Twilight's "werewolf loves baby" storyline just got creepier

Twilight: ewwwww.

Twilight, the vampire-werewolf-phenomenon, has always had some questionable elements. The entire plot of the first film, for instance, is basically "I love you but we can't sleep together because I'm a Christian and we're not married you're a vampire and your super vampire strength means you may accidentally kill me in the passion of the moment".

A few films in and the main character, Bella, and her vampire boyfriend Edward have got married and done the dirty. Unfortunately, Bella insisted on having sex once as a human before Edward completed the vampire wedding ritual, which of course means that she gets super-pregnant with a vampire baby which eats its way out of her womb after coming to full term after just a week or so.

We aren't even on the weird stuff yet.

All caught up? Enter Jacob. Jacob is a werewolf who's also totally in to Bella, creating a tense love-triangle dynamic (or so I've been told). What you have to know about werewolves is that they "imprint" on people: when one of them sees their soul-mate, they know immediately that they are destined to be together. So naturally, Jacob imprints on Edward and Bella's baby daughter, Renesmee.

Now, they refer to it as imprinting throughout the series, but whenever you see any other "imprinted" werewolf, it's all couples who are snuggling together and kissing a lot. And, at least in the film, Jacob's imprinting is followed by a flash-forward where he talks about how he'd do anything for Renesmee because he's so in love. With a baby.

Today, the set photos from Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part Two came out. Now that you are fully caught up, I hope you will agree that the following photo, of Taylor Lautner as Jacob and 11-year-old Mackenzie Foy as his love interest Renesmee, is the creepiest thing ever.

Twilight: The teaser poster for Breaking Dawn Part Two

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images
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Tsipras' resignation has left Syriza in dire straits

Splinter group Popular Unity’s stated aim is to take Greece out of the deal Syriza struck with its creditors.

The resignation of Alexis Tsipras on 20 August was the start of a new chapter in the havoc affecting all sections of Greek political life. “We haven’t yet lived our best days,” the 41-year-old prime minister said as he stood down, though there is little cause for optimism.

Tsipras’s capitulation to the indebted state’s lenders by signing up to more austerity measures has split his party and demoralised further a people resigned to their fate.

Polls show that no party commands an absolute majority at present. It seems as though we are heading for years of grand coalitions made up of uneasy partnerships that can only hope to manage austerity, with little room for social reform. The main parties from across the political spectrum have lost legitimacy and the anti-austerity campaign is more marginal than ever. Many fear the rise of extremists, such as members of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn. Thankfully, that is unlikely to happen: the party’s leadership is facing a number of grave accusations, including forming a criminal organisation, and its general secretary, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, is going out of his way to appear more moderate than ever.

It is to the left of Syriza that most activity is taking place. The former energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis has defected to co-found a new party, Popular Unity (an ironic name in the circumstances), joined by MPs from the radical Left Platform and, according to the latest information, Zoi Konstantopoulou – the current speaker of the Hellenic
Parliament, who had considered starting her own party but lacked time and support in the run-up to the general election, scheduled for 20 September.

Popular Unity’s stated aim is to take Greece out of the deal struck with its creditors, to end austerity (even if that means leaving the euro) and to rebuild the country. It is likely that the party will work with the far-left coalition Antarsya, which campaigned hard to guarantee the Oxi referendum victory in July and increasingly looks like Syriza in 2009, when it won 4.6 per cent of the vote in the Greek legislative election under Tsipras.

Yet it is dispiriting that few on the left seem to understand that more splits, new parties and weak, opportunistic alliances will contribute to the weakening of parliamentary democracy. It is perhaps a sign that the idea of a left-wing government may become toxic for a generation after the six months that took the economy to the edge and failed to produce meaningful change.

Despite this fragmentation on the left, the largest right-wing opposition party, New Democracy, has been unable to force a surge in the polls. Its new leader, Vangelis Meimarakis, enjoys the respect of both the parliament and the public but has few committed supporters. The apolitical alliance To Potami (“the river”) appears to have stalled on 6-8 per cent, while the once-dominant Pasok is unlikely to enter parliament without forming a coalition on the centre left, postponing its predicted collapse for a few more years.

The winner amid all of this is apathy. Many believe that a large number of Greeks won’t vote in the September election – the fifth in six years (or the sixth, if you include the referendum in July). The situation in Greece should serve as an example of what could happen to democracies across Europe that lack political unity: parties with clear ideological positions end up serving as managers of diktats from Brussels, while more extreme forces become the de facto opposition. In this harsh climate, many citizens will either abandon their politicians or, in a bleaker scenario, reject the democratic system that elected them. 

Yiannis Baboulias is a Greek investigative journalist. His work on politics, economics and Greece, appears in the New Statesman, Vice UK and others.

This article first appeared in the 27 August 2015 issue of the New Statesman, Isis and the new barbarism