Drabblecast 118 - The Relativity Prison

Discuss episodes and stories from the Drabblecast Main Feed and from Drabbleclassics

Totally creepy?

Yup.
14
67%
Nah.
3
14%
Meh.
4
19%
 
Total votes: 21

User avatar
Mr. Tweedy
Member
Posts: 1733
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:03 pm
Location: Illinois (Land of Obama)
Contact:

Drabblecast 118 - The Relativity Prison

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:47 pm

The Relativity Prison by Igor Teper

Everyone looks as if they're just going about their business, even as their business is going about them...

Drabble - Coiffuture Conundrum by Jake Webb

Monster Jellyfish

Pine Mountain Settlement School (It's badass.)

Image

Richmazzer
Member
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:26 pm

Post by Richmazzer » Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:03 am

I loved the story, will post more on that later. Just wanted to say that the political clip samples at the end of the show with MONSTER JELLYFISH and MUTANT SEA TURTLES were HILARIOUS!!

I hope people don't turn their ipods off thinking the show is over and miss those, they are so great.

User avatar
tbaker2500
Site Admin
Posts: 3612
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:03 pm
Location: West Lafayette, IN
Contact:

Post by tbaker2500 » Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:40 am

It was good.
You're my quasi-ichthian angel, you're my half-amphibian queen...

The Dribblecast, we don't care if you sound like an idiot.

treeman
Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:48 pm

Post by treeman » Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:57 am

:shock:
Fav Episode Ever.
Maybe.
I dunno, I'll get back to you.

I thought the story was great from the get-go. Very cool turning the philosophy into a condition and then extra very cool idea portraying this condition almost like a virus or alien take over that some may have and other don't... no way of knowing! I thought the cool idea was done in a particularly skillful way also. Very good, and often beautiful writing.

However, I would have liked:
1. More "character" interaction. We get a taste of the love interest but that's it; no further development of her, no idea of narrator, who he is, etc.

2. More story/less narrative. This is a general pet peeve of mine, when a story just outlines a cool idea the author had. This story skirts along that, but doesn't quite fall in. I think it said everything it needed to (and maybe more) about the cool idea and its implications,... now we need about 1K words of real development. Is the relativity virus contagious? Is it God or something causing it? Is the narrator crazy? How is this realization affecting his work at the observatory?
This story barely worked (but barely worked awesomely) because of it's short flash length, but it is such a cool idea it could be fleshed out into a much more successful longer story (if the additional words are character or plot driven and not science/speculation/philosophy driven).

Norm's narration: the best you will find anywhere, as usual. Just heard him narrate for Escapepod a couple weeks ago, Harry and the Crow, and yeah, it was the best read story they've had since the last time he narrated for them. A pretty decent grade B story gets jacke up to an A-, and it has nothing to do with the writing. I hope they don't steal him from us.

Production-wise, the Bartok was used perfectly. Good choice, I love Bartok. The tonal-ambiguity of his string quartet was a subtle/brilliant background to a story with this theme. Reminded me or the use of the Debussy music in the Cat Rambo story about color disappearing not too long ago. I always appreciate things like that, hopefully I'm not reading into things too much!

To dull the overkill on Norm praise though...

as a "socially minded, tree hugging" Democrat myself, I found my feathers a bit rustled by some of the Drabblenews (although I admit I couldn't help but laugh to myself at times).. I always appreciate Norm making fun of ridiculousness in all forms, in general, not biased toward any one guilty side. Absurdity happens in every party, in every philosophy, in every thing thing, and I hope he keeps laughing at life, rather than people.

Buuuut... then you get the Palin/Coulter/Bush clips at the end of the show and Norm redeems himself as still sortof politically ambiguous, and also winds up making me laugh out loud instead of just to myself. Really, I've got to say, that ending is brilliant.

If you know the original clips he used for this you know that the Palin clip is renowned, by many, as probably the "official" worst answer to any question ever asked (google Cafferty Palin you'll see the initial debacle). But then
Norm made the reply an even dumber answer to an even more biased, trigger-happy question by Couric.

The Bush clip was played time and time again by Democrats (like myself, ugh) as "Dumb-ass-frat-guy-Bush-dodging-another-big-question"...
Norm (who, while not always appreciating his production tastes and humor, I really am convinced is an undiscovered genius) plays up "Dumb-Bush" to be somehow, an even "Dumber-Bush"?

Couric, Fox; liberals/conserv media and politicians always have it out for each other, you can never get anything straight. Why not fill in choice words with "Mutant Sea Turtles"? It can't make things any worse.

Why is this hilarious (and genius)? Because on some unconsciouss level, I'm laughing at situations and not worldviews. I'm laughing at the absurdity of mutant sea turtles and giant jellyfish, not people or sides that I'm supposed to target and make fun of.
If Norm can get people to join together against absurdity (or for it, either way, at least identifying it!) by making a podcast dedicated to it, I'm pretty sure we will all get jobs in the Senate if we keep kissing his ass.
:twisted:
Just playin.

