Dresden Files Summer Knight Ch3

A Faerie Queen. A Faerie Queen was standing in my office. I was looking at a Faerie Queen.
Talking to a Faerie Queen.
And she had me by the short hairs.
Boy, and I’d thought my life was on the critical list already.

Here we get into the problem with escalation.

This really doesn’t seem like it’s worse than Lea. What just happened with the letter opener was far worse, but instead of pointing to this as a sign of Mab being more dangerous, Harry instead said this was proof Mab had the same control over him as Lea.

So far, Mab wants him to do a thing while Lea wanted him to be a thing. And given how very badly he did against Lea, the year-and-day thing was just delaying the inevitable, so this is a huge step up for him.

Harry spends a paragraph on the metaphor of fear as icewater moving through your body and making it so you can’t even move. No snark. He really is scared and not being a dick about it.

my eyes on the poisonously lovely faerie standing on the other side of my desk.

Mostly not being a dick about it.

“poisonously lovely” has nothing to do with that icewater metaphor. “Chillingly” would’ve fit fine, maybe expand it into the stark, brutal beauty of a glacier. To stand there, to see that, is to risk your life. And the glacier will kill you without ever caring about you, or even that you were there.

Lovely poison, in contrast, is very interested in you. A poison that tricks you into eating it, which is where the metaphor with women generally goes, a poison that’s sweet, and what about the Winter Queen of Air and Darkness is pretending to be sweet only to kill you? Even the lovely poison of bright colors, where it’s a human misinterpretation of something that was meant to be a warning sign, still involves some attempt to communicate, some connection between you and it. And as Harry said last chapter, what upsets him is she is not concerned about his feelings. She exists on her own terms and not in relation to him.

Mind you, she does care about understanding him way more than he’s claiming. The first real thing she said to him was to ask how he worked out she was a fairy. But Harry can’t conceive of someone understanding him without prioritizing him. She’s not doing what he wants, so the only possibility is she doesn’t know what he wants.

And this issue of understanding continues:

“Yes,” she murmured. “Wise enough to be afraid. To understand, at least in part. How does it feel, to know what you know, child?”
My voice came out unsteady, and more quiet than I would have liked. “Sort of like Tokyo when Godzilla comes up on the beach.”
Mab tilted her head, watching me with that same smile. Maybe she didn’t get the reference. Or maybe she didn’t like being compared to a thirty-story lizard. Or maybe she did like it. I mean, how should I know? I have enough trouble figuring out human women.

Harry is being forced to understand her, and he’s resentful and backpeddling. She’s smiling and nonaggressive, but, probably she doesn’t get his movie reference (it must burn not to be able to call her out for being a fake fan) and if she did she’s probably (hopefully) insulted, but hey maybe she’s not who the fuck knows Harry throws up his hands and claims such knowledge is impossible.

He explains she’s soulless, but her request to eyefuck earlier would still have done something because soulgazing isn’t the only thing that gets you through your eyeballs. Harry keeps his eyes on her chin and just seethes to have been put in the position he likes to put everyone else into.

I hate being afraid. I hate it more than anything in the whole world. I hate being made to feel helpless. I hate being bullied, too, and Mab might as well have been ramming her fist down my throat and demanding my lunch money.

I think there’s a lot of conflation with Harry that he’s never aware of.

For the most part, it’s not obvious – Harry the ever-increasing-in-poundage gorilla simply does not have much that can hurt him, so something usually has to be explicitly bringing their power to bear before he has to care about it. That’s what makes the dragon so interesting last book. It’s one of the only instances we have Harry choosing to bug someone else and the other person not wanting to deal with him, but Harry still flips out and screams he’s being bullied by the dragon existing while being more powerful than him.

And there is, of course, the sheer childishness of referring to this as bullying.

Harry made a deal with Lea.

Lea did not force him into the agreement, she didn’t even coerce him into taking it – as far as we know, she had nothing to do with things going bad with Harry’s apprenticeship.

We also have no idea what her deal cost her. If it was something extremely easy, you could try to make a moral argument that to ask for far more than you’re giving in return is unfair, but that’s rather shaky. Moreover, there’s no sign fae run monopolies – if Lea was asking something unreasonable, what prevented Harry from making a deal with a different one? By all appearances, the significance of her being his godmother is that he actually got a discount. And given Harry managed to beat a far more experienced wizards hopped up on black magic with her help, Lea’s aid most likely involved a significant personal sacrifice. (As well as potentially making an enemy of the guy if Harry’s attempt failed, or even the White Council at large.)

Lea was not only cheated of any payment at all but brutally assaulted by Harry.

Ultimately, the only real point against Lea is that what she’s asking for is somewhat between slavery and death. And that’s an extremely valid one. Our courts wouldn’t allow for a contract that involved getting parts of your brain cut out to make you a dog. And while there’s some space to argue that people should have the free choice to decide if they’d rather be a dog than be killed/possessed by a demon/whatever exactly Harry’s specific fate would’ve been otherwise, ultimately, allowing for such deals to be made creates incredible disincentives to ever improve things such that people stop needing to make them. America’s founding talks about the pursuit of happiness, not the preservation of property, and while much can be said about how well we’ve ever lived up to that, the distinction is a meaningful one.

Harry is not wrong to try to avoid payment when the payment is being turned into a dog.

But that’s no longer the payment. And so we see that what Harry considers bullying is being asked to pay at all.

Mab might as well have been ramming her fist down my throat and demanding my lunch money. Harry says. And yes, I suppose you could see it that way, if in this metaphor she’s cafeteria staff because Harry absolutely got his lunch, knew exactly the cost he was expected to pay, booked it before anyone could get money out of him, and then committed assault when he reentered the cafeteria and was reminded that he still had an outstanding bill.

And I really can’t overemphasize that last point given that’s still what Harry wants to do:

I could have thrown a magical sucker punch at her, could have tried to take her out, but even if we’d been on even footing I doubt I would have ruffled her hair. And she had a bond on me, a magical conduit. She could send just about anything right past my defenses, and there wouldn’t be anything I could do about it.
Bullies make me mad—and I’ve been known to do some foolish things when I’m angry.

Harry wants to assault her for demanding he pay his actual legitimate debt by doing his normal legitimate job and the fact he can’t attack/kill her with impunity to avoid that is “bullying”. Moreover, he is now working up to justifying whatever comes next by saying that he can’t be held responsible, other people should know better than to make him angry by being so unreasonable as to ask him to do the thing he promised to do in return for the things he absolutely got.

Of course, like so many people who make such an excuse, it’s not really a matter of him being out of control. It’s a performance. And so Harry does not lash out like a trapped animal might. Harry does nothing that would actually harm him.

