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Author Topic: EP233: Union Dues - The Threnody of Johnny Toruko  (Read 30834 times)

Talia

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Reply #50 on: January 13, 2010, 06:02:50 PM
not to mention the overt anti-religious overtones.

I thought it was refreshing to see someone unafraid to take on some of the (frankly) stupider parts of religion. I mean, exorcism? Please. And if the character is anti-religious, don't you think he has a right to be after what was done to him?

Yeah, it seemed to me it was anti-religions-bashing-gay-people, not anti-religion in general.

Unless being against religions being against gay people means being anti-religious. In which case, I would qualify as anti-religious too.



Swamp

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Reply #51 on: January 13, 2010, 06:32:32 PM
not to mention the overt anti-religious overtones.

I thought it was refreshing to see someone unafraid to take on some of the (frankly) stupider parts of religion. I mean, exorcism? Please. And if the character is anti-religious, don't you think he has a right to be after what was done to him?

Yeah, it seemed to me it was anti-religions-bashing-gay-people, not anti-religion in general.

I think you are right, Talia.  I admit I groaned a little with the broad brush painted about religion, but, within the story, I also agree with Kaa.  This is Johnny's point of view, and if this is what happened to him, this would be his perception of religion.

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El Barto

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Reply #52 on: January 13, 2010, 07:10:05 PM

No, he didn't explode, he just built up an electric charge which discharged when he was touched.  Only one person was killed.  (She got better.)


Thanks.  What confused me was when the text said, "He fades away and I see the others.  A dozen bodies in white robes, all dead, just like TK."   I guess that was a flashback to an earlier time when he killed accidentally killed other people. 




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Reply #53 on: January 13, 2010, 07:12:33 PM
Not only that but a threnody is a poem or song of mourning composed to a dead person so I don't see the connection there.

I didn't care for this as much as other UD stories (which I generally quite enjoy), but I do want to point out that the whole person of "Johnny Toruko" is a fabrication.  Johnny Toruko is a flashy ladies' man, flirtatious and confident.  The actual Johnny is a shy, repressed gay kid with a crush on his oblivious best friend.  The story is about Johnny coming out to another of his teammates and beginning the process of showing his real identity to the world.  Thus, Johnny Toruko, the false mask, is dead (or will be dead one day.)  

Thus, "Threnody" is actually a quite apt title, even apart from keeping with the theme of the other Team Shikarigaki story names (which are all poem or song types.)  I would, in fact, be willing to say that the use of "Threnody" here is my favorite part of the story, period.  (Again, apologies to jrderego, but this one just didn't do it for me as a whole.)

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WillMoo

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Reply #54 on: January 13, 2010, 07:16:33 PM
not to mention the overt anti-religious overtones.

I thought it was refreshing to see someone unafraid to take on some of the (frankly) stupider parts of religion. I mean, exorcism? Please. And if the character is anti-religious, don't you think he has a right to be after what was done to him?
Refreshing? Yeah, because nobody eeeevveeer does that.  Ever hear of Richard Dawkins? Also, you can't blame the over tones on the character when it is the writer that is creating the character and situations. The character is anti-religious because the author wrote him that way. (See, Jessica Rabbit)



WillMoo

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Reply #55 on: January 13, 2010, 07:20:03 PM
Not only that but a threnody is a poem or song of mourning composed to a dead person so I don't see the connection there.

I didn't care for this as much as other UD stories (which I generally quite enjoy), but I do want to point out that the whole person of "Johnny Toruko" is a fabrication.  Johnny Toruko is a flashy ladies' man, flirtatious and confident.  The actual Johnny is a shy, repressed gay kid with a crush on his oblivious best friend.  The story is about Johnny coming out to another of his teammates and beginning the process of showing his real identity to the world.  Thus, Johnny Toruko, the false mask, is dead (or will be dead one day.)  

Thus, "Threnody" is actually a quite apt title, even apart from keeping with the theme of the other Team Shikarigaki story names (which are all poem or song types.)  I would, in fact, be willing to say that the use of "Threnody" here is my favorite part of the story, period.  (Again, apologies to jrderego, but this one just didn't do it for me as a whole.)

The problem there is that a threnody is not a lament about a fake person or an idea or a part of a person or a character in a play. As to the killing of his team mate, she is alive at the end of the story thus threnody doesn't work there either.



Talia

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Reply #56 on: January 13, 2010, 07:49:30 PM
The problem there is that a threnody is not a lament about a fake person or an idea or a part of a person or a character in a play. 

Why couldn't it be? Creative interpretation and all that.



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Reply #57 on: January 13, 2010, 07:51:45 PM
Scattercat's interpretation of the title makes sense to me!  (I didn't know what a threnody was while listening, so I didn't really give the title a second thought).



Swamp

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Reply #58 on: January 13, 2010, 08:01:27 PM
"Threnody"...keeping with the theme of the other Team Shikarigaki story names (which are all poem or song types.)

