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Monday, August 8, 2016

Cerulean Sins Chapter Thirty Three

Let's do this thing.

Here comes Nathaniel. I think Nathaniel could be a great character but instead he exists merely to absorb Anita's awfulness. And that's what he's doing here, trying to comfort her even though she is completely and totally in the wrong.

Anita randomly remembers Musette is around. Good lord how long has it been since the plot wormed its way in? Anita is also "head blind" thanks to all the magical woo woo so she can't use her powers.

Anita loves wearing a lot of different hats. One second she's a hardbitten bitch ready to throw down. Sometimes she's a dandy aping ornamental language. Other times she fancies herself an expert on literature, going so far as to randomly quote Shakespeare. In another book this would be a cohesive character. Here? Well let's take a look at Anita's latest hat, one labeled angsty emo teenager:

"Right that second it felt like the world should open up at my feet and swallow me down the great black hole that was eating through my heart." 

Anita, you brought this on yourself. Generally people don't like being accused of sexual assault after you expressly consented. You even said yourself that it wasn't fair, but that insight isn't enough to make you less callous. I find that very disturbing. She knows she's wrong, she knows it's unfair, she knows she's feeding Asher especially a sandwich full of shit. And yet it doesn't inspire her to change because she is a malignant narcissist and thinks everything revolves around her whether or not she's right or morally correct.

Nathaniel tells Anita that the men who were following them have caught up. Anita whines about how guns are her bestest friends you guys, seriously. Guns don't judge you! I mean, she could get a dog but then she might have to clean up its poop (no that's actually in the text). God forbid Anita care for anything, even a pet!

Anita talks about how she has to holster her gun so it doesn't rub against her breasts. She goes on a rant about how Amazons used to cut away their breasts to better draw their bows, but Anita doesn't believe that because girl power. SHUT UP. Oh my god, no. This is like when you tell someone you have abusive parents and then when that person visits your parents are on their best behavior in order to confuse and separate you from your ally. I know you to well to get dragged in to this, Anita. PLUS LET ME JUST SAY you CAN'T turn that bullshit with Asher in to a women's rights issue. You. consented. to. it. You may not enjoy it after the fact but turning on Asher and essentially calling him a rapist is unacceptable. YOU CAN'T FOOL ME, ANITA. As if you care about women in the first place!

Anita doesn't want Nate to get caught in a firefight so she tells him to stay behind. He looks as if he's going to argue so Anita says a bunch of disgusting things like: "I wanted him more independent, but mot stubborn. He was about the only person in my life that did what I asked, when I asked."

People like Nathaniel exist, with all of his attachment issues and everything. But this is not how you handle a relationship with someone like him. They've never once truly discussed this bond and its parameters. Anita isn't honest enough for that. So neither of them know what's going on or what they are, and Nate attaches to her in a supremely unhealthy way. But does Anita notice or care? No, that would require empathy and compassion. Instead she takes advantage of him constantly and feels not a single pang of guilt.

I think Nathaniel would be happiest in a total power exchange relationship. This is essentially a lifestyle wherein Nate would have a very subservient position relative to, in this case, Anita. Anita would make most if not all of his decisions. This type of BDSM dynamic requires immense work, maturity, and emotional intelligence if it's going to work. So Nate is essentially doomed, because Anita doesn't actually invest in anyone she claims to love.

Anita is so shaken up she wonders if she makes Nate unhappy.

She doesn't ask and calls herself a coward for not doing so. Well Anita, you're not wrong.

Wait hold on I'm sorry....but what the fuck is this?

"I went to find Bobby Lee. Him, I trusted to be in the line of fire. But it was more than that; I wasn't sleeping with Bobby Lee. I didn't love him. Sometimes love makes you selfish. Sometimes it makes you stupid. Sometimes it reminds you why you love your gun."

Did you know that a large number of firearms in the U.S. are used to threaten people in domestic violence situations? There's a creepy vibe to this paragraph that makes it seem like if things go wrong in her relationships, she defaults to brandishing a weapon. This is something that has come up in other chapters and I don't think it's an accident. Knowing what I do about how she's a serial rapist, I suppose this shouldn't surprise me. What LKH doesn't seem to understand is that she's made Anita the villain of the story when she's supposed to be the heroine.

