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Author Topic: Does Marten have goals?  (Read 27859 times)

Thiefree

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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #100 on: 25 May 2011, 16:12 »

Most of the big things in my life have 'just happened', but I guess everybody knows how busy that can keep you!

I think something I'm glad you lot reminded me is that comic time works very differently. While I've been reading QC for years (and have actually known the main characters for longer than most of my current friends*), Marten hasn't actually been dragging his feet by the comic's timeline. In fact, considering the job change, and moving, and his relationship, and new friends, things are actually moving pretty fast for him.

* I cannot begin to tell you how weird this realisation feels.
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #101 on: 25 May 2011, 16:27 »

When I was a kid, in one of the few moments when my grandfather had anything positive to say to me, he told me that a man should never plan out his life. Thats the worst thing anyone can do. Because once you start doing that, you start to worry about meeting those goals and you begin to miss out on the rest of your life. See life as a road, the destination is still in front of you, but if you concentrate on it too much, you'll miss the journey.

My grandfather served on one of the last commercial sailing ships, worked as a brickie and in a steel mill before he retired. He was one of the first property developers back in the 50s and built his own home, twice. He never set any goals for himself. He was also a throughly miserable git who didn't like me simply because I was very quiet, and to be honest, I didn't like him because he was a miserable git. That said, he gave me one of the three pieces of advice that has stuck with me for my entire life.  :wink:
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #102 on: 25 May 2011, 18:06 »

When I was a kid, in one of the few moments when my grandfather had anything positive to say to me, he told me that a man should never plan out his life. Thats the worst thing anyone can do. Because once you start doing that, you start to worry about meeting those goals and you begin to miss out on the rest of your life. See life as a road, the destination is still in front of you, but if you concentrate on it too much, you'll miss the journey.

The problem with that analogy is that if you aren't looking at the road before you at all you're going to drive right off of it into a ditch (or fuck up and plow into somebody else also on the same road and ruin both of your lives).
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TheEvilDog

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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #103 on: 25 May 2011, 18:42 »

But doesn't that happen to everyone at one stage or another? Don't we all crash at sometime? We learn from the experience and move on.

The point is, do you want to look back on your life and think to yourself "I've accomplished X. But looking back, what have I missed?" One of the Four Noble Truths in Buddhism is that the cause of suffering in life comes from the desire to have and control things, such as one's own life. The real problem there is that you can't control life, the same way that you can't tell what will happen around the next bend, or what's coming.

I said earlier that my grandfather was on the last sailing ship built in the English isles, the Kathleen and May, a schooner. He signed on as one of the crew when he was 16, and spent two years sailing on her before the diesel fumes from the engines caused him to develop a severe ulcer (it would later require much of his stomach to be removed), and so when he was 18, as the Kathleen and May sailed into Cardiff, he was allowed to leave. There he apprenticed as a brick-layer and he met my grandmother, and began to buy old houses, fix them up, sell them and move on. Eventually he got a job with a large steel mill as one of the supervisors, simply because one of his old brickie mates knew some of the managers. Working there, he was able to build a home for his family, and he was able to retire in some comfort. My grandmother passed away when I was 13, from leukemia, and it was a harsh blow for him. He developed cancer when I was 15, and that required his left lung to be removed. He passed away one month short of my 18th birthday, from a reoccurance of the cancer.

A year before he died, he came over for a visit and in one of the few meaningful chats we ever had, he told me that life had dealt him some terrible blows, but had also shown him a great deal of kindness, he had been able to see he grandchildren grow up, and was able to meet his great grandson. He even admitted himself to be a simple man, no lofty ideals, no grand scheme in life. He was just a boy who signed onto a ship who didn't care what was on the horizon, only that there must have been something there.
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #104 on: 25 May 2011, 20:27 »


A year before he died, he came over for a visit and in one of the few meaningful chats we ever had, he told me that life had dealt him some terrible blows, but had also shown him a great deal of kindness, he had been able to see he grandchildren grow up, and was able to meet his great grandson. He even admitted himself to be a simple man, no lofty ideals, no grand scheme in life. He was just a boy who signed onto a ship who didn't care what was on the horizon, only that there must have been something there.

That may be what Marten is about. The problem is that he doesn't seem happy with that, that maybe he thinks he should want more, but is not sure what that "more" should be. Our fast-pased, consumerist society probably has a lot to do with that. We're encouraged, especially by the media, to always want more, more, more, to never be satisfied with "enough", to keep looking for that next horizon. That attitude is so pervasive that when we run into someone who's NOT like that, who is content to stay in place, we often think they're strange. Even such people themselves may wonder why they have no great ambition to say, conquer the corporate/business world or become the next entertainment sensation when they see some of their peers striving to do so.