Just for reference:
Union Dues: The Ballad of Kitty Momoiro - (Clonepod Ep. 11)
Union Dues: The Saga of Tam Suji - (Clonepod Ep. 16)
Union Dues: The Sojourn of Taizen Kiro - (Clonepod Ep. 22)
Union Dues: The Threnody of Johnny Toruko - (Escape Pod Ep. 233)

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WillMoo

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Reply #59 on: January 13, 2010, 08:30:04 PM
The problem there is that a threnody is not a lament about a fake person or an idea or a part of a person or a character in a play. 

Why couldn't it be? Creative interpretation and all that.
Because the definition of the word does not fit. You would have a problem with someone calling "blue", "artichoke" wouldn't you?



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Reply #60 on: January 13, 2010, 08:42:09 PM
Because the definition of the word does not fit. You would have a problem with someone calling "blue", "artichoke" wouldn't you?

And yet "blue" can also mean 'depressed' even though mood has nothing to do with the color.

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deflective

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Reply #61 on: January 13, 2010, 08:48:00 PM
hear hear!  lets start the society for literal accuracy in escape pod titles.

for too long we have endured titles like requiem in d-minor and the sweet, sad love song of Fred and Wilma.  it is time to take up arms against a sea of troubles and, by opposing, end them (note: not a literal sea of troubles.  or arms.).



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Reply #62 on: January 13, 2010, 08:53:51 PM
Because the definition of the word does not fit. You would have a problem with someone calling "blue", "artichoke" wouldn't you?

And yet "blue" can also mean 'depressed' even though mood has nothing to do with the color.
*sigh* The term in question is a very specific term. All of that aside, this was a very boring story in an otherwise good series.



Talia

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Reply #63 on: January 13, 2010, 08:55:55 PM
The problem there is that a threnody is not a lament about a fake person or an idea or a part of a person or a character in a play. 

Why couldn't it be? Creative interpretation and all that.
Because the definition of the word does not fit. You would have a problem with someone calling "blue", "artichoke" wouldn't you?

Not necesarily. Not if it was set up convincingly. Not if the person who made such a statement made a case for it, as it were.

That's what creativity's about! :)

Obviously you don't buy the argument this story makes, and that's fine. (everyone's different, obviously!).



wakela

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Reply #64 on: January 13, 2010, 11:42:47 PM
not to mention the overt anti-religious overtones.

I thought it was refreshing to see someone unafraid to take on some of the (frankly) stupider parts of religion. I mean, exorcism? Please. And if the character is anti-religious, don't you think he has a right to be after what was done to him?
Refreshing? Yeah, because nobody eeeevveeer does that.  Ever hear of Richard Dawkins? Also, you can't blame the over tones on the character when it is the writer that is creating the character and situations. The character is anti-religious because the author wrote him that way. (See, Jessica Rabbit)
For the record I liked the story.  But I did think the story of Toruko's upbringing was a little trite.  I found it believable, but the parents and the pastor were all fairly typical in the popular stories of gay children.  I would have found it more interesting if someone were acting against type (the father trying to protect Toruko from his mother, the priest trying to talk them out of the exorcism) and got electrocuted anyway.  Also, IMHO, it would have made Toruko's remorse more powerful.   



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Reply #65 on: January 14, 2010, 01:17:37 AM
I think there is too much thinking about the title and the religion on the thread.

Most of us have answered this, but not all...

What it boils down to is Did you enjoy the story?

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Reply #66 on: January 14, 2010, 02:26:09 AM
I think it is a threnody-- Johnny's threnody for TK, after he kills her, and to an extent for the parts of himself that he's been leaving with the people who have tried to take them away.

Loved the story. Love gay stories in general. I'm queer myself, I generally find myself unrepresented in my favorite genres-- it's nice to see some gay stories that aren't just Gay Stories of Gayness For The Gays. Johnny went through the same thing most teenagers go through-- that sort of intense limerence-- in an identifiable way. Maybe I liked it more because I've been there, without the, you know, lightning parts, but whatevz.



WillMoo

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Reply #67 on: January 14, 2010, 03:49:23 AM
I think it is a threnody-- Johnny's threnody for TK, after he kills her, and to an extent for the parts of himself that he's been leaving with the people who have tried to take them away.

Loved the story. Love gay stories in general. I'm queer myself, I generally find myself unrepresented in my favorite genres-- it's nice to see some gay stories that aren't just Gay Stories of Gayness For The Gays. Johnny went through the same thing most teenagers go through-- that sort of intense limerence-- in an identifiable way. Maybe I liked it more because I've been there, without the, you know, lightning parts, but whatevz.
But even if you take that he kills her which he didn't since she is alive and that he metaphorically killed himself since he didn't since he simply repressed outing himself to the object of his affection it is still not a threnody in that he didn't pen a song or poem. 

