Thursday, July 31, 2008

Garfield Minus Garfield: Or a Profound Exposé On the Single Life

What's so Right About Twilight?

PhotobucketWhat is it about Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series that is so right? After reading the first book, I've wanted to (and have on occasion) rant endlessly about everything that is wrong with the series. But the intensity of my emotional response to these books is too overwhelming. I recently stated that the only other piece of literature that has elicited such a strong emotionally ambivalent response in me was Toni Morrison's Beloved. And I assure you that my response to Beloved was for very, very different reasons. So, simply, about Twilight, I have too much to say. So I'll start with a list of the bads:
  1. No writer should use any form of the word smolder unless discussing a fireplace...and she uses it multiple times in each book. "His eyes smoldered." I literally cringed every time I read something to that effect in the books. Perhaps this was the first thing that bothered me about Twilight: It wasn't that well written.
  2. A reader should relate to the hero(ine) of the story but Bella is a complete and total twit. Slightly insecure klutzes can be endearing but Bella is completely lacking in self-awareness and self-preservation skills. Some readers like to feel as if they are Bella: beautiful girls who simply don't know that they are beautiful, who are loved by perfect men despite their imperfections. Ok, seriously, the chicks who are really like that are super annoying! Bella's not a bad person, I just know that part of the reason I got over my romance novel phase very quickly back in middle school was because I was tired of reading about these spunky, yet unavoidably helpless women getting saved and loved unconditionally by these perfect and condescending men. I like my romantic couples to be evenly matched.

But this is where the internal conflict comes in: I can't help but to love the Twilight series anyway. Each book has been better and better written and these insufferable characters are growing on me.

I'm trying to bite my tongue, which wants to blame Meyer's Mormonism for the obnoxiously traditional values that permeate the love story. But it makes sense. I can be considered fairly conservative myself when it comes to issues of love and marriage...but I can't help but feel nauseated by this common theme of Bella pressuring Edward for sex and him constantly telling her to show some self-control. Of course she's the out of control floozy and he's the mature, protective male full of restraint.

Sigh. I'm rambling. The final book comes out in approx. 36.5 hours. I'm looking forward to it. I can't decide whether or not I can stomach watching the film when it comes out, but we will see. No matter how much this series infuriates me for its shortcomings, what will always infuriate me the most is the fact that it is clearly doing something right.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Darkest Parts of The Dark Knight

**SPOILER WARNING**The following post includes information that may be considered a spoiler to those who are grossly unfamiliar with the Batman universe.

I do my best to not have specific expectations when going to see a movie, but obviously it is impossible to enter without any expectations. Just as with Batman Begins, my expectations were completely shattered by The Dark Knight.

First, it is worth noting that all of the hype around Heath Ledger's Joker is warranted. It is one of the finest performances that I have ever seen on film. And as the critics have decreed, his acting did outshine the acting of the rest of this absolutely fantastic cast. (Even the "extras" were high-caliber.) I, in fact, wish that Heath was given more to do because at the end of the day, he was not actually the most interesting character in the film.

No, that honor goes to one, Mr. Harvey Dent. Although I have not read many Batman comics and have not seen Batman Forever in years, or watched the cartoon in years, I remember who Harvey Dent is: Harvey Two-Face. And it was this knowledge that made this film gut wrenching. Watching a pure evil person (i.e. - the Joker) do evil things is interesting, exciting, etc. But watching a good man do good things while knowing that he too will some day become evil is almost unbearable.

It was this which stayed with me when I left the theatre. The evil I see, that I can look at and know by name is frightening and disheartening. But even more frightening, even darker, is the evil that lurks in the hearts of good men.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Rose is Just as Sweet

PhotobucketI had the pleasure of trying this sorbet recently by Wine Cellar Sorbet. It was absolutely delicious. Their marketing tries a little too hard to appeal to people's desires to be elitist snobs, but I'll forgive them for that because they have a sumptuous product that would appeal to any age, race, class, gender, religious affiliation, sexual preference, etc.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sometimes living is a work of art

"My life has been the poem I would have writ,"
by Henry David Thoreau

My life has been the poem I would have writ,
But I could not both live and utter it.