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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Forty One

Zebrowski is here. His only defining character trait is that he can't dress himself, because he is teh clueless manz who needs a woman to teach him how to breathe in and out. And Katie, his wife? Why her only job is to manage her bumbling manchild of a husband, clearly. Good lord, no one makes it out of this alive, do they?

Caleb is inexplicably on the couch, even though the fucking paramedics realized he's in shock. Which means he should be in the hospital. Read a book, LKH! Do some research! Shit. 

Merle "wears the potential for violence like an expensive cologne."

I legitimately love that sentence. And I love Merle still, even if he was not allowed to be appropriately awesome in that herky jerky fight scene from before.

Zebrowski knows Anita is bullshitting him. Why is she bullshitting him? I mean okay shapeshifter business and the police don't mix, but still. She knows this guy personally and presumably, he can be trusted to act with discretion. She's in the right here, too. She's done nothing to provoke Marco and his goons, other than just generally existing.

Anita shares some truly stupid insights about crime scenes and police work. Apparently at murder scenes you "always have more cops than you need." I wonder if the cops in Camden would agree. Or the cops in San Fransisco's Tenderloin district. Or maybe the guys in Newark. You see where I'm going with this? Also, this absolute cornucopia of police presence means you lose evidence, according to Anita. Yes, some police investigations are shoddy, know what, what the fuck am I saying? This is an Anita book, so all law enforcement officers are running around with their pants down, hands desperately scrambling around in search of asses, which remain elusive even with a flashlight and a map.

Pictured: the St Louis police department. 

Cops are questioning Anita's goons. Micah turns up. Earlier it was implied that he shifted so no one would realize that he was a shapeshifter, except he's coated in shapeshifter goo and has leopard eyes. Well, whatever. Woosh. 

Dolph doesn't like that Anita and Micah are in twu wuv. Dolph is also going to question Anita which is sure to devolve in to something ridiculous. Anita resents Dolph questioning her in her house. Uh, okay. Where would you prefer to be questioned? In the backyard? In the garage? In a box? With a fox?

I do not like this book, Sam I Am. 

Anita tells Dolph the whole truth, which might be the smartest thing she's done this whole book. Oh, except she does lie to him after all, about what happened in the club FUCKING EONS AGO. Good lord, this book feels long. This chapter is boring the fuck out of me. Dolph is a scary manz so he can only express his fee fees through violence, so he nearly destroys the mirror on Anita's dresser because he's a big fucking baby and is a mere life support system for rage and penises. 

LKH hates women so much that the hate wells up and splashes all over men too. It's fucking mesmerizing. I can't even say that it's because she hates femininity (though she definitely hates that too) and therefore hates feminized men, because she values feminized men as sex objects while constantly putting down conventionally masculine men as rage monster testosterone beasts who can't dress themselves, express emotions, or act in a professional manner. Of course then again she has to constantly remind us that Anita's lovers are just soooo conventionally masculine despite being small and pretty and having flowing luscious locks, because to do otherwise would be to get nasty feminine homoerotic cooties all over her self insert. Oh and masculinity is GOOD when Anita shows it, but because Anita is a saint it becomes perfect, amazing masculinity that elevates her above icky women. And lest we start questioning how she feels about genderqueer or intersexed people, well, please turn your attention to Narcissus. Good lord. There is so much hate in this book! So much! What I'm left with is only Anita is good and only Anita may express herself because she is the fucking queen, you plebes. Except she'd be a king, because other women are inferior to her greatness and she's a better man than a cis man is because she's the best at everything. 

Pictured: LKH's understanding of gender.

They both realize that the snake men aren't traditional shapeshifters, because they didn't turn back in to humans when they died. Dolph references a naga Anita supposedly interacted with a couple of years ago. Did this actually happen or is this an effort to make Anita seem more badass than she is? 

Turns out Dolph's son Darrin is engaged to a vampire, and he's having a giant bigoted freak out about it. Except I am having trouble labeling him like that, since the vampires in this universe legitimately are dangerous, amoral, child fucking, raping, murdering bastards. Being against that is just part of being a reasonable person. 

See, the thing is if LKH wants to make the "monsters" sympathetic, they need to behave in a sympathetic fashion. You'll note I didn't say they have to be good, or saintly, just sympathetic. This requires depth. The "monsters" in the ABverse have no depth. They're all mindless blood drinking rape machines who DESERVE to get shot in the face. How am I supposed to sympathize with a creature like Micah, to the point where the "varmit laws" fill me with disgust? Everything, everything these shifters have done--with the exception of the rodere--is deserving of punishment. We put Ted Bundy to death! How come Micah gets off scott free?

