Thursday, December 18, 2008

I call paedophilia on Twilight

Since Twilight seems to be the movie of the moment, I'll jump right in. For those who've never heard of it, a quick plot summary: teenage girl goes to new school, falls in love with hot vampire guy, smouldering and sexual restraint ensue. They're in high school love, they protect each other. Cute. Andy Pants begs to differ, but I believe there is a more pressing concern yet to be addressed.

As mentioned above, the girl is a teenager, seventeen. The guy she falls in love with is also seventeen. At least, he looks seventeen. But about half-way through he explains that he was actually 'made' a vampire in 1918 when he was really seventeen. He's more than 80 years old.
And lusting after a 17 year old girl.
And everyone is okay with this??

Surely, even after decades of attending school with school children, he would have gathered enough experience to know that romantic involvement with children is not on.
But no. Everyone is flocking to the movie and simpering over Captain Hotness.
Franzy no like.
Bad medicine.

GTH - Many points. Moify for coming out of the Enya closet (if you could get back in and lock the door, that'd be greeeaat), Shippy for Rick Price, River - not for the classic music, but for extolling her son's many many talents and Kath for sticking by ABBA.


  1. Is it cute? Is it? Or is it evil incarnate? Well!? Surely I'm not just paranoid... (eyes dart around room) WHAT WAS THAT NOISE?!?!?

  2. You could take "cute" as literal (puke noise) or as ironic (another puke noise).

    I didn't hear anything. Wait here.

  3. From what I have read you have an interesting thesis here.

  4. 17 is not underage

    You guys just don't geddit do you

    Guess the Header: It looks vaguely Napoleonic to me. Maybe I need another coffeee

  5. Son? That would be GRANDson.

    I'm going to be giving the Twilight movies a miss. I'd be forever comparing them with the Buffy/Angel romance.

  6. Love the comics, especially the Louis, Lestat, Armand at the end. I loved Interview with the Vampire, mostly for the costumes and special FX. Louis and Lestat were both a bit wimpy, both needed a kick up the bum to get them to stop feeling sorry for themselves so much.

  7. GTH:-Vampire shimmering in the heat of the sun, about to burst into flames if he's Angel, or not if he's that other, twilight one, who can walk around in the daylight.

    Andy Pants? Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.......

  8. GTH: A police officer chasing Franzy in the US while checking out the pulled up socks of school girls. Franzy running frantically in the other direction (much like a certain birthday invite in 2007) and managing to snap a picture over his left shoulder. Or is there a bit of Long John Daly reference to a broken camera lense?

  9. 327 - You know the way to my heart.

    Paul - Interesting ... true?

    Squib - I'm pretty sure 17 is underage, even if only legally. And even if it's not, a seventeen-year-old with an 80-year-old? What if BigSquib were besotted with a 78-year-old? Yuck!
    I take your well-made point that trash is indeed trash and thus good. But trash about an 80-year-old guy who still goes for schoolgirls? I know he looks seventeen, but he is eighty. He's either retarded (like everyone else in the film), a complete fool or a pederast. Considering the amount of 'overage' ladies swooning over him, I would have thought he would be using his worldly knowledge to secure a more worldly babe.
    Unless he's a moron. And a kiddy-fiddler.

    River - Whups. Thou art so youthful.

    Shippy - Steaming ahead as always. I like it.

  10. 17 is not underage legally... not unless you're in Oregon

    There is nothing 'eeeew' about a big age gap, especially not if the oldie looks young. What exactly is the problem?

  11. I think the picture is of Captain Hotness himself. A member of the British Royal Navy circa 1810. Second cousin of Horatio Hornblower, who lost a leg in the battle of Trafalgar but later found it and used it to beat seven frenchman into submission.

  12. I've not seen the movie or read the books and don't intend to as I'm:
    a) no longer in high school
    b) no longer a virgin
    c) can't stand the endless photos of the lead guy from Twilight who seemingly doesn't have the muscle power or skills to keep his eyes open properly
    d) only want to read and see decent stuff and;
    e) I agree with you Franzy. I hope that when Sapphire's seventeen there's better quality teen literature out there to be infatuated with.

    GTH- looks like a blurry Little Drummer Boy?

  13. Squib: Depends where the age gap occurs surely..? Especially if one is a mere child.

    I must say, I don't entirely disagree with the Anna-Nicole saga with ol' Smithy. He was looking for company, she was looking for someone with money. The rest is history.

    TOOS: A mark of respect as I use what you could very well have trademarked in some way.

  14. I thought of another good point. An 80 year age gap is not much when you're both immortal

    BTW is it your birthday yet Franz? Happy Birthday anyway

  15. Shippy - Sadly I cannot trademark Gold-digging. I am neither a proponent nor a pioneer of that game.
    I have enough respect for the female fraternity to realise that any rich MILF is probably rich because she is clever and hence not likely to fall for my treasure-seeking affections.

