Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My "Twilight" Rant

After a long hard day working with middle schoolers, I have one thing to say: If I hear one more teenage girl gush about the Twilight series, I think I might puke!

...which is essentially what I updated my facebook to status to convey.
...which was, of course, commented on by a teenage girl saying, "have you read the books? AMAZING!"

Have I read the books? No. Do I want to read the books? Honestly, no. Just like I didn't want to read the Harry Potter series when everyone was raving about them; or the Dan Brown books (Da Vinci Code, etc.)...or even any of the Francine Rivers' series. [Granted of all of the aforementioned series, I would probably read the Francine Rivers series. I did watch "Love's Enduring Promise" on the Hallmark channel and really enjoyed it.]

Why? Because...well, really - they're about vampires. And I know that, "I need to get beyond that because it's a really beautiful love story." Trust me, teenage girls, I have been told that numerous times in many different ways. But, really? A beautiful love story? Edward is ADDICTED to Bella because of her scent. If he wasn't a vampire, we'd call him a CREEPER. Boys that tell girls, "Your scent is like a drug to me," we would classify as having a problem with lust. And we would subsequently tell the girl to stay away from that creepy boy. 0 points, here.

BUT, he's a vampire. He can't help it that he's drawn to drink her blood. And really, we should praise him because he chooses not to drink her blood. Okay, well. You got me here. Edward does exhibit tremendous self-control in not drinking Bella's blood. He does not succumb to his primal urgings. Okay, Twilight: 1 point.

I did watch the movie. My roommate did tell me that the movie in no way comes close to the book. Well, that's good because I couldn't see that creating much of a phenomenon.

Really, in the end, it's hard for me to wrap my head around the vampire/werewolf/human love story. It's great that it's encouraging teen reading, and all...but, have you seen the spin-offs? There are other book series about Vampires (Thirst and others); there are new TV shows about vampires trying to make it in the world. And now the vampire phenomenon is even moving to the demon world.

I wish they were as excited for Elizabeth Bennett, Emma, and Jane Eyre as they are about Bella, Edward and Jacob. Talk about characters with real...character, grace, courage, and wit. Ah, well. I'm a sucker for the classics.

Friday, September 11, 2009


You know the song, "Have You Forgotten?"

Well, to be honest, I have. There's so much focus on tomorrow - the ISU/Iowa game - that I forgot about today being the anniversary of September 11th. If you check out facebook, everybody's remembering today & where they were - just as I'm sure people continued to do on the anniversary of Kennedy's death, or Pearl Harbor, D-Day, Woodstock :), etc. But, tomorrow, will they still remember?

Not like they did today. Tomorrow will come and those in Iowa will be crazed with Cyclone or Hawkeye Fever. Sunday, we'll be focused on church, God, and family. Monday, our minds will be filled with work. And so it will go for the next 365 days until 9/11/2010.

Today, people ask questions like, "I wonder when we'll catch Osama Bin Laden." Tomorrow, they'll be back to complaining about the military and unnecessary war. Tomorrow, they'll be wanting us to go easier on those convicted of terrorizing our nation and advocate for closing down Guantanamo.

This summer, I went to New York City and actually stayed in the hotel once known as the World Trade Center Marriott. Now, it's referred to as the Marriott - Financial District. As we drove to our hotel, I thought we were driving through a construction zone...then I realized that it was the site of destruction - where 3000 people senselessly lost their lives. This is what I thought in June:
Our hotel (formerly known as "World Trade Center Marriott") was about a block from the site of the Twin Towers. As we drove by, I thought we were driving through a construction zone. As I looked to my left, I realized that, no - we were driving through a de-struction zone. Three years ago, our program brought students to NYC. We saw the site then, which was just five years since 9/11. Now, it has been eight - and NOTHING has been done. There is still a giant hole in the ground, cranes, rubble. The buidings surrounding the site have been repaired - but, still, no memorial. This blows my mind. The Pentagon has had their memorial prior to 2004. But the site of the most destruction? Nothing. Maybe New York City still feels like it's an open wound, but I think it's time for healing. I think it's time to remove the rubble - the shrapnel, if you will - and allow some green space to cover the gaping hole. Let it be green, and rolling - a place of peace and honor.

Now, I wonder if they haven't done anything because New York is somehow pleading with the rest of us to not forget.

Food for thought, I guess.

And yes, chances are, tomorrow I will go on like it didn't happen. Is that what moving forward looks like?