GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Companion Powers

POSTED BY: THEREALME
UPDATED: Saturday, August 7, 2004 21:39
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Tuesday, August 3, 2004 5:04 PM

THEREALME


Let us examine the powers that Companions seem to have in Firefly. Now, I don’t for a minute believe that Companions have any magic or psychic powers. However, they seem to have a great understanding of human psychology and an uncanny ability to manipulate people. I also think that Companions learn special techniques that are akin to hypnotism.

Who are the Companion-trained individuals we know about? There are three: Inara (fully trained), Nandi (partly trained), and YoSaffBrig (at least some training, according to Inara). So, what things have happened in the series that MIGHT have shown us the use of Companion powers? Let’s see how big a house of cards I can build…

Possibly, in Train Job, when Inara rescues Mal and Zoe from the sheriff, she might have exerted Companion powers. Clearly the sheriff and many of the locals are VERY impressed with her (though not so much that the sheriff doesn’t check her credentials). Probably, this is not a good example.

In Our Mrs Reynolds, YoSaffBrig seems to beguile most of the crew, and (with great difficulty) gets Mal to kiss her. “Most men are on me inside of ten minutes,” she says (quote from memory). She was manipulating those around her through the carefully constructed Saffron personality. It was, of course, something she was very conscious of, wielding a deadly combination of innocence, helplessness, and sexuality like a weapon. Inara, with her own Companion powers, eventually saw through her act. “You’re good!” and “Never play a player.” Later, I think Inara mentions to the crew that Saffron had to be Companion trained, and that it was no wonder that they were taken in by her. To me, this seems that Inara is acknowledging that Companions have great powers of manipulation. At the end of the show when Mal finally catches up to YSB, she is once again trying to seduce him, and he does end up sparing her life. Okay, he probably would have, anyway.

In the flashback in Out of Gas, Inara very forcefully tells Mal that he will rent the shuttle to her for 75% of his asking price. He does so, I have no doubt. Was it merely her good argument, or was he being influenced in other ways?

In Trash, YoSaffBrig confronts her rich Lassiter-owning husband. Even after he knows her to be a crook, he seems more interested in wanting to help YSB than to punish her. He STILL loves her. Is he still partly under the influence of her Companion powers?

In Heart of Gold, Nandi can easily see that Mal is in love with Inara. “I’m not her,” she tells him right when things are about to get serious. Later, with a good look at Inara (but no other communication, and Mal not even in the room), Nandi can see that Inara is in love with Mal. Could she be catching quick glances, subtle facial expressions, body language? Yes, that’s what I think the Companion powers are all about. But I think that they are beyond the ability of most people.

Then there is the episode (not sure which) where Inara invites Mal into her shuttle for tea, and he refuses to sit down and go along, certain that she is about to use “her wiles” on him. Clearly Mal recognizes the power of “her wiles”.

Now, here is the one that really got me thinking about this topic. In Objects in Space, when Early is talking to Inara in her shuttle, she starts saying soothing words to him like, “You don’t have to go through with this. You can walk away.” Things like that. Then Early smacks her across the mouth (does that seem right to you?). He warns her to not examine his intentions, don’t ever (or something similar). Did Early know that Inara was trying to use her Companion powers to convince him to just leave? Could she have actually done something like that, given enough time and tea?

Of course, Companion powers are not foolproof. Inara can’t dissuade either Mal or Ath from having a duel in Shindig. Old man Higgins is still a jerk. And Mal is still calling her a whore.

So, what do the rest of you think? Or am I reading too much into this thing? I’ll be the first to admit that most of these examples are in no way conclusive, but some of them are perhaps suggestive.

Oh, and most importantly, is Inara using her Companion powers in one or multiple star systems?



The Real Me

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Tuesday, August 3, 2004 5:19 PM

JAYNEZTOWN


Yes, I agree the companions are well trained highly skilled and have a fantastic ability to manipulate people, they play on people's lust and desires

however I think there are some who will not be played or fooled so easy,

Kaylee - A companion often will try to manipulate someone by playing their bad traits, like greed lust and other weakness, kaylee is just to nice so I would say she's almost immune


Simon- a good heart and totally focused on his sister, I still think no hypnotic companion lure could take him away from river


Zoe - a wonderful women and great soldier and very faithful would have a good chance of not getting swayed by a companion in In Trash Zoe knows companions can't be trusted even if shes's using her companion powers of persuasion on everyone Zoe still knows her game

