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In Defence of Twilight

[important]I dedicate this post to one of my oldest fans for her birthday. Without her constant spell checks and grammar my posts would be filled with a lot of spelling errors. Happy Birthday to the Meowcenary![/important]

I am personally not a fan of Twilight. I have read the first book (you cannot condemn something based on hearsay after all) and from what I figured it was a terrible story with a vapid protagonist and an even more vapid vampire derived from an Anne Rice character but with a lot more cardboardiness. In short? It was bad mormon tinged Vampire the Masquerade fanfic.

But ladies and young girls loved it. Possibly because it was sloppily romantic or a fantasy or they found some level of sexual and personal gratification from such characters. I suppose having a heroine with such a bland personality allows you to supplant her easily and become the object of the fantasy but I am not a psychologist and honestly don’t give a flying fuck about why anyone would like the book. If you like it then you like it. Maybe, just maybe… Women like highly anaemic men in silly outfits and funny accents.

The amount he spends on bleach alone...

I liked vampires before they were cool and sparkly

However some people just don’t get it. Mark Driscoll is just one such person.

This weekend, millions will flock to movie theaters for the final installment of the teen vampire saga. Tragically, many will be driven by their parents, including some cougar moms encouraging and joining their daughters’ obsession with handsome young males.

I think this paragraph pretty much defines Mark’s fear.

Women will be able to look at and fantasise over sexy sexy men. And our economical “keg” abs and streamlined scalps are no match for the decadence of a six pack that you could grate cheese on and hair you could run fingers through…

How dare women demonstrate a fascination with the male form. And how dare older women possess a sex drive that is appreciative of the younger and more trim male form. They should like us for who we are, not what we look like. My eyes are up here ladies.

The popularity of supernatural soap operas has inspired some real-life demonic trends. Overreaction? Tell that to the kids biting, cutting, drinking blood—sometimes while having sex—and sinking deeper into the occult:

Biting while having sex! Sir! I must protest! Your ludicrous claim has caused me to drop my monocle thus ruining my vision, my normally stern squint and my tea. I shall have my lawyers contact you forthwith to settle the damages but I must protest! There may be women reading this and they may faint at such a ghastly visage.

Also? I have only been away for four years and everyone has changed the way they have sex! I am going to back home and feel like some sort of dinosaur when I fail to bring a knife and the necronomicon to sex. Back in my day if you wanted to have occult sex you just did it during a thunderstorm and pretended you were taking part in the conception of the anti-christ.

NBC News: “Teenagers obsessed with the Twilight vampire saga, or those simply fascinated with fangs, reportedly have been biting each other—hard—and then licking or sucking the blood. ‘These are kids who think they are real vampires,’ said Dr. Orly Avitzur. [. . .] ‘Having that thick, warm copper-tasting blood in my mouth is the best thing I can think of!’ wrote a teenager identified as ‘GothicGirl10’ this year. ‘Sometimes my boyfriend lets me feed off him. I let him feed off me as well.’”

On a serious medical note?

Human beings do poorly while drinking blood. It actually causes us to vomit. A lot of conditions involve swallowing blood and the body can and will regurgitate it up (Posterior Epistaxis for example) leaving a brown mess everywhere. And Dr. Orly does realise that for most people this is ENTIRELY pretend. It is a fantasy. There are many many MANY fantasies out there. Some are rather tame like “I would like you to dress up like princess Leia” and some involve things that would be considered distasteful. I know people who have “murder” fantasies, where they like to pretend to murder their partner and have sex. I myself dated a lovely lady who had a rape fantasy. It doesn’t mean she wants to  get raped, it means she has a fantasy where she pretends to get raped by someone who she pretends she doesn’t know but who she has given permission to enact this fantasy. Pretending to be a soppy vampire is just a fantasy.

I feel this is another “Rainbow Party” fear. And even the link points out that biting someone during sex is only mildly kinky but it’s a teenager saying it so they clearly are high on designer drugs and don’t have anything valid to say.

ABC News: “Paola Hernandez, 15, said a boyfriend tried to pressure her to allow herself to be bitten. ‘He said, “I love you and that’s the way I want to show you,”’ she said. ‘I didn’t give in because it was kind of idiotic.’ She said some of her classmates, mimicking on-screen vampires, even cut their skin so they can taste one another’s blood. ‘That means you’re stuck with them, they have your blood inside of them and you have their blood and so you’re closer to each other,’ she said.”

This article is just plain stupid.

