Author Topic: PC029: Dead Languages  (Read 49657 times)

Ragtime

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Reply #50 on: October 21, 2008, 08:26:49 PM
So what was it that the Disney story got "so right" that this story got "so wrong"?

The situations in the two stories are not identical, so it is a little difficult to put an Aesop's Moral at the end that would apply to both.

But to quote the post I initially responded to:

magically altering someone's perception of the world or of someone else and causing them to fall in love or become attracted to someone?  Creepy as HELL.

Yes.  And it should be seen as creepy as HELL by the characters, not somehow endearing.

How about this for the moral: When X is forced to love Y by external circumstances, and Y knows it, then Y's feelings towards X will be changed TOWARD creepy and AWAY from reciprocation.



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Reply #51 on: October 21, 2008, 08:40:38 PM
How about this for the moral: When X is forced to love Y by external circumstances, and Y knows it, then Y's feelings towards X will be changed TOWARD creepy and AWAY from reciprocation.

I think this was covered by the story, actually. Remember, this wasn't a change that just affected Christian, it affected everyone. And some (Pete, sock-puppet boy) were affected much worse. The story was, to a large extent, about how Lilian came to terms with everything changing. And once she accepted that everything changed, and decided to live in the new world, she just had to treat it as it was, without reference to what came before it.

I don't see why she should be able to accept magic changing Pete into a vampire as a fact about the world but still see Christian as being under coercion. If the spell was temporary, or cancellable, I would agree with you.

Put it differently - if I hold a gun to you and tell you that you must blindfold yourself and learn braille until you can read fluently in it, then I am coercing you. However, if you are involved in an accident and permanently lose your eyesight, and I teach you braille, you are not being forced to do anything; circumstances changed irrevocably, and you are adjusting. I think that, regardless of whether Lilian and Christian were a good match or not, it is not correct to treat him as if he was being forced to do anything.



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Reply #52 on: October 21, 2008, 09:06:11 PM
How about this for the moral: When X is forced to love Y by external circumstances, and Y knows it, then Y's feelings towards X will be changed TOWARD creepy and AWAY from reciprocation.
[...]
Put it differently - if I hold a gun to you and tell you that you must blindfold yourself and learn braille until you can read fluently in it, then I am coercing you. However, if you are involved in an accident and permanently lose your eyesight, and I teach you braille, you are not being forced to do anything; circumstances changed irrevocably, and you are adjusting. I think that, regardless of whether Lilian and Christian were a good match or not, it is not correct to treat him as if he was being forced to do anything.

I wondered if it was magical permanent love or just the ordinary kind. If it's just normal love he could always fall out of it after a spell.

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Reply #53 on: October 21, 2008, 09:20:54 PM
I don't think he can fall out of the spell, though. My understanding was that the magic spell was permanent and could not be reversed. Vampire hunters will stay vampire hunters.  Ninjas will stay ninjas.  Bras will stay...well, nevermind.  But yeah, I don't think he can fall out of love.  It's "true" now.


eytanz

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Reply #54 on: October 21, 2008, 09:50:47 PM
I don't think he can fall out of the spell, though. My understanding was that the magic spell was permanent and could not be reversed. Vampire hunters will stay vampire hunters.  Ninjas will stay ninjas.  Bras will stay...well, nevermind.  But yeah, I don't think he can fall out of love.  It's "true" now.

Actually, if that is true, I must revise my position and agree with Ragtime. Being in love isn't like being a ninja, or a vampire, or a vampire slayer - those are identities, while being in love is a state. I can see the spell making Christian be in love, but I assumed that now that the spell was cast, he is just like any other lover. That means he should be able to fall out of love. He may be relctuant to do so - most people in love are - but it would be able to be possible.

If he is indeed in some sort of perma-love state, than it is, as Ragtime stated, a personality disorder.



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Reply #55 on: October 21, 2008, 10:09:47 PM
Ah, I see where you're going now.  I guess it does depend on how love is defined in this case.  What a conundrum.

ETA: in this case...
« Last Edit: October 21, 2008, 10:13:23 PM by DKT »



Ragtime

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Reply #56 on: October 22, 2008, 05:38:57 PM


Actually, if that is true, I must revise my position and agree with Ragtime.

