Wednesday, March 24, 2010

In Which There Are Vampires

I need to make a little preamble here. I know hating on Twilight is the Thing To Do among certain people and that it hasn't got the same elitist cachet as opining that Picasso is just so pedestrian, Stanley, and we really need something a little less nouveau riche above the guest bidet, don't you think? If I were a cutting edge hipster I would - instead of mocking Twilight as the literary equivalent of Cheez Whiz - like it ironically and host dramatic readings of it at an ugly sweater party while serving ironic hipster canapes and playing some tunes on the 8-track. So I'm not even a hipster. I'm a run of the mill uptight snob. Which I'm okay with.

Back when I was a teenage girl we read Anne Rice books and they were full of florid purple prose and the most godawful glut of adjectives and lurid emotions on Earth. Which I loved, of course, because I was fourteen and therefore terribly misunderstood in the way of all fourteen year old girls except that I was different and special and there was this seriously crazed part of my brain that wanted to believe Lestat and I would, like, totally have this connection and it would be magical and intense or whatever. So I understand this desire to read about the captivating undead and I get the whole sexualization of vampires and witches and whatever the hell Lasher and Emmaleth were. (And just a note here, Stephenie Meyer - even crazy Anne Rice knew that giving birth to a fully formed human adult is creepy and weird and the creature must be destroyed, okay? I'm just saying.)

But you know, Anne Rice is Anne Rice. Not everyone can pull it off. For the same reason that Lady Gaga can get away with wearing bows made of hair and dressing up as a used tampon at a major musical event but if I did it would not be unexpected to find myself approached by people who think NASA uses microwave ovens to implant subliminal messages into our brains while the meatloaf reheats.

The gag-inducing writing style aside, these Forks vampires are fairly wimpy. They decide to spend eternity in high school. Lestat and Louis were off eating luscious prostitutes and buying chateaux and hanging out with Lucifer. They rocked immortality, my friends. They rocked it hard. Note: Robert Pattinson looks like a total wanker, but this quote from him makes him not such a bad kid: The more I read about this guy the more I hated him, so that's how I played him—as a manic-depressive who hates himself. Plus he's a hundred-year-old virgin, so he's obviously got some issues there.

Also I don't like the way the books romanticize creepy possessive stalker guys who condescend to you and WATCH YOU SLEEP WHAT THE HELL THAT IS NOT ROMANTIC. From what I gleaned about SMeyer by reading interviews and suchlike, she has very juvenile ideas about relationships. These books bug me because the writing is lame and stilted and thesaurus-reliant. It makes me sad that people are going apeshit over this stuff when there are so many amazing books out there.

So, in the spirit of being kind of bitter that SMeyer cannot, in my humble opinion (and also Stephen King's), write for shit and yet probably sleeps on a mattress stuffed with shredded hundred dollar bills, I bring you this list of funny websites that make fun of Twilight. Many thanks to the parenting message board where I am a member for bringing a number of these to my attention.

Writing

Why Breaking Dawn Must Be Made Into A Movie
Cleolinda's Recaps
Growing Up Cullen
Chris vs. Twilight
The Onion

Multimedia

Twilight Moms
Buffy vs. Edward
Vampax
Firelight With Taylor Swift
My Life Is Twilight
Twilight Dildo _NSFW, Reviews Are Priceless
Regretsy-ed
Twilight the Musical

5 comments:

  1. Can I just say something?

    It's bad enough the way these wretched books have wormed their way into the consciousness of even people (like myself) who have studiously avoided them - but because the author is Mormon, and I am Mormon, I am subjected to hearing about them literally everywhere I go, as if they were the New Modern Word of God and Stephanie Myers is a Prophet.

    So annoying.

    It's tripe, and juvenile oversexed tripe (says the girl who also totally rocked Anne Rice as a teenager), and now I am supposed to believe that it's Fine and Totally Okay and maybe even Spiritually Uplifting because a Mormon wrote it?

    Not buying it.

    But luckily for you, you don't have to harbor quite that level of hatred for it. I don't think it's entirely healthy.

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  2. Ok, I'd like to take a moment to come to the defense of Twilight. Ms Meyer will be a long time waiting for her Pulitzer, its true, but when was the last time you ENJOYED a Pulitzer Prize winning book?

    I loved Anne Rice, and Stephen King, and Buffy, and alot of other tripe. And yes, Twilight. I wanted to hate, but the characters are kind of compelling, and I don't know.

    I do know I didn't hate myself for reading and watching this as I did anything with Dan Brown's name on it.

    By the way, Queen of the Damned? Seriously? Maximum Overdrive? Not all books are art. Even when written by artists.

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  4. Re-posted to fix some typos:

    The Wizzle: I cannot even imagine how frustrating that would be. I remember reading these books about a Mormon boy in the early 1900's when I was little. I can't remember what they were called, but I remember a scene where his mom made him go lay in bed with the neighbor so he could catch measles. I believe they were at least semi-autobiographical and very funny. You don't happen to know the author or title, do you?

    Kate: You make a valid point, but what I'd say bothers me the most is the bad writing. The plots are eye-rolly, but no worse than plenty of other teen fantasy wish fulfillment.

    I don't think it has to be a binary between bad writing and Pulitzer Prize novels, though I like many of them. I read fluff, but I like it to be well-written fluff. Harry Potter books have their flaws, but I think the world-building was excellent and pretty well thought out and full of good writing. What I've read of the Twilight books has been full of stilted phrasing and obvious thesaurus usage. And the basic premise with the high school thing makes no sense to me. As I said, it just frustrates me that someone who makes such clumsy use of the English language is receiving so many accolades as a writer. But then, I hate Dan Brown for the same reason.

    The think with Buffy and Stephen King and Anne Rice - to me - is that while they may be considered fluff from an intellectual perspective (though there is plenty of food for thought in all of them, especially King's earlier classics) the writing is clever and good. (Well, not always Anne Rice, but the others.)

    Queen of the Damned was completely batshit. I don't even know what that was.

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