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Tuesday, August 3, 2004 8:15 PM

YT

the movie is not the Series. Only the facts have been changed, to irritate the innocent; the names of the actors and characters remain the same


Quote:

Originally posted by TheRealMe:
in Train Job, when Inara rescues Mal and Zoe from the sheriff, she might have exerted Companion powers. Clearly the sheriff and many of the locals are VERY impressed with her (though not so much that the sheriff doesn’t check her credentials)


Sheriff didn't; female deputy did, and cross-checked. When the sheriff asked the deputy if she'd checked credentials, it sounded to me like it was something he expected but hadn't ordered.

Quote:

In the flashback in Out of Gas, Inara very forcefully tells Mal that he will rent the shuttle to her for 75% of his asking price. He does so, I have no doubt. Was it merely her good argument, or was he being influenced in other ways?


I took it as no more than good negotiating.

Quote:

In Trash, YoSaffBrig confronts her rich Lassiter-owning husband. Even after he knows her to be a crook, he seems more interested in wanting to help YSB than to punish her. He STILL loves her. Is he still partly under the influence of her Companion powers?


Maybe. But he does say that he contacted security the instant he saw her. That, of course, might only mean that those "wiles" aren't nearly as effective over long absences.

Quote:

quick glances, subtle facial expressions, body language? Yes, that’s what I think the Companion powers are all about. But I think that they are beyond the ability of most people.


I think they are skills that can be taught & coached. But the training is extensive (practice is continuous, I think Nandi said), and probably beyond the endurance of most.

Quote:

Now, here is the one that really got me thinking about this topic. In Objects in Space, when Early is talking to Inara in her shuttle, she starts saying soothing words to him like, “You don’t have to go through with this. You can walk away.” Things like that. Then Early smacks her across the mouth (does that seem right to you?). He warns her to not examine his intentions, don’t ever (or something similar). Did Early know that Inara was trying to use her Companion powers to convince him to just leave? Could she have actually done something like that, given enough time and tea?


I think Early is stone cold, but I doubt he would have hit Inara if she couldn't influence him.

Quote:

Oh, and most importantly, is Inara using her Companion powers in one or multiple star systems?


One
or two
no more than three
definitely
sometimes.

Keep the Shiny Side Up

Wutzon: Lynyrd Skynyrd, "That Smell", from "Gold & Platinum"

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Wednesday, August 4, 2004 4:44 AM

KNIBBLET


I don't think it has the slightest bit to do with hypnotism. That's not to say companions don't learn to do such in the course of ... of serving clients.

It is years of study that enable them to read people. They study body language, vocal inflection, word usage ... communication and every aspect of communication is their forte.

Yes, they manipulate people but it isn't through hypnotism, it's through charm, body language, vocal tones and attitude. It is also important to note that companions are members of the higher ranks of society. This societal ranking in a 'verse which is NOT egalitarian packs a lot of punch when she's dealing with just plain folks.

Inara showed just the right amount of righteous indignation toward Mal's alleged theft - and displayed her 'ownership' of him by slapping him. She set the stage and placed herself in a postion of power but also placed herself in the position of requiring the sherriff's assistance in dealing with her property and claim.

She then turned all contrite with the sherriff (as would a member of royalty who truly doesn't want to cause a stir when they stop for gas in a small town) and apologized for her manner knowing this would make him want to assure her that she did nothing untoward.

He recognizes both her power and her beauty. The sherriff part wants to ensure her that her rights of ownership will be upheld - the male part of him is lost somewhere in that gorgeous creature called Inara.

The deputy also treated her with respect as did every person around. She didn't hypnotize anyone -- unless you can define hypnosis as regal composure, beauty and charm.

Feminine wiles have always been feminine wiles. Knowing how to turn the slightest smile into a negotiating tool is something every daughter's mother should teach her.

"Just keep walkin, preacher man."

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Wednesday, August 4, 2004 10:32 AM

CORWYN


Quote:

Originally posted by TheRealMe:
Let us examine the powers that Companions seem to have in Firefly.



The problem with your thesis is the word 'powers'. Inara no more has powers than I do. Yet, I can make computers and yes, even _humans_ do what I want them to.

Inara's job is to read and influence people. She has trained continually at it for years. She is as good at it as Simon is at his. Probably better.

You don't need 'powers' to influence people. Every little girl learns it at about 4.

