Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Menstrual blood, dandruff, garlic, Stella McCartney perfume, and shampoo, I'd wager

I was listening to some lovely songs on Orenda Fink's MySpace when, I shit you not, this advertisement popped up:

It'd be easy to join the bandwagon of Twilight hatred, but I'm not going to. I'll level with you guys. I think Twilight is pretty awesome. I'm no fan of the retrograde gender/sex politics of the series - although, having read none of the books and seen only the first movie, I don't really know that I'm qualified to comment; I'm just following the lead of other writers I admire and respect - but I can't help a deep intrinsic affinity for Twilight and its fans, the titular Twihards. I've always adored vampires, to the point where I enjoy pretty much any pop culture product that involves them, even if, as with True Blood, I often wish it were better than it actually is. Frankly, Twilight as a delivery service of sexual tension and questions to preteen girls - even if it does go on to answer those questions with the bludgeon of abstinence - doesn't seem like an overwhelmingly negative thing to me. Especially if it leads them to the work of other vampire writers, like the ones I enjoyed as a preteen, Poppy Z. Brite foremost among them. Although Brite has since moved onto excellent culinary fiction (and seems to be taking a sabbatical from writing in the wake of Hurricane Katrina), her splatterpunk vamp novels Lost Souls and Drawing Blood were my bread and butter in the late 90s and early 00s.

I will revisit Brite's work at length in this space, but I'll close here by saying that Stephenie Meyer is damn lucky that so much deeply sexual vampire literature has laid the groundwork for her truly chaste vamp fable. We want Edward because we know he'd be killer in bed if we could just get him there.


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