A new Dragon Age chapter!

This thing is turning in to a novel! Please take a look here: These Particulars Are Not My Measure

Thank you!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Just in case you guys like fanfiction, here is my Dragon Age fic (that just updated) Go forth and read!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Cerulean Sins Chapter Thirty Two

So, Anita has clothes on again. JC is wearing a couple of blue towels, which spawns two rather, um, interesting descriptions:

"Seeing his face free of all hair made him look more like a boy to me."

This is a prime example of a statement I wouldn't bat an eye at from another, much different character, but because it is Anita I have that odd discomfort one gets after eating something unfamiliar. I'm not sick to my stomach, per se, but I am concerned about what's to come.

Secondly, "It was the bones of his cheeks that saved his face from being utterly feminine."

Let me get this out of the way. She means cheekbones, but god forbid we just say that like a normal person! Anita is not normal. She is so special we can't hold her to the same standards as everyone else on the planet, duh. But the real meat of this sentence is that JC is "saved" from femininity, because god forbid he be feminine. He is consistently described as having huge, gorgeous eyes, long, fluttery lashes, and dresses in poet blouses that you KNOW are just stirred by warm breezes redolent of flowers everywhere he chooses to swan about, but he is MALE you guys. Nothing feminine about him! Nope! Let us all take a moment of silence to contemplate JC's giant schlong and how utterly, utterly, utterly masculine that makes him.

Asher is clothed only in the "spill" of his hair. If you've been reading along with these for awhile you know that LKH loves this word to the point where it's unhealthy. If you based a drinking game around the use of the word spill, you would be dead within the hour. Well, maybe fifteen minutes because odds are if you're reading this dreck you're already drinking.

Anita is very mature because she doesn't go for her gun, because normally during an argument she would stroke it for comfort. You all know that statistic about how guns in the home are often used to intimidate and control domestic violence survivors, right? This is not an innocuous trait of hers and it's only somewhat ameliorated by the fact that both JC and Asher are powerful vampires. Its been shown that she has the ability to coerce JC into doing what she wants, and I honestly think that she and Asher keep up this push me pull you shit because Anita isn't sure she can browbeat Asher into being her cowed slave.

"Shutting the fuck up is seldom a bad move on my part."

YOU ARE NOT GOING TO FOOL ME WITH THIS SUPPOSED SELF DEPRECATING CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. Character development never happens in this series. Ever. In fact the last chapter was such a cock block in this regard that I was even more reluctant to do this next chapter than usual.

Apparently the big issue here is that Asher rolled Anita's mind. I am not sure what the problem is. JC seems more upset about it than Anita. Asher goes on about how it seems like when vampires feed from Anita, she's the one in control of them, which is the opposite of what normally occurs when vampires feed. Did I miss something? The last couple books have all at least mentioned that she doesn't let vampires feed from her. This has been a problem between her and JC for like WAY too long.

Anyway, Anita wants the D. Asher's, in particular. Anita is hugging herself but chooses to describe it as "my arms clung to me." They're not a separate entity, Anita. They're not a macramé project imbued with the desire to show love.  This isn't some shitty short story about how Anita loses her arms in an accident so she has to get transplants from a dead criminal, and then when the surgery is over she is now possessed by the dead guy's evil ghost and her arms start committing crimes she doesn't want to commit.

I would still read that over a LKH novel if you made me pick.

Asher tries to talk dirty to Anita, which means I have to read lines like "the pale spill of your back." At least he's enough of a grown up that he can call her ass an ass, though he can't help but refer to it as a "mound." 

Asher points out that Anita consented to being bitten and rolled, which leads in to the most infuriating thing I have ever read:

"You told me you wanted me inside you, as I remember. And when I bared your neck you said, yes, Asher, yes." 

"I remember what I said." 

"Then how can you be angry at me for doing what you asked? ...How can you blame me for this?"

"I don't know, but I do. How that's unfair, or maybe not unfair, I don't know, but I do."

