Escape Artists

PodCastle => Episode Comments => Topic started by: Heradel on July 15, 2008, 01:30:03 PM



Title: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Heradel on July 15, 2008, 01:30:03 PM
PC016: Magnificent Pigs (http://podcastle.org/2008/07/15/pc016-magnificent-pigs/)

By Cat Rambo (http://www.kittywumpus.net/)
Read by Matthew Wayne Selznick (http://www.mattselznick.com/)
First appeared in Strange Horizons (http://www.strangehorizons.com/2006/20061127/pigs-f.shtml) (full text at link)

The spring before it happened, I went upstairs and found my ten-year-old sister Jilly crying. Charlotte’s Web, which we’d been reading together at bedtime all that week, lay splayed broken-backed on the floor where she’d thrown it.

“What’s wrong?” I said, hovering in the doorway. As Jilly kept getting sicker, I tried to offer her the illusion of her own space, but remained ready.

“I was reading ahead because I liked it so much—and Charlotte dies!” she managed to gasp between sobs.

The big brass bed creaked in protest as I sat down beside her. Gathering her into my arms, I rocked her back and forth. It was well past sunset and the full-faced moon washed into the room, spilling across the blue rag rug like milk, and gleaming on the bed knobs so that they looked like balls of icy light, brighter than the dim glow of Jilly’s bedside lamp.

“It’s a book, Jilly, just a book,” I said.

She shook her head, cheeks blotched red and wet with tears. “But, Aaron, Charlotte’s dead!” she choked out again.

I retrieved the book from the middle of the room and set it in front of her. “Look,” I said. “If we open the book up again at the beginning, Charlotte’s alive. She’ll always be alive in the book.”

The sobs quieted to hiccups and she reached for the book, looking dubious. When she opened it to the first chapter, I began to read. “‘Where’s Papa going with that ax?’ said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast. ‘Out to the hoghouse,’ replied Mrs. Arable. ‘Some pigs were born last night.’”

Curling against me, she let me read the first two chapters. After she slipped away to sleep, I tucked the blanket around her then went downstairs to cry my own tears.


Rated PG. Contains child mortality. Those sensitive to these themes are advised to take caution.




Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: niallmor on July 15, 2008, 01:51:16 PM
I loved this story. Old softy that I am, I nearly cried. I've missed a good many recent episodes of  Podcastle, but this is my favorite so far. "Magnificent Pigs" is a magnificent story--as Charlotte might say, some story, in fact.  :'(


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Listener on July 15, 2008, 02:41:44 PM
Um... okay.

Similar to Wisteria, a good STORY, but especially in this one, I felt the fantasy aspect to be just tacked on.  There was nothing to make me think that Our Hero had magical tattooing powers.  In fact, the story was completely mundane, from a genre aspect, until the pigs flew.  And, really, that wasn't even fantasy to me.  That was more wish-fulfillment.  I could see a coda where Our Hero goes upstairs and finds that Jilly has died in her bed.

The unnecessary fantastical aspect led me to expect a far-different story, and I was disappointed because I didn't get what I was expecting.  If I'd gone into this not expecting fantasy, I would've liked it a lot more.

Reading was fine, neither great nor bad.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Ocicat on July 15, 2008, 07:29:57 PM
I give it one paw up.  Nice human story, and nice imagery when it comes to the fantastical element at the end.  The descriptions of the various wings was really nice.  The human interactions were just as well painted. 

No, not a traditional fantasy... but it's not science fiction, it's not horror, and it's not slice-of-life, so it goes - here.  I have no problem with that. 


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: wintermute on July 16, 2008, 12:01:53 PM
To begin with, a couple of things almost entirely irrelevant:

I'm listening to Brave Men Run at the moment, so interrupting that to hear another story read by Selznick was (very slightly) odd.

I couldn't help but think of this essay (http://community.feministing.com/2008/07/just-the-two-of-us-contention.html) on how strong father-daughter relationships don't seem to exist in popular media, unless the mother is out of the picture. I'm not sure how this story would have worked, if their parents had still been around, so I don't think it's especially relevant here, but it came to mind.

