An Adult Male Watches ‘Twilight’

Posted: June 29, 2009 in Threat Quality
Tags: ,

Twilight 1Because it is vitally important to me to see what the “kids” are “down with,” I watched Twilight. This was, quite possibly, a huge mistake.

We’re gonna get into this, with three caveats: A) Being as I’m not a teenaged girl, I know I am not the target audience for this movie; 2) I am talking from here on out about the immensely popular movie, and not the big fat-ass book it was whittled down from; and III) I KNOW I AM NOT THE AUDIENCE FOR THIS MOVIE.

That said, I am speaking as an utter expert on this teen-culture phenomenon. So I can say this: Twilight is one fucked-up piece of teen-culture phenomenon.

Allow me to summarize the film’s plot, omitting remarkably few details:

Girl moves to small midwestern town with an unusually large high school. Despite not being particularly interesting, funny or smart, she is quickly accepted by a colorful clique. There is also a mysterious pack of antisocial, palefaced siblings, one of whom takes a liking to the girl. He saves her from a car accident, then from a gang of would-be rapists (who troll an otherwise quaint peddler’s village). Also, he can drive the living shit out of a Volvo.

At about an hour in, she twigs to the obvious fact that he and his family are vampires (who for reasons not really elaborated on here, don’t eat humans). He tells her flat-out that their smoldering and yet very dull attraction to each other is the product of his pheromones, but she doesn’t seem to care about that.

They continue their tentative romance, wherein he tells her they can’t fool around, or else he’ll want to eat her (abstenence-vampire!). She is cool with that. Her very hands-off cop dad, meanwhile, gives her a can of mace to put in her purse, which is the smartest thing anyone in the movie ever does.

Also there is a roving pack of human-eating vampires, who have been killing a Twilight 2couple of folks. They quickly reach an understanding with the good-guy vampire clan, but then the dickish-looking human-eater (see picture at right) sniffs out the girl as human, and goes apeshit hunting her down.

Finally, at an hour and a half in, we have some actual action, as the girl runs away from home (making sure to say some really hurtful shit to her dad so he doesn’t follow – which might make sense to a teenager, but baffled me), and heads back to Arizona for reasons that also don’t make a ton of sense. But that doesn’t matter, since the mean vampire tricks her into a trap, where he beats the shit out of her and finally bites her but good (vampires in Twilight have venom in their bites, which I do think was kind of clever).

While the rest of the vampire family catches and kills the bad vampire, vamp-boyfriend sucks the venom out of the girl. Then they go to the prom, where she asks him to make her a vampire, despite his repeated explanations of what a horrible, monstrous existence he lives. He just kisses her neck. The end.

So…why is this fucked up? Let’s start with Bella. Bella Swan, if you want to groan a little. Bella is, from what I can tell, meant to be a stand-in for the book’s Twilight 3readers – 13-year-old girls.

As such, Bella is a completely passive character. There’s nothing noteworthy about her, and yet everyone immediately loves her. She doesn’t try to make friends – or even talk to people – they just come to her. This includes the Totes Hottest Boi In School, who is instantly, irrevocably attracted to her, and will love her and protect her forever and ever. See, girls? Don’t bother developing a personality or attitudes or opinions of your own – interesting things will just happen at you!

Which brings us to Edward, teh hot boy vampire. Edward is the ideal fictionalization of what a teenage girl apparently hopes for – he’s soooo pretty, and a dangerous bad-boy, but is ultimately a sensitive, chivalrous soul. Twilight 4

Except everything in this movie paints Edward as a stalker – he isn’t attracted to her as a person, but rather as what he needs. He rejects Bella, then is nice to her, then rejects her again, then tells Bella – despite not actually knowing her – that he is “very protective” of her. He beats up other people for her, but also pretty much tells her flat out that he’d just as soon kill her, if not for his Massive Attraction to her.

Also he stands in her room without her knowing, so he can watch her sleep. No, not creepy. Not creepy at all.