It points out that human bites can spread STDs. They can, however you would have to bite someone in a way that stops being sexy and starts being “assault”. You would have to seriously tear open skin and have bleeding gums and HIV. Now the venn diagram of biting, scurvy and HIV may intersect but to declare it a major scare is really bad journalism.

And one of the cardinal rules of journalism is broken here. Do not report on high school gossip. That’s two fucking major league news channels reporting on high school gossip. Are they handing out journalism degrees from Bob Jones these days? VALIDITY OF SOURCE! Otherwise you are no better than Fox News. It is a crying shame that I have to point out to the Colbert Report or Daily Show to demonstrate proper journalism since those are comedy shows. It’s embarrassing.

Who ever wrote this is stupid and should feel stupid for writing this.

Sanguinarius is a popular website for “Real Vampires” that includes a special section for teens with “advice on the problems and issues teen vamps face: school, parents, coping with awakening, how to enter the vampiric community without looking like a fool, and more.” Other resources on the site include techniques for “safe bloodletting and feeding, dealing with bloodthirst, flavoring your donor’s blood, and cooking with blood.”

Speaking as someone who is a big fan of black pudding.

I googled this. It’s got a section on human blood and honestly I wouldn’t recommend it but they do take a lot of precautions and mention things like consent even though they use the language of “Victim and Prey”. Poking around their forum and you realise that there aren’t a horde of vampires engaging in this practice. Just a few and with consenting individuals.

While I think the practice relies on someone “saying” they are safe (The article on razorblades is just plain bad.) for the most part it’s a valid piece of work for a community of teenagers who like to wear stupid outfits and pretend to be special. There are deadlier websites on the internet aimed at teenagers such as websites that encourage cutting or pro-anorexia. And this entire website is based on the theme of consent and participation.

And even they suggest (not enough IMHO) that consumption of raw blood is risky. And most of their recipe’s involving blood are no different from my black puddiing. Although the one on blood pancakes is just plain stupid. I cannot take the creatures of the night seriously if they are feasting on a plate of flapjacks.

Another support page for Real Vampires appeals to outsiders with “a few words for anyone who has ever been bullied, picked on, teased or harassed because you’re different. What you have suffered is wrong. It is wrong for anyone to hit you or harass you, or to make you hate yourself for being different, whether or not you consider yourself a vampire.”

How dare a group of kids prone to being bullied encourage each other and support each other. It was mocking this line that caused me to write… You may not enjoy what someone else does but demonisation (in this case flogging the notion that these kids are genuinely daemonically possessed by actual daemons) with the intent to harass is just vile. It is bullying and encouraging and giving a carte blanche to bully these kids.

The Week: “Lyle Monroe Bensley, 19, was arrested in his boxer shorts after he allegedly broke into the Galveston, Texas, home of a randomly chosen single woman, growled and hissed at her, dragged her down the hall, and tried to bite her on her neck. . . . When the police arrested Bensley a short time later, he told them he was a 500-year-old vampire. ‘He was begging us to restrain him because he didn’t want to kill us,’ says Galveston officer Daniel Erickson. ‘He said he needed to feed.’”

This seems to be more down to “Mental Illness” rather than “Twilight”. Maybe he was a Bram Stoker fan which doesn’t explain why he was in his boxers. Or you know. Vast amounts of Drugs.

I know quoting this seems like they had to hold down Lyle in a heroic action piece that would have been like trying to fight the Incredible Hulk but chances are he was quickly subdued and placed in ordinary handcuffs which would have restrained his infernal majesty’s dark thirst rather effectively. And just because the 19 year old says he is a 500 year old vampire doesn’t mean he really is one.

The UK’s Channel 4 produced a documentary about the growing vampire subculture. The chance to play vampire provides an opportunity to “be nasty and evil and let my darker side out for the evening,” says one subject. The film profiles a group of teenagers in Texas who consider themselves to be real vampires (and werewolves). One explains, “When I drink someone’s blood, I feel like I own them in a sense. Like they’re mine.”

We cannot take you seriously if you say “There are Werewolves in Our Schools” and show us the least terrifying teenagers on earth. These are “goths with tails”. The worst thing you can say about them is that they are not very visible at night. It is just a phase, most people who were punks or goths or hippies grew up and realised that they were punk, goth or hippies by ethos rather than by outfit and that the rusty safety pin look doesn’t put food on the table.

If anything that school’s basketball team should rock. Everyone knows werewolves are naturals.