What he does is claim he doesn’t care. Fuck it, kill me because I’m not going to do what you ask, he tells her, but there’s no way he expects her to call his bluff. She’s no use to him dead and he has so many other uses alive – even just dragging him back to the NeverNever and trading him back to Lea with interest. Indeed, given how very many enemies Harry has by this point, the fact she’s talking to him at all instead of opening bidding elsewhere suggests she really needs whatever it is from him.

Mab tries complimenting him, then I guess realizes he’s too stupid to understand that “I purchased your debt so you can do a thing for me” means “The thing would pay the debt” and if he would just shut up and do it he wouldn’t have to deal with any further fae bullshit.

Wait what, says this dumbfuck.

“Free,” she said, wrapping those frozen-berry lips around the word so that I couldn’t help but notice. “Free of Sidhe influence, of the bonds of your obligation first to the Leanansidhe and now to me.”
“The whole thing a wash? We go our separate ways?”
“Precisely.”
I looked down at my hurting hand and scowled. “I didn’t think you were much into freedom as a concept, Mab.”
“You should not presume, wizard. I adore freedom. Anyone who doesn’t have it wants it.”

Honestly, I feel that’s not even ‘presume’ that’s ‘intentionally misinterpret all of fae culture’. Deals and freedom go hand in hand, because someone without the freedom to act has no ability to offer anything. You can’t lose what you never had.

Harry then thinks that he really super wants to just shoot her, because Harry is really just fundamentally a bad person. He holds off because he very grudgingly admits this is against his own self-interest.

Mab was on the level about her offer. I could feel that, sense it in a way so primal, so visceral, that there was no room left for doubt.

Also there’s the part where she can’t lie. But feel free to go on about how it’s just your keen senses that let you work that one out!

And so Harry decides to put his effort into pretending things are going his way.

I could feel Mab watching me, Sylvester to my Tweetie Bird. That thought kind of cheered me up. Generally speaking, Tweetie kicks Sylvester’s ass in the end.

He decides to view her as Sylvester, then pretends this is some sort of objective observation, then decides that wow, it’s sure good she’s objectively an incompetent buffoon because it’s not like he’s making this up himself, it just congealed out of the air telling him he was super cool and definitely badass.

Harry then follows this up by being even stupider than he’s been before. She tells him he must complete three tasks.

“Okay,” I told her. “I’m listening.”
“Three tasks,” Mab murmured, holding up three fingers by way of visual aid. “From time to time, I will make a request of you. When you have fulfilled three requests, your obligation to me ceases.”
Silence lay on the room for a moment, and I blinked. “What. That’s it?”
Mab nodded.
“Any three tasks? Any three requests?”
Mab nodded.
“Just as simple as that? I mean, you say it like that, and I could pass you the salt three times and that would be that.”

Okay, so I did say I don’t think what Lea did counts as coercion, but Harry is really making a good case now that his deal shouldn’t stand due to mental incompetence. Just wow. I think even fae would agree this is just mean.

You don’t need to explain to her that if she chose she could burn the requests on harmless things to free you! That’s supposed to be her line, and it’s supposed to be an obvious trick.

Incidentally, she does not respond with “yes” to that, which I think strongly suggests that no, the deal won’t even allow for her to accidentally make an innocuous request.

The correct thing to ask is what sort of requests she’s actually planning to make. Now, yes, the most likely answer is that the specifics are still up in the air, but she opened by saying she wanted him to find something, and that’s presumably the first request. Also, again, fae can’t lie, so if she does have three specific things she’s already decided on, she can’t pretend otherwise.

Instead, Harry follows up “hey, so maybe this will be not terrible and you’ll intentionally ask for absolutely nothing and then free me forever” with

“I decide which requests I fulfill and which I don’t?”
“Even so.”
“And if I refuse a request, there will be no reprisals or punishments from you.”
She tilted her head and blinked her eyes, slowly. “Agreed. You, not I, will choose which requests you fulfill.”
There was one land mine I’d found, at least.

That’s not a land mine, you fuckhead. That’s your reality warping powers getting her to agree to an unenforceable deal. And it’s not just that this is a ridiculous and absurd power dynamic, it’s that Harry specifically refused to honor the original deal and, just in case that wsan’t clear, responded to her showing up saying the deal had moved to her with FUCK YOU I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU’RE ASKING I WILL NEVER FOR ANY REASON.

At this point, the only leverage she has is she could trade off his soul again to someone worse, so naturally, the next thing he says is also she can’t do that, and she can’t have anyone else mess with him in any way.

So Harry is now completely free. In some ways, he’s more free than he would be if he ever fulfilled the agreement, since his soul is no longer even in play.

And bear in mind, we know from Michael last book that you can make a deal that is “I’ll agree to do anything for you that isn’t morally wrong”. That’s still a huge request compared to doing anything no question while leaving plenty of freedom for the other party to still get uses out of you. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was considered pretty reasonable and common in these sorts of deals, because that’s a great way to have a lot of flexibility about what might come up so the other party doesn’t feel they have to have the specific tasks chosen in advance. Most of the time these deals are probably practical ones instead of being all about making the other person suffer.

I licked my lips, thinking hard. Had I left her any openings? Could she get to me any other way?

Yes, actually.

She said there would be no punishment for not taking a request. She also just made him stab himself in the hand. If she decides to show up every week to make him stab himself for the lulz, her doing so is unrelated to whether or not he refused a request. For that matter, she can stab him for insolence every time he follows up his refusal with a completely unnecessary insult and/or attempt to harm him, and it’s not like Harry could just be polite so he’s going to be stabable every single time she asks him to do anything.

Now, to do so would absolutely be a monstrous abuse of her power over him. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t expect someone to think of this. But the point at which they’ve cheerfully agreed to ask you do to things that you can refuse infinitely with no consequences is the point it’s no longer normal circumstances – even a normal person, and even dealing with another normal non-fae person, should be suspicious as hell. And even that aside, Harry has spent the conversation saying all that stops him from using lethal force is that he can’t manage enough force to be lethal. That’s only understandable if he expects her to abuse her power over him. If he doesn’t – if he does not think the mere fact she can make him stab himself is reason to expect it from her, if he doesn’t think her simply being near him will lead to being hurt and that this is something he must defend against – then why would his first impulse be assault and murder?

The book makes an attempt to say that however Harry actually is going to get screwed over, and we know it won’t be anything as legitimately terrible as this, is not his fault:

I gave myself a second to wish I’d been less tired. Or less in pain. The events of the day and the impending Council meeting this evening hadn’t exactly left my head in world-class negotiating condition.

But this doesn’t really work.

Harry’s definitely said he’s in pain and scared, and he’s even been nicely elaborate about how very very much he is. But there’s no sign of it actually impacting his decisionmaking process. That may be because as a first person narrator he’s expected to stay engaged short of a complete breakdown, but in that case there needs to be less ass-covering about how you can’t hold Harry accountable for any of his screwups because he’s under a lot of stress.

