Get a Job, Hippie

Okay, so stunningly enough, this week I didn’t have anything swirling round my head, mainly because I’m listening to A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin. It’s been sort of backburner-ed for a while there. As well, my backup harddrive died, so all of my audio files on that – I haven’t been listening to them. Hence, no swirling. On top of that? I deep fried my finger, as I mentioned in the True Blood post. I was almost finished typing this one when it happened. I’m typing a few final touches with my ouchie finger now.

So I thought I’d get to one of the questions that I saved in a little text file that was asked after Deadlocked was released. And that is this one:

Does Eric have the cajones to give up his sheriffdom and get a ‘real’ job,
perhaps, a job in real estate just like in that dream Sookie had?

The short answer is “No”. But that’s not what this LJ is for – it’s for the long and tortuous answer explaining why “No”. It’s not a PMR post if you don’t take the long way round and prove your reasoning.

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The End is Nigh

So, I didn’t know about this – but apparently a couple of people have been waiting to hear what I have to say about the spoilers we’ve gotten about Dead Ever After. I am apparently a terrible tease. In truth, I had a bit of a debate with myself about the ethics of looking into further book content. After all – I figure stuff out from the leisure of my desk, over a year, with no pressure, that just leads some of the sillier fandom members to say one of two things – that CH’s plots are simplistic and expected; and that Sookie is stupid not to figure it out. Neither of those are true, but the more things are figured out, the more CH and Sookie get it in the neck. I can assure you, I don’t sit down to figure this stuff out over the course of two weeks, while involved in vampire, were, fairy and human machinations. I debated whether posting stuff in public for chat would lead stupid people to say stupid things. But after the sad little posts I got from people hanging out, I’ll just have to assume in my favour – that stupid people will say stupid things no matter what I post. But if you do after reading this, then figure it out on your own in future, in two weeks, while involved in something complex and life threatening, like trying to become top dog in a maximum security prison.

Since this will be the first (of probably many) spoilery posts, it’ll have a new tag – omg omg dead ever after! – so if you want to avoid spoilers, you can avoid posts tagged with this. And now, onto the spoilers, which I shall steal from PM – which is where I got them. It’s good having a network. 😀 Thanks to Ooshka for the spoiler – she rocks. It was almost as good as going myself – which I didn’t because I figured other people would. Thank her for not being a piker like me.

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Really No H8?

I’m ridiculously behind this week – I’ve been busy with other things – and this is really short – so maybe I’ll have time to make another short one soon. I have yet to review all the stories I loved for I Write The Songs – I am completely crap – so many spankings. In fact, this week, the story I just reviewed will be the first story I’m gonna review when I get my arse into gear. This post is weighing on my mind, so I want to get rid of it and I plan to do a post on the construction of women looking at fanfiction too. So if you dislike meta and a little bit of ranting, then turn asunder.

I’m very pleased with my family this week. Very pleased. I’ve spoken – I think – before, about my eldest son doing homeless van. If I haven’t, he does – he gets up at 4.40am on some Fridays before school and goes out to a feed-the-homeless van, and helps out. At the moment he’s in Year 11, the workload is greater and they have plenty of volunteers, but he’s been doing it for three or four years now, so I don’t expect him to be Superman and do everything all at once.

My youngest son impressed me this week too. On the weekend, without any prompting from anyone, he went along to an LGBT rally. He’s about as heterosexual as you can get, but he believes in equal rights, and he thinks it’s the right thing to do. I’m personally really pleased about it, as I’ve always told the boys they should be accepting of others. In my dissolute youth, I was the first person one of my gay friends came out to, and I supported him all the way. So gay rights has meant a lot to me, even though I’m not gay – it’s part of the whole feminism/left view of the world I have.

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Illusion of Control

No spankings this week for me. I’m on time, and on my best behaviour (relative to the PMR standard of behaviour though). I actually wanted to share a funny link this week that I got sent – Straw Feminists – a hilarious take on the Straw Man argument technique. The comic is a hilarious depiction of the notion that all feminists are ball breaking bitches who want to kill men and destroy the world. I know I’ve had that one levelled at me, and I’m sure some of my commenters have too.

One of the things that seemingly became ultra-important in the latest book – at least for a subset of fanfic – is the Super!Sookie phenomenon. It was all born of the appearance of Mr. Cataliades, and wanting to get Sookie to handle her telepathy. I think this is a relatively shallow look to take at the idea – and I don’t think the mystical time when Sookie’s telepathy will be handled will ever happen. This is really about the hope that people have, and the illusion of control that people fall into.

