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Twi-curious?

May 14, 2011

Sorry, but this pic just doesn't get old.

I do believe that I’m on the cusp of developing a perfect love/hate relationship with the Twilight franchise. Now, before you all reach for your torches and pitchforks and march to my castle door, denouncing my wretched Twifaggery  like a rabid band of cultural Khomeinists, let me stress that I haven’t read a word of Stephenie Meyer’s books and I’ve only seen approximately one-and-a-half of the film adaptations that have been released (and I waited until the Korean cable broadcast for those). The love part of the equation is little more than an appreciation for the overall pop culture phenomenon and the way in which it has unfolded. I love that a 30-something devout Mormon can put a palpable load of shite to paper and become massively enriched by it, the best-selling author on the planet for three consecutive years. After watching the first, eponymous Twilight film and sitting agape as the sparkly vampire Edward explains his romantic obsession with the human Bella by emphatically declaring “you’re like my own personal brand of heroin”, I researched Stephenie Meyer and discovered that she made $59 million in 2009 alone for writing stuff like that. That’s quite extraordinary, and I’ll happily rejoice in the spread of this feverish madness in much the same way that I’ll thoroughly enjoy the success and notoriety of a film wherein a mad surgeon sews people’s mouths to other people’s asses. It’s all part of life’s rich pageant, and what a dull world it would be otherwise.

Additionally, I don’t really have any problem with the actual content of this “saga”. I’ve failed to find any of it particularly offensively bad due to being assured that it is simply not for me in the first place. All of the people I have seen reading Meyer’s books have been young teenage (Korean) girls and I myself enjoyed a critically instructive experience at a comparable age with Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, emerging afterward convinced that overwrought, Gothic vampire fiction was shit. However, I have heard abroad that adults read the Twilight books, as a good friend of mine expressed his disgust at having witnessed grown men and women unabashedly engrossed in the teen-fantasy-romance tomes in public places. Again, I should reiterate that I haven’t read a word of any of the bestselling series myself and can only judge the writing as it has been adapted for the screen for the first two films although, with my expectations set firmly low, these flicks did little to appall or ambush me with their silliness. Sure, there is a lot of daft stuff; vampires going to high school, vampires playing baseball, vampires sparkling in sunlight, werewolf boys walking around shirtless in the backwoods of Washington state, a female protagonist that arrives at a new town and school only to instantly make about a dozen good friends and meet two fit guys that are desperate to fire into her and yet still manages to be fucking glum all the time, etc. It’s all rather flat and nothing much actually happens but, all things considered, the overall product seems ultimately quite harmless.

At least that’s what I tell myself, and here’s where the hate part creeps in. In examining the Twilight franchise, I feel very much like Eddie Blake, “The Comedian” from Alan Moore’s seminal Watchmen, sitting there beholding the horror of the entire spectacle with a fat cigar between my teeth, alternately cackling and weeping. “It’s all a big fucking joke! Ah ha ha huh uh huh huh *sob*”……. And that’s when I reach for my flamethrower.

(Actually, I took the time to watch Twilight for two reasons; initially because, pile of shite or not, a pop culture phenomenon of that magnitude will pique my interest regardless and because of this article by Devin Faraci – Why Breaking Dawn Must Be Made Into A Movie

A werewolf falling in love with a baby. This is why Thomas Edison invented this shit in the first place. So we could see a werewolf fall in love with a baby.

That went some way to convincing me that it might be worth sitting through some of this pap just to see if the batshit crazy payoff promise of the finale actually happens.)

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4 comments

  1. I reeeeally thought you’d gone all weak sister on me there. I feel the same for the Potter franchise although I genuinely enjoyed The Deathly Hallows. Its a bit like slapping Goebbels on the ass and saying “Good game”. You might not like what you see but you cant fault the…em…execution.


  2. Yeah, I give the Potter films a watch too but they’re a lot better. Still need to watch the sixth one before starting on the Deathly Hallows.


  3. JY sent me the first book and asked me to read it and let her know if she should buy the rights for a manga version. It is pure female porn, so I of course said, “Yeah it will make a great manga series!”. There are many full pages of intense description of how hot the two studly wuddlies are and the Steph woman writes a well woven candy driven page turner, with the same level of language as the Harry Potter books. It is the equivalent version in our time of say Sense and Sensibility (without the witty repartee). But yes in terms of content and actual value they are shite; but people these days tend to read to escape their wonderfully inadequate and unfulfilling lives, not relive them in the heavy depressing writings of Kafka, or Chekov. Long live the fantasy novel! God, and probably my neighbour knows it!


  4. Ha, good call on adapting it for the East-Asian comic book market.



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