If he is indeed in some sort of perma-love state, than it is, as Ragtime stated, a personality disorder.

So all I needed to get Eytanz to agree with me was to shut up for a few hours and let other people make my point better than I could?

Who knew?



eytanz

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Reply #57 on: October 22, 2008, 05:57:49 PM


Actually, if that is true, I must revise my position and agree with Ragtime.

If he is indeed in some sort of perma-love state, than it is, as Ragtime stated, a personality disorder.

So all I needed to get Eytanz to agree with me was to shut up for a few hours and let other people make my point better than I could?

Who knew?

Oh, you weren't making your point badly. I was just working from a different reading of the story, it seems. A reading that I still maintain is valid, by the way - I just agree that the consequences of the reading DKT described are different.



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Reply #58 on: October 23, 2008, 02:55:19 AM
I just loved this. The battling santas sealed the deal for me, promptly evoking much hearty LOLing. :)



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Reply #59 on: October 23, 2008, 08:03:05 PM
It was an okay story, I just didn't get any sense of knowing anything about the protagonist other than she was overweight, and even that was mainly in the Hollywood sense of 'not being as thin as an anorexic stick-insect on a diet' rather than sounding as if she were proportioned like the people one might see every day in the street.

I think it could have done with being shorter, the joke, such as it was, was rather laboured at 50 minutes in length.



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Reply #60 on: October 25, 2008, 03:36:58 AM
Was thinking, how long would the vampire hunter really be busy?  Maybe I missed it but I didn't hear the range of the spell so how many people were really changed into vampires, ninjas, werewolves, witches etc.  How many people were there really changed for her to hunt?

Also, with all of you not liking Buffy you don't know that there was an episode were on halloween everyone changed in to what they were costumed as.  It was a small statue of a god instead of a pendant but the same basic story line. 



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Reply #61 on: October 25, 2008, 10:49:13 PM
Audio glitches and all, I liked it... Buffy as played by Janeane Garofalo!

What has kept bothering me, though, long after listening to the story is the effects of the spell that we don't hear about. For instance, would the care of all the Vampire, Werewolf and Ninja victims have been compromised by the effect of "naughty nurses" on the medical establishment? How would the Chuch have dealt with the influx of overage Catholic schoolgirls and ruler-wielding nuns? And what about all those furries standing in line at Starbucks?



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Reply #62 on: October 25, 2008, 11:02:09 PM
Audio glitches and all, I liked it... Buffy as played by Janeane Garofalo!

What has kept bothering me, though, long after listening to the story is the effects of the spell that we don't hear about. For instance, would the care of all the Vampire, Werewolf and Ninja victims have been compromised by the effect of "naughty nurses" on the medical establishment? How would the Chuch have dealt with the influx of overage Catholic schoolgirls and ruler-wielding nuns? And what about all those furries standing in line at Starbucks?

Again, the setting was a small mid-western college town in the summer, not a big city or even a college town with students in it. And the spell was cast in the middle of the day. Probably most of the above weren't an issue because even if the town had a strip club, it was probably not open yet. And however many people in town liked dressing up in fursuits, they probably were not dressed that way in their office.



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Reply #63 on: October 26, 2008, 01:53:39 AM
I really liked this story. Lillian is like an amalgamation of every insecure fat chick out there who is dissatisfied with their arm flab and other flab but has at least learned to accept her body shape, if not outright accept and embrace it. It was sort of annoying to constantly hear her bemoan her body shape but being a large woman myself I can't fully condemn her for it either. Being fat is so much harder than people know. You're physically unhealthy and on top of that you have to deal with shallow fools who feel its their duty to make you feel bad about yourself. I like how Lillian continued to show her reading of that Anglo-Saxon poem even though it made her uncomfortable and self-conscious. :) Maybe I enjoyed the story so much because I'm a jolly, fat feminist who's an ex-Buffyholic. Remember everyone: when life offers you a cookie, savor it without shame and when life offers someone else a cookie, look at that person without avarice.



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Reply #64 on: October 26, 2008, 09:36:04 PM
This whole topic is interesting to me and is actually one that kind of raises my hackles/makes my skin crawl - magically altering someone's perception of the world or of someone else and causing them to fall in love or become attracted to someone?  Creepy as HELL.

