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The Mysterious Case of Dr. Carlisle (The Twilight Walkthrough Pg. 329-338)

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

How old is Dr. Carlisle?

This is a good question, although because of his unique nature it has two answers. Like Edward who is both 17 and over a hundred, we need both of them mainly because of how badly Edward is written. If you’ve been following this blog one my main complaints is that Edward is supposed to be a centurion but acts like a 17 year old with more talents than the average teenager. Dr. Cullen is going to be much older, but we don’t know exactly how old he was when he was changed. It’s curious because there is the possibility that Meyer is going to write consistently here. Perhaps the vampires in her universe are forever stuck in the age when they were changed, that would be odd but it would at least allow us to forgive Edward’s actions a little bit.

First off we learn that Dr. Carlisle is the son of an Anglican preacher. I’m not sure if that makes him more interesting or if this explanation is just a lame attempt to drive religion into the story. I’m willing to suspend judgment on that thus far. He’s Anglican and then we learn that, “Carlisle was born in London, in the 1640s, he believes. Time wasn’t marked as accurately then, for the common people anyway.”

An interesting point of history is that the religious sect known as the Puritans were still allowed within the umbrella of the Anglican church until the 1660s. I think that if Meyer was going to set up some dichotomy between what Carlisle was raised as and what he eventually became it would have been better to call his father a Puritan rather than a simple Anglican. The Puritans, to quote Robin Williams, were the people so uptight the British didn’t even want them. They make our Christian Fundamentalists look progressive by comparison, that makes for a more interesting conflict. So obviously we don’t get it…then again the story isn’t about Dr. Cullen so we can give that a pass.

The thing about time not being marked accurately is odd to me. The Gregorian calendar was adopted in 1582, the Julian calendar had been adopted since the time of the Romans, so I don’t understand how he couldn’t know his exact age. The printing press, the church, and the government of England would have kept dates. If we have exact dates for the landing at Plymouth, the date of the defeat of the Spanish Armada, etc. not having a date for Carlisle’s birth is odd. It’s not like his father was a coal miner or some peasant either, he was a preacher which meant he was literate and could read a calendar. Also he would be quite able to remember how many summers he’s been alive, the exact date…maybe not, but he should have the year down.

Carlisle’s father gets more and more Cotton Mather-ish as the descriptions go on, “He also believed very strongly in the reality of evil. He led hunts for witches, werewolves,…and vampires.’ I grew stiff at the word. I’m sure he noticed, but he went along without pausing.”

So he wasn’t just a preacher he was a crusader. I wonder how many the senior Cullen put to the flame that were actually creatures of the netherworld. If you read any of the history about the witch hunts you will discover two important features: the first is that a great deal less people were executed than popular culture (and Wiccans) would have you believe. For instance the infamous Salem witch trials killed 20 people,* that’s it. While the Satanists and the Wiccans refer to this period as the “burning times” they also seem to neglect the fact that those unfortunates in Salem were hanged. The other feature is that hardly any people practicing witchcraft were killed at all. The problem was that accusation was as a good as guilt, plus the “victim” of the witch was also able to make a property claim on the witch’s estate. This led to a great deal of abuse, especially by those following the malleus maleficarum** as the guide to locating witches, or professional witch hunters looking to collect bounties. Remember that it would be virtually impossible to prove that someone isn’t a witch once accused. In fact, things like this are STILL happening in modern sub-Saharan Africa.

The end of the above quote confuses me as well. Why does Bella stiffen at the mention of the word “vampire?” To be sure that is a fear response, but what is she afraid of? She’s already in the den of the vampires, she doesn’t care that they exist, and she’s there of her own free will. Is it because they used to hunt the vampires? That doesn’t make sense since they don’t live in Kenya. That Edward doesn’t stop is actually testament to him. She has no reason to be afraid if she’s come this far.

Dr. Cullen’s father passes away, we never learn how, and the burden of hunting evil is thrust on Carlisle. He finds some real vampires, which implies that he’s been killing fake vampires for awhile now, and they live in the sewers of London, “In those days, when monsters were not just myths and legends, that was the way many lived.”

