• I bought the first book for the Reading Gothic Lit to You While Wearing Lingerie OF plans, so don’t…
    Thursday, 6. April 2023 05:36 o'clock

    I bought the first book for the Reading Gothic Lit to You While Wearing Lingerie OF plans, so don’t think I forgot about that. I got a ring light and all also. I’m just taking my time.

  • PJ Harvey with her first guitar.
    Thursday, 16. February 2023 02:26 o'clock


    PJ Harvey with her first guitar.

    Photo © Eva Harvey 1986

  • the-lincyclopedia: This maybe sounds mean, but I think we should be able to send doctors “hey, you...
    Thursday, 16. February 2023 02:22 o'clock


    This maybe sounds mean, but I think we should be able to send doctors “hey, you were wrong” letters.

    I was misdiagnosed with asthma when I was 12 and took asthma meds daily for seven years, and then it turned out I hadn’t had asthma in the first place; I actually have a different breathing problem. I don’t think the doctor who told me I had asthma (my pediatrician, who I was no longer seeing by that point) ever found out she’d been wrong. (This is one of at least four misdiagnoses in my life, from a variety of doctors, that I can think of off the top of my head.) Similarly, my first therapist told me she didn’t think I was autistic because I wasn’t obsessed with trains. I don’t think she ever found out that I am, in fact, autistic, because I wasn’t seeing her by the time I was diagnosed.

    I get that it might be demoralizing to have someone contact you specifically to tell you that you messed up, but I think it would be useful for doctors to have data on how often they misdiagnose patients, especially since some doctors tend to think the patient is generally wrong when attempting self-diagnosis. It would be useful for my former therapist to move me from the mental column of “people who erroneously think they’re autistic” to “people whose autism I did not notice when they were right in front of me.” It would be useful for my pediatrician to realize she needed to look more closely and listen to kids when their breathing symptoms weren’t the classic asthma ones.

    Doctors can get on their high horse and refuse to believe patients a lot of the time, and the power dynamic makes that dangerous in plenty of situations. I think it would be helpful to have a way to at least alert doctors when we have proof they messed up.

  • I think a big reason why “children are an oppressed group” gets (wrongly!) read as a “pedophile…
    Thursday, 16. February 2023 02:21 o'clock


    I think a big reason why “children are an oppressed group” gets (wrongly!) read as a “pedophile talking point” is that everyone treats children so terribly that actual child molesters can speedrun winning a kid’s trust by like, actually respecting their needs and perspective, at least at first. Which means that the only way out of this mess is for all of us adults to treat children with respect, so that abusers can’t use the rareness of that respect as a weapon.

  • Still making notes for an Audrina recap.
    Friday, 20. January 2023 07:11 o'clock

    Still making notes for an Audrina recap.

    Also still making plans for my OF where I read and discuss gothic literature while dressed in vintage lingerie. Have acquired partners in this scheme, and have ordered some killer vintage teddies and such. Still shopping wigs. xoxo

  • in almost every other children’s book where the main heroine is swept away to a land of whimsy she’s…
    Friday, 13. January 2023 07:43 o'clock



    in almost every other children’s book where the main heroine is swept away to a land of whimsy she’s shown having a lovely time; braving dangers occasionally, trying to find her way home, sure, but ultimately delighting in the magic around her. meanwhile alice spends her entire time in wonderland like

    look, here’s the thing: alice in wonderland’s enduring fucking charm is that it perfectly captures the vibe of being a very tired and annoyed child who is nonetheless required to play along with adult nonsense.

    alice is dragged from place to place without warning, forced to play stupid games with no good prizes, grilled over her schooling and manners and recitation and dress, scolded, judged, insulted to her face, sent away, given gifts she didn’t ask for and doesn’t like, corrected incorrectly, been subject to shifting and arbitrary rules, and then when she gets snappish with all this bullshit everyone acts like a little girl’s temper is the end of the fucking world.

    alice in wonderland isn’t a drug trip or a nightmare or a metaphor, that’s just what being ten years old is LIKE. that’s why kids love it so much. even if they can’t quite articulate how, they recognize themselves in it.

  • every character in Dune just needs to calm down
    Tuesday, 3. January 2023 07:38 o'clock


















    every character in Dune just needs to calm down

    “What’s your assassination plan to kill Baron Harkonnen?”

    There were caves on Arrakis so I’m sure there would also be appropriately-sized rocks.

    Actually…. now that I think about it, killing a Harkonnen would be very easy.

    You’d brandish a poisoned knife at them and they’d be compelled to approach. “That’s very cool,” they’d say, confident in their personal shields and protection from all the poisoned knives they carry around at all times. They’d shower you with very interesting threats about poison and hover just out of range of the cutting edge, waiting for security to arrive. “But as I have antitdotes for all poisons, you see, that isn’t well-suited for use as a weap—” and then you’d hit them with the rock in your other hand, which they would not have seen because Harkonnens can only see knives and poison.

    Did you just write a parody of your own post??

    [tosses hair]

    I am a self-contained ecosystem, cycling and recycling scant nutrients of humor. What of it.

    okay but have you considered the merits of the rock in question being a crystallized poison just for the dramatic irony of it all

    no… ‘cause then they’d be able to see it…?

    Hear me out @glumshoe, you throw the rock, it shatters from the impact. Some rocks (like tiger’s eye for example), are essentially asbestos, and if you break them, the dust and fibers inside release breathable asbestos. You could hit him with the rock AND play the long game in defeating him with mesothelioma, essentially poisoning him without poison.

    Everyone suggesting multi-step plans is completely missing the point. The whole point of Dune is that absolutely everyone is attempting to “play the long game”, all the time. They EXPECT clever schemes and complicated plans, because it’s a genetic hellscape where everyone has a pet human computer who’s job it is to sit around and think about evil plots. The more your assassination attempt resembles “a cunning scheme”, the more likely it is to be anticipated and thwarted.

    …which is exactly why “brain: empty, Hulk smash” is probably the approach with the highest probability of success. No one who sits around foiling poison gas and hidden needles expects a simple vibe check to the brain cavity.

    In this post harkonnen are geologists?

    No, no, they are the inverse of geologists. Harkonnens are poison-type and are weak against rock-type. 

