So Much Silver

You know, I thought I’d only end up writing about True Blood towards the end of the season. When rant-worthy things were happening, and when stupidity was rampant, as I have previous years. Little did I know that the further they get from the source material, the worse it would get and I’d need to say something every week about this show. So I think I’m just going to have to make two posts a week – one little rant on True Blood, and one on regular Sookie content – or more on book content, but one at least. I’ve been so busy that I’ve been reduced to one for Sookie – which takes a lot more than just referencing a silly television show. I just don’t care about getting canon absolutely figured out on True Blood – it won’t make a lick of sense anyway. I’m also making a new tag to fit this little excursion – tb – omg season five sucks. It is not an ironic pun on the show content. It’s a genuine statement.

Now, there are those of you who read here, and don’t watch the show. Maybe you’ll want to revel in the issues with it, or avoid it altogether. So the tag is there for you to do that. But last year, someone challenged me to have a ‘better’ look at True Blood, because they could see deep and meaningful stuff in there. I countered their points, and said what I’ve said in public – that the show doesn’t make sense. It was this person’s first foray into fantasy/horror, and what they saw in True Blood is something done far better in many other things.

What maybe many of you don’t know is that my studies have delved into the analysis of media and popular culture. I’m a great believer in the value of popular culture. After all – Shakespeare’s plays were popular culture when they were published, and so were Dickens’ books. I like classic literature, but pop culture has its value too – to the point that many of the things we consider valuable today as classic ‘proper’ literature were actually pop culture of their times. So I’m going to recommend at the end of these posts something that’s actually good and has really great consistency – so that when I dish up the bad on True Blood, you can watch something that is thematically sound, and has some really interesting ideas in it.

The Authority

Wow – they’re kinda useless. And I think I could outwit them. Actually…I’m pretty sure I could wipe the floor with their arses – mentally at least. They’re super fast and stuff, but I think I could outfox them. They’re not too bright. It was nice seeing Stabler (as he will always be in my brain) and hey – he even talked like Stabler in the interrogation room when he was walking around that table, talking to the council members.

I did ‘like’ the lack of continuity issue going on – Eric is disgusted with the baby eating vampire – you know, that guy who was going on about teacup humans and their deliciousness? Yeah – that guy. Apparently they’ve decided to forget that he said that, and make Eric just a morally upstanding person not down with the baby eating. Or maybe he couldn’t do fist bumps because of the cages. Of course, it did give me pause that Nora said he was eating them instead of delivering them. Now look – I can buy the baby eating fine. What I can’t buy is that he ate babies that hadn’t been born yet. What did he do? Faceplant in some lady’s vagina the minute the head and neck were out but before the shoulders? I don’t know how that one works.

Next, the convoluted vampire bible. I should lay my bets here and say that we will find out that some man at some time defeated Lilith. It’s the way True Blood rolls. I’m suspecting Russell Edgington, or maybe he was her friend, and she was defeated by some other men. There’s a plethora of men around to do that, and we all know, that even if you’re the Queen of Vampyrs with your elaborate ye olde sounding ‘y’ in there, that you can always fall for the wrong man, and he’ll be forced to take you out. Luckily, we have a woman as nominal head of the race, and now Roman wandering around sharing his blood in her name. Might I point out, that in mythology, she is motherfucking Queen of baby-killing.

I also don’t respect the logic the Authority is working under – leading to my belief that I could outfox them. Eric and Bill lied about Russell Edgington dying last time – avoided the order to kill him – and now the relatively stupid Authority are going to give them the job of doing it again?  And they will believe these two knuckleheads again? Isn’t it abundantly clear that any decisions Bill and Eric make are a clusterfuck of badness that will end up biting them in the arse a year and six months hence? How the hell did Bill bargain his way out of death with “I didn’t do it the first time, but this time I pinky-swear promise to do it because I die anyway”? I mean – that’s one hell of a motivator – “I die anyway”. Oh…right…plot convenience. I can see they haven’t thought this one out. Or maybe the Authority is a case of “You have fucked up 100 times, but we won’t tolerate 101 times, so we’re giving you another chance here”. I do not understand why the most lenient vampires in the world are Bill and Eric’s bosses. If I was their Queen, their arses would be dead about two seasons ago for irreparable stupidity.

Didn’t she just brain her with a keg?