At first I thought that sentence was stupid. Then I realized that it is very cleverly worded. It’s not that vampires and werewolves don’t exist in Bella’s present it’s that no one believes in them now. As opposed to back then when people thought they were real. Meyer did good on that sentence.

Carlisle chases the vampires into the sewer with a crowd of pitchfork and torch wielding commoners running down a vampire who attacks them. The vampire cries out in Latin but gets the drop on Carlisle who hides under potatoes for three days emerging with the full knowledge of what he had become. Something is missing. Carlisle is attacked but then he hides when other people come to his aid and chase off the vampire.

Carlisle was merely attacked, is that all it takes? “He paused. I could sense that he was editing something, keeping something from me.”

Really Bella!? Edward is hiding something from you and you think that it’s noteworthy. Here’s a clue sweetheart: he’s always hiding something from you. What could he be hiding? I’m thinking the sex. In a dismally horrible movie with Casper Van Dien and Craig Ferguson called “Modern Vampires” that was the key to turning a person into a vampire. What else could he be hiding? Blood draining? It’s really the only thing that makes sense.

Which would be a nice metaphor because this whole Vampire hunting preacher that becomes one himself would be just like all of those Anti-Gay ministers that get busted for having sex with men.*** Too bad Meyer is a Mormon and that their church was so instrumental in getting the ballot voted down in California last year. Carlisle recognizing what he has become decides that he’s going to attempt to kill himself, but he doesn’t know how which is a nice touch since he can’t do the normal things like laying out in the sun. The other thing we learn is that Meyer’s vampires can’t get killed by being dunked under running water, which is an old myth that has gone the way of phlogiston theory, but it used to be a classic.

Carlisle overcomes his bloodlust and swims to France. Bella is aghast, “He swam to France?”

Edward is funny because he reminds her that people do that all the time. The point of Calais is so close to England that it’s a regular event for trained swimmers. What surprises Bella the most is that she finally realizes that Vampires don’t need to breathe and she freaks out. The super-speed, strength, the mind reading, the blood drinking, the lack of regular food, the prophesying, the agelessness, hypnosis, she takes all of that in stride. Only two things about being a vampire really get her attention: the striking good looks and the fact that they don’t need to breathe. She can’t really be this stupid can she?

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*Or 19 depending on when you stop the period of the trials.

**”The hammer of the Witch” a 15th century handbook on finding, prosecuting, and executing witches.

***It’s a nice coincidence that it happened again this week.

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Yep, I’m in the Grad School (a collection of complaints)

September 28, 2010 1 comment

If I ever find a college or university that has a decent parking plan I will donate all the money I can to it and offer to work for free. Of course this will never happen because as the word got out that someone in the midst of all these PhDs, MDs, and JDs actually figured out a decent parking system that place would be overwhelmed with students it would destroy the very reason that they went to the school to begin with.

I end up parking in what is called “Governor’s E Lot,” which is fitting since only a blind person could look at the location of the lot and still consider it part of the campus. It’s so far away that the university bus system doesn’t even have a stop at the lot, I have to pick that up at a different one…it’s just easier to walk though. That is until the one day that i have to park in E lot when i have the little monster with me, no doubt that will be a very cold day as well.

“No, no I think you should explain it. I won’t do it the right way.” Said one student to the professor this morning when asked to explain whether or not animals possessed Symbolic knowledge. Yeah, no one was buying this evasion, even the professor kind of stared blankly for awhile at him until he (the professor continued one). The answer was that animals do not have the capability of symbolic knowledge, they possess instinctual knowledge and the ability to communicate emotions but that’s it. Think of the ability of a three month old baby and that is about where the animals top off.

“The reason I used hypothetical aliens in my example was because the idea of god was too far fetched.” Yep, I have explained many times before in this blog that I am an atheist, but I’m not this kind of atheist. This was uttered by a student in a class titled Philosophical Issues in Biomedicine, and this explanation was completely unnecessary. We accepted his example of the aliens without question since it was hypothetical. A few minutes passed, the professor explained that no, having possession of a few viruses of the flu, even if the virus began to infect then suddenly died didn’t mean that you had the flu. It wouldn’t matter if aliens with super sight or whatever could see the viruses.

