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Drabblecast 195 - A Matter of Size

Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:26 pm
by Kevin Anderson
Drabble- Ménage à trois
by Liz Pennies

A Matter of Size
by Robert Jeschonek

"Wow." Tiny Tim shakes his head slowly. Peels off his crimson domino mask and slaps it down on the meeting table. "That makes three of us."
"We're marked men...." Dust Mite's voice trembles. He tugs at the hood of his pale gray body suit. "Every costumed avenger with the power to shrink..."

Image

Music by
Norm Sherman, Gringo Motel, Richard Cheese, Vitamin String Quartet, Jeff Toyne, Mumford & Sons, Phil Cuneff, Helen Long, Flopsy, Steve Cornish
Art by
Aaron Cambridge

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

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:07 am
by Mikes
Kevin Anderson wrote: Music by
....Richard Cheese....
I haven't listened to this ep yet, but my excitement-o-metre just went through the roof.

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

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:42 am
by themorg
i can not believe that
Spoiler:
Child porn
was the Malaprop of the story. Really creped me out more than the last 2 zombie stories. I am surprised there was not a warning at the beginning due to
Spoiler:
Child porn
situation. While i agree that there was no direct illusion to the incident or direct explanatory sentence it went really far down that rabbit hole. (no pun intended) I get it that the character was 38 but the story had strong content that is difficult to explain without the context of the story.

That said i loved that
Spoiler:
Drug induced Child rape porn was used to try and set a marriage back on track.
The story was brilliant and kept funny, light, and interesting. I had no idea until the end who was the real villain and even thought it man-child himself was the bad guy. Also the super hero tropes that were flaunted in such a funny way really kept the story together that may have become very unlikeable otherwise.

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

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:38 pm
by themorg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibWxZcgK5SM" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

this seems as good a place to put this with the all the child superhero training video out there on the market.

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

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:57 pm
by StalinSays
Malaprop - I learned a word today. Thanks themorg.

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

Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:24 am
by normsherman
I just learned that another word for malaprop is 'dogberryism'. Thanks themorg and stalinsays.

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

Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:19 am
by ventricle
fyi, spoilers:

yeah, this story was really freaking intense.

it is totally dark without seeming to take ANYTHING seriously. It throws you into this adult world where everything is effed up sex and violence. The 'super-heros' are ludicrous. the main character's name is "manchild", which is completely ridiculous and totally terrifying. terrifying because it reminds me of people i know. So i had an inkling where the story was going, and when i knew what his power was, i had a pretty good idea.
this story was frightening for two reasons. first, it felt really psychologically accurate. child abuse is underlying in most super-hero stories (don't hate me. what is a more logical fantasy for the small and powerless than imagining that you can magically kick anyone's ass and defeat evil?) and if you have known anyone hurt as a child, which i know you have, that is freighting.

and if the fantasy for the abused child is to be a costumed hero, the fantasy for the surviving adult would be to escape back into a world before all the shit went down.

it seems like this whole super-hero magic realism genre just keeps circling these same ideas. this one is the closest yet.

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

Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:26 pm
by Etaan
Re: spoilers

How many of us read the forum posts before listening to the story? Not asking in an accusatory fashion, I'm just curious.

Also, this one should have had a disclaimer. That was disturbing in so many ways.

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

Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:39 pm
by Polecat
Snuff Crush Porn Videos, Child Abuse... Indeed I think a warning might have been in order.
That said, I did verily enjoy the narrative - the juxtaposition of comic book violence (reminded me of the TV Batman series where huge "ZAP"and "POW" graphics punctuated the action) with the serious matter of refusing to grow up (reminded me of J.M. Barry and Peter Pan) and the mother/lover who takes responsibility for the whole ghastly mess gave me pause for thought. Not very coherent thought, I allow, for the story was inherently silly, and I laughed several times during its recounting. I suspect there may be a serious point buried in there somewhere.

Respectfully

The Polecat

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

Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:56 pm
by normsherman
Definitely thought about putting a warning up-- not for the snuff crush porn, which was handled in a silly enough way, but for the child abuse allusions (although we never quite get specifics on it and he's not actually ever a child-- he's a child impersonator). I appreciated how the darker elements of the story bubbled up on their own and really didn't want to tip people off on the direction things might go.

It could be gross and disturbing in the way that Primary Pollinators was gross and disturbing, but it's still our own minds 'going there.' Which is one thing I like about both of them. Yes he's an adult the whole time, but the story begins to ride this undeniably uncomfortable line that gradually emerges and you kind of don't know what to think. Felt like a warning would tip the scales too much and ultimately it didn't really warrant one anyways. Just 2cents

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

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:10 pm
by ventricle
even if the child porn thing was not "child" porn, it was still rape FOR SOMEONE'S OWN GOOD which is pretty freaken disturbing.

also, the way that i heard the story was that the fact that Manchild could revert to a childhood self was the result of some traumatic event that had trapped him at a point in his childhood. the first time he brings up the rape, he says it is "as if it had happened yesterday, or last week". This foreshadows the fact that the rape did happen last week, as we learn later, but also it indicates that the author expects us to assume that the it happened much longer ago. the psychological time-dilation that results from trauma is thus part of the story, and so the fact that the main character's superpower is physical time dilation leads one to assume that this power is also a result of trauma, through some sort of magic-realism causality. especially since no other explanation for the power is given.

anyway that is what i thought when i heard it, which made the story more disturbing than one about zombies eating peoples faces. but i realize i am filling in allot of gaps, and i have no opinion on the warning. i am not telling anyone how to be.