Who’d have thought it would take like two days to get bored with frat parties? Jessica has more tolerance than me – I mean, she’s not exactly drinking and having a good time, right? This is one of the wonderful benefits of vampirism – you can have people over, but you can’t get drunk. I can’t wait until Jessica tells us how fucking wonderful and freeing it is to be a vampire again. I mean, ordinary kids can’t party in the house while the parents are out….wait…

I think when she dropped that keg that it probably hit that girl in the head, but no one noticed, and the drunk girl is fine. I don’t see the benefit of letting the human girl spew all over your porch is better than letting her spew on your floor. The sun is going to hit that and whew – tomorrow night, that will stink. I’m sure Bill has cleaning people to deal with this – what with the fabulous messes they make and are known to make…or maybe Eric will whiz up to the porch real quick and clean it. I do believe if human housewives and househusbands could actually own a tame vampire to clean shit up, they would sell like hot cakes.

The Steve Newlin bit was silly, and came out of nowhere. I don’t remember if Eric made a solid offer on buying Sookie. Maybe he did. From memory, Eric was a cheap bastard, and tried to barter for her – he covers up Longshadow’s death, he gets Sookie type deal. Maybe he would have given Bill a nominal dollar to seal the contract. Who knows?

Madam Pam

Pam must have made a hell of a lot of money off those girls. I mean, women back then, if they were Madams, lived in the brothel. They couldn’t afford digs elsewhere – except she could. It’s nice to know that even a hundred years later, she’s still using other women like Ginger to make her rich, and treat like shit. Poor Ginger. I just want to take her home and care for her. The entirety of Fangtasia rests on her shoulders, and I’m betting she doesn’t get more than minimum wage, and the requisite abuse of vampire arseholes. I do hope she stakes one of them at some stage, but sadly, she’s little more than an extra, and her sad little life is played mostly for nastiness and laughs to showcase Pam. She’s Fangtasia’s punching bag and pivotal employee all rolled into one!

I don’t buy the theory I’ve read a few times that Pam encountered Jack the Ripper. Or if that’s the show’s intentions, fail. Jack didn’t attack women who looked like someone cared about them. He attacked poor women, with little or no resources. They’re perfect for killing – because like Ginger – few people give two shits what happens to them. He also didn’t attack women just walking around or in brothels – the victims he killed inside, were all in their own little bedsits. He waited until his victims were in flagrante delicto, and couldn’t get away from him – it was part of his thing to carve them up and have sex with them before, during and after. It’s also when they were usually facing away from the punter, and definitely not looking at his hands. That’s why they didn’t scream bloody murder.

I must also now wonder what sort of infantilising process vampirism imposes on the victim. Pam before her death ran a brothel, and now she’s so bad at stuff she can’t cut hair with blood in it and figure out if you make a deal with someone, you should probably see that they stay alive to fulfil their part. Pam is a-one useless. She’s not even looking after her business, and she’s still pining over Eric.

And Eric the stand up guy who rescues women on the street about to be murdered? Huh. He doesn’t show the same courtesy to Ginger…and I believe he called Yvetta a whore as if he thought it was a bad thing to be one. Didn’t he give someone who was a “whore” the “gift” of immortality? Yeah….he did. But of course, Yvetta’s the bad kind of whore, because she wanted Eric’s money, unlike Pam and the credit cards….wait…

Peas in a Pod

It’s nice that Luna and Marcus do have something in common – they’re both deeply stupid. I complained last season about why did Marcus have sex and breed a child with a lesser species that he has so much contempt for. That there’s this new fangled thing called the condom that we’ve had for centuries now – and they finally made them in latex! So why the fuck did Luna think “I might like my own cannibal criminal baby – that sounds guuud”.

Honestly, I do not get these people. Why would you have sex with someone – have a baby with someone – if you think that the traits they have are going to be inherited by your baby and that you will hate those traits. But on the other hand, it’s nice to see that two stupid parents can share something stupid, and hate on their baby for being like the other parent. And of course Sam should have shut the fuck up. We aren’t raising a baby – one of the we doesn’t pay anything, do anything, and has minimal involvement in the we part of we.

Sookie goes Stake Shopping

If it’s illegal to stake a vampire Sookie, then why are all these companies making specialised stakes? But that’s immaterial, because Sookie has some convenient telepathy she uses rudely (book Sookie would never…ad nauseum) and then she’s got a friend to torture. Seriously. I was cringing all the way through the Tara scenes. Because nothing says “My friend is still in there” like spraying her with silver if she steps outside the door – without warning.

