Friday, November 20, 2009

Blood Suckers


Also flooding my e-mail inbox today: questions as to why I haven't written a long piece eviscerating fans of the Twilight series, considering that I once mercilessly mocked the adult readers of Harry Potter.

The answer is simple, really. It's just too easy. Taking a lot of time out of my day to make appropriate fun of middle-aged women who swoon over Twilight's sparkly vampires, gay porn werewolves and silly sixth grade romance is beneath even me -- and I'm somebody who giddily grabbed the lowest-hanging fruit on the joke tree by calling Sarah Jessica Parker a horse.

Let me get this straight: A somewhat homely, boring Mormon woman writes a series of transparent teenage fantasies in which a somewhat homely, boring, submissive high school girl named -- love the subtlety -- "Bella Swan" is the object of the unwavering affection of a beautiful vampire and a rugged werewolf; there's no sex (because Mormons don't believe in that sort of thing) or violence, really, but there is plenty of laughably written unfulfilled, melodramatic longing and, ironically, toothless and inoffensive behavior from mythological creatures that are generally known to drink blood and eat human flesh; and, oh yeah, the books are aimed at 13-year-old girls.

And you're a mother of two who publicly admits that she laps this shit up?

Congratulations -- you're your own punchline.

I said it before but it bears repeating: Remember what you used to call the girl back in high school who was really into vampires?

Chances are you didn't call her at all -- and neither did anybody else.

33 comments:

Snath said...

I hate Twilight as much as anyone, and I've never read a single word of any of the books, but I'm fairly certain at some point there is sex. My niece told me that Ms. Swan (yeah, okay..you looka lika man) has emo-vamp's baby.

Doubt the author would take it so far as to make the conception immaculate, but then again, what do I know.

L. said...

My teenaged sister has read these and every time I go round my mom's house I go looking for it.

Having read excerpts in different places I feel extremely compelled to read it. The dialogue is absolutely ridiculous, and that's not even going near the insanely trite descriptions of characters and events.

Sadly she's apparently ashamed enough to hide them and I've yet to find even one of them.

em said...

"Congratulations -- you're your own punchline."

This basically summed up the thoughts running through my head when I found out the *only* person I dislike at work (and, I'm sure, I'm just as disliked by him as well) went to a midnight screening of this movie last night. With his "wife". Mmmmmhmmmm.

I also knew nothing about this series until recently, but last year one of the girls who tagged along on a girls' weekend my best friend and I had was reading Twilight. In our hotel room while the rest of us were too busy pre-gaming. In an erudite fashion. And has now had engagement photos taken that completely resemble some of the sh!t out of the trailers for these movies. If she and the douche I mentioned above are reasons to not get married, I can totally get behind that.

Donal said...

Growing up with Dracula, the first Dark Shadows and the Fearless Vampire Killers, I tolerate a varied approach to vampire stories. I loved Cronos, a non-traditional vampire story, and liked Moonlight, which played fast and loose with the usual rules, but found the print version of Vampire Hunter D a bit stilted.

We watched a used DVD of Twilight and agreed that while it wasn't bad, it felt like two separate movies. The first was a teen romance while the second was an action-adventure chase flick. We'll probably see New Moon on used video, too.

And from what I heard, he and she get hitched before the baby is born.

Squidboy said...

Pure genius Chez! You completely encapsulate the essence of this pop culture abomination in just a few words. There is nothing left to say, bravo.

toastie said...

I have a lady friend who definitely laps it all up. Her Facebook profile is a photo of the brooding Twilight vampire Edward and his girl Bella, with her own face superimposed where Bella's should be.

The image makes me feel like your descriptions of heroin withdrawal. (Oh, yeah, everyone go out and buy Dead Star Twilight).

Actually, it seems like Twilight is heroin for these women. What are they going to do with the books and films are done?

Randy said...

I hate you ;)

oskar said...

toastie wrote: "Actually, it seems like Twilight is heroin for these women. What are they going to do with the books and films are done?"

