Tag Archives: Edward Cullen

New Moon: Here we go again!

And it’s back: Edward Obsession, and, concurrently, my fascination with Edward Obsession. I have been (obviously enough) reading a lot about the subject, and here is a little something my good friend Chelsea (my partner in starting up Geek Girls Anonymous) sent on the subject. It’s well worth the read.

Massawyrm drops trou and offers a moon of his own to THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON!!

Hola all. Massawyrm here.

Bella Swan is one of the most detestable, obnoxious, mentally unstable characters in modern American literature. She is a character so over the top that she borders on satire; and were she some sort of Holden Caulfield-like, deliberately unlikable character written with the intent to openly mock the ideals of modern romantic literature, she would be acceptable, if not perfect for the part. But Stephanie Meyer isn’t that self-aware. Instead, she has woven together a cloyingly insufferable romantic saga – a junkfood and cheesecake epic, if you will – centering around a woman who revels in, nay celebrates, how damaged she is. I dated a girl like Bella once. Thank god they make medication for girls like that now.

(…)

That’s not to say that I don’t understand the attraction. TWILIGHT is soap opera; neutered soap opera scrubbed clean of indecency to be sure, but soap opera none the less. In the place of the lurid we simply find the supernatural. And Meyer has found a way to turn the dark, shadowy world of the vampire into the pink frilly lace and teddy bears of a little girl’s room, creating a vampire archetype so bad it will stand for generations as an example of how badly classic monsters can be re-invented.

The review I wrote of the first film almost one year ago to the day still stands, and all of its critiques hold true for me for this mangled mess of a movie. Its attempts at creating a mythology are embarrassing at best, clearly lifting from sources that themselves were not the originators while occasionally creating an idea of its own only original for the sake of being so stupid no one else thought to put it in print. The romance is juvenile, over-sentimentalized and never truly shared with the audience and feels more akin to middle school romance than the concept of courtly love it often pretends to evoke. If you felt that Stewart and Pattinson lacked real chemistry before, just wait until you see how little time they spend together in love in this film. Sure there’s a few moment of canoodling meant to be tender, but there is still absolutely no meat to their relationship, no spark. Making matters worse is that when Pattinson leaves the picture for a while, we are treated to a second act that is merely a rehashing of the second act of the first film with a new love interest, complete with very similar lines of dialog and some of the exact same concepts.

(…)

And just as that comes to its inevitable conclusion, with Bella once again being the prized pony in the show, her boyfriend re-enters the film and we’re presented with a classic Casablanca problem. Does Bella run off with the dangerous soulless vampire who she is terrified of growing old with (because, really, if you thought Bella wasn’t shallow enough, adding in nightmares about growing old and unattractive with an unaging boyfriend will seal the fucking deal) or remain with the dependable, barrel-chested, good natured guy who has been looking out for her since minute one. Let’s see, dangerous guy, comfortable guy? Dangerous guy? Comfortable guy?

Yeah. By hour four of this terrible series, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Meyer is going to make the wrong choice, and she does it again here. But not before rolling out a series of relationship clichés and a third act with the stunning lack of a climax. Seriously. Two hours and ten minutes and the movie has NO CLIMAX. It just ends, punctuated by one of the most hysterical final lines in cinema history. People about fell out of their seats, laughing at the last moments – even women digging the film. It was so bad friends of mine couldn’t make eye contact with one another without bursting into tears and doubling over.

Read this awesome post in its entirety here.

Twilight Saga’s New Moon: Let the Obsession with Edward-Obsession take a hold once again

Oh.

Dear.

God.

It’s really starting again. I was hoping it wouldn’t. By some miracle of the universe, I was hoping we would all be spared.

But it seems that not only it’s starting again, but that in the couple of months since the release of the first movie, the insanity has gathered momentum, its embers waiting for but a waft of teenage female obsession before being fanned into yet another roaring fire.

Ladies and gentlemen, Edward Cullen is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

And with it is coming along the hordes of Edward adoring pre-teens, teens… and mothers? Yes, mothers and even grandmothers are joining in on the curiously fascinating phenomenon that is Edward-obsession. Twilight-fever has only the males of the continent left to conquer, it seems.

So this time, as my own obsession with Edward-obsession was rekindled, I decided to talk to a couple of older friends whose Facebook profiles feature prominently the Vampire of the Day.

