Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 73: A Reminisce on Romance Weirdness

Introduction

Part 72 | Part 73 | Part 74 >

Act 6 Intermission 2, Part 2 of 3

Pages 4709-4740 (MSPA: 6609-6640)

NOTE: I’m not going to discuss those aromantic John headcanons because I don’t really care to. Actually no, I changed my mind and discussed such headcanons in this post a few years later.

Picking up from where we left off, Kanaya is about to leave the lab when all of a sudden…

KANAYA: Augh 
KANAYA: Why Does That Always Happen 
KARKAT: EVERYBODY OUT OF THE GODDAMN WAY. 
KARKAT: I GOT A LAB FULL OF HUMANS, A MOUTH FULL OF YELLING, AND A TORTURED PSYCHOLOGICAL PROFILE FULL OF TOTALLY HYSTERICAL EMOTIONS AND UNAIRED GRIEVANCES AT PRACTICALLY EVERYBODY. 
DAVE: karkat is broken guys 

Karkat’s sudden entrance is done via a 2x callback combo, and Dave completely lampshades how bizarre that is.

Karkat and Dave immediately start arguing about stuff and dear god the insults they trade are killing me. Unlike prior cases of characters trading insults (one-sided or not), this scene is just too hilarious to be any sort of setup for character development. Despite that, the comic does a good job developing their dynamic later on; before you think I switched my stance entirely I’m only talking about before the retcon. I have to say I think I’m kind of doing an alright job not moaning too much about stuff.

KARKAT: BEFORE YOU GO OFF TO SNOG TEREZI IN YOUR IDIOTIC LITTLE VILLAGE OF NUTRITION CYLINDERS, HEAR ME OUT. 
DAVE: man 
DAVE: you are so overblowing this 
KARKAT: BUT I DON’T THINK THAT I AM! 
DAVE: yeah you are 
DAVE: you have some idea about us or what were getting up to 
DAVE: so weve done a few things together to pass the time so what 
DAVE: i dont even think you could call them dates or anything 
DAVE: what the fuck would even qualify as a date on this gross dark meteor 

Dave kind of has a point here regarding his relationship with Terezi; I think this boils down to him saying “dude it doesn’t really matter”, which may serve as commentary on the absurdity of shipping in general.

KARKAT: DO YOU REALLY THINK YOU COULD PULL THE WOOLBEAST MATERIAL OVER THE EYES OF A HARDENED VETERAN OF ROMANTIC STUDIES? 
DAVE: we have one of those??? 
KARKAT: I HAVE SEEN THOUSANDS OF TROLL ROMANCE FILMS, EACH DEALING WITH TOPICS FAR MORE SUBTLE AND COMPLEX THAN YOUR PEDESTRIAN HUMAN MIND COULD EVER GRASP. 

Karkat intends to remind us why he’s so well-versed in troll romance, but he really ends up reminding us why his ideas thereof are so distorted. And that does indeed serve as a reminder of that fact, because readers at this point might have forgotten that.

KARKAT: AND IN CASE YOU’VE FORGOTTEN, I’VE ALREADY WATCHED HUNDREDS OF YOUR MORE PRIMITIVE BUT MODERATELY ENTERTAINING ROMANCE FILMS. 
KARKAT: REMEMBER HOW I DOWNLOADED A FUCK TON OF THEM AFTER DISCOVERING YOUR SPECIES? I AM A CURIOUS MAN, DAVE, YOU COULD LEARN FROM ME. 
DAVE: yeah i remember 
DAVE: havent you only watched a bunch of shitty dane cook movies on infinite loop since we left 
KARKAT: YOU’RE SEVERELY EXAGGERATING, BUT YES I HAVE SAMPLED HIS WORK. 
DAVE: dude 
DAVE: you know youre only pretending to be a huge fan of his bullshit to piss me off 
KARKAT: AGAIN LOOK AT HOW SELF ABSORBED YOU’RE BEING!!! 
KARKAT: I HAPPEN TO THINK HE HAS A BRILLIANT COMEDIC MIND, FOR A HUMAN. 

Karkat also inadvertently reminds us of his absolutely dorky obsession with romantic comedies. It’s amazing how similar this sounds to John, who is all about hugely idolizing a small handful of actors; among Karkat’s favorites, Dane Cook was just now added to the mix.

I would comment on the absurdity of the cover image but Dave does that for us.Dave does a lot of things for us in this whole sequence.

