|Posted by Joe Brooks on November 18, 2011 at 9:20 AM|
Okay, maybe hate is a strong word. I don’t necessarily hate it but I do have, let’s use the word “concerns.” I have concerns with the Twilight franchise.
As I write this I’m waging a glorious campaign to not have my senses assailed with the sights and sounds (and probably the rancid smell of bubblegum lip gloss and Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds intermingling with the salty goodness of popcorn and the stench of unrequited maturity) of endless lines of eager ticketholders who probably told their bosses they were sick and left their job early, or never even went to work at all, so they could stand in queue like unaware slaughterhouse cattle, waiting to see the current installation of Stephanie Meyer’s never ending ode to necrophilia/bestiality, Breaking Dawn, Part something. So far; so good.
Okay, maybe hate isn’t too strong of a word.
My first and strongest issue with the franchise is that is romanticizes heretofore creatures of evil into, well, boyfriend fodder. It’s easy to disregard this since it’s a work of fiction, a bit o' fantasy. But does that really relieve the author and, more importantly, the audience of any responsibility in taking what have historically been characters whose existences have largely been defined by their compulsion, their need to kill human beings and turning them into cultural icons? Just because the story-line attempts to whitewash the key traits of what makes the characters what they are, does that really make it any better? I don’t think so. I wonder how many of the “Twilight moms” let their kids watch any other movies or listen to music that romanticizes other forms of evil in a similar manner?
Consider this news item from just last September:
A Florida teenager is behind bars as an accessory to the brutal murder of 16-year-old Jacob Hendershot. But that may not be the most shocking part of the crime -- Stephanie Pistey says she believes she's part vampire and part werewolf. Florida police say that, in July, Pistey's friends lured Hendershot to a house, killed him, and then left his body in a storm drain.
Pistey told a local TV station "I know this is going to be crazy, but I believe that I'm a vampire and part werewolf." She claims she drank blood from her fiancé and co-defendant William Chase.
The fact that Pistey claims to be a vampire is not, by itself, that unusual. Many people are interested in vampires, and they are everywhere, from "Twilight" to "True Blood" and "Fright Night." In the mainstream media and pop culture, vampires are very alluring, with elements of power, romance, eroticism and immortality.
Sadly, murders and assaults that involve people acting out these sorts of “fantasy” inspired crimes have been rising steadily over the last decade. Is it Stephanie Meyer’s fault? Of course not, it’s the fault of the fools who take her and people like her too seriously. It’s no more her fault than it was Judas Priest’s fault that a depressed fan killed himself after listening to their music or that Richard Ramirez was inspired to kill by AC/DC’s “Night Prowler” or that there was a spate of animal cruelty emulating Ozzy Osbourne’s biting the head off of a bat in concert. But, at some point you do have to wonder about the whitewashing of evil. Is it really just harmless fantasy?
My second issue with the series: Twilight Moms. Wow! I’m not just talking adults who see the movies; I’m talking about women who actually refer to themselves as “Twilight Moms.” Again, wow. Clearly society as a whole, and men in particular, have failed these women to the point that ostensibly mature women will take sides in the great Team Jacob/ Team the other guy (the name escapes me) war. I think that, too an extent, American culture suffers from a Hollywood induced disease of expectations. For men it takes the guise of action movies/sports and porn. We think that we can, or at least should, have the physical prowess of a mix of Tom Brady and Jason Statham and that we deserve to get sex like a porn star. Neither of these things is true. But, culture has put that in many of our minds and, as a result, it has lowered the average male’s maturity by raising his self-image and his expectations. Women, on the other hand, have been impacted by the fantasyland of romantic comedies or, as I like to call them, “mom porn.” Many women have been indoctrinated by Hollywood to think that everyday should be a fairytale and that she is a princess. Again, neither of these things is true. It’s no wonder that divorce rates are so high when both parties come to the table with such warped views of an adult relationship. The “Twilight Mom” phenomenon is just “mom porn” with its id unleashed.
My last issue with Twilight? It’s just awful. I’ve read enough in the books to get an idea of Meyer’s writing, but not so much as to make myself feel too icky, and it is borderline remedial. No wonder tweens like the stuff; it reads as if it were written by a twelve year old.
So, there you have it and now 2 out of 3 females in my own home won’t talk to me for a week (that’s the upside) and I will probably get hate mail and flaming bags doggie doo on my front porch. But I shan’t surrender! Oh no, Occupy Twilight is in full effect and I won’t back down until the beast is dead, DEAD I SAY! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go and write a romantic comedy that features a love triangle between Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson and Casey Anthony. And, boy do things get complicated when Leatherface shows up. Wow!