Then he explained why he picked aliens…and no one cared. I knew he was an undergrad, probably a sophomore, and definitely a jackass. It’s people like him that give people like me a bad name. I don’t care if a person believes in god, gods, or whatever; as long as they don’t try and push it on me. I’m what is called “tolerant*” of other people’s beliefs. Making a point of saying that aliens are more believable than god isn’t an example of such, and it just makes you look like an ass.

I love being back in school…

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*As long as the religion hasn’t been recently made up, two examples stick out: Wicca and Scientology.

Categories: daily complaint, School

Odd Religious Rules

September 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Obviously there are many religious rules that I find odd, but some are more odd than others. I don’t mean odd in that why do they do that kind of way, but more in a “why do they STILL do that?” way. For instance, today must be a Jewish holiday as the synagogue across the street from me has cars parked in front of it from yesterday* adding to that is that my Wed. night class let out early, and the neigborhood is full of men walking up and down the sidewalks in Jewish religious clothing. It is this clothing that I want to monologue about.

Specifically it is the tzitzit. It’s easy enough to spot, a white cloth draped over the front and back of a man (usually) with tassles hanging off of it and a blue thread at each corner. If you aren’t paying attention it looks the person is wearing an apron underneath their suit as the tassels can look like the ties depending on how the person is walking.

The justification for wearing them, or the command depending on your point of view, derives from Numbers 15:38 and Deuteronomy 22:12: “Speak to the children of Israel and you shall say to them that they shall make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments, throughout their generations, and they shall affix a thread of blue on the fringe of each corner” and “You shall make yourself twisted threads, on the four corners of your garment with which you cover yourself” respectively.

Obviously this is God’s command to the Jewish people so that they will separate themselves by dress from the other desert people and their gods. Similar in origin to the prohibition against eating pork which was a popular food in the Semitic regions of the middle east. In that region, then as well as now, garments were/are one long sheet of cloth with a head hole in it. The cloth had four corners as it was a large rectangle. So the Jewish people were told to not hem the corners of their garment and to twist off the threads hanging thereof.

Alright, I don’t agree with the idea behind it as it seems both exclusionary and arbitrary, but I get why. What I don’t understand is why they still do it. Since typical garments nowadays don’t have four corners (a typical male dress shirt has two at the bottom, two at the collar and two at the wrists) why are the men who are currently passing my window even bothering. A strict reading of the Testament provides them with a legal way out of wearing the tzitzit altogether. Some of them are even wearing the tallit, which is a scarf whose significance is that it holds the fringes of the tzitzit. Meaning that they are putting one another article of clothing so that they can follow the law of the tzitzit which only applies to four cornered clothing which they wouldn’t normally have in the first place.

It seems like some extra work to follow a law that wouldn’t normally apply to begin with. It seems like this would akin to a Catholic committing a sin just so that they could be absolved of it. If you aren’t wearing a four cornered garment than why  put one on just to attach fringes to it? Why not just avoid four cornered garments altogether?

Furthermore it seems oddly pedantic to think that just because you have attached some tassels to a garment means that you are following the rule laid down in Numbers. It seems to me that splitting hairs isn’t unique to just Christians.

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*Because their days begin at 6pm and end at 6pm the following, which we ought to adopt for St. Patrick’s Day. It makes a great deal more sense for a drinking holiday.

Categories: religion

Meeting the Jetsons (The Twilight Walkthrough Pg. 319-329)

September 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Note: Due to a long school day on Monday, this will be the last Monday post. From now on updates will occur on Tuesdays.

