Let's Talk About Linus

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tangeriney, Jul 23, 2018.

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  1. tangeriney

    tangeriney Subatomic Cosmonaut

    I love him. He's honestly one of my favorite characters. I think he's so sweet and he's just out there doing his thing and he's great.

    So... it really bothers me that so many people, including characters in-game, seem to think there's something wrong with the way he lives??? He's doing what makes him happy. He says himself multiple times he likes being out in nature, being on his own. Sure, sometimes he's sad that people avoid him because maybe he smells kinda funny or they don't understand him. But I'm kind of tired of hearing people talk about how he should have a house and get a job and clean up.

    What do you think of dear, sweet Linus? (Or, more seriously, the epidemic of homelessness, the topic of young people choosing homelessness, the stigmas surrounding homelessness, etc. I'd love to talk about this!)
     
    • Zosa

      Zosa Cosmic Narwhal

      i think if there is a choice then there is nothing wrong with homelessness. humans are semi-nomadic naturally so why is it so wrong to want to roam? the only concern is when it's not a choice for the person who is homeless. as far as it goes though linus is doing alright by his own standard and while i understand greatly why people want him in a building with structured walls and a foundation i am very grateful that concerned ape did not cop-out and undermine the whole thing by giving the player a chance to force linus to live in the socially acceptable way(though it is a shame you can't offer to let him camp out on your farm away from that ass robin, though i get why that wouldn't work either). it's clear from the way that he speaks that he has social problems and possibly mild hallucinations(the trees) if his words are to be taken literally which does not bother him in his current lifestyle but would cause so many problems if he were to live like the townies(something he mentions when you talk to him)



      as for real homelessness though i feel a bit sour on it. when i was still a young person i had a couple bouts with it and there is nothing glamorous or freeing or peaceful or noble or anything of that sort about it. the only way it works is if it is buoyed with lots of money and prepared for in advanced(accounts set up, mail redirected, taxes paid up on, paperwork all filed, a temporary return residence for legal issues, no pressures of work or family, friends and loved ones who can be contacted if things go pear-shaped and being in possession of a body that isn't easily set out as a target for predators). just dropping your life and going about won't work as it is literally impossible to get above-table work in many countries if you do not have a stationary place of residence that mail can be sent to and incredibly difficult to maintain a job without dependable access to running water with which to bathe yourself and clean your clothes(hygiene is important in a working environment) you also cannot get documentation without a residence in many places and there are hostile laws in many more that make it(in spirit if not in word) illegal to be homeless in public. it is also very hard on the body to not be able to eat or sleep regularly, hard on the soul not to be able to be clean or safe and hard on the wallet to only be able to purchase ready-to-eat meals that are non-perishable in any weather
       
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      • ShneekeyTheLost

        ShneekeyTheLost Master Astronaut

        Okay... let's talk about Linus and his extremely unhealthy habits.

        First off, speaking as a fellow who was in the boy scouts and regularly went camping, and still do from time to time, and as someone with survival training, there's a pretty huge difference between what is being presented and actual fact. Thing is, Linus's claim of being able to live off of nature, as he goes about doing it, is simply silly. The only way to really live off of nature, which is to say on a strict hunter/gatherer means, is by being both hunter and gatherer, otherwise you starve when edibles go out of season, and the only sort of skill he has displayed which might net him food in winter is fishing. Also, he would need a far larger 'range' than he demonstrates access to in order to find enough foraged goods to keep himself fed, and would need to be semi-nomadic to support that lifestyle and not strip the area, which would mean showing up in SDV maybe once a week, not constantly camped out in Robin's back yard. Furthermore, he demonstrates no ability to survive even the moderate winters that SDV apparently has (retains snow accumulation most of the winter). That tent is NOT insulated enough, he would lose far too many calories trying to keep warm. In any remotely accurate setting, he'd be gone during the winter, to somewhere warmer.

