The Twilight Factor
FOX Cable news show, The O’Reilly Factor, aired a segment posing the question, “Is there a downside to marketing vampires and vampirism to teenagers?” Radio show host, Laura Ingram filled in for Bill O’Reilly and was joined via satellite by famed vampire author, Anne Rice.
Ingram begins the segment suggesting a new “vampire chic” as a result of phenom books, movies and shows such as Twilight and True Blood. Pointing out the amazing box office success of Twilight, she noted the popularity specifically with teens and wonders whether Twilight Saga vampire fantasy books and movies might be “blurring the lines” as to what’s acceptable, what’s good, what’s evil?
Could Twilight possibly be confusing perception of good and evil for millions of teens? Anne Rice doesn’t seem to think so. Speaking from her own personal experience with teen response to her books, Rice tells Ingram, “I really do think the teenagers understand that this is a fantasy. I mean, the emails they send me indicate that they do.” Through running clips of the movie Twilight and the popular HBO series True Blood, she goes on to explain, “And of course everything depends on the content of the book and the content of the movie, and there is a blurring of the line here… there is a question about that, but I really do think that we go to books and we go to movies to fantasize and we visit there and then we go home.”
While both women engaged in what was an interesting conversation, it was evident that Rice was not about to place judgment on another’s vampire work and it was apparent that Ingram has not read The Twilight Saga, or at least not enough to have realized that just because Twilight has vampires doesn’t mean it can be thrown into the traditional category of grim vampire stories or the new "vampire chic."
Rice discussed how her books were somewhat affected by where she was personally in her life. In the past she wanted to write about the dark and lonely world of being a vampire but she says she wrote those and then “it was over for me.” She said, “I changed and moved on to a new spiritual territory.”
Rice has recently rediscovered and renewed her dedication to her Roman Catholic faith and tells Ingram she even made a promise to write for God and Him only. Ending the segment Ingram remarks, “Maybe the authors of Twilight and True Blood and all those others, new ‘vampire chic’ endeavors… I mean, who knows? … maybe down the road they’ll actually come to the same conclusion. Redemption. Grace. We’re all certainly seeking it.”
We certainly are. In fact, Twilight author Stephenie Meyer came to that conclusion long before she ever thought she'd write a book, which is evident in the content of her books. Perhaps Laura Ingram might want to meet a few vampires who have dedicated their own eternal lives to the search for redemption and grace. A few vampires who have learned, “… just because we’ve been dealt a certain hand… it doesn’t mean that we can’t choose to rise above – to conquer the boundaries of a destiny that none of us wanted.” (Twilight, pg. 307) Fictional vampires that actually challenge the mind of the reader (whatever the age) to see the very clear distinct line between good and evil in our non-fictional world.
Perhaps the Twilight fans should introduce Laura Ingram to a good family who goes by the name “Cullen.”
- For more on this segment go to www.billoreilly.com
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