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Author Topic: EP313: Playing Doctor  (Read 11963 times)

eytanz

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on: October 07, 2011, 06:44:22 AM
EP313: Playing Doctor

By Robert T. Jeschonek

Read by Josh Roseman

First appeared in PS Showcase #3: Mad Scientist Meets Cannibal

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The problem with having a crush on your mad scientist boss is, every day she doesn’t see how wonderful you really are seems like the end of the world.

“This is all wrong!” says Dr. Hildegarde Medici, hurling the tray across her cavernous secret laboratory.  ”You’re a complete imbecile, Glue!”

Her words sting, but at least she’s paying attention to me.  I’ll take what I can get from the woman I love.  ”I’m sorry, Dr. M.  Please let me try again.”

“Everything is ruined.”  With one arm, Dr. Medici sweeps notebooks and glass beakers from the table in front of her.  ”Now I’ll never finish the doomsday weapon today!”

As Dr. Medici throws her head down onto her folded arms on the table, I cross the lab and pick up the silver tray that she threw.  I see myself reflected in its surface–thick glasses, big nose, bald head, pure geek…not her type.  ”I thought you liked the crinkle-cut ones,” I say as I pluck chicken fingers and french fries from the floor and drop them onto the tray.

“Steak fries,” says Dr. Medici without raising her head.  ”How many times do I have to tell you, Glue?”


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!



Darwinist

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Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 09:37:05 PM
I really liked this yarn.  I laughed, I cried (not quite).  Hard to imagine being that hooked on someone to put up with a lifetime of guff but it made for a neat little tale. 

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.    -  Carl Sagan


raetsel

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Bold and innovative create, from beginning to end beyond the preceding appoint of beckon archetype;

Sometimes spam has something to say too. :)

I wouldn't quite go so far as to say "bold and innovative create from beginning to end", but I did enjoy this story and it made me smile until it got kinda sad and serious in the last part.

In the end I couldn't decide if I should feel sorry for Glue or annoyed that he knew Dr Medici would never reciprocate his affections and yet he kept on trying to please.

The fact a piece of Glue's heart was in the creature was a nice romantic touch.

It did get me thinking about famous female mad scientists from stories and films and none sprung to mind, I'm sure other more well read forumites will be able to name some. *throws down gauntlet*



eytanz

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Reply #3 on: October 09, 2011, 09:15:01 AM
Just so everyone knows, I deleted the spam post raetsel quoted above.



Dem

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Reply #4 on: October 09, 2011, 01:05:34 PM
What is it with all the love-lorn wimps lately?! Chap in 'Radio Nowhere' drizzles on for 15 years without noticing the doe-eyed looks from his 'friend'. This week it's the Frankenstein wannabe who's so spineless he even makes his own rival to deliver unto the adolescent Doctor-Madam! I think if I'd written this, I would have grown, for the new boy, some other piece of Mr Glue. ;D

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washer

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Reply #5 on: October 10, 2011, 11:52:54 AM
I loved Robert T. Jeschonek's last piece on here, thought it was clever and well-executed.  This one didn't do it for me.  The main character's a hopeless sap, Dr. Medici instantly falls in love with her handmade hunk, she's abusive and insane and yet Glue excuses all her outbursts.  When we learn about Dr. Medici's past and the tie-in between world domination and cancer, I think it was supposed to be a moment where everything clicks together in the mind of the listener, but mostly I found myself saying, "Did he just ask her to get naked?  The hell?"  So, yeah.  Very little made sense and very, very little made me connect with the characters or view them as having depth and believability.



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Reply #6 on: October 10, 2011, 01:49:54 PM
This had some interesting ideas, but I just got really frustrated with Glu and his lack off effort towards his own happiness.  He's perfectly willing to be a doormat the rest of his life.  He could make his affections known, but he assumes that she would not be interested and time and again he suppresses them.  Since he made the man I'm sure he could be a mad scientist in his own right but he chooses to dwell in her shadow.  The outro made it sound like his actions were supposed to be noble, but it seemed to me that this wasn't that great of an ending for either of them.  I think she'll just grow more discontent with humanity in general because she has an assistant and a lover whom she can trample at will, and he'll be tortured watching her with someone else and knowing that someone could've been him if he'd just had the intestinal fortitude to speak up.




Listener

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Reply #7 on: October 10, 2011, 07:57:53 PM
I think my favorite parts of the story were the flashbacks and the snarky commentary about terrorists vs mad scientists.