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Test of a Prince

Sorry this one is a little late – I’ve been fighting acute anaemia. That means tiredness and falling asleep, and steak three times this week and being severely behind in this reviewing and replying business. Plus, it’s bloody cold here at the moment for me, so that means more reasons to snuggle with Mr. Minty. Also, I got my hair cut this week, and have to stop and brush/fluff it. It went from waist length to the cute hairstyle Buffy got. It is so cute right now, I love it. My hairdresser is fucking wonderful – I love him – I say “layered” as my only requirement (PMR has natural Shirley Temple curls to her chagrin, and the delight of my mother), and I’ve never been unhappy with the result. But enough about my raving about what I think about my hair (gorgeous!) and onto more interesting stuff.

So to what inspired this post and got me thinking. It was actually a quote somewhere else on the net that I frequent (different username, don’t bother to look) that really piqued me on this subject – and such an interesting quote it is too:

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
Abraham Lincoln

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Licence to Kill

This post is more of that academic analysis that some people hate. Mr. Minty is just happy I’m inflicting it on someone or something other than him. An oft-complaint in our house is “Must you question everything?!?” Living with an academic can be a chore, I tell you. And Mr. Minty will certainly tell you – loudly, and often. But Sookie and Eric can’t complain, so I can do it to them at any time. They won’t tell me I’ve ruined the moment.

Before I start, just a bit of writing advice. I sometimes see academics or people who’ve done postgraduate research written about in fanfic. They’re usually written pretty badly, and with the outside view of them. For a start, the character might seem smart to the populace, but they aren’t very smart at all. Unfortunately, they’re usually written about by someone who’s never done any research and sometimes by people who probably didn’t do so well at university, if they went at all. They certainly don’t have an open minded, pitbull approach to anything. You can’t replace actual smart with picking up trivia tidbits on the internet and just inserting them into the character’s speech. Or rather, you can, but you’ll only fool people stupider than you. Anyone who’s smarter than you will see through your character in a heartbeat.

Being inside the academic brain is very different to others…well, if you think Sookie questions too many sacred things – like the blood bond – she hasn’t got anything on the academic brain. It’s all about questions and analysis. Nothing is sacred. My advice is to write someone who is as smart as you, and as well educated as you are. You’ll do better at it – it’ll be authentic. Don’t write someone with a speciality for sure. We’re weird creatures – and it’s not the education that produces it – it’s something inborn. Academia just gives it guidance. Our brains seize on things and question them – which is why we naturally have a series of questions at the end of undergraduate degrees, and think that we might like to do research at the end. Then it can’t be just casual “I wonder” questions either – it requires the dedication of writing (to start with) about 20,000 words on the same subject. I had about twenty questions I really wanted answered when I was at the end of undergrad. I chose only one. If I was offered vampirism, this would be the only drawcard – an immortal life to spend researching shit in every single instance I wish. But onto the boring academic type post.

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Weeping Willa

This is the post that I referenced in the comments concerning the likeness to Scarlett O’Hara here. When I started this post, it was with a phrase as the title from Dead to the World. It lead me on an interesting little tour. Now, the requisite quote – where “Weeping Willa” appears is here:

I sighed, and my eyes watered, as they so often did
when I thought of Bill – Weeping Willa, that was me.

Dead to the World, p. 51

What this was going to be was a complaint about all the screaming, yelling and most pertinently, fucking crying Sookie does in SVM fanfic thanks to True Blood. I’ll cover that, but then I want to get onto what I found in my search. Book Sookie just doesn’t cry the way she does on television. On television, all the action halts while Sookie has some good screaming cry and everything stops in the meanwhile. And more importantly, Sookie falls to pieces in front of other people. It’s such a well known thing, there’s even auto-suggest on google images, and you find all manner of Sookie crying pictures:

It’s not a good finale if Sookie isn’t crying for some reason. Every single season’s end has had her having a good screaming cry. I’d say that that’s a trend about season finals, except that Sookie is forever fucking crying the rest of the season as well. It sticks in the mind so well because Anna Paquin is unbelievably shit at getting me to sympathise with her because her performance is so overblown. I think it must be the director’s issue – because she didn’t cry so badly in X-Men – so the director must like the contorted ugly crying or something. Because it’s not just Anna – it’s Askars and SMoyer too, who have that contorted ugly hammed-up crying – and they’re actually good actors. I can’t say the same about Anna, as I just watched her in the end of this movie, and she was not discernibly different from her Sookie acting. The same cock of the head, the same questioning looks, the same angry talking – it was like watching Sookie acting with another groom. Much like Nicholas Cage channels Nicholas Cage for his acting style. By the by – do not watch that movie, as going by the end, both women are complete doormats. Ugh.

