Friday, November 22, 2013

Danse Macabre--chapter 28

And we open with Anita angsting about the baby. Again. This time specifically because one of her men is happy about the baby and his emotions are infecting her and making her happy.

We ignore this. Having another person's needs and wants and emotional satisfaction usurp yours? Oh, that's just a metaphysical accident. That doesn't matter. What matters is Anita doesn't know how she feels about having a baby.

Lemme make this real clear: This is not a choice issue. Anita has made her choice about three times now. She's not aborting the baby. She said that to Ronnie, she said that mentally, and she said it to Richard when he pushed for an answer. Anita is having the baby. What Anita's issue is now is that she's not happy about having a baby.

The problem? It's her choice to keep the baby. She's rejected the obvious solution--abortion!--because it disagrees with her religious beliefs. Which is fine. But now she has to deal with the consequences of being pregnant, and that would mean changing her lifestyle. Which could actually have been interesting. We could have explored the difference between dangerous, out of control and toxic relationships, and healthy, managed relationships that would be dangerous, but really aren't because we're all mature adults and we know how to do this shit. And that doesn't mean "White picket fence" which apparently equals "evil" in this series. That means doing things like getting the psychic vampirism under control so it doesn't hurt the kid. Vetting the harem so that she knows they'll all be safe around kids. (Which should have been her second move after having the test come up positive. Yeah. PSA for today? Background check EVERYBODY you bring into your kids' life. Babysitters. Repair men. New boyfriends. Trust me, blog readers, this is necessary.) Figuring out how to were-proof a nursery so that a were doesn't whoopsie-shift on a full moon and decide Baby-nita is dinner and not darling. At the least, working out when she'd have to restrict her activity and then defining what "restrict activity" means so that she can keep on working (it doesn't mean bedrest. It means "Let the person with the combat armor and SWAT training go first."). Learn how to use safewords and safety gear during rough sex so that if something goes wrong, they can stop before somebody gets hurt and/or get the shit off fast when somebody is hurt. (WHICH SHE SHOULD BE DOING ANYWAY BECAUSE FUCKING GOD.) Baby-safeing an unusual lifestyle doesn't mean giving up that unusual lifestyle, or even toning it down. It just means taking a couple extra steps to make sure that when you practice your lifestyle, the baby is safe. Most people wouldn't have to do much, if anything, and the steps you would have to take, far as I know, isn't all that far removed from taking extra steps to make sure that you are safe when you practice your lifestyle.

And instead of dealing with this like a grownup, sitting down and taking a few minutes to decide what all her options are and start planning for the next stage, Anita is going to wallow in being panicked. Because she's the ONLY WOMAN EVER who has had to deal with an unwanted pregnancy they also don't want to abort. She's the ONLY WOMAN EVER who has had to work through a pregnancy when she has a dangerous job. (Let's tell that to the cops and FBI agents and firemen and other employed women who get fired because they are pregnant.)

(And if you wanted to do realism, Anita's biggest job would apparently be AVOIDING HER MURDERER.  as that is one of, if not the, leading causes of death for pregnant women.)

And the fact that Anita is finding I don't want the baby more important than SOMEBODY ELSE IS URSURPING MY THOUGHT PROCESSESS AND MAKING ME FEEL SHIT I DON'T WANT TO FEEL is kind of telling at where her priorities are. She's being mentally raped and potentially brainwashed into keeping a baby she very pointedly does not want, and it's like it's fucking Tuesday.

...actually, this is an Anita Blake book. That is Tuesday.

She gets dressed. We get the list of Sharp Pointy Things Anita Blake Hides Under Her Miniskirt (TM) and Requiem says "Isn't that a little much?"

Dude. At this point Anita ought to be wearing battle armor and a gatling gun.

She decides to call her doctor and gets a female doctor instead. She asks Female!Doc about the pregancy test multiple times and Fem!Doc is like "You need to come in for a prenatal exam" and Anita is all like "Can I speak to someone else?" and she pushes until she gets a male doctor.

I am not making this up. It's right here in the text.

“Anita, I talk to a lot of women. Most of them are happy about the news, but not all of them. You don’t sound like this was good news to you.”
 “It wasn’t.” 
“Dr. North is just coming out, I’ll let you talk to him.” Silence, then the sounds of movement, cloth rustling, and a man’s voice. “Hey, Anita, how’s my favorite vampire hunter doing?” 
“Not so good today,” I said, and my voice sounded small, and hurt.
Female doctor? Dick measuring contest. Only with emotions. Male doctor? Anita is small and hurt and wobbly and in need of comfort. LOOK AT IT PEOPLE. LOOK AT IT. IT IS NOT ME DRAWING THIS OUT OF MY ASS THAT IS RIGHT THERE IN THE TEXT.

