Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Go Dracula?

I spent the long weekend away, at La Push, which is on the coast of northern Washington. Not many places in the US are without cellular access, but La Push is one of them. Somehow, that added an interesting dimension to the experience. It rained and stormed (complete with thunder and lightning, so rare in the Pacific Northwest, on Saturday night) most of the time we were there. On Sunday I got soaked to the skin on Rialto beach and was happy I'd brought a second pair of pants. We visited Rialto beach again on Monday, but though it wasn't raining as hard, the wind made the surf so high that even near low tide the beach was impassible. But we found a few of those elegant ducks that are known as common golden-eyes (though there's nothing "common" about them) and some punky buffleheads as well as a seal on the Quilauete River (the estuary that cuts Rialto beach off from La Push), and later saw an eagle, too.

It'd been a few years since I'd been in Forks, the biggest town in the area. My memories of the place are mostly of bumper stickers in the 1990s calling for the eradication of spotted owls (a species that lives only in old-growth forest, and when put on the endangered list came to be perceived by loggers as their enemy, since, the loggers claimed, their jobs depended on the logging corporations being allowed to chop down (i.e., "harvest") every old growth tree still standing) and, in the post-911 years, of US flags everywhere you looked. But the current fetish in Forks is the franchising of Twilight merchandise and themes, with the result that its very short main street is dominated by Twilight retail. Since I haven't read the books or seen the movies, I'm not sure what the connection with Forks is, and I'm sure I missed some of the references. (I noticed that Port Angeles had at least one Twilight franchise as well.) Forks has had a depressed economy for a long time, so I can't blame its residents for trying to cash in on the blockbuster connection. But then on Monday, walking on the beach at La Push just before sunset, I found that someone had written in the sand "Fuck Twilight Go Dracula" (see photo). I won't speculate here on who wrote it, but I must say I've enjoyed myself, making up stories about the person(s) who drew those words in the sand. Some of the time I think "Dracula" is a reference to the novel rather than the character. At other times, I think the reverse. Graffiti, after all, isn't always grammatically correct.

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