User avatar
strawman
Member
Posts: 5966
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:20 pm
Location: South Georgia

Post by strawman » Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:04 pm

I agree with treeman (apparently cellulosic minds think alike). However, the senate idea has the same problem as Jehovah's Witnesses. Millions of players, only 144,000 winners.
But all that's required to fix that is an amendment whereby everyone gets their senate seat in exchange for a DC PayPal donation.
I propose we call our postpartisan (postpartum) party NIPPLES, since everybody's got two of them (unless they had to surgically remove them).
Bo would create our campaign poster, Uncle Sam with a milk mustache: "Got Milk? Vote Nipples!"
Debate formats would be rap.
Just because we're postpartisan doesn't mean we aren't deadly serious about the really important issues. But the most important issue is Giant Mutant Turtle/Monster Jelly Fish. After all, the earth is 80% water, and as England knows, whoever controls the waves controls the world.
Only clowns fight to control Minnefreakinsota.
Get ready for 1066 redux: Invasion of the Normans!
Or 1865 Redux: Sherman's march to the Sea!
Either way, it's not unprecedented.
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"

User avatar
StalinSays
Beast-Master
Posts: 1709
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 4:58 am
Location: West Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

indeed

Post by StalinSays » Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:41 pm

When this Nipples party starts to roll, the theme song will ring loud and clear throughout the land. I got my copy ready for its speaker system.

It is truly disappointing to hear so many higher-ups in Government completely side stepping any serious questioning on the sea turtle weapons program. And once again, Barack avoids true media scrutiny. Why are we talking to GOP has-beens when we can talk to the man with his finger on the shell?

Also cool story. Hard concept to "pull off." Hopefully it resonates. No alien love making, no squid love making, no pie love making, just obtuse insights and world ending threats.

User avatar
strawman
Member
Posts: 5966
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:20 pm
Location: South Georgia

Post by strawman » Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:52 am

What happened to the freakin mp3 warehouse?! Sheesh!
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"

User avatar
tbaker2500
Site Admin
Posts: 3612
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:03 pm
Location: West Lafayette, IN
Contact:

Post by tbaker2500 » Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:24 am

strawman wrote:What happened to the freakin mp3 warehouse?! Sheesh!
I'm working on it, I'm working on it! Sheesh!

They discontinued the service Norm was using to host the mp3 warehouse, so I'm putting one up.

I swear, they're like addicts around here. They miss a hit, and they go to pieces.
You're my quasi-ichthian angel, you're my half-amphibian queen...

The Dribblecast, we don't care if you sound like an idiot.

Praxis
Member
Posts: 70
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:40 pm

Post by Praxis » Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:26 pm

There is a story, I don't remember the name, where pretty much the same thing happens as to the narrator in this story - people find themselves stuck in their bodies but X years previous, and are helpless to do anything but watch as events play out exactly as they did before.

Not to say that this story was copied nor nuffink, but I'd be interested if the author had read this other story, too.

I do like the premise of this (the Drabblecast one) story - highlights the amount of our day where we are not really living or "doing" anything, just routine.

the mighty twix
Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:33 am
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario

Post by the mighty twix » Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:25 am

I really liked this story, reminds me of my data entry days at an accounting firm.

User avatar
tbaker2500
Site Admin
Posts: 3612
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:03 pm
Location: West Lafayette, IN
Contact:

Post by tbaker2500 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:35 am

Praxis wrote:There is a story, I don't remember the name, where pretty much the same thing happens as to the narrator in this story - people find themselves stuck in their bodies but X years previous, and are helpless to do anything but watch as events play out exactly as they did before.
I think the pitch of this was more that, given the theory of relativity, it can be hard to judge what is the cause and what is the effect. I personally think the author didn't write it, the keys did.
You're my quasi-ichthian angel, you're my half-amphibian queen...

The Dribblecast, we don't care if you sound like an idiot.

User avatar
strawman
Member
Posts: 5966
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:20 pm
Location: South Georgia

Post by strawman » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:42 am

Hello, I'm Strawman, and I'm a Drabblecastaholic.

This story is a manual, not an automatic transmission. It requires a couple of listens and a clutch, while the paradigms shift.
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"

User avatar
Mr. Tweedy
Member
Posts: 1733
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:03 pm
Location: Illinois (Land of Obama)
Contact:

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:17 pm

Something that didn't occur to me until just now is that maybe the narrator is simply frustrated. It is common to feel that one has no control over one's life, that one is a slave to routine, just going through motions. The relativity prison is an excellent analogy for how that feels. I've always perceived that the majority of things that the majority of people do are done merely because they feel like their supposed to, not because they actually want to or thing it's important. Maybe the people aren't really trapped in their own bodies; they just feel like they are controlled by their circumstances, not vice versa. The story shows how the exact same action can be meaningful or meaningless, depending on why it is done.

Since the story communicates this idea is such a unique and effective way, I dub it "literary."