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

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:27 pm
by themorg
normsherman wrote:Definitely thought about putting a warning up-- not for the snuff crush porn, which was handled in a silly enough way, but for the child abuse allusions (although we never quite get specifics on it and he's not actually ever a child-- he's a child impersonator).
The fact that he impersonates a child is great but it really seems like the conclusion his ex wife (Samantha i think) comes to is that he is still pretending to be a child in a deep psychological way.

normsherman wrote:It could be gross and disturbing in the way that Primary Pollinators was gross and disturbing, but it's still our own minds 'going there.' Which is one thing I like about both of them. Yes he's an adult the whole time, but the story begins to ride this undeniably uncomfortable line that gradually emerges and you kind of don't know what to think. Felt like a warning would tip the scales too much and ultimately it didn't really warrant one anyways. Just 2cents
If i knew it was going there i might have skipped the story but i am glad i did not. Also i think the line is an interesting illusion so far that one person will feel you crossed it and others will think the author could have gone much further. It is like comedy, you have some comics that try to push the line so far that the reaction they get is why they are trying for rather than humor. After a second listen i heard how funny the author was going with this one and not trying to push the acceptable boundaries. Small crush snuff porn is hilarious as long as we are not, nor know, the victim.

It is like a description of horror (i believe Steve Ely or Psudopod but could have been elsewhere) was that"Horror happens in the hear and now." So if we would have heard man boy captured, drugged, raped, then recovered it would have been a horror story. What we had was a character that had a nasty back story and was dealing with the past. Really now one of the best drabblecasts ever.

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

Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:32 am
by Kevin Anderson
another vote for a warning on this one.

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

Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:29 pm
by moonowl
I vote against the warning because IMO, it would have been too much of a spoiler. Y'all would have listened anyway.

I assume I'm going to be disturbed half the time here (yay!). If it's really f'd up I have the b-sides to brace for (yay!). I think if it was a less off-center podcast, the Drabblecast would have a warning on most stories. That would annoy me.

I was disturbed and at the same time, found parts of the story ridiculously silly. Squish snuff porn. Busting in on the girl and girl and girl and girl. The Stigmata scene. I love the emotional up and down, good stuff.

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

Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:45 pm
by Mikes
moonowl wrote:Y'all would have listened anyway.
Exactly. The way I see it every DC tacitly comes with a warning.

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

Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:54 pm
by strawman
Warning for what?
Norm put a warning on Distant Hammers, but this story doesn't warrant the same thing, because it wasn't as disgusting.
[I better face it: sometimes Norm is like Brad. He has the power to shape reality with his brain. He could be using it for the betterment of the world, but instead he captures mythical creatures. And sometimes he shoots Santa. They should be studying him.]

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

Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:11 am
by tbaker2500
Fantastic production, Norm.

Not that my opinion matters, but I'm afraid that I didn't like the story. It felt like an attempt to exorcise the author's demons, whilst wrapping it in silly which didn't really fit the seriousness of the subject. Again, just one man's opinion.

Also- what the hell is crush porn?

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

Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:19 am
by Mikes
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.

http://www.chinasmack.com/2008/pictures ... eturn.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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

Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:25 am
by tbaker2500
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...

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

Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:44 pm
by Unblinking
Was that really Offspring's "Keep Them Separated" in Rat Pack style playing in the background? Ha! Loved it. I heard another reimagined song too, this one in instrumental but couldn't put my finger on the title--anyone catch it?

It was better to leave the warning off. It would've been too much of a spoiler, and the #1 thing that I like about this cast above other casts is that I never know what I'm going to get. It might be speculative or not, dark or not, funny or not. It was fine to put a warning for A Distant Sound of Hammers because it starts out pretty much as dark as it's going to get. If there'd been a warning for this one, it would've dampened the effect of the later twist. Since I know DC plays all kinds of variety, including dark stuff, I just assume that any episode could potentially have some of that.

Anyway, this is one of the best Drabblecasts ever. I've always thought that shrinking was pretty much the dumbest superhero power ever and most episodes/issues featuring a shrinking hero have to go so far out of their way to provide a problem specifically suited toward a mini, but Manchild actually made it seem like a credible asset. I've never heard of crush porn, and I'm definitely going to stay away from Mikes's link, but in this context the idea is just bizarre enough to be supervillainesque. The crime against the main character was a terrible one, dark backstory, and made his power to regress to childhood very fitting. themorg said it best with "Drug induced Child rape porn was used to try and set a marriage back on track." Wow, what kind of cracked individual does THAT take?