Money To Live

March 4, 2009

Philanthropy and the Twilight Saga

Filed under: Uncategorized — by moneytolive @ 5:00 am

After numerous recommendations – ranging from a 16-year-old friend who cried at the novels, to a leading economist, who did not feed his children because he was so distracted by the first in the series – I decided to read the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer.

The plot: Bella, an average and ordinary girl who never went on a date before, falls in love with a handsome vampire, Edward. She spends lots of time with him and his family, and they have many adventures together. Did I mention that Edward is handsome?

Overall, I enjoyed the series. My biggest complaint is that I do not want Bella to be a role model for young girls. She complains that math is boring and hard. She is good at biology but plays it down so as not to make a (possibly less intelligent) boy feel uncomfortable. She is only an interesting person when she is not in the presence of her boyfriend Edward. Other parts of the book are not so offensive to a feminist – Edward’s sister is better at fixing cars than he is. Oh, but did I mention that Edward has gorgeous eyes? Meyer tackles the issue of marrying straight out of high school. Bella’s parents married and divorced very young; their choices affect Bella’s life as she grows up.

Edward has a vampire sister who can “sort of” see the future. The vampire family capitalizes on this special power to amass a small fortune through the stock market. Did I mention Edward’s gorgeous hair? The vampires mostly spend the money on ridiculously expensive cars and clothing. The only time philanthropy is mentioned is when it leads to personal gain (I will not say how because I do not want to reveal or event hint at any plot points).

Edward’s family is considered more “enlightened” (my word) than other vampires because they do not harm humans. One of the vampires is even a medical doctor. Based on everything Meyer wrote about the vampire family, I am very surprised that they do not donate lots of money to charity. The vampire family is careful not to draw attention to themselves, and donating millions of dollars would certainly do that. With everything else they are able to do, though, I bet they would figure out a way to give the money away truly anonymously. Did I mention that Edward is breathtakingly handsome and perfect in every way?

Meyer raises this question:
If you care deeply about humanity and have virtually limitless access to money, what is the best course of action? Her answer, become a doctor and drive a fast car, does not resonate with me.

I have a few other ideas

  • Make vaccines, food, effective birth control, and education available for all
  • Fund science research, particularly in crop production and clean energy generation

If you were an enlightened vampire who cares about humanity and has lots of money, what would you do?


1 Comment »

  1. RSPCH

    Comment by Anita — March 7, 2009 @ 1:03 am |Reply

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