As unhappily frustrating and teeth grinding as this story is, it must be told. For an addiction, an obsession, is once again taking the world by storm. And it’s all for Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. People of all ages are reading willingly, and communities are laboring to destroy such an austerity.
But yet, something far worse is sweeping alongside this epidemic. The fans, who’ve reread the books multiple times, think and talk about them continuously, and stay up for the midnight book and movie releases, are in denial. For they can’t believe, they can’t even comprehend, that their obsession is anything like the Harry Potter mania.
I stumbled rather innocently upon this fact when I discovered my good friend’s computer background is a Twilight picture. More surprised than anything, I jokingly asked if she liked the book itself or just the good looking actor. Admitting the fine looking actor couldn’t be forgotten, my friend did say she was rather obsessed with the books.
“I read the first one in two days – I haven’t done that since See Spot Run. It was amazing. I’m even going to the midnight showing!” She was practically prancing as she spoke, waving her hands excitedly. “But those books – God, they’re just freakin’ amazing. A-ma-zing.”
“Sounds like an orgasm,” I sarcastically replied. “No, better yet, sounds like Harry Potter.” This stopped her floundering short, I must say. In fact, she now looked like a kid caught with her hand in the cookie jar.
“No, no, no, no!” She stamped her foot. “Twilight is way different, like way different!”
“Obviously, man, vampires and wizards – I’ve watched TV you know, I’ve noted the differences. I meant your obsession. It’s how I was with Potter, the rereading and midnight events. Plus they’ve got the world reading again – and people trying to stop it. So Potter and Twilight are pretty similar.”
She literally hesitated for a moment, staring me straight in the face. I could see that I’d caused a clog in the mechanism that fueled her obsessive desire. She wouldn’t, no she couldn’t, allow any aspect of her life to be related to Harry Potter. The absolute horror!
Then she finally sputtered out a phrase that would haunt me throughout my Twilight versus Harry Potter conversations to come. “There’re no vampires in Harry Potter.”
I imagine that was the epiphany which separated the obsession with Twilight from the obsession with Harry Potter. I unfortunately hadn’t had such an epiphany, which left me vulnerable to indignant attacks.
“You’re…you’re shitting me right? Right? ‘Cause that’s not the damn point!” I had the inane urge to yank my hair. “Obsession is the point, obsession!”
“Exactly, man, exactly.” She crossed her arms, looking smug and triumphant. “There’re no vampires in Harry Potter.
”Spastically curling and uncurling my fingers into a fist, I had to turn away. “I… I wish the goblins would take you away, right now!”
Though the end was unsuccessful and immature, my innocent turned aggravating conversation wasn’t to be forgotten. It was like a particularly shrew mother or wife had gotten into my head and decided to nag and nag and nag over vampire and wizard obsessions. And no matter how much I tried to think on issues that matter like the failing economy, the new president-elect, or the upcoming holidays, nothing overpowered the nag.
And so the amazingly frustrating conversation had to continue, it had to reach a conclusion. Unable to talk to my friend, because she was still angry I had “wished” her away, I was forced to confront strangers.
Fortunately, Twilight fans are like Harry Potter fans and are always willing to talk about the books. A good bit of eavesdropping and polite smiles later, I found myself grinding my teeth and pulling my hair.
“Obsession is obsession! Star Wars fans obsess just like Star Trek fans do! Why is Twilight any different than Harry Potter?” I felt the desire to hit my head like Homer Simpson.
“Because,” an unnaturally tall woman — probably six foot four — declared. “We like Twilight, not Harry Potter.” Maybe I should take up drinking.
“I’m not talking plots here.” I am beating a dead horse though. “I mean obsession. You’ve reread the books, and Potter fans do too. You go to midnight movie and book releases, Potter fans do too. Potter causes millions to read, so does Twilight.” I sucked down a deep breath. “The authors are both nuts. Meyer’s had a dream and Rowling starting writing on nappies!”
“Yeah, yeah, but,” the Amazon woman said in with a sigh. And I knew, just knew, what was coming next. “There are no vampires in Harry Potter.”
What, what, was so terrible about Harry Potter that fans of Twilight couldn’t be associated in any way with the books? Harry’s just a boy with a wand! Edward’s just a boy with sharp teeth! People are reading and rereading, willingly, and others are stopping that with insane bands. How are they not the same?
“I don’t like little boys!” Amazon woman yelled with her fingers in her ears. I stopped screaming.
Oh… my… God.
“No, no, not like that!” Her eyes were wide and horrified. “Kids are great, well, I mean I like ‘em… not like like them… oh shit, I sound like a pedophile—”
I felt like crying and laughing. “I get it, man. You don’t like Harry Potter, ‘cause it’s for kids.” Yeah, I get it now. The inability to relate, the cry for difference, it was all denial. Denial!
Why hadn’t I realized that before? There wasn’t a difference and they, the fans, knew it. They just didn’t want to be associated with an eleven-year-old bespectacled boy. Sure, Harry grew up and the story grew darker, but it started as a kid’s book and to them it would always be a kid’s book.
Twilight is full of romance and supernatural drama, the sort that sends chills up your spine. Harry Potter is full of action and magic, from a child’s point of view. So in a way it was wrong to relate the two obsessions.
But really, it wasn’t. The facts still stand strong; the mania surrounding both books are the same. People are reading again, people are attempting to stop that, there are midnight releases, people dressing up, and the fans can’t stop talking.
So while reaching this revelation was grueling and frustrating, it was worth it. For the newest literary obsession of the world is Twilight and it’s quite reminiscent of the Harry Potter mania – no matter what the fans believe or say.Powered by Sidelines