zelda_queen: (badfic)
[personal profile] zelda_queen
ZeldaQueen: After our opening chapter of fucking nothing at all, we open with Shannon berating herself for being creeped out. So yeah, this chapter is just directly continuing from the first. I see PC Cast plays as fast and loose with chapter breaks as James Patterson does.

Chapter 2

Shannon gets in line and dear folks, please get ready for some of the pettiest bashing I've seen yet. I don't know if PC had a bad time at an auction before she wrote this book or it's supposed to show that Real Life people suck compared to Magical Fantasy People or something, but every person here is horrible in Shannon's (and the book's) eyes. Every. Single. One.

We start off with Shannon trying to make small talk with the woman she's standing next to in line. She instantly pegs the woman as, “
the matron”, despite the fact that she has, as far as we know, said or done anything to warrant being called that. This is where a little lead-in would help. If Shannon said something like, “I stepped in line behind a plump, matronly-looking woman”, we'd at least have some indication of why why she's calling her that! But it's okay, because much like Zoey Redbird, Shannon seems to have the innate ability to peg people at first glance. Shannon says to this woman how she ought to have pulled back her hair given how hot the day is, and the woman agrees while “her eyes slid from my already frizzing and sweaty hair, down past my white silk tank top, which slid just over the waist of my very hip (and short) khaki Gap skirt, to my long (and very bare) legs.

You know, because matronly-types are incredibly judgmental about that sort of thing. I guess Shannon was right about her.

AS THE RED BIRD FLIES: 8

The woman concludes her staring Shannon over by saying, “
Ugf”, which Shannon describes as “a sound like a hen expelling an egg”. You know, I haven't been around a chicken laying an egg in my entire life, and even I can't hear how “ugf” sounds like a chicken sound.

For some reason (probably an excuse to bash more people), Shannon decides to try making small talk with the guy behind her. This fellow is described charmingly and simply as “
the receding hairline”. Anyone who knows how PC Cast writes can probably tell how likable he's going to be. I mean, it's not like receding hairlines are something people have no control over and can be very sensitive about! Nope! Your hair starts going, it's an easy indicator that you're a jackass.

AS THE RED BIRD FLIES: 9

Because, as we'll be seeing in our House of Night review, that series also uses things like, fatness, acne, drool, and hair loss as quick indicators that a person is Not Good.

This guy, who Shannon continuously refers to as “
the hairline”, is also fidgety and sweaty, which is supposed to make us not like him. I mean, it's not like it's summer in the south, which can be brutal. Nope! He's just gross. Anyway, Shannon says that she thinks there'll be some interesting things for sale, and he starts going on about a few Depression-era glass pieces he heard would be sold. He starts prattling on to her about this, and I get the sense that we're supposed to be rolling our eyes at this guy, because jeez, doesn't he know that his hobbies are boring? I mean, isn't glasswork just super-dull and something only losers are into? And what the hell, how dare someone serious about collecting artpieces come to an auction and try to talk about their hobbies to a person who starts that very topic of conversation?

AS THE RED BIRD FLIES: 10

Seeing as Miss Zoey Redbird had a tendency to decide that some things were just stupid or boring and anyone who was into it were losers.

So yeah, seeing as it wasn't obvious enough that we're suppose to hate this guy, his “
squinty little eyes” start very obviously staring at her boobs.

DoctoRolleyes

ZeldaQueen: Yes, this is the standard harlequin “all men are horrible except for the love interest” trope, but this is also the depressingly popular “all men from our world/human men are disgusting pigs, but not the men from this other world/nonhuman men (especially the love interest)”. I'm not even exaggerating that, incidentally. Shannon pretty much outright says it later.

Shannon sets about trying to ignore this guy, and tells us that the woman in front of her is staring at this guy staring at her. What, is the woman supposed to be so matronly and conservative that the very sight of a man drooling over a hot lady is shocking to her? The man, meanwhile, leans way in close and starts telling Shannon how he's “
in the middle of editing a wonderfully informative coffee table book on the origins of Depression Era art and how to distinguish the difference between authentic pieces and facsimiles”. Yes, PC, we get it. He's a sexist, boring asshole. Can you move your story along here? These people serve no purpose to the plot!

Well, things don't move forward so much as creep at a zombie-like pace. As the woman ahead of Shannon starts “
pinning her auction number to her Depression Era bosom”...

AS THE RED BIRD FLIES: 11

The man continues talking to Shannon, emphasizing how pretty he thinks she is while offering to give her advice on what to bid on stuff so she doesn't get taken advantage of (really, that's how he puts it). He also has a sweaty upper lip and stained armpits, in case anyone was wondering. I guess PC figured she was being too subtle about how obnoxious he was.

It's finally Shannon's turn, and the person at the sign-in table (who is essentially a disembodied voice incidentally. While I don't want to know this person's backstory, I'd rather hear about whether it's a man or woman speaking, at the very least. It'd be better than bashing the people in line) asks for Shannon's name. She helpfully informs us that the guy behind her is eagerly listening to hear what it is, and what the fuck is up with this guy? It's one thing to have a garden-variety creepy guy perving on a hot woman. It's quite another to throw in him obsessively trying to figure out her name. Yes, I'm sure it happens, but this has nothing to do with the story! This guy will be done and GONE by the time Shannon leaves the auction, so is this all really necessary?!?

