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Author Topic: EP606: Home Sick  (Read 710 times)
eytanz
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« on: December 16, 2017, 11:47:21 AM »

Escape Pod 606: Home Sick

AUTHOR: M. Darusha Wehm
NARRATOR: Megan Leigh
HOST: Divya Breed

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I was encoding a batch of classic ebooks when the ulu-aliki walked in to the library, the outdoors scent of gardenias and overripe mangoes following him. “Afternoon, chief,” I said, pushing my chair back a bit. Joseph Seru spoke Tuvaluan with his family and the other council members, but his English was so much better than my Tuvaluan would ever be. Besides, even though less than ten percent of us were Aussies or Kiwis, the official language on the SPIT was English.

“Hey ya, Sally,” he answered, lacking his usually jovial demeanour.

“You looking for something in particular?” I asked. The island’s chief was a voracious reader and a bit of a film buff. I usually gave him first crack at the new titles I managed to snag off the satellite internet connection.

“Sort of,” he said, the last remains of his smile disappearing. “You, I guess.”

I frowned. “What’s up, chief?” I asked.

“I’ve got something for the blog.”

I watched as he pulled a chair from one of the tables and sat it down across from my desk. He knew me well enough to leave a decent space between the chair and the desk.

As the island’s librarian, I had also become the de facto editor of the closest thing to a news source we had — the Spitball, the island’s blog. There were about a dozen regular contributors, most of the posts being the weekly scores for the football, kilikiti and ano matches. But things did occasionally happen on the SPIT, and we reported on them all. According to the stats, there were even a handful of people off island who regularly read the thing.

“What’s going on?” I asked again, opening up a text editor on the laptop so I could take notes.

“The bastards finally figured out how to make a buck from us, that’s what’s going on.” Seru usually looked for the positive, but he sounded more like the bitter old fisherman who posted screeds about how overseas politicians screwed us all. I raised an eyebrow and the chief continued.


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
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shrike
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2017, 03:36:23 PM »

I was disappointed with this episode. The main characters conflict avoidance resonated with me, but ultimately their unwillingness to fight for a place that meant so much to them was hard for me to accept.

It is one thing to acknowledge their life is more privileged than those around them, it is another to say this disqualifies them from having opinions on the place they live in or that they do not have a right to express those views.

Especially for someone with the issues the main characters has to deal with, when you find a home it should be something worth fighting for.
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jenni4096
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2017, 03:37:32 PM »

>It is one thing to acknowledge their life is more privileged than those around them, it is another to say this disqualifies them from having opinions on the place they live in or that they do not have a right to express those views.

That totally resonates with me.  And on the other hand, I appreciate how uncomfortable this story made me feel.  How I want to help, vs how (or whether) people want to be helped my me -- a very relevant conversation about agency, knock-on effects, balance of power...

I can think of at least a few places where this is happening today:  too many donated T-shirts causing economic havoc in Africa; non-natives being asked to help at the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline, but being asked to participate in a very specific way.

I don't know a whole lot about NZ, but I have heard that a housing shortage has been developing as a result of foreigners buying up properties on this "relatively unspoiled island."

Really great story.  Painfully pins the narrative right at the "identity/shock" phase of culture shock.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 03:39:49 PM by jenni4096 » Logged
CryptoMe
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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2017, 02:36:21 AM »

I was disappointed with this episode. The main characters conflict avoidance resonated with me, but ultimately their unwillingness to fight for a place that meant so much to them was hard for me to accept.

It is one thing to acknowledge their life is more privileged than those around them, it is another to say this disqualifies them from having opinions on the place they live in or that they do not have a right to express those views.

Especially for someone with the issues the main characters has to deal with, when you find a home it should be something worth fighting for.

I also found the MC's failure to fight for their home difficult. But I think the issue here was not home, but belonging. The MC felt she had been rejected by the native Tuvaluvians, who she had come to think of as family. So, I think this rejection hit her hard and that is why she left. 
But, that's just my take. Would love to hear other opinions.
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shrike
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2017, 04:12:02 PM »

Cryptome,

You have a good point, but I don't get the impression most people felt that way about MC. If you expect 100% of the inhabitants of any place to tell you that you belong, you will never belong anywhere whether you have lived there for a day or a lifetime.
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CryptoMe
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2017, 01:42:58 AM »

Cryptome,

You have a good point, but I don't get the impression most people felt that way about MC. If you expect 100% of the inhabitants of any place to tell you that you belong, you will never belong anywhere whether you have lived there for a day or a lifetime.

Yes, I did feel that the MC took one person's comments too hard.  I, too, wasn't convinced that those comments were representative of the whole community, especially since that person's view point was suspect because she was working for the developers. But, I still got the impression that the MC took those comments very hard.
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shrike
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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2017, 06:16:00 PM »

Absolutely. That gets to my main issue with the story; if you won't consider yourself a member of a community as long as even one person tells you that you do not belong; you will never belong or feel welcome anywhere.

That was the issue I had with the ending; if MC doesn't find a way to deal with these issues, belonging or feeling truly welcome will always remain an impossibility. It took the main character a long time to find a place they truly felt happy; it was hard to believe MC wouldn't be willing to fight for it.
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Katzentatzen
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2018, 11:34:57 AM »

Even if she has fought, what could she have done? The march of progress is hard to sway.
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"To understand a cat you must realize that he has his own gifts, his own viewpoint, even his own morality."
--LILIAN JACKSON BRAUN
Ichneumon
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2018, 01:33:54 PM »

I thought for sure that she would turn the suggestion to make an ad for the developers on its head, instead making a video showing their point of view, or use her status as foreign born to help some other way. Although, I agree that the "march of progress" would have been difficult to stop.
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CryptoMe
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 10:30:12 AM »

The march of progress is hard to sway.

But progress can march in many different directions and it is possible to sway the choice of that direction.....
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