This is my personal blog and does not necessarily reflect the collective views of Hard Limits Press

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Narcissus in Chains Chapter Forty Seven

Dottie's chapter here

"There was still a thread of light in the sky, like a slender golden ribbon, glowing against the push of dark, dark clouds..."

You know how die hard LKH fans accuse us of being jealous haters? It's not so much jealousy as PURE OUTRAGE that someone who can't even manage the bare basics of her craft is swimming through a pile of cash like Scrooge McDuck. That sentence is a magician's illusion box stuck through with comma swords, except the lovely story inside is surely dead instead of safely spirited away below the floor.

Repeating a descriptor doesn't make it more poignant.

Hey, they're going to Circus of the Damned. Anita informs us that the front of this place is "like a carnival" which is both the laziest description ever and REALLY FUCKING OBVIOUS considering Circus is in the fucking name. 

Somehow they've managed to cram this entire dysfunctional family in to one vehicle. Anita, Nathaniel, Cherry, Zane, Caleb, Merle, Micah and Gil. Even for a van that's a lot of people. Of course we're not told what kind of vehicle Anita is driving because that would be too relevant to the situation. It's like LKH believes that if she keeps everything muddy and 'mysterious' maybe we won't realize that she is the definition of hack.

Wait, they're in a Jeep? I'm blind. I don't drive. But I have a hard time imagining a Jeep with eight people in it. Can anyone tell me if this is as ridiculous as I suspect it is?

Anita is a judge-y ass about how other animators raise zombies for money. She is pure, you see, and doesn't believe in using "God-given gifts" for such lowly purposes. Caleb quite rightly points out that she gets paid for her services too and she lectures him about how she only takes money from the worthy. Anita-Christ will be here all evening, healing the sick and giving sermons on various mounts.

Merle calls her "deeply moral" and goes on about Anita's supposed ethics. You know one thing I really hate in these books? The people just exist to revolve around Anita. Their primary purpose is to explore what passes for her psyche. They huddle around fighting each other for the chance to stroke her dick, figuratively of course because real dick stroking would actually be kind of exciting after all the clean filth I've been forced to endure.

A big paragraph about Micah's "brown velvet" curls. And here I thought the protagonist of NDT had a preoccupation with his hair. Now is apparently the right time to tell us that Merle is wearing the same outfit he always wears. Also Micah's outfit, which is fancy. Great. It makes his skin look "even darker" but not so dark that Anita won't touch him.

Oh, only now do we know what the purpose of this whole joyless exercise is: they're taking Micah to meet J.C.

"Damn it, I had enough to worry about without having to juggle male egos."

Because men are just idiots right? They're barely a step above cave men, what with their massive boners and jealous rages and the objectification lasers shooting from their kitty-cat eyes. I think I finally figured this out today: LKH perceives men as holding all the power. She desperately wants that power. She wants to sit at the big kid's table. But just like an insecure child, she senses that she is not welcome. She can't handle rejection and exclusion, so to cope she twists all the men in her stories until they're caricatures of the worst cishet male traits, and yet they're also beautiful sex dolls for her author avatar who are controlled by Anita's perfect pussy. She derides and devalues everything female because she wants that brass ring--to be considered in essence a man--but because she can't have it she wields objectification as her weapon of choice and ends up treating everyone like shit.

By the way in case you were wondering about LKH's hatred of women, check out some quotes from a recent convention panel:

"The rule is if you can't take the attention, don't wear it. I'm going to stamp the card of every man that has ever been on the receiving end of a woman– dressed scantily – who got mad at them because they couldn't take their eyes off their breasts. Or whatever was showing. I'm sorry...they're men. And if they're heterosexual men, or actually, I even have friends that are gay, saying breasts are lovely. If you're gonna dress that way, you can't punish the men for being men. Looking's okay. That's it. Just so we don't all get carried away."

You guys, LKH is here to tell you the rules. Aren't you glad?

Or how about her thoughts on a woman wearing a corset at a party?

"And then I got the story that the woman who had been pissy to other people -- he just said, "You look lovely. That corset makes your breasts look absolutely beautiful," is what he said to her. She cut him a new one. She yelled at him up and down and sideways. Other people witnessed it, I got reports that he was accurate in his reporting. Freakin'...don't wear the corset! Do, or do not. There is no in-between on this one."


1). Those dirty whores are asking for it. I know it might sound innocuous at first--she's not saying women deserve to be raped if they dress scantily--but I am going to posit that such is exactly what she's saying. She's not doing it in so many words, but it's a very short jump from women who dress scantily deserve to have their bodies commented on regardless of their comfort level to women who draw the eye of heterosexual men deserve everything they get. 

