Author Topic: PC086: Tio Gilberto and the Twenty-Seven Ghosts  (Read 30578 times)

lisavilisa

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Reply #50 on: January 22, 2010, 04:44:48 PM
In regards to Kaspars change of heart.  I wonder if the view we had of him in the beginning was through the MCs "love goggles".  So when Kaspar dumps him it appears to come out of left field because the MC's been blind to anything that didn't fit how he saw Kaspar.

It's a shattered delusion.  The way it ends conflicts so much with how you saw things, it feels like they transformed into another person instantly.



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Reply #51 on: January 22, 2010, 07:57:06 PM
It's a shattered delusion.  The way it ends conflicts so much with how you saw things, it feels like they transformed into another person instantly.

I think that would work better if it was more explicit.  That is, I'd buy that as an explanation if the MC's view of Kaspar had changed at all, if he had looked back and seen Kaspar's actions with a new light; instead, he just seems shocked and confused (as was I.) 



lisavilisa

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Reply #52 on: January 22, 2010, 09:13:05 PM
  That is, I'd buy that as an explanation if the MC's view of Kaspar had changed at all, if he had looked back and seen Kaspar's actions with a new light; instead, he just seems shocked and confused (as was I.) 

I guess the line about Gilberto and his ghost driver smiling in nostalgia when the MC said " how could he do this after we got so close over the last 6 weeks" really resonating with me.  It made me think of how common his situation is.  How it involves realizing the person you'd been dating was largely in your mind, and it takes a while to absorb that. 

I may also be projecting a bit, but his situation is a cliche for a reason.



eytanz

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Reply #53 on: January 23, 2010, 03:53:18 PM
I wonder if a mod would be willing to split the microphone discussion out of this thread. Its a bit distracting when there are too seperate, interesting, discussions going on in the same thread.

I really liked this story, though it made me rather sad for a while. And it made me feel old, mostly because the narrator felt so young and foolish to me. The story also made me think quite a lot about my perspective. I've never really associated homosexuality with HIV. I mean, I always knew that historically gay men were highly at risk, but by my late teens, in the mid-ninties, I was educated that as a straight man, unprotected sex is just as risky for me. But then, well, I wonder if that education would have been as succesful if unwanted pregnancy wasn't also a risk.

I also thought bdoomed did a great job as a reader.



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Reply #54 on: January 23, 2010, 04:23:42 PM
I really liked this story, though it made me rather sad for a while. And it made me feel old, mostly because the narrator felt so young and foolish to me. The story also made me think quite a lot about my perspective. I've never really associated homosexuality with HIV. I mean, I always knew that historically gay men were highly at risk, but by my late teens, in the mid-ninties, I was educated that as a straight man, unprotected sex is just as risky for me. But then, well, I wonder if that education would have been as succesful if unwanted pregnancy wasn't also a risk.

There are numerous protections against pregnancy that do nothing to prevent the spread of disease.  Meaning, even if you know the girl is on the pill* or Depo or whatever, you'd still better wrap that willy.  ;)

(*working at Planned Parenthood, I've seen more brands of BC pill alone than I have brands of aspirin)

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eytanz

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Reply #55 on: January 23, 2010, 05:29:57 PM
I know that, of course. But a condom is practically the only form of birth control that I, as a male, could guarantee was available when I felt the need for it. Every other form relies on pre-planning on behalf of my partner, and therefore not something I could rely on (esp. not in the days when the partner herself inhabited a hypothetical future)



Bdoomed

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Reply #56 on: January 24, 2010, 02:57:42 AM
I wonder if a mod would be willing to split the microphone discussion out of this thread. Its a bit distracting when there are too seperate, interesting, discussions going on in the same thread.
And lo, write it so that Bdoomed did take his staff of moderation and did split the topic thusly.  And the people rejoiced, and did feast upon the lambs and geese and orangutans and small rodents.  And the land was thusly made peaceful.  And the people did return to their regularly scheduled programming.

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


stePH

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Reply #57 on: January 24, 2010, 06:53:53 AM
I know that, of course. But a condom is practically the only form of birth control that I, as a male, could guarantee was available when I felt the need for it. Every other form relies on pre-planning on behalf of my partner, and therefore not something I could rely on...

And, as I hinted above, it's the only one that helps guard against catching an infection through intercourse.

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Reply #58 on: February 04, 2010, 02:26:28 PM
I liked the story. I thought the author really captured James's voice and his inner monologue. The scene with the ghost driving the car was EXCELLENT, and the fact that James didn't even blink even more so.

But I hated the ending. The story didn't end. It just... stopped. James was uncomfortable, the ghost opened a window, and...

