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June 15, 2020

 

                                


Commentary for June 15, 2020:

Iíve always felt there is a real question to be asked of terrorist leaders as to how much they believe in their cause versus how much theyíre trying to manipulate followers to serve them, risk their lives, even sacrifice themselves, for their own personal empowerment. I remember being skeptical of the sincerity of people like Osama bin Laden, for instance. If he really believed he and his followers were on a holy mission, then why didnít he fly one of those planes? Why did he essentially live a life of ease and comfort (well, at least until he was caught and killed almost a decade later), while others gladly died for his cause? We canít ever know for certain what was going on inside bin Ladenís head. Maybe he was a conman, manipulating others for his own ends, or maybe he was completely sincere and just felt, as the leader of the cause, he was too important to sacrifice himself in a suicide bombing. I donít know and Iím not arrogant enough anymore to really speculate.

Bringing it back to this comic, the question here is whether or not Sora-Ya believes in what sheís saying. Is this really all about saving Mobians from human tyranny or is it all just so much rhetoric to gain followers who will fight for her so she can take over and rule the world as Empress? Now, I could step out from behind the curtain and give a definitive answer to that question right here, right now. But maybe itís better to leave it as an open question. Her story is still only just beginning here, after all. Maybe we can revisit this at the end of her story. (And yes, spoilers: her story does end.)

What I will say, however, is that in the original Eonís Comic, Sora-Yaís ambition had nothing to do with liberating Mobians. She was motivated to conquest almost entirely on the basis of her extremist religious doctrine. She was essentially a Christian dominionist; she believed her religion was the only correct worldview and that only people who shared her beliefs should be allowed to rule the world in the name of her god. Again, open question as to how sincere she was, but her beliefs as presented were a lot simpler then than what Iím going for now. Yes, there is still a religious angle to the Echidna Empire, but itís taking much more of a backseat in this version of the story next to the socio-political reasons for what theyíre trying to do. Iím not trying to make the Echidna Empire sympathetic here, but sometimes the best villains are the ones whoíve got a point, even if their actions are completely reprehensible. Humans have mistreated Mobians in this setting and there is ongoing prejudice and discrimination against them, so...

I guess this shift reflects my shifting fears about things going on in the real world; when I was younger, I was a lot more troubled by religious fundamentalism than I was by many other equally dangerous things. But age and experience has shown me that religious extremism is just one of many evils and pales in comparison to things like capitalism and fascism, which have proven to be so much more dangerous to countries like mine than men like Osama bin Laden ever were.

That was pretty heavy, so apologies for that. But these commentaries are here to give readers who are interested a little insight into whatís on my mind while Iím making this self-important garbage Sonic fanfiction.


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