Not to go too far off on a tangent, but has anyone read this new essay by Michael D. O'Brien decrying the Twilight series? I love Mr. O'Brien's novels, but his work as a self-styled gatekeeper of morality in adolescent fiction is unsettling to me. The essay is long -- more than half is taken up with a historical survey of vampire legend and literature -- and he begins his argument about halfway down. His argument is based on his distaste for the transmutation of symbols, in this case, that of the vampire, who in legend and lore is the evil undead, but who, in the figures of Edward and his family, is moral and possessed of a conscience and perhaps even an immortal soul. According to O'Brien, this turning of the historical tradition on its head is opening the door to evil through moral relativism.
Now, here's the thing: I think he may be quite right. But my problem with his argument is the "evidence" he uses to support it, particularly some dreams reported by author Stephanie Meyers on her website. He suggests that her dreams may in fact be apparitions of evil spirits. Well, maybe they could; any dream could. But I guess I just feel insulted by the idea of suggesting that someone's dreams, as self-reported on her promotional website, may or may not be the work of the devil, and further insulted that a self-appointed Cassandra about the destruction of our youth by Harry Potter and his henchmen would use an author's promotional web content as any kind of evidence of anything at all. Perhaps I'm being overly sensitive because I'm a researcher, or perhaps it's because I've been accused myself on my blog of having dreams inspired by the devil. Anyhow, the Twilight books are crap and may even be dangerous, but there has to be a more cogent way to say so. And I don't think suggesting that they are a catalyst for the decline of Western culture is that way.
Life in Lent
1 day ago