Drabblecast 195 - A Matter of Size

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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by Mikes » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:01 pm

Unblinking wrote:Was that really Offspring's "Keep Them Separated" in Rat Pack style playing in the background?
Yep, that's Richard Cheese. He's awesome, we had his cover of Ice Ice Baby and Baby Got Back at our wedding. It just seemed fitting. Somehow. Not sure about the other song, though.
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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by themorg » Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:34 am

tbaker2500 wrote:
Mikes wrote:
tbaker2500 wrote:Also- what the hell is crush porn?
Warning: I wouldn't read it if you're an animal lover. I'm being serious.
I thought it was just made up for this story. Ay yi yi...
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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by tbaker2500 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:56 am

Okay... Had to look that one up.
Yea, probably right.
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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by pollysquag » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:52 pm

I kept expecting it to turn out that the trauma that ManChild went through was going to be something ridiculous, like a noogie or a swirly, but then it turned out to be rape. Very unexpected.

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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:35 am

I went through distinct stages of reaction to this story. My first reaction was meh: The plot was extremely simple, and none of the characters' motivations really made a whole lot of sense. Then I realized that this is the only time outside church I've seen porn depicted as unambiguously bad, and I thought that was kind of nice.

But now (especially after reading the above comments) I just think it's icky. The whole story revolves around sadistic porn, which is a really icky topic, and it revolves around it for no particular reason. (Not to mention the regular porn thrown in on the side.) The story would have worked just as well if porn had not been present at all, and the plot certainly did not require Manchild to be molested on camera.

I guess I think that if you're going to go those places, you ought to have a good reason for going there, and this story didn't. It went there just because. And I think that's pretty uncool.
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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by tbaker2500 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:48 am

Mr. Tweedy wrote:But now (especially after reading the above comments) I just think it's icky. The whole story revolves around sadistic porn, which is a really icky topic, and it revolves around it for no particular reason. (Not to mention the regular porn thrown in on the side.) The story would have worked just as well if porn had not been present at all, and the plot certainly did not require Manchild to be molested on camera.
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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by Mikes » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:53 am

Mr. Tweedy wrote:The story would have worked just as well if porn had not been present at all, and the plot certainly did not require Manchild to be molested on camera.
I actually disagree on this point. I think the story could have worked if the molestation had been replaced by another motivator, but not as well as it did otherwise.

I was end the edge of my proverbial seat when manchild arrived at his wife's place. Being raped is possibly the most invasive, hurtful thing that can happen to a person. And while I have no experience and little knowledge of the subject, I could imagine it happening to man is, well, maybe not 'worse' than it happening to a women, but different. It emasculate a man, and that happening to a superhero, someone who is masculinity (the child part notwithstanding) personified), I wanted to see how he would react when he came face to face with his wife.
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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by tbaker2500 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:59 am

Mikes wrote:I was end the edge of my proverbial seat when manchild arrived at his wife's place. Being raped is possibly the most invasive, hurtful thing that can happen to a person. And while I have no experience and little knowledge of the subject, I could imagine it happening to man is, well, maybe not 'worse' than it happening to a women, but different. It emasculate a man, and that happening to a superhero, someone who is masculinity (the child part notwithstanding) personified), I wanted to see how he would react when he came face to face with his wife.
I hear you Mikes, but we obviously got involved in the story differently. I found nothing else in the story, subject matter or writing style, to support the horror of the subject matter. It felt entirely out of place to me, and therefore poorly chosen. However, I can see someone (yourself or others) who found the story captivating, feeling like the horror was well placed.
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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by Mikes » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:22 am

tbaker2500 wrote:I hear you Mikes, but we obviously got involved in the story differently.
Understood. Different strokes for different folks, and all that. I know I find it hard to listen to anything where a child is harmed, in fact there was a pseudopod episode last year where I turned off before the end, but yeah, different people take it different ways.
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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by blueeyeddevil » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:08 pm

Yargh, first time navigating the board, just lost my initial post in a bit of 'oh wait, that's not where I wanted to go, I'll just backarrow'
So, once again:

This story belongs to what I have labeled, in my own head, the small and fascinating sub-style of
"Serious Parody", wherein the world is a cartoonish one, yet the actual content of the story is very somber indeed.
I find that this style tends to conceal the actual gravity of the story at first, then slingshot the seriousness of it all right into the reader's mind. It's like getting beaten with a sand-filled Hello Kitty plushie. You laugh the first time, then wince, then realize with a shock what's actually happening.

I wish more stories could pull of the balance necessary to do something like this.

