Twilight: To Con or Not To Con, that is the question…

Ok, this is my last SDCC 2009 related blog, I swear (for now).

But I must speak on an important & controversial topic coming out of the Con: the panel for the new ‘Twilight’ sequel, ‘New Moon’. If you don’t know what ‘Twilight’ is then…I really don’t know how you found this blog from the rock you still live under. Love it or hate it, it’s kind of a big deal nowadays.

I know the first movie had a presence at Comic-Con last year, don’t know if the uproar was as big. In any case, the new film was a trending topic among nerds this time around. The big question: does Twilight and its legion of tweeny fans deserve to be at the largest gathering of social outcasts in the country?

Let’s ask Kevin Smith real quick and see what he says:

Good point Kevin. It was very moist indeed (see my Comic-Con roundup post to see the clips).

Do you agree? I think he makes some good points. Nerds are pretty quick to judge each other sometimes, especially if they don’t agree with your choice obsession.

Is “Twilight” something you would automatically label as nerdy? Not really. Is it mainstream enough that you can still like it but still be one of the cool kids? Probably. Is this debate going to change the course of human history? Lord, I hope not.

But if you think about it, Comic-Con has been going down this deep, dark path towards mainstream-ism. It’s no longer known as a “comic convention” but a place for big-time movie and television studios to hype up their next project. Only about 30-40% of the convention space is actually reserved for comic book-related booths. There are plenty of movies that have nothing to do with comics or traditional “nerd culture” that make an appearance. Is “Twilight” really changing the make up of Comic-Con enough for a justified uproar?

I heard many arguments against “Twilight”. Besides the fact some people don’t like it, people I spoke to argued that the Friday-only passes sold out so quick because of the “Twilight” fans, and worst, they didn’t intend on partaking in any other aspect of Comic-Con. The increasing problem of overcrowding was exacerbated by “Twilight” fans. It was also argued that they essentially blocked some of the traditional Comic-Con crowd from attending, the ones who would engage and get more out of the convention.

While there’s some valid concerns there, on top of staying critical of the continued commercialization and mainstream-ism (aka being a nerd is a ‘cool thing’) of nerd culture, I can’t help but feel like we’re doing the same thing mainstream/ popular culture has done to us. Let’s face it, nerds experience certain levels of oppression, mostly during our adolescence. Folks of color have faced oppression (on a larger and more violent scale of course), so we’ve fought to create our own safe spaces. Some call it being separatists, we call it processing our oppression away from our oppressor.

Comic-Con has served the same purpose for nerds. A safe space for nerds to feel comfortable with who they are, away from the peering eyes and judgments of mainstream society. But I understand why some of us get defensive when they see the “Twilight” fans and feel threatened. From my perception, the general make up of its fans are similar to those of boy bands (I’m sure there will be many to disagree). But we need to challenge ourselves as nerds and not react to our oppression with more exclusion. If we could win over these “Twilight” fans to our side, maybe they’ll treat us better. Maybe even help bridge the social ineptitude gap. MAYBE help make sure we never go to senior prom with a relative ever again!

We as nerds can’t be the victim all the time. We must feel secure in our identity enough where we don’t allow others to make us feel bad for being proud. If “Twilight” wants to come into our space and bring their fans in, we have to figure out how to use this to our advantage. Come on, we’re smart! Let’s convert some of these “Twilight” fans to our side. Let’s engage in debates about who would win, Edward or Anakin?

So I say I can’t judge someone for being obsessed with “Twilight” because I’m obsessed with Star Wars. They just have to be ready to defend their movie from the constant attacks and retorts from smart-ass nerds (like me). They must be open to debate and and discourse. You spent money to be at Comic-Con, walk around, experience something new, learn about our world! Importantly, I hope they at least treat us better as peers. Because we control the world. And we can kill their precious Edward anywhere, anytime. Don’t think we will =)

Annnnnnd I just thought this was funny. Yay funny!


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