(Out of place? Sure, maybe, but that positive attitude is why he’s such a successful businessman.)
Tom Barrack is a real estate big-shot who runs some big deal investment firm, Colony Capital. He recently sent a memo to his employees urging them to consider outside points of view. Barrack used by way of example a story about a lonely evening he spent on a yacht in Turkey after a canceled business meeting* in which he had absolutely nothing to do and decided to read Twilight. The memo is interesting, mainly because, unlike Stephenie Meyer, Barrack is a good writer. It’s a little long, but worth a read:
Here is my macho take – Stephanie Meyer is a total genius. As I flipped through the pages I was startled by the lack of detailed description of Bella and the surgical and illuminating development of Edward. As hard as I tried I could not really picture Bella, but I was grabbed by Edward’s character – gorgeous, super human, super strong, super fast and most importantly encompassing the wisdom of a 109-year-old man in the guise of a 17-year-old boy.
The description of Bella on the other hand, was not moving, or compelling. What I realized is the genius of Stephanie was that she knew that by keeping the character generic, any and every woman could climb inside and picture herself in Bella’s shoes. Thus the fascination and deep emotional reactions to what many (including myself) thought was a foolish teenage trashy novel.
I definitely got that the “anticipation” was much more romantic and sexy than the “consummation” to the woman. Slow, patient, caring, tender…. (guys have you heard those words before?) I found him incredibly appealing as he was taking care of Bella, putting her first, distancing himself from her to protect her and yet never being able to get her out of his mind. The relationship stood the test of time through many years, other men, family challenges and misconceptions of valiant and loving acts. A human relationship with a vampire is challenging on many levels, the least of which being you get older as your partner remain timeless. It was enticing, captivating, alluring…and dangerous. Through it all she believed that she could do it…. change her life… change his life…make it different…in spite of what conventional wisdom dictated.
Every woman longs for the anticipation, the romance, the journey, the taboo, the patience, and the attentiveness. Men, however, are all about the destination, the result, the speed and the outcome. The journey is merely penance to get to the destination. Which is why despite the vampires and werewolves, this book is kryptonite to most men.
In a world of technology these books are unique. There is so little imagination left in most of forms of entertainment today. See it, Google it, play it, do it…there is very little old fashioned make believe anymore. I could go on and on, but I know by now many of you are saying, “what happened to our leader?”… “Maybe Lebanese really is a sexual preference rather than a nationality”. I promise none of the above. [Mr. Barrack is of Lebanese descent.] [Read the whole memo at WallStreetJournal]
I respect the point he goes on to make and I was with him for a while, but… really, dude? You’re using a novel about vampires with a bad boy who rides a motorcycle as an example of imagination? You better get your sh*t together quick or the shareholders are going to have you for lunch (and as we know, lunch is for pussies). I almost feel bad for the guy. His bros are going to ice him so many times this week.
*I ordered a Turkish Business Meeting from a hooker once. ONCE.