The scene is familiar: tents clustered together, their occupants camped out for days. Committed to their purpose, they won’t leave until they get what they want. No, it’s not Occupy Wall Street. It’s the highly anticipated release of the latest film in The Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn: Part I. Dubbed Twihards, the devoted army of women obsessed with author Stephenie Meyer’s paranormal teenage romance are giddy as schoolgirls, regardless of their age.
“What’s different is that this is female based,” a woman among those camped out told CBS News. “If these were guys that were really into a sci-fi movie or an action movie, people wouldn’t be so interested.”
That may be true. However, the most fascinating aspect of Twilight fandom isn’t its dominant gender. After all, it would be more bizarre if men were into it. What is fascinating is why women of all ages are so profoundly moved by this story and its characters.
The tale follows the romantic exploits of Bella Swan, a mopey teenage girl out of step with the world and unimpressed by the people in it. She perks up upon meeting Edward Cullen, a century-old vampire locked in seventeen-year-old form. Romance ensues, interrupted by raucous undead politics. It turns out vampires at-large aren’t particularly keen on Cullen’s lifestyle choice. (It makes sense if you think about it. Even among humans, it’s taboo to date the livestock.)
As potentially fatal complications manifest so does a love triangle between Bella, Edward, and a friendly neighborhood werewolf named Jacob Black. The tension between these three forms the backbone of the saga, with Bella persistently in danger and constantly fought over.
As a man, understanding the female obsession with Twilight is difficult. However, there is one form of illicit entertainment which seems an instructive point of comparison. Twilight is to women what porn is to men.
Before playing the chauvinist card, note that women admit as much:
“We call it brain porn,” jokes Jenny West, 32, a New Jersey finance executive who co-runs an adults-only blog…
What makes Twilight “brain porn”? It fulfills the female ego in the same way pornography appeals to men.
Read more here.
The Occupy hysteria seems to get more bizarre as the days unfold. Now, an adult film company is looking to capitalize on the movement’s prominence. Dirty Boy Videos, a gay porn outfit, has reportedly filmed an explicit movie in a tent at the Occupy Oakland encampment.
The film, graphically titled, “Occupy My Throat,” has a tagline that reads, ”Police can ban the erection of tents at Occupy Wall Street, but they can’t keep us from pitching a tent in our pants!” The New York Observer describes the bizarre undertaking as, “a homoerotic caper through the tents of Oakland’s Occupation.”
As it turns out, the movie may have been inspired by Brandon Watts, a young man who lost his virginity at New York City’s Zuccotti Park before being arrested in a widely-reported (and somewhat bloody) standoff with police. Watts was notably the first individual to setup a tent in New York’s Zuccotti Park.
Read more here.
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) founder and Service Employees International Union organizer Wade Rathke acknowledged that the tea party movement has been more effective than Occupy Wall Street in influencing American politics.
Rathke was unequivocal about the Occupy movement, telling TheDC that “in no way has it had the political impact that the tea party movement has.” Yet because Occupy organizing is “still in its embryonic stages” while tea partiers have been organizing for more than two years, he cautions that “comparing the tea party movement to OWS is apples and oranges.”
While watching ACORN implode in the United States, Rathke has thrived in his new role as community organizer to the world by remaking ACORN International, known as Community Organization International in the U.S., into a worldwide community organization with near-global reach and power. And former ACORN board members say Rathke’s remarkable global turnaround is proof that most observers completely missed ACORN’s bigger picture and its broader goals.
Rathke generally had positive things to say about both the tea party and Occupy movements. “They are substantially mobilizing individuals around a set of principles,” he added. “It’s fascinating that they’re both appealing to many of the same people.”
That’s a point on which Matthew Vadum, a conservative investigative reporter whose book-length deconstruction of ACORN hit stores in May, disagrees. His book, Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers, opens with the provocative question, “How many dead Republicans does it take to satisfy the bloodlust of ACORN founder Wade Rathke?” referring to his contention that Rathke’s “progressive comrades-in arms” planned “to kill delegates and police” at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minnesota, before a turncoat helped law-enforcement dismantle the plot.*
Read more here.
Natalie Solent asks, “Upon what basis can an Occupy protest ask someone to leave?” As the Marxists say, there are certain internal contradictions to deal with. She offers amusing responses.
For more along the same lines, see Ezra Levant’s amusing video excursion into Occupy Toronto, where the denizens struggle with the very same problem Ms. Solent posits: