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Author Topic: PC341, Giant Episode: Balfour And Meriwether In The Incident Of The Harrowmoor D  (Read 7660 times)

danooli

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Doesn't Merriweather remark that Caster is a handome man a number of times?



jkjones21

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You're probably right about that.  Like I said, I was on a road trip while I was listening, and I didn't give the story my full attention until the last third.  If that's the case then it makes Meriwether's confession make better sense, though we still would need to contend with Castor's reaction, given that Meriwether's been an ass to him throughout the story, and now suddenly he's stealing kisses.

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Wilson Fowlie

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I enjoyed this episode as well, though I disagree, Dave, that serializing the story would make your podcast any "lesser". Ahem.

I do find it a little strange that Meriwether would go for a full-on snog as his way of confession; I didn't pick up on anything that might have suggested he was attracted to Castor, and without that detail I find myself wondering if the scene is problematic in suggesting that any two gay men will instantly find each other attractive based purely on their knowledge of each other's sexuality).

I had a similar reaction to the kiss. I guess I can appreciate that it was the most direct and efficient way to communicate Meriwether's own 'inversion' (what a horrible term) and (I guess?) his attraction to Castor (the allusions to which I'd also forgotten about - thanks for the reminder, Danooli) and he didn't have much time if Castor was going to be able to get away and disappear, but I think that particular approach says quite a bit - not necessarily good - about Meriwether's approach to life in general: shoot first and ask questions later.

Yes, the adventure with the underground dog-bugs (dugs? bogs?) was exciting, ...
I think I was most impressed by the parallel between how England allied with the dugs (definitely going with dugs)

I wouldn't.

"People commonly use the word 'procrastination' to describe what they do on the Internet. It seems to me too mild to describe what's happening as merely not-doing-work. We don't call it procrastination when someone gets drunk instead of working." - Paul Graham


Varda

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Yes, the adventure with the underground dog-bugs (dugs? bogs?) was exciting, ...
I think I was most impressed by the parallel between how England allied with the dugs (definitely going with dugs)

I wouldn't.


I dunno. There's also this Dug.:


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DKT

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I enjoyed this episode as well, though I disagree, Dave, that serializing the story would make your podcast any "lesser". Ahem.

To be clear, I was mostly joking about that. Serializing stories is totally cool on podcasts. We've done that before, and it's worked out fine. I just don't think it would've worked as well for this particular story.


Wilson Fowlie

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I enjoyed this episode as well, though I disagree, Dave, that serializing the story would make your podcast any "lesser". Ahem.

To be clear, I was mostly joking about that. Serializing stories is totally cool on podcasts. We've done that before, and it's worked out fine. I just don't think it would've worked as well for this particular story.

Fair enough. : )

"People commonly use the word 'procrastination' to describe what they do on the Internet. It seems to me too mild to describe what's happening as merely not-doing-work. We don't call it procrastination when someone gets drunk instead of working." - Paul Graham


Tarragon

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I just don't think it would've worked as well for this particular story.

Agreed. 

I found that both the bit you warned us about and the framing story were hard enough to follow when I had to split it across 3 sessions in 2 days.   I can't imagine what it would have been like over 3 weeks.



Fenrix

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This was a good story, and the action-driven focus helped keep the pacing clicking along so that the giant-ness of the episode was not daunting. I like how everything was cinched together tightly by the end. What could have been rambling and uncomfortable in lesser hands becomes a tight package worth unpacking in greater depth upon additional visits.


As to the story, well. Fabulous. This one struck me as the most Holmesian (in tone) so far. For me, it evoked that Doylesian flavour of late 1800's London at every turn. Mix that with a Lovecraftian horror (something Holmes never encountered in the canon) and you have a perfect tale of adventure, intrigue and derring-do.


Considering the major story elements, this could comfortably have been published in Weird Tales. Not only does it bring in Doyle, but also comfortably draws in Lovecraft and Howard. There are tonal resonances with stories like The Shadow Over Innsmouth and The Rats in the Walls, as well as The Worms of the Earth and Solomon Kane, and the major themes of the dream cycle works of both authors. I really like that this story draws in all these influences and does them homage without feeling the need to point out to us that there is homage and response.

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Devoted135

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That was seriously epic. :) I'm so glad to have gotten another Balfour and Meriwether tale! As a side note, I saved it for a roadtrip (my first solo one in years) and it turned out to be a really dark/rainy day. So that added to the ambiance. :)



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and without that detail I find myself wondering if the scene is problematic in suggesting that any two gay men will instantly find each other attractive based purely on their knowledge of each other's sexuality).  

That did cross my mind as well, and I wondered whether it should bother me, but in the end I was okay with it because I don't think Meriweather HAS to find him attractive or vice versa for the full-on snog to work as a form of communication.  Meriwether has repressed that side of himself for a long time, and communicating in this way allows him to release some of his own internal tension by letting himself do what he wants to do, and he feels more free to do so with this particular man because he already knows the man is a "monster" like himself so is in no position to out Meriwether to the general public and also at least theoretically might find him attractive.  It also allows him to get the message across without ever actually having to say "I am like you", even though his actions say it just the same.

