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Warning: PG 
29th-Apr-2010 02:16 pm
Warning: PG


Twin Souls
3rd-May-2010 03:49 pm (UTC)
I have heard the theory that a lot of great leaders are psychopaths. I don't quite agree. I recognize they have a lot of characteristics of psychopaths. Makes it very disturbing, because society has allowed success to blind us to this fact. And it is exactly why we are in the sorry state that our society is in now, because we allow bastards like this to be held up as heroes and allow them to lead, when they should really be put away. Which is exactly why I hate Blake.

Oh yes, it does sound like Blake is a psychopath and he does exhibit a lot of the characteristics of one. The way he lies without blinking an eye, etc. those are all characteristics of a psychopath. But just because he shares some characteristics of a psychopath, doesn't mean he is one. Many other conditions contain the same characteristics.

Blake does have emotion, it is one of the primary drivers for his actions. In many ways he acts like a spoiled child, a rebellious teen bully who never grew up and hates it when he doesn't get his way. The way he sulks and throws a temper tantrum and strikes out at others when none of his tactics work and he doesn't get what he wants or other people oppose him, he acts like a child.

But even with emotions, he still does have not have any objective sense of morality. He makes up his own. Just because you have emotions, doesn't make you moral. It's what you do with them and how you justify your actions in your own mind that makes you moral.

I can name several instances where he showed that he cared and was subject to remorse and was able to admit failure(Star One)

Blake rarely showed he cared about his crew until after he got them killed or captured. To me that is a very shallow caring, the kind of caring that would shaft all of them to meet his goals but wring his hands after. Which, I am sorry, but makes his caring almost fake. Because a truly caring person, who regrets, changes his ways. He does not do it, regret and then continue doing it. Because that shows his regret is worth nothing, its just for show and to make himself feel better because he has the proper emotions so he can convince himself he's not a monster and then he can continue screwing his crew.

I do not believe at all that Blake gave them any chance to dump in him Trial. The whole thing from beginning to end was a manipulation to make sure they wouldn't. Avon recognized this and called him on it and Blake pretty much admitted it when he came back. He knew the crew was so pissed off at him for his betrayal that they were ready to dump him.

The whole Trial was one big manipulation. It was never about giving them any choice, it was about not giving them a choice. The whole way he does it shows that it wasn't. Blake tells them that they could leave him on the planet if they don't want him as leader anymore, and he would understand. Sounds very good of him, doesn't it? But that is all it is. A lot of empty words. It is the other things that he has arranged which makes this nothing but an act.

Blake arranges a planet that has absolutely nothing, not even civilization. He makes sure he brings no supplies down.

In effect he was creating a situation where if the crew decided to leave him, he was making absolutely sure, it would make it seem like they were abandoning him helpless and without anything and that would be mean and uncaring of them.

And to really emphasize this, he has the gall to say that he would understand if they decided to leave him, and HE WON'T THINK TOO BADLY OF THEM. WTF! He is deliberately turning the tables and pouring on the guilt if they leave him there with absolutely nothing. He won't think too badly of them? What a manipulative lying bastard. Why should they feel guilty for dumping his lying, treacherous, deceptive, betraying ass? If they did, it would be justice for all the things he's done to them and not just at Control.

If Blake truly meant to give them any kind of a real choice, he would have gone somewhere where it won't make the crew feel like they were 'abandoning' the SOB in the middle of nowhere instead of just dumping him as leader, or maybe contacted Avalon or one of the other rebel groups to pick him up just Avon wanted to do if Control succeeded.

3rd-May-2010 03:50 pm (UTC)
And you know what, Blake's manipulation didn't work. Other than for Cally, the crew did not want him back. They were even ready to dump him with nothing rather than take him back. They didn't even bother to do the one thing he thought they would if they cared about him, ask questions and wonder about Blake. Only Cally was doing that. The others didn't even bother. They were that pissed off at him. They did not want him back. It was only by a fluke of chance, talking about Gan, that they accidentally triggered the message that Blake left.

Even then, Avon still didn't want Blake back. He was convinced that it was all a manipulation, esp after watching the message and he was right. The others are so easily led, they missed all of the transparent manipulation in that message and how Blake so easily turned and made them all feel guilty. If they listened to that message carefully, they'll realize Blake recognized he failed and he was wrong, but the only thing it appears that he really feels bad about was that he picked the wrong target and he was duped by the Federation. He feels no remorse at all for what he personally did to them all, he felt he was justified, and the target made it justified except he was wrong about the target. This man was never their friend. They were all never more than useful tools for him. Something Avon recognized in some of the things he said.

The crew never wanted Blake back, he manipulated them into wanting him back. That is different.

Blake is a master deceiver, his ability to manipulate and bully them into doing what he wanted is the same as putting a gun to their heads and forcing them.

