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Author Topic: EP295/EP643: Disarm  (Read 10540 times)
Gamercow
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« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2011, 08:45:54 AM »

The narrator's mom seems to have schizophrenic episodes and could also have a bipolar disorder. She would never be the best person to be consulted on whether to be healed or not. Obviously she should be healed. Specially with such a deus ex machina option of alien healing. I'm surprised the aliens wouldn't be already performing this kind of healing without asking anybody's consent.

I think this was used as another example of the MC's tendency towards inaction.  He doesn't want to assume that he knows what his mother wants or even needs, and I think has also made the decision that she's out of his life now, and that's how it is going to stay. 
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Dem
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« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2011, 10:03:59 AM »

Well said, EP. I've read Speed of Dark, too long ago to offer any kind of appraisal, but that's the gist. And I work with people with mental impairments, mental health problems, and intellectual disabilities. It's so easy to feel that a fix would be good, and we've been operating on that principle for long enough. But now we have 'Nothing about me without me', which basically tells us all we don't always know best and to butt out sometimes.
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ElectricPaladin
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« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2011, 10:31:28 AM »

In addition to EP's points, which make a lot of sense, what if the aliens had a different standard of normalcy than humanity did?  What if, by their standards, the mother is the normal one and all the rest of humans are crazy?  What if they "healed" people to bring them to that condition without consent.  From humans' point of view, most would probably call that brainwashing, but from an alien's point of view it might be seen as healing.

From my point of view, that might be seen as an awesome story idea.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2011, 11:06:34 AM »

In addition to EP's points, which make a lot of sense, what if the aliens had a different standard of normalcy than humanity did?  What if, by their standards, the mother is the normal one and all the rest of humans are crazy?  What if they "healed" people to bring them to that condition without consent.  From humans' point of view, most would probably call that brainwashing, but from an alien's point of view it might be seen as healing.

From my point of view, that might be seen as an awesome story idea.

Smiley  I thought of that as well, after I posted it and then thought "damn I gave the idea away!".  It's still going in my story ideas file though, for when I might feel inclined to write it.
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matweller
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« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2011, 02:16:55 PM »

That might also play cool as a generational thing....

What if they decided that apes were the peak of human development and figured out that people were worth saving because the aliens had the technology to devolve humans to that state in 3 generations. Somebody young would live long enough to see the race wiped out before their eyes. Then would the aliens take their apes and welfare checks and bail? Or would they train warrior apes to hunt down and kill the remaining humans... It's like a darker Planet of the Apes reboot...

Wait -- what were we talking about?
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Nobilis
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« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2011, 07:03:55 PM »

The fact is that not everyone wants to be neurotypical. There are artists and athletes with ADHD who enjoy the energy and hyperfocus of their condition, there are schizophrenics whose hallucinations and delusions are generally pleasant and give them a sense of power and purpose, and there are people with mood disorders who thrive in the ups and downs. It's one thing to describe a certain state as "normal" or common, but it's another thing altogether to attach a value judgement to it. Who are you to say that some ways of thinking are better than others? You can argue for your point of view, certainly, but ultimately that's all that it is - your point of view. Not sacred writ.

This needs to be in the feedback section of the podcast.  NEEDS.
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Julio
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« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2011, 07:35:44 AM »

The narrator's mom seems to have schizophrenic episodes and could also have a bipolar disorder. She would never be the best person to be consulted on whether to be healed or not. Obviously she should be healed. Specially with such a deus ex machina option of alien healing. I'm surprised the aliens wouldn't be already performing this kind of healing without asking anybody's consent.

I think this was used as another example of the MC's tendency towards inaction.  He doesn't want to assume that he knows what his mother wants or even needs, and I think has also made the decision that she's out of his life now, and that's how it is going to stay. 

Excellent point. I guess the context of this story is not the best for my what I wanted to say, and this is reflected in the replies to my post: that we have double standards when it comes to a disease in the brain and a disease in any other organ of the body.


This was a very well crafted story with the terrible invasion of a superior species who thinks they know best, and can actually even do better, but end up taking away all freedom.
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Palmer
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« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2011, 12:02:17 AM »

Where was the conclusion to this story? This is a growing trend on escape artist stories recently, a very annoying and frustrating trend. Its like the author just stopped typing one day and said "yep. That's it" and walked away and never looked back. Or maybe this is just a certain writting style I personally cannot understand or enjoy? I'm not sure.
Otherwise I liked this story, it felt real.
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Talia
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« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2011, 09:10:24 AM »

Or maybe this is just a certain writting style I personally cannot understand or enjoy? I'm not sure.