If it’s not pecan pie that’s making Sookie weep, it’s the Maenad, or being stuck in the Fellowship basement, or seeing Bill and Eric roasting on a stake or whatever. True Blood Sookie is forever crying. It drives me up the wall, but the purpose is to weaken her character and make her non-relevant to the action. She’s too busy sitting in the corner having a good sob, so she’s doing something other than just standing there while men solve her problems. Crying is a time wasting stage direction, because just standing there will make her lack of relevance more visible. If someone is crying on screen, they’re really doing something while ostensibly doing nothing.  I mean when Show Sookie is in the Fellowship basement, crying and screaming explains the reason she’s just standing there, not doing anything to save herself. She’s busy.

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The Sooner to Feel the Love

You’ll have to excuse my absence. Firstly, mainly cause I give you all no choice 😛 But secondly because it’s been a busy week. My birthday and my wedding anniversary – so I stuffed myself with cake, and generally spent my time enjoying my sons and definitely their father. I tell you so you know it was an anomaly, not a trend that will continue – I’m not getting worse than this and it’s not going to be consistent. I was so bad with reviewing I was more behind than I normally to my shame. Sometimes I wish I was a “That’s hot” reviewer. It’d make my life so much easier. I have been informed that if that happens, people will call the authorities, sure I have gone mad or been killed. 😀 The requisite True Blood rant will be up right after this, and I’ll be mentioning this is here too. It’s two posts for the price of one! A bargain in anyone’s mind…except me, because I have to write them.

So, Freyda has been occupying my free thoughts for the last couple of weeks, just sort of on a backburner there, but since I’m not making any headway on the situation, I figured I’d write this one out. Usually when I do this, my thoughts become less formless, and I come to an actual conclusion. So that’s how we’re going to do this thing. This won’t be all about how they get rid of Freyda – I’m not sure that the clues are in the text for that, and I’m not a lateral thinker, so I probably wouldn’t come to the same conclusion as Sookie. I’m a critical thinker – I delve into the meaning of what I’m given. Hence, this journal. 😀

Freyda is really an interesting idea to delve into in the books – and I think CH has picked it for the subtext of the situation. I think CH chose a marriage, another woman who could rule Eric was part of her point about things from the post-feminist perspective. She rightly points out here that if Bill was being bossed around by another man, instead of a woman, no one would think twice about it. So one of the things that I think is important as far as contextualising the books is how very differently things are seen when a man does them, to when a woman does them. Eric strong arming Sookie into marriage is for her own good and therefore good despite her protests, and Eric being strong armed into marriage is not for his own good, and therefore bad despite his protests. When the truth is that both marriages ostensibly protect both people from bad consequences from Felipe. Love or not love doesn’t make any difference – it is the shit the different genders catch for the same motivations and actions.

CH admits that there are big undercurrents in her books, and I think she deliberately chose a woman to have dominion over Eric, in the hopes that maybe some people would think about it. About why it’s okay for Sookie to get forced into marriage for her own protection, but not okay for Eric to get forced into marriage to make his life better. I also think an important part of the discussion is not to minimise and dismiss Freyda as invalid just because she behaved in a way we wouldn’t minimise and dismiss a man for doing. Eric was surely gaining an asset as much as Freyda would be. Yes, he loves Sookie now, but he certainly didn’t offer that up as the reason for their marriage, no matter how much he likes it now. Having a vagina doesn’t add any extra evil context to your actions…or it shouldn’t.

Nor am I going to degrade Freyda because of this subtext. If you think Freyda, unlike all the male rulers is motivated solely by love and peen, when every man is using political advantage (like Victor and Felipe) then now’s your time to step off. I kinda hate that Freyda’s had her political teeth taken from her in most fanfic. She’s ruthless enough to get a kingdom by 150 years old, she’s no piddling idiotic lightweight. She is not ruled by her heart or her vagina – she doesn’t even think love is a real thing vampires feel, I suspect because of this quote:

“But he does love me.”
“I am sure he thinks so.”

Deadlocked, p. 172

That tells me that Freyda thinks love is an illusion one must convince themselves they feel. That Eric doesn’t love Sookie really, he only thinks he loves Sookie because presumably, there hasn’t been a better offer on the table. So we’ll have none of the minimising and dismissing of Freyda based on ideas that she’s in luuuuurve with Eric, or she really needs a good screw. It’s insulting and incredibly sexist. Just look at this journal – no sex, no pictures of men to drool over – and yet women are discussing something that isn’t love and peen – a fuck of a lot of it is all about politics. And don’t give her some charming name in the comments like other women get – you know – Whorena (Lorena) or Whora (TB Nora) – unless you want a PMR to go nuclear.

