As far as: page 256
Yes, fair readers (okay, my views have been at a steady 0 for like the past week), I have returned. I didn’t want to post without getting really far in Twilight. In all honesty, I expected to be done with the entire series by now, through the movies, even onto parodies and a deeper excursion of Stephenie Meyer’s website. But I’m not. I haven’t been getting far at all–I’ve been working and/or watching Dexter. So I’m just over halfway through the first book. It’s time to get back into the posting mindset, since my schedule will start busying up in just one short day. A part of me knew that as soon as I had stopped talking about this project and started doing it…I would sort of stop doing it. But enough about me! Onto the most important thing: EDWARD CULLEN.
I haven’t been taking as many notes on thought-provoking passages because in case you hadn’t noticed, “thought-provoking” is cutesy ironic code for “makes me laugh and say wtf at the same time.” And now that Edward’s dark secret is out (or is it? I thought Bella took the news surprisingly well) and now that he and Bella are spending a lot of time together, I frankly have lost count of the number of “thought-provoking” passages.
I stayed in Port Angeles once about five years ago when my family took the ferry to Victoria. It was a quaint little town. I may have even gotten my first taste of cioppino at the “little Italian restaurant on the boardwalk,” or La Bella Italia (155). It’s like I lived the book but I didn’t even know it! Everything in town closed at five. I was bored silly unless I was stuffing my face with delicious seafood, but it was very pretty and very nice. I thought it was pretty quiet, too, but I could be mistaken. My cousin and her husband went sea-kayaking up there recently, and to her shock and horror the town had been overrun by Twi-Tweens (Tweenlights? I’ll need to work on that one) running around in Team Edward and Team Jacob shirts, visiting Dazzled by Twilight. Ugh. And I thought seeing Seattle Grace scrubs in Seattle tourist shops was bad enough. Oh, but I’m missing the most important part about Port Angeles: it’s where Bella finds out that Tyler-who-almost-killed-her-with-a-van likes her, TOO, where Edward saves Bella from certain gang-rape, and where BELLA AND EDWARD GO ON THEIR FIRST DATE OMGZZZZZ. At La Bella Italia WHERE I HAVE BEEN BEFORE IN PERSON OMGZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Not enough Z’s in the world. Seriously.
I also discovered that the store Dazzled by Twilight gets its name from actual book events. Bella keeps telling Edward that he has a knack for “dazzling” people (209). And that Bella is “frequently” dazzled by Edward. I was dazzled. If by “dazzled” you mean “throwing up in my mouth a little bit.” I really am not sure if anyone under age 30 has un-ironically used the word “dazzle” in conversation since Don Draper’s era–unless they are discussing the Crayola Crayon color Razzle Dazzle Rose.
The overuse of the word “dazzle” exemplifies perfectly why the popularity of this franchise baffles me–it is just not to be believed. Are vampires to be believed? Hell no. But that’s not what I’m talking about. The X-Files episode “Bad Blood” is believable (and absolutely hilarious). True Blood is believable. Buffy is not my favorite but totally believable. Why? Different reasons. “Bad Blood” and True Blood, kind of funk-ify (for lack of a more academic word) the classic vampire myths. In “Bad Blood,” for example, Mulder goes on long explanations describing all the different types of vampires from around the world, but he still doesn’t expect the town pizza boy–who has fake fangs, goes out in daylight, and drugs his tourist victims with his pizza–to be anything more sinister than a ginger kid. Also, vampires living in trailer parks? Hilarious.
In True Blood, the vampires are part of a world I recognize–one with complex politics surrounding vampires “coming out of the coffin.” Some of my favorite examples are: how vampire blood is a powerful hallucinogenic drug; how vampires can be affected by the blood-born pathogen Hepatitis D; how living with other vampires in a nest can mess up their lingering human psychology; how they have the choice to drink synthetic blood engineered by the Japanese; and, most of all, how they have perpetuated many of the old myths about their aversion to mirrors, garlic, and crosses themselves to keep a low profile. Also, vampires playing Wii is pretty much the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.
Buffy, on the other hand, has vampires flying (so to speak) more or less under the radar as they do in “Bad Blood.” The case is different, of course, because Mulder and Scully have to investigate Big Foot, giant bugs, body snatchers, evil twins, aliens, etc., while Buffy is stuck in a high school that’s built on a Hell-Mouth. In Buffy the characters are complex and realistic, and they inhabit a world only slightly different from my own. There’s a lot more tension when Buffy gets bad grades because she’s busy saving the world from destruction yet again, and the most pervading tension in the series comes from her trying to have a typical teenage existence in spite of her rather atypical one. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s face it: the fact that Buffy can get bad grades at already puts her waaaaaay out of Twilight‘s league.
The point I’m getting to is that while reading the last 120 or so pages of this book, every single instance of Bella talking about how clumsy she is became more and more infuriating. It’s as though Stephenie Meyer decided to re-think (and I’ve said this before) her Mary Sue exactly once in the process of finalizing the Bella character. Bella is clumsy and that is it, that is her only flaw. She is too clumsy to be believable at all, especially the more Stephenie Meyer keeps flogging the dead horse that is this trait. Bella can’t go to the dance? She can’t go hiking? And she’s never had a potential inner-ear problem checked out? And furthermore, being clumsy is an extremely weak character flaw. A good character flaw is Sherlock Holmes being unable to function without a puzzle to solve (and if you’ve read any Sherlock Holmes, he is almost superhuman). Sookie Stackhouse’s penchant for jumping into situations without thinking is good a character flaw–and it gets her into trouble quite a bit. Elizabeth Bennet judges people too quickly. Harry Potter has a bad temper. And the list goes on and on and on. But the fact that Bella’s seemingly sole flaw is that she trips over her own feet to a ludicrous degree is a case of unforgivably vapid writing.
Also, WHEN DO I GET TO THE SPARKLING? SERIOUSLY. It’s like the 500 Days of Edward, but he sparkles for less than half of them. I WANT ME SOME GLITTER, DAMNIT!
“Stupid, unreliable vampire, I thought to myself” (156). Damn those creatures of the night!
“He parallel-parked against the curb in a space I would have thought much too small for the Volvo, but he slid in effortlessly in one try” (165). Okay. Read that out loud in your sexiest voice. Also, I have to say, I feel like Edward’s driving a Volvo has to do with him being old. As Bill Compton says of the name of the vampire bar “Fangtasia”: “You have to remember that most vampires are very old. Puns used to be the highest form of humor.” My family has owned a 1990 Volvo since 1994 and it’s still going strong. I knew someone four years ago who still drove a ’72 Volvo, and my former best friend drove an ’87. In other words, Edward is actually an old man who needs the only vehicle that may actually outlast HIM.
“But outside the door to our Spanish class, leaning against the wall — looking more like a Greek god than anyone had a right to — Edward was waiting for me” (206). Wait–is Edward handsome? I must have missed that earlier.