The Jetsons aren’t a very notable cartoon/sitcom for a number of reasons: the first being that despite the futuristic (although by now it’s probably in the past) setting their technology was less than that of the Flinstones, they were just a Flinstones knock-off to boot, and the whole thing is just 1950s sexism taken to an absurd extreme.* What is especially notable is the opening sequence:

It’s not especially catchy, the animation isn’t anything that Warner Bros. or Disney wasn’t doing a billion times better and it is possibly the laziest way of introducing characters and their roles, one by one. This sort of introduction was in vogue in the 1960s, the actual date of the Jetsons show, but quickly it loses flavor except in ensemble shows like SNL or MadTV. It simply doesn’t work for television, and it certainly doesn’t work for books but for some reason we have it here in Twilight.

Bella has just fainted from kissing Edward which is lame enough on its own but at this point I am getting quite sick of Meyer trying to cram it down here throats that he’s the most desirable male to ever have existed. By the one millionth time, I think this is just wish fulfillment and that the author herself is missing something or in love with her own character. No matter that she recovers and is whisked off to the Vampire stronghold of Forks, Dr. Cullen’s house.

All of Vampire literature and film makes this trip a big deal. The video game series Castlevania is basically built around the premise of the sudden appearance of Castle Dracula which makes me think that Meyer is purposely juxtaposing the typically ominous journey of this with complete flippancy as Bella points out the nice driveway and how well lit the house is itself. I’m glad that I read each section twice because I simply didn’t get it the first time. “And then after a few miles, there was some thinning of the woods, and we were suddenly in a small meadow, or was it actually a lawn?”

It’s a lawn and it’s entirely normal. And that may be the point, it shouldn’t be normal because it’s a vampire’s house. Which I felt was a clever move since it could have gone either the dark, gloomy, and stereotypical route which I would have criticized for being cliche or not mentioned at all.

After some brief reassuring from Edward that her family will like her (but not that they won’t eat her) they go inside so that Bella can formally meet the family as Edward’s boyfriend. It plays like the Jetson’s opening only with more self-pity and whining. Hum it along if you want to. First, at the top of the stairs, we meet Carlisle Cullen, “I’d seen Dr. Cullen before, of course, yet I couldn’t help but be struck again by his youth, his outrageous perfection.”

Nothing like outrageous perfection, it’s funny because this is the first time anyone has mentioned it before. How young is he? Or better yet, how young does he look? We know from Charlie that the nurses** seem smitten with him, but that doesn’t imply perfection just attractiveness. Bella didn’t even mention it before, although we could give her some wiggle room since she was just almost hit by a car. She says hello and Dr. Cullen replies, “You’re very welcome Bella.”

Finally. For three hundred pages we’ve been told how old fashioned the Cullen family act and on page 323 we finally get evidence of this.

Next down the stairs is Esme, who is “Snow White in the flesh” whatever that means. She is also extremely polite given both her breeding and age. Then comes daughter Alice, whom we’ve already met. The odd thing is that Alice isn’t looked at any differently now, even though Bella knows that she can see the future. It’s like finding out your best friend has wings but never bringing it up. Something should change especially given the foreshadowing from earlier in the chapter. Then there is Carlisle’s boy Jasper, all leonine in appearance. It’s pretty mundane and they sit around asking Bella some questions before telling Edward to play something on the piano.

The scene is boring and is nothing more than exposition of new characters. It gets interrupted by Esme’s admiration for Edward which is too much again in a chapter already full of too much. WE GET IT, HE’S AWESOME, tone it down some.

After finishing his masterpiece on the piano (an original composition), Bella notices that everyone is gone. She points his out and Edward explains, “Very subtly giving us some privacy, I suppose.”

In the magnificent series The Wire, there is a scene where one of the drug lords needs someone framed and he tells an underling to do it but “be subtle with that shit.” He then makes sure that the underling understands the meaning of the word “subtle.” Which is not leaving people alone by physically leaving them alone in a room. No, subtle would be letting them sit and talk while everyone else busied themselves. See, this way they are alone, but they aren’t actually alone that’s subtle.

Bella does notice, in Alice’s absence, that she was acting a bit weird. You know more strange than she normally does compared to the one other time that Bella has met her. Edward has an answer, “Alice has her own way of looking at things, he said through tight lips.

