So the other day I stopped by my local Barnes & Noble book store to pick up some new reading material. As I was heading towards the back section of the store, where they have all the Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Comic stuff so the geeks and nerds won't frighten the other customers with their conversations about which era Batman could beat which era Wolverine, I saw the most terrifying, gut-wrenching, vomit-educing sight ever: a Supernatural Romance section!
I am not kidding. This is now a fully legitimate genre that gets its own section in the largest book store chain. Now, I am a huge fan of obscure genres and people's ability to combine and create some really fantastical concepts like Steampunk. Post-Apocalyptic Steampunk with social-political allegories woven within the context of a redemption from a Christian Reformed Theological standpoint...with airship pirates! That is a genre of I would dig. But it should never be a section in a book store!
But Supernatural Romance is! And it is all Twilight's fault!
I am not one to do a whole lot of ranting like this, but this is something I NEED to get off my chest. This is not going to be a huge anti-Twilight bitch-fest but I do want to make it abundantly clear that I despise those books.
Before any member of team Jacob or Edward tires to chew me out for not reading Twilight, let me make public fact that I have. I read it for me job so I could understand what the kids were making such a fuss about. It sucked. And no, I did not read the squeals, just the first. And no, I don't need to read the rest to enjoy it. That is like me getting sodomized with a baseball bat wrapped in rusty barbwire; I didn't enjoy the first, why would I want more?
Let me just take a moment and vent on my general disdain for this inane dribble that is sweeping our world.
These are Real Vampires
These are Fictional Vampires
and yes, even him
Then we have this crap!
These are not Vampires in any sense of the word
Now that I have that out of the way let me focus on the real problem here. These books are terrible. I get it that people are excited that kids are reading again but the problem is that they are reading garbage. It is like this, you have a kid who isn't eating much but then he discovers something he really likes to eat, rat poison! Do you let him continue to consume this killing agent? If you are a responsible person you smack it out of their hand and give them a serious spanking. Don't congratulate him for eating it. That is what is happening here; kids are reading, but what they are reading is harmful for them.
Girls of this world, especially here in America face so many issues with self image and security. Twilight does nothing to help this. If anything, it is does damage in these areas. Our girls have so few positive role models these days. Seriously, turn on the TV and these are the major female players that our young women see:
Unleash the Kraken!!!
Pretty disgusting, eh?
So if we can't find our heroes in the real world we can turn to fiction. Enter Bella. She is who so many girls are reading about and being inspired by. Why can't we have more female heroines like Hermione Granger?
I found absolutely no redeeming value in the character of Bella. It is fine to have a main character start out weak and pathetic. It makes for a great Heroes Journey (see Joseph Campbell if you are not familiar with his works to learn more about Heroes Journey) when you character starts out small and achieves greatness, like King Arthur, Luke Skywalker, Frodo Baggins, Harry Potter, etc. But if your character stays helpless the entire saga, doesn't grow, and just whines the whole time, what has our audience gained from them?
"Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend."
— Stephen King
And the great Mr. King has another quote to lead me into my next section.
"Both Rowling and Meyer, they're speaking directly to young people. … The real difference is that [Harry Potter author] Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and [Twilight author] Stephenie Meyer can't write worth a darn. She's not very good."
— Stephen King
There are truly some astonishing writers in the field of Sci-Fi and Fantasy like Mr. King and Ms. Rowling plus the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Issac Asimov, Neil Gaiman, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card, Robert Jordan, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, and on and on. Meyers in not one of them. I have read fan fiction that is better crafted than her works.
This has gotten so bad that there are numerous other series in this Supernatural Romantic vein. I wouldn't mind so much if the female characters were actual strong role models, but sadly, they aren't. I know I have rambled here for a bit, and thank you for reading on thus far, but I really needed to get this out there. My biggest issue is not the tarreded vampires but what this sort of trash is doing to our youth.
Written on 01.08.2011 by
Dane hails from Asheville, NC which is Beer City, USA. When he is not drinking various craft and micro brews, Dane fronts the Stoner Doom Metal band, The Quick. He also has a massive collection of Hellboy comic books.