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Question: Rate This Episode:
10 - 26 (26.3%)
9 - 35 (35.4%)
8 - 16 (16.2%)
7 - 8 (8.1%)
6 - 4 (4%)
5 - 3 (3%)
4 - 4 (4%)
3 - 2 (2%)
2 - 0 (0%)
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Author Topic: [204] Civil Wars, Part 2  (Read 42275 times)
Ikkin
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« Reply #875 on: Nov 17, 2015 12:54 pm »

This is true, but Korra voluntarily surrendering control in Books 1/2 is universally important, just as one might expect if the point were for her to learn how to surrender control.  And since willingly surrendering control comprises the only satisfying interpretation of Book 1's ending...

You know, I have just started to think that you mean "confrontation" with "control". Considering that by your interpretation, Korra at that cliffside was just about to commit suicide rather than live her life without her full ability to control it, I would say that she was as far away from willingly surrendering control as one can get.

You're missing an important part of my interpretation, namely, that Korra earns her happy ending by sitting down and recognizing that it's better to admit that she lacks control than to choose death even on her own terms (the way Tarrlok did).


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It's not about whether she thinks she is powerful, though, but that she believes she needs to be powerful in order to be worthwhile

You can turn this around, but the assessment is still pretty close to reality. She absolutely needs to be power to worthwhile. An Avatar without incredible power is pretty much a dead Avatar (or not the Avatar at all, just a random self-important dude).

Korra believes that, but I'm not convinced it's true.

Imagine you had a disabled Avatar whose ability to move was heavily limited. They could still be a spiritual leader, dealing with Spirit World issues or offering the guidance of a hundred generations of Avatar to the world's leaders, and they could still create a Team Avatar to do the heavy lifting for them while they took care of the strategic/tactical sides of the physical conflicts that grew up in their time.

Physical strength is only part of what the Avatar is, and it's probably a less important part than the spiritual connection, at that.


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The point is that Korra could not allow negative perceptions to creep into her normal conception of herself.  She either saw herself as all-good or all-bad, with no in-between.

It is hard to see yourself as "something in-between" when all you ever get is overtly positive or overtly negative influences. I think Toph was maybe the only one who told Korra that she was "something in-between" and it immediately resulted in Korra seeing herself like that.

This is true, but it doesn't make the result any less of a problem.


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I don' think that you can have an idealized identity when your identity is the real deal. At best, you can say that she has quite a hubris attached to her otherwise realistic and healthy identity. This can actually work pretty well if you consider that when Korra was down, it wasn't her control or power that was truly jeopardized... but her confidence and pride.

Korra's identity is based in semi-perfectionism, though, which is in no way healthy or realistic no matter how awesome you are. Korra didn't allow herself room for failure, and that's basically necessary for a healthy relationship with the self in any human being.


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Though, I still like my three pillars better. Because it takes a strong woman to deny what's right in front of her. And if the truth is undeniable, she creates her own Grin. Welcome in Republic City, gentlemen!

I'm not sure I get your point.
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Child of the Elements - A look at Korra's childhood with the Order of the White Lotus. (Complete)
AtoMaki
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« Reply #876 on: Nov 17, 2015 02:05 pm »

You're missing an important part of my interpretation, namely, that Korra earns her happy ending by sitting down and recognizing that it's better to admit that she lacks control than to choose death even on her own terms (the way Tarrlok did).

She did not back away from the cliff or anything, so I would say she was about to do it right until Aang showed up. Tarrlok wouldn't have blown himself up if Aang had shown up for him to fix his life with the Touch of the Plot.

Korra believes that, but I'm not convinced it's true.

According to the show, it is definitely true. To the point where it effectively transcends the Avatar Spirit itself (as per the Book 2 ending).

Imagine you had a disabled Avatar whose ability to move was heavily limited. They could still be a spiritual leader, dealing with Spirit World issues or offering the guidance of a hundred generations of Avatar to the world's leaders, and they could still create a Team Avatar to do the heavy lifting for them while they took care of the strategic/tactical sides of the physical conflicts that grew up in their time.

The problem is that everyone can do these and match the Avatar as equals. That would defeat the whole purpose of having the Avatar.

This is true, but it doesn't make the result any less of a problem.

I would say that the problem is with the world and not with Korra.