Why did this pair bring Tara back if they’re just going to hurt her all the time? Let’s not let her have a nice feed and calm down, let’s lure her with food and then chain her with silver. I cringe for these scenes. I won’t even touch on the black woman as a destructive animal who needs to be chained. I really won’t. I don’t even want to think about that one. Because of course, she wouldn’t be like Jessica, all able to talk and rationally refusing synthetic blood. Honestly. They thought this visual was a good thing – something to laugh at, as the (usually wonderful) Lafayette plays it off for laughs? Ugh. It’s just terrible.

At least he thought it might be a good idea to free her, but luckily, Sookie saved him from that excellent decision by reasoning that now at least, Sookie and Lafayette won’t have to watch her die, she’ll be able to outlive them, and also kill some people along the way. So all the pain of being left behind will be Tara’s! Yay for her! Vampirism puts one in the win column! It’s so freeing!

Interesting Facts about Silver

I find it astounding how much silver was used in this episode. It was nice to see that Sookie’s invisible trust fund paid for the biggest silver links she could afford. Maybe I’m the weird one and don’t have a couple of thousand dollars worth of silver lying around my house just in case. On the plus side, if she ever realises she doesn’t have an invisible trust fund and is supposed to be the working poor, then she’ll be able to sell the silver to be smelted down and be able to eat.

Of course, the Authority were pumping silver into Bill and Eric – along with the oxygen still in the pipes before the silver flowed down. This silver does not seem to hurt them as much as I thought it would. But people, it’s good to know that the Authority is into recycling. You get this electrolytic refined silver from refining copper. So the Authority will now take your factory waste and dole it out in punishment form. Dieter made it sound all fancy, but it’s the equivalent of taking a human into a room and injecting him with nuclear waste.

But, the biggest problem is how does one excrete heavy metal when one does not excrete? Bill in the books just got a few flecks of silver from Neave’s teeth into his bloodstream, and it knocked him on his arse until Judith gave him some blood. How the hell do you get rid of all that silver? Vampire blood dumps may be key here – they don’t sleep in the day, and sometime tomorrow, they will have to go to the toilet and scream their heads off getting rid of it. I’ve always suspected, since there are seemingly no downsides to vampirism – that they have to take a dump every day.Gets you coming and going that one.

I’d also like to pick on the colloidal silver spray people. I see it in fanfic sometimes too – Sookie has a colloidal silver spray, or paints herself with silver. Hey, if you want to take a risk to end up looking a pretty blue grey, be my guest. Silver is a heavy metal, easily absorbed into he skin in spray form. It might shock you to note that heavy metals poison people, and can have irreversible side effects if you build up too much of it – to say nothing of spraying it into the air to breathe. If vampires were real, I would look forward to some very entertaining skin colours around, from people messing with too much silver.

My Recommendation

Okay, so now the True Blood failure is out of the way, my recommendation for cool thematically sound pop culture is Dog Soldiers. Now, apart from the fact that it’s an excellent werewolf movie from Scotland, and that it has some of my favourite actors in it – and that they’re all brilliant, it also has plenty of blood, gore and action. I will say too that it’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie where the characters thought outside the box. In your conventional horror movie, you run into a room and barricade the door and wait, right? Not these guys. They will kick through the wall into the next room and barricade there too. Very innovative, and very exciting. Rollercoaster ride to the very end.

For those of you who have seen it, it’s definitely worth a rewatch for this next bit. It’s also the allegory of a modern day Knight – and that theme runs throughout the movie. In the beginning, the main character Cooper fails a job test for the SAS, and is told that they don’t need men of action, not “deeds”. Throughout the course of the movie, Cooper (and I should mention that real life medieval Knights were no saints either) shows a sense of loyalty and follows the code of chivalry. At a significant time, he even finds a sword. And of course, uses the sword against the modern day dragon – the werewolf. It’s a really interesting and modern take on the soldier for that theme. And the way that the theme and lesson of what sort of man Cooper wants to be is set against the backdrop of all this violence. It’s well worth watching for the references to how the soldier of the modern day is the equivalent to the Knights of old – at least if he has principles and honour. If you’re not familiar with the Chivalric Code, then you can find a condensed list here and then see how Cooper journeys through to earn the right to use that sword to defend the realm.

Horror and fantasy are excellent vehicles for this sort of theme, and this sort of message. That’s why I love the genre. True Blood is a spectacularly crap example for message, and if you haven’t delved into horror and fantasy before, this one is a good start.