Monday, August 10, 2015

Twilight Chapter 4

In my dream it was very dark, and what dim light there was seemed to be radiating from Edward's skin.

Ah, so now we have the answer: Edward is a radioactive mutant. Suddenly everything makes sense!

The rest of her dream basically consists of Eddie-boy wandering off into the darkness and ignoring Bawla while she staggers after him. Boohoo, apparently she's always dreaming about him and he's always just out of her klutzy reach. Does this scream "eternal luv" or what?

To my dismay, I found myself the center of attention for the rest of that week.

And we all know that every teenager in the world desperately craves total anonymity and dismissal by their peers. But wait! Surely this is a sign of Bawla's super-mature and awesomely humble personality... unlike those NORMAL people. Yech!

To reinforce that mere mortals are unworthy of Bawla, Tyler is following her around desperately trying to make the whole accident-that-was-not-his-fault up to her. After all, she is SO awesome and speshul God might strike him with lightning for daring to infringe on Bawla Wan's personal space with his out-of-control van. He even FOLLOWS HER AROUND THE SCHOOL and sits next to her so he can slobber and dribble and curl around her ankles begging for an ear scratch.

Wow. Meyer is even more pathetically desperate for male attention than I thought. Her fantasies are of having men desperate for her to pay attention to them, just so she can ignore them.

And because Bawla is also super-attractive to all men (yet humbly unaware of it), Mike and Eric are also pissed off that Tyler is clinging to their Sullen Goddess and seemingly diminishing their chances with her. I mean, their chances that she'll spit on them.

No one seemed concerned about Edward, though I explained over and over that he was the hero — how he had pulled me out of the way and had nearly been crushed, too.

While she swooned there like a melodrama's distressed damsel. I'm not sure why Bawla is trying to make anyone out to be the hero - nobody was rushing over and shrieking, "BELLA! You're the hero of the piece, almost being run over like that!"

It's more likely that people would say stuff like, "Wow, it's amazing you weren't squished flat like a bread crumb." Did Bella just automatically dribble, "Yes! And the only reason why I WASN'T was because EDWARD IS THE HERO HE'S HEROIC AND AWESOME DID I MENTION HE'S A HERO AND HE SAVED ME AND ALMOST GOT SQUISHED BUT HE'S A HERO!"? Wow, that doesn't sound mentally ill at ALL.

And nobody believes Bawla, even though you would think they would be transformed into pillars of salt for doubting her divine word. But mysteriously nobody saw Eddie-boy (even though he was in plain sight for at least ten seconds).

And she doesn't seem to realize that if Edward really is keeping a secret about himself... he's not going to appreciate her advertising that there is something abnormal about him. Especially since the Cullens are a lot less subtle about their weirdness than they think they are.

With chagrin, I realized the probable cause — no one else was as aware of Edward as I always was. No one else watched him the way I did. How pitiful.

For once, I totally agree with her. She's spoken twice with the guy, knows almost nothing about him personally, has no reason to think he's not a bipolar douchebag, and yet she's totally obsessed with him.

Edward was never surrounded by crowds of curious bystanders eager for his firsthand account. People avoided him as usual.

If you would believe Edward's own take on this, it's because he's a Super-Scary Deadly Predator and people instinctively shy away from him. Frankly, I think it's because he's as whiny and selfish as Bella. Anyway, Eddie is now ignoring Bawla completely at lunch and in biology class, which is Bella's cue to go all emo and melodramaic:

Only now and then, when his fists would suddenly ball up — skin stretched even whiter over the bones — did I wonder if he wasn't quite as oblivious as he appeared.
He wished he hadn't pulled me from the path of Tyler's van — there was no other conclusion I could come to.

For there is no middle ground between fawning wuv and murderous hate! It couldn't be that she simply bugs the hell out of someone, or that they're thinking, "Oh crap, that whiny girl is sitting next to me." No! Clenching your fists means you HATE her and wish she was DEAD.

Remember how Bella was reflecting on how unique and non-normal she was? Yeah, this is perfectly normal behavior for a not-very-smart teen girl who has never dated anyone before.

I still was angry that he wouldn't trust me with the truth, even though I was keeping my part of the bargain flawlessly.

