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Author Topic: EP167: Love and Death in the Time of Monsters  (Read 26388 times)

ChiliFan

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Reply #50 on: July 27, 2008, 03:36:59 AM
I think the whole point of this story is a combination of attacks by a dangerous Godzilla like monster at the same time as the main character's Mum is dying of cancer. This reminded me of my own Mum dying of cancer after she'd been declared clear of it. She was on five different types of medication, which affected her seriously! Eventually, the cancer came back and she died. The similarities with this edition of Escape Pod were the bad moods and obsessions with little things like hair on the carpet, or in my Mum's case, water on the *bathroom* carpet, although I kept telling her that no sane person would have a carpet in the bathroom. I think it's important for relatives to know what kinds of medication they're on. In my Mum's case this included Co Proxamol, which causes dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, constipation, and vomiting. It may no longer be presrcribed, depending on where you live, but there are other drugs, including Co Codomol, which have the same side effects. I was forced to live with my Mum at her house in the middle of nowhere for the last 18 months of her life, after a very nasty sequence of events. I don't think I should mention on here how I got into that situation, because then I could be harassed by some evil conservatives of the same type who helped to cause that situation. While living there, I was a handy scapegoat for my Mum's symptoms, which I didn't find the cause of until just before she died. She gave me a lot of verbal abuse, such as shouting at me whenever she felt like it, but I wasn't supposed to shout, I wasn't supposed to express any emotions, almost like a Vulcan, etc, etc.  I remember that on the day of the September 11th attacks she was feeling better than most days and actually got out of bed to go and do some shopping, etc. She asked me to record the repeat of the soap opera "Crossroads", but it was interupted halfway through its first showing for news of the September 11th attacks and it was never repeated on any channel available to us at the time, which meant we missed a very crucial part of the plot involving a woman who was impersonating another woman phoning the woman she was impersonating to get some background information on her. I'm not sure how or when I found this out. When my Mum arrived home, she asked me if I'd recorded it for her, so I told her "There's been some big news!" and called up news on near demand from Sky News. In spite of all this, I doubt if I'll ever write a story entitled something like "My bathroom carpet's still wet (and other abuse) so go and get a cardboard box on September 11th!".
« Last Edit: July 27, 2008, 03:47:18 AM by ChiliFan »



stePH

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Reply #51 on: July 27, 2008, 04:04:09 AM
... water on the *bathroom* carpet, although I kept telling her that no sane person would have a carpet in the bathroom.

I've always maintained that any contractor who carpets a bathroom should be wrapped in urine-soaked carpet and left out in the summer sun for four or five hours.

Yes, I've had two houses with fully carpeted master bathrooms.  In both cases I've ripped it out myself and had tile of some sort or another put in.

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ChiliFan

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Reply #52 on: July 27, 2008, 04:13:17 PM
... water on the *bathroom* carpet, although I kept telling her that no sane person would have a carpet in the bathroom.

I've always maintained that any contractor who carpets a bathroom should be wrapped in urine-soaked carpet and left out in the summer sun for four or five hours.

Yes, I've had two houses with fully carpeted master bathrooms.  In both cases I've ripped it out myself and had tile of some sort or another put in.

It's worse than that. My Mum viewed the house before it was finished and she actually told them to put carpet in the bathroom! The water she was complaining about was mainly from me washing my hair in the fairly small sink. She used to smoke, but had given up years before she first got cancer. There was some other abuse about me using kitchen paper instead of dirty cloths, the collapsing plastic carrier bags she just had to use instead of proper bins, etc, etc.






sayeth

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Reply #53 on: July 28, 2008, 01:16:44 AM
Anybody else notice that the last city that the monster destroyed was Atlanta?

I think we all know what that means: The daikaiju saved Steve Eley for dessert.

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CammoBlammo

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Reply #54 on: August 03, 2008, 02:01:19 PM
I don't know how to feel about this story. I think I liked it, but I know I am supposed not to. It has too many things wrong with it. Yet I don't regret the listen.

One of the things I liked with the juxtaposition was the way it wasn't always clear what the narrator was talking about. For example, when the narrator said

Quote
They try everything. Cellular toxins. DNA replication inhibitors. Anti-sense nucleic acids. Artillery. Great bolts of lightning. Nothing stops him, it only makes the monster angrier. They try mutagens, teratogens, carcinogens, neurotoxins, hemotoxins, genotoxins — they think that toxins in the environment created the monster, and maybe toxins can kill it. Maybe two wrongs can make a right.

it wasn't immediately obvious if he was still talking about his mother's cancer or if he was talking about the 80ft reptile on the East Coast. For me, that ameliorated my natural tendency to react against the metaphor. The fact that I didn't have to go looking for the metaphor meant I was able to appreciate it al the more.



