Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Twilight


"He must see how absorbed I was by him; he must not want to lead me on… so we couldn’t even be friends… because he wasn’t interested in me at all. I wasn’t interesting. And he was. Interesting… and brilliant… and mysterious… and perfect… and beautiful… and possibly able to lift full-sized vans with one hand."

For those of you who are Twilight fans this is the last thing in the world that you should read. I will crush all your hopes and dreams of ever having a sensible conversation about this abomination so unprofessionally called a book with me simply because it is impossible. There is no way to have a sensible conversation about how an insensible book is sensible. Duh. This does not mean that I think anything less of those who read, enjoy, or even admire this... book. It just means that I will know from then on that we disagree on at least one subject and that there is no way that will ever change.

I guess that I should elaborate on why I despise a book so excepted by the world and many in it. First, that the books have horrible literary merit, yes I'm a nerd. Second, the obsession that this book has brought into the lives of average teens is reason enough for caution. But the aspect about their power that scares me is that these books possess the frightening ability to persuade good people who have high standards to unhesitatingly drop their standards to read a book full of sensuality, violence, and less than praiseworthy characters. There, now to elaborate.

The first reason is that of merit. I suddenly really don't feel like spending much time on this subject, but I will anyway. If you've read the book you know that it is cheesy. Yeah, you know what's going on, there is a climax, and even a conclusion. But does it have to be so... sentimental? The emotions are so out of this world that they seem fake. Depression is real. Sorrow is real. Love is real. But these books convey a fantastical version of these emotions that I can't take seriously. One day at lunch my brother picked up one of his girlfriends (girl that's a friend, they weren't together. ha.) copy of Twilight. He began reading the book out loud to ultimately make fun of the book. All that I could think while he was reading was that it sounded like something I would have written when I was twelve. I'm not saying that I would have written about Edward Cullen at that age, I'm talking about the level that it was written at. I'm not saying that I'm a genius because I don't believe that it is written well enough to merit me a genius. It made me laugh. That's all I have to say. Ridiculous. If you can't see that, read it again and call me in the morning.

Moving on. Am I the only one that has noticed how many people seem to have become completely obsessed with this book? I'm not talking about the readers who read the book, maybe enjoy it, and then move on to the next book. I'm talking about the readers who read the book, breathe the characters, and live the story. The readers who are stuck in a world they've created in their mind to be like Bella's sad life. The readers who have a desire to be whiny, depressed, and completely helpless. (Not to mention mindless when it comes to "bizarre, beautiful boy[s]" who may or may not be a complete waste of their time considering the fact that said person has not even met the "bizarre, beautiful boy" yet.)

Take a look at these statistics. There are over 150 million children who do not have a home. The U-6 rating for unemployed Americans is up to 13.5%. Out of every 1,000 children born in America, 50 will die from SIDS before they turn five. What's the use reading these depressing statistics? To hopefully illustrate the fact that there are a lot people in the world and many of them are going through horrible trials. Horrible trials. I can't change that. I can't take away the hurt from each of those families as they deal with the loss of their children. I can't give each one of those homeless children somewhere to call home. I can't find a job for every deserving American. Neither can you. No one can. But it makes me wonder what would happen if instead of being obsessed with Twilight people became obsessed with helping those around them who are going through trials. What if we spent hours of our days daydreaming about bringing dinner to a family who has a family member in the hospital? What if we read stories about other people who had made a difference to get ideas and inspiration on how we can help? What if we wore shirts that said "I helped someone and I loved it"? What if we were part of Christ's team instead of Jacobs? What would the world be like if our obsession was to live our lives so that it was as close to His as we could possibly get it?

My last argument is the one I feel the strongest about. Here is a quote from a teacher centered blog called Teacher Magazine.The quote is from one of the comments. It states:
"...if they're reading, I'm happy. But more than that--if they're reading Twilight, that's a bridge to all kinds of stuff! Do they like the vampires? Hello, Dracula and Anne Rice! Do they like the fantasy elements more? Golden Compass and lots of others. Twilight has debatable literary merit, but as an introduction to reading for pleasure, it's a great jumping-off point."

I understand where these teachers are coming from. I want to be a teacher someday and have often wondered what I would do to try to get children to read, but I don't believe this is the answer. In fact, I fervently beg to differ! If we need books that have graphic kissing scenes, violent decapitations, and questionable family functions to get people to read there is something seriously wrong with us. I'd rather teens not read than immerse themselves in things that will awaken emotions and engrave ideals in their minds that will create a perfect opening for temptations that proceed certain actions. Actions that if pursued are of the highest degree of severity. Are we so blind? That's like saying it's a good thing for a shy teenager to go to a party full of drugs and alcohol and saying "Well, at least he/she is learning to socialize and getting rid of their shyness." WHAT? Does that not bring red flags up everywhere? Parents? Teachers? Anybody?

It worries me exceedingly that there are good people who seem to be able to completely over look the content in these books. Not to mention the movies! Has anyone read why it is PG-13? Take away the story, the romance, Taylor Lautner (whom many seem to believe is a "hunk") and what do you have left? This is the actual explanation that it is given for the rating(for Eclipse, the movie I have been told is "miles better than Twilight or New Moon):"MPAA Rating: PG-13: for intense sequences of action and violence, and some sensuality."I looked up a parent review as well, but I don't really want to blog everything that is in that movie. Needless to say it is not appropriate for anyone in my eyes. We've been told that we should be supporting things that are "lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy." Is that any of those? Um... I think not, but you make the decision.

I guess that I should probably start concluding my long soap box session. I've had all of these things bottled up inside for a long time. It was nice to finally get them out. Sorry if I offended anyone. In the beginning I said I don't hold anything against those who enjoyed these books. I am entitled to my opinion and you to yours. I just believe in mine, not yours. :) Just so that you know, I have not read the books. I have read the first twenty pages of Twilight, watched the movie Twilight, and watched about 45 minutes of New Moon. If this causes you to believe that my opinion is invalid, then I guess in your eyes it will be. I won't read the books or watch the movie. Sorry. Consider what I've said. Sorry for any grammatical errors. Lastly, forgive me Stephanie Meyer for voicing my opinion which is, unfortunately, dead set against you.

P.S. I do not pretend to be perfect in any of the areas I touched on (violence, sentimentality, etc.) I was just pointing out the downfalls of Twilight. :)


photo credit: amazon.com