    Alas, I will never be "The other, other Onassis"...

    Franzy - see my link for a far superior age-inappropriate romantic movie. A few blood suckers, but no vampires.

  16. Squib - You meet a man - he's 40. Attractive, polite, lovely. 'Are you seeing anyone?' you ask.
    'I'm seeing this lovely girl, long brown hair.'
    'Great!' you say. 'How old is she?'
    'Is she in school?'
    'Yup. Very bright.'
    'And you're ... how old? Forty?'
    'That's right.'
    'And you haven't picked anything up in those extra twenty-three years that is going to interest someone who has only ever been to high school?'
    'Nope. Had a pretty boring life after school. I just liked it so much that I kept going back and repeating. Nothing aobut life and the world beyond high school interested me one tiny bit. I only want to date high school girls and I don't want to use my age and experience to further myself one little bit. I'm happy not being challenged by new experiences.'

    This kind of character still isn't worrying you? The kind of man who has a life full of experience and still prefers the company of those with none?

    It's not so much age gap (yes, give them another 80 years each and they'll be even), but the distance from birth. She has lived with a kooky mum in one state and a quiet dad in the other. He has lived through most of the twentieth century. Why isn't he doing something worthwhile rather repeating high school over and over and over?

    It's my birthday on Wednesday!

    Andy - Ooh. Nice. Coming upo on the inside.

    Kath - Better quality literature and better quality boys. Watch out for those Melbournian lotharios ...

    Shippy - I know what you mean about Anna Nicole, but at least she had been around the block once or twice.

    TooS - Good point. If the girl is so smart and wonderful, why isn't she asking a few questions about why this 80-year-old (no matter how hot) is interested in her high schoolish experiences?

  17. Sorry TOOS. I should have been more specific - link in last comment. Not this one though.

  18. Sorry Shippy, I didn't see your comment. I don't know, I dated a 33 year old when I was 18 but I'd still say he wasn't as mature as I was. I've also dated people the same age and younger

    Franz you seem to be saying that if one person in the equation has more life experiences then this is a bad thing. I think that people are complicated and two people might be very happy together despite a big gap in their age. I think an age gap becomes problematic when there is an obvious imbalance of power, say a young woman being seduced by someone in a position of authority (eg a priest, a teacher) but I wouldn't say a large age gap in and of itself is wrong (unless of course one or both parties is underage and/or related)

  19. Shippy - I stand corrected. However: "carnal knowledge does not include sodomy" WTF?

    Squib - Ah look, if you're less mature than an 18-year-old at 33, or as mature as a 17-year-old at 80, then aren't there a few issues floating around that you might want to sort out alone?

    I just get pissed off with older blokes dating much much younger women because (largely or in part) of their own insecurities surrounding intelligent, experienced women and their own sense of self. I wonder why they haven't developed as people and moved on. It sort of intertwines with my distaste with the extreme over-fetishisation of young women.

    I think there is an automatic imbalance of power when there's a sizable age gap between two people, particularly a man who has moved beyond education and a younger woman still in secondary school.

    Remember Matthew MacGaunighye in 'Dazed and Confused?'

    "I love high school girls. I keep gettin' older, and they stay the same age."

    This was the coolest guy in high school ... a decade later still hanging around the same pool hall trying to hold onto the one best experience of his life. Does this say healthy? Commendable? Well-adjusted?

  20. Well then but what is the Franzy acceptable age gap then? 5 years? 10? 15?

  21. Hmm, dare I wade in again?

    I'm not sure what an 'acceptable' age gap is but I'm heartily sick of reading (when I'm at my mum's place, you understand) Women's Weeklies that show some forty or fifty something, vaguely successful Aussie male who has 'found love again after a messy divorce' with someone half his age. You can predict that she will say THIS during the interview:
    "We don't notice the age gap. He's as energetic as any of my friends and has a much better outlook on life."

    Yeah and bank balance. Such Aussie classics that readily spring to mind is Mike Gibbo Gibson who wrote a column for the AWW during most of the eighties about his wife and kids and then left her for someone born closer to my era; divorced-and-re-fondled-agains such as Phil Smyth, Kevin Foley (erk),John Denver (yes, you read that right), Tony Greig (another erk), Sam Newman (ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew), Red Symons, the Dad from 'The Castle', Don Lane....

    Funny how - with the exception of Greg Norman - these blokes don't ever seem to remarry any sheilas that share the same birth decade isn't it?

  22. Squib - Ah, I don't know. I'm not making the rules, I'm not saying all age-different relationships are yuck. I've got a whole bunch of friends and relatives with large (decade +) age gaps and I don't have a problem with that because they were all at least adults and past uni when they got together. No one was still in high school wondering what the fuck was going on like in Twilight.

    I think the portrayal of someone who has lived for eighty years finding potential life-long stimulus and love in someone who hasn't even lived away from their parents is weird.