    But Poison is only weak to Psychic and Ground

    look, forgive me, I don’t know anything about Pokémon ‘cause I’m a jock not a nerd and everyone wants to fuck me

    Says the person arguing about the geological and socio-political landscape of one of the biggest cult-classic nerd sci-fi books of all time

    what’s that I can’t hear you over the sound of my huge powerful jock glutes clapping together musculariously

    Wouldn’t it be funnier if you just decided to stab him with the knife :0

    No. When was the last time you saw Bugs Bunny stab someone? If stabbings were funny, we wouldn’t need comically oversized sticks of dynamite or guns with little flags that say “BANG” when you pull the trigger or giant mouse traps. Knives are a little bit sexy, but they’re not funny. Hitting people with rocks is funny, organic, and requires little to no forethought or planning.

  • argumate: raginrayguns: my earliest political memories are about the Iraq war, in particular...
    Monday, 2. January 2023 12:27 o'clock



    my earliest political memories are about the Iraq war, in particular conservatives enthsuastically repeating any scrap of evidence that Hussein might really have weapons of mass destruction. I remember hearing that maybe they’re in tunnels, or maybe they’re being moved around in vans, the vans have ben caught on satellite or something.

    I’ve always had the sense that propaganda was popular. That’s how I knew something was wrong when I was told that the Chinese state media had crafted a fake Tou Youyou acceptance speech. I looked it up, and in fact found Chinese state media reporting that the fake speech was a social media hoax. The people around me thought that propaganda was forced on people, but I knew that it works because many of them want it. Without official sources they’ll even do it on their own.

    So what is the role of the government in propaganda? Lately I’ve been thinking about how anyone can tell the same truth, but it’s hard for many liars to tell the same lie. The role of propaganda seems to me to be

    • To avoid resopnsibility for a lie (pass it on uncritically, and pretend that you were among the victims rather than the perpetrators of the lie, when it is exposed), but also

    • To coordinate on a lie. Related to the previous since there’s safety in numbers when avoiding resopnsibility, but also the lie’s effectiveness depends on the appearance that it’s common knowledge.

    So I imagine there’s always a certain segment of the population just waiting for the lie or the excuse, turning on their TV’s just waiting to hear how they’ll explain some compromising event to their friends. That’s the intended audience for propaganda. And without them, I don’t think it would work.

    You can’t substitute for them by cracking down on the narratives you don’t like. Not by cracking down on alternative newspapers or putting dissenters in prison or anything. Somebody has to want to repeat the lie.

    that’s the failure of stories in which the heroes expose the truth by playing a tape on TV or something and the fascist regime crumbles instantly, in reality people would immediately marshal a dozen arguments against it simultaneously:

    - the tape is fake and the events never happened
    - the tape is real but the events are misinterpreted
    - the tape is real but the events are actually GOOD

    then happily move on with their lives.

  • roach-works:txttletale:being polyamorous rules and i love it but i think everyone who posts about...
    Monday, 2. January 2023 12:26 o'clock



    being polyamorous rules and i love it but i think everyone who posts about how being polyamorous makes them Enlightened Minds moving ionto the Next Stage of Society unlike those Backwards Abusive Monogamists should all be put into one big polycule and then forced to survive in an underwater city like rapture for 100 years. and if we come back in like 10 years and theyve desceneded into murder anarchy theyre not allowed to say that stuff anymore

    they’re already doing that boss, it’s called seattle and they’re not doing so great

  • Little does he realize that I have on my discourse-proof vest.
    Monday, 2. January 2023 12:25 o'clock





    Puthykraken got dithintegrated by the dithcourthe

  • reminder that the Tumblr staff @wip blog opens their ask box at this time (3am PST Mondays) for a…
    Monday, 2. January 2023 12:22 o'clock



    reminder that the Tumblr staff @wip blog opens their ask box at this time (3am PST Mondays) for a few hours. send them an ask about Tumblr live, idk how else to get them to respond about user concerns with this nonsense except mass pestering.

    BE POLITE ABOUT IT. being rude to staff in these situations is counterproductive. the goal is to be persistent, not threatening.

    i almost want to start a user union lol. i know how ridiculous that sounds but Tumblr is so valuable and delicate as the last tolerable social left it might be worth the trouble.

  • ok well it is my pleasure to inform you that, not only is this an open carry state, but i am…
    Monday, 2. January 2023 12:21 o'clock


    ok well it is my pleasure to inform you that, not only is this an open carry state, but i am required by law to openly carry this blade as dirks or daggers may not be concealed on one’s person. and furthermore - no, let me finish, im not done, and FURTHERMORE, a machete technically counts as a dirk by law due to only having a blade on one side as opposed to being bladed on both sides. so yes, Charlene, i am going to walk into this Joann’s Fabrics with a machete on my hip and no you may not stop me. also do yall still have those 50% off cupons?

  • One must always be strong enough to be peaceful.
    Monday, 2. January 2023 12:20 o'clock



    One must always be strong enough to be peaceful.

    At the same time, one must always be wise enough to know when a pacifist approach no longer works.

    These things are both true

    This isn’t a metaphor btw I’m talking about killing fascists

  • Dark Angel Recap - Part 17
    Monday, 2. January 2023 12:09 o'clock


    Tony is so mad you guys! Because Heaven broke her word! How dare she not return to Troy on time! It’s all her fault that he’s wasting away because she didn’t get back to the Beast before the last petal fell of the rose:


    In the original Beauty and the Beast story (or perhaps it’s just an old version but not the oldest. I am not an expert here.) the Beast is so depressed when Beauty doesn’t come back on the day she said, that he starves himself almost to death before she returns. 

    Troy, likewise languishes in his cottage, unable to take care of himself and Tony is so disappointed in Heaven’s behavior! He calls her “girl” to make sure she understands her place.

    She’s like, GOD. I had a fever and the roads flooded and the telephone lines went down and I was trapped. Can she go see Troy now?

    NO! Tony says. They have a few things to sort out. Troy can wait a little longer.

    That’s… an inconsistent position, Tony. It’s typical abuser tactics to flip the script like that, keep someone on their toes. 

    Here’s where Heaven is significantly different from Cathy. They’ve both been victims and survivors of abuse, but Heaven has actually learned something along the way.

    I know! Drink!