(And no, having him be an example of how slimy Most Men Are to compare him to the love interest later does not constitute “really necessary”.)

We get needlessly detailed instructions on how the auction works, which Shannon points out are standard so I have no clue why PC didn't just skim over this part. She gets her number and “
fled before Hairline turned into a sticky booger”. I have to ask, does that sort of thing usually get uttered by anyone over the age of five? Because I wasn't under the impression it did.

AS THE RED BIRD FLIES: 12

It does remind me all too much of Zoey saying things like, “You almost scared the pee out of me!” I suppose that counts.

We then get an incredibly out of place and wanky bit of description.

I will never understand why short men are attracted to me. I’m not an Amazon, but in flat feet I stand five foot seven, and I love high heels so I’m rarely in flat feet. My height aside, I am definitely not a small woman. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not big. I work out like a fiend, but I always seem to carry around about five to ten pounds more than I wish I did. I’m not the lean, lanky, anorexic type that’s so 'in' today—I’m the voluptuous, chesty, hippy, leggy type. And I feel ridiculous around small men; I always imagine that I could probably beat them up, which makes me totally disinterested in anything else coming up. Give me a man the size of John Wayne and I melt like a Popsicle in a warm mouth. Unfortunately, my love life is as dead as the Duke.

ZeldaQueen: ...What the actual fuck?


  • Thank you for that, PC. It's nice to know that your self insert is fashionably tall but not enough so that it causes weight issues or makes her clumsy or inconveniences her. What next? Are we going to also hear how she's thin enough to be anorexic but also has massive boobs?

  • Speaking of which, what a lovely dig at the fashion industry. “I'm not all anorexic, like society thinks is popular today!” That's great. Want to also tell us how you feel about pot and blowjobs? Actually, maybe this is why she seems so tall – she's up on her soap box.

  • I realize that there are people who prefer partners of a certain height, but who the hell thinks they don't like dating smaller men because they feel like they can beat them up? That's damned creepy! And if you don't think so, imagine a man saying, even in jest, “I don't like dating women smaller than me because I feel like I could beat them up”. Not so amusing, is it? It also makes Shannon look shallow as hell, since apparently a guy could be the wittiest, most charming guy ever, but if he's too short for her taste, she'll be uninterested.

  • Guys, this is foreshadowing for the love interest of this book. Yes, he's much taller than her. If you don't know why that is... uh, you'll find out soon enough.

  • I will admit that were Shannon not being so infuriating, I'd appreciate a protagonist who actually is curvy and not stick-thin and who works out (although we won't be seeing any of that in the book). As it is, she reminds me of Danisha, one of the most obnoxious Sues I've ever seen and who, what are the odds, is also a thirty-something schoolteacher who tries to be Hip With The Kids, is actually incredibly annoying, and ends up in a position of wealth and power with her Dream Man in a fantasy world.

  • Yes, PC Cast Shannon thinks John Wayne is the hottest thing ever. I know she's not alone in that opinion, but she sees fit to remind us about it at every given opportunity. When she isn't telling us how hot she finds John Wayne, she's telling us what other fictional characters or actors she finds hot. You'd think she'd have time to occasionally think about other things, but apparently not. Thus, we get another count.

MY OWN LITTLE FANTASY: 1

For every time Shannon stops the story to remind us again about how much she would love to soak in a hot tub with Batman or get a massage from John Wayne or whatever.

Also...

AS THE RED BIRD FLIES: 14

One point for the story reminding me uncannily of My Immortal, which The House of Night series did on a regular basis and one for halting the story to rail about the Evils of Anorexia (which is a serious topic and I don't mean to dismiss, but is being handled with all the grace of a marching band falling off the Eiffel Tower).

So! After that Big Lipped Alligator Musing, we get a description of the landscape. The auction is taking place in a garden, around a statue of a naked nymph (natch). We're also told that, “
Billy Joe Bobs and Bubba Bo Bobs were clustered in groups amidst the equipment, obviously in a feeding frenzy. Carried on the wind, I could overhear the Oklahoma melodies of 'y’all' and 'yup.' One of them had a piece of straw stuck in a gap between his front teeth.” You know, given that PC lives in Oklahoma, you'd think she'd stop writing the residents there as being a bunch of hicks. I guess it's just the self inserts of her and her daughter who don't fit in there.

AS THE RED BIRD FLIES: 15

We're told how everything is grouped (with Shannon making fun of the receding hairline guy for running to the table of lamps and crystal things), and Shannon decides to head for the art table. There, we find out that apparently the previous owner just happened to only collect mythology-themed artwork. Yes, I know people do that, but given how PC and Shannon both are obsessed with mythology, I just see COINCIDENCE flashing in neon lights.

