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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Life Is Twilight: Informed Hatred

People hate Twilight for the wrong reasons. It's totally worthy of hatred, don't get me wrong. It's maybe the most worthy. But if you really want to be informed with your hatred, and I sense that you do, you've got to get past the sparkly vampire thing.

Yes, in Twilight, vampires sparkle in sunlight. It is presented, in Twilight, as a kind of joke about vampire mythology. Vampires are aware of the rumors that they burst into flames in the sun, have an aversion to garlic and crosses, and so on. Within the reality of Twilight, those are exaggerations of the truth. One could easily see how a human seeing a vampire sparkling a few hundred years ago could have been distorted by oral tradition into the whole bursting into flames thing. People who complain about faggy sparkling vampires seem to be implying that Twilight is not totally self-aware about this (Here's a complaint I hear constantly about zombie movies: don't the people in these movies see zombie movies? Don't they know how to deal with a zombie invasion? Yet here is Twilight, a world in which vampires have seen vampire movies, and those same people [unknowingly] complain about it. Be more ideologically coherent with your objections to pop culture, people). But they sparkle! It's so gay! WE KNOW. Get over it.

Because there is plenty of better stuff to object to in these fucking books. Twilight is a series with copious grammatical errors, inflated and often nonsensical dramatic stakes, and a seriously troubling moral universe. Consider for a second that in New Moon, Stephenie Meyer uses the term "flight attendent" when referring to a male airplane employee and "stewardess" when referring to a female. From there, you can map out systematic sexism throughout the entire series. Woman are almost universally manipulative, stupid, and baby-crazed. Edward is manipulative, stupid, and obsessed with virginity, but the fact that these attributes are basically presented as attractive only compounds the problem.

This misapplication of hatred expands out through the rest of the Twilight universe, into the films and even the personal lives of the actors. I've covered for several weeks the organized campaign of hatred against Ashley Greene, an actress from the Twilight films who is dating a one Joseph Jonas, who I take is some kind of rock singer. The efforts of crazed Jonas fans have gone from amusing to disturbing very quickly.

And what's galling about all of this is that the person they REALLY should be hating is Jackson Rathbone, another actor from the series (and The Last Airbender, natch). I mean, the guy is in a band called 100 Monkeys. Right of the bat, I hate him. I also can't get this quote out of my head from a few months ago (It's basically my "If it weren't for my horse, I wouldn't have spent that year in college."):

"You know, at the end of the day, I like playing the stranger character. I like playing to the extremes of the human psyche and like to expand myself through art.”

This guy. It's all the more upsetting that this quote came in the context of Rathbone suggesting himself for Christopher Nolan's next Batman movie. Silly Jackson. One doesn't simply walk into Mordor, you know? Anyway, I guess my point is: get over the sparkly thing, get over Jashley, and hate this guy with me.

I'm not a Twi-Hard but I play one on my blog.


  1. Also his lame "power" is to be calming. Way to as effective as camomile tea, buddy.

  2. 100 Monkeys is playing at the venue I work at tonight. We have a bunch of Twi-hards who camped out last night. Just thought I would share!

  3. That's not the lamest power though-- one of the Volturi can "see relationships." JUST CHECK FACEBOOK YA DUMB VAMPIRE AMIRITE?

  4. oh no! my friend loves jackson rathbone. one of the few moments i remember from seeing eclipse in theaters is her gasping, "JASPEEEEER!" every time he came on screen. i think we started to incorporate it into our drinking game.

  5. Zachary, this was a very interesting post. Thanks.

  6. See, I hate these books because I think they are amongst the most misogynistic, racist, and homophobic works I have read. And also Edward is super creepy. SUPER CREEPY. I do not have a vocabulary to express the amount of creepy that is Edward.

    I am agreeing with you, if that was not clear.

  7. My hatred of Jackson Rathbone does not extend to Jasper; I like Jasper. He has an interesting back story that involves child murder (awesome) and has an interesting girlfriend. The two of them end up being this countervailing, cavalier influence on the rest of the book; they are among the several characters that Stephenie Meyer almost seems to have no control over in the text, who push against Edward (who IS super creepy) almost as if they are the conscience Meyer doesn't know she has.

    Or such is the spin I have put on it.