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Over at the Desperate News (ie, The Deseret News, the Mormon-owned newspaper in SLC) there is a thread where a handful of LDS folk are bemoaning the fact that Stephanie Meyers wrote vampire stories, when as a good little LDS woman, she should have been writing books for the LDS culture. One person is upset that the Desperate News referred to Stephanie as an LDS author instead of an author who happens to be LDS. Another person is upset that she wrote the books at all, because they "do not go along with LDS beliefs..." Pause to digest that biscuit. Yes, the most bland, sexless (at least until the kids get hitched) vampire books of all time, complete with shiny vampires who wait until after marriage to boink, can't possibly align themselves with LDS beliefs. The person who wrote that must have a stick up their ass the size of a California redwood.

Now, I have read bits and pieces of these books vicariously, because Kadath created a delicious pie of snark with them. (Like really sugary and fluffy things, you can only eat Twilight one or two bites at a time.) And I haven't bought them or checked them out from the library because I suspect I might not have the patience to deal with the main character BUT...I do NOT get the weird urge that some religious folk display when it comes to art and culture. There is a particular breed of religious person who can not ingest any art whatsoever without it being religio-branded. This is the sort of person that thinks GodTube is a great antidote to YouTube, feverishly tends to all the articles on Conservapaedia, plays video games about Noah and the Ark, reads Left Behind, and/or plays Settlers of Zarahemla instead of Settlers of Cataan. This is also the same sort of person who is constitutionally incapable of believing that anybody outside their immediate cultural bubble is capable of giving the world anything good and pure and lovely. If you write about a person who is good, they must be Mormon/Catholic/Baptist/born-again/etc. Because. They couldn't be anything else. Duh.

The other thing I don't get about this urge is: It's strategically unsound. If you REALLY believed that your way contained truth and light and deeper meaning for all people, wouldn't you want a version of it running around that sneakily fed that to EVERYBODY? Or alternately, wouldn't you expect that the truth-y bits would shine through, no matter what?

Of course, now that I'm considering the matter, how would you write a story about Mormon vampires? Vampires in the geneology library in Salt Lake? Vampires giving the tours at Temple Square? Vampires making rice crispy treats for Homemaking Night? Vampires leading the church choir? Oh, yeah, this is going to be an exciting story!


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 20th, 2008 07:11 am (UTC)
Art and religion have often gone hand in hand. No argument there. But where I, an atheist, can admire the Notre Dame cathedral or dig Giotto's symbolism or enjoy Handel's Messiah (despite the sheep), the poor soul who insists on a heaping helping of their particular belief-branding attached to everything, is missing out on a lot.
Nov. 20th, 2008 07:21 am (UTC)
Vampires on a Mission Calendar!
Nov. 20th, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC)
Vampires on a mission. Go ahead, invite us in.

Ahahaha. I hope someone writes that story.
Nov. 20th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
I can't read the words "vampires on a mission" without putting it to the tune of "Girlfriend in a Coma" in my head.
Nov. 20th, 2008 05:10 am (UTC)
Vampires eating funeral potatoes...from their own funerals!
Nov. 20th, 2008 07:07 am (UTC)
Nov. 20th, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC)
Vampires in the geneology library in Salt Lake? Vampires giving the tours at Temple Square? Vampires making rice crispy treats for Homemaking Night? Vampires leading the church choir? Oh, yeah, this is going to be an exciting story!

I would read that story. And I'm not even Mormon!
Nov. 20th, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
...So would I.
Nov. 20th, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC)
I finally bought Twilight several months ago, after I started getting on my own nerves about avoiding them ONLY because every LDS family member or friend was raving about them. So I drew myself a hot bath, lit some candles and got started. I got about fifty pages in before giving up. The setting seemed weirdly vague and unreal--same with the characters. It was boring with a twist of weirdness, like she'd written well enough to get me into the story, but once I was in, nothing of any interest was happening and the characters were entirely flat.

Anyway, my opinions of her writing aside, I hope she ignores the LDS critics and does her own thing. It's obviously working out very well for her!
Nov. 20th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC)
Oddly, I purchased this book on my way through the airport tuesday.. I will let you know!
Nov. 20th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC)
Have you seen Slactivist? He dissects the Left Behind books, and there is some discussion of Christian art, and art that strives to hard to be Christian that it forgets to be art. I can dig out the threads, if you want.
Nov. 20th, 2008 05:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah. I read the first couple of chapters of the Slactivist Left Behind Fridays to my boyfriend. I think we got as far as the copilot guy mysteriously being able to get a taxi home. They were pretty funny.
Nov. 20th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
You should leave a comment or two on that thread. I have a feeling that you could be a Louisville Slugger on the proverbial hornet's nest.
Nov. 21st, 2008 04:01 pm (UTC)
If you are preteen, someone who hasn't read a lot, or a love-starved sexually-repressed female, these books are great. For the rest of us... I read them so that I could know who the author was when she came to the symposium. *shrug* I neither love nor hate them. They're just pulp.

Now the image of Vampires making rice crispy treats in a chapel kitchen... *roflmao*
Nov. 21st, 2008 08:45 pm (UTC)
Mormon vampire novel
It's been written. Angel Falling Softly (http://www.eugenewoodbury.com/angel/index.html). And it's pretty damned good (you may read into that adjective what you wish).
Nov. 22nd, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
Re: Mormon vampire novel

Sheez. I hate replying to an anonymous, but I've read both books and Woodbury's is much, much better.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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