408 comments posted · 1 followers · following 0
3 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Unseen Aca... · 0 replies · +20 points
Same. He's not at all the old stereotypes of the effeminate queer man, which is one reason I seriously love that it's Pepe who takes down Andy. There's a lot of layers in the characterization of Pepe. And I really like that it's not up to the same old Straight White Male Savior character to make the streets safe for decent people; the louche, queer non-binary dwarf-by-choice who doesn't personally choose to identify as "decent people" can do it, too.
I would have been disappointed if it'd been Trev, it would have been too cookie-cutter, and it would have undermined the actual character arc Trev had, which wasn't about learning to be tough, but about learning to not get drawn into those adolescent male politics and move on with an adult life. The payoff of his arc was him counseling Carter on how to grow up and move on. And it also would have really undermined Nutt's arc, too. They were both arcs about how you didn't have to be your stereotype, and taking out Andy would have been going back to their stereotype. While for Pepe, it was bang on theme - he's demonstrating again that you don't have to be your stereotype.
And you raise a good point about why it's important it was Pepe. He's the only one who could get away with superficially wounding Andy and having it end there. Trev or Nutt would have had to kill him, or it simply would have escalated; Andy would have come back at them or at Juliet or Glenda, who he'd already threatened to get at Trev, to get even. And killing Andy for being a minor street thug seems like an extreme plot choice of comeuppance. Because it was Pepe, Andy can't admit to it without learning to give up some of the toxic masculinity thing he's got going on. It's a great revenge, either Andy fumes silently forever or he figures out that he was wrong about what made a man, well, have worth. So this was also Andy's lesson on worth, and it wouldn't have been that from Trev, because he's just another street face, so that's just changing the current pecking order, not changing the game.
3 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Unseen Aca... · 0 replies · +8 points
3 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Unseen Aca... · 1 reply · +17 points
Which I guess makes Madame Sharn analogous to Sybil, and... I can live with that analogy.)
3 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Unseen Aca... · 2 replies · +19 points
I think in Pepe's eyes, it's both. It's him helping the kids from his old neighborhood avoid the problems he had with the benefit of his experience, because he's not afraid of the crab bucket anymore, and it's sheer malice and petty revenge for what he has to put up with, simply because he can. I mean, he not only brought a lemon, but made the guy squeeze it on himself. What a magnificent bastard. But the sheer existence of the crab bucket offends him, and he hates the damage it can do to kids who can't fight it, because that was him. He's not that kid now, and he can make it easier for the next one like him to climb out, and that's his protest against the crab bucket, giving them a helping hand in climbing out rather than dragging them back in. So I don't think "I'm doing it for them" is necessarily misleading.
3 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Unseen Aca... · 6 replies · +34 points
And I feel like that's an important subversion of the usual stories young LGBT people see about themselves. Usually the story they're asked to identify with is the suffering, and they don't see stories about queer people where they're successful in business and their personal lives, and have the life experience to be better than the bullies. And not better in the painful "morally superior and suffering tragically" way, but faster and harder and smarter, and able to beat them at any game they want to start. Juliet and Trev get their happy ending, Glenda and Nutt get theirs, and this is Pepe's. He wanted to tear down the crab bucket for everything it tried to do to him, and Andy Shank, who is currently running the violent face of the crab bucket, the one that makes people conform with beatings instead of gossip, was the icing on the cake of reminding the world that he was Pepe, and he won.
(As with Monstrous Regiment, Pratchett is not morally judging the happy endings he gives his queer characters. Remember that Tonker and Lofty get a happy send-off of arson and bank robbery. And I'm kind of glad that he's not asking his queer characters to be morally superior to the people around them in order to, as Nutt would put it, have worth. That's a trope, and real social pressure, that hits all sorts of lower-privilege characters, not just LGBT but women and minorities as well - they're held to a standard of perfection if they want to be perceived as valuable and are punished for falling from it. A queer antihero is fantastic, because that role is usually reserved for straight white men.)
3 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Unseen Aca... · 0 replies · +14 points
3 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Unseen Aca... · 1 reply · +16 points
He's very fond of Margolotta when he reminisces with Leonard. Unusually so, when you realize he was a teenager, and she was still a frumpy middle-aged soccer-mom (okay, polo-mom, too wealthy for soccer) vampire with chintz sofas.
I like that their dot-dot-dot is so ambiguous. We still don't know which side of the bed he gets out of, or if he goes to bed at all. They have an intellectual connection, yes, but not one that's total agreement on anything. Which is kind of what he does with Vimes, too. They don't appear to agree on much, except all the unspoken stuff that's actually important, and there's a lot of friction, but they're each others best allies.
3 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Unseen Aca... · 0 replies · +15 points
3 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Unseen Aca... · 0 replies · +13 points
What they're not supposed to do is procreate. Or at least not eight times.
3 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Unseen Aca... · 6 replies · +33 points
And I also love how often he's shown admiring women for their character, not a pretty face. He plays online Thud with the frumpy vampire in a cardigan, and reserves perhaps his most openly expressed admiration for a dumpy, fat cook from a rough neighborhood. He genuinely likes these people, and it's not wrapped up in things like "the wizards craned their heads to watch the pretty serving girl with the trolley, who probably also made the best pies, because she's the only one they've noticed". (He even pushed back on Drumknott's casual sexism with the "they say women have devious minds" platitude.)
In fact, maybe not just the common people, but maybe it's that he goes for the underdog every time. Like he's constantly looking for the value in things and people that other people overlook, and finding it.