Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

Twihard Discrimination

Hey all,
I’m back from Europe, definitely changed, maybe a little maimed, but refreshed and ready to keep writing. For those of you who have seen any updates on Facebook or have talked to me, or have not talked to me, here’s what happened. Steve and I were hiking down a dusty mountain trail in Cinque Terre and I stepped down and the road came out from under me, I then proceeded to tumble about 12 feet down the mountain. I’m fine, though still slightly bruised and my ankle is still swollen. I went to the doctor today who told me that I’m fine, but I’m not 16 any more and thus will heal more slowly than I used to. Great… Other than that slight hiccup, Steve and I had the time of our lives. I promise I will write a whole thing about that, but right now there is something else on my mind.

So, two days after flying back from Europe I made my way down to San Diego for Comic-Con. Yes, this convention of real nerds and the cool nerds alike, brings upwards of 130,000 people to the Gaslamp area of San Diego. Movie stars mix with fan boys and hot girls dress in gold bikinis; pretty much, everyone wins at Comic-Con. Everyone, that is, except the Twilight girls. Now, I find thousands of screaming teenagers as annoying as anyone else (though there is a sick part of me that wants to study why they feel the need to scream so loud for so long), and the phenomenon of the screaming teenager is not anything new (hi, Beatles, Elvis, Spice Girls, etc). I think what is so amazing about the Twilight phenomenon, and I know I’ve talked about it a lot, is that these kids are freaking the fuck out over a series of books. They’re freaking out more than Harry Potter fans ever did (I mean, sure, Harry Potter fans attended midnight book launches in full costume, but they were relatively demure and docile when it came down to it), and it’s all over books. I mean, as a bookseller, that’s enough to endear me to them right there. Sure, the books are not much more than pre-adolescent wet dreams, and I’m not saying they aren’t worth reading, but they’re a lot like crack. You know they’re bad for you, but you keep reading them anyway. Still, I’m on board with a series that will get this many people to read. THANK YOU STEPHENIE MEYER.

That being said, the movie Twilight phenomenon was kicked off at last year’s Comic-Con when a shocked cast of relatively unknown actors took the stage in front of 3,500 screaming girls. Homemade Team Edward and Team Jacob (you’ll know when you read it) shirts glittered in the lights of Ballroom 20 or Hall H, wherever they were, and the cast caught a first glimpse of what exactly they were dealing with. New Moon, the second of the Twilight books, which is being edited for a movie release date of November 20th, came back with a vengeance at this year’s Comic-Con. Much like Iron Man, the reaction last year, really fuelled this notion that what sells at Comic-Con sells in the box office. Many a movie has been made and broken at this Comic Book Convention and Twilight was another reason that studios send movies out there.

But this year was different. This year, the backlash was in full effect. Last year, people didn’t know what Twilight was. They knew there were a lot of teenage girls running around in glittery puffy painted shirts, but that’s not really out of the norm at Comic-Con, in fact, it’s celebrated. This is a convention where it is possible to see an army of storm troopers, clingons (that’s probably spelled wrong, forgive my Star Trek ignorance), Captain Jack Sparrow, and Superman in the course of one booth. This is a convention that embraces grown men who want to dress up in a darth vader costume and carry a light saber around all day; a convention that gets absolutely giddy at the thought of a woman dressed as Wonder Woman roping fanboys with a golden lasso. To be succinct, this is a convention that embraces what is otherwise thought of as weird or socially unacceptable in everyday life.

So I was actually a little shocked when I saw people (all young men) walking around with cardboard signs that stated simply, ‘Twilight ruined Comic-Con.’ In a way, I get where these young men are coming from. This is their convention, where they and others of their ilk can have endless discussions about whether Superman could really impregnate Lois Lane or whether his ejaculation is too strong and would tear a hole in her, therefore the only woman Superman could have a child with is Wonder Woman who has a strong enough uterus to deal with Supersperm. But really this hasn’t been their convention for some time. If you’re going to argue that Twilight ruined Comic-Con then you have to argue that Hollywood ruined Comic-Con (and many do) because really Twilight is only doing what so many before it have done. It’s creating a space for something that is somewhat culty, though fairly popular, to reign.

I hate to pull the gender card because I rarely believe that this is a factor, but I think the young fanboys are pissed that the young fangirls have out done them. They’re more excited, more ravenous for any bit of information that is given to them, and they’re becoming a major tastemaker. I think the young fanboys are threatened that the fangirls are proving their monetary worth to the movie studios and networks. One look at this years Comic-Con, premiering not only clips from New Moon but also from True Blood (southern vampires) and the new show The Vampire Diaries (teenage vampires), not to mention the daddy of vampire shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which always makes a stake at Comic-Con, even though it went of the air years ago), shows that teen girls are a demographic the studios are catering to.

I’m a little saddened by this community of people that prides themselves on embracing ridiculousness and fantasy is not more supportive of Twilight. Sure, you don’t have to like it, but at least don’t hate on it. I mean, I’m not a huge Star Wars fan (in fact, I kind of can’t stand it), but I support it’s right to be at a place like Comic-Con. Like it or not, Twilight is sticking around for a bit, and these girls are making a little peice of pop culture history.

Peace, Love, and Acceptance,


July 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment