Unlikely 2.0

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Editors' Notes

Maria Damon and Michelle Greenblatt
Jim Leftwich and Michelle Greenblatt
Sheila E. Murphy and Michelle Greenblatt

A Visual Conversation on Michelle Greenblatt's ASHES AND SEEDS with Stephen Harrison, Monika Mori | MOO, Jonathan Penton and Michelle Greenblatt

Letters for Michelle: with work by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Jeffrey Side, Larry Goodell, mark hartenbach, Charles J. Butler, Alexandria Bryan and Brian Kovich

Visual Poetry by Reed Altemus
Poetry by Glen Armstrong
Poetry by Lana Bella
A Eulogic Poem by John M. Bennett
Elegic Poetry by John M. Bennett
Poetry by Wendy Taylor Carlisle
A Eulogy by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Joel Chace
A Spoken Word Poem and Visual Art by K.R. Copeland
A Eulogy by Alan Fyfe
Poetry by Win Harms
Poetry by Carolyn Hembree
Poetry by Cindy Hochman
A Eulogy by Steffen Horstmann
A Eulogic Poem by Dylan Krieger
An Elegic Poem by Dylan Krieger
Visual Art by Donna Kuhn
Poetry by Louise Landes Levi
Poetry by Jim Lineberger
Poetry by Dennis Mahagin
Poetry by Peter Marra
A Eulogy by Frankie Metro
A Song by Alexis Moon and Jonathan Penton
Poetry by Jay Passer
A Eulogy by Jonathan Penton
Visual Poetry by Anne Elezabeth Pluto and Bryson Dean-Gauthier
Visual Art by Marthe Reed
A Eulogy by Gabriel Ricard
Poetry by Alison Ross
A Short Movie by Bernd Sauermann
Poetry by Christopher Shipman
A Spoken Word Poem by Larissa Shmailo
A Eulogic Poem by Jay Sizemore
Elegic Poetry by Jay Sizemore
Poetry by Felino A. Soriano
Visual Art by Jamie Stoneman
Poetry by Ray Succre
Poetry by Yuriy Tarnawsky
A Song by Marc Vincenz

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Why I Hate Twilight and My Life Sux: or Bite This, a (sort of) rebuttal of the Bitch article Bite Me
by Anne McMillen

Twilight by Stephanie MeyerNow before you call me a "hater" or raise your hand in protest over yet another feminist rant about what a dumb bitch Bella is...let me start by saying this...No, I'm not mad that another poorly-written book has turned into money-churning vaudeville...that someone whose writing style is half existential nihilism and half what author Christine Seifert (in her bitch article "Bite Me! (Or Donít)") calls "abstinence porn"...I mean fuck, people have been doing that for years...and it is the YOUNG ADULT genre. Damn, is Bella suppose to instruct Edward on the correct way to put on a condom (which probably would have took Meyer another whole book with the way she drags out pointless conversations). On some level this series of books is kind of like The Babysitter's Club and V.C. Andrews blended together with Goosebumps minus Nancy Drew, and just as frothy and mindnumbing.

Wow, another anti-heroine? Go figure, with a public that is more concerned with LiLo's "tweets" and Ryan Seacrest's blogs, I'm shocked that someone actually noticed. In Meyer's defense someone had to step in to fill the gap Poppy Z. Brite left when she started writing idiosyncratic books about restaurants (that no one cared to notice) and hell, Anne Rice found God and lost her talent years ago. To put it gently, publishing houses have been dying to find someone to write another semi-erotic vamp series to money-suck the pockets of the more than willing populace. Just as willing as Bella is to be killed, so are we to be suckered. This is exactly what most feminist critiques seem to miss about the character of Bella...is her utter and complete post-modern nihilism. Yeah, she doesn't care if she dies, fuck it. She has the void drone of personality Spielburg meant to capture in A.I. but never could and the complete sterility of one of Wilson's co-workers in Orwell's 1984.