Thank You Kindly.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2004 7:14 PM

THEREALME


Well, I have both powers of concentration and powers of observation. I bet you do, too.

Really, I think you might be getting hung up on my choice of words. In my second sentence I set out that I do NOT think that "Companion Powers" are supernatural in any way.

If you feel better about it, pretend I used the word "techniques" or "training".

And as far as them being "akin to hypnotism" as I said, I in no way thought that Inara was going to dangle an old pocket watch in front of our eyes and say, "You are feeling VERRRRY SLEEEEEPY."

I was wondering if these Companion TECHNIQUES were more than a really good public speaking class. Do they teach the student how to modulate the tonal qualities of the voice, gesture a certain way, adopt a certain posture... so that the target of these techiques is lulled into being suggestable, or off guard, or malleable. No, not magic or psychic power, but...

Well, something akin to hypnotism. (Sorry, I don't have any other word.)


The Real Me

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Wednesday, August 4, 2004 8:43 PM

GRIMLAKIN


Ya know... I think River even has a form of companion training. Consider how she handled that irish Git whatshisname. In Shindig. She had him in the palm of her hand as easy as pie by taking on traits he would most expect and most miss in people. Rivers is a bit more of a natural than learned.

As far as inara's abilities or powers. She is very observent, Political, manipulative, and aware. I say aware because it applies to things only women seem to be able to do. That whole tune in to the emotional side of a person ASAP.

being brought up by a single mom I have learned to block that ability. heh.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2004 10:39 PM

JAYNEZTOWN


yep maybe the companion do have some sort of power or skill




And River, the youg lady River has real talent seems to be something real special with a powerful mind but most of the time she's too crazy. There may be a few things in firefly similar to ol' Ireland but that gangster git Badger ain't one of them, not Irish or Scottish you'll know the difference in dialogue but he's more of an English gangster git or speaker of a cockney geek and his hat. Cockney little gangster and his stupid hat certainly does get impresssed by River she does the Cockney dialect and slang nicely and makes a fool of Badger in Shindig

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Thursday, August 5, 2004 3:32 AM

FREMDFIRMA


>>You don't need 'powers' to influence people. Every little girl learns it at about 4.<<

This is soooooo TRUE!!

And they know who the easy marks are too, damn, every convention I get mobbed by all my friends kids...

It's like they learn that Ben Kenobi mind-bending trick ("these aren't the droids you're looking for...") or something, you can't say no to the little bratlings and they KNOW it.

When they grow up it only gets worse, gahhhh!!

-F

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Thursday, August 5, 2004 12:24 PM

CORWYN


Quote:

I was wondering if these Companion TECHNIQUES were more than a really good public speaking class.


Nope.

Quote:

Do they teach the student how to modulate the tonal qualities of the voice, gesture a certain way, adopt a certain posture... so that the target of these techiques is lulled into being suggestible, or off guard, or malleable.


Yes. but that IS, in fact, exactly what they teach in a GOOD public (or more appropriately private) speaking class. In the old days they called it "Rhetoric" (as opposed to "Logic"). Only the companion's isn't a three credit, 4-hour per week, one semester class. It is a full time, profession apprenticeship. Years of your life doing nothing but.

But EVERYBODY does this. It is the first thing every baby learns. It is just a difference between professionals and amateurs.

Thank You Kindly.

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Friday, August 6, 2004 1:40 PM

LUPINADDAMS


What's wrong with the idea that Companions have some form of psi ability? After all, Joss has said that psi powers are extant in the 'Verse - just look at River.

Also...
I've touched on this in other threads, but I suspect strongly that Companions are effectively a *religious* order - the noble tradition of sacred prostitution/sexual healers goes back thousands of years. There is no doubt that those who have experienced anything of tantra training or other forms of sexual alchemy have a certain 'aura' of sensuality to them. And a few very neat tricks too... such as the ability to share their orgasmic state with other people, to sustain such orgasms for *hours*, to induce them in others with no more than a touch or a word...

Others in this thread have mentioned the study of body language etc - all vital in such practices. But I really think there is more to it than that.