    She sees something in Tony that she recognizes as scary because she’s seen scary/controlling/abusive before, and she’s been watching him for it since the beginning. 

    Girl has achieved pattern recognition, y'all. 

    So she goes to her room and cleans up, then meets Tony in his study.

    Jillian, meanwhile, is throwing a lady party. I would love a scene from that party, but Andrews is determined to let Jillian hide herself from the reader as well as she hides herself to everyone else most of the time. I think Jillian is maybe mostly fear? It’s a theory I’m working on. The woman is an enigma to me. 

    Tony demands to know the details of how her shopping trip to NY (I forgot that was her cover story!) was flooded.

    She’s a good liar and has her facts ready. Since the storm she called with the strength of her feelings and elemental nature was so epic that it consumed the entire east coast (so one would assume Farthy, which has a beach and qualifies) all the way to Maine, she thinks she can still cover.

    “I despise people who lie.”

    says Tony.


    Oh, REALLY? Tell me more.

    Tony: I knew everything all along, as I always do! Let me recap your exact itinerary!

    Heaven: Shit. Why won’t he turn on any of the lights. The dark is freaking me out, I better just get out of here because this dude is being scary.

    Tony: Sit your ass down and submit to my interrogation! How old are you?

    Heaven: Fine, I lied about my age to make my mother appear more respectable. It was stupid. But Troy always knew, and why is it such a big deal?

    Tony: Because it means you are my daughter because I am a scumbag rapist who repeatedly raped my 13 year old step-daughter and she ran away because of that and apparently because she was pregnant.

    OK, fine. It takes a while to get to that point, but it’s mostly more ATMOSPHERE and CREEPING DREAD


    Heaven begs to go to Troy, but he won’t let her go until he has questioned her about every detail of Casteel life. Heaven reminds us some more that he won’t turn on the lights and it is getting darker.


    Poor Heaven. It kills her to tell Tony about how poor and despised she once was, to tell the truth about the Casteels and her history. She feels the shame again, the dirtiness of being a hill scum girl, a scumbag Casteel. She’s sure that Tony will now think her unworthy of Troy, of the Tattertons.

    Poor girl. This shit just kills me, no snark. I almost want Logan to come back so I can make fun of something. 

    Now that he has all the details, he takes a million years to get to the point: That he is Heaven’s father.

    He rambles about how when he met Heaven, he immediately planned her future marriage to Troy, which would solve all his problems at once. Troy would be happy, Tony would have Leigh’s daughter under his control (he doesn’t say that part) and Heaven would produce a Tatterton heir that was also part of Jillian’s line and this would cause the planets of Tony’s Jillian/Leigh issues to align in a perfect universe and he Tony, would remain lord of the universe as always. 

    Heaven is like yes! That will totally work because I love Troy and can I go to him now please?

    Tony chooses this moment to turn on a lamp! Drink for symbolism!

    He rewinds the story back to when he was 20.

    An aside: This is one of the many details the ghostwriter will change in the prequel. Tony’s age and Jillian’s age are altered, and there’s also a bit that demonstrates that Tony always knew exactly when Leigh died in childbirth and had read her diary. And I just can’t make that work with his behavior in this book. That was the ghostwriter not paying attention to source material/not caring about source material. It’s one of his better books but STILL.

    Blah blah blah, we’ve heard most of this before. He focuses on Troy, implying that Troy loves Heaven because she is Leigh to him. Bullshit, says Heaven. He backs off a little, saying Troy compared every woman to Leigh and only Leigh’s daughter could measure up. Heaven calls bullshit on this for about ¾ of a page.

    Tony admits that she makes a good case, but says no, she can’t marry Troy. She has to break it off gently, he says, think of a good reason. 

    Heaven: WHY???

    Tony: Don’t ask! Just trust me. 

    Heaven: NO. OBVIOUSLY. What the fuck, Tony?

    “How lovely you are in your tragic wrath, how very beautiful and appealing. I can understand why Troy loves you and wants you”

    Inappropriate. And gross.

    He continues that there are other reasons that Heaven and Troy would feel a connection to each other, but no! We shall not speak of them, he says.

    He says that Heaven needs to go away so as to be inaccessible to Troy, but no worries! Tony will always support her financially. 

    Heaven: The, FUCK, TONY?

    Tony: Stop hassling me! Jillian is too old to have kids, so it is very important that the Tatterton empire go from me to Troy and then to Troy’s legitimate child, so Troy needs to get over you and on to impregnating someone else. 


    Tony: Why can’t you just do what I say on blind faith?

    Heaven: Are you joking?

    Tony: Fine. I will ramble a while about your resemblance to your mother, and interrogate you about how your hair behaves in different weathers.

    Heaven: The fuck, Tony.

    Tony: OK, last ditch effort. You know I love my little bro more than anything. He’s a creative genius, and I never even wanted my own child because Troy is like my son. I want him to inherit. Trust that I am trying to save him here and don’t ask why. I will give you two million dollars free and clear if you just ease out of his life. Do it for your mother! 

    Heaven: THE FUCK, TONY

    Chapter Break!

    Tony: Fine. I raped your mom all the time when she was 13.

    Heaven: You raped my 13 year old mom?

    Tony: Yes. We will both specifically use the word rape to describe my actions. (drink!) But really, she was totally asking for it and also she fucking loved it. So it’s cool. 

    It’s all about how Jillian wouldn’t fuck him and Leigh didn’t wear a bra and had no idea how sexy she was. But she was so sexy! And she came at him all the time, because she was mad at Jillian. Leigh was so mean, teasing Tony like that! And he had to teach her a lesson, to scare her! He didn't mean to rape her. He says - get this- that he thought she’d be “sophisticated” enough to mock him and this would lead to him being unable to “perform”. But instead she was so innocent and scared and it was so exciting! So it was her fault really. 

    He could have just said, Heaven, you are my daughter, and generally stuck to facts, but no, he has to describe in detail, to his teenage daughter, how her mother’s breasts jiggled and how turned on he got raping her. 


    Heaven attacks Tony, shouting that it’s his fault Leigh ran away and died and she hates him for it. He traps her wrists and is the worst some more.