        So how does he go about doing it? Dumpster diving. Which has many health problems associated with it. Simple food poisoning aside, trash is rife with other contagions and it is stupidly unsafe to do so. Plus the act of dumpster diving in rural areas like SDV is shown to be will dramatically increase animals doing the same thing, which brings in scavengers that are hungry and might become hostile if they feel either trapped or too hungry to want to give up a meal. In short, by rummaging through people's trash, you endanger the entire community. You want that bear living out in the woods to get the idea that there's food in those bins and come wandering in at night? They aren't stupid, if they get the idea that there's food to be had, they're going to investigate. Hell, they've got a huge problem with that out in Yellowstone. Campers weren't particularly careful with food storage, which enticed the bears to come visit. Now that the bears know that campsites may contain food, they start investigating campsites in general, and through tracking they have determined that once a bear starts investigating campsites, they are almost certain to continue doing so. Which is a huge safety hazard.

        Now let's talk societal. When you live in a community, you have to abide by the community's guidelines. That's basic courtesy. Including things like obeying property ownership laws and hygiene standards. Linus is literally camped out in Robin's backyard. By the law, she could have him evicted at any time, but she feels a sort of pity for him, even though he makes her feel extremely uncomfortable by her presence. But he apparently doesn't care about that, and counters with 'why don't you understand my lifestyle choice'. It's not a matter of not understanding your lifestyle choice Linus, it's the fact that you're camping out in her back yard. I'm not even going to get into hygiene here, suffice to say that I'm highly doubtful that he keeps up with it, and leave it at that.

        In short, Linus doesn't live a hunter/gatherer lifestyle. He mooches off of Robin for land to camp on, disturbs everyone in town, dumpster-dives which is EXTREMELY unsafe, and basically takes advantage of most of the perks of living in civilization while refusing to take on the responsibilities thereof. It's like the whole Sovereign Citizen nonsense all over again. The worst part shows up during an event new to 1.3, in which Robin offers to build, at no cost to Linus, a cabin in the corner of the Farmer's land for him... and he not only refuses, but acts insulted by it! This is really the part where I understood just how malicious Linus actually is. He effectively already HAS a permanent residence in Robin's back yard, so it's not that which concerns him. No, it's the fact that if he owned a cabin, he'd be expected to live within the societal norms, and fewer people would pity him and thus supplement his mooching lifestyle. He doesn't care that Robin is trying to politely get him off of her land, making him effectively a squatter, he only sees that it would negatively impact the number of handouts he gets from, among others, Gus. A Cabin, free of charge or rent, would be a huge upgrade for his lifestyle. Not only would it have more room to store things like dried fruits and vegetables for winter sustenance, the ability to have a fire within the cabin so that the entire place is FAR more efficiently heated and provide a more efficient cooking space at the same time, but it would also give him a legitimate residence, considering he would have explicit permission from the Farmer for this plan to happen. Which means he sees the prospective downsides as more negative than all of these massive benefits. And the only downsides I can see for him is that he won't be able to garner as much pity anymore. Personally, if I were Robin, and was willing to generously and magnanimously offer to build, for free, a cabin for him, and he refused? I'd be going to Mayor Lewis and request an eviction. Assuming I didn't do it at the end of a shotgun.

        Now, let's contrast with Leah, who also lives a similar, but much healthier, lifestyle. Unlike Linus, who claims to live off of the wild but in fact doesn't, Leah supplements her diet with foraged goods, which is perfectly fine. It requires a lot less foraging to supplement than to completely replace a diet, and there's plenty in the woods for her to scrounge bits and pieces. Which probably does really cut down on her food expenses by a significant margin. She owns her own property, and has a nice little log cabin that is quite up to the local weather conditions, including winter. She isn't living off of someone else's uncomfortable pity, she's actually the independent one of the two. She goes foraging, but she also goes to Gus's and Pierre's for groceries and the occasional prepared meal when she doesn't feel like doing it herself. She keeps up with her personal hygiene (which is a thankful change from many artisans I have known over the years), and while poor, at least brings in some income from her artwork (and more if you follow her heart events). She also lives on the river that she could fish from if she wanted to. In short, while both Linus and Leah fish and gather, Leah purchases the rest of her supplies while Linus is totally dependent upon the pity of others for his.