Let’s start off this string of Edward & Twilight related posts with something a 43 year-old friend of mine shared with me. We met at a local bookstore and had been having a blast talking about Edward-obsession – and even spotted a couple of older women leaving the bookstore with a copy of New Moon tucked in their purses! Our conversation paused, as comfortable conversations between friends often do, when her voice suddenly dropped. In the most pensive tone I have seen her adopt in a long time, she mused on how the Twilight-obsession of women aged 20 and over could be seen as a love-hate relationship.

On the one hand, these women love the story; it grabs at their insides and doesn’t let go. But on the other hand, many of these same women hate the fact that they love Twilight so much; after all, how could they, modern, emancipated 21st century women who need not a man to prove themselves worthy, be in such a state over a teen-flick?

She stopped for a few moments, as if collecting her thoughts; after a few moments, during which I clearly saw her struggling with something, she continued: perhaps this love-hate relationship these women have with Twilight is due to the fact that while they say they don’t believe in the love that Edward and Bella share, deep down, they want to believe in it. They want to believe that, despite what life’s harsh lessons might demonstrate, somehow, somewhere, a love story as powerful as that of Edward and Bella’s, however improbable, impossible, slightly creepy and badly written it might be, exists.

That’s when I saw it; this woman, who seems like the happiest person in the world, who is married to a great man and has the most amazing children, who has a successful career, many friends and all the other great things in life you can think of, envies Bella Swan, a fictional character with oh so many issues and in love with a vampire.

It was mind-boggling, to say the least. I left the bookstore feeling more than a little rattled, and it took me over a week to process it all. I realised that there is more to my friend’s musings; because in a society where independent, 21st century women are not allowed anymore to want a prince charming (be he a vampire), it takes even more courage to be able to admit to liking Twilight and wanting an Edward.

So perhaps kudos ought also to be given to Stephanie Meyer not only for creating what can be considered a Twilight-empire, but also for having the guts to imagine such a story, for putting it down on paper and for sharing it with the world, however terrible the consequences (including deafening teen fangirl squeals) might be. And kudos should be given to women of all ages for admitting they want something they, as 21st century women, shouldn’t want.

Now if they are nuts for wanting it and how unhealthy it is to want such a thing is a topic for a whole other post!

Until then, cover your ears well…

Note: some details about my friend have been changed so that those of you who know her will never guess who it is. And don’t ask – I won’t tell!

Twilight Saga’s New Moon: Let the Obsession with Edward-Obsession take a hold once again

Oh. Dear. God.

It’s really starting again. I was hoping it wouldn’t. By some miracle of the universe, I was hoping we would all be spared.

But it seems that not only it’s starting again, but that in the couple of months since the release of the first movie, the insanity has gathered momentum, its embers waiting for but a waft of teenage female obsession before being fanned into yet another roaring fire.

Ladies and gentlemen, Edward Cullen is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

And with it is coming along the hordes of Edward adoring pre-teens, teens… and mothers? Yes, mothers and even grandmothers are joining in on the curiously fascinating phenomenon that is Edward-obsession. Twilight-fever has only the males of the continent left to conquer, it seems.

So this time, as my own obsession with Edward-obsession was rekindled, I decided to talk to a couple of older friends whose Facebook profiles feature prominently the Vampire of the Day.

Let’s start off this string of Edward & Twilight related posts with something a 43 year-old friend of mine shared with me. We met at a local bookstore and had been having a blast talking about Edward-obsession – and even spotted a couple of older women leaving the bookstore with a copy of New Moon tucked in their purses! Our conversation paused, as comfortable conversations between friends often do, when her voice suddenly dropped. In the most pensive tone I have seen her adopt in a long time, she mused on how the Twilight-obsession of women aged 20 and over could be seen as a love-hate relationship.

On the one hand, these women love the story; it grabs at their insides and doesn’t let go. But on the other hand, many of these same women hate the fact that they love Twilight so much; after all, how could they, modern, emancipated 21st century women who need not a man to prove themselves worthy, be in such a state over a teen-flick?