For one thing, the 'Verse is a culture heavily influenced with Chinese elements - and Chinese sexual alchemy is a tradition going back to at least 4000BC and still practiced today. As in Chinese medicine/acupuncture, the basic concept is 'Ch'i' or 'Qi' as it is sometimes spelled. Basically, we're talking The Force - a light side (Yang) and a dark side (Yin) flowing through all things, especially living things, holding the universe together - but balanced, flowing into one another, not in opposition. Yin does not equal evil - just dark. The same energy is key in martial arts - the application of qi by a light touch to the same part of the body, given with different intentions, may cause pleasure, healing - or pain and even death. It can be shown to work at a distance, to affect those who do not know they are being affected or even disbelieve in its existance...
...that's a pretty good basis for psi powers!

Or perhaps it's simply this - Companions are no less Priestesses than Shepherds are Priests. They just have less truck with the whole celibacy thing.
And if your sexuality is the basis of how you worship your god - then the odd sexy miracle isn't that much of a stretch.

"You are what you do."
Andrew Vacchs

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Friday, August 6, 2004 4:02 PM

CORWYN


Quote:

Originally posted by LupinAddams:
What's wrong with the idea that Companions have some form of psi ability? After all, Joss has said that psi powers are extant in the 'Verse - just look at River.



You mean the blue hands did all that to River to maybe get a psi when all they had to do was hire/co-opt a companion? ick.

No, if River is psi, (and I will require a lot more convincing on that score; maybe when Simon believes it), then she is the first.

Thank You Kindly.

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Friday, August 6, 2004 4:12 PM

THEREALME


You still cannot accept River's psi abilities?

Wow.

Come on, Corwyn!

Near the beginning of Objects in Space, when River is lying there hearing the thoughts of others, (or the past/future words that were/will be spoken) the one that startles her is "We're all just floating."

It is Early's voice.

Now, perhaps a non-psychic River could reason that the Alliance would send a bounty hunter. Perhaps she could guess his approximate height and build.

But could she really calculate what his voice sounds like, as she imagines it in her head?

River can, at the very least read thoughts. Possibly, she can get flashes of the future and the past.

If you want to keep to the non-psychic River idea, this must be explained.

The Real Me

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Friday, August 6, 2004 4:36 PM

CORWYN


Quote:

Originally posted by TheRealMe:
You still cannot accept River's psi abilities?

Near the beginning of Objects in Space, when River is lying there hearing the thoughts of others, (or the past/future words that were/will be spoken) the one that startles her is "We're all just floating."

It is Early's voice.

If you want to keep to the non-psychic River idea, this must be explained.



I don't need to, as I have no idea what River is hearing in her head, and neither do you. I hear Richard Brook's, but then in OOG, I hear the voice of a used spaceship salesman when he isn't on screen either. The voice is a TV idiom, what it means inside the story space is unclear (if it even is in the story space).

You need to convince me inside the story space (i.e. with what other characters see and hear). Convince Simon (who is the only scientific mind on the ship) and I will be too. Mal and Book think it is true, but I don't know why, we don't see anything on screen which should give them that impression.

I haven't seen River do anything your average 250 IQ intuitive genius couldn't do. People often seem willing to ascribe psychic powers to those who are merely vastly smarter.

Thank You Kindly.

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Friday, August 6, 2004 4:46 PM

THEREALME


Well, I take everything that I see on the show as canon. So I have to believe that River heard Early's voice. To me whether or not she is crazy doesn't matter. If she had knowledge of what he sounded like before she could have encountered him, then that is psychic in my book. Also, Joss indicated that she was psychic in the commentary for OIS.

But, I suppose if we ignore all evidence that River is psychic, then I would have to agree that there is no evidence that she is psychic.

VERY BIG

Oh, what about the little girl's life story in Safe?


The Real Me

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Saturday, August 7, 2004 3:32 AM

LUPINADDAMS


Quote:


Originally posted by LupinAddams:
What's wrong with the idea that Companions have some form of psi ability? After all, Joss has said that psi powers are extant in the 'Verse - just look at River.

--You mean the blue hands did all that to River to maybe get a psi when all they had to do was hire/co-opt a companion? ick.



Ick? I have to wonder why the idea produces such a visceral response...

Also, I did not say anything like that which you just implied.
There is a qualititive and quantitive difference between the proposed healer/sexual energy use I suggested for Companions and a telepathic weapon as River is appearing to be. It may of course turn out that the Blue Sun/Blue Hands might have tried to experiment on Companions before... we just don't know. Possibly their flavour of compassionate healing using sexual energy just wasn't able to be weaponised...