It's no coincidence that Marten's social circle consists primarily of people who also lack any great ambition for their life (like Faye and Angus), as such easygoing people are fundamentally incompatible with people who feel driven to Accomplish Something in their life. Even Dora's not too different, she's accomplished her goal of being a business owner, and is now mainly driven to keep that business operating and solvent. She's not trying to make a chain of CoDs or turn it into a franchise, or even physically expand the shop. She's basically trying to stay in place-at most she'd probably like to hire someone reliable enough to run the place so she could actually take a vacation every now and then.

Slightly off-topic, but I also find it funny how success can come to those who aren't looking for it. Our esteemed QC creator wasn't looking to create a webcomic for a living, yet here he is doing just that. Meanwhile, many an aspiring webcomic creator trying to emulate the success of Jeph and the other creators living off their creations has failed miserably, or at least fallen short of that goal. Does this mean they should keep trying, or find another path? And what other path should they take? Difficult questions to answer, no wonder there are people like Marten out there wondering just what to do with their lives...
« Last Edit: 25 May 2011, 20:31 by themacnut »
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #105 on: 25 May 2011, 23:48 »

Paraphrasing someone: Choosing your major & career in your teens is letting an ignorant young fool plan your life.  And as the Buddha and EvilDog pointed out, what about all you've given up to be locked into that "career," that "goal"?

Quote from: themacnut
We're encouraged, especially by the media, to always want more, more, more, to never be satisfied with "enough"

I recognize myself in Marten and the others for their inability to adapt to their inability to adapt to.. society/cult of the winner/capitalist greed/etc.

Would it be political to say I agree with this 100%?
« Last Edit: 25 May 2011, 23:59 by tomart »
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #106 on: 26 May 2011, 00:44 »

letting an ignorant young fool plan your life.

Worked for me?  Or not, depending on your view.

I decided at the age of twelve to become a doctor, and my schooling up to age eighteen was aimed at this.  Exam results forced a reassessment, and I went to university to study Physics (which I swapped for Engineering after a term).  At university I discovered pipe organs, sound recording, and computers (1966 - not trivial).  I attempted to become an organ builder - sorry, closed shop, apprenticeship at age sixteen only; bye-bye.  I decided that computers were fascinating as a hobby interest, but that computing would be a dull career - so, off to the BBC I went as a sound engineer.

What happened then?  Two years later, I moved into computing, which is the field that I have earned my living in ever since.  A decade later I got back into sound recording as a hobby, and ended up recording a number of commercial CDs on a freelance basis; I also make advanced surround recordings that have been used for demos at AES meetings.  Nearly all my computing jobs have been in a medical connection.  I have just built an organ console in my study, and connected my computer to it to play sample sets of pipe organs (I am even planning to make a sample set, if I can get permission).  So all the failed or discarded careers have come round again, because I was interested in them.

So what's the point?  Well, while doing all this I have also been visibly as indecisive as Marten; I have also at various times felt that I was going nowhere and achieving little.  Each of the actual plans I've made has failed.  But looking back, clearly it hasn't been too bad really.  So don't judge Marten - it's simply too soon in his life to worry like that.

If you want advice, away from the comic, I would suggest that the key is simply to be interested in things - something, anything.  Don't plan for that interest to solve your life problems, but just notice how in time interests get woven into the fabric of your life and make it seem fairly OK after all.
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #107 on: 26 May 2011, 01:36 »

I mean that every single thing Neil Gaiman has ever done is full of interesting, compelling characters with long term goals and aspirations with varying degrees of success at achieving them (and even if those goals and aspirations aren't crystal clear at the beginning, they still act with a definitive sense of purpose until you discover what they're after).

You should have went with somebody like, I don't know, Stephanie Meyer or something, if you were going for the "I can't think of a single story with compelling characterizations" argument.

But I fucking hate twilight!  :wink:

And I never said "I can't think of a single story with compelling characterizations". Don't put words in my mouth.

Yeah, sorry, you said "I can't think of a single one" in response to someone posting about how it is entirely possible for a comic to have a successful character that plays a meaningful role in things, then mention the author of the Sandman and Murder Mysteries and who is responsible for the creation of the Lucifer spin-off comics (all of which, especially that last one, feature some pretty motivated characters).

Sorry for beating dead horses but no, I never said that. I said I can't think of a single interesting comic with characters who are successful all the time. Which is true. I can't. It's just my opinion. "Plays a meaningful role in things", never said that, you're on a pretty high horse here, you know? Putting words in my mouth all the time.