As to the story itself: I liked it, but I can't help but think that the ending was purely a dream sequence. Given the circumstances in which he fell asleep, it seems like a reasonable dream, and there's nothing in the rest of the story to foreshadow it. A nice story well told, but  have this nagging feeling that it's only fantasy because it didn'r end one sentence later...


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Swamp on July 16, 2008, 12:45:24 PM
Very good story!  Good quality stuff. 

As to the question of "Is it fantasy?", you know, I think it is fantasy enough.  Maybe I'm just not a rigid catagorizer, but you can't read the ending and have that fantasical image in your head and say, "That was a nice slice of life peice".  IMO even if the story contiued with the brother going upstairs to find Jilly has died, that image of the pigs flying her to the sky in her bed is enough to say "fantasy" for me.  I think Ms. Rambo wisely left it as she did, leaving us to consider what was real or not.  Do you believe?  Did you clap your hands to save Tinkerbell?  Can you see those magnificent flying pigs?


P.S.  I also liked the references to Charolate's Web.  When the intro said it was based on that story, I groaned a little, thinking of the terrible possibilites, but was pleased with the presented story.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Listener on July 16, 2008, 12:51:22 PM
I guess I inadvertently opened up the "is it fantasy" can of worms.  I think that it WAS fantasy.  But because it's on a fantasy podcast, I guess my complaint is that there wasn't ENOUGH fantasy, or that I expected something different than what I got and was disappointed in that way.  I was similarly somewhat disappointed with "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" (Neil Gaiman), although at least in that story the SF element appeared earlier with the weirdness of the girls.  In "Magnificent Pigs", the story had no fantasy at ALL until the very end.  I think that's where the categorization fell down for me.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: cuddlebug on July 16, 2008, 01:30:01 PM
This was …. a great story, very human, I especially loved the way the relationship between brother and sister was described. And the pigs, well, I never had much sympathy for pigs, but they were almost cute.

But it was also a very emotional story for personal reasons. It made me cry like no other episode yet, and that is saying something, as I tend to be very emotional with many stories. Let’s put it this way, it scared the shit out of me, because it made me realize how lucky I am that someone I love very much, who suffers from the same disease, is still alive. I know, I have been told so many times that it is a miracle, given that the disease was diagnosed at a time when medicine knew nothing about it and pretty much everyone who suffered from it died within 5 or so years, but one tends to forget and take people for granted …

Ok, enough personal *blubbering*, I am straying …. Good story (even though I have to admit I never read Charlotte’s Web, in fact, a lot of children’s fiction you all probably grew up with was not available to me as a child. Maybe I should catch up now?)

And I wanted to add, the intros are great, well done Rachel.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: wintermute on July 16, 2008, 01:32:28 PM
Oh, also: The title doesn't just reference Charlotte's Web, but Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Those_Magnificent_Men_in_their_Flying_Machines), unless I'm reading too much into it.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: eytanz on July 17, 2008, 03:30:57 AM
I really liked this story - I thought it was well written, effective, and touching. But I agree with something Listener said, though apparently not for exactly the same reason - the fantasy element felt tacked on. I don't think the story is not fantasy, or even that it's not fantasy enough. What I think is that the fantasy element was the only part of the story that didn't really work. It inadvertently turned the story from a story of love in the face of adversity to a story of utter despair - if the only way the situation could be resolved was if the laws of the world broke, then, well, similar situations in real life are hopeless. This is very different from Charlotte's Web, where the slight fantasy thread is present throughout and therefore is truly uplifting.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: stePH on July 17, 2008, 08:07:48 AM
I'm listening to Brave Men Run at the moment, so interrupting that to hear another story read by Selznick was (very slightly) odd.

Funny ... me too.

Story didn't suck, but didn't really move me either.  And from the moment bitchy former nurse said "when pigs grow wings and fly" I knew Aaron was going to tattoo wings on all Jilly's pigs.  Did anybody else see that coming?

Also was wondering what made the story "fantasy" from about halfway in until the very end, and thought it could have been Aaron still asleep and dreaming.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Chas on July 17, 2008, 09:06:30 AM
I really liked the story & cried at the end.
I have say that I agree with many of the other comments that I don't see this as a fantasy story.





Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: DandHRoberts on July 17, 2008, 04:40:24 PM
I really liked this story. One of my favorite. The wings were my favorite part by far. I have always wanted wings tattooed myself.

I love the fact that the brother would do anything to make sure his little sister was happy. Even to go so far as to make pigs fly. Amazing.

I cannot believe people actually tattoo pigs. I googled it.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: DandHRoberts on July 17, 2008, 04:42:07 PM
Story didn't suck, but didn't really move me either.  And from the moment bitchy former nurse said "when pigs grow wings and fly" I knew Aaron was going to tattoo wings on all Jilly's pigs.  Did anybody else see that coming?

I totally saw that coming. I thought he was still dreaming as well.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: ajames on July 17, 2008, 09:03:31 PM
I really liked this story - I thought it was well written, effective, and touching. But I agree with something Listener said, though apparently not for exactly the same reason - the fantasy element felt tacked on. I don't think the story is not fantasy, or even that it's not fantasy enough. What I think is that the fantasy element was the only part of the story that didn't really work. It inadvertently turned the story from a story of love in the face of adversity to a story of utter despair - if the only way the situation could be resolved was if the laws of the world broke, then, well, similar situations in real life are hopeless. This is very different from Charlotte's Web, where the slight fantasy thread is present throughout and therefore is truly uplifting.

Well said, and great observation, eytanz.

As my second child almost didn't live past a few days old, I took the warning pretty seriously and prepared myself for what might be a difficult listen. The ending surprised me in that I was prepared for an all out tug on the heart strings, and I got something else.  And I commend the author on not going for the easy manipulation of the reader, but I think I was still left unsatisfied due precisely to what eytanz says above. Unsatisfied, but still appreciating the story.

As for fantasy/not fantasy, the editors of Podcastle have made it very clear that they plan to present the range of "fantasy", including stories such as this and Wisteria, which isn't what I would have thought I wanted exactly, but is working well for me so far.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Darwinist on July 18, 2008, 01:06:36 PM
I really liked this one.  I would say this is one of my favorite PC stories.  Didn't see the end coming but I never seem to as I've mentioned before on this board. 


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Hatton on July 18, 2008, 02:27:57 PM
I enjoyed the story but took the narrator's role as grown up sister rather than father... did I interpret that wrong?  I also kept waiting for the fantasy... and when the pigs flew I thought, "okay, so it's Charlotte's Web meets Bedknobs and Broomsticks."

Ah well, just because the fantastic is muted because of the theme of the story does not mean that it is not there.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Rachel Swirsky on July 18, 2008, 04:04:15 PM
Quote
grown up sister rather than father... did I interpret that wrong?

Grown-up brother... I'm pretty sure the gender is specified, but I could have imposed that on the text, I suppose.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: stePH on July 18, 2008, 04:10:10 PM
Quote
grown up sister rather than father... did I interpret that wrong?

Grown-up brother... I'm pretty sure the gender is specified, but I could have imposed that on the text, I suppose.

Grown brother, correct.  Though I at first thought sister as well.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Nobilis on July 18, 2008, 05:36:17 PM
I liked the part with the tattooing of the wings on the pigs. 

The dream sequence at the end, I felt inexpertly handled.

Have I ever said that I absolutely loathe stories where the reader is required to decide what happened?

I absolutely loathe stories where the reader is required to decide what happened.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: MacArthurBug on July 18, 2008, 10:47:51 PM
I thought this story was wonderous. Gorgous and sad. The ending was a mite bit hurried, and I was a little sad at how the pigs were, then wern't, there. I wanted... more from flying pigs. The strength of the story was definatly in the charactor work. I'm liking Ms.Rambo overall, but have noticed previous pacing problems in her stories.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: eytanz on July 19, 2008, 03:41:43 AM
Quote
grown up sister rather than father... did I interpret that wrong?

Grown-up brother... I'm pretty sure the gender is specified, but I could have imposed that on the text, I suppose.

The name is given as Aaron, but I think that's the only mention.

Note that I heard that as Erin, and had myself thought that the story was narrated by a sister until I came to post on the thread. I'm still trying to figure out whether that changes my perception of the story.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: eytanz on July 19, 2008, 03:44:09 AM
Oh, random question about the intro - what was the book with the story about the camp children being eaten? That sounds like a book that my cousin's daughters might enjoy...


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Listener on July 19, 2008, 06:18:49 AM
I liked the part with the tattooing of the wings on the pigs. 

The dream sequence at the end, I felt inexpertly handled.

Have I ever said that I absolutely loathe stories where the reader is required to decide what happened?

I absolutely loathe stories where the reader is required to decide what happened.

Well, then, you must HATE "Belief" which I posted in the Crit Group. :)

I think, on a limited basis, I don't mind having to figure out what happened.  I don't want to do it ALL the time, but if enough breadcrumbs are left for me that I have a pretty simple choice (one of maybe three or four possibilities), I'm okay.  In fact, sometimes being left wondering can enrich a story.  I have a quote on my computer somewhere about how, when a book ends, we have to remember that all these characters have to go on living their lives.  That quote heavily influenced the way I write -- I try to end stories so that you know their lives will go on (unless they die, in which case... well... anyway).  Plus, when you read an open-ended story you really like, you can think about what happens next and it occupies your imagination.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Nobilis on July 19, 2008, 09:06:14 AM
Nono, I'm not talking about stories where we're left to decide what happens to the characters after the climax, I'm talking about stories where we're left to decide what happens to the characters IN the climax.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: hautdesert on July 19, 2008, 09:17:53 AM
Oh, random question about the intro - what was the book with the story about the camp children being eaten? That sounds like a book that my cousin's daughters might enjoy...

It's a story in a collection--

http://www.amazon.com/Noisy-Outlaws-Unfriendly-Blobs-Things/dp/1932416358/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216476953&sr=8-1


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Chivalrybean on July 20, 2008, 02:49:46 PM
Overall I liked this story. The only bit I thought could have been better was the "foreshadowing" (read: dead givaway (to me)) when Nurse Grumpy said 'blah blah when pigs fly blah blah'. Nurse G. could have said something mean and not even mentioned pigs, and I think they story would have been better.

Ok, maybe another thing. If the pigs had taken on, even slightly, some kinds of characteristics of whatever was tattooed on them before, this might have made the ending stronger.

But, I liked the story anyways and am glad to have heard it. It made me happy instead of sad like the intro warning made me think it might.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: deflective on July 20, 2008, 03:32:26 PM
The only bit I thought could have been better was the "foreshadowing" (read: dead givaway (to me)) when Nurse Grumpy said 'blah blah when pigs fly blah blah'. Nurse G. could have said something mean and not even mentioned pigs, and I think they story would have been better.

is that phrase ever used as anything but a set up?
it's just a little airborn. it's still good, it's still good...


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: wintermute on July 20, 2008, 06:52:25 PM
The only bit I thought could have been better was the "foreshadowing" (read: dead givaway (to me)) when Nurse Grumpy said 'blah blah when pigs fly blah blah'. Nurse G. could have said something mean and not even mentioned pigs, and I think they story would have been better.

is that phrase ever used as anything but a set up?
Once again, I'm reminded of Dinosaur Comics (http://www.qwantz.com/archive/001119.html)...


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: DKT on July 21, 2008, 03:31:09 PM
This one hit a lot of good notes for me.  Made me laugh, made extremely sad, made me hope.  Great story by Ms. Rambo.  Excellent pick, and I'm always a fan of MWS's readings.   I thought he was the perfect narrator for this piece.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: MattArnold on July 22, 2008, 09:52:52 AM
Boring. Instead of Podcastle, this should have been published in Reader's Digest.

It took me to no new worlds, and tacked on a couple of paragraphs of impossibility for no reason. Alongside Escape Pod's "Love and Death In The Time Of Monsters", I am thoroughly cancered out.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Ragtime on July 22, 2008, 10:16:36 AM
I agree with those who feel that the Fantasy element was "tacked on."  There was nothing preceding in the story (aside from the fact that it was on Podcastle) that led one to think that Fantastical Things may be afoot.  So when it comes, it is sort of out of left field.