We then get a moment that is so condescending, it's stunning. Shannon notes an item for sale, “
a wonderful fullcolor print of a huge fiery dragon roaring flame at a blond [sic] female warrior on a plunging white horse. She was deflecting the fire with a shield and brandishing a sword. I couldn’t make out the artist’s name, but the title painted on the bottom of the print read, Stamp Out Forest Fires”. Given how detailed that is, I have to wonder if PC actually saw something like that before. I can't find anything like that on Google Image, but it could just be something obscure.

Anyway, Shannon finds this thing to be so “
hilarious” that she turns to point it out to a random woman standing next to her. This woman, who we have never met before and know zippo – and I well and truly mean zippo – about, is dubbed on the spot by Shannon as “the Garage Sale Queen”. Why? I don't fucking know! Shannon's just apparently so damned judgmental, she doesn't even bothering privately nicknaming people after things she can actual observe about them!

AS THE RED BIRD FLIES: 16

Anywho, the woman is less amused by the print than Shannon is, and just says that she thinks it's “
kinda strange”. It sounds to me like it'd be a novelty item at best, but okay. The woman's probably a little off-put that someone just started randomly gushing over that print to her. But because this is Shannon's opinion and the woman disagrees with it, the woman is written as being utterly obnoxious and speaking with a “nasally twang”. Right. People are disgusting and obnoxious when they disagree with the Sue. Where have we seen that before?

AS THE RED BIRD FLIES: 17

Well, one person making a polite if somewhat negative comment on that print just rains on Shannon's parade. She starts splitting splitting hairs about how she considers it “
not normal, versus simply strange”. Jesus Christ, it's a print made for a quick laugh, not a piece of surrealist art! The woman, who I'd like to think is tired of Shannon's bullshit, gives her “sheepy, duh looks” and heads off for the household items section.

Oh, wasn't that just fucking grand? You know, people can get freaked out by strangers striking up conversations with them and putting them on the spot. But no, this woman's clearly just a small-minded idiot! Actually, given how it's specified that it's a female knight in the picture, I get the sense that the woman is supposed to think it's strange because, well, women knights? How absurd! She's just going to go back to being sheepy and checkout the household items and not challenge gender roles. Clearly most of the plebian masses simply can't wrap their heads around such nonsense! Shannon is the only one here enlightened and open-minded enough to appreciate a lady knight!

Yeah, from me and everyone else a fan of Princess Sapphire, Princess Violet, Yuri Ishtar, and Brienne of Tarth? Suck it.

AS THE RED BIRD FLIES: 18

That just reeked of House of Night's heavy-handed “society is a bunch of sheeple and only the Sue protagonists are smart enough to see past it!” preaching.

So, yeah. Shannon writes down a reminder to bid on that and hopes that she's the only one to like it so she can afford it. She then looks around a bit more and pauses at the sculpture section, and we get more pointlessness as she notices the sculptures are primarily naked Greek men and promptly turns into Homer Simpson.

I paused and gave each the respectful, proper attention they seemed to deserve, while trying not to ogle as I read the identification and lot tags: Lot #17 Statuette of Zeus, Thunderbolt at the Ready (very nude—actually naked, and he looked very, um, ready).
“Sorry, sweetie. Can’t take you home—too kinky.” I tweaked his thunderbolt.

Lot #18, Statuette of Hellenistic Ruler, possibly Demetrios I of Syria. Demetrios was a large, muscular, naked man. Very large.

“Oh, baby, wish you were Galatea and I was your enamored sculptor.” I patted his cheeks and giggled, while I looked around to make sure I wasn’t causing a stir.

Lot #19, Statuette of Etruscan Warrior. Too skinny for my tastes— only two things stuck out about the statuette: his weapon, and, um, his
weapon.

“Bye-bye, boys. It’s just so…well…hard to leave you.” I chortled at my own pun and moved to the next table, which was filled with about half a dozen large vases.


AS THE RED BIRD FLIES: 22

One for each statue and one for that scene overall, because that was fucking POINTLESS! And seriously, that sounds like something Zoey would say. It sounded immature as shit when she did it, I might add! If the teenager can't pull it off, the adult woman really can't!

So, after that up there, we actually get something relevant. I know, big shocker! She notices a vase that suddenly makes her forget about the world around her, to the point where she doesn't notice that she bumped into some nameless dude (who, amazingly does not get treated to a condescending nickname). She wanders over to the vase, wondering why she's so obsessed with it, and takes a look at the tag. Thus, we find out that it's a reproduction, “
Celtic vase, original stood over graves in Scottish cemetery—Scene in color represents supplications being made to the High Priestess of Epona, Celtic Horse Goddess.”.

In case you guys were wondering, incidentally, Celtic mythology is going to be to this series as Native American and Greek mythology is to House of Night.