Next Karkat tries to explain troll romance stuff to Dave using a troll romance novel. He claims that the book is trashy but a good demonstration of group quadrant vacillation. What I’m getting from this is that Karkat thinks those romance novels and movies are exactly the same as textbooks about those subjects which is just so bizarre. One may be tempted to take Karkat’s explanation of those four trolls’ complicated romantic situation as worldbuilding of some sort but I almost think the stuff he is describing isn’t a real thing. Then again the comic makes it clear that crazy webs of troll romance drama do exist.

I’ll leave it to you to consider the implications of Rose stealing the romance novel.

DAVE: im not reading that shit 
DAVE: i cant even read your stupid troll language why would you think i can 
KARKAT: I THINK YOU SHOULD RECONSIDER. I CAN TRANSLATE FOR YOU. I’LL READ THE WHOLE DAMN THING ALOUD IF YOU WANT. 
KARKAT: SERIOUSLY, IT COULD REALLY EXPAND YOUR LIMITED HUMAN THINK PAN ON STUFF. 
KARKAT: THERE’S A LOT HERE THAT’S APPLICABLE TO OUR SITUATION. 
DAVE: there is nothing even slightly applicable about any of that bullshit to our situation 
KARKAT: DON’T BE DENSE. OF COURSE THERE IS. 
KARKAT: TEREZI AND I HAVE BEEN ON THE VERGE OF VACILLATING LIKE THIS FOR A LONG TIME. 
KARKAT: IT’S ABOUT TIME WE KILLED THE SUSPENSE AND JUST ACKNOWLEDGED IT. 
KARKAT: YOU AND SHE SEEM BENT ON DEVELOPING SOMETHING IN THE FLUSHED QUADRANT, AND LIKE I SAID, I’M FINE WITH THAT. 
KARKAT: IF WE CAN JUST GET OUR SHIT STRAIGHTENED OUT, WE CAN BE LIKE THESE VACILLATING PAIRS THAT ALTERNATE BETWEEN RED AND BLACK, BUT IN A WAY THAT’S COMPLEMENTARY WITH EACH OTHER’S PATTERNS. 
DAVE: oh my god 
DAVE: why is this happening 
KARKAT: LIKE WHILE SHE AND I ARE BLACK, YOU AND SHE ARE RED. 
KARKAT: BUT THEN WHEN SHE AND I ARE RED, YOU AND SHE… I DON’T KNOW IF HUMANS ARE REALLY CAPABLE OF BLACK FEELINGS? 
KARKAT: I GUESS THAT’S UP TO YOU. MAYBE YOU CAN JUST LIKE, SIT THOSE PERIODS OUT. 
KARKAT: LIKE TAKE A BREAK, YOU KNOW? 

Don’t ask me where Karkat got all his ideas on the whole relationship situation, like him and Terezi being supposedly about to vacillate and all that. Maybe he consulted one of those romance novels as a last resort and got those fake ideas from there?

DAVE: youve completely lost it dude 
DAVE: i cant believe for a fucking second this is reasonable shit to propose even on troll world 

Looks like Dave has the exact same doubts about Karkat’s proposal that I do. Even in the troll romance novel he described all the stuff seems to have happened naturally, but here Karkat is trying to force such a thing to happen. But even that doesn’t change that he consulted the worst source possible for a natural romance situation.

OK, here we are at the infamous dick fight scene, a scene known for its sheer absurdity that just completely destroys anything else so far. 

KARKAT: HEY, CUT IT OUT. DON’T TOUCH ME. 
DAVE: do not draw a shipping grid 
DAVE: do not do it 
KARKAT: IT’S NOT A SHIPPING GRID YOU OBTUSE FUCK. 
DAVE: this is fucked up put it down 
KARKAT: NO. 
DAVE: you are not drawing a grid to organize our goddamn dating lives 
DAVE: that is some straight up crackpot motherfuckin noise i will not abide 

[…]

DAVE: this is so sick does she even know youre doing this 
KARKAT: DOING WHAT?? 
DAVE: splitting up her time in a grid for your stupid rotating hate date plan 
KARKAT: SHE WILL SOON ENOUGH. 
DAVE: what a presumptuous sack of shit put the pen down 

While this scene is generally thought of as over-the-top hilarious, to a handful of readers what Karkat is doing comes off as kind of creepy. And Dave completely remarks as much, saying that it’s messed up that Karkat is trying to decide what Dave feels for Terezi.

