Save the Pearls Readthrough (Part IV)
Today in our readthrough of Save the Pearls, the good news is that the pretty white girl who thinks she’s ugly and the black animal-man leave the world where black people oppress white people. Unfortunately, they end up with a Native American tribe who teaches them to be close to the earth. We also speculate on how the series will end and discuss the unfathomable, but true, fact that it won an award. The original thread, as always, is here.
She didn’t think things could get any worse, when the welcoming committee came into view. A halfdozen, short, muscular Indians wearing a rag-tag assortment of clothes stood by a line of ancient, all-terrain vehicles. Machetes hung from several of the men’s belts, glinting in the sunlight. Some had long, wooden poles slung over their shoulders. Despite fanciful feathers tucked into simple bowl-cut hairstyles, the warriors appeared fierce.
Sweet Earth wtf is that?! The irony of that first clause! (I’m totally adopting Sweet Earth though)
Ami Angelwings: Eden will probably have her fling with the “savage” and “animalistic” black men in detailed erotic scenes that are clearly Foyt’s own racist fetish fantasies and then at the end realize her own racism against Pearls and settle down with her own kind.
I’m not even joking.
Argenti Aertheri: That starts on about page 57, though it’s a bad combo of that an furry porn, which turns it into a hilarious mockery of erotica
Ami Angelwings: Also I’m predicting that at the end (I’m talking end of the saga, not this one book), her father’s cure (or some other plot device, possibly a deus ex machina) will make it so white people no longer will fear the sun, and something horrible will happen to black people and white people will have them at their mercy, but choose not to get revenge and instead invite them to live as equals.
Me: Unfortunately that sounds all too likely to be what actually happens.
Ami Angelwings: I can write a much more horrifying future of white oppression based on this set up.
White people kept in communal underground bunkers, a life of slavery and bare subsistence as miners. Security is at a minimum since none can escape because going above ground will kill them. Their women are taken away at young ages to be forcibly bred with, the dark skinned children are kept and lead a life of privilege, the light skinned ones are sent to work in the mines.
Argenti Aertheri: Ami, your version is a million times better, but then they couldn’t run off to a jungle paradise and spend 20+ pages going on about noble savages (this is horrible, even the purple prose is shitty writing)
“It’s evident that you have a talent for aggravating him. A common female tactic to attract the male’s attention.”
This is like one long drawn out MRA fantasy…at least that stopped surprising me about 20 pages ago >.<
Ami Angelwings: It’s okay for Eden to call black women what’s basically “[n-word] bitch” because she’s oppressed. It’s okay for Eden to call Bramford “beast” and “animalistic” b/c part of his DNA was mixed w/ an animal.
Foyt seems to think that as long as she makes some sort of flimsy in-story excuse for her blatant racism, it makes it justifiable. >_<
Argenti Aertheri: Having finished that piece of terrible writing, I have but one question — why in the everloving fuck did that furry porn require a terribly racist introduction?
That entire intro? All of that about how she hates coals? Totally irrelevant after page 50 something. Could’ve skipped the entire failboat of an attempt at world building and just gone for “so we cooked the planet, maybe creating furries would help” — literally the only appearance of “coals” once they leave the compound is that revolutionary group that wants to kill the “pearls”. And ARRRGGHHH on the whole “Native people have a life saving herb and are so much smarter” trope.
The good news is that I think it’ll successfully piss of every potential audience, possibly even the Twilight fans, since it goes all furry porn without any shimmery vampires (then again, apparently jaguar-humans do sexytime biting).
Final thoughts —
So wait, our stupid ass protagonist gets TRU LUV! in some weird furry porn, what’re claimed as “the last wild humans” (well, more or less) are now known to the revolutionaries who like to rape and kill, while the “coals” and “pearls” are um, in no way aware anything happened? There is no conclusion here, other than the horribly written love story! (Which, btw, basically only makes any sense because omfgs are there enough Dickinson poems in here??)
Final thoughts in emote form —
Oh and I have nothing against furry porn, but this is terrible at that too (big surprise, I’m sure)
Ami — no no, it’s okay for her to call Bramford a beast because —
He’s her secret animal lover (literally, he’s a jaguar and it’s furry porn)
Not that that required all the racism of the beginning or anything…
I think I’m going to bed before my eyes roll right out of my head.
magical_laura: Anytime anyone says ANYTHING I hadn’t already heard about this book, I realise it is even MORE racist! The animal thing! Goddamn…
Viscaria: Okay, so… she wears blackface. And it’s bad.
Because she’s covering up her beautiful white skin and has been too brainwashed to know that she’s prettier than any black woman could ever be.
Wow. It takes some serious skills to use blackface as a device to talk about the plight of the poor white folk.
Cliff Pervocracy: You know what would be more fun to read? Instead of a book where the government explicitly and obviously oppresses white people, a book where the government has recently made everything “equal” but white-hate is still ingrained in the social structure. And everyone’s telling the white-girl hero “you people have everything equal now, so if you don’t succeed now it proves you were inferior after all!”
If you’re going to play the “racism is sympathetic when it happens to a pretty white girl” game, at least play it right.
