The Imaginary Heroine

searching for the plot

Pissing Contest April 5, 2010

Filed under: Books,Rants — imaginaryheroine @ 10:22 am
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Sorry for the radio silence lately. The confluence of Passover and a crazy time at work has prevented me from putting together any worthwhile posts. However, I’ve been reading up a storm and hope to be back to discuss the bodies of action heroines, Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, How to Train Your Dragon, and other good stuff fairly soon.

I finished The Magicians yesterday. Let me just say: Wow. There’s so much going on here. Grossman has skillfully woven together elements of both high fantasy and modern psychological drama to create something exciting. However…

I have one tiny rant that I must get off my chest before I can deal with all that.

First, I have to tell you about the pack of pre-teen boys who play outside my apartment building every day.

They have recently discovered swearing. This means that they swear at anything and everything and usually do so ineptly. Sometimes it’s funny. My favorite so far has been one boy saying “What is the fuck?” Mostly it’s just tedious. The words have ceased being emphatic or expressive and have all the zing of “um,” “like,” and “y’know.”

Which brings me to “piss,” which I ran across a few times in The Magicians. Each time I sighed gustily and rolled my eyes.

What is with youngish male authors and the word “piss”?

Are they three or something? I swear they’re obsessed with “piss” and “pissing.”

As words go, “piss” is a pretty evocative one. It’s emphatic, quasi-lewd, and has a nice hint of onomatopoeia.

But the amount of pissing going on has gotten seriously out of hand. I feel like I can’t crack a book without SOMEONE pissing.

Even more irritating, it usually does nothing to advance the plot or characterization in the novel. It’s not like the lawyer in Jurassic park, who gets eaten by a T-rex right off the toilet seat. Usually a pissing scene is an aside. It’s something that breaks up dialogue or action. It’s superfluous filler and I can only guess that it’s meant to inspire tag lines like “gritty” and “serious” in reviews.

I’m not saying urination and/or defecation should be entirely absent from media. As the children’s book says, Everyone Poops.

It’s just that all the pissing is getting annoying. Why doesn’t the author just put in a footnote saying “I’m serious and gritty! See! Piss!”

The ubiquitous pissing scene has started to sound slip-shod and inarticulate, like a nine-year old saying “what is the fuck?” over and over until it slips from funny to tedious.


Sookie is Mahn! March 4, 2010

Filed under: Books,Rants,Television — imaginaryheroine @ 6:00 am
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[Spoilers: True Blood Season 1]

I love Anna Paquin. Despite her lean build, she was a good choice to play the quirky and down home Sookie Stackhouse (Book Sookie is a curvy size 8 – 10).

Unfortunately, while re-watching TrueBlood Season 1, I’m more and more struck by how much the writers have dumbed down the series’ heroine.

Sure, Sookie starts out a bit naive. She’s inexperienced with men due to her “disability” and wholly unprepared for how deep the rabbit hole went into the supernatural world.

The Sookie of Charlaine Harris’ addictive Southern Vampire books is a quick-witted spitfire. After growing up hiding her gift, she’s gotten good control over how much she lets people see of her thoughts and emotions. She knows when to talk and when to shut up. She deals with the strange and dangerous with aplomb, waiting until she’s put the fire out and gotten into her favorite Mickey Mouse sleep shirt before she gives herself permission to have a melt down. She knew getting involved with the boss was messy, so she didn’t.

That’s why she’s awesome. She’s kicking @$$, taking names, navigating relationships, and staying on budget to make house repairs.

Sookie in True Blood is disappointingly dim. She babbles. A lot. Usually saying exactly the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time to exactly the wrong person. After she sleeps with Bill, she has a public monologue about how great sex is and how it’s no one’s business…uhm…what? In the season finale, Bill is burning to death in the sun and she just stands there crying while Sam buries him, meaning it was taking longer to cover him up than if two people had been working on it. WTF?

Most obnoxiously, she gets all squishy with Sam and then pushes him away and then takes him back and then pushes him away, because getting involved with the boss is messy and this show is all about every character making exactly the wrong decision every single time. Especially if it involves sex and/or drug use, because those things are supposedly inherently entertaining. Or something.

Book Sookie would smack TV Sookie upside the head and tell her to get it together and grow a brain while she’s at it.

