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Family Deserts 21/33

Family Deserts 21/33 published on 12 Comments on Family Deserts 21/33

Kale: Hey, uh — Larch, right? Can I ask one question? You don’t have to answer.

Larch: Sure.

Kale: If you could magically change your parents’ minds . . . I mean, cast a spell to make them respect boundaries, lose the racism, and accept how people feel, even when they don’t like it . . . Would you do it?

Larch: I . . .

I think I would, yeah. I cut them off because you can’t explain things to them. They don’t absorb it at all. If magic could get through to them . . . That sounds like it would be nice.

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Helluva question there, but also like, understandable given the circumstances. I don’t think there’s a person in the world who has a bad relationship with their folks that doesn’t, on some level, wish that their parents would just… not be jerks, y’know?

Unfortunately, it works the other way round too: his parents wishing Larch would just … allow them in and not be a jerk (from their point of view) about them seeing their grandchildren.

Yeah, but there are Objective Lines here. Or, maybe they’re a little subjective, but if it’s a choice between “change the person who’s not respecting boundaries, being a racist, and not accepting how other people feel” and “make someone forget/abandon their marriage with someone else, ignore the awful things we say about people, and get them to listen to us because we obviously know best” then most people will lean on the side of stopping the Jerks from being Jerks. Of course, there’s also people who would take the other side, but… let’s be real, Kale was kind of forced to be the other side for NorthWind- making people ignore moral hangups with issues because Obviously, the ones asking him to do it knew best. He’s probably wondering if it’s okay to use Mind Control in a situation like this, given he and Thorn talked about the ethical uses of mind control before.

What do you mean “make him ignore the awful things they say about people”? What his parents want is to make him not consider other races to be “true” people – that’s the core of racism.

And there are definitely lot of issues where you find proponents with arguments which makes sense on both sides. Usually those aren’t the most loud ones, but still.

Ultimate example: the religion. As long as you believe that people who are different religion than you are will be punished for eternity after death, it makes LOT of sense to save everyone by convincing them to convert by any means necessary. Of course, if your belief is wrong …

… so, understandable, but dangerous.

Sorry Kale, but I think with that question Thor’s assessment of you has gone done a little (judging from his glance).

Yeah, but sometimes you’ve gotta ask. It can be helpful to have the touchstone and know what people who are “righter than you” would think. He can’t DO anything with the information, but it’s valuable to know. Because everything he did was done to protect his sibling.

The most ethical, firmly ‘good’ thing Kudzu did with his talent for mind control was essentially ‘anaesthetizing’ panic responses for patients about to undergo surgery, literally taking away their fear and pain. I imagine Kale still wants to taste that, and the ‘healing’ he wants to be allowed to do would include acts like that.

The issue is even if Kale HAD his powers… Larch cannot ‘consent’ to mind control on behalf of his parents.

That’s a dangerous question to ask. But I understand why he’s asking it, I think, and I can’t blame him for it. It’s not like he can act on it anyway. But he wants to understand where the lines are. Larch can’t answer that, of course; it’s one of those complicated moral/philosophical dilemmas that definitely doesn’t have a clear-cut answer. But another perspective can certainly help one find an answer that one can accept.

I don’t think he’s asking Larch to give Larch perspective, I think Kale’s asking to give himself validation. If someone else in a bad situation would do the same thing he did, maybe he isn’t so different after all.

I’m inclined to agree – I was going to leave a message along these lines to the various comments above, it’s nice to see someone else has beat me to it. ;-]

It is, however, a very slippery slope that Kale is dancing around on. I hope that Thorn points out how slippery it is, and Kale gets to explain that he’s trying to not, and perhaps about trying to learn to trust his own mind, or balance it, about right/wrong choices. It’s okay to wish that you could, it’s wrong to act on it, sort of thing, which is a perspective that Kale hasn’t been able to develop for himself, for various reasons. Just my 2p, though. It remains to be seen what we end up seeing.

Well, of course he’s not so different. Power corrupts. Majority of people couldn’t be trusted with this kind of power. It’s so easy to start with good intentions and then slip.

And it would be good if someone would explain it to him correctly. Because convincing him he’s monster for doing what he did wouldn’t help his recovery.

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