You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Memo to Lauren Veneziano: CAN'T ARGUE WITH THAT.
I still love Big Hollywood's love/hate relationship with the entertainment industry. On the one hand, it's full of liberals, gays, Communists, gays, Jews, liberals, and multiculturalism. All things conservatives don't want. And on the other hand, it's incredibly popular, which is something conservatives crave.
That's why they revere Reagan, who was, of course, a product of Hollywood. He achieved that elusive goal - conservative popularity. That's why everyone willfully forgets all the times he raised taxes.
Anyway, Big Hollywood exemplifies that conservative covetous contempt on a semi-regular basis, usually by claiming that something really popular is secretly conservative. The latest to receive the treatment? I hope you're ready for this. Twilight. Specifically, Breaking Dawn, Part 1.
Our author, Lauren Veneziano, helpfully tries to lower our expectations at the start.
"Of course there is a huge audience that dislikes “The Twilight Saga” as well; probably a good portion of that includes Big Hollywood readers. They think the acting is horrible, the story is cheesy, the melodramatic moments are too much and the fact that a girl could be in love with a stone-cold vampire is out of this world."
Or, to translate, "Many people think Twilight is shit." Now, this is a classic setup for a refutation, in which Veneziano will flip our lids and turn the tables on us. Ready? ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"However, can we really deny the fact that “Twilight” exhibits conservative values?"
That's actually a logical fallacy. Twilight is shit. Conservative values are shit. However, that does not automatically mean that Twilight = Conservative. Luckily, Veneziano actually shows her work there, and it's exactly what you'd expect, if you know anything about Breaking Dawn.
"The fact that Bella (Kristen Stewart) decides to wait until after the wedding to lose her virginity is something to be valued. If young girls can take away one thing from these novels and films, I hope it’s that."
And if young girls can take two things away from these novels and films, the second thing should be that failing to explore sexual compatibility with your partner out of some antiquated religious prohibition on premarital sex will get your fucking skull cracked open on your wedding night.
Seriously, the level of unmitigated desperation it takes to embrace Stephanie Meyer's weird mix of Mormon "values" and Gothic porn as either a model for young girls to follow or a rare conservative victory in Hollywood? Off the fucking charts. But it only gets better.
How about one of the biggest conservative values of all: Pro-life! Bella is completely selfless when it comes to her pregnancy in this film. She is willing to give up her human life, vampire life and even Edward for the life of her baby. Despite the fact that the baby is literally killing her, Bella wants to stick it out as much as she can in hopes that she will deliver a healthy baby. Bella says the baby is 'a little miracle,' and she is ready to lose her life for her child’s. If that’s not pro-life, I don’t know what is."
And there, we agree. That is pro-life, in all its deeply fucked-up, woman-hating glory. Demon-baby crawling through your womb, literally killing the the mother? It's the mother's selfless duty to give up her life for that demon-baby, because if she doesn't, the werewolf she rejected won't be able to lust after the demon-baby. Those are the pro-life priorities in a fucking nutshell, right there, except the creepy relationship isn't an actual werewolf, it's just Herman Cain.
Lest you think Veneziano is an intellectual lightweight who, well, enjoys fucking Twilight books and movies and thinks they have a valid political message, she ends on a borderline Socratic note, asking you a question that you will ponder for the ages.
"So, do you still hate “Twilight,” or do you now have a new respect for the underlying message it brings to young women?"
Oh, wait. I don't have to ponder that at all. I can hate Twilight AND the underlying message it brings to young women, because they're both complete bullshit pushed by barely-literate troglodytes. Pondering over!