Home > daily complaint, pop culture, rant > Why I don’t/Can’t hate the Twilight Series

Why I don’t/Can’t hate the Twilight Series

First off: because I haven’t read any of the books or seen the movie.

The great war of nerd-dom continuing on from the previous year is over the book series by Stephenie Meyer and the franchise phenomenon that has been all the rage at least until the next thing comes along. The nerds are pissed off because “these aren’t vampires” according to the traditional definition of the mythical* creature and now the entire world of nerd-fiction is flooded with people wanting more vampires but not real vampires, those kind of vampires that drink animal blood and are good looking.

Well let’s get straight to it: the typical nerd isn’t popular. He (because it’s usually a he) likes the sorts of things that nobody else likes and now his realm of fiction is flooded by people who have turned off Gossip Girl and new versions of Gen X shows (90210, Melrose Place) to start reading about things that they now like…and it pisses them off. To all the nerds out there sitting at your computers posting in forums about what a hack Meyer is or how Bella is neither hot nor creatively named I have news for you: She won.

Meyer won, because she wrote a popular series of books about teenage romance that featured a vampire and she won because for all of the rough drafts of stories that you may have started and never finished with the long haired brooding vampire she’s been published, adapted, and popular. She won your war and she wasn’t even trying to fight it. The worst part is that the victory is so Pyrrhic for you that you wished she had lost it. Now you have to share your domain, your sacred fantasy life, with the same people that wouldn’t look at you in high school.

In short, all the backlash against her is the same shit we heard five years ago with Avril Lavigne. Avril brought punk to the masses by watering it down. And like the rage directed at Avril Lavigne, the viscera directed toward Stephenie Meyer isn’t because she wrote a bad book, although they will claim that is one reason. It isn’t because the Vampires in the novels, allegedly break the “rules” of Vampirism,** although they will claim that is another reason as well. It’s not because it adds to a cheapening of intellectual aspect of undead fantasy fiction (often times this comes from the militant defenders of Joss Whedon’s insipid dialogue and thinly veiled misogyny) although again they will claim….No it’s because Stephenie took it away from them in the same way that Avril took the elitism of punk away from its fans. Vampires are no longer the domain of gothic types sitting in Denny’s at 2am writing in their black leather-bound journals with red ink. It’s now the talk of the cheerleaders who pine away for their quarterback boyfriend to act for one second as devoted to her as Edward does to Bella; and that is what pisses them off more than anything.

For every story that someone penned about vampires in a journal or in a buried file on their computer (so that on one could accidentally see it) half of them are about a lonely, smart, and misunderstood girl meeting a mysterious guy who turns out to be: a vampire. The other half are about a guy who is smart, lonely, and misunderstood being a hero to an attractive woman who turns out to be: a vampire. By Epicurus I think I wrote the latter in high school (never finished it) and the former is how the HBO series True Blood begins.

A friend of mine called the series a “pop-culture abomination” but the thing about pop-culture is that it pops in and then it pops out. Avril Lavigne is hardly on the radar anymore, the boy band craze ended, this too will end. The thing about it is that it is so insanely popular right now that the counter culture people feel that they are being personally attacked by the mobs of people invading their turf. When the craze is over those people will hold on to the books for nostalgia purposes while the “true” vampire fans will still be penning their stories. If the series’ popularity is the only reason you hate it then go buy a “non-comformist” shirt from hot topic and get ready for your formulaic complaint for the next craze that runs through the media because it’s coming.

The Twilight series isn’t really about Vampires, it’s about teenage romance issues as the target demographic is young girls. One of those girls, my cousin, told me that she doesn’t read them because they are popular. At least she’s honest about the whole thing which is a lot more than most people who level such polemics against the movies and the books. If anything the vampire thing is hot right now and the very people that hate it and her, should be thanking them for making their interests so much more accessible. Why not enjoy the fact that you now have something in common with more people than ever before, isn’t that what all of those “no one understands me” complaints are about in the first place? Instead of hating a woman who struck gold with her first novel just let her fans have their fantasy.

*Mythical: Of or relating to myths, described in a myth, of the nature of a myth; fabulous; IMAGINARY; fanciful, mythological.

**Which is complete bullshit by the way. Dracula in Bram Stoker’s novel is hairy palmed, ugly, and can walk in daylight. When was the last time a vampire movie followed that arch-type? And where was the bitching for Wes Craven’s Dracula 2000 when he made Dracula’s true identity Judas Iscariot? Technorati Tags: , , , ,

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