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Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also authored several short stories such as "The Devil's Comedian", "The Devil v. George W. Bush", and most recently "Wait Until Tomorrow". He resides in New Jersey. Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: michaelreyes72@hotmail.com

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Fall of Twilight, or “The Mary Sue Dilemma”

What are you a fan of? Go ahead name it? Chances are whatever you named as your pop culture poison, someone out there has written their own story about it. It’s called “Fan Fiction” or “FanFic” for short. Basically, you can create your own tale set in the fictional world of your preference, and there are websites that indulge exclusively in these fan based fantasies. Some can be good, some can be bad, and some have no right to even exist as purely a thought. There’s a term for that last type there…it’s called a “Mary Sue”.

“Mary Sue” stories basically involve the author creating a character based off of themselves in the universe of their liking. In some of the more extreme cases, these characters are romantically involved with major characters, partake in some adventurous situations, and in the end, they get to save the day. Basically, it’s an exercise in wish fulfillment for the author. This is what Twilight is.

Stephenie Meyer, a Mormon from Connecticut by way of Arizona, has written a story from out of her own dreams. A dream of, “a human girl, and a vampire who was in love with her but thirsted for her blood.” A dream that Little, Brown, and Company paid $750,000 for a three book deal from. A dream that would send teenage girls swooning over yet another nonthreatening ladyboy, because let’s face it Paulie Bleeker was wearing out and there’s only so many “Nick and Nora” books they can fucking write for these kids. (Sorry Michael Cera. Get angry with your agent, not me.)

From what I’ve read about the Twilight series, it is nothing more than Mormon Abstinence Only Porn that carries the message, “If you change for someone, and let them change you for their own liking, then you’ll be loved!”. Vampires don’t go out in the daytime because they sparkle, not because they’re allergic to the sun and it would kill them in an instant. Before anyone brings it up, yes I did try to read Twilight. I picked up a copy at Barnes and Noble before I even formed an opinion. I’d heard it was being made into a movie, and figured I’d give it a spin before I actually judged it. I couldn’t even get past page 5, it was seriously that boring. Bella didn’t interest me, and I’m glad I didn’t get to the part about Edward, because then I would have laughed my ass off. A 114 year old vampire who goes to High School and only transfers to a new school every four years? And he just happens to meet the awkward, clumsy girl no one really pays attention to, and just happens to fall in love with her?

Let’s get something straight…vampires have been known to be, are you sitting down Ms. Meyer…sexual, bloodthirsty beings. Vampires like sex, and in some cases they have quite a bit of it. Vampires love all those things that us mortal humans see as risks. They enjoy adrenaline, they enjoy action and danger, and they love all of this because it is the only way they feel alive. A vampire wouldn’t be abstinent, a vampire would probably sleep with anything that moved. Why? Because there are no repercussions when you’re undead, it’s not like you’re going to catch something and die. Also, as a vampire, you’d be able to hit anything or anyone for as long as you like, and you’d get a regular variety of partners through different eras of time.

So why are your vampires so different? Because you have Mary Sue’d them…BIG TIME. You imposed Mormon beliefs on them, particularly the Law of Chastity. Though, here’s the funny part, vampires for the most part have been considered monsters, no? Unhuman creatures with a lust for blood, they could be considered “beasts”. Well, if that were true, the Law of Chastity gets thrown out the window right there because it forbids bestiality. But you figured out a way around that, didn’t you? Massawyrm from Ain’t It Cool News figured your little scheme out in his review of the shitty movie, based on your shitty book. (http://www.aintitcool.com/node/39195)

“But when your VAMPIRES give a reflection in mirrors? When they don’t sleep in coffins? When they don’t have fangs? When they not only can walk around in sunlight…but glisten like they’re covered in diamonds when they do? Then they’re not vampires. They’re superheroes with special dietary concerns.”
You figured if you made vampires more human, they wouldn’t be considered beasts and we’d only be hung up with that whole “no premarital sex” clause, which would be resolved with two characters “willing to wait”. In which case, not only do you not have vampires in your books, you do not have teenagers in your books. So your teenage vampire romance fantasy is devoid of vampires and teenagers, which leaves us with just your romance fantasy, and frankly I don’t care what the Hell you fantasize about. We all know who Bella is supposed to be...she's supposed to be YOU! She's from Arizona, you're from Arizona. What a coinkie-dink! She subscribes to foolish Mormon beliefs, you do as well. All Twilight amounts to is you writing your own little romance for yourself, and getting paid for it. I have my own unfulfilled fantasies, thank you very much; I don’t need to be saddled with yours.

