Sunday, August 29, 2010

Straight Men That Like "Twilight", and the Haters That Hate Them

I know the cool thing to do is to counter the culture, buck the system, that's a lot of what HipHop was about, and a lot of what's happened to it. I've been alive just about the same amount of time that HipHop has, I've grown with it, and I've seen all the cycles. Anti-disestablishmentarianism at it's best. (Yes, that is a word...) Musicians in the ghetto couldn't afford instruments, so the turntable became our instrument. We took technology that wasn't really meant for us (TR808, SP1200, they were not designed with us in mind the way the MPC was), and carved out a space in history, all the while they labeled us a fad. HipHop is approaching it's 40th Anniversary. Success breeds discord, and it's all-too-often I hear musicians decry “HipHop sucks.” They say it's not music. Say what you will... we ain't going nowhere.

Everybody 'hates' Twilight right now. There's a spoof movie coming out called "Vampires Suck". “Real” men call it “gay”. Vampire purists say that the vampires aren't supposed to “glitter like diamonds” in the sun, they are supposed to explode. To the real men I say “Get over your homophobic selves.” To the pseudo-vampire experts, I say go back through literature and see just how much and often authors take liberty with the undead lore. Sometimes crucifixes work, sometimes they don't. Some vampires are burned by holy water, some gargle it and spit it back in your face. People were none-too-thrilled with Ann Rice's depictions of the Children of the Night. Her vampires were seriously homoerotic. Nothing was more beautiful to a vampire as another vampire, male or female. Every possible objection I've heard has been pretty much from the insipid to the inane. The only reason people hate Twilight is because someone else hated it, so they hate it too. I guess with "True Blood", "Vampire Diaries", and "Twilight" there has to be some vampire backlash, but the three of them are similar only in that they have vampires... Hammerheads, Angels, and Great Whites are all sharks, but nobody could argue that they are all the same. (Honorable mention goes to "The Gates", I hope you find an audience....)

So for those who don't have the time to open a real ink-and-paper book, here's the preface of “Breaking Dawn”, the fourth book in the Twilight Series:

I'd had more than my fair share of near-death experiences; it wasn't something you ever really got used to.

It seemed oddly inevitable, though, facing death again. Like, I really was marked for disaster. I'd escaped time and time, again, but it kept coming back for me.

Still, this time was so different from the others.

You could run from someone you feared, you try to fight someone you hated. All my reactions were geared toward those kinds of killers- the monsters, the enemies.

When you loved the one who was killing you, it left you no options. How could you run, when doing so would hurt that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give your beloved, how could you not give it?

If it was someone you truly loved?

I don't know how many of you have ever attempted to write something, anything, but let me tell you as someone who has, that is a serious bit of writing for setting tone. This character is faced with a question none of us want to ever have to answer. Any good drama is conflict and the resolution of said conflict. Can you give up your life for someone you loved? I can see a good many balking for romantic love, but at the risk of being a slight bit spoiler, what if it was your child? Further still, she's established that the character is no stranger to peril, has escaped it on multiple occasions, yet somehow it circles back for her. The experience has not changed her, she reveals with “it wasn't something you ever really get used to.”

Maybe my appreciation for Stephenie Meyer is amplified due to my own endeavors in storytelling, but am I wrong? This is good shit. I'll be honest with you, I hated the first movie. If I had been an obnoxious know-it-all like a lot of other people I know, everything could have come to an end right there. Someone who was a fan of Meyer asked me to to read “The Host”, another of her books to get away from the vampire hype and assess Meyer as a writer.

“The Host” was fantastic, and if I felt that way about that book, I had to give “Twilight” the book a try and forget the fluff that was the movie. Smart move on my part, that's why I love being me.

After reading the book, I understood exactly what it was about the first movie that I didn't like: much of the book takes place in Bella's head, and that would have made the movie one giant voice-over. I've heard that is not something you should over-use when working on a film, but it's integral in it's written form. I read somewhere that the voice-over is a lazy film writer's tool. When you took away key elements of the storytelling, the story lost a little something. I think they managed to get back on track with “New Moon”, but we all know that movies are less than books.

So anyway, it's been so very long since I blogged, just wanted to get that out of my head and on to your screens. Thanks for reading, the middling few that do anymore, and I hope you're reading other things besides me. There's so much good writing out there...

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja


eL. said...

As you well know, I'm a fan. I've never really been able to put my finger on exactly WHY I'm such a big fan, other than the story is absolutely addicting. I'm not overly impressed with her writing, but you nailed it - she's a great storyteller.

I haven't read the Host yet, but I will. She also has a new short story that just came out although the name escapes me at the moment.

One thing that did drive me a little nuts, only bc it's one of my dumb idiosyncrasies is that I started reading knowing she was a Brigham Young grad and I couldn't help but read her religious overtones. I'm sure I wouldn't have even picked them up had I not known what I did prior, but it really stuck out like a sore thumb as I was reading and drove me nuts. LOL

TangoMega said...

I had no idea she was a Mormon, that's interesting... I'll have to look for that on the way back through my 2nd time.

A lot of writers have taken the old and made it new again. Kelley Armstrong, Meyer, Rick Riordan,they all have, and any time you can take "old" stuff and make it "new" again, it's got to be the story. Edward and Bella are the star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet meets Dracula. Ed and Jacob are the Montagues and the Capulets. My point is, she's taken these themes and they don't feel like a re-hash. It's fresh, it's new. Like Ann Rice before her, she made vampires "cool" again (although to me, they never get old, they just wax and wane).

Unfortunately, she's made it impossible for anybody else to do anything with them... vampires are dangerously close to oversaturation.

eL. said...

Curious... have u read the True Blood series by Charlainne Harris? I'm much more addicted to them than the show...or Twilight for that matter.

TangoMega said...

I just read "Club Dead", and I did enjoy it. I'm kinda mad at Charlainne Harris because it's a lot easier to tell certain elements of a narrative when your main character can read minds. It's one of those "Wish-I'd-thought-of-that", but as a longtime comic fan of X-Men and growing up with characters like Xavier, I have been reading that for over 20+ years. It works very well, and I can understand the appeal. I also think that Alan Ball has adapted the story well for television. He's been examining themes of death since "Six Feet Under".