Bloody Tears of Agony

by Calvin Patimeteeporn


Professor Hall:

Imagine you are playing the game Tetris. You’re playing along but you slowly begin to realize that the game is only giving you the awkward (and devastating) “Z” shaped blocks and you can never make a line. No matter how hard you try, the blocks fall down in unwanted patterns, creating tiny spaces that prevent you from your goal. Even though these “Z” blocks have the same number of blocks (4) as the other pieces you need, you are not able to win.

Now retain with this image but add bleeding tears of agony.

This, Professor Hall, is what reading Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser is like:


If you think this is bad, you should see me when I read Twilight.

Continuing with my Tetris metaphor, while the number of “blocks” of the “Z” shaped blocks are the same as the others, its the arrangement that throws you completely off. Spenser wrote this epic (epic in its actual definition, rather than the modern slang) in a time where spelling was just as set in stone and mature as Stephanie Meyers’s writing ability. Thus, words he used were spelled completely differently than that of today, resulting in eye-bleeding-worthy confusion. Misspellings and archaic diction both contribute to the verbal pandemonium that ensues when encountered with non-literature savvy people. Much like the scenario in the game above and with Spenser’s work, you can’t win.


As well as confusing words, the structure of Spenser’s writing brings grief and frustration as well. Last week in biology, I learned that only 3% of the billions of base pairs in our genome actually code for proteins. This is much like Faerie Queene where basically most of the words used are, for the lack of a better term, junk. There is a small percentage however that actually contribute to story. In Book III Cantos iii, Glauce, the nurse to warrior maiden Britomart, takes said maiden to Merlin to seek help, as Britomart has been struck and sickened by love. Merlin explains to her that she is falling for her destined husband, Arthegall. He could have done so in maybe a few stanzas. However, Spenser decides to switch the characteristics of the wizard Merlin out with that of the Twilight saga, boring and far too long.

Faerie Queene is filled with enough odd spellings to make anyone think they are as illiterate as R. Kelly, and enough unwanted material that Matthew McConnaughey would think he has competition for the next  new romantic comedy movie. So here I warn you Professor Hall, approach Faerie Queene with the caution you would use with a rabid bear. Now if you will excuse me, I feel like this eye bleeding problem has gone out of control.

Hot Vampires vs. Vapid Hobbits is A No-Brainer to Me

For someone who isn’t a huge fantasy watcher, or reader (or gamer for that matter), I feel like my outside perspective may be of interest to those who share my common burden. Never having read any of the usual childhood loving novels for my own pleasure, or finding any type of online game or video game remotely interesting, along with finding it almost impossible to stay awake through the extended version of an already ridiculously long movie, might make me sound like such a pessimist. Even so, I’m quite fascinated by how passionate people can be about their games, and books and movies.

To me, a movie is just a movie. Whether or not it lives up to the expectations of the book or not, I could care less, I just want to watch a good movie. Passionate People might argue that Lord of the Rings is by far a better made movie then Twilight, because the book is known for being one of the most epic fantasy stories ever created. But think about it, what would you rather watch; 3 ½ hours of a journey that doesn’t end, or an arousing tale of a vampire fighting for the girl he loves?

Yes, I have to admit the realism of Lord of the Rings is quite breathtaking. The directors really knew what they were doing by making the movie look so real and making sure that every scene sent out just the right message for people to comprehend. And yes, I cannot deny that in Twilight, the shimmery glitter does look pretty awful when Edward Cullen’s character steps into the light. But the Twilight budget for filmmaking was far less then LOTR, and overall it is of nearly the same quality. And why doesn’t anyone complain about Elijah Woods over acting huh?

Who knows whether the movie Twilight lived up the standards of the book or not; they’re making the second movie so it obviously couldn’t have been that bad. A Passionate Person might say that I’m stupid to try and compare a movie/book like Lord of the Rings to a movie/book like Twilight because they are obviously on different rungs of the ladder. However, being the underdog in this class due to my lack of knowledge in books movies or games, I find it appropriate to support the epic love story of Twilight for it’s sexy vampires, blood hungry villains, and its massive appeal of a fantastical world to the younger generation.