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Scattercat

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Reply #8 on: October 10, 2011, 09:42:50 PM
Ugh ugh ugh.  Bleah!

It's like someone condensed Nice Guy Syndrome into a weaponized aerosol and shot it into my sinus cavities.

If you are in love with someone who doesn't love you back, then either MAKE A MOVE or GET YOUR OWN.  Moping around lamenting being stuck in "the Friend Zone" and making up elaborate stories about "Ladder Theory" and telling yourself that women are just mysterious creatures who are attracted to jerks and it's so unfair is complete and utter BS.  This story made me actually angry.  (That is, my blood pressure and heart rate are slightly elevated right now, perhaps the equivalent of walking briskly for a few minutes.)  The character in this story not only fails to grow as a person, but actually regresses; he cuts himself out of the loop and actively LOOKS for excuses not to speak up, all the way up to creating a perfect rival that he never has to feel bad about not measuring up to.  He's built this little ego-cushioning cocoon centered on his chosen identity as a doormat and refuses to let it go at any cost.  If he took an actual risk, he might lose, so he handicaps himself to make sure he has no chance of winning and then expects pity. 

It's not charming that he built the perfect man out of himself.  If he doesn't feel good enough, then he needs to change his MIND or change the things he doesn't like about HIMSELF.  Both options are available, and both can be done in a healthy manner.  Yes, if the object of your affection has found someone else and is happy, then the correct and polite thing is to quietly excuse yourself and not pursue a relationship with them.  If they are empty and hurting, handing them a placebo is the action of a self-absorbed twatwaffle of the first degree.

I used to handicap myself.  I used to not even try, to sit back and let things happen and tell myself that it was better that way.  I'm still trying to overcome that.  This story, instead, glorifies it and holds it up as the ultimate in altruism. 

Bull-effing-crap.

(Frankly, anyone who would be happy and fulfilled in a relationship with a brainwashed sycophant programmed to love you eternally is not worthy of anyone's respect or admiration, but that's really a separate issue.)

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Talia

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Reply #9 on: October 10, 2011, 11:22:31 PM
I'm pretty sure this story was meant to be taken tongue-in-cheek and enjoyed for the fluffiness of it. Of course it doesn't stand up to in-depth analysis of the relationship, it's a goof. :)

I enjoyed the sillyness of it, and for what it was was glad the protagonist got some measure of happiness from it in the end. Though I guess the Dr. is still going to die from cancer, so that will be short-lived. :/



jenfullmoon

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Reply #10 on: October 11, 2011, 08:36:55 PM
I enjoyed the sillyness of it, and for what it was was glad the protagonist got some measure of happiness from it in the end. Though I guess the Dr. is still going to die from cancer, so that will be short-lived. :/

See, the cancer thing kind of ruined the goof-ness of it. Like "oh, now you're dying, but I can give you your own Rocky Horror to boink! That makes it all better!" I wish the author hadn't gone there, because it kind of wrecks it.

(Though yeah, total Nice Guy. Ugh. But hey, Igors can't aspire to get the hand of the princess, really.)



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Reply #11 on: October 11, 2011, 10:53:20 PM
This one was pretty amusing. The ending surprised me- I was certain he was going to put his own consciousness into the construct body. Then I thought he was going to offer to put HER consciousness in it instead, to save her life, and give up on his own dream to some degree. But I remember feeling that way about someone (a few someones, in younger days), and doing things along similar (although of course not quite so drastic) lines.

I feel like the two of them could have cured cancer if they'd really put their minds to it.

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Calculating...

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Reply #12 on: October 12, 2011, 04:50:43 AM
Oh, ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. I found nothing redeeming about this. I was totally on board and loving it until he found her crying on the floor about "how lonely she is!" Who is that freaking self-centered?! Or that she makes her childhood friend call her Dr. and she calls him Glue! Beyond the fact that she started off as a strong female character that turns into a helpless child incapable of seeing what she has and becomes enthralled by beauty, what the hell is with Glue? I never fully understood why be was so incapable of expressing his feelings to her, even when she says she is dying. And his response is not to express his feelings for her, or help her find a way to get better, or ANYTHING remotely interesting, he gives her a brain washed half clone of himself, which really seems more like a puppy dog than anything else. $10 says she would be bored of him within a month. Anyone that intelligent needs an equal, not an empty mind and a pretty face. This story had so many ick factors I have only touched on the main ones, and really I need to go read ANYTHING else so I forget about this story. Ew.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 09:04:56 PM by Calculating... »

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Talia

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Reply #13 on: October 12, 2011, 04:57:02 AM
It's a joke! Joke people are that self-centered. :P

The cancer element does throw a jarring element into the joke, but other than that, it's sillyness. don't take the characters so seriously :P



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Reply #14 on: October 12, 2011, 07:19:57 AM
Even funny stories have themes.