  1. Why should he trust her with anything?
  2. These people don't KNOW each other, and she hasn't actually done anything to earn his trust. For all he knows this whiny little bitch is a chatty Cathy who will tell EVERYBODY in Forks.
  3. Keeping one end of the bargain is more impressive when… there's an actual bargain.
  4. As in, two people making a mutual agreement, not one of them deciding that she's entitled to Info X because she hasn't splurted the information all over the place.

overnight, the heat of my anger faded into awed gratitude.

Nice to see Our Heroine is so feisty and sticks to her guns.

Of course, she starts trying to get his attention, but he just gives her the barest civil greetings. So Bawla stalks him, creeping around the parking lot or cafeteria and watching him from a distance. I wouldn't be surprised if she has a wall of Edward photos shot through a long-distance lens, a pair of his stolen underpants, and a notebook with "Top Secret" on the cover devoted to her plans to kidnap him and win his love... and chop his leg off if he defies her.

He was already seated when I got to Biology, looking straight ahead. I sat down, expecting him to turn toward me. He showed no sign that he realized I was there.

THE HORRORZ! He's ignoring her! After she deliberately pissed him off and started demanding to know his personal secrets, and is now stalking him around the school! However could he be so cruel?

Bella makes a point of talking to him, but Eddie ignores her. So she keeps stalking him EVERY SINGLE DAY, and even makes a point of noting the color gradation in his EYES. Of course, she's SO miserable because the Hot Rich Guy is ignoring her.

It's pretty easy to see why the entire audience of Twilight is made up of women - Bella is pretty much a semi-sane straight/bisexual guy's nightmare. She's a crazy-eyed, shallow, humorless stalker who hates everything, and if you tell her to get lost she'll just spend every night lurking in the bushes in front of your house, snatching your cat and rooting through your garbage. Imagine how insane she'd be if Eddie had had sex with her then dumped her.

Despite my outright lies, the tenor of my e-mails alerted Renée to my depression, and she called a few times, worried. I tried to convince her it was just the weather that had me down.

Since Renee is supposed to be a flutterbrained child-woman, Bawla must be dropping some elephantine hints about OH WOE THE WORLD IS EMPTY! Somehow I imagine Bawla's emails sounding a lot like the poetry spouted by that crazy Joker chick that Roy dated in "The IT Crowd" - you know, the over-made-up girl who went on one date with Roy and started writing poetry about how without him she only wants to die and his face makes her see their shared future, blah blah. And when he says he's dating someone else, she turns into a weepy paranoid freak.

See, that's how Bella comes across here. She doesn't seem like someone driven by love... but by borderline insanity and a pathetic sense of entitlement.

"Hi, Mom. I'm just writing to say that LIFE IS AN EMPTY MORASS OF PAIN which is going just fine. School is fine CONSIDERING IT'S THE ROTTING WASTELAND OF MY HOPES and my classmates are nice people ESPECIALLY THE HOT RICH BOY WHO HATES ME BUT IS MY SOULMATE and Dad seems to be doing well with our new arrangement CONSIDERING MY LIFE IS EMPTY AND MEANINGLESS…"

And since we cannot possibly be allowed to forget that Bella is ridiculously attractive to everything with a penis, Mike is delighted that Bawla's not talking to Eddie. And even more ridiculous is when Jessica calls Bawla to ASK PERMISSION to ask Mike to a dance, and practically begs her for her blessing. Basically the entire female gender is divided into Doormats For The Sue and Evil Bitches. Sometimes both.

Again, Smeyer's fantasies about male attention are pathetic. All ur menz are belong to Bella until she decides to hand them out like Halloween candy.

To reinforce that ALL MEN WANT BAWLA, Mike even comes meandering over and mentions that Jessica asked him out, and he basically dribbles on himself saying that he was hoping Bawla would ask him out. Stupid rabbit, Bawla doesn't like anyone enough to ask them out…. except Eddie the Hot Rich Asshole. You are not hot, rich and you don't tell her to go fuck herself, therefore you are Not Worthy.