    He’s all haha, well. Leigh didn’t run away after the first time, or the second time and that she always pretended to fight him, and would cry at first but was totally into it,

    “like the promiscuous child she was beneath all that angelic sweetness”

    Someone needs to push this dude down the stairs. 

    Fuck you, Tony.

    His story is bullshit, and this is one of the things the ghostwriter gets right in the prequel. Well, he gets it right from a plot perspective at least. 

    Heaven slaps him and he is so offended that she would do that! He won’t have it, he says!

    Tony: I would have preferred not to tell you any of this, so you’d think I would give you as little detail as possible, but you’d be wrong! Now that I know your real birthday, I’ve done some math, and unless you were a preemie, you are a product of the two months I spent raping your mother. 

    Only this time, he doesn’t use the r-word, but says Leigh had “lain with” him. 

    I wish Heaven had kicked him in the balls instead of just slapping him. 

    Heaven: I CANNOT be Troy’s NIECE! 

    She is freaked out

    On one hand, Troy’s niece! No! But on the other, not a scumbag Casteel? Not Luke’s daughter? Not a girl with five uncles in prison?

    Too much! She flees to her room!

    Tony knows she’s weak right now, so he just strolls into her room all sunshine and love and calls her “darling”. He tells her not to be so difficult about it! He’s proud to be her dad, and he loved/still loves her mom, even though she was “a kid”. 

    Oh, I guess that makes it ok.

    Fuck you, Tony.

    He reminds her that she needs to break up with Troy. Also, she needs to finesse it so that Troy doesn’t kill himself as a result. Somehow. He is vague on the details.

    He, Tony, will be very generous financially once she has pulled this off and left Farthy. He seems to think that his offers of cash will ease the pain of losing her lover, because he understands nothing that is important.

    Calling her “Heavenly”, because he is a master manipulator and a right bastard, he calls upon her to work this particular magic, to break Troy’s heart without breaking Troy’s heart. He admits that he is too much of a chicken shit to tell Troy the truth. If he did, Troy might think less of him, you see. We can’t have that.

    Tony, out.

    Heaven immediately runs to Troy, and finds her beast catatonic on his bed, an eerie stillness and lack of baking-smells in the cottage! She kisses him and professes her love over and over until he comes back to her. He does! He says he worried she’d gone back to Logan.

    She reassures him, tells him about the storm and how she wanted to get back to him, she’s back now as soon as she could.

    I think she’s already decided she doesn’t care if he is her uncle, and I would be lying if I said I blamed her. I mean, damn. 

    So they hold each other all night, romantically. But Heaven can’t quite let it alone. She wants to know if Tony made the model for Leigh’s portrait doll, as she’s suspected since Tony insisted that no such doll had ever been made. She wants to know if Troy ever noticed Tony being pervy around Leigh.

    Troy is horrified at the idea! Tony is the greatest and was so in love with Jillian, and all the women were after him all the time so he’d never! 

    The next morning at breakfast, Heaven tells Tony she just can’t do it. 

    He’s like, well, maybe it’s better if you take a few weeks to ease him into the idea that you are still in love with whats-his-face from Virginia. Then I’ll find him a suitable girl to marry.

    Heaven has so many feelings right now, as would anyone.

    She threatens to tell Troy the actual truth! Tony says she knows that would destroy him. Oh, and by the way, don’t mention any of this to Jillian, he orders, spearing another slice of melon.

    Heaven just rises, and prepares to make a dramatic exit. 

    Tony flips the script again and is all, fine! Destroy Troy, and Jillian, and then Luke, and then destroy everyone else you have ever loved. You want revenge, and I know this because your eyes

    “speak of a devil inside more than they speak of an angel!”

    Heaven runs away and cries and then goes back to the cottage. Troy has made a train set! And there is a girl in a blue coat that is obviously Heaven, and we get a full page of symbolic toy train porn.

    While she is mesmerized by the train set, Troy goes into his room and opens all the windows and goes into some sort of depressive trance. Heaven brings him out of it and he seems to have forgotten that she ever came back in the first place. And then! He says he can’t marry her! He’s warped and she is not.

    “I didn’t think you’d come back, once you got out into the real world and discovered you’d been asleep. This isn’t a real house, Heaven. Not one lived in by real people. We’re all fakes, Heaven. Tony, Jillian, me; even the servants learn the rules and play the game”

    This is a lot like what Heaven thought about on the plane. Also similar to Julian’s speech to Cathy about how they are just dancing dolls, and not real people.

    And then they have rough sex! When Troy orgasms, he yells out that he hopes they “both made a baby”. It’s kind of odd phrasing, but I like that he sees it as a joint project.

    The next day, Heaven finds a note from Troy, saying that he knows he’s her uncle. Jillian came to the cottage and told him. He doesn’t know that Heaven knows, urging her to go to Jillian for the truth. He says if she calls Jillian “grandmother” enough she’ll have a breakdown and admit everything.


    There’s some stuff about how, now that he knows the truth, which could have been used to help Leigh, back when it was happening, the best he can do is use the truth to save Heaven. So he’s leaving until he can learn to live without her, and really, it’s for the best since he’s doomed anyway. He shouldn’t have believed things could change for him.

    Troy, out.

    Heaven hurts and hurts and then rages. She confronts Jillian, demanding to know what she said to make Troy leave.

    Jillian is like, wait. Can you confirm for me that that snot-nosed kid is finally gone like I always wanted? 

    Enter Tony! 

    Heaven tells him what Jillian did and he scoffs! Leigh despised Jillian and wouldn’t have confided in her!

    But Heaven knows that Tony doesn’t know shit, so she pushes, asking Jillian if Leigh came to her before running away, if she told Jillian about the assaults, if Jillian pretended not to know what Leigh was talking about.

    “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    -is Jillian’s response. I die.

    Heaven follows Troy’s advice and calls Jillian “Grandmother”. She wants to know if Tony was the reason Leigh ran away.

    Jillian breaks. Or maybe Jillian decides that breaking is her only escape strategy. Maybe Jillian is sick to death of it all. In any case, she presses her hands to her face and screams and screams. 

    Tony swoops in all protective, yelling at Heaven to shut up, and carries Jillian to the bed. Heaven watches as Jillians screams and thrashes and loses all her youth in just a few minutes.

    Remember earlier when I talked about how Jillian’s anti-aging regimen was mostly about stillness? How she held herself so carefully as to freeze time and her place in it? She spends all those reserves in one intense fit of insanity, and it is amazing.

    Heaven runs away, feeling like it’s all her fault. She is the Dark Angel! And she just broke Jillian!

    Oh, sweetie. You didn’t do anything wrong. Come here and let me give you a hug.

    Later Tony comes to Heaven’s room, having forced Jillian to take some sedatives.

    In response to Heaven’s question, he says, no, Jill is not “all right”, and hasn’t been since Leigh left. She’s always refused to talk about that last day, but after she calmed down, and before she passed out, he got most of the story.

    Heaven: Oh, just tell me. It’s not like this could get any worse.

    Future Heaven, our narrator: Oh, you are sooooooo naive, young Heaven. Just give it a minute.  

    Tony explains that when Leigh ran away, he wasn’t there because he was in Germany. He starts to explain the business that took him there, but our girl cuts him off in excellent head witch style.

    “I don’t care about your toys at a time like this”

    Seriously, Tony.

    He’s like, whatever, it’s for context. Anyway. Leigh had tried to tell Jillian several times that Tony was making “improper advances”, but Jillian blew her off. Nice euphemism, asshole. On that last day, she yelled that her period was late. 

    We are here meant to believe that Jillian recalled the conversation verbatim, with added visual details, and repeated it to Tony, who also remembers it verbatim, including visual details.

    Leigh said that meant she was pregnant, right? And Jillian called her a slut! Drink! Jillian said Tony wouldn’t want a girl like Leigh when he has her, Jillian! Jillian will send Leigh away!

    “‘You don’t have to bother,’ whispered Leigh, her face gone dead white, ‘I’ll go and you’ll never see me again! And if I’m pregnant, I’ll be the one to have Tatterton heir!’”

    Then Tony gives the second-most horrible speech in the canon. The first worst being the “girls like Vera” speech from My Sweet Audrina. 

    Leigh was pregnant when she left here, driven out by her own mother’s failure to understand and help. And in loving Leigh, I not only destroyed her, I have destroyed my brother.

    What kind of self-serving re-writing of history is that?

    Tony went from the saying he “raped” her, to she had "lain with" him, to calling his obsession, abuse and assault “loving” her. Now everything is really Jillian’s fault, and he can feel comfortably tragic about Leigh’s death and Troy’s disappearance.

    Heaven is a mess. She can’t process either that she is Tony’s daughter or that she is not Luke’s daughter. 

    Every time I think this book has reached peak Daddy Issues, it levels up.

    And what good is any of it without Troy, she wonders.

    Next Time: Years pass! Just like that! There is a letter from Fanny and Heaven goes to Radcliffe, and lets Tony be her dad even though he’s a scumbag. Troy dies, pour one out. Heaven goes blonde! Heaven has nothing to lose! Heaven goes to the circus! Deadly mayhem ensues. Heaven starts over with Logan because VC Andrews heroines just can not shed the boys they love at 14. 

    I am currently working on some My Sweet Audrina notes and such in preparation to recap the books again and y’all. They are going to be some much better. First of all, I’m 10 years better at writing probably now. I have fully purged the lingering internalized whatever that mostly faded by the time I got to Dark Angel, but the earlier entries show me sometimes being sort of flippantly dismissive. It was 2011 I think when I started and it had been a long time since my last reread and I had this idea that, while I loved these books, they were also bad because everyone knows they’re bad?

    But by the time I got to the end I had let that goooooooooo because haha internalized whatever, the VCA 7 books are fucking AMAZING, and reward decades of close readings and study by becoming more and more fascinating.

    Anyway, these thoughts brought to you by rereading this recap and thinking about the seventeen layers of this bit that I don’t even TOUCH here.

    This book is better than the Brontes.

  • Dark Angel Recap - Part 16
    Monday, 2. January 2023 11:46 o'clock


    I am spending as many entries on this book as I did on Petals on the Wind. So much happens in this book! We’ve come so far since page one when the house “loomed dark, mysterious, and lonely” around our young heroine. 

    The shadows whispered of secrets, of incidents best forgotten, and hinted of dangers, but said nothing at all about the safety and security I needed most. This was my mother’s home, my dead mother’s home.

    That is some My Sweet Audrina level scary gothic house stuff right there. 

    The book started on the very same day the last one ended, and since then, Heaven has navigated the minefield that is Tony/Jillian, learned about truffled eggs, become super rich, attended the Austere Academy for Mean Rich Girls Who Read Erotica, where she had to spend hours shitting into a garment bag before getting revenge on head witch Prudence. She did so much shopping, and caught Tony lying about the portrait doll, She wandered through hedge mazes and secret tunnels, had an agonizingly long courtship with Troy that involved very sexual piano playing and horseback riding. She met Jana Jenkins, got into Radcliffe, made out with Troy in a barn during a rainstorm, had her first orgasm and then lots more with Troy all over his cottage, often during more storms, and got engaged. She found her younger siblings, went on a Casteel reunion tour, met Luke’s wife and new son, visited a circus and had all the daddy issues. She reunited with/broke up with Fanny again, got pawed at by Cal fucking Dennison, told him off, and had feelings about the upgraded cabin. She has collapsed dramatically, and been sponge-bathed by Logan fucking Stonewall. 

    For starters. I didn’t even mention all the appropriate beverages and platters of snacks Troy provided.

    That’s like 350 pages. And there are less than a hundred left and so much shit is still going to go down. 

    When we last saw Heaven, she was marching up to the Wise’s door while specifically stating that statutory rape is a crime! Drink!

    Rosalyn Wise answers the door, and because Heaven is head witch now, she thinks bitchy things about Mrs. Reverend’s appearance. 

    Rosalyn orders Heaven off the property, but our girl is like, no, I am a rich bitch now.

    Take me to your husband!

    Mrs. Wise blusters, acting like it’s so gross that she has to talk to a Casteel, and casually blames Fanny for getting raped by the Rev. She says Wise isn’t there, but then he calls out from his study. I’m sure he heard Heaven’s voice at the door and has already started with whatever mindgame he’s planning to work. 

    Ugh, he is so gross. He’s like if Damian Adare were a crooked Southern Baptist preacher instead of a crooked stockbroker. 

