Tolerance and Substitution

I promised you all 12 hours. But I slightly lied because I found out that transferring stuff from Google docs over to LJ html makes for some fucked up html. I had to clean that shit up otherwise this post would look like crap. Oh - and I forgot to mention yesterday - I watched a whole 10 minutes of True Blood Season 6 this year. By God, what I saw was shit. I watched no more and have no inclination to search for how it all went. I'm sure it's craptacular. Oh - and as a bit of housekeeping, I'm thinking about turning on post moderation for all my old posts, as I get a lot of spam on them, and I don't want to get all excited about a full inbox, and then find out that they want me and my guests to enlarge our penises. It would mean that all of my anons would still be able to publish, but I would have to approve comments on old posts. That would stop spammers, but it would only affect older posts - not the most recent ones. Which is cool because I doubt anyone looks at the comments of old posts any more. And I decided to do it - with a new tag - anon is moderated on this.

So, for my first post back, we'll be covering a topic that's often brought up. It was mentioned light years ago on the Real Light of Tolerance post, and it's about the concept that vampires are an allegory for gay people. This has been said quite a few times by CH herself, but she's not big on explaining, so there's lots of confusion and issues with the books because of it. So I'm going to lay it out as I see it.

Let me point out that you need to understand that these are fantasy genre books. In the fantasy genre, issues and dilemmas are blown out of proportion as moral dilemmas. Fantasy uses metaphor to explore issues, but in a way removed from the prejudice with which you usually explore issues. That makes it different from other genres, merely because it isn't based in the real world. There are no vampires, witches or anything else in the real world. Fantasy uses the new world that is created to try and explore some of the underpinning concepts from your beliefs.

Note the contrast in the genres. For example, in drama, the question is open and simple - it presents you with a gay person, such as in Torch Song Trilogy (OMG watch this movie it is one of my favourites ever) or Philadelphia and poses open questions, prodding you to draw the same conclusion that the movie itself does. When you're watching a drama movie like that, it poses only realistic questions, and really is quite specific about those questions. It'll question what you think about a gay man being in love, or what you think about discrimination against gay people who are afflicted with HIV.

In fantasy, however, bigger questions are posed. It is no longer constrained by specific questions that can be applied to only a limited sector of people, and rather tackles the issues in a new environment where perhaps your usual prejudices are not with you. It is hard to really see yourself as which side of the Iraqi conflict you're on, when you're experiencing it from the point of view of Katniss Everdeen. In fact, this perspective of a war makes the audience think not only about the ethics of war, but what effect it has on children. Panem may not actually exist, but it's a movie about power, politics and being on the end of things such as trade embargoes. Unlike its drama counterpart, however, it deals generally with a theme, and can't just awaken ideas that only apply to Iraq - it can apply to World War II and to Vietnam.

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Holy Flurking Snit! You're Not Dead!

So, I've been gone for ages! I would not be at all surprised if a bunch of you wrote me off as possibly dead and permanently missing in action. I know I have the inbox of a thousand fanfic updates and also pleas of "WHERE YOU GO????" So mea culpa - I feel so damn guilty. Time to explain myself.

First delay - soon after my last post, I was working on the next post, trying to get the theme under control and coherent. I was about to give up when the Minty household acquired a new kitten.

Now, I should say that we haven't actually ever had a kitten. We got a kitten from a friend of mine way back when, but he was only with us for a short time before our landlord wanted him out. Other than that, we've gotten discarded cats that needed a home desperately. My niece has been through about three "Yay kitten!" stages, and we've ended up with them once she gets bored. Since she has kids now (and no fucking way am I taking them once the Yay baby! stage wears off) we haven't had a pet for ages. We were considering a rainbow lorrikeet that was hand-raised, but I have new couches I didn't want getting bird crap on. So we went with a kitten.

So we got Myth.



