*sigh* I’ve lived here for just over a week and already there’s been a Wacky Housemate Nudity Situation.
You know, after this latest episode, I understand the dislike Cecil has for Steve a lot better. At first I thought it was because Cecil saw him as annoying and inept and maybe trying to force normalcy on the weird little burg. After Janice was introduced, I thought it was because Steve was inattentive, albeit benign, to Cecil’s beloved niece. But I think I understand now what it really is.
Steve and Cecil have fundamental ideological differences, and Cecil is afraid that Steve is going to get Janice killed.
We listeners know very well that Cecil’s game is, normally, subversion. He’s not in line with everything that he’s told or that happens in Night Vale. Rarely will he blatantly reject the official story, but he gives his listeners the true story and, even if it’s through his introductions and tone rather than his words, he encourages his audience to question the status quo. Of course, he doesn’t question everything, but we see him commend those who break unfair or unrealistic rules and condemn those who stand idly by as awfulness happens. And while Steve sees him as just another cog in the machine, not questioning what he’s told and comforted by bureaucracy, we listeners know him to be more of a free-thinker who is usually cognizant of what the real deal is. The thing is, most of Cecil’s rebellion is done on the sly. He keeps his head down and tries to give people the truth and encourage free thought.
Steve, on the other hand, is not at all subversive. He loudly and emphatically proclaims what he knows. He believes that truth is something that shouldn’t be hidden, even if it’s dangerous or uncomfortable. He wants everyone to understand what he understands because he thinks knowledge and truth are more important than anything. He would rather be mocked and disbelieved or even endangered than fall into a line he knows is wrong or deny what he knows to be true, and he has a hard time understanding that other people may not be like that. I think he also has a hard time understanding that knowing the truth might be dangerous, especially to a child.
THAT’S what gets Cecil. He sees Steve as dangerous for Janice, and Cecil would rather have her safe and ignorant. He doesn’t understand Steve’s idea that knowing things isn’t, or shouldn’t be, dangerous. He doesn’t understand why Steve can’t leave well enough alone and let Janice get on safely in Night Vale. Steve, on the other hand, wants all knowledge to be shared with everyone and sees Cecil as just another Night Vale sheep (which, to some extent, he is in some matters). He doesn’t understand the idea Cecil has that sometimes it may be better NOT to know, or at least not to share all one’s information. He and Cecil, at a fundamental level, do not understand one another.
Neither of them is completely right. Neither of them is completely wrong. I think that if they really want to bring down the more menacing parts of their weird little city, both of them will be necessary. I think that Steve being fundamental to helping bring down Strex is setting an important precedent, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.
Janice and her mama tho
Oh! That explains a lot. The tracks sounded vaguely familiar but I couldn’t for the life of me place where I’d heard them.
P L E A S E
so i’ve been informed that apparently there’s a lot of ppl who now think Steve is an angel and Cecil is this cruel heartless monster
like actually they’re both still rly good characters that have their own flaws and reacted in a very human way but did you guys miss the part where Steve said the info he has could get ppl killed and that finding out the truth was more important to him than the love of his family as in he could actually put Janice and his wife in danger and doesn’t mind if trying to find the truth alienates him from them ???
like i dont think steve is an asshole either and im glad they really rounded out his character and i do sympathise with him by feeling so isolated in Night Vale and just wanting to be understood, but Cecil’s reaction was pretty justified even if over the top. like.
these characters are just so HUMAN like there isnt a good guy or a bad guy here they’re just acting like how real people would, and in case you havent noticed, even some of the nicest people have negative traits, we all do, because perfection isn’t real.
Please remember that.
One day fandom might be able to deal with beloved, “good” characters having flaws and unsavoury character traits and nuance.
Today… is not that day.