    Heaven is like, goddamnit. Before I got sick, I had this whole plan of what to say, but then I was traumatized by being trapped in a mountain cabin with Logan Stonewall carrying me to the bathroom, and I can’t remember any of it!

    The Rev acts gross about how pleased he is to have a sheep come back into his fold. Ew. He doesn’t ask her to sit, but takes his time selecting a cigar and getting comfy in his chair and his black velvet, red satin-lined house slippers. This really pisses Heaven off, and she strides over to the opposite chair like a boss.

    She also notices him checking out her legs because he is a gross old lech who pervs on young girls all the time. He smarms at her and she thinks that someone as naive as Fanny could be easily taken in by a man like this.

    Sidebar: Fanny is naive, bless her mean little heart. Back when the Rev bought her, she was barely 14. She was somewhat sexually experienced in a physical sense, having said she liked how it felt when boys got to third with her in the cloakroom, So she had sexual feelings, sure. But she was still a child. At this point in the book, as she’s living on her own in Nashville, banging old guys so they’ll take care of her, she is still a child really. Fanny may always be a child. Heaven is the only person who seems to get this at all, so it’s a shame that Fanny won’t let her be a real sister to her. Fanny’s daddy issues are probably worse than even Heaven’s, which is saying a lot. It’s pretty clear in the first book that Luke molested her, and that she equated that with love. So she was easy pickings for the evil patriarchal lecherous preacher.

    Heaven is not so naive. She calmly appraises Reverend “Waysie” Wise. He’s good looking, but prone to weight gain. He’ll eventually be grossly obese, she thinks. And she does not fall for his bullshit when he pretends to be unsure who she is, and what her name might be. How could he have forgotten such a pretty girl, he oozes.

    Bullshit, she says, politely, swinging her stiletto heel as though she might just casually drive it into his balls if she feels like it. Heaven Leigh Casteel is not a name or a person that one forgets.

    She revels in her sexual power, reversing her earlier thinking, musing that the Rev, simple, obvious perv that he is, would have been an easy target for Fanny.

    Sidebar: I can believe that Fanny would have made herself seem available because that is the only way she knows how to secure a father’s protection. I still think that she was a child and that this man of the cloth bought her on purpose as a concubine so whatever.

    Anyway, Heaven says, Fanny is doing well, and is ready to have her baby back now. Thanks for taking care of her for a while. I’ll repay you the loan you gave Fanny, but I’ll be taking the child.

    The Repulsive Reverend plays it cool, claiming to have no idea what Heaven is talking about. Fanny had a baby? And sold it? Well, that makes sense since, being raised with hillbilly morals she was such a huge slut, “wild as a bitch in heat”, but what does that have to do with him?

    Heaven just picks up a picture of baby Darcy, clearly Fanny’s child, and holds it up.

    Rosalynn has a meltdown in the background but no one pays any attention to her.

    Heaven threatens to tell “the authorities” that their beloved preacher bought,

    “molested, and sexually abused a fourteen-year-old girl, and forced her to have your child because his wife was barren”

    The reverend stops playing nice, and I regret to inform you that Heaven is just not able to stand up to him in the long run. I blame Logan for demoralizing her during their time at the cabin. She is still fighting, but she’s losing her cool.

    Sensing his advantage, the reverend presses on. She may be rich now, but she’s still a scumbag Casteel, and no one would believe her over him. She can’t prove Fanny even had a baby.

    Duh, she says. That’s easy. She bluffs that Fanny stole the real birth certificate so she can prove his is a forgery.

    Rosalynn Wise, who is still having her own private meltdown that barely relates to the conversation being had, randomly screams that no man would have to bother trying to seduce that slut, Fanny!

    Whatever, Heaven says. Your husband still fucked a child. And if this goes to court, a “physical examination” can be compelled to prove that Rosalynn has never given birth.

    The Rev doubles down. No one in Winnerow cares that Heaven’s grandmother married into the Tatterton empire, that gives her no power here.

    Y'all, I think he just kind of called Jillian a slut too.

    I think someone playing the slut card should be a drinking game rule, so go back and drink like three times. No, four, because of “bitch in heat”. I hate this dude so much. 

    She can go to the police if she wants. Everyone knows what a slut Fanny is. Drink! Or don’t. You should probably pace yourself because there is a lot of slut talk in this part. I care about your liver, so maybe we make it just little sips. 

    “My congregation will sympathize with me. Knowing that in my own home that wicked, sinful girl did steal into my bed and with her lewd, naked body that she pressed against me, she seduced me, for I am only a man, and  human…pitifully, shamefully human”

    He’s right too. His congregation would buy that easily. And not just because this is the 60s or whatever. It would work today too. Because patriarchy and rape culture. Fuck everything.

    Heaven is all:

    She threatens to get up in front of the whole congregation and tell them that he bought Fanny for his own sexual gratification. If, as he says, everyone knew she was a vile succubus, he’s admitting he put that temptation in his home on purpose!

    Like the master manipulator he is, like all abusers are, he flips the script and says Heaven doesn’t look well. He heard she was sick? And by the way, did she know he helped pay for that fancy cabin for her grandfather? 

    At this crucial point, Darcy wakes from her nap, and Rosalynn gets to show off what a loving mother she is. The Rev starts hitting Heaven where she is weak, her past. Her shame at being a Casteel  He says that he always knew that one day she would come after him. He says that he used to preach directly to her, because she looked skeptical. 

    Basically, he easily fooled everyone else at the church, so made it his mission to conquer her mind and soul as well. He only bought Fanny because Luke pushed her at him so aggressively. He really wanted Heaven. You know, to save her soul. To explore, close hand, her resistance to God. 

    I just can’t, y'all. He is the worst.

    Given that she is a victim of trauma from not all that long ago, and that she just got pawed at by her abuser and then ministered to by Logan and his sponge of doom, she’s particularly vulnerable to this shit right now. Both of the teen Casteel girls were sold to sexual predators and abusers, and Heaven is fucking triggered right now. She just can’t take it and runs away, apologizing for having bothered them.

    Poor Heaven. 