What’s the worst part about this though? Not only are teenagers buying into it wholesale, so are adults. It’s scary enough when parents get involved in trends, but with a trend like this, a trend that discourages teenagers from being teenagers and instead tells them to be nothing more than restrained, heavy breathing sheep, that’s scarier. These books are telling girls that they need to basically be clay in the hands of their boyfriends, and they’re telling boys that you don’t really need to have personality or any of those other qualifiers to get girls…you just need to be a “mysterious outsider” who promises women the world. That’s the way to raise your kids, Twilight Moms!

Speaking of “Twilight Moms”, I bet some of them are also the types that read Harlequin Romance Novels. The women that basically look at their lives and think, “Oh, why did I marry the man I did? Why couldn’t I love this pirate/naval commander/spy/NASCAR driver from my fantasies and just run away with nary a care in the world? Instead I have a bland husband, three kids, and a minivan. *deep sigh* Thank God I have you, Edward Cullen. All you’ll do is scowl and look ‘deep’ whilst fantasizing over me. I am your Bella, I am your love. Hold me! I’d rather die than live without you.” I know not all of them are like that, in fact I know a “Twilight Mom” who is a well adjusted person that I happen to be good friends with. She doesn’t fit this mold, and she is part of the other demographic that reads these books…those who want an escape.Yes, the “Twilight” series isn’t my cup of tea and yes, I really wish it didn’t exist. I’m more of a “Harry Potter” man myself. Yes, I also sometimes wish I could be Harry Potter so I’d get to wave around a kick assed wand and fulfill my ginger crush on Ginny Weasley. But at the end of the day, I know it’s still a book. I’m not going to wear a shirt that says “Team Potter”, I won’t stare down a co-worker and shout ‘stupefy’, and I sure as Hell won’t go around screaming, “I AM THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE!”. The difference between Potter and Twilight is that at least Harry Potter has some moral value to it that doesn’t stifle people’s personalities. The Harry Potter books tell a story, and it has actual weight and depth to it that people of all walks have actually enjoyed it. Twilight really only has the demographic of teenage girls who swoon over anything generic looking that has a pulse, housewives who read Romance novels/Moms who want to be cool, and generally well adjusted individuals who still read for some reason or another.

Ms. Meyer, you can write your novels, but don’t disgrace teenagers and vampires by associating them with your Mormon wet dreams. Come up with a name for your creatures that are supposed to be vampires but aren’t, and don’t say that they’re teenagers. You wouldn’t know a teenager if they laughed at you. There’s still time for you to fix your mistakes! Cancel the Twilight Saga movies, and recall all the books. Edit them so they don’t talk about vampires and teenagers, and then re-release them. I’m sure everyone will still love the books if they’re a little more truthful…right?

In closing, while I hate your writing, it does give me hope. Hope that selling my latest creation, "Mike Reyes Saves The Universe and Bangs A Bunch of Celebrities", will be a breeze. Hmm...that's not a catchy title is it? How about if I change it to the name of a natural phenomenon, that would make it sound more significant. How about..."Dusk"? Much better...also, the character probably shouldn't have my name. It'll only isolate everyone who isn't me in the audience. How about "Mark Royce"? That sounds generic enough. One last thing though...can't copy the whole vampire thing, and there's werewolves in the Twilight saga as well...AH HA! I'll use Zombies, instead of Vampires. Zombies that don't eat people, and walk around like normal humans in daylight...except they don't because the Sun causes their skin to stink like shit! I think I've got the hang of this...in fact I could probably do Ms. Meyer one better and write a whole tetralogy of these. Here me out:
Book 1: "Dusk", in which the protagonist, Mark Royce, falls in love with Medusa, a zombie who doesn't eat flesh and moves like a human. I meet her family, they like me, and instead of eating humans they eat animals.

Book 2: "Slightly Used Lunar Object" ,where Mark's girlfriend acts like a total bitch and abandons me...I mean HIM, which causes me...damnit, him much anguish, but he still saves her from suicide anyway because, "I miss her breath". (How do you keep this shit up after two books, and still qualify as a sane and mature adult?)