Pictured: Micah. 

Furthermore, when people experience bigotry in the real world it is by definition tied to arbitrary characteristics that do not in reality have anything to do with the attributes or lack thereof they have been associated with. Black skin does not make you more likely to commit crime, and yet many people believe that connection is real thanks to racism. However, being a fucking werewolf does, demonstrably, make you more likely to rape, eat, and kill. Hell, what's her name just ate her husband during sex. That was a plot point a little bit ago. haha plot point.

Dolph is pissed that he can't have grandchildren. I realize this is a common want, but I find it very hard to muster up any sympathy for Dolph here. Your children are not baby factories. They're not objects, or slaves, or prisoners. They get to--or should get to--live their own damn lives without constantly cleaving to their parent's demands. 

Anita tries to comfort him which I do appreciate even though I don't care for Dolph's position, but it's over in like thirty seconds and they're back to being cold and cop-like (haha) at each other. 

..."I don't know how you can stand for them [Micah, and by implication the rest of her supernatural lovers] to touch you."

You are a fucking creep, Dolph. This is sexual harassment and, for once, I am totally in Anita's camp because she is quite rightly telling him to shove it. I don't care if you're friends (though what fucking friend says shit like this?). You're in a professional situation and it's already dicey that you're questioning someone you know personally. Don't compound it with this indefensible bullshit. 

Lucille, Dolph's wife, wants to learn more about vampires and Dolph asks if it's allright if Lucille calls Anita. Anita agrees. Dolph cries probably over the fact that none of his children will fall in line with his outdated heterosexist wants. 

Oh also at one point Anita says that no one will make a big deal out of this because it's just a couple of dead shapeshifters. Actually, if you continue the stupid STUPID STUPID civil rights comparison LKH is pulling out of her ass, there was a case somewhat like this where the cops busted in and shot a bunch of Black Panther members. The cops said the men in the house they raided shot first. The survivors said the opposite. Forensics proved the Panthers were in the right. It was a high profile case. There is no way this would get swept under the carpet, especially since Anita is involved, who is inexplicably famous. 

None of that will come up, because LKH can't be bothered. She doesn't care and guess what?


  1. Her whole universe is one big clusterfuck of a lack of actual defensible rights, I swear. It's kind of like the X-Men: yes, in some ways they can stand for a penalized minority, except where mutants are born who are literally dangerous to everyone around them. (A particular issue where a kid found out he was a mutant when he literally killed everyone around him via some sort of airborne inhalant is one example. Wolverine had to go in and mercy kill him because he had absolutely no control.) At that point the "poor minority" parallel ends because motherfucker can kill your ass just by existing.

    Laurell's weres have been, by and large, shown as utter despicable bastards, if not incapable of acting like humans trapped within animal bodies. So yeah, it's hard at times to not feel empathy with Dolph's (and many others) point of view that all of these supernatural murder machines are terrible, horrible creatures who cannot be reasoned or dealt with. At the same time, I can't help but want to tear my hair out at the idea that "varmint laws" exist (decades after lynching was essentially understood to be a bad thing, and something we shouldn't do to people just because they're of a darker skin colour), yet vampires are recognized as legally existing. At their most basic, vampires exist by slowly killing people; weres do not. And yet both are treated, on varying levels, like animals with less rights than my cat. This is such a ridiculous simplification in some ways, especially in America (which, as we've seen recently, can't even agree with itself on what rules should be established, followed, and ignored) that I can't even accept it as anything less than perhaps St. Louis' shady attempt to deal with these supernaturals that is barely skirting the legality of the actual law.

    1. It's like, she can't have it both ways unless she did a TON more explaining. It's not that once vampires are giving human status discrimination against them magically goes away, but it does make them a lot harder to kill at the slightest provocation. Same with shifters. Also, I think the books are taking place in the late '00s and while the Internet has by no means fixed any -isms, it is, in my eyes, a hell of a lot harder to just kill someone for the color of their skin and have it go totally unremarked. To say that no one will care because they are shifters in a world analogous to our own just doesn't work for me. She didn't make the rest of her world dark and lawless enough for me to buy that turning in to an animal by itself is enough to justify that.