Shannon continues staring at the thing, telling us how hot and bothered she is over it, and I swear that if it wasn't an inanimate object, I'd think it was the love interest. That's how she's going on about it. She gives us a rundown on how it looks, which is completely irrelevant except for the design on the side.

it was the scene painted into the pottery, stretching from one side all the way around. The background color was black, which made the scene seem to jump out with the other colors all highlighted in golds and creams. A woman reclined on some type of cushioned lounge chair. Her back was to the viewer, so all that could be seen of her was the curve of her waist, one outstretched arm with which she motioned regally to the supplicants on their knees before her and the cascade of her hair.

'It’s like my hair.' I didn’t realize I had spoken aloud until I heard the words. But her hair was like mine, only longer. The same redgold, the same wavy semi-curls that never wanted to stay put.


ZeldaQueen: Mm, really? Okay, guys. That pot, letting you know right now, is a replica of an urn made in honor of the Celtic horse goddess, Epona. Just for funsies, I Googled some images of pottery of Epona. Here's what came up. Take a gander. I'll give you a moment.

*pauses, glances at watch*

You good? Now, you may have noticed a few things. Some particularly notable somethings, in fact.

First of all, the woman had reddish hair? The pot had a black background and gold and cream highlights? That's pretty strange, considering that the depictions of Epona that showed up on Google are all scuplted without colors and all in the same earthenware style!!!

Now, I suppose it's possible PC meant to suggest that the pot was actually based on one from ancient Rome, since the Romans adopted Epona as one of their deities. Even if that's the case though, it still fails massively! This is what ancient Roman pottery looked like. Sure there's color, but not that much! The figures on it are only one color, so Shannon's insistence that the figure has her own hair color doesn't make much sense. Not to mention, looking at the pottery, the Roman examples mostly depict figures in profile. The Celtic ones, meanwhile, either depict figures in profile or staring straight ahead. I...really see nothing with figures that have their backs to the viewers.

Shannon pokes the urn and is surprised that it's really hot to the touch. I'm not sure why this is surprising, since they're outdoors and it's supposed to be boiling hot, but whatever. Mysterious thing is mysterious. At this point, who should make an unwanted appearance but the balding fellow from before! Yes, Shannon continues to identify him purely by his receding hairline. He asks her if she's into pottery and tells her about his own interests in it, all while we're told that he's squinting and licking his lips. At this point, I'm surprised PC doesn't just write him crawling around all hunched over, Gollum-style.

AS THE RED BIRD FLIES: 23

ZeldaQueen: Shannon explains that she's mostly into Greco-Roman art, as is the norm for characters written by PC Cast. The guy – who is more or less making the same small talk Shannon was making with that woman earlier over the picture – reaches out his
sweaty hands and, “in a jumpy, cockroach-like movement”, picks up the vase. Shannon, for some reason, is on the lookout for him to do something weird, “but he just kept on being his normal, nerdy self”.

AS THE RED BIRD FLIES: 26

(Shannon) “Nerds are, like, ewwww!”

What makes this frigging hilarious is that despite PC and Kristin later trying to make Zoey easy to relate to by insisting she was a nerd, not only does Zoey's attitude mirror Shannon's up there, but as folks have pointed out, Zoey herself does nothing actually nerdy. Here, however, despite PC's best efforts to write this guy as a complete and utter loser, he comes across as more of an authentic proud geek than Zoey ever was. At the very least, he seems genuinely knowledgeable about his interests and tries to connect to other people about them.

Shannon asks if he notices anything odd about the vase. We get it beat into our heads that this guy is sweaty and wiping his face off -

AS THE RED BIRD FLIES: 27

And he tells Shannon that it's a very good reproduction but he sees nothing unusual about it. She tells him that it's because it felt unusually hot when she poked it not long before. He responds to this by leaning in until Shannon says it's like he's trying to shove his face into her breasts (do you even think I'm kidding at this point) and suggesting that what she felt came from, “
[her] own generous body heat”. And apparently is “almost salivating” as he says this.

AS THE RED BIRD FLIES: 30

Yes, PC, we get it. He's a Man and is not your Ideal Man, and thus is little more than a slavering dog crossed with a Neanderthal.

Shannon decides that the best way to respond to this is to pretend she has a yeast infection, which causes him to run for the hills. She mentally goes on about how men always run away at the first sign of feminine medical problems. Dude, I'd run away if another woman started telling me about a yeast infection! TMI is TMI!

She turns her attention back to the pot, where of course it must be noted that it's now slightly smudged because that guy touched it and he's sweaty and gross.

AS THE RED BIRD FLIES: 31

She starts examining the priestess, and that word is capitalized for no reason.

AS THE RED BIRD FLIES: 32

I swear, if the word “magikal” shows up, I'm having a fit. She starts noting all the details on the priestess's pose and all the jewelry she's wearing, and this really doesn't sound like Celtic pottery. She then notes the priestess's hand, and... uh...

[I]t wasn’t a tattoo or a jewel that decorated the back side of her hand. It was a scar. A scar from a third-degree burn. I knew because my right hand was “decorated” with the exact mark.

ZeldaQueen: I have to wonder, why did whoever painted the pot feel it necessary to include such a minute detail? Unless a certain physical feature is notably attributed to a subject, I doubt an artist would include it. Especially since it's being painted on a pot that doesn't exactly seem large. Just look at the figures on the potterly I linked to. In most cases, you can hardly even make out the hands!