[quote' No, if River is psi, (and I will require a lot more convincing on that score; maybe when Simon believes it), then she is the first.


Why? For one thing, River herself said she was not the only experimental subject ("they're hurting *us*" is the message she sent Simon, remember?)

Plus if there are elements of psi to Companion training, then the high levels of secrecy they maintain would keep such from general consideration. Besides, they probably *would not call such activities psi anyway* - as I noted in my previous post, the Qi model is more than sufficient to cover anything that could be called psi without calling attention to it - and has been the backbone of Chinese culture for millennia.

And, as a final thought... maybe the Companions have a deeper agenda. Maybe they're the 'Verse version of the Bene Gesseret in Dune - playing a long game to increase the level of illumination and wisdom of the human population, not by selective breeding, but by selective loving, picking influencial people with the potential to grow 'spiritually'. They are so widespread and respectable in that society that it would make sense for them to have at least enough political and sociological nous to create and maintain that position - it seems to me to be wasteful of them to just maintain that status quo without trying to improve humanity's lot.

As ever - all just speculation.


"You are what you do."
Andrew Vacchs

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Saturday, August 7, 2004 4:20 AM

CORWYN


Quote:


--You mean the blue hands did all that to River to maybe get a psi when all they had to do was hire/co-opt a companion? ick.

Ick? I have to wonder why the idea produces such a visceral response...



Mostly as I have a strong aversion to torture, the thought that a young girl was kidnapped. lobotomized, tortured to acheive something (psi) which had already been acheived (by companions), makes me sick to my stomach. As to the difference to state, if it is psi, then making a weapon out of a healer is simple compared to making a weapon from scratch.

Quote:

No, if River is psi, (and I will require a lot more convincing on that score; maybe when Simon believes it), then she is the first.

Why? For one thing, River herself said she was not the only experimental subject ("they're hurting *us*" is the message she sent Simon, remember?)



Yup. I meant the first on out in the world. we don't know about the others.

Thank You Kindly.

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Saturday, August 7, 2004 4:29 AM

LUPINADDAMS


Quote:

Originally posted by corwyn:
Quote:


--You mean the blue hands did all that to River to maybe get a psi when all they had to do was hire/co-opt a companion? ick.

Ick? I have to wonder why the idea produces such a visceral response...
---Mostly as I have a strong aversion to torture



Fair enough - I thought the aversion was to psi itself...

Quote:

As to the difference to state, if it is psi, then making a weapon out of a healer is simple compared to making a weapon from scratch.


True, there is a fine line between healing and killing - but I would contend that whatever Companion training consists of, it'd be harder to crack than an untrained teenaged girl's mind.

I'm curios to hear what you - and others - think about the other aspects of my earlier post, regarding Qi and sexual energies...

"You are what you do."
Andrew Vacchs

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Saturday, August 7, 2004 4:39 AM

CORWYN


Quote:

Originally posted by TheRealMe:
Well, I take everything that I see on the show as canon. So I have to believe that River heard Early's voice.



I take everything as canon too, but I don't always know what a particular idiom is supposed to mean. In 'serenity' we see a similar thing to River's "mind reading" in the first scene with Inara; we see Inara talking with her client, and a cut shot (without the music) of her frowning. Are you saying that her client is psychic as well? Or that this otherwise "really happened"? I took it to be a look inside Inara's character, not something that happened in story space at all.

Quote:

Also, Joss indicated that she was psychic in the commentary for OIS.
What Joss says in commentary is definitely NOT canon. He has lied to us before (thank you Joss). Nor is it in story space.

Quote:

Oh, what about the little girl's life story in Safe?


Are you saying that a trained psychologist couldn't have found out from the girl what happened to her? She just didn't talk. I have deaf friends and communicate with them just fine.

Quote:

But, I suppose if we ignore all evidence that River is psychic, then I would have to agree that there is no evidence that she is psychic.


ok, what evidence? Convince Simon, using only things which somebody on the show actually saw or heard.

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Saturday, August 7, 2004 5:11 AM

JAYNEZTOWN


Quote:

Originally posted by corwyn:
Quote:

Originally posted by TheRealMe:
Well, I take everything that I see on the show as canon. So I have to believe that River heard Early's voice.



I take everything as canon too, but I don't always know what a particular idiom is supposed to mean. In 'serenity' we see a similar thing to River's "mind reading" in the first scene with Inara; we see Inara talking with her client, and a cut shot (without the music) of her frowning. Are you saying that her client is psychic as well? Or that this otherwise "really happened"? I took it to be a look inside Inara's character, not something that happened in story space at all.

