8.18.2008

Five Things I've Learned From Stephenie Meyer (or Twilight Sucks, Too)

Well, here it is. The column you've all been waiting for. I'm sad to say, but this is it for my Twilight crusade. At least for the next little while. I just want to let this go, and get back to making fun of happier foibles, like Scooters in Provo, Politics, and Hurricane, Utah. Ms. Meyer makes me tired. Without further ado, here are the five great things I've learned from Stephenie Meyer: 1. Want a Girl? Want a Guy? Be Undead, Unbelievably Attractive, and Ultimately Perfect, That's All. It's so easy, I wonder how no one ever thought of it! The following Edward wiki-description (painstakingly crafted by an uber fan, no doubt) proves my point, methinks: Edward is described by Bella as being impossibly beautiful. At various points in the series, she compares him to the mythical Greek god Adonis. His skin is "like marble"– very pale, ice cold, and sparkles in the sunlight like diamonds. She describes his facial features as being perfect and angular - high cheekbones, strong jawline, a straight nose, and beautiful, full lips. His hair, which is always in casual disarray, retains the unusual bronze shade that he inherited in his human life from his biological mother. His eyes, once emerald green, are now described as a liquid, golden topaz. His fingers are described often as slender and he is said to have a dazzlingly crooked smile. Edward stands at 6'2", and has a slender but muscular build. Edward, like all vampires in the Twilight series, possesses superhuman beauty, strength, speed, endurance, and agility. His scent and voice are enormously seductive, so much so that he occasionally sends Bella into a pliant daze entirely by accident. In Twilight, Edward explains that like other vampires, he does not need to breathe, though he chooses to do so out of habit and because it is helpful to smell his environment.

Edward is charming, polite, determined, and very stubborn. He is very protective over Bella and puts her safety, humanity and welfare before anything else.

Edward is also musical, able to play the piano like a virtuoso. He enjoys a wide range of music, including classical, jazz, progressive metal, alternative rock, punk rock, but dislikes country. He prefers indie rock to mainstream, and appreciates rock and classical music equally. He mentions in Twilight that he likes music from the fifties better than the sixties, and dislikes the seventies entirely.