Psst. Hey writers! Sookie is not an adjunct character to the supers. She’s the MAIN character!

I guess what I’m trying to say is…

Get away! Get away, suicidal cellist! Stop following me!

Get away! Get away, you suicidal cellist! Stop following me!


Yeah, this Blog? It’s one BIG spoiler February 10, 2010

Filed under: Rants,theImaginaryHeroine — imaginaryheroine @ 2:17 pm
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After writing the last post, it occurred to me that I should probably include some sort of spoiler warning on here. I thought about just including it in each post. And then I put up a little text warning on the side bar. And then I got pissed off.

Because, the whole reason this blog came about in the first place is that I have no one to talk to about all these cool media tropes and themes. So, I’m talking to the great and powerful void that is the Interwebz. Or to myself, depending on how you look at it.

I’m really the worst about ruining shows/movies/TV/surprises/you name it. I can’t buy presents early because I just hand them over to the recipient the moment they hit my hot little hands. Happy Birthday…in seven weeks.

It’s the same sort of thing with media surprises. People I can talk to about this stuff are few and far between. Either because most people are totally in the closet about this dorky stuff or they just don’t like talking about it, because I know most of the media covered here are plenty popular.

When someone actually does fess up, I get so excited I usually blurt out something really revealing. I did it a couple weekends ago. I finally met someone who admitted to watching Mad Men and I, having just found out about the whole Sal fiasco, blurted out “I’m so pissed that they just dropped Sal like that!” Only to find out that she hadn’t seen past the third or fourth episode in Season 3.


Turns out being socially isolated makes you really socially awkward too. Go fig.

I’m just going to come out and say it:

This blog? It’s one big spoiler.

I know what you’re thinking. Wait – you just rained on her parade. You just ruined my TV show experience! What do you have to be pissed off about?

Because I’m so damn tired of this stuff ping-ponging back and forth in my brain with no release. I get my hopes built up that FINALLY someone will talk to me about my why all of J. K. Rowling’s girls suck  or how it was such a bummer when that girl werewolf messed up everything for Oz and Willow in Buffy. And then it’s blown right out from under me. Beyond that, sometimes it’s hard to remember when exactly in the story line something happened. I’m forced to just keep mum and miss a golden opportunity to have a good conversation. It’s just too frustrating for words!

Just as frustrating, I’d argue, as someone ruining the ending to your story.

So, I’m going to try and not be such a brat in the future. I will do my damnedest on each post to include accurate info about exactly which episode/season/book is discussed. Then I’m going to go to town with all the damn spoilers I want so don’t come boohooing to me.

If the title or tags say something about a book you’re halfway through or a TV show you’ve only watched 3 episodes of, come back later after you’ve finished. I’m going to ruin the suspense.

Sorry for the rant, y’all. Back to business.


A Serious PSA About a Frivolous Matter January 30, 2010

Filed under: Fashion and Beauty — imaginaryheroine @ 8:05 pm
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While I did enjoy my trip to the movies last night, the evening was ever so slightly marred by one of our fellow movie patrons. 7abibi and I were seated and chatting about the pre-preview bits when another couple came and sat in the row in front of us.

An almost palpable wave of perfume wafted off the very pretty and charming lady of the couple. I want to stress that she seemed like a nice enough person. She just wanted to smell pretty for her date. And she did smell good. In fact, she was wearing one of my most beloved fragrances, Vera Wang.

She just smelled too much.

I love perfume. Love it. The right perfume can evoke happy memories, unveil your inner sex goddess, and give you the steely wherewithal to swim with the sharks. My dear friend Kimberlyloc and I can and do talk about our favorite perfumes for hours. Heck, she even writes about them in blog posts. Maybe I will too sometime.

However (this is the PSA), it is really important to remember that with perfume less is more. Your perfume should not follow you around like some kind of airborne toxic event. What smells good to you may not smell good to someone else. What smells good does not smell better with increased quantity.

This goes for men too. Dear men, Tag does not make hot chicks hunt you down and tackle you in lusty fervor. Bod spray does not make us think “I want your bod” in a porny squeal. We have indoor plumbing now and body spray does not replace regular bathing.

So, please, for the love of all that is good and right, be considerate with your spritzing. Everyone else in the room thanks you.