Book 3: "Equinox", where Mark have to choose between his friendship with a human and his love of a zombie...only to ditch the human he became really good friends with for a love affair for the ages.

Book 4: "Chasing Nightfall", in which we reach the stunning conclusion where Mark's girlfriend saves him from death by turning him into a zombie, and they live happily ever after with our zombie child.

and finally, Book 5: "Do You See How Stupid This Sounds, Now That I've Done Exactly The Same Thing You've Done, Only In Jest, Stephenie Meyer?", in which I laugh at Stephenie Meyer...all the way to ze bank.

Expect Book 1 next Spring!

P.S. Robert Pattinson? You're a traitor! Harry Potter should have left you in the freakin maze!


Anonymous said...

Y'know what'd be even better than writing a book based on these ideas?

Writing a graphic novel. Whoa, yeah!

dsbs said...

Ok, I read the last half of your post in pajiba and had to come over here just to let you know - awesome.

Telesilla said...

You are spot on when you say Twilight's nothing but a bad Mary Sue with creepy Mormon undertones.

As for your idea, go for it! God knows, it can't help but be better than Twilight.

Anonymous said...

You are obviously a bigot because you're calling any "Mormon" undertones "creepy". The name of Stephanie Meyer's church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the LDS have politely asked to be referred to as "LDS" and not "Mormon." Please refrain from being a creepy bigot and use the politically correct term for the organization that you're referring to. Thanks.

Mr. Controversy said...


I'm sorry that I parroted the fact that other outlets have named Ms. Meyer as a "Mormon", and as a result I apologize for your misunderstanding.

To clarify, I believe Ms. Meyer's usage of her beliefs to make a VERY marketable product that, at the end of the day, is still Abstainance Only Porn with faggy, emo goth Vampires.

Finally, I'm sorry I've offended your sensibilities, but this is "Mr. Controversy" not "The New York Times". If you don't like it, then I'm sorry...but change the web page.

Thanks for reading,

Mr. C!

P.S. It's been a while since I've answered criticism constructively. Thanks for the practice.

Sarah The Anime Librarian said...

As a librarian, I’m always happy when people read. Love it when people love books. And whatever your guilty pleasure, go to it.

Having said that, oh my dear lord these things suck more ass than a low paid prostitute. Thank god I only had to read the first one for work…they like us to try and keep up with what is current. I have read fanfiction written by 13 year olds with better stories and characters than this dreck.

Yes ladies, all you need to do to get a sexy man is make him the center of your universe, and act like a desperate stalker with no personality.

And guys, its even better, all you have to do is be a broody douche bag who plays with peoples emotions!

(I will have to send the link to this to many a fellow library drone who had to suffer as I did.)

Mr. Controversy said...

Lol to you Ms. Librarian, lol to you. When you pass this onto your librarian bretheren, would you please extend them my thanks for jobs well done. (This obviously applies to you as well.) I am a regular patron of my local library and happen to be friends with some of my librarians there, and you lot are a fun, friendly bunch. Yours is a noble profession, and may it reign eternally.

Sarah The Anime Librarian said...

Thank you sir! I am enjoying the blog hugely!

We are always happy when people use the library, no matter what your taste in reading! I love my job, and you're very welcome! Thank you, for you are the very kind people we love best!

Anonymous said...

Oh gosh this really does put everything in perspective. My sister and I went to see the Twilight movie miraculously without having heard much about the saga. We thought it was a fantastic movie, and stupidly pooled our cash together to buy the series. Sigh. Twilight was okay to read, up until chapter 13 (where Meyer first started writing from) then I was just like ... is there a plot in this book? Really? Where?
New Moon was bearable, a little drawn out, but that was nothing compared to Eclipse which was vastly overshadowed by the horrible, horrible, horrible book that is Breaking Dawn. What. The. Hell.

I think the books would have been a LOT better if some of the characters had consequences. And for God's sake, how many times is Meyer going to get me really excited that there's going to be an action-packed fight scene with the Volturi only for it to amount to SMILES AND SHAKING HANDS??? NOTHING EVER HAPPENED.

But you're right. These books do give me hope. If this saga can be published, then one day my writing can hopefully be published.

Lightpaws said...

I love this.

And yeah, he is such a traitor, Harry shouldn't even bother bringing his body back. -.-