Look. This is very serious and I want to get this across loud and clear: WHAT YOU JUST READ IS ABUSIVE. Constantly changing the goal posts, offering consent and then claiming you didn't, allowing someone to do something to you (explicitly in this case! yes, Asher, yes) and then claiming after the fact that it wasn't consensual when it clearly was...these are abusive, manipulative actions.

I remember in one of my domestic violence trainings courses, we were given the example of a couple who practiced BDSM. The submissive was claiming that the dominant was abusing him. When you dug deeper, though, it became apparent that the submissive agreed to what they were doing, and only after the fact did he twist the situation to make it appear as if his dominant were ignoring his boundaries.

Who batters and who abuses isn't something you can accurately predict based on gender, role during sex, type of sex, etc. Also, as hard as this is, batterers often find systems and subcultures to hide in, places where they can obscure their true, predatory purpose. I have seen more than one situation where the batterer had a target group membership and was saying things like, because I am oppressed by the world, partner, you will now do anything and everything I ask, when I ask for it, without protest. That doesn't mean social justice is inherently wrong nor does it mean that BDSM is inherently abusive. It does mean that cunning abusers often see the power of appropriating parts of these philosophies and communities.

In short, Anita is an abusive, manipulative shell without empathy, fear, or the ability to feel and express remorse.

I mean this. In real life too. It's a struggle to avoid Othering people who have these traits while still being realistic about how they are likely to treat you, but I'll just say that when you encounter people like this you needn't treat them in an inhuman manner. But you should look elsewhere for reciprocity and love.

If I could ask you to remember one thing in this life, it is that some people are simply not capable of love.

JC's voice is like "the sigh of the wind outside a lonely door." 

JC blames Asher for the fact that they aren't at this moment having a freaky three way together. ASHER DID WHAT ANITA WANTED. This is NOT his fault. It is Anita's. She says "I don't know about that" and is happy about sounding angry over something SHE WANTED.

I have read what, three of these now? And just when I think it can't be humanely possible to hate her more than I already do, shit like this happens.

Asher and JC discuss Anita's distaste for having vampire powers used on her, which Asher is ignorant of. And who could blame him, given how the situation played out? Anita straight up is like, lol this conversation makes me uncomfortable so I'm going to ignore it. Seriously. JC at least defends Anita's right to be uncomfortable. (dirty secret, I like JC. I know there are some scenes where he pressures Anita in to sex which I obviously don't condone but mostly he seems like the victim to me).

These relationships are so sick and stunted. I know I've brought this up several times but one of the things I hate most is the way polyamory is portrayed in these novels. Mostly, because it never seems as though any of these people even like each other, let alone love.

Anita explains that because of Asher's vampire powers she will  never know if her feelings for him are genuine. Well one, she seemed to have plenty of feelings about him before now, and two....who the fuck cares? I mean sure that's a worry I can see having, especially right after being rolled, but if time goes by and she's still in to him I almost don't think it matters. It reminds me of being trans in a weird way (don't be offended, I have a tendency to rapidly and loosely connect ideas. just go with me on this for a minute) in that myself and many other trans people have gone through a phase where we're like, my god! How can I possibly know if I am truly trans? What if these feelings are just mental illness, or because I was abused, or because I am gay or a pervert or whatever? And eventually I had to let that go and ask myself, does it matter? It doesn't. Whether I am trans because of an insult to my body or because I was born too early or because I drank too much fucking diet Coke as a child, it does. not. matter. I am  a trans person and a legitimate one no matter the means of my creation. So if Anita is more positively inclined towards Asher because of She already felt positive towards him and cared for him, or so I have been told by the narrative.

Asher is obviously very hurt since Anita basically lied to him about wanting to be with him. She blames the ardeur and he points out that he expressed this fear to her to begin with, that she would find a way to reject what happened once the ardeur dissipated. Basically, she has done the exact kind of manipulative abusive nonsense Asher predicted she would. She also tries to claim Asher changed the rules somehow, even though clearly if anyone changed the rules, she did. Asher tries to leave and Anita digs at him for "just walking out." 

