Site Philosophy

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Keeper of the Scepter of Doom
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 5:20 pm

Site Philosophy

Post by Pel »

This particular site is owned by two people who are fans of all of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga books. Does that mean we like every part? No, it doesn't. We don't mind respectful discussion and disagreement; however, we are not looking for these forums to become a hotbed of contention either. These forums are now, and have always been intended to be a place where people who in general like all the books of the Twilight Saga can gather without having to deal with things such as: claims that Jacob is a date rapist, Bella is a doormat, and Edward is a wife beater.

Does this mean that everyone should think this way? Absolutely not! This site's rules are the reflection of the personal preferences of those who run this site who are not looking for lots of negativity. As recently reported by Nightline, Today, and other media outlets, there are 1,000's of Twilight sites out there. If you find these rules too restrictive, we understand. No hard feelings if you want to go elsewhere. To take it to an extreme, the sites that bash Twilight and bash us personally have as much right to existence in their bashing and deriding all things Twilight as we do in our view. Where the line is crossed is if we were to troll them or hack them to force our opinion on them in their privately held space or vice versa.

The following was originally posted on the original forums on November 8, 2007. You can see it, and the generally positive way it was received here when it was first implemented here. If anything it was more restrictive than the much maligned Breaking Dawn update. These remain our rules today along with a Breaking Dawn update posted further below:

Once upon a time Alphie, Imogen, and Pel started a website just for fun and were amazed that 5 months later 500 people had come to hang out, to post, and to relish in Twilight and the upcoming New Moon. Flash-forward to events within the next calendar year: major influxes of membership causing the bandwith to be blown at least three times, membership over 10,000 and climbing, PM's and emails go from 3 a day to 3 an hour and hundreds in a week.

What we are basically saying here, is that our small, little, intimate website grew beyond what we had ever imagined was possible in the course of a year. Sometimes what works on a site of 500 doesn't work on a site of 5,000. When we had 500 people, it was a lot easier for people to get a flavor of the site without having to post lots of posting regulations. Our original rules didn't even mention netspeak, or set banner heights because we never imagined that those things couldn't be dealt with one-on-one.

Since March 28, 2006 (a mere 20 months ago ) we've had a variety of changes. Some of these changes include: incorporating a language filter, deleting a games forum, overhauling the Hollywood Hideout twice and then totally closing it down and reinventing it, having mods be the only ones who can start discussions topics--the list goes on. With each of these changes we have undoubtedly lost membership, kept others from leaving, and for others still these changes were neither here nor there.

We are now faced with a realization that the fandom is so large that the Lexicon just can't be everything for everybody. Whereas, we are happy that people like coming here to play and discuss what is our favorite obsession, but at a certain point there is a vision that the admins have regarding the intention, vision, and direction of the books (one that is also shared by our moderators) that we are comfortable with. We are not saying that you can't have an alternate opinion, impression, gut feeling. What we are saying is that as a matter of personal preference of the administrators of this site, we are a site that supports what we consider to be basic authorial intent.

How do we decide what basic authorial intent is? Check out our personal correspondence, listen to Q&A's from various signings, look at posts actually made by the author on this site. And, yes, this is our biased, preferential view of where we think the books are going based on those factors and to a certain extent our own gut instincts.

Is the counterargument the above "you're trying to tell us what we should think", "you're limiting what we can feel", "you're limiting free speech", "you're not allowing for individual impression". The answer is what your reaction/feelings/impressions are remain your own. If we have any control on that, then we missed the omnipotence memo. However, what we do control is our personal site content, direction, and vision. As this is a privately owned site, with no membership fee, we retain that right.

If you find this unsatisfying and you want something else, the more power to you. There are a ton of Twilight websites out there have different focuses. There is room for even more particularly character focused ones.

So here it is folks, our "manifesto" of sorts, inspired by The Sugar Quill's affirmations ( a Harry Potter fan site with similar issues ). Effective immediately, the items below are a given, they are non-debatable, they are not up for discussion on this site, period.