Seriously, Being A Moron Isn't A Crime

And you know what the real fucking kicker is...I would bet 100 to 1 Meyer had no clue until recently, if she even does now, who Betty Friedan is. Meyer is no feminist...she's a suburban housewife from Phoenix Arizona, and anyone who has spent as much time as I have trapped in the American West Airlines mother hub knows that Phoenix is a complete shit-hole, even from the 200-mile-club prospective. Hell, I'm from Cleveland, definitely not a Midwestern Oasis by any fucking stretch of the imagination but damn, at least we have trees. Meyer attended Brigham Young University (where I doubt they are teaching feminism) and presumably was raised Mormon. Come on now, that sucks. I'm sure she never read The Feminine Mystique, Cunt, or Female Chauvinist Pigs...unless it was recently. This is a disemboweled woman being attacked for the crime of what...ignorance? Of living the American Dream of squirting out a couple of pups and then turning one of her possibly only pleasures—her escape into vampire fingerbang masturbation fantasies—into a 3000 page bonanza (or excuse me, I mean writing the next Great American Novel)? Of giving more than one teenage boy the chance to shoot his first sludge over words of heaving bosoms and heavy breathing and bite-marked headboards straight into the dank, dark and stretched asshole of what can only very loosely be called "The American Literary Experience?"

Really, no one ever accused Harry Potter of being a metrosexual.

Meyer isn't verbose as much as wordy. I had to skim the whole four book series because I just couldn't take the idiotic conversations between Bella and her Lothario...I mean Edward should feel blessed he couldn't read Bella's mind because it was pretty vapid. I think it's just a reflection of the times...and of course of a chaste one at that...given it takes somewhere around 1600 pages for our little lover birds to finally knock boots or bite pillows or whatever the hell they did in that leave-it-to-the-imagination page break...Bella couldn't be your average trollop, teenage whore. Although I do find it rather amusing that she becomes a "teen mother."

Literature is Not Pulp Fiction

Let me just draw a line in the sand right now. Stephen King is not Henry Miller (another woman hating rat bastard even if he could write, but alas, I digress) Anne Rice is not Anaïs Nin (incest daddy weirdness), you cannot fucking compare pop writers to George Bataille, Bukowski (alcoholic slimeball), Burroughs, Plath, etc and so on ad nauseum. They are not even in the same league, it's like trying to conjure deep meaning from the movie Look Who's Talking Five in light of something like The Elephant Man, or comparing a high school basketball player to LeBron James. Simply unfair and unrealistic.

Nihilism and Erasure of Self

Perhaps the most terrifying aspect of this tale is not the fear of losing ones life to a "killer" (hell, we all know the stock market value of life in the current global climate is dropping daily) but losing any sense of self-identity through the most all encompassing of co-dependent "loves." In order for women to ever attain freedom or equality they need to stop buying the lie that self-sacrifice is the path to salvation. That "love" prevails and/or heals. This story manages to take the Cinderella story to a whole new extreme where a woman's identity and sense of purpose as an individual is completely lost in that of another person. Bella is a non-entity, a void to be filled by the metaphysical bite or prick, thereby becoming an equal...or a "thing" in existence.

When it comes to Meyer, we are talking about a woman who has probably never had an orgasm for Christ's fucking sakes. Attacking Meyer for her anti-feminist sensibilities is like attacking George Washington for having slaves. We cannot blame them for the brainwashing they were born into. We can only admonish the results of their ignorance. Like many cultist and religious cultures, America's right wing Christian/Mormon "fundies" are inherently hostile to women-given that we are the blame for humanities fall from God's grace...through Eve's "indulgence" in the apple. Essentially feminist women are fighting 2000 years worth of lies and bad logic wrapped in an apple.

And I'm sure that whatever bozo religious community she was surely a part of was none too pleased with her decent into "Satanism", and now the left has her caught in the crossfire with no one but her money-grubbing publishing company to take care of damage control—which they've done so poorly. One could argue that it's a miracle she acted independently at all.

