8.11.2008

Breaking Dawn... Breaking Bad

Check out this article from Entertainment Weekly. Call me sardonic, sadistic, or just plain cruel, but I've never been happier to see someone's balloon get popped. Especially THIS blood-filled balloon. I do have a question for those who have read these books: do you really, like so many Mormon girls and moms, believe that this series is clean and reverent and wholesome? Or is it all about an unhealthy preoccupation with/repression of sexuality? Discuss...

20 comments:

Shelly! said...

Oh Eric. I can barely write I am laughing so much!!

Mel said...

I love your crusade against Stephenie Meyer. I absolutely loved the article too, btw.

One of the [increasing number of] things about this series that drives me nuts is the "relationship" between Bella and Edward. Seemingly based only on an unhealthy infatuation and total insecurity on Bella's part, it's held up for the readers as what "true love" really is. Ahem...

As if pre-teen girls (and girls in general) need any more misconceptions about what makes a good, lasting, and healthy relationship. Now they have a hugely popular book written by a "virtuous Mormon" (so therefore anything she writes is an example to follow, right?) reinforcing the idea that true love means being in a relationship where you don't consider yourself an equal to your partner and you should completely change yourself and give up every part of your own life to be with that person.

Don't even get me started on the book's suggestion that you should rush into marriage you are obviously unprepared for just so that you can "legally" have sex. Greeeeeaaat idea.

A Well Behaved Mormon Woman said...

After much pressure and a bit of insanity... I have decided to read this Twilight series. This, because I suspect exactly what you are suggesting here.

I myself, am quite concerned about the relationships that are portrayed in this vampire, etc... series - and being accepted as healthy and desirable. This, by soooo many LDS girls and women.

I have only reached the half-way point in the first book, Twilight - and am already questioning the exchanges taking place between Edward and Bella.

From what I am hearing from many LDS girls -- "Edward" is the absolute epitome of the perfect guy???

But, from what I can tell -- we have a lot of course correcting for LDS girls - IF they are buying into Edward as a good model.

tDMg
LdsNana-AskMormon

KEW said...

I dare say option B is the correct choice.

Jerkolas said...

Here's the Twilight bashing I come to expect. Thanks ebv!

There was a New York Times article (written by a woman too) that is interesting about all this stuff.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/12/opinion/12colllins.html?_r=1&partner=rssn&oref=slogin

Her comment about unrealistic expectations that both men and women have and their sources is interesting.

Booooo Twilight!

Jerkolas said...

Not sure that link is going to help so if you are interested you can look for "Virginal Goth Girl" by Gail Collins, published July 12, 2008.

Christin said...

I haven't read these books but I won't now. Why do so many writer have to sell girls on unhealthy relationships? I want someone anyone to write a book about real love! No stars shooting, no butterflies, just real I love you when your grumpy, I'll pick up your socks when you are in a hurry, I'm sorry I made you cry, LOVE. Mormon girls have enough to deal with without some sappy unrealistic version of love.

EBV said...

Christin, love the comment. I would only add that it's not even just Mormon girls. ALL girls have enough to deal with without this sappy romanticized version of perfect love.

And guys will rarely, if ever, be able to rise to the level of an immortal, sensitive, irresistibly hunky/skulpted/hotty/dreamy/perfect vampire boyfriend.

alex said...

One day ask me about the "pornographic" conversation I had with a kid in our FHE group about this book. Who wants to date the undead anyway?

Christin said...

I know I'm still trying to get over that, almost there though, almost.

Anonymous said...

http://cleolinda.livejournal.com/2008/08/02/

Breaking down the Twilight series.

Catherine said...

As a fan of the first three books, I was absolutely appalled and disgusted by this fourth. A complete turn-around for me. I wrote a complete review on a book club blog site (link at the bottom) but here's the gist of it...

The entire idea of imprinting on a new born baby thing is wrong. Maybe this is because I had a very creepy adult stalker when I was young. Who knows. Ew.

Jacob's character teaches young adults that emotional infidelity is okay. I think not.

Bella and Edward's marriage was no marriage at all. Where are the real relationships here?

What kind of name is Renesme? I mean, come on. The whole baby thing was stupid in the first place. Maybe I'll name my first female child Kudy - a mix of Karen and Judy. Does bella hate her daughter that much?

There were no real and final challenges for the main characters. I think Publisher's Weekly got it right - everyone got they're own way. So much for noble sacrifice in the pursuit of true happiness and doing the right thing.

There are so many extra paragraphs that could have been cut out of this book. I found myself skipping paragraphs that just wasted my time. Why not just start the book out where "Book 3" started and focus on making THAT storyline so great? We all could have filled in the blanks with anything that happened in Book 2 and 1...not that 3 was any better.

Waaaaaaaay too much sex. I've had a few friends mention they wouldn't let their teenage daughters read these books - yet wait - aren't they for teenagers? As my sister described - it's almost like a cheap sex fantasy novel you'd buy at Smith's.

If it was so bad then why did I read it? I read 1-3...I had to read 4 or I'd always wonder if it was good or if Eric was just being hard on Meyer.

http://www.beyondthesepages.blogspot.com/

Jerkolas said...

Eric is may be a little hard on Meyer, but he is always plenty accurate.

