Monday, September 6, 2010
It was only a matter of time before I would tackle the Twilight series in my blog.
I mean, come on! It’s a book that features celibate, fangless vampires that sparkle! How can I NOT write about this bizarre phenomenon?? (Like it or not, ravenous fans who found this shit via Google, celibate fangless vampires that sparkle are bizarre. Period.)
Anyway, so, I was first introduced to the Twilight series back in 2008 when a good friend of mine offered to let me borrow the first book. Me, being a hopeless romantic, and a HUGE Buffy/Angel shipper, was like “Human falls in love with a vampire? Bring that shit over!” and my life was changed. But not in the positive “Joss Whedon is an awesome writer and I look forward to seeing/reading his future projects” sort of deal, but more of a “What the fuck with the sparkling and the baseball??” sort of a deal.
Flash forward to now. I have read all four Twilight books. I have even read those little extras that Stephenie Meyer put up on her website (e.g. New Moon’s Edward is living off of rats and has a headache vignette), and I even started Midnight Sun while I still thought that it might be intriguing. I know the Twilight Saga inside and out… and I cannot, cannot, cannot, for the LIFE of me , can NOT understand what all of the mass-hysteria is about!! To quote Eric Cartman, “What’s the big fucking deal, bitch?”
I mean… I can sum it up until I am blue in the face, but places like The Oatmeal and Cracked have done such bang up jobs respectively that I need not bother with the painstaking process of telling any readers about the series. ...But, if for some reason, you can’t/won’t follow links, here are some of my disjointed keywords regarding the Twilight Saga: Human. Vampire. Werewolf. Generic love triangle. Glitter. Creepy hybrid baby (Renesmee). Creepy old ladies getting tattoos of Edward Cullen’s name and/or face somewhere on their person. Creepy fanclubs devoted to how “sexy” Edward Cullen is. Creepy fanclubs devoted to how “hot” Jacob Black is. Creepy adult toys that sparkle and maintain room temperature (that are probably owned by every person in the creepy Edward fanclub).
Honestly, Twilight didn’t start off BAD. It was sort of intriguing. The setting was neat, the two protagonists shared some genuinely cute scenes together (“How long have you been seventeen?”), and it was a love story! Yay for young love! But then… it just sort of fell to pieces. And fast. That whole sparkling in the meadow thing seriously killed it for me. I tried to understand it, I really did. I welcome different takes on things that are as universal and rehashed as vampires – it keeps them interesting. But getting all glittery in the sunlight is just bloody ridiculous! One of the biggest things that makes a vampire a vampire (aside from that whole drinking blood thing) is the inability to go out into sunlight. Not because they will look as pretty as a jar of Martha Stewart glitter (have you seen that shit? It’s fucking amazing!) but because the sun’s light is one of the few things actually capable of killing them.
|So. Goddamn. Pretty!!! (No sunlight needed.)|
So, the vampires in the Twilight Universe don’t burn up when the sun hits them, they don’t have fangs, they do not sleep during the day (in fact, they don’t sleep at all), and they are venomous. (That’s right – if a Twilight vamp wishes to sire somebody, all they have to do is bite them a few times and wait until the venom slowly transforms them into a “vamp”.) With that being said, I’m thinking that the term “un-vampire” might be a more accurate descriptor for the Cullens and their glittery brethren.
One more aspect of these un-vamps that puzzles me is that all of them have a gift that is unique to them. Edward is a mind-reader; Alice a seer, and so on… but is that really necessary? This lot has enhanced senses, super-strength and speed, and can’t die. I was onboard with Ed and Alice being “special” even among the special; after all, there was that one line where Edward refers to the two of them as being freaks, which is why they get on so well. But then, by the time the fourth book rolled around, EVERY vamp – sorry,un-vamp -- seemed to carry the X-gene, therefore throwing all of the pre-established mythos out the window.
As for the werewolves, well… you can’t really fuck up a werewolf, so I have no qualms with the lupine lackies of La Push. Except for their onscreen absurdity. They don’t look hot, they don’t look intimidating, and their brushed on abs are just sad (especially if you keep in mind that, with the exception of Taylor Lautner AKA Jacob, all the other wolves are looking pretty doughy in Eclipse). If I want a veritable beefcake overdose, I will turn to Zack Snyder’s 300. Because not only is it a better flick than all three of the Twilight movies put together, but those motherfuckers are CUT. And they’re like, killing shit with finesse every 20 seconds. Or, I can just ask my husband to take off his shirt because it’s like, the same thing – sans the killing shit.
But, I digress.
A huge part of Twilight’s smoldering demise for me has always been Bella fucking Swan. This chick… Ach! Where do I even begin?? Once again, she started off alright. I was able to relate to her staggering clumsiness. As somebody who kicks her own ass on a daily basis, I was cool with that. But, what else is there to say about Bella? She never evolves beyond being some clumsy average Jane -- she is a void. Without Edward, there is nothing. This character will literally die without him, as seen in New Moon, when she curls up into a ball in the middle of the forest (behind her house) and stays there after Eddie dumps her lame ass.
This is not cool. As somebody with some MAD co-dependency issues, I can seriously say that this is fucked up. Yes, Bella is a silly high school girl, and yes, when silly high school girls experience strong emotions (such as love) their whole world tends to turn upside down. I get that. I’ve been through that! Yes, if something disastrous happens, it feels like you’re going to die! But you don’t actually die! You brood for awhile, you get back up and you get depressed and you oversleep and you binge eat and you get a little drunk (if you’re old enough) and you lean on your friends and family a little bit to help you through a tough time! But Bella never does that! She never does anything other than lead Jacob on whenever she wants something from him, and talk about how beautiful Edward is. She has no redeeming qualities as a person! She is not strong, she is not intelligent (sorry, but reading Wuthering Heights in your spare time and listening to Bach does not automatically make you smart), and she’s not interesting. She’s just some stupid bitch who has no identity outside of her boyfriend. It goes without saying that she is absolute poison for the legions of young girls who are reading this shit and thinking that Bella is what they should grow to be. (I’m not even going to get into this though; many others already have.)
|Cold, metallic EVE is more human than Bella.|
Despite the strange re-tooling of one of the world’s most beloved monsters, a heroine who is little more than a lawn ornament with arms, and a downright unhealthy viewpoint on what love should look like, even older women are being taken by the Twilight Saga and doing things that are just weird: like pining after an eternally underage un-vampire (or the way underage werewolf) and showing their devotion by getting tattoos or decorating entire rooms in his honor. Like, if I was a dude, and my girlfriend, wife, fiance, lady-friend, whatever, came home with a tattoo of some other dude’s name somewhere on her, I would be pissed! It just strikes me as insulting. (And definitely disturbing.) That’s like happily married me going out and getting a tattoo that says Jack Shephard, or Locke Cole, or Alcide Herveaux. Sure, none of the aforementioned names belong to anybody that’s real, but I think my husband would still be all, “What the hell is THIS?" Hell, I think that even my toddler daughters would be like, “Ummm... what the HELL, mom?” (How does one explain that to their significant other anyway? Having the name and or face of some dude tattooed on their stomach or leg, or wherever? Anybody want to take this one?)
25hourbooks.comThink before you ink.
I understand that the Twilight Saga is a fantasy; a lot of women out there long to be swept off their feet by some uber-handsome man who will protect them when shit gets real and love them until the end of time. I totally get that. But let’s face facts, okay? Edward and Bella’s relationship is sort of disturbing. I mean, the guy watches her sleep, for crying out loud. If I woke up to find my HUSBAND watching me sleep I would be freaked the fuck out. And that’s the guy who I’ve been with for over 10 years, the father of my children! If he had done that shit when we were first dating, I would not have found it romantic or endearing at all – it would have been stalker territory, and our budding romance would have derailed. Another fact to face is that if a vampire and a werewolf were to ever throw down, there would be total (bloody) chaos.
|Vampire teeth were made for tearing shit up.|
So, those are just some of my thoughts regarding Twilight. I don’t think I will ever understand why people are so into it. It’s just not in my DNA to swoon over this -- I must be defective! If somebody can explain it to me, by all means, go ahead and try. But if you think for a second that I don’t understand it because of a lack of love in my life, you are an idiot and I don’t want to hear from you -- I experience love every day. So put that in your pipe and smoke it!
Oh, and on the subject of RPatz as Edward Cullen? One of my homies (the same one who lent me the books, actually...) said it best: “He looks like an ugly, broken foot.”
|Well said, dude.|