I’m kind of tempted to say that this is sort of the thing with Karkat: he’s all about troll romance but is actually full of crazy misconceptions about it—really, misconceptions about everything. But to some his crazy plan kind of crosses a line. I’d say the creepiness is somewhat muffled thanks to this whole scene being so ridiculous.

KARKAT: YOU SMELL BAD. 
DAVE: dont talk to me about rank smells 
DAVE: you are the fuckin big man of smellin bad 
DAVE: you dominate the paint with your stonk 
KARKAT: MY LUSUS BROUGHT THINGS HOME THAT SMELLED MORE APPEALING THAN YOU. 
KARKAT: IMPORTANT FACT: 100% OF WHAT HE BROUGHT HOME WAS EITHER A DEAD ANIMAL, OR LITERAL FECES. 
DAVE: oh yeah well check it out: 
DAVE: you smell like if someone took a dump on a butt 
KARKAT: HOW CAN SHE STAND YOU WITH HER SENSITIVE NOSE? 
KARKAT: HAVE YOU EVER EVEN WASHED THAT RIDICULOUS OUTFIT? 
DAVE: theyre magic fucking pajamas they stay like perma clean or something 
DAVE: theyre enchanted and comfy as fuck give me the pen 

With Karkat telling Dave he smells bad, suddenly this whole scene becomes purely ridiculous without anything else to it anymore.

Note the spilled cups of coffee.
And the lime colored “bonk” that’s sure to make theorists go wild.

Oh yeah, and then, uh, this happens.

KARKAT: THIS ALTERCATION IS BECOMING UNCOMFORTABLY PHYSICAL, GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME.
DAVE: what are you talking about
KARKAT: YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.
DAVE: shut up and draw another penis
KARKAT: YOU DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND THE SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS OF ALL THIS HOSTILE TOUCHING AND GRABBING DO YOU???
KARKAT: I DON’T FEEL THAT WAY ABOUT YOU STRIDER, JUST STEP OFF. 

People who ship Dave and Karkat (i.e. not me) tend to argue that this scene is buildup towards them actually being romantic but I think that’s a load of nonsense no matter what happens later on. Dave is obviously just having too much fun annoying Karkat and there’s that, not to mention that annoying each other is the thing about them. Also sort of because Karkat takes it as black romance.

2019 EDIT: In retrospect, I’m not quite sure if those people are full of nonsense. This scene now reads me a lot like Dave hitting on Karkat.

And then, uh… yeah. Karkat is a fucking weirdo, let’s leave it at that.

I wanted to end last post here but I guess plans changed.

And then we get a rendition of this scene in sprite mode which just makes this even more crazy ridiculous, with the weird way Karkat seems to be aimlessly flailing his legs around. Oh, and Terezi says a dream bubble is approaching which makes for quite an anticipatory note to end this scene on.


Let’s pretend everything above this was part of last post and here I start a new post, it’s cleaner that way. Take a breather, and…







Time to begin with the battleship.

And so, it begins: a saga of captioning every image in this whole sequence.

In a way this video game is a Chekhov’s gun. We saw it in John’s rack of CDs all the way back in Act 1, and at long last he’s finally playing it.

JADE: john i really think we are scraping the bottom of the barrel here 
JOHN: no way! this game rules. 
JOHN: i just never gave it much playing time before because… 
JOHN: well, i guess i always had better things to do. 
JADE: thats sort of my point! 
JADE: where did you even get this? 
JOHN: years ago i found it in a store on the bargain rack. 
JOHN: it was only a dollar! isn’t that awesome? 
JADE: 😐 

When we finally catch up with John again, we’re immediately bombarded with him being a massive dork. For some reason it hasn’t stopped being refreshing seeing the cast of the first five acts being their classic selves.

You know, it’s kind of lucky timing to reach an update revealing John is REALLY invested in Ghostbusters not long after those Halloween snaps in which someone dressed as a Ghostbuster…
Hint: That someone is Roxy.
The “perfect time” to discuss her relationship with John will have to wait until next post.

