23 December 2008

Post Script to The Vampires of Our Youth

After reading a number of comments on my previous piece on American Thinker, "The Vampires of Our Youth", I felt the need to add a bit of post script.

First, I must admit that I omitted some qualifiers in the piece which may have expounded my point of view more accurately. This was done purposefully, as the danger of being overly explicit can sometimes seriously hamper discussion. My goal in writing, then, was more to put forward a pair of propositions tied by a common threat - the idea that evil can be (and is) "lightly coated" in good, and sold as wholly good (or admirable or desirable) to the impressionable.

One way which I have qualified my argument is that I have not read a single page of the Twilight series. I probably won't; it's not my taste. Therefore, I rely on reports from students who have read the novels (and seen the movie). Because I am relying on synopses of the story from students, I cannot pull apart the novel through a systematic analysis. I therefore only focused on the nature of vampire characters in previous novels, most notably Bram Stoker's Dracula, but also Anne Rice's novels as well. Therefore, my commentary rests on the "fictional norm" (if there can be such a thing) that in works of fiction vampires are damned. And whereas the students with whom I have discussed Twilight with see the main vampire character as "good", I counter that the nature of the vampire character is one of evil. The point I attempt to make is that while it may be possible to "mask" our true nature, nevertheless that nature is still there. It makes for great discussion in the classroom (as I don't mind playing devil's advocate).

But my point in the piece was not to be overly didactic, and therefore I omitted, purposefully, any discussion of redemption or, as one commenter put it, "rehabilitation". As far as the piece is concerned, it's a topic for another time. By not broaching the idea of redemption, I think perhaps I made my point a bit harder to grasp, or caused some readers to turn away all together. For that, I regret the omission. I could have, and perhaps should have, made some reference to the subject.

What I wonder most about is that so many folks decided not to comment on the link between my point about the novel and popular culture's view on criminality. Have we as a culture - or have large portions of our culture - accepted infamy as a basis for popular fame? Do we not wonder what the glorification of real criminals does to the idea of criminal behavior in our youth? When the despicable becomes admirable because of the spotlight and excuses of "it's not his fault…he's had a hard life…he didn't know what he was doing…and he is famous (or he will be)", then we have a problem.


Jack N said...

We do have a problem..

For examples, barney frank and chris dodd on the mortgage mess.. Political crimes that make Richard Nixon look like an altar boy!!

harry reid on his Iraq war statements.. Treasonous to some..

Bob M. said...


Good to hear from you again!

Surely the underhanded mortgage game doesn't taint any of our politicals...eh? Dodd and Frank are in that one up to their ears, yet others (in other branches of government) are the scapegoats on that one.

Merry Christmas!