        While Linus keeps complaining about not wanting people to pity him, he's completely and totally dependent upon their pity for his basic survival, from where he pitches his tent to obtaining a good portion of his diet, especially in winter and summer. He is a net drain on the community as a whole by basically depending on the community to help support him, and refusing to change his ways. Leah, on the other hand, is a contributing member of the community. She owns her own property, makes money to pay for things, socializes, and is a decent neighbor overall.
         
        • Arjisaj

          Arjisaj Void-Bound Voyager

          Holy potato, ShneekeyTheLost, that was very in-depth and well tough out.
          I used to like Linus a lot, but after reading what you wrote and giving it a think, I have to say I agree.
           
          • tangeriney

            tangeriney Subatomic Cosmonaut

            I might reconsider my attitude toward Linus as I play through the story again. You made a lot of really good points, but I also think in some areas things may be taken a little bit too literally. I'm not sure if in-game he is meant to literally live in Robin's backyard, or if it looks that way because the Mountain map isn't as big as an actual mountain so things are closer together. That's always how I've thought of it, anyway, so I've never considered that he's doing more than just making Robin uncomfortable by being near, but he may be actually encroaching on her property. As for his foraging and trash rummaging habits, I'm not sure ConcernedApe put quite so much thought into it or meant it to be a realistic representation of someone living off the land...

            Anyway, this was a really interesting read and definitely a lot to consider. I'll be keeping it in mind as I play through the story again.
             
            • Zosa

              Zosa Cosmic Narwhal

              you are making a lot of really dangerous assumptions there, shneekeythelost. you are assuming four really difficult things; first you are assuming that this man who has been living a nomadic lifestyle for many years is not actually capable of doing exactly the thing he says he does, two you assume that you seeing him is the extent of where he goes(just going by the basket task we can assume he has at least occasionally walked in excess of two hours from his campsite to forage and does so in an area that is heavily populated by foragable food in two seasons of the year and moderately in all and has gone mining for a reason that is likely to make at least a little money since you can't exactly eat copper), three you assume there are wildlife dangers that the game has not expressed exist in this place(so far only crows, rabbits, frogs, squirrels, in-theory-raccoons and owls make up the land-dwelling wildlife, large animals like bears dont seem to live here at all) and that they are looking at linus as their model instead of say, i don't know maybe THEIR OWN NOSES? the townies clearly dont have concerns(excepting george) that there are animals eating their trash so it is safe to assume it's not likely that there are animals of that sort hanging around to pick up the idea(and considering your player gets the same option without any ill-effect and with a chance of rare grants it is also safe to say that concernedape considers savaging to be a viable option even if it is unsavory to many players), four(and this is the big one) linus is jobless, he can't afford property taxes, running tap and electricity and you need to pay all three to keep a house in the usa(where this game supposedly takes place) if you don't manage even one of those things for a couple months the home is taken from you, you are in debt and you can face jail-time. linus can't pay for all this for a house he doesn't feel comfortable in and in some playthroughs the farmer's home is a terrible place to forage(namely the fighting and mining homesteads) and would not offer enough for linus to manage as well as putting him at the mercy of the farmer who may want a family or may want to sell the land leaving linus where he was in the beginning


              it is like being angry someone wont chop off their thumb so they can fit their hand in a jar full of money, sure in the moment there is something to be gained but the long-term loss is much higher and long-lasting than a few bloody bills and a temporary home that you can't afford and isn't yours... also it's likely he was coming to that spot long before robin moved there and isn't going to give up a prime spot just because some upstart child got permission to take it from him by someone who has no perceived authority over him and then not use it for anything -shrugs- of course none of that means anything if you have your heart set on demonizing someone who is already being crushed under an unfair system of oppression and backsliding

              also he says so himself he's been to many places other than stardew and started hanging around longer than usual because of the agreeable weather and the player meaning up until you showed up to share your forages(if you do share) he was doing just that
               