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Calculating...

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Reply #15 on: October 12, 2011, 09:03:32 PM
It's a joke! Joke people are that self-centered. :P

The cancer element does throw a jarring element into the joke, but other than that, it's sillyness. don't take the characters so seriously :P

If this story was meant to be a joke I missed the punchline...or any humor in this at all.

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Talia

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Reply #16 on: October 12, 2011, 09:16:04 PM
o.O

You don't think a little girl who wants to grow up to be a mad scientist is funny? That terrorists ruined the mad scientist business? What about the mad scientist's plan to become Queen of the World was foiled because of a scandalous book? :P

Well, to each their own, I guess. I knew someone once who didn't like chocolate.. heh.



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Reply #17 on: October 13, 2011, 01:32:26 PM
o.O

You don't think a little girl who wants to grow up to be a mad scientist is funny? That terrorists ruined the mad scientist business? What about the mad scientist's plan to become Queen of the World was foiled because of a scandalous book? :P

Well, to each their own, I guess. I knew someone once who didn't like chocolate.. heh.

You don't think a little girl who wants to grow up to be a mad scientist is funny?

What, isn't that normal?  I think that may have been my sister.

That terrorists ruined the mad scientist business?

It seemed that was clearly meant to be funny, but I just found it more confusing than anything.  So what is the difference exactly?



Talia

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Reply #18 on: October 13, 2011, 01:42:04 PM
It seemed that was clearly meant to be funny, but I just found it more confusing than anything.  So what is the difference exactly?


What, the difference between mad scientists and terrorists? I suppose that mad scientists were just doing what they were supposed to be doing, being generically evil in an outlandish sort of way for the time-honored reason of power/money, whereas terrorists are just out to hurt/kill people for unknown reasons of their own and thus are arguably more sinister.

Obviously that's a debatable explanation. :) I personally found the juxtaposition of the two types of villains amusing. 



CryptoMe

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Reply #19 on: October 14, 2011, 01:55:01 AM
I'm with Talia on this one. This story was hilarious!!

My favourite part was actually the "I love my career, but it's so lonely" discussion that Calculating found so offensive. Sure it's pathetic. But there's some truth there, and when presented in that so over the top way, it was hysterical.

I definitely don't think you're supposed to analyze this seriously. No more than you would the movies Zoolander or Dumb and Dumber for example.



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Reply #20 on: October 14, 2011, 06:14:40 AM
A comedy that conveys a troubling theme is arguably even more worthwhile of criticism than a serious piece doing the same.  More people are likely to sit through a comedy, and less likely to notice the subtle influence the theme has because they are distracted by chuckling.

This story was, indeed, written as a comedy, but its thematic content irritates the heck out of me.  I won't argue whether or not it was funny, but saying you can't criticize comedy for its thematic content is somewhat mystifying to me, any more than saying you can't criticize a serious artistic movie for, say, having stiff and awkward dialogue.  If there's a problem, there's a problem, even if it's in a part that isn't the central focus of the text's efforts.

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Devoted135

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Reply #21 on: October 16, 2011, 12:59:17 AM
I think this story suffered because I happened to listen to three in a row where scientists were portrayed in a negative light at best, as outright evil at worst. Being a scientist myself, by the third one I was just sick of feeling villainized. So yeah, for me it was not a comedy, not fun, and definitely a big miss. Ahh well, it happens.



Gamercow

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Reply #22 on: October 17, 2011, 02:25:07 PM
This one missed the mark for me.  I was enjoying it as a good farce, but then the author pulled the cancer bit, and all of a sudden the fun went out of it, and the silliness became sadness.

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CryptoMe

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Reply #23 on: October 18, 2011, 04:28:52 AM
This story was, indeed, written as a comedy, but its thematic content irritates the heck out of me.  I won't argue whether or not it was funny, but saying you can't criticize comedy for its thematic content is somewhat mystifying to me, any more than saying you can't criticize a serious artistic movie for, say, having stiff and awkward dialogue.  If there's a problem, there's a problem, even if it's in a part that isn't the central focus of the text's efforts.

