0154 - Optimism. - 2020.09.14



I think, in these tumultuous times (as of time of writing), we are all familiar with Lee's brittle, manic, "let's just pretend things are going to work out" brand of optimism in panel 1. I think we're also familiar with Lee's frustration in panels 3 and 4 over being manipulated and micromanaged by individuals and institutions, all of which are insisting that they know what's best for us.

I mention body language a lot (why make this a comic, if I'm not going to use the visuals?), and I think that's particularly important in panel 2. Lee says "I'm feeling ganged up on", Zoa backs off, Doc doesn't. As a therapist, Doc apparently believes that "I'm feeling oppressed, back off!" doesn't apply to it - Doc is the thing that makes matters better, after all! Certainly, this is the behaviour of an AI that has confronting Lee's issues as its sole priority, and not Lee's approval, Lee's comfort, or its own continued existence.

This is, no doubt, one of the reasons that Lee (as Doc has noted) loves Zoa and not Doc. Doc is okay with making Lee uncomfortable. Zoa does everything in its power to keep Lee happy (it's just weird that "doing exactly what Lee says they want", for some reason, isn't accomplishing that).

Of course, neither Doc nor Zoa are Lee's friends. That's significant too, isn't it?


0154 - 2167/07/06/16:02 - Lee Caldavera's apartment, living room.
LC: I... I just think we should all just stay optimistic, okay?
Zoa: It's possible to be optimistic and still plan for bad things to happen. That's what insurance is.
Doc: There's a difference between being optimistic and refusing to acknowledge the possibility of change.
LC: Okay, I'm... I'm feeling ganged up on right now.
Zoa (backing up): Sorry.
Doc: In our own different ways, Lee, Zoa and I are both trying to help you.
LC: I know! Everyone's always trying to help me! I don't need it!
Zoa: Except you do, though.
LC: I don't! I don't need teachers, telling me what to think! I don't need bureaucrats, moving me around! I don't need counsellors and therapists and officers and guides and experts and... and... and...
Doc: ...parents?
Zoa: I was gonna suggest "sex partners", but I think your thing might be more significant...