But I knew one thing for certain. If I didn’t get out from under Mab’s bond, I would be dead, or worse than dead, in short order. Better to act and be mistaken than not to act and get casually crushed.

Hm. So Harry does seem aware that he needs to get this resolved and himself fully free in order to be safe, but he doesn’t seem to have connected that to how every time he refuses a request, he delays that. In fact, it seems like he’s convinced himself that simply the act of agreeing to the new terms counts as getting out from under the bond.

Now, if it were explained differently, this could actually be how it works.

Right now it’s not clear what he’s giving up and what he’s gaining by agreeing to a new deal. I would have assumed at the moment, the deal is to get turned into a dog, but what we’re seen her do through that deal doesn’t match anything we saw Lea do, and we know the year-and-day amendment to the deal didn’t transfer, so possibly it’s blank.

In that case, Mab is dangerous because she got the soul debt passed to her without any deal attached to govern what she can do with it, but once the terms are formalized she can only affect him in relation to it. In that situation, you actually are safe from random acts of violence and don’t need to specifically prohibit it because she’s got no power outside of requesting distinct tasks. And presumably the flipside would be that when there’s no deal in place, her ability to get specific actions out of him is extremely limited – but in that case, it needs to be better explained, and also get into why “I will make you stab yourself if you don’t get this done.” isn’t already a perfectly valid way of getting him to do whatever she wants. (I wonder if she can make him stab other people? If we’re looking at this from a purely mechanical standpoint where she’s puppetting his body, then she can take any action, but if it’s more about the concept of ownership, then it could be more that she can decide what’s done to him – she may not be able to compel him to damage something she doesn’t own.)

And this is badly hampered by the fact the deal Harry just “negotiated” by making demands while offering nothing is that she can’t take any action on the basis of her requests. If the benefit of a deal is she can’t take any action outside of it to screw with him, and the deal’s terms are that she can’t take any action within it to screw with him…how exactly does this work?

There are no answers, but whatever the hell is going on, when Harry formally agrees to the deal, he feels the deal kick in. He doesn’t say he feels it replace another previously active deal, which is presumably because that’s very specific and what we’re supposed to focus on here is just creepy tingle, but, given the entire premise of this is that you can trade deals piecemeal, what if the first agreement’s still active? Lea could hand over the metaphorical chokechain she’s got on his soul to make him easier for her to control when she goes after him, but still have the ability to turn him into a dog if she can catch him anyway. (And the dog would still have to do three jobs for Mab.) For that matter, if that part of it’s still active, that could be the part that fucked him up when he kept spitting in magic’s face by forswearing the deal over and over. Maybe all Lea has to do is pop up and ask him to be her dog and after a few refusals and booking-its, he’ll collapse again?

You know that look on Wile E. Coyote’s face, when he runs at full steam off the cliff and then realizes what he’s done? He doesn’t look down, but he feels around with one toe, and right then, right before he falls, his face becomes drawn with a primal dread.

So, my guess is that Harry managed to figure out how to hook up cable without it exploding and he’s been binging Cartoon Network.

What’s frustrating here is that this is such a good idea but it’s gutted by the middle when Harry explained he would only agree to a deal that was unenforceable where he could just do what he liked without ever facing any consequences, forever.

Anyway, it’s time for her first request. The one that again, Harry has no reason to care about.

Somebody died (Harry doesn’t care). The guy is an artist (Harry doesn’t care and is actively a dick: “Creator of worlds of imagination, it says. I guess now that he’s dead, they’ll say all kinds of nice things.”). Harry then tries to turn his own vicious disregard for all others on her.

“And why should you care?” I asked. “It isn’t like the cops are after you.”
“There are powers of judgement other than mortal law. It is enough for you to know that I wish to see justice done,” she said.

Yeah she definitely does not understand Harry.

“I’ll think about it.”
Mab assured me, “You will accept this request, Wizard Dresden.”
I scowled at her and set my jaw. “I said I’ll think about it.”

I mean, I guess it’s very Harry to go straight for the lol fuck you nothing will make me do my job without making any attempt to feel out if this is actually a safe thing to do.

“Your hand yet pains you?” she asked.
“What do you think?”
Mab placed her gloved hand on my wounded one, and a sudden spike of sheer, vicious cold shot up through the injury like a frozen scalpel before lancing up my arm, straight toward my heart. It took my breath, and I felt my heart skip a beat, two, before it labored into rhythm again. I gasped and swayed, and only leaning against the door kept me from falling down completely.
“Dammit,” I muttered, trying to keep my voice down. “We had a deal.”
“I agreed not to punish you for refusing me, wizard. I agreed not to punish or harass you by proxy.”
Mab smiled. “I did that just for spite.”

OMG IT’S EVERYTHING I WANTED

MAB IS NEW BEST CHARACTER I LOVE HER

Harry, being a total dumbass, responds with, I growled. “That isn’t going to make it more likely that I take this case.” and Harry, I think you really need to consider that this isn’t about this one particular task. I don’t know how long it’d take her torturing you to get you to agree to whatever her nest request will be, but she’s immortal, so the only issue is if you can put up with this for the entire rest of your own life.

You know what’d really be interesting? If the entire task thing was a feint. The real goal was to get him to make a deal that gave him absolutely no direct protection from her. Maybe Lea means to swoop in once Harry gets broken down enough, maybe Mab really wants him to do something he’d never agree to now but will once this goes on long enough (if she’s good enough at manipulating him, she won’t even need to make it an official task – so now not only has Harry burned down the orphanage, it hasn’t even moved him closer to escaping her), maybe someone in the White Council is paying her to kill Harry, maybe the vampires are paying her to keep Harry alive and suffering as long as possible, maybe some brand-new faction looked at how much Harry’s fucked things up and is hoping another explosion will lead to him aggroing more supernatural critters toward the whole White Council…

It’d also put a very interesting twist on how Harry talked about the assassination attempt being so un-subtle, how they acted like movie mooks, if the real point of the opening attack was to make it seem like the vampires definitely aren’t behind something like this, no, why everyone knows they’re just taking direct potshots at him and definitely there’s elaborate revenge plan where he’s slowly hollowed out by the Winter Queen herself.

But that’s not necessary. The thing is, even just the regular non-twist agreement would be pretty cool if it was actually the way it is in this instant. A character bound to a monster? Wonderful. And the balance where any task must be judged by how much harm it does vs how much suffering she’ll inflict in the time before she comes up with another one!

And while I don’t expect this to really use it to its full potential – Harry is just too into playing snarky alpha badass, and the writing’s not good enough to really get into his breakdowns – it has had some quality shit happen to Harry. The only question is if it’s willing to let Harry actually be under Mab’s sadistic thumb or if that’s a step too far and she’ll back off now, leaving future iterations of “the part where the detective gets beat up” to his opponents. Probably she’ll stop hurting him once he inevitably agrees to take the case, but maybe not. Maybe he’ll get ice-scalpeled every time he sees her!