Unfortunately, she was dumped in a plastic bag in a garbage bin with her mother, so she's been a little skittish. She's also a little needy, as you can imagine - to the point that in the first day or so, she slept on my mouse hand because she couldn't stand to be alone while sleeping. She still sleeps in the same room as us, wherever we are. And I have noticed that she sits closest in the house to whoever was nicest to her that day as a show of most love and fealty. Of course, she had to be trained not to scratch new couches and such. And of course, it's like having a new baby in the house (thank god no nappy changes) and there's only so much you can write if said kitten attacks the mouse cursor on the screen, or sleeps on your hands for a substantial period of time in front of the screen.

She's the weirdest cat I've met so far - rather than generally explore the house and move onto the minutiae, she studies every little thing assiduously and picks her way through it like it's a minefield. There are parts of our house she didn't 'discover' for weeks, because she's too busy cataloguing the entire lounge room and what one bit smells like when you move something else and which is the best route to walk across the coffee table now I've heedlessly moved my coffee mug to a different co-ordinate which must be remapped from scratch. She's the first damn cat I've met who looks up and studies the pictures on the walls. Never had a cat do that - they only really seem to care about concrete goals, rather than being picky on the décor. Mr. Minty has suggested she'd make a great narcotics cat, or is possibly a spy. :D

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Commence groupthink

The Real Light of Tolerance

I wanted to post about something that's been at the back of my mind, and that is tolerance. Sure, there'll be a post coming up on tolerance as a theme in the books, but this one is about the general theme of acceptance and tolerance that was completely unintentional on CH's part. I think it's really interesting to see what's going on in people's heads - people who often talk about tolerance but then fail to actually actualise that.

Not counting random links that I surf through or places like Goodreads, I have eleven forums specifically devoted to SVM in my links - where I go to feel out the fandom - so that'll give you a good idea of the aggregate opinions. It's not just forums of course, it's also other places. I like to get the big picture when I talk about this stuff, so I made sure to get a feel for some of the issues around. This is not just an isolated issue with a specific place - it's a theme.

I found it quite ironic that one of the big themes was all about how "messed" up the tolerance ideas were in the book. Hundreds of posts about how Sookie was just not at all a role model for tolerance, and they'd know, being the authorities on tolerance, because they were masters of it. Which clearly didn't show up in the rest of the discussion - there, that's where prejudices that have been around for hundreds of years came to the forefront. The "tolerance" was shown only - as always towards vampires, and specifically about Eric. All the while splashing in the pools of slurs thrown at anyone not-Eric. I think it's really illuminating myself - to see that contrast. So here we go.

Firstly, I'm going to deal with the whole sexist double standard. You know how it goes. It's everywhere, as I've pointed out before. As I've been discussing in the comments here, CH has gotten quite a few personal attacks - people thinking it's okay to use her rape, her children, her mental health, her moral character against her because she didn't end the books the way they wanted. There's demands that she sit still and listen to readers' complaints, and when she lets them go full bore, she's a coward, or answers those complaints, then she's suddenly trying to re-coup her sales. She's also been blamed for the attacks because she should know when to "keep her mouth shut" - like she is to blame for what other people say. There's effectively no way for her to escape what are really over-the-line personal attacks. As I pointed out before, I've read some of the threats prior to their deletion. They weren't fictions - although popular opinion says that this is yet another part of CH's victim complex.

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Commence groupthink

The Slave Trade

This was something born out of an upcoming post that just ran away from me, about the differences between how male and female characters are treated, and it lead me to thinking about giving this particular issue its own post. There will be another one in a day or two on broader issues.

If we believe the most popular narrative at the moment, then Eric is currently a sex slave. He's signed off by Appius, he's married against his will, when he didn't want to. And someone centuries younger will force him to have sex. So let's assume that that is all true, and then explore that.

Is this The Simpsons' light-hearted sexual slavery storyline?