Interlude: The "Problem" with Feminism

The irony inherent in feminism isn't just the insurmountable cultural and ideological struggles each woman faces, but the own beast of conditioning and brain washing bred into the fabric of being born with a cunt at all. It is our internal attacks on ourselves which are most havoc-wracking and pain-inflicting. It's as if each woman is born crippled and the surrounding institutions and ideologies are set up to keep her crippled...this is so ingrained as to be invisible...women have become their own worst enemies.

Stephanie Meyer hasn't learned yet how to walk without crutches—don't let the monetary success fool you, she is still a captive slave to the thousand years of lies wrapped in an apple. Her experience is as a woman is just as authentic as that of any other woman's....as limiting as it is. You cannot hate her for believing that being an emotional slave to a man is the best thing in life, second only to squirting out his spawn. You can only pity her and attempt to educate through counterpoint. We are each given the painful option of reclaiming and rehabilitating our minds and hearts.

Feminism really fell apart on the topic of sexuality. This is in part due to the fact that once you start talking in a context that promotes any ideologies regarding "how women are suppose to be" you are already fucking up and being counterproductive. I don't hate Meyer but the society of spectacle which created her makes me sad. I am doubtful of the sincerity of any feminist movement that grows from this current culture and its "trends."

Proof That I Really Did Major in Philosophy

One should not seek to be equal to a man—one should strive beyond the entrapment of gender—by transmorphing into the supra-metaphysical world beyond flesh where true personal power can be found. Asexuality and androgyny are paths to overcoming, as observed in Taoism and other Asian philosophical teachings. The saddest and hardest part is that only through a free mind and consciousness—cleaned of self-hate and neediness—can true physical comfort and expression be found. This is true for all genders, races, and other limiting words/labels stamped across humans. To be home in your physical self you must eradicate all reasons to detest yourself that are superficially given to you via social imposition.

I've seen so many women terrified of being alone. It's as if they cannot function without a "lover." They need to be with someone to promote an ingrained co-dependency that proves their worth...this is in effect a shackle. Women have children and families because "that's what women do"...it's disturbing. Defined and limited by the physical, Bella, Cinderella, your mother and probably you yourself—seeking and looking for a way to fixate your attention from the void within yourselves to the void within another. I see a lot of women who are indecisive—as if they were waiting for directions from the clouds—unable to decide what to do with themselves. They don't know how to be happy alone—they don't know how to create meaning—so sometimes they create children to fill that purpose. They escape into the viable sources of comfort available, overeating, overspending, overindulgence in alcohol and drugs, anorexia, overexercising, any way to ease the ache, even sleeping around. Whatever it is...it is.

Abstinence Porn or Just Being Responsible?

Now, I'm not into that "no sex until marriage" shit that is rife in Twilight but I would also like to make a comment on sexual freedom—this does not mean being a fucking ho-bag and banging everything that comes within twenty feet of your vagina...or being irresponsible with your body and getting knocked up "on accident" or catching an STD...because you were dong what felt good. Let me state for the record that I am a pro-sex feminist...but I believe that real sexual freedom comes from mending your intellect into your emotional physicality—it expresses both self-love and confidence to exert a decision that makes sense logically. Sexual freedom does not disenfranchise the person you fuck, it does not interfere with their ability to make a decision. It does not reduce. True sexual freedom is not an abandoned escape into banal carnality...although from the outside it may appear that way...it is rather the embrace of self in dedication to pleasure and self-care. It starts when one makes a choice through their own volition, an informed choice about the consequences of their actions through awareness and the ability to be conscientious and sensitive to the needs of oneself and of the other. This all sounds very dry, but trust me, being at one with yourself can get pretty fucking kinky when you're ready to show your lover what your needs really look like.

Go Fuck Yourself, Really, You Might Feel Better

Wow, now that I got really off topic, here is my gift to you. Some books that might help you get yourself to what takes 1500 pages for Bella and Don Juan to get to.

If you want to read literary erotica that will truly set your loins on fire and make you feel uncontrollable lust and completely sick with perversion—forget about this Harlequin romance novel for the sexually disabled and try picking up Glamorama by Ellis or Story of the Eye by Bataille. These books will shock you with their provocative evocations of carnal lust and make you feel truly uncomfortable with the fact that such smut can turn you on. And if you're just looking for something to rub one off to, try My Secret Garden: Women's Sexual Fantasies or the autobiographical The Happy Hooker by Xaviera Hollander, the true account of a call girl turned madam. Both of which are female-empowering and helpful to realizing and embracing lust. Some of this stuff is bizarre enough to even make me blush...but I promise the pay off and allure is 1000 times that of the virginal meat-beat of Twilight's lobotomized sexuality.

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Anne McMillen is a 28-year-old writer and artist who currently squats in a foreclosed house in the suburbs of Cleveland. Her first full-length of poetry, Monolith, is forthcoming from Unlikely Books.

Comments (closed)

Jimberly B
2009-06-01 19:45:50

So, this was a review of a book, right? I think maybe you took it too seriously. People write uninhibited crap all the time and it's not a sociopolitical statement, it's just money, as is presented below:


If it didn't work, go here:


2009-06-02 19:27:35

excellent. every word is the truth, too.

annie mcmillen
2009-06-02 22:51:53

hey jimbo-i'll let your smart ass mouth slide this time...only because i know you can't understand the review given that it would require a secondary education (haha)...see you and your weed on my couch soon i'm assuming...

oh, and if this isn't jimmy b...i think you took this review too seriously...i write unihibited crap all the time and it's not a sociopolitical statement...it's just reality...which thereby means...not much money...sniffle

2009-06-05 22:33:12

a review of a review of a book--it's not the formal framework that matters. it's the truths spoken.

carol voccia
2009-06-06 11:53:52

something told me not to read that book...must have been my snobbery instincts!

2009-06-11 14:11:04

I was forced to read this series for a books store gig...I threw two of the books against the wall. I have also thrown Pound against the wall for assuming that I speak seven languages (I speak four to my credit), so I don't know that this is an apt expression of frustration. Yet, Meyer made me want to call for a straight jacket, and Pound never did.

2009-06-11 14:30:25

Let the record show that ignorant fingerbang housewife-pornographers are more irritating than showoff Nazis. Damn, I wish I could disagree.

2009-06-26 19:43:07

You're talking about female empowerment and citing the happy hooker? Seriously?

Your argument for androgeny only underlines yor own self loathing, there is nothing transcendent or superior in choosing to be nothing instead of being forced to be anything.

If people really want to be empowered, they should be whatever the hell they want to be.

2009-06-27 17:14:35

you are totally right, i should have quoted michael jackson.

okay detective valeria, i'll grant you that my self loathing is evident...but so it does in anyone who chooses to stay alive on this miserable planet.

"forced to be anything"...interesting choice of words...i think what you were trying to ask me is revealed in that statement itself...

"if people really want to be empowered, they should be whatever the hell they want to be"...that would be nice, wouldn't it...but due to media, religion, various social agendas brought upon by others...i don't think its plausible or likely that anyone has a fucking clue what they want to be...

i'm androgenous by choice...while you're a moron by default...sigh

2009-12-26 13:30:22

Annie, these clowns best not be steppin'.
I enjoyed your review, and I've got a dick, so props.

Argyle Schmargyle
2010-01-05 14:56:59

2 poins for the use of "fingerbang"

4 points for doing a review of a review- with books I lent you and then sold on craigslist.

Favorite Quote : "this does not mean being a fucking ho-bag and banging everything that comes within twenty feet of your vagina"

All in all. I <3 you.