The last couple of weeks have brought with them episodes 60 and 61 of Dante Stack’s Solve the World podcast, both of which has left me shocked and at times horrified. This post contains spoilers for both episodes you have been warned.
Episode 60 promised to be a plot twist episode and it most certainly was. Increasingly in part three of Solve the World I’ve been having to listen to episodes more than once because there is an intensity that makes me want to go back and make sure I’ve not missed anything. In “Of Doors and secrets” we are introduced to the piper as though he is a person for the first time, at least by my interpretation. For a long time the piper has appeared, in my mind, as more of a spirit or a being of something more than just a person. However here we see Miles talking to him face to face and it brings it home that if you ignore his power and age you have got a man who can been seen, who can be reprimanded. This was also the first time where we saw a d heard the piper without the episode being entirely from his point of view, which added, I believe to the humanising of him that this episode did.
The major plot twist of the episode was the connection between Miles and the Piper. We discover that Miles has been in connection with the Piper pretty much all along. Miles is probably my favourite character within Solve the World, to the point where I actually sent Dante a HOW DARE YOU email when Miles was supposedly killed off. For me Miles is fascinating, I love how we slowly learn more about him, his past is sad and heart breaking and Miles has become pretty cold because of it. Except when it is relating to Jenn. However Miles’ abilities make it near on impossible to trust him, everything he says and does has the potential to be manipulative. For episodes on end after Miles told Jenn he loved her I wasn’t sure whether to believe him (I think I do now). So to find out that Miles has been in cohorts with the Piper from day one or even before then throws me right back into a place where I am unsure whether or not to be trusting him.
Episode 61 once again had a focus away from Jenn (honestly Dante, she’s the protagonist right?) however this time it was on the OMNO centre more than anything. The OMNO centre stands for Operation No More Orphans which is an expression that has made me uncomfortable since it was first introduced. The idea of no more orphans sounds good coming from a politicians mouth (maybe reminiscent of Bush’s “no child left behind”?) but I’ve always heard a darker suggestion under it. OMNO as a place to take children who are already orphans sounds like a death sentence. And this episode proved just how right I was. Children of the Apocalypse showed us just what is going on within the centre and left me completely disgusting and horrified. But without a doubt, the worst thing when listening to it was completely realising that it is something that could end likely would happen on an apocalyptic society.
The children at the OMNO centre are told that they all have a number between 1 and 200 and that number decides whether or not they survive. The ones and twos are in the most danger while the 3-20 are in a less amount of danger and the rest are pretty much okay. They are told that they can improve their number depending on activities they take part on, work and exercise etc. If they end up with one of the lowest numbers, they get sent away on a train and they aren’t told where the train is going. The implication there is that they are being killed.
These are actions reminiscent of World War times, disgusting, despicable actions sugar-coated with the idea of a government wanting to create “No More Orphans”. As I mentioned earlier on the worst part about this is the fact that I can honestly see this sort of activity happening. I can imagine small rebellious groups trying to get people to realise, I can imagine them being ignored because it seems like the politicians and POTUS is saving everyone. It’s truly horrific to think about. Well written, Dante.
The song “Dear Mr President” by P!nk comes to mind. “How can you say no child is left behind we’re not dumb and we’re not blind. They’re all sitting in your shelves as you pave the road to hell.”