    And poor Darcy. I’m pretty sure that the ghostwriter doesn’t bother to follow up on the Wises and Darcy. Or if he does, it’s pro forma and not interesting. This is because the ghostwriter just doesn’t get it. Fanny’s daughter growing up with Reverend Molester and his freaky wife could probably be its own damn book if he’s really trying to mine old material. But instead he’s doing Christopher’s Diary, the book nobody asked for.

    I know Fanny is a mess, but you will never convince me that it would be better for Darcy to grow up with a rapist dad and a mom who clearly has her own brand of dysfunction going on. She is a natural VC Andrews heroine, so why not write that book?

    It is probably because Lifetime was going to make the Landry series but then they switched to the Dollanganger series (with no apparent plans to produce Garden of Shadows, the only one of his books in the Dollanganer series) and his ego is bruised. So now he has to write his own Flowers in the Attic parallel novel and claim some sort of ownership. And that is why the ghostwriter just doesn’t get it. Andrews books illustrate all kinds of problems in gender relations but they don't endorse them. There’s a depressing inevitability about it all, but not a sense that it is just. I’ve said this before, but her heroines try. They may, like Cathy, die in the fucking attic after all she did to explode into the world outside it. They may, like Audrina, turn back to Whitefern and to the awful people who live there, or like Vera, crash down the stairs so they can haunt the house forever. But they fight it. And along the way, they find their power. They are trapped in patterns set before they were born, but they storm and they rage.

    Show me one ghostwritten character that does that. I haven’t read much of his work because except for the prequels (which are still not as good as real VCA, and were based on ideas she had laid out) I just couldn’t get interested. I have read the first two books of both the Cutler and Landry serieses, and don’t recommend them. I do however, recommend the Landry series recaps on  trappedintheattic  The plots are kind of delightfully bananas, and it’s much better to read the recaps than the books. Less filler. 

    Stupid Logan takes Heaven to the airport and they have awkward conversation and turn back and look at each other and have feelings about it. Somewhere in there Logan manages to say something victim-blaming because he manages to do that in even the most casual conversation. 

    Heaven, still half-sick, experiences severe culture shock on her return to Farthy! There’s a butler! He seems weird! And is everything set up for a party? 

    There’s a ton of food and it makes her feel queasy because she’s barely over her flu. I might be focusing on this bit because I just got over a flu and still feel icky looking at food. Just like Heaven does now! But maybe it’s also foreshadowing because she is about to hear some terrible news.

    Tony appears! To yell at her about leaving Troy! This is ridiculous, because in about five minutes he’s about to order her to leave Troy forever, but I think he actually is mad about both things. He is having contradictory and confusing feelings about how he’s just figured out that Heaven is his daughter and therefore Troy’s niece but he was counting on Heaven to, in a non-biologically-related way save Troy from his clinical depression. 

    Spoiler. Sorry.

    Drink for incest. 

    And be sad for:

    Next Time: Heaven and Troy are closely biologically related because Tony is a rapist. He and Reverend Wise are the same man, give or take a few billion dollars. Heaven pretty much decides she doesn’t care, and I can’t honestly blame her. 

  • Flowers in the Attic Recap - Part 2, Chapter 1
    Monday, 2. January 2023 11:23 o'clock


    Note: Check out the archive for a complete chapter/entry list!

    The first sentence is “another year passed”

    Let’s take a moment to thank our personal deities that we don’t have to hear about that year. 

    All we know is that Momma came around less and less but always managed to convince them they were going to get out of there any day now, within a few weeks. I assume Cathy and Chris went through more puberty and continued to forget that they are blood relations. 

    They learn to sneak onto the roof, but don’t consider trying to escape, apparently.

    The grandmother isn’t always popping in to ask them if they masturbate, so they get careless about the rules.

    I’ll let Cathy tell you how that’s going to work out:

    “We should have cared.

     We should have been careful.

     We should have kept the memory of Momma’ bloody welted back sharply  before us, and never , never have forgotten”

    Cathy comes downstairs while the other sibs are in the attic, and takes all her clothes off so she can see what she looks like naked. Totally fine, and I don’t begrudge her her vanity as she stares at herself and does naked ballet. Sure, you’re hot! Enjoy it! It is normal to check yourself out!

    Not so normal is Chris, who comes down from the attic and stares at her like a creep.

    Cathy wonders why he’s acting weird. He’s seen her naked tons of times! With all the naked sunbathing! But, she thinks, maybe when the twins are there, he keeps his thoughts “brotherly and pure”. AS THEY SHOULD ALWAYS BE. God.

    When I was a kid reading this, I thought that the story with C and C was that they just happened to be trapped with no other members of the opposite sex right when they were going through puberty, so of course they just had no other choice, right?

    One of the most striking things on this reread is my total conviction that attic or no attic, Chris was always a person who was going to perv on his sister.

    Cathy is no better. God. She is super excited by the whole deal, and even feels that by covering herself, she’d deny him the beauty that he needs. She then realizes that there is a conveniently placed 2nd mirror, in which he can see her ass, and that he is fully checking that out too. 

    She tells him to go away, and tries to get dressed but he asks her not to and goes on about how beautiful she is, and she just eats it up

    They get busted by the grandmother!

    And Chris is all, what? There’s nothing wrong with a 16 year old boy perving on his naked little sister! What a dirty mind you have, Grandmother! But no, the grandmother is totally correct here, about what’s going on. Though she has no idea how to discourage it. Once again, I have to really question her incest-prevention strategy.

    She whirls around and leaves, and they are sure she is coming back with the whip!

    Because Chris is the fucking worst, he then gets all mad at Cathy for being naked in the first place.

    Fuck off, Chris. You could have just turned around and left when you saw your sister naked, but instead you stayed to conspicuously leer. This is your fault.

    The grandmother comes back with scissors! To cut off Cathy’s magic long hair! We learn Cathy has been obsessed with her hair since her Daddy said he liked long hair on little girls (OF COURSE.), so this is her worst nightmare. She regularly dreams that the grandmother cuts off her hair and her breasts! Drink! Thrice, I think. Once for breasts and once for the freudian stuff, and once for the magic hair.

    Do not really play this drinking game.

    Her hair represents her sexuality, which is all wrapped up in her father. Who else thinks that if Cathy’s father hadn’t died, Cathy would have boned him eventually?

