Posted tagged ‘Edward Cullen’

Robert Pattinson, Stanley McChrystal, Judge Martin Feldman – I know which one I’d rather think about

June 22, 2010

Short-haired Rob

I suppose that today I could try to find something charitable to say about General Stanley  A. McChrystal, the general who blabbed his discontent with various top level administration figures to the Rolling Stone (of all places), or, perhaps, something diplomatic about Judge Martin L.C. Feldman, the judge blocking Obama’s moratorium on deep-water drilling.  Unfortunately, I don’t have enough energy to quash the cynicism, despair, and plain old irritation that each of these figures raises in me.

So instead I’m going to focus on a proper Rolling Stone subject and a cinematic (rather than environmental) vampire, and one of this blog’s traditionally favorite people – poor/lucky/hounded/sought-after Robert Pattinson.

I am responding here not to anything that Pattinson has done recently–gotten a hair cut!  Awkwardly kissed Kristen Stewart on stage!  Seriously—a hair cut?!–but to one of the few articles in the New York Times that isn’t seriously depressing me: “His Cross To Bear; Heartthrob Vampire.”

The article discusses Pattinson’s fatigue with all things Twilight, including (quite understandably) the fame and the fame surrounding the fame, the phenomenon and the phenomenon of the phenomenon. (Our media is so self-referential that attention is itself a huge story.)

Poor Pattinson reminds me of King Midas, except that everything he touches turns to Twilight –no, that’s not right – everything Twilight that he touches turns to gold.   And everyone wants gold, right?   Rob seems a bit unsure at this point.
And yet, grateful, always grateful.   (Unlike some Generals we could name.)

The Twilight success has theoretically given Rob freedom to do whatever he wants, whether or not it makes sense (like some judges), but because his other projects have not, thus far, been terribly successful, they supposedly risk tying him further to Twilight, causing him to be the guy who is only deemed successful as Edward Cullen.

I, for one (smitten and non-McChrystally loyal), don’t believe that.  The problem with Rob’s other projects has not been his performance, so much as a quirk in the overall project:  any movie in which a Brit, an Irishman, and an Aussie, sit down to discuss the New York Yankees is going to lack a certain credibility for U.S. viewers.  (Remember Me performed much better overseas.)

Still, Pattinson’s been working non-stop for the last few months.  Can all the other films counterbalance his identification with handsome vampires:  we’ll/I’ll see.  In the meantime, there’s always Eclipse coming out on June 30th.   Yes, it looks bloated, overproduced, schmaltzy, draggy, and his eyebrows are way too thick.

But at least he’s not threatening pelicans, nor talking trash.

Pattinson and Poetry

May 2, 2010

Comparative Hair - Billy Collins/Robert Pattinson

After a month of posting draft poems in honor of National Poetry Month, I have to say that there’s a certain payback to blogging about Robert Pattinson (the 23-or-4 year old star of the Twilight Saga movies).

The fact is that not that many people are interested in poetry, particularly the draft poems of an unknown blogger, while many many people are interested in Pattinson (as in gaga over, or contemptuous of). Sure, there are also a lot of people who are disinterested in Pattinson, but often disinterested in a way that borders on the self-righteously dismissive (e.g., a teeny teeny bit interested).

Lately, an important percentage of the fascination does not seem to be with Pattinson himself, as with the very interest he elicits (all those screaming girls.) He was recently named, for instance, one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

Curiously, the commentator justifying this designation did not cite any particular example Rob sets, or influence he levers, so much as the fact that any information about Pattinson–public sighting or comment–is the immediate subject of a zillion tweets and retweets.

And why are people so interested in Rob? Okay, the looks—Nureyev cheekbones, tortured eyes, hair—this blog has already discussed those at length. More importantly, however, Pattinson is identified with a character (Twilight’s Edward Cullen) who is an escapist ideal—the perfect…oops! nearly perfect…oops! not quite man. Here Pattinson plays into a double fantasy of male perfection and vampirism, with each element vying for the most incredible. (Sorry, guys!)

