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Author Topic: PseudoPod 716: Big Brother  (Read 663 times)


  • Pseudopod Tiger
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on: August 08, 2020, 04:11:56 PM
PseudoPod 716: Big Brother

Author: Evan Marcroft
Narrator: Rish Outfield
Host: Alasdair Stuart
Audio Producer: Marty Perrett

PseudoPod 716: Big Brother is a PseudoPod original.

Show Notes
“Although I have a younger sister, I’ve always felt more like a single child, since we were never very close. Ever since I was little I wondered what it would be like to have an older brother who could be a constant companion like I never had, and maybe beat up bullies and things. I think a lot of kids secret hope for a guardian angel. Someone more devoted to them than their own parents. This story is my take on how that might play out in reality.”

I was seven when I first met my big brother. It was five minutes after school let out, and Jason Bigmore and his fourth-grade friends had caught me before I could make it out of school grounds. This was a game we played most every day—sometimes I won, but this time around, two of them held me down by the arms while Jason smushed my face into the black dirt beneath the dead old oak tree out by the baseball diamond. They called me the usual names and told me to stick your tongue out, pussy willow. They wanted me to lick the anthill—they called it eating hot sauce—and if I didn’t, they’d let those hungry red ants crawl into my ears and sting my brain. I didn’t know they couldn’t do that then, so mostly I just cried, being seven and all, and they laughed and laughed.

The difference between kids and adults is that adults want years in advance, where kids only want what the moment demands, and they want it with everything they have.

Right then, I wanted help.

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  • Palmer
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Reply #1 on: August 18, 2020, 06:30:36 PM
The MC considers how he might have stopped this by never accepting Big Brother's hand, and then toward the end he thinks he should have just stood up for himself
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The one thing he doesn't consider though is actually treating Big Brother like a brother. BB keeps offering to hang out with him but he always (understandably) wants to avoid him after he's committed violence, but what if he had actually hung out with him?

The why (never mind the how) is never really even touched on in this story, which on one hand deepens the terror, but also makes it feel a little hollow for me.


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Reply #2 on: June 02, 2021, 09:58:56 AM
Big Brother feels like a Don't Rest Your Head power, for serious. 

I think the biggest downer of the story is that the protagonist is so poisoned by culture that he cannot imagine a way to be a father that does not involve the threat of violence or the use of force, to the extent that he blames his inability to use them on his son "going bad" as a teenager.  Even though he has the positive goal of preventing Big Brother from excessive retaliation, his whole worldview is nonetheless based on and steeped in violence.  Because he was given a sort of ultimate violence trump card, he feels incumbent upon himself to eschew all possible violence - which he frames as "cowardice" - up until his power is inverted onto himself, after which he chafes at the need to restrain from violence.  The idea of pursuing nonviolent solutions, of engaging with the world in a mode that does not result in a victor and a loser, a fight or a forfeit, is so alien to him that he never seems to even realize it's a possibility.