In the short span of four short years, a sensation has swept teeny-boppers across the nation. Well, I would be telling half-truths if I were to say that it were just the teeny-bopper girls getting swept up in this storm, since it seems to be reaching up to nitwits up in their twenties and even thirties. Obsession and delusion are the symptoms; the cause? Twilight. Yes, the four-book series (which some have the audacity to call a “saga”) has captured the imaginations of fangirls everywhere, and subjected them to a sound beating with the stupid stick. Now the whole mess is getting it’s own beating, not with a stick, but with a hammer. A Banhammer!
Those who are unfamiliar with the series (shortest list of names since “National leaders who are coprophiliacs”) may wonder what all the fuss is about. Well, Bella almost dies, but Edward turns her into a vampire and they live happily ever after. Now that I’ve ruined the last book for anybody who hasn’t read it (not that anyone who hasn’t would want to, I suppose), I’ll give you the rest of the story. Mary-Sue “Bella” Swan is a nobody teenage girl with no definite personality other than self-absorbed, living in a middle-of-nowhere town where a vampire, Edward, just happens to live. This vampire is also SUPER HOTT!!!1 And he’s a hundred and seventeen years old. And he’s a daywalker (and he’s not Wesley Snipes, unfortunately). And he has been living off of nothing but animal blood. And he’s a virgin. They fall in love, werewolves get involved somehow (imagine “Underworld” got turned into an after-school special. I’ll wait while you gag) and Ed knocks up Bella. Bella then gives birth a la Ripley at the end of “Alien 3,” almost dies, now refer to the second sentence of this paragraph. Yeah, there’s a whole lot of drama in between, but everybody that matters survives and goes away.
Now you might be asking yourself, “This Edward guy, he sounds like a wuss. Older than dirt and he hasn’t gotten any, and he’s sucking chipmunks dry to boot. What’s up with him?” The problem isn’t with him, it’s with his creator, Stephenie Meyer. Meyer, doubtlessly drawing from her freaky-deaky Mormon beliefs, makes Ed a morally-upright character who doesn’t kill and doesn’t have sex outside of marriage. Not at all a big surprise, considering that she admits to writing the book for herself. In fact, when descriptions of Bella are taken from the books and matched to a picture of Meyer, the resemblance is striking. Now the fellow who plays Ed in the Twilight movie, Robert Pattinson is well-know to be a non-fan (lightly speaking) of the series. Several examples of his sarcastic disdain include a incident where mentioned “creaming himself” over his character, which for the sake of positive publicity he had to cry “mea culpa.”
What really strikes me, though, is the suddenness of this whole craze. With the first book released in 2005, it wasn’t until just recently that the hardcore fandom arose. We all see it now, on shirts, backpacks, bracelets, movie posters, and in thousands upon thousands of “super-unique” Myspace profile pictures. The emotionless faces of the actors commissioned to portray the cavalcade of over-the-top Mary-Sues stare at us from the Hot Topic windows. Merchandise flows like a damn fountain, bathing anyone with more bucks than brains in useless memorabilia. But the big thing that I think this sort of book is peddling is the same thing that Disney is nowadays: they are selling sexuality in a safe package to a receptive female age group. The Jonas brothers wear purity rings, Miley Cyrus is (supposedly) a good little Christian girl that sometimes wears suggestive clothes, but it’s all okay so long as nobody gets naked before the vows are exchanged.
Maybe that sort of thing is above and beyond the scope of interest here. What really matters is; Meyer’s writing sucks, and Stephen King agrees. Girls are getting wrapped up in what one commentator described as “a 12-year-old’s fanfic of Anne Rice.” A dangerous creature that oozes sexual imagery, tamed and made safe for female interaction. An emotionless girl that anyone can take the place of. This is not our reality, nor would any sane person want it to be. Stories exist as a temporary departure from reality, but to spend every waking moment wishing and wishing that falsehood true, well, that’s when you wake up at forty-something and realize that your stupid dream is never coming true. So go back down to Hot Topic, buy your plastic vampire teeth, your sparkly makeup, and your black fingernail polish. In the end, you’re just entertaining people like me.