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#12 Claudia and the New Girl; Part Three - Baby-sitters Club Snark-fest! [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Dissecting the unintentional hilarity of The Baby-sitters Club.

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#12 Claudia and the New Girl; Part Three [Nov. 17th, 2011|10:32 am]
Baby-sitters Club Snark-fest!


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At last.  The final part of this riveting book about friendships torn asunder. 

As a reminder, Here's part oneHere's part two. 

Chapter Eleven:
Claudia is babysitting the Rodowsky boys again.  The chapter starts out with Jackie saying "Whoops."  Claudia's analogy:  Jackie is to 'Whoops' as Claudia is to 'What'?  That seems apt.  And finally Jackie gets a little love from one of the girls.  Claudia says "There's something about Jackie's freckles and his shock of red hair and his great big grin with one tooth missing that always makes me want to grin too."  I know what she means.  Kids are just lucky they're cute sometimes. 

So what was the whoops about?  Jackie, Shea and Archie decided to try to vacuum up their socks while Claudia was doing the snack dishes.  At least it wasn't just Jackie.  Claudia says "Shea, really.  You're the oldest." Then admits that she knows it doesn't mean a thing.  I totally know where you're coming from.  A daily conversation in my house goes like this.

                Five year old does something idiotic, as five year old's generally do.
                Me: Grady.  Honestly.  You're five now.
                Grady: (looks at me like I'm the idiot) I know. 
                Me:  I guess that wasn't a very good point.

So I get where she's coming from.  Claudia manages to get the socks out of the vacuum hose using a pair of kitchen tongs (which is actually fairly smart.)  Then the boys want to play Red Light, Green Light.  As they run out of the house, Ashley is on their front porch, about to knock on the door.  We never really get why Ashley was coming over, because she immediately starts harping on Claudia for doing something 'useless' like babysitting. 

Claudia gets angry at Ashley and stands up to her and says that it's not useless, that she likes babysitting.  And Ashley gets huffy that Claudia isn't giving her proper thanks for teaching her about sculpting.  Then Claudia's like 'Whatever, bitch. I thought you wanted to be friends. You don't put conditions on friendship.  And you can't control me.'

All of this is well and good, but she doesn't make the connection that that's what the BSC are doing as well.  But, then, we've already established that Claudia isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.  She actually comes to the realization that she hasn't been a very good friend to the BSC. Which...what?  No thoughts whatsoever that they haven't been good friends to her?  Honestly, the only thing Claudia has done wrong here is that one time she told Stacey she was going to the library then went to Ashley's instead. 
But, because of the special kool-aid, Claudia is convinced that she is the one in the wrong and wants to make it up to the BSC. Oh, and as a special kind of fuck you to Ashley, Claudia wants to sculpt Jackie. 

Chapter Twelve:

Claudia heads back to the Rodowskys to sketch Jackie and is surprised to see Mary Anne there babysitting.  Jackie's the only kid there today.  Jackie is super-adorable when Claudia asks him if she can sketch then sculpt him and asks "will it hurt?"  Oh, Jackie. Never change. 

Then Mary Anne asks if Ashley is Claudia's best friend, and Claud is all "Absolutely not."  And Jackie asks if  Claudia got in a fight with 'that girl who wears the long dresses.'  Then he adorably talks about how his parents say you're supposed to talk things out when you are mad at someone.  But usually you just end up mad all over again. 

The doorbell rings, and who could it be?  Ashley, who spied Claudia's bike outside the Rodowskys and came over to admonish her for wasting her time babysitting.  Now, see here Ashley.  I was kind of on your side before.  But not anymore.  Right now you are just as bad as the other twats in the BSC who think they can control Claudia.  Then Ashley gets really hugely pissed that Claudia is sculpting Jackie. Claudia is like "I'm starting my sculpture, that should make you happy."  And Ashley goes "Not if you're sculpting him,"  and points at Jackie.  Ugh, manners Ashley.  Claudia basically tells Ashley to GTFO and Ashley tells Claudia she's ruining her career.  Right.  Her career.  Because she's THIRTEEN and sculpting something Ashley doesn't like for a small-town art contest will certainly forever taint her career.  

