UnNews:I'm a Twihard. Let me explain.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Richard Smith UNPR writer.png

Hi, my name is Richard Smith, and I'm a Twihard.

But I'm not like those other Twihards out there – I'm a cool Twihard.

I've certainly never fantasized about seeing Robert Pattinson or Taylor Lautner shirtless. Okay, maybe I have, but don't read into it. I'm happily married. To Sam. A woman. I'm still cool, though.

(I do sing "Eyes on Fire" by Blue Foundation off-key in the shower every morning. I'm still cool, though.)

I have absolutely zero interest in attending Brigham Young University, as Stephenie Meyer did. Or conforming to any sort of Mormon lifestyle dictated by Jello-eating, fry-sauce-eating, coffee-hating, chocolate-hating weirdo white people with 400 children (and a crop in the field) and one-tenth as many wives who never curse. What fresh Outer Limits hell might that turn out to be? There aren't a whole lot of cool Mormons, but I'd certainly nominate Wilford Brimley. Donny Osmond gets a pass for Mulan.

I would never say I'm Team Edward or Team Jacob or Team Aro or Team Dracula 2 or Team Billy's Mustache or Team Anybody - yech!

Let's get a few things out of the way. My favorite of the Twilights so far is New Moon, and even then I'll be honest and say that the books were better. There was a great scene in New Moon, the novel, where Billy explains to Edward how Bella fell into a deep depression when he and the Cullens left. The film could have used that emotional heft instead of being a WB/CW teen soap on the big screen.

And I thought Eclipse was a bit redundant, sort of the Halloween 5 of the bunch so far. It's just The Cullens and the Blacks fighting - again - as if they're the Hatfields and the McCoys. Or cats and dogs. Or Democrats and Republicans. I sometimes forget Eclipse even exists.

Fandom is a weird thing, and Twihards get picked on like the kid who wet his pants in front of the whole school. It's also intriguing to observe the ever-morphing totem pole of fandom within pop culture, and what's considered cool to obsess over and what's not. For example, I don't get what's so funny about The Office. I work in one, and it's a drag. (Don't tell my boss I said that!) Honestly, Office Space tackled the subject much better. (I'm still cool, though.) Power Rangers fans, like Twihards, are also the butt of many jokes. And don't get me started on Disney Adults. Meanwhile, Marvel has taken over the world... and this is just Phase One.

This past week made it all too clear how not all fandoms are treated equally, thanks to some nasty comments all over Myspace and Facebook. If you're not familiar with Facebook, it's kind of like Myspace, except not as cool, in my opinion. You can't customize your profile and they force you to use your real name. And you have to be a real person. Yeah, I know, it sucks. So much for parody accounts. Myspace is much better and I hope it outlasts its competitors. This particular Facebook post about a couple who dressed up as glittery vampires for their wedding and spent all their money on glitter and makeup instead of refreshments for guests has received condemnation on par with Ford pardoning Nixon. Myspace posts like "We need to study the minds of Twihards like we do serial killers" and "I've said it once, I'll say it now, and I'll say it 100 more times. Twihards are the absolute worst people. They're worse than Republicans!"

Way harsh, TwilightIsForSadBitches234!

Curiously, my religious studies professor has weighed in on this matter. "Don't pathologize these people," he writes. "To them this is like religion, except instead of worshipping hypothetical gods, they worship hypothetical vampires who are actually human-size fairies or some damn thing! Everyone knows vampires don't sparkle, and if they went out in the sun, they'd die." Facebook went into overdrive, mobbing this professor's infantilizing thread as if they were the Volturi descending upon Bella and the Cullens. The responses were platinum.

By the time you read this, I will be first in line to see Breaking Dawn - Part 2 at long last. P.S. Congratulations to President Obama on getting re-elected.

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