Sigh..... Perfection. Not only is he hot, shirtless, polite, charming, romantic, seductive, alluring, and Adonis-esque, but he plays the piano. Virtuosically. Sigh.... Now, prepare yourself--I'm going to flip this thing on its head. I apologize in advance for the seriosity I'm about to indulge in... What if we had a male protagonist (we'll call him Bello) who described a similar female figure (we'll call her Edwina)? Like Aphrodite, only sexier and much more physically alluring? What would the national reaction be? While the guys might hoot, holler, and scream "aoooooooooooga!" now, the ladies might have a different reaction to this. Instead of the sighs and the "oh my"s, I'd bet the Edwina character would be met with grunts of disgust. Many would probably scoff and say "That's what we always get, some impossibly attractive girl with big...um...eyes." Others would shrug and brush it off as "Another Baywatch Bimbo figure...so?" Some might even wax indignant and rage against the perpetuation of a stereotype and point out that, yet again, guys just prove themselves to be pigs... But isn't that just the problem? Isn't Edward just a perpetuation of an impossible stereotype? The dashing Brad Pitt, sans real person problems and a touch of the exotic? A figure who, while superficially mysterious, is perplexingly and frustratingly perfect? A standard that if striven for and demanded will ultimately lead to nothing? I'm sorry to break this to y'all, if this is the standard men are held up to, they will never totally measure up. Physically, emotionally, undead-ally...ain't gonna happen. Likewise, ladies, if the growing pornography use among men indicates anything, it's that guys are already doing this exact thing to themselves: casting an impossible image in their minds of the "perfect" woman, even though to achieve that image women would have to be 70% plastic... and essentially act like men. The Plasticene Woman is an unarguably unfair standard and denigrating to women. So what is Edward? Is he an ideal as many would argue, or is he something worse-- a soulless dream, a vampiric Twinkie without the cream filling? If the latter is true, no wonder marriage rates are down and divorce rates up: We can't find our respective Edward Cullens and Carmen Electras! (Not that this is the only reason for that...) Now, before anyone gets feisty, I understand this is fiction. I understand it's escapism. I understand it's essentially a modern-day fairy tale. But when so many women and girls and men devour these books over and over again (some women I've talked to have read them 14+ times already), isn't a bit concerning that readers are consuming an image of a man who's not just unrealistic, but impossible? Is this healthy? Is it wise? Worse, Edward's relationship with Bella, from what I can gather, is one based mostly on barely restrained lust between them both and a touch of over-controlling boyfriend syndrome. Is this the match made in heaven I keep hearing about? 2. Good Idea + Bad Execution = Billions of Dollars Play Doh was supposed to be a Wallpaper Cleaner. Silly Putty was supposed to be a rubber substitute in World War II. Saccharine was supposed to be a tube of chemicals in some guys lab. The Microwave was a vacuum-tube magnetron experiment. Post-It-Notes were the result of glue that didn't quite bond well enough. Twilight was supposed to be many things: a trashy novel for the dime store Romance section; a book that didn't quite work; a Dracula substitute in Post-Cold War America. But then it had to go and make like those other products: become wildly popular with kids, kitchen-goers, and office workers. 3. Quotes that Sound Good ARE Good. "Without the Dark We'd Never See the Stars" (2005 Quote) Technically, not true. The Sun, Stephenie? Hello?! Big huge star in your face pretty much every day. Not really dark when you see it, though, is it? "About three things i was absolutely positive: First, Edward was a vampire; Second, there was a part of him -- and I didn't know how dominant that part might be -- that thirsted for my blood; And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him." Goodness. Love is a grocery list. And a very dry one at that. "Don't ever let anyone tell you that high school is supposed to be fun. High school is to be endured. College is fun." Sounds like someone had a hard time in high school. 4. If you Find a Niche, Suck it Dry, Man. You Never Know... Success is like an oil well. You never know when it could run dry. I hate to admit it, but a part of me is rooting for the day that this Twilight well catches fire and burns up... The Cast of "Saturday's Vampire..." or "Twilight's Warrior." Whatever it is, I swear I've seen that smile somewhere before... 5. Unlike Baby Mommy Bloggers' Affection for Poo, Blood is Actually the Cutest of all Bodily Functions. Most people shudder at the thought of spilled blood. And the thought of spilled poo. But apparently when either irresistably Adonisish undead guys or half-grown people have anything to do with these bodily fluids, it makes Baby Mommy Bloggers go ga-ga. With that in mind, I'm writing my own Young Adult Fiction series entitled "Huggies." You know what it'll be about... And it will be chock-full of impossible, yet irresistably appealing, stereotypes. Billions, here I come... ;)

17 comments:

Annalisa said...

Oh Eric you can always make me laugh!
And I don't have any Poo Posts. Addie must be disappointed in me.

Mel said...

Hahahahahaha! I don't know if I like the Twinkie comment or the picture of Fabio more.....

Jerkolas said...

So Edward doesn't like country music. So he has one realistic dude characteristic. Good for him.

I for one was hoping that your rantings would be undead in nature and never come to end as they glisten in the moonlight and sparkle in the sun. Sigh.Hopefully a few choice comments still come up from time to time.

I am not sure (or at least hope not) that your Huggies book will have the inherit eroticism of vampire literature. Another component of Meyer's success.

KEW said...

And the crusade continues.

Kenny said...

"I'm sorry to break this to y'all, if this is the standard men are held up to, they will never totally measure up."

Dude, speak for yourself. d^_~b

Barb @ getupandplay said...

You. are. obsessed. Law school cannot start soon enough to save you from your unhealthy preoccupation with hating Stephenie Meyer!!

Vanessa said...

Amen, Eric. Amen.

Does Edward play the Jazz flute? No? Then his perfection is tainted. I'd take Ron Burgandy over him any day.