Quote:

Also, Joss indicated that she was psychic in the commentary for OIS.
What Joss says in commentary is definitely NOT canon. He has lied to us before (thank you Joss). Nor is it in story space.

Quote:

Oh, what about the little girl's life story in Safe?


Are you saying that a trained psychologist couldn't have found out from the girl what happened to her? She just didn't talk. I have deaf friends and communicate with them just fine.

Quote:

But, I suppose if we ignore all evidence that River is psychic, then I would have to agree that there is no evidence that she is psychic.


ok, what evidence? Convince Simon, using only things which somebody on the show actually saw or heard.



Here's my thought on River

http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=2&t=6618

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Saturday, August 7, 2004 5:12 AM

THEREALME


To know that the little girl in Safe was traumatized, yes. To know the details of what her mother did?

No.

To come up with the hints that the previous village leader was done in by the current village leader?

No.

Mal and Book seem convinced that River is psychic. Neither of them are given to flights of fancy, and based on Book's demeanor, language, and knowledge (even of sadistic dictators) I believe that the Shepherd is an educated man.

But I have no doubt that you will remain unimpressed. Any evidence I could offer, you seem able to ignore or dismiss. So, I will stop, and allow you to believe in whatever you like.

Maybe the BDM will answer this question to both our satisfactions.

The Real Me

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Saturday, August 7, 2004 12:15 PM

CORWYN


Quote:

Originally posted by TheRealMe:
To know that the little girl in Safe was traumatized, yes. To know the details of what her mother did?
No.



Why not? Many psychiatrists claim to be able to help people relive old traumas; to bring back the details. People have been convicted of crimes based on this 'evidence'. You seem to be implying this is impossible without psychic help.
If it is not that it is impossible, but is just that River did it in one afternoon, then we are back to the 250 IQ intuitive genius, just seeming like magic.

Quote:


To come up with the hints that the previous village leader was done in by the current village leader?
No.



I frankly find this troubling. I don't know how she got that out of him. but having had friends who could do the same thing, I try to be humble enough to think that I could just be a little slow. I have seen guys on TV doing the same thing (with the same sort of interaction as river and the leader) claiming to speak to the dead. So... willing to admit this is one piece of evidence, it is not enough to convince.

Quote:

Mal and Book seem convinced that River is psychic. Neither of them are given to flights of fancy, and based on Book's demeanor, language, and knowledge (even of sadistic dictators) I believe that the Shepherd is an educated man.


Well, Mal is superstitious, and a bit of a yokel, I don't know enough about Book to judge (he does claim to believe in things that don't make sense). Simon is the one clear scientist amongst the crew. But even so, I haven't seen ANYTHING which makes those beliefs reasonable. What even remotely psychic seeming thing has River done in Mal &| Books presence? Why do they believe it?

Quote:


But I have no doubt that you will remain unimpressed. Any evidence I could offer, you seem able to ignore or dismiss.



I find this is a bit insulting. I am open to being convinced, you just haven't given me anything to be convinced about. I don't even have anything invested in it, as it is only fiction. Buffy had super powers; Willow was a witch.

Quote:

So, I will stop, and allow you to believe in whatever you like.
Maybe the BDM will answer this question to both our satisfactions.



Actually I hope not. I rather like that River is a bit ambiguous. But I will leave that to Joss, as he is a far better story-teller than I will ever be.

Thank You Kindly.

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Saturday, August 7, 2004 2:53 PM

LTNOWIS


Ok, I'm basically just going to respond to the entire board right now, so bear with me.

Originally posted by Jayneztown:
Quote:

Kaylee - A companion often will try to manipulate someone by playing their bad traits, like greed lust and other weakness, kaylee is just to nice so I would say she's almost immune

I dunno, she's pretty trusting and uncynical. Inara could easily trick her because she has her trust, and other companions could make her believe things that are already plausible. "No, I would never tell the police! I'll just walk away and forget everything I saw here."

Posted by YT:
Quote:

I think Early is stone cold, but I doubt he would have hit Inara if she couldn't influence him.

Well, he did lick Serenity, so he's not entirely rational. Even if she couldn't reach him, he probably wouldn't appreciate her trying to.

