Volume 16, Number 10
December 1, 2009

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This Week

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alev değimPromise Me This

There are some promises that you simply can't ignore. You may not fulfill them, but you can't act as if they don't exist. You must face them and pay them due respect by officially breaking them. What I mean by 'officially' is acknowledging what you had promised to do and explaining why you can't do it to the person you made the promise to. It's just like bringing a medical report to a professor to explain why you were absent at the time of an exam.

An explanation is the natural right of the person to whom the promise was made. However, we are so often deprived of this right because of the other person's cowardliness to facing responsibility-it has become almost a privilege to obtain. The question of "why?" is out of your league. Why? Because demanding "why?" already shows that you care and, as I have touched upon the subject earlier this semester, we are discouraged from caring.

Edward Cullen, the perfect guy that he is, provides the "why?" when he leaves Bella Swan although he had promised not to. "Bella is devastated...but her spirit is rekindled by her growing friendship with the irresistible Jacob Black. Suddenly she finds herself drawn into the world of the werewolves, ancestral enemies of the vampires, and finds her loyalties tested," follows the official Summit Entertainment synopsis for the movie New Moon, the second installment in The Twilight Saga.

As a fan of the Saga, I think the story would develop quite differently if Edward didn't grant Bella her "why?" Humans feed on certainty, whether they like what it entails or not, and go off their heads when they find themselves facing uncertainty. They go over and over in their minds what caused the state of uncertainty, create best/worst-case scenarios and refuse to give up hope on the best possibility. If Edward had left without a word, Bella would probably wait for him forever because his return would be the best-case scenario for her. So she wouldn't consider it possible that she could ever be happy with Jacob.

And people wonder what is so great about Twilight? Why has a book series about the love between an ordinary girl and a dazzlingly handsome vampire sold over 85 million copies and is being made into big-screen blockbusters? What makes Twilight a full-blown pop culture phenomenon as Gina McIntyre from the Los Angeles Times refers to it?

Because you can totally relate to it, like I just did. It tells a very ordinary story in extraordinary circumstances. People can see a slice of their own lives and get carried away in the dreamy (and it was a dream that got author Stephenie Meyer to write Twilight in the first place) aspect of its fantasy elements. And if you add cool quotes, cute guys and drop-dead gorgeous girls, you come up with this one giant package with everything that appeals to pop culture lovers.

"This franchise has everything in it: Romance, obviously, action, suspense. It has a dark side to it. I definitely think it's a movie for everyone," says Taylor Lautner, who plays Jacob Black, in a recent interview with the Boston Globe. No matter how commercial he sounds, one has to admit that he has a point. It basically comes to what I said above. Yet I can't help but feel a little bit offended by regarding Twilight in such simple terms. Perhaps it's the screaming fangirl in me waking up from her slumber for the release of New Moon.

After making this small promotion for Twilight to exemplify my argument, let me just conclude my remarks for this week by encouraging you to confront your promises. Some say promises are to be broken. No, they should be kept. On the other hand, nobody should be obliged to fulfill a promise unwillingly either. So my point is that it is okay if you can't keep a promise. Just let the other person know why. It may not be the kindest action, but it is the least you can do.

Knowing that it's a new moon is better than wondering if the clouds are blocking a full moon.

By Gönenç İnal (TRIN/IV)

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