Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Potty’s Over

Anony John submits the second tale in our two-day Flash Forward look at the great Bernie Wrightson. From the August 1984 issue of Epic Illustrated #25, this is a very mature themed tale with lots of nudity and gruesome violence… so sorry kiddies, ADULTS ONLY!!

(Thanks again to John for the scans!)

TOMORROW: Back to the 50’s!

And there's more Bernie Wrightson in the THOIA Archives, I posted the Father's Day story from the Creepshow ('82) movie comic back in June 2008...


Tim Beard said...

Sometimes I forget just how amazing Wrightson can draw. Plus the story is just nasty. "Blursh Flurgle Glooshh" Awesome.

todd said...

That wasn't scary so much as really gross. It also never explained how she spent eight months in the tub without eating, sleeping, etc.

AndyDecker said...

Heh, nice story. Very nasty. Good variation of the old Revenge from the Grave theme.

Back then I never bought Epic. Hmm, seems to have been a mistake. About Wrightson is everything already said. What an artist!

Oh, and the eight month in the bath are explained :-) "eight month, to be exact ... twice daily for two thirds of a year" She only spend the mornings and evenings in the tub :-)

Tim Tylor said...

As todd said, more icky than creepy - beautifully drawn, but ugh. And with that much soaking, how did she avoid the Human Raisin Syndrome?

Chuck Wells said...

Reading "The Pottys Over" was lots of fun. Nude babe, gore to the max and Bernie in top form artwise.

That's a good story!

Anonymous said...

takes pre-code to the next level

Anonymous said...

I was a Creepy and Eerie fan back in the day. I was unaware of the other quality mags that were floating around at that time.

Anonymous said...

11 pages for that?

Anon E. Mouse said...

I've wanted to send that to Karswell for some time.
It's a crime The Potty's Over isn't reprinted anywhere else, AFAIK.

Thanks for sharing the tale, Karswell.

Anony John said...

The art is brilliant, but the story is more uncomfortable than anything esle. The woman only wanted to be left unmolested in the shower; that may have been an unhealthy obsession, but it was itself victimless. She clawed her husband in the eyes in self defense when he maliciously attacked her, and then he was accidentally killed. Apparently, we're supposed ot think that she deserved a terrible fate for being pleased that the b_st_rd died. Personally, I would have helped her to dispose of the body.

Karswell said...

To me this story is all about the art, and the exploitation aspects of just finding a thin reason to keep Sweetie nude the entire time (oh how I love baths!) and/or covered in blood half the time. No arguments there. But even so, my favorite thing: the middle panel on page 7. Wrightson pulls out a brilliantly simple, atmospheric exterior / breakaway shot that really sets up the shadowy sense of isolation and creeping death. Hell, the septic tank even looks like a crypt.

Thanks again John! Loved this one.

TOMORROW: Look! Up in the sky, it's a...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

That'll teach women to stand up for themselves.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe all these comments about self-defense. Read the story again. Look at page two. Harry NEVER touches her. He's just trying to turn the water off. She viciously grabs his arm to stop him -- "Don't touch the FAUCET, Harry." -- and then claws his fucking eyes out, all because he's trying to turn the faucet. Reeeeally reasonable. The guy's not malicious at all. He just wants some time with his wife who is obviously (as painfully spelled out through the rest of the story) unhealthily obsessed with baths and showers.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, It was only two comments. Still.......

Joey Deadcat said...

Yes! Thanks for posting this! Been years since I'd seen this story.

Mike H said...

I always loved this depraved story! This is the only issue of EPIC I own. (duh!)

Enrico Teodorani said...

Great stuff! Wrightson's art is always amazing! said...

It is rather trivial to cause a reasonable expectation of harm without ever literally touching someone. I'm not so much amazed as appalled that someone would try to play the “Harry NEVER touches her” card in a comment here. I have to hope that the commentor is trolling; and, even then, that's just the best of a set of unhappy interpretations.

Anonymous said...


You're appalled? Look, everybody else has been civil on this site, but now you're questioning my humanity? All right then. How should I view a person who thinks it's perfectly okay to gouge someone's eyes out for his wanting to turn off water? Encourages it, in fact. I challenge you to find one threatening thing Harry says (or does) in this story.

I never went after anybody, or slung insults, when I made my comment. I just tried to point out the facts of the story, but you're now telling everybody on this site that you're morally superior to me? And using a fucking comic book story as the standard by which that's to be measured? Nice.

prof. grewbeard said...

i've said it before and i bet i'll say it here again- ewwwwwwwwwwww!!!