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              • BentFX

                BentFX Cosmic Narwhal

                Nobody is demonizing anybody. Linus is a fictional character. And the "unfair system" you speak of is at the core of our society. If somebody is crushed by the responsibilities of life, let them ask for help. But if they refuse help and get defensive when help is offered they have a responsibility to, at the very least, not moan about feeling like an outcast. Linus has said so many times that he chooses to live like he does... Then complains that he doesn't fit in, as if it's everybody else's fault. Linus owns his situation. If George doesn't want him prowling about, digging in his bin, Linus needs to accept that and move along, not play the victim.
                 
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                • Stryder87

                  Stryder87 Existential Complex

                  Wasn't there something that suggested that Linus had actually been a corporate man in the past? I thought I had seen something along those lines? Maybe it was a past portrait of him in a suit I'm thinking about from an earlier version of SDV... not sure...

                  Of course... there's also the suggestion that he's actually a Druid... so who knows! :)
                   
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                  • musical74

                    musical74 Space Kumquat

                    My take on Linus is that he's a bit of an outcast because the others don't understand him. While this may be true, he also does things that don't exactly endear him to people (dumpster diving, dressing like he does). If he's as intelligent as occasional conversations suggest he is, he should contemplate that maybe by acting like a homeless person he's scaring the others away...

                    Stardew Valley does a great job with "first impression is likely wrong" and Linus is a great example of it. However, if the initial impression is "don't bother"...
                     
                    • ShneekeyTheLost

                      ShneekeyTheLost Master Astronaut

                      Actually, you are the one making some assumptions. Before we get into that, however, let's go over these four points:

                      1) It has nothing to do with skill and everything to do with the human system and required nutrients in order for it to function. Two seasons out of the year, you have berries, which cannot be stored or saved with the resources available to him, and will make you very very sick if you eat nothing but them for very long. However, it takes a pretty wide foraging area to keep yourself fed, and it's a high-calorie workout doing so, meaning you're burning even more calories, and can frequently be a calorie-negative task. We just aren't very well suited for it without supplementing it with hunting. I know how to do it, I've done it, and there's no way he is going to be able to do it with his observed behavior pattern.

                      2) There's no assumptions whatsoever about where he goes. I can exactly pinpoint his exact location for the entirety of the game. I can peg every step he takes in every day in every season in every climate condition. That's not an assumption, that's a fact. And the fact is, it isn't going to be enough.

                      3) Again, no assumption whatsoever. There's a bear that shows up in the Emily 10 heart scene. And bluntly, if there are no scavengers in the area, then it is even more inhospitable than I would have believed possible. As long as you have an ecosystem, you WILL have scavengers. It is a fact of life. And during the cutscene in which you catch Linus dumpster-diving red handed, George explicitly states that he thinks it is a raccoon, which means they do in fact live in those parts. The act of rustling through trash cans is going to generate noise, and more importantly, generate smells as you open the trash can while rummaging through it. Which is going to attract scavengers. And once scavengers get it into their heads that there's food to be had there, they WILL return, regardless of Linus doing it or not.

                      4) This isn't placed in the US, and the vast majority of your argument just doesn't carry water. I'm not saying he needs electricity or running tap. You can get along quite well without either. And you seem to have a very strange view on 'jobless'. I'm not looking at it from the perspective of needing a job, I'm looking at it from the perspective of survival. Let's look at where he is right now. He lives in a tent out in Robin's back yard. At the moment, he's effectively a squatter. That's very highly illegal. He could get evicted or jailed at any time, it is a constant threat held at bay only because Robin pities him, a situation which could change at any time, as uncomfortable as he is making her. However, having a cabin on the Farmer's plot will give him de facto permission to reside there. He still won't have water or electricity, but he doesn't need those things for survival. And he'll have the whole of Cindersnap Woods to forage in by exiting to the south of the farm. It also places him just as close to not one but two bodies of water (three if you have unlocked the hidden woods), which doesn't lessen his fishing opportunities. As far as the Farmer selling off the land? That's a lot less unstable than illegally squatting in someone's backyard.


