Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cerulian Sins--chapter 12

I think the thing that aggravates me the most about this series is Jean Claude's pet name for Anita. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't ma petite translate to "My little?" There's probably a cultural language thing that I'm just not getting here, but I think being short and being called "My Little" by a boyfriend who could bench press a cement mixer full of cheerleaders if he wanted to would probably make my lebido go the way of the dodo.

It's not so bad when the series is good, because Jean Claude is supposed to be an asshole, but when the series sucks, my GOD does it get old.

Anyhoo, Anita, Jean Claude and Asher are all about to have sex.

There is no way to make blogging about a sex scene interesting. I've been trying for three books now, and the summery is basically "Lick kiss lick lick suck, Karma Sutra, that shouldn't go there, if it is spilling it's not orgasm, it's bad hygene, and sex shouldn't fix everything."

That's every sex scene LKH has ever written.

Anita also establishes that she doesn't want to be there when the vampires "die" at dawn. Because they do that .

(Jack Flemming. Jack Flemming. My kingdom for Jack Flemming, Vampire PI)

Dawn is only two hours away.

Okay, so now they should start having sex.

 I was suddenly very aware that I was the only girl, and they were both men. I know that sounds silly. I mean, I knew that already, but  .  .  . I suddenly felt it. It was like walking into a bar and feeling all those eyes follow you as you walk, like lions watching gazelles.
Anita, baby? Asher is far less interested in you. Seriously. You are not the main attraction here. You're that barricade Asher has to vault over to get to the main ride, if you know what I mean.

And then we get that little flash of good writing that reminds me what a fucking waste this series was. Anita slips off the bed because silk sheets tend to do that. Asher and Jean Claude spend a few minutes talking about how Jean Claude injured himself seducing a duchess and falling off her bed, and it's actually a good and humanizing kind of moment. We are reminded that these are people with a history before Anita showed up, who will have a history together long after she's gone--theoretically--and that Anita is just a bit player in their drama.

And then it goes back to being the All Anita, All the Time show, and she's in a race with dawn and the ardeur to get Asher naked. Which means we now have to describe every inch of scarring, and oh fuck does that take forever.

A note. Asher has been like this for centuries, and he's acting like it happened two or three months ago. Like being hideously scarred has ended his life forever, and woe is he, he will never be whole again.

One of my personal heroes is a cop. I've forgotten his name, I've only seen him on TV, and he's probably the single most awesome person I've ever heard of. He rolled a police car during a chase and got burned on every inch of his body. The first time I saw him on TV it was a medical show about implants and replacement bodyparts (I was a weird kid) and they were building him a new nose and new ears because the fire kind of took his. I remember thinking "Oh, hey, cool, how nice of them to make implants for the damaged police officer."

Fast forward a couple years, and I'm watching cop shows now, and there's the scarred cop. He's a dectective now, working homicide, and those prosthetics I watched them build ten years ago? Yeah, those are nowhere. Because his scars weren't him and his body wasn't him, and he was far more interested in doing his job than he was in how he looked in front of a TV camera. That is what strength looks like, and I wish to God I could remember his name so I could link the whole world to how awesome he is.

The problem I have with Asher isn't that he's a fucked up scarred mess who needs to heal. It's that he's been that way for hundreds of years, and LKH expects us to buy that Anita is healing him with her vagina. I think people can heal, I think people can change, but I think that healing and change has to happen from inside. One thing that fasicnates me, and it's something I keep coming back to in my own writing, is the resiliance of the human spirit. That we get knocked down and get back up and say "throw it again, dude" and no matter how awful our lives get, we're not ready to give up and we're completely ready to let the scars heal over. With Anita, there's this aura of "love can fix everything" that is psychological poison for everything attached to it. It's bad for Anita because she can't fix everything, and it's bad for the people around her because it implies that they can't and shouldn't take personal responsibility for themselves. It's a codependant relationship, and like any codependant relationship it turns every party involved into a soul-sucking black hole.

Anyhoo, the climax of this chapter, and yes I did that on purpose, is when Asher is finally bare-ass naked and it is revealed that his penis, blog readers, his penis is perfect. Because it was scarred, you see, and a doctor figured out that if he did something to it, Asher's penis would go back to being normal. Jean Claude loses it and starts sobbing and holding Asher and Asher starts sobbing and holding Jean Claude and this happens:

They held each other and cried, and laughed, and healed, and I was suddenly superfluous, kneeling on the bed in my lingerie. And for once, I didn’t mind in the least.

Wow. Two guys who have loved each other for centuries are having much needed catharsis, but it still has to be all about Anita. WOW. Thank you. Thank you for allowing these guys a moment of privacy that isn't tainted by your vagina. Very big of you.

