Friday Flip Out: Twilight & the Kristen Stewart Fiasco

I'm going to get this out of the way now. The things I say when I 'flip out' are not intended to piss off others, stir up reaction or pick fights. For this reason, my 'complaints' may seem a little rambling, because I don't merely rant and vent, I tend to preface things by explaining where I'm coming from on the issue. And, on occasion, a single sentence is too simple for defining my feelings about something.

Now, to the topic at hand #1: Twilight.

This may come as a shock to those that have read me ranting on FB about this, but I don't hate Twilight.  Now, I'm not a fan of it, either.  I don't like it, that's all there is to it.  I read it, and not with the fixed notion in my head of "Gods, I'm going to hate this."  Quite the opposite; I cracked open the book with the belief that I was probably going to end up loving it in spite of myself. I simply hadn't enjoyed it. So, again, I do not hate Twilight, I do not hate Stephanie Meyer. I just, genuinely, had not enjoyed reading Twilight. What I cannot stand are the crazy fan-girls, who somehow seem to think they're doing a justice by defending the work, tooth and nail, against any and all negative reaction. I cannot stand that if you're a writer, you can't express your feelings about this work without a slew of people, who likely don't know you from Eve, declaring that you're jealous of the author's success, or dismissing your views out of hand as a you being a hater. My occupation as a writer does not make my opinion any more, or less, valid than anyone else's.

Might others have a different opinion on that matter?  Might they say that my vocation makes me biased? Yeah, sure.  But, as with so many things, it all boils down to a matter of opinion.  And as it stands, I feel I should be entitled to mine, the same way every Twilight fangirl who's in the possession of a life-sized cardboard cut out of Taylor Lautner, or Robert Pattinson, is entitled to theirs.  I can think they're crazy, they can think I'm a jealous hater, it's gonna happen. I have backing up my opinion the fact that a woman who negatively reviewed Twilight received threats from fans saying they were going to burn her house down. Those that would claim me a hater? They have me saying that I simply didn't enjoy Twilight, and thus am unable to understand the phenomena that it has become.  Wow, yeah, I'm just unreasonably vicious and terrible.

Now, I tore through the book with the same ferocity as the fans apparently had. But when I got to the end of that first book and I closed it, I was left staring at the back cover with two very separate feelings.  The first was " . . . This is what everyone is losing their minds over?" because while it was 'okay', I didn't see what was so outstanding and craze-inducing about it. The second was a bizarre craving to get the second book.

Needless to say, I was a little confused by the latter. The reason it confused me was because I was very aware of how underwhelmed I'd been by the book.  However, when I kept myself from just going onto the second book, I had time to think over my reaction. I was able to recognize, with the help of others who'd felt the same way towards the work, that yes, there was an addictive quality to it. But this was across the board, like people were saying, "I spent half the book wanting to kick the characters in the head 'cause of 'this reason' or 'that action', but I just felt like I had to keep reading, even when I didn't want to."  And I really think a lot of it's pull has to do with readers feeling this addicting quality and mistaking it for the books actually being 'good'.  Good being a subjective term, of course.  And no, I'm not saying that people can't enjoy something that is 'bad', but my gods, at least have the self-awareness to recognize that just because you enjoy something doesn't mean that "zomg, it's the greatest thing ever created."  I enjoy many things that I know my friends who are looking for artistic merit and critical acclaim can't stand, but if I 'enjoy' it, then I say, 'yeah, it was bad, but it was so much  fun to watch/read/partake in."

The thing that struck me the oddest was the reaction of series fans.  "You didn't like Twilight? . . . Oh, that's 'cause you only read the first one." Um, what?  The natural, logic response to this is, "If I didn't enjoy the first one, why would I put myself through reading the rest?" Though in hindsight, if it's true that they get better, then maybe the craze make sense- get addicted to the first book, 'need' to know what happens next, rush into the next book and keep reading 'til the story's 'complete'.  But I tried, about a year later, to read New Moon and . . . nope, didn't feel like the story got 'better'.  In fact, couldn't even get to the end.  I wiki'ed the series to find out how it finished 'cause someone who'd read it tried explaining it, but got me very confused.

I mean, I will never forget my husband and I sitting there watching this documentary-type dealie that featured all these girls talking about their love of Twilight, and the various things they were doing that were related to it (like creating bands and writing songs that reflected the events in the books -_-, I'm not even a little bit kidding on that one). And when asked by the interviewer what it was that they loved so much about the books, the girls actually said "They're relatable!" . . . . <_< . . . . >_> . . . . Now, I don't know about you, but I can't recall my high school years including a broody, sparkles-in-the-sun vampire and a hunky werewolf fighting over me. I don't remember being so dramatically clumsy and uncoordinated that when a crazy vampire-tracker tries to kill me, everyone who knows me would easily brush off my broken limbs and multiple lacerations with an explanation like, "Oh, I tripped and fell out a window. Oops, I'm such a klutz."  Or, my favorite, the skewed self-image. "I'm so, so, painfully plain . . . . Oh, my, I wish all these guys would stop paying so much attention to me."