I'm starting to get the feeling that Stephenie Meyer was completely ignored by boys in school, so this is her fantasy of having all the boys humiliate themselves and crush their own fragile egos in pursuit of her awesomeness. Of course, if she acted anything like Bawla, I can see why they ignored her. She isn't nearly hot enough to justify the obsessive pretentious crazy.

Anyway, Bawla blows off poor Mike and tells him to go tell Jessica yes, since a Normal Guy can only hope to date a Normal Girl, not a Sullen Goddess.

I didn't want to get into the safety hazards that dancing presented, so I quickly made new plans.

Yes, we all know that Bawla is SO clumsy that if she tried to dance she would trip over her own fingers and spin around the room knocking everyone else over.

And Edward was staring at me curiously, that same, familiar edge of frustration even more distinct now in his black eyes.

Translation: virgin vampire wants sexxors now.

But instead he continued to gaze with probing intensity into my eyes. There was no question of me looking away.

This is a continuing theme in this series - no choices, no questions, just doing whatever the guy wants. It's all very romantic, of course.

In fact, it will get oppressive fast. Note that Bella doesn't say she doesn't want to look away, or can't bear to. It's that "there is no question." Bella's free will is not needed.

Cowardly as ever, I shifted my hair over my right shoulder to hide my face.

Can someone please tell Stephenie Meyer that dribbling cowardice is not an endearing personality trait, or a humanizing flaw?

I couldn't believe the rush of emotion pulsing through me — just because he'd happened to look at me for the first time in a half-dozen weeks.

It's called arousal.

I couldn't allow him to have this level of influence over me. It was pathetic. More than pathetic, it was unhealthy.

This admission would be a lot more striking if Bawla didn't keep saying it. She keeps going "It's pathetic and sick!" then stalking the guy, "pathetic and sick" then stalking, "pathetic and sick" then stalking. Repeat ad nauseam.

I tried very hard not to be aware of him for the rest of the hour, and, since that was impossible, at least not to let him know that I was aware of him.

Hard to do when you keep flinging yourself on the biology lab counter and screaming, "Take me, you Hot Rich Sparkly Man!"

But then something shocking happens! After the lab is over, HOT RICH GUY TALKS TO HER! Ring the bells, start the parade, play the wedding march - he's not totally ignoring the whiny crazy chick who's been stalking him!

His voice shouldn't have been so familiar to me, as if I'd known the sound of it all my life rather than for just a few short weeks.

… which is pretty much what every dribbly fangirl with a crush says.

I turned slowly, unwillingly.

Yet another "no free will" moment. Take a shot.

"What? Are you speaking to me again?" I finally asked, an unintentional note of petulance in my voice.
His lips twitched, fighting a smile. "No, not really," he admitted.
I closed my eyes and inhaled slowly through my nose, aware that I was gritting my teeth.

Add "humorless" to Bella's endless list of defects. This is actually the first halfway amusing moment in this entire painful sludge of a book, and she reacts to a minor witticism by acting like she's got a bad case of cramps.

"Then what do you want, Edward?" I asked, keeping my eyes closed; it was easier to talk to him coherently that way.
"I'm sorry." He sounded sincere. "I'm being very rude, I know. But it's better this way, really."

No, I'd say that Bawla is the one being rude. She's the one who harassed him, pissed him off and has been skulking around WATCHING him constantly for days, and now that he's trying to be nice to her, she's refusing to even look at his FACE.

"It's better if we're not friends," he explained. "Trust me."

"Have I mentioned how totally DANGEROUS I am? Oh, I'm so dangerous, you shouldn't be anywhere near me! Now allow me to smolder sexily at you. I'm such bad news! I'M A BAD BOY!"

Bawla immediately pisses him off AGAIN by transforming from Sullen Queen into Drama Queen, snarling at him about how if he'd known that earlier he could have just let the van squash her into a whining pancake. Understandably, Eddie-boy is pissed and can't believe she's saying these ridiculous things. It's official: Bawla is That Psycho Chick that every guy dates for a few days, but immediately regrets dating - the moment you basically say, "Sorry, no sale," she turns into a screeching psycho harpy who starts saying out of the blue that you obviously want her to die.

So Eddie does what any sane guy would do: he gets a restraining order. No, he doesn't. But I can dream, can't I?