End of chapter. Fuck you, Anita Blake.


  1. "I think the thing that aggravates me the most about this series is Jean Claude's pet name for Anita. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't ma petite translate to "My little?""

    It's commonly used by parents/grandparents as a term of endearment for children (sometimes shortened to 'ti ti.') Now recently, you sometimes see boyfriends/girlfriends using it in these more modern times, similar to how an English speaker might use 'baby' as a pet name. But Jean Claude is not a modern man. He's a centuries plus vampire who still dresses in the clothing of his time. It's kinda odd for him to be using 'ma petite' like that. Unless he's trying to be condescending to Anita, using a child's pet name on her because...well, she does act very immature a lot.

    I remember in Rice's books, French speakers would note how Lestat's French was odd, old sounding. That is how an old French vampire is done right.

    1. I think part of my headcannon has ages-old vamps modernizing a little bit. Jean Claude didn't dress like an explosion in a lace factory because he had a personal preference for ruffled shirts. He dressed that way because it was the height of fashion and it marked him out as an affluent gentleman of the age. I can't imagine somebody canny enough to survive in vamp politics as successfully as JC has not using modern fashion as an effective tool. The mark of the gentleman in this age is a three piece designer suit, expensive shoes and a certain amount of bling. He could keep a certain level of old world charm--get Armani to design an admiral's coat? He's got the money for it--while still maintaining an era-approprete image of a successful gentleman.

      And I think the "endearment" is an insult, because Anita doesn't speak french, isn't french, isn't eighteenth century french, and doesn't have the social context to understand what he means by "ma petite". Somebody told me once that guys give you pet names so they don't fuck up and call you "Jane" or "Laurel" when your name is really "Mary".

    2. He calls her "ma petite" so fucking much and her actual name so rarely that I've personally come to believe that's what he calls everyone that he's interested in screwing. For that exact reason.

  2. To add to the Frenchfail, every time someone refers to their 'pomme de sang' I read it as pomme de terre.

    If you're going to use French, make sure your sexy phrase for blood donor doesn't sound like 'potato'.

  3. Hey just letting you know that I read your blog every night now. When I get home from work I am so excited to read more LKH sporkings. Thanks. Also I am a pagan not a christian but I believe in it and I relate to your spirituality. Hope you don't mind me saying so.

    1. Belief is a personal thing. I got a lot of fun wrinkles in my faith, due to a couple of icky things I had to work through. Belief isn't something to criticize, it's not a badge you wear on your shoulders. It's your thing, and nobody has the right to tell you if it is or is not valid.

  4. The only thing I can say to the subject of Asher acting as if his scars happened months ago is that he's still hung on his past beauty, and spent the majority of the last few centuries constantly reminding himself of it, and the fact that he just recently was able to use his penis during sex means, to someone who pretty much did nothing but, that his worth was ruined in his own eyes for a very long time. So, he spent the entire time finding himself completely and utterly repugnant and turned into a hatred-fueled being that only wanted to get redemption for what he lost - and he wanted to take his pound of flesh from Jean-Claude because he blamed him.

    All of this means that he ever took the time to heal from them, psychologically. The fact that his scars were also used as a weapon against the enemies of Belle Morte (who also completely rejected him because his beauty - the reason she turned him in the first place - was gone) by making them have sex with Asher, which meant Asher having to see their disgust while they had sex with him - completely ruined his mind. So he settled on hate, because that was so much easier in such a fucked up world than trying to better himself and come to terms with his scars, in all of their forms.

  5. Gotta love how Anita/LKH boils Asher's entire worth as a man down to whether or not his penis works. Because apparently that's the only bit that really matters.

    And if that doctor could fix Asher's dick, why not deal with all those other horribly disfiguring scars too? Because then Asher wouldn't be "damaged"? Or because LKH secretly wants to write Phantom of the Opera fanfic?

    Also, thank you LKH, for taking what should be a touching moment and making it all about how great Anita is. Really shows your priorities as a writer.

    1. Yep, yep, yep and yep.

      Asher undamaged is competition for Anita. Asher damaged, he needs her constant hand-holding and loving.

      That said...I think that plastic surgery could really minimize Asher's scars, but they wouldn't be able to fix it entirely, and Asher would be aware of the differences. The implication I got from the text was that his penis had healed wrong in a way that a simple incision could fix. Scarring that extensive, however, would require skin grafting, and that might not work well on an undead subject.

      Which is way, way, way more thought than LKH put into it because yep, PotO fanfic it most certainly is.