Film Crit Hulk Smash: HULK SMASHES THE PUNY PARADIGMS OF FILM CRITICISM WITH HULK-SIZED SEMIOTICAL ESSAYS ON STORYTELLING, CINEMATIC PRINCIPLES, AND MEDIA THEORY! HULK EVEN MAKE PRACTICAL HOW-TO GUIDES! See More...

Film Crit Hulk Smash: HULK VS TWILIGHT

Film Crit Hulk takes his meaty green mitts to the sparkly vampires from Forks and deconstructs Stephenie Meyer, young adult fiction and the very meaning of infatuation.

Film Crit Hulk Smash: HULK VS TWILIGHT
HULK READS THE TWILIGHT BOOKS AND SEES A PERSON WHO SEES THE WORLD THROUGH A SKEWED AND DEEPLY CONFLICTED PERSPECTIVE. SOME OF WHICH SEEM SO GLOWINGLY OBVIOUS AND SO CENTRAL TO SO MANY AMERICAN ISSUES BOTH IN TERMS OF YOUTH, SEXUALITY, REPRESSION, AND RELIGION. AND THE BOOKS MANAGE TO UNCONSCIOUSLY TAP INTO THOSE ISSUES WITH SUCH INCREDIBLE RESONANCE THAT IT COMES TO EMBODY THOSE ISSUES.

SO HULK WATCHED TWILIGHT FOR YOU ASSHOLES.

THERE. ARE YOU HAPPY? YOU BETTER BE, BECAUSE HULK ASSURE YOU THERE WERE BETTER WAYS TO SPEND A SATURDAY. AND SADLY, THE MASOCHISM DOES NOT STOP THERE. MAKE IT MANY SATURDAYS BECAUSE HULK DID NOT JUST WATCH THE MOVIE, HULK WATCHED ALL OF THE  MOVIES AND... GULP... HULK READ THE FREAKING BOOKS.

PERHAPS HULK SHOULD QUALIFY THAT. HULK ACTUALLY READ THE FIRST BOOK BACK IN 2005, JUST AFTER RELEASE. THIS WAS BEFORE IT WAS EVEN "A THING" REALLY. SO WHY DID HULK READ IT? BECAUSE SOMEONE SAID IT WAS REALLY GOOD AND STARTING TO GET SOME BUZZ SO HULK SHOULD CHECK IT OUT. SEE, HULK CARES A GREAT DEAL ABOUT THE STATE OF YOUNG ADULT FICTION BECAUSE IT'S WHAT TURNS YOUNG PEOPLE INTO ACTUAL ADULT READERS. AND SOMETIMES THE GENRE PRODUCES NOT ONLY GREAT BOOKS, BUT IMPORTANT BOOKS. FOR INSTANCE, HULK THINKS THE HARRY POTTERS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT CULTURAL MILESTONES OF THIS MOST RECENT DECADE (YOU'RE FREE TO THINK SOMETHING ELSE IS OF COURSE). SO YES, HULK READ TWILIGHT BACK IN THE DAY AND BARELY FINISHED IT BECAUSE IT WAS AWFUL. IT WAS AWFUL FOR A TON OF REASONS, BOTH LITERARY AND THEMATIC, BUT AT THE TIME IT AT HULK DISMISSED THEM AS SOMETHING THAT WILL LIKELY BE IGNORED BY ALL OF TIME AND SPACE.

WELL FOLKS, SOMETIMES HULK IS WRONG... VERY... VERY... WRONG.

BECAUSE THE TWILIGHT PHENOMENON MORPHED INTO A MONSTROSITY. THE REASONS FOR WHICH / WHY IT IS A PROBLEM SOMETHING HULK WILL GET INTO IN A BIT, BUT HULK WAS NONETHELESS FASCINATED BY HOW IT CAME TO BE SUCH A CULTURAL OBSESSION. SO HULK DEEMED IT NECESSARY TO GO BACK AND READ / WATCH EVERYTHING TO BE REALLY DIG IN.(1) BECAUSE IF YOU'RE GOING TO BE CRITICAL OF SOMETHING, AT LEAST IN A WAY THAT COULD BE CONSTRUED AS JUDGMENTAL, YOU SHOULD BE FAIR AND ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU'RE CRITICIZING. AND TO THOSE WHO WOULD CHARGE THAT HULK COULDN'T OBJECTIVELY READ THE BOOKS FOR THIS ESSAY BECAUSE OF SOME PRESUPPOSED HATRED, THEN HULK WILL DIRECT YOU TO THE PARAGRAPH ABOVE. HULK CAME INTO THE TWILIGHT WORLD WITH NO PRETENSIONS WHATSOEVER. EVEN GOOD ONES.

LET HULK ALSO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE "TWILIGHT: THE PHENOMENON!" IS VERY, VERY EASY MAKE FUN OF. FOR ONE, IT'S WELL-TRODDEN GROUND SO PLEASE KNOW THAT IT IS NOT HULK'S INTENTION TO MERELY PILE ON. THUS THIS ESSAY IS ULTIMATELY A VERY SPECIFIC POINT OF CRITICISM. AND SECONDLY, PROBLEMS ALWAYS OCCUR WHEN ANYTHING IS ADORED BY A FAN BASE THAT DOESN'T REALLY SEEM TO QUITE UNDERSTAND THE PROPERTY ITSELF, SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE THE MOST VOCAL PART OF THE FAN GROUP IS COMPRISED OF 10-14 YEAR OLD GIRLS WHO SIMPLY HAVEN'T BEEN EXPOSED TO MUCH ELSE. WHILE THEY LAUD IT IN A WAY THAT'S SEEMS ALMOST INVASIVE, LET US NOT FOR ONE SECOND DISLIKE THE SERIES BECAUSE OF IT'S FREAKING AUDIENCE. DOING SO WOULD BE A WHOLLY SEXIST / AGEIST GESTURE TO DISMISS SOMETHING MERELY BECAUSE IT'S "FOR GIRLS." HECK, THE UPCOMING THE HUNGER GAMES IS "MEANT" FOR 14 YEAR OLD GIRLS AND THE FIRST BOOK IS ACTUALLY GOOD-ISH FOR ALL AUDIENCES.(2). SO NO. WE ARE NOT HATING ON THIS BECAUSE IT IS GIRL STUFF OR FOR YOUNGIN'S.

AND GUESS WHAT FOLKS? NOR WILL HULK BE HATING ON THE SERIES BECAUSE IT HAS SPARKLY VAMPIRES, NOR BECAUSE IT REPRESENTS GENRE DILUTION, NOR BECAUSE IT CATERS TO TEEN HEART-THROB-ISM, NOR BECAUSE IT FEATURES LAUGHABLE SFX. HULK WILL EVEN POSIT THAT THERE A WAY THE FIRST FILM CAN BE ENJOYABLE (HECK, THE LURID ABSURDITY OF VAMPIRE BASEBALL IS WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION). SO AS HULK OFTEN SAYS, THIS IS NOT AN ISSUE OF HATE. THIS IS AN ISSUE OF CRITICISM.

AS SUCH, HULK WILL BE CRITICIZING A WRITER WHO DOESN'T SEEM TO KNOW WHAT SHE IS WRITING, NOR  ITS RELATIVE IMPLICATIONS. HULK WILL BE CRITICIZING A FILM STUDIO THAT ONLY SEEMS TO SEE THE PROPERTY AS AS A ON-THE-CHEAP CASH COW. HULK WILL BE CRITICIZING THE SAGA ON THE GROUNDS THAT EVEN IT'S OWN STARS SEEM TO BALK AT THE SERIES' LEGITIMACY. ALL OF WHICH MAKES TWILIGHT THE DEFINITION OF MISGUIDED AND CYNICAL ENTERTAINMENT.

BUT MOST OF ALL, HULK WILL BE CRITICIZING THE THEMATIC MESSAGE OF THE SERIES. ONE THAT IS NOT JUST  FULL OF IRRECONCILABLE CONTRADICTIONS, BUT THE KINDS OF CONTRADICTIONS WHICH CAN DAMAGE THE CORE PSYCHOLOGY OF YOUNG READERS.

THIS IS ULTIMATELY ABOUT THE MIXED MESSAGES WE SEND YOUNG GIRLS.

AND WHY, QUITE SIMPLY, THEY MIGHT BE THE WORST FUCKING THING EVER.

 

PREFACE - A QUICK NOTE ON STEPHENIE MEYER BASHING...

THIS SHOULD GO WITHOUT SAYING, BUT THE INTERNET INCREASINGLY NEEDS QUICK REMINDERS OF HOW THIS WORKS.

HULK HAS NEVER MET STEPHANIE MEYER. BY ALL CONCERNS SHE MAY BE AN AWESOME AND KIND PERSON WHO IS DESERVING OF EVERY SINGLE BIT OF SUCCESS SHE HAS EARNED FROM THIS SAGA. HULK WOULD NOT TO PRESUME TO SAY ANY OF THE THINGS THAT HULK ABOUT TO SAY WITH ABJECT CERTAINTY. NOT IN THE SLIGHTEST. BUT WHENEVER SOMEONE IS THE AUTHOR OF ANY FORM OF MATERIAL, WHETHER AS AN INDIVIDUAL OR A COLLECTIVE, THERE IS A CERTAIN RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE MEANINGS AND IMPLICATIONS THAT GO ALONG WITH THE CHOICES IN STORY AND PRESENTATION. IT IS FAIR TO MAKE CERTAIN DEDUCTIONS ABOUT THE MEANING OF THOSE CHOICES. THIS IS THE VERY REASON HULK SPENDS FOREVER THINKING ABOUT THE POLITICAL OR SOCIAL RAMIFICATIONS OF ANY OF HULK'S OWN WORK. BECAUSE THERE IS A RESPONSIBILITY OF AUTHORSHIP. SO ULTIMATELY, ANY BIT OF CRITICISM THAT BRINGS UP THE AUTHOR'S INTENTION MUST BE PUT FORTH AS EVALUATION, BUT NEVER A CERTAINTY.

SO WITH THAT, HULK PRESENTS HYPOTHESIS THAT STEPHENIE MEYER HAS ABSOLUTELY ZERO IDEA WHAT SHE'S ACTUALLY WRITING HERE. DEVIN ONCE BEAUTIFULLY CALLED HER A "FABULOUS IDIOT" AND THAT TERM IS GREAT... KIND OF ENDEARING EVEN. HULK WOULD SUGGEST THAT SHE SO UTTERLY AND COMPLETELY LACKS CONTROL OVER WHAT SHE WRITES THE RENDERS THE STORYTELLING BOTH A STRUCTURAL / LOGISTICAL NIGHTMARE AND A SET OF BATSHIT IDEAS AND THEMES THAT BURST FORTH FROM HER SUBLIME AND REPRESSED ID.

ALSO KNOW THAT HULK IS GOING TO POSIT A LOT OF ISSUES ABOUT MEYER'S PSYCHOLOGY AND GOOD DEAL OF THEM MAY HAVE TO DO WITH MORMONISM. THIS NOT TO IMPLY HULK HAS SOME ABJECT FEELING OF MORMONISM OR THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE UP THAT RELIGION. PLEASE NO. HULK WILL ONLY BE EXAMINING IT THE CONTEXT OF THE POSSIBLE EFFECTS THAT ANY OVERT SOCIAL CONSTRUCT WILL HAVE ON A WRITER'S THEMATIC CONTENT. MEANING MORMONISM IN REGARDED IN THIS ESSAY AS EFFECTIVELY THE SAME THING AS CHRISTIANITY. EVEN IF A WRITER GREW UP ON A COMMUNE IT WOULD BE THE SAME THING. IT IS ABOUT THE CONSTRUCT NOT THE THING ITSELF. ALSO, MEYER LIVES IN ARIZONA SO THERE'S THAT.(3)

DOUBLE ALSO, PLEASE NOTE THAT HULK VERY MUCH AWARE THAT HULK RECENTLY TOOK ON THE HUGE CONCEPTUAL PROBLEMS OF ELIZABETH GILBERT'S EAT PRAY LOVE, WHICH MAKES THIS POSSIBLY SEEM LIKE HULK IS BENT ON PROVING HOW EVERY POPULAR FEMALE AUTHOR IS A CRACKPOT. REALLY, IT'S FAR FROM IT AND IT'S PRETTY OBVIOUS. SO WHY WOULD HULK STILL TAKE TIME TO MENTION IT? AGAIN, IT'S ALL PART OF THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE AUTHOR AND ESSAYS HAVE THE BENEFIT OF DIRECTLY STATING AND QUALIFYING ONES INTENTIONS. AND HONESTLY, HULK COULD TEAR APART MANY BASTIONS OF MALE AUTHORSHIP HAPPILY (JOHN UPDIKE ANYONE? BUT SOMEONE ALREADY DID THAT SO MUCH BETTER THAN HULK EVER COULD .