Poetry is tremendously down to earth in comparison. A good poem tends to bring the reader more fully into the moment, or, at least, some moment, rather than out of it.   Even fantastical poems, such as those by Yeats or Keats or Robert Bly, deal in the real and human and very imperfect.

But people like perfect escapes. Which may be why poets, even those super popular poets, like Billy Collins, tend to earn much less than movie stars. That and the hair.

Amendments Republicans Didn’t Think Of

March 26, 2010

No Transfusions For Vampires

On Thursday, in the confusing process which I understand is required by our bi-cameral very-keen-on-procedure Congress, the Senate passed a budget reconciliation bill which allowed for the final passage of the new health care legislation.  In the process, more than forty amendments to the bill were proposed by Republican senators, including several from Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma;  perhaps the most colorful of these was an amendment prohibiting coverage of Viagra and other Erectile Dysfunction medications to convicted child molesters, rapists, and sex offenders.

Somehow one feels certain that the purpose of this type of amendment is to cast a shadow of malevolence on the benefits offered by the new legislation.  (There seems to be a desire to create a feeling that, without the amendment, the bill would operate as a kind of Americans With Disabilities Act for those covered by Meghan’s Law.)

Here are a few amendments that got dropped from the Republican list:

1.  No more than fifty (50) month-supply prescriptions per day may be covered for convicted narcotics offenders.

2.  No “herbal” supplements for potheads.

3.  No chiropractic coverage to W.W.E. hall of famer Quebecois Mad Dog Vachon unless an American passport and an original American birth certificate are provided.

4.   No acupuncture coverage for acrobatic Shaolin Monks temporarily visiting the U.S. from China.

5.   No acupuncture coverage to anyone permanently moved to the U.S. from China.

6.   Or Mexico.

7.  Or anywhere else.

8.  Including Hawaii.

7.  No rolfing for residents of California.

8.  No medical tattoo removal coverage for Jesse James.  Such expenses may be coverable for Michelle Bombshell McGee but on only on personal application.

9.  No blood transfusions for vampires unless named Bill Compton or Edward Cullen.  (Sorry, Eric.)

Bella and Sookie, Edward Cullen, Bill Compton- The Lines Are Drawn

February 9, 2010

Read yesterday about the upcoming first run publication of 350,000 copies of the new Twilight graphic novel.  “The characters and settings are very close to what I was imagining while writing the series,” Stephanie Meyers, the author of the original Twilight series has said of the graphic novel.  (Does this mean that Ms. Meyers always pictured the characters and settings as cartoonish?)

Okay. Stop.  Guilty confession time.  As followers of this blog know, I wallowed in the Twlight series.  I have also, more recently, wallowed in another vampire series—The Southern Vampire Series by Charlaine Harris, also known as the Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries.

(What can I say?  I get tired, manic, depressed.)

Which brings up another question.  Why is the Twilight Saga (whose collective sales have now reached 45 million) so much more popular than the Southern Vampire Sookie Stackhouse Series?

(Don’t get me wrong.   Charlene Harris is unlikely to live in a garret.  Still, 45 million!)

What makes the difference especially remarkable is that the two series have enough in common to make a vampiric copyright lawyer lick his blood-stained chops.  Both focus on a human-vampire love story; both share telepathy, characters whose minds cannot be permeated by telepathy, super-handsome, super-sexy vampires (well, Edward Cullen is sexy in principal at least), shape-shifters/werewolves, love triangles,  heroinic (as in both addictive and held by the heroine) special blood, attempted suicide through sun-stepping, a ruthless vampire hierarchy, controlling and hyper-jealous male lovers, and fast, fancy cars.   Most importantly, both series have spawned commercially-successful screen versions.

So what makes for the phenomenon? (Other than the casting of Robsten.)

