In this special episode, Mr Jim Moon of the Hypnobobs Podcast reads the Charles Beaumont short story Elegy. The story of three astronauts who land on a planet where everybody seems to be frozen!
I enjoyed Jim Moon's reading of this story, and Tom's comments. It's always fun to see the differences between the original stories and the TV episodes. Tom pointed out the changes made to Beaumont's screenplay, and overall I would say that the TV episode is the best version.
On the podcast, Tom mentioned that Ben had posted a comment about the "homoerotic" aspect of this story. Unfortunately I can't seem to find Ben's comment, though maybe he had sent it directly to Tom in an email? I was looking forward to discussing that with Ben.
Ben's observation intrigued me, and so I listened to the story again. I hadn't noticed any homoerotic references when I first listened to it. When I think of homoeroticism, I think of movies like Ben Hur, Top Gun, Fight Club, or TV shows like Batman in the 1960's. :-)
But when I listened a second time, I found what Ben was talking about. Once I heard it I remembered that the first time around I had dismissed it as a badly written piece of dialogue. Here is the exchange:
Captain: "There are lakes and farms, and all we need to make a new start. More than we’d hoped for, much more."Caretaker: "What had you hoped for, Captain?"Captain: "Something, nothing, just escape."Caretaker: "But I see no women. How could you begin again, as you suggest?"Captain: "Women? Too weak! They would not have lasted. We brought along eggs and machines, enough for our needs."
That's it. There is nothing else in the entire story which indicates that the men are particularly close, emotionally or physically. Also, for men who wanted to escape from violence on Earth, they were violent themselves. The Captain claims that it is women who are weak, and yet it was men who destroyed Earth and men who ruined their chance of living on Mars. These same men made it clear to the caretaker that they would use their guns to get their way.
So when I first heard this dialogue, I assumed it was meant as a bit of satirical irony, that violent men, for whom peace is not possible, would consider women to be the weaker sex. These men are so blindly self-destructive they don't even realize that they are destroying themselves, not having any women. I don't think it's a coincidence that they say they brought along "eggs." I think that is an allusion to the women they should have brought along. I find nothing homoerotic about these men. I think they are men who have lost their capacity for empathy, intimacy, and love.
So Ben, if you are there, what do you think?
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