Korra's identity is based in semi-perfectionism, though, which is in no way healthy or realistic no matter how awesome you are. Korra didn't allow herself room for failure, and that's basically necessary for a healthy relationship with the self in any human being.

It is not like she had too much room for failure to begin with.

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Though, I still like my three pillars better. Because it takes a strong woman to deny what's right in front of her. And if the truth is undeniable, she creates her own Grin. Welcome in Republic City, gentlemen!

I'm not sure I get your point.

I like complex stories with disturbing lessons and overall outcome. I don't know if you have played Spec Ops: The Line, but if you do, then I can tell you that I think Walker is much more of a (inter-media) dark mirror to Korra than Kuvira ever was or could be.
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Keeper of Suki's firebending ancestry, the Kyoshi Warrior dojo, the love potion made from rainbows and sunsets and the mecha tanks.

My fanficions.

My Avatar RPG system.
Ikkin
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« Reply #877 on: Nov 17, 2015 08:36 pm »

You're missing an important part of my interpretation, namely, that Korra earns her happy ending by sitting down and recognizing that it's better to admit that she lacks control than to choose death even on her own terms (the way Tarrlok did).

She did not back away from the cliff or anything, so I would say she was about to do it right until Aang showed up. Tarrlok wouldn't have blown himself up if Aang had shown up for him to fix his life with the Touch of the Plot.

She sat down before she had any idea Aang might show up, though:



Given that it's awfully hard to jump from that position, I think it's safe to assume that she'd already decided not to do anything rash before Aang arrived.


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Korra believes that, but I'm not convinced it's true.

According to the show, it is definitely true. To the point where it effectively transcends the Avatar Spirit itself (as per the Book 2 ending).

That particular situation called for someone with great willpower, but that doesn't mean that the show as a whole implied that Korra's value was derived solely from her strength.

(Not to mention that, given the fact that Cosmic Korra was a spirit construct, there's no reason someone who was physically frail couldn't have done the same thing in Korra's position.)


Quote
Imagine you had a disabled Avatar whose ability to move was heavily limited. They could still be a spiritual leader, dealing with Spirit World issues or offering the guidance of a hundred generations of Avatar to the world's leaders, and they could still create a Team Avatar to do the heavy lifting for them while they took care of the strategic/tactical sides of the physical conflicts that grew up in their time.

The problem is that everyone can do these and match the Avatar as equals. That would defeat the whole purpose of having the Avatar.

Everyone else in the world has the Avatar's spiritual connection, the Avatar's connection to their past lives, and the Avatar's social cachet?   Could have fooled me!  Wink


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This is true, but it doesn't make the result any less of a problem.

I would say that the problem is with the world and not with Korra.

It's the world's fault that Korra's worldview not allowing for failure is a problem?  Only in the sense that a perfect world would be full of perfect people.  >_>;


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Korra's identity is based in semi-perfectionism, though, which is in no way healthy or realistic no matter how awesome you are. Korra didn't allow herself room for failure, and that's basically necessary for a healthy relationship with the self in any human being.

It is not like she had too much room for failure to begin with.

Maybe not when dealing with enemies, but she had plenty of room to learn airbending at a normal speed instead of feeling like a failure for not being an instant prodigy.


Quote
Quote
Though, I still like my three pillars better. Because it takes a strong woman to deny what's right in front of her. And if the truth is undeniable, she creates her own Grin. Welcome in Republic City, gentlemen!

I'm not sure I get your point.

I like complex stories with disturbing lessons and overall outcome. I don't know if you have played Spec Ops: The Line, but if you do, then I can tell you that I think Walker is much more of a (inter-media) dark mirror to Korra than Kuvira ever was or could be.

Isn't Spec Ops: The Line about a guy dealing with serious guilt issues, though?  That's not really Korra's thing.
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Korra Ramblings on Tumblr

Child of the Elements - A look at Korra's childhood with the Order of the White Lotus. (Complete)
AtoMaki
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« Reply #878 on: Nov 18, 2015 04:47 am »

Everyone else in the world has the Avatar's spiritual connection, the Avatar's connection to their past lives, and the Avatar's social cachet?

Pretty much. Examples like Iroh (for spirituality) and... well... every world leader ever (for political power) exist. On the other side of the things, every single Avatar dealt with their problems with a show of force, with both their spirituality and their influence being just secondary assets that were often ignored by their opponents (until some Avatar-level bending put them to their places).

