I know what you’re thinking. Someone’s been sucking a little too hard and fast on the whiskey bottle. But I swear, no. Really. Just hear me out, for crying out loud!
I just finished Breaking Dawn , the fourth book in the Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga. Now I’ve written about this series before, back in February. Well, after reading the whole series, I no longer feel these books are sexy. No. Mind -boggling might be more appropriate. Despite my growing annoyance with the main character, Bella, whose need for self-sacrifice is bordering on pathological, and her sticky sweet romance with the insipid Edward, I found this series fascinating. Why? Because it is sooo popular. I keep wondering what everybody sees in it. Basically it is over a thousand pages of a love triangle between a normal human teenager, her werewolf best-friend and a hundred year old vampire.
WARNING-SPOILER: stop reading if you have not and are planning on reading the series. I will totally spoil it for you. So stop. Stop now.
The last book begins with Bella getting married and then, and only then having sex. Of course, as Bristol Palin can now attest, unprotected sex, apparently even with the undead, leads to the growth of people in your belly. And of course, Bella, the little martyr, must take the baby to term even if she faces certain death. Because, abortion, even when it is super strong undead spawn, was never an option.
I am not making this up. This is the series that was almost as popular as Harry Potter. Now, at the time that I was finishing the last book in the series, our venerable playmobile Prime Minister called an election. And I happened to be listening to that age old institution on the CBC, Cross Country Checkup. And all the young people that phoned in the show were proud Conservatives.
Pause. Of course, Cross country checkup is not an official poll. In fact, it is probably only a showcase for the more opiniated of us. But still, I was surprised. How could all these young people be so enamoured with Conservative ideology?
Then I thought about a presentation I attended a couple years back at a Library conference on the millenials, or the Y generation. Apparently, the Y generation is less cynical, less prone to bouts of irony, and yes, more conservative in their value system. Now, being the good librarian and doing a fast check on this Y generation thing, I see the profile might have changed slightly since I attended the conference (for one, according to wikipedia, they are more open to sexual relationships without romantic attachments than any other generation), but it still leaves us with this fascinating problem: What is going on in the collective psyche of our youth (and I shudder to think that I can say that without being one of them) when millions of teenagers find them obsessing over what amounts to a one dimensional, unrealistic, you are my knight in shining armour please, please make me undead just like you romance? What are they missing that this is appealing to them? Is it because their generation has experienced more family breakdown than any other? Why? Why?
The only thing I can think of is that the pendulum is swinging to the right and that that is being reflected in the literature of our youth.
Yes, people, I think I have my thesis topic ready if ever I am insane enough to go back to school.