Drabblecast 071 - Perfect Down Further

Discuss episodes and stories from the Drabblecast Main Feed and from Drabbleclassics
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tbaker2500
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Post by tbaker2500 » Sat Jul 05, 2008 5:31 pm

MKraft wrote:tbaker – I’d like to hear why you think the main character was hostile, as I pictured him just incredulous or impatient.
This is, of course, simply my humble view of life and death situations.

If the man was in good health, his reactions were warranted.

If _I_ were shipwrecked with little chance of survival, I'd be willing to accept unusual circumstances a little quicker. Heavy sarcasm is not my response to the possibility of my life being saved.

However, if this whole thing is a hallucination, all bets are off.

Therefore, how I read the story, it either makes the main character either:

A. A jerk who bites the hand that feeds him, making me unsympathetic to his situation, or
B. Clearly a hallucination or a dream, which makes the story loose some of it's charm.

Again, simply my humble opinion.

Thanks for the story!
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Post by cammoblammo » Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:25 pm

tbaker2500 wrote:
Therefore, how I read the story, it either makes the main character either:

A. A jerk who bites the hand that feeds him, making me unsympathetic to his situation, or
B. Clearly a hallucination or a dream, which makes the story loose some of it's charm.
My immediate interpretation was somewhere between the two: The guy isn't sure if it is an hallucination or not but he has only seconds to figure it out. If it's real, he doesn't want to miss the lifeline that's been thrown him. If it's illusory, though, he's probably worried about how embarrassed he's going to be in fifteen seconds after he accepts the job offer and winds up before his creator.

I do remember thinking that the story was purposely vague. I love doing that in my own writing. I figure if you can get them arguing about what it means, they mightn't notice how bad the story really is...

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Post by internalogic » Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:44 am


it either makes the main character either:

A. A jerk who bites the hand that feeds him, making me unsympathetic to his situation, or
B. Clearly a hallucination or a dream, which makes the story loose some of it's charm.
Only these choices?

I think this is being a bit too hard on the protagonist. We fans and listeners may be in the habit of easily suspending disbelief in order to enjoy fiction, but there's no reason for us to expect or demand the same of the actual characters in the stories.

My opinion? Any real person who quickly and easily accepts the fact (not to mention the words) of a talking whale after having bumped his head and nearly lost his life in a shipwreck.... probably deserves to be hallucinating!

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tbaker2500
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Post by tbaker2500 » Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:06 am

internalogic wrote:

it either makes the main character either:

A. A jerk who bites the hand that feeds him, making me unsympathetic to his situation, or
B. Clearly a hallucination or a dream, which makes the story loose some of it's charm.
Only these choices?
No, simply that those were the two choices that my mind jumped to. I think I made it clear enough that these were my humble opinions, not fact or reality. Simply enough, these were my reactions, nothing more nothing less.
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Post by normsherman » Sun Jul 06, 2008 6:49 am

I'm with Richmazzer that the vagueness was one of the cooler things about the story. If there are any faults they are when the ambiguity become more clarified and we get a clearer understand like, "oh- he's goin insane" or "oh he's ended up going to the sea kingdom!"

I imagine it is very hard to pull the "Choose Your Own Adventure" thing in fiction- would probably work only in flash fiction because you can string the ambiguity along do far.



Strawman- I took the Drabble to be about the synonym of donkey/ass- although ultimatley any random animal would prob be a funny way to confuse us in first contact. Maybe they were Republican aliens?
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Post by strawman » Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:18 am

I don't get the value of sending so ambiguous a message. Who might guess that aliens would be aware of jackass connotations? If I wanted to pull off something like that, I'd send a picture of the "Bird Constellation".

The Story of Pi maintained its ambiguity throughout 500 pages. It's not difficult, because it's only at the conclusion that other POV's are introduced. Until then, it's Gulliver's Travels.
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Post by Mr. Tweedy » Sun Jul 06, 2008 1:46 pm

I was about to write that I never like stories that are ambiguous, but than I remembered how much I liked the ambiguity in "Pan's Labyrinth," how there's no way we can tell if the magical world was real or not. I think the difference is that "Labyrinth" had a definite and unambiguous ending. The evil stepfather is killed, the girl dies heroically, the rebels prevail and the baby gets saved. Good prevails, but at great cost. I think ambiguity needs a solid point to be satisfying. Like, um, water needs to be in a bottle, yeah, because otherwise it just falls everywhere and seeps into the carpet...

I think the idea in the drabble is that the aliens are trying to prank the humans by transmitting an image of an "ass," because they know that humans think showing one's "ass" is very rude. But they get confused and show the wrong kind of "ass." The end result is that the humans are utterly baffled. They will surely invest vast resources in trying to decipher this mysterious message from the heavens, but they'll never ever get anywhere close to figuring out what it means. Pretty funny.
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Post by strawman » Sun Jul 06, 2008 6:20 pm

Mr. Tweedy wrote:I think the idea in the drabble is that the aliens are trying to prank the humans by transmitting an image of an "ass," because they know that humans think showing one's "ass" is very rude. But they get confused and show the wrong kind of "ass." The end result is that the humans are utterly baffled. They will surely invest vast resources in trying to decipher this mysterious message from the heavens, but they'll never ever get anywhere close to figuring out what it means. Pretty funny.
Obviously takes more than 100 words to reach that point. Reminds me of the great movie "The Gods Must Be Crazy". Here,
The Democrats start a 527 group featuring the donkey picture, claiming the universe had endorsed their candidate. Rush Limbaugh rails against illegal aliens. That would be more fun.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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Post by tastycakes » Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:24 pm

normsherman wrote: I imagine it is very hard to pull the "Choose Your Own Adventure" thing in fiction- would probably work only in flash fiction because you can string the ambiguity along do far.
Whoa. DC should be all over this. Possibly a post-MBDM 100-word weekly serial where the listeners choose the outcomes on the forums? It's a gold concept b/c as soon as it gets old all you have to do is give the "Choose Your Own Adventure Quick-Death Scenario"

He turned the corner only to see a giant squid w/ tentacle blades staring him right in the face. Needless to say, that was the end of Joe Schmoe.

DC could definitely make this work.
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strawman
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Post by strawman » Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:28 pm

First, nice Avatar, 'Cakes.
I'm getting the vibe on your suggestion for menu outcomes. Not that the group would input, cause that would be too slow. Still, Norm doing a story that was about menu outcomes, that got stopped, outcome considered by a rowdy group of weird characters, and selected, then back to the story restarted with that outcome, would really feed my ravenous appetite for infinite mirror scenarios, (such as the girl who reads the newspaper whose front page has a picture of the girl reading the newspaper which has a photo on its cover of... you get the idea.)
Such a story would showcase the multi-dimensional weirdness that is Drabblecast. Remember the Nigerian scam spam episode? That's what I'm talkin' 'bout.
I also think we need more of those brilliant banner ads spread around our community's many websites, linking to drabblecast.org and/or forums.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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normsherman
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Post by normsherman » Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:20 pm

Good ideas- you guys should start a topic in the suggestion forum bout this
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Re: Drabblecast 71- Perfect Down Further by Max Kraft

Post by Unblinking » Mon May 09, 2011 3:26 pm

I like a good ambiguous narrator. In this case, I'm pretty sure he is just hallucinating, as it just seems too implausible that the sea needs a new sea king at the exact moment that he needs rescue. But it can easily be interpreted either way. I did not get the Aquaman references at all, but I'm not a big Aquaman fan.

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Re: Drabblecast 071 - Perfect Down Further

Post by sandrilde » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:01 pm

Story felt a bit amateur... but I suppose it met the weird criterion.

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