I turned my head sharply away from him, clenching my jaw against all the wild accusations I wanted to hurl at him.

Now apparently Stephenie Meyer likes the novel Pride and Prejudice (or possibly, she just likes wet sexy Colin Firth) and views Twilight as being a sort of vampirized version of that book.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, Jennifer Ehle, Colin Firth, 1995

There's a slight problem with this idea - for one thing, "man and woman arguing" does not automatically make a book anything like Pride and Prejudice… or The Taming of the Shrew, or Much Ado About Nothing. For one thing, the arguments and prejudice in Austen's novel were actually a study of how preconceived ideas can lead us down the wrong path and how we should find out the facts before making up our minds. Lizzie developed a dislike of Darcy based partly on his own actions and partly because of lies she had been told.

And Bawla is no Elizabeth Bennett - despite having been born in a century when women were basically second-class citizens, Lizzie is a great example of an independent, intelligent, strong heroine who is ALSO a nice person with a sharp tongue. She doesn't let other people determine how her life will go, she doesn't let people pressure her, she's a bit gullible at the start of the book, she has brains, she's both romantic and practical, and she attracts Darcy by being herself.

Bawla, on the other hand, is a self-indulgent selfish moron who looks down on everyone, has no discernible intelligence or wit, she doesn't learn or grow, and she TOTALLY allows other people to determine what she does. She can't even choose what direction to look in. What's more, she is not getting upset at Eddie-boy because he did something wrong or because someone lied to her - she's just flying off the handle because he's trying to let her down easy.

Basically if Pride and Prejudice is a delicate and elaborate fencing match of wits, then Twilight is a hitting a shield with a sledgehammer because it makes noise.

I meant to sweep dramatically out of the room, but of course I caught the toe of my boot on the door jamb and dropped my books.

Oh, how I wish I could enjoy more moments like that - Bawla embarrassing herself. And even more amazing, despite her turning into Psycho Chick Eddie actually helps her out with her books.

Then she stumps off to gym, where Bawla as usual almost kills half the population of Forks by tripping over her own enormous feet. I'm sure those people would be even happier if they knew they were being knocked over because she's thinking about the Hot Rich Guy she just pissed off AGAIN.

It was a relief, as always, to leave. I almost ran to the truck; there were just so many people I wanted to avoid.

Makes me wonder how many Twilight fangirls there are who now consider totally antisocial behavior to be a virtue.

The truck had suffered only minimal damage in the accident. I'd had to replace the taillights, and if I'd had a real paint job, I would have touched that up. Tyler's parents had to sell their van for parts.

Now note how she only shows relief over the fact that she doesn't need to fix her van much. She doesn't seem to give a crap that Tyler's family just lost a car, which they probably couldn't afford to do.

Since it's been more than two pages since we last heard how INCREDIBLY ATTRACTIVE Bawla is, she stumbles across Eric next to her truck (although of course she mistakes him for Eddie). He's asking her out to the dance, she blows him off, and the poor humiliated guy leaves.

And then Eddie appears in the parking lot. Imagine that! A guy with a CAR showing up in the PARKING LOT after school! Who would have imagined it?! I AM SHOCKED! Bawla is enraged by this blatant display of... Edward's continued existence, so she starts revving and driving her giant Monster Truck out of there, while Eddie (minding his own biz) just gets into his car and waits for his siblings.

I considered taking out the rear of his shiny Volvo, but there were too many witnesses.

Is there anyone who can seriously think now that Bawla is not a bona fide Psycho Chick? All he did was politely say that he didn't wanna be her buddy, and now she's considering VANDALIZING HIS CAR. And this is on top of stalking!

And again, this is a character we're repeatedly told is unselfish and caring and doesn't think about herself. But her first thought when a guy turns her down is TO WRECK HIS CAR.

Directly behind me, Tyler Crowley was in his recently acquired used Sentra, waving. I was too aggravated to acknowledge him.

What a bitch. Anyway, apparently it comes as a shock to Bawla that when school is over, EVERYBODY with a car goes rushing out to the parking lot. I mean, imagine that!

