You know what, this may come as a surprise to some of you (and to others it will be the farthest thing from it) but I have been known from time to time to be something of a bitter old curmudgeon, grumpy beyond my years (although my years are catching up). And so I fully understand that some of you will accuse me of sour grapes when I continue the theme of Mother's Day here at the Vault by commenting on this particular fluff piece that annoyed the living crap out of me.
I think it's safe to say that my reaction to you as a human being can be decided by whether you find this story heart-warming or stomach-churning. I happen to be among the latter. The piece I'm referring to is a Mother's Day-themed feature that ran today in that journalistic giant, Farmington, New Mexico's Daily Times. Entitled, "Twilight Moms: Mothers' relationships grow through popular book" (do you feel the bile churning yet?), it's all about how 30-something-year-old moms from across this fine nation of ours have been brought together by Stephenie Meyer's safe and saccharine-sweet series of "vampire" novels. And how their relationships with their children have been strengthened by it.
One Lisa Hansen, a 36-year-old mother of two, gushes about creating the website Twilight Moms as a way of expressing her love for a book written for 12-year-old girls. She waxes rhapsodic about starting up her website as a way for similarly minded individuals to commune with one another in their obsession. It now has over 29,000 members--a fact which depresses, but doesn't surprise me.
The mothers soon began recommending the books to their daughters (and in some mind-boggling instances, their sons), thus passing along the mediocrity to the next generation.
"It's made us so much closer," said one of the moms. "We always had a great relationship, but now every night is a slumber party."
"We're totally normal people in the real world," says Hansen. "This web site has become a platform for regular wholesome human beings."
And I guess that's what sums up my revulsion in a nutshell. Look, don't get me wrong, I'm all for families getting closer together, and I'm sure part of this is just me in full-on "Bitch Pleeeeeeze" sarcastic blogger mode, but I just find it all but impossible to read this story without cringing. I think it's because these people are nothing less than infidels. Imposters sullying the good name of my favorite genre of film/literature. These are not horror fans. These are "regular, wholesome human beings." These are people who would be ashamed to be horror fans, and so are drawn to this syrupy saga because it is clean and acceptable.
Let's get something straight here. Horror is not created for "regular, wholesome people". It's created for the subversives in our culture; for the people with the slightly off-kilter perception of reality; the people who root for the bad guy; the people whose favorite way of coping with life's random cruelty is gallow's humor. In short, horror is the domain of the misfits, and we're damn proud of it.
The love of horror can most certainly be an excellent way for parents and kids to bond. But please folks, have some respect for yourself, and your kids. Don't expose them to this tripe. I'm a 34-year-old father of two, and I love bonding with my kids, but you know what? I do it by showing them Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein. I do it by dressing them up as zombies for Halloween, and teaching them to imitate all the classic Universal monsters to a T. I do it by reading vampire stories to them before they go to bed at night, and listening to them whispering and giggling in excitement after I've gone downstairs.
My kids bought me Fido for Christmas last year. They've sat through Night of the Living Dead with me. To some this might make me a bad parent, but not in my estimation. You know what gives me that kind of confidence? The knowledge that I was raised the exact same way.
Much like the parents and kids in the aforementioned feature story, I also bonded with my mom through a common love. Only it was for The Exorcist and The Return of the Living Dead. It was for the novels of Anne Rice and Stephen King. My parents absolutely loved horror and still do, and I'm proud to say that I'm the fanboy I am today because of them. And I'm also quite sure I would've pulled an "Irreconcilible Differences" on them if they had chosen instead to confine me to safe, unpalatable pablum that only masquerades as horror.
So excuse me if I can't relate to these soccer moms and their spawn, folks I'm sure wouldn't go near the likes of Cannibal Holcaust, Bloodsucking Freaks or I Spit on Your Grave with a ten-foot Swiffer. Perhaps I am overreacting--in fact I'm almost positive that I am--but you'll have to forgive my overzealousness. There comes a time when true horror fans need to take a stand. And I think this precious little article just kind of pushed me over the edge today.
Ah... that feels better. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to watch The Satanic Rites of Dracula with my mom and son.
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For more Mother's Day horror goodness, and to read about another mom who raised her kid right, proceed directly to Day of the Woman for BJ-C's tribute to her horrorific momma...