Aaaaaand, that's it. Really. That's where the chapter ends. Don't you just love the pacing here?




HAVE I MENTIONED I'M A TEACHER - 7
AS THE RED BIRD FLIES - 32
MY OWN LITTLE FANTASY - 1


(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-02 03:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nawsome.livejournal.com
I just checked an interview for this book, she legit says this book is "from her fantasy" XD
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syfWyN0gS_U

But everything is so awkward? I was listening to the audiobook of chosen the other day and I was on the floor laughing.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-10 02:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zelda-queen.livejournal.com
I can believe that. I'll be having a count later about how the land is perfect and has every convenience to make it the Ultimate Fantasy Land, to a ridiculous degree.

Edit: And I find it hilarious that she thinks that people should read across genres and not limit themselves to just one, considering that all her books are basically THE SAME FRIGGING THING.
Edited Date: 2015-03-10 02:13 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-02 03:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] raxistaicho.livejournal.com
In case you guys were wondering, incidentally, Celtic mythology is going to be to this series as Native American and Greek mythology is to House of Night.

If, perhaps, The Morrigan decides to fuck Shannon up then I'll be happy as can be :p

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-02 11:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zelda-queen.livejournal.com
Sadly, The Morrigan is never brought up. Despite the fantasy land being a mishmash of several polytheistic mythologies, Epona is the only one mentioned as a deity.

(Muses are mentioned, but it mostly serves as a title.)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-02 02:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] raxistaicho.livejournal.com
That sucks, she would definitely fuck Shannon up ):

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-02 04:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] akkakieron.livejournal.com
ZeldaQueen: Yes, this is the standard harlequin “all men are horrible except for the love interest” trope, but this is also the depressingly popular “all men from our world/human men are disgusting pigs, but not the men from this other world/nonhuman men (especially the love interest)”. I'm not even exaggerating that, incidentally. Shannon pretty much outright says it later.
Of course it is, and of course she does. I bet the only magical men who are evil are the ones that don't love Shannon. Every other guy will immediately love her, and be prettier than those ugly Earth men.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-02 11:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zelda-queen.livejournal.com
"Every other guy will immediately love her, and be prettier than those ugly Earth men."

Ah ha ha ha... *cries* Yes, even the PEASANTS in the fantasy land are pretty and clean and have nice teeth. Expect ranting, when the time comes.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-02 05:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] legal-assasin.livejournal.com
Good lord, stop being such a judgmental ass! All it does is make you look bad and adds nothing else! Granted, if that was a flaw which Shannon would overcome as the story went on, I wouldn't be as mad. But considering the content so far, that's not what's going to happen.

Also, Cast? This may come as a shock to you, but most men are actually pretty decent. The slavering creeps you described up there makes up a small minority. And just because someone doesn't completely agree with you doesn't mean they're bad. Especially if they tell you "I'm not crazy about Shannon, because all she does is sneer and look down on people and she comes off as a snotty bitch. Maybe try toning it down or keep it as a flaw that people call her out on?"

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-02 07:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nawsome.livejournal.com
"Also, Cast? This may come as a shock to you, but most men are actually pretty decent. The slavering creeps you described up there makes up a small minority. "
Well, women who face street harassment on a daily basis on their way to work would disagree with that, but I get what you're saying in terms of the stereotypical and 1D characters she's spitting out.
I don't know what Cast's experience with harassment is like, but the whole issue is a lot more complicated than the stereotypes she puts out.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-02 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zelda-queen.livejournal.com
Sadly, that's true. :/ The problem really isn't that PC's making up a problem but that she's grossly misinterpreting it by depicting people like that either (A) as slimy, annoying idiots who are pests to be shooed away or (B) insane rapists. There's really no middle ground. She also seems unaware of the notion that women can be just as bad in those areas.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-02 11:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nawsome.livejournal.com
Yeah I feel a bit hesitant to criticize her on simplifying the issue like that because this is her fantasy. Like, if this is her personal fantasy and this part of the book is supposed to represent her real life, and she does receive harassment and this is her way of dealing with it (shooing it off) I can see why she would portray it like that.

But then you have House of Night where Zoey sees Aphro basically assaulting Erik and all Zoey does is call Aphro a slut instead of saving Erik...and it all just seems really irresponsible of her.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-02 11:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zelda-queen.livejournal.com
What annoys me isn't her shooing him off, but his portrayal in general (he's pretty much a caricature of a sleezy harasser) and the fact that he's around at all. We're going to see that the only event relevant to the plot as a whole is Shannon buying the pot. There is no reason at all for her to put this guy in, especially when she already devotes the rest of her book to having rapists as the villains (and that's not an exaggeration. The villains are a race of monsters that seem to exist only to kidnap and rape human women for pleasure).

Also, like I said, she later does flat-out say that her Fantasy Magical Love Interest is so much better than human men as a whole, because of things like, "He lets me take the lead during sex".