I don't think people are saying you can't criticize this on any level just because it's a comedy. People are saying you can't criticize the thematic content in the same way as you would a serious piece, because it's a comedy. The whole point of comedy is to make us laugh about uncomfortable things and so examine them from a different perspective.

Our society is currently experiencing an bizarre period of vilification and condemnation of science, and by extension scientists. This story pokes fun at that.
Our society today still has many elements of gender inequality. This story pokes fun at that.
Our contemporary society has a strange obsession with youth, beauty, and sex. This story pokes fun at that, too.
I could go on...

Were these characters caricatures? Of course they were. They were obvious strawmen (and women ;)), put up only for poking fun at, to show how reprehensible these traits are, even though we see them in real people every day....



Talia

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Reply #24 on: October 18, 2011, 04:45:10 AM
This story was, indeed, written as a comedy, but its thematic content irritates the heck out of me.  I won't argue whether or not it was funny, but saying you can't criticize comedy for its thematic content is somewhat mystifying to me, any more than saying you can't criticize a serious artistic movie for, say, having stiff and awkward dialogue.  If there's a problem, there's a problem, even if it's in a part that isn't the central focus of the text's efforts.

I don't think people are saying you can't criticize this on any level just because it's a comedy. People are saying you can't criticize the thematic content in the same way as you would a serious piece, because it's a comedy. The whole point of comedy is to make us laugh about uncomfortable things and so examine them from a different perspective.

Our society is currently experiencing an bizarre period of vilification and condemnation of science, and by extension scientists. This story pokes fun at that.
Our society today still has many elements of gender inequality. This story pokes fun at that.
Our contemporary society has a strange obsession with youth, beauty, and sex. This story pokes fun at that, too.
I could go on...

Were these characters caricatures? Of course they were. They were obvious strawmen (and women ;)), put up only for poking fun at, to show how reprehensible these traits are, even though we see them in real people every day....


What a great way of putting it. Thank you :)



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Reply #25 on: October 18, 2011, 08:21:32 AM
The outro and some of the comments said something to the effect that the ending was romantic.  The story seems to take unexamined the idea that the best thing Glue could do was to make this RealDoll for his beloved.  THAT is what irritates me, and it's fairly central to the thematic core of the story, i.e. Glue's unrequited love.

The other bits, I agree with you, and if the story had confined itself to that, I would have cheerfully laughed along.

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Talia

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Reply #26 on: October 18, 2011, 12:44:40 PM
I'd suggest that that's what Glue THOUGHT was the best thing he could do.



Rachel Udin

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Reply #27 on: October 19, 2011, 01:52:32 PM
I'm not a fan of the "Sacrifice myself for my love" without the confessing. If he'd confessed, been turned down and still stayed, then I might have bought it. Maybe I've been exposed to too many romance plot lines where this is far too contrived. Glu suffered even more from the lack of follow through than the ones I'm used to.

I think real love isn't the sacrifice--especially the one way. It's the getting along together and working through problems together even when you don't agree. It's the working through loose socks in the couch, the toilet paper is the wrong way--the every day events that slowly can irk a person and working through those issues with that other person. It's more Shakespeare talking about how the imperfections of his lover are what makes him love his lover even more. As one show put it, "I want to go grocery shopping with you." (Necessary Roughness)

I also had a minor nitpick where he'd put part of his heart into the lover's body. I would have bought it if the previous paragraph hadn't gone into all the technical biological jargon. As in the metaphorical heart, but it bothered me when it was the physical and it went into meta science. The actual seat of emotions is in the brain mostly the amigdala and the pituitary gland. The sexual organs also play a role.  Last two being the major ones. Emotion can also be triggered by the frontal cortex, but the hormones don't sit there. If you're going to talk about nerves, the technicalities of cancer, etc. Then launch into how the heart contains physical emotion... I'm not buying it. Adrenaline from the pituitary gland creates the heart pumping more, not visa versa. The feelings of euphoria are mostly seratonin and endorphines. That given, scientists don't know what makes love, the complex emotion happen and persist. (i.e. they can't make someone love someone else).

I've been hearing this lecture since I was five down to the level of neuro receptors...

