Friday, November 21, 2008
Letting the "Twilight" train pass me by
Sometimes I cultivate very large blind spots in my pop culture vision just to be difficult. My most recent blind spot is called "Twilight" and after months of willfully neglecting the phenomenon, I find myself wondering, "What's it all about, Vampy?*"
I know the basic premise of the books, and it sounds pretty good and angsty. As for the author, I heartily applaud anyone who can make their mark writing about adolescent vampires (yes, you Whedon). And I will admit that all the hullabaloo over the movie release today has piqued my interest -- so much so that I visited "Twilight" Central on the Entertainment Weekly website. (I scored a 40 on the interactive quiz. So apparently my understanding of "Twilight" is pretty much equivalent to my understanding of every calculus quiz I ever took.) Usually if the cultural clamor is loud enough, I'll acquiesce and investigate but I just can't bring myself to pick up one of Stephenie Meyer's books.
And mostly, I feel fine about that. Whereas the Harry Potter series seemed to easily straddle the adult and youth literary worlds much as Shel Silverstein does or C.S. Lewis or Lewis Carroll, the "Twilight" books seem nestled exclusively in the teen landscape. I'm sure that has to do with marketing or just my own skewed perceptions, but honestly, I feel like I'd be intruding if I picked up one of these novels. (That reluctance isn't there with the film so much. The only thing holding me back from seeing the movie is the fact that I can't stand paying $10 to sit in a theatre surrounded by 12-year-old girls texting "OMG" through the whole thing. Seriously, there should be a cellular dampening field installed in each and every cineplex.)
Just to be clear, I'm not saying adults shouldn't read and enjoy these novels. They're obviously intended to cross-over. I just can't get into it -- and the oversaturation in the media at the moment makes me even more obstinate.
So I'm just going to let this phenom go along without me, and tip my jaunty hat to the next generation of book-loving nerds who love vampires. They've got their Edwards. I had my Spikes. Our repressed, xenophobic Victorian grandmothers had their Draculas. To each generation, their own bloodsucking fascinations, as I always say. It's the circle of undead life...with exsanguination!
* That was a shout-out for all one of the "Alfie" fans out there. Woo, represent!!