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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by tbaker2500 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:01 pm

Good analysis. Welcome to the forums!
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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by Mikes » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:51 pm

blueeyeddevil wrote:"Serious Parody", wherein the world is a cartoonish one, yet the actual content of the story is very somber indeed.
Good point. I would put 'Teddy Bears and tea Parties' into this category aswell.
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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by blueeyeddevil » Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:11 am

Mikes wrote:
blueeyeddevil wrote:"Serious Parody", wherein the world is a cartoonish one, yet the actual content of the story is very somber indeed.
Good point. I would put 'Teddy Bears and tea Parties' into this category aswell.
'Rangifer Volans' had a touch of it too, though the twist was a bit too out-of-the-blue to give the full effect, I feel.

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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by bell » Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:21 am

I was trying to explain to someone whose English was excellent but not the first language the difference between 'Cheesy' and 'Tacky'. Star Trek has cheesy special effects. Chaikovsky's music is cheesy. This is a cheesy story. Trouble is, I don't really have a good example of tacky.

Oh yes I do! The GI Joe movie!
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What would have been written.
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If they hadn't died first.

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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by nevermore_66 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:25 pm

blueeyeddevil wrote:I find that this style tends to conceal the actual gravity of the story at first, then slingshot the seriousness of it all right into the reader's mind. It's like getting beaten with a sand-filled Hello Kitty plushie. You laugh the first time, then wince, then realize with a shock what's actually happening.
Perfect metaphor. That was my reaction to the story. The seeming goofiness of the subject matter (wee heroes) serves the delivery of the darker matter. I didn't feel that said dark themes were gratuitous or pointless or needed any special validation to be used. The story, to me, is point enough and it served the story and the characters and this little window into an odd reality. We get a window to this weird place, look at a character who had a very bad thing happen to him, and the damage the character caries and how he deals with it are consistent and human and I think there are innumerable tiny reasons (not so easily defined) to go looking there. I've sat through live readings of horror stories that were grotesque porn (without even a story for the icky things to fall into) and this was not one of those stories. And I find many stories that too purposefully brandish their validation or point for using such dark themes come across as a bit artificial (and self-serving) to me, as a general thing.

I also found the action scenes quite good. The author did a fine job of making the power to shrink into a kid seem useful in a fight. Having the gritty avenger rampaging through town, with that particular power made for some unique images. Nicely done.
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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by moonowl » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:36 pm

nevermore_66 wrote:
blueeyeddevil wrote:The story, to me, is point enough and it served the story and the characters and this little window into an odd reality. We get a window to this weird place, look at a character who had a very bad thing happen to him, and the damage the character caries and how he deals with it are consistent and human and I think there are innumerable tiny reasons (not so easily defined) to go looking there. I've sat through live readings of horror stories that were grotesque porn (without even a story for the icky things to fall into) and this was not one of those stories.
I agree. The general superhero line is that something traumatic must have happened to him/her. I don't find this gratuitous at all. In fact, the author I think dealt with the subject in a veiled manner. You knew what happened, but you didn't get too much detail. Certainly not enough to consider it porn. If it was gratuitous, I would have expected a lot more then glossing over the details.

As a female I've had to read through a lot of fiction where heroines of all ages get raped. One of the most revered authors of fantasy writes true horror porn (R.R. Martin) which I think is really grotesque and gratuitous, yet I hardly see objection when his novels are brought up. I think it's interesting that you make the character an underage boy instead of a girl, and even the suggestion of violation turns so many heads. Just something to consider.
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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:08 pm

moonowl wrote:As a female I've had to read through a lot of fiction where heroines of all ages get raped. One of the most revered authors of fantasy writes true horror porn (R.R. Martin) which I think is really grotesque and gratuitous, yet I hardly see objection when his novels are brought up.
I object.
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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by tbaker2500 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:39 pm

Hee hee..
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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by alhilton » Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:35 am

I can't believe that no one on this thread has mentioned that this story is a miniature (hahah) spoof on Watchmen! The narrative voice and attitude have got Rorschach written all over them, and the plot is the same. If you realized that, then you knew who the villain was (at least the super hero villain) as soon as he was introduced. At the end of Watchmen, Rorschach
Spoiler:
dies, rather than make an adult choice - a choice between two imperfect ideals. At the end of the story, the narrator also refuses to make adult choices, and suffers a kind of death. That was brilliant.
Knowing we were in Watchmen territory, I expected dark underlying sexual themes. I was less interested in where the story was going than in how it was playing with its source material, which was, itself, a profound commentary on the whole super hero genre.

Without the context of its source material, I think this story would have seemed kind of silly. It was not silly. It was ambitious and clever. If you haven't seen Watchmen, it is worth a viewing. You don't need to read the comic. The movie was well-done. Add it to your Netflix cue.
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Re: Drabblecast 195- A Matter of Size by Robert Jeschonek

Post by moonowl » Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:20 am

alhilton wrote:I can't believe that no one on this thread has mentioned that this story is a miniature (hahah) spoof on Watchmen!
:headesk: Man I missed that totally! Great catch Abbie!
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