Sunday, November 29, 2009

Keep it Real

The other day I was talking to someone about the recent high-grossing Twilight film, which is based on a young-adult vampire-romance novel. Word had gotten around that the Pope condemned the movie -- which, it turns out, is not accurate; it was other folks in Rome who had expressed reservations about the novels, the movies, and the author because of the dubious morality of the tales and the frequent recourse to occult devices (I wonder if the latter is of concern in part because of the increase in satanism around the globe).

Matters at the Vatican notwithstanding, I'll keep my distance from a story about a vampiric psychopath who manages to control his murderous cannibalistic impulses for love of the young protagonist. Having known a number of women who remained in abusive relationships because they thought they could "help" a boyfriend/fiancé/husband with anger management issues, I don't care at all for dangerously unrealistic love tales in which the animalistic love interest is portrayed as actually a heroic sort if you just get to know him. To put the matter in terms of everyday reality: how many teenage girls are going to internalize the finer points of Meyer's tales by staying too long in damaging relationships, imagining they can change an abuser by their love and fidelity?

The again, another popular show these days is Dexter, which presents audiences with the murderous antics of a serial killer afflicted by perfect possession who preys on other serial killers -- he's a sociopath with a heart. By comparison, one could argue, a bloodthirsty vampire who shows heroic restraint is a step up.

No doubt. More significantly, no doubt a society engrossed with such dark fantasies is seriously out of touch with reality.


Kindred Spirit said...

Well said, Sean. If I'm not mistaken, the author of these vampire-based books is a Mormon, which would explain quite a bit according to the dictum of "error begets error." There is more to these stories than meets the eye, and therein lies one of their dangers: they are dark and murky and confused, whereas God is the Light, clear and straightforward. Could diabolical disorientation be a part of the popularity of these books focused on blurring evil and good?

Sean said...

One review I read described the story as a "combination of romance and suspense with a supernatural twist." Another overdone appeal to the passions -- and as you observed, one that is married to moral ambiguity.