Monday, July 18, 2011

Stephen King HATES Stephanie Meyer!

. . . Or DOES he?

No, obviously he does not.

But all over the place I'm seeing this quote:

"Harry Potter is about doing what's right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend."
-Stephen King

Will someone, ANYone, pretty, pretty please with sugar on top, tell me WHERE the effing-heck Stephen King actually SAID this?!

Because I can't find it. 

There seems to be quite a few references to Andrew Futral having said this. Andrew Futral is the front man for an indie orchestral band named The Age of Rockets.

Either way, whether Stephen King said it, or Andrew Futral said it, or even if Stephanie Meyer or J.K. Rowling or Lord Voldemort said it, the fact that no one is quite certain where it is coming from means we ought not be Tweeting that Stephen King said it.

Spreading it like a scorching new STD is irresponsible at best.

Consider the following 2 reasons:

1. No one seems to know if Stephen King ACTUALLY said this. We must therefore assume that he DID NOT. That is the responsible, journalistically integrity-having thing to do.

2. Twilight is about a lot more than "how important it is to have a boyfriend." Anyone who has read the books (and I have) knows this to be true. Twilight is about being willing to die for the one you love. As my wife astutely pointed out, it is about sacrifice. The third paragraph on page 1 of "Twilight" makes this clear:

"Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of someone else, someone I loved. Noble, even. That ought to count for something."

Further, Twilight is about being SOOOOO madly in love with someone that you'd do ANYthing to be with them, GIVE anything to be with them, even if it involves some element of risk or is not approved of by those around you (cf Jacob, and Bella's absentee-introvert-but-generally-well-meaning dad). 

The power of the attraction between Bella and Edward is THE driving force of the entire series. We desperately WANT these people to be together. We KNOW they simply MUST be together. But, tragically, there are obstacles. This is the stuff of all great Romance.

I initially began reading TWILIGHT mostly as market research. I am a writer and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I quickly came to adore both Bella and Edward and was moved by their Love. This, I suspect, is what inspired the millions of people around the globe with whom these books have so resonated.

If Stephanie Meyer and her books were so vapid as the alleged Stephen King-quote suggests, they would never have become as successful as they have; they would not have struck such a core with readers; they perhaps would never have been published at all.

For in the end, it is about Love. Love conquers all. As it should.

Or it could simply be that this is all part of the larger grand conspiracy by the Illuminati, because Stephanie Meyer and Stephen King begin with the same first five letters. 

And for funzies, here's a link to The Age of Rockets' site with free music samples. Check 'em out. I did. They're talented.

This afternoon, while writing this, I emailed Andrew Frutal, the aforementioned front man for The Age of Rockets, to inquire about this quote. I decided to go straight to the alleged source of the quote in question.

Andrew was kind enough to respond with the following from June 2009:

I am currently reading Twilight because I don’t value my free time or respect my brain.
So far it’s pretty terrible.
Harry Potter is all about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity …. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.
i’m sure it is important but this book was clearly written by a sad fat goth girl shoveling nutter butters into her throat while writing a story …
… so, like, i move to a new school *chomp chomp* and all the boys there think i am really interesting but really i am awkward but they like that! *chomp chomp* and there is this really cute boy but he is a vampire but he doesn’t eat people and he is nice and also he can go outside during the day time except his skin sparkles instead of burns and then also there is this vaguely ethic boy who likes me too *chomp chomp* and he is a werewolf but he is also not scary. also in this book i only weigh 110 lbs. *chomp chomp cry cry*
The majority of this rant is lifted from a Robin Browne rant on the subject .. FYI

I must say, I laughed my ASS off while I read this. I don't necessarily AGREE, but that's fine; Andrew is of course 100% entitled to his opinion.

It doesn't change my opinion of the TWILIGHT saga, nor of Stephanie Meyer who, for the record does not, to me, appear to be Goth, though she may well have a proclivity for Nutter Butters, because who doesn't love little peanut-shaped, peanut-butter-flavored Oreos? I can eat half a package and drink half a gallon of milk in one sitting.

So if you love TWILIGHT, great; if you don't, that's cool, too.

If you love HARRY POTTER, great; if you don't, no big deal.

If you love or hate them both or couldn't possibly be more ambivalent, that's all right as well. There is no need to begrudge others their interests and passions, just as they ought not begrudge you yours.

But in the future, let us consider our words carefully before we send them out into cyberspace, a place where there are little to no repercussions for supposedly-true speech, where it's all-too-easy to Tweet (or Re-Tweet!) that which is not correct in its assertions and attributions. It's only through a collective effort at maintaining truth that the Internet can be not only a wonderful, miraculous source of information and entertainment, but also of integrity. Surely one of the most amazing inventions in the history of mankind deserves such.

Here is the link Andrew sent me to his original actual post:

And for the record, I still have no idea how this quote came to be attributed to Stephen King.


  1. OK, now I'm definitely going over to Age of Rockets to check them out. Andrew Frutal may be my newest snarkiness hero (second to you, Ryan, of course)!

  2. Thanks for your grounded comments. It's too easy to be swept up by unfounded rumours, and it's good to be pulled back to reason.

  3. I (Ryan)am posting this on behalf of @Tuesdays_Girl:

    @RyanLSchneider Thank you for directing me to this, it was interesting. I cannot comment on your blog for some reason so here it is. Now I for one have to confess that I love both Harry Potter and Twilight, they are completely different and I am not sure when they are always compared and contrasted so furiously as if a bit like Potter and Voldemort only one can live! Although Twilight is predominately about true and powerful love I also feel it is about acceptance and a feeling of belonging, remember Bella feels that she is not part of the world she lives and feels out of sync. She even tells Edward that becoming like him is not all about him. I have a personal connection to the books as I read them during a very difficult time in my life and I shall continue to read them. As you have rightly said let people love what they want, it is their choice.

    -Laura Pickerill

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  5. Hi Ryan, I'm James. Personally, I despise Twilight and its author, but that's not the purpose of my comment. I'd seen the comment you mentioned many months ago. Having read a couple interviews of Stephen King and one or two of his books, it just didn't seem like something he'd say. So I dug in like a fat kid with a box of twinkies.

    The remark you are referring to became attributed to Stephen King because he did at one point make remarks in an interview something to the effect that he didn't think Stephanie Meyer's work was very good.. or something like that. Somewhere along the line, Andrew Futral's comment surfaced without his name, and it was assumed (erroneously) that it MUST have come from Stephen King, because he had previously spoken less than favorably about her work. I, too, embarked on a search to find where this mysterious quote came from, and discovered the same link that you posted in your blog.