    Chris is all, keep us locked in an attic for over two years, fine! But threaten Cathy’s magic hair? I will hit you with this chair, old woman!

    So the grandmother gives them a choice between cutting the hair, and getting no food for a week. They think she’s bluffing and they have some food saved. 

    There’s this hilarious bit where Cathy talks about her nighttime routine!

    She spreads her hair out in fans around her head on her pillow at night so that she can

    “turn my head and nestle my cheek in the sweet-smelling silkiness of very pampered, well-cared-for, healthy, strong hair. It was one of the sensual things I enjoyed, the feel of my hair against my cheek to take me into sweet dreams of love”

    Doesn’t she share a bed with Carrie? Poor Carrie. Is there room for her with Cathy’s magic hair all over the place?

    But the grandmother sneaks in, injects Cathy with a sedative, and POURS TAR ON CATHY’S HAIR!!!

    Oddly, out of every fucked up thing in this book,  this was the scene that traumatized me! Tar in the hair! Aaaaaaah! Drink!

    Chris is going to save her hair! Because nothing is as important as Cathy’s hair.

    There’s this weird bit where he suggests she pee in the tub because maybe the ammonia will help with tar. Oh yeah, did I mention she’s naked in front of her brother again, and that he’s being super weird, of course?

    I can see why in both movie versions, they just cut Cathy’s hair off. Because the removal of the tar goes on FOREVER, and there are so many logistical issues.

    First off, while we see Chris consoling his naked sister while she’s in the tub trying to get the tar out… and there are vague references to Chris mixing things up with his chemistry set… I don’t believe Chris can get tar out of hair.

    And, where did she even get tar? And carrying it in a bucket up the stairs? 

    Then there is the nonsense where Chris cuts the front of her hair and she hides the rest in a towel and pretends it’s gone? Which would never work, and she’d never keep it up either. Every time she’s in the bedroom she has her hair in a towel, and the grandmother is just supposed to believe her hair is gone? 

    This is one of the dumbest plot points of the entire VC Andrews oeuvre. And that is a strong statement.

    Imagine trying to have Cathy’s head in a towel for the last half of a movie. What a pain. So in the movies, they cut off the magic hair!

    In the book, while the tar leaves her hair thinner and paler, it’s extra silky now! And Chris is all fascinated with it, of course. Magic hair! “Spiderweb, silken hair”

    So they do the fake out with the head towel, and the shorter front hair, but the Grandmother doesn’t even come by to check. Momma hasn’t been by for a while, so no help there.

    No food. No towels, toothpaste, or TOILET PAPER. 

    As we’ve discussed before, VC Andrews stands apart from other gothic novelists in her willingness to talk about literal shit.

    If you’ve read Dark Angel, you’ll know what I’m talking about. 

    They start using old book pages as TP and stop up the toilet. It overflows shitty water everywhere and she’s really detailed about the cleanup process.

    They don’t have any way to dispose of the rags they used to clean up, so they lock them in an old attic trunk. This is both gross and resourceful. 

    And then Chris feeds his BLOOD to the twins so they won’t starve! Would that even work?!

    Then they decide to eat RAW MICE!   And to escape! 

    Fucking, finally! It’s been 2 years! She’s never letting you out of there. God.

    Wait, why do the mice have to be raw? If Chris has a chemistry set and there’s all that old wood in the attic, likely some old gas lamp or something, some kind of flint - just make a fire. For once I’ll give Chris a pass because by the time they are resorting to this sort of thing he’s starving and has literally bled himself so isn’t thinking straight. It seems like something that would occur to our girl Cathy though. Moving on. 

    But they don’t have to eat the mice, because the food arrives.

    And then they feel less urgency about escaping for some reason.

    Abusers have impeccable fucking timing. 

    And take a sad drink, because it’s the first appearance of the arsenic doughnuts.

    Momma still hasn’t been by, and even Chris doubts her now. I assume they have TP again, but there is strangely no mention of it.

    After they come down from the attic, they find that the grandmother has smashed all the mirrors! I forgot that part!

    Cathy and Chris decide to sneak out to a nearby lake, and I wonder why they can’t sneak out to a nearby social worker, but maybe times were different.

    Next time: They swim and their clothes cling to their bodies! Manhoods will swell! There’s also some boring stuff about a mouse. 

    Ok, good news and bad news and good news: the good news is that a while back I actually came across some info that makes the tar thing plausible.

    The bad news is that I can’t recall exactly right now.

    The good news is that I sort of remember. It’s enough to track it down later sometime.

    I still can’t make the towel thing work.

  • 2023 we’re bringing back fingering. it was never really gone but i feel like we’ve lost focus of the…
    Monday, 2. January 2023 11:11 o'clock


    2023 we’re bringing back fingering. it was never really gone but i feel like we’ve lost focus of the important things. 2023 the year of the finger.

  • *hitting you with a stick* no benoit blanc movies should not interact. they should not lead up to…
    Monday, 2. January 2023 11:10 o'clock


    *hitting you with a stick* no benoit blanc movies should not interact. they should not lead up to something. you need to detox from the marvel/sherlock bbc poisoning. they should be completely independent movies (maybe w some cameos/little references for fun) and go on for as long as there are stories rian johnson wants to tell in this universe. i do not want an overarching plot i do not want a team up i dont want a benoit-focused prequel i want some good old fashioned episodic murder mysteries that have nothing to do with each other!!!!!!!!!!! also rian johnson has literally said he’s not gonna do a prequel and he wants the movies to all stand on their own

  • i want all my friends and followers and mutuals and acquaintances to know from the bottom of my…
    Monday, 2. January 2023 11:10 o'clock



    i want all my friends and followers and mutuals and acquaintances to know from the bottom of my heart: i don’t respond to your messages because i’m an insane person, i am insane medieval hermit software running inappropriately on modern queer hardware and social media scares me. it is not your fault

    when i get a notifications on my phone i try to kill my phone with a rock

  • hey sorry your boyfriend entered the public domain. yeah no exclusive intellectual property rights…
    Monday, 2. January 2023 11:06 o'clock


    hey sorry your boyfriend entered the public domain. yeah no exclusive intellectual property rights apply to him anymore. yeah no one needs permission to use him in their published works. yeah people are publishing books about him being in love with his best friend now. sorry. i’m so sorry.