Horror pariah said...

Great story, a full Royal FLUSH. said...

No, Anonynous, not everyone else was more civil than I. In particular, your response to my first comment wasn't civil.

Your rhetorical question is eristic, in that she didn't claw his eyes out for simply wanting to turn the water off, and no one here has proposed that someone who did no more than that would deserve to have his eyes clawed out. (No one has even proposed that he particularly deserved to have his eyes clawed out. She wasn't acting to claw his eyes out; she was acting to repel him.)

Your challenge is easily met: He crept up on her, deliberately startled her, approached her in a way to keep her cornered, and stayed crouched like an attacker in his approach. If he'd just wanted talk, he could have announced his presence as he entered the room, and he could have left the water running. If he somehow felt that they could not talk with the water running, then he could have approached the controls from their end of the tub. He set out to scare her, to corner her, to menace her, and she responded as someone menaced.

Your initial comment went after prior commentor by implication, and it was insulting. But those points are secondary. The medium (comic book or otherwise) of a story doesn't somehow change the rules so that it's wrong for a woman to defend herself against a physical attack. If you really believe some of what you're throwing up here, then it's easy to find people morally superior.

Anonymous said...

You're wrong again. My original comment was civil. I never questioned anybody's sensitivity to the issue of violence against women the way you directly assaulted mine. I expressed disbelief that somebody (not even specifically you -- there were two comments) could read the story so differently from the way I had. That's all I did.

Also, my challenge is "easily met?" Really? Your assertion that crouching in a way to corner her was sufficient to tearing his eyes out would not hold up in a court of law. Not between husband and wife. I often scare my wife, and she scares me, in similar mischievous ways. We tease each other. It's playful. It's the way normal people act when they're married. Harry would have no expectation of having his eyes torn out for teasing his wife, which I submit is all Wrightson is conveying here. That is probably why he assigned so "appalling" a fate to her, don't you think?

In fact, initially even Harry's wife knows she overreacted when she screams "I didn't mean to." The fact that she so quickly adapts to his death as just fine and dandy suggests psychosis to me. She is the villain of the story -- or at least, that seems to me what Wrightson intended. You don't flush heroes down toilets, right?

Okay, so you didn't specifically say it was okay to tear his eyes out, but you did specifically say "Personally, I would have helped her to dispose of the body." So maybe you can see how I thought you didn't have any problem with the extreme violence against Harry. Anybody that would commit a crime to cover it up is likely cool with what happened. Or at least, that's how I saw it.

And speaking of being eristic, your continuing claims that you're morally superior to me rather than rigorously addressing the facts of the story suggests a struggle to reinterpret the parameters of the argument in order to favor your position. An ineffective struggle, I might add. I have remained civil, never calling you names, never saying that I am "disgusted, dismayed or horrified" by you, because how could I be? I don't know you. I have intellectually approached this debate, you have personalized it. You owe me an apology for your name calling.

By the way, just so you have some kind of real sense of the person you've been calling "appalling" and morally inferior, I volunteer at a rape center where my wife works. What do you do that makes you morally superior to me? said...

No, your original comment wasn't civil; it questioned our ability to recognize which of two people in the story initiated the attack. And just as you won't acknowledge who initiated the attack in the story, you won't acknowledge who initiated it in the comments.

You apparently don't know a d_mn about the law here, which in many or all jurisdictions explicitly allows women an escalated level of response. More importantly, I didn't draw upon the law earlier, because we were discussing the morality, not the law, and one cannot infer the former from the latter.

Your presumption that if you do something to your wife then it must be moral acceptable is poor logic. And the woman in this case plainly doesn't have a relationship in which scaring the other party is consensually accepted.

Nor is her reäction proved to be beyond that morally permissible because she avowedly didn't mean to kill or injure him. When someone might be justified in delivering one level of injury, one might none-the-less not intend to deliver that level, and might regret when they delivered that greater level. (Indeed, you try to have it both ways on this score, as you want to insist that it's suggestive of psychosis not to regret killing someone.)

And note here: First you were claiming that he was just trying to turn off the water and talk. With that claim perfectly exploded, now you want to insinuate that his behavior was somehow equivalent to consensual teasing.

