Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sparklepires and their ruckus

Most people in the newsroom are aware of the fact that I'm a Twilight nerd. If it wasn't already plainly obvious by my quoting the book and daydreaming about a fanged hero named Edward, it was made ever the more clearer by the Twilight Bella and Edward poster that hangs over my computer. It's an addiction, what can I say.

But in Twilight-related news, I thought I should report a local crime beat in relation to a recent screening of said movie. To be frank, some Twilight freak fans got into it at a Top of the Park Twilight screening over whether or not the actors and movie writing were up to snuff. It was sort of like watching an ABC Family horror movie in which there's an awful lot of name calling and buildup but very little action. It fizzled, and I was disappointed. And I'm fairly aggressive and protective of my series, so it's a good thing my roommate and her boyfriend were there to hold me back.

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that I was involved, but only as a peanut gallery commentator.... who incidentally was making peanut gallery comments about a peanut gallery. But it was exciting, nonetheless.

The thing that made all of this funny is that only two days prior a friend had emailed me a link to a newspaper article written by some southern softy who felt that Twilight is destroying today's youth. (Man Stephanie Meyer would roll over in her Mormon, Arizona bed if she knew people were going to make that accusation.) The article basically accused Twilight and other vampire-related literature and pop culture shows of giving today's youngins an inappropriate picture of life and what vampirism is really about. He feared that middle schoolers would go around sucking each other's necks more than usual (hickeys galore!) and perhaps drawing blood for fun. They also might experiment with sex more, and wooden stakes and brooding would most likely be involved.

I smirk at the author, because although there are certain sexual fetishes out there that have to do with vampirism (I think this was actually featured on an episode of "Nip Tuck", in fact), the likelihood that Twilight can be blamed for middle schoolers and their premarital hand holding is questionable. (Note: there is also an amazing amount of hand holding and giggling at Top of the Park) The series is written by a Mormon and vampirism is arguably a metaphor for abstinence. The couple does not engage in sex; they can barely even kiss each other before he gets omg TOO EXCITED about premarital touching or he might kill her.

And yet, here I was, on Ann Arbor's Ingalls Mall watching Twilight against Rackham Auditorium... and these middle schoolers are about to come out swinging over a MOVIE. And not even a particularly amazing movie. So now I've decided that Twilight might not be the sexual apocalypse that the article's author suggests, but it just MIGHT be the newest and most dangerous obsession gone terribly wrong that I've seen in years, or ever. Not to mention these girls are setting expectations for their love lives that are completely and utterly ridiculous.

Example #1: In the movie, Edward says "You are my life now." and "I couldn't live with myself" if anything ever happened to you. First of all, boys don't do that. It is very rare that a male will claim to love you forever wholeheartedly and in such an intense way by the age of 16. Just isn't going to happen, so I do wish they wouldn't get so swept up in this idea.

Example #2: Edward is a stalker, and a creepy one at that. It perplexes me that no one seems to notice the fact that Edward watching her sleep or sneaking in to her bedroom window or threatening to kill people for her doesn't make anyone's skin crawl. Even for just a second. In the real world, people like that are axe murderers. You know, the super polite types who freak out and shoot someone. This is not a personality type to strive for. Parents, please advise your daughters about overly passionate and potentially abusive men.

Now I love Edward as much as the next average Twilight reader. He protects her, he's intelligent, etc. etc. But he has his flaws, too. They just aren't made immediately obvious to you because it's written from Bella's perspective. And when you're in love you don't necessarily see that person's flaws. So while Edward is AH-MAZE-ING to look at, let's make sure we can keep some sanity about it all. Appreciate and love the series, but don't pick fights with each other in public screening venues over whether or not Kristen Stewart "deserves to kiss Rob Pattinson." And don't swarm the actors like a group of locusts. They are people, too. And Fox News reported yesterday that the actor was clipped by a cab on the street in New York amid a flurry of overzealous fans who, coincidentally, could not reel in their sexual obsession with the actor.

So cool it chicks. Do the right thing. Buy a poster. Drool a little. But leave the obsession at the door. You're scaring people.


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