Then since Bawla's attractiveness to the opposite sex hasn't been mentioned in the last minute, Bawla gets approached by Tyler as well. Apparently he's decided that since he's done licking her feet, and now thinks he has a chance of dating the Sullen Psycho Goddess despite her constantly treating him like something icky on the bottom of her shoe.

"I'm sorry, Tyler, I'm stuck behind Cullen." I was annoyed — obviously the holdup wasn't my fault.

Sounds like it is. After all, instead of leaving the premises she was sitting there plotting vandalism because Eddie didn't sweep her into his arms and make her his Hot Rich Bride.

Well, you can guess what Tyler wants: he asks Bawla to the dance, and she practically spits in his face. Since he is a Normal Guy, he's portrayed as a pathetically arrogant and his hope of dating Bawla is completely his fault. Anything but admit that Bella is being a bitch to him. Make it his fault!

And because the Cullens haven't been mentioned in a whole two sentences, Bawla notices that the Cullens are getting into their car, and Eddie is laughing at her. I'm inclined to do the same, but I also plan to throw rotten vegetables. That of course causes Bawla to contemplate FURTHER vandalism: My foot itched toward the gas pedal… one little bump wouldn't hurt any of them, just that glossy silver paint job.

I feel deep pity for any guy Stephenie Meyer dated in high school. In fact, Bawla is actually ABOUT to damage their car and revving the engine to do so, but Eddie drives off before she can do it.

And while she's making dinner, Bawla gets rid of all her unwanted suitors by handing them off to Normal Girls. Since they are not Sullen Goddesses like Bawla, it's taken for granted that they won't have dates already since all the boys are panting and humping Bawla's leg. And since Bawla doesn't want to be inconvenienced by guys who aren't Hot and Rich, she commands Jessica to pair off Angela with Eric and some random standoffish chick (hmm, sounds like Bawla) can be inflicted as punishment on Tyler.

And for the record, Bawla's motivations here are purely selfish - she doesn't seem to be feeling any remorse or concern about these guys or girls. She's just using the various girls to get all those annoying boys off her back so they'll stop bothering her.

After I hung up, I tried to concentrate on dinner — dicing the chicken especially; I didn't want to take another trip to the emergency room.

Have you noticed yet that BELLA IS SUPER-CLUMSY?

But my head was spinning, trying to analyze every word Edward had spoken today. What did he mean, it was better if we weren't friends?

Here's an idea: she's creepy. She's nasty. She's sullen. She's antisocial. She's a stalker. And she was actively trying to damage his car. Maybe… just maybe… he doesn't wanna be friends with her, and is trying to let her down easily because she's been wangsting all over the place about how OH NO HE HATEZ MY GUTZ!

So now instead she starts wangsting at length about how obviously Edward doesn't even wanna talk to her because she's so totally boring, blah and uninteresting. The fact that she's a sullen, whiny, selfish stalker who turns into a psycho harpy when thwarted apparently doesn't enter the equation.

Interesting… and brilliant… and mysterious… and perfect… and beautiful…

Please note those various words, because they will be used so often that you will end up scratching them out of your dictionary. You will become THAT SICK of them.

So then Bawla decides YET AGAIN that she'll ignore Eddie, and then because she's SOOOOOOO SMART she'll get a scholarship in Hawaii or the Southwest. And she has dinner with her dad, who is understandably suspicious - according to her it's because there's no edible Mexican food in such a miserable place, but in actuality I think he's just concerned that he'll bite into an enchilada and find a severed finger. Cuz, y'know, Bawla is super-clumsy and thinks about her potential victims while she cooks.

"Um, I just wanted to let you know that I'm going to Seattle for the day a week from Saturday… if that's okay?" I didn't want to ask permission — it set a bad precedent — but I felt rude, so I tacked it on at the end.

What a great daughter. Not only does she refer to her dad by his name, throw tantrums if he doesn't do as she wants, and regard him as a pathetic embarrassing growth on her awesome life, but she also doesn't want him to ever think that she might ask his permission for anything. She's only his daughter. It's not like he gets to have any say over her while she's a minor!

"Why?" He sounded surprised, as if he were unable to imagine something that Forks couldn't offer.