He tells her he will petition another Master of the City once Musette is gone and Anita is all, I need time to think about all the bad dirty wrong you did! Even though I said yes to it! It's still wrong! And bad! And you're bad! So you should stay here where neither I nor JC treat you as more than a stunt cock and hang your head in shame!

Asher flips out and I am 100% here for it. He points out how cruel it is to be offered a shot at a relationship with Anita and JC, only to have Anita withdraw the offer over something they consensually did. You know, when those meninist assholes imagine so called buyer's remorse, they're fantasizing about a woman that doesn't exist, a woman like Anita Blake that embodies every evil woman stereotype at such an intense, distorted level that she no longer resembles a human. She's a straw man given form, stuffed full of misogyny and sex negativity. Her button eyes are dead and glossy, one glittering with the potential for abuse, the other reflecting every buzz word MRA fucks have ever uttered. It disgusts me that LKH apparently believes that these traits, when hastily stitched together, form a heroine worth emulating.

ALSO let me just point out AGAIN that JC and Asher had a relationship that spanned CENTURIES and Anita feels she has the right to get in the way of that. Obviously her stupid homophobia and constantly shifting elaborate rules for being with her take precedence.

The way JC and Asher are talking make it sound as if sharing blood is usually an essential part of a relationship with a vampire. That doesn't mean Anita is obligated in any way to give her blood even so, but JC has every right to walk away from the relationship. That is how things work when both parties are being validated. Also if I were JC and I had spent so long respecting Anita's negative reaction to the thought of being bled and then she allows Asher to do so willingly, I would be hurt and confused. JC and Anita are supposed to have such a deep and loving connection that their relationship should be the cornerstone of the series, yet when she does consent to be bled, it's not with him.

Asher continues to be a vehicle for truth by calling Anita out for being with JC while still believing him to be a monster. She is so uncomfortable with the fact that he is a vampire that she rings him around with rules to keep that side of him separate. It's basically not possible or tenable over time, and Asher correctly tells her so.

"No, you will always find something in your men that is not good enough, not pure enough. You come to us out of need, even out of love, but it is never enough. You will not allow us to even be enough for ourselves." 

Asher goes on to point out that Micah only manages to be with her by agreeing to absolutely everything Anita asks, and JC denies a huge part of himself so Anita will find him acceptable.

..."I understand now that your love will always come with conditions."

Asher leaves. JC KICKS ANITA OUT. Anita whines internally about how "vamps only get my body" and how it had seemed a good rule until now. Anita has been living by this rule all this time? So basically, lying to JC and Asher about her capacity to love them, while treating them like objects (dildos in particular?) Anita is somehow even more worthless and disgusting than I first imagined.

Tune in for the next chapter where Anita will learn from this not at all.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Cerulean Sins Chapter Thirty One

Here we go.

Anita is having ardeur problems. She runs through the Circus in a manner reminiscent of See Spot Run, including such meaningful rhymes as "then I was past him and running down, down to the underground.

So Richard is also running through a forest somewhere? I guess this is a vision she's having. " water made flesh, like flesh made speed." 

So some of the vampires are awake and others aren't. I am confused by this. I thought they all died at sunrise? I remember some bullshit about J.C. being able to bypass this sometimes with his Master of the City powers, but other vamps are awake as well like Musette's entourage member Angelito.

Richard is killing a deer, though Anita refers to it as riding so I am not sure if Richard is eating it or fucking it. really a summation for this whole series.

Anita opens the bathroom door and doesn't remember touching it, twice.

Wow hang on, so Richard isn't the one that killed the deer? Ugh. Why am I wasting precious seconds on this? But details like this, as small as they are, make me loathe this series. Details matter, because they add up. Oh, and J.C. is in the black bathtub and he's hot and stuff and Anita like, totally wants him and will probably feed on him whatever send whiskey.

Anita doesn't want to be in Richard's mind when he starts eating the deer. You have to be fucking kidding me. This woman is the evil doer for the pack but she's squeamish about a thing wolves do all the time? She can't stand to know what it's like to eat a deer when she's tried to take a bite out of just about everyone she knows?

The next part of this scene isn't utterly worthless. She crawls in to the tub with J.C. and he shields her from Richard. He's not hard because he hasn't fed. That said, I just have to say how much describing J.C.'s eyelashes as lash annoys me. Lace has patterns in it. Are his eyelashes little doilies?