I’m guessing that she would, given that she has the 2nd power.*** Now would be a good time to for us to learn what it actually is that Alice has seen in her glass. It would be in context and be extremely pertinent to learn it right now, “He realized that I knew he was keeping something from me. I realized that he wasn’t going to give anything away. Now now.”

Yep, it was the perfect time but the only thing we learned is that Bella knows her place, and that place is not asking questions.

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*All women like to shop and date boys is the lesson that the show imparts, and I’m not even one of those guys.

**Which is another sexist comment that slipped by me the first time. It’s so completely stereotypical as well, all of the nurses in the hospital are women hoping to land a doctor for a husband. Of course a good number of nurses, in real life, are men but needn’t concern ourselves with facts about the real world.

***Let’s see if anyone gets that movie reference.

Stylistic Nightmare

September 18, 2010 Leave a comment

One of the odd idiosyncrasies about reading Philosophy is that while everyone is supposed to be discovering the “truth” (if there is such a thing) all of the really important writers of the past have their own completely distinct style that seems to go specifically with a particular school. This seems to begin with what we call the “modern” period, which has nothing to do with modern times which is termed “contemporary.” I wonder if “contemporary” in the future is going to refer to time period with a definitive end, but I digress.

Modern Philosophy begins around 1600 and lasts until the late 19th/early 20th century. Now there are those people who would dispute that saying that there are two “modern” periods, but they don’t count. The reason they think that is because they are fans of the philosopher Immanuel Kant and want an era of philosophy to either begin or end with him. While I am not a fan of Kant, his ethics or his metaphysics, I must admit that he is quite important in the history of western civilization, but whether one time period ends or begins is really arbitrary. Especially given the fact that we can’t seem to agree on when the Classical Age ended: some put it with the death of St. Augustine others with the rise of Theology, and history seems to place it with the final fall of the Roman Empire.

Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance Philosophy all have a certain style to the writing. Whether it be the dialogues of Plato, the discourses of Aristotle, or the political analysis of Machiavelli, it’s primarily a straightforward way of saying what is. Evidence is presented as though it were obvious that this is so, even when someone like Aristotle is getting the circumference* of the world wrong it’s quite easy to follow. Even Anselm’s faulty proof of god’s existence, while unnecessarily wordy, is relatively easy to follow. I wonder if this is because these people while either writing about something completely new (as Aristotle’s felt his duty was to classify the different kinds of things and developed a systematic inventory of animals) or new ideas on the old (Machiavelli’s analysis of amorality in politics) the ideas are still external. You can look at something like morality and say, “that’s moral” or “this type of action should not be allowed.” The evidence has to stack up because the work is trying to take a look at the world to say, “this is incorrect, and the world change to accommodate the new paradigm.”

As the progress of history marches closer and closer to the present, the writing gets worse reaching its final culmination in the rise of Germany as the center of Philosophy. In applying to PhD schools the terms Phenomenology, Kantianism, and Hegelian were the only ones around that weren’t analytic/logic schools. This bears some mention because the Germans completely live up to their stereotype as engineers and technical people as their writings are akin to manuals for hooking up surround sound systems.

It’s an important factor of why I don’t like Kant (other than he’s just plain wrong, Ethics A Priori, I don’t think so), why Hegel is only important to me because he leads directly into Marx, and why I refuse to read Heidegger…at least until I was assigned him on wed for my Existence course. When even the professor mentions that he’s a terrible writer and to not worry about getting confused because it’s his fault then the guy’s a shitty writer.

It’s something about the German language and not the time period. English Philosophers writing during the same period as Kant or Heidegger (Mill and Russell respectively) are so much clearer that I can only point to the language being the barrier. Of course it also could be the subject change. I have already mentioned that the past writings were about concrete external things, the contemporary ideas are about “being” which is not only completely subjective but also completely abstract. Are the new words and shitty writing necessary for the abstract ideas? If so, why do we need all the damn hyphens? Seriously Heidegger can compress fourteen words into one by just doing-this-over-and-over-again.

I guess it’s time to take seriously this whole “phenomenology” thing. Perhaps I can finally figure out why Marxists are so attracted to it.

