Thursday, November 14, 2013

Danse Macabre--chapter 23

Anita is watching Cookie Monster AKA Haven walk over to her bed.

It's kind of obvious how consistantly LKH dehumanizes sex objects in this series. I'd say "male sex objects" but women get objectified a lot too. They're not as frequent because Anita is straight, but every time there's a woman onscreen and she's attractive, she's objectified on some level. The only women who are allowed to be likable people are the ones who are either teacher figures, or LKH's definition of unattractive. (And FYI a key sign of a sociopath is someone incapable of an equal relationship with a non-attractive sex. If they cannot make a sex object out of a person, they assume either a student/submissive role, or a teacher/dominant role. Straight women sociopaths will have female teachers and female students. Gay ones will, I assume, be either a student of men or a teacher. They will never have peers of a gender they do not want to seduce. A sociopath is incapable of sustaining a peer-to-peer relationship because you CANNOT bullshit a peer for very long. If you've got a same sex/non attractive sex buddy who keeps your relationship on a student/teacher dom/sub sort of level, be EXTREMELY careful with that individual. And there's nothing "cool" or "edgy" about being a sociopath. It's a shitty situation for everybody involved, including the sociopath. I don't give LKH credit for characterization for this. It's too obviously inadvertent.) In fact, I'd go so far as to say that one reason all the women who aren't Anita are made repellant is being made an object of scorn is still a form of objectification. Still, if women are pieces of shit in this series, guys are just dildos. And LKH has taken the personification of a male lion/bodyguard for the truly dangerous and reduced him to a Sesame Street Tattoo.

Anita describes sexual attraction through the eyes of her inner lion.

You know, one thing that's always bugged me about most shapeshifter stories is how the alternate form is treated as a separate personality. Like this person's got DID and one symptom is that they change form completely. I love shapeshifter fiction, but I don't like that. Even in Patricia Briggs, every time Anna Cornick starts going off on her wolf (or worse, Charles. Talk about DID) I kind of start tuning out. I think this is less a snark thing and more a YMMV.

If I let the lion think it could boss me around, would that set a bad precedent for later? Then a thought came to me; the lion was me. I was fighting with myself. How terribly Freudian, or would it be Jungian? Either way, how strangely me.
Congratulations, Anita. You've employed two schools of psychology without bothering to understand what either of them mean. I think you'll like Freudian thought better. And LKH? The whole symbolism thing loses all its power when you bash it over our heads like a clue-by-four. AND KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF JUNG THANK YOU KINDLY.

The thought was so me, that it opened my eyes. Cookie was standing beside the bed. His hands were at his sides. The look on his face was eager, but wary, as if he’d finally figured out that something might be wrong. His blue hair was flattened on top as if he’d been asleep when I’d called him. His eyes were very blue as he stared down at me. I could see the tattoo on his left shoulder now: the faces of Bert and Ernie. I sensed a theme. “Any more tattoos?” He grinned. 
“Yeah, want to see?”
One: These paragraphs are consecutive.

Two: What did Sesame Street ever do to Laurel K. Hamilton. Did it sodomize a sex fantasy of hers? Was she watching during the episode where Bert and Ernie finally came out of the closet? Is she now obsessed with the stalker U from the "U got a hold on me" video? Is all that sweet innocence, positivity and light too much for mz. darkety dark goth to endure? Because it must be a deep set grudge to not only involve Bert and Ernie, but to momentarily imply that Big Bird might be referring to Haven's penis.

I think it must be her daughter's favorite show.

(Seriously. I once babysat for a kid that watched the last twenty minutes of "Space Jam" for eight fucking hours. That ranks up there with listening to the Jackson 5 sing Christmas Carols and waterboarding. I think murdering a child's favorite show because you'd rather have bamboo shoved under your nails than hear the theme song one more time is sometimes an approprete response. I just want to know what set this off.)

 Cookie turned to him, frowning. “I don’t understand.” His nostrils flared, as he scented the air. “She smells like lion, but she smelled like leopard earlier. She smelled like wolf, too.” He shook his head, as if clearing his mind from the scent. He looked down at me, frowning, speaking softly. “What are you?”

An uber-special Mary Sue with the boundaries and sexual proclivities of a termite.

Jean Claude explains Anita's super speshulness by saying that she absconds with the Animal to Call of vampires she fucks. Which is actually a better explanation than "You have four strains of were-whatever in your bloodstream and this is like catching HIV twice in this universe, so we're going to go find a nice bunker now and get back to you when science starts working again". It'd remove the impossibility, the broken universe, AND give Anita the excuse to nab whatever animal LKH got on her calenders this year. (Hippos. Please God. I want were-hippos. Steve motherfucking Irwin was scared of the motherfuckers. Mail LKH all the hippos.)

 The conversation continues. And continues. And continues, and Anita is lying naked on the bed while a massive number of strangers watch her writhe in pain.

“Don’t mistake force of will for stubbornness,” Micah said. “There is a difference.”
My parents had a lot of teaching books when I was a kid. The Big Book of Virtues was one, but my favorite was this book on being stubborn. It had four situations in it, and in the first three the kid involved refused to get on a waterslide, try new things, or play with new people, and the book showed the reader how that was all wrong...but then it lead into a situation where the kid was absolutely right to be stubborn and explained why it was okay to dig in under that situation. My point? Other than mentioning an awesome teaching book whose title I wish I could remember? Being stubborn isn't always bad. Also: IDK what the difference is when employed in this context. Also: if we're not having sex, can somebody please pass out panties?

Anita gives her lion to Haven. She's now covered in the mucus goo from three different shapeshifters. Do not tell me that the shapeshifter exploding thing is not a metaphore for ejaculation. It explains too much.

Haven takes a few post-shift moments to check out Micah's penis.

We have to know this. It's important to the non-plot.

Haven says the "Fringe benefits" Of hanging with Anita had better be awesome, and then takes great pains to make sure we all know he means sex.

Anita and Richard pick a fight over paternity and being together and how much he wants her and I'm really sorry, but this couldn't broadcast "not over it" any harder if it was a Bruno Mars "love" song, and I'm not talking about Anita and Richard. Jesus fucking Christ, I do not want to read this shit into the book but it is so obviously fucking there. Factor in the rape scene from Narcissus and what that would actually mean, and every interaction with Richard is just a big pile of nope.

Anita and Richard take a moment to say "I love you" followed by "I hate you" and the chapter ends.



  1. I know a person who must end the relationship or else as far as they are concerned the relationship is not over, in that they continue to bother, badger, and browbeat their ex for several years after the divorce, and even after both parties have remarried occasionally resurfaces to give a little grief over nothing. I suspect LKH is one of these types. You wonder how many ulcers they have.

  2. I didn't know this about sociopaths and it's very, very interesting, especially in regards to Anita

    I've noticed that about shapeshifters in UF too, so I decided to run with it to make the animal actually indeed something separate that lives in them---they're magical psychic parasites in my universe that result from prehistoric shamans dicking around with spirit animals, and the human body is the host, which they share with the original human consciousness. And occasionally force into shapeshifting of their respective animal type to suit them better. So there really is a for-real separate thing inside shifters with its own wants and needs and it's pretty damn constant :D Not just an occasional thing, or one that makes you wonder "wait, why is the protagonist talking about 'my inner wolf' what"

    That book about stubbornness sounds like a really good one for kids!

  3. Another weird thing about these books is how often a ton of people climb in to bed with Anita, followed by exactly zero sex. LKH talks the talk but she can't walk the walk. She never really drives home with her darkety dark and that in turn makes it creepy for all the wrong reasons.