                      Well, that's a rather hostile way of going about trying to make a point, particularly when it has absolutely zero merit. Your opening statement is pure strawman and ad absurdo reductum. No one is asking him to cut off a thumb. They are asking him to respect their already long established claim.

                      Linus, as you said, did not own that land, does not own that land, and will not be able to own that land. He is, in fact, invading Robin's property, and camping out in it, will she nill she. How would YOU like it if an unkempt hobo took up residence in YOUR backyard? Robin stated that her MOTHER built that house, which means it almost certainly does predate Linus.

                      Pelican Town has been around LONG before Linus was born which means it most certainly already belonged to someone when he showed up. Clearly, from the Mayoral visits for the Luau, Pelican Town is part of a larger polity which is, in turn, part of some Empire. This is not an uninhabited quaint piece of land you can try to make a steadholder's claim on. This was someone else's property LONG before he came along. The fact that he doesn't perceive any authority does NOT in any way invalidate said authority. That goes back into the whole Sovereign Citizen nonsense. And if he persists, he's going to get an authoritarian perception when the law shows up to evict him.

                      I'm not demonizing him... I'm pointing out just how flawed his lifestyle is, and just how dependent he is upon the town to support him.
                       
                      • Stryder87

                        Stryder87 Existential Complex

                        Not looking to wade into the discussion, but this comment piqued my interest. I could have sworn Robin specifically said that she built that house and that she considered it the "highlight of her career". I recall her also mentioning in another dialogue that she was glad she had used fire-resistant laquer as Demetrius had caused a fire the night before and it could have burned the house down.

                        I don't remember a dialogue where Robin said her mother built the house... unless it's something new in the beta, in which case, everything I just said gets thrown out the window due to retcon. :)
                         
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                        • ShneekeyTheLost

                          ShneekeyTheLost Master Astronaut

                          Let me see if I can dump her dialogue file and get you the comment. Could be mis-remembering. It may have been her mother building with her assisting, teaching Robin the trade sort of thing. Or I could be mis-remembering.

                          Still... Pelican Town has been around far longer than Linus, which makes him the interloper, no matter how you slice it.
                           
                          • Borodin

                            Borodin Oxygen Tank

                            There's another aspect of Linus that seldom gets discussed, because so little is known of it. We might call it the mystical. He hangs around the Wizard, and they can be found together in an area where no one else can go, north of the Halloween Maze. There's also a bit of dialog where Linus addresses the Wizard as to an equal, and calls him "Old friend." Some speculation exists back in our forum that Linus might be some kind of druid or nature-based mage who's involved with the junimos. As such, his somewhat addled comments may be a front for something very different. Who knows what subjects are discussed by the Wizard, Linus, and Baba Yaga, in the night, where only the moon sits silent to listen?
                             
                              Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
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                            • Chefpief

                              Chefpief Subatomic Cosmonaut

                              Dumpster diving is a disgusting thing and is extremely dangerous. Anyone who does it for a food source is only endangering themselves (You never know what illnesses people have, I've known people to pour rat poison in their trash cans, and then there's maggots, filth, all sorts of crap) and the people they dig in the trash of as local wildlife get the same idea. The fact Linus uses this as "Its my lifestyle of choice" is kinda depressing, but the fact he outright refuses any help whatsoever and just wants to be a detriment to the local society makes him one of the worst written characters in the game.

                              I've known some really good homeless people, there's one who lives in a nearby city as homeless because its his lifestyle choice, but he doesn't do disgusting things, he keeps himself rather clean and doesn't dig through peoples trash and doesn't squat on peoples property. Linus would only be worse if he had a drug or alcohol problem, because he does live in his own filth, he does dumpster dive with reckless abandon. The fact he appears as an old man is surprising, because I doubt anyone living like he does would survive more than a few years before succumbing to one disease or another.
                               
