Drabblecast 064 - Thus Spake Bleerbo

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Mr. Tweedy
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Drabblecast 064 - Thus Spake Bleerbo

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Wed May 14, 2008 7:56 pm

Once, when Bleerbo was quite young and not so wise, a few incautious words from his mouth had caused a minor disaster on V'Ly. In order not to cause Bleerbo Gumblum undue embarrassment, we will not go into details either about his words or about the disaster that ensued. Immediately after the disaster, thought, Bleerbo Gumblum, grim decision writ large on his face, said "Oh bloody hell!"

Drabble - "Hard Rain" by Kim Bradford

Bbardle - "Sci-fi High" for Norma Silverstrim

RG
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Post by RG » Wed May 14, 2008 9:26 pm

I like the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy vibe, but that style of sci-fi is so associated with Douglas Adams that I think writing in that sub genre always makes a story come off as a pale imitator. I still enjoyed it, though.

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Post by AynSavoy » Thu May 15, 2008 2:12 am

I really enjoyed this story until Bleerbo encounters Earth.

My roommate and I listened to this story while making dinner, and we chuckled together at writing science fiction as a peace-making device and pondered the idea of a planet the consumes and excretes sound.

But then it just got too preachy for me.

I'm a huge proponent of the idea that much, if not most, really good sci-fi actually says something about humans and life on earth, even if it's talking about aliens and foreign planets. But there was no subtlety here, and I sort of balk at the notion that the way humans live and treat each other is the worst treatment of beings by other beings that you'll find anywhere in the universe. Racism only exists on earth? Humans always assume we are so special, either positively or negatively.

So, good ideas throughout, but the ending was a little preachy for my tastes.

I didn't think of Douglas Adams when I listened, but I totally see it now--especially the guy's name and "oh bloody hell."
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Post by AynSavoy » Thu May 15, 2008 3:03 am

Oh, and I liked the drabble, and the bbardle was tight, dawg.


<is embarrassed now>
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Post by Goldenrat » Thu May 15, 2008 2:33 pm

I thought the story was just OK. I liked it more when Bleerbo showed up at earth and pointed out how the crazy state of the planet.

The Bardle was the bomb. I chuckled repeatedly while rolling to work sippin' on gin n' juice while having my mind on my money and my money on my mind. Laid back. Hip hop hooray! Excellent stuff.

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Post by HokieGeek » Thu May 15, 2008 3:30 pm

The story was ... nice. like AynSavoy said, it got too preachy and lacked subtlety. The real gem of this episode is the Bbardle. It was great! I've been passing around the link to it around the office and it's getting rave reviews :)

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Post by Kevin Anderson » Thu May 15, 2008 4:30 pm

Wow, can M.C. Sherm bust out the rhymes or what? I have almost zero appreciation for rap but for some reason that is my favorite Bbartle.

And I’m a little distressed at Norm’s opening comment about how the tune would contain more references than the average geek could handle, because there wasn’t a reference I didn’t get. Does that mean my wife is right, when she calls me an Über-Geek? Damn. Thought I was one of the cool kids.
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Post by Mr. Tweedy » Thu May 15, 2008 5:26 pm

Yeah, I got pretty much all of those references too. Except trifids. I had to look that up in Wikipedia.

I think that was my favorite bbardle too. I'm actually surprised by how good it was, even considering previous Norm songs. Don't sell your banjo, but that was definitely far from the worst rap I've heard, and the mockery of hip-hop's more mock-able conventions came through nicely. (Ya'll ready for this next sentence, G? Word up!) I've started a small email campaign to spread it's bbardely goodness over the internet, but I don't really know that many geeky people. :(

Like Ayn and RG, I really liked the story up until the point where Bleerbo discovers Earth. The sudden switch from whimsical optimism to harsh cynicism was not funny and left a sour taste at the end of what was otherwise a very... uh... tasty treat.

I especially liked the bit about Bleerbo helping the four isolated creatures. That was really kind of beautiful.
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Post by sevenfooter1 » Thu May 15, 2008 6:05 pm

I agree with everyone else, the bardle did rock. In fact, why are we wasting time with "No Child Left Behind," when a kick-ass school like this could exist.

The story was great up until he mentioned Earth. I could have gone on listening to how this alien being helped other species all day, but I knew that he was eventually going to speak and most likely it was going to be something stupid, and I was right! Bringing Earth into the story and telling about how bad our planet is made the story's ending depressing.
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Post by Kevin Anderson » Thu May 15, 2008 6:16 pm

Mr. Tweedy wrote:Yeah, I got pretty much all of those references too. Except trifids. I had to look that up in Wikipedia.
I swear to Buddha, just two days ago I was in a discussion with my dad about which film version of Day of the Trifids was more true to the novel.

So geekyness can and probably is hereditary.
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Post by adam » Thu May 15, 2008 8:59 pm

like most here, i mirror aynsavoy's comment. i picked up on the thick fo-douglas-adamsyness of it from the start which put a bad taste in my mouth, but then it got extremely creative with the particular adventures of bleerbo- i mean there were some really fantastic ideas in there; and i began to really love it. and also the fact that it's pretty much a sci-fi fairytale, which seems unique. anyone else get that vibe? i mean it's a fairytale in every sense- the pace, narration, whimsical semi-adolecent perspective. up until the end at least, which replaced the fairytale vibe with a soapbox. the ending didn't ruin the story for me per-se, cause i still really liked it as a whole, it was just disappointing cause there were so many really great resolutions it could have had that would have fit better. a happy ending would have maintained it as a feel-goody piece, and a ridiculous one would have maintained it as a humorous one, but it pulls this whole new context on the listener out of left field.
my only other complaint was an odd overuse of the word "takionic."

the drabble was fun.

the bbardle was fantastic, and is going to become viral with a little help- see http://drabblecast.freeforums.org/sci-fi-high-t126.html for more.