Posted by Knibblet:
Quote:

It is also important to note that companions are members of the higher ranks of society. This societal ranking in a 'verse which is NOT egalitarian packs a lot of punch when she's dealing with just plain folks.

I agree. But I think it's something you earn through intense training, and thus high society people don't aspire to be companions. I would think that they have aptitude tests for young women.

Posted by LupinAddams:
Quote:

Chinese sexual alchemy is a tradition going back to at least 4000BC and still practiced today.

Dammit, I spent 2 weeks there and nobody told me! Oh well, it's a big country. I personally think that the Guild has a spiritual element, as either Inara or Nandi wanted to be house priestess, but their bottom line is prostitution. It's really all about the sex and company, at least for most customers, but the companions themselves might see it as something more.

Posted by Corwyn:
Quote:

I don't know enough about Book to judge (he does claim to believe in things that don't make sense

Are you refering to Christianity here? The way I see it, their aren't any aspects of Christian that don't make at least some sense. Not that I'm offended or anything.

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Saturday, August 7, 2004 3:53 PM

CORWYN


Quote:

Originally posted by LtNOWIS:

Well, he did lick Serenity, so he's not entirely rational.



Actually that is a standard tracking technique. He discovered by it that River was up there recently.

Quote:


Posted by Corwyn:
Quote:

I don't know enough about Book to judge (he does claim to believe in things that don't make sense

Are you refering to Christianity here? The way I see it, their aren't any aspects of Christian that don't make at least some sense. Not that I'm offended or anything.



No, Book (not I) says "it's not about making sense, it's about believing in something..." He admits it doesn't make sense, but that he believes in it anyway (at least that is my read).

I personally think the Bible makes sense in a lot of places (and not so much in others) for instance, the bit in Leviticus about fixing sick building syndrome.

Thank You Kindly.

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Saturday, August 7, 2004 5:57 PM

LTNOWIS


Quote:

Actually that is a standard tracking technique. He discovered by it that River was up there recently.
I thought he licked a vertical bar, and she stood on a horizontal railing. That and she was wearing shoes. Either way, he's definitely got issues.

Quote:

are you refering to Christianity here? The way I see it, their aren't any aspects of Christian that don't make at least some sense. Not that I'm offended or anything.


No, Book (not I) says "it's not about making sense, it's about believing in something..." He admits it doesn't make sense, but that he believes in it anyway (at least that is my read).

I personally think the Bible makes sense in a lot of places (and not so much in others) for instance, the bit in Leviticus about fixing sick building syndrome.


Ah, I see. I agree with Book about his quote. Obviously the methods and intentions of a diety wouldn't be apparant to those who are infinitely less intelligent. I also think that only some parts of the Bible make sense, but that's also to be expected. It's important to remember that many parts of the Bible aren't telling us how to live our lives, but are merely other stuff that got thrown in. The book of Numbers includes some censuses of the Jewish people. Song of Songs is a bunch of poems written by Solomon about his wife. According to my study Bible, Jewish rabbis said someone should be 30 before they read it.

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Saturday, August 7, 2004 9:39 PM

THEREALME


Sorry, Corwyn. I did not mean to insult you, but I have to admit that I am quite frustrated.

I have offered you what I believe to be very compelling evidence to River's psychic ability, and you dismiss each because a particular character did not personally see it.

You tell me that it doesn't matter if River heard Early in her head before she met him because Simon did not hear it. Or whatever.

Frankly, I don't see why it matters if Simon believes in River's abilities or not. I can easily see Simon denying such a thing just becasue he is too close to it. What, does Simon have to present River with some kind of mind-reading certificate?

In my mind, if Joss lets us hear Early in River's head, then later laughs at us and tells us that he was messing with us, that is poor public relations at the very least. I have to believe that Joss is better than that. If River heard Early, then Joss put it there for a reason. What do YOU think that reason was?

And as far as psychologists bringing out details from patients, can they do that from mute patients? How did River get the details right?

How did River know anything about the old town leader being supplanted by the new? It was only after she brought that up, and after a strong reaction on the new leader's face, that the new leader went along with the witch-burning idea. Before that, he seemed to be attempting to be reasonable.

If you dismiss everything that I offer, then there can be no useful discussion between us unless I completely accept your point of view. You don't even explain why you reject it, other than you seem to be able to intuitively tell what "counts" and what "doesn't count".

And nothing I say counts.




The Real Me

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