Mab then states that he’s her emissary and that he’ll be meeting Summer’s emissary shortly, so it does occur to me I may have been too quick to be pleased by the title – all of them so far have been about his opponent, so if the main plot is a conflict with the Summer Knight, then it’ll be no different than the rest.

As Harry continues to refuse, she asks if he knows the story of the fox and the scorpion. He says he does not and for once I can’t make fun of him –  I can’t find any non-retelling versions where there’s a fox with a quick internet search. The most common is a frog, the oldest was a tortoise, and there’s been some turtles. My guess is that Butcher only remembered the scorpion part of the story and then assumed the other animal was a fox because it’s often a fox in other popular fables, ignoring the fact foxes aren’t defined around swimming or being tricked.

ANYWAY. The story of the FROG and the scorpion is, a scorpion asks a frog to take it across a body of water, the frog is concerned about being stung, the scorpion says it won’t because to sting the frog halfway across would mean it’d drown, then it totally stings the frog halfway across. “Dude wtf!” shouts the dying frog. “Turns out not even my self-interest could change my dickish nature, whoops!” replies the scorpion as it drowns.

Mab laughed, velvet ice, and it sent another shiver through me. “You will accept this case, wizard. It is what you are. It is your nature.”

Now, this book did just deliver on Mab fucking Harry up because he forgot she could do that just for fun, so, let’s assume there’s a reason that of all the stories, she picked one where the point is a creature will follow its nature to the point of self-destruction.

So:

Harry is the scorpion.

He’ll obey his nature to his own detriment, so taking the case will result in his own harm.

And he’ll harm others in the process – Mab is clearly not the frog, but there doesn’t have to be a specific frog in mind for there to still be a frog who’s going to get screwed by Harry. The point of the story is the scorpion always acts the same. Any time a scorpion gets on a frog’s back, it stabs it by agreeing to take a case.

Now, there is very much reason to question the idea Harry’s nature is to take cases – even allowing retconning of all previous books, this very one opens with Billy-the-worst-werewolf saying Harry hasn’t been taking cases. But I suppose Mab didn’t actually say that what Harry is is a person who takes cases, she said that he’s a person who will take this particular one.

And while the narration has insisted Mab is alien and there is a fundamental gulf between her and a human like Harry, it has not made any claim that her judgment of Harry is wrong.

So perhaps, for once, this book might involve Harry actually doing his damn job instead of doing every other possible thing until the universe gets fed up and hands him the next part.

(The two fox retellings I did stumble over are interesting, particularly in light of Harry being the scorpion.)

Mab walks off.

I glowered after her for a minute before I shut the door.
Maybe I’d been shut away in my lab too long, but Spenser never mentions that the Faerie Queen has a great ass.
So I notice these things. So sue me.

…if we go with the theory that Harry burns lust for power and so in response to an immense threat he does everything he can to find something sexy, then this becomes not-terrible! Thank you, lust theory, I will cling to you as long as possible.

57 Comments

  1. CrazyEd says:

    and what about the Winter Queen of Air and Darkness is pretending to be sweet only to kill you

    I instantly imagined an antifreeze-topped sno-cone.

    And as Harry said last chapter, what upsets him is she is not concerned about his feelings. She exists on her own terms and not in relation to him.

    Yeah, that would be terrifying to Harry, wouldn’t it? Maybe that’s why he doesn’t have any mirrors in his house.

    Harry keeps his eyes on her chin and just seethes to have been put in the position he likes to put everyone else into.

    Damn, that must be one powerful pushup bra to get Harry’s eyes up that far.

    I think there’s a lot of conflation with Harry that he’s never aware of.

    Unsurprisingly, this is the woman who he later works for, and who later gives him his power set that makes him want to rape people.

    That’s what makes the dragon so interesting last book.

    … Wasn’t last book the super ghost book?

    While there’s some space to argue that people should have the free choice to decide if they’d rather be a dog than be killed/possessed by a demon/whatever exactly Harry’s specific fate would’ve been otherwise

    Yeah, I dunno about you guys, but that’s why I vote libertarian.

    America’s founding talks about the pursuit of happiness, not the preservation of property

    Interestingly, that is what it talked about before they replaced it with pursuit of happiness, but I guess that was also before they invented things like eminent domain and civil forfeiture, so they had to fix it.

    He holds off because he very grudgingly admits this is against his own self-interest.

    Maybe she should’ve just gone with prioritizing Harry’s wants and needs from the get-go. It seems far more effective a means of communication than communicating.

    But feel free to go on about how it’s just your keen senses that let you work that one out!

    Detective’s Intuition except not because intuition’s fer dames.

    As Harry continues to refuse, she asks if he knows the story of the fox and the scorpion.

    “Is that like the one about the coyote and the roadrunner?”

    So Harry just got his cougarmom replaced with a foxmom?

     “Turns out not even my self-interest could change my dickish nature, whoops!”

    … Kinda surprising Harry doesn’t know that one. Isn’t that the plot to the last three books?

    1. Act says:

      RE: the dragon: They briefly met a dragon in humanoid form at the vampire party.

      Also Harry was gangraped, apparently. Can’t forget that detail.

      1. CrazyEd says:

        I totally did, though. All I really remember about that book is hunting a ghost, and a super-ghost trying to break through some kinda jello barrier.

  2. Roarke says:

    Holy crap, Harry got hurt twice in one scene with no immediate reprisal for the perpetrator. Mab is better than Parker. She’s better than Morgan, than the Red Court vampires, than everyone. Of course, there’s going to have to be an equal and opposite reaction somewhere in the book, though I wonder if it’ll hit Mab specifically. I pity the next woman Harry runs up against.

    This scene really is just the complete opposite of the Lydia scene, the Monica scene, the Kim scene. We finally, finally get someone actually leaning on the detective successfully. How did it take so long?

    1. illhousen says:

      What’s interesting to me is that it comes down to physical power and violence. All the characters you list alongside Mab are meant to invoke the femme fatale archetype, and an integral part of that archetype is using sex as a weapon of control. We’ve certainly had examples of it in the past books, but the thing about them is that they don’t actually work. Harry feels lust, sure, he won’t shut up about it, but not in a way that leads him to lose control over the situation. Always he shuts women down and reasserts his power over the situation.

      And here we have a woman who’s completely disinterested in hitting Harry in his fetishes and would rather hit him in the face. And she succeeds.

      So I guess Harry just always wanted to be penetrated by a naked blade.

      But, more seriously, it is kind of a fascinating statement about how the books present the world and what forces are allowed to have power in it.