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Happy Enough After

I’m probably going to end up doing another one of these sorts of posts closer to the time of the new book, but now I’m thinking on it, so I’m going to do it now. No one can say I’m completely organised here. It’s whatever is bothering me this week that gets trotted out. And often, I end up answering a lot more about what I think in the comments – enough to make a few posts about in and of itself. But this post is born from the comments, because I want to come at this from a more strict approach, rather than merely replying.

Now, we’ve been discussing – and I make it my business to discuss – Eric’s failings as far as HEA guy. No one without serious brain injury could argue that I think Eric is the HEA guy cause I think he’s the “best” of all the suitors. I just happen to believe Sookie when she says she loves him. I know readers take all she does, and end up demanding her to show her love – but hey, she’s just doing insignificant things to show that, like trying to respect and tolerate a 2000 year old rapist Eric respects; lying to police to keep him out of trouble; and still speaking to him after he hurts her and makes her cry. Clearly she should be doing more, amirite? Because these are the sorts of things you expect out of women – they don’t just give them freely out of love – they’re damn well obligated to tow the party line. Those acts aren’t really going out of your way to support the man you love, right? I mean just because they could end up getting you endangered and killed, they mean almost nothing in the face of doing more.

As far as I am concerned though, all of these things are ways Sookie shows she loves Eric. If some readers can’t see that no one forced her to rush over, but that she jumped to go see Eric, putting herself in the way of a 2000 year old vampire who could have used Eric to attack her and had previously expressed the desire to feed on her, then clearly, there’s going to be no meeting of the minds here. But as to what love is – and how Sookie or Eric define it – that’s up to them. They say they feel it, then they feel it. It seems Sookie shows it by doing things that are definitely not safe nor in her interests, but she does them because of love.

Eric is pretty crap at expressing it – or rather he subscribes to the fine art of arse backwards. One minute he’s doing the right thing – waiting for her to get over torture and being gentle with her, next minute it’s him who’s biting her to hurt her, like Lochlan and Neave. He really deserves a whole heap of posts pointing out his epic fail considering how often he gets a pass to do whatever shit he can think of in the name of “love” to Sookie everywhere else in the fandom. Out there, he bit her out of love and helping – and to teach her a lesson. In here, he’s just a dick who bit his wife hard. And I can assure you – I’ll get back to you if Sookie ever hurts him and makes him cry for no other reason than she’s pissed off with his behaviour. You just wait right here, and I’m sure it’ll come soon, right?

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A Failing Grade

Well, I watched the season five premiere of True Blood last night. I was kinda dreading it really, because of spoilers. I have read “Fuck Sookie” and “super snatch” about fifty times since it premiered in the US. I figured it was going to be a whole episode of cataloguing how shit Sookie is. She may be silly and not empowered, but that doesn’t mean I want to spend an hour of my life seeing her verbally abused just to see the expressions on Anna Paquin’s face. Luckily it wasn’t too bad, and it’s just the fandom that overblows the chick hating and fastens onto it like a lifeline. Alan Ball is so much more subtle about his hatred and contempt for women. I thought I might need an Alcide stress ball  but the word getting most on my nerves is “factions”. One vampire does not make a “faction” and writing a political storyline does not mean you get to do what you want, and then justify getting away with doing it because “factions”. Good politics are complex and subtle, they have consequences and you use up influence if you do what you want, not this hamfisted jackassery wherein you kill someone and then back it up with “I can do what I want, whatever! FACTIONS!”

I did like that Bill got the creepy job of Fanfic Pam – narration on the sex scene too. So fucking creepy, seriously – yet Pam does it all the time because she’s exactly the same blockhead in fanfic. Since AB garners from fanfic, it was nice to see he knows how a proper sidekick acts. I was also “pleased” to see that Sookie – like fanfic Sookie – did something wrong right out of the gate. Now Sookie’s doing wrong by her friends too. I mean, Tara had the option to be vamped up when Franklin Mott showed up in her life – and I do believe she smashed his head in with a mace as suitable reply. So I’m sure she’ll be happy to see she still doesn’t get to make choices about her life – or fuck, even her death. Meanwhile, Alcide can sell the line that Tommy has a right to “choose when he dies” and Sam will protect Alcide for respecting Tommy’s autonomy. Sigh.

That’s relevant because there seems to be some kind of belief going around the fandom that Eric doesn’t have a choice in whether or not he wants to marry Freyda. I’ve been going over the Freyda bits again and again – and I feel like I have an edge with which to work on – but I have to ruminate on it some more. What I did notice along the way is that the only party in the Freyda debacle selling this as inevitable is Eric.

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