2). Look, I'm 'only' a male/andro leaning genderqueeer person. I am also queer. I am not cishet and in some ways I can't understand what that's like. So let me ask you, cishet guys...aren't you insulted by this? The idea that you can't possibly rise above your base instincts and act like grown ups? That you have to be coddled and placated so you don't just rape everything in sight? I would hope the average cishet man would realize that it's intensely creepy to comment on a stranger's breasts. Men are capable of acting like adult humans. The guy she's discussing should be immediately re-educated, preferably by those among his kind that realize that men objectifying women is not a natural state of being. 

3). LKH: I totally have tons of friends that are gay and by implication I am therefore incapable of saying or writing anything homophobic, despite my books being great rambling rants about how gay people are icky and how gay cooties will only touch my main character if an exoticized Asian stereotype sex doll does it. 

Oh no wait, they're actually here to rescue Damien, the vampire J.C. has had bound up in a coffin for the past six months. I do not understand why this plot point is here. It's not needed. There's plenty going on. Rather, there would be if LKH could utilize her own ideas. 

Micah only exists to be Anita's therapist and stunt penis so of course he realizes that Damien, who has been suffering unspeakably for months, is not her real concern. No, she's in a crappy mood because she's nervous about introducing Micah to J.C. For someone who natters on about her supposed practicality as much as she does, her priorities are severely out of order. 

Interminable bullshit about the intricacies of introducing all of one's boyfriends to one another.

I like a polyamorous lifestyle and monogamous people have more than once given me a serious look, lowered their voices, and said some variation on "...but how does it work? I mean, really." And I know they're assuming extra drama. Nothing could be further from the truth. Partner A and I have been together for six years, Partner B and I for three. Partner B always knew Partner A was what might be termed a primary lover of mine. He came in to this relationship with eyes open. It wasn't sprung on him. When I told Partner A way back when that I couldn't live a monogamous life anymore it was very hard in the beginning to readjust. But we got over it. We had and have problems just like anyone. It may be complex, but since when are monogamous relationships simple?

"I was actually more scared about introducing the two of them than I was about than I was worried about Damien."

Everyone gets out of the car. Cris and Bobby Lee are Anita's new wererat bodyguards. They get described. Who gives a fuck? I am suffering from clothing and eyes overload. 

Cris and Bobby Lee are bodyguards yet inexplicably no one has briefed them on who the leopards are, so they cause a stink about protecting Anita from her own pard. Uurrgh so stupid. People are wearing clothes! There are guns under the clothes! Anita threatens the rats about interfering with her people! Clothes! Guns!

 These goddamn rats are fucking idiots because despite valuing muscle LKH also seems to think people who radiate "bodyguard badass" are complete fools. Anita is trying to explain to them that there may be a lot of posturing to come and that they shouldn't overreact and one of them says "so tonight isn't real." HOW CAN YOU BE THIS DUMB? The guy is a fucking wererat. All the shifters have done this whole book is fucking posture. How can they not understand the difference between posturing and a situation where Anita is in real danger? They're the worst bodyguards ever. Maybe Rafael is trying to get her killed. I can dream. 

The hokiest line in all the land happens when Bobby Lee says: "We're supposed to protect her body, not her heart."


  1. I have completely lost track of what is actually supposed to be going on here or how much time has passed. Just reading this is like being on Ambien.

    PS, a Jeep doesn't have any more seats than a regular vehicle. It's just a normal-sized SUV, so it's meant for five adults. Maybe Micah is so tiny they squeezed him into the glovebox?

  2. Yeah I can't believe she said all that stupid crap. So who cares if the woman in question is nervous if some creepy dude commented on her breasts, she should have known better than to wear a corset. And I guess I'm just a sex-crazed fiend ruled by my penis! Thanks for enlightening me, LKH! *vomits profusely*

    Ha, that's so classic of Anita. She's judging other animators for using their powers for cash. Never mind that it's part of her job.

  3. I swear I recall a time when she mentioned she *has* to use her powers, or they'll basically work unconsciously, like when she accidentally raised her dead dog. That at least makes sense. But of course, the Anita of Now has to be holier than thou about it, even though her actual job seemed to be nothing more than an accessory to lawyers: raise corpse, have them tell everyone "yes, my will is correct," and back down they go.

    1. If that were true you'd think we'd be worried about the fact that this book is almost over and not once by my memory has she used her animator powers. Consistency, this is not it.

    2. Yes, her powers work without her consciously knowing about it - she can just raise things around her without realising. Not that LKH remembers that. Did you see that bit in her q&a when she goes on about how she can't remember the stuff that happens in her work? I had my own fit of MANRAGE.