 “I can’t (abort), not unless there’s something majorly wrong. I mean, I’ll need to be tested for Vlad’s syndrome, and Mowgli syndrome.” 
“I figured the Vlad’s syndrome test, but you only need the Mowgli test if you’ve had sex with a shapeshifter while he’s in animal form.” 
I put my forehead against the cool marble tiles of the wall, and said, “I know that.”
...I guess LKH wants to be all inclusive, and that means giving the zoos something to play with. I...genuinely don't remember this happening. At all. Also it's apparently just an excuse for Anita to be this edgy person on the thin edge of the sexual norms and it just doesn't work at all.

Also Mowgli syndrome (aside from being drawn from The Jungle Book and probably not kosher for persons of Indian descent) means that the baby can gestate at the rate of the animal, which means if Anita had it she'd be ready to give birth by now, though the baby could just suddenly go "Well, we've gone normal up until now, it's time to get my Renesmee on" and have Anita wake up with a belly ready to deliver.

Which would probably result in severe uterine tears, hemmoraging, and a very dead Anita. But the Doctor doesn't mention this.

“If you have even a mild form of Mowgli syndrome, then by Monday the fetus could come up on an ultrasound as over the age limit for abortion in this state. You really do not want to be out of options on this particular birth defect, Anita.”
Which is why ultrasounds for abortions are kind of bullshit, but the book is going to ignore that in favor of the scary scary birth defects poor Anita's baby might have. Which is actually a serious and traumatic event a lot of women have to face. Anita is dealing with this fairly legitmately, and setting her limits on what is acceptable for the baby. Something about the language is off, but I can't put my finger on what it is. (My gut says it's because nobody's discussing the effect of these birth defects on the baby past "It'll eat out of the uturus." Which, I'll admit, is a pretty big defect.)

...though it does come across a little "I CAN'T ABORT FOR RELIGIOUS REASONS FIND ME AN EXCUSE PLEASE DOCTOR." Which also reminds me of the "ABORTION IS BAD" arc in Left Behind that ended with Hattie Durham having a life-threatening miscarrige that poisoned her attending and also a baby that the GOOD CHRISTIAN DOCTOR referred to as "it" before dumping it in the incinerator. (Because MAKING A STATEMENT OF FAITH is good, but actually dealing with the consequences of the "right" choice isn't something the writers wanted to explore. JBJ and TLH really, REALLY suck for a lot of reasons.) (It was also the anti-christ's baby. Who was himself the result of artificially inseminating a spiritualist with the genetically engineered semen from two gay men who only married the spiritualist woman for her baby. They left her in the care of a witch who sacrificed a baby mouse during the birth, in the middle of a pentagram in the middle of the modern delivery room. I think Tim and Jerry played "Offended Fundie Bingo" when they were writing the prequels) (Sadly, nobody ever shot Rayford Steele in the face. I was kind of hoping for that.)

Anyway, it all comes off like Anita is going to keep the baby because that is the Author's Statement of Purpose. But because that Statement would actually fuck up everything the author finds cool and interesting, we're going to get rid of it anyway.

NO. Either abort and get it over with, or deal with a full term pregnancy and its consequences. DON'T FUCKING COP OUT.

Though I have to say Dr. North sounds pretty awesome. Anita is like "I had sex with a shapeshifter in animal form and we're bringing about fifty people with us to the pelvic exam" and he's like "Yeah, sure, the more the merrier."

And then Anita feels cold and realizes she might be draining Damian down to death without intending to kill him, so it's time to forget about the baby plot and go focus on feeding.

Maybe we’d eaten a big enough meal from Auggie last night, but I couldn’t chance that. I needed food. The only question was, which hunger to feed first? Sex, or coffee? Hmm, let me think.
Anita. I know it's been a while since you've actually encountered it, so let me explain this to you very carefully. NEITHER OF THOSE ARE FOOD. Good fucking God everybody has told Anita that the best way to keep the ardeur AND her inner menagerie under control is to eat a goddamn hamburger. Mcdonalds is outside, this is one of the incredibly rare times when a serial killer isn't out to kill you. It is safe for you to use a drive-thru like the rest of us. GO GET REAL FOOD.

End of chapter.


