Tuesday, September 1, 2009

BIts n Bytes

Went to the beach last week end. (Cocoa). I enjoyed it a lot. Beach=good.

I used to have a house on Hilton Head Island in SC right across the street from the beach and I walked on it every single day when there. For at least an hour. When I wasn't swimming laps in my heated pool or riding my bike on the miles and miles of bike paths. I loved the beach. Winter, spring, summer and fall. My favorite walking time was after dinner for the hour before sunset. With my dogs, of course. Akita, Nikki, was particularly fond of chasing the ghost crabs that popped out of their sandy homes at dusk to scramble for the ocean. I probably could happily have lived there forever, but fate ruled otherwise and I've been full time in Central Florida since 1991. If I could sell my inland home and could afford as a nice house on a Florida beach, I could be talked into moving. Alas, beachside housing is no longer affordable for me. Fortunately, it's only an hour drive.

At this stage in my life though, I really would like something really different. Like a mountain home, which would be affordable if I could actually sell my present one, and for more than a dollar ninety eight cents! Will the economic miasma ever end? Sigh.

I am still so sick of the steamy weather, the bugs, and the constant allergies I seem to suffer from here in Central Florida. I even am coming to dislike the tall oaks hanging overhead dripping with Spanish Moss. Seems, after the mountains, creepy. But, it is September. Summer's over and cooler weather is only a month or so away. Hopefully.

I wanted to know what all the fuss was about, so I began to read the Twilight book series. I have actually enjoyed them. Stephanie Meyer may not be a literary giant, but she knows how to keep a reader's interest in stories that have very little if any action. And success like hers must be admired by a writer! I am personally glad when any writer inspires young people to actually read a book cover to cover, but I have to comment that I am a little concerned with the reaction of young women to the characters of Edward and Bella. Young teens who don't have the benefit of experience have been selecting mates since caveman days based on hormones and always will They either hit it lucky or the get divorced/break up. Hopefully, they learn from this and make better choices later in life.

Young women moon and sigh over the 'good' vampire, Edward. And like Bella, seem to equate him with the tragic dark anti hero Heathcliff in the 19th century chick lit novel Wuthering Heights. Which most of the girls haven't and won't read. In Charlotte Bronte's melodramatic but classic book, Heathcliff was a cruel and selfish man, insensitive to the feelings and needs of others and totally obscessed with the equally vapid, mean, and self centered Cathy who dumps him and marries for status and money. They ruined each others lives and the lives of pretty much everyone around them for the sake of their twisted obcession which they mistakenly saw as love. Young girls who love drama and being the center of it, sigh over this, and will probably pass over all too many good guys for their own Edward. Who will, like Edward, turn out to be selfish, controlling, and abusive.

Don't buy the argument? Well, Edward tells Bella who she can and cannot see, call, or visit. He actually has her kidnapped by his sister and held against her will in one book to prevent Bella from seeing his rival freely. He showers her with presents...but always what he thinks she should have not what she expresses a liking for, and is always at her side, day and night, unless he is away briefly 'feeding' on mountain lions and bears. Bella, being totally convinced that he is an 'angel' (her term not mine), desperately fears that he will stop loving her and leave her if she ages so she decides to give up her life and her mortality at eighteen to live forever at his side. Even if she can never grow up, have children, sleep, eat, or feel normal human emotions anymore. Even if she has to give up her family and friends. Forever. This, along with an eternity of blood craving, sounds pretty yucky to me.

Edward is the classic template of the handsome guy who just loves you so darn much he has to be with you every single second and always knows what's best for you. No matter what you say. Cause, he's prettier, smarter, and graceful and has been around the block a few times. Who turns out a few years later to be an emotional or a physical abuser. And young girls, thanks to Twilight, think he's model guy. When a guy who really cared about her would say, "Sure Bels, see whatever pals you want to, drive a truck if you'd rather not have a Mercedes, we don't have to get married if you aren't ready...oh and gosh darn it, I would never ever do anything to hurt you...like turn you into a vampire with a bad temper and insatiable cravings for human blood."

Its a story and as such is fine. But, take it seriously and a whole new crop of twenty somethings will be showing up with bruises on the outside and inside at abused women's shelters before long.

I am reading book number four now and am hoping that Edward will turn out to be a better vampire and man than I think he is being written as. That Bella will grow up enough to realize that her humanity is a blessing not a curse and begin thinking beyond her hormones and romantic dreams of the tortured Heathcliff. I hope the writer has something wise to show young girls after all. I'm rooting thus far for the Werewolf, Jake, who even if he gets a little hairy now and then is a better bet. I mean with Jake, Bella can be herself whatever that turns out to be, still eat chocolates and drink good wine , take a nap in the afternoons, and look forward to a time when she can play with her cute lil grandkids. That's what I want for my own daughters and that's the way I'd write the book.


No comments: