Normally, I don’t read Jezebel, but I couldn’t sleep and I turned on my laptop and ended up reading the “This is What You Missed On TV” posts they have and I eventually stumbled upon a post entitled “The Twilighters Are Mad, And They’re Not Going To Take Our Crap Anymore.”
For those of you living in a cave, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series is a phenomenon, particularly among females. (Although, I do have a male friend who loves the series, and for those of you that are curious, he’s on Team Jacob.) Although, while some Trekkies or LOTR or Harry Potter fans can laugh at jokes made about the series or about characters, if you mockingly say “OMG, sparkly vampires!”, Twilight fans will rip your head off.
Which is precisely what this post discusses. In fact, it quotes one comment,
It’s bad enough when random commenters start bashing, but professional writers? That’s completely out of line.
The author of the post then translates it for us:
Translation: It is totes out of line for profesh writers to have any opinion that does not match up with MINE.
Although, many of the Twilight fans I met while attending high school were a bit more aggressive than this. For example, I read the books. I struggled to get through the fourth book because of how poorly it was written, while simultaneously making a list of every typo and error in “Breaking Dawn.” I personally thought that the first book was okay; an admirable first novel. However, when the quality failed to improve, I began to shake my head. So, I personally think that the books are terrible. (Sorry, Rhys) I also don’t see what the big deal is with the books or the movies. (Sorry, Rhys) I’ll take True Blood or Ann Rice’s Vampire Chronicles any day over Twilight.
As the result of this, I have gotten my head chopped off. If you describe the series as melodramatic, you will regret it. Make a joke about a sparkly vampires or how a girl probably wants her boyfriend to have body glitter on him for prom, and you will eat your words.
Make a joke about Trekkies being virgins and they probably laugh.
If you try to point out the literary merit, or serious lack there of, in the novels, you’re being over analytical. Although, I receive that complaint often, so I can brush it off. Point out the problem with Bella being a flat person–in terms of personality, not physical appearance–and that she is overly obsessive about Edward and even though he’s like “If you love me, you could easily be harmed,” she’s like, “OMG, YOU’RE HOT! TURN ME INTO A VAMPIRE, PLZ!” I mean, I understand the possible “love conquers all” message, but if you read the second book, there’s a chapter early on in the novel where she cuts herself on some wrapping paper and everyone in the family, except the patriarch, Carlisle, goes nuts over the sight and scent of human blood. She cuts her finger on wrapping paper and she puts herself in danger. (I would like to say that Carlisle taking care of her and the cut I thought to be very sweet, but still.) If that happened to me, I would reconsider my relationship. But my mother read classic novels to me when I was little and my two most prized possessions are a first edition copy of Kenneth Tynan’s “Curtains” and a 1944 copy of Homer’s “The Iliad,” so my opinion doesn’t count.
But the writer best sums it up at the end.
I can understand why Twilight fans take it personally; anyone who has ever been a fan of anything knows that feeling well— the defensiveness that comes along when someone tries to bash something you love. But to state that writers can’t have an opinion on Twilight is a bit much, and trying to brush off legitimate criticism of the novels, especially in regards to the messages they send young girls, as the work of “haters” isn’t doing much for your cause. So let’s let twygones be twygones, people: the world is a rather unsparkly place if you can’t laugh a little at the things you claim to love.
In short, think a bit harder about the notion of sparkly vampires.* Maybe you’ll laugh a little. To quote Sara Jennette Duncan, “One loses many laughs by not laughing at one’s self.” The same could be taken for one’s obsession.
*I would like to note that while I’ve been working on my untitled novel, I realized that most teenagers might not be interested in it because it has quite a bit of detail and a very important scene takes place in a school district forum that turns into a shouting match. I joked on Facebook that “most teenagers wouldn’t find it interesting because of the amount of detail (a lot) and sparkly vampires (none).” Surprisingly, no one was offended, but one girl remarked that it was “classic Monica.”