AND he's supposed to be regarded as a pathetic yokel who's happy with Forks, because he hasn't had the "big city" life of boring suburbia that Bella has had. Once again, I feel really sorry for poor Charlie.

So they prattle for awhile about the various boring details of getting to Seattle and what she wants to do there, and he understandably worries about her.

"Seattle is a big city — you could get lost," he fretted.
"Dad, Phoenix is five times the size of Seattle — and I can read a map, don't worry about it."

Right, because obviously being able to navigate through an unfamiliar city several hours away is entirely a matter of the city's SIZE, you insufferable bratty twat. As for reading a map, Bella is so pathetically inept at everything she does that I wouldn't put it past her to doodle Eddie's face on it, then eat it.

Charlie is thinking about coming, and Bawla is HORRIFIED, simply AGHAST at the idea of her dad tagging along. Why? No particular reason, except that she clearly hates and despises him. She puts him off by saying that she'll just be in dressing rooms all day, which is a pretty inept lie since she had already admitted that she wanted to go book shopping.

And then Bawla is further infuriated by her dad DARING to know when the school dances are. Yet another evil symptom of the small town - people KNOW things about their kids' schools! It turns out that Bawla apparently inherited her superhuman clumsiness from Charlie, which is kind of a ridiculous idea. He's a COP. You don't have a lot of cops who are incapable of walking down a hallway without tripping over themselves and dealing deadly injuries to others - if there were, they wouldn't give them guns.

The next day when Bawla is trying not to inflict intentional property damage on the Cullens' car, Edward appears and grabs her key when she drops it.

"Bella, it's not my fault if you are exceptionally unobservant."

ZING! I'd say Eddie-boy won that round. Of course, since he just spent yesterday getting bitched out for saying "We shouldn't be friends," I'm not exactly sure why he is hanging around insulting her instead of.... I dunno, staying in populated areas so she can't corner him with a knife.

Anyway, our humorless heroine starts squalling about how he's bothering her and bitching about how awful he's being.

"So you are trying to irritate me to death? Since Tyler's van didn't do the job?"

After dealing with her for a few days, I think most people would like to irritate her to death. With a big tub of lime.

Anyway, Eddie apparently was trying to throw Tyler a bone by letting him get to Bawla's car, and that makes Bawla even angrier - and Eddie boy is even more amused. I can see why, since few things are funnier than a brat throwing a tantrum because they aren't getting their way, and there's nothing they can do about it.

Or rather, it would be if this weren't setting a precedent. You see, women are not allowed to be angry in this series, because a woman's anger is not taken seriously. Whenever Bella DOES get angry, Edward just makes fun of her or laughs at her. Hell, often he makes fun of her and laughs at her when she ISN'T angry, and treats her like a child who is being unreasonable.

In fact, he does this here. He sort of apologizes for being a dick, while continuing to be a dick. Bawla is trying to not physically hit him, adding to the Psycho Chick List of Defects,

"Do you want a ride to Seattle?"
"With who?" I asked, mystified.
"Myself, obviously." He enunciated every syllable, as if he were talking to someone mentally handicapped.

Nope, too obvious. I flatly refuse to rise to the bait. I REFUSE.

"Oh, thanks, now that's all cleared up." Heavy sarcasm.

Thanks for clarifying, Meyer. If you hadn't mentioned that, I might have thought she was being serious. Since it isn't labelled as such, that comment was also sarcasm.

And this whole scene brings up a question that is so glaringly obvious that even Bawla asks it: if he's making a big fuss about WOOOOO IT'S DANGEROUS TO BE HIS FRIEND, why is he offering to drive her to Seattle? Honestly, this all sounds like an unsubtle attempt to get the dumb new girl to put out - tell her how dangerous he is and how it's not a good idea to get close to him, then make an offer to go off alone with her.

The answer, of course, is that he's a selfish dick. Eddie spends the rest of the exchange flip-flopping - on one hand it's sooooooo bad to be around him and she should TOTALLY stay away…. but on the other hand, he likes being around her and wants to be her friend. But he's bad news and sooooooo dangerous. Except that he's next to her in class and wants to chauffeur her to another city.

A normal girl would be getting "bipolar psycho" vibes right about here, so I'm gonna bet that Bella is too busy swooning to care.

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