Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Little Sparkle Can Be a Good Thing

Maybe a little sparkle is exactly what a generation needed to find a light in the everyday darkness that exists in today’s world.

I know some die hard vampire fans say “real vampires don’t sparkle”.

But maybe at this point in time it is exactly what the world needed and why this new breed of vampires opened the doors to all types of vampires becoming popular again, More popular than at any other point in history.

What has made the vampire an enduring and truly immortal creature? What is it about these blood suckers that makes us love them so? Perhaps above all else it is their enduring quality, something evermore in a world of uncertainty.

In times of turmoil we often turn to "fantastical" creatures and stories to find something more interesting than the horror and mundane boredom we face in the world everyday. Turn on the news, and everything is so depressing.

It is no wonder we are turning to sparkly vampires and otherworldly creatures to give us an escape.

This generation of children and teenagers have grown up in the post 9/11 world. A world full of terror, war, economic crisis and despair. So why not fall in love with something bright and shiny? Something totally different than everything else that has come before. Something this generation can call their own.

Some writers and anti-fans have declared that the Twilight books are too simplistic, too clichéd and that Bella is so bland and completely lacking of any personality that every girl can see themselves in her (I am paraphrasing here).

Maybe that’s the point. Plus you have to remember these books were written for teens, not adults. The universal themes of a young girl feeling lost, lacking direction, torn between two guys one her friend the other someone much older and dangerous, wanting protection, seeking a place in the world…hello? Do the critics not remember what it was like to be a teenager?

I do, that’s why I understand completely the appeal of Twilight (even if my adult, feminist brain doesn’t agree with all of it).

Twilight is in many ways so simple everyone can find a place, everyone can find something appealing. Especially after you throw in some supernatural fun and a little sparkle and ta-da something fresh and new for a generation that really needed something to distract them from the world.

So please don’t over read it, let everyone have fun and focus on something not so dark and full of despair.


The Mighty Buzzard said...

On the other hand, happiness is an anti-motivator. When you're happy you don't want to change or the happiness goes away. Given that teenagers are self-absorbed idiots, I'm thinking encouraging them to be happy as they are is a Bad Thing.

If you want a kid to be able to cope with a hard and dangerous world, or better yet work to change it, you need to get them to see it for what it is without blinders or a comfortable retreat where they can sit with their fingers in their ears and go lalalala.

Yeah, it's harsh but not as harsh as throwing them to the wolves after a sheltered childhood and adolescence.

Michele Hauf said...

I haven't read the series, but I do agree that Twilight has been tremendous for bringing attention to other paranormal works for readers. And though the sparkle does sound odd, if it works for the context of the stories, then go for it. ANd yep, we could all use a little positive thinking right about now!

Great post, Roxanne!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing concept. I wholeheartedly agree. I have been a long time fan of vampires and relish in their recent re-birth whatever form or folklore they happen to appear. Thanks for the article!

jacabur1 said...

Thanks for this lovely upbeat take on what most of us feel that books and movies are just exactly what they are meant to be entertaining escapes from the real world which at times can be harsh and unforgiving and a little fantastical unreality can lighten the load for a period of time. I do not believe in bringing up a child in cotton wool, or sheltering them from what is and is not real. However a little bit of fantasy escapism goes a long way even for those of us who are grown-up and anything that motivates a child no matter what age to read a book gets a thumbs-up from me. Illiteracy is and always will be a sad problem in the United States and if it takes a sparkly vampire and a boring human girl to get them away from video games and computer screens and immersed into a book maybe that will change someday!

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Shauna Leigh Kemp said...

I think that knowing that life is hard and that things can sparkle is the ultimate hope and I am thankful that my parents taught me both. And teaching kids that the sparkle factor usually involves a lot of hard work can go a long way. Then let them choose if they want to sparkle, but it should be an option. Granted fictional sparkle and real world shine are two different things and I think Walt Disney new that too, but yet Disneyland does exist.  Great post! 

Roxanne Rhoads said...

To The Mighty Buzzard- you must be the storm cloud that hovers over think the world in constant chaos and misery is going to motivate change? Hmmm...yeah maybe for the worse, I haven't seen things getting much better lately.

Anyway I have three kids, none of them raised with blinders on and I definitely don't have blinders on, probably a major reason I turn to fiction at the end of the day instead of or after watching the news. I like to escape and everyone deserves that.

It doesn't mean we don't still want to change the world and make it a better place.

That's my day job, at night I delve into fantasy lands full of vampires and other paranormal creatures.

Because hey, we shouldn't have to be miserable all the time.