Amusingly enough, the first time I really looked it in the face and was freaked out was a Buffy episode.  Hurr hurr.  Some random jock at the school has a letter jacket that he inherited from his father that makes girls who see him DESPERATELY want him, and Buffy ends up essentially trying to get in his pants.

7.06 "Him", itself something of a retread of 2.16 "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", when Xander manages to cast a spell that causes every girl and woman in Sunnydale fall in love with him (except Cordelia, the intended target).  (No, I don't know all the episode names and numbers: I looked them up.)

Buffy definitely had a problem in its later seasons of recycling ideas that had already been given definitive Buffyverse interpretations, with the new episodes tending to suffer from the comparison.  And this short story had no chance of avoiding familiar Buffy tropes -- which Buffy had usually already given a hefty postmodern spin to, leaving little room for new angles.  For all that, I thought "Dead Languages" stood up quite well.  The wit was sharp and the protagonist was well written.



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Reply #65 on: October 28, 2008, 08:51:57 PM
I wasn't a fan of this story.  The main character felt like a complete Mary Sue to me.  A overweight, non-confident, English teacher with guy problems gets magically transformed into a butt-kicking vampire hunter who has an attractive guy drooling over her.  I'm surprised she didn't magically get fit as well, but I guess the "muscles under the fat" covers that side of it.  I would've turned off the story before the amulet even got to that point, and assumed it was just a chunky chick whining about her lot in life.  Fortunately (I guess), my morbid curiosity won me over and I laughed my way though it.  Somehow, I don't think that was the intent.

The reader was excellent though.  Her voice just felt right, like she was simply re-telling her own story.  I just wish it was a better story.



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Reply #66 on: October 30, 2008, 07:56:06 PM
Gonna have to come back to this one.  Wayyyyyyyyy too much lip smacking going on.  I'll try it again when I'm more relaxed.

Haven't read this thread yet.  I can't stand the tv incarnation of Buffy, either.  The movie is great!



Hobart Floyt

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Reply #67 on: October 31, 2008, 04:05:04 AM
I loved this story and M. K. Hobson was absolutely excellent! The embodiment of the characters. I've loved everything she's read so far. I'm not sure if it's her characterization or the stories. Perhaps it is synthesis. Bravo! Please keep up the good work. I would reward you with riches and splendor if I had any with which to reward you. Hmm..... then again perhaps I would leech from you every good thing that you have to offer until you are nothing but a dessicated husk. Um... where did that come from? Uh... Where was I? Oh yes, I love you gurls! You rock!

Also, Rachel, I do not like Buffy the Vampire Slayer either. I'm not sure you are so rare. I loved Firefly but I simply can not bring myself to enjoy Buffy. As far as I'm concerned it is absolutely silly. Not interested.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2008, 03:31:31 AM by Hobart Floyt »

In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
  In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away—
  For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.


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Reply #68 on: October 31, 2008, 04:51:22 AM
I loved this story and M. K. Hobson was absolutely excellent! The embodiment of the characters. I've loved everything she's read so far. I'm not sure if it's her characterization or the stories. Perhaps it is synthesis. Bravo! Please keep up the good work. I would reward you with riches and splendor if I had any with which to reward you. Hmm..... then again perhaps I would leech from you every good thing that you have to offer until you are nothing but a dessicated husk. Um... where did that come from? Uh... Where was I? Oh yes, I love you gurls! You rock!

Also, Rachel, I also do not like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'm not sure you are so rare. I loved Firefly but I simply can not bring myself to enjoy Buffy. As far as I'm concerned it is absolutely silly. Not interested.

I've never watched the Buffy TV series, nor been inclined to.  And I'm sure I've mentioned before that I'm unimpressed by Firefly.

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Reply #69 on: October 31, 2008, 02:50:20 PM
Finished it.  Liked it.  Could have been great if the editing had been better.



stePH

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Reply #70 on: October 31, 2008, 04:57:38 PM
Finished it.  Liked it.  Could have been great if the editing had been better.

You didn't download the fixed version?

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Zathras

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Reply #71 on: October 31, 2008, 07:28:50 PM
It said PC029a.  I was talking about the "cleanliness" of the sound.