And what's your logic anyway, that I can't quote Neil Gaiman if I don't take into account everything else he ever said and wrote? And that the quote doesn't stand on its own because you read something different into it?
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Tiogyr

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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #108 on: 26 May 2011, 04:56 »

Nah, I think it's entirely possible for a comic to be interesting/entertaining and feature a person who has, you know, a presence in the things that happen.

Well, fine, I agree. But on the top of my head, I can't think of a single one.

This is what I was making a joke about you referencing Neil Gaiman later in your post about. You quoting him was irrelevant to the joke I made about the quote above and following it by quoting Neil Gaiman, who wrote many stories (and two pretty famous comics, and responsible for the creation of a third comic) featuring things you said you couldn't think of an example of.
« Last Edit: 26 May 2011, 05:28 by Tiogyr »
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rje

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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #109 on: 26 May 2011, 12:11 »

Errp I don't wanna keep goin on and on but I gotta address one thing:

The American Dream, as it's sold by Society and Media, is a bunch of bullshit, always has been, always will be and Marten would never be the kind of guy who thinks his only happiness is being a highly-paid Business Guy (TM KiTH) with a wife, 2.5 kids and a house in the suburbs. But having a passion for a specific thing (or things) and desiring personal success in that thing (or things) is not selling out to the corporate machine or being a greedy capitalist pig. Having ambition is not the same thing as being ambitious, even.

I can be completely honest and say that I found Angus and Faye's conversation during their date about 'good enough' quite sad (and not in a 'Oh god they're pathetic' way, let me make that clear); however, I believe fully that they both are happy (or in Faye's case, getting to that point) - feeling completely comfortable in the skin of their own lives. Which is awesome.

I posit that Marten may have the beginning inklings that his skin isn't fitting quite as well as he'd like. Now he may not know what that means, or what he wants to do about it, or even if he wants to do anything about it at all. But if he DOES do something, make a goal, plan a plan, dream a dream (lol wtf poetry) that does not mean he's succumbing to any kind of social pressure to Be the Big Dog and rape/pillage his way up the corporate ladder. It's not an inherently bad thing to want or wish.

You know who I love? Jimbo.
By all typical social standards he's a five time loser, but he did a thing that he loves doing, and it worked out well for him because he did it. But the thing is, I think even if he didn't sell a single of his masterpieces of fine, fine literature, he'd still be doing it, because it's his passion and it drives him. He's doing what he loves, and thus, is fulfilled. (extrapolation of course, he may not be, but I think he would be. Even if all he was doing was posting on HotGothicLiteratureSluts.com)

So in conclusion, um...Marten totally needs to start a band.  :mrgreen:
yesss that was my point, yesss

 
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #110 on: 26 May 2011, 13:39 »

Dear Marten,

The world is full of soup, but you have to go out and get it.
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #111 on: 26 May 2011, 16:07 »

Nah, I think it's entirely possible for a comic to be interesting/entertaining and feature a person who has, you know, a presence in the things that happen.

Well, fine, I agree. But on the top of my head, I can't think of a single one.

This is what I was making a joke about you referencing Neil Gaiman later in your post about. You quoting him was irrelevant to the joke I made about the quote above and following it by quoting Neil Gaiman, who wrote many stories (and two pretty famous comics, and responsible for the creation of a third comic) featuring things you said you couldn't think of an example of.

DERP
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #112 on: 27 May 2011, 06:07 »


You know who I love? Jimbo.
By all typical social standards he's a five time loser, but he did a thing that he loves doing, and it worked out well for him because he did it. But the thing is, I think even if he didn't sell a single of his masterpieces of fine, fine literature, he'd still be doing it, because it's his passion and it drives him. He's doing what he loves, and thus, is fulfilled. (extrapolation of course, he may not be, but I think he would be. Even if all he was doing was posting on HotGothicLiteratureSluts.com)

 

Heh, and that gets me wondering something, kind of based off my previous post in this thread. Hey Jeph, if you won the lottery jackpot tomorrow (Powerball/Megamillions/whatever), and were flush with enough cash to never have to work another day in your life, would you still draw QC?
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Tiogyr

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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #113 on: 27 May 2011, 06:40 »

I'd hazard a guess that he would (though probably after taking a good vacation and visiting all the really cool shit around the world that you never get to see unless you're that wealthy), like most people would do if they aren't completely insane with money management problems.