What they're gonna do is keep on masochistically longin' & be achy breaky because a truly fulfilling relationship (be it with imaginary characters or with real persons) is not the point at all. In fact it's the worst buzzkill imaginable for their empty lives.

Picture middle-aged women who probably can't even manufacture their own mediocre fantasies... unless it's slash fiction "oh, what if Edward & the werewolf guy became more than friends" &c...

Chez said...

18 years and this is why you hate me, Rand?

Rhonda said...

Okay. I was just gifted with all 4 books last week, and they are like crack -- and I fully own being Punchline #438, Chez.
The writing is crap. The descriptions are crap, and there is no decent character development. The story line is infantile and ridiculous, but I turn the pages eagerly. My dear friend and brilliant psycho-analyst and I have figured out the pull: for us 40-ish women, the rush is the reminder of what it felt like to be in love the first (few) time(s). Wouldn't it be amazing to be so unconditionally adored and hungered for again, and to have the adrenaline rush that comes from that first time pre-sex we were lost in the sleepless nights of lust with a boy?
I don't think that most of us Punchlines care so much about the lame vampire story as the crack high which has been replaced by a "secure commitment" and "adult responsibilities."
Oh, the high of being head-over-heels in lust again.

Chez said...

For the record, I'm so tired of the ridiculous Anne Rice aesthetic in which vampires are sexy and seductive, vaguely effeminate pseudo-Eurotrash. Go rent 30 Days of Night or Near Dark. Now those are some fuckin' vampires.

Jadine said...

Let the Right One In is an excellent vampire flick, if you don't mind subtitles. I have caught snippets of Twilight while channel surfing and the acting is poor at best. I would imagine that the books aren't well written either. I know more about the Twilight franchise than I ever wanted to. Please, just kill me.

Chez said...

Let the Right One In is astonishingly good.

So what you're saying then is that Twilight is the female version of buying a Corvette -- it's your mid-life crisis.

Web Dunce said...

You have nailed it once again, Chez. I can't believe the hysteria these books/movies are causing. Two of my 30-something girlfriends (both teachers with Master's degrees) absolutely gush over the books. They are constantly trying to make me cave and read one. I won't do it. I fell for this bullshit with the Da Vinci Code a few years ago. Worst book I ever read - though oddly enough a page turner.

As someone who not only graduated with a degree in English from a pretty tough university, but also has a Transylvanian sister-in-law, I cannot in good faith succumb to the Twilight phenomena.

Jester said...

LOL! Twilight as the female mid-life crisis. I love it. Damn, Chez, haven't you gotten enough hate mail this month? ;-)

Jamie said...

I fell off the couch laughing at the cat scene in Let the Right One In.

Randy said...

It's sad... but yes!

Ref said...

So what's the message we (or 13 year old girls) get from this crap? You need to find some kind of super-human parasite to lust after because humans just aren't good enough? Suddenly picturing 13 year old Inara saying "Daddy, I want to marry a vampire!"

domesticdisturbia said...

I said this the last time you wrote a Twilight post, and I'll say it again.

They are like a bag of Lays potato chips. They are junk. They are not literary. They are not good for you. They are pure crap.

And once you open one, you can't stop.

I truly hate romantic comedies. I truly hate "chick flicks" and "chick lit." I didn't read Ann Rice. I don't love Jane Austen.

But I love me some Edward.

Laugh on. A lot of husbands are getting laid after their wives read these books.

Colonel Yelgen P. Masters said...

i dont think thats really fair.. saying sarah jessica parker looking like a horse is on a joke tree is like saying the sky is blue is also on the joke tree.. i think you owe comedy an apology

Vermillion said...

I just wrapped up a lively debate with folks at Pajibe about the pros and cons of Twilight. They were arguing that as long as the kids were reading it was cool, and that the kids could separate fantasy from reality. A comparison to Star Wars fandom was made.

My view: I know how I feel about Star Wars, and if those girls feel the same way, then I am fucking terrified of this stuff. These girls supposedly hated reading, and were hostile towards it to the point that them reading anything was a victory. Yet this book changed their heavily reinforced habitual responses. You are talking about a book that CHANGES A PERSON'S BRAIN.