Me: Except in Hoyt’s hands, then the white protagonist would use her natural aptitude to overcome all the obstacles and succeed anyway, and that would prove how you can always achieve your dreams if you just work hard enough and that those black people are just lazy after all.
(Why aren’t the Native Americans in the Combs, dare I ask?)
Blackbloc: If you want to see a Fail in its natural environment, go over to the Save the Pearls FB page and read the author flailing about trying to dismiss the charges of racism.
Ami Angelwings: It strikes me that we don’t really see a lot of Pearl oppression. Due to Foyt’s seeming disinterest in character building and interest in racist beastiality fantasies, we don’t see Pearls interacting, we don’t know what other Pearls think… even Bella had human friends she paid lip service to (barely) before it became all about hanging with the cool kid vampires…
Instead we get this white girl who seriously hates black women and exotifies and obsesses over black men, and seems like, in general, such a terrible, shallow, hateful, bitter person that you wonder if she’s even slightly a reliable narrator at all.
Me: Hell, so far we lack even a single person that she manages to not hate at any point. The black women are bitches, Bramford is an arrogant bastard, her dad is cold and distant…I guess she doesn’t hate Shen? Or the dog?
Ami Angelwings: Shen gets the “benevolent” racism thing for being Asian. He’s the stone cold super loyal Asian guy.
I dunno why she has a dog. If they’re so resource scarce, why let people keep pets? She fed him from a special nutrient pack thing too, so it appears they provide for dogs and she didn’t just smuggle him in.
Me: Anyone else notice her thing for men with tattoos? Jamal has a “warrior tattoo” (is that like…a tribal tattoo? Or is it an actual picture of a warrior? Description fail), Shen has a dragon tattoo (because he’s Asian, duh!), Bramford has jaguar spots that she says look like tattoos…
Argenti Aertheri: Shen gets hatred before the end of the book, she’s learning that thing called sympathy by then, so she forgives him quickly, but yeah, they play out a terribly written round of “I hate you, oh right, benevolent racism, I guess I can forgive you”
The dog…idk…the rebel group attacks the Native group because 1) Eden’s a fool, and 2) she needs her dog back. Puppy’s a hostage basically, I guess with how stupid Eden’s made out to be the author needed an actually sympathetic character?
Blackbloc: Save the Pearls apparently won a prize for Best YA Novel in 2012, which begs the question of why that organization is giving its 2012 awards so early in the year.
I couldn’t confirm my suspicion with my minimal Google-fu, but I would say “Probably because they’re not a real litterature award org but a PR firm front whose awards are for sale”.
This would explain how that book could even score an award. You know, not because I think the litterati won’t give an award to a racist book, but because I expect they’re not in the business of giving awards to horribly written ones.
Ami Angelwings: http://www.hofferaward.com/HAbookwinners.html#young
This is the award she won.
Ami Angelwings: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48328
It seems that the award from my googling is a way for indie authors to promote their books. You submit your book w/ an “entry fee” and then presumably when you win something (I don’t know how large the field is) you can claim your book is award winning.
Me: Why is the blackface such shitty makeup? You can get a can tan now that won’t come off in the shower or crack and get wiped off while you’re dancing.
And the same makeup goes in her hair, apparently? How does that work?
Sharculese: i think even she realizes that if she started posting actual blackface videos on youtube it would give the game away
Blackbloc: You know how conservatives claim that anti-racist activism is just about a bunch of White Liberal Racists who condescend to PoCs because of White Liberal Guilt but they don’t really give a shit and aren’t really any less racist than conservatives?
I think they’ve just confused people like Ms. Foyt with anti-racists. (Not really of course, they’re just trying the old “everybody is a douche like me” ploy.)
Her responses to critiques of racism remind me of some clueless person going “I’m not racist! I greatly admire blacks’ athletic prowess and asians’ aptitude with math!”
It’s more tricky to explain to people that ‘x race are all cool and sexy’ is still racist o_o
Kyrie: I know it’s not really the main problem of the story, but if it’s so damn important that they ‘mate’ early, wouldn’t it be ten times easier to have sperm banks.
And no pet, as Ami said. Or maybe a chicken or a goat or something else useful that doesn’t need a ton of food.
Kyrie: On the subject that do matter, I just notice that in her ‘reverse racism’ fantasy, it’s not so much a problem of racism as much* as people wanting to avoid passing to their children genes that makes them incapable to live in their current environment. Does she also think good old regelar racism is justified (even partially) and based on logical thinking?
*If I’ve understood the book from the quotes and what you’ve all said.
Argenti Aertheri: Honestly, most of the in-world racism comes off more as “this is what happens when you make high schoolers into managers” level harassment (petty name calling) — except for Eden’s views on the “coals”. So yeah, I’m thinking she might actually believe that real world racism is based on minorities not being “appreciative” or some shit like that (Eden’s wrongness in this regard is never addressed, as she “goes Native” )
The whole “just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does” thing? Expect that to continue right up until the last page.
He shook his head. “Inconceivable, Daught.”
Now I’m going to have to imagine the dad played by Wallace Shawn.
Then a loud cry rose up from the Huaorani. Unbelievably, they fell to their knees and began to chant in ecstatic voices.“El Tigre! El Tigre!”
Of course the indigenous people mistake him for a god.