You beg the question in claiming that it is suggestive of psychosis for her to adapt quickly to his death. If he deserved to die, and were her persistent tormentor (the narration explicitly calls him “sadistic”), then she may simply have brought her emotions quickly into line with reason.

You also beg the question in appealing to the intention of the writer, as what the comments disputed in the first place was the morality of the story. Nor has anyone here claimed that she was a hero.

Again, the story dosen't indicate that her intention was to claw his eyes. As you noted, she denied that intention after the fact. So even if we accepted the inference that I were cool with what happened, the inference would be that I were cool with an assailant getting his eyes inadvertantly clawed. And, one way or another, the fact that you made an inference doesn't ipso facto legitimize it. If you can't actually defend that inference, and all that you would have follow upon it, then where is your apology?

No one made repeated claims that I was morally superior to you. You made an initial inference that I was claiming as much (because you permit yourself to infer insult in my comments while insisting that no one is allowed to point to the insult implicit in your comments), and that inference isn't quite accurate, nor is it to be found when in my later remarks. What I said was “it's easy to find people morally superior” without an attempt to identify whom those people would be.

Nor do I make such claims instead of going over the story. I picked-apart your claim as to what actually happened in the story. (Forcing your ridiculous new interpretation of the attack as mere teasing). I then turned to your claims about your own moral status because that follows the order in which you made those claims.

What name do you want to claim that I called you? You misrepresented events in the story, and your misrepresent events in this discussion.

It's easy to find cases of people who have volunteered on behalf of victims and yet whose moral sense your probably wouldn't want to defend. Sometimes, that volunteering seems to have itself been quite sincere. No one here is is claiming that you're a monster like Ted Bundy (suicide hotline) or John Wayne Gacy (hospitalized children), or even that you;ve actually trespassed against anyone outside of your comments here. But the point is that your invocation of volunteering at a rape center isn't simply an inadequate argument; it's inadequacy is itself an illustration of your not getting how to evaluate moral claims. I can tell you of some of the good that I've done, and it would prove nothing.

Anonymous said...

Nope. You're wrong again. My argument was never "exploded" about his wanting to turn the water off. That's all he ever did want. It says so in the story. Show me ANYWHERE in the action where he suggests his intentions are otherwise. Even one word or gesture. Show me ANYWHERE in the action where she thinks his intentions are other than trying to turn the water off. Even one place. What does she say? "Don't touch that faucet." Once she starts clawing his eyes she yells "leave me alone." but that hand was always reaching for the faucet. No, my insult hurling friend. Your argument is the one exploded by the actual facts presented in the story, in the action of the scene, which you keep avoiding talking about. Sure, the narrator says he's nasty and sadistic, but where in the action under discussion do you see it? (And you can argue it's not very well written, sure, but that's another point). You are incapable of supporting your argument with the story and art as it is, so you resort to name calling. I have not. It's a classic example of the desperate debater, and it's always transparent. You just keep making up stories about what YOU think the story is morally suggesting by things that are not happening on the page, but in some imaginary world where these characters have complete lives.

And it isn't just my wife and I. Normal married people always tease each other. In the shower, in the kitchen, everywhere. It's a cliche of romance. So that's not "poor logic." It's observational truth.

By the way, I'm a recently retired criminal defense attorney in the State of New York, so I may not know a "damn about the law," but probably I know a bit more than you do. And trying to turn off a faucet does not rise to the level of allowing this sort of escalated response (Although I'm pretty sure I could get her off with Criminally negligent homicide -- an E felony -- with likely a suspended sentence).

And I'll never apologize for disagreeing with somebody, or saying somebody is wrong. If I name call, yeah, then I'll apologize, because it's nasty, and mean spirited. And I need to point out again, I haven't insulted you yet (other than identifying you as "insult hurling" but again, observational truth).

In my original comment I (once again) expressed disbelief that other folks saw something so differently from what I did. I basically said you probably misread the story. It's a comic. People read them quickly, so I was saying "look again." How can you possibly characterize that as insulting? Certainly nobody else seems to have been insulted, as no else called me "appalling." I just asked you and the other person to make a second, more thorough examination of the story, and see if you see what I see. That's it. Sure, I used broad comedic language, like "Reeeally reasonable" because it's a comic site and we're all supposed to be having fun here.

Look, having an intellectual discussion requires disagreement. You're just plain wrong, and there's no apology required in an honest discussion of that position.