Taking the story literally, I thought it was possibly the creepiest story DC has done. I'm having a hard time describing why. I think it's just the extreme subtlety of the horror. The world goes on as it always has, but now the banal old world is a hellish prison, even though it looks the same. It's like when you see a common object used as a symbol of something awful, then the object becomes creepy and you sort of flinch next time you see it? This story is like that, but the whole universe is the creepy object. I was totally creeped out by "The Ring" (still my fav horror movie), and for a while after I saw it, I would feel apprehensive every time I encountered an object that had appeared on The Tape. In this story, the whole universe is on the tape, and the whole thing is creepy.

I was amused by the drabble, but, oddly enough, I found it more impressive in text form.

Mutant sea turtles to kill monster jellyfish? I'm sure that would qualify as "stimulus." Let's get on it.
Advertise in this space!

cammoblammo
Member
Posts: 361
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:54 am
Location: Colac, Victoria
Contact:

Post by cammoblammo » Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:58 pm

Maybe I didn't pay enough attention, but I just didn't dig this story. The idea was okay, it just didn't grab me. Oh well.

Overall, good episode. I for one welcome our new jellyfish overlords.
It is something that has to be proved scientifically, that a human being turned into a goat.

Deadguy
Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:03 pm
Location: half in, half out

Post by Deadguy » Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:16 am

Made my freakin' head explode!!!

There are so many interpretations to this story. The author hints at this with the narrator's incessant speculation about his condition. My first thought was "aliens". This is DC after all. Then I accepted the story's premise and began to wonder if this is happening to me too! But the more times I listen I think I agree with Mr. Tweedy that he is frustrated with his mundane life and this is his coping mechanism. Now I'm wondering if this is happening to me too.

Very smart story.

jonathancg
Member
Posts: 98
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 4:11 pm
Contact:

Wow

Post by jonathancg » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:31 pm

This one was a real mindbender, and I enjoyed it.

I think the tale is definitely creepy. The loss of control is actually more terrifying to the human psyche than death itself. In this tale, we are allowed our lives but no control over them, a fate most of us would call worse than death. Even the Bible makes a point to remind us we still get control over our mortal lives.

If you break it down, all the great terror movies are really snapshot instances where the effect becomes the causality against humans, as opposed to the other way around. Our neat layers of control are stripped away, and what is left is horror.

Consider Jaws. "Humans eat everything" is juxtaposed to "humans are eaten by something".

Freddy -- Our dreams are no longer our own.

Memento -- One's own memory library is scrambled, so that it's absence controls the protagonist, not vice versa.

Transformers -- A piece of garbage movie controls the ticket sales as opposed to the movie goers.
Author of "On Dasher", "Old Clara's Favorites", and a host of other tales available online and in print. Check out my site at http://jonathancg.net

User avatar
Mr. Tweedy
Member
Posts: 1733
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:03 pm
Location: Illinois (Land of Obama)
Contact:

Re: Wow

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:44 pm

jonathancg wrote:Transformers -- A piece of garbage movie controls the ticket sales as opposed to the movie goers.
It would be funny if it weren't so sad.
Advertise in this space!

Unblinking
Member
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 12:50 am

Re:

Post by Unblinking » Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:27 pm

strawman wrote:I agree with treeman (apparently cellulosic minds think alike)
I propose we call our postpartisan (postpartum) party NIPPLES, since everybody's got two of them (unless they had to surgically remove them).
That's not true. Some people have three. We'd have to be careful how we treat dogs too, as they have six--meaning they'd get triple the votes, right? Cows to a lesser extent (having four).

User avatar
ROU Killing Time
Notorious Forum Hog
Posts: 4253
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:07 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re:

Post by ROU Killing Time » Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:27 pm

Mr. Tweedy wrote:I was totally creeped out by "The Ring" (still my fav horror movie), and for a while after I saw it, I would feel apprehensive every time I encountered an object that had appeared on The Tape. In this story, the whole universe is on the tape, and the whole thing is creepy.
I was just thinking about that movie this morning, oddly enough. I have to echo the sentiments that it's about the creepiest movie ever put down on celluloid, and not because the imagery was particularly grotesque (certainly not, by modern post Clive Barker standards) but the psychologically horrific aspects were so well done, with allusion at first, leading up to what was the best horror denouement I think I've ever experienced...

I hear the sequel was meh though.
"Never fuck with The Culture"
Sublime In Peace Iain M. Banks.

User avatar
Mr. Tweedy
Member
Posts: 1733
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:03 pm
Location: Illinois (Land of Obama)
Contact:

Re: Drabblecast 118- The Relativity Prison by Igor Teper

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:19 pm

The sequel was appalling garbage. A sequel for the sake of a sequel, a $$$ sequel, soulless, uncreative and packed to bursting with silly clichés. Avoid.

I thought of this story the other day when I was engrossed in a Facebook debate on Calvinism. (Calvin was whack, yo.) Calvinism is the relativity prison.
Advertise in this space!

Post Reply