Plus, if you take the fantasy stuff from Star Wars, you still get a great reinvented hero's myth. The same with Harry Potter.

But what do you ahve when you take all the sparkle out of Twilight? What I saw was frightening.

Randy said...

Lighten up folks... it's why they call it FICTION....

Julie The Vintage Goddess said...

Who wouldn't want a stalker vampire boyfriend who sparkles? There is nothing that makes you feel more "loved" then to wake up in the middle of the night and find him standing in room staring at you.

Let the Right One In is astonishingly good.

It was so good...horrifying in a very quiet way.
Except for the cat scene which was craptasticly redonkulus and funny.
Coke coming out of my nose funny....

Anonymous said...

yes but... what's your position on buffy?

podface said...

yeah i don't really see the big deal. people get shitballs excited for craptastic movies/books/shows all the time. there were ten (packed) theaters at the 12:00 showing for transformers 2.. and twilights no better than that turd-fueled mess of an action movie. girls getting all gooey and crazy for shitty teenage romance dramas is equivalent in my eyes to jerk off frat boys all hard for vin diesel movies.

i guess i dont really have a point except...

buffy rules.

Deacon Blue said...

Anon 6:37: yes but... what's your position on buffy?
------------------
I don't know about Chez, but my position on Buffy is either her on top or doggie-style.

Artemisian said...

As somebody who's seen and read Twilight, and did their best to make it through New Moon, I feel pretty qualified to apply the "fucking bullshit" label to Meyer's appalling series. And further, as somebody who is quite educated on domination/submission relationships, I also feel qualified to say that Edward and Bella's dynamic is an unhealthy breed of D&s. Despite all her assertions (and Meyer's to boot) that she's frightfully stubborn, all that willpower is directed towards doing whatever necessary to be around Edward. There's no scrap of independence in sight.

It depresses me that one of my best friends, an intelligent, thoughtful young woman who should know better, becomes a raving fangirl over Edward. It's almost insulting to my whole gender to see how some specimens react to this candy-coated fantasy. I'm a huge fan of being desired and chased and valued and all that other damsel-in-distress crap, but I still have standards.

Here's a question for any fans: what do Edward and Bella see in each other? Qualifying answers do not include "he's real purdy", "she smells like coke", or "because he/she already likes me!"

Anonymous said...

I get it. I have a 14 yr old daughter. He's my Maverick, her Edward. No appolgies...just eye candy this holiday season!

Anonymous said...

and now all normal 30 year old somethings just found our dating pool.... your husband that thinks you are "twilight" lame.

Doc said...

It's always something these peri-menopausal women latch onto with chubby-fisted sweaty gripes...they'll fuel twilight hysteria as much as the beanie baby nonsense 10 years ago.

Me, I prefer my mid-life crisis to be just screwing younger guys and booze. But that's just me.

Anon said...

I just find it interesting that the classic interpretation of vampires, Count Dracula, is this suave, cosmopolitan nobility, while Edward is a brooding emo.

You'd almost figure that women that would want the gentlemenly type of the rich Count Drac than Edward. But then I never got the whole impulse of "I can change him!"

Nidhi said...

For everyone who loves Buffy and thinks Twilight is just laugh-out-loud funny, please tell me you have seen Buffy kick Edward's ass?

If not, watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZwM3GvaTRM

Julia said...

I'm actually OK with grown women getting into cheesy teenage domination porn. What scares the crap out of me is that kids are reading it.

My fourteen year old got them from her grandparents, so I've read them. I can think of at least four occasions in the books where a woman takes on responsibility for the injuries and mutilations the man in her life inflicts on her and feels really, really bad that he's beating himself up about it, since she knows he only did it because he loves her.

The have a baby at 18 and you get hot and cold running sleepless babysitters with multiple degrees so you can go to Dartmouth with a better figure and have sex eight hours a day thing is big fun too.

Happily, the kid has moved on to Angel, and I understand Buffy staked his ass.