Me? I'd be happy to get a couple hundred grand to pay off mine and my parents debts (our respective mortgages, etc.) so we could just work to pay utilities and use the rest of the money we earn to do fun stuff.
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #114 on: 07 Jun 2011, 10:33 »

Marten realizes he's a townie whining about not being able to go to a coffee shop.

Will this wake him up from the funk he's been in his whole life? My guess is...no. 
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Tiogyr

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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #115 on: 07 Jun 2011, 11:04 »

He'll be in such denial over being a townie that he'll return to CoD so he can bitch about the people at tSB calling him one.
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #116 on: 07 Jun 2011, 11:30 »

He'll be in such denial over being a townie that he'll return to CoD so he can bitch about the people at tSB calling him one.

Which would be funny. Kind of like that epiphany we (and Angus) thought Marigold was going to have when Momo fried her computer.

Epiphanies are not good for our QC friends.

I mean, really ... Which character in the strip had a real, no-shit epiphany? Sara, way back when. And then the allosaurus got her.
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #117 on: 07 Jun 2011, 11:37 »

Wait, what epiphany did we think Marigold was going to have?
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #119 on: 10 Jun 2011, 19:28 »

Martens goals mostly seem to be making enough money to live and enjoying time with his friends. Not exactly super ambitious goals but to some philosophies Marten would be seen as enlightened.
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #120 on: 10 Jun 2011, 21:09 »

Martens goals mostly seem to be making enough money to live and enjoying time with his friends. Not exactly super ambitious goals but to some philosophies Marten would be seen as enlightened.

After 23 years being ambitious on someone else's behalf, I can't say that's an entirely unattractive philosophy.
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #121 on: 11 Jun 2011, 06:15 »

I take it the Dora-Faye-Raven four way isn't one of Martens goals anymore...
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #122 on: 11 Jun 2011, 06:33 »

It never was, actually, unless you're thinking of a different strip from me, which I doubt...
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #124 on: 11 Jun 2011, 13:06 »

Ah; I had forgotten that one.
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #125 on: 11 Jun 2011, 14:06 »

I'd take Eating the Moon for $100, Alex.
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #126 on: 19 Jun 2011, 23:15 »

 I am actually becoming interested in the comic again because of something I realized while reading today's strip. Marten is becoming interesting as a character again. I have always thought it interesting that Marten, despite being the main character of the strip, has remained relatively mysterious during the comic's run. We know more about other characters who have appeared in less or even half of the strips Marten has (Hannelore, Faye, even Marigold), that is, we are more aware of their quirks, how they respond emotionally to situations, and their flaws. Marten, on the other hand, is more complicated. Due to his characterization, we are only given brief glimpses of his feelings and the deeper realms of his character. Normally, he is the straight man of the strip, there to sum of the readers' thoughts on the wacky shenanigans that take place. A balanced, agreeable and nice guy, if somewhat of an underachiever. However, we occasionally see glimpses of a different Marten; very sensitive and a little emotionally vulnerable. A perfect example of a guy who keeps his feelings inside, only to let them out bluntly when he feels overwhelmed (such as in the strip where he lashes out at Faye after post-breakup drinking).

 Interestingly, I have found that Marten seems to be falling back into how he was in the beginning of the strip. More apathetic, more self-pitying, and often feeling alone and powerless. This is interesting when you consider that many of the other characters were the same way when they were first introduced, but are now mostly leading happy romantic and social lives, while Marten falls back into his old ways.
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #127 on: 20 Jun 2011, 00:29 »

We all have a tendancy to fall back to our "old ways" after suffering emotional stress.  Not  doing so is one of the greatest signs of growth and change.  As the most "balanced, agreeable and nice guy" in the strip, it's arguable that he had the least reason to change at all. 

But clearly something  needs to change. 
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #128 on: 20 Jun 2011, 18:03 »

He's self-pitying for different reasons now. As someone who's done both "I have no friends; woe is me" AND "My friends cause me drama; woe is me," not to mention plenty of this, I can relate to that.
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Re: Does Marten have goals?
« Reply #129 on: 21 Jun 2011, 02:53 »

I don't know what "goals" means to the creator of this thread or people in general. Just having a nice life, friends, a job that gives you enough money to live... I think that's way more than most of the people achieve in their lives sadly.

I do agree though that if he's not really satisfied then he shoyuld so something about it, otherwise... Meh, he's doing pretty ok in my book which like I said before it's way better than the average person in this planet. A few years ago I was very ambitious... way too much and was stressed pretty much 24/7. I do have some basic goals but not more specific than the average person who just want to have a nice life... I'm way more happy now.
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