TRIPLE ALSO, PLEASE NOTE THAT HULK KNOW LOTS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE AMUSED, ONCE LIKED, STILL LIKE, OR LOVE THE SHIT OUT OF TWILIGHT. PLEASE KNOW THAT IT'S OKAY TO DO SO. THIS IS NOT IN ANY WAY AN ATTACK ON YOU OR YOUR VALUES AND HULK WILL GET TO HULK'S THEORIES ON WHY IT IS SO BELOVED AT THE END (AND NO, HULK DOES NOT THINK YOU WERE DUPED).

THIS IS MERELY HULK'S TAKE AND ISSUES WITH THE SAGA.

SO LET'S DO THIS THING.

 

PART 1- THE TEXT ITSELF

HULK THINKS THE WRITING IN THESE BOOKS IS NOT SO GOOD. ACTUALLY, IT'S TERRIBLE. SORRY, BUT IT JUST HAS TO BE CLARIFIED IN ORDER TO SORT OF TALK ABOUT LOTS OF THE THEMATIC CONFUSION IN PART 2. IT'S NOT THAT MEYER CAN'T STRING A SENTENCE TOGETHER, IT'S THAT HER WRITING IS MOSTLY WITHOUT OBJECTIVE OR INTENTION (ASIDE FROM ONE GLARINGLY OBVIOUS ELEMENT). THIS MATTERS BECAUSE HULK THINK IT SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT HOW THE BOOKS ERUPT FROM HER PSYCHE.

MAYBE HULK DOESN'T HAVE TO QUALIFY THIS, BUT LOOK... HULK HAS READ HULK-SIZED AMOUNT OF BOOKS. ALL KINDS. FICTION. NONFICTION. HIGH. LOW. ADULT. KIDS. CRIME. PHILOSOPHICAL. SCIENTIFIC. SOCIOLOGICAL. THE PINNACLE OF LITERATURE AND THE PINNACLE OF PULP. AND THERE IS WAY IN WHICH ALL OF THOSE RESPECTIVE THINGS CAN BE GOOD OR BAD. SO HULK DOES NOT CONSIDER THIS "BAD WRITING" BECAUSE OF IT'S GENRE OR YOUNG ADULT OR AIMED "FOR YOUNG GIRLS." HULK ARGUE THERE IS NO KIND OF WRITING THAT IS SO LACKING IN FUNCTIONALITY, DRAMA, AND CHARACTERIZATION THAN WHAT IS VOMITED UP IN THE TWILIGHT SAGA. IT IS THE KIND OF TERRIBLE THAT CANNOT POSSIBLY EXIST IN PUBLICATION, LET ALONE BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MEGA PHENOMENON. IT IS BAFFLING.

WHY IT SO BAD?

EXHIBIT A - CHARACTERIZATION

ALLOW HULK TO START BY TAKING A PAGE FROM RED LETTER MEDIA. WITHOUT DESCRIBING HER AGE, HAIR COLOR, OR HOW MUCH SHE LOVES A CERTAIN PERSON, DESCRIBE THE PERSONALITY OF BELLA SWAN.

GO AHEAD.

... HULK WAITING.

SURE THERE ARE INDIVIDUAL MOMENTS WHERE BELLA MAY SEEM LIKE ONE KIND OF PERSON OR ANOTHER. DEPENDING ON THE MOMENT BELLA'S KIND OF SMART. KIND OF PRETTY. KIND OF QUIRKY. KIND OF CLUMSY. KIND OF SHY. KIND OF NERDY. KIND OF DEMURE. KIND OF OUTGOING. KIND OF POPULAR. KIND OF NOT. THERE IS A DISTINCT WAY THAT ALL THESE KIND OF DETAILS ARE MEANT TO MAKE BELLA SEEM "NORMAL" AND "ACCESSIBLE," PROBABLY AS PART OF SOME CONCERTED EFFORT TO MAKE HER A GENERIC STAND IN FOR THE AUDIENCE. BUT THE HUGE PROBLEM WITH THAT IS SHE IS STILL ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN SINGULARITY. SHE IS WALKING AMBIVALENCE. SHE HAS NO REAL ANCHOR TO HER IDENTITY... EXCEPT FOR ONE CHARACTERISTIC INVOLVING THAT CERTAIN OTHER SOMEONE. BELL'AS ONLY ANCHOR IS BEING FATALISTICALLY INFATUATED... AND WE'LL GET TO THE HORRID PROBLEMS OF THAT LATER.

BUT REALLY, THE FACT THAT HULK CAN IN NO WAY EXPLAIN TO YOU WHO BELLA SWAN IS OR WHY SHE FEELS THE WAY THAT SHE DOES ABOUT ANYTHING IS A HUGE PROBLEM FOR THE NARRATIVE. WHY? BECAUSE THESE FOUR BOOKS ARE FILLED WITH NOTHING BUT HER THOUGHTS, PERSPECTIVE, INNER MONOLOGUES, AND IDEALS. RARELY DOES ANYTHING ACTUALLY HAPPEN IN THE WAY OF PLOT. IT IS MOSTLY A SERIES OF CHARACTERS BEING MAD OR NOT MAD AT EACH OTHER. SO YEAH, WE ARE PRETTY MUCH JUST TREATED TO LOTS AND LOTS OF BELLA'S VAGUE AND MILQUETOAST THOUGHTS... THOUGHTS THAT ARE LATER EXPLAINED TO YOU ONCE AGAIN IN VERBATIM DIALOGUE. UGH, THE CYCLE IS WITHOUT END.

AND AGAIN, IN ALL THOSE THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS HULK CANNOT IN ANY WAY DESCRIBE HER PERSONALITY. THIS IS NOT TO IMPLY HULK SAYING SOME PERSON HAS TO BE A WALKING ARCHETYPE. BUT BELLA ISN'T "COMPLEX" AND "MULTIFACETED" SHE SIMPLY HAS ABSOLUTELY NO HUMAN CORE. STEPHANIE MEYER HAS CREATED THE PERFECT, VACUOUS LITERARY STAND IN... HOORAY FOR NO ONE.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THE SAME BELIEVE COMPLETE LACK OF CHARACTERIZATION GOES FOR EDWARD CULLEN.

SURE, HE'S ALL HUNKY AND STUFF. BUT YOU CAN REPLACE ALL OF BELLA'S "KIND OFS" WITH EDWARDS "EXTREMELYS." WHEN HE IS CHARMING IT IS EXTREMELY CHARMING. OR EXTREMELY HANDSOME. OR EXTREMELY PROTECTIVE. OR EXTREMELY MEAN. OR EXTREMELY SMOLDERING. AGAIN, HULK TOTALLY UNDERSTAND THIS ALL MEANT TO MAKE HIM SOME ARCHETYPE FOR BOYS MORE OUTWARD FORMS OF BEHAVIOR. BUT HE IS MEANT AT ONCE TO BE THE MYSTERIOUS AND ALLURING MALE, BUT THE ALPHA-MALE, THE BOOKISH NERD, THE SUPERIOR ATHLETE, THE DISTANT LONER, THE CHIVALROUS KNIGHT, THE OBSESSIVE STALKER, ETC. LIKE BELLA, EDWARD IS WRITTEN AS ALL THINGS WITHOUT ANY SINGULAR ANCHOR OR CORE. AND UNLIKE BELLA'S LACK OF A CORE MAKING HER AMBIVALENT, THE EXTREME NATURE OF EDWARD TURNS HIM INTO... SOMETHING FAR WORSE.

IT IS AT THIS POINT THAT HULK WOULD LIKE TO PROPOSE TO YOU THAT EDWARD CULLEN IS, AND CAN ONLY BE REGARDED AS, A BI-POLAR CRAZY PERSON.(4) SO MUCH COULD BE EXPECTED OF SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN MADE TO GO TO HIGH SCHOOL FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS, BUT THE HYPOTEHETICALS OF IN-TEXT-LOGISTICS ARE SOOOO NOT THE POINT. THE POINT IS THAT EDWARD DOESN'T HAVE A FREAKIN PERSONALITY EITHER. ALSO, LIKE BELLA THE ONE SINGULAR THING THAT YOU CAN SAY ABOUT HIM IS AWFUL. AND IT IS THAT HIS INFATUATION TAKES THE ROLE OF "CONTROLLING."

SO BECAUSE THESE  CHARACTERS ARE NOT PEOPLE, OR EVEN REALLY PERSON-LIKE, THEY ARE ONLY VEHICLES FOR THE AUTHOR'S THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS. THE ARE PROJECTIONS.

SURE THERE IS A CAPACITY TO WHICH ALL WRITTEN CHARACTERS ARE A PROJECTION OF SOME IDEA, BUT ON THE SURFACE OF THOSE IDEAS THERE ARE STILL LIVING, BREATHING CHARACTERS WHO BEHAVE LIKE HUMAN BEINGS AND HAVE PERSONALITIES AND STUFF. BUT EDWARD AND BELLA DON'T REALLY HAVE THAT. THEY ARE ONLY PROJECTIONS. A SET OF WALKING IDEALS, EMOTIONS, AND THOUGHTS. BELLA IS THE PROJECTION OF "THE EVERYGIRL" A VEHICLE FOR SEMI-MASTABURTORY THOUGHTS ABOUT A YOUNG MAN WHOSE PASSION NEARLY AND LITERALLY CONSUMERS HER. EDWARD, GIVEN ANY WHIM OF THE AUTHOR, IS THE OUTRIGHT MASTURBATORY OBJECT OF MALE AFFECTION. BUT AGAIN, NO AWARENESS MAKES THEM THESE THINGS ALONE.

THEY ARE EMOTIONAL FEVER DREAMS.

NOT ONLY IS THIS THE SORT OF THING THAT YOU LEARN NOT TO DO IN FRESHMAN CREATIVE WRITING CLASS, BUT IT'S THE KIND OF AMATEUR HOUR WRITING THAT IS NEAR UNFORGIVABLE. HULK WOULD ARGUE THAT THIS LACK OF ABILITY DOES NOT MAKE HER "UNPOLISHED" BUT ACTUALLY AN "UNWRITER" IT IS FAR, FAR DIFFERENT FROM THE OFT CITED CLUNKY-NESS OF J.K ROWLING'S FIRST FEW BOOKS. YOU KNOW WHAT HULK TALKING ABOUT. WHERE SHE WOULD NOT ONLY HAVING CHARACTERS BLUSH FAR TOO MUCH, BUT WOULD THEN WORRY ABOUT THEM BLUSHING SO MUCH THAT SHE TRIED TO FIX IT BY COMING UP WITH A HOST OF SYNONYMS FOR BLUSHING, ONLY MAKING IT WORSE. HECK, THAT'S EVEN KIND OF ENDEARING. NO THIS IS SOMETHING ELSE. THIS IS EGREGIOUS.

BECAUSE WHAT IT DOES IS IT RENDERS A TWO CHARACTERS DOWN TO A BASIC MODE A PIECE. LET'S DO RED LETTER MEDIA AGAIN. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THEM IF YOU OPEN UP THE RELATIONSHIP FEELINGS?

BELLA'S ONLY PERSONALITY TYPE IS "IN LOVE WITH EDWARD."

EDWARDS ONLY PERSONALITY TYPE IS "CONTROLLING OF BELLA."

THAT. IS. IT.

 

EXHIBIT B - STRUCTURE

HONESTLY, IT WOULDN'T BE SO INSUFFERABLE IF THERE WAS AN ACTUAL PLOT GOING ON. THE CYCLICAL BACK AND FORTH OF THE AIMLESS PLOTTING IS SUICIDE INDUCING. THERE ARE VAST STRETCHES OF TEXT WHERE CHARACTERS WILL MAKE A PLAN TO DO SOMETHING GO OFF AND HAVE ALL THESE OTHER UNIMPORTANT AND TEDIOUS DETAILS AND FINALLY MENTION THAT THING THEY'RE WAITING TO DO LIKE 80 PAGES LATER. INSTEAD WE GET THE AFOREMENTIONED THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS.

TO THOSE WOULD CHARGE THERE FAMOUS WORKS OF LITERATURE THAT DEAL WITH INNER MONOLOGUES, THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, AND NOTHING HAPPENS. OF COURSE. IN FACT MANY OF THEM ARE HULK'S FAVORITE BOOKS. THEY OPERATE ON A CERTAIN LEVEL OF LITERARY PROWESS. BUT IT IS COMPLETELY MISSING HERE. THERE IS NO ILLUSION OF TEXTURE, INTERESTING TANGENTS, LIFE AT A SCHOOL, OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. THOSE ELEMENTS GET BLAND LIP SERVICE. TWILIGHT IS A REPETITIVE, VAPID NIGHTMARE. WHY ELSE WOULD STEPHENIE MEYER HAVE EVEN TRIED TO WRITE THE FIRST BOOK AGAIN FROM EDWARD'S PERSPECTIVE?

ACTUALLY, SORRY FOLKS. TO EVEN TALK OF STRUCTURE PRETENDS THESE BOOKS EVEN HAVE THE PRETENSE OF STRUCTURE.

WHAT IS ON DISPLAY IS SOMETHING HULK CALLS "ANT WRITING" AND IT IS IF YOU TOOK A MYOPIC, STEP BY STEP EVALUATION EVERYTHING DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF YOU IN A LINE AND THAT'S HOW TOLD THE STORY "Well first I stepped here. And then here. Then here. Then here." IT'S LIKE PEOPLE WHO TELL YOU A FUNNY STORY OF A PERSON THEY MET AT THE POST OFFICE AND START IT WITH WHEN THEY GOT IN THEIR CAR. IT'S SMALL MINDED AND COMPLETELY IGNORANT OF THE LARGER THINGS TO FOCUS ON. SO MEYER, PLAYING THE MYOPIC ANT, SIMPLY HAS STARTED HER STORY AND JUST WENT ON TO THE NEXT SCENE TO THE NEXT TO THE NEXT WITH ONLY THE VAGUEST OF SENSES OF HOW IT SHOULD PLAY OUT.

FOR PROOF, HULK WOULD LIKE TO SHOW YOU THIS. THE FOLLOWING IS THE ABSURD PLOT OF THE TWILIGHT SERIES:

THE FIRST BOOK IS ABOUT HOW BELLA SWAN MOVES TO FORKS, WASHINGTON TO LIVE WITH HER DAD. FORKS IS NEVER SUNNY. SHE STARTS SCHOOL AND BEGINS TO FIT IN, BUT THEN SHE MEETS EDWARD CULLEN, A SUPER HANDSOME GUY WHO IS IMMEDIATELY DISGUSTED BY HER. HE BEGINS TO TREAT HER LIKE SHIT. SHE, OF COURSE, IS IMMEDIATELY IN LOVE WITH HIM. SHE IS CONSUMED BY THOUGHTS OF HIM AND IGNORES SCHOOL AND NEW FRIENDS. THERE IS ONLY EDWARD. AND WHAT FOLLOWS IS A CEASELESS BACK AND FORTH OF EDWARD BEING NICE AND MEAN TO HER. EVENTUALLY (AS IN SUPER EVENTUALLY) EDWARD REVEALS THAT ALL THIS BACK IN FORTH IS BECAUSE HE IS A VAMPIRE. AND THAT BEING MEAN TO HER STUFF? NO THAT'S JUST BECAUSE HE IS SO DAMN ATTRACTED TO HER (SPECIFICALLY HER "SCENT" YIKES) AND HE WAS AFRAID HE COULDN'T CONTROL HIMSELF. YEAH, THAT'S WHY BOYS ARE MEAN. BECAUSE THEY'RE SO IN LOVE WITH YOU THEY ARE JUST PROTECTING YOU FROM THEIR SEXUAL ADVANCES. WHAT. THE. FUCK. AND THEN FOLLOWS IS YET ANOTHER CEASELESS BACK AND FORTH OF "NO WE SHOULDN'T!"/ "BUT WE WANT TO!" FORM OF COURTSHIP THAT DRAGS ON COMPLETELY WITH NO FORM. BELLA LEARNS SOME DETAILS OF THE MOST LUDICROUS VAMPIRE MYTHOLOGY EVER. HE SHOWS HER HOW TO SPARKLE. THEY PLAY VAMPIRE THUNDER BASEBALL (THE PHYSICS OF AND LOGISTICAL MECHANICS OF WHICH RENDER THE NONSENSE SCORING SYSTEM OF QUIDDITCH TO SEEM LIKE THE HEIGHT OF LOGIC). THEN A BAD VAMPIRE WITH A GENERIC NAME HULK CAN'T REMEMBER SHOWS UP AND LIKES HER SCENT TOO. SO HE TRIES TO EAT HER. THEY TRY TO STOP HIM IN THE MOST ROUND ABOUT WAY IMAGINABLE WHICH IS ALSO FILLED WITH LOTS OF FALSE STARTS AND REPEATED POINTS. EVENTUALLY, THEY KILL THE BAD VAMPIRE. AT SOME POINT IN THERE THEY GO TO PROM. END BOOK.

THE SECOND BOOK IS ABOUT EDWARD DUMPING BELLA. WHY? OH BECAUSE THEY MISTAKENLY FEEL LIKE THEY PUT HER LIFE IN DANGER AND HE LOVES HER TOO MUCH TO DO THAT. SO THE CULLENS PACK UP AND MOVE TO ITALY (CAUSE IT'S NEVER SUNNY THERE?) ANYWHO, THE BEST PART ABOUT THIS PLAN IS THEY'RE ACTUALLY JUST LEAVING HER ALONE TO FEND FOR HERSELF WITH AGAINST VICTORIA, THE BAD VAMPIRE'S EX WHO WANTS REVENGE. THEY EVEN SEEM TO KIND OF BE AWARE OF IT. IF THIS MAKES IT SOUND LIKE THERE IS A CREDIBLE AND CONSTANT THREAT OVER BELLA WHICH PROVIDES DRAMA OR SOMETHING, DON'T WORRY THERE'S NOT. IT BARELY COMES UP AS SHE'S SPENDS HALF THE BOOK BEING MOPEY / SUICIDAL BECAUSE HER GORGEOUS AND MEAN BOYFRIEND DUMPED HER. SHE SERIOUSLY TRIES TO COMMIT SUICIDE AT ONE POINT. BUT IN TRYING TO "GET THROUGH IT ALL" SHE STRIKES UP A FRIENDSHIP WITH A NATIVE AMERICAN WEREWOLF WHO IS ZOMG IN LOVE WITH HER TOO. WHY IS HE IN LOVE WITH HER? HULK HAS NO IDEA. BUT EITHER WAY SHE'S TOO OBLIVIOUS TO EVEN CONSIDER HIM A REBOUND AND HE'S TOO MILQUETOAST TO BE ANYTHING BUT AT HER EVERY BECK AND CALL. IT'S LIKE THE PLOT OF ANYTHING ELSE, BUT WITHOUT QUENTIN TARANTINO DEFENDING IT. ANYWAY, JACOB DEFENDS HER FROM VICTORIA, BUT THROUGH A HILARIOUS MISUNDERSTANDING EDWARD THINKS THAT BELLA DIED. SO HE DOES THE ONLY SENSIBLE THING AND DECIDES TO COMMIT SUICIDE IN THE MOST ELABORATELY UNNECESSARY WAY EVER (HE'S GOING TO REVEAL HIMSELF AS SPARKLY THUS FORCING THE ITALIAN VAMPIRE OVERLORDS TO KILL HIM?). BUT THE MAIN REASON MEYER CHOOSES THIS PATH IS TO GIVE BELLA ENOUGH TIME TO GO TO ITALY TO STOP HIM. THE ITALIAN VAMPIRE OVERLORDS THEN DECIDE THAT BELLA MUST BE TURNED INTO A VAMPIRE AT SOME POINT FOR SOME REASON. THIS NEVER REALLY COMES UP AGAIN. END BOOK.

THE THIRD BOOK IS ABOUT NOTHING WHATSOEVER. SERIOUSLY. VICTORIA IS STILL KICKING AROUND SO NOTHING NEW THERE. EDWARD AND JACOB BOTH WANT BELLA AND SHE CEASELESSLY GOES BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN THEM FOR NO GOOD REASON AND THEY BOTH JUST PUT UP WITH IT. THE PLOT HULK JUST DESCRIBED, NO SHIT, TAKES UP 98% OF THE BOOK (IT GETS HULKS VOTE FOR THE WORST ONE BY A LANDSLIDE). FINALLY VAMPIRES AND WEREWOLVES UNITE TO KILL VICTORIA AND HER SO-CALLED-VAMPIRE-ARMY-BUT-REALLY-IT'S-LIKE-HALF-A-SQUAD OF MINIONS. BELLA FINALLY CHOOSES TO MARRY EDWARD BECAUSE HE'S MEANER AND MORE CONTROLLING. END BOOK.

THE FOURTH BOOK AND ALL IT'S ABSURD GLORY HAS BEEN COVERED BY DEVIN ALREADY IN SUCH A WONDERFUL AND HILARIOUS WAY THAT HULK SIMPLY CANNOT DO IT JUSTICE. SO HERE'S THE SHORT VERSION: BELLA AND EDWARD GET MARRIED. THEY HAVE VIOLENT SEX WHERE HE KNOCKS HER UNCONSCIOUS AND BEATS THE SHIT OUT OF HER. SHE GETS SUPER SPED UP PREGNANT WITH A HALF-VAMPIRE BABY THAT'S TELEPATHIC FOR SOME REASON. THE BABY IS STRONG SO IT STARTS TO BREAK HER SPINE. SHE STARTS DELIVERING HARDLINE PRO-LIFE MONOLOGUES. EDWARD BITES HER OPEN TO DELIVER THE BABY AND THEY THEN TURN HER INTO A VAMPIRE SO SAVE HER LIFE. THEY NAME THE BABY RENESMEE (JEEZY PETES!) AND JACOB SEES THIS BABY AND "IMPRINTS" IT, WHICH BASICALLY MEANS THEY'RE DESTINED TO BE MARRIED AND TOTALLY DO IT ONE DAY... THAT WOULD BE JACOB AND THE BABY... AT THIS POINT FEEL FREE TO SAY, "THE FUCK!??!?!?!??! WHERE DID ALL THIS COME FROM!??!!" ... HULK WILL GET TO IT. BUT THE SAD PART IS THIS AMAZING SUMMARY HAPPENS OVER THE COURSE OF HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF AGONIZINGLY DUMB PAGES. AND ONCE THE INTERESTING STUFF IS OVER IT BEGINS A WHOLE OTHER PART WHERE THE ITALIAN VAMPIRE OVERLORDS ARE INTERESTED IN THE HALF-VAMPIRE BABY FOR SOME REASON. THERE'S A WHOLE BUNCH OF POLITICAL YUCKING ABOUT FOR A FEW HUNDRED PAGES. EVENTUALLY THEY DECIDE TO JUST LEAVE EVERYONE IN PEACE. END BOOK.

TO BE FAIR HULK IS CLEARLY MAKING FUN OF ALL THIS IN TERMS OF LOGIC AND SILLINESS. BUT HULK ARGUE THE REAL POINT IS THAT THE PLOTS HAVE NO ARC, STRUCTURE, AND ARE CAUGHT IN THESE ENDLESS CYCLICAL LOOPS COMPRISED OF ANTI-DRAMA.

IT'S LIKE A CONSTANT EPISODE OF HOUSE ,ONLY INSTEAD OF DISMISSING LUPUS AND CURING A VITAMIN DEFICIENCY MIXED WITH BIRD POOP POISON, THE CHARACTERS MANAGE TO ACHIEVE BASICALLY NOTHING.