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*That’s right, Circumference, as in he knew and proved the world was spherical centuries before Jesus and almost a millennium before Columbus. 

Categories: philosophy, School

Hijackers

September 16, 2010 Leave a comment

My previous foray into Graduate school taught me a number of things about higher education that I would be more than willing to forget. There were also a number of lessons that have stayed with me, that were reinforced by my teaching career about the direction of classes and what skewed paths they can take.

Two of my classes are Ontology classes. In very basic terms it means that the focus is on defining objects so specifically that there can be no ambiguity as to what anyone is talking about. The classic example, used in classes teaching Plato is always to ask the class to define “chair” in such a way that it can’t be anything else. E.g. just because it has four legs and a surface you can sit on doesn’t mean that it’s not a table or a couch. Now both of these classes contain fundamental applications for computer use. Especially in the Biomedical Ontology class which will be a huge deal since of the president’s mandates for his healthcare plan was to increase the use of “paperless records” so that information could be transferred seamlessly between hospitals, offices, clinics, and countries. But the issue is that ambiguous definitions exist, if two computer systems can’t agree on the definition of “leg” or “disease” than there is a potentially fatal consequence. This is a real problem and no republicans that isn’t the president’s fault.

So computers are stupid, because computers don’t actually understand anything anymore than a book understands what the words held within mean. A computer is just a box with a list of billions of command prompts, it can’t “think” like we can, so certain things need to be defined for it, as I said earlier things like “disease” or “leg.” They don’t have the intuition or the gut feelings that we use on a day to day basis to make decisions.

So Ontology is important, especially given our reliance on computers and it’s real world applications. My issue with these classes is that we don’t spend that much time on the subject (Applied Geography or Medicine) instead we are talking about computer programs and the different definitions that they have. Which, I will admit, is important for the course work but isn’t the focus of the class. The focus of the class is supposed to be about coming up with definitions that will be the same no matter what computer language it can be entered into and no matter who tried to interpret it.

Instead we focus on aspects of computer language that would be nice if we were taking a computer science class and NOT a philosophy class. I’ve been through this dark path before in the infamous symbolic logic class that I took way back in 2002. The professor allowed the class to be hijacked by comp sci people so that the philosophy students became screwed over even though the course was taught through the Philosophy department. It’s happening again, and I only just realized what was going on today.

I was good about this when I was teaching, once in awhile it was fun to talk about robots or something in class but it was always important to return to the subject at hand during that class period. In intro classes this also isn’t as big of a problem because survey classes have a wide berth to begin with.

But like a religious student making sure no one “loses the path” in a philosophy of religion class, you have to shut these people down. These long winded computer language questions don’t have any relevance to an idea that would be considered, at best, ‘pre-progamming’ despite what those bastard comp-sci majors would have you believe. Which is funny because all of the asymmetry in medical computer languages wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for them. Computer Engineers don’t have any place talking to people or sympathizing with them so when they write these languages they go with what works for the system and not for people.

Like Randall in Clerks 2, I’m going to take it back.

Categories: philosophy, School

Vice Versa (The Twilight Walkthrough Pg. 316-319)

September 14, 2010 Leave a comment

This book, for me, is a lot like feeling nostalgia for movies that I liked as a kid. It’s fun to reminisce about an old Judge Rheinhold/Fred Savage vehicle but under no circumstances should you ever try and re-watch them, or even look them up because you are making an odd 80s reference in your blog. The reason is that the more you learn the less you like. Feeling that pain of sweet memory for an old cherished movie is nice but quit while you are ahead and don’t ruin it. Entire Star Wars forums are devoted to how much childhood memories have been ruined* by George Lucas. With Bella and Edward the problem for me is that the more that they talk the less I really want to know.

It’s a systemic problem in the book because they aren’t likable characters for two important reasons. The first being personality, but going into that in depth would result in me recapping this entire series thus far. I don’t feel the impetus to doing that right now. The second is that there are two many times that they all of the sudden switch roles and opinions. Most of the time Edward is all about protecting Bella from danger and other times he’s actively inviting her to it. I get that this is the real crux of the book. All of the tension and conflict is going to come into that danger, but if he’s so intent on protecting her why does he invite her to meet his family in there isolated house? That just seems to be the worst idea he can make.

