In Defense of Twilight

twilight

Ah, Twilight… how I have dreaded this. But not because I hate it. It’s just hard to talk about the major polarizer of modern pop culture without sounding trite and overdone. Plus, nothing I write will sway the stout, formed opinions you likely possess. Twilight defending and Twilight deriding are equally boring, and I have the joy of doing both.

Sigh. Let’s get this over with.

As far as I can tell, Twilight wasn’t that big of a deal before the films. As books, they were a teen romance series with a sizable following, but nothing to write angry blogs about. After all, many other books deserve angry retribution and purging flames. For instance, A Seperate Peace.

BANG my HEAD aGAINST the WALL.

BANG my HEAD aGAINST the WALL.

But back to Twilight.

The book series is worth being discussed, simply due to popularity. There are concepts and themes that don’t sit well with part of the population, while others fawn over those same concepts. Serious discussion concerning this odd disconnect is actually fascinating, exhibited by the legions of Twilight analysts. But I grow weary of academia.

I specialize in crazy.

Ah, that's more like it.

Ah, that’s more like it.

With moderate popularity came moderate hatred. Some people defined themselves as Twilight-lovers, others as haters, but most fell somewhere in nonchalance.

With the rise of the film series… well, let’s just say a movie or four can put you over the top. By which I mean Stephanie Meyer became a rich, rich, rich woman. It also gave people something to burn.

Yeah, buying her book will show her!!!

Yeah, buying her book will show her!!!

Widespread fame and widespread notoriety birth widespread hatred. Too many people make Twilight the posterchild of all world evils, deeming it melodramatic hogwash and snarling whenever the word “team” is uttered, regardless of context. Any lesser reaction is considered “uncultured” and, more frequently, “STEEEOOOPID.”

There are also avid fangirls, but I don’t want to discuss them. Sadly, I must.

You see, most Twilight haters dislike the series because of the fans, which is absolutely stupid. I cannot say that enough. Please, quote me to everyone you see. Here it is in a larger, bolder font. Hating Twilight because of the fans is stupid. 

Here’s a graph for you the mull over…

twi

I realize I’m citing GraphJam.com, which is like citing the fringiest Tea Partiers for Republican policy. However, this chart is important because it is too true. Many people hate Twilight, not for any coherent opinions on plot or character or quality, but because the fans are too passionate.

And shrill. And giggly. And kinda terrifying.

And shrill. And giggly. And kinda terrifying.

But are they the only shrill, giggly, terrifying fan base? I seem to recall writing about a certain fan community a few weeks ago, so hint hint. However, they are not the only ones. For instance…

Look at that guy's shirt. Yep. It's the ponies.

Look at that guy’s shirt. Yep. It’s the ponies.

There will always be people who love pop culture a little too much for normalcy. Overly-passionate fans are likely present for everything you love. So hating something because of those exuberant, obsessed fans? It’s just stupid. And no, it has nothing to do with quality. Quality is subjective, so unless you are the unchallenged last word on all popular culture, you are going nowhere and spouting nonsense.

In short, there are die-hard fans for everything, so stop being an ass. That is all.

Not that their choices are always sane...

Stop it…

Kay, now that the fanbase defense is out of the way, this becomes much, much easier.

Have you read the books? ‘Cause I sure haven’t, and will therefore refrain from discussing them. Any opinion I have is ungrounded and unworthy of your time. You’re welcome.

The movies on the other hand… eh.

They’re pretty bad at times, but never worthy of the scorn they receive. New Moon and Breaking Dawn: Part 1 bored and/or angered me. The first movie was solidly mediocre, and Eclipse was slightly above that bar. I don’t understand how anyone could be enamored with them, but remember my curmudgeonly taste in film.

I do have problems with thematic elements, but I’m venturing into academia again. However, overanalysis is the only valid reason to truly dislike this series. If you want to talk about accepted misogyny, overwrought sexism, hollow main characters and false emotion masquerading as virtue, I will listen with open ears. You may even sway me if you are convincing.

But be reminded, those subjects can only be approached after full, fair interaction with the source material. No predetermined judgments, no snobbery, and no snarky comments … well, snarkiness kept to a minimum. It’s difficult, but it’s the only fair way to defend and/or deride Twilight. Personally, I’d rather bash A Seperate Peace, but that’s just me.

There. And I went the whole entry without mentioning sparkly skin. Seriously, why are people obsessed with that?

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