Sunday, February 27, 2011

BLOGGING BREAKING DAWN, pt. 20: What's In A Name?

Renesmee? RENESMEE? RUH-NEZ-MAY!?! Holy shit. Of all the fucking stupid ideas in all the fucking stupidest gin joints in all the fucking dumbest paranormal romance books on earth: RENESMEE! That is the name that, in this chapter, Bella says she will be giving her baby, if it is a girl. So obviously it will be a girl because S. Meyer never met a crazy idea she didn't UGHHHH. Bella and Edward are going to have a daughter named fucking Renesmee, a portmanteau of Renee and Esme if that wasn't ABUNDANTLY FUCKING CLEAR. Bella and Edward just signed their daughter up for a lifetime, nay, an ETERNITY of well deserved mockery and/or a well deserved job at a strip club. OY GEVALT. I mean, as parents there is actually very little you can do to help your kids in this fucking world of ours, right? You can show 'em right from wrong, show 'em how to change a lightbulb and drive stick or whatever, and after that you're pretty much just hoping for the best and praying that your kid will sort the rest of the shit out for himself or herself and find love and peace and happiness and not get struck by lightning or something. As it should be! Best of all possible worlds, you are powerless, as a parent. Each and every one of us is on our own, really, and it's important not to be under the impression that it's some other way. But as a parent, if you want, you still have godlike power over the fate of your children. If you want it. There IS a way. After you push the kid out and the doctor slaps it on the ass and you recover from whatever drugs you were on the nurse comes in with a form. And that's when the sword of Damacles is hanging over your kids head and you've got those scissors that the fates use to cut life strings or whatever. You're Sisyphus, you made it up the hill, and you're holding the rock wondering if you should let it roll back down, see what it hits along the way. You can either give your kid a normal name and set the scale at zero, or, IF YOU WANT, you can dangle them over the fucking flames and name them whatever crazy ass set of sounds you like or can think of. You can willfully FUCK with their LIVES like that if you want. That's the power you can reach out and take, if you are so inclined. And then maybe your kid will work to overcome the name you've saddled them with, like the guy in the Johnny Cash tune. Maybe they'll be better for it. Or maybe it will be the very first nail in their coffin. You are rolling the fucking dice, and the safe thing to do is DON'T BET. You don't lose ANYTHING! But some people can't turn away from that opportunity. And I understand that need, intellectually anyway I do, that need to exercise what destructive power you have or are given. There are days when I understand it, I mean. Why do people throw furniture out of windows? Some of us apparently get sick of feeling the earth do the same lap, year after year, and we want to switch it up, flip the script. Who says you have to try to help your kids, right? Fuck it. Fuck him or her! Name her Renesmee! FUCK IT! My father's name is Dean, my father-in-law's name is Don. Maybe my kid will be named DeanDon, a thing like that, huh? Why not? The world keeps on fucking spinning no matter the fuck what. Renesmee! RENESMEE!

Razzie Awards Decline To Strike Dead Horse

The Razzie Award winners were announced today, and Eclipse did not win any, save for a Shitty Actor award or whatever for Jackson Rathbone which was technically split between that film and The Last Airbender. I pretty much called this play, as nominating Eclipse for nearly every category was a lukewarm joke in the first place and to actually award them much of anything would be even more redundant. Obviously I'm not saying Eclipse is a good movie; it isn't. It's also not a bad movie. I didn't expect much from it, and there wasn't much to it. That doesn't speak well of anyone involved in the production, but awarding it with whatever the opposite of a superlative is (evillative?) is still a stretch.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

BLOGGING BREAKING DAWN, pt. 19: Pine Barrens

I hope people are still reading this blog and that you haven't given up on me just because S. Meyer is being so fucking boring. I'm trying to keep it readable, but it might only be in comparison to the original text. The good news is we learn in this chapter that Bella is likely to give birth sometime in the next four days. So page-wise that means soon, probably! I mean, sure, there have been days that last two hundred pages in this series before, but that means that in the absolute worst-case scenario, we only have 800 more pages of mind-numbingly bland bullshit before Bella is dilated enough to go! Stay with me, here! How many centimeters dilated will she need to be, by the way, do you think? Thirty? Forty?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

