True Blood

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | 1 USERS: B+
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Long Shadow is all up on it, choking the shit out of Sookie and everybody staring, Ginger screaming, Bill freaking out, Pam and Eric drinking mint juleps and grinning. Finally Pam's like, "Ginger, enough." Eric thanks her, and before you know it, Bill has zoomed over with a broken-off beertap and staked the shit out of him. Guess that part wasn't propaganda, but then given the way vampires work in this universe -- blood boudin sausages in sexy skin casings -- it wouldn't be. What happens next is difficult to deal with.

Long Shadow explodes in a hot rain, blood pouring out of his mouth and into Sookie's, turning her white dress red ("Not pink, not green, not aquamarine!") and then going from total barf to used-up, popped-balloon skin sack, and then to a mess of gristle and bloody elastic cartilage on the floor. That's what they're like, Sookie. That's what's inside, like Adam's second wife: just a sack of skin, holding blood. Even Buffy would barf.

Which is exactly what Ginger does, everywhere, as Bill stares worried at Eric and Pam stares at him, shocked. "Humans," Eric sniffs. "Honestly, Bill, I don't know what you see in them." Sookie shakes, and looks in his eyes, gasping. Bill is worried. There's blood in her mouth. It tastes like God.

The difference between killing the possum and loving the possum is immense. Sookie dealt with her shit the right way, even if Bill took it the rest of the way by killing Bartlett. Jason deals with his shit in precisely half the right way, but unfortunately it's not the best half, because he's still letting everybody else drive. Vampires are a big deal because here's what they're saying all the time, touched by the numinous: "You're fucked up about sex," they say, "You're fucked up about death. Deal with it. I'm not going anywhere." If you're smart enough to realize there's a problem -- if you don't let the secret bad shit hound you to death, like Jason is -- your first instinct is to sacrifice it, outside yourself. Put it in a possum, or set the house on fire; whatever it takes to demonstrate that you are saying NO to the secret scary bad shit. Turns out, even if your behavior changes, you still haven't recovered any ground. You haven't gotten bigger. In fact, you've gotten smaller, by walling off another room in your house.

Slightly better than that is the Maudette Pickens way, the way of all fangbangers, which will get your ass killed. That's where, realizing you're fucked up about sex, or death, you dive in with your hands open, and don't come up for air until you've played out the same patterns as many times as it takes. But the way human beings work is, we only play out those patterns over and over because we honestly think we can fix it. This time, we can fix it. And as it doesn't work, over and over and over, we get more intense, more into extremity, closer to the edge. At no point does it seem to work out, but we keep trying. By concretizing our secret bad shit just by dint of their existence, vampires fool us into thinking our secret bad shit is itself concrete: that our weirdness about sex has a real-world workbook we can fill out and solve, on each other's bodies. That's an understandable, if very creepy, fallacy. Maudette is just Sookie with a lack of pattern recognition or symbolic sense; Sookie changes and her world gets bigger, while Maudette gets herself killed. That's the line that Jason's riding, even now.

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True Blood

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