And you did indeed say you were morally superior to me when you called my views about violence against women "appalling." You were "disgusted, horrified, or dismayed" by that view on a clearly moral issue. One can only be appalled when one feels he or she has found a condition to be inferior to what one is accustom, and in the case of a moral issue, that can lead to only one conclusion. Pay closer attention to your language.

And even more transparent than your attempts to derail the facts in the matter of this story are your veiled comparisons between me and Bundy and Gacy (oh they both did "nice" things -- like you). No, you can't approach this with intellectual vigor, and so you have to personalize it. It's too bad. This site has generally been a place where people have discussions about comics, and you've turned into a discussion about a straw dog you've constructed and decided to identify as me. You've insulted my moral fiber, and in your last post, my intelligence (don't know a "damn about law"). You seem reasonably intelligent to me, so I wonder why you keep resorting to personalizing this.

And the saddest thing of all is that this was precipitated by a comic book story. You, for some reason, attached the issue of rape to a story about blood and guts coming to life to get revenge, and then insulted somebody who was just trying to be funny. You forced me to defend myself by suggesting I was morally appalling. I take that seriously -- perhaps too seriously, but didn't you maybe take this story and my comment too seriously? These stories all have grossly immoral scenes depicted in them, and the thought of using my energies to defend any character depicted in one of them seems suddenly absurd. But now I have to defend myself? It's not reasonable. said...

No, your third version of things isn't going to work either. The claim that he crept-up on her without wanting to creep up on her, cornered her and blocked her escape without wanting to corner her and block her escape, approached her in a crouch without wanting to crouch is different from your original claim that he didn't do anything threatening, is ridiculously implausible, and wouldn't change the moral evaluation of her actions, which would be based upon her response to what he observably did, as opposed to your strained conjecture about it all somehow being inadvertant. (Nor should you invoke the narration when it supports you, and then wave it away when it reveals some of the context in which the wife would be interpetting his actions.)

You've already been directed to some of his threatening gestures, and simply refused to acknowledge that cornering her, approaching her in a crouch, and blocking her exit are threatening gestures. We could add to that her taking the curtain that she's tried to hold around herself from her, but you could (and I had ever-diminishing doubt would) deny that almost any other gesture were threatening.

And to insist that I “keep avoiding talking about” a scene that I've repeatedly written about, such that you've argued against what I've said when I've written about it, is worse than absurd.

Again, what is a name that I've called you? You've repeatedly accused me of name-calling, and you've already been asked to point to an instance.

It isn't established, and certainly wouldn't be an observational truth that whatever you and your wife do is okay. Nor does your supplement that many others do it get logically to the truth that it's okay. That's the logical issue here.

And, again, what you're trying to insinuate is that what you and your wife do with the consent of each other, the fictional husband gets to do without the consent of his wife.

What I advisedly said was that you “apparently” didn't know a d_mn about the law. That quietly allowed for such things as your deliberately trying to paper-over the point that she wasn't required to just match his level of aggression. And, again, though he was trying to turn off the faucet, he wasn't just doing that. (There's also no crime in marking Valentine's Day, but Al Capone wasn't just doing that.)

No one asked you to apologize for just disagreeing with somebody. I asked why you didn't apologize for proceeding hostilely from an inference (about what we were or were not “cool” with) unless you can actually defend that inference.

Whatever you intended to say in your original comment isn't ipso facto what you actually said, and regardless of your intention, you are responsible for your actually remarks then (and for the things that you've subsequently actually said). There was no “probably” in your original remarks; you don't get to pretend that it was there. Nor does it fly for you to simultaneously claim that you were expressing surprise that we interpretted events differently and that we were “cool” with clawing someone's eyes for merely trying to turn off water.

Nor did anyone suggest that you should apologize for disagreement. It was asked why you didn't apologize for what is a misrepresentation of the views of others is you can't defend the underlying inference of the representation.

No, I did not say that I was morally superior when I said that I was appalled. If that were true, then no one could be appalled at him- or herself. Again, your logic is grossly faulty. Further, it is inconsistent for you to treat the alleged implications in my words as insults, while pointedly ignoring the insulting implications in your words.

I'm not sure what you men by intellectual “vigor” or why I should be vigorous in response to weak arguments. As to intellectual rigor, as you know, the blunt examples of bad people who sometimes did good things is straight-forward disproof by counter-example to the argument that you were using. It's rigorous up to (but not at) the point of proving that Bundy and Gacy are bad people. (I don't think that I'd bother with that proof, even if asked.)

