Saturday, July 03, 2004

H Is for Hymen

So for the internie, I had to put together and events calendar for the fall issue. One of these events is the Santa Barbara Book and Author Festival, which is in September. I like to think about how they came up with such a redundant name. I think just “book” or just “author” would have sufficed just fine, since one usually implies the other. Personally, I would have called it the Book, Author, Literature, Writer and Redundancy Festival.

Anyway, they’re giving this award to Sue Grafton, an author who lives in Montecito. Now, I should say outright that I have never read a Sue Grafton novel. But in my research for writing the little blurb on this thing, I realized that I probably never will.

[ strike one ]
Grafton’s heroine, the intrepid detective who solves these hard-to-crack cases, is named Kinsey Milhone. I fucking hate that name. It’s too goddamn cutesy. What’s worse, “Kinsey” has the ring of trying-to-be-fashionable that resounds around any woman whose first name is a last name: Mackenzie, Madison, Schmidt, whatever. Kinsey Milhone is not the worst name for a heroine. That honor goes to "Bitsy Bloom," the name of the heroine from “The Life of David Gale.” That name sucks leper cock. But Kinsey Milhone comes in a close second.
[strike two ]
Kinsey Milhone’s hometown and the setting of all her mysteries is Santa Theresa. It’s based on the Santa Barbara-Montecito area. I can only imagine what lurid horrors that area’s seamy underbelly must inspire Grafton. But what really pisses me off is the unadulterated retardedness of the name’s spelling. Clearly, Grafton has invented a town that fits into the tradition of Spanish California: San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, et cetera. What Head-of-Lead Grafton didn’t bother to notice, however, was that Spanish doesn’t use “th” to make the “t” sound. Spanish doesn’t use “th” at all. Any Spaniard worth his rosary would have spelled the town “Santa Teresa.” I can only hope some volume of Grafton’s work details the tragic burro accident that left Father Junipero Serra temporarily illiterate when he named the Santa Theresa mission.
EDIT (6.7.04): Bill points out that Kinsey Milhone's hometown actually is Santa Teresa, and not Santa Theresa, for which I originally faulted Sue Grafton. Her entire website got revamped since I initially checked her out. The "Santa Theresa" must have been a misspelling. Fuck. However, I can fault her for this, then. She pluralized "cats" with an apostrophe on her website. I'll use whatever I can get.
[ strike three ]
The names of Grafton’s books are stupid. You’ve probably seen them in the mall or airports, near the magazine rack. Or the garbage can, for that matter. Grafton’s books are the whole A is for Alibi, J is for Juror, V is for Verdict series. First, fuck you. These names are idiotic. Second, “v” is not for “verdict.” Everybody knows that “v” is for “vagina.” Now, if you title your next book P is for Perineum, I might actually read it. Now there’s a series that would draw a crowd bigger than the Montecito lace-and-doily set. V is for Vagina, H is for Hymen, S is for Sodomy, E is for Ejaculate.

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