  1. Or like my job, I work with radioactive materials. A radiation worker is permitted to get exposed to more radiation than the general public, but a pregnant worker, no way. You need to declare your pregnancy ASAP. You wouldn't lose your job, but there will be things that you won't be allowed to do. And most mothers to be really feel most comfortable with not being exposed at all. I'm, thankfully, past menopause, but my younger co-workers have that concern.

    But Anita is the most special snowflake ever so her worries are more important than that.

    1. And you know, I can have sympathy with someone who chooses not to have a baby. I can have sympathy for someone who chooses to have a baby and doesn't like having to limit her life choices because of the kid. I'll have sympathy with someone who chooses NOT to limit her choices and accept the risks to the kid (not a lot, but I understand that it's your body and your choices and that you don't really care about the kid you didn't want in the first place.)

      But it's the whining that gets to me. You want to carry the baby to term, continue to take risks that would endanger your life, and perpetuate behavior that could harm the developing baby/fetus and result in a child with a less than optimal life? More power to you. You made those choices as a mature adult. STOP ANGSTING AND STICK TO YOUR FUCKING GUNS.

      (Though if "behavior that endangers the fetus" includes copious amounts of drugs and alcohol? Politely go fuck yourself with a speeding train. Crack babies exist. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a fucking nightmare to live with. If you want to do drugs and booze, get an abortion. If you want to have a baby, stop using chemicals until the baby is born.)

  2. " It was also the anti-christ's baby. Who was himself the result of artificially inseminating a spiritualist with the genetically engineered semen from two gay men who only married the spiritualist woman for her baby. They left her in the care of a witch who sacrificed a baby mouse during the birth, in the middle of a pentagram in the middle of the modern delivery room. "

    This is strangely beautiful and perfect.

    1. If you only read for the train wreck value, Left Behind is almost beautiful. The only thing that would have made it perfect is if Rayford Steele got shot in the face at the eleventh hour. This, sadly, never happened. He dies a very very VERY old man at the end of the Celestial Kingdom, during the Sequel That Should Not Have Been A Thing. (SERIOUSLY. HOW EGOTISTICAL DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO WRITE A SEQUEL TO REVELATIONS?)

  3. "It was also the anti-christ's baby. Who was himself the result of artificially inseminating a spiritualist with the genetically engineered semen from two gay men" HOLY SHIT WHAT?!

    ...and that poor baby mouse! D: srsly that's the part that really upsets me

    I have never encountered someone who literally just found out they were pregnant so I can't say for sure but given that this is Anita, whose reactions are never normal reactions, I'm inclined to agree she's probably acting in a way most people don't act in this scenario

    And oh dear god cannot even believe Anita's misogyny and the doctors bit, ugh

    1. Yep. That's all in the prequel trilogy, which came out after Tim and Jerry finished the main series AND the sequel (Which was, I shit you not, about day care in heaven) and realized that their cash cow was over.

      The plot of the first book is the conception and childhood of the antichrist, and it's like they said "Okay. What do we hate most in the universe?" "WITCHES! SCIENCE! GAY PEOPLE!" "GREAT! LET'S DO ALL OF THAT AT THE SAME TIME!"

      It's kind of special. Especially when you factor in that approximately none of that (including the Anti-Christ) is in the Revelation of John, Ezekial or Daniel (which are the three major sources for End Time Prophesies.) There's a spirit of anti-christ mentioned a couple times in the various NT letters, and there are a couple of figures that Tim and Jerry said "This is totally the Anitchrist" (When in reality it was either Nero, a spiritual metaphore or REALLY good shrooms) but the Anti-Christ as a person? That's nowhere in the bible.

      So basically they used a mythological figure that has no bible-basis in Chrisitanity to shit all over gay men, non-Christian mysticism (and a good amount of Christian mysticism) science and women, all in the space of about fifty pages.

      I'm willing to say that there are lots of women who find out they're pregnant who aren't happy about it, and I am pretty sure most of those women have those reactions. What I'm pretty sure they don't do is have those reactions, then accept and love the baby, and then have another freak out, and then accept and love the baby, and basically flipflop like a dying fish. And it's because this is fiction an the author wants to Make a Statement without actually writing about the consequences of being pregnant and having/raising a child in Anita's sort of lifestyle...and the Author also hasn't decided if the baby is a good thing or a bad thing, because the Statement she wants to make is a confuzzled mess.

  4. She had sex with a bunch of weretigers in animal form at one point but I can't remember which book that was.