We’re sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled 24/7 coverage of party crashers and professional golfers to bring you this modest blog post.
Like the crashers and golfers coverage I’m getting a little burned out on Twilight discussions. I don’t hate Twilight or love it, I just don’t care. Though there is an element of Twilight hate touched on in this column that I can appreciate, Girls Just Wanna Have Fangs – The unwarranted backlash against fans of the world’s most popular vampire-romance series
Twilight isn’t a literary masterpiece and doesn’t need to be. There is, I would argue, a place for fantasies like these — specifically, a place in the lives of adolescent girls, who often find actual teenage boys more intimidating than the fictional vampire variety, and for whom imaginary worlds (where no one has to grow up, where danger is the prelude to a rescue, where boys have no hidden agendas aside from loving you forever) can be a shelter from the terrors of puberty. The books are silly — and have been roundly critiqued by feminists — but they speak to a legitimate need.
[ ]…As Twilight demonstrates, not everything girls like is good art — or, for that matter, good feminism. Still, the Twilight backlash should matter to feminists, even if the series makes them shudder. If we admit that girls are powerful consumers, then we admit that they have the ability to shape the culture.
Certainly in the U.S. anyone who has been through high school has to expect to get flack no matter what your taste in movies, music or whatever. When the reaction to someone’s personal likes goes past criticism to the point of being mass cultural coercion, a cliquish thought police. All the petty noise is disturbing. People have a right to their fantasies and those fantasies are not always going to conform to whatever the spectrum of various socio-political agendas says is OK. It’s not just about feminism – a POV from which M’s Doyle writes – it’s about any agenda imposing itself into one’s intimate personal thoughts. Thoughts that are partly composed of current peer pressure, partly life environmental conditioning (via parents, siblings, teachers, culture, etc) and partly deeply ingrained genetic tendencies. High heels are bad for Monica, but she likes wearing them and Roberto likes seeing her in them. We can all gang up on both of them for their minor fetish, but we’d be inserting ourselves into their personal lives and one of the things that makes them happy. Their behavior may be odd to on logkers, but imagine the judgers from their POV. Why are all these people obsessed with our lives and this pretty harmless behavior.
There is a tipping point that seems like thought policing when applied in the way Doyle describes. When the movie The Exorcist (1973) came out suddenly the nation was sweep up in demon possessions. I’ve seen movies and documentaries about Elvis Presley( some ministers claimed that Elvis played the music of the devil) and The Beatles, and their fans during the sixties make the Twilight fans look mildly sedated by comparison. Like those cultural blasts from the past, the intensity of the Twilight love and hate, in addition to the memories of the commentary will pass with time.
The survey found that 14.6 percent of American households—49 million people—were food-insecure at some point during 2008, the highest number since the survey was first conducted in 1995. In what I find to be an even more staggering view of food insecurity in the United States, a study published in early November showed that 49 percent of all Americans receive some form of food aid by the time they turn 20. And according to the latest participation-rate data, only about 67 percent of eligible Americans actually take part in the food-stamp program.
I have the answer to this problem. Imagine my Sue Sylvester from Glee impression. These people enjoy being hungry and miserable. They can get off their lazy asses and get a job or starve so they’ll be less annoying whiners in the world.
Or maybe we could fix the structural problems with our economy and culture. That would probably be too complicated for the Sue’s of the world to handle.
Honesty is the best policy is both true and a potential train wreck, Brutal Honesty in Relationships Is for the Birds
This is not to say that we should keep Don Draperish secrets from our beloveds. I just never want to hear my future husband say about an ex-girlfriend, as Weil’s husband said to her about a past lover, “We had this completely psychologically sadistic thing that was incredibly disturbing to me … .”