posted by [identity profile] at 05:31pm on 20/07/2005
Radioreverie - I posted an apology on the Chloe thread for you and I wasn't sure you'd see it, so I thought I would repeat it here. I apologize if my post was rude or dismissive. It's not an excuse, but I've had a terrible headache for the past few days and it has made me very testy. I'm going to have to go to the doctor if it doesn't get better, b/c it's really affecting my ability to deal with work. Anyway, you were right that I had no right to speculate about your own personal experiences. I dislike it when people do that to me, so I should have known better. And it's not that I don't think you are bright, I do. But, suggesting that Chloe's behavior rised to the level of a mental disorder seemed outrageous to me.

Perhaps, I was projecting b/c I have had a similar discussion about narcissistic personality disorder with real life friends who were trying to say their boss had it b/c she was being bitchy to them. Rightly or wrongly, I get up in arms when people try to claim that someone has a mental condition/disorder that needs treatment if I think they are being unfair. Perhaps it is because I still perceive there to be a stigma attached to mental conditions/disorders and I don't like to see people labeled as having one when I don't think it's fair. Also, in my mind, it diminishes the seriousness that I think should be given to situations in which people truly have mental disorders/conditions. Every person who is sad isn't clinically depressed. Everyone who is a little animated, doesn't have ADD.

Too often, I've seen people jump to conclusions and try to pin labels on people and I find that frustrating. Basically, I think we all have problems, but we don't have mental conditions and disorders that require treatment. So, again if my post was rude, I am sorry.
posted by [identity profile] at 05:40pm on 20/07/2005
I wish LJ allowed editing. I meant to say rises, not rised. Also, I have friends and family members who have had or still have conditions that require medication and treatment and I'm often in a position of asking people to be more patient with them. I've seen people act like it's no big deal that they have these condtions and expect them to just bounce back/suck it up and I'm thinking "don't you get it, this isn't a choice by them - they can't help themselves out of this, they need professional help. They aren't going to get miraculously better." Anyway, that was the baggage I brought to our discussion on the Chloe thread. Hope this helps explain my post and I hope I didn't make you feel angry or upset. I sincerely try to avoid spreading ill will, as much as possible.
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posted by [identity profile] at 03:21am on 21/07/2005
Sorry for not responding sooner. I'm a big procrastinator and I wanted this response to be a good one, so I've been thinking about it all day rather than writing it.
First of all, your apology is appreciated. I certainly can understand how feeling ill can contribute to a general irritability (I'm guilty of this myself... I think the vehemence of my posts often directly corresponds with how crappy I feel on a particular day).
I think, perhaps, what you're missing in my posts is that I'm really struggling to understand and sympathize with Chloe as a character. Her actions and reactions, for the most part, completely confound me. I don't get her. And whenever I start to think I understand her, she does something else that just completely fucks with my head. I won't claim to be an expert in psychology (a few college classes does not a psychiatrist make), but I do think that as written, she comes across as pathological. In particular, her deal with Lionel was written as so vile and of such magnitude that I don't think it's possible for her not to be considered pathological. It's just not something that mentally healthy people in her situation would have done, no matter how hurt they felt. And in struggling to understand what could drive someone to do that, I started to see a pattern of similar behavior from her on a much smaller scale. She started to click. I started to understand what drives her. And when someone linked me to that Exploring the Mind of the Spy article, everything really fell into place. I don't want to hate Chloe. And figuring out that she's actually had a consistent pattern of narcissistic behavior has actually helped me to hate her a bit less. Now I see where she's coming from, what deficiencies in her drive the behavior that I found so confusing before. I do wonder if this is all part of a larger plan to make Chloe the female equivalent of the future Lex Luthor, and if so, hats off to AlMiles (wow, I never thought I'd say that) for consistently writing her in such a way that I could see how she could travel down that path eventually. And to say that I think she's narcissistic is not to say that I think she's evil. Just that I see a continued pattern of behavior in her that can't be explained in the absence of a serious mental disorder (or some seriously wacked out writers).