At this point, I feel like Ashley is too closed-minded to be an arteest.  But what do I know? I've haven't taken art since middle school. 

Mary Anne asks if Claudia is going to come to the meeting.  And Claudia says not today, because she really does have to hit the library.  Also, she isn't sure she'd be welcome, even though it's in her own room.  Just....fuck Claudia.  That spine you just grew standing up to Ashley?  Where'd it go?  Come back spine. 

Chapter Thirteen:
Claudia has lots to do.  So she makes a bunch of lists.  And here are these lists, verbatim.

List of Lists of Things to Do
1.            Freinds
2.            Schoolwork
3.            Scupture shoe show

Things to Do: Freinds
1.            Call Ashley - try to explian
2.            Call Stacey - apologise
3.            Call Kristy - apologise.  Tell her will try to be at nect next meeting.

School Work to Do:
1.            Ask Mrs. Hall if I can take speling test agian.
2.            Go to the library again!!! Work on projext abot War of 1812.
3.            Finish The 21 Balloons.
4.            Start A Wrinkel in Time

Things to Do: Scupture Show
1.            Think very carfuly aboat (<--what is she, Canadian?) how much time I need for new sclupture
2.            Talk to Mrs. Bear?
3.            Talk to Mom an Dad?

Don't fucking tell me  she doesn't have a learning disability!

Then she calls Ashley and tries to explain that a lot of things are important to her and she can't spend all her time on sculpting.  Ashley is all "I see," Then hangs up on her.  Bitch. Claudia is upset at first, but realizes she didn't lose a real friend.  Because only real friends are in the BSC, amirite? The best friends you'll ever have, indeed!

Then she calls Stacey, who is nice about it and accepts Claudia's apology.  But she never apologizes for the shitty notes or acting so possessive of Claudia.  And why doesn't Claudia see this?  Then she calls Kristy who, oh my god, is such a bitch I want to strangle her.  Claudia says she'll be at the next meeting, and Kristy's all "Great," really short.  And Claudia is like, "no, really. I'll be there."  "Fine."  "Really, I'll call Dawn and tell her she can go back to being alternate officer."  "Fine."    And for whatever reason that doesn't make Claudia rethink the whole BSC thing. 

So Claudia goes on to working on her other lists.  She decides to work on the sculpture for class, but not enter the contest.  Her art teacher respects that decision.  Then she tells her parents, who are delighted that Claudia is putting school before art.  Because those crazy Kishi parents "have this thing about school.  They think it's very, very, VERY important."  Oh poor Claudia, you have parents who care about your education and want you to be successful.  Poor thing, that must suck.  I mean, wouldn't it be better if they just let you drop out and go through life as a semi-literate street artist?

Chapter Fourteen:

Claudia still isn't eating lunch with the club.  But fear not, she isn't cheating on them with Ashley anymore, she is getting help on school work in the resource room. She'll make the special education teachers earn their money. 

Then after school, she goes to tell Jackie that she doesn't have time to sculpt him for the art show.  He is fairly upset, but she explains about how it takes a long time.  She still wants to sculpt him though, but she can't enter it.  Then I tear up because Jackie gives her a hug and tells her he loves her.  Seriously, isn't that worth all the accidents? 

Ugh....then Claudia makes it to the meeting and apologizes to her "friends" in the BSC.  Yes, that's right.  Claudia apologizes for meeting someone outside the group and having an interest that took her away from babysitting for a few weeks.  In case you missed that, let me repeat it, with proper emphasis added.  CLAUDIA apologized to THEM for the high crime of meeting someone outside the group and then taking a mere few weeks off babysitting to work on something that is really fucking important to her.  This is just.....just.....I have no words it's so awful.  Does any one of those bitches apologize to her?  No they do not. 
Then she explains to them about how Ashley was so good at art and she was flattered when Ashley wanted to be her friend.  So she got carried away.  But Ashley wasn't a true friend, Claudia explains.  Because the BSC would all still be friends, even if they weren't all into babysitting. Which just proves how much of a moron Claudia is.  Like she didn't even pay a bit of attention to the last several weeks.  Would they still be your friend if you didn't like babysitting, Claudia?  Would they?
Chapter Fifteen:
It's the day of the art show.  But, Claudia doesn't have a piece in the show, right?  Wrong.  She got a call from her teacher that she entered Claudia's sculpture of Jackie as a work-in-progress.  Without Claudia's permission.  And because we learned today what a doormat Claudia is, she's fine with it.  So her parents and supportive!Janine, and the BSC all head to the opening of the art gallery.  Claudia is so nervous, Kristy tells her to calm down before she gives herself apoplexy.  Right, Kristy said that and not Janine. Also Mary Anne brought her dad with her AND MY UNREASONABLE LOVE OF RICHIE SPIER GROWS!