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Post by Kevin Anderson » Fri May 16, 2008 12:40 am

I thought this weeks drabble was pretty good. And based on some other thread conversations on sound effects - I was expecting the ultimate SPLAT sound effect - but was denied.
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Post by ahmedakhan » Fri May 16, 2008 1:08 am

First, I would like to thank Norm for a wonderful presentation of my story.

Next, I would like to thank all who commented on the story. I fully understand what some of you have said about the ending. When I created this story, the end actually came first and the rest of the story sprang from it. I agree that the end is not pleasant. Because some of things in the world I live in are not pleasant. And may be if I stare hard and unflinchingly at the unpleasant, I may be able to scare it into changing its spots.

I can dream, can't I?

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Post by bolddeceiver » Fri May 16, 2008 3:16 am

Wow, that was about as subtle as a sack of hammers.

And what more, the previous encounters clearly showed that the rest of the universe did have plenty of warlike tendancies and such, and yet somehow he sees them on Earth and acts like he's never seen war before?

The SF trope of "aliens see earth, and tut tut about how naughty we all are" is overdone, and worse, doesn't really get us anywhere. We all recognize that, yeah, human beings frequently behave rottenly towards each other and towards our surroundings. We don't need aliens (or God/gods, who I think these sorts of sanctimonious alien characters are direct stand-ins for) to tell us that.

That's not some big revelation. A much more interesting (and productive) question is, what can be done about it?
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I swear to Buddha, just two days ago I was in a discussion with my dad about which film version of Day of the Trifids was more true to the novel.

So geekyness can and probably is hereditary.
I have to admit, I haven't had the chance to watch any of the adaptations, but from what I hear the BBC miniseries is pretty faithful...
...the pagoda-like enclosure, where Japanese sand-badgers disported themselves...

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Post by tbaker2500 » Fri May 16, 2008 4:07 am

Hm. I thought the story was quite fun. I highly related to the sentiment "Oh, bloody hell!". I didn't think there was anything preachy about it, but it was instead sympathetic as to how hard it seems to us to solve these world problems, even if you have a cool spaceship.
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Post by Krista » Fri May 16, 2008 4:21 am

I agree with other people about the ending, it made it pretty depressing and I wasn't expecting it at all.. I guess because it took it out of this fantasy story into real world issues.

but.. I was curious.. if the worm never knew what it was like to be with another worm could it long for it? maybe the worm could be lonely but not feel lonely. (I liked that part of the story for the imagery and making me wonder about a worm's lonely-ness.. maybe you guys can tell me if I'm wondering too much.)

The bardle was amazing.. which was a good because otherwise the podcast would have ended on a pretty sour note.

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Post by cammoblammo » Fri May 16, 2008 11:53 am

I've got to agree with the comments so far about the story being good until Beerbo came to Earth. But I hear ahmedakhan's comment too. Unfortunately, we were left with two interesting premises that could have been treated separately. Certainly, the first part of the story was, to my mind, one of the strangest things I've heard on the Drabblecast.

I didn't mind the lack of subtlety in the second part of the story. In fact, it almost seemed clichéd, but that, for me, added to it's charm.

I didn't pick up on the Douglas Adams vibe, though. Here in Australia 'Oh bloody hell' is a phrase you will normally hear twice in any ten minute conversation, so it rang few bells at all.

The Drabble was one of the best I've heard, and it made me laugh out loud. I'm still humming the Bbardle too. Looking forward to next week!

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Post by Chivalrybean » Fri May 16, 2008 5:43 pm

As soon as he came to Earth, I laughed heartilly thingking that he was going to say "Oh bloody hell!" after examining Earth. The story did lose its lighthearted feel as soon as the actual idiocy of some of the things the Earthlings do, and as Earthlings, I think it could have gone without saying, and ended more like "He looked at Earth, saw what was happening, and said Oh bloody hell! and left" without the details.

It was good though.

The Bardle was the bomb. I must be a total geek... I got all but one thing.

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Post by AliceNread » Fri May 16, 2008 11:38 pm

HEY! that pic is of Spaceshipone. I was there when it took off. I even have the T-shirt.


I thought Norm did a great reading.

The story was fine. I felt the story was a little predictable and preachy but enjoyable. Had it been only something I read, I may not have read it all the way but because someone read it to me, it fine.

I can see why others enjoyed it.

For me, it was good, but not a story that would stick with me for a long time.

The Bardal was good. My son loved it more than I did. I missed the zombies.

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Post by AynSavoy » Mon May 19, 2008 8:39 pm

adam wrote: my only other complaint was an odd overuse of the word "takionic."
I believe you mean "tachyonic." :P

I want to point out that I don't have an issue, off the bat, with stories that are "depressing" or that want to make a point about something wrong in the world. But there are better ways to make such points than by making the reader feel like she's being lectured at. We all hear you, ahmedakhan, but like bolddeceiver said, Bleerbo sees plenty of terrible things in his previous travels. What makes these things we already know about Earth so much worse?
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