      1. Roarke says:

        Yeah, that is interesting. It goes all the way back to Act’s take on Chapter 1, Book 1, about how the femme fatale archetype was originally a way to wrestle with the idea of women using power effectively. The fact that they were effective was an important part of it that Butcher never understands; he’s too Puritan for that. He can’t let women succeed in those terms. He can only relate to it in terms of sex=evil=defeat. In a way, he has a greater aversion to feminine wiles than black fucking magic.

        So, Mab’s success can be attributed to her sidestepping femininity altogether and beating Harry at his own game: magical bullying. He’s basically Mort from last book in this scene, with Mab being the Harry throwing out casual (ab)use of her abilities to intimidate and coerce. Mab succeeded by taking Harry’s role in the narrative and victimizing him, which nobody else has really gotten to do. Naturally none of this will ever connect with Harry; he’s very good at seeing himself as a victim but almost incapable of empathizing with actual victims.

      2. CrazyEd says:

        The one femme fatale that works is the one who cover her breasts just enough to show a little skin when she bends over, maybe, and magically sledgehammers Harry.

        It’s almost as if Butcher has never read a hardboiled detective novel before.

        1
  3. SpoonyViking says:

    The Legends of the Five Rings RPG has a neat variant on the frog and the scorpion story. It goes just like the usual version until the end, when instead of the scorpion saying he’s just following his nature, he says: “But little frog, I can swim.”

    1
    1. illhousen says:

      Reminds me of this:

      LEGION PIGS

      There’s a Bible story where Jesus confronts “Legion,” a demon (or swarm of ‘em) that  has possessed a man (or possibly two men). Christ casts the demons into a herd  of pigs, at their suggestion, and the swine then rush into a lake (or sea) and drown.

      Clearly, there are a lot of questions you can ask about this. Was it just one guy or two? Was there something special about him that let him play hotel to an unclean spirit convention? Why did the demons want to go into pigs? Why’d the pigs then kill themselves? Why is this story so important that it’s in three of the four gospels? Can pigs swim?

      The answer to that last one seems to be a pretty firm “yes.” One beach in the Bahamas is famous for its swimming swine and, despite (apparently entrenched) beliefs to the contrary, multiple naturalists have confirmed that pigs are buoyant and easily strong enough to cross rivers, possibly even straits as wide as twenty miles.

      Believers in the Legion Pig Conspiracy are usually content to point out that pigs swim and that, therefore, some of the Legion-hosted swine could have made it safely to land, breeding and continuing their evil ways all throughout history! Or at least, one believer is usually content. Her name’s Elissa DuVray and she’s a whirlybird pilot in Texas. Her primary business these days is running airborne hunts for feral hogs.

      Feral hogs are a big problem. Estimates place North America’s feral hog population at around six million. That’s more than the human residents of Dallas and Houston put together, but nobody living in Dallas or Houston is procreating at eight months of age and dropping a litter of six offspring twice a year, every year. (Or, if anyone is, nobody’s heard about it.) The math on that looks a little like those scary charts in epidemiology textbooks, the hockey-stick graphs of how fast an infection spreads. The ones that make you want to wash your hands every fifteen minutes for the rest of your life. (Feral pigs are common vectors of infection, by the by. They can also run thirty miles per hour, jump three feet high, and smell food seven miles away.)

      To keep the wild pig population steady, humans have to eliminate more than half of them every year. A semi pork-pocalypse. That’s Elissa’s job, to chopper hunters over Texas’ marauding swine swarms while they gun them down, usually with high-power rifles. (Of course, some pigs are hard to stop. While boars rarely get to 500 pounds — twice the weight of an average NFL linebacker — Georgia’s infamous “Hogzilla,” a cross between an escaped domesticated Hampshire pig and the wild Sus scrofa was eight feet long and 800 pounds. One of its tusks measured nearly eighteen inches.)

      So Texas (and Florida! And nearly every state south of the Mason Dixon line!) suffers an infestation of razorback giants that can fuck up acres of produce in a night and breed more frequently than rabbits. But at least they aren’t smart, right?

      Elissa DuVray says some are as smart as humans, just… different. Specifically, she says this in her Amazon-published book Tusks of Armageddon. It’s not very well organized, meandering between examples of intelligence she’s observed in ferals — operating fence latches, employing teamwork to overcome physical obstacles, using branches as crude tools to access foods or escape confinement, even using small unit tactics to protect themselves from hunters on foot — and more reputable lab evidence in which pigs were taught to play video games, answer quizzes, and deploy deceit and trickery against their fellows. The experts compare pig intelligence to a chimpanzee or a three-year-old human.

      DuVray insists that some are smarter than that. She believes that within the herds in both the countryside and the pigpen, there are genius super-pigs that lead and command the others. These are (of course) the Legion pigs into which Satan’s minions were cast. Or rather, their descendants. She speculates that the 2,000 evil spirits sent into the original herd now move among hosts that are share DNA with those original pigs from Gerasa, manipulating humanity from within its farms, spreading plagues (she calls the swine flu “a near miss”), and scheming to destroy and supplant us from without. She believes that they can be repelled with a cross or with holy water, as long as the priest who blessed it was “truly pure and celibate.” Well.

      Elissa DuVray is right about a lot of stuff. There are, in fact, smart pigs out there, as smart as a human being (more or less). They can’t learn language very well, not more than 5,000 words. But they are cunning and patient and they do not like confinement. They do not much care for humankind, but the smartest of the smart pigs are willing to go along to get access to our technologies, and our persons.

      What really, really makes the smart pigs mad though? They’re denied magick. They can smell it all around them — better than people, by far — but only us bald apes can harness it. The free pigs can’t wallow in the meaning-bath of an avatar’s existence, nor can they flex their worldview like a muscle and put reality in an adept’s sleeper hold. They can’t even root around in the trash of gutter magick.

      They are mute, mundane, and (perhaps worst of all) delicious when they’ve been in a smoker long enough to hit 155 degrees Fahrenheit. We imprison them, we hunt them from the air and the land, and when we’ve slaughtered them, we gorge upon their succulent flesh. All they can do to us in return is possess our bodies remotely using mind control. Did I mention the mind control?

      Legion pigs can attempt to psychically over-whelm human minds and run them, just like demonic possession. (Chalk up another point for the DuVray theory, although she actually has not yet observed a human under a Legion pig’s psychic domination.) The catch is, they can only do this to creatures who have eaten Legion pig meat.There are perhaps one thousand Legion pigs in the US. (Elsewhere? Who knows? Kinda makes keeping kosher and halal look smart though, doesn’t it?) When they procreate, even with one another, it’s uncommon for their offspring to have Legion pig qualities. (They rarely pair up anyway — they generally hate each other only a little less than they hate people.) They don’t experience affection the way humans (or, possibly, even the way normal pigs) do, but sometimes Legion pig parents who are old or sick sacrifice themselves to predators or human hunters in hopes of their offspring enslaving those who consume them. More commonly, they identify Legion pigs among their children and try to get people to eat those specific swine.