Finally, after she’s suffered a broken leg and various lacerations as a result of his love for her, he tells her to explain the injuries as the result of a clumsy fall down some stairs. And Bella, passive as she is, goes along with it. Yet after all that, Bella still wants to be with him forever and ever (literally).

I don’t want to get dramatic or anything, but it kinda seems like this series encourages abusive relationships (and as it’s been explained to me, things just get more fucked up from here). And teenaged girls are deeply invested in this story. I have some problems with that.

So I propose that anytime you see a kid holding a “Twilight” book, you hand them the DVD of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Season 2 – where the title character’s vampire boyfriend (also a brooding yet well-mannered type) has sex with her, becomes obsessive and violent, and torments her family, until finally she resolves to kill the hell out of him.

Joss Whedon’s horror/high school metaphors may be a little more on-the-nose, but they make for far more impactful stories. And say what you will about Buffy, but she’s a hell of a lot more proactive (and a far better role model) than Bella.

Some other notes on the movie:
– All the interesting shit happens behind the extremely dull Bella and Edward. Bella’s friends are charismatic and fun to hang around with; Edward is clearly the least interesting member of his family; and I could’ve spent an entire movie just hanging out with Bella’s dad and his Indian buddy. This is made annoyingly clear at the end, when the rest of the family attacks the bad-vampire, and all the awesome-looking action happens out of focus, over the shoulder of boring ol’ Edward and Bella. There may well be an outstanding movie going on just out of frame this whole time.

– VAMPIRES SPARKLE! Did you know that? I did not know that! Yeah, sunlight doesn’t kill them, it just makes them shimmer like Glitter Eggs (those glam-rock eggs that look like they fell out of David Bowie’s butt, to quote Patton Oswalt).Twilight -x-men baseball

– The other clever conceit of Twilight: vampires kick ass at baseball, but can only play during thunderstorms so the thundrous crack of the bat doesn’t arouse suspicion, and they can run around at super-speed catching fly balls. (This is also one of my favorite X-Men tropes – when the gang at Xavier’s unwinds with some intermural sports and a frequently-broken “no powers” rule –  but I’m going to give Stephanie Meyer credit and assume she did not rip this off.)

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Comments
  1. Erin says:

    I offer therapy:

    I’ve yet to see Twilight, and look forward to living a long life and dying without doing so. Alternatively, should I somehow get turned into a vampire (normal OR sparkly), I plan on an eternal existence in which I do not watch this movie.

    Also, according to EVERYONE I’ve spoken to – some who liked the movie; some not – it’s far, far better than the book.

  2. Jeff Holland says:

    Some more therapy:
    http://www.rifftrax.com/rifftrax/twilight

    Which I’m very much looking forward to downloading before I send this DVD back to THE HELL THAT SPAWNED IT! Or, y’know. Netflix.

  3. Lisa says:

    Its kind of like the “hold a boom box over your head outside my window” thing. Every girl pretends that it is dumb, but in secret, we all want that to happen to us. Same with being the muse of a vampire. That’s all we want. Details be damned.

  4. braak says:

    @Lisa: May I just say that this is bullshit? I know that girls say that in secret they wish it will happen to them, but they DON’T REALLY WISH IT WILL HAPPEN TO THEM. I know, from experience, that dramatic romantic gestures do not make ANYONE happy.

    Girls really just want the guys that they like to do it, but hell, most girls are satisfied if the guy that they like gives them half their sandwich. And some, like Bella Swan, apparently, are satisfied by getting the shit kicked out of them in the name of love, because they’ve got some insane idea that the best expression of love is through a neurotic martyr complex.

    @Erin: I don’t know who you spoke to, but that book was so fucking boring and puerile I wanted to headbutt it through the table after the second chapter. I haven’t seen the movie, though–maybe the movie is really bad?