Please pray for these kids. If you know them, speak with them lovingly, honestly, biblically, and quickly. Satan is real, clever, and a deceiver who “disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). He’s not going to come at us with a pitchfork and horns. More likely, he’ll attempt to lure people towards darkness with methods like “harmless” entertainment, possibly in the form of bad acting and melodrama.

Wait. Maybe Mark has a sense of humour…

And I don’t think these kids genuinely believe they are werewolves. It’s just a club for them to feel at home and wanted and to have a social life. Mark however genuinely believes that there is a genuine pitchforked and horned satan who makes kids think they are werewolves and that’s just hilariously pathetic. I mean for all the disdain society has for these kids who are tying furry tails to themselves and howling at the moon because they don’t fit into the acceptable high school cliques, imagine the disdain I have for someone who GENUINELY BELIEVES in magic beings that compel these kids to do this and which this person uses as an excuse to be a judgemental prick.

As a father to a teenage girl, I find it devastating to simply read the most popular web pages that come up when searching for “teen vampire.” There, girls the same age of my 15-year-old daughter are talking about “awakening,” which is their word for converting to paganism (like the Christian word “born again”). In a perverted twist on Communion, their sacraments include the giving of your own blood by becoming a “donor.” This is entirely pagan. These storylines offer eternality without God and salvation; in the place of Jesus’ shed blood, girls and boys shed their own blood to be awakened to their own salvation of a new spiritual way of life filled with sex and occult behavior.

That’s not paganism. At all. Paganism is really a new faith based on what people THINK animism was like. It is a sanitised faith invoking old gods without that ghastly human sacrifice business. It’s rather silly really but neo-animists aren’t trying to tell us all to build our houses on Ley Lines and satiate the spirits of the trees by sacrificing our youths in wicker men. Nor are they suggesting that we cover Nicholas Cage in bees.

From where I am sat it’s Mark stamping his feet going “How dare you pray to those non-existent things! Don’t you know that it’s superstition! You should instead pray to my superstition which is better! Because I know my superstition is true while yours isn’t because I have a book”.

I do not shelter my children from these sorts of things. Pop culture is too pervasive to hide from (on a recent trip to a Barnes & Noble with my daughter we noticed an entire section of books dedicated to “Teenage Vampire Romance”). My wife and I talk to my daughter about these things so that she can be discerning, informed, and safe.

If there is a god, please PLEASE make his daughter fall in love with a Transylvanian Count. I just want to see Mark leave garlic lying around his house in the hope it will drive him away.

I am surprised that Mark hasn’t gone after Sesame Street for sneaking Vampires in to the culture of children at an early stage.

However, we do not treat things like movies, books, and TV shows as harmless entertainment, but rather a potential threat to her well-being to be aware of so she can walk in wisdom by God’s grace. I rejoice that our oldest daughter (and all of our five children) loves Jesus, see right through this demonic deception, and speak freely with us about these sorts of things. I want that for all children and families.

I can’t believe no one has sat Mark down and told him that Vampires Are Not Real. It’s why Twilight is kept in the Fiction area. It’s a silly silly book, but so is Harry Potter. I don’t like it because it teaches young girls that nothing is as important as boys rather than treating love as something important but something that helps you grow. It doesn’t teach you that love while important shouldn’t cripple your education or your dreams or future. Love is not “All You Need”, but is part of all you need. It doesn’t teach you to be a three dimensional human being. It doesn’t teach you to pick those you love based on who they are rather than their sparkliness or cheesegrater abs. Hate the book for that, not because of fear that vampires are real.

If I am mistaken about the threat of vampires and werewolves then I am mistaken about a lot of things. The only advice I can give to you all is this…

From the astounding Dune Art Project. If you are a fan of sloth fights, wormsign and arabic, go give them some love.

“Walk without Rhythm, It Won’t Attract the Worm”

Comments

  1. says

    I keep hearing about “the vampire subculture growing.” Funny thing is that when I was growing up in the 90s, they were saying the same thing and people were–gasp!–using the internet to connect with one another and discuss vampirism.

    When I was in college in the ’00s and Twilight had yet to explode onto the scene, “the vampire subculture was growing”. I think Buffy was blamed at that point.

    From what I understand, goths in the 1980s had a “growing vampire subculture” as well.

    Good lord! That’s at least thirty years that this subculture has been growing! It must be massive by now, threatening to overwhelm us all with its insatiable blood lust.