Ashley won the first prize ribbon for her hydrant, which Claudia sees she really was able to bring to life.  Claudia discovers she won an honorable mention, and the judges told her teacher it would have won first if it had been completed. 

Then the next day at school Ashley decides to sit and have lunch with the BSC for some reason. 

[User Picture]From: slashlives
2011-11-17 05:18 pm (UTC)
So that's the end of that. And here I sit, still all bitter and upset about the fact that even though the author tried to make Ashley into a bigger bad guy than the BSC so Claud has a "legit" reason to run back to them, I still think she's the lesser of two evils. But then, I figure that's probably just because I'm assuming Ashley only gets to be in the one book, so her bitchiness only gets put on display once, whereas we've seen Claud's so-called besties be bitches on more than one occasion. Of course, even if Ashley did show up again, she probably would be just as bad as ever. (Character development? What's that?)

> 3. Talk to Mom an Dad?

I am just staring at that "an" there so hard. Really? Did the author really have to have her misspell that? I mean, they give her schoolwork but not and? Gosh.
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[User Picture]From: imamaryanne
2011-11-17 06:22 pm (UTC)
I just checked my book. The an was my typo, not Claudia's error. Oops, I shouldn't be making poor Claudia out to be any stupider than she already is.
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[User Picture]From: slashlives
2011-11-18 04:10 am (UTC)
Aha, well, at least that much is good! Although I think it's kind of sad that I can totally see them having her misspell that somewhere anyway. I'd have more faith if they'd, you know, pick a more consistent pattern of misspellings.
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[User Picture]From: joykilldrama
2011-11-17 06:37 pm (UTC)
Ashley actually appears in Claudia Kishi, Live from WTKO (I believe that's the radio station). She and Claudia work together on a radio show for kids and teens.

I think she appears in other books, but I can't remember them. This book and the radio station one are the only to that Ashley really stands out in my memory (but of course, could be wrong... I'm in the middle of a readthrough though so I'll know soon!)
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[User Picture]From: julietvalcouer
2011-11-17 06:40 pm (UTC)
Baby-Sitters Cult? You can join, but you can never leave? Or is it more like an abusive relationship? Ultimately, you have to apologize to the abuser for making them hit you?
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[User Picture]From: imamaryanne
2011-11-17 08:24 pm (UTC)
Very cult and abusive like. It makes you wonder what was going through Ann M's mind when she wrote this.
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[User Picture]From: kerssido
2011-11-17 09:39 pm (UTC)
She'd probably be friends with Stacey without the club. She was childhood friends with Mary Anne and Kristy, but they seemed to have drifted apart. I can see her being friends with Mary Anne more than Kristy.

Dawn can go to hell though.
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[User Picture]From: imamaryanne
2011-11-18 02:01 am (UTC)
Yeah, Dawn was awful in this book, though that isn't anything new. The only BSC-er who wasn't that crazy was Mary Anne.
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[User Picture]From: aceattorneysho
2011-11-17 10:03 pm (UTC)
Oh Lord, Claudia...

But yeah, some artists are like Ashley. I know a few who get so hard on themselves for not drawing things that are "worthwhile" and it makes them sort of annoying. They can be really good, but if someone they admire puts something out, they feel the need to go even higher. Then I draw something that looks like a doodle compared to what they do and I feel great (or like crap. I can be way too critical of myself, but that's on execution and not subject or some crap).

And I swear Claud... I can't tell if she has a disability or not. My sister has dyslexia, but she often just got letters and numbers mixed up. She'd get all the letters, but would draw some of them backwards or mix up the ones in the middle (like those tests that are all, "if you are albe to raed tihs tehn you cleraly are a samrt cokoie" or whatevs). Claud just... well if she did try harder in school she'd be a perfectly fine student.