After all, if you've watched as much of this show as I have (which consisted of a 17 day long 24/7 marathon of the stuff during the Olympics on my cable service, which my joyous sons wanted to watch for all hours of the day and night, and then nightly for years up to five episodes) then you'll know that in this episode, called The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons, that Apu didn't want to get married, but here he is - saying yes to an arranged marriage - which he does out of a sense of obligation to his parents and the deals they made. Is the comical Homer in a Ganesh costume really meant to be distracting us from the terrible rape scene to come?

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Intriguing No wait BORING

Wish Versus Wish

I posted about this on Random Fandom Forum, and I figured I better say it here too, just to get it out of the way. I like to keep my thoughts in one place, and on the off chance someone asks about it here. Also, it's a celebratory day, as I just got my print copy of Dead Ever After, which apparently came all the way from the Netherlands. That's because I love the Lisa Desimini covers (and finally got my copy of Dead Until Dark). If I bought print copies in Australia, I wouldn't have glitter and shininess and gorgeous end papers. And yes, like with all new acquisitions, I have been lovingly stroking it. :D

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Personal and Political Boundaries

Aw man, I wish teenage boys didn't eat so damn much. I spend half of my free time either shopping for them, or preparing something to eat. It would be nice if I could starve them to death, but I've put in so much work already to quit now, and they complain a lot. Hence why their squeaky wheel gets the grease. Still no print book, although happily, the other book I've been waiting on did arrive - Dear Dead Days - a reminiscence of Mr. Minty's childhood. But I'm also happy to see this. Oh, and I haven't had time to review anything, but I did get time to do a quick read of the story I'm going to review after I get back home - so that's what you'll find in the "What I just reviewed" box.

As I re-listen to the book, and splice out bits of the audio to re-listen to those bits again, I'm finding it difficult to write a post on it. Dead Ever After seems to me to have a lot of big themes, and they show up everywhere. Every time I think I want to write a post about the themes, yet another strand/mirror comes up and expands on that subject, which makes it difficult. It will come, but the themes are much more closely knit together - and I don't want to make a giant post about it that tries to encompass giant parts of the storyline. So today we'll stick with something simple, and something that was of concern to me before the book, that I now feel has been solved.

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Permaboner multitasking

Strong Female Characters

Well, I hope you all had a good Easter. I was replete with delicious homemade hot cross buns, and much chocolate. I had a wonderful time. Marred only by the fact that noisy miners (an Australian bird) are breeding and flocking at the moment, and those fuckers are absolutely incessant. Just to give you an idea, the first bird in this video is a noisy miner. Except I don't have like the ten on the video near my house, I have fucking billions of them. 3am, middle of the night, black as pitch? Well let's just have a mass cheeping session that goes on for at least ten minutes. To be repeated every fucking half hour from now on. They love eucalypts and empty land, and guess who lives near some? Yeah. Although it's a hundred times better than when they used to live on the adjacent empty lot from us, wherein you would feel yourself descending into madness by Day Three of the Great-Noisy-Miner-Won't-Stop-Breeding-There's-Fucking-Billions-Of-Them-I-Can't-Even-Hear-The-TV-Or-Hear-Myself-Think-athon the little fuckers entered into.

Of course, the kids have been home on holidays, so I've been less around than I would like. I do not want to tell you the nightmarish amount of macaroni and cheese I had to make last weekend to satisfy four teenage boys for dinner - or rather I do. Suffice it to say, "vat" is more fucking appropriate. And this was after they had pizza and McDonald's from down the road. So I have been busy, busy, busy.

Which is a shame really, because we've got less than a month to go. I don't have enough time for my fingers to talk about everything. So sad. Luckily, of course, for me, this time of year in the fandom is known as "How can we lynch CH for a paragraph, line, or adjective we've read in spoilers that does not jibe with our own awesome writing powers and thoughts?" so it's nice to retreat back to somewhere where I can talk about how I like the books, and leave the "You've ruined everything, ruiner" bunch to go at it with their Sherri and Terri masks on. Yaya - I've listened to the audio snippet, and read the complaints about it. That's not the subject of this post though, so away, complainy entitled peeps!