I think so. The story felt concluded to me, just a rather quiet conclusion which I understand might not be everyone's cup of tea.
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hardware
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« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2011, 04:17:32 PM »

This might have been my favorite story in a while on Escape Pod, perhaps because I like stories where we don't necessarily work our way towards a huge climax, more a meditation on a theme, enhanced by the science fictional elements. Also, the relative subtlety of the message was welcome (although the author couldn't resist giving it on a plate in the comments), it feels more like a short story by a modern fiction writer than a classic science fiction one, perhaps because it focuses on character and psychology, rather than technology. The singing was both good, touching and funny.
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lordRochester
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« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2011, 03:05:38 AM »

I enjoyed this story.

The idea that human civilization ends through its own actions is tried and tested but not in a "have back at you" kind of way. There's nothing to say that the Tickheads were invading at first contact; I read it that they were simply visiting and that our response to their appearance was to start shooting at them. They stayed behind at the end to help clear up the mess we created.

Trey complained that the narrator hadn't got up and kicked the bully in the n*ts, I feel he just accepted a new form of government, just as he accepted the previous one. At the end of the day, life carried on, just with a different looking "person" at the top.
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LaShawn
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« Reply #31 on: June 29, 2011, 11:18:53 AM »

Good story. Kind of sad, but good....

And did anyone else besides me get a sudden Jim Morrison vibe during the singing parts? That was very well done...but at the same time I kept flashing to...deserts...rain clouds...ticks sitting in folding chairs holding glasses of sweet tea and going hi...

No?
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kibitzer
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« Reply #32 on: June 29, 2011, 09:58:49 PM »

ticks sitting in folding chairs holding glasses of sweet tea and going hi...

What?? I think I've missed your particular meaning of "ticks" there -- are we talking about the blood-sucking parasite insects?
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childoftyranny
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« Reply #33 on: August 03, 2011, 12:45:19 PM »

Reading the comments make think this story reminds me of the odd situation in Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End" where inexplicably after a superior alien race arrives people became depressed and stopped having children. Other disagreed with me about what that might be, but it was obvious that there were a limit amount of children born afterwards since there were only certain children that the aliens helped to surpass their original humanity.

This sort of reminds me of that, the stubbornness that the friend shows, and the lack of effort of the main character. I think this is more fitting because it has some people still striving in the face of hopelessness. Perhaps not a ton, but some, while the other story had just zero people trying.
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Myrealana
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« Reply #34 on: September 19, 2018, 09:24:34 AM »

Re-listening to this one, I got a new perspective. Call it age, wisdom, whatever.

The first time, I found it hopeful - aliens show up and make the world a better place.

Now, I find it sadder and more cynical. Aliens show up and really, humans keep being humans. Nothing ever changes.
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CryptoMe
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« Reply #35 on: September 26, 2018, 09:26:53 AM »

I liked this story, but I do not remember listening to it the first time at all!! (Though I know I must have, because I left a comment back then, which I still agree with, BTW).
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thisshaft
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« Reply #36 on: October 09, 2018, 10:31:28 AM »

The narrator's mom seems to have schizophrenic episodes and could also have a bipolar disorder. She would never be the best person to be consulted on whether to be healed or not. Obviously she should be healed. Specially with such a deus ex machina option of alien healing. I'm surprised the aliens wouldn't be already performing this kind of healing without asking anybody's consent.,

Have you ever read Elizabeth Moon's The Speed of Dark? Me, neither. But, I worked in a bookstore for a while, and it was my job to know all about as many books as possible, including books I've never read. The Speed of Dark is about a man with autism in an age when autism can be cured, dealing with an interesting question: if my brain is where my disorder lives but also where I live, and you change my brain, are you also changing me? What is the difference between the disappearance of me and death? Why should I consent to die in order to give birth to a version of me who is more convenient for you (it's worth noting that the protagonist of The Speed of Dark is relatively happy in his life, although he understands it to be limited in some ways).

That, in a nutshell, is the difference between neurological conditions and physical conditions. Me without a leg is just that - me without a leg. I'm still me, shaped by the experience of losing and living without a leg, true, but still essentially me. Me with an addition or subtraction performed upon the way I think... that's a pretty terrifying possibility.

The fact is that not everyone wants to be neurotypical. There are artists and athletes with ADHD who enjoy the energy and hyperfocus of their condition, there are schizophrenics whose hallucinations and delusions are generally pleasant and give them a sense of power and purpose, and there are people with mood disorders who thrive in the ups and downs. It's one thing to describe a certain state as "normal" or common, but it's another thing altogether to attach a value judgement to it. Who are you to say that some ways of thinking are better than others? You can argue for your point of view, certainly, but ultimately that's all that it is - your point of view. Not sacred writ.

I'm not suggesting that anything is wrong with offering neurological "normalcy" to those who want it, but I'd fight tooth and claw for the right of people to make their own choices about their brains.

Thanks for the advice.
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