    You're a mother - picture Mr Squib's best mate and Big Squib proclaiming undying love for one another, holding hands at family dinners and planning elopements around Big Squib's Year Twelve exams.

    Kath - Don't even get me started on that.
    Actually - I couldn't give a stuff. Some men are just shallow and treat women like cars: upgradeable.
    It's the blokes my age who still get all lustful for young girls. Of course they want to have sex with them, but I just find myself wondering, apart from all the issues with treating women as commodities, what on earth a man of 30 would possibly find interesting about a 16-year-old girl's life.
    Sure, I found 16yo girls interesting when I was sixteen, but as I grew up, so did the kinds of women I was interested in.
    On the flip-side I reckon a 16yo girl would get plenty out of a relationship with a much older guy: he's interesting, experienced, masculine, protective, he treats her like an adult and they can have many grown up conversations. But after a while, the question would have to come up: "Why can't you get a girlfriend your own age? Or older?" and, perhaps more importantly: "What's wrong with older women? I will be one soon enough."

  23. I believe there is a formula for equating the "appropriateness" of the age difference when dating a younger woman. It goes as follows:

    If the Girl (or woman depending on age) is older than half-your-age-plus-seven, then it is ok.

    So, for example, I am 27. Half of 27 is 14 (I'm rounding up to prove that I'm a classy guy). 14 plus 7 is 21. Hence it should be appropriate for me to date a 21 year old... hmm... I still wouldn't.

    There is no rule of thumb for women. Dating an older woman is ALWAYS appropriate (see link) - unless she is ugly.

    Shippy - I knew what you meant. But now that you've pointed it out to me i just feel... awkward.

  24. I'm not entirely sure about the formula - but it seems as scientific as anything.

    I think the answer to all my explanations is also the answer to the question why, as a 27yo, wouldn't you date a 21yo?
    I can personally understand why, and that's why I'm going on and on about it.

    I still think 80yo and 17yo is bad bad mojo.

  25. Better yet, why if you were a 19 year old would you date a 32 year old? I have one particularly fuked up friend.

  26. I don't think we should bring BigSquib into it. She's 14

    I think it's patronising to believe that a younger woman is always some unwitting pawn. Whether one person in the relationship has been to uni is neither here nor there. If two people are happy and they are not doing any harm then who are we to judge?

  27. Andy - I guess you might date a 32yo for the reasons I outlined above: experience, maturity, security, etc.

    Squib - You're right, I'm sorry, I should never have used your family as an example. It was overly personal when I'm trying to make a general point and I sincerely apologise.

    I'm trying not to focus on the idea of the helpless, witless, inexperienced young girl preyed upon by the horny mid-lifer. I don't think it's helpful or accurate.

    I just think about that kind of age-gap relationship, look at the grown-up person with all their lived experience and wonder why they're choosing to impose themselves upon someone else who hasn't had that chance.

    Think of all the stuff someone generally does between the ages of 20 & 30 and all the stuff they do between 30 & 40, or 40 & 50. If you're 30 or 40, why do you want a 20yo to do that with you and miss out on all the 20yo stuff they could by themselves?

    Edward is 80. He should be off doing something more useful with his enternal life than shagging high school girls and having it presented as beautiful natural romance to young readers who are pretty susceptible to the idea of beautiful natural romance themselves.

  28. No apology needed Franz. I think this has been interesting

    I don't think we need to worry that teen girls are going to read Twilight and be swayed into romances with old vampires who look young though :)

    I asked BigSquib what she thinks about big age gaps and she responded "Ewwwwwwwwww"

    I would have failed The other sam's formula when I married MrSQuib (28/44)

  29. Thanks, Squib. But my apology stands. I think to argue things honourably you should appeal to reason rather than circumstance.

    I'm not actually worried about teenage girls rushing out and dating 80yos, not one bit. I just think that an 80yo who hasn't learned anything more than a 17yo in his 80 years is kind of a dumb character, rather than a romantic one. I was (mildly) surprised that when Bella learned that he was 80 she didn't turn to him and go "And you're still in high school?!?"
    Says a lot about her character, really.

    I think there might need to be qualifying range on TooS's formula: picture your average 57 year old stepping out with a 100yo.

  30. My hubby is eleven years younger than me. We met only seven years ago.

  31. Squib, 28 and 44 sounds pretty bloody good to me because, as Franzy said, you weren't some impressionable teenager who hadn't had any life experience. Besides, Johnny Depp and Keanu Reeves are 44 and *whew* let's just say I consider them in the peak of their lives.....

    River - good for YOU girl!

    As for me: how's this for mathematical precision (well, Love Chunks *is* a maths/physicist) - he's one year, one month and one day older than me!

  32. GTH:- 80 year old getting all steamed up over a sweet young thing, just like a lot of older men, who somehow think that being with or being seen with a much younger person makes them look or feel young.

  33. Amended GTH:- Franzy getting all steamed over the whole Twilight series.


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32