IT'S LIKE THE ENTIRE SERIES IS THE CAMPING SECTION FROM HARRY POTTER 7.

IT'S LIKE STRANGER THAN PARADISE WITHOUT ANY KIND OF ARTISTIC MERIT.

IT'S LIKE THAT ONE AWESOME PART OF BOOGIE NIGHTS WHERE MARK WHALBERG ZONES OUT AT THE CRAZY GUYS HOUSE BUT IT GOES ON FOR ABOUT 19 HOURS OF TOTAL READING.

IT'S LIKE THIS SAGA WAS A LARGELY UNPLANNED PLOT AND SIMPLY WRITTEN FROM SCENE TO SCENE, BUT WITHOUT ANY OF THE WRITING ABILITY OR INTERESTING VIEWS TO MAKE IT WORK.

EXHIBIT C - THE FILMS

SO THEY SOMEHOW TURNED THESE THINGS INTO MOVIES.

AT THIS POINT HULK WOULD LIKE TO SUGGEST THAT THE FIRST TWILIGHT MOVIE IS BE FAR THE BEST PRESENTATION AND UNDERSTANDING OF ANYTHING IN THE TWILIGHT SAGA. FOR ONE, CATHERINE HARDWICKE IS NO DUMMY. SHE CLEARLY UNDERSTANDS THE NATURE OF YOUTHFUL MYOPIA AND BETTER YET, SHE WAS MORE THAN HAPPY TO TAKE ON THE LURID ABSURDITY OF THE SAGA AND SHOW IT FOR WHAT IT WAS. AGAIN. VAMPIRE BASEBALL IS WORTH THE COST OF ADMISSION.

... THIS MOVIE MADE 400 MILLION DOLLARS.

HECK, HARDWICKE UNDERSTOOD THE SILLINESS SO CLEARLY THAT IT BROUGHT FORTH SO MANY INCREDIBLE MOMENTS BEYOND VAMPIRE BASEBALL, MOMENTS WITH SOME OF THE GREATEST FACIAL EXPRESSIONS EVER PUT ON CELLULOID. THESE MOMENTS ARE BEST EXPRESSED THROUGH A MONTAGE THAT HULK QUALIFY AS EASILY THE BEST RE-EDITED-FOR-OTHER-PURPOSES VIDEO EVER.

... HULK WATCHED THAT FOUR MORE TIMES WHILE WRITING THIS.

BUT THE BEST PART OF THE MOVIE IS THAT IT'S NOT JUST ONE BIG JOKE TO HARDWICKE. SHE UNDERSTOOD THE BASIC HIGH SCHOOL TRAPPINGS STUFF WAY, WAY BETTER THAN MEYER DOES. SHE GROUNDED THE FATALISM, TURNED BELLA'S MONOLOGUES IN K-STEW'S LAME BUT ODDLY EFFECTIVE MODE OF ACTING KNOWN AS "LIP-BITINGLY PREOCCUPIED." SHE GAVE THESE SPARKLY VAMPIRES AND LOVE OBSESSED INFATUATED TWERPS THE EXACT MOVIE THEY DESERVED AND NOT ONLY MADE IT HILARIOUSLY WATCHABLE, BUT KIND OF HONEST IN A FEW RARE MOMENTS.

BUT BECAUSE WE DON'T LIKE OUR BIG SUCCESSFUL CINEMA TO BE SILLY, HARDWICKE'S MOVIE IS CONSIDERED A LAUGHABLE FAILURE. THE STUDIO FIRED HER ON THE SPOT AND TURNED TO JOURNEYMAN DIRECTORS TO GIVE THIS OH-SO-SERIOUS SERIES THE SERIES IT SERIOUSLY DESERVED! AND WHAT FOLLOWED WERE TWO OVERWROUGHT AND BEYOND BORING MOVIES WITH ABSOLUTE NO FLARE, UNDERSTANDING, OR BASIS OF RELATIVE GOODNESS.

UGH.

WHAT THE FUCK EVERYONE? HOW ARE THESE MOVIES SUPPOSED TO BE SERIOUS?

BESIDES THE STUDIO GAVE THEM NO MONEY TO ACTUALLY MAKE THESE THINGS "SERIOUS AND EXCITING MOVIES" ACTUALLY LOOK GOOD ENOUGH TO REALLY BE LEGITIMATE IN THE TENTPOLE ARENA. NO, THEY ARE DESIGNED TO BE ON THE CHEAP CASH COWS. DUMPING HARDWICKE WAS JUST A NOT WANTING TO BE A JOKE. INSTEAD THEY'RE A WHOLLY DIFFERENT AND FAR WORSE KIND OF JOKE. THEY'RE OVERWROUGHT AND NONSENSICAL AND PROVIDE NO FORM OF JOY WHATSOEVER. IT'S ALL A PART OF THE FAUX-SERIOUS NOLANIZATION OF HOLLYWOOD RIGHT NOW THAT JUST DOESN'T UNDERSTAND THE KIND OF THINGS THAT NEED TO BE NOLANIZED. THE HARDWICKE-ING OF TWILIGHT IS A MUCH, MUCH BETTER OPTION.

AND NOW, WITH BREAKING DAWN THEY HAD TO TURN TO SOMEONE WHO AT LEAST HAS SOME KIND OF INTELLECTUAL SENSIBILITY TO DEAL WITH ALL THAT CRAZINESS. WHILE BILL CONDON DOESN'T POSSESSES THE CALLED-FOR CRONENBERGIAN TAKE ON THE VIOLENT AND SEXUALLY WEIRD MATERIAL, HE CAN CERTAINLY DO SOMETHING INTERESTING. IT'S JUST A QUESTION IF THE STUDIO TAPED MITTENS TO HIS JACKET.

FRANKLY, HULK WANTS THE HARDWICKE BREAKING DAWN.

... ONE THAT COULD BE TURNED INTO BIRTHING/IMPRINTING MONTAGE OF CAT STEVEN'S "HERE COMES MY BABY."

A HULK CAN DREAM.

PART 2 - THE THEMATIC NIGHTMARES

SPEAKING OF WHICH... THE IDEA FOR TWILIGHT CAME TO STEPHANIE MEYER IN A DREAM.

HULK FINDS THIS VERY, VERY TELLING.

HULK KEEPS CHARACTERIZING THE BOOKS AS "SPRUNG FORTH FROM MEYER'S ID" AND THAT FEELS TOTALLY CORRECT. SHE IS NOT CONSTRUCTING HER STORIES FROM A PLACE OF LOGIC, INTENT, OR CHARACTERIZATION. BUT FORM THE REALM OF UNSPOKEN WANTS AND DESIRES. BY SOURCING HER DREAMS, SHE IS CHANNELING SOME COMPULSION INSIDE HER.

WHILE THERE IS A CAPACITY TO WHICH ALL WRITERS ARE WORKING THROUGH RELATIVE PSYCHOSIS, EMOTIONS, AND RESERVATIONS, YOU CAN AT LEAST TRY TO HAVE THEM SERVE REAL THEMATIC PURPOSES OF THE STORY. YOU CAN TRY TO PROVIDE A KIND OF CATHARTIC NARRATIVE OR INTELLECTUAL PERSPECTIVE FOR YOUR READER.

BUT WHEN YOU LACK THAT AWARENESS, YOU LIKELY START PARTICIPATING IN SOME KIND OF INDULGENT FANTASY IN A STATE OF SEMI-MASTURBATORY GLEE. WHICH ISN'T TO SAY THOSE KINDS OF THINGS CAN'T BE GOOD EITHER, JUST THAT MOST OFTEN RESULT IN SOMETHING PURELY INDULGENT FOR THE READER AS WELL AND LET'S BE HONEST. MOST OF THE TIME THEY AREN'T THAT GOOD, AT LEAST NOT THE SAME WAY. THE MORE UNAWARE AND UNFOCUSED WRITING BECAUSE "GOOD FOR OTHER REASONS." THE WORK IS OFTEN MORALLY TROUBLESOME TO BOOT BECAUSE OF THE WAY THEY DON'T REALIZE HOW THEY INDULGE IN THIS MASTURBATORY GLEE WITHOUT ACTUAL CONSEQUENCE THAT ACCOMPANIES REAL LIFE. HULK KNOW THIS ISN'T JUST COMMON TO JUST STEPHENIE MEYER. IT'S TRUE OF EVEN GREAT AUTHORS. LIKE HOW DAVID FOSTER WALLACE FAMOUSLY (AND CORRECTLY) DIAGNOSES THE CHIEF PROBLEM OF ALL OF UPDIKES WORK IS THAT HE CAN'T UNDERSTAND THAT HE'S AN ASSHOLE. HULK REALLY WANTS TO CLARIFY THAT HER PROBLEMS ARE NOT UNIQUE.

BUT THEY ARE REAL PROBLEMS.

HULK READS THE TWILIGHT BOOKS AND SEES A PERSON WHO SEES THE WORLD THROUGH A SKEWED AND DEEPLY CONFLICTED PERSPECTIVE. SOME OF WHICH SEEM SO GLOWINGLY OBVIOUS AND SO CENTRAL TO SO MANY AMERICAN ISSUES BOTH IN TERMS OF YOUTH, SEXUALITY, REPRESSION, AND RELIGION. AND THE BOOKS MANAGE TO UNCONSCIOUSLY TAP INTO THOSE ISSUES WITH SUCH INCREDIBLE RESONANCE THAT IT COMES TO EMBODY THOSE ISSUES.

BUT IS STEPHENIE MEYER REALLY THAT UNAWARE OF ALL OF THIS, OR ARE THESE THEMES SOME LASER TARGETED MESSAGE?

NOW... THIS MAY SEEM IMPOSSIBLE TO BELIEVE BUT HULK JUST FINISHED WRITING THE ENTIRE FIRST DRAFT OF THIS ARTICLE AND HULK DECIDED HULK SHOULD FIND A RELEVANT CLIP OF STEPHENIE MEYER TO SEE IF HULK WAS BEING COMPLETELY UNFAIR IN THIS "VOMITING ID" THEORY THAT SEEMS SO OBVIOUS ON THE PAGE. TO SEE IF CLASSIFYING SOMEONE AS OBLIVIOUS IS TOTALLY UNFAIR.

AND HULK FOUND THIS:

ARE.

YOU.

KIDDING.

HULK.

IF THERE IS ANY DOUBT THAT STEPHANIE MEYER IS UNAWARE OF HOW TO WRITE, WHAT SHE'S WRITING, AND WHAT THE IMPLICATIONS OF THOSE STATEMENTS ARE, PUT THEM TO BED. GOOD GOLLY THAT WAS THE LEAST AWARE VIDEO HULK HAS EVER SEEN FROM A WRITER TALKING ABOUT THEIR WORK. IN HULK'S MIND THIS WHOLLY VALIDATES EVERY CRITICISM HULK PUT FORTH IN PART 1 OF THIS ARTICLE.

BUT WHAT IT ALSO DOES IS COMPLETELY AND FAIRLY OPEN UP THE POSSIBILITY THAT THEMATIC STUFF BEING PUT FORTH IS WHOLLY ERUPTING OUT OF HER BRAIN.

SO PLEASE, JOIN HULK AS WE EXAMINE THE WAYS IN WHICH TWILIGHT IS A THEMATIC NIGHTMARE.

EXHIBIT A - MEAN BOYS ARE THE BESTEST

MEYER ISN'T ALONE IN THIS ONE EITHER, BUT AGAIN WE ARE PROPAGATING THE AGE OLD LIE OF ROMANCE: "IF SOMEONE'S BEING MEAN TO YOU IT MEANS THEY SECRETLY WANT YOU!"

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT ACTUALLY A THING. REALLY. PSYCHOLOGICALLY SPEAKING THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO IMPERATIVE BASIS FOR SOMEONE BEING MEAN TO YOU MEANING THEY LIKE YOU. THIS WAS WELL COVERED (AND SUBSEQUENTLY IGNORED IN THE ENDING) ON A POPULAR LEVEL BY HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU. SO WHY DOES THIS OCCUR IN ROMANTIC PROPERTIES ALL THE TIME? BECAUSE IT PROVIDES THE BASIS DRAMATIC CONSTRUCT. IN ORDER FOR THEM TO FALL IN LOVE THERE NEEDS TO BE CONFLICT. HENCE, A "THEY HATE EACH OTHER! THEY LOVE EACH OTHER!" TURNAROUND THAT ERUPTS SIMPLY BECAUSE WE NEED AN ARC FOR A PLOT. SO WHY DOES IT REALLY HAPPEN? BECAUSE WE ENTER A WHOLE LIFE IMITATING ART SCENARIO WHERE PEOPLE WILL THINK IT'S REAL BEHAVIOR. AND BECAUSE THERE IS A PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPERATIVE TO GET PEOPLE WHO DON'T ACTUALLY LIKE YOU TO LIKE YOU, IT GETS WORSE AND WE ACTUALLY PURSUE THEM. BUT AGAIN, THERE IS NO PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPERATIVE WHERE PEOPLE ARE AWFUL TO SOMEONE THEY LIKE APROPOS OF NO OTHER CONDITIONS.

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, HULK HAS ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHY THE THEME SHOWS UP IN TWILIGHT. BECAUSE IT DOESN'T REALLY SERVE ANY DRAMATIC FUNCTION. IT'S NOT LIKE A ROMANTIC COMEDY. IT JUST SERVES AS SOMETHING THAT MAKES BELLA WONDER FOR 100 PAGES WHY EDWARD IS SO MEAN TO HER AND WHY HE'S SO DREAMY. IT'S NOT PLOT IT'S EMBODIED PREOCUPATION. EDWARD BASICALLY TREATS HER LIKE AN EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE ASSHOLE AND SHE'S "ZOMG I LOVE YOU!" BUT IT NEVER STOPS THERE. HER RELATIONSHIP WITH EDWARD IS A NON-STOP CYCLE OF HIM PUSHING HER AWAY BECAUSE "HE LOVES HER SO MUCH" AND HER LIFE HANGING ON HIS EVERY WHIM.

IN CASE IT'S NOT OBVIOUS, THIS IS A BAD MESSAGE.

SINCE THIS IS THE FIRST EXHIBIT IT'S PROBABLY A GOOD TIME TO BRING UP AN ARGUMENT THAT FANS OF THE BOOK FREQUENTLY USE TO DEFEND THE THEMATIC NONSENSE IN THESE BOOKS: THAT STEPHANIE MEYER IS JUST TRYING TO EXPRESS THE PSYCHE OF A YOUNG GIRL.

NO.

THAT IS NOT WHAT HIS HAPPENING HERE.

THERE IS A HUGE, HUGE, HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EXPRESSING HOW YOUNG GIRLS FEEL ABOUT BOYS AND WRITING SOMETHING THAT FEEDS IT. BASICALLY, IT IS THE DIFFERENCE AND MEANING OF THE WORD "FELT." MEANING IT CAN EITHER "I feel like I will die without Edward." VS. "I will die without Edward." AND GUESS WHAT, BOTH THE LANGUAGE AND THE TONE OF THESE THE BOOKS FEED THE LATTER CONCEPT. IT IS UNAWARE AND IT IS INDULGING IN THESE DISTRAUGHT AND ABSOLUTE SENTIMENTS.

SPEAKING OF WHICH:

EXHIBIT B - HAVING A BOYFRIEND IS THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS!

THIS STATEMENT IS PARAPHRASED FROM NOW FAMOUS QUOTE BY STEPHEN KING:"Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend."

WHILE THAT MAY SEEM DISMISSIVE, HE IS EXACTLY CORRECT. THERE IS USUALLY A FINE LINE BETWEEN THINGS DONE IN THE  REAL LOVE AND THINGS DONE OUT OF THE NAME OF MISGUIDED LOVE.

SO LET'S JUST SAY IT. TWILIGHT IS NOT ABOUT LOVE.

TWILIGHT IS ABOUT INFATUATION.

BECAUSE BELLA CONSTANTLY FORGOES EVERYTHING THAT IS GOOD FOR HER, HER SAFETY, HER FAMILY, HER FRIENDS, HER SCHOOLWORK, HER LIFE, ALL IN THE NAME OF HER UNDYING AND PROFOUND LOVE FOR HER MEAN AND BIPOLAR HIGH SCHOOL BOYFRIEND. THEN HE DUMPS HER SO SHE TRIES TO KILL HERSELF BECAUSE SHE JUST KNOWS THEY'RE MEANT TO BE. FRIENDS AND ADULTS WARN HER, BUT SHE JUST THINKS THEY'RE WRONG. AND GUESS WHAT? MEYER MAKES IT CLEAR THEY ARE WRONG.

TO BE FAIR WE MISTAKE INFATUATION FOR LOVE ALL THE TIME. EVEN AS ADULTS. WHY THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD WORK OF LITERATURE OF ALL TIME IS WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S ROMEO & JULIET. TO THIS DAY, IT IS SPUN INTO SOME SORT OF CAUTIONARY TALE TO PARENTS AND SOCIETY NOT TO STAND IN THE WAY OF TRUE LOVE FOR THEIR RIDICULOUS PREJUDICES! AND WHILE IT IS CERTAINLY THAT, IT IS ALSO AND COMPLETE AND UTTER INDICTMENT OF THE STUPIDITY OF INFATUATION. THEY'RE LIKE TWO FOURTEEN YEAR OLDS WHO LOVE EACH OTHER AT FIRST SIGHT. ROMEO EVEN HAS A HISTORY OF LOVING EVERY GIRL HE MEETS LIKE CRAZY (ROSALINE ANYONE?). AFTER ONE DAY THEY DECIDE TO GET MARRIED, DAMN THE WORLD! AND THEY CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT THIS PERSON THEY MET TWO DAYS AGO SO THEY KILL THEMSELVES. SHAKESPEARE MAKES IT CLEAR, RATHER CONSTANTLY IN FACT, THAT THEIR BEHAVIOR IS ONLY THAT OF INFATUATION AND NOT ACTUAL LOVE. YET BECAUSE OF THE TRAGIC NATURE OF THE STORY WE CLASSIFY IT AS TRUE LOVE ALL THE TIME!

NEW MOON EVEN RIPS OFF THE ENDING ONLY DOESN'T HAVE THE CHUTZPAH TO ACTUALLY OFF THEM.

HOORAY FOR NO ONE.

EXHIBIT C - ACTUALLY, HOORAY FOR CONTROLLING MALES?

HULK TOUCHED ON THIS IN THE PLOTTING AND CHARACTERIZATION PARTS, BUT EDWARD CULLEN IS THE MOST CONTROLLING SON OF A BITCH EVER. THERE. HULK SAID IT.

WHILE BELLA IS WALKING AMBIVALENCE, ONLY DEFINED BY HER NEAR INSANE INFATUATION WITH EDWARD, HE RETURNS THE FAVOR BY CONSTANTLY TELLING HER WHAT TO THINK, WHERE TO GO, HOW TO REACT, HOW SHE SHOULDN'T SEE HIM ANYMORE, BUT IF THEY DO HOW SHE SHOULD GO ABOUT IT,  HOW SHE SHOULD BE FEELING WHAT TO DO ABOUT HER ENTIRE LIFE, WHO ELSE TO TALK TO, EVEN HOW TO DRESS... NOW... THIS GOES FAR BEYOND THE CONSTANT "RESCUING" SCENES OF NONSENSICAL IMPORT. WE ARE TREATED TO SCENE AFTER SCENE OF HIM PICKING HER GUIDING HER AROUND LIKE SHE'S A BACKPACK. SERIOUSLY, GO BACK AND WATCH THE "JIZZ IN MY PANTS" MONTAGE AGAIN... NOT JUST BECAUSE IT'S FUNNY, BUT BECAUSE YOU SEE JUST HOW MUCH HE IS A CONTROL FREAK WITH WHIPLASH-LIKE MOOD CHANGES.

THERE ARE SCENES WHERE HE JUST SHOWS UP AND STALKS HER IN HER BEDROOM ALL THROUGHOUT THE SERIES.

NOPE, NOTHING ALARMING ABOUT ALL THAT!

JEEZY PETES STEPHENIE MEYER! WHAT IN THE SAM HELL IS GOING ON HERE? HULK MEAN, WHY IS THIS GUY SUPPOSED TO BE SO FUCKING LOVABLE? YEAH HULK GET IT HE'S DREAMY AS SHIT AND TO MAKE HIS ASSHOLE BEHAVIOR "OKAY" YOU GIVE HIM THIS IMPOSSIBLE KIND OF CHIVALRY THAT GOES ALONG WITH IT. BUT THE CHIVALRY GOES OUT THE DOOR THE SECOND YOU EITHER WANT TO HAVE HIM REPRESENTING HIS UNDYING SEXUAL DEVOTION TO BELLA OR TO SHOW HOW AWESOME AND IN CONTROL AN ALPHA-MALE HE IS. HE ONLY SUITS WHATEVER GIVEN WHIM IS SUPPOSED TO AFFECT BELLA. BUT ALL DURING THAT, THIS DESIRE FOR A CRAZY CONTROLLING MALE FIGURE JUST BUBBLES TO THE SURFACE.

EVEN IF IT'S PART OF THE OTHER AGE OLD LIE ABOUT WOMEN LIKING ASSHOLES... WELL... THIS PARTICULAR VERSION OF THAT STORY IS DOWNRIGHT FUCKING WEIRD.

EXHIBIT D - IT'S BETTER HAVING TWO MEN FIGHT OVER YOU

COME ON. THIS EDWARD / JACOB DYNAMIC IS BASICALLY JUST EMOTIONAL JELL-O WRESTLING.

HULK WOULD ARGUE IT'S ALSO PRETTY INOFFENSIVE. THE IDEA THAT TWO HUNKS, ONE AN ALPHA MALE AND THE OTHER SENSITIVE DOORMAT, WOULD FIGHT OVER PLAIN OLE BELLA GOES RIGHT INTO THE STANDARDS FOR CHEESY ROMANCE NOVELS.

WHICH IS FINE! REALLY! IT'S ALMOST REVOLUTIONARY IN IT'S CONVENTIONALITY AND SOMETHING HULK KIND OF EMBRACE AS FEELING LIKE THE ONE "RIGHT" THING ABOUT THE TONE SERIES. EVEN STILL, IT DOESN'T SPEAK ALL THAT HIGHLY OF BELLA WHO JUST UNENDING-LY PROPAGATES IT WITH NO SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR JACOB'S FEELINGS.

BUT LET US NOT MISTAKE IT FOR THE CENTRAL QUESTION OF OUR TIMES OR HAVE ANY SERIOUS ARGUMENTS ABOUT IT... EVER.

BESIDES HULK LIKED THE MIKE KID FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE FIRST ONE.

HE SEEMED NORMALISH.

EXHIBIT E - ABSTINENCE MESSAGES SANS ACTUAL UNDERSTANDING OF ABSTINENCE

ALL RIGHT, HERE'S WHERE WE GET INTO THE MEAT OF THE THEMES HERE.

THERE IS THIS ONGOING NOTION THAT TWILIGHT PREACHES A GOOD MESSAGE ABOUT TEENS AND COMMITMENT TO ABSTINENCE. BELLA AND EDWARD WAIT TIL MARRIAGE, YADA YADA YADA. THERE'S WAY IT MAKES SENSE AT FIRST GLANCE.

BUT THAT NONE IS GROSSLY, HORRIBLY WRONG.

BECAUSE TWILIGHT PREACHES ABSTINENCE THE SAME WAY AN AMSTERDAM PEEP SHOW BOOTH WOULD. SURE THERE'S A LAYER OF GLASS TECHNICALLY SEPARATING YOU FROM GOING OVER THERE AND JUST HAVING ALL KINDS OF FREAKY AND EVIL SEX, BUT IN ALL OTHER RELATIVE EMOTIONAL, VISCERAL, AND CEREBRAL CONTEXTS YOU'RE EFFECTIVELY GETTING YOUR SEX ON. THIS ISN'T TO SAY TWILIGHT FEATURES HEAVY PETTING OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT (AT LEAST HULK NO THINK SO?). JUST THAT THERE IS AN OVERWHELMING DEPICTION OF HOW AWESOME YOUNG MALE SEXINESS IS IN THIS SERIES THAT IT RENDERS THE ENTIRE IDEA THAT THESE BOOKS TEACH SOME KIND OF SEXUAL MATURITY TO BE LAUGHABLE.

