And it beeps in the microwave. Out of the spotlight, off that throne and in the backroom, Eric's dead person makeup makes him look completely silly, like a cast member in the Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd. (Which BTW my BFF Will took me to see Halloween weekend because he's smart enough to ignore my musical theatre allergy, and it was so, so good. You know how this show is like, half brilliant people you've seen elsewhere and half brilliant people that all knew each other at Juilliard? It's like that. There's no orchestra, just them being totally awesome and playing sixteen instruments while singing all awesome and acting... like they're in a Broadway musical, which is a whole thing unto itself that they do very well. I can't believe I'm saying this, but go see it because it is so, so good. Trust Will. Trust him.) Eric watches Bill drink the TruBlood and then makes so, so much fun of him.
"How do you stomach that stuff? Don't you find it metallic and vile?" Bill says it's just sustenance, the symptom of mainstreaming and perhaps the ethical sidestep of all time: what's easier than the pretence of salvation that TruBlood provides? "Oh, I couldn't help but murder or glamour or objectify my lunch until such time as the Japanese weirdos -- as usual -- invented a way around all those icky feelings of accountability?" My friend's husband went vegetarian, randomly, awhile back, for the very logical reasons that we all go vegetarian awhile back, and the sort of ethical morass that leads one into has always fascinated me, because it seems a very specific way of limiting thought to a black and white yes/no when you do it like that. But here the metaphor is very real and pretty central, given what happens to Eddie: what if we start right now, and all the blood I've drunk is okay because of the cultural possum called TruBlood?
I mean, I don't want to go into a vegetarian thing because to me it is very simply across-the-board borderline, but only because it's very important to me to draw the line between intellect as quality and intellect as virtue, one of the reasons I find it very easy to love Jason Stackhouse but something that's really hard and gets harder the smarter you are. If one of the strongest struts in your scaffolding is your intelligence (or your beauty, or your rage) -- and especially if you feel like it's all you have -- you're going to look at that thing as a virtue; as an excuse for your existence. Like that old joke where the woman screams at the mugger, "Don't kill me, I'm a writer!" WTF. But -- and I'm talking about Tara as much as anybody else here -- it's a lot easier to get over yourself when you look at intelligence the same way you look at beauty, or height, or eye color: being smart is easy, but being good is hard. If we each said that ten times in the mirror everyday I daresay we'd all be a lot more compassionate: being smart is handed to you, being good is handed to nobody.