JADE: i dont really think this is my kind of game…. 
JADE: but i will play it with you today because it is technically your birthday ❤ 
JOHN: yesss. you won’t be disappointed. 
JADE: how many people did you get to play this?? 
JOHN: um, i don’t know. 
JOHN: i only showed it to a few people, but i guess hundreds are playing it now? 
JOHN: nobody is very good at it though. 
JOHN: i keep trying to tell the salamanders and chess guys not to cross the streams, but they keep crossing the streams! 
JOHN: just between you and me, i think a lot of them aren’t very bright. 
JADE: why cant you cross the streams? 
JOHN: jade, please. 
JOHN: it is just something you can’t do when you’re a ghost buster, because it spells big trouble. everyone knows that. 
JADE: :p 

OK, in a weird way this is even better than last time we caught up with the beta kids. Just as we first caught up with the meteor crew seeing Karkat being more ridiculous than ever before, here John demonstrates a hilariously encyclopedic knowledge of everything Ghostbusters. 

Don’t ask me why John going on about Ghostbusters is such an easy scene to write commentary on.

JOHN: i will begin organizing our squad. 
JADE: what do you have to do? 
JOHN: well, first we need buy an old abandoned fire station to use as a headquarters. 
JOHN: luckily half the city is composed of abandoned fire stations that are for sale… 
JOHN: this game is actually really stupid in a lot of ways, now that i think about it. 
JADE: noooooooooo! 
JOHN: hey, shut up! 
JOHN: i take it back, it’s great in every way. 
JADE: sure john 
JADE: whatever you say 
JOHN: ok, now i have to find us a mission. 
JOHN: got to hire a sassy secretary… 
JOHN: just have to peruse this extensive palette of sarcastic red headed ladies… 
JOHN: ok, here is a good one. 
JOHN: then we wait for a phone call. this can take anywhere from ten seconds to several hours. 
JADE: are you serious? 
JOHN: but that’s fine! 
JOHN: there’s lots to do in the station to kill time. 
JOHN: like talk to slimer, and… 
JOHN: get slimed by slimer. 
JOHN: ok, i guess that’s pretty much all there is to do. 

Here John lampshades video game logic in a way that’s simultaneously the same as and very different from the satire Problem Sleuth is loaded with. The best part of this is that they’re playing a made-up video game and this time I actually know that for a fact.*

Also, John seems to flip back and forth between his two trademark opinions on things: loving something wholeheartedly and bluntly lampshading how dumb it is. Here he seems sort of indecisive about it, which may be a slight hint about him going full out lampshading stupidity a year later during his rant about Con Air. But god damn, for once I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

Another thing: remember when I said long ago Jade was kind of John’s straight man a lot of the time? Turns out that I wasn’t full of shit about that after all. She’s totally coming off that way to me.

* This time, for once in my life, something I thought was made up actually is made up. But what’s funny is, if I hadn’t done the research I probably would’ve thought this is a real game and been corrected yet again.

I saw this image and then thought, wait a minute wasn’t there another character who’s a furry?
Then I remembered it was Dirk. He and Jade should totally gush about that stuff sometime.

JOHN: are you almost finished making your character? 
JADE: yeah i think im done!!! 
JADE: im pretty happy with him 

JOHN: jade. 
JOHN: that is absolutely the shittiest ghost buster i have ever seen. 
JADE: no way! 
JOHN: yes. 
JOHN: it is so yes way. 
JADE: hes adorable, what are you even talking about? 
JOHN: jade, i thought you were going to take this game seriously. 
JOHN: that is not a serious ghost buster. no ghost could possibly fear that thing. 
JADE: i dont want ghosts to be afraid of him 
JADE: i want to make friends with some ghosts if at all possible 
JOHN: it is not possible, ghosts are known to be cruel and mischievous. 
JOHN: they will not want to befriend your fox man, they will only want to cover him in slime and then fly away. 
JOHN: i really think you should consider redesigning him. 
JADE: nope. im keeping him :p 
JOHN: ok, well, if you want to turn our squad into a fucking joke, then that’s your business. 
JADE: shut up or ill give him a pink jumpsuit! 
JOHN: argh! 
JOHN: but seriously, those head swap options are for such noobs, i feel it’s only fair to warn you. 
JADE: i think i will manage to survive the embarrassment in front of a bunch of salamanders and crocodiles 

[…]

JADE: its davesprite, hes playing too 
JOHN: oh. 
JOHN: don’t tell him any of our strategies. he is the enemy! 
JADE: we have strategies? 

At first Jade sounded like she just did the thing where someone weirdly interprets things under a cute and friendly way—something that’s most notably done by Feferi—but with that last bit I realized Jade is being weird for a much more obvious reason: it was established early on that she’s the only one of the beta kids who doesn’t like video games that much.