Even I can relate to that last one- I was raised with the notion that I was fat and ugly, not because I was either, but because someone very close to me drilled it into my head from a very early age that because she was the thin & pretty one in our dynamic, I, thereby, had to be the ugly one.  And 'fat'?  If you spent your formative years being called 'Miss Piggy' while strangers that met you thought you were borderline anorexic, how would you feel about yourself? Was this note a little more personal than you were expecting? Probably, but I'm simply trying to put across that I'm not being difficult or intentionally clueless about the matter of relating the problems of a fictional teen's life to a real one's, but to claim that you love Twilight so much because Bella's life is 'relatable' (which isn't actually a word, no matter how often it's used) is just unrecognized BS. Say you 'wish' you could have her problems, that would be more accurate.

Well, that's it for now.  'Cause, trust me, I could go on about this for a lot longer.

Topic at hand #2: The Kristen Stewart Fiasco:

People need to leave the girl alone already.  And while I should be able to say 'period, enough said' and leave it at that, like so much of what I have to say, it's not that simple. Because "Aww, poor Rob Pattinson?"  . . . Yeah. poor Rob Pattinson.  But here's the thing. Is this so different from things that 'normal' couples have to deal with all the time?  No.  And yes.

No. All couples have their ups and downs. Some are purely internal, some are created by an outside source (in this particular case, that source being Rupert Sanders). Sometimes the couple can weather the storm and become stronger for it, and other times, we're too damaged and ripped up by the storm to keep hanging on.

Yes. Because they're a celebrity couple.  Every problem or bit of happiness they have is magnified, because an entire generation of people feels connected to them, personally. Every moment of sunshine between the couple makes fans feel giddy and lighthearted.  Every storm cloud makes them mopey and, in some cases, angry enough to want to rend flesh from the offending party.  Thereby, when either party makes a slip up that a 'regular person' would make, it seems that much more deplorable.

But . . . really?  The girl's only human.  She's young, and we don't know much about her romantic life before she became 'Bella', so you tell me how much experience she has with serious, committed, long-term relationships?  Does that excuse that she did something that hurt people?  No, and I'm not saying it does.  What I am saying is, maybe people could take that to be exactly what it is- a young person made a mistake. That's what they do, it's the only way they learn.  Now, seriously, we all know this- it's like being a child.  You're told time and again that the flame is hot, but you, like a dumb ass, stick your finger in it anyway.

It's not to say she didn't know what she was doing was wrong, but, like it or not, gripe about it or don't, we all know what it's like to be caught up in a moment. If you can comment on this and tell me you've never gotten caught up in a moment, good or bad, no matter what it was about, what was going on around you, or what the outcome was, then I can tell you that you haven't really lived.

On the other hand.  I've read the speculation that Stewart did this all intentionally to tank a career that she never really wanted. People cite her usual 'less than thrilled' face that seems to be for everything. I say that, ya know what?  Maybe not wanting this skyrocketing career isn't too far off the mark.  'Cause if you back track, go to movies where she had smaller parts (like the older sister in Zathura), you don't see this wooden performance she's accused of 'always' giving (which, I think is a little like the whole Jim Kirk/William Shatner thing-- like, he was an actor before Star Trek, but people came to expect 'Jim Kirk' when they saw 'Shatner', so for a time after Trek, he was still doing lines with that weird, campy gap you could drive a truck through.  Bella, in the first Twilight book, is very under-reactive to things. And, that being said, I do think Stewart played her just fine [I mean, she's a wooden character, how can you do anything other than be wooden portraying her?] People weren't hiring Kristen Stewart, they were hiring 'Bella', so what's she to do with that, other than play the same character in a different guise?).

I have my own opinion of the possible, ever-looming, why.  Maybe she and Robert were in a relationship that at the very least, started out as a fabrication.  Now, before you throw things at the computer screen, hear me out. First Twilight movie comes out . .  rumors start up about 'are they or aren't they a  couple irl?' Second movie, 'omg, they're dating, it's really true'.  3rd and 4th movies everything is sunshine and kittens in Kstew & Rpatz Land.  Now, we come to the final movie release on the horizon.  And suddenly, out of friggin' no where, a huge blindside to a relationship that seemingly had no troubles 'til now.

