Monday, December 17, 2012

Narcissus in Chains--chapter 13

There are a handful of things that make me go up in flames. This is one of them. I do not promise that ANY of today's post will be fun.

The torturous thing about recovering with rape is, you're never sure that rape's what it actually is. The human brain is wired to assume responsibility for the events that happen in its lifetime. This is because we can only change our own behavior. If it is our fault we were struck by a parent, well, we can change our behavior to avoid being struck in the future. Alternatively, if we go to jail, we can change our behavior to avoid going to jail in the future. The problem with this is one, it lets us off the hook and two, we do it socially. I have ranted many, many, many times on how monster movies=victim blaming, and I'm probably going to do it again. But what happens next is so fucking textbook

Let's just get this over with.

Nathanial is driving Anita and Jean Claude home. She starts shaking in his arms. Hard. Again: This is not the way you react to normal sex, and given the number of times she's been scratched by shapeshifters and shrugged it off, this is not the way she reacts to getting nicked by a kitty cat. Jean Claude tells her it's okay, she's safe. She decides that she has to tell him what's happened in the last few days:

“I had sex with Micah.”

“I had sex with Micah.”
“I had sex with Micah.”
“I had sex with Micah.”

No. The fact is, Anita baby, you spent the entire sexual encounter stiff as a board, telling the son of a bitch "No, don't, stop," Coming up with excuse after excuse and remaining numb and frozen both physically and emotionally the entire time. You only got "into it" because he knew enough about female anatomy to stimulate you into orgasm. And given what Jean Claude is about to explain, I think we could argue that even that part is bullshit and happened without your consent. You did not have sex with Micah. You were raped by Micah. And now you're blaming yourself because that's what strong people do.

Now. It's time for Jean Claude to explain everything I just said, tell her that it's okay, and have Nathanial turn the car back around so she can repeat this all to the cops and they can go gear up and fry Micah's ass. Right?

“You are like a vampire newly risen. Even those of us who will be masters cannot fight our hunger the first night, or the first few nights. It is overwhelming. It is why many vampires feed on their nearest kin when they first rise. It is who they are thinking of in their hearts, and they are drawn to them. It is only with the aid of a master vampire that the hunger can be directed elsewhere.” 

“You’re not angry?” I asked. 
He laughed and hugged me. “I thought you would be angry with me for giving you the ardeur, the fire, the burning hunger.”

Preferably Mercy Thompson. She was raped "consensually" too, and she killed her rapist with a tire iron.

First of all, Anita doesn't have the emotional capacity to deal with the ardeur (more on that later) because she's been fucking raped by a fucking stranger who gave her a fucking orgasm in the process. Also by you, Mr. Self Indulgance, immediately before that. But let's say for a moment that she had actually said yes at some point in that horrible mess. You're implying the ONLY reason she would have done so was because of the ardeur, something you gave her without her concent. So this woman who previously was willing to wait until she and Richard got hitched to have sex has just been turned into something who can feed off sex BY YOU, and is very, very, VERY clearly freaked out as all hell about it. She's not feeling guilty, you asshole. I've seen Anita feeling guilty. She gets very weepy, turns into a drama queen, and then goes out and kills something. This is Anita being fucking broken. In short:

Moving on.

Jean Claude explains that for the next few weeks, Anita will probably want to jump every single male she's ever had feelings for, ever.

Jean Claude promises to help her through it.

...I'm going to hate every single chapter after this, aren't I?

Reguardless, they pull up to the Circus of the Damned. *sporfle* and everybody piles out of the car. She runs into Jason, who says that there's a bed Anita can sleep in, that it isn't used much, and when it is used it is by women who want to sleep with "Jean Claude's pet werewolf." who is Jason.


And then he tells her the only reason she "hates the monsters" (Vampires, werewolves, ect) is because they are "different".

You know what I miss from the Mercyverse the most? The people who are normal. We had a werewolf who was a doctor, a vampire who was nuts about Scooby Doo, scary strong faerie who doubled as kindergarden teachers and bankers, and I think my favorite was the gay werewolf cowboy. (Warren. Warren wins all the things) There was always an undercurrent of "I don't want to fuck your life up" whenever Mercy had to ask someone for a favor, or vice versa.Sure, there were some interactions that were fucked up, but there were also quite a few that were normal, every day things that never went any further than that.