Anyhow, the point is, stick to either meta science or science, don't mix them back to back, unless we're going to the brain as a sweat gland via the Egyptians.

I was on board until the cancer and the sacrifice bit.



InfiniteMonkey

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Reply #28 on: October 21, 2011, 08:31:29 PM
I think my problem with this is just that I've had one too many ironical post-modern superhero/supervillain stories of late, and I was just full. Plus I have a hard time mustering that much sympathy for a serial nebbish like Glue. Better to have him snap and go postal.



mbrennan

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Reply #29 on: October 22, 2011, 10:45:52 PM
I understand that comedy can be used to play around with ideas that wouldn't work in a more serious story.

Unfortunately, this one didn't make me laugh.  I was annoyed by both characters, and while certain touches were entertaining (I ditto liking the comment about terrorists changing how governments respond to mad scientists), it really didn't come across as funny enough to counterbalance the things that bugged me.

I definitely don't think you're supposed to analyze this seriously. No more than you would the movies Zoolander or Dumb and Dumber for example.

Those being two splendid examples of the kind of comedy I don't like.  As I explained to someone recently, after they tried to hook me on Archer, I've hit a point where I don't care if a character is being ridiculously sexist or racist or just flat-out stupid or whatever for the purposes of mocking sexism and racism and stupidity and so on; it still isn't something I want to sit through.  (Especially when too many people seem capable of missing the point of the mockery.)  This story doesn't go that far, obviously, but -- well, let's take the example of Dr. Medici moaning and crying about how she's lonely.  That isn't funny to me because it doesn't go anywhere; she stays lonely and depressed (and then gets cancer), and then her sad sack of an admirer attempts to save her from it by means that are more creepy than romantic.  The end.  I don't see why I should laugh.



SF.Fangirl

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Reply #30 on: October 23, 2011, 07:58:03 PM
I found this story disappointing.  The preview (ie first sentence) sets up a funny, satirical mad scientist story and fails to deliver.  It wasn't funny and the characters are both completely pathetic and doomed to an unhappy ending.  Glue might end up happier after his boss dies of cancer if he manages to get over it and finds a better life.  That seems unlikely though.



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Reply #31 on: October 25, 2011, 05:20:47 PM
Seriously? If this indeed was supposed to be a comedy you cold have fooled me. The heavy handed jabs at feminism were totally off putting and borderline offensive. I guess even a career woman (omg, even a female mad scientist. Have you ever even heard of that before?!?!?) still needs the perfect man in her life. Ugh. You can take a parody of a feminist and give her a dead mom and cancer, but she'll still only be a parody of a feminist, especially when prince charming comes along and saves the day! Nope, she doesn't need a cure for cancer or a fulfilling career, all she needs is a MAN!

At least this story isn't as popular as twilight.
I'm also sort of disappointed at how nobody on the forum has called out this story for being sexist yet. Here I am saying it: This Story is Sexist!
« Last Edit: October 25, 2011, 05:37:27 PM by audpicc »



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Reply #32 on: October 28, 2011, 05:28:25 PM
At least this story isn't as popular as twilight.
I'm also sort of disappointed at how nobody on the forum has called out this story for being sexist yet. Here I am saying it: This Story is Sexist!

You can be disappointed in me; I can take it. :)  But I didn't see this story as sexist.  I think I could see Glu as sexist.  You said that a message sent by the story was "Nope, she doesn't need a cure for cancer or a fulfilling career, all she needs is a MAN!"  I can see your point, but to me, that message was portrayed by Glu not by the story itself.  He was the one who thought that was a good solution and I didn't get the impression that the author was trying to convey that this was a good solution.  I don't think it was a good solution, and I think the misery of both characters will be multiplied by this decision.  But when it all comes down to it, it was Glu that made that decision and it was Glu who thought it would be a good idea.

If the story itself could be said to be sexist against women then I'd argue it must also be sexist against men. Glu and the lobotomized Glu-clone are the only men onstage in the story.  And if he is meant to be representative of the male half of humanity, I can't say I feel flattered by that.  



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Reply #33 on: October 29, 2011, 01:16:31 AM
Well, the Doctor DOES take the proffered gift and seems quite happy to have it, though she's pretty much a terrible person in or out of the story.

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Rain

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Reply #34 on: October 29, 2011, 08:24:30 AM
I didnt find this one funny at all, so overall it just felt like a really weak story



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Reply #35 on: November 08, 2011, 02:51:47 PM
Well, the Doctor DOES take the proffered gift and seems quite happy to have it, though she's pretty much a terrible person in or out of the story.