She stopped for a few moments, as if collecting her thoughts; after a few moments, during which I clearly saw her struggling with something, she continued: perhaps this love-hate relationship these women have with Twilight is due to the fact that while they say they don’t believe in the love that Edward and Bella share, deep down, they want to believe in it. They want to believe that, despite what life’s harsh lessons might demonstrate, somehow, somewhere, a love story as powerful as that of Edward and Bella’s, however improbable, impossible, slightly creepy and badly written it might be, exists.

That’s when I saw it; this woman, who seems like the happiest person in the world, who is married to a great man and has the most amazing children, who has a successful career, many friends and all the other great things in life you can think of, envied Bella Swan, a fictional character in love with a vampire.

It was mind-boggling, to say the least. I left the bookstore feeling more than a little rattled, and it took me over a week to process it all. I realised that there is more to my friend’s musings; because in a society where independent, 21st century women are not allowed anymore to want a prince charming (be he a vampire), it takes even more courage to be able to admit to liking Twilight and wanting an Edward.

So perhaps kudos ought also to be given to Stephanie Meyer not only for creating what can be considered a little Twilight-empire, but also for having the guts to imagine such a story, for putting it down on paper and for sharing it with the world, however terrible the consequences (including deafening teen fangirl squeals) might be. And kudos should be given to women of all ages for admitting they want something they, as 21st century women, shouldn’t want.

Now if they are nuts for wanting it and how unhealthy it is to want such a thing is a topic for a whole other post!

Until then, cover your ears well…

Note: some details about my friend have been changed so that those of you who know her will never guess who it is. And don’t ask – I won’t tell!

Here we go again…

Twilight-mania continues with the upcoming release of the second movie in the series, ‘New Moon’. My friends working in movie stores have already noticed an increase in the sale of the first movie, ‘Twilight’, and apparently there has also been an increase in the sale of the books that inspired the movie.

Here is one of the first official trailers:

I don’t seem to recall the last scene happening in the book… Don’t we find out about the whole Jacob being a werewolf thing in book 3? In any case, this is going to be an interesting couple of months for me to talk to women of various ages, from pre-teens to adults, who are infatuated with Edward. Although I have to admit, I look forward to meeting a Jacob-infatuated fan, just to spice things up!

Here we go again: will the DVD release of Twilight cause another period of teen-vampire laden obsession?

From midnight release parties to screaming fans to surprise visits from stars to hours spent going over detail about the story and possibly emergency room visits for dehydration secondary to excessive Robert Pattinson related drooling (I totally invented that last one), it seems like a second surge of the Twilight craze is threatening to engulf the usually rational female teen population of North America.

Yes, it’s the DVD release of Twilight, the movie that has made millions of females of various ages, shapes and sizes to swoon over. The romance! The fangs! The drama! The heart-pounding action (of the last twenty minutes of the movie)! It’s all back to haunt us for the coming weeks, if not months!

And then we are going to have the production of New Moon, the sequel to Twilight – so after being pounded by this Twilight-related tsunami, we are going to be showered with leaked production pictures, previews, teasers, interviews, on-set dramas… Whatever the Twilight juggernaut can create to keep up the hype (and the money) around the entire saga.

We all know by now how I feel about this entire thing – how, although the story is cute, it could have been written better, and the movie had even worse writing than the book. I can’t help but wonder how long it will take for Twilight fans to wake up and face the sunlight (vampires? sunlight? sarcasm? anyonw?). While the story might have been enchanting the first time you read it, and curiosity made many continue plowing through the moderately written pages, how many times can you read a modertely written book and watch a movie with an even worse script?

Then again, that’s the whole thing with obsessions: we don’t quite understand what we are being obsessed with until we are over it, look back, smack ourselves on the forehead and wonder what we were thinking.

Pushing the boundaries: Going beyond the current definition of Edward Cullen-obsession

Remember the insanity that is (was?) Twilight? The release of the fourth book, Breaking Dawn, the release of the first movie in theaters, the lines of screaming girls, the requests to Robert Pattinson to be bitten (he’s going to need therapy if people don’t let go of that one)… It all seems to 2008, doesn’t it?

When I first read Twilight, I understood why it had gotten so big with teens and tweens. On the other hand, I also understood why the phenomenon would always be limited to this population and, quite possibly, to this day and age. While Harry Potter books transcend age and gender, Twilight is aimed at too narrow a population. While Harry Potter’s writing is excellent, Twilight’s can only be described as good by the most generous of reviewers. While Harry Potter touches on universal themes of good versus evil, of making choices rather than letting go, Twilight is a romance.