Why do I bring this up?

We have not had one interaction with the supernatural in this book that has not gone fucking sideways. Richard has gone batshit and is threatening to kill someone for reasons nobody understands, Jean Claude mind raped Anita, Narcissus is David Parker Ray in a dress, and a strange wereleopard just raped Anita in the shower. In the Mercyverse, I'd buy that arguement because...well, it passes as logical. Some of the supers were just people trying to get along, and most of the wolves were people who had been savagely attacked by another wolf, who did not want to be wolves, who wanted nothing to do with being a wolf, and who were re-learning how to live their massively changed life in a framework that made that life safe for them and other people. (Which is why the packs wouldn't tolerate lone wolves unless said lone wolf paid the local Alpha a visit, and I need to get back to Anita, don't I?)

In the Anitaverse? The monsters are moral monsters. Want to bang everyone? You're posessed by a demon. Want to kill someone? It's justifiable because of x bullshit rule. Someone else's Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness? Secondary to our bullshit pack dynamic politics. NOBODY on the preternatural side of the fence is a good person. Anita doesn't (or didn't) hunt the monsters because they were "different". She hunted the monsters because the monsters were doing bad things on a consistant basis. And up until this book, she still had the moral high ground. Some of the monsters, like Dead Dave the bartender and Richard the werewolf teacher, were alright. Some, like Jean Claude, were scary bad but could be tolerated as a better option, and the great majority (Nikolaus, the would-be Mayan god from Obsidian Butterfly, the idiots behind Rawhead Bloody Bones, the former Alpha of Richard's Pack) were marked for death, which they eventually got one way or another. Not because they were monsters, but because they were murderers.

So no, Jace. No, Anita. No, Laurell. You don't get a pass on this one.

Then we get mired down in pack politics again. Bullshit pack politics, because there's no way Richard would have held onto the pack this long if he were so weak, Anita threatening to kill another member undermines his authority. You don't keep the pack by talking. You keep the pack by fighting, and people don't challenge you if they don't want to die. Under those circumstances, it doesn't matter if it's a democratsy or what. Has Richard been badly hurt lately? No? Then Jacob shouldn't have a prayer.

The chapter ends with Jason saying "Nobody's better at dirty work than you are, Anita" and Anita wandering off being all hurt about this.

Next chapter: Absolutely nothing happens.


  1. Oh, and aside from all the raping and mind-fucking and victim-blaming and all that crap?


    Seriously. All that 'alpha' BS? Discarded in the '90s. A wolf pack consists of Mommy and Daddy and their kids.

    (Any chance of killing the captcha? It's kind of a pain.)

  2. Oh for fuck's sake, I thought I already had killed it the first time I encountered that bullshit. Since when did posting online have to be a freaking IQ test?

  3. Should be fixed. Anyway, on to your comment...

    Technically this pack structure COULD pass because the packs are in a concentrated area. "Pack" behavior, if I understand it correctly, happened because large numbers of wolves were forced into a large contained area for behavioral study. They weren't allowed to seperate into small family groups, and so they developed a fucked up social network instead. In werewolf stories, you have large numbers of wolves forced to occupy the same "territory"--a city--with the added complication of being sentient, social humans who like to commiserate about going all fluffy every full moon. That conflict--human rationality against animal instinct--results in a similar pack system to captive wolf populations.

    That's how I'd explain it, anyway. Because the politics, when done right, can be very entertaining. But there's a big difference between having to be in a pack because, say, you can't control your instincts and the local Alpha can help, and the bullshit in the Anitaverse from here on out.

    And that'd be an interesting take on weres, matter of fact: have the pack structure be something from the human side, not the animal. Makes me want to dust that shapeshifter/were thing story yet again...

  4. I could see that. Were packs do it this way because that's the way they think they're supposed to do it. One day someone comes along and says "Oh hey that's not how wolves work." And they say "Why do you hate our traditions?! HATER!"