Twilight sucks — let me count the ways

November 24, 2009



The Twilight phenomenon is widely accepted but not necessarily understood.  The popular books, written By Stephanie Meyer, have very quickly built up a cult-like fan base. Complete with swooning teens (and even some swooning mothers of teens), squealing and screaming fans and even some pushing and hair pulling at the recent midnight premiere of the second movie installment, “New Moon.”  The Beatles and Elvis for the 21st century.

The series is based around the relationship between a human and a vampire that craves her blood. It has your basic man-falls-in-love-with-a-woman-they-can’t-be-together- they-are-together-anyway-the-relationship-faces-prejudice-and-they-fight-through-it-and-end-up-living-happily-ever-after, blah blah blah. Granted, this is not the whole reason why the books are so popular. There are actually two reasons: Edward Cullen and Jacob Black.

If you aren’t familiar with these characters, all you have to imagine is two very beautiful men fighting over the same woman and you pretty much have the whole premise of “New Moon.” Jacob Black is a werewolf that falls in love with Bella. However Bella is taken by a vampire named Edward Cullen.(Starting to get the idea?)Now vampires and werewolves have long been fierce enemies.

But when Edward leaves in  “New Moon”, Jacob has an open opportunity to woo Bella Swan. Yet Bella is so heartbroken over Edward she is having none of it. She just wants to be friends, while Jacob wants more, again, very predictable. So you are probably wondering, and with good cause, “Why are these books so popular? And why has this movie broken all of the opening weekend records?”

Jacob Black and Edward Cullen are the perfect men. They are loyal and loving and totally devoted. They say all the right things and do all the right things. But unlike all other romance novels, they don’t have sex. In fact, Edward and Bella wait until they are married before they are together in a sexual manner. This basic idea of chastity and waiting is what makes the reader keep reading. Now it may sound odd but it’s true. Stephanie Meyer writes scenes where Bella and Edward kiss, but cuts it short as soon as it starts getting too steamy. The reader is almost disappointed, but the implication of the characters going further is what makes them turn the page. They are just itching for more.

Now some more die hard “Twilight” fans would argue with me. Saying that they love the way that the books are written and how the characters are portrayed. And for a few this is true. But the novels are nothing to be enthralled with. They are good reads sure, but they are the kind of books that you borrow from the library all at once, read through them in one weekend and be done with it. They are very basic romance novels. With a little action and conflict sprinkled throughout. However, they are simply that–romance novels, basic and mostly uncreative.

So, if these novels are so basic, where does the novelty come in? Why are these books such a huge deal? Why are these movies making as many millions as they are? They have a very basic story line and yet they have a following that is as big or bigger than the Harry Potter fan base And J.K. Rowling wrote a series that set the bar high for wizard stories.

So, if this dull and overused storyline is making millions, what does it all say about our culture? Are we so easily amused by bargain basement “true love” that we will choose it over the classics? Isn’t true love from the eyes of Shakespeare or Emily Dickinson more valuable than from the eyes of an author of the 21st century? Will Stephanie Meyer be remembered 400 years from now? To be, or not to be? In this case, that is definitely the question.

Freelance writer Adi Jones divides her time between Morro Bay and Eureka.

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Adi divides her time between Morro Bay & Eureka?!! How, tell me how you manage it, Adi? That’s what I want to do–plus throw in a bit of New Mexico. Much as I love Port Angeles, and there are some species of palm trees will grow here, so far as I can make out, Canary Island Palms will not, but they will grow at least as far north as Eureka. Stephanie Meyer, as our local Pt. Angeles newspaper “scooped” the rest of world’s press 2 years after the fact, has apparently bought a pricey property some 2 hrs. east of Forks, but she knows nothing about the West End (as it is called locally). I can tell a rather amusing story about an English Buddhist priest from Seattle who took his English parents to Forks to look for the rain forest and could not find it, but that’s a whole n’other story. But not altogether that different from all the other photographer and other similar types who wander up from south west desert and other points east to report back to the world on Olympic Peninsula only to prove they have not the least understanding of this place. It’s not that only Twilight sucks, it’s that the rest of the world comes and thinks it’s seen the heart of a creepy green darkness and has no understanding whatsoever of here because they don’t understand whatever darkness exists where they are there, wherever they are. Or even if they do understand the red rocks of the desert s.w., that understanding can’t be imposed on this environment here. Do you understand what I say? Probably not, but this comment space is too small. I do know your space, family associated w/Manchester (Pt. Arena), entire west coast from pre-Gold Rush to present, from the Battle of Chino in 1847/1848 to the battle of everyday survival from Grand Coulee Dam, Shoshone, ID, Promontory Pt., Utah, Spokane, Seattle, Mountain Home, White Salmon, Portland, Eugene, Junction City, SF Bay Area (from at least 1906, indeed from digging up the gold inflected earth at Sutter’s Mill in 1847), and watching the entire west coast of the USA drive itself into extinction like a bunch of mythical lemmings as I try to run from having to watch the train wreck of a fatal beauty — San Francisco — destroy herself. Where does one go after one has had the best? And then a tiny place like Forks gets sucked in? The “funny” thing about Forks is that it is, demographically speaking, the only “normal” place around here, a wonderful, beautiful normal demographic curve of population. The “sick” place is Sequim, where the largest single demographic group is single women over the age of 80 years old. Now that would be a true tale of vampyrism, would it not?

Seems to me there’s a line in another film that answers the thumbs down. It’s spoken by Jack Nicholson, it’s about a trial and the military and it’s something about truth.

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I completely agree, J.K. Rowling wrote a great series and Stephanie Meyer just seems to be a novelty that I’m sure will run out soon. Lets cross our fingers that this generation comes to it’s senses.

I prefer Harry Potter to Twilight. Stephanie Meyer seems to be such a hack writer. I try to explain this to my daughters, but they won’t listen. They swoon over anything to do with Twilight. I’m hoping they grow out of it and read some REAL books. Bronte, anyone?