  5. Jeff Holland says:

    @braak: From what Erin and I have both heard (from separate sources), this is a case of damning with faint praise – that as awful and unreadable as you found the book, you will likely find the movie comparatively less awful and unwatchable.

    That doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy it, or that it’s good – it’s just widely agreed upon that the movie is Less Bad than the book.

  6. K. Holland says:

    My wife and I (both 27) watched the movie just his past weekend. Our friends (also both 27) had watched it the prior weekend and would not stop talking about it. The female half of the couple went out and bought all the books. She has since learned to play the theme music, and various other things to feed her newfound obsession.

    Throughout the movie, I kept pointing out the massive problems with the movie, some of which you touched upon here. To each she had “a reason” why it was like that from the books. These “reasons” did not help. I switched to playing devil’s advocate for a while as well, trying to argue with my own mind to accept the movie as it was. That did not help either.

    I should have just skipped that whole night altogether. I still cannot fathom why she (or they) are so completely obsessed by it. I severely suspect any movie recomendation they make now. Well, they did make some mean brownies, so the night wasn’t entirely wasted.

  7. Jeff Holland says:

    Reading back on my summary, I realize that omitting some (seriously, not many at all) details actually made the movie sound better than it was. Actually having to deal with those minor details can lead to the self-arguing that felled K.Holland-No-Relation.

    For instance, Edward is also attracted to Bella because he’s telepathic, but can’t hear her thoughts. “But…why is he telepathic?” Apparently vampires all have different, secondary superpowers, too. “But why can’t Bella’s thoughts be heard?” They do not bother explaining that in this movie, so I’ve decided it’s for the same reason as Fry from “Futurama.”

    Which means I’m assuming in one of the books, Bella goes back in time and has sex with her grandpa, thus becoming her own grandma, and lacking a delta brainwave as a byproduct of doing the nasty in the past-y.

  8. V.I.P Referee says:

    Why wouldn’t modern-day vamps use self-tanner to dull their lunesque gleam—it would give them a predatorial advantage (i.e. “nobody ever expects the tanned vampire!”)? Is it some kind of pH incompatibility issue?

    Anyhow, “Twilight”. I didn’t want to fall into snooty territory and totally exclude something that many people relate to and even cherish, so, broke down and read some excerpts online and watched the movie. I just don’t…get it. What I’ll say is this: You would never imagine that someone of Stephanie Meyers’ years and experience, could ever reach so deep into her “soul” and pull-out something that probably existed (writing style, included) when she was in fourth or fifth grade. There’s a sense of isolation and inexperience to it, reminding me oddly of the scene in “The 40-year Old Virgin” where Steve Carell’s character describes breasts and it becomes clear he’s never actually touched one before. “Twilight” reads (the bits I’ve covered) like a long-running fantasy inside Meyers’ head, the product of a woman who’s been waiting for something–anything–to happen, for a very, very long time. The character of Bella is a young girl who waits—an understandable position to be in for adolescents; not so acceptable for adults. What’s worse, it almost seems like a rape fantasy (control, extreme danger, being capable of lulling the “beast” by being seen as valuable and special) from someone who’s never actually experienced the trauma of real rape.

    Ok, so…Bella waits for the weather to change. She waits for her father to pan-out his insecurities. She waits for people to approach her and develop friendships. She waits for guys to ask her out, then waits for better options. Like you’ve mentioned, Mr. Holland, the action happens around Bella and she’s an observer, not a participant–much like Disney Princesses in their worlds; waiting, waiting, waiting, pouting prettily, waiting, winning–prettily! There is drama and danger and conflict but they avoid it by waiting it out and responding with fashion-posing. Some move so little, that woodland animals start building perches and nests on them (oh, I guess that’s shown as a symbol of gentleness and graceful reservation…); others just sleep or play dead; perhaps, in order to dull the internal wail of boredom that must accompany waiting for rescue? And to be rescued by a villian who must control himself from draining you alive! But he loves you so much, he can overcome this urge! So, this is the approach to take when you’re locked in someone’s cellar in a cage. Just relax and fall in love! This was the sort of thing hammered into girls who attended “Miss Porter’s School for Girls” in the 1950s. Be patient, look the other way; if he’s had too much liquor and clocks you, he didn’t really mean it—that was the “evil juice” acting! Just turn the other cheek and walk on his arm with pride—you’ve landed the big one, girl.

    The soundtrack wasn’t all shoddy, even if it was designed to hypnotize young women into submission.

  9. braak says:

    @Lisa: You know what? That response was excessive. I apologize. Long years of failed romances have made me bitter and resentful, and I, in grievous error, expressed this to you, who certainly did not deserve it.

    Unlike Holland, who fucking sucks.

    Also, while we’re on the subject, why the hell is Edward in high school? Isn’t he a hundred and fifty years old? I mean, yeah, he stopped aging when he was eighteen. So? YOU CAN GO TO COLLEGE WHEN YOU’RE EIGHTEEN. Why does he still hang out with girls who are all jail fucking bait?

  10. Jeff Holland says:

    @Braak: I do NOT suck! Boo-yah! Advantage – Holland.

    @VIP Referee – I do believe Stephen Dorff in “Blade” slathered himself in heavy sunscreen so he could taunt Wesley Snipes during daylight hours in that movie. Come to think of it, the vampires in that series really had their shit together. I can see why they got so many human followers. I mean, there aren’t a lot of times where I’d think, “Hey – that Stephen Dorff’s got some good ideas!” but that series really sold it.

    (But then, they had a Ron Perlman vampire, and I defy you to…uh, well, to defy a Ron Perlman vampire.)

    Somebody – somebody who is not me, anyway – should do a story where a vampire clan just watches a shitload of vampire movies, cherry-picks the best ideas from each of them, and then quickly takes over the world. It would be terribly ironic, that filmmakers gave vampires the ideas they needed to conquer the world!

    Actually, everybody back off, this is MY IDEA NOW!

  11. Erin says:

    @Braak: Wow. You… you tried reading the book? Damn. I’m not even going to chastise you for completely misreading my original comment. I mean, the movie’s one thing, but even picking up the book… that takes guts. Kind of crazy, sure, but brave as all hell.

    Man. You really are Tyler Durden.

  12. V.I.P. Referee says:

    Holland – I imagine for vamps watching movies about vamps, it would feel similar to forensic pathologists watching cable crime dramas, i.e., “…wow, are we really that cool and stylish? Half the time, I arrive to work with smashed ‘Cheet-os’ in my pocket because I don’t have time for a lunch-break…”

    Also, sorry for the (chronic) spastic-thought-patterned comment(s). There’s a special glove I keep near my the monitor in hopes of beating the addiction. I wouldn’t want to go blind from it, afterall…

  13. Lisa says:

    i guess you just have to have a vagina to understand why it throbs while you read these books.

    @braak
    no worries, i can take it and dish it out with the best of them. as long as you avoid the c-word, it is very difficult to offend me. 🙂

  14. Lisa says:

    @braak

    BTW, keep the faith. right now is about the time when a girl meets up with the jerk-off who she ditched romantic gesture guy for in her early 20’s, and after learning that he delivers beer for a living, realizes that romantic gesture guy was indeed the right choice.

  15. braak says:

    @Lisa: Aw, no, you know, I’m not so sure. The more I think about it, the more I start to think that the super-romantic gestures were just a kind of narcissistic entitlement complex. I mean, that’s not to say that maybe a guy like that isn’t more self-aware than one of those guys with the really thick necks that girls like, but I’m just not seeing that as being an asset in high school.

    And, anyway, I found a girl, and she’s pretty keen.

  16. Jeff Holland says:

    To put a capper on this discussion:

    I watched this movie with the Rifftrax commentary (for those who don’t know, Rifftrax is recorded by the “Mystery Science Theater” folks), which in a way, totally redeemed it. Much the same way a great many bad movies were made useful as fodder for MST3K episodes.