FWIW, I don't think James had HIV/AIDS, unless he'd already caught it from having unprotected sex back in college. I'm not a doctor, but I don't think it sets in THAT fast. The test will show if you have it, yes, but many people live asymptomatically for years before realizing they've got it -- IIRC that's one of the ways it spread so quickly through the gay community in the 80s.

The reading was very good, especially given that it was done last-minute. He captured James's voice, both internally and externally, very well. Not a fan of Casper's voice but he had to differentiate it somehow.

More interesting to me would have been if Ganymede haunted James, or if they'd gone back to the house and Ganymede had joined the other 27 ghosts.

I also wonder how Gilberto supported himself. At age 54, I don't think he's eligible for social security, and while he owns his home, I don't know if he's on welfare, or unemployment, or what. Or maybe the money comes from James's parents (helping him out) or his own parents (perhaps via inheritance). It doesn't really matter, but I guess I'd like to know.

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Reply #59 on: February 04, 2010, 02:49:07 PM
FWIW, I don't think James had HIV/AIDS, unless he'd already caught it from having unprotected sex back in college. I'm not a doctor, but I don't think it sets in THAT fast. The test will show if you have it, yes, but many people live asymptomatically for years before realizing they've got it -- IIRC that's one of the ways it spread so quickly through the gay community in the 80s.

I'm sure he didn't have AIDS, as you said it didn't have time to set in.  But he could very well be HIV positive.  Even if he would stay asymptomatic for many years, it still changes everything to know you WILL have full blown AIDS at some point.



yicheng

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Reply #60 on: February 05, 2010, 03:02:53 PM
I didn't like this story.  I may be a dumb hetero, but having unprotected sex (anal no less) with someone you just met is just called being stupid.  I kept on waiting for Tio Gilberto (or someone) to slap him upside the head ask him what the hell he was thinking.  I also thought it was also weird that none of characters thought twice about the ghosts but yet the boyfriend apparently didn't believe in them.  Nor did it seem like there was ever a good explanation for why Gilberto almost never left the house.  I mean what does he do for a living and how does he buy groceries?  Is this typical of magical realism stories for the plot to be inexplicable?



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Reply #61 on: February 05, 2010, 06:31:57 PM
I also thought it was also weird that none of characters thought twice about the ghosts but yet the boyfriend apparently didn't believe in them. 

There weren't that many characters in the story.. I thought only the one guy and his uncle believed in the ghosts, which they should since they live with them.

I found it believeable that they'd believe in the ghosts and this one random guy wouldn't.



the_true_morg

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Reply #62 on: February 06, 2010, 04:05:58 AM
Nor did it seem like there was ever a good explanation for why Gilberto almost never left the house. 

I think it would be difficult to deal with 27 ghosts outside the house.

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Reply #63 on: February 20, 2010, 11:43:08 PM
As to the latency period of HIV, that comes after an acute infection within a couple weeks of first exposure.  The author didn't get anything wrong here, medically speaking. 

And the relationship with Kaspar seemed headed in that borderline abusive direction to me from not too far in.  I don't know if it was the dialogue or the getting upset about the ghosts or what, but I wasn't at all surprised by how things ended, I had been expecting it.  It was very well foreshadowed I thought, which I attribute to the author's great ability for awkward dialogue.

Anyway, I really liked this story, it was too sad to be a favorite, but it was very good.



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Reply #64 on: February 22, 2010, 08:55:04 AM
I understand this might be my stretching a point a little, alI listened to this as I fell asleep, but I interpreted the uncle as a carer/nurse for men who had already contracted HIV. The reason they're "invisible" to the protagonist was because, by his own admission, he was there for laughs and hook-ups...

Maybe I'm seeing more metaphor here than there is...?

If you interpret that way, then it isn't a fantasy story and doesn't belong on PodCastle.

Can we please stop with the "if there are not clearly dragons and wizards then it does not belong on PodCastle" line of reasoning? There will be fantasy stories that could swing both ways, and they belong on PodCastle.

Sorry to bring this up again, but I, for one, didn't take Steph's comment that way at all.  I felt he was saying that if you don't see the ghosts as truly ghosts but as metaphors, then the story wouldn't be a fantasy story, and therefore wouldn't belong on PodCastle.  He's not saying this story ISN'T a fantasy story, just that it WOULDN'T be if you took the ghosts out.

Then enlighten me; I'm listening: without ghosts, how would this qualify as a fantasy story?

And I think this proves my point.




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Reply #65 on: February 22, 2010, 02:46:45 PM
Can we please stop with the "if there are not clearly dragons and wizards then it does not belong on PodCastle" line of reasoning? There will be fantasy stories that could swing both ways, and they belong on PodCastle.

Sorry to bring this up again, but I, for one, didn't take Steph's comment that way at all.  I felt he was saying that if you don't see the ghosts as truly ghosts but as metaphors, then the story wouldn't be a fantasy story, and therefore wouldn't belong on PodCastle.  He's not saying this story ISN'T a fantasy story, just that it WOULDN'T be if you took the ghosts out.

Thank you.  At least somebody gets me, a little bit.  :)

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Reply #66 on: February 22, 2010, 03:12:10 PM
I understand this might be my stretching a point a little, alI listened to this as I fell asleep, but I interpreted the uncle as a carer/nurse for men who had already contracted HIV. The reason they're "invisible" to the protagonist was because, by his own admission, he was there for laughs and hook-ups...

Maybe I'm seeing more metaphor here than there is...?

If you interpret that way, then it isn't a fantasy story and doesn't belong on PodCastle.

Can we please stop with the "if there are not clearly dragons and wizards then it does not belong on PodCastle" line of reasoning? There will be fantasy stories that could swing both ways, and they belong on PodCastle.

Sorry to bring this up again, but I, for one, didn't take Steph's comment that way at all.  I felt he was saying that if you don't see the ghosts as truly ghosts but as metaphors, then the story wouldn't be a fantasy story, and therefore wouldn't belong on PodCastle.  He's not saying this story ISN'T a fantasy story, just that it WOULDN'T be if you took the ghosts out.

Then enlighten me; I'm listening: without ghosts, how would this qualify as a fantasy story?

And I think this proves my point.

I don't disagree on the point of no ghosts means that it's probably not fantasy.  Like many good stories, it has many facets, some of which place it in different genres.  However, since SOME of those facets would make this clearly fantasy, then I don't think it's unreasonable to call the story itself fantasy.  Much like Superhero Girl--I didn't see any fantasy in that at all, but many people did, so it's not out of place here at all.





mbrennan

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Reply #67 on: February 24, 2010, 12:16:38 AM
This was a nice story, and definitely well-written, but in the end it didn't hook me -- I think because (as someone else said way back in the thread) it's a slice-of-life kind of story, and those rarely get me as much as the ones where the protagonists are trying to accomplish something.  Also, the understated nature of the fantasy element (the ghosts treated as mostly mundane, and never really being a turning-point in the plot) is another thing that isn't as much to my taste.  One of those things on its own can be fine, but both together results in a story that, while good, isn't all that compelling to me.

But that's all personal-mileage stuff.  The one more solid quibble I'd make has to do with the reading: in places it seemed like there was a scene break, but the narration went from one bit to the next as if it were a paragraph break, leaving me briefly confused as to how the characters had gotten from Point A to Point B, or when Tio Gilberto had shown up, or whatever.  It's possible the original text just flows those things together, and there was no scene break after all, but it tripped me up here and there.



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Reply #68 on: February 24, 2010, 05:33:48 PM
I found this to be a beautiful story, not so much for the relationship between James and Kasper, but between him and Tio Gilberto. While James and Kasper's relationship is based off of sexual attraction, you can tell he's searching for intamacy, which is displayed not only between Gilberto and the Ghosts, but between him and James. I loved the element of not just his tio watching out for James, but the ghosts as well, even though James couldn't see them. The scene where James performs his comedic act for them was beautiful and sad...James searching for that one frowning face and not being able to see it. That is haunting indeed.

I think I like this story far better than The Petrified Girl. Whereas the latter seemed to me more hollow and selfish, I could feel genuine love coming from the characters. And the ending was so gentle...so caring...I can honestly say this is my favorite gay story on Podcastle.

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Reply #69 on: February 28, 2010, 09:21:45 AM
hi, i don't normally bother to post as you guys have always already said it more eloquently. however i have to comment on this.
this is a contrived moralising story about the fact that gay guys should wear condoms; all the lecturing about using them, not using it once, getting unwell. the concept was thrust down your throat in a very unsubtle way.
as for fantasy, i didn't see any. apart from setting a scene where we accept a houseful of ghosts, they play no significan practical or allegorical part in the story. yes, casper was spooked by the idea, but it was only ever a casual relationship for him. it wasn't the ghosts that caused them to split up, they'dve done that soon enough anyway.



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Reply #70 on: March 01, 2010, 05:09:07 PM
Welcome to the forum, merryoldsoul.

If you're curious about the fantasy element, you may want to read the discussion no page 1 and page 2. You can also find the author's reasons for writing the story on page two. Also, make sure you check out the rule during your stay. The phrasing of your post above comes off as borderline to me.