Drabblecast 169 - The Reenactment

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Drabblecast 169 - The Reenactment

Post by normsherman » Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:58 am

Drabble- Grandpa by Rish Outfield

The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

For fourteen years the North Piscataway High School History Department, under my stewardship, has honored the tradition of Duel Day, our annual reenactment of the famous, deadly confrontation of 1804, between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. And for all fourteen of those reenactments, I, Robert Stanley, have taken the role of noble Hamilton, and Paul Vasouvian from the math department has filled the boots of the scurrilous Burr...

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Re: Drabblecast 169- The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

Post by strawman » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:08 pm

Milestone.

A story written expressly for Drabblecast. And Winters does it in such a way that it makes me interested in PP&Z. Win all around.
Robert Stanley is such a well-drawn character. I didn't realize that every school must have one of those I-don't-make-the-rules douchebags, but that connection was genius. By the time the guy shows up from Craigslist, we're already rooting for a comeuppance. Go, Burr!
Then Norm, seemingly determined to match Winters' generosity, gives a reading worthy of Jack Nicholson, with perfectly matched music. Episode 169 goes into my top ten list, and nominee for People's Choice 2010.

Risch's drabble was also very entertaining. The point cannot be made often enough that children should get to know those boring old people before they pass on. But keep in mind that if you stay too long they get cranky, and the red comes out.

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Re: Drabblecast 169- The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

Post by jannypie » Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:51 pm

I agree with everything strawman says! I just have to share that the whole time I was thinking about my cousins who are from Boston (Gloucester straight up, they once invited us on "ah pahty boat") and they met during Civil War reenactments... but they fight for the South. Now they live in Tennessee and are on Facebook. Their profiles say that they live in the Confederate States of America. They take quizzes like 'What Confederate General Are You? You are General Robert E. Lee' and 'Are YOU a Southern Bell or a Redneck Princess? You are a Dixie Sweetheart' and are always inviting me to become fans of 'Stonewall Jackson's house'. They would make real life BFFs with the main character in this story!
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Re: Drabblecast 169- The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

Post by Kevin Anderson » Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:02 pm

Winters really knocked one out of the park with this. Enjoyed it from beginning to end. Also reminded me how I loathed some of my middle grade and high school teachers. Rish’s drabble was the best I’ve heard in a long time, and Norm’s scam spam had me at Beaker.

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Re: Drabblecast 169- The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

Post by dreamrock » Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:48 pm

Mm, juicy. I don't have a lot to add to what has already been said, alas.

This episode has me more convinced than I was previously that PPZ and other works on this imprint could quite possibly be awesome. Android Karenina is one I'd definitely want to read, but I'm a stickler for reading the originals first and haven't finished any Tolstoy novels. When my Nook comes, PPZ or SSaSM may be my first purchase. We'll see. :lol: The next Quirk Book should (after Night of the Trekkies, of course) be Oliver Twist and Dinosaurs or some other awesomely abridged and enhanced Dickens. I promise not to feel any obligation to finish reading the original before reading the enhanced version. ;)

I suggest next time two or more DC Forumites are gathered together, a public re-enactment of something silly should occur. Example: the seven hundred sixty-seventh annoying customer dealt with by Julio Martinez.
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Re: Drabblecast 169- The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

Post by Talia » Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:54 pm

dreamrock wrote: Example: the seven hundred sixty-seventh annoying customer dealt with by Julio Martinez.
I can't possibly imagine that has a happy ending. For the customer.

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Re: Drabblecast 169- The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

Post by bumdhar » Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:02 pm

This was a one big bag of dynamite! I loved the characters. The reading was excellent. When Mr. Stanley was lying there on the ground, I thought “Sic Temper Tyrannis!” and I don’t quote Latin often. Still I felt sympathy towards him. All he was trying to do was teach them whippersnappers. He had passion about his subject, and that’s commendable. He didn’t make the rules, he was right about that.

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Re: Drabblecast 169- The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

Post by dreamrock » Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:29 pm

Talia wrote:
dreamrock wrote: Example: the seven hundred sixty-seventh annoying customer dealt with by Julio Martinez.
I can't possibly imagine that has a happy ending. For the customer.
I dunno. If it was J.E. Ignatius McNeill's seven hundred sixty-seventh annoying customer, the ending would be "customer gets his or her way again." :lol:
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Re: Drabblecast 169- The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

Post by Phenopath » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:19 pm

Excellent story, excellent reading. I got excited about this seeing Bo's cover art as the file copied onto by MP3 player. This story has a compelling, squirmingly awful, protagonist, some chucklesome lines delivered with obvious glee (e.g. "oh, that makes more sense"), and a finale in which our hero's ego leads him to his doom.

This episode raises the bar yet again. How are you going to top that Norm?
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Re: Drabblecast 169- The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

Post by strawman » Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:08 pm

dreamrock wrote:If it was J.E. Ignatius McNeill's seven hundred sixty-seventh annoying customer, the ending would be "customer gets his or her way again." :lol:
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Re: Drabblecast 169- The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

Post by tbaker2500 » Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:33 pm

Excellent episode!

Favorite quotes:
"How have you been?" and
"That makes more sense."
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Re: Drabblecast 169- The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

Post by bell » Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:35 am

Kickass reading! And a great story. One of the best, ever. I'll forgive it for being predictable since it was just so much fun getting there -- like going to Bronx Zoo with a cryptozoologist.
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Re: Drabblecast 169- The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

Post by Polecat » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:00 pm

Some Things, it seems, will never change - Bullying teachers and the fantasies of downtrodden schoolchildren (Mr. Winters must have got his idea from somewhere) - an excellent story, well-written and superbly narrated. I particularly liked that as Mr Stanley lay wounded and possibly dying, his sense of self-importance leads him into a ridiculous fantasy, and even when Timothy Cregg reveals his identity, Stanley doesn´t abandon his role as teacher. Possibly, if he had shown what I regard as normal humanity and begged for his life, Tim would have killed him anyway, but clinging to his ignoble role ("I don´t make the rules", the typical defense of a petty officer in a tyrannical state), came to an ignoble end. I am reminded of King Lear: "The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices. Make instruments to plague us"

Respectfully,

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Re: Drabblecast 169- The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

Post by moonowl » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:33 am

Everyone covered it- this story was awesome. Especially the ending.
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Re: Drabblecast 169- The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

Post by Travelin Corpse Feet » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:58 pm

I'm going to go against the grain here and say that this one was just...bad. I'm not taking issue with the Drabblecast's part in it. The pacing was off and the main character was unlikable and uninteresting.

But the most unforgivable thing was that the prose was really weak. Particularly the last line. "And then nothing"? Really? Were we really just told in a first person perspective that "nothing" happened, immediately after our narrator had been murdered? Sheesh.
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Re: Drabblecast 169- The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

Post by tbaker2500 » Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:50 am

Thanks for filling in for Mr. Tweedy, Corpse Feet.

I still hold that it one of the best episodes in recent memory.
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Re: Drabblecast 169- The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

Post by ZuSquared » Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:16 am

I liked it well enough, but I guess, being English and all, I'm a bit numb to that kind of painfully uptight, obsessive pedant style character.

However, I thought the reading was superb, and that the story was very entertaining.

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Re: Drabblecast 169- The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

Post by Talia » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:43 am

Travelin Corpse Feet wrote: But the most unforgivable thing was that the prose was really weak. Particularly the last line. "And then nothing"? Really? Were we really just told in a first person perspective that "nothing" happened, immediately after our narrator had been murdered? Sheesh.
That's a pretty commonly used technique for suggesting unconciousness or death, actually. I don't see any problem with it myself - musta read similar passages hundreds of times.

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Re: Drabblecast 169- The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

Post by Travelin Corpse Feet » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:22 pm

Talia wrote:
Travelin Corpse Feet wrote: But the most unforgivable thing was that the prose was really weak. Particularly the last line. "And then nothing"? Really? Were we really just told in a first person perspective that "nothing" happened, immediately after our narrator had been murdered? Sheesh.
That's a pretty commonly used technique for suggesting unconciousness or death, actually. I don't see any problem with it myself - musta read similar passages hundreds of times.
My problem with this is that it's told in first person, and after the gunshot our narrator is dead. If said narrator really sensed "nothing" (because that last gunshot killed him) he would be incapable of telling us that. It's a laughably bad line.
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Re: Drabblecast 169- The Reenactment by Ben H. Winters

Post by Talia » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:21 pm

I hear what you're saying. Doesn't bother me in particular though, to each their own.

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