JADE: hahahahahahaha 
JOHN: oh god. 
JOHN: what is it now? 
JADE: did you know… 
JADE: davesprite is a funny guy? 
JOHN: meh, he’s alright i guess. 
JOHN: i give most of his jokes a passing grade. sometimes as high as a solid b+! 
JADE: i just told him you said that 
JOHN: that’s fine, he and i keep no secrets. 
JADE: davesprite says to tell you “youre basically welcome for being born 14 years ago and 1 year ago you ungrateful douche” 
JOHN: oh, like him taking credit for my existence isn’t so old by now! 

Here John and Jade start talking about Davesprite and we have quite a few implications. First off, Jade seems to like him a lot better than John does; she likes having him around but John has a sort of rivalry with him, further supported by Davesprite being their enemy in the game. This sort of makes me think of a parallel between the battleship and meteor: in both cases, the team leader starts a rivalry with a version of Dave, who is dating a girl who gets along much better with him. Thank god the retcon didn’t fuck up John and Davesprite’s dynamic entirely…

2019 EDIT: Can’t argue with past me there. I still don’t think Dave and Karkat’s relationship was presented well (or presented much at all) after the retcon, but in the epilogues that’s a way different story.

JOHN: hey, jade… 
JOHN: why do you still call him davesprite? 
JADE: um 
JADE: because he is davesprite? 
JOHN: i just call him dave. 
JOHN: isn’t that easier? i mean, he IS dave after all… right?
JADE: well yeah 
JADE: but hes kinda different from dave 
JOHN: pshh, he is so not different. 
JOHN: dude is just a magical orange dave with wings! and also says caw sometimes. 

On the surface it may appear to be somewhat heartwarming to see John think Davesprite is basically just Dave, but if you think about it more it’s clear that Jade also knows him much better than John does. 

I love how John and Jade are both surrounded by their favorite things: John in a gamer’s chair with his holographic Cosbytop, and Jade sitting in a pile of Squiddle plushes and stuff.

JADE: i know 
JADE: but there are other differences… 

JOHN: like what? 
JADE: its hard to explain 
JADE: just some slight differences in personality i guess 
JOHN: he still raps sometimes. 
JADE: yes… 
JADE: so? 
JOHN: i just thought i would mention that. 
JADE: ok i will admit i cant really tell if his rapping style has changed 
JOHN: trust me, it hasn’t. 
JADE: i dont know if the differences are because he is a sprite 
JADE: or because he lived for a while in a different timeline… 

The funny thing is, those differences in personality were obvious from the start, even before future Dave became a sprite. Now if I can bring myself to read one of those early posts of mine from almost a year ago to see what I said about that then…

(dear god my posting style is so different now)

OK I guess my views on that haven’t changed one bit. It was pretty immediately clear that Davesprite was always more openly bitter and contemptuous than Dave ever was or will be. Also I forgot how much of a heavy moment that scene with John blasting off was.

JOHN: well, weren’t you a sprite before? 
JOHN: how different did you feel then? 
JADE: i wasnt a sprite! 
JADE: my dead dream self was a sprite 
JADE: and then i kind of merged with her when i became a god tier 
JOHN: oh, right. 
JOHN: so… 
JOHN: half of you was a sprite. 
JADE: i guess? 
JADE: its more like im still the me i always was, but inherited some of her memories 
JADE: but they are pretty vague 
JOHN: do you remember what it was like being jade sprite? 
JADE: i remember being dead for a long time 
JADE: and making friends… 
JADE: mostly trolls 
JOHN: oh really? 
JOHN: which ones? 
JADE: none that we know of now 
JADE: that i can remember at least 
JADE: they feel like such distant memories, like they were barely real 

Once again it feels so satisfying having someone address a weird mysterious thing from a long time ago. Maybe it’s just me being delusional about the ending but it also kind of helps give a nice feeling when things like Jane actually inheriting Crockercorp in the credits happen. This addresses a plot point while also hinting at something new—namely, the pre-scratch trolls.