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-03 03:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apep727.livejournal.com
Wait, isn't the love interest a centaur? And aren't the kind of known for raping women? Or is that just ignored because it's inconvenient?

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-03 03:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zelda-queen.livejournal.com
Yes he is, and yes PC Cast does. He's, of course, a Perfect Gentleman and the other centaurs are all badass warriors who Shannon thinks are the best dudes ever. No mention of rapage at all.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-02 08:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lang-ea.livejournal.com
Also, Cast? This may come as a shock to you, but most men are actually pretty decent.

Exactly, and regardless, the best way to combat the creeps is to ignore them or expect them to do better. It's more harmful in western culture to think that 'men are naturally pervs' than to say, "you can do better than this. Stop it." (which oddly, happened in English history Because boys sometimes see it (esp. in the media) and they wind up thinking that such behavior is unavoidable (which happened to my brother, once).

But yeah, I wonder what would happen if Shannon wound up surrounded by greco-roman/celtic dudes who were only around an average of 166-169 cm in height (sooo, 5' 51/2- 5'6?). Because that was the average height of the men in Herculaneum and Pompeii (which had varied nationalities, and should have similar lifestyles and diet). I'd honestly be cackling at her dismay.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-02 11:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zelda-queen.livejournal.com
"But yeah, I wonder what would happen if Shannon wound up surrounded by greco-roman/celtic dudes who were only around an average of 166-169 cm in height (sooo, 5' 51/2- 5'6?). Because that was the average height of the men in Herculaneum and Pompeii (which had varied nationalities, and should have similar lifestyles and diet). I'd honestly be cackling at her dismay."

I'd love it if Shannon went to a fantasy land based on ancient times and found it actually WAS like ancient times. But no, we're going to see that this is more or less "ancient times" in the same sense a hot woman in a sexy toga or whatever lounging by a fountain for a perfume commercial is.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-04 04:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lang-ea.livejournal.com
Aw dang it, so much for all of Shannon's musings on how romantic the past was.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-02 12:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eilonwya10.livejournal.com
For that vase to exist at all, stylistically it has to be from the 1875-1925 period -- an era also noted for romantic revivals of "ancient" traditions, which often involved inventing the tradition entirely.

Even in the 1875-1925 period, I can find the right glaze, and I can find the pose in paintings, but finding the pose on a pot isn't going well. Back-to-viewer generally isn't a pottery convention.

(I'm a long-time lurker around Das Sporking but rarely comment... however, having Shannon's fantasy triggered by an artifact that isn't even a reproduction, but is actually a revival piece, is so apt that I had to say something.)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-02 11:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zelda-queen.livejournal.com
In that case, PC really done messed up. Because let me quote for you the background information given by the auctioneer on the pot:

"Now the last of our beautiful pottery pieces is Lot #25— Reproduction—Celtic vase, original stood over graves in an ancient Scottish cemetery—Scene in color represents supplications being made to High Priestess of the Horse Goddess Epona. It is interesting to note that Epona was the only Celtic deity adopted by the invading Romans, and she became their personal Goddess, protectress of their legendary legions."

So yeah, she seems to have intended for this pot to be based on one actually FROM ancient Celtic times.

Incidentally, I don't know if you can answer this or not, but how often were priestesses featured on their own in ancient artwork? I've tried to look up information on it, but mostly I just keep getting neopagan/Wiccan information on High Priestesses for their groups. It seems to me like artwork would tend to focus more on the priests in worship of the deities, not just them.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-03 03:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eilonwya10.livejournal.com
Oh, she messed up big time! I had a very good time doing some digging (some of which probably replicates what you'd already done), and the entire cemetery is impossible.

After mounds of casual references to how very few Iron Age burial sites have been found in Scotland, I discovered a doctoral dissertation on late Iron Age burials there. I quote:

"Graves rarely intercut in flat grave cemeteries, so some level of management or above-ground grave marker must have been employed. Given the lack of evidence for these, an ephemeral monument like a low mound or surface marker can be
posited in most cases; one long cist at Portmahomack was covered by a low mound capped with stone slabs (Carver 2008: 77), while a few graves at Whithorn were covered by a flat
layer of white pebbles (P Hill 1997). Our familiar image of an upright stone at the head of every grave was certainly not the case the Late Iron Age."

Source: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/2700/3/2011maldonadoramirezphd.pdf

His period's a little late, but there's even less evidence available from earlier. He goes on to talk about how people dispute whether some slabs with symbols might be grave markers, but there's nothing at all about vases. There's talk elsewhere of vessels being put IN graves in the Bronze Age and possibly Iron Age, but that's different.

Regarding showing priestesses on their own vessels... I don't really know, but it seems wrong. At this remove, the way we usually know it's a deity or saint being depicted is that they're shown with their attributes, so I'd expect to see Epona with her horses, in a very conventional pose.

I've Googled every late Victorian illustrator I can think of to see if that's really the source of the image, but no dice. Yet. This may become a personal grudge quest.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-07 05:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zelda-queen.livejournal.com
Thanks for the information and the link! I'll certainly be making use of that, when I get to that part.