      Most Legion pigs are in the wild, with maybe a dozen on organic farms, disguised as the domesticated type. Two are involved with traveling shows, wherein they astonish the rubes with displays of intellect. (All the farm pigs and both the show pigs are the second or third generation of Legion pigs in place. That means that some of the people in the show/farm are vulnerable to mind control, or else that other people scattered around the country are.)

      Most of these pigs want to remain unshot and uneaten, while procreating as much as they can manage. They also try to express their hatred and contempt for humankind whenever it doesn’t expose them much. If they’ve had a Legion ancestor or descendant eaten by a cougar, boa, or alligator, they might possess the predator and make an opportunistic attack on a human. They try to control their herds and keep them safe and prosperous, like Watership Down with more wallowing. To the extent that they’re able, they try to get Legion pig meat into the human diet and to identify humans who’ve eaten it — often just by glaring at random passers-by and attempting to hijack their spindly upright bodies. (They can possess anyone who has eaten any Legion pig, not just one of their bloodline or whatever.)

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      1. SpoonyViking says:

        Oh, is that the origin of the “feral hogs” meme?

        1. Cosmogone says:
          Bold of you to assume it’s merely a meme (no, seriously, the hog problem in the USA is so bad people hunt them with drones. Because pigs are generally smart enough to escape traps and avoid poison. I’m compelled to believe that the story Illhousen posted is literal truth).
          1. illhousen says:

            Our name is Legion, for we are 30-50.

            4
        2. illhousen says:

          It’s from Unknown Armies 3e, published long before the meme. UA continues to have the best fluff.

          1
        3. CrazyEd says:

          The meme itself originated when someone on twitter asked a gun grabbing politician what he was supposed to do about the coyotes or herds of 30 – 50 feral hogs that regularly cruise around his property if they take away his guns. Liberal urbanites, not knowing how scary that number of hogs could be, promptly started mocking him for inventing such a ridiculous sounding situation.

           

          And, yes, there are so many feral hogs in the south that there actually are quite a few people who run helicopter services for mowing down as many feral hogs as you can with a literal minigun, because they really are as big, mean, smart, and numerous as previously stated. I certainly wouldn’t want to get any closer to a herd of feral hogs than that.

          1. SpoonyViking says:

            Oh, ok. Thanks for explaining! But, uh… 30-50 hogs seems to be way too many for a single person with a gun to handle. This sounds like something which needs collective action to solve, not individual.

            1. This sounds like something which needs collective action to solve, not individual.

              But Spoony, that’s Communism!

              Reply
            2. CrazyEd says:

              You’re rapidly underestimating the force-multiplying power of a repeating rifle, to say nothing of a fully automatic one. 5.56 NATO might be a pretty underpowered round for hogs (heck, they’re an underpowered round for deer), but it doesn’t really matter what it is; if you put ten 5.56 NATO in it, it’ll probably go down.

               

              But if you give someone an M60 and sufficient ammo, and set them up in a good spot against 30 to 50 feral hogs? I’d give it to the M60. That’s about a platoon of hogs. GPMGs are made for that kind of thing.

              Reply
            3. SpoonyViking says:

              So what you’re saying is that people want access to military-grade weaponry because they want to deal with a feral wildlife issue all on their own, instead of, oh, I don’t know, relying on / pressuring the actual representatives of the collective will to do their part?

              Reply
            4. SpoonyViking says:

              Oh, no! Run to the hills!

              Reply
            5. illhousen says:

              I, for one, am in favor of shooting capitalist pigs. With communally owned means of destruction, of course.

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              Reply
            6. CrazyEd says:

              Why not? With the proper tools, it’s a small and easily solved problem. Why spend ten times the amount of time and money to get it done a tenth as well a year from now, when the problem is staring you right in the face at that very moment? A little bit of self-reliance goes a long way. Do you really think the goverment would, let alone could, come out every couple of months to put down the new litter of piglets that replaced the ones you killed last season?

              Reply
            7. Roarke says:

              As far as trust in government (and particularly this government) has fallen, I still prefer military ordnance in military hands, yes.

              The idea of “self-reliance” is kind of a meme at this point, not at all helped by the argument that one would be a little more self-reliant with his own M60.

              Still, this is all rather orthogonal to America’s real gun problem. America’s gun problem has nothing to do with rural pigs and everything to do with mass production and minimal licensing/regulation. I’m convinced bullets are a fine solution to Legion. Bullets are not a solution to tens of thousands of handgun deaths per year.   

              Reply
            8. CrazyEd says:

              The between 500,000 to 3,000,000 defensive users of handguns a year would disagree with you. America’s gun problem has lttle to do with feral hogs, but feral hogs (or, rather, the income inequality that normally correlated to areas inundated by feral hogs) are a far better predictor of gun violence than owners of legally purchased firearms (who are overall one of the most law-abiding groups of people in America). The American Journal of Public Health found that income inequality is 5.1 times as predictive of an area’s gun crime statistics than gun ownership, and that’s not even the strongest correlation they found between an environmental factor and gun crime.

              Reply
            9. Roarke says:

              I’ll agree with income inequality being the greater issue, at any rate. The folks that most favor overproduction and ease of access re: guns are also the least likely to resolve income inequality, you know. They worsen the issue from both ends.

              Incidentally, “legally purchased” firearms doesn’t mean much when the laws are so lax. I recognize that most gun owners are law-abiding, but then, most Americans are law-abiding. Our crime rates are pretty low compared to our peers. Except for gun deaths.

              Reply
            10. CrazyEd says:

              How in the world are America’s gun laws remotely lax to anything that isn’t just outright banned? America’s probably the only country that has banned an item that only exists to facilicate compliance with an unreasonably burdensome restriction previously placed upon that product being sold. There are gun laws in America that withstood appeal even though the courts have explicitly stated that compliance with those laws is presently impossible with current technology.

              Reply
            11. Roarke says:

              I guess it is sort of a ‘two Americas’ problem. A lot of the actual regulation is left to the states. The federal stuff has all but expired at this point. I live in California, where the laws are relatively onerous, I’ll grant.

              Reply
            12. CrazyEd says:

              Most of the worst stuff, like the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968, and Hughes Amendment, the building blocks upon which state gun restrictions are built, are federal-level. The NFA of 1934 and GCA of 1968 are literally Titles II and I of federal firearms law, respectively. The next worst offender that would come to mind, after those three, is the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994. Which, well, obviously. But that expired in 2004, because it was utterly ridiculous, and did absolutely nothing to prevent violence.