I enjoy the next part. What the fuck? She's begging J.C. to feed on her while Richard comes back in to her mind, feeding on the deer. It's a good scene that showcases Anita's desperation and the dark side of the ardeur. 

You know, I actually like the idea of the ardeur. I hate how poorly it's used.

Anita admires J.C. and I don't hate this either. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME.

Here comes LKH to disappoint me, because Anita turns in to a Regency era hero from a shitty romance novel, the kind missing its cover with rippled pages where a horny house wife dropped it in the bath water before shamefully tucking it in to the returns bin. To whit:

"Is this the face that launched a thousand ships?" I slipped my hand behind his neck and began gently to bring him closer as if for a kiss, "And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?" I turned my face and swept my hair aside, exposing my neck, "sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss!"

This is so fucking out of character (as far as Anita is a character) it's shocking. Of course it's not to say a tough lady can't also love literature. I mean Ashley Williams who is from one of the greatest game franchises of all time is both a competent soldier and a lover of poetry, and it works because the writers for Mass Effect are at least halfway competent. But for Anita, it's as if she burst on scene in a pink ballgown and started belting Let It Go in the middle of a crime scene.

It's in character for J.C. at least, who responds in kind. J.C. is also desperately trying to avoid violating her consent because he knows full well that if she weren't in the grips of the ardeur she wouldn't let him feed. I feel fucking sorry for J.C. right now. J.C. is a predator, and I don't mean that in the real world sense as short hand for sexual predator. This is why sometimes comparisons to real world issues fall flat in fantasy. He literally is a predator and doing this is tantamount to getting in a lion's cage and continuously zapping it with a cattle prod. Eventually, instinct will take over and it WILL maul you. And should it come to that Anita will blame him later as if she had no part in it. She has plenty of people to feed on when the ardeur comes knocking, several of them werewolves and wereleopards who won't try to feed on her, obviating this gnarly consent issue that's risen up between her and J.C. This is manipulative and even abusive on her part, like a sub who constantly claims their dom is abusing them despite the dom following all of their rules and respecting their safeword.

You are a gross sociopathic abuser, Anita.

I am pretty sure this is the "flacid blowjob" scene that made a friend of mine chuck this book across the room.

J.C. keeps telling her no and like a true serial rapist this makes Anita angry, because she's been so "good" i.e. she didn't feed on Caleb or Nathaniel. Apparently not raping someone means she's owed someone else's body as a reward. This is absolute toxic waste, you guys. This is flat out disgusting. It would be brilliant if she were meant to be an extreme anti hero but she's supposed to be the heroine, and unironically. Other readers think J.C. is the creepy rapist and I don't agree, save a couple of scenes. He's the victim over and over again. Anita underscores this fact by going back to sucking hi flacid dick, taking his balls in her mouth too, which she unfortunately refers to as testes.

Somehow this flacid blowjob feeds the ardeur. 

Anita waxes poetic about loving J.C. It wouldn't be so bad, but the problem is I don't believe a word of it. I have never understood why the people in these books love each other. There's nothing between them that's soft, or kind, or real. It's all fucking they don't have control over, emotional abuse, and politics. Call me crazy but that doesn't scream love to me.

Anita offers J.C. blood even now, that she's not controlled by the ardeur. This would be a weighty scene if I cared about these people or believed in their relationship, but clearly I do not.

Before Anita said she only knew the one quote she said, now she pulls out another one even so.

They have some back and forth that's good. STOP TEASING ME, LKH. We all know you're just going to fuck this up again.

Anita is wearing a cross and for some reason that upsets J.C. to the point where he tries to leave. He also accuses her of "clinging to your holy object" which is bizarre because she's just wearing it, nothing more. Asher shows up for some dumbass reason and stops this potentially intimate scene by implying that Anita only wants this because he rolled her before. 

So here we are, left with another scene that gives the reader a case of story blue balls. What's the fucking point? Nothing ever happens! It's like LKH is incapable of letting anything happen. How does someone like that write over twenty books?