Of course that’s not Bella’s concern, “I’m not afraid of them,’ I explained. ‘I’m afraid they won’t…like me. Won’t they be, well, surprised that you would bring someone…like me…home to meet them? Do they know that I know about them?”

First off, they know. We know they know and she does as well. We know this because Edward spent a great deal of time in the pasture in the forest explaining his absence for a week, the fights that he had with his other family members about this very relationship. By the six legs of Sleipnir she met Alice. It is possible however that I’m being to harsh, she’s nervous…for the wrong reason but nervous nonetheless, so this could just be an act so she can delay the inevitable. If we take that as our reasoning it makes sense.

It makes even more sense when we consider her actions since moving to Forks. Essentially she’s isolated herself from everyone else that has even tried to be friends with her. Bella has taken their generous tokens of friendship and used them merely as means to achieve her relationship with Edward. This was never her goal from the outset but once she spotted the Cullens everything changed. After all, what was really wrong with Mike?

Bella changes the subject, “So did Alice see me coming?”

Alice, the Cullen’s Delphic Oracle, can see the future. Yet her limitation is that she is much better at seeing the future of her own kind. This is like knowing the threads the three fates of Greek mythology are weaving once you know, you can’t un-know, and the if the future is written** do we really want to see how things turn out? Bella doesn’t really care right here, she’s just delaying.

Edward’s reaction is worth reporting, “His reaction was strange. ‘Something like that,’ he turned and said uncomfortably.”

That’s pretty obvious foreshadowing right there. We can glean, and hope, that Alice didn’t see Bella but saw something different because of her. Whenever I picture Alice I see her in a white/gray cloak looking into a bowl of water and then prophesying in some hollow voice. What’s more curious to me though is if her prophecies are straightforward or like those given in Herodotus. Because for Edward to be uncomfortable whatever she said must have been bad. As though she brings a coming conflict, and yet like Cassandra she’s completely ignored. Shouldn’t the good Doctor Cullen be consulting his prescient daughter on just about everything? Or, like the time turner in Harry Potter, is this going to be ignored because the plot works better if we don’t have the future already known?

None of this matters, because the self-proclaimed intelligent Bella doesn’t address his tone or his uncharacteristically sheepish manner as she has relationship issues to discuss. On the other end, shouldn’t Edward be a bit more forthcoming with impending doom? Especially since he loves her so much.

He should, but maybe it’s his old school mannerisms preventing him from doing so. First we have to establish the relationship, “And you should introduce me to your father, too, I think.”

I’ve said it numerous times already, it makes absolutely no sense for her to keep this as much as a secret as she already has unless my uncomfortable theory is correct. It’s important to note that while Bella knows that Edward is a vampire, Bella’s father does not. Aside from the usual nervousness about having the folks meet the new relationship none of her actions make a lot of sense. Edward should be understandingly frustrated with Bella about this. His argument is actually a good one, he’s her boyfriend, he’s taking her to meet his parents (who are all vampires), so why shouldn’t she do the same?

Her reaction is to get all mopey because Edward’s just her boyfriend. I know what I said last week, but she’s moving way too quick on this one. “Just” what more can they be? Since they are living in Washington state, and they both are claimed to be 17, they will need their legal guardians to sign off on the marriage. That should actually be more of a reason for her to push for the meeting with Charlie Swan. Yet there’s another issue at stake here, “I cringed at the thought of Edward and Charlie and the word boyfriend all in the same room at the same time.”

Oh yeah, she’s got what we call “issues.” The phrasing of that sentence is all the proof I need. It’s not about her having her father meet her boyfriend. It’s something completely different. This is just the type of girl I would bring home to my parents.

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*Which of course is complete bullshit. He can’t ruin your memory as it is YOUR memory, he can only make new stuff suck.

**Not noting the pun, but rather we don’t know the accuracy of Alice’s predictions only that she found one of the Cullens wandering alone.