I've missed this blog. You weren't writing for a while and I stopped checking it regularly. You're back on my radar.

Alex said...

Whatever dude, I'm into werewolves.

Alex said...

'"Without the Dark We'd Never See the Stars"

(2005 Quote) Technically, not true. The Sun, Stephenie? Hello?! Big huge star in your face pretty much every day. Not really dark when you see it, though, is it?'


Oh, goodness, I think I just fell in love with you.


This is hilarious.

AlliSMiles said...

You do realize that in the fourth book, Bella does in fact become just as physically stunning as Edward? Only fitting that someone so ultimately unrealistic and out of reach can only spend forever with a woman with equally stunning, um, eyes. Bella's "girl-next-door" look was simply not enough to last. Alas, we women are, too, held up to that unreachable standard.

myabominableforcefield said...

I just happened upon this blog while searching for images, of all things, play doh, and I just had to say that this is brilliant. My favorite parts were the descriptions of superhuman beauty followed by the picture of Phobio, as well as the awesome parody about Bello and Edwina. Someone should do a spoof with those characters and post it on youtube. I was just waiting for someone to do something like this! I was getting so annoyed of being bombarded with Twilight movie images at every corner, I even searched on google, for "Twilight, annoying" but nothing came up but more fan pages. This is just what I needed, so thanks.

ebv said...

Thanks, forcefield! If you liked this post, many also enjoyed http://ebv.blogspot.com/2008/05/stephenie-meyer-sucks-blood-out-of.html. Hold strong. This Twilight thing will die soon. ;)

eric

Anonymous said...

HaHaHa. This was by far one of the most entertaining things I've read about why Stephenie Meyer's writing reeks of desperation. The arguement you made about how men, or anyone for that matter, can ever hope to meet that standard of perfection is the best I've heard. (Can this woman who tries to pass of as a successful author really think she can get away with putting TEEN boys on such a pedestal?! My God, she must know that American teenagers are her demographic. And most are immature and thinking about hanging out with their friends and partying, not trying to be Mr. Sparkly or Sir Golden Eyes.)
Stephenie Meyer did so many things wrong with this story I'd have to write an essay. I don't even think the plot was all new and innovative because it lacked in suspence, pace, and a twist in the end. I think she tried to please too many people ('guess it worked for her money-wise, but she still killed what sexy and horror filled vampiric stories are all about). The best part of your post were the accidental inventions (exactly what Twilight is).
Twilight is Stephenie Meyers and other sexually deprived housewives little fantasy where they can drool over a fictional teenage boy about twenty to thirty years younger than them and then say it is perfectly acceptable to present that image to a much younger audience.
I'm an aspiring writer and being a teenager myself have many decades of hardwork ahead of me to achieve anything worthy enough to be compared to Rowling or the King. But I will learn from Meyers mistakes and your blog, in which you boldly present to us her many literary mistakes, makes the perfect study tool for me. Thank you!

ebv said...

Thanks for reading, Anonymous! Tell your friends. :D

Anonymous said...

You're Absoletly Right My Brother!

Anonymous said...

Man, you put to words everything I hate about Twilight...

Mor7682 said...

I'm sorry to dissapoint you, but perfect men DO exist ^^
They are rare of course, but real non the less :-)
I had and have the priviligue to know those people and whorship the land they are walking on :-)

And I'm sorry again, but not all the guy models have model wifes :-) many prefer the regular women whom they love for their brain and personality and affection they give to their men :-)

Third, I am a writer myself and a singer, and I come to realise that it's not about how you write the songs - it's all about the music, and it doesn't important the level of the words when you write a play or a script - the plot and feelings and the atmosphere is what important! :-)

And who said that it's wrong to fantasise about teenagers? Just look at all the men who drooled upon Britny Spears when she was 17 years old ;-)
In art you can do anything and express your dippest desires, as long as you know the limit and don't break the law :-)

Goodluck with you myfriend, and I hope you will be able to surpass Stephany Meyer's success :-)
Just remember that with principals you don't go to the market ;-)