It's the world's fault that Korra's worldview not allowing for failure is a problem?

No, it is the world's fault that Korra sees herself either as overtly positive or overtly negative.

Isn't Spec Ops: The Line about a guy dealing with serious guilt issues, though?  That's not really Korra's thing.

It is not guilt issues. Walker has the very same issues as Korra: he lives in an idealized word where he sees himself as a 'Hero' even though the reality is pretty darn far away from this. He even creates his own Dark Korra (Konrad). Unlike Korra, he is forced to face reality in the end, and there is a wide variety of choices the player can take to end Walker's story (make him accept reality or not, punish him for his actions or not, let his false perceptions overcome him or not). One ending in particular resonates with the ending of Book 4 very well.
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Keeper of Suki's firebending ancestry, the Kyoshi Warrior dojo, the love potion made from rainbows and sunsets and the mecha tanks.

My fanficions.

My Avatar RPG system.
Ikkin
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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Posts: 3118



« Reply #879 on: Nov 18, 2015 06:46 pm »

Everyone else in the world has the Avatar's spiritual connection, the Avatar's connection to their past lives, and the Avatar's social cachet?

Pretty much. Examples like Iroh (for spirituality) and... well... every world leader ever (for political power) exist. On the other side of the things, every single Avatar dealt with their problems with a show of force, with both their spirituality and their influence being just secondary assets that were often ignored by their opponents (until some Avatar-level bending put them to their places).

Iroh can't open and close spirit portals, remember/speak to/appear as his past lives, or channel the Spirit of Light, though.

Likewise, other world leaders don't have generations of past lives and the Spirit of Light to guide them, they don't have the Avatar's recognized neutrality, and they don't exist in the same context or have the same reputation as the Avatar.

That the show consistently put Avatars in situations where they needed to use physical force to save the world has less to do with the Avatar's distinguishing factors and more to do with the limitations of action media. If the show writers wanted to write a paraplegic Avatar who solved problems without any direct use of violence, there are plenty of mechanisms in place for that.


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It's the world's fault that Korra's worldview not allowing for failure is a problem?

No, it is the world's fault that Korra sees herself either as overtly positive or overtly negative.

Well, sure, her upbringing is what caused her to turn out like she did, but that doesn't make how she turned out any less unhealthy.


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Isn't Spec Ops: The Line about a guy dealing with serious guilt issues, though?  That's not really Korra's thing.

It is not guilt issues. Walker has the very same issues as Korra: he lives in an idealized word where he sees himself as a 'Hero' even though the reality is pretty darn far away from this. He even creates his own Dark Korra (Konrad). Unlike Korra, he is forced to face reality in the end, and there is a wide variety of choices the player can take to end Walker's story (make him accept reality or not, punish him for his actions or not, let his false perceptions overcome him or not). One ending in particular resonates with the ending of Book 4 very well.

I haven't played the game, but everything I've read about it suggests that its thematic focus is complicity and the effects of violence on the person committing it. Some interpretations have Walker being dead all along, others have him losing his mind because of the violence he causes, but none of the ones from well-known critical sites interpret him as falling to insanity because he needs to see himself as heroic -- instead, the dissonance is between his perception of himself as a human and the monstrousness of his behavior. Likewise, the hallucination of Konrad is the result of a split between the human and the monster within Walker, which is very much unlike the fear that drove Korra to reject the part of herself that she perceived as getting herself hurt.

Ironically, I think the closest point of comparison between him and Korra is that they're both given a mirror who was an idealist-turned-dictator.  (...which then raises the question of why you'd want to compare Korra and Walker when you reject the idea that Korra, like Kuvira, is capable of doing awful things when not doing so would mean failure.)
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AtoMaki
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« Reply #880 on: Nov 19, 2015 05:26 am »

I haven't played the game, but everything I've read about it suggests that its thematic focus is complicity and the effects of violence on the person committing it. Some interpretations have Walker being dead all along, others have him losing his mind because of the violence he causes, but none of the ones from well-known critical sites interpret him as falling to insanity because he needs to see himself as heroic -- instead, the dissonance is between his perception of himself as a human and the monstrousness of his behavior. Likewise, the hallucination of Konrad is the result of a split between the human and the monster within Walker, which is very much unlike the fear that drove Korra to reject the part of herself that she perceived as getting herself hurt.

No, you are in a misunderstanding here. The game is about Walker's need to see himself as a hero, and the harsh reality confronting this every time (and him projecting all this harshness into Konrad). The game even says this out loud at the end:
Quote from: Konrad
It takes a strong man to deny what's right in front of him. And if the truth is undeniable, you create your own. The truth, Walker, is that you're here because you wanted to feel like something you're not: A hero. I'm here because you can't accept what you've done. It broke you. You needed someone to blame, so you cast it on me, a dead man.
Of course, the game is Rated M for Monstrous, so you can't expect the stuff that happens there to perfectly match the events of TLOK, but the parallels work perfectly (and sometimes, the similarities are quite eerie, to the point where it made me seriously think about whether the Bryke played this game).
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Keeper of Suki's firebending ancestry, the Kyoshi Warrior dojo, the love potion made from rainbows and sunsets and the mecha tanks.

My fanficions.

My Avatar RPG system.
Ikkin
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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Posts: 3118



« Reply #881 on: Nov 19, 2015 07:45 am »

I haven't played the game, but everything I've read about it suggests that its thematic focus is complicity and the effects of violence on the person committing it. Some interpretations have Walker being dead all along, others have him losing his mind because of the violence he causes, but none of the ones from well-known critical sites interpret him as falling to insanity because he needs to see himself as heroic -- instead, the dissonance is between his perception of himself as a human and the monstrousness of his behavior. Likewise, the hallucination of Konrad is the result of a split between the human and the monster within Walker, which is very much unlike the fear that drove Korra to reject the part of herself that she perceived as getting herself hurt.

No, you are in a misunderstanding here. The game is about Walker's need to see himself as a hero, and the harsh reality confronting this every time (and him projecting all this harshness into Konrad). The game even says this out loud at the end:
Quote from: Konrad
It takes a strong man to deny what's right in front of him. And if the truth is undeniable, you create your own. The truth, Walker, is that you're here because you wanted to feel like something you're not: A hero. I'm here because you can't accept what you've done. It broke you. You needed someone to blame, so you cast it on me, a dead man.
Of course, the game is Rated M for Monstrous, so you can't expect the stuff that happens there to perfectly match the events of TLOK, but the parallels work perfectly (and sometimes, the similarities are quite eerie, to the point where it made me seriously think about whether the Bryke played this game).

That line seems more ambiguous than you're giving it credit for -- "you're here" could refer to Walker being in Dubai in the first place, but it could also refer to him being in the room with Konrad/in his own personal purgatory, in which case him wanting to feel like a hero could be a reaction against his sins rather than a core part of his personality.

Even if you take it to mean that Walker had an innate need to be a hero, though, he still seems to have a lot more in common with Noatak (who also splits himself between hero and monster) than Korra (who splits herself between hero and failure).  And, while Korra herself is mirrored by Noatak, it's largely through traits that Walker wasn't shown to share (i.e. the childhood experience of being trained as a captive weapon as opposed to a free person... which is something that Kuvira paralleled as well, if not in quite so obvious a way).
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Child of the Elements - A look at Korra's childhood with the Order of the White Lotus. (Complete)
ahintoflime
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« Reply #882 on: Jan 15, 2016 11:45 am »

Iroh can't open and close spirit portals, remember/speak to/appear as his past lives, or channel the Spirit of Light, though.

Likewise, other world leaders don't have generations of past lives and the Spirit of Light to guide them, they don't have the Avatar's recognized neutrality, and they don't exist in the same context or have the same reputation as the Avatar.
Because Iroh is smart enough to know the best tea grows in the Spirit World and he's not about to let some commoners take his stash.
Korra can't speak to her past lives anymore. She even said that "Avatar wisdom is a thing of the past" and Tenzin agreed with her.
She can't even speak to Raava instead it is Raava speaking at her and in the end it is to say rhetorical things.

Korra doesn't have her past lives anymore. And the newcomers Amon, Unalaq, and Kuvira rallied more people to them than Korra and those people chose them over Korra every time. Korra's Avatar reputation didn't do a thing for her which doesn't make much sense since I would have thought Aang's reputation wouldn't have since he was the one who was gone for 100 years.
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