Annalisa said...

I haven't read the books and still have no intention to. Sounds like book 4 pretty much proves my point all along...its all about the sex!! I can't believe so many teenage girls are buying into this garbage! Makes me kinda mad...

What I really wanted to tell you though was to check out this ridiculous excuse for a blog & her posts about Meyer's religion...I can only imagine what you will think... but I'm still curious to see the ebv side of things:

alisavaldesrodriguez.blogspot.com

Jerkolas said...

Wow, Eric don't spend too much time at that link for the blog above. It will make your head explode. I mean not liking these books for their inherit poor quality is one thing, but making a whole racist conspiracy theory about it and the Mormon faith...wow.

EBV said...

I don't often say this, but that blog post might be the silliest, stretchiest, most ridiculous post I've read in a long time.

Just "because" I "put" so-called "words" in quotation marks does not "mean" that I necessarily "know" what I'm "talking" about.

Unquote.

Good luck to her. Seems like a monumental waste of time to me. Now it's not just Potter, it's the Book of Mormon that they're comparing Meyer to?

Blech....

Andria said...

That Alisa V.R. post just appalled me. I don't know what would compel a writer, any writer, to undertake a personal crusade against an entire religion based upon a couple of vampire fiction books. She seems to think that she can make deductions about all of Mormonism based on the Meyer novels, which is such a strange idea that I can't imagine why she'd even try to do it. Usually, you look at the primary source first, not the other way around. Now she is making the critical mistake of approaching her primary source (the Book of Mormon) with the intention of doing "study," and an outcome already firmly formed in her mind. There is no less open-minded way possible to "study" anything.

It just struck me as ironic that, in a self-described effort to expose racism and bigotry, Alisha V.R. comes across as exceptionally bigoted. She must be unfamiliar with most or all major religions, if she thinks that some possibly racist language in a sacred text speaks for the attitudes of every modern-day adherent to that religion.

Her blog posts appalled me, and I hope people do not think they are emblematic of the way non-Mormons see Mormonism as a faith. There are many Christians out there who are much, much more respectful in their views, who can relate to their brothers and sisters in Christ, and who would never stoop to such misguided, hostile, and bigoted diatribes. I wanted to put some comment on her blog -- but decided it wasn't worth it.

And please forgive me for posting a comment here -- I am just the mom who found your blog via "I Heart Penguins."

By the way, I have not read Stephenie Meyer, but as a teacher of college English I am sure I would find her novels as vapid as you do, and I sort of delight in that. And I really don't like how she spells her name, but that is petty.

SGarff said...

Not to keep beating a dead horse but it’s just another example of the major fallacy that underlies most anti-Mormon rhetoric and unfortunately some Mormon dogmatism as well. This fallacy is that Mormonism is a creedal religion with a fixed catechism and all members share the exact same set of beliefs. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mormonism has no creeds, no fixed cannon, in fact it is partially inaccurate to even say that Mormonism has doctrine (at least in the sense that most denominations use the word: a fixed set of beliefs completely immune from change).

This fallacious assumption is absolutely required to reach the conclusion: “since one Mormon (Stephanie Meyer, Brigham Young, etc…) believed or said such and such all Mormons do.” All Christians are crusaders, all Muslims are terrorists. This line of reasoning is bad enough in these contexts but it is even harder to justify it in describing Mormonism, a sect that categorically rejects formal creeds. Joseph smith characterized the latter day saint viewpoint towards diversity of belief when he stated

“I never thought it was right to call up a man and try him because he erred in doctrine; it looks too much like Methodism and not like Latter-day Saintism Methodists have a creed which a man must believe or be asked out of their church. I want the liberty of believing as I please, it feels so good not to be trammeled” (Documentary History of the Church, Vol. VI, 273- 274)

Mormons are at the liberty of believing and thinking what they please and are a group that is widely diverse in belief and opinion. Just ask a group of Mormons if they believe in evolution. You’ll get a different answer from each one.

Please don’t ascribe to me the viewpoints of Stephanie Meyer.

SteveJJohnson said...

The article said:
"Here's a third possibility: You whip through Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse, then abruptly lose all patience with the franchise midway through Breaking Dawn, when Meyer takes her supernatural love story several bizarre steps too far."
I say it did that less than a quarter of the way through the first book.
And I believe that it IS all about an unhealthy preoccupation with/repression of sexuality. Meyers has some issues that need to be worked out, and writing this book obviously only made things worse (looking at the progressions that apparantly take place throughout the books).
This book reminds me of several of the early 90's cheap budget/no talent movies that my wife has picked up from the library mixed with some movie trying to be pornographic while remaining in the PG-13 realm. The plot sucks, the writing is horrible, and the characters display Meyer's own issues through her writing the same way as Poe's did his own. Except Edgar Allan could write.

sue said...

Most of the LDS people I know won't let their daughters read BD because it is so hideous.

Not much in there that a Mormon would agree with or believe in.

Pimping out your wife.
Abortion.
Imprinting on babies/promise ring bracelet.
Totally warped sense of self.
Putting off college. Yep, Mormons are encouraged to attain as much higher education as possible. Male and female. They should get married and go to college.

I know there's more but you'd have to put a gun to my head to make me read BD again.