Thinking back later on the "Why The Pigs Flew" question, I started to wonder about Ms. Huber.  When I first listened to the story, I was turned off by the physical description:

Quote
"She was an elderly woman dressed in black, a blue and white scarf bound around her hair to hold it in place. She had an enormous beaklike nose and bright black eyes that glittered at me as though daring me to rebuff her."

So, the only physical description of the Jewish character is that she has dark eyes and a huge hooked nose?  Immediately turned me off as "Jewish Stereotype."  Thinking back, it made me wonder if maybe it was intended to be "Witch Stereotype" as well.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: stePH on July 22, 2008, 12:56:39 PM
Thinking back later on the "Why The Pigs Flew" question, I started to wonder about Ms. Huber.  When I first listened to the story, I was turned off by the physical description:

Quote
"She was an elderly woman dressed in black, a blue and white scarf bound around her hair to hold it in place. She had an enormous beaklike nose and bright black eyes that glittered at me as though daring me to rebuff her."

So, the only physical description of the Jewish character is that she has dark eyes and a huge hooked nose?  Immediately turned me off as "Jewish Stereotype." 

She was Jewish?  That part got lost on me.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Ragtime on July 22, 2008, 01:22:49 PM

She was Jewish?  That part got lost on me.

It was very clear and a recurring plot point.  You might want to re-listen if you missed that.  Continuing the paragraph I quoted above:

Quote
She had an enormous beaklike nose and bright black eyes that glittered at me as though daring me to rebuff her. It was Mrs. Huber, whose husband had died a few years before.I don't know why she stuck in Bedford. She had, and was an object of some curiosity, being the town's only Jew.

Also:

Quote
Jilly loved her like a mother. I got fond of her myself. There was a certain irony to a Jew living on a pig farm, particularly with a tattoo artist. She didn't keep kosher, so she ate with us each night, although she'd never touch pork. . . She coaxed Jilly's tender appetite with blintzes and rugelach, kugel and kreplach. The kitchen took on a constant simmer of cinnamon that was a pleasant change from TV dinners.

Also:
Quote
She named them Celeste, Patience, Rutabaga, Bill, Princess Splendid, and (predictably) Wilbur. Mrs. H. professed to hate them. "Trafe!" she said, and spat whenever they were mentioned, but I noticed her assembling leftovers for Jilly to feed them.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: wintermute on July 22, 2008, 01:24:02 PM
Heh. Someone beat me to the quotes.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: stePH on July 22, 2008, 03:31:22 PM

She was Jewish?  That part got lost on me.

It was very clear and a recurring plot point.  You might want to re-listen if you missed that. 

Thanks, I don't think I will; there are many other stories much more worthy of a repeat listen.

(I forgot which one Mrs. Huber was; I thought it was the bitchy and cruel former nurse.)


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: JoeFitz on July 23, 2008, 04:09:54 PM
Sweet for what it was, but very light fare indeed. I could feel the heartstrings being plucked - and that's fine - but it seemed to play out of tune at the end which I thought was rushed and much too ambiguous.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: ajames on July 23, 2008, 06:55:11 PM
Ok, maybe another thing. If the pigs had taken on, even slightly, some kinds of characteristics of whatever was tattooed on them before, this might have made the ending stronger.

I like that idea, and it would have addressed somewhat the 'tacked on fantasy' feeling.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: zZzacha on July 25, 2008, 06:05:55 AM
I thought this story was wonderous. Gorgous and sad. The ending was a mite bit hurried, and I was a little sad at how the pigs were, then wern't, there. I wanted... more from flying pigs.

MacArthurBug expresses my thoughts exactly. The story was both cute and sad and I missed something in the ending too.

I wanted to know more about the little girl and the pigs, the story left those 'characters' a bit floating (pun). I kept expecting to get deeper into the characters of the little girl and the pigs and then they just flew away!

