It would be difficult to find a child or teenager who wasn't aware of the Twilight Saga and who didn't love reading the books and watching the movie(s), however, one Gainsville newspaper compares the current Twilight mania sweeping the nation to fatal diseases and also claims that it is affecting children and teens to an unhealthy degree. So when does entertainment cross the line from enjoyment into an unhealthy obsession?
The article reads as follows:
There has been an illness spreading across America recently that is more virulent and insidious than mad cow disease, swine flu and monkey pox combined. It’s spreading viraly through emails, blogs, text messages and tweets and infecting countless tweens, teens and young adults. While the disease has not yet proved to be fatal, there is no known cure and the symptoms can be terrifying and painful. The disease I am referring to, of course, is vampirism.
The epicenter of the most recent outbreak can be traced to the vampire-based Twilight book series, which has sold more than 42 million copies and spawned an equally popular movie adaptation. Young people across the country have been seduced by the story of a high school girl’s star-crossed love affair with a 107-year-old vampire and the pasty yet attractive actors who portray them. What’s more troubling than the pedophilic relationship between a 17-year-old girl and a man 90 years her senior, however, is the fact that the popularity of vampire culture is on the rise.
While this kind of fervor has been seen with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, an interest in witchcraft and wizardry is ultimately harmless as most of the characters in Rowling’s novels are positive role models. The worst that happens is kids spend their allowances on wands, memorize cryptic incantations and start trying to summon dark spirits from the depths of the underworld. In other words, pretty typical kids’ stuff. With this latest trend, however, kids may be inspired to dress in black, dye their hair, start wearing eyeliner – or the sad male alternative, “guyliner” – and avoid the sun, leading to a crippling vitamin D deficiency.
They may also be inclined to mimic vampire behavior by speaking in antiquated Victorian English, drinking exorbitant amounts of Kool-Aid or other red beverages packed with high fructose corn syrup and listening to techno music. Although vampire fashion is unfortunate – and “guyliner” borderline criminal – the real problem with children idolizing these bloodsuckers is that vampires are just creepy jerks.
Some cultures view vampires as pale, gaunt creatures lurking in the shadows, but many Europeans believe they have a bloated, ruddy or purplish appearance, most likely from the combination of decomposition and recently imbibed blood. Imagine how much more authentic but less popular the “Twilight” movie would have been with a puffy, red-faced Meat Loaf as the male lead instead of the dreamy, hollow-cheeked Robert Pattinson. Be advised, parents: Using attractive actors to play these otherwise offensive creatures is just one of the despicable tactics the pro-vampire propaganda machine will use to try and recruit your innocent children.
What they don’t want your impressionable kids to know is that the life of a vampire is anything but glamorous. In addition to resembling a chubby, blushing Larry King, vampires are relegated to a mostly boring existence. Most waking hours are used to quiet the constant hunger pangs caused by a liquid diet, and any free time is likely to be during late-night and early-morning hours, so running errands to the bank and most other businesses is extremely difficult.
Most people also hate vampires. In the Aftican country of Malawi during late 2002 and early 2003, mobs stoned one person to death and injured four others, including Malawi Governor Eric Chiwaya, because they thought the government was working secretly with vampires.
Despite the recent influx of vampire-related content into the mainstream media and the youthful enthusiasm that accompanied it, vampirism still remains a dangerous threat to our nation’s children. Unchecked interest in vampires can lead to unfortunate summer wardrobe choices, rickets and diabetes. We can’t afford to lose our kids to these flashy, sexy, fly-by-night vampire impersonators who continue to fill their heads with untruths about the vampire lifestyle. Do your part and get your kids hooked on something safe like street racing or “sexting” instead.