JOHN: hmm. 
JOHN: i have to admit, i am a little disappointed in the dream bubble thing. 
JOHN: by the way you were describing it, i really thought we would dream about them on this trip more often! 
JADE: yeah me too 
JADE: maybe its something about this place were traveling through? 
JOHN: i dunno. 
JADE: when was the last time you visited one in your sleep? 
JOHN: man… 
JOHN: that was weeks ago, i think. 
JADE: yeah 
JOHN: and then, when i do dream about them, it’s just kind of weird. 
JOHN: either i’m alone in my own memory, talking to figments of my imagination…
JOHN: or i dream about someone we know. like a troll we have talked to, and i get excited. 
JOHN: but then it turns out they don’t know who i am! it’s like a version of them that died before they ever even knew us, and it’s just kind of awkward. 
JADE: yup 
JOHN: and i still haven’t seen dave or rose AT ALL. 

I swear to god, the parallels still don’t stop from keep happening. Both John and Karkat discuss depressing aspects of visiting dream bubbles; for John it’s simply that he barely sees anyone, but for Karkat it’s the thoughts on death the bubbles bring him.

* Feel free to think back to that Futurama comparison I made back in that scene with doomed John seeing a figment of his dad.

JOHN: have you? 
JADE: nope 😦 
JOHN: yeah. 
JOHN: i’m starting to think it’s not going to happen. i wonder if we’re just not sleeping at the same times? 
JADE: i dont think thats it 
JADE: for one thing, considering where we are, i dont think theres such a thing as “the same time” for us 
JOHN: heh. that’s true. 
JOHN: do you think the afterlife is just fucking with us, jade?
JADE: maybe… 
JADE: but its probably more like the way it used to be with the clouds in skaia 
JADE: they didnt always show you things, but when they did they were selective about what they would let you see 
JADE: like they would make sure you saw whatever you needed to see to make sure things would go the right way 
JADE: i always thought i knew so much, but in retrospect they gave me only a tiny glimpse of the big picture! 
JOHN: that is so infuriating! 

Also, both John and Karkat talk about (or are talked to about) how this all relates to predestination, but different aspects thereof. For Karkat it’s how weird it is that doomed versions of people can be more successful than the alpha versions, and for John it’s how selective the bubbles are in showing him stuff.

JOHN: what do you think they will be like by then? 
JOHN: do you think karkat will have driven them all insane? 
JADE: heheh, probably! 

This whole sequence has revealed how much didn’t live up to John’s expectations. Karkat, on the other hand, has definitely surpassed his expectations. If only he knew about that, or was there, or something.

JOHN: like, have you thought at all about what it’s going to be like when you see dave again? 
JOHN: i mean, after the way things are going with you and dave sprite? 
JADE: umm 
JADE: what do you mean the way things are going? 
JOHN: jade, please. 
JADE: what! 
JOHN: *sigh* 
JOHN: you are not fooling anyone with your coy shenanigans. 
JADE: what has he been telling you?? 
JOHN: nothing!! do you really think he would talk about any of that with me? 
JOHN: there are just some obvious conclusions a guy is going to make about stuff. 

Both John and Karkat are certain of something romantic going on between their versions of Dave* and the “other girl” so to speak. For John in particular, a lot of people think he “doesn’t get” romance, but given his thoughts on Jade and Davesprite that may not totally be true.

* How weird is it that regular Dave isn’t presently John’s version of him?

JADE: well… 
JADE: i guess i dont know whats going on with that 
JOHN: hm. 
JADE: i really dont!!! 
JOHN: alright, fair enough. 
JADE: um 
JADE: what 
JADE: do you think he would think about that? 
JOHN: huh? 
JADE: the other dave 
JADE: i mean 
JADE: hypothetically 
JOHN: ah HA! so you HAVE thought about it! 
JADE: im only wondering because you brought it up!!!!!! 
JOHN: yes. yes i did. 
JADE: then what do you think? 
JOHN: i have no idea. we would probably never find out one way or the other, regardless.

[…]

JADE: remember how you told me how karkat kept sort of trying to set you up with rose? 
JOHN: yes. 
JADE: you told me this on more than one occasion if i recall! 
JOHN: what is your point! 
JADE: well, i have kind of wondered to myself if you kept bringing that up because on some level you wanted that to be true… 

For once, we have a somewhat serious discussion on the two blatantly obvious pairings between the beta kids. It’s clear that Jade has given legitimate thought to both, and draws a rather natural conclusion from John repeatedly bringing up how he is supposed to marry Rose.

You have no idea how easy it’s been to comment on this whole conversation.
Also I skipped a few images but who cares.

JOHN: oh man. 
JOHN: jade, listen. 
JOHN: at this point i could not give less of a rat’s ass about romancey stuff! 
JOHN: i would rather just play some games, and chill out for several years on this magical flying boat. is that too much to ask? 