I didn't introduce or even escalate the personalization here. When you make the illogical inference, such as that I claim to be morally superior to you, and present these for explicit discussion, you are increasing the personalization and projecting the escalation upon me. (If I take an actual position (one way or the other) then I've taken your bait, but the escalation would still really be your doing. And, so far, I've not taken your bait.) Even when I explicitly and preëptively deny an inference (as exactly in the Bundy/Gacy disproof), you use the rhetorical device to escalate the personalization.

I find dubious your claim that the saddest thing is that this was precipitated by a comic book story. For example, I'd find it far sadder if you defended a real-life man who had acted in this way. I didn't attach the issue of rape. So far, prior to your last comment, rape had only been mentioned in connection with your reporting that you volunteer at a rape center. As to your being forced to defend yourself, well, only in the sense that (and to a lesser extent than) I was forced into the counter-attack against which you attempted to defend yourself.

As to your conjecture about my taking the story too seriously. Nope. It isn't even clear to me whether this is amoral story-telling that doesn't work very well, or immoral story-telling that fails as story-telling per se. My original comment was therefore brief, and is mostly about why the story, as such, doesn't much work.

Now, again, where's one of those names that you keep accusing me of calling you?

Karswell said...

Dear Lord... said...

Which god do you worship?

Karswell said...

None of the above.

Anonymous said...

1) You referred to my view on the issue of violence against women (in a comic book story) -- which you must find to be a moral issue or you wouldn't have gotten so outraged by all this -- to have "appalled" you. Oh, and I DID indeed defend that inference -- that reference (on your part), in fact. You conveniently avoided my classically logical assessment of why that word makes you assert moral superiority. Or maybe you just didn't read it.

2) You said it was easy to find people "morally superior" to me (because of what I "really believe.")

3) You angrily asserted my ignorance (at least I hope you were angry, since you used intemperate language) when you said I didn't "know a damn" about something -- something, as it turns out, I know a great deal more about than you. You didn't know that when you called me was ignorant, but nevertheless, yo assumed you knew more, and said it anyway.

4) You "slyly" compared me to two serial killers. Oh, you said you weren't accusing me of being like them, but then why invoke them? Why say that my service to the community is in ANY way related to two killers? It's a clumsy but frequently used ploy which is used -- as you did here -- to escalate the inflammatory rhetoric. Just by writing (or saying) the names, you make an association. The way Blagojevich obliquely compared himself to Ghandi and King. If Katie Couric is smart enough to identify and ridicule that kind of simplistic tactic, you didn't really think you could get it past me, did you?

5) And finally, in your last email, you continued in this vein. You'd find it far sadder if I defended a real life person who did this? Well, now that you know what I used to do for a living, you must know that I in fact HAVE defended real life men who actually did much worse things. Not a very nice dig at my profession. Again, a personal attack (a relatively sly one, but unmistakable).

So there you go. Specific instances using your exact words, and not out of context. You and ONLY you have personalized this argument, right from the get-go.

And just by saying I've introduced a third version of my argument doesn't make it true. Another sloppy tactic. I've said again, and again, and again, and now again, he never threatened her. The art on the pages doesn't support your meritless assertion that he did. You say he's crouching menacingly, but when I look at it again (you might give that a try -- it helps to see things more clearly) I've realized that what he's doing is crouching utilitarianly. How can you turn a shower knob without crouching? And when you said much earlier that he could have turned it off from the other end, why even say that? He didn't. THIS is the story. THESE are the facts. You're making up an alternative story when you say things like that. You simply have no facts to support your idea about a threat here. NONE. I have lots. The art and dialog.

And how do you know she "can't escape?" Wrightson never shows us that she's trying to escape in the art, so you can't assume that she can't. He's showing us that she wants to stay under the water. You're making things up. Again.

Speaking of changing tactics, you now assert I use faulty logic? You can't seem to get it straight. Before I was morally inferior, or ignorant, but now I'm using faulty logic? Since your "poor logic" tactic was ineffective earlier, I'm surprised you're trotting it out on a larger scale here.

Except for the fact that you said you found my line of work "far sadder" than my argument, this time around you seem to be using more temperate language. Still, you seem incapable of not personalizing this discussion. What's weirder, you seem incapable of recognizing that you've personalized it. I can't imagine why. As for our first volley, you were "appalled" by me. And what was that in response to? "I can't believe these comments..." is what I said. Compare those two. Who really is making a judgment? Anybody can see that I'm stating MY disbelief, and you're stating that I'm appalling. You are making a judgment about me.

