Sunday, July 04, 2010

This Is How I Feel About Twilight, et al

In the interest of time, here's my thesis: Listen, I'm not that into Twilight--but if you are, then gosh darn it be into it.

Here's where I flesh out my thesis with anecdotal argument: I read the first Twilight many years ago when several friends recommended it. It is compelling. I read it in a day. I started reading the second one but ended up skimming until the end just to see what happened because I got sick of it. I haven't read the other books or seen the movies but I think I know basically what happens. I don't enjoy Bella. I think she's stupid and not a good example. I think her relationship with Edward is shallow and uninteresting. That said, the wildly-popular- among-teens series seems to promote abstinence. So bully for it. If my kids were older I would let them read it and see the movies if they wanted to. I'm not against it. Whatever. I don't care. I'm happy for Stephanie Meyer. Bully for her.

Of course, I think I'm "right" in my assessment of Twilight. That said, I'm into a lot of stuff that people say is dumb: Harry Potter, Lost, Barry Manilow, message T-shirts, traditional furniture, super heroes. I know other people probably think they are "right" in their assessment of those things but I DON'T CARE. And until my dying breath I will own up to my love for those things. Because--and here's the thing--I still secretly think I'm "right" about those things too. Bear with me. I'm getting to the point. (And if you don't have time, see above.)

I've noticed a lot of embarrassed/apologetic blogs and Facebook statuses lately regarding Twilight. It bugs me. If you love Twilight and are going to the midnight premier vamped out with your albino boyfriend then bully for you! Embrace it. Love it. Think it is good. If you like it, you think it's good, right? I mean, if you think it's dumb then why do you like it? Or are you just saying that because you are afraid that people like me will think you are dumb if you don't acknowledge that you know some people think it's dumb? I understand that inclination. But I'll tell you what I'd really love is for you to talk me into loving Twilight. Bear testimony of it. Be into it. Be all in. If you love it so much, why equivocate?

Loving something has consequences. I'm in bed with Comic-Con. I know I am. I think if you really love Twilight you should be happy to take your wannabe-goth-teenage-girl lumps. Look at me, for example: I own a rosewood wand enchanted with a dragon scale. Can't really be above wands if you own a wand! You don't get to love it and be above it at the same time. Because that's not true love. And if Twilight has taught us anything. . .

26 comments:

  1. That's one thing I like about you Kacy. You call em how you see em.

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  2. I think it's not Twilight so much as the hype that turns me off.

    But the book was pretty tedious - I skimmed to the end of the first just to find out how it ended.

    And on the middle school campus where I teach, the wild fans emphatic in their approval - no shrinking violets there!

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  3. I am so glad Grannybabs commented. I knew she would have something to say about it!

    Now I need to figure out what I am into and figure out if I am ashamed of my being into it or not. So far all I can think of is Oreos and Gilmore Girls.

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  4. I have a dysfunctional relationship with Twilight. I can't love it. But I don't hate it. I keep coming back for more intellectual abuse. I can't commit one way or the other.

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  5. right on. if you love it -embrace it. i love harry potter. i do. i have no shame in it. but, when i read twilight, as we all inevitably did to find out just what the hype was all about, i felt embarrassed for anyone who thought it was "the best book/books ever!" and i felt, i'm ashamed to say, a little conceited that i could enjoy dickens or someone else who could develop a character beyond an insipid pining teenager, but then, i'm obnoxious that way, being a ravenclaw and all.

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  6. Please don't ever stop blogging about things I care about and don't care about. I will be lost without you. Lost in Manhattan. Do you want that on your conscience?

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  7. Anonymous2:21 AM

    Okay, I admit it, I love Twilight! The books, I agree are pretty lame (or at least, meant for teenagers and not grown-ups)- I couldn't make it through the second book because it felt very sappy and it seemed to me to be repeating itself 8,000 times. BUT, I love the movies- I love the characters and I get the attraction, and it makes me feel like a teenage girl- but only in the good ways. Why not give the movies a try?? (I just saw Eclipse. Love)Maybe some of us hesitate to embrace our love of Twilight because it's so obviously teen-oriented? And we're supposed to be grown up?

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  8. What are you DOING?? Encouraging MORE if this insanity??? The world would be a better place if more middle age women enjoyed this ridiculously AVERAGE (teenage) story and insanely below average character development from the anonymous safety of their closets- because I am one of those people who base my assesment of your intelligence on whether or not you have watched/read the Twilight series 50 times and counting. Like Bella, I am THAT shallow. For the record, I did read the first book and nearly gagged on Bella's INCESSANT narcissism. Because of all that GAGGING- I decided I loved food to much to read the rest of the series. My point is, I am qualified to make this incedibly non-biased assessment. p.s. I LOVE that you have a wand....

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  9. I'll say it. I loved the books. Not so much the fourth, but I'll go to the movie because I can't wait to see what they'll do with the whole "imprinting on a baby" thing and saying the name "Renesme" with a straight face. I loved the books because I was a huge nerd in junior high/high school and I'm sure my life would have been infinitely more fascninating if I was in love with a vampire/friends with a werewolf. When I was in sixth grade, my favorite book was "How do you lose those ninth grade blues?" which I loved because it was slightly racy and about a fat girl who became thin and falls in love with the cutest boy in school. I also loved Teen Witch. See where I'm going with this?

    Having said that, I have a couple of problems with the Twilight craze: 1) While I was sitting on the beach at Bear Lake a couple of years ago, I overheard some early thirty-something ladies say, "Now that I finished the series, there's nothing left to read." That's right, ladies. The literary canon consists of four books. . .sorry you got through them so early in life. 2) If you're over 17 and you've got a Taylor Lautner poster/screen saver/ipod background picture or made some sort of swoony sound when he came on the screen during the movie, that's creepy. I'm sorry. He's practically an adolescent.

