Drabblecast 162 - Birdwatcher

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Etaan
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Re: Drabblecast 162- Birdwatcher by Garth Upshaw

Post by Etaan » Wed May 12, 2010 11:54 pm

I have to say that the story really snuck up on me. I was halfway into Norm's comments afterward when the parallels finally sunk in. The way the aliens gave just a taste of perfect happiness and then left the decision whether to dive back into the fantasy or continue on with their petty lives up to them was even crueler than poisoned mirror shards. We humans should know better but, just like the crows, we just can't help ourselves.

What I find interesting is the absence of of any explained motive for the aliens. The narrator doesn't come across as an inherently vicious person. He's just a kid with abandonment issue who has found a battle that gives him some sense of control over his life - an unfair fight that still has an element of gamesmanship. What about the aliens? Are they evil invaders, eco-crusaders rescuing the planet or just a society that's lost its direction and looking for a diversion that gives it purpose?
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Re: Drabblecast 162- Birdwatcher by Garth Upshaw

Post by normsherman » Thu May 13, 2010 12:36 am

killer comment Etaan.

I thought that neglect of the alien motive was interesting and cool too. Hell, we aren't even sure they are aliens...
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Re: Drabblecast 162- Birdwatcher by Garth Upshaw

Post by ROU Killing Time » Thu May 13, 2010 1:33 am

tbaker2500 wrote:What a creepy thread...
Well it was a creepy story, so that's apropos, eh?
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Re: Drabblecast 162- Birdwatcher by Garth Upshaw

Post by ROU Killing Time » Thu May 13, 2010 1:35 am

normsherman wrote:killer comment Etaan.

I thought that neglect of the alien motive was interesting and cool too. Hell, we aren't even sure they are aliens...
Yes, that ambiguity is a perfect example of how less can be so much more.
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Re: Drabblecast 162- Birdwatcher by Garth Upshaw

Post by strawman » Thu May 13, 2010 3:23 am

Everyone seems to assume that the egg kills. What if is just moves you to an alternate reality?
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Re: Drabblecast 162- Birdwatcher by Garth Upshaw

Post by tbaker2500 » Thu May 13, 2010 3:56 am

strawman wrote:Everyone seems to assume that the egg kills. What if is just moves you to an alternate reality?
Oh I don't think the egg kills. But it does take you someplace else- leaving the earth clear and ready for it's new occupants.
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Re: Drabblecast 162- Birdwatcher by Garth Upshaw

Post by Scattercat » Fri May 14, 2010 6:13 am

I keep trying to decide if I liked the fact that the main character is an unlikeable asshole. On the one hand, it's an amusing comment on the world that he's the only one who survives. On the other hand, I just had to sit through an entire story with this guy's pimply butt staring me in the face the whole time.

Maybe the crows will eat him. I'll have to hope for that.

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Re: Drabblecast 162- Birdwatcher by Garth Upshaw

Post by normsherman » Fri May 14, 2010 6:21 am

Scattercat wrote:I keep trying to decide if I liked the fact that the main character is an unlikeable asshole. On the one hand, it's an amusing comment on the world that he's the only one who survives. On the other hand, I just had to sit through an entire story with this guy's pimply butt staring me in the face the whole time.

Maybe the crows will eat him. I'll have to hope for that.
Really? Personally, I thought there was a certain charm to his snot-rocket blowing. :wink:
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Re: Drabblecast 162- Birdwatcher by Garth Upshaw

Post by strawman » Fri May 14, 2010 12:14 pm

My interp: He's just the only one who decided to stay. The others decided they would be happier someplace else. But that's not an option for him, because wherever he goes, he'll be there.

If your circumstances are your problem, lucky you. The egg is like a remote control, and you can jump from HGTV to Comedy Central. But when you are the problem, every channel is community scroll.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

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Re: Drabblecast 162- Birdwatcher by Garth Upshaw

Post by Etaan » Tue May 18, 2010 9:11 pm

strawman wrote:My interp: He's just the only one who decided to stay. The others decided they would be happier someplace else. But that's not an option for him, because wherever he goes, he'll be there.
I have a hard time believing that he's the only person who decided to stay. The allure of the gilded cage might be strong, but I didn't see anything about the main character that made him uniquely immune. I think that the takeaway is that he is one of the few who, each for their own reasons, declined the fantasy. Honestly, I'm not at all confident that I would be able to do the same.
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Re: Drabblecast 162- Birdwatcher by Garth Upshaw

Post by tbaker2500 » Tue May 18, 2010 10:25 pm

I think it's most likely that he's the only one in the story line who stayed.
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Re: Drabblecast 162- Birdwatcher by Garth Upshaw

Post by moonowl » Wed May 19, 2010 9:54 pm

strawman wrote:My interp: He's just the only one who decided to stay. The others decided they would be happier someplace else. But that's not an option for him, because wherever he goes, he'll be there.
I love it. Strawman for President.
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Re: Drabblecast 162- Birdwatcher by Garth Upshaw

Post by strawman » Wed May 19, 2010 10:05 pm

moonowl wrote: I love it. Strawman for President.
That wouldn't work. How can Strawman be cynical about himself?
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

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Re: Drabblecast 162- Birdwatcher by Garth Upshaw

Post by delfedd » Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:43 pm

I gotta say, I really didn't like the main story. I couldn't deal with the main character, and when he snorted snot out of his nose I had to stop.

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Re: Drabblecast 162- Birdwatcher by Garth Upshaw

Post by strawman » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:12 pm

You want to like the psychopath?
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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Re: Drabblecast 162- Birdwatcher by Garth Upshaw

Post by Goldenrat » Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:06 am

tbaker2500 wrote:
strawman wrote:Everyone seems to assume that the egg kills. What if is just moves you to an alternate reality?
Oh I don't think the egg kills. But it does take you someplace else- leaving the earth clear and ready for it's new occupants.
Yeah, like in Simak's novel "City".

Loved this one. Creepy and bizarre with a cool sci-fi vibe. Perfect drabblecast fare.
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Re: Drabblecast 162- Birdwatcher by Garth Upshaw

Post by Unblinking » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:56 pm

Etaan wrote:I have to say that the story really snuck up on me. I was halfway into Norm's comments afterward when the parallels finally sunk in. The way the aliens gave just a taste of perfect happiness and then left the decision whether to dive back into the fantasy or continue on with their petty lives up to them was even crueler than poisoned mirror shards. We humans should know better but, just like the crows, we just can't help ourselves.

What I find interesting is the absence of of any explained motive for the aliens. The narrator doesn't come across as an inherently vicious person. He's just a kid with abandonment issue who has found a battle that gives him some sense of control over his life - an unfair fight that still has an element of gamesmanship. What about the aliens? Are they evil invaders, eco-crusaders rescuing the planet or just a society that's lost its direction and looking for a diversion that gives it purpose?
Etaan already said what I wanted to say very well. I thought the crow-battle was an interesting one, but the story didn't feel all that cohesive, and I wasn't sure I liked it. Until afterward with Norm's comments, then I finally made the belated connection and I really enjoyed the story in retrospect. The motivelessness of the aliens was a good choice on the part of the author. Well done!

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