And, that I reacted quickly and said I was insulted right away, but you waited for a couple of emails to even mention it is interesting. It's possible you "decided" to be insulted later to help refocus the debate on me, rather than the story.

And your refusal to recognize the fact that normal lovers tease each other all the time is telling. You can't let reality invade your interpretation of a comic story. That IS reality, a universal truth. People living in the real world cannot help but bring that reality to a story when they read it. It's an easily identifiable situation which most of us are familiar with, and that I saw get out of hand. It's classic Stephen King-style horror. Everyday life going suddenly wrong.

But getting back to just the crime, yes, you can manufacture a whole life about imaginary characters to support your claim, but the action itself is what you refuse to talk about. You're trying to admit evidence into the debate that is NOT relevant. I used to see that a lot, and there's a reason it never works.

As for the way a clearly psychotic woman interprets actions, well, we have places for people like that, too. And usually folks don't offer to become accessories after the fact for their crimes -- or acts of violence, as I used to say.

But then, how DOES she interpret his actions? When she says "Don't touch the faucet." we know she interprets his actions correctly, because she says she does. What the narrator says is HIS opinion (about non-existent behavior -- if it's not in the story, it doesn't exist). I'm not ignoring the narration. It just doesn't have anything to do with the scene. The narrator didn't commit the crime. And I've never used the narration to my "advantage," either. The fact that you say I do suggests you aren't reading my responses carefully.

You see, it's all there. Time and again (well, really just the first time, but I apparently had to repeat myself) I have the facts on my side, and you have "crouching menacingly" on your side. I don't blame you for avoiding addressing those first two pages with intellectual rigor (by the way, really nice of you to seize on my typo of "rigor," but as I'm about to say, you have no other ammo, so what else can you do?) -- because you have no foothold. You have no ammo, so you keep making things up -- about me, about the lives you've imagined for these nonexistent characters, about interpretations of the story which are not supported by the facts.

Oh, and just for the record, you don't think you can be morally appalled by yourself? Really? You never regretted anything in your life that you've done based on moral grounds? Well, again, reality categorically demonstrates you're wrong when you assert nobody else can. In my former line of work I saw grown men break down over the things they did. Talk about using your own experience to make a blanket statement -- an experience that I question is even accurate.

No, my logic is always sound. I invoke truth, I invoke facts as presented in the action in this story. That's all. I don't have to go through the mental calisthenics you do to make a point. I just have to say "Look, right there." Nice try, though. Maybe it works on you, but nobody else.

Oh, and as it's now obvious that we've tried the patience of our generous and charitable host (and any poor soul unfortunate enough to stumble across the interminable exchange), let's stop doing this here. And honestly, it's kind of a pain in the ass to keep coming back and finding this post. If you want to continue, here's my email address:

But please, use temperate language. Obviously I don't mind things like "It's just a fucking comic story" but when referring to me, my former life's work, my wife, please be respectful, as I have of you. If you want to keep pointing out my typos (I banged this out rather hurriedly - gotta run) I guess that's okay, but other than that, let's be civil. I find many faults with your argument, but since I don't know you, I find no fault with you.

One other thing: I feel like a Luddite here when I use CAPS for emphasis. How does one get the italics in comments on this window? Oec.? Kars? Anybody? said...

[1] No, you persistently confuse your inferences with what was actually said.

[2] Yes. It is easy to find people morally superior to you. (The issue of moral superiority, I would note, was raised by you, based upon an illogical inference.)

[3] As I explicitly reminded you, what I advisedly said was that you “apparently”. The first time that you missed that, it might just been foolishness; this time, you're engaged in libel.

[4] No, I didn't slyly compare you to two serial killers. I bluntly exploded your attempt to prove that you're good from a claim that you have done good things.

[5] I didn't send e.mail. We are posting comments to a 'blog. I don't know (and don't want) an e.mail address for you. And your presumption that I think that acting as s defense lawyer for evil men is itself an evil thing and for you to thus infer that I'm implicitly attacking your for this.

None of these are instance of introducing or escalating the personalization, and some of them (such as your claim that I have attacked you for having been a defense lawyer) are pure invention on your part.