WRITING BREAKING DAWN: Seth Clearwater Tries To Have Sex With Alice Cullen

“How are you?” Seth Clearwater asked. “How's your head?”
“Better, thanks.” Alice shifted gingerly on the couch. “I mean, I still feel like I got face-fucked by a rhino. But a rhino with a smaller cock than the one before.”
“Oh,” Seth said. This was the third or fourth time Alice had said something so vulgar he'd been mentally incapable of coming up with a response. He liked the Cullens a lot, and Alice had always seemed cool to him, but now that he was really getting to know her he was a little scared. When, earlier that day, she'd told Jacob to “get raped by the business end of a pitchfork,” he'd just thought that was the normal vampire-werewolf animosity. But later she'd actually used the same expression to thank Rosalie for bringing her a blanket.

Monday, February 21, 2011

BLOGGING BREAKING DAWN, pt. 18: Limited Omniscient

Jacob returns to the house and finds that Edward has laid out clothes for him. (What, a fucking flesh-colored turtle neck and some cargo pants? Maybe a nice vest?) There's (too) much made of the fact that the clothes smell like vampires; S. Meyer's conception of how scents stick to clothes and trees and, you know, THE AIR is a little extreme. Jacob considers his vagrant status as he puts on Emmett's ill-fitting threads in the woods, and realizes that having no possessions will eventually get annoying. I never really got the idea that Jacob couldn't just return to the Rez and pick up some of his crap, did you? It's like, right down the street! One thing S. Meyer likes to do is keep nebulous threats surrounding her story at all times, which is why the danger presented by the wolfpack, which could easily be very specific, has lately been undercut by the meeting with Jared in the last chapter. We don't know what the rest of the wolves are after, if anything. Much like the Volturi, the threat is entirely based on our heroes' suspicions. And I don't trust our heroes' instincts! Threats are always kept vague like this so that S. Meyer can dispose of them quickly, if needed. I understand the temptation to not write yourself into a hole, but our author is way too guarded. In the comments recently, Kira likened these books to a rough draft that somehow got published by accident. That feels especially true these days, where S. Meyer seems to still be trying to decide what to do next. Write an outline or something! Don't leave us marooned in the middle of your book for a hundred pages while you work this shit out!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

WRITING BREAKING DAWN: Alice, Emmett, And Jasper Get Bored

Previously: To The Dogs Or Whoever

“Holy living fuck, when is this going to be over?” Alice moaned, tossing another beer can into the corner. There were a lot of them over there now. "This boring-ass wolfpack/baby drama is killing me!"
Emmett muttered incoherently and handed her another beer from the cooler while Jasper stared meaningfully in her direction.
“Yeah, I'm really not feeling it, babe,” she said, closing her eyes and trying to concentrate on the vibes he was sending her way. “You're giving me dime bag-level shit, I can tell. I need you to give me like, 'mother during Amber Alert.'”
Emmett snorted. Jasper furrowed his brow in concentration.
“There it is,” Alice sighed, leaning back in her chair. “God damn, baby. Just like that.”
“I feel like I should leave you two alone for this,” Emmett said, watching her writhe in her chair.
“And yet earlier when I asked you to leave, you claimed you couldn't bear to be around Bella,” Alice said flatly, without opening her eyes.
“I was curious,” Emmett said. “Rosalie won't do... that.”

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

BLOGGING BREAKING DAWN, pt. 17: To The Dogs Or Whoever

It took me almost a week to get down to writing about this chapter, but I'm glad I took a break to do a few other things on here. I read and reviewed a scary piece of fanfiction that better illuminated a lot of the cultural problems we've observed over the last few weeks, and then Justin Bieber spoke up about abortion and we were really off to the races. Plus, we all got Valentine's Day wishes from the Cullen clan. And how often does that happen? It sure beats this boring bullshit, anyway.