First, there’s the teen factor.  Perhaps (believe or not) tweens and teens simply read more.  After all, they have parents who tell them to turn off the TV and the internet, and they usually don’t have full time jobs.

Then there’s the identification factor.  Bella Swan, the Twilight heroine, is herself a teenager. (Sookie’s in her early twenties.)

More importantly, Bella is presented as Every Girl—Every Girl who is cute enough but clumsy, and who also happens to have some nearly magical qualities (not even known to herself) which, in turn, attract a consummately handsome, devoted, rich, strong, elegant, vampire; a vampire, who, although insistently male (at least he insists he’s male), loves her for her essence, not her body; a body which he adores,  but which he heroically resists (sigh), both to protect her soul and safety.

Sookie is harder to identify with.  She is very much not Every Girl, but a cocktail waitress specifically based in Northern Louisiana.    She introduces herself in the first book Dead Until Dark as someone suffering from a deformity.   She’s also super-attractive.     (The way her mental abilities cause human suitors to lose interest in her well-built body is a bit like the pre-feminist tales of women who were told to hide their smarts if they wanted to hold onto a man.)

Sookie’s vampires, unlike Edward Cullen, have little high-minded hesitancy about sex (or about manipulation and violence.)   Moreover, Sookie’s vampires (i) don’t just lust after her blood but frequently bite her, and (ii) spend about half of every day actually dead.  (These qualities may well be confusing to a young adult reader.)

So maybe here’s the distinction:  Twilight characters are good.  Good.  GOOD.   Except when they are bad.  Bad.  BAD.

Hmm…  Is it possible that the qualities which  seem to make Twilight so popular are the same qualities that make it adaptable to graphic novel form?  (A world that can be drawn in black and white lines.)

Teenage girls, it seems, are idealists after all.  Idealists and Every Girl and lovers of the fantastical.

Ten Reasons To Be Thankful In 2009

November 25, 2009

1.  That Robert Pattinson was not in fact hit by a taxi fleeing fans in New York;

2.  and that he exists.

3.  That Lehman Brothers could only fall once;

4.  and that it didn’t happen this year.

5.  That our President (thank God!) has not been the subject of violent attack, despite all the crazy talk.

6.  That we still have a banking system, despite all the crazy talk.

7.  That Captain Sully Sullenberger did not allow his plane to crash into midtown Manhattan, even if the automatic pilot system supposedly could have landed the plane on its own.  (I don’t believe that.)

8.  That Levi Johnston is not our son-in-law.

9.  That Swine Flu has not mutated into a life-threatening epidemic like the 1917 Spanish Flu.

10.  Speaking of the 1917 Spanish Flu, that Edward Cullen didn’t  survive it.   Or did survive it.  Or did whatever he was supposed to have done.

Enjoy your thanks-giving.

And, as always, thank you all for reading.

(If you get a chance, please check out 1 Mississippi by Karin Gustafson at Amazon or on ManicDDaily home page.)

What To Do When RPatz Just Doesn’t Cut It Anymore–(I’m Not Talking About His Hair.)

November 13, 2009

What to do when the fascination for Robert Pattinson finally runs dry?

Maybe it’s the conclusive evidence of handholding.  (See Robsten photograph, November 10th or so, Le Bourget, France.)

Or maybe the realization that he really is just a young, charmingly goofy but nonetheless, movie star.

Or the news that he wears hair extensions for parts of the new movie.

Or all the Veterans Day celebrations, the tragedy at Fort Hood, the seemingly irresolvable situations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the endlessly debated and diluted health care bill, the continuing rise in joblessness, and its concomitant psychological, physical, economic toll (the fact that these are real people’s lives).

Whatever.  Somehow you’re just not so interested anymore.  You haven’t even glanced, walking by, at the Vanity Fair cover.  (Okay, maybe you’ve glanced,)

Even re-reading a Twilight book provides no more escapist zing. (Ho-hum, there’s Edward again being handsome, sweet, overbearingly controlling.)