"At this remove, the way we usually know it's a deity or saint being depicted is that they're shown with their attributes, so I'd expect to see Epona with her horses, in a very conventional pose."

That's just it. Everything I've Googled about Epona shows her with horses. I don't think we know HOW her worship was conducted, let alone anything about priests or priestesses who worshiped her. In the magical world, I don't think there's any artwork in honor of Epona herself at all. Most of it's for the high priestess, who's treated like a sort of queen/avatar of Epona. Which...okay, alternate dimension and all, but this artwork is supposed to be from OUR world!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-03 03:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eilonwya10.livejournal.com
She screwed up big-time. After some digging that kept telling me there aren't many Iron Age burial sites in Scotland, I found a doctoral dissertation on the subject. It's called "Christianity and Burial in Late Iron Age Scotland" (I tried posting the link, and of course that triggers spam filters) -- and the author says outright that while there must have been some sort of grave marker, it was ephemeral, there's no firm evidence of what it was, and all contenders for "it" are slabs with markings on them (not vases).

As far as depicting priestesses at work... every instance in antiquity that I can think of or Google shows deities with their attributes. Epona should be shown with her horses because that's how pre-literate people knew it was Epona.

I've been Googling for pre-Raphaelite art that would match that vase description, but no luck yet. I did find a classical Greek vase that was white design on black, with hair picked out in red, but that's the wrong period, too; it clearly isn't meant as genuinely red hair, just as emphasis; everybody is in profile; and it's erotica, not religious.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-02 03:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sotnosen93.livejournal.com
I've only played one Ace Attorney game, yet somehow Slimy Ordinary Man makes me think of Winston Payne from that series.

Billy Joe Bobs and Bubba Bo Bobs were clustered in groups amidst the equipment, obviously in a feeding frenzy.
-bursts out laughing- Dear god, we found the long-lost brother of Billy Bob Joe and Joe Bob Billy! Alright, you have no way in heaven of getting that reference so I'll explain. Basically, I'm Swedish, and when I was little there was this edutainment show I liked called Smartskalle. One segment on the show was called "The American Way" (no, I'm not translating, they had an English title for the segment even though the show itself was in Swedish), and it centered around doing mundane stuff like sending mail or painting a fence... The American Way!

The American Way, it turns out, involves stuff like explosions, slow-motion, and rockets. Rather like reality in America then I suppose. -shot- Anyway, the segment had two American-accented, Gratuitous-English-spouting affectionate parodies of Americans named Billy Bob Joe and Joe Bob Billy as hosts. So now you know why that random line amuses me so.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-02 07:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apep727.livejournal.com
“I will never understand why short men are attracted to me. I’m not an Amazon, but in flat feet I stand five foot seven, and I love high heels so I’m rarely in flat feet. My height aside, I am definitely not a small woman. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not big. I work out like a fiend, but I always seem to carry around about five to ten pounds more than I wish I did. I’m not the lean, lanky, anorexic type that’s so 'in' today—I’m the voluptuous, chesty, hippy, leggy type. And I feel ridiculous around small men; I always imagine that I could probably beat them up, which makes me totally disinterested in anything else coming up. Give me a man the size of John Wayne and I melt like a Popsicle in a warm mouth. Unfortunately, my love life is as dead as the Duke.”

I love how this starts out as the Sue condemning men for having a type, then goes off to talk about how hot the Sue is (with that oh-so-Suetiful "flaw" of "can't lose those last 5-10 lbs.", which is then followed by a condemnation of incredibly skinny women), then comes back to the original point, moves on to discuss the Sue's type (which is of course perfectly acceptable), and wraps up with her lamenting her love life.

Good lord, did this book ever see an editor?

Also, Tyrion Lannister would probably rock this woman's world, but she wouldn't give him a second glance. Her loss.

“a wonderful fullcolor print of a huge fiery dragon roaring flame at a blond [sic] female warrior on a plunging white horse. She was deflecting the fire with a shield and brandishing a sword. I couldn’t make out the artist’s name, but the title painted on the bottom of the print read, Stamp Out Forest Fires”

That sounds more like an internet caption poster using artwork from a D&D manual or something.

re: the sculpture bit

Look, I'll own up to laughing at immature stuff. As an example, I've been watching the Acquisitions Incorporated PAX videos and finding them hilarious. But I don't pretend that stuff like this:

Omin: So go bang on her!
Aeofel: Wait, what?
Omin: I mean with your sword.
Binwin: Huh?
Omin: No, I mean with a weapon!

is the height of humor.

'It’s like my hair.' I didn’t realize I had spoken aloud until I heard the words. But her hair was like mine, only longer. The same redgold, the same wavy semi-curls that never wanted to stay put.

Aside from the obvious fails mentioned, I'd just like to point out that Celtic people with red hair is not that special - 10+% of the population of Scotland and Ireland have red hair, and more likely carry the gene. So yeah, lady - it isn't that amazing.

I swear, if the word “magikal” shows up, I'm having a fit.

