Sunday, January 2, 2011

Debate on "Twilight"

This is the debate which transpired on Facebook, beginning (as always) with an innocent status update:
Matthew Rozsa - If "Twilight" was ten times shorter and one hundred times more honest (a.k.a., an article that should put "Twilight" fans to rightful shame):
What followed...

Cheryl Dawn Dearborne
never understood why people spend so much time talking about something they apparently don't like. I don't get it. Funny article, not sure why it would make me shameful though.

Matthew Rozsa
There are two main reasons why "Twilight" opponents are so outspoken on the subject:

1) In a world that offers fantastic literary options in a multitude of genres, it is both depressing and infuriating to see so much attention and energy devoted to a franchise in which the writing, plotting, and character development are downright shoddy.

2) "Twilight" peddles one of the most blatantly misogynistic messages in modern pop cultural history. Once again, I refer to for summary (this is from the conclusion of its parody of "New Moon"):

No wonder boys hate Twilight! Nobody can be as perfect as Edward!

Are you kidding? We love Twilight! It teaches the next generation of women that, the worse their men treat them, the more in love they should be.

You're right! Want to buy me another movie ticket?

Buy your own goddamn ticket you stupid cunt.


Cheryl Dawn Dearborne
Ok, but I feel it would be more productive to talk more about literature that is acceptable. Since the powers that be that decide what is good and what is not good for everyone else in the world who should not be able to decide for themselves because their intellect is too low to do so since they demonstrate a lack of intelligence by liking a book or movie that the intellects and other "ists" don't agree with. Instead of continuing to slander Stephenie's name or insult the morals, values, or intelligence of people who are into this franchise, just suggest other readings or films.

By insulting and downing a group of people you have lost any credibility with that group of people and the fantastic literature that you advocate for is still collecting dust because you have just spent more time talking about the literature you apparently do not like, pissing off the group of potential new readers and your agenda falls flat.

I get it, I get annoyed by things too, but I have to check myself because ultimately no one is hurting me by what they like or dislike, it's their business.

Matthew J. Chang

Yeah. This explains it all. Trust me.

Matthew Rozsa
‎1) Even though I agree that it is important to focus on the merits of exemplary literature, that doesn't mean that a service isn't also provided by detailing the serious flaws in hackjobs. In order for meaningful discussions to take place regarding the work found in any artistic medium, material from both ends of the qualitative spectrum must receive attention.

2) Slander is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as:

"the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage another's reputation"

I don't see how anything I've written constitutes slander against Stephanie Meyer. Indeed, none of the "Twilight" opponents whom I've encountered - be they online critics or personal friends - have slandered her.

3) Although you depict the criticisms of "Twilight" as being attempts to "insult the morals, values, or intelligence of people who are into this franchise," in my experience far more hostility comes from "Twilight" fans who rabidly defend their franchise than from the critics who draw attention to its flaws. After all, there are plenty of other popular franchises which are skewered even more harshly than "Twilight" (from quality work like "Star Trek", the original "Star Wars" trilogy, and "The Lord of the Rings" to utter crap like the "Star Wars" prequels, "The Da Vinci Code", and basically any major action film series), and while fans of those stories may become defensive, they rarely develop the persecution complex that I've seen displayed from "Twilight" fans. This is because, at the end of the day, most nerds understand that a story which is capable of inspiring passionate devotion can, by its very nature, just as easily stimulate passionate disdain; as such, even when they are deeply invested in a given story, they still possess the emotional maturity to not take the criticism too personally. A disturbing number of "Twilight" fans lack that ability (I suspect because their love of "Twilight" is less literary than lustful), and this is not to their credit.

4) I couldn't help but notice that, in the midst of all the verbiage you devoted to blasting my anti-"Twilight" argument, not one word addressed any of the substantive points that I raised, i.e.:
i. That the writing style is shoddy.
ii. That the plotting is shoddy.
iii. That the character development is shoddy.
iv. That the message is misogynistic.

Ian Brine
i was gonna jump in on this, but matt totally has it covered. twilight is bad. bad writing and a bad cultural influence. bad.

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