NOPE. THE OVERWHELMING AND CONSTANT PURSUIT OF INFATUATION AND DREAMINESS IS PURSUED WITH NOTHING BUT UTTER DISREGARD FOR ANY KIND OF MATURITY OR PERSONAL INTEGRITY. IT DOES NOTHING BUT PROPELS YOU, THE READER, TOWARD WANTING TO HAVE SUPER AMOUNTS OF SEX WITH A DREAMY EDWARD AND/OR JACOB. HULK HAS PERSONALLY WATCHED TWILIGHT ACCELERATE THE LIBIDO OF MANY YOUNG STUDENTS, ALL TRYING THEY FIND THEIR VERSION OF EDWARD CULLEN. ON A CULTURAL LEVEL, THERE IS A KIND OF THINKING THAT JUST EQUATES EDWARD CULLEN WITH WHAT EVER TEEN HEARTTHROB DU JOUR BUT THE SEXUALITY IN TWILIGHT IS SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

IT IS, QUITE LITERALLY, STEPHENIE MEYER'S MASTURBATORY WET DREAM. AND BECAUSE OF THAT, THE ONLY THING STOPPING THESE CHARACTERS FROM EITHER FUCKIN' OR TURNING VAMPIRE IS EDWARDS'S STEADFAST COMMITMENT TO NOT DOING BOTH, DESPITE THEIR CONSTANT REFRAIN OF  ZOMG WE WANT TO DO IT BOTH SO BADLY. ONCE AGAIN, IT'S NOT LIKE MEYER IS PURPOSEFULLY CHARACTERIZING TEEN BEHAVIOR TO MAKE SOME KIND OF COMMENTARY, SHE IS SIMPLY EXHIBITING A SIMILAR TEENAGE / INFATUATION-LIKE BEHAVIOR.

AND GUESS WHAT? IN REAL LIFE, CHANCES ARE EDWARD CULLEN IS NOT GOING TO BE ALL DEMURE AND CONTROLLED. HE'S GONNA FUCK AND BITE HIS SHIT UP ALL IN THERE. AND IF THE GIRL IS EVEN THE ONE WHO IS STEADFAST? IT CREATES ALL THESE WEIRD DYNAMICS IN THE "EVERYTHING BUT" UNDERSTANDING OF THE SACRED VIEW OF SEX. THE ONLY THING STOPPING THEM IS THIS UNREALISTIC PLOT CONVENTION THAT ACTS LIKE THE GLASS IN THE PEEP SHOW BOOTH. BUT IT ISN'T REAL AND IT ISN'T SOMETHING WE UNDERSTAND ON A MATURE HUMAN LEVEL. IT'S THE VERY REASON WE HAVE HYPER-ACCELERATED RATES OF ANAL SEX AMONG TEENAGERS, SPECIFICALLY THE SKYROCKETING RATES AMONG RELIGIOUS TEENS.

WHAT THIS ALL SPEAKS TO IS THE CONSTANT IDEA OF ABSTINENCE SANS UNDERSTANDING.  HULK WOULD AGREE WITH MOST EVERYONE THAT, YES, IT'S PROBABLY A BAD IDEA FOR REALLY YOUNG PEOPLE TO BE ENGAGING IN SEX. IT'S AN EMOTIONAL, HEAVY THING THAT CAN HAVE A LOT OF MENTAL OR PHYSICAL REPERCUSSIONS. BUT IT'S NOT SOMETHING TO FEAR EITHER. IT'S A NATURAL PART OF LIFE AND COMING TO UNDERSTAND YOUR OWN SEXUALITY IS PART OF THAT. THUS ENGAGING IN ABSTINENCE MEANS TRYING TO FIND A LEVEL IN CONFIDENCE AND MATURITY IN LEARNING HOW TO MANAGE WHAT YOU WANT AND WHAT YOU'RE BEGINNING TO EMBRACE AGAINST A SEA OF SOCIAL PRESSURES. AND IF YOU'RE LUCKY, YOU CAN FIND SOMEONE YOU LOVE IN HIGH SCHOOL OR WHENEVER AND THAT PERSON IS A KIND AND DECENT PERSON. THUS, YOU CAN TRY AND SHARE THE AWKWARDNESS AND UNDERSTANDING AND AT LEAST BE COMFORTED WHEN YOU START THAT PHYSICAL JOURNEY WE ALL GO THROUGH.

WHAT ABSTINENCE CAN'T BE IS THIS SPECTRAL BOOGIE MAN OF SOMETHING YOU CAN'T DO. FOR ONE OUR BASIC PSYCHOLOGY DICTATES THAT WHEN WE SAY "DON'T DO THIS THING" THE FIRST THING WE'RE TOTALLY GOING TO WANT TO DO IS WHATEVER THAT THING IS. AND BY MAKING IT TABOO YOU MAKE IT THIS IRRESISTIBLE FORCE BUILDING INSIDE. IT IS THE ABSOLUTELY WRONG WAY TO GO ABOUT ANYTHING, ESPECIALLY SOMETHING BASED ON SEXUAL IMPULSES.

THUS, IN TWILIGHT WE GET A COMPLETE UNTRUTH ON EVERY LEVEL ABOUT SEXUALITY. MEANING WE GET CHARACTERS WITH UNQUENCHABLE THIRST THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW TO ACTUALLY CONTROL. WHEN THE SEX FINALLY HAPPENS IT IS HORRID. AGAIN, IT STEMS FROM STEPHENIE MEYER'S DEEPLY PSYCHOLOGICAL SEX DREAM THAT INSPIRED THE SERIES.  AND BECAUSE SHE CAN'T TURN HER IMPLIED SEX DREAM INTO STRAIGHT UP PORNOGRAPHY, SHE CREATES THE CONSTRUCT THAT THEY CANNOT DO IT BECAUSE OF THE MAGICAL PANE OF GLASS. SERIOUSLY! EDWARD AND BELLA IMPLICITLY, EVEN BLINDLY UNDERSTAND ON SOME DOGMATIC LEVEL THAT THEY CAN'T HAVE SEX BECAUSE... WELL, HULK NOT REALLY SURE.. AND TO BE HONEST IT'S REALLY ONLY EDWARD THAT KNOWS (PART OF THE WEIRD CONTROLLING ISSUES). BECAUSE BELLA SEEMS LIKE SHE WANTS IN FOR SEX (OR WHATEVER EDWARD WANTS) FROM MOMENT ONE... BUT REMEMBER YOUNG GIRLS, THE HANDSOME ALPHA MALE WHO IS MEAN TO YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE THE DISCIPLINE TO STOP YOU BOTH BOTH FROM HAVING SEX. SO JUST KEEP AT HIM!

... UGH.

SO WHAT DOES MEYER THINK OF THE DIRTY DEED WHEN IT ACTUALLY HAPPENS?

EXHIBIT E - AHHH! HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE SEX!

QUICK? HOW WAS YOUR FIRST TIME? AWKWARD, RIGHT? OF COURSE IT WAS.

BUT HULK WILLING TO BET THAT WHEN YOU MARRIED "THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE" THE SEX DIDN'T RESULT IN HIM BECOMING SO VIOLENT AND OUT OF CONTROL THAT YOU BLACKED OUT AND AWOKE TO BROKEN BED AND HUGE SERIES OF BRUISES...

WHAT.

THE.

FUCK.

FIRST OFF, THIS IS FOR 10-14 GIRLS RIGHT? THIS ISN'T SOME FEVER DREAM OF HULKS? THAT WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED? OKAY, COOL HULK WANTED TO SURE. BECAUSE THAT IS A FUCKING WEIRD THING TO PUT IN THESE BOOKS.

AGAIN, SOME PEOPLE DEFEND IT UNDER THE GUISE OF "IT'S SYMBOLIC OF THE FIRST TIME! THE BREAKING OF THE HYMEN AND THE PAIN AND BRUISING!" RIGHT. THAT'S NOT WHAT THIS IS. THIS IS TRAUMA. POSSIBLY BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA. MOST PEOPLE OBJECTED TO THIS AS "WEIRD" IT'S NOT WEIRD. WHAT HULK ARGUES IT IS, IS A PEEK INTO THE VIEW OF SOMEONE FOR WHOM SEX IS HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE THING.

AGAIN THIS MAY BE NOT FAIR OF HULK, BUT THERE A CAPACITY TO WHICH IT FAIR TO EXTRAPOLATE ABOUT SOMETHING THAT IS BOTH SO SURREAL AND SO OUT OF THE NORM THAT EVEN THE MOST DEVOTED FANS WERE AGHAST. FOR MEYER, IT SEEMS THAT SEXUALITY EXISTS IN THIS FANTASTICAL ROMANTIC PLANE, BUT THE ACTUAL PHYSICALITY OF IT IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH THAT IDEA. THE REALITY OF SEX IS A DAMAGING, HURTFUL EXPERIENCE THAT SENDS MALES INTO RAGE THAT WILL MAKE YOU BLACK OUT. WHICH MEANS IT IS SOMETHING THAT IS TO BE BEGRUDGINGLY ACCEPTED IN THE FACE OF MAKING BABIES.

IT'S JUST SO FUCKING STARK AND FUCKED UP. HULK CAN'T GET OVER IT. AND THE WORST PART IS WE'RE NEVER PROVIDED WITH ANY OTHER EVENT THAT SOFTENS THE BLOW OF THIS "FIRST TIME." WE ARE SIMPLY LEFT WITH THIS AS THE VIEW OF ACTUAL SEX IN THE TWILIGHT UNIVERSE.

SO THE QUESTION REMAINS, IS THIS REALLY WHAT SEX IS TO STEPHENIE MEYER IN THE REAL LIFE UNIVERSE? IS THIS WHAT SHE SEES CONSUMMATION AS? EVEN TO TWO PEOPLE AS HOPELESSLY COMMITTED TO EACH OTHER AS THESE TWO? IS THEIR DEEP EMOTIONAL ATTRACTION PURELY AN ETHEREAL ROMANCE? IS HER ATTRACTION TO HIM SOMETHING THAT FALLS BY THE WAYSIDE THE MOMENT SHE GETS PREGNANT?

EEEP... WHO KNOWS... IT WOULD BE ALL PROJECTION FROM HERE SO HULK GOING TO STAY AWAY.

EXHIBIT F - THE SUDDEN PRO-LIFE ABSOLUTISM

SO... STEEPED IN THE BOOKS ABSTINENCE DOGMA THERE IS ANOTHER FORM IN A VERY, VERY OBVIOUS PRO-LIFE ABSOLUTISM. NOW THE LAST THING HULK WANTS TO DO IS HAVE A DISCUSSION ABOUT ABORTION RIGHTS, BUT THE BOOK MAKES A VERY SOLID CASE FOR WHAT AMOUNTS TO A VERY EXTREME END OF THE SPECTRUM. HULK NOT SAYING THIS IS WRONG OR RIGHT, JUST THAT IT TAKE AN EXTREME POSITION.

RENESMEE, THE TELEPATHIC HALF VAMPIRE BABY THAT GROWS SUPER FAST, IS KILLING BELLA.

THIS HAPPENS A LOT IN REAL LIFE THROUGH VARIOUS PREGNANCY COMPLICATIONS. AND IN THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY, WHAT HAPPENS OCCURS OUTSIDE THE REALM OF SOME PRO-CHOICE DEBATE, BECAUSE THE KIND OF CONDITIONS THAT CAUSE THIS HEALTH COMPLICATION FOR THE MOTHER WOULD ALSO KILL THE BABY. SO THE CONSENSUS ALMOST ALWAYS "LET'S SAVE ONE PERSON'S LIFE IF WE ACTUALLY HAVE THAT OPTION." IT IS OF COURSE SAD, SOBERING, BUT A FAIRLY REACHED CONSENSUS AMONG ALL THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM.

BUT THE NEVER HAVING AN ABORTION UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES IS EXACTLY WHAT BELLA STICKS TO, HER OWN LIFE BE DAMNED.

HULK IS BASICALLY GOING TO STOP HERE BECAUSE AGAIN, THIS NOT WANT TO DEVOLVE INTO A POLITICAL CONVERSATION. BUT THE FACT THAT THE BOOK JUST COMES OUT AND MAKES A HARDLINE STANCE ABOUT A DELICATE ISSUE, SPECIFICALLY THE MOST EXTREME END OF A DELICATE ISSUE IS SORT OF BEWILDERING TO HULK. BUT LIKE EVERYTHING, THERE IS SUCH A MATTER OF FACT, UNAWARE CASUALNESS WITH WITH MEYER TELLS THIS STORY THAT HULK DOESN'T KNOW WHAT TO CHUCK THE WHOLE DECISION UP TO OTHER THAN SOME KIND OF INTRINSIC AND DOGMATIC CONTRADICTION.

SPECIFICALLY THE EVENT IS NOT PLAYED AS A DRAMATIC EVENT OF  "LET'S THINK ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF LIFE AND OUR CHOICES" AND INSTEAD IT COMES ACROSS AS A HARDLINE STANCE ON NOT KILLING ANY LIVING THING, EVEN IF IT'S KILLING YOU. AND THAT ALONE. DEPENDING ON YOUR POLITICS THAT MAY BE FINE. BUT WHAT IT'S NOT IS AN ORGANIC PART OF THE TWILIGHT SO-CALLED NARRATIVE. AND IN GENERAL IT'S NOT THE KIND OF GROSS OVERSIMPLIFICATION THAT HULK WOULD WANT A KID TO ABSORB.

EXHIBIT G - THE WHOLE JACOB FALLING IN LOVE WITH A BABY THING

HULK JUST HAS NO FUCKING IDEA. MAYBE MEYER REALLY LOVED THE BIRTH OF ONE OF HER CHILDREN AND IT'S MEANT TO REFLECT THE WAY A PARENT INTRINSICALLY LOVES A CHILD? WAIT JACOB ISN'T A PARENT HE'S JUST THERE FOR SOME REASON.

OR MAYBE IT WAS MEANT AS NOTHING MORE BUT SOME KIND OF POORLY THOUGHT OUT CONCILIATION PRIZE HIM?

OR PLOT COMPLICATION?

BUT... YEAH, THE IMPRINTING THING... THAT'S A SPECIAL KIND OF CRAZY.

UGH, HULK CAN'T EVEN.

LET'S JUST LEAVE IT ALONE .

EXHIBIT H -MIXED MESSAGES AND WHY IT ALL MATTERS

SO WHAT?

REALLY, WHY DO ALL THESE DUMB AND BACKWARDS THEMATIC ISSUES ACTUALLY MATTER? CAN'T WE JUST BE FREE TO INDULGE IN THE OTHER STUFF? CAN'T THEY JUST BE THE BENIGN CONTRADICTIONS THAT NO ONE REALLY CONSIDERS?

HULK ARGUE NO. THEY CAN'T. BECAUSE ANYTIME WE CREATE ELEMENTS OF DEEP-TISSUE MIXED MESSAGING IT ALWAYS MATTERS.

HULK THINK WE WOULD ALL BE REMISS IF HULK DIDN'T MENTION HOW HARD IT IS TO BE HARD TO BE A GIRL, AND SPECIFICALLY HOW HARD IT IS FOR GIRLS TO GROW UP IN AN ENVIRONMENT OF MIXED MESSAGING. TO BE FAIR, MEN HAVE THEIR OWN SYSTEM OF MIXED MESSAGING WHICH USUALLY DEAL WITH SPORTING PREROGATIVES, GOAL ATTAINABILITY WHICH DIRECTLY FEED INTO THE NICE GUY/ ASSHOLE CONUNDRUM (MAKE MONEY! LOOK OUT FOR YOURSELF! NO WAIT, BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR!). BUT THERE IS A WAY IN WHICH THOSE CONCERNS ARE UNIVERSAL TO BOTH MEN AND WOMEN. ON TOP OF THAT, WOMEN HAVE A DIFFERENT, RATHER SPECIFIC, SET OF CULTURAL INFLUENCES THAT MAKE THE EXPECTATIONS FOR THEM TECHNICALLY INSURMOUNTABLE.

FOR EXAMPLE, THE MOST FAMOUS AND DAMAGING MIXED MESSAGE WE SEND TO YOUNG GIRLS IS THAT OF THE MADONNA AND THE WHORE. NOW WE'VE ALL HEARD OF IT BEFORE AND WE SELFISHLY LIKE TO THE THINK OF  IT AS A "GUY PROBLEM" BUT REALLY IT'S A SET OF IMPOSSIBLE CONTRADICTIONS FOR A YOUNG GIRL TO ASCRIBE TO. WE SEND THEM MESSAGES OF HOW MUCH WE WORSHIP SKINNY PRETTINESS AND DUMB VACANCY. YET AT THE SAME TIME WE TELL THEM TO DO GOOD AND SCHOOL AND RAISE THEM TO HAVE MATRONLY VALUES TOO.  WE'RE BASICALLY SAYING: BE A SEXY WHORE BECAUSE WE VALUE IT. BE A SUPPORTIVE MADONNA BECAUSE WE VALUE IT. BUT WHEN YOU'RE ONE OF THOSE YOU CAN NOT BE THE OTHER. AND IF YOU QUESTION OR NEED FOR BOTH YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND US.

THAT'S A BATSHIT SET OF SOCIETAL EXPECTATIONS RIGHT THERE IF HULK EVER SEEN ONE. AND IT IS SO DEEPLY INGRAINED INTO OUR CORE SOCIETAL PROGRAMMING THAT IT REALLY DAMAGES SO MANY WOMEN FOR LONG PERIODS OF ADOLESCENCE AND BEYOND. THE ONLY WAY TO BEAT IT IS TO BOTH REALIZE IT IS AN UNATTAINABLE EXPECTATION, EMBRACE YOUR CAPACITY TO BE BOTH, AND THEN IGNORE / COMBAT IT'S VERY REAL FOUNDING IN MALE CULTURE. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT KIND OF MATURITY AND DAILY FORTITUDE IT TAKES TO BALANCE THESE EXPECTATIONS? IT IS HARD AS SHIT.

WHICH BRINGS US BACK TO TWILIGHT.

WHILE THE PRESENCE OF THE MADONNA / WHORE COMPLEX MAY NOT BE AS BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS ON THE SURFACE OF THE PHENOMENON, IT IS ABSOLUTELY AT THE HEART OF ALL OF THE EVIDENCE / EXHIBITS THAT HULK HAS JUST SUGGESTED. THE MEAN GUYS, THE HAVING A BOYFRIEND, THE CONTROLLING MALES, BUT MOST OF ALL THE ABSTINENCE SANS ACTUAL MATURITY TO UNDERSTAND ABSTINENCE. LIKE PEEP SHOW GLASS, BELLA SWAN IS FATALISTICALLY IN LOVE SHE CONSTANTLY CAN'T BE IN LOVE WITH. SHE PUTS ALL HER SELF-VALUE IN IMPOSSIBLE CONTRADICTIONS.

REMEMBER HOW HULK SPEND SO MUCH TIME CLARIFYING WHY BELLA AND EDWARD WERE PERSONALITY-LESS VEHICLES? THIS IS WHY THAT'S IMPORTANT. WHILE BELLA IS THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE AVERAGE, ALL-ENCOMPASSING FEMALE, SHE IS A COMPLETE HUMAN IMPOSSIBILITY. WORSE SHE IS A HUMAN IMPOSSIBILITY THAT IS SO SINGULARLY DEVOTED TO CONTRADICTORY MALE IMPOSSIBILITY IN EDWARD CULLEN. SHE DEFINES HERSELF, COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY BY EDWARDS DUAL MADONNA / WHORE EXPECTATIONS OF HER.

WHICH MEANS THERE IS NO GETTING AROUND IT. THIS INSATIABLE AND IMPOSSIBLE INFATUATION IS THE ONLY FUCKING THING THING THAT MEYER  VALUES IN THIS ENTIRE SERIES.

AND THAT IS BECAUSE TWILIGHT IS HER WET DREAM. ONE THAT SPRUNG FORTH FROM HER ID AND PUT ON DISPLAY HER WANTS, ISSUES, COMPLEXES AND INSECURITIES. BUT THE COMPLETE LACK OF UNDERSTANDING AND AWARENESS DID NOT CREATE A SERIES OF BOOKS DESIGNED FOR HELPING YOUNG GIRLS DEAL WITH THE BASIC CONTRADICTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS THAT EVERY FEMALE HAS TO FACE. MEYER SEEMINGLY HAS NO IDEA HOW HER ATTRACTION AND RESPONSIBILITIES ARE SO SUPPOSED TO WORK TOGETHER. SO INSTEAD SHE CREATES AN IMPOSSIBLE SCENARIO TO JUSTIFY THE GREAT LIE. AT EVERY STEP OF THE WAY, EVERYTHING SINGLE THING ABOUT THE SAGA IS A CONTRADICTION: THE SEXINESS. THE ADULATION OF TEENS. THE ABSTINENCE. THE KIND OFS. THE EXTREMELYS. ALL OF IT.

IT IS THE RESULT OF UNAWARE-SEEMING WOMAN DEALING WITH A LIFETIME OF MIXED MESSAGES.

AND INSTEAD OF PROVIDING A FRAMEWORK FOR YOUNG GIRLS TO DEAL WITH THEM AS WELL, SHE CREATES A SYSTEM THAT DIRECTLY FEEDS INTO MIXED MESSAGING. AND SHE DOES WITH UNPARALLELED SUCCESS. WITH THE TWILIGHT SAGA, MEYER WEAVES A SERIES OF FALSE NARRATIVES THAT PROPAGATE THE VALUE OF MIXED MESSAGES IN A WAY THAT NO WORK FROM THE MALE PATRIARCH EVER REALLY COULD. IN A WAY THAT HAS  GENERATION OF YOUNG GIRLS LOOKING FOR THEIR HANDSOME, ASSERTIVE, CONTROLLING, MEAN, AND YET IMPOSSIBLY-CHIVALROUS EDWARD CULLENS. A CHARACTER THAT DOES NOT EXIST REALLY LIKE NO OTHER TEEN HEARTTHROB CHARACTER THAT HAS COME BEFORE. TWILGHT IS A SERIES THAT TAPS DIRECTLY INTO YOUNG FEMALE PSYCHE WITH SUCH INSIDIOUS ALLURE AND STAYS THERE.

THIS... THIS IS FUCKING HORRIBLE. HULK JUST REALLY TRULY BELIEVES IN HULK'S HEART OF HEARTS THAT WHAT IS SPRUNG FORTH IS NOT MERELY AN INNOCENT TRIFLE TO BE PASSED OFF.

WE ARE SO QUICK TO DISMISS TWILIGHT AND MADE FUN OF IT BECAUSE OF TANGIBLE SURFACE DETAILS. SPARKLY VAMPIRES! TEAM WHOEVER! ITALIAN VAMPIRE OVERLORDS! IMPRINTING OR WHATEVER! BASEBALL! BUT HULK ARGUE THAT THE REAL ISSUES, THE ONES THAT AFFECT THE YOUNG CULTURE, THAT ARE REALLY THE SERIES DEAFENING PROBLEM.

AND IT'S WAY WORSE THAN YOU THINK.

(A QUICK) PART 3 - WHY WE LIKE TWILIGHT ANYWAY

LOOK. HULK HAS JUST SPENT THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF WORDS EXPLAINING WHAT IS WRONG WITH SOMETHING A LOT OF PEOPLE LIKE. HULK IS PERHAPS MORE AWARE OF THIS THAN ANYONE. ON A BASIC LEVEL OF HUMAN EMOTIVE JOY, THE VALUE OF HULK'S CRITICISM IS NOTHING COMPARED TO THE SHEER JOY THAT THAT SERIES HAS BROUGHT TO MANY READERS. AND WHETHER OR NOT HULK THINKS THE JOY IS MISGUIDED OR BEST RECEIVED FROM OTHER PLACES IS ULTIMATELY NOTHING IN COMPARISON TO JOY ITSELF.

STILL. HULK ARGUE THAT JOY, IN ANY FORM, IS NOT SOMETHING TO BE EXPERIENCED GUILT FREE.

