Sunday Philosophical Teaparty 12.28

Oh, I suppose you’ll be wanting some deep, profound, thought-provoking question now. Since the Twilight post, my friends have linked me to Twilight merchandise that they found on and I’ve been randomly poking around myself so my questions for you are inspired by Twilight merchandise but I promise that they’ll be profound…ish.

Okay, to start off I have a small confession. Even after writing my post about Twilight in which I said that I didn’t like it, I bought a thingy of merchandise. Remember that picture of the rings I had in my last post? You know, the ones that had the words “I dream about being with you forever” on the inside of the box? And that had “lion” and “lamb” written on them? I just found it so amusing that I had to buy them. I have them with me as I write this post. Hot Topic is now sold out of them so it’s a good thing that I went to the store to get them when I did.

They also have some other… interesting bits of merchandise. For example, the Edward Body Shimmer. Now YOU can sparkle just like Edward! To quote a teen blogging buddy of mine

That’s so fail that it was win for a second and then became a fail again with the remainder.

I also offered MasalaSkeptic the “Twilight Watching You T-Shirt” after a friend linked me to it.

Anyway… Here are my teaparty questions that are based on Twilight merchandise.

Does it go against my principles of rationality to, one day, say that I really dislike Twilight, and then to rush to the mall the next day to buy merchandise?

Is sparkliness in vampires an evolutionary adaptation favoured by natural selection or sexual selection? Or is it neither and probably just that it hasn’t been selected against because it’s not detrimental to the survival of vampires?

Even if it were firmly established that Twilight was a book about stalkers would there be any point in parents not letting their kids read it? Can any harm really come from works of fiction in that sense? Under what circumstances would you seriously consider banning a book?

Given the fact that this is the most entirely insane philosophical teaparty so far do I deserve to continue posting on Teen Skepchick?

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  1. December 28, 2008 at 3:30 pm —

    1. That depends. Is this merchandise being used for The Evil Secularist Agenda?

    I think it’s a little bit iffy, but since it’s something that was always going to sell out, your purchase didn’t actually make a difference, so it doesn’t matter that much.

    2. I hypothesize that it was probably a dying trait, but was saved by disco, as it allowed many vampires to find new homes as singers.

    3. You can’t ban books for anything less than something like explaining a simple and plausible method for the destruction of humanity. That’s the threshold you have to reach before the precedent is less dangerous than the book itself.

    4. I thought that insanity was the POINT of blogging? =P

  2. FFFearlesss
    December 29, 2008 at 11:08 am —

    1. You can pass anything off by just saying, “Dude, it’s called irony.” As long as the money isn’t funding malicious plots and evil humans (as dictated by you and you alone) I say enjoy the artwork.

    2. I think it evolved out of somebody who realized her book sucked but she needed some kind of soundbite catch that people could come back to. “He sparkles.”

    3. Books should never be banned. And parents should never tell kids what books they can’t read. Unlike movies and TV shows, if a kid wants to corrupt his mind with a book, he actually has to WORK at it. And even if a book espouses philsophy that you don’t agree with the best way to counteract it isn’t to forbid it, which only makes it more exciting, but to read it with your kid and TALK about it. Discuss the hairier parts of the book and have a rational discussion. More information is always better than less as far as I’m concerned.

    4. Eh, it’s the week between Christmas and New Years. We need a bit of fluff.

  3. December 29, 2008 at 12:50 pm —

    I don’t know how you did it, but somehow reading this post on Google Reader has caused adverts for Twilight merchandise to show up at the top of my Gmail window. I smell the least useful conspiracy ever.

  4. December 29, 2008 at 1:13 pm —

    1. Nah, that’s fine. It’s just practice for being a highly ironic twentysomething. Like PHS Philip said, somebody else would certainly have bought it anyway. And, they might not have used it for any ironical purposes!

    2. It’s actually due to an infection of mica-based parasites. You know the fungal spores which land on an ant, take over the ant’s nervous system and drive the ant to climb up a blade of grass so that when the spores burst forth they cover the broadest territory possible? It’s like that, only these spores reproduce via an explosion of raging hormonal angst.

    3. Mocking a book is invariably more fun than banning it. More educational, too.

    4. What FFFearless said.

  5. Protesilaus
    December 30, 2008 at 6:42 pm —

    1. It is entirely possible to buy something for irony or humor of the purchase, but you also must know that what you are doing is going to support what you don’t like. So buying the rings will support the movie company, which I don’t think is a big evil. I would never give money to Sylvia Browne for one of her books, even as a lark to read it.

    2. I like Black Stacey’s analysis of the evolutionary system. It would be to draw attention to the vampire, so that the vampire will need to defend itself and possible spread the disease.

    3. I would never be in favor of a book banning of any sort. I don’t like the idea of forbidden knowledge; it’s to Christian to me.

    I do disagree with FFFearless though. I think a parent has a right to limit what a child can watch and read. That being said, I think to many parents try to shelter their kids way to long. I think most teenagers can handle a lot more discussion (or depictions) of sex and violence then their parents believe. It all depends on the individual though, as one person might be less mature then another.

    4. I have only started reading your stuff and you are becoming one of my more favorite writers (sorry Sam, I may need to move you a little lower), even though I tend to stay to the Skepchick side of things. I think you are just looking for compliments by the question in the post.

  6. December 30, 2008 at 7:13 pm —

    I have only started reading your stuff and you are becoming one of my more favorite writers (sorry Sam, I may need to move you a little lower), even though I tend to stay to the Skepchick side of things.

    Really? That means a lot to me. Sam makes me feel like a total douche.

  7. January 5, 2009 at 3:40 pm —

    I think you are clearly a lunatic to do this. I am currently putting together a petition that I shall submit IN TRIPLICATE to Rebecca to have you summarily REMOVED from the Teen Skepchick site.

    Good day, madam… I SAID GOOD DAY!

    Kidding. I actually think it just makes you a goofball 🙂

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