Potent Ponderables

The State of Le Footnote

They’re great!  Really fantastic!  Your mind’s gonna explode with the sheer force of the cosmic intellectual power that’s contained with these posts.  You’ll probably sprout a tweed jacket and pipe just by glancing at what’s popping in the hopper, and terms like ‘advanced capitalism’ and ‘deconstructionist literary criticism’ will permeate your quotidian discourse like Cholula on tacos.

Since President Ears decided to grace the country with another one of his eerie Umbridgesque speeches a few weeks ago – and, more importantly, since one or two people were kind enough to shoot us an IM on GChat and ask WTF was up with the dearth of posts – we thought we’d get in touch with our feminine sides and share with you all what’s going on at Le Footnote.

It’s Brooke’s fault.  She’s got a bee in her bonnet about ‘doing something with her life’, which usually translates into, ‘doing something other than what she needs to do’.  She’s got the attention span and memory of a goldfish, so combine football with True Grit and Black Swan, Facebook, Girl Talk, Amy Chua, and enabling housemates and she’s pretty much a useless bag of Gap.  The fact that United decided to honor their teammates who tragically perished in the Munich aircrash fifty-three years ago today by losing to a team who couldn’t score with a pack of State sorority girls on spring break (thereby ending their undefeated streak this season) has effectively eliminated the possibility of providing the honored reader with an ETA.

However, the diligence and fidelity of the great Jane are not to be underestimated – in addition to being the titled academic in this outfit, she also possesses the singular gift of being able to not only tolerate Brooke’s ADD, but actually channel it in a way that produces things like paid bills, posts, and completed paperwork.  So never fear – there really are some posts in the works, and in between YouTube videos and dinner parties, Brooke has actually managed ‘to dosomething four things with her life’, so keep an eye on your Google reader.

Never Write Her Off


Many, many thanks to that bastion of truth and integrity in journalism (The Onion) for illuminating our poor, weak, enfettered minds.

Team Victoria

Seriously.  Apart from having fabulous hair, great boots and superb running form, there are legitimate, rationally-founded reasons for why Victoria should’ve won.

1) She’s Selfless: I remember talking to my friend Matt about this one.  Matt’s from Alabama; a dyed-in-the-wool Southern gentleman who has a pretty hardcore antipathy to chicks like Victoria, and even he paused for a moment when I was arguing the case for her.  Victoria isn’t stupid; she’s well aware that the Volturi are going to find out about her little entourage and come after her, and that this may well be one pair of handcuffs that she won’t be able to twist out of, but out of loyalty to the memory of her mate, she willingly risks her own safety in order to avenge him.

2) She’s Clever: One of the things that attracted James (her mate; the one Edward killed) to her is her uncanny instinct for survival – she’s very good at maneuvering dangerous situations, and she isn’t easily frightened or intimidated.  She manages to elude the Cullens, the Quileutes, and even the Volturi (for a time, at least) while she orchestrates her plan to exact revenge upon Edward.  She’s brave and resourceful, and singularly determined – it’s unfortunate that she should choose to exercise her talents in a manner that comes at the cost and corruption of human life, but even this is not done wantonly.  She knows that the Cullens and the wolves will be protecting Bella, and that this is the only way she’ll have a chance at getting to her. 

3) She’s Just: Victoria doesn’t want to kill Bella because she’s got some personal issue with her – it’s simply the fact that Bella is Edward’s ‘mate’.  She’d have the same vendetta against any other woman (human or not) who was with Edward – he killed hers, so she’s going to kill his. If what Jane has argued against Bella’s character is true, I’m not entirely positive that this is an absolutely reprehensible thing.  I have scant respect for a girl who values the people she loves so little that she would deny them the skill and strength of a proved warrior in a battle they were fighting to protect her, and it’s generally considered the height of selfishness to compel your boyfriend to choose between his family and yourself, particularly when the family in question is – this cannot be over-emphasized – risking their lives to protect you.

I’m not holding Victoria up as a beacon of feminine virtue; I don’t think that the proper way to process one’s grief at the loss of a beloved husband is to kill the wife of the dastard who killed him.  She seduces an unwitting young man into doing her dirty work, single-handedly orchestrates what could arguably be regarded as the degenerative transformation of several people, and is indirectly responsible for the deaths of several more.  There is, however, one key point that I shall respectfully submit for my honored readers’ consideration: Meyer’s vampire world doesn’t subscribe to any particular moral code.  Their implicit social rules seem to be (1) don’t expose yourself to the humans, and (2) don’t irritate each other, and (3) obey the Volturi.  There is no rule that condemns vigilante justice, provided that it’s carried out in a fashion that doesn’t put the vampire community at risk.[1] Victoria ran it pretty close to the line, but Washington law enforcement was still ready to write the deaths off as the work of a serial killer by the time the newborns were disposed of, and the saga continues without every indication that human beings were none the wiser for her misfeasance.  At no point in the series does Meyer make it clear that even the ‘traditional’ vampires (i.e., the ones who feed on humans) are doing anything other than what is dictated by their natures.[2]

If it’s not clear that the vampires are meant to follow any set of moral laws, and if it’s not clear that the villain has broken any of the implicit laws, then how may we properly classify her as a villain?  If it may be argued that the heroine has committed a morally reprehensible act, what should we make of her?

[1] Indeed, since the vampire community has no official governing body, it may be argued that Victoria’s attempt at retribution is an instance of the execution of civic justice.

[2] See her treatment of these traditional vampires in Breaking Dawn.


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