    And also, sitting through it a second time, I noticed something that had somehow slid past during the first viewing – Kristen Stewart is a TERRIBLE actress. I mean – wow. She’s bad in such a way that you might think she’s doing it on purpose.

    I really want to see her in another movie just to see if that’s her standard performance style, or if she just took the Natalie-Portman-Star-Wars route and figured, “Fuck it, I don’t have to TRY.”

  17. […] that in mind, I popped in Twilight: New Moon. Because based on my experience with the first film in the ridiculously popular teen-vampire franchise, I knew there was no way of being pleasantly […]

  18. Blaze Tarnen says:

    Impactful? You said “Joss Whedon’s horror/high school metaphors may be a little more on-the-nose, but they make for far more impactful stories.”

    I agree with you; Buffy, for all her name is cutesy and stupid, is a far, far better role model and there is no comparing Joss Whedon and Stephanie “I am pro-abstinence and believe that women should not want anything beyond a man and should not feel fulfilled unless their ENTIRE life without exception is devoted to a man with whom they did not have sex before marriage and by the way, I’m a Mormon and this story is what I would have wanted for myself – it’s my own masturbation fantasy” Meyer.

    But come on, impactful? I’ve been reading your blog, you can do better than that. 😛

  19. braak says:

    In Holland’s defense, “impactful”, even though it totally sounds like it shouldn’t be, is, technically, a word.

  20. Blaze Tarnen says:

    It’s a word, but not in the sense it was used… the word “impact” has become one that is popularly misused. “That movie really impacted me” – this would be incorrect usage.

    There are various usage notes in dictionaries about how to use impact and unfortunately we are moving to a time where it will be acceptable usage where not it’s marginal or simply incorrect. I guess I shouldn’t complain; language that doesn’t change, doesn’t breathe, dies. It’s just that I still cringe when I see “nite” or “lite” or “irregardless” and my spell checker doesn’t even blink at the latter two “words”.

  21. braak says:

    If it’s any consolation, while I recognize the need for a language to adapt, and that the battle for “impactful” is probably lost, I still god-damn hate to see it.

  22. Blaze Tarnen says:

    I forgot something – and I don’t see an “edit’ prior comment available.

    Jeff said:

    And also, sitting through it a second time, I noticed something that had somehow slid past during the first viewing – Kristen Stewart is a TERRIBLE actress. I mean – wow. She’s bad in such a way that you might think she’s doing it on purpose.

    I really want to see her in another movie just to see if that’s her standard performance style, or if she just took the Natalie-Portman-Star-Wars route and figured, “Fuck it, I don’t have to TRY.”

    Well, for Cold Creek Manor, a movie the critics hated but was watchable (lol, it wasn’t Proust 😉 —

    2004 Nominated Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film – Supporting Young Actress
    Kristen Stewart

    And there you have, she actually can act. She’s been in a lot of junk, the test will be when she appears in things larger than Zarthura or whatever that movie was, at her current age, as an adult – will she be able to shake “Bella Swan” /gag or will she be forever stuck? I think she’s young enough that IF, and granted, it is a big if she chooses the right roles and goes for some indie credibility and not for the next BIG vehicle, she might redeem herself – or she can make piles of money playing variations on Bella Swan. It’s up to her. I’m mildly curious as to which way she’ll go.

    But she CAN act – it’s said that a good actor can make something of the worst dialogue, but these books and the movies are so awful that I’m not sure that’s the case here.

  23. Blaze Tarnen says:

    Thanks, it’s good to know that someone else out there hates to see it. I wasn’t trying to get on the person’s case who wrote it, I was teasing a bit. When someone can write and they use a “word” such as impactful, (ha! my spell check software doesn’t accept it – but it did accept “irregardless” and that’s one that makes me eeek every time I hear it) it’s asking for a tweak.