As John starts talking about how romance really doesn’t matter much I can only constantly think “hell. fucking. yes.” It’s not just stuff I can relate to but also a major commentary on romance taking up the comic in general. And it’s all discussed by the comic’s protagonist to boot.

JADE: not at all! that is perfectly fine 
JOHN: when i catch up with our buddies, i’m sure i will give rose a nice, FRIENDLY hug. 
JADE: aww 
JOHN: whereas i will offer dave a tender bro embrace, and shove karkat down a flight of friendship stairs. 
JADE: heheheheh 
JOHN: but that is IT. 
JOHN: it’s all very complicated and bothersome, jade. 
JADE: what? 
JOHN: you know. matters of the heart. 
JADE: *snicker* 
JOHN: ok, you may laugh at my choice of words, but it is true. 
JOHN: it’s really befuddling and distracting when you are on a major quest to make universes out of frogs. who even needs it? 
JADE: i guess you have a point 

The self-commentary meter is blasting through the roof, as is my John enjoyment meter. He speaks for many readers when he says how distracting romance is from a story with a legitimate plot.

2019 EDIT: What the hell, why did I squander the opportunity to discuss aromantic John headcanons back then?! As I said at the start of this post, I later found a good time in the comic to discuss those headcanons anyway.

JOHN: like… 
JOHN: you remember that troll girl who was sort of into me? 
JADE: mm hm 
JOHN: well, ok. 
JOHN: that seemed like a pretty big deal at the time! 
JOHN: it really seemed like she liked me, but also, she was *probably* insane? 
JOHN: like, i mean, in a trollish, murderous kind of way. 
JADE: yikes 
JOHN: but craziness notwithstanding, i didn’t really know what to think. 
JOHN: i guess i thought she was cool at the time. i was honestly kind of flummoxed about it. 
JOHN: but the point is, when all was said and done, that was just some stuff that happened over one day, which was a whole year ago already. 
JOHN: i barely even remember what we talked about. by the time we meet up, she probably won’t give a shit about me at all. 
JOHN: which, let’s face it, is probably for the best. 

Here, what John is saying resonates most with those who knew from the start Vriska is bad news.  Though I try not to have extreme opinions on most things in the comic, I think it’s pretty satisfying seeing the way he’s developed from being a total pushover to her. Oh, and this conversation gives John a lot of character development.

This also reminds me just how much John’s opinion on Vriska fluctuated through the course of the comic. His opinion on her has gone through the full cycle about three times—almost as if to try to please everyone—and right now it’s at the low end. If I had to choose between the two extremes I think I like it better when he thinks she’s a complete lunatic, no matter how sweet it may be to see him try to understand her.

Oh god I just realized something. Even when Vriska is just talked about, not even brought up by name, I go into a full out tangent about her. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but she kind of isn’t the most debated thing in the comic anymore.

JOHN: i think we make things more meaningful in our head when they’re happening than they really are. like realistically? there were probably a lot of things that went on that day that didn’t mean that much. 
JOHN: like remember how you said you thought karkat was getting this silly angry crush on you? 
JADE: that was just my hunch 
JOHN: yeah. 
JOHN: i mean, do you really think after three years he is still going to have the rage hots for you? 
JADE: i sincerely doubt it 
JADE: at least 
JADE: i hope not ._. 
JOHN: i don’t think even he is that crazy. 

Here John excuses any dropping of things that happened in the first five acts in a somewhat interesting way, with the example of Karkat’s attraction to Jade. It’s not that this isn’t a reasonable excuse, but still so much of what John is saying is commentary on the comic. It’s funny because Dave and Dirk are supposed to be Hussie’s author avatar characters.

JOHN: anyway, my point is, who even cares about all that? 
JOHN: romance and dating are dumb and boring. we are legendary heroes, and we have bigger fish to fry. like that smug fatass over there on the horizon. 

All in all this conversation ended up being a reflection on a lot of things, not just from the characters’ point of view but also in a narrative sense, implicitly referencing all of Act 6 so far.

And then we get ramifications of Jade being part dog and, uh, this happens. This is actually one hell of a stopping point since John just got done recapping Act 6’s ways.

See you next time as I refuse to make the obvious Roland Barthes joke because that’s how dead fucking serious I am.

>> Part 74: Dawn of the Other Twelve

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