Myrealana

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Reply #55 on: August 22, 2008, 07:31:14 PM
I thought the metaphor worked pretty well, until the end. At the point where his mom was cured of cancer but left a vegetable, the parallels were just too neat. On top of that, to have the narrator tell us that helping his mom was his way of fighting the monster was just too much. You made your point with the parallels - don't rub our noses in it just in case we missed something.

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veganvampire

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Reply #56 on: September 08, 2008, 12:39:22 AM
When Steve said the mother's line: "Am I going to die now?" did anyone else think of Edward Bear and the Very Long Walk?  He's getting a lot of practice with that line.

Anyway, I liked it.  I liked the protagonist, just because he had an alternative point of view from what the media was telling him.  He was thinking about the environment, and all the people killed even in the celebrations of the monster's death.  He even had his own views about the monster's expression.  I hate how one-sided the news can be, and how many people just take what they see on TV as their own opinion.



Maximus-Primus

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Reply #57 on: September 26, 2008, 11:37:38 AM
Well I've just listened, I know it's been out a while no one will read this post, I know I just lurk, hell I never even sign in. Most of the time someone else says how I feel praise or just standard analysis. This time no one has posted how I feel, so I just have to say; That sucked that really sucked. No It really really really sucked. I thought it was awful just awful. A steaming pile of monster poo. The only story worse than this one was the altshiemer story. And I guess this will get me blocked but I don't care. It wasn't SciFi. it wasn't A monster Story. It wasn't Alternate reality it wasn't even good...it wasn't fun.



Ocicat

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Reply #58 on: September 26, 2008, 07:16:05 PM
If posting on the forums to say you thought a story run by EP was a flaming pile of monster excrement got you banned from the boards, there would be no one left here to post.

So welcome, and don't fear to speak your mind!



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Reply #59 on: September 28, 2008, 09:49:34 AM
If posting on the forums to say you thought a story run by EP was a flaming pile of monster excrement got you banned from the boards, there would be no one left here to post.

So welcome, and don't fear to speak your mind!

I think there would be three of you left.  I've only ever had a problem with one episode comment.  It contained a direct insult to the author.  I edited that out and left a nice note to show my displeasure, but the rest of the post stayed.



Unblinking

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Reply #60 on: April 01, 2010, 05:23:38 PM
I like my story metaphors subtle, lurking on the edge of vision as I watch the story, glimpsed only if I turn my head very quickly then gone again until I stop looking for them--they can be lured out with earnest forum discussion, and sometimes by cookies, but otherwise they stay out of the way.  I don't much care for metaphors that can't be ignored, levelling city blocks just to get my attention, and being so much bigger and stompier* than the story itself that I don't even notice the story anymore.  And then suddenly the metaphor ends, and I'm left wondering what the hell happened to the story while I was watching the all-consuming metaphor.

*I believe this is the only time I've ever used the word "stompier", but certainly not the last.

Anyway, the human story was interesting, and the cancer-monster metaphor was interesting but it was just too stompy for my tastes.  And in any case, why the heck does this one random human with cancer have such an apparently profound connection with a monster on the east coast that's nowhere near this person?  At least the Kaiju Storm story had a slight explanation, if a flimsy one, that he'd met another monster and somehow forged a connection.  To me that makes the whole connection into nothing more than a literary device, one that I have trouble looking past.  I mean, of course metaphor is a literary device, but if I can't avoid seeing it as anything but that, then it didn't work.

And because the metaphor was such a beat-you-over-the-head variety, it's hard to not overextend it.  So his mother was like America, yes?  With the cities as organs, the monster as cancer ravaging those organs, and the military being medical science trying to pound the monster into submission.  But the metaphor stops working when the mother dies, and then many monsters appear.  If you follow the original metaphor, then her dead body is now ravaged by cancer?  Huh?  Or is his mother merely the Eastern Seaboard, and he himself is America, but then somehow he contains his mother?  Or is it just a bad case of mixed and mangled metaphors?

Regarding the televization of sports games.  At the very least, it would make for a very different betting dynamic.  Imagine the winners brackets, but all the ones in the northeastern seaboard are crossed out.  "I really think Atlanta will win it, but only if the monster doesn't smush Atlanta before the Finals."  So they'd still have to pay attention to the monster, if only to predict which cities will lose their stadiums and teams due to monster rampages.

Also, I had trouble with the ending.  It's great that his wife is there for him, and is willing to support him--she's a keeper, and I hope they're very happy together, or as happy as they can be.  But, when he says "you're welcome" to her, it seems to me that instead of using her support to help him carry through the tragedy, he's using his wife as an analog for his mother, trying to replace one with the other.  That doesn't strike me as healthy behavior.