I'm not trying to be flip in that diagnosis, nor justify my annoyance at her character by trying to fit her into the mold of that particular disorder. Nor am I trying to use the brush of mental illness to stigmatize her character (I suffer from serious clinical depression myself). I'm not saying what I said lightly or because I hate her, but came to the conclusion in my endeavor to understand her. I mentioned in the Chloe thread that I've dealt with my father's own (actually diagnosed) narcissism, and in her I see a lot of the same overreactions, manipulations, and rationalizations.

I don't take mental illness lightly at all. As I said, I struggle with it myself and I also grow frustrated with the idea that it is something that one should be able to "snap out of". It is serious and as real and debilitating as a physical illness or injury. If I knew someone like Chloe in real life, I would hope or suggest that she would seek treatment.

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posted by [identity profile] at 03:21am on 21/07/2005
As for Lois, as I said on the Chloe thread, I just don't see a pathology in her. Does she have some not so savory characteristics? Yes. She can be a bit opportunistic, a little childishly eager to shock, and inconsiderate. But I don't see the potential in her for moral transgressions of the magnitude of Chloe's. I don't see the sense of entitlement, just a penchant for persistence and impatience (looking for or taking another way to get back into college besides attending SV high is not entitled, it's completely understandable. Why take that path if an easier one is available? I could see calling her entitled if she had called the school and said "I'm the daugher of General Sam Lane and you will MAKE room for me!"). She took advantage of the (offered, mind you) Kent family's hospitality, but we never saw her demand anything or clash with the elder Kents. And she worked for Martha, and all of the major complaints about her from Clark, who isn't exactly a reliable narrator (for example, who's to say that the whole "changing the answering machine" thing wasn't done with the full permission and cooperation of the elder Kents? It's logical that she'd want to add her name to the message in case she received any calls, and we don't know that say, Martha, wasn't standing next to her changing the message along with her. Clark isn't reliable in telling this story because it seems to me that her mere presence was annoying him as such that any change made to the household because of her, whether reasonable or not, were violations upon his territory. In that way, he's like the older sibling dealing with a new addition to the family). She's also loyally protective and fiercely tough. I can't see her ever falling prey to Lionel's schemes or reacting vilely out of jealousy, nor making huge emotional and irrational demands of others. Taking the last hot shower? Totally her. Going to Lionel Luthor out of revenge? Not in a million years. I can also see how even her more negative qualities will serve her well when she becomes a reporter (speaking of which, I find her significantly more moral and believably tough and intelligent than the Lois of Lois & Clark, who I find largely reprehensible. But that's another post for another time).

But anyway, I usually enjoy reading your posts on both TWoP and your LJ. I always endeavor to keep my own posts about the topic at hand and refrain from implying or stating that people with differing opinions are in any way of lesser intelligence (or sanity). So if we can both agree to do that from now on, I look forward to many more intelligent debates with you.
posted by [identity profile] at 04:35pm on 21/07/2005
radioreverie - I'm glad we cleared the air. And, I'm not up to another debate about Chloe. Maybe another time. I have to be in the right mood to debate. I usually just like to say my piece and let other people make of it what they will.

And as for Lois, everytime I talk about her, I get depressed and frustrated. Afterwards, I almost always need to vent off some stream. Mostly, it's because I have certain expectations for female heroines now and I admire certain traits in female characters that I feel are very empowering, not just for girls, but for grown women as well. And in my mind, that's Chloe so I don't mind bringing up her good points and I enjoy talking about her b/c I find her fascinating whereas, I dislike talking about Lois. I find her a caricature of what a strong woman should be. I try not to visit the Lois thread b/c thinking about her just gets me riled up. Anyway, obviously you see things differently, but I'm generally not into talking about Lois. I simply don't enjoy it so I hope you don't mind if I don't get into a big discussion about her with you.

BTW, I noticed that there was some very heated discussion on the all seasons thread so it's going around, I think.
posted by [identity profile] at 05:44am on 30/07/2005
I would like to be added as well, warden96.
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posted by [identity profile] at 05:46am on 30/07/2005
Your wish, my command.


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