Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Twilight and other fiction

I saw "New Moon" on Sunday with a bunch of girlfriends. That made for an interesting Sunday. I wasn't sure which to be more excited about: worship or the movie. I chose to be excited about both ... each in their own time.

I told the girls sitting beside me in the theater that they needed to be prepared for moaning. They laughed until they realized that I wasn't kidding. Yes, I'll admit it - this 50 year old woman thinks Robert Pattinson is HOT! Funny thing, though. I didn't pay that much attention to him when he played Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter.

Everyone is talking about the Twilight books and movies. Why are they such a big deal and why have vampires/werewolves become the new hot commodity in entertainment? I haven't got all the answers, I just have opinions. I suppose some will say that it's a sign of our times. Life is rough enough and getting lost in a fantasy is good for all of us.

The Pope decided to come out against the movie. That's fine. I always figure that fiction is what it is. There was an uproar over the Harry Potter books, The Golden Compass, DaVinci Code, etc., etc. There will be an uproar over books as long as people are reading and writing. Books have been banned, burned, destroyed, hidden - you name it.

Words have a tendency to offer freedom. When you are trapped in a situation, words and ideas can explode with brilliant clarity in your mind. Books offer creative ways to use those words.

When I grew up in small town Iowa, I didn't experience much more than white, middle class people. But, in the books I read, I was exposed to everything! Aliens, slaves, various cultures, extreme thought processes, different ways of life, new ways of thinking, history, dreams of the future. Books encouraged me to think beyond myself and to be open to ideas that were bigger and different than what I had ever considered.

Fiction encourages us to dream. I love seeing the way that science fiction becomes reality in our lives. Fiction helps us to see differences in others and relate those differences to the world in which we exist.

Do you remember the classic Star Trek episode, "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield?" Two groups of people are at war. The difference between them? On one, they are white on the left/black on the right, the other group is exactly opposite. It was such a blatant statement on racism at the time it was made.

Now, do you see the racism between vampires and werewolves in Twilight? Bella doesn't see it at all. She loves them both, but their traditions and fears of each other are so strong that until they find a common ground, they can barely tolerate each other.

This is the beauty of fiction. Real life problems, presented in a manner that is easy to read.

Jesus used parables - stories to illustrate the point He was trying to make.

I believe that we want to accept the differences in each other, but find it difficult to do so. Maybe it is peer pressure, maybe it is fear of the unknown, maybe we've simply been taught to hate by the people around us.

....or MAYBE tomorrow we will wake up and discover that vampires and werewolves do really exist, that Vulcans have landed on earth to ask us to join the intergalactic government, or that lizard-people or insect-people are here to munch on us for dinner.

...or MAYBE tomorrow we will wake up and discover that we are asked to interact with someone much different than ourselves with love, compassion and understanding.

1 comment:

Rebeccamh said...

You know what I think about the Twilight saga? I believe every woman wants someone to love her the way that Edward loves Bella. And everyone wants to get lost in a story. Why is it such a huge deal? Jon Acuff went off about the Twilight series today, I just don't understand why people can't take them as books. Preach on Diane!