 on Fri Apr 11, 2003 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Gigafreak on Fri Apr 11, 2003 5:07 pm

Well, damn. That's the work of a master.
((Now, where was I...? Forcing myself past my attention span involves sacrificing my train of thought...))

Oh! Right! I was going to point out that stories like these do not always have happy endings. Ceilidh, though it may be cruel, might not necessarily end up with anything in the end. She's not even the main character, she's only the focal character: That is, the story follows her around the most, but she's not the greatest driving force behind it. (See Joyce versus Sal of It's Walky!) I repeat: she didn't happen to the story, the story mostly happened to her.

NOTE: The following small text is evidence for this one point. It is slightly off topic in that respect.

Now, Joe and Phoebe are the central characters in the story (I'm not sure, but I think Joe's dominant). If it weren't for these two, the story would be nothing. Actually, I think removing either of these may suffice to radically change the story: if Joe weren't attending Avalon, Phoebe would not have had a reason to cling to Todd. (Sorry, that's the most effective word. Not a reference to static electricity.) Then, Phoebe would never have hit her depression or even man-hating stage. Heck, she might even have actually shacked up with Ryan if it weren't for Joe inadvertently sending her to Todd. Thus, Dierdre would need a completely different story, as the Pages were the ones offering her lodgings, so she'd either had to stay in Guelph or go back to her parents honestly. And then, Alan may have been more passive with Helene, since he had no competition if Joe's not in the picture. Speaking of which, Nancy would instantly win one or both student council campaigns, making her less bitter and vengeful, and possibly even supportive of the crew. She may even be promoted to a primary character. Add to that the deletion of the JoeDaddy vs. Alison vs. Mel vs. Gar vs. Erin story, and Avalon would not be anything like what we have now. (I suppose the group could meet Dierdre in a different hangout, though.)

Conversely, if we remove Phoebe from the story, Joe would be more aggressive with Helene, since he's not dealing with a recent heartbreak. He might even win against Alan and get his prize; he was looking for both looks and personality, so there would be no reason for conflict and constant fleeing there. Alan might even end up improving his character enough to attract Ceilidh (Ahem. THAT is a major plot change) after losing Helene. Even if Alan does win Helene, Joe's relationship with Ceilidh will change: there will be slightly less tension, since the yearbook incident wouldn't be necessary. (Remember, she still doesn't know what he wrote for Phoebe, though she seems to trust him enough not to have written a love note. This wouldn't happen if Phoebe was never there.) Dierdre would be less aware of her parents' reaction to her dropping out of Guelph, since Phoebe was the one to tell her first.

Now, if we remove Ceilidh, the story would have to be told from someone else's point of view, which subtracts twistyness, because, as stated before, she is not the central character, only the focal one. Phoebe might never come out of her depression, and her relationship with Joe would change. Actually, Ceilidh's removal impacts Phoebe far more than anyone else, as she is Phoebe's closest friend in grade 11. Joe, not wanting to lose Phoebe a second time, (And as one of the most sensitive to others' feelings) may go cheer Phoebe up in Ceilidh's stead, and might actually start going out with Phoebe as a replacement Ceilidh. And, that's all I can think of.


Damn, I can rant for a long while. Anyways, I'd have to say that Phoebe is the second most important character in Avalon as a story. The characters, in order of apparent importance, are...
1: Joe (See first tiny print paragraph)
2: Phoebe (See second tiny print paragraph)
3: Alison (Yes, it may surprise you, but she threw the New Year's Eve parties and led to the construction of Hildegarde's Cafe as well as the JoeDaddy fetch quest)
4(tie): Dierdre (Major plot advancement for Joe, Ryan and the Bradleys)
4(tie): Ceilidh (Necessary as an outsider looking in, and Joe's relationship)
(These five are far ahead of the last two, though. It's as if there are ghosts in the 'real' 6th through 8th slots; that's how unimportant the other two are.)

6: Alan (Necklace twist, but not much else)
7(close): Helene (Mostly story advancement for Alan, and a reason for Joe's inner conflict)

So yes, Phoebe does rank very highly. Actually, come to think of it, her name might be wordplay with 'phoenix,' a flaming bird of legend that dies in a giant explosion and is reborn in the ashes in the aftermath. She seems to play as that symbol here, with her temper, foulmouth and even firey coloring of her hair. She 'died' with an 'explosion' (Huge revelation, AKA Joe's autograph) and is still going through her 'rebirth.' (Her new personality is still a bit shapeless like ash or any fluid powder)

So, uh, yeah. Flash of insight, and stuff.
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