To quote Xander Harris, "Screw magic with a K."

Aaaaaand, that's it. Really. That's where the chapter ends. Don't you just love the pacing here?

So, when does the plot actually show up?

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-02 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lang-ea.livejournal.com
I love how this starts out as the Sue condemning men for having a type, then goes off to talk about how hot the Sue is (with that oh-so-Suetiful "flaw" of "can't lose those last 5-10 lbs.", which is then followed by a condemnation of incredibly skinny women), then comes back to the original point, moves on to discuss the Sue's type (which is of course perfectly acceptable), and wraps up with her lamenting her love life.

I KNOW. I just sat there trying to follow her train of thought, and then when it derailed it almost made my brain go on screensaver-mode. It's like she's TRYING to be relateable for the average women, but then shoots off her condemnation on anyone else who doesn't fit her category as 'decent/good/hot people'. Thus STILL making her shallow.

Aside from the obvious fails mentioned, I'd just like to point out that Celtic people with red hair is not that special - 10+% of the population of Scotland and Ireland have red hair, and more likely carry the gene. So yeah, lady - it isn't that amazing.

As someone who used to live near the border of Scotland: this is the TRUTH. I have only encountered a few redheads from two geographical areas, and one of them is Scotland (also even Germans were originally redheads, apparently).

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-03 05:50 am (UTC)
carmyn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] carmyn
As someone who used to live near the border of Scotland: this is the TRUTH. I have only encountered a few redheads from two geographical areas, and one of them is Scotland (also even Germans were originally redheads, apparently).

Same with Swedes and other Scandinavians. My fiancé is of Swedish decent on his mom's side (I think he's third generation out) and while he has typical blond hair—albeit darker than what you see in the movies—he does get a WICKED red beard. Like, legit red. Dark red. Blood red. He can't fully grow it out because he also has the 'fuck that shit, I ain't growing' beard gene too. A full red Viking beard on him would be magnificent.

I have Celtic in my heritage and I was born with beautiful red hair. Not the gingery red, but the dark red. Sadly, as I got older my hair bleached out to blonde. So, that's an option too. Many blonde haired people may have been born legit redheads but the sun and other genes bleached out their hair. I guess that would make them carriers rather than showers.

OMG, I HOPE WE HAVE REDHEAD BABIES. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-04 04:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lang-ea.livejournal.com
Same with Swedes and other Scandinavians. My fiancé is of Swedish decent on his mom's side (I think he's third generation out) and while he has typical blond hair—albeit darker than what you see in the movies—he does get a WICKED red beard. Like, legit red. Dark red. Blood red. He can't fully grow it out because he also has the 'fuck that shit, I ain't growing' beard gene too. A full red Viking beard on him would be magnificent.

Oh MAN, that is so COOL. (I'm also pretty jealous. I come from a family descended from mediterreneans and plain ol' black-haired americans, there's literally absolutely nothing exciting about us or our pigmentation. If our menfolk tan, they look like turkish stereotypes, if they stay pasty, they become like an army of lumberjack clones. It also doesn't help us ladies because we also sprout as much dark hair as the fellas (and sometimes, the combo of pale winter skin and dark hair just makes our faces look grey).

I have Celtic in my heritage and I was born with beautiful red hair. Not the gingery red, but the dark red. Sadly, as I got older my hair bleached out to blonde. So, that's an option too. Many blonde haired people may have been born legit redheads but the sun and other genes bleached out their hair.

Oh wow, still it's really interesting how red hair can shift colors depending on a person's environment (dark hair just...stays the same most of the time). It's even got me wondering about some of the people in Morocco (especially where my mom used to grow up in. When I last stayed there in 2004, we constantly saw little girls who were sub-saharan in ethnicity and skin color, but had bright coppery red hair or brassy blonde hair. Just seeing the mixture of bright colors with their dark skin was really cool too see). I NEVER understood the whole 'redheads are ugly' stereotype because it looks gorgeous on both europeans and africans, especially since every shade from red to blonde looks gorgeous!

OMG, I HOPE WE HAVE REDHEAD BABIES. :D

Fingers crossed! XD red haired kids are the cutest (white skinned or brown!)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-04 01:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] writergirlbob.livejournal.com
Full disclosure: I have long, redgold, coppery hair that has wavey almost-curls and is too thick and shiny to tie back for very long. It's gorgeous and I adore it, I will never change it and I will never cut it. It's one of the few things about me I find genuinely 100% attractive. My hair is the bomb. I just got a new webcam that shows colours better and the first thing my girlfriend said was 'oh my god you really are ginger'.

That said. I am so sick and tired of Suethors giving their pretty little Sues my hair because it's just so ~special and unique and pretty~. It's just hair. It's genetic - I got it from my dad's family, just like I get ALL my genes, to the extent that people have confused pictures of me for pictures of my dad's sisters when they were younger. Oh yeah - all three of THEM have hair like mine, too. Red hair might be less common than black or brown, but it's not so incredibly rare that it marks people as special or whatever.

Stop stealing my hair, Suethors. You make me love it less :(

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