                              • tangeriney

                                tangeriney Subatomic Cosmonaut

                                Yes! This would be so fun to explore! I found the dialogue because I use the extended reach mod and could "talk" to them even though I couldn't technically reach them. There are a lot of little hints to things like that that I think could be expanded on.

                                On the topic of dumpster diving, I'm not going to defend it. It's definitely gross and can be really harmful, but I also understand that some people do what they gots ta do to survive. Definitely wouldn't call it a lifestyle choice, though, and I'm not sure that's specifically what he's referring to when he talks about his lifestyle. AND, considering that dumpster diving is a game mechanic and I actually think that Linus' trash cutscene was meant in part to introduce this possibility to the player, I don't view that as a very serious thing in the game like it is in real life.

                                I also think that, on the whole, a bit too much is being read into the real-life applications of things characters do in a make-believe game. In the game, Linus is a simple guy living in a tent in the woods and occasionally finding food in trash cans. I don't think anything more in-depth was intended.
                                 
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                                • BentFX

                                  BentFX Cosmic Narwhal

                                  I agree 100%. I do believe that Linus' character was included to add a level of "diversity" to the local population, but if the game is trying to advocate for or against that "lifestyle" it does so very poorly. As I see it, by and large, the characters were written to fit the game and not vice versa. Pelican Town is an interesting place but without a great deal of additional fan folklore it's really not that deep.
                                   
                                  • Zosa

                                    Zosa Cosmic Narwhal

                                    dude, it's called allegory. of course he specifically and literally was not asked to cut off his thumb, the thumb is representational of his freedom(once a thumb is cut off it cannot grow back and once a debt is accrued it generally will not go away on its own. both a lack of thumb and a debt are handicaps). please don't wildly grasp at points that are non-existent to defend a ramshackle argument it is silly

                                    robin did say she built her home with her own hands and she is very proud of doing it and uses it as an example of the quality of work she can offer the player if they have her build stuff

                                    linus doesn't live in filth :rofl: he keeps his camp and his tent in good order and his sprite looks clean(he also says repeatedly he bathes in the rain which isn't ideal but is still not living in filth)

                                    if i had a large parcel of unused land that i let people wander freely through(as robin does) and someone who was so inoffensive enough to be allowed into all social gatherings without rebuff and they did not bother me or my family then i would NOT have a problem. he is established to be a non-threat several times and to even be treated alright by a couple of the townspeople. there is a track-record of him not being a problem and frankly i have real neighbors who are more dangerous and concerning than him right now who are considered 'acceptable' neighbors because they live in a house and wear regular clothes and (theoretically) eat the same sorts of food i do.

                                    concerned ape also has said in interviews that he based the backgrounds of the persons of pelican town after small-town-america character tropes(pointing out pam expressly as representing this change from the usual motifs of japanese rpgs character tropes) and with george's grandkid wearing an american football jersey and wanting to play american football it is quite clear that the setting is america

                                    the idea of him being a druid(or thinking he is) actually isn't so crazy xD he does commune with nature to the point of developing relationships with the rocks and trees, would be something if he did have an air of majicks


                                    in the usa there is something called a certificate of occupancy which basically states a building is up to spec(isn't dangerous, has running water, has utilities, isn't in a state of disrepair and so-forth) while it is being inhabited, if it does not remain 'habitable' it can be forcibly fixed(the owner gets a bill and a fine) forcibly moved(owner gets a bill) or the owner can be removed(homelessness and also a fine) and that does not count towards the cost of owning the home. every owner of a fixed home in the usa has to pay regular taxes or they go into arrears and lose the home, this is non-negotiable if you go by real-world rules(and from your words you really mean to do so)

                                    also in one of linus' heart events he does leave george's trash alone and promises not to sift through it anymore -shrugs- take that how you will





                                    all that aside i agree he likely wasn't meant to be pulled apart so much xD but you know how it is, bring up an interesting subject on a fictional character and theories will soon be all over, hahaha
                                     
                                    • The | Suit

                                      The | Suit Agent S. Forum Moderator

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