Maybe. I'm reading a Claudia mystery and I swear she'd end up lost in the woods if she actually had to investigate anything.
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[User Picture]From: imamaryanne
2011-11-18 02:00 am (UTC)
I think Ann M. backed herself into a corner by insisting early on in the series that Claudia isn't learning disabled. It would have made more sense to have her be dyslexic.
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[User Picture]From: aceattorneysho
2011-11-18 02:04 am (UTC)
That's all I can think about when I read her misspellings. But even then I'm not sure if it's dyslexia since they paint her as totally lazy with her school work.
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[User Picture]From: clockworkshadow
2011-11-20 08:20 am (UTC)
Well, my ex was tested as dyslexic and she was horribly lazy with her schoolwork as well. So I guess it depends on the person.
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[User Picture]From: slashlives
2011-11-18 04:06 am (UTC)
> But yeah, some artists are like Ashley. I know a few who get so hard on themselves for not drawing things that are "worthwhile" and it makes them sort of annoying.

Oh, this, so hard. I've had to stop following certain artists on dA because they got into this weird "OMG fanart is awful and terrible and I can't believe I ever drew it" phase and it's like... Guh. It was especially bad when they'd put up a fanart piece after that because I'd get my hopes up that things had changed, but nope! They still ragged on themselves. Meanwhile, I wish I was a tenth as good so I could draw fanart. :|

I also keep thinking that Claudia could do better if she just applied herself instead of just excusing herself as being a bad learner or speller or whatever. And I say this as a person that is/was pretty much awful at every subject there was except English, languages, and art. No disabilities... Just a mix of sucky and kind of lazy towards subjects I don't naturally excel at.
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[User Picture]From: raven_rabit
2011-11-21 05:55 am (UTC)
A Wrinkle In Time was one of my FAVORITE BOOKS EVER in 6th grade. None of my other friends read it and I was always a little sad about that. I sill love it. The movie showed up on Netflix and I watched it b/c of my fond memories of the book. Book is always better.

That's all, the girls are horrible friends in this book and you point that out beautifully with the snark. :)
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[User Picture]From: deathbytamarind
2011-11-23 01:39 am (UTC)
It's also typical for sociopaths to blame the victims for the problems and force the victims into apologizing. I see you, BSCult.

Great series of snarks! I love the early books so much. I think I stopped reading regularly around the mid 50s.
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[User Picture]From: masterdivinity
2011-11-26 03:33 pm (UTC)
She can spell "library" which is often spelled incorrectly, but cannot spell "about"... wow, just wow
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[User Picture]From: egadthearchaeo
2013-01-21 06:41 am (UTC)
Yeah, even if she were learning disabled or incredibly lazy I'm really confused about how she can spell library correctly but four letter words are beyond her (I mean really, show vs. shoe, spelling show as shoe doesn't even make sense-she corrected it but still).
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From: shatisarockgod
2016-12-24 04:13 am (UTC)
We never really get why Ashley was coming over, because she immediately starts harping on Claudia for doing something 'useless' like babysitting.--It's beyond me how Claudia's not blowing her top left at right at her peers trying to boss her around. Then again, I say that as an adult with a very low tolerance for bullshit. When I was younger I probably would've put up with that shit too. Now I'd be the first to say "Get off my fucking back."

Then Claudia's like 'Whatever, bitch. I thought you wanted to be friends. You don't put conditions on friendship. And you can't control me.'--*applauds* Now go give that speech to the cult whenever they pull the same shit!

And Ashley goes "Not if you're sculpting him," and points at Jackie.--Ugh. Cause god forbid Claudia sculpts who or what she wants to sculpt! Ugh, I hate control freaks.

Because the BSC would all still be friends, even if they weren't all into babysitting. --Wanna bet? Just check out book 100!

Would they still be your friend if you didn't like babysitting, Claudia? Would they?--Indeed. The book series might be called "The Baby-Sitters Club" but it would've been nice if the writers had established that the club could go under tomorrow and they'd still be friends. But let's make that better and take away all the shitty traits the majority of the cult members have.

Edited at 2016-12-24 04:14 am (UTC)
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