Or at least, Twilight has been limited to a romance, while it could be so much more. Because the one thing Twilight has over Harry Potter is the sheer amount of debate is had created, but this edge hasn’t been adequately exploited. From the lack of purely female-oriented hypes at the box-office to the metaphor of vampires and their effect on feminism, debates were started all around us, but not many were continued nor encouraged on a global scale.

Which is a shame, because while Twilight could engender some life altering discussion amongst the teenage girls it has inspired to spend hours lining up for a movie ticket, the debates seem limited to Jacob vs. Edward. While many interesting articles riding the initial wave surging out of the movie’s premiere had been posted, not many have been followed up, and I have yet o find an online forum inviting such discussions.

I wonder why.

Murderer!

While I doubt books are going to become extinct anytime soon, the industry will most certainly change in the upcoming years. Just like television and Internet have changed the book publishing landscape, so will blogs and digital books.

This pains me, because I have always loved books. But it seems to me that, in an era of speed, big fat books are a relic of the past. While works of fiction are probably going to be the last ones standing, non-fiction books will most probably slowly be replaced by more and more scholarly articles and, well, blogs.

Oh dear. I’m murdering the world of book publishing.

Apparently there is another factor in recent declines in book sales.

Bargain Hunting for Books, and Feeling Sheepish About It

By David Streitfeld, for the NYT; December 27, 2008

Book publishers and booksellers are full of foreboding — even more than usual for an industry that’s been anticipating its demise since the advent of television. The holiday season that just ended is likely to have been one of the worst in decades. Publishers have been cutting back and laying off. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced that it wouldn’t be acquiring any new manuscripts, a move akin to a butcher shop proclaiming it had stopped ordering fresh meat.

Bookstores, both new and secondhand, are faltering as well. Olsson’s, the leading independent chain in Washington, went bankrupt and shut down in September. Robin’s, which says it is the oldest bookstore in Philadelphia, will close next month. The once-mighty Borders chain is on the rocks. Powell’s, the huge store in Portland, Ore., said sales were so weak it was encouraging its staff to take unpaid sabbaticals.

Don’t blame this carnage on the recession or any of the usual suspects, including increased competition for the reader’s time or diminished attention spans. What’s undermining the book industry is not the absence of casual readers but the changing habits of devoted readers.

In other words, it’s all the fault of people like myself, who increasingly use the Internet both to buy books and later, after their value to us is gone, sell them. This is not about Amazon peddling new books at discounted prices, which has been a factor in the book business for a decade, but about the rise of a worldwide network of amateurs who sell books from their homes or, if they’re lazy like me, in partnership with an Internet dealer who does all the work for a chunk of the proceeds.

They get their books from friends, yard sales, recycling centers, their own shelves. castoffs (I just bought a book from a guy whose online handle was Clif Is Emptying His Closet). Some list them for as little as a penny, although most aim for at least a buck. This growing market is achieving an aggregate mass that is starting to prove problematic for publishers, new bookstores and secondhand bookstores.

But as long as we have Twilight-ish books out there, as well as books about the X-files and Supernatural, we can breathe a little easier. And, once again, I am forced to thank Stephenie Meyer.

Read the rest of the article above here.

The oddity of intelligence: Another Heather Mallick gem

I can feel the excited, giggly fan-girl within me when I type titles such as the one I graced this post with, coming out of the little room I have sequestered it in. It happens, every once in awhile, that something makes her come out with a vengeance – especially when I read something like the latest Viewpoint from Heather Mallick.

David Sedaris and the weirdness of everyday life

Posted on CBC.ca on December 19th 2008

(…) It has come to this. I will pay 50 bucks to sit in a chair for 90 minutes and see a small man in a pool of light on a distant stage talk intelligently about the weirdness of daily life.

I enjoy this; it also causes me pain that intelligent people are now oddities, like bearded ladies in travelling carnivals.

Simultaneous pain and pleasure is what distinguishes a Sedaris audience. I have never before had the sensation of being in a hall where everyone shared my sensibility, that I could be friends with all of them. (…)

After Sedaris read The Santaland Diaries on National Public Radio, people said what they always say about Sedaris — “I just heard that thing again and it still cracks me up” — and now he is a writer and big breadwinner who lives anywhere but the Carolinas where he grew up.

