Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Seduced by Moonlight--chapter 14

So chapter thirteen ended with Merry wondering how Sage would react when he looks in a mirror. Chapter 14 opens with Sage, still man-sized, looking in the mirror.

While it's not bad, the wall-to-wall sex scenes are getting rather tiring and I'd like to have FUCKING PLOT now.

Oooh, bonus round kiddies! According to a recent interview, LKH writes better than George RR Martin.

In re-reading the other eight novels in the series I discovered something I hadn’t known before, that the first seven books are really an epic political fantasy series a la George R. R. Martin except with more mystery, sex, and less killing off of main characters
Having never read any of A Song of Ice and Fire, I have no idea how accurate this is but I am going to guess that it is...not.

 LKH then describes full-human-sized Sage and...uh...aherm...

His body was one long line from his feet— raised high on their toes— to his calves, his thighs, the curve of his buttocks, the smooth plain of his back, the swell of his shoulders, and over all of it his wings, held tight over his back.
Sage is planking.

Merry then describes Sage's wings, and she somehow manages to make it sound like the dudes non-penile appendages are tumescent.

Merry can't look at Sage because he is teh sexxors at this point, so everybody else has to come distract her. So she decides to describe Nicca's wings.

Guys, I cannot copy-paste the description of Nicca's new wings because it is that fucking long. I think at this point LKH needs to go satisfy her paint-chip fetish down at the local builder's square. She decribes everything. Every line. Every color. He has two eyespots that both necessitate several sentences of description each. The preamble to the motherfucking Constitution is shorter than this. THERE ARE BOOKS IN THE BIBLE THAT ARE SHORTER THAN THIS. And as we shall soon see, this has ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PLOT. 

 Nicca then starts nibbling on Merry.

“I want you, but it’s like you are food and drink and sex.”
There's this idea strongly present in these books that sex is based out of need. You need to have sex the way you need to have water or something. It's portrayed as a vital, incontestable, irresistable drive. But no. No it's not. And what it results in are sex scene after sex scene initiated by objectifying one or more of the people involved. Nicca isn't going to have sex with Merry because he likes her. He's going to do it because he's full of an irrepressable drive and his need has turned Merry into a thing. She's food and drink and sex now. She's not Merry Gentry anymore.

And then Doyle shows up and drops "wisdom" on the gathering.

“She is the Goddess,” Doyle said from the doorway. “We all crave the touch of the divine.”
One: Way to dismiss all atheists. Two: Way to shit on the rest of us.

Look, I will be the first to admit I can get a little emotional, even hysterical, when I'm in full on God mode. (IE I went into tears over this article this afternoon. Which I recommend because DAMN) but I don't crave anything in that mood but God. The call to the divine, in my experiance, is it's own thing. SOMETIMES it will manifest for the first time in, say, sex. Or food, or a hobby. But the thing about the divine is, when you push that hobby or craving in search of the call, eventually the hobby itself gets lackluster and you realize that the call that pushed you in that direction isn't really that thing at all. Or, to quote C.S. Lewis:
All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it—tantalising glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest—if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound it’self—you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say ‘Here at last is the thing I was made for.’ We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we desired before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all. --The Problem of Pain.
So to confuse this experience with a material craving--ie, sex--is to cheapen it. Confusing it with a human being isn't just cheapening, it's fucking goddamn dangerous. Many cult leaders and manipulators are capable of discovering something that calls to many people and camping out on top of it. Doyle isn't saying that Merry is a channel for the Goddess--he's saying that, right now, she is the Goddess. Even when she doesn't feel it. And again--it objectifies her. It removes her and her agency from the equation. It even "clenses" her of the sexual attraction Nicca feels right now. It's not Merry. It's the Divine doing this. God is making them want to fuck me.

 Doyle then defuses the situation by saying that "Merry is tired"...and then we discover that the chalice unwrapped itself because fuck if I know.

“No, Merry is like the flesh version of the chalice. It fills with grace and pours upon us.”

The Magic Vag of Holding is cannon, people. THE MAGIC VAG OF HOLDING IS MOTHERFUCKING CANNON.

 And then Sage discovers that he can't make himself be small again--that he'll always be a grounded, full-sized man--and he FREAKS THE FUCK OUT.

 Sage pointed at Nicca, who was still kneeling on the bed. “He knows nothing of wings. He has never flown above a spring meadow, or tasted how sweet and clean the wind can be.” He pounded his fist into his bare chest. “But I know! I know!”

This could potentially be kind of poignent...if Merry took three seconds to acknowledge that she just utterly fucked up Sage's life. But no, we're not doing that. We're going to cuddle him, but we're not going to go "Hey, I'm sorry I turned you into a full-sized person, my bad." Which is the LEAST sage deserves.

The chapter ends with Sage storming out of the room while the other men show up to ask, effectively:

So ask we all, Eleven. So ask we all.


  1. I like that you mentioned craving the divine. And it is a craving, almost an addiction in my experience. Once you've felt that presence, you want it again desperately.

    1. I just figured out why the Merry-as-Goddess-Vessel thing bugs me: LKH is setting her up as a mediator for the divine. Implying that the guys, the whole faerie, et-al, can't get to the Goddess except through her. And while I get that this is an entirely different faith, I STRONGLY dislike the idea of anybody standing between me and God for any reason whatsoever. Turning her main character into a divine release valve gives Merry a form of control that she does not need (because she's the Princess) and should not have. LKH has always written her heroines as abusers, with MAYBE a few exceptions early in her career, but Merry-as-Goddess-valve makes it into spiritual abuse. And that just rubs me all kinds of wrong.

    2. I agree. IMO the function of priests and other religious people is to guide a person in to or through a relationship with the divine, not to supplant god(s). (and to mediate and offer counsel in regards to earthly issues, but you get what I mean)

  2. Yeah, I’ll be honest, if someone was only having sex with me because I was like food/drink due to magical necessity, I wouldn’t feel flattered. I’d want them to be having sex with me because, you know, they WANT to. I can only guess that the way LKH makes the men in both series so dependent/addicticted to the women must be a control fetish thing, because I don’t think it can be a fantasy of being desired, since, well, it’s not even that they desire her, it’s that they now literally need her to live.