I'm not saying it was the best way for him to send the message across, and that is in large part because Meriweather has found it impossible to accept that part of himself as anything but sinful and without accepting himself in that way he can't learn to accept someone else in that way,  but I found it plausible and I didn't think that the presence of this element in the story implied in any way that two gay men will automatically be attracted to each other.



FireTurtle

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As expected, this was a lot of fun. Unexpected was the other darker sociological elements- but also good. I admit when the great tentacled monster was coming up the well I thought, "Cthulu, is that you?"  ;D I appreciated the sort of great amalgamation of Victorian horror elements. Good times.

As for the "inversion" issue. Well, that certain added another layer. I think it was handled well, and the tag at the end was particularly poignant. As for the kiss, my way of thinking was that I was a girl pretending to be a dude on Dude Island, and some dude who was being exiled for liking girls was leaving AND knew I was a girl? I would soooooo give him a nice smackeroo or two. My one and only chance to feel that kind of love? Yep. Would go for it. Not that I would be "in love", just needing love.

Anyway, can't wait for the next time Balfour and Meriwether come calling on my feed.

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albionmoonlight

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What a fun series.  This was my first exposure to Balfour and Meriwether.

The way that Meriwether's homosexuality played out was, as others have noted, very well done.

I also, however, liked the story when I thought that Meriwether was not homosexual and was just matter-of-factly stating his honest belief that it was an abomination and a sin.  We have a tendency in our contemporary writing to make our heroes and protagonists adopt contemporary attitudes toward social issues, even if those attitudes would be extreme outliers in their time and place.

I totally get why we do that.  Having our heroes be casually racist, or homophobic, or ok with slavery or whatever else is jarring and makes them harder for a 2015 audience to like.*  But I also do not know if we should always run from that.  Realizing that really good people could honestly hold (what to us are) really horrible beliefs makes it easier for us to question the beliefs that we hold today.  When we think things like "no good person would have ever been homophobic," we dismiss just how easy it was for "good people" to hold those beliefs back in the day.

*For a good example of the jarring nature of this, look at the Lord Peter books by Dorothy Sayers.  Lord Peter is as likable and heroic a hero as you could want.  But he's also casually and openly anti-Semitic.  And it throws you for a hell of a loop every time you see it. 
 



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But I also do not know if we should always run from that.  Realizing that really good people could honestly hold (what to us are) really horrible beliefs makes it easier for us to question the beliefs that we hold today. 

I like that way of looking at it.  Even today I talk to acquaintances and relatives who I consider very good people and then something wildly racist or sexist or religionist pops out of their mouth in the course of what is otherwise an enjoyable conversation--floors me every time, and I never know what to do about it, but it reminds me that it's possible for a person to be relatable in almost every way but to still hold some beliefs that I consider absolutely abhorrent.



UnfulredJohnson

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Oh man! You should have seen my face when merriweather kissed castor! Did not see it coming and I was grinning ear to ear. Fantastic flipping story, my new fave podcastle episode. What a bunch of kickass dudes man. The whole thing start to finish, loved every bit! Loved the adventure and loved the action and I barley even noticed the social commentary or historical or whatever type of commentary it was, and thats how you know it's been done right.

Now I must track down the other two Balfour and Merriweather stories, anyone know what episodes they are?



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Oh man! You should have seen my face when merriweather kissed castor! Did not see it coming and I was grinning ear to ear. Fantastic flipping story, my new fave podcastle episode. What a bunch of kickass dudes man. The whole thing start to finish, loved every bit! Loved the adventure and loved the action and I barley even noticed the social commentary or historical or whatever type of commentary it was, and thats how you know it's been done right.

Now I must track down the other two Balfour and Merriweather stories, anyone know what episodes they are?

PodCastle 138: Balfour And Meriwether In The Adventure Of The Emperor’s Vengeance
http://podcastle.org/2011/01/04/podcastle-138-balfour-and-meriwether-in-the-adventure-of-the-emperors-vengeance/

PodCastle 191: Balfour And Meriwether In The Vampire Of Kabul
http://podcastle.org/2012/01/10/podcastle-191-balfour-and-meriwether-in-the-vampire-of-kabul/

(these were pretty easy to find by just searching for "Balfour" on the Podcastle home page)



c210344

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Been working my way through the B&Ms - they're all good but this one was by far my favourite, I think the length was justified.

Regarding M's homosexuality and attraction to Castor, doesn't he say, in the interview at the sanitarium, "Like you, I am what I am"? At that point, the reader/listener thinks M means he is a servant of Crown & Church and, as such he views Castor''s sexuality as an abomination but what he really means is "I'M GAY TOO!" [EDIT] not that that means he should be automatically attracted to him, of course, but as someone said up above, the description of Castor does suggest that! [EDIT OVER]

I like the fact that we are gradually learning more about this pair with each episode, I think an "origin story" story would spoil things!
« Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 11:06:45 AM by c210344 »