Cut to Black - Lemaitre
“As I recall, incarcerated, a year goes by so slow…”
Well, a character in a novel saying that something is a metaphor is not the same thing as the author of the novel saying that it’s a metaphor. Gus’s intellectual grasp often exceeds his reach (he calls a monologue a soliloquy, and misuses quite a few of the bigger words in his vocabulary). But I do think the cigarette is a metaphor, albeit a different one for us than it is for him.
Gus’s idea is that the cigarette is a metaphor for illness, and he keeps it unlit and in his mouth as an expression of his power over illness. “You put the killing thing between your teeth but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.” Gus’s thinking here is that HE has the power. This is why he tends to use the cigarette when he’s feeling nervous or powerless. (He’s also using the most famous commercially available carcinogen to make this statement, so obviously there’s a connection there in his mind: Humans can prevent cancer by not smoking; cancer is something we can have power over; your job is not to give cancer the power to kill you; etc.)
But of course Gus is wrong about all of this, or at least almost all of it. You may have SOME control over whether you die of cancer (you can choose not to smoke), but in most cases humans don’t have control over illness. “You don’t give it the power to do its killing” imagines more agency over illness than we actually have, because in the end much of the fault is in the stars, not in ourselves. So to us, the unlit cigarette is a metaphor for our false perception of control, and our urgent need to feel in control. It’s no coincidence, then, that when Gus’s life is spiraling out of control and he finds himself powerless before fate, he tries (and fails) to buy cigarettes.
Oh. Oh my.Intro summary of Dashcon debacle
Dashcon: what happened
A list of Dashcon’s problems
a committee head who quit on Dashcon as a case study for awful nerd organization
Dashcon Is Embarrassing, And Here’s Why
Dashcon attendee viewpoints
Dashcon Legality Issues
Dashcon Schedule: note the strange ESL descriptions, their shittiness
DashCon Disaster – Welcome to Night Vale Walks Out & More
comment on people’s reactions to Dashcon Debacle
WTNV on pulling out of Dashcon
What Dashcon admins say about WTNV pulling out
The poor poor people who seem to have put together a thoughtful panel
Dashcon Admins explain $17,000, claim was not hoax
Admin team responds to criticism
$17,000 ball pit
a response re: making sure projects you crowdfund are legit
Dashcon - Play-by-play of the almost-cancel
The Baker Street Babes on leaving Dashcon early
A video of an admin speaking on near-cancelation
So if you didn’t hear about the Dashcon $17,000 debacle…
Dashcon 2015 Early Registration
Tumblr’s Dashcon Staff on negative feedback
awkward ballpit footage
Dashcon We are the Champions
Another explanation of Dashcon’s issues
What can you buy with $17,000?
fandom wank coverage
THE BALLPIT IS UNCLEAN
Is the dashcon a legit thing that’s going to happen? My friends and I are iffy on it. (:
TLDR: Yeah there have been some serious issues but people are really being asshats about it.
What’s so bad about Dashcon?
I thought Dashcon was a joke, it turns out it still kind of was