We know this is how the writers viewed this kind of ability because of what they have Avon say in S3 to Cally, when Tarrant pressures Vila to go with him. Avon regrets letting Tarrant do that to Vila. Cally thinks Vila is an adult and he has the freedom to make his own decisions, which it what it appears like on the surface. But Avon points out, Vila didn't feel he had a choice. He felt pressured that he had to do it and that he didn't have a choice, not because he wanted to. That shows us that the writers view this kind of ability to 'persuade' as tantamount to putting a gun to someone's head and forcing them. The person is so pressured, they don't feel like they have a choice. And how is it that Avon of all people would have this kind of understanding or empathy for Vila? Because that is the exact effect Blake had on Avon, and explains perfectly why Avon is so livid and venomous in Star One when he needs to be free of Blake. Cally again expresses a similar view as she did with Vila, Avon is free. Avon points out he is not free of HIM. Avon basically felt like a prisoner, because of what Blake did to him. We only have to look at Horizon and what Blake said to Jenna about arranging odds so that Avon would never feel he had the right conditions to leave. Blake recognizes Avon wants to leave and would in a heartbeat if he had the right conditions. Avon, like he says to himself in The Web, is not there willingly.

And we know the crew didn't really want Blake back at all except he made himself sound so pitiful, because of their attitudes towards him after this episode. Jenna, the one who loves him, says some very nasty things about Blake, and she increasingly sounds like Avon. They are all so pissed off at him that they will not lift a finger to help him even though they know he is walking into a trap in Hostage and Travis has his relatives. Avon is a good man. He doesn't want Blake back either but he doesn't want to see him dead.

If Blake didn't make himself seem so pitiful, they would have left him. Unfortunately once they brought him back, he took up leadership again. He never gave them any choice about that.

3rd-May-2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
And his 'admission' makes PP even worse because it is very clear, just as it was when he was trying to 'persuade' Gan after finding Kasabi's group had been slaughtered, that he knew very well the level of danger was beyond what the crew was willing to accept, when he made that promise to them. He knew but he didn't bother to tell them. The whole promise was a sham when he made it and he knew it, and the way he is able to act so reasonable and nice the whole time he was making that fake 'promise' makes him very much like a psychopath.
3rd-May-2010 03:59 pm (UTC)
I was pleased when they had that conversation between Blake and Deva at the end and the nature of choice came up again.

Blake says Deva does have a choice. Deva says he doesn't.

And you get the distinct impression that the only reason he is still following Blake is because of a promise he made, before he realized the kind of man Blake was, and if he felt he had any choice at all, he'd be dumping Blake so fast, it would make your head spin.

And I love how the writers show us that Deva is as scathing about Blake as Avon is. Accusing Blake of doing stupid things that will get people killed.
3rd-May-2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
You are far better versed in Blake's 7 then I ever will be. The fact that I hardly ever watch episodes anymore, seems to give me selective memory. I remember now, that in Trial, Blake went to an unstable planet (did he know this before he went down?), where he would not be able to survive.

In the series, Blake was never a character I was very interested in (I never watched the first episode and I believe this was all about him). I saw him more as a likeable leader, who had a difficult time keeping his band of 'outlaws' together. The sparring between him and Avon was what did it for me. I liked the idea of a leader, who constantly has to come up with ways to convince his reluctant soldiers that they should carry out his plans (and in Blake's case this involves shameless, lying, cheating and worse according to you.) Maybe if I watch the series again now I'd probably agree with you.

3rd-May-2010 06:37 pm (UTC)
Blake didn't know the planet was dangerous but he definitely planned to use a planet that would make him look pitiful and so he'd be able to say that despicable...I won't feel badly about you if you left me there...what a lying, manipulate bastard.

If you take a look at what the crew was willing to do, they were never reluctant to fight the Federation. They only objected because Blake's plans were usually suicidal. Those were inevitably Avon's objections to Blake, even from the very beginning in Cygnus Alpha. He knew Blake would get them all killed.

When Blake's plans weren't stupidly suicidal (and there were very few that weren't), Avon and the crew didn't tend to complain or resist. I don't see that Blake's efforts was to make a reluctant crew fight. They wanted to fight, but they had limits on what they were willing to sacrifice.

The crew made their limits very clear in PP. They wanted an even chance of surviving. They refused to do anything that they considered a pointless sacrifice. Blake didn't have any limits, he would sacrifice himself and all of them and any number of innocent people to get his way, even if it was just to make a point.

He had no right to force his crew to follow his values as long as they were willing to fight.

Like Avon said to Cally snidely...on Earth it is considered ill-mannered to kill your friends while committing suicide...that is what Avon objected to. Avon never once made any objections to fighting the Federation. All of his objections were against stupid plans that would get them killed.
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