Hobart Floyt

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Reply #72 on: October 31, 2008, 10:00:57 PM
I loved this story and M. K. Hobson was absolutely excellent! The embodiment of the characters. I've loved everything she's read so far. I'm not sure if it's her characterization or the stories. Perhaps it is synthesis. Bravo! Please keep up the good work. I would reward you with riches and splendor if I had any with which to reward you. Hmm..... then again perhaps I would leech from you every good thing that you have to offer until you are nothing but a dessicated husk. Um... where did that come from? Uh... Where was I? Oh yes, I love you gurls! You rock!

Also, Rachel, I also do not like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'm not sure you are so rare. I loved Firefly but I simply can not bring myself to enjoy Buffy. As far as I'm concerned it is absolutely silly. Not interested.

I've never watched the Buffy TV series, nor been inclined to.  And I'm sure I've mentioned before that I'm unimpressed by Firefly.

You are Rachel Swirsky correct? ("That rare creature... peculiar and scarce seen thing...") You did say in the intro for this story that you tried watching Buffy didn't you? I listened again and that's what you said. I quote, "I even rented the first season from Blockbuster..." and  "Three episodes in and my mind was numb"

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
  In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away—
  For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.


eytanz

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Reply #73 on: October 31, 2008, 10:13:09 PM
I loved this story and M. K. Hobson was absolutely excellent! The embodiment of the characters. I've loved everything she's read so far. I'm not sure if it's her characterization or the stories. Perhaps it is synthesis. Bravo! Please keep up the good work. I would reward you with riches and splendor if I had any with which to reward you. Hmm..... then again perhaps I would leech from you every good thing that you have to offer until you are nothing but a dessicated husk. Um... where did that come from? Uh... Where was I? Oh yes, I love you gurls! You rock!

Also, Rachel, I also do not like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'm not sure you are so rare. I loved Firefly but I simply can not bring myself to enjoy Buffy. As far as I'm concerned it is absolutely silly. Not interested.

I've never watched the Buffy TV series, nor been inclined to.  And I'm sure I've mentioned before that I'm unimpressed by Firefly.

You are Rachel Swirsky correct? ("That rare creature... peculiar and scarce seen thing...") You did say in the intro for this story that you tried watching Buffy didn't you? I listened again and that's what you said. I quote, "I even rented the first season from Blockbuster..." and  "Three episodes in and my mind was numb"

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm pretty sure that StePH is not Rachel Swirsky. For one, StePH is a man and Rachel, as we discovered a few weeks ago, is a tree. Or possibly a woman. But certainly not a man.

Also, she posts in these forums under the rather unconfusing name "Rachel Swirsky".




Heradel

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Reply #74 on: October 31, 2008, 10:59:36 PM
I loved this story and M. K. Hobson was absolutely excellent! The embodiment of the characters. I've loved everything she's read so far. I'm not sure if it's her characterization or the stories. Perhaps it is synthesis. Bravo! Please keep up the good work. I would reward you with riches and splendor if I had any with which to reward you. Hmm..... then again perhaps I would leech from you every good thing that you have to offer until you are nothing but a dessicated husk. Um... where did that come from? Uh... Where was I? Oh yes, I love you gurls! You rock!

Also, Rachel, I also do not like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'm not sure you are so rare. I loved Firefly but I simply can not bring myself to enjoy Buffy. As far as I'm concerned it is absolutely silly. Not interested.

I've never watched the Buffy TV series, nor been inclined to.  And I'm sure I've mentioned before that I'm unimpressed by Firefly.

You are Rachel Swirsky correct? ("That rare creature... peculiar and scarce seen thing...") You did say in the intro for this story that you tried watching Buffy didn't you? I listened again and that's what you said. I quote, "I even rented the first season from Blockbuster..." and  "Three episodes in and my mind was numb"

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm pretty sure that StePH is not Rachel Swirsky. For one, StePH is a man and Rachel, as we discovered a few weeks ago, is a tree. Or possibly a woman. But certainly not a man.

Also, she posts in these forums under the rather unconfusing name "Rachel Swirsky".

Also Opabinia, but that's only when she forgets she's on her husband's computer.

I've always thought StePH was a reincarnated Diogenes.

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