why fall in love NOW?


I really quite enjoyed this discussion… Quoting Joseph Natoli (from his editorial to The Journal of Popular Culture, 43(4)):

Edward has been seventeen for a hundred years: why fall in love now at this moment with Bella? How many years in high school is that? But Bella is the one he’s now willing to break all the family vampire rules for. Has no one so remarkable—and I think she is remarkable only because of the camera’s steady marking of her—crossed his path before? But Bella is Now and not Then. She is the present moment and not any moment in the past. And I know, just as I know it is axiomatic for capitalism to suck all the blood it can, that Twilight’s audience is an audience of Now, of the moment. All of history is dead in this movie, and unlike the vampire it isn’t revived. No one in the audience cares about or even thinks about what Edward might have been doing during his hundred years in high school. For them—and I see the colorful dial faces of cell phones lighting up all around me in the theater as the Twitter Moment trumps the moment of the film—there is only the moment Now. Everyone in the audience is Bella, and Bella is Now because they are Now, in the present only, in an isolated, frozen pulse beat of Now, which is so cleverly realized by the newest digital software, Twitter. In the Twitter Moment there is no historical curiosity; you living now are privileged.” (p. 675)

“We are of the Twitter Moment Now. But I yet recall our poststructural chain of signification upon which a notion of difference was built, namely, that what anything meant in the present moment depended on a trace, a difference that was retained in the present from what went before and was deferred until a trace of what came after was disclosed. Interminably. All such traces could never be fulfilled in the present moment now, and so meaning was endlessly postponed, deferred. The Twitter Moment depends neither on differences revealed with the past nor on deferments to the future because the Twitter Moment makes no allowances for the past nor has it any room for the past. The past, history does not matter. Neither does the immediacy, the fullness, and independence of the Twitter Moment defer to what may come, to any future possibility.

Bella’s desire to endure unchanging as Edward is unchanging, to live in an eternal present where past events and meanings have no effect and the future is not to be feared because it will not change you, is, I suggest, a rather perfect imaging of the Twitter Moment in which not only the Millennials but an increasing number of us in this first decade of the twenty-first century now live. The endless chain of signification where the present moment is not allowed to reveal itself fully without traces of past and future, without memory and expectation, has been replaced by the Twitter Moment where the Now can stand forth totally disconnected from past and future. The Twitter Moment can disclose the fullness of the present. All that is needed is the proper technology and the freedom to choose. What is chosen? You choose to make time yours; you choose to stop time at your will and live eternally in the moment of your choice. I begin to see that this is as an enchantment not merely of a teen but of a culture.

Bella wants to place herself where Edward is, a frozen moment where time does not matter and the moment can be seized in a selfcontained totality. The vampire has brought time to a standstill; there is no progressing or elapsing of time to the moment of death. Nor does tomorrow or the day after or the years after that alter the eternal present in which the vampire lives. You can, if you live in the Twitter Moment, ignore without consequence what has come before your latest tweet.” (p. 676)

“The vampire does not live in history but only in the present. This is where Bella wants to be, and I suggest it’s where the entranced audience wants to be. They want to stop time; they want to stop the interpretation of history and the consideration of where our values and meanings will lead us in the future.” (p. 677)

Ref: (italics in original, emphases in blue bold mine) Joseph Natoli ‘Guest Editorial: The Twittering of Twilight‘ The Journal of Popular Culture Volume 43, Issue 4, pages 671–680, August 2010


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