As a Transylvanian heiress and teacher now living in Los Angeles, I grew up knowing a thing or two about vampire myths and truths. True Blood, The Gates, Vampire Diaries and Twilight have created mass hysteria and psychologically impacted our teens-as a teacher I see this on a daily basis.
The story line, which is simple has a deeper root in both Transylvanian culture and modern culture. Every young girl has a psychological need to be wanted, cherished, and loved by the most sought after boy in her social setting. Vampires are portrayed as the cool kids, good-looking, wealthy, smooth and sexy.This characterization feeds our teens obsessions and desires for sex, beauty and acceptance. Kafka would laugh at all the day-dreamers who still believe that George Clooney will marry them, Paris Hilton will be their best friend, and that Brad Pitt will choose them as his next conquest.
Stephenie Meyer's books feed young girls and boys obsessions, and remind us of Romeo and Juliette in Verona, while Edward and Bella fight to be together in Voltarra. In years to come will school children be analyzing the Twilight Saga instead of Shakespeare's masterpieces? As adults our schoolyard is transformed into a much bigger picture, but here we too still admire the vampires, and seek social acceptance. Everywhere you turn in Los Angels someone else is trying to make it big.Nobodies are all here to be discovered by a type of vampire, ready to feed off their work.Agents, managers, publicists all look like vampires to me-they all feed off their clients and instead of being concerned by this behavior weimplore it. We beg to be a part of this vampire regime at any cost. Upon a deeper look we see that a desire to be apart of this group and be famous is all for one reason- a stamp of societal approval. Humans are so desperate to be accepted by each other that they will stop at nothing-not even sucking blood is too much for them. The desire to fit is one of the underlying aspects of the vampire craze.
As an immigrant I too work hard on a daily basis to fit in. To make sure my accent is not too overwhelming, to understand American culture and leave my draconian roots behind me. I too grew up in a time ruled by a draconian regime-I would go so far as to compare Romanian Dictator Ceausescu to count Dracula who got his name through his despicable deeds. How have these murderers who suck the life blood out of people become icons amongst men. What does that say about the society we live in and the values we teach our children?!
Aura Imbarus, author of Out of the Transylvania Night
Interfaith alliance has called for a civil discussion on the same sex marriage issue. Very well, consider the following:
"Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?" Matthew 19:4-6 KJB.
My Lord has ordained that marriage shall only be one man and one woman. If Interfaith Alliance believes in the God of the Bible, then they should know that He calls sodomy (gay lifestyle) a sin (Romans 1:26 & 27 KJB). So why do they support what God says is wrong? Some people claim that civil marriages are different from religious ones. However the government is ordained by God (Romans 13 KJB) and is obligated to protect morality. In fact, America was founded on Christian principles (www.eadshome.com/QuotesoftheFounders.htm). Iowa's Constitution does not give the judicial branch power to legislate (Art. V, Sect. I, Jud. Dpt). Yet the Supreme Court has "legalized" gay marriage via a judicial fiat which is unconstitutional. Iowan's have the right to correct this injustice (see www.luviowa.com). We are told not to judge gay marriage, "But he that is spiritual judgeth all things," (I Corinthians 2:15 a KJB). Churches should not be divided over SSM. If a pastor favors it, he should be replaced or members should find a better church.
When America did right we were blessed, now we do our own thing and are cursed for it (Proverbs 14:34 KJB). Our troubled times, bad economy, etc.could be a divine judgment. Freedom is a gift from God and there's no greater gift than my Lord's saving grace. He is America's only hope.
Alan Laird. Ollie, Iowa
Physical activity is an absolute must for children in order to build healthy minds and bodies. That's why I'm discouraged to learn that Iowa is not meeting key physical education guidelines as mentioned in the 2010 Shape of the Nation Report.
The American Heart Association and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommend at least 150 minutes a week of instructional physical education a week for elementary school students and 225 minutes a week for middle and high school students for the entire school year. Only one state, Alabama, aligns with these nationally recommended guidelines.
My hope is that our state will move towards requiring daily physical education at the recommended levels of the American Heart Association and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.
Research links quality physical education to better academic performance. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed a large body of evidence linking physical education and school-based physical activity with academic performance, including cognitive skills and attitudes, academic behaviors and academic achievement. Overall, a fit kid is a smarter kid.
Dianne L. Atkins, M.D.
Iowa City, IA