Wednesday, December 7, 2011 and the fall of western women's civilization spawned by Twilight -- Not

There've been a rash of opinion pieces all over the internet bashing the Twilight saga. Some make effective points; most don't, like the latest at It reads like a piece one might pull out of their butt to make a managing editor happy by driving up traffic through angered readers. (Believe me, I'm quite familiar with this kind of crap as a former managing editor--been there, applauded it.)
This particular piece was so thin and inflammatory that it deserved a comment. Here's what I posted:
Bottomline, Neha Gandhi argues this kind of modern myth is bad for US culture, right? We can ignore the fact that other cultures have built entire religions and ethical foundations on similar archetypes, yes?
We should just ignore the fact that billions (yes, with a B) of Indians, Nepalese and other near-Asian peoples over the past 2000+ years have enjoyed the epic Ramayana, whose god Rama and demigod/avatar Hanuman share characteristics similar to Edward Cullen and other male members of his family. Here's Jambavantha (a supporting character in the Ramayana) reminding Hanuman of his powers:
You are as powerful as the wind;
You are intelligent, illustrious & an inventor.
There is nothing in this world that’s too difficult for you;
Whenever stuck, you are the one who can help.
Yeah, the super-intelligent, incredibly strong, psychic immortal Edward, right there -- virtually another avatar of Rama/Hanuman.
And what of Sita, Rama's wife? An "abandoned child" or "orphan child" archetype, she's not unlike Bella in that they share rather thin parental oversight. She's supposed to model all that is the epitome of virtuous femininity as a model wife, although under threat from outside forces she cannot control (like kidnapping by god Ravana).
The Ramayana isn't the only mythic epic with parallels in the Twilight saga. One could make the case that many of our familiar fairy tales, Disney-fied for our modern western consumption, offer very similar archetypal models. But nobody's pointing out that Snow White--who lives unmothered and selflessly for seven little men while waiting for a prince to rescue her from evil--offers a similarly "bad" and eerily similar model of femininity as Bella does in the Twilight saga.'
Heck, no, let's not dig too deep there at the risk of pissing off Disney's lawyers, or hurting access to the actors, director and production companies behind the impending Snow White and the Huntsman.
Myths have been critical to the formation of human culture including its ethos since humans could tell stories. We've survived these many incarnations of the same archetypal models of masculinity and femininity for thousands of years. Yet this op-ed proposes young American women are suddenly going to emulate crappy models of femininity because of one author's myth-like books? Yeah. I don't get it. Weakly argued.
[Comment originally posted at:]

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fan Fiction Story Translation Policy

I've received requests to translate my stories in languages other than English, in which I draft my works.

At this time translations are NOT authorized for the following reasons:

-- English is my primary language; I am not prepared to do a thorough job of auditing translated works for their faithful duplication of the original work.

-- I am not prepared to audit the translators for performance if more than one request is made for a single non-English language.

-- Translators' work is voluntary and uncompensated, and therefore completely at the whim of the translator; I cannot assure that translation work will be completed fully and on a timely basis for readers of my work.

I'm very sorry for the inconvenience this causes my readers whose first language is not English.

Thank you for understanding.