I feel like I need to make this post, so that I can refer back to it in future. I'm intending to make a few posts about women in the fandom, and in the books, and I want to have a ready-made reference so that I can just link to it, rather than have to include the content in various posts. I've also been looking around at some stuff, so it's been plaguing my brain. Delving into feminist blogs and such. And I come from academia, so my ideas are different from say the layman view. These will all have a new tag too - sexism is over hahahaha so you can locate each one of the series easily.

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True to Form

Well, the bits are still rifling around in my head, but I noticed something funny about Dead Ever After, so I figured that I'd post on it. Since I'm going to post on that, I figured I'd point out just how in character Eric was. Even from the early books. I figured I'd deal with the whole idea that Eric is OOC in this book - that we have all never seen this sort of behaviour from Eric before - because it fit with what I found funny. I like to group things together and save myself time.

Plus, this is something that never actually made it to my journal, but is in my fanfic on Eric's POV that I used to tortuously write before I found out about the beneficence of LJ postings - and that Thyra would follow me here. As an aside, don't expect me to write any more fanfic (although I do get people following me still) because that's not going to happen. Writing a fanfic one shot took me two months. Writing a post on the same subject takes me an afternoon. My last - Dead by Popular Demand (which I haven't bothered to transfer to my PMR identity because I don't care about getting 'my' reviews) took me eight fucking months. It's positively painful.

Please excuse my pun on the title - I've been watching a lot of Taggart (the appeal of which seems to be based on a lot of Scottish cops losing their tempers over nothing), and "he's got form guv" is on my mind. "Form" meaning that he has a criminal history for something as far as UK TV is concerned. Thus, it's nicely fitting for the subject, so I left it. And my avi is from here - and references the mood elsewhere in the fandom right now - particularly some who clearly torrent. ;)

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Please Exit the Ride and Beware Fangirl Unfairness

Oh man, it was absolutely fantastic! I'm also just a little bit sad that it's over, but as per usual, I adored it. 5 out of 5, many more re-reads coming.

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The real Eric Northman

Brace for Impact....Squee Level Defcon2

Excitement, excitement! So it's less than 12 hours until I get my copy of Dead Ever After. Soon after I post this post (and reply to a PM that's been languishing) I'm going to turn off my computer so that it will be well rested for the big finale, and so that I can make sure my house is clean so that I can just read with no guilt.  The knot of excitement is already building in my stomach at the rollercoaster ride that will be the new book. It's great to live in the future. My only regret is that I wasn't born in New Zealand, which is slightly more in the future (Damn you AoifeNZ and Ooshka you gloaty Kiwis).

Fear not, though, because I will actually return as soon as I've read the book. I won't leave you hanging, and will undoubtedly be back within 36 hours, like last time. I have informed my husband that as of midnight, I start ignoring him until all reading is finished, and I should be finished by the time the kids get up again. Of course, they couldn't give two shits about the Sookie squeeing, so I will not be telling them about what I read - they can miss out on the awesomeness. There will be no hinky man proportions to laugh at, so they will not be interested. Then to basic things you want to do if you want to live, and then posting once the brain has calmed down enough not to just chant SOOOOOOKIIIIIIEEEEE11!!! at my journal page.

If you read the book and make it back here first, I would suggest going over the spoiler posts if you haven't read them. I have a feeling they will be relevant. Most importantly, the Felipe Futures one. But also the recommendation not to become someone I will rant about in future.

Because we've discussed the spoilers and such, and there isn't much more we can go into without spoiling (plus I am excite!! and thus not able to think clearly) I'm going to post some Mr. Minty sayings, since I haven't been on Twitter in a while to post them. I even maked them pretty, and suitably Mint-like. And crossposted them to Tumblr. Enjoy.
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Beware the comments for spoilers, comrade non-spoilerachiks, and this journal will be spoilery as hell as soon as I get back. :D