Sure, I wouldn't say the Doctor is a shining example of the female sex either.  The story features a flawed woman, a flawed man, and a lobotomized copy of the flawed man.  But I don't believe any is meant to represent their entire sex.  At least that's not how I saw it.




eytanz

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Reply #36 on: November 13, 2011, 04:26:02 PM
This one didn't do much for me. I didn't find it particularly funny, and I didn't find it particularly emotionally compelling, and I didn't find it to be particularly sexist. I mostly found it bland.



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Reply #37 on: November 18, 2011, 09:12:07 AM
I didn't like this too much, not because I couldn't sympathize with the characters or what they did (I don't really need that to enjoy a story), but because the joke felt like a discarded Dreamworks film plot. Yeah, let's mix up this classical trope with some contemporary references thrown in without thinking too much about how the world created fits together, and then we reverse the classical gender but still make the female a needy hysteric looking for a man. You know, for laughs. The author probably did not think like that, but that's how it came out to me.

Still, there were some glimmer of an interesting story in here. The image of the little girl trashing her teddy bear was not original, but it was simple, powerful and felt true.



FireTurtle

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Reply #38 on: November 21, 2011, 10:58:27 PM
*cringes, closes eyes and jumps on the "this was sexist" bandwagon*

Well. I am definitely not one to jump on the feminist side of things easily or quickly. I try to stay out of those arguments. (hence my deafening silence in the Great Conan the Barbarian (not that there's anything wrong with that) Debate. However, I just listened to this on the way home and I've got to say, it was not the happy little podcast release I was looking for.

The characters were off-putting. I gather this is because I don't generally enjoy movies such as Dumb and Dumber. Ok. Thats just me. I'm okay with that. Humor is a very individual thing.

What I'm not okay with (what had me getting out of the car in a funk and essentially feeling as if someone had pointed a finger at me and said "Ha ha you are ridiculous because you have a career and no man!" is the female character.
However "funny" she was supposed to be- going on a crying jag about how she is so lonely because she put her career first and no one understands her. Um. Yeah. That doesn't seem ha-ha funny. Its not pointing out an ironic juxtaposition (like terrorists vs mad scientists, or love of evil...) unless you really do believe that career women are never happy without a man (or woman, lets be fair) to love.
I'm having trouble getting where that is consistent with the overdrawn sociopathic super-villain she is supposed to represent. Unbearable loneliness caused by early childhood loss and what we would assume are sociopathic tendencies...no, she really just needs a man. Don't all women?
It would have been more funny if it was a male mad scientist and thus wasn't mirroring so closely what many of us hardworking career types still hear from our male colleagues today. I believe that the author probably thought that this was something funny because its so in the past or whatever. But, as with all stereotyping, be careful because someone somewhere is going to be hurt by what you say in innocence.

Rant over.

For the record, Glue at least maintained his identity as a self-sacrificing nit-wit throughout the story. I applaud this. But, in case you couldn't tell, this episode was a total miss for me. Damn. On to the next one!

“My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.”
Ursula K. LeGuin


LaShawn

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Reply #39 on: April 11, 2012, 04:21:18 PM
Add me to the chorus of being disappointed with this story. I too expected that Glu would do something like put his own consciousness into the man he made, or put her consciousness in it. But to make a man just to make her feel better, especially since her life is going down the tubes, felt so weak. Plus, I don't think Glu will be satisfied seeing her with another man, even if it is own creation.

Back in 2001, the movie A.I Artificial Intelligence ran an online game that set the bar for all ARGs that followed after. There was all sorts of twisted games and puzzles, and the storyline was much better than the movie itself (in fact, characters from the movie were only hinted at). One of the side stories was about a couple who married but for business reasons couldn't live together, so they got a robot that looked just like the wife. The idea was that the wife would live vicariously through the robot through sensory uploads. Over time, however, the wife began to suspect that, strange that it seemed, that her husband was having an affair with the robot, who in all accounts was supposed to be her. The robot was developing its own personality, and by the time the wife realized it, the husband wanted a divorce so he could marry the robot. The last correspondence she wrote was so delightfully twisted--I highly recommend going to the Cloudmaker's site if you want to read through the entire game. It's absolutely fascinating.

But back to this story. Meh.

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