FOR INSTANCE, YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE CAN BRING UNQUANTIFIED JOY TO PEOPLE? BOOZE. WHY BOOZE CAN BE DOWNRIGHT GLORIOUS. HULK LOVES TALKING THE INS AND OUTS OF BEER, MICRO-BREWS, RARE SPIRITS, WHATEVER. EVEN WITH SOMETHING HULK NOW LOOKS BACK ON AND SHAKES HEAD ABOUT LIKE "COLLEGE DRINKING STORIES" THERE IS A WAY THAT EVERYONE DEEP DOWN ACKNOWLEDGES AND UNDERSTANDS THAT THERE IS AN INHERENT, TANGIBLE RESPONSIBILITY TO BOOZE. WHILE MOST JOYFULLY LOVE IT, WE ARE ALL STILL AWARE OF THE REALITIES OF EXCESS, ALCOHOLISM, AND DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR. IT'S THE REASON WE CALL MANY TRUTHS "SOBERING." AND WHILE BOOZE IS A CONCRETE EXAMPLE OF THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF JOY (THOUGH TO BE FAIR THEY COME WITH THEIR OWN SET OF MIXED MESSAGES) THERE IS AN UTTER FAILURE TO TALK ABOUT SOME ABSTRACT ISSUES THAT WORK ON THE SAME CONCEPTUAL LEVEL.

THEY ARE ALL PART OF THE REALITY OF INSIDIOUS JOY.

HULK DOES NOT MEAN TO COME OFF AS MORALIZING, BUT IT IS BYPRODUCT OF THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT: TWILIGHT IS CHOCK FULL OF INSIDIOUS FORMS OF JOY. PLEASE KNOW THAT HULK, LIKE WITH ALCOHOL, IS NOT CALLING FOR A PROHIBITION LIKE BAN ON THESE FORMS OF INSIDIOUS JOY BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE FREAKIN' RIDICULOUS. WHAT HULK MEANS FOR US TO DO IS UNDERSTAND IT BETTER. THE WAY THESE SORTS OF CONTRADICTORY NARRATIVES CAN HAVE DEEPLY SERIOUS PROBLEMS AND AFFECT SOCIETY. HULK TREATS THEM SERIOUSLY. AS DO THE VAST MAJORITY OF WRITERS... AND STEPHENIE MEYER STRIKES HULK AS SOMEONE WHO IS LARGELY UNAWARE OF THEM.

SO IS THE AUDIENCE AWARE OF TWILIGHT AWARE OF THEM?

TO A DEGREE. FIRST OF ALL, THE REASON THE BOOKS STRIKE A CHORD WITH SO MANY READERS IS SIMPLE. 1) MOST PEOPLE AREN'T THINKING ABOUT THE PROBLEMS IN ANALYTICAL WAY, BUT THAT'S OKAY BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE DON'T WITH ANYTHING THEY CONSUME. AND 2) EVEN IF THEY ARE AWARE OF SUBEXT, THE BOOKS TAP SO DIRECTLY INTO THE ROMANCE OF SEXUAL COMPULSION AND ATTAINABILITY. BUT BECAUSE MEYER IS SO UNAWARE OF IT HERSELF IT COMES ACROSS IN THE MOST STEALTHY WAY POSSIBLE. IT JUST LOOKS LIKE YOUNG ADULT LIT AND THE DUMB ROMANCE NOVEL IT REALLY IS (AND AT LEAST DUMB ROMANCE NOVELS UNDERSTAND THEIR OWN EMOTIONALLY PORNOGRAPHIC CONVENTIONS).

YUP, THE JOY OF THE TWILIGHT READER GOES RIGHT BACK TO THAT WORD INFATUATION.

IT'S TRUE. THE BOOKS / MOVIES ARE THE PERFECT VEHICLE FOR INFATUATION. IT IS THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS, THE ONLY THING THAT IS PALPABLE FORCE IN THE BOOKS IS THAT DEEP, UNQUESTIONING AND INESCAPABLE WANT. MEYER CHARACTERIZES IT SO CLEARLY. A DEEP SEXUAL THIRST. BUT SHE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND IT SO IT TAPS INTO OUR OWN CONTRADICTORY MINDSET SO PERFECTLY. GOING ALL THE WAY BACK TO HER NOW FAMOUS BELLA QUOTE:

"About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him, and I didn't know how dominant that part might be, that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him."

UGH... AGAIN, THERE IS NO WAY THAT THIS SERIES OF BOOKS ARTICULATES THOSE WANTS IN ANY MEANINGFUL WAY, OR PROVIDES CATHARSIS, OR EVEN UNDERSTANDING OF THEM. IT SIMPLY REPLICATED AND EXACERBATES THOSE CONTRADICTIONS TO NEAR UNHEARD OF LEVELS. IT IS THE DEFINITION OF INFATUATION.

BUT AS A READER, FALLING PREY TO IT IS TOTALLY, TOTALLY HUMAN.

HULK THINKS ABOUT HOW MANY SMART YOUNG WOMEN READ THE SERIES GET SUPER WRAPPED UP IN THE INFATUATION AND THEN AWAKE OUT OF THE TRANCE ONCE THEY REACH THE BATSHIT OF BREAKING DAWN. THEY WERE GOING RIGHT ALONG WITH THE EASILY DIGESTIBLE INFATUATION AND THEN IT'S LIKE "Wait, what the fuck have I been reading?" IN THE MONTHS HULK HAS BEEN WRITING THIS COLUMN, SO MANY FEMALE READERS HULK HAS TALKED TO HAVE BEEN EMBARRASSED TO ADMIT TO HAVING ONCE LIKING IT, BUT HULK ARGUE THAT'S TOTALLY OKAY. DON'T BE EMBARRASSED THE BOOKS. THE BOOKS ARE VEHICLES OF INFATUATION AND WANT AND THAT'S FINE IF YOU UNDERSTAND THAT. MUCH LIKE THE MOVIES ARE PERFECT VEHICLES FOR YOUNG HUNK WORSHIP. ALL HULK STATING IS AWARENESS IS KEY.

FOR INSTANCE, PEOPLE ARE SO EASY TO PSYCHOLOGICALLY POP-ANALYZE THE SO-CALLED "TWILIGHT MOMS" AS UNSATISFIED HOUSEWIVES LOOKING TO PUT SOME SORT OF FIRE INTO THEIR EMPTY LOVE LIVES, WHICH IS ODDLY A SEXIST GESTURE MEANT TO IMPLY THAT IS UNSATISFACTORY MALE INPUT INTO WOMEN THAT GIVES RISE TO THIS SORT OF INFATUATION. NICE TRY EVERYONE! NO, THE INFATUATION ON DISPLAY IN TWILIGHT BELONGS TO THE UNIVERSAL FEMALE. IT WOULD BE LIKE ARGUING A PORNOGRAPHIC IMPULSE OF A MAN GETTING A BONER OF NUDITY ON SCREEN WAS THE RESULT OF BEING UNSATISFIED IN HIS RELATIONSHIP. BULL SHIT. ESPECIALLY BECAUSE THE OBJECTIONS MOST WOMEN RAISE ARE THE ONES HULK ARTICULATED ABOVE, NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE SEXUALLY SATED, BUT BECAUSE THEY ARE AWARE.

SO HULK WOULD LIKE TO SUGGEST THAT TO LIKE THE TWILIGHT SAGA IS TOTALLY UNDERSTANDABLE AND OKAY ON THE LEVEL OF OUR MOST PRIMAL OF NATURE. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SPARKLY VAMPIRES. SUCCUMBING TO IT IS LIKE LAMENTING THE WAY PEOPLE EAT JUNK FOOD. SO WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT IS AWARENESS. YOU CAN'T EAT MACDONALD'S EVERY DAY THE SAME WAY TWILIGHT CAN'T BE ZOMG BEST THING EVER. TWILIGHT IS HARMFUL JUNK FOOD. OKAY, TO INDULGE IN, BUT THAT'S WHAT IT IS. EMPTY LITERARY AND CINEMATIC CALORIES. ALL YOU NEED TO DIGEST THEM PROPERLY IS AWARENESS.

BECAUSE AWARENESS IS EVERYTHING. AWARENESS OF THE RELATIVE TRAPPINGS OF EVERYTHING MAKES US LEAD BALANCED LIVES.

AWARENESS THAT THIS IS AN ABSTINENCE SERIES THAT HULK THINK HAS DONE LESS TO HELP ABSTINENCE OR ENCOURAGE A HEALTHY UNDERSTANDING OF SEXUALITY THAN VIRTUALLY ANYTHING ELSE THAT HULK CAN THING OF. AWARENESS THAT THIS A SERIES WITH CONTRADICTORY CHARACTERS AND CYCLICAL PLOTS THAT GO NOWHERE. AWARENESS THAT ITS TERRIBLY WRITTEN AND TERRIBLY CONCEIVED. AWARENESS THAT THE JOYS THE SERIES BRINGS ARE OKAY TO INDULGE IN, BUT NOT ALL THAT OKAY TO STAND BY.

AWARENESS THAT TWILIGHT MAY BE THE STRANGEST PHENOMENON OF ALL TIME.

YOU KNOW... HULK CAN'T KEEP THINKING ABOUT THAT VIDEO WITH STEPHANIE MEYER POSTED ABOVE. HULK CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT THE THE IDEA OF WHAT MAKES US WRITE AND WHAT MAKES AWARENESS REALLY BRINGS TO THE TABLE.

AND EVENTUALLY, IT MADE HULK THINK OF THIS.

IN ANTICIPATION OF THIS ARTICLE A COMMENTER ASKED IF HULK WOULD FINALLY REVEAL IF HULK WAS TEAM EDWARD OR TEAM JACOB. A GOOD JOKE THAT CAPTURES THE LURID BINARY AMBIVALENCE OF THE BOOKS AND HOW THE SERIES'S CENTRAL QUESTION IS ESSENTIALLY A BIG NOTHING.

SO IN CASE THE SIMPLE ARTICULATION, AWARENESS, AND HONESTLY OF THIS VIDEO DOES  NOT MAKE IT  CLEAR,

HULK IS, AND WILL ALWAYS BE, TEAM J.K. ROWLING.

BUT REALLY, THAT'S JUST BEING TEAM HUMANITY.

<3 HULK

ENDNOTES!

1- HULK'S A SPEED READER SO THAT KIND OF CHEATING.

2- HULK WILL TAKE LOW-RENT, WELL-DONE PROPERTY THAT APES OF OTHER THINGS OVER WHATEVER THE HELL THE TWILIGHT SERIES IS EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

3- HULK JOKE. HULK JOKE. IT SO OBVIOUSLY UNFAIR TO MAKE ANY STATEMENTS THAT CHARACTERIZE A PERSON SOLELY ON THE FACT THEIR FROM A GIVEN STATE. IT IS JUST TO SAY THE STATE HAS RECENTLY HAD ITS SHARE OF BATSHIT BEHAVIOR. EVEN IF YOU COME DOWN ON ONE SIDE OF THE ISSUES OR THE OTHER, THERE IS NO DENYING THE MEASURES TAKEN BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ARE "EXTREME." BANNING ETHNIC STUDIES? MAKING MINORITIES CARRY IDS? FUCK, IT'S ORWELLIAN. BUT AGAIN. HULK NOT TYPIFING IN SLIGHTEST. IT'S A JUST A JOKE. HECK, HULK HAVE FAMILY IN ARIZONA... THOUGH IF HULK BEING HONEST THEY DON'T HELP ARIZONA'S CAUSE WHATSOEVER.

4- THIS ISN'T TO MAKE LIGHT OF REAL BI-POLARITY. HULK MORE USING IT TO HIGHLIGHT EDWARD'S DIFFERENING AND WHOLLY CONTRADICTING EXTREMES. WHICH IS REALLY BI-POLARITY IN THE EVALUATIVE SENSE, NOT THE MEDICAL SENSE.

Film Crit Hulk's photo About the Author: FILM CRIT HULK WAS CREATED IN A CHAOTIC LAB EXPERIMENT INVOLVING GAMMA RADIATION, TELEPODS, AND THE GHOST OF PAULINE KAEL. NOW HULK HAVE DEEP AND ABIDING LOVE CINEMA.
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