Chapter 13: Good Thing I've Got A Strong Stomach

Carlisle and Rosalie go upstairs to get some blood for Bella, and Jacob chuckles morbidly at the “house-of-horrors” stuff he might later encounter: “Torture chamber? Coffin room?” God, I hope so. Meanwhile, Edward and Bella are staring meaningfully into one another's eyes. Any kind of flowery window-dressing Bella might have forced us to endure during this is absent; I've never been more grateful to have Jacob as our narrator. He thinks back to Leah and resolves to “never blame her again.” What is going on here? We keep coming back to this. Why? Whither Leah? Later Bella makes a big deal out of her joining the wolfpack, but like every other time she comes up, it doesn't amount to anything. Is Jacob going to start dating her? Will he imprint on her somehow, like maybe he hasn't “really” seen her yet? Maybe Jacob has been wearing sunglasses this whole time!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

As Wind In Dry Grass: Understanding The Jonas Brothers and Twilight Through Fanfiction At The End Of The American Empire

Late last year I spent quite a lot of time researching what came to be known as Jashleygate, a gossip-rag scandal that launched a bizarre and still on-going Twitter campaign of scorn and rage directed at Twilight star Ashley Greene. Because the other principal celebrities involved were of the Disney/child-star variety, there were all sorts of dark undercurrents: overbearing parents, drugs, mental illness. Several weeks and thousands of words later, we were knee deep in a river of psychotic tween angst, fighting against an unstoppable current, darkness all around us. It was an inconclusive experience, to be sure, but a nonetheless profound one.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

BLOGGING BREAKING DAWN, pt. 16: Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes

Here's a hard truth about Breaking Dawn: even as we approach some kind of day of reckoning involving Bella and her baby, we are still mired in (by far) the most boring section of the entire Twilight Saga. And there have been some really boring sections! Chapter 12 drags and drags, so let's do this one like a band-aid: 1, 2, 3. (Previously: Division Day)

Chapter 12: Some People Just Don't Understand The Concept Of Unwelcome

1. The next morning, Leah Clearwater turns up and joins Jacob's and Seth's wolfpack. There's a lot of S. Meyer's pitiful tough talk: Leah refers to Jacob as “most high Alpha” and later “Captain Obvious” and that's about as harsh as she gets. And just because the wolves communicate telepathically doesn't mean our author should be allowed to get away with dialog this stilted:

I'm just pointing out that being unwanted is not a first for me. Not really a motivating factor, if you know what I mean.

Monday, February 7, 2011

BLOGGING BREAKING DAWN, pt. 15: Division Day

Previously: Killing Yourself To Live

Chapter 10 [cont'd]: Why Didn't I Just Walk Away? Oh Right, Because I'm An Idiot

Jacob leaves Bella's side after she more or less laughs off his (Edward-prompted) offer to be her sperm donor. Oddly, or maybe not so oddly, Jacob is hurt by this rejection even though he knew it was coming. I mean, when you offer to make a baby with a girl after she aborts the possible monster she's pregnant with-- that's really putting yourself out there. Bella asks if he'll be visiting again, and he says no; their ostensibly final goodbye is brief and uneventful, and there isn't even a chapter break. No one is trying to convince us this is real, and not even Jacob or Bella acts like it. See you next Tuesday (or maybe sooner) Bella!

Forgive the expression, but am I the only one having a “boy who cried wolf” problem with most of this book? So many potential threats (and therefore plot threads) have evaporated that tension has just completely ceased building. It dissolves into the misty Forks air every few pages, and now I can't take anything seriously. The only real problem left is Bella's baby, and it's hard not to feel like that one is going to resolve easily and then thinly segue into whatever the next story is. (There's nothing necessarily wrong with an episodic novel, but that's what New Moon was. This is supposed to be the final installment-- one would think it would feel sort of, uh, final.) I knew Bella and Jacob would see each other again before it happened, and I knew that the situation that is about to arise with the wolfpack would be over before it began. If everything always works out, happy endings stop feeling happy. They just get boring. This book is making me feel dead inside.

Friday, February 4, 2011

BLOGGING BREAKING DAWN, pt. 14: Killing Yourself To Live

In the comments last time, Kim articulated the theory that S. Meyer is just making this "as crazy as possible." Like now that we've gone off the deep end with the pregnancy, we might as well dig a hole in the bottom of the pool and see if we can get to China, you know? I think this is probably correct. There's an episode in the fifth season of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia in which Frank Reynolds (Danny Devito) declares his intentions to have sex with the recently widowed sister of his dead wife. "I don't know how many years on this earth I got left," he says. "I'm gonna get real weird with it." Sub in "years" for "pages" and I think we've got S. Meyer's governing philosophy right now.

Chapter 10: Why Didn't I Just Walk Away? Oh Right, Because I'm An Idiot.

Okay Jacob, we get it with the long chapter titles. Enough.