Fine.  But the problem is what do you do now? With all those spare moments of restlessness, disgruntlement, intermittent despair, which, for the last few months, have been pleasantly occupied by dark smoldering eyes tortured by paparazzi?

1.  Take up computer bridge.  Or better yet, poker.  Even better, scotch.

2.  Sleep.  (This five hours a day business seems to be showing on you.)

3.  Blog at least twice rather than once a day.  (No.)

4.  Finally read Marcel Proust’s The Remembrance of Things Past.

5.  Clean out your closet.  (Yes, your dog likes to make a little bed among the rumpled piles, still, there may be some good clothes down there.)

6.  (Do I have to?)

7.  Actually read the details of foreign policy decisions.  And the health care proposals. And the initiatives to create jobs.

8.  (Are you serious?)

9.  Go see the new movie, New Moon, as soon as possible.

10. It opens only one week from today!

Aha!  A plan!

Hey Rob! Hey Kristen! The Jury’s In Session!

October 26, 2009

I’ve always thought that one of the biggest difficulties faced by any celebrity is the inability to spend time peacefully and quietly in public.

Robert Pattinson (surprise!) is an obvious case in point.  This, in fact, is one of the main reasons I am so interested in him.  (NOT because of his chiseled good looks, his self-deprecating charm, any confusion I have between him and Edward Cullen, the sweet, rich, loving, handsome vampire he portrays.  Not even his hair.)

No, I find Rob fascinating simply (okay, partly) as a study in modern day fame:  the poor guy’s life has been upended.

Sure, there’s been good stuff—movie contracts, money,  a possible love relationship with Kristen Stewart.

But look at what’s come along with all of that—virtual (in all senses of the word) non-stop surveillance.

Rob may be fairly private in his hotel room (maybe), but he cannot do anything in a public space without the constant click and taunt of paparazzi–paparazzi, combined with the more welcome, but undoubtedly wearing, attention of fans.

What’s a teen idol to do?

Jury Duty!

I have recent first hand experience of jury duty (if not, of actually serving on a jury), so I feel quite qualified to make this recommendation.

Think about it, Rob.  Jury duty has not even been that bad for me, who, despite my persistent blogging, does not have either name or face recognition.  For someone like you, who could not film Remember Me on the streets of New York this past summer without (a) a security detail, (b) a Pattinson “lookalike” (or at least “dressalike”),  (c) a 7ft. high wooden box to stand behind; and (d) a gang of paparazzi, jury duty could be a real godsend.

Here’s why:

1.  Photographic devices are not allowed into most court facilities.  (Which is great news for the media-pressured; the soft shushing of colored pencils is a lot more soothing than camera clicks.)

2.  There are loads of law enforcement officers in courthouses either (a) enforcing the law, or (b) under indictment.  Either way, they will not take kindly to paparazzi pulling out their iPhones for a sneaky snap.

3.  The jury areas  (at least in New York County) are quite pleasant, especially if you avoid the relative comfy seats in the main windowless jurors area, and go for the uncrowded wooden benches in the outside hall where large, south-facing, windows give sunny views of downtown Manhattan.  (It’s almost like a spa!  With benches!)

4.  Okay, the pay’s a six or seven digit cut from your current wage scale, but jury duty offers a young actor a great opportunity to study human nature in all its varieties and vagaries.  The emotional gamut runs from bored, to worried, to bored, to scared stiff, to bored, to deceptive, to bored, to confessional, to bored, to greatly greatly relieved, to very very sorry.

5.  Not only no paparazzi, no werewolves.

6.  And, hey, Rob, if you’re enjoying the peace and quiet, you can  volunteer for a three-month trial.  (They may even let Kristen serve too!)

For more Rob, Kristen, Robsten, Twilight,  and other silliness of many descriptions,  check out other posts  from my homepage –  https://manicddaily.wordpress.com.

Also, if interested in children’s books, check out 1 Mississippi, by Karin Gustafson, at link on homepage, or on Amazon.