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Oh, hell to the noes... - Diary of a Necromancer
Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense, you're just not keeping up
Oh, hell to the noes...
Whoo, nelly, and then I found this little gem in New Moon:

Seeing Jacob like that -- innocent and vulnerable in sleep -- had stolen all my revulsion, dissolved all my anger. I still couldn't turn a blind eye to what was happening, like Billy seemed to, but I couldn't condemn Jacob for it either. Love didn't work that way, I decided. Once you cared about a person, it was impossible to be logical about them anymore. Jacob was my friend whether he killed people or not. And I didn't know what I was going to do about that. [emphasis mine]

Umm, NO? This is going down the path of the reasoning that leads people to stay in abusive relationships, or be persuaded to kill in the names of gods. Love is not about surrendering all of your boundaries and common sense and self, in fact it's about the responsibility to call people on their shit sometimes, and respecting yourself enough to walk away if it has to come to it. I will grant the writer that this is accurate to the mindset of a character of this age, but so far I still don't see the narrative presenting this outlook as an issue rather than a statement of fact, which is... uh, yeah.

I'm wondering if it's coloring my reading of this text that I happen to know that the author is of a declared religious persuasion, regardless even of the details of it; I can see where certain assumptions that the narrative seems to be making might be grounded in a particular experience of acculturation that states the rules of the world are A, B, and C, and then goes the further step of believing that therefore A, B, and C are how the world works, rather than one system (among possibilities) postulated as an explanation. There's an... unexaminedness to the underpinnings of this narrative that's really kind of mind-blowing to someone raised to question any framework presented as a given. And one of the assumptions that this work is making is that Daddy Knows Best, metaphorically: hey, you weren't gonna be using that free will for anything anyway...

feeling: analytical

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mortuus From: mortuus Date: July 20th, 2011 10:38 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Though I can't say her Mormonism doesn't color her perspectives, I too am Mormon, and in discussions (rants) about her books with my Mormon friends, we're all pretty appalled at how she sees clearly abusive or at least dysfunctional relationships as normal. That and her bad writing.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: July 20th, 2011 10:58 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Yeah, I'm not calling out Mormonism specifically so much as the idea of having grown up within a belief-system, and the ways that that can keep one from seeing the boundaries of one's particular set of perspectives, or even that there might be boundaries; she seems to be writing from a standpoint where it is possible for there to be One True Way, and that she is presenting that One True Way, insofar as there's no admission of the possibility that the world is bigger than what she's showing. Am I making sense? I mean, it feels like those experiments where they raised kittens in an environment without any vertical lines, and they grew up literally, physically incapable of processing a vertical visual stimulus; there's something big that she does not know that she doesn't see, and it's on a level that's informing the rest of the worldbuilding in some bizarre ways...
mortuus From: mortuus Date: July 20th, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
That makes sense - the limited perspective, the lack of options. Those tend to come with age, but as you said in the initial post, though her characters are teenagers, her writing indicates she doesn't see any more than a teenager would, despite being older. Yep, agree.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: July 20th, 2011 11:22 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Not even necessarily age, so much, as overall experiences -- I saw something about her having said "oh, Bella's not me, she's less sheltered", and I would definitely say that, yeah, there are ways to grow up where you know that your life is not the world, and then there are ways to grow up where that's never, ever going to occur to you even later on in life; religion is one of the bigger variables as a risk-factor for that, as far as I've ever been able to make out, just by virtue of the premise that there are Answers to be had, because it sets the situation up for keeping apart from those who don't have said Answers.
mortuus From: mortuus Date: July 20th, 2011 11:37 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Good point. Age does not necessarily mean experience and realistic perspective.

I'm less willing to blame religion since plenty of religious folks are wise and plenty of non-religious people are blind (and, of course, vice versa). I think the key is whether you use religion (or one's non-religious philosophy?) as a launch point to exploring life or as the end point.

I saw something about her having said "oh, Bella's not me, she's less sheltered"

Wow. Yeah, that's pretty sad.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: July 21st, 2011 07:16 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Maybe it's not so much "religion" as "received truth" that's the issue; I see a similar dynamic operating with patriotism, for example, where some people can say, "yeah, it's got its flaws but it's a nice place that works for me", and others get stuck at extremes like parroting back "love it or GTFO" or having no idea that everywhere isn't exactly like where they are. There's a branch of my family that I can barely deal with anymore because they do not question what they're told by persons who set themselves in positions of authority -- I don't have a problem with "okay, I've heard your argument and your goals are in alignment with mine", whether it's regarding spirituality or the most efficient way to perform a task at a job, but I do have a big problem with accepting "because They said so" at face value. (For one thing, who's They, and what are their qualifications to be They...?) So as you say, yeah,the important thing is, is belief the beginning of the argument, or the end? 'Cos it's a lot harder to have a conversation when one person thinks it's already over... and Twilight feels like it starts out from a settled proposition.
mortuus From: mortuus Date: July 21st, 2011 12:48 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Yep, totally agree.
unhipster From: unhipster Date: July 21st, 2011 03:00 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Yeah, the thing that creeps me out the most is that she seems to see abusive relationships as normal, even romantic. WTF.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: July 21st, 2011 07:52 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Yeah, that it's the major pattern that emerges is certainly skeevy. I think that's why I'm wanting to finger the idea of religion for something, because it feels like that controlling dynamic in so many of the relationships has to do with the notion of submitting joyfully to an authority you're not allowed to question -- it's just too pervasive a motif not to be bubbling up from somewhere deeper.
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