    Or, more likely, some people get off on biting and fantasy role-play and the number of people acting out these fantasies fluctuates a bit as the popularity of vampire media waxes and wanes. Whenever something gets popular and can be linked to the perfectly normal experimentation of identity that teenagers engage in (and the equally normal exploration of mild sexual behavior like biting or sucking on skin; exactly how long have hickies been around?!), the media ecstatically covers it as the End of All Things.

  2. Nomen Nescio says

    of all the reasons to criticize that whole “twilight” nonsense…

    (seriously, they’re badly written books that glorify some really creepy, stalkerish, dysfunctional relationship patterns and hold them up as being “romantic” when IRL they’d be cause for multiple restraining orders. so, demonize them for a miniscule subculture of “human vampirism” that’s been around since forever anyway? yeah, THAT’S keeping a sense of priorities. not.)

  3. bcmystery says

    When I was in high school, back in the days before color, there were vampire kids around. One kid in particular wore a cape and when someone said something he didn’t like would hiss, “Blasphemy!” in a Frank Langella voice, swoop the cape up over his face and spin away.

    It is possible that kid was me.

  4. HP says

    I highly recommend George Romero’s Martin if you’re looking for an antidote to today’s sparkly fantasy vampires, or a vampire movie that hits all the right notes but is friendly to skepticism and humanism.

  5. Psychopomp Gecko says

    “However, we do not treat things like movies, books, and TV shows as harmless entertainment, but rather a potential threat to her well-being to be aware of so she can walk in wisdom by God’s grace. Because really, that’s what the whole Bible, God, and religion thing is. Immoral fiction full of sex, violence, and supernatural creatures. And if they realize that tv shows may not be real, why soon they might figure out that religion has about as much truth to it as Twilight.”

    There, that guy came pretty close to a good point right there, so I figured I’d expand on it.

  6. says

    Okay, when the Furries are rolling their eyes at you, you know it’s ridiculous. “Werewolves”? Please. I lived with a self-described “lycanthrope”, and while he had many, many issues, changing into an overly-large wolf on the full moon wasn’t one of them.

  7. Matrim says

    My main problem is the horrible messages about abusive relationships, shutting out everyone in your life, and changing yourself utterly to suit a person that you don’t even have anything in common with. The bad storytelling and awful pacing are secondary issues. Still, far be it for me to tell people what they should and should not like.

    Also, yay for William! I’ve got season 7 paused in the other room right now. I really should be writing a research paper, but I have my priorities. :p

  8. says

    Yes. Yes you are. (I was fooling around with the CSS for the blog which is why my blog looks like an explosion in a butterfly factory while everyone else is using “prison grey”. Also why I speak exclusively in green…)

    I am the master! If I so choose I can make you speak exclusively in wingdings! WINGDINGS!

    But yes I will probably change from Comic Sans (Listen! If it’s good enough for CERN it’s good enough for you! There are Children in India who have to use Courier!) to something a bit more sensible like verdana.

    Or I could hold you all to ransom. Unless you tell your friends about my blog you will forever speak in the most unholiest of fonts…

  9. says

    The fact is that theocrats just aren’t happy unless their panties are in a bunch. When I was a teenager, the knots were caused by role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and Gamma World. Magic will lead kids into the occult and Satanism! Interest in a post-apocalyptic world will result in all-out nuclear warfare! Cats and dogs lying down together! MASS HYSTERIA!

    If someone is already has mental health issues, just about anything can shape their delusions. It could just as easily be attending a Catholic high mass that sets off a murderous cannibal rampage as a popular vampire craze.

  10. says

    I read the first four chapters of the first book in an attempt to know what all the fuss was about. The writing is extremely bad and the characters are somewhere beyond pathetic. I tapped out at that point and feel fully justified in making fun of Twilight as much as I like. I also watched about 20 minutes of the first movie and then just deleted it from my home server. My wife was unknowingly sucked into a Twilight DVD release party where she was forced to watch it in a room full of women gushing over the drek on the screen; she still has flashbacks and ends up on the floor in a fetal position.

  11. Ms Anne Thrope says

    Thanks for the gratuitous picture of Spike *swoon*. I have defended my obsession with Buffy with the exact words of your caption.

  12. Rich Woods says

    Nor are they suggesting that we cover Nicholas Cage in bees.

    I can think of far more fitting punishments for anyone involved in that dismal attempt to remake a classic film. Make them read the Twilight series, for starters.

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