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In which John discusses Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga in both its book and film form, discussing the Twilight phenomenon in a way that will surely anger both Twihards and the series' detractors, thus infuriating everyone and pleasing no one. Also discussed: vampires; Edward Cullen, his hotness; Jacob Black, his torso; romantic relationships, why adults shouldn't have them with teenagers; reading; books; and true love, a beautiful lie.


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A Bunny
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Good morning Hank, it's Sunday.

On Tuesday I'm going to announce your punishment and discuss the political situation in Pakistan, but today we discuss a matter of pressing international importance: The Twilight Saga. *Title Sequence* So Hank, before I begin discussing Twilight, I have to give the guys of Nerdfighteria--all 42 of you--a brief summary of the series. Okay, so there's a new girl in school, and boy does her blood smell good. Which of course would be irrelevant to most of us, but most of us aren't Edward Cullen, hothothot vampire.

Edward Cullen looks like he's 17, but he's 107 years old an he's a vampire, so he's dangerous but also very chivalrous because he comes from the old school because he's also 107 years old. And he's beautiful and his eyes change color and he's got super sexy puff. Also he sparkles when he's in the sunshine.

And apparently this is what girls want us to be, is sparkly, non-farting 107-year-olds in 17-year-old bodies. So anyway, then this 107-year-old gets in a relationship with this 16-year-old girl, which for some reason isn't wrong. Now Hank, before I talk about how much I love Twilight, I want to explain why it's wrong for adults to have romantic relationships with teenagers.

It's not because we look old. It's because we ARE old. It's not a question of the youngness and chiseledness of your pecs, it's a question of how many times you've been around the sun.

Also in the Twilight books, this girl Bella REALLY needs dudes to take care of her because she is, like, completely crazy without them. And you almost get the feeling from reading the books that, like, a woman can't be whole until she has a strong, independent man in her life to take care of her. When of course, the fact is a woman needs a strong man to take care of her like a fish needs a bicycle.

I mean, just ask the Yeti. *yells over shoulder* Hey Sarah! Yeti: "Yeah?" John: "Do you need a man who can bench-press your body weight in order to feel whole?" Yeti: "Obviously not." *John laughs* 'Obviously not.' And that's not 'cause she's a big girl, either. All that said, now and again a fantasy world comes along that is SO engrossing and intoxicating that you never even stop to think, like, isn't it a little bit, you know, criminal for 107-year-olds to have a relationship with 16-year-old girls?

And, for me and millions of others, such is the case with Twilight: you just wanna keep turning the pages of the books because nothing matters more to you than the question of whether or not they will, you know, finally...do it. There, I said it. And, yes, I think Edward and Bella's relationship dynamics are troubling, and that you shouldn't conflate obsession with love.

But we all romanticize the people we adore, particularly in high school, and Edward Cullen and Jacob Black are both really well-idealized romantic others. And by "well-idealized romantic others," I of course mean that they are hot. So Hank, I just saw "New Moon" the movie, and to be honest I thought it was kind-of stupid, but it reminded me of what I really do like about Twilight: it's fun, it distracts me from the pain and brokenness of the world, it argues that true love will triumph in the end, which may or may not be true, but if it's a lie, it's the most beautiful lie we have.

That's why I think the question of whether Harry Potter or Twilight is better is, as the Buddhist would say, a question wrongly asked. As a series, I don't think they're after the same goals. And I'd like to think that we can read broadly enough to live in a world that includes both of them, and more.

You know, like my books. *Annotated: (also, like, Shakespeare)* So Hank, that's my review. I think the books are insanely fun to read. I thought the movie was pretty stupid, although Jacob Black is insanely V-shaped in his torso.

I'm sure the conversation will continue in comments. Nerdfighters, don't forget to be awesome. Hank?

I will punish you on Tuesday! And yes Hank, because I am discussing Twilight today, I left a button unbuttoned.