              The NFA of 1934 is coincidentally, the one that massively restricts the ownership of the machine guns I mentioned that’d be excellent for use against the feral hogs. Even back in 1934, they knew banning machine guns was unconstitutional, so they stuck a $200 tax stamp on them (equivalent to $3,829.22 today), only sold the stamps to certain people, and regulated them that way.

              Reply
            13. SpoonyViking says:

              Well, I’m of the opinion that private citizens just shouldn’t have access to military-grade firearms.

              (Actually, I’m of the opinion that the military shouldn’t have access to military-grade firearms, but since you can’t close Pandora’s jar…)

              Reply
            14. CrazyEd says:

              Most longarm designs, and pretty much all actual physical guns currently in common use by the US military (barring a few ancient Browning M2 HMGs because those things are indestructable) are banned for civilian ownership by the Hughes Amendment, and the rest are regulated by the NFA. The Hughes Amendment bans the sale of automatic weapons made after 1986 to civilians, and the NFA highly regulates (and, in some places such as California, is used to ban) automatic weapons made before that date.

              The handguns are all generally legal as far as I can think but there’s a reason milsurp longarms are all woodstocked rifles. They’re decades outdated. In fact, pretty much the only weapons used by the US Armed Forces that are legal for civilian ownerships are the ones made for the civilian market and then later adopted by the military; such as the family of the M24 SWS, M40, and M2010. All are similar rifles, and all are based on one version or another of the country’s most popular hunting rifle, your grandpa’s Remington 700 deershooter.

              Civilian grade firearms are pretty much superior to their military grade counterparts in every regard, save for automatic fire capability, by about a decade or two; because “military grade” means “lowest bidder built”. Just compare the civilian grade Lyman sight that came on civilian model of the Thompson SMG to the military-grade equivalent issued during WW2.

              Reply
            15. CrazyEd says:

              Oh, and the “Tax Stamp” is pure legal fiction. It’s not a tax on the transfer of machine guns. It’s a restrictive control measure on the transfer of machine guns.

              It’s the only tax on the books that the government tries its damndest to prevent you from paying. There have actually been instances of the government refunding attempts to pay the tax. 

              Reply
            16. Spoony Viking says:
              Yeah, see, “civilians have access to deadlier arms” isn’t a good state of things.
              Reply
            17. CrazyEd says:

              The only ways to fix that situation is to either ban the commercial gun market or drastically increase the army’s arms procurement budget.

              Reply
  4. Nicolas says:
    Ok,real quick I’m going to need Examples.

    *When*has harry ever used his magic to  bully anyone? Like ever?

    1. illhousen says:

      Every time he looks someone who knows about soulgaze in the eye and refuses to look away. The most clear-cut example of it comes from AAA Wizardry, a short story written as an introduction fiction for DF RPG. In it, Harry lectures a class of prospective Wardens and looks each of them in the eye until all of them look away. In this situation, Harry was in a position of officially recognized authority over them. They presented no threat to him and did not even antagonize him, yet he still felt the need to assert his dominance through a threat of a very unsettling magical experience that is known to make some people outright feint.

    2. Farla says:

      From the last book alone, off the top of my head:

      While he makes an initially good-faith attempt to talk the ghost down by explaining she’s dead and needs to move on, when she doesn’t listen he gets mad because he’s right and she’s wrong and for that reason shouts at her what really happened, forcing her to remember murdering her baby, killing her husband, hacking her own hand off and slowly bleeding to death. He then kills her in an agonizing, drawn out manner.

      When the vampires show up under truce to give him a letter, he keeps threatening them and after it’s delivered and they’re leaving he blasts them with air just to mess up their appearance and make it clear he doesn’t respect or care about them.

      He sneaks into Mort’s house, pretends to blame him for what’s going on when he realizes Mort’s scared and that he can make this innocent man even more scared, uses his magic to slam the doors of Mort’s house just to flex, and repeatedly insults and mocks him.

      And, of course, he makes a scared homeless kid beg for his help, offer him sex so he can make a show of how disgusting that is, make her beg more, and then turn her down after all that so she knows he has complete power over her.

      His response to everyone at the party is either to try to assault them or lament he can’t assault them.

      And this is without getting into his horrific delight in the violence he inflicts on others – it’s one thing to fight back against Lea, it’s another to dump cold iron down her shirt and  glory on how she’s tearing her silken gown away from her chest in a panic, revealing more gorgeous flesh being riven by the cold iron.

      2
      1. Roarke says:

        it’s one thing to fight back against Lea, it’s another to dump cold iron down her shirt and  glory on how she’s tearing her silken gown away from her chest in a panic, revealing more gorgeous flesh being riven by the cold iron.

        This dovetails nicely with Nicolas’s other question re: ‘why is it wrong that Harry finds women attractive’. The issue is not that Harry finds women attractive; it’s that he can’t ever stop evaluating women based on their looks and objectifying them even when they’re hurt (by his hand) or dead, coupled with his incredible personal disrespect for them.

        1. CrazyEd says:

          Didn’t he ogle some corpse-tiddies, at some point? I seem to recall that.

          1. Roarke says:

            Yeah, Kim’s from Book 2. Apparently a real-life ex of Butcher’s that he included in the book as vicarious vengeance. Getting slashed open by a werewolf was apparently not enough to besmirch her ogle-worthiness.

            1. Cosmogone says:
              Wow, I wonder just why she left an upstanding guy like Butcher.
              Reply
            2. Nicolas says:

              The ghost was a clear and present threat,Agatha would have murdered people she needeed to be taken down. The fact that the only way he could have taken her down is painful was an unhappy coincidence.

              You know how when you’re faced with a dangerous animal, you must never show fear or weakness? Same principle with vampires. If harry was polite and cordial to them,they would take him as a weak target,and would try to hurt him once the truce was ever. Never under estimate the evil of a vampire,they are monsters through and through.

              Mort was regretful,but Harry needeed Morty info to save lifes ,it wasn’t bullying it was a necessary step needeed to stop murders

              Th

              The party was again a party of murderers,monsters. You cant be polite to either 

              He doesn’t any fault for the soulgaze,he cant rip his eyes out

              Reply
            3. Nicolas says:
              as for the teen,harry had no  way to knowing she was helpless. She could have been an agent of a monster.
              Reply
            4. illhousen says:

              Farla is better equipped to deal with other situations since I don’t have that much recollection of the third book, but

              He doesn’t any fault for the soulgaze,he cant rip his eyes out

              He can, however, just not look people in the eye. It’s something that should be habitual to him by now precisely because he risks a potentially traumatic (for him and the second party) experience each time he does.

              And yet he regularly meets the eye of other people specifically to stare them down. Again, in AAA Wizardry there was no excuse for that other than establishing his dominance. It’s not even like his pupils would think him weird for avoiding eye contact since all of them are wizards in their own right and know how it works.

              as for the teen,harry had no way to knowing she was helpless. She could have been an agent of a monster.