Am I saying that the entire relationship was a farce?  No.  Could it have been?  Maybe, people have done worse for publicity.  But what I'm saying is that it's more likely that the relationship, as stated, got a push.  That at the off-set perhaps the two were nudged toward each other.  And, hey, we read stories and see movies all that time where real love blossoms from these scenarios. So, maybe things weren't as sunshine and kittens as the public was allowed to believe.  And maybe they wanted to part ways- which they could freely do now that the movies were over.  But they couldn't go about it quietly, 'cause too many 'people' (like the entire Twilight fandom) are seriously, if mistakenly, invested in the relationship of these two.

Now, bearing all this in mind . . . if you incorporate both ideas- they wanted to end the relationship and Kristen wanted to pull back from the limelight . . . BAM, formula right there for her to take the fall and be the 'villain' of the whole thing.  'Cause, think about it, how many people are going "*Gasp* Rupert Sanders did what?" No, they're all going "*Gasp* KRISTEN STEWART DID SUCH AND SUCH with this guy over here."  Yes, there is a backlash with Sanders and his wife, but my thinking is that maybe . . . Stewart hadn't intended the fall-out to be quiet as huge as it's been, maybe she didn't expect the details to be made public so quickly . . . maybe she didn't even intend for this to happen the way it did and she just found herself in a situation that effectively took care of things she'd been worried about, as often happens in life.

Sometimes you can't change things, you can't fix things.  You have to let something break.  You have to see how bad the damage is before you can decide if it can be repaired, or if you need to move on and start anew.

And, I know this is just one useless little blog that nobody reads, but, that's my message on all this. You want to feel bad for Robert Pattinson?  I'm not stopping you, he seems like a nice guy, I feel bad for him, too- started out fabricated or not, I do believe they had genuine feelings for one another (I believe Kristen Stewart when she states that she loves him in that public apology)- it sucks having your heart raked over the coals, but it happens.  And, in all your hugs for Rpatz, don't forget that whatever her motivation was, no matter how genuine her feelings might be, she's still just a girl. She's being vilified for getting caught with her hand in the cookie jar, when the only reason anyone's looking at her is because everyone is always looking at her.  And you know what?  Most people out there have gotten away with stealing the cookie, but because they're regular, they're 'nobody', that doesn't matter.  It doesn't factor into people's thinking at all.

I know, once again, that no one's listening to me, but Kristen Stewart- I put this thought out into the cosmos for you, maybe it's intent reaches you, maybe it doesn't- whatever your reasons, whatever the real story, I doubt you're a horrible person, but maybe you need the time to yourself, out of the spotlight to figure your way around your own life.  And, world at large, leave the girl alone.  We're all our own worst critics, and the most painful problems we can ever experience in this life are the ones for which we know we only have ourselves to blame.

There's nothing anyone can say to her that she probably hasn't already said to herself. And so if you don't want to hug her, then don't, but don't go punching her in the gut, either.






Comments

  1. I agree with everything you said. I too did like the Twilight series all that much, and I certainly don't understand all the fangirl crap. But then I'm not 16. As far as Kristen Stewart goes, she's 22. I can't even list all the stupid stuff I did at that age. It's unfortunate he life has to happen in the public eye.

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    1. Exactly. People are so ready to judge, but not nearly as ready to try and understand.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I am SOOOOOO sorry, I deleted that by accident, Kay!! I'm still getting used to this blog setup, I thought I was deleting mine!

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  3. REPOST OF COMMENT BY KAY FROEBEL:

    I enjoyed this review! I am not a Twilight fan in the slightest bit. I found the series painfully inconsistent and weepy, but it was well written, which is a lot more than I can say for Fifty Shades of Grey...

    Anywho, I am heading off my topic. I think you hit many important notes. People who dislike something should be allowed to say so, just the same as those who enjoy something should be allowed to say so.

    As for the personal life of the celebrities who are caught up in the "scandal" that is unfortunate for them. I know that when I have relationship issues, I certainly don't need to publicly apologize. The public needs to calm down and realize that they are human, just the same as you and me. (Just no where near as cool as us *wink*)

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    1. Oh, there will be a 50 Shades 'Friday Flip-out'. I tried to read it, didn't make it past chapter 7. And I tried soooo hard, too, but it was just so terribly written. All the 'I flush' and the repetitive wording. "She's pleased to see me" and a line later the 'she' Ana's referring to actually says "I'm real pleased to see ya." And the who thing with the 'Kate Kavanagh Inquisition' . . . both times she introduces it using the very same line AND her friend either a) only asks like 1 or 2 questions (wow, yeah, look out Spain, she's vicious) and they were natural questions anyone could ask. Then her friend makes one comment about "you're a total babe" and she refers to that as a 'tirade'. They're supposed to be American, yet the friend uses the term "Sorted". It's like, seriously, was this book edited by a monkey? Ya know, I could go on, but I think I'll use up a blog day for that.

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