Sedaris is regularly described as an “irreverent” and “wicked” master of observational humour. He is not. In his six books, he simply investigates strangeness and it quickly becomes clear that everyone is strange. (…)

Sedaris quoted Saunders to the audience. “Humour is what happens when we’re told the truth quicker and more directly than we’re used to. The comic is the truth stripped of the habitual, the cushioning, the easy consolation.”

Shut out by the mainstream, good writers like him have snuck in the side door. It is now a Sedaris-welcoming world.

This is a fine thing. The cultural megaphone that Saunders refers to in the title of his latest book is no longer held solely by who he calls the brain-dead but by smart people, young-ish writers and performers.

I try hard to convince writing students that it’s better to use the megaphone truthfully, the way writers like Sedaris do. For one thing, it’s funnier. It worries me that they seem unconvinced.

Why do I like her articles, even if I don’t always agree with her opinion or her choice of words? Because they are well thought out and intelligently presented without attempting to ‘dumb it down’; this is something, like Heather Mallick herself points out, that is unfortunately on its way to extinction. In an era of celibrity-obsessions and fleeting, superficial pleasures, it’s almost shameful to be intelligent. I sometimes am very tempted to make myself a fake cover of Twilight just to hide the titles of the books I am really reading – what can I say, some of the glares I get in the bus are lethal!

But I do have to agree with Mallick that it’s kind of scary how young people today are more interested in mooning over a fictional character that doesn’t exist (Edward Cullen, anyone?), in reading everything they can about their favorite celibrities, however bad their influence might be and however purely commercial their products are (Briney Spears, anyone?) and yet when it comes to reading ‘serious’ books, they develop a sudden case of literatinitis. I wonder if we’ll ever come up with a cure to that.

Setting the Tune – Twilight related songs

I found a brand new blog which I find absolutely hilarious (in a good way, of course). First of all, it feeds my obsession with Edward-Cullen-Obsession. Second of all, it’s good to know that I’m not the only one who hears music while reading books. And no, I don’t hear voices as well.

Please visit Twilight Tunes for a list of songs that describe the Twilight Saga books to, pretty much, a T.

Another Obsession-with-Edward-Cullen-Obsession related post

It’s been awhile since I have written a post about Edward Cullen Obsession – however, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t been continuing my ‘research’, on and offline.

And it seems that I’m not the only person thoroughly amused and insatiably curious about the phenomenon that is Edward Cullen Obsession. I read a great post about a fellow blogger’s experience with a new shipment of Twilight books (you should read it – here) and here are some of the comments that ensued.

Mika: OK, I’m amused by the fact that every single time I enter a bookstore, I would always encounter someone asking about the Twilight series or when the next shipment of books comes in. And half the time, it’s a high school boy or a college (gay) boy asking about it.

Rina: Sahar, Mika’s the one you should really talk to about being obsessed, he he….

Sahar: Really? Mika, what’s the deal? Come on, tell me eeeeeeeeeeeeeverything *innocent smile* lol!

Mika: Obsessed? More like a bad case of cognitive dissonance. It’s a weird sort of addiction even if I’m not a fan of Stephenie Meyer’s style of writing (I find it too dragging), plot build-up (there’s one predictable pattern for her books and that it fails when it tries to be anything bigger than a love story), and Bella’s characterization.

But, in Twilight-speak, it is a “personal brand of heroin,” that series. Haha, I can’t explain it!

Sahar: Mika: I know what you mean. I read the entire series in 4 days – one for each book. And I was working those days and I had schoolwork to get done, too, plus I volunteer and I got some sleep. So you do the math. And at every chapter, I would slightly hesitate – I wanted to know what was going to happen, but I didn’t know if I could stand anymore of Bella’s gushing over Edward’s perfection and Edward’s running commentary of how he doesn’t want to be the cause of Bella’s death. I did love the fact that, at the end of the series, it’s Bella, the ‘weak’ one, that saves the day – if more emphasis had been put on that, it could have served as a great lesson, one that those who have survived high school know: it’s often the ones who are considered the weakest and who are unfortunately bullied who, if they tough it out, become the ones that change the world ;).

Hmmm. Another Edward-related post? Perhaps.