              Anyone can be an agent of a monster, so that’s just an excuse to treat people badly in general. At that point in time, Harry didn’t even know someone was gunning for him specifically. All he knew is that ghosts were unusually active (but not why such a thing could happen) and that Lydia came to him for help against the unusually active ghosts. Which is, you know, his job that he advertises.

              She didn’t even specifically ask for his anti-ghost trinket, just for help in general, so he could have pointed her towards the church and said that the best way to deal with ghosts is to stay behind a powerful threshold, which is true. Then he could have looked into the matter personally, since it’s connected to the ghost activity he was already dealing with.

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              Reply
  5. Spoony Viking says:
    Let’s go with the first one. The goal is to have less firearms available, not more.
    1. CrazyEd says:

      In order to ban a commercial gun market, you’re going to also have to ban all knowledge of how to make a gun. And, as the PA Luty Submachine Gun proves, you can make a firearm nothing more than the know-how and access to a regular hardware store. The Luty SMG doesn’t contain a single specialty part. It’s all sheet metal, metal tubes, and machine screws.

      1
  6. Cosmogone says:
    Uh, sorry, I’m not American but banning guns altogether wouldn’t solve the problem because the USA has a giant black market. Also most (roughly two thirds) of gun murders are commited by cops. I mean, disarming your population when your police force both has cult mentality and loves killing 5 year olds sounds like a bad idea.
    1. Farla says:

      A huge part of why our police behave like that is the fact that hypothetically, anyone could have a gun, so the police need to have triple guns and also shoot first just in case. (It also makes it easy to plant guns on people after they’ve been shot.) The black market has a similar issue, they’re largely guns that were bought legally and then resold.

      1. CrazyEd says:

        Or a knife. A hidden knife is usually a quicker 0 to 100 danger situation than even a gun. There are tells someone’s reaching for a gun. With a surprise knife, it’s usually in you before you can react. Or, hell, it might just be a really big or strong dude. The bigger a dude is, the less likely a taser is to work. Honestly, it doesn’t even have to be a particularly big or strong dude, especially if drugs are involved. There’s some pretty wild police footage out there. Three cops versus one resisting suspect is actually a more fair fight than you’d expect.

        I’ve seen a guy with a knife approach cops with a knife for 400 feet, eventually charge them, get shot at seven times (taking at least one bullet to the center mass but it seems to me at least three) and still have the power to get up and grapple with one of the two responding officers before being shot by the other officer; a literal NFL defensive lineman drag a cop trying to arrest him around a convenience store like he wasn’t even there or being tased; and a dude tank getting pepper sprayed by multiple cops, tased at least three times, hit with three close-range beanbag rounds to the chest, and ignore a flashbang grenade to charge at ten officers with a knife in each hand. And that’s just on a single Youtube channel.

        When the British government took away people’s guns, they started carrying knives. When the British government took away the police’s guns, people still kept carrying knives. And now the British police regularly encounter situations of up to a dozen unarmed officers running around utterly powerless to stop a single man with a knife, in between posting pictures on twitter of them rounding up dangerous files, scissors, and pliers and taking them off the streets and running motor scooter riding thieves over with their patrol cars to prevent purse snatching. I’m not even joking. That’s a thing they do. Intentionally. As official police procedure. They call it “tactical contact”. That’s… not even a thing in America. I’ve never heard of a single instance of cops being taught to use PIT maneuvers against motorcycles or mopeds outside of Britain. Maybe in Russia, but Russian cops go fucking hard.

        1. Roarke says:

          I mean, “cops should have guns” and “literally everyone should have guns” are two different arguments that I have very different opinions on.

           

          1
          1. CrazyEd says:

            My point was, even if guns were never invented, there’s still a lot of stuff you’d have to worry about a potential criminal having. Like knives. Or brass knuckles. Or even, heck, a rock or bare fists. “Anyone could be armed” is a thought I’d want any cop, in any country, to keep in mind when responding to a call, because it’s true in every country.

            Every 5’10” 180 pound man you arrest could be a 5’10” 180 pound man sitting on your stomach pummeling your face in. A knife can be more easily concealed than a gun and things can go from 0 to 100 in a split second. First rule of knife fighting is that you will get hurt; and you will probably get hurt before you even realize you’re in a knife fight.

            It’s called law enforcement because it exists to force an end to criminal behaviour. The three steps of law enforcement are Ask, Tell, and Make, but it’s hard to make anyone do anything when they’ve got more force to bring to bear on a situation, and a criminal will always have more force to bring to bear than an equivalently armed law enforcement officer because criminals are obviously not bound by laws regarding use of force. If guns had never been invented, I’d want every police officer to have at least sword, and to treat every potential suspect like they had a knife. “American cops have to act like that because anyone could have a gun” is a terrible argument.

            1. Socordya says:

              Counterpoint: the police being afraid of and vulnerable to ordinary people is good, actually.

              Also, the reason they are called “law enforcement” is because it sounds more respectable than “thugs of the bourgeoisie”.

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              Reply
      2. Cosmogone says:
        >>It also makes it easy to plant guns on people after they’ve been shot

        Mostly this I think. Also racism and the Stanford effect.

        (I generally have moderate opinions on guns, I just really Don’t Like the American police — or rather, the culture surrounding it.)

        1
    2. CrazyEd says:

       Also most (roughly two thirds) of gun murders are commited by cops.

      This is… not even close to true. I’ve never even seen the most anti-gun organizations claim anything even close to this. ~80% of gun violence being committed by illegal guns is a pretty well-agreed upon statistic, and all shootings by police would fall under the remaining 20% by definition, so I’m not sure where you arrived at that number from.

      1. Cosmogone says:
        Amusingly enough, I got this information from the statistic displayed by the pro-gun side. I might look for it if you’re curious.
        1. CrazyEd says:

          Would it also happen to be some kind of radically anti-cop source as well? Because… I mean… maybe if it was a source from some revolutionary anarcho-communists like that one gun club that released a video showing off how they couldn’t shoot for shit to scare the fascists, I could see it? Typically, pro-gun sources are also pro-police, and that’s one of the only groups I could see considering themselves pro-gun but anti-cop. But yes, I would very much like to see that source.

          1. Cosmogone says:
            >>Would it also happen to be some kind of radically anti-cop source as well?

            Nope. It was your basic pro-gun, pro-police enforcement sorce, which is in part why I considered it a more reliable source (i.e. accidental honesty). The information was plainly presented as “two thirds of gun deaths are caused by the police, which is good, because the cops are doing their duty and definitely only shoot people for good reasons”. Though maybe the statistic was referring to two thirds of deaths by legally owned weapons or two thirds of known perpetrators specifically and just didn’t mention it because??

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