Why do stories with gay stories with gay characters only have plot lines that revolve around their gayness? Isn't it a bit of soft bigotry to assume that the characters are so one dimensional that that is the only issue going on in their lives?

cdugger, no, I didn't enjoy the story because it was shallow, predictable and had obvious flaws. (I don't mind flaws. Just don't make them so damn obvious.)

My last post on this story. I do have to say that the discussion of the story was more entertaining than the story itself.



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Reply #68 on: January 14, 2010, 04:39:07 AM
Because the definition of the word does not fit. You would have a problem with someone calling "blue", "artichoke" wouldn't you?

And yet "blue" can also mean 'depressed' even though mood has nothing to do with the color.

Not even Picasso's "Blue Period"?  :P

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Talia

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Reply #69 on: January 14, 2010, 05:52:27 AM
I think it is a threnody-- Johnny's threnody for TK, after he kills her, and to an extent for the parts of himself that he's been leaving with the people who have tried to take them away.

Loved the story. Love gay stories in general. I'm queer myself, I generally find myself unrepresented in my favorite genres-- it's nice to see some gay stories that aren't just Gay Stories of Gayness For The Gays. Johnny went through the same thing most teenagers go through-- that sort of intense limerence-- in an identifiable way. Maybe I liked it more because I've been there, without the, you know, lightning parts, but whatevz.
But even if you take that he kills her which he didn't since she is alive and that he metaphorically killed himself since he didn't since he simply repressed outing himself to the object of his affection it is still not a threnody in that he didn't pen a song or poem. 

Why do stories with gay stories with gay characters only have plot lines that revolve around their gayness? Isn't it a bit of soft bigotry to assume that the characters are so one dimensional that that is the only issue going on in their lives?

cdugger, no, I didn't enjoy the story because it was shallow, predictable and had obvious flaws. (I don't mind flaws. Just don't make them so damn obvious.)

My last post on this story. I do have to say that the discussion of the story was more entertaining than the story itself.

The poem is implicit in the story that was told.

as for "Why do stories with gay stories with gay characters only have plot lines that revolve around their gayness?"

well. For one, not all do, see, IMHO, http://podcastle.org/2009/12/22/podcastle-83-the-petrified-girl/.

Secondly, in this day and age, it continues to be "an issue" if you're in a homosexual relationship. That's just a fact, unless you're fortunate enough to live in an extremely progressive city.

Would you be making such a statement if this story were about a straight couple? Ask yourself that, and be honest.



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Reply #70 on: January 14, 2010, 07:15:27 AM
But even if you take that he kills her which he didn't since she is alive and that he metaphorically killed himself since he didn't since he simply repressed outing himself to the object of his affection it is still not a threnody in that he didn't pen a song or poem. 

And why is this place called Escape Pod anyway?  We don't actually escape from anything!  We only listen to stories!  It should be called "Site Where You Listen to Stories."  Maybe add on "Run by Steve Eley" to differentiate it from all the other sites called "Site Where You Listen to Stories."

Wait, crap, they do entire episodes which are just about the site itself.  Okay, this podcast is now called "Site Run by Steve Eley Where You Listen to Stories and Sometimes Also Some Information About the Site Itself."

I look forward to seeing the new logos for SRbSEWYLtSaSASIAtSI.

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Reply #71 on: January 14, 2010, 12:30:01 PM
Okay, this podcast is now called "Site Run by Steve Eley Where You Listen to Stories and Sometimes Also Some Information About the Site Itself."

I look forward to seeing the new logos for SRbSEWYLtSaSASIAtSI.

Amen! HA!

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Reply #72 on: January 14, 2010, 01:19:02 PM
We are approaching the outer edge of Civility City

Remember to stock up at Al's Store on bottled water and Snickers for your journey into the Snarklands.

Or!

Why not turn around and head back into Civility City!  We have pie!



Listener

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Reply #73 on: January 14, 2010, 02:18:48 PM
For the record I liked the story.  But I did think the story of Toruko's upbringing was a little trite.  I found it believable, but the parents and the pastor were all fairly typical in the popular stories of gay children.  I would have found it more interesting if someone were acting against type (the father trying to protect Toruko from his mother, the priest trying to talk them out of the exorcism) and got electrocuted anyway.  Also, IMHO, it would have made Toruko's remorse more powerful.   

Because this is a Team Shikaragaki (did I spell it right?) story, isn't it aimed toward somewhat-younger readers (mature YA, I believe)? And while I think they can handle somewhat-mature topics, sometimes you have to paint with a broad brush.

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Reply #74 on: January 14, 2010, 02:20:47 PM
After four pages, I don't think there's anything substantive that I can add except that I think the climax was too close to the middle (killing/saving TK) and the climax at the end, while interesting, wasn't enough to really thrill me. Johnny's choice didn't break any new ground because he didn't back it up.

I really expected TK to somehow influence Tam instead, to make him more receptive.

Reading: I felt sometimes Steve's voice for Johnny changed from "Steve" to "slightly-deeper-Steve" several times, which was distracting. Am I the only one who noticed?

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