Friday, 22 January 2010

Twilight, Teen plight.

So apparently Stephenie Meyer came up with the idea for the whole Twilight thing in a dream. That sure was one very good nights sleep. For her that is. For the rest of the world-well that depends on your view I guess.

I finished reading the saga a while ago and I have to admit, I was hooked. Being quite a bookworm with few friends and too much time on my hands it wasn't that difficult to allow myself to really get my teeth into it (If you dislike vampire puns, I suggest you stop reading now). Although the dreamy prose and repetitve over-use of some vocabulary did make me want to vomit at times, the rainy setting of Forks did somehow manage to successfully blur the line between myth and reality, making the story itself quite engrossing. Of course, being a girl, I was probably more "into it" than your average toilet-seat-leaver-upper as it played up to every plain Jane's dream of being loved by the perfect boyfriend.

Lets just take a quick look at (the much lusted after) Edward Cullen's credentials here:
-Increadibly handsome. "Heart-stoppingly" so.
-Immortal. Never gets old, wrinkly or beer bellied.
-Super Strength and speed.
-Love's the female character (Bella) absoultely unconditionally.
-MEGA rich.

This minor problem hasn't put anyone off though. Bella didn't even "bat" an eyelid, and so scurries off with the undead and it all ends rather happilly. As these things generally do. The problem was, the whole time I was reading the book, I couldn't help but feel that it was just some middle-aged woman's fantasy gone wild.

She probably just received one of those spam e-mails advertising hormone replacement therapy, or silk-lined coffins, and so whilst blotting away her "im old and unattractive" tears, wished of how things could be in her fantasies. So she went away and created a world where there's no need for anti-wrinkle cream or diets. Luckily for her, 90% of females also look for the above PROS in a man, and so they all went out and bought the book so as to relive the fantasy themselves. This is a good thing for Stephenie Meyer's bank account, but jeez, are women becoming so idealistic about men that they're never going to be satisfied until an actual prince comes bounding in on his horse to rescue them from desk daydreams and disastrous dating?

If that is true, then normal blokes don't stand a chance really, do they? Not that any fairy tales have ever helped on that front. Disney's got a lot to answer for too. All this expectation and idolising of future husbands leads to a huge dissapointment in the end in most cases. But who's fault is that? Is it women, for being stupid to believe that crap, or men for not living up to that crap, or the writers, like Stephenie Meyer, for writing that crap in the first place??? Has this woman single-handedly doomed a generation of teenage boys to never getting laid????

To be fair, she's a Christian, so a generation of people not getting laid is probably exactly what she intended.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Romeo Montague went from being "Single" to "Married" to "It's Complicated" to "Dead".

Romeo and Juliet: the basics-

Boy meets Woman
Woman doesnt fancy Boy cos he's about 13
Boy winges about it for a while
Boy gets over it when he meets another pretty 13 year old Girl at a party
Girl is seduced by the guy from Titanic's ruggedly coiffed hair-do
They kiss
They chat a bit
They get wed the next day
Boy casually kills Girls cousin on the same day
Girl pretends she's dead
Confusion follows
They all die

The End.


I was browsing through a copy of this timeless play (also the 16th Century's answer to Hollyoaks) a few days ago. Can we imagine what the reaction would be to such behaviour nowadays? Well, that depends how well advertised this dirtiest of dirty laundry was hung out on Facewipe.

The various old school friends who I haven't spoken to, who choose to use FaceSpace as an outlet for their ever-changing relationship "statii", made me think about the nature of the love affair between these two eponymous idiots. If this was nowadays, couldn't we just imagine Juliet sitting around in her room all day waiting for Romeo whilst updating her status?: "Juliet Capulet is wondering what's in a name?"

Would their love be taken as seriously nowadays? Or would the underpant-changes to status ratio of 1:18 lead to some scepticism? Yes of course it would. But I think this is possibly affirming The Bard's whole point- R&J isn't only some great love story that ended in tragedy- its a clear look at a basic element of being a stupid teenager in love. Stupid stuff like this still happens the world over-except maybe lacking the suicide part most the time. Of course this is why people believe Shakespeare's psychologicaly thrilling plays lasted longer than "Jerry Springer: The Opera" ever will. Or maybe he just stated the obvious? Either way he gave the English something to use as a vito in any "who-has-the-best-culture" debate.

I suppose the modern way to deal with your average "star cross'd lovers" situation would involve a few status updates proceeded by various mindless clich├ęd commentaries from people who call themselves "Jenny 'jager-bomber' Smith". Hmmm, what was I saying about winning culture debates nowadays? Is this our new Shakespeare????? Is this how we rationalise ourselves as human beings and stake a claim to some kind of immortality? How are the people of 2010 to be remembered? "Joe 'banta' Bloggs is mingin from ring of fire". Eeeeshh.

My overall claim isn't as snobby as it may sound at this point. After looking at some of the language Ol' Shakey-P uses in his plays, perhaps they were just the equivalent of today's gospel according to Assbook. After all, he was writing to entertain the rabble, and wrote accordingly. Facebook allows us all to do the same thing. To make comments on life's little troubles, and show them off to the world (somewhat self-indulgently at times) and ultimately to share in common human experiences.

Could this explain why Shakespeare is ignored by all bar school teachers and the pretentious? Why watch a play when you can simply become a fan of "not being on fire" or "I hate it when you move out the way for someone and they move the same way" to express how you feel about the world??

Is this a dumbing down of our society? -(To quote the average Daily Mail reader), or just the same old thing in a new format? I think it's the latter. Of course you can disagree with me, and of course a silly statement about "what's on your mind right now" isn't even intended to have a long-lasting literary meaning in the same way that plays and books and films are. I just think it's an interesting thing to think about. When we write anything that expresses an opinion, taste, interest....whatever, we are communicating ideas to the world. Technology has just moved up a few stages making that a bit easier. It's a natural human thing to want to do. Just a simple change in status is a reflection of the same old problems that churned in the heads of the 16th Century working class. Shakespeare was just one of the only men educated enough to write anything down. I guess our English teacher's at school were all wrong- Willy was no genius, just a boring old muppet like the rest of us. Maybe I wouldn't go that far, the economy needs the tourism and school kids need something to deface.

Anyway, I need to go now. Im knackered from a long day and hate driving home in the traffic. I am also interested in goin up town with ma mates n like any music wat makes me wanna boogie lol.

I fare thee well.