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  10. Team Jacob, all the way.

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  11. I would like to rise to your challenge, but Kacy, the world is not black or white. I can love and hate at the same time. Or i can choose to neither love nor hate. I can b simultaneously annoyed and entertained. I believe this makes me a complicated, interesting lady.

    Can't a girl read like 1200 pages of teen vampire literature and see three lousy movies on opening night anymore without being forced to take a moral stand on the internets?

    And who doesn't like Harry p? Besides the people who forward the emails about it being evil?

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  12. Plz excusey above sarcasm. But i am upset becuz how am I ever going to accidentally on purpose meet u if hailey moves to New York?

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  13. I feel this way about Battlestar Galactica. I don't care if you think it's hyper-nerd; that series is awesome and I'll go down defending it.

    As for Twilight: I haven't read the books, I've just seen the movies. I have issues with what I've seen so far.

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  14. Listening to Jim Croce...going to the circus...watching Tori & Dean...I'm not afraid to do it or say it. There.

    Bully me!

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  15. This is the comment where I list all the nerdy things I love and am not ashamed to admit it:

    TV and watching tv and talking about tv
    Battlestar Gallactica
    Summer Blockbuster movies with predictable plots
    Accapella music
    Rush
    Johnny Mathis
    Gilmore Girls
    Days of Our Lives
    Chocolate things (it's just so predictable, but, there it is)

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  16. I have a certain fascination with Twilight. I am just so intrigued (if by intrigued, I mean confused. And I do) with how "into" it everyone is. I have not read the books (not appealing to me in the least), but I have seen all the movies (my friends throw big parties for each premier, and what can I say? I'm a sucker for good food and a night out). It is beyond me why so many grown women (I get the teenage thing, but GROWN WOMEN!) like it, but I hold my tongue for friendship's sake.

    (but it's awkward when I'm the only one laughing in the theatre at something that wasn't meant to be funny. Other than that, I hold my tongue)

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  17. I agree with Beeswax--it's possible to like things partway, or, as GrannyBabs said, to be embarrassed by what people might assume. As a teen my mom hated the Beatles because she was put off by other teen girls' frenzied fanaticism, but as an adult she discovered that a lot of their music was pretty great.

    I think the movies are better than the books because the movies can't be 17 hours long. I skipped New Moon b/c my husband saw it on a plane and said it as stupid, but we went to Eclipse together and enjoyed it. (I don't know if I would have gone without him, but he heard good things about it and was interested to see it.) I expect I'll hate the next movie because I hated the last book.

    I think the books just need to be pared by 2/3 to 3/4 and the whole series needs a different ending. Before Breaking Dawn came out I was even tempted to rewrite the books myeslf, as a half joke, half service to mankind, but Breaking Dawn broke my will to love the books.

    You should go read the rottentomatoes reviews; they're hilarious because they're rife with the kind of ambivalence you described. Like the one that says "This is the first in the series where I felt like I'd watched a real movie," and the one that lists the things that did work in the film and then adds, "I still hate Bella and Edward."

    Now I'm wanting to rewrite this comment as a list of things to love and things to hate, but I've spent enough time on Twilight for one evening already.

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  18. i am one of the nerds that goes to opening night. Mostly to have a girls night out. I laughed a LOT through the first 2, they are pretty bad and cheesy. BUT the 3rd seemed to have been done much better it actually in my opinion was great. Give it a chance and see what you think. I read the books too and had a hard time making it through the second, i did a lot of skipping through and i did not like the 4th book, so im intrigued to see what they do with it in the movie.
    PS I didn't know Christian was such a fan ;)

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  19. I think some of us fans feel intimidated by the educated people who hate Twilight. Saying things like how badly it was written, etc. I could not figure out how it was written badly and so felt stupid for liking the series (well there must be something wrong with me if smart people diss it and I can't see why). I guess I like the story and how it reminds me of falling in love with my husband. I thought it was a great escape. Harry Potter is a great escape too.

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  20. I think it's funny that Alex and Luke are wholeheartedly all in and have never read the books.

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  21. I still haven't read Twilight and don't plan on it. When we got netflix I watched two of the movies to see what all the hype was about. Not appealing to me in any way.

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  22. @Peterson's BlogSpot: I'd venture to guess that many of the "educated people" who talk about how "poorly written" the Twilight books are (or any book for that matter) couldn't explain what is "poorly written" about it either! I think there is simply some kind of intellectual snobbery that dictates if something is popular with the "unwashed masses" it must, therefore, be unsophisticated and/or "bad". Even the Harry Potter books have been (and still are in many "literary" circles)criticized for their "formulaic" and "predictable" plot lines. Seriously.
    Anyway, that's a really long way of saying that you have no reason to feel stupid. If you like the books/movies then MORE POWER TO YOU! If you didn't, than by all means, read something else. No need for judgment about yours (or anyone else's) intellectual capacity. :-)

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  23. Someday I want to cross stitch a dragon even though I know it is not tasteful and pottery barn-ish. Mainly I want to because I like dragons and also fancy metalic glittery embroidery floss. I own it. I just haven't had time to do it.

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  24. I am a new reader to your blog and I must say, I love it. ;)
    I am a fan of twilight, loved the books, loved each movie better than the last. I have to say, I loved the last book because Bella was finally a strong character. The first book drew me in because it reminded me of how swiftly I fell for my husband, and I love a love story.
    We also love Harry Potter, I love Jim Dale's audiobooks and last halloween my hubby, our two boys and I all dressed as gryffindors. :) we do own our obsessions. and I must say before all of that, I loved the roswell series.

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  25. I read for entertainment. Twilight entertains me...both the loving of it and the mocking of it.

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