I rely on anyone reading this to be able to distinguish and count for themselves the three different interpetations that you've presented: [1] that the husband did nothing threatening; [2] that the husband's scaring her &c was all teasing (and equivalent to consensual teasing); [3] that the husband's scaring her, cornering her, approaching her in a crouch, &c, weren't deliberate. The fact that these three interpretations share the consistent theme that he did nothing wrong and never actually touched her doesn't mean that they are the same interpretation.

He isn't simply crouching when he is turning-off the shower knob. And I generally don't crouch to turn off a shower knob, whether I am in the shower by myself or otherwise, nor do I corner and block the escape of another person when she's in the shower with me.

As to the point that he did what he did (as opposed to approaching the shower controls from their end, not sneaking up on her, not cornering her, not rendering her naked by taking the curtain from her, not approaching her in a crouch) is not particularly insightful. Doing what one does isn't ipso facto innocent, or there'd be no guilty people in this world.

You again toss logic aside when you pretend that her not attempting to escape somehow shows that he hasn't blocked her escape. (She's apparently supposed to try to pass through the curtain or through his arm.)

There is nothing rival in the claims that your logic is inferior and that your moral sense is inferior. (In fact, [1] a moral sense is improved by the application of logic, and [2] a lack of a moral sense can cause a person to feel licensed to be illogical.) On the other hand, claims that he did nothing threatening, that his threating behavior was just teasing, and that his threatening behavior was unintentional are rival claims. And, as opposed to your claim that my “tactic” of pointing-out your illogic was ineffectual, let me explain that I'm not arguing to persuade you, and I'm very comfortable with the guess that a third party reading this recognizes the logical flaws that I keep pointing-out (and, in many cases, before I have pointed them out).

I didn't call your line-of-work “sadder” (nor less sad) than anything. There's a huge disconnection between what I write and what you claim that I write. Your misrepresentation of what I said would be far sadder is yet another example of how you introduce or attempt to introduce personalization, and then impute the personalization to me.

As to my not mentioning insults until responding to your explicitly raising the issue of civility, it simply wasn't important to me as an issue to argue until you decided to argue it. (If, in a face-to-face political argument, someone threw a punch at me, I might not argue the issue of punching when I punched back, until the other party started to object that I'd punched him.) And this still isn't e.mail.

I haven't denied that ordinary couples tease each other. As to whether ordinary couples deliberately sneak-up and scare each other, I don't have an opinion beyond mild doubt. But that's not the issue. The refusal to recognize is entirely yours. Anything amongst consenting adults is acceptable, but this relationship plainly lacked consent. She repeatedly expressed her lack of consent.

There are lots things that people don't usually do yet which they ought to do, and lots of things that have been treated as crimes that ought not to be treated as crimes. As to your shift that from claiming that her behavior “suggests” psychosis to the claim that she is “clearly” psychotic — again, it begs the question.

Again, you invoked the narration as if it were to be treated as conveying brute fact when that suited your purpose, and yet you reject it when it does not. The narration here isn't presented as the testimony of a participant, but as the voice of the story-teller. If you're going to reject the narration, then you might as well reject the illustrations, and claim that it was really Colonel Mustard, in the kitchen, with a knife. I'm not going to argue about what happened in your story.

You can repeat yourself as much as you want, but I'll repeatedly note what evidence you suppress. I've noted the sneaking-up, the crouching, the cornering, the blocking, the evident lack of consent, and alternative behaviors that would have been less threatening. When you're not flat-out contradicting yourself on these scores, you are the one who is ignoring things. (So far you haven't addressed the lack of consent even absurdly. It seems that simply cannot.)

I honestly didn't know what you meant by “vigor”. I'll take responsibility for confusions resulting from my typos; you take responsibility for those resulting from yours.

I did not say that no one could be morally appalled by oneself. Read it again: “I did not say that I was morally superior when I said that I was appalled. If that were true, then no one could be appalled at him- or herself.” The fact that one can be morally appalled by oneself falsifies your claim.

As to your claim that your logic is always sound, well, that would be remarkable for anyone, and this discussion has furnished plenty of counter-examples in your particular case.

D_mn! I said that I didn't want your e.mail address, and yet there it is. But, as I explained earlier, I'm not arguing to persuade you. As an audience, you're not worth my time.

Use the <i> element for italics. (It's obsolete in proper HTML, but blogger's comment system precludes CSS.) But substance is more important than style.