Twilight is a Symptom of Everything Wrong With America

You may think I’m exaggerating, but hear me out.

B and I chose to watch Twilight on Netflix because most of the good vampire movies aren’t on there. And we wanted something we could laugh to. Since we didn’t have any comedies in mind, we decided mocking laughter would do.

People, I have read endless reviews of both the book and the movie. I could tell you exactly what happens scene by scene, from opening to closing credits. Much of my joy came from finally seeing some notorious moments for myself. Have you ever watched a movie and gone, “Hey, I know that scene from memes!” or “They used that one in a Bad Lip Reading clip!”? It’s a very specific sort of pleasure.

Now, I’ve read many a review by outraged feminists who utterly despised Edward. I know all of his abusive proclivities. I even know he’s a completely genocidal shitmonger. But actually seeing Robert Pattinson act it out rather than reading about it made me scream roughly five thousand times something along this lines of the following:

  • GASLIGHTING JERKWAD.
  • HOLY FUCKWADS DEDWARD IS SUCH AN ASSHOLE.
  • Seriously, how does ANYONE see Dedward as the romantic hero? He’s such a fucking douche.
  • Yeah, Deddie. Blame your lack of self-control on Bella. Asshole.
  • HOLY FUCK HOW IS THIS NOT A HORROR MOVIE ABOUT A DUDE WHO TRIES TO MURDER BELLA? HE LIKES WATCHING HER SLEEP WITHOUT HER KNOWING HE’S THERE. HE’S A CREEPY FUCK ABOUT KISSING. HE DREAMS OF MASSACRING PEOPLE SO HE CAN DRINK HER BLOOD IN PEACE. FFS.

There’s more, but you’ll have to read my complete live take on Facebook to get the full all-caps outrage.

I feel this movie pretty much summarizes everything wrong with America. Somehow, a huge portion of our population was persuaded to believe that a 108 year-old bloodsucker who likes to watch teen girls sleep and tell them to stay away from them whilst demanding their company, doing their best to terrify them, manhandling them, gaslighting them, putting them down, and demanding they perform certain emotions for their satisfaction is a total dreamboat. A great many teenage girls thought this was a reasonable template for the perfect relationship.

Even worse, millions of their mothers did.

And they accepted a film shot through a shitty blue filter as something swoonworthy.

They fell head over heels for vampires who look like they’ve had a bad accident with the classroom glitter when they’re trying to scare their girlfriends in the sunlight.

They adored a film wherein vampires look like this when they’re trying to be all terrifying and threatening:

Image is a screenshot from Twilight showing the Cullens dressed in baseball uniforms, crouching and confronting the similarly crouching and confronting James, Laurent, and Victoria. Most of the group looks constipated and/or befuddled. A few look like they watched kittens trying to intimidate dogs with threat displays once and thought it looked badass. Victoria and Rosalie look like they're about to have angry hate-sex.
They’re supposed to be terrifying super predators. They are nothing of the sort. Yet they were successfully marketed as the bestest and most scariest vampires to ever sparkle their way into a sad girl’s heart.

Our romantic leads don’t need each other: they need therapy, and Edward needs a restraining order.

Meanwhile, the real chemistry’s brewing between Jacob and Bella. They share less than ten minutes of screen time total, I think, but even within the first minute, it’s clear they’d be the best couple. Bella lights up around Jacob, and he around her. They banter, they enjoy each other’s company, they never manhandle each other or lurk in bedrooms or tell each other to stay away lest they get et by their love interest. They share Twizzlers in the most adorable manner. So of course, Jacob won’t become a serious contender for Bella’s affections until he completes his transformation into a weredouche, because this movie (and the book it came from) is selling us the premise that only abusive assholes can be your true love.

At the end, Bella completely looses her shit at the idea that Edward would ever leave her, and Edward proclaims Bella is his entire life. They’ve known  for like two months. They’ve never had an easy, happy, fun and sexy conversation ever. The one time they got hot and bothered together, Edward had to throw himself against a wall to keep from killing her. But we’re supposed to believe that this is the romance of the ages, and far too many of us did.

I kind of feel like this movie is a reflection of all that is wrong with America. We were presented with a great orange shitgibbon and told he’s the bestest, most coolest candidate for president ever. We were given the most patently absurd possible jackass vs. a superbly competent and professional leader, and told that the latter had no chance in hell of being presidential material. And the vast majority of us looked on in horror as a Russian-chosen, self-obsessed, wildly ignorant joke of a rape-happy reality teevee star beat the obvious choice for a happy, healthy country. We watched as millions of people bought outright, obvious lies.

And it’s just about as inexplicable as the idea that Edward Cullen is a dashing romantic lead.

A huge part of fixing what went wrong with this election involves trying to shore up our democratic institutions, get the ol’ checks and balances working, figuring out how to counter fucking racist shitlords who will swear on their mother’s grave to your very face that they were concerned about emails and manufacturing jobs, and punching Nazis in the face until they stop talking in public. But I also feel, after watching Twilight, that we need to teach more people how to engage with the reality behind the fantasy they’re being presented.

And that, my loves, will probably be the hardest task of all.

At this point, I’m just hoping Hillary will appear from the forest as a gigantic wolf and rip Chitler into tiny bits with her jaws. Because that would still be a better love story than Twilight.

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Twilight is a Symptom of Everything Wrong With America

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