    Oh and Panic Room – Kristen Stewart, granted very young in it, but decent acting there. There has been so much written about the Twilight movies, it’s hard to separate them from the actors.

    My favorite review/rant:

    http://www.amplifyyourvoice.org/u/nikkigassley/2009/8/13/Feminism-Doesnt-Sparkle-What-Twilight-Teaches-Young-Girls

    It’s a must read – at least I thought it was, a friend sent me the link. For women and men alike.

  24. braak says:

    That is great. AND! She cites Moff’s Law, which friend-of-TQP Moff STOLE from this very site!

  25. Blaze Tarnen says:

    Really? Moff’s Law was stolen from here? Moff is a friend (a commenter? how do you define a friend of a blog?) of the author of this blog, and he stole the idea or the entire rant?

    Word for word? Can you give me the link to read so I can see where it was stolen? I’m really curious about that now. What happened afterward?

    I had read that Moff no longer goes by Moff but by his name. I love “Moff’s Law” – but if it’s really someone else’s law, I’d want to give correct attribution.

    I saw a link on the main page of this blog to a “Braak” blog – is that you? I’m trying to sort out who is who and what is what here. O.o

    (Love “Moff’s Law” though – I cite it or paraphrase it whenever someone pulls out the stupid “why do you have to analyze it” – and they ALWAYS do) — I loved a similar rant (was that the original?) here… Today in Idiots: Everyone. (Loved it!) but it had this at the bottom:

    “This entry was posted on July 1, 2009 at 11:34 am and is filed under Braak with tags Braak.”

    Does that mean you wrote it?

  26. braak says:

    No, I am just giving him a hard time. Moff is both a regular commenter on the blog and a friend of ME, so…that’s basically how “Friend of” status works. And I know he didn’t steal it; we just get riled up about the same things and I was jealous that he got a law named after him before I did.

  27. Blaze Tarnen says:

    And so, Friend of you is friend of TQP – you’re the person behind this website? I thought I saw a different blog that had your name on it.

    Now I are utterly confused. (I am utterly confused too, but I just had my daily dose of “too kyoot” courtesy of the people at lolcat land aka icanhascheezburger.com and it sticks for a little bit).

    Commenter meaning comments or does he write pieces for it also? I’m looking for some well written, intelligent blogs to read – I get tired of Fark and Reddit and the usual suspects; that, and I have a blog on the way as soon as I convince myself that what I have is sufficiently well-written and that anyone would want to read it and/or will find it and read it.

    As you may have gathered, I have opinions 😉 And no, not everyone is entitled to an opinion, I have a piece written on that – I’m not sure where the idea came from, but the “democratic” way… “everyone’s opinion is equally valid” is BS. Anyone with the merest scintilla of sense can see that opinions are not created equally and that some aren’t worth bothering with at all.

    For example, my opinion on the best way to structure a C++ project would be utterly worthless. Why? Because I know very little about coding in C++. Similarly, person X’s views on whether we should remain the only non-third world country to deny its citizens basic medical care would be similarly worthless if that person wasn’t versed in the issues, hadn’t considered the costs of not providing such health-care long term, and had gotten all of their “information” from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.

    I’m continually astonished, perplexed and amazed at the capacity of people to buy into the “everyone can be rich and pull themselves up by their bootstraps, this is AMERICA!” — and therefore we don’t need pampering such as health care and reasonably priced University available for all. That would SOCIALISM.

    Meanwhile they happily send their kids to…. PUBLIC school which is different how from free higher education? Or from heavily subsidized to the point where it might as well be free, mail service? These are okay, but health care and labor laws to protect employees would be socialism run rampant.

    Show these people statistics from Sweden or France or Finland and they say “but those are smaller countries” – yes, and the concept of percentages and scaling doesn’t apply why? We’ll never have any form of social evolution in this mess if we don’t reduce the stress and misery levels people carry. Angry white man syndrome – the reasons for it are very real, but it’s so much easier to point at the “Mexicans who steal the white man’s jobs” – another bullshit statement. Or “it’s the women, those feminazis (don’t get me started on that phrase, it’s the epitome of stupidity) are taking our jobs.

    People here are angry because of the erosion of the middle class, the fact that this and the prior generation are the first to no longer have the reasonable expectation that they will do better than their parents, and in fact have done worse. The increasingly large underclass, the ever increasing percentage of the country’s wealth that is concentrated in an ever decreasing percentage of its population.

    You can’t have 95%+ of all the resources held in 1% of the country’s population and NOT have an underclass coupled with a very small, very powerful group of people with an extreme vested interest in maintaining the status quo. We work for the government; in other countries, as odd as this may sound, the government, even with the usual corruption, works for the people.

    I try to explain how health care for all would make lives better; and I make zero headway. The people who most need it allow themselves to be convinced that they don’t, they they too can join the ranks of the rich and be part of “us” rather than “them” — even though simple math shows that this is not possible for more than a handful of people.

    And as far as redistribution of wealth? Give people 5k a year to buy a new television set and they quiet down – and this genuinely makes me weep. Ignorance is praised, knowledge is “uncool” and people turn up Uni because it costs too much and they’re afraid of the payback on student loans – “will I be able to get a job that will pay enough to pay my loans back AND have health insurance?”

    No one worries about that in Europe. It’s a non-issue. In Sweden, everyone gets a minimum of 33 days off a year – plus whatever they earn from their employer. Finland? Pays double if you stay home when you’re sick. France? Provides a nanny 2x a week so that mom (usually, but it could be dad) can get out of the house and BREATHE and by so doing greatly reduces the incidence of violence done to babies by parents who are not abusers but who, after weeks and months on end with no break simply lose it and shake the baby when he WON’T stop crying. Are the parents right? Of course not. But they are human and I challenge most people to spent 3 months with a collicky infant 24 hours a day.

    Sleep deprivation, social deprivation, one loses one’s sanity. The two half days a week give the stay at home parent a much needed reprieve, time to shower, sleep, go out and have a coffee, or just soak in the tub… whatever it is that will recharge his or her batteries. And yes, the incidence of violence is greatly reduced as are the numbers of destroyed lives when a parent out of their mind with exhaustion, shakes the baby just that bit too hard and damages the innocent and loses everything.

    Examples, large and small, of how to do things right. Our labor laws?

    http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/d3foe/how_bad_are_american_labor_practices_this_bad/

    Yes, that bad. Expats talk about how different things are; and if you bring these issues up you aren’t a patriot; I differ on that. NOT bringing these issues up is the problem. Letting the country go to hell while claiming how wonderful it is (and there are areas in which it is indeed wonderful – but health care, equal protection under the law, labor law and a plethora of other areas are not among the wonderful).

    Now what was I talking about before I went off on several tangents, all at the same time?

  28. braak says:

    That is a lot of tangents!

    I, Braak!, am in part behind this blog. The other contributing editor is Jeff Holland. I’ve also got other blogs–a theater blog that I don’t actually post that much on, and a regular, personal website that’s just about me and how great I am. I know Moff from old io9 days. He comments here, and has contributed a couple pieces.

    Anyway, this is a pretty clever blog to read sometimes, but sometimes not, like when I go nuts about all the diseases I’m afraid of contracting.

  29. Blaze Tarnen says:

    Point me to the funny clever pieces, the ones, in your estimation, which are funny and clever. I think what I’ve read so far has been good, but I’m curious as to your “top pieces” list, many blogs have one.

    Did you by chance read that link at:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/d3foe/how_bad_are_american_labor_practices_this_bad/

    It’s worth the 2 minutes it takes to read it, and might inspire a piece from you if you write about that sort of thing. I do.

    (No, it’s not my reddit contribution, but it does a good job of summarizing things and so I use it as my go-to for the topic)

    Have a good night!

    Blaze, user of the fake name.

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