I don't have problems with open endings when the story has given a strong basis (character building etc.) so that I can play with possible storylines in my head. If the story building is strong enough and I 'know' the characters, I can think about possible endings for days and I love that! I think the characters in my head love that too, BTW.
However, I missed the character building for the pigs and the girls and that left me with an unsatisfied feeling at the end.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: smithmikeg on July 25, 2008, 01:22:03 PM
I usually have trouble paying attention through a whole story, but this one kept me engaged all the way through.  I think the fact that Charlotte's Web is the first story I remember having read to me as a child may have something to do with it.  The vulnerability and hopeless situation drew me in, too.  It's odd, this is NOT the kind of story that I would choose to read on my own, but I liked it.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: DKT on July 25, 2008, 01:51:10 PM
It's odd, this is NOT the kind of story that I would choose to read on my own, but I liked it.

Honestly, that's what I love about all the EA podcasts.  A lot of the stuff they feature is typically not what I'd choose to pick up to read on my own.  So I really feel like they do a good job of helping me broaden my horizons.  Or at least my mind.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Sandikal on July 25, 2008, 08:11:25 PM
I thought it was a terrific story.  It was very sweet.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Bdoomed on July 30, 2008, 12:56:14 AM
finally got to listen, que cute.  wonderful story, cept i dont buy the fact that the first nanny is so mean spirited.  doesnt seem likely


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: DKT on July 30, 2008, 11:01:09 AM
finally got to listen, que cute.  wonderful story, cept i dont buy the fact that the first nanny is so mean spirited.  doesnt seem likely

Why don't you think it likely?  Is it you don't buy caregivers being so mean in general, or something else?

I've seen some recordings of caregivers like her be physically abusive to their patients.  That's certainly weird, and I can't understand why someone who hates taking care of people would sign up for that kind of job.  (Then again, I've met a few teachers who just do it for the paycheck and summer breaks.)


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: stephenmid on August 03, 2008, 12:14:17 PM
Nice story - reminded me very strongly of "Through a Glass, Darkly" by Jostein Gaarder - a very touching story of a dying child as well.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Bdoomed on August 04, 2008, 01:29:49 PM
finally got to listen, que cute.  wonderful story, cept i dont buy the fact that the first nanny is so mean spirited.  doesnt seem likely

Why don't you think it likely?  Is it you don't buy caregivers being so mean in general, or something else?

I've seen some recordings of caregivers like her be physically abusive to their patients.  That's certainly weird, and I can't understand why someone who hates taking care of people would sign up for that kind of job.  (Then again, I've met a few teachers who just do it for the paycheck and summer breaks.)
i just dont think a caregiver would spit such harsh words at a dying child.  it would be one thing if the kid was a brat, but to just be so evil is pretty unrealistic. (then again, im accusing a fantasy story of being unrealistic ha)


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: eytanz on August 04, 2008, 01:42:23 PM
i just dont think a caregiver would spit such harsh words at a dying child.  it would be one thing if the kid was a brat, but to just be so evil is pretty unrealistic. (then again, im accusing a fantasy story of being unrealistic ha)

I'm afraid you are rather naive, then. Not that I want to disparage caregivers in general - most of them are doing exactly what they are supposed to - but there are many cases of caregiver abuse every year, many much worse than the one in this story.

Sometimes people take caregiver jobs and can't handle the emotional strain and find that to keep their own emotions safe they must dehumanize the people they care for. Others are just bullies, who take caregiver jobs because they enjoy being in a position of power over another human being and have no compassion at all. I wish this was limited to fantasy, but that's not at all true.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: wintermute on August 04, 2008, 02:15:49 PM
i just dont think a caregiver would spit such harsh words at a dying child.  it would be one thing if the kid was a brat, but to just be so evil is pretty unrealistic. (then again, im accusing a fantasy story of being unrealistic ha)

I'm afraid you are rather naive, then. Not that I want to disparage caregivers in general - most of them are doing exactly what they are supposed to - but there are many cases of caregiver abuse every year, many much worse than the one in this story.

Sometimes people take caregiver jobs and can't handle the emotional strain and find that to keep their own emotions safe they must dehumanize the people they care for. Others are just bullies, who take caregiver jobs because they enjoy being in a position of power over another human being and have no compassion at all. I wish this was limited to fantasy, but that's not at all true.
Agreed. The majority of carers go into the profession because they want to help people, and do a wonderful, selfless job. But a small minority (though you'd probably be surprised at how large that small minority is) are... bad eggs. Some are good people who just can't handle the massive amount of stress that can be involved, and others honestly seem to get off on abusing the people in their care, just because they're vulnerable. Any job that puts people in direct, unsupervised contact with the defenceless is going to attract people who, for want of a better word, are evil.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Bdoomed on August 17, 2008, 04:22:43 PM
meh, i like to have more faith in humanity than it deserves...  it's a curse, i'm always let down.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Lionman on August 18, 2008, 12:33:03 PM
I liked this story, perhaps a strong tie to reality.  However, when we get to the end, I thought it felt a little contrived, or forced.  I think perhaps it could have been done differently.  But, then again, I'm playing the arm-chair writier.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: MacArthurBug on August 22, 2008, 09:32:11 AM
Madam Z,  You agree with me because you are a gifted talented amazing woman. I agree, a rushed ending isn't always bad.  In this instance there was indeed just not enough building done to send aloft. A poorly folded paper plane just won't fly.  Tattoed pigs is a BEAUTIFUL idea. But then it was rushed out the door to do it's job instead of lingering long enough to become a fantastic dream.
Lion,
yup. Good to see you saw it too. Armchair writers unite. Shall we off and write some armchairs?


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Hilary Moon Murphy on September 02, 2008, 11:23:47 PM
I really enjoyed this one.

Maybe it is because I am on a death watch for someone who is currently on hospice care.  Maybe it is because I fantasize about being able to send her flying off on her journey accompanied by tattooed pigs... But this one struck a chord for me, and allowed me to cry in a really therapeutic manner.

Thanks for airing this one.

Hmm

PS I did see the narrator as female (I heard "Erin".)  The evil nurse reminded me of someone that we dealt with in the nursing home.  There are some mean-spirited people in every profession. 


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: deflective on September 11, 2008, 01:38:32 AM
some pig (http://www.wackyarchives.com/offbeat/tattooed-oinkers.html)


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: stePH on September 11, 2008, 08:15:28 AM
some pig (http://www.wackyarchives.com/offbeat/tattooed-oinkers.html)

LOL, this one has a trampstamp:

(http://www.wackyarchives.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/pig_tattoo_001.jpg)


My wife would probably like the Louis Vuitton pig.  ;D


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Windup on September 13, 2008, 10:38:53 PM
some pig (http://www.wackyarchives.com/offbeat/tattooed-oinkers.html)

I can't help but notice that the "less likely to be butchered" thing obviously didn't work out for those displayed as skins...


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: MacArthurBug on September 14, 2008, 10:15:25 AM
some pig (http://www.wackyarchives.com/offbeat/tattooed-oinkers.html)

I can't help but notice that the "less likely to be butchered" thing obviously didn't work out for those displayed as skins...

I was noticing that as well.  This and I couldn't decided if there were more Disney princess pigs or more religious themed pigs..


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Myrealana on September 17, 2008, 12:55:22 PM
I found this story sad, wistful, and beautiful. It tugged at just the right heartstrings to almost, but not quite, bring me to tears.

Lovely.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Unblinking on November 19, 2009, 11:43:09 AM
This is a really good story--I tend to like Cat's stories, so that's no huge shocker.

Fantasy?  Only in a certain light.  It's fantasy in the same way that Big Fish is fantasy.  I know that the fantasy elements are not true in the strictest sense, but they exist in some respects, and that is enough for me.  I like that Podcastle keeps an open mind, allowing all sorts of fantasy in, even that which is a tad metaphorical.

This had a lot of good emotions, and I didn't see the wing tattoos coming, though afterwards I wondered how I missed it.  The descriptions of each set of wings were lovely details.


Title: Re: PC016: Magnificent Pigs
Post by: Fenrix on January 30, 2013, 02:23:26 PM
Quote
grown up sister rather than father... did I interpret that wrong?

Grown-up brother... I'm pretty sure the gender is specified, but I could have imposed that on the text, I suppose.

The name is given as Aaron, but I think that's the only mention.

Note that I heard that as Erin, and had myself thought that the story was narrated by a sister until I came to post on the thread. I'm still trying to figure out whether that changes my perception of the story.

I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one who heard Erin. The older sibling relationship seemed rather non-specific as to gender, so I don't think this changes my perception of the story at all.