Bella is not a slut, a tease, a doormat, wimp, or a Mary Sue. She is a teenager who was raised by two loving, yet dysfunctional parents. She is intelligent, she stands up for what she wants when it is really important to her, she is generally non-confrontational unless she is backed into a corner. Like many normal women, she found herself caught between two loves before she fully realized what was happening. She loves both Edward and Jacob, but in different ways, and she sincerely cares what happens to each of them. If despite all this you think Bella is a horrible teenage role-model and she doesn't have a place in current YA fiction, you are on the wrong website.

Jacob is not a daterapist, a potential wife-beater, or a sadist. He truly loves Bella and is convinced that she is going to end up as a vampire appetizer or worse. He did not attempt date rape. He kissed Bella having been on the receiving end of mixed signals, and stopped once she made it clear she was not pleased. He made a mistake, he was sorry, he and Bella have both moved on. He is not likely to make this mistake in the future with Bella or any other girl for that matter. Jacob has good reasons for disliking vampires and wishing that Bella would hang on to her humanity. If despite all this you see Jacob's every action as horrible and think that he ought to drown whilst cliff diving, you are on the wrong website.

Edward is not a misogynist, a chauvinist pig, or a potential wife-beater (ironic how much he and Jacob have in common). He truly loves Bella and is perpetually stunned that she doesn't think he is a monster. He has moments of being a control-freak, but this is because he is convinced that she will lose her life at the hands of an out-of-control werewolf or the Volturi. He has good reasons for these fears and would do anything, including laying down his own life to protect her. If the fact that Edward is a bit of a control freak totally turns you off to the point that his every action is called into question, you are on the wrong website.

Jacob and Edward (as well as their respective werewolf and vampire communities) have good reasons for distrusting each other. At the same time, they don't give each other enough credit until the end of Eclipse. We hope this newfound truce continues, although we admit it is very painful for Jacob given his feelings for Bella.

Charlie and Renee are in no danger of winning the Parent of the Year Award, but they both love their daughter. They have her best interests at heart even if they both at times could stand to grow up a bit themselves.

Emmett is big and strong. He is from rural America. He has a happy-go-lucky personality, and is brutally honest in a good-natured way. None of the above makes him stupid. He gets straight A's and has been to college several times.

Rosalie is vain and a bit arrogant as well as being beautiful. She likes to dress in high fashion and be admired. She is not however a slut prone to wearing trashy clothing.

Alice sees things, but she can't always see everything and is fallible. She loves Bella as a sister, not as just a life-sized, dress-up doll.

Carlisle does not just randomly bite people. He does not have a God complex. If he did, he'd have taken on Victoria by biting the entire town of Forks instead of negotiating with werewolves.

Jasper has the most trouble controlling his thirst. This does not mean that he lives for the day when he will find Bella alone and eat her as a midday snack.

Esme is a cool stay-at-home mom. If you think that being a mother is not real work, or that she's less of a modern woman because she chooses to do this, then you need to leave the website before Alphie or Pel dismembers you faster than you can say Laurent.

There are certain non-disputable romantic relationships (AKA ships) that this site has up for discussion as to their dynamics. Their existence is not up for discussion. We will be steering clear of discussions along the lines of "What if Edward had fallen for Esme instead?" or "What if Edward and Jacob had the hots for each other?" Some of these relationships are as follows: Edward/Bella, Jacob/Bella (for a time in Eclipse and now that love is still held by Jacob but is unrequited.) Jasper/Alice, Emmett/Rosalie, Carlisle/Esme, Sam/Emily and any other imprinted couple where the imprintee reciprocates the imprinter's romantic feelings. Please notice that we are giving Bella/Jacob fans their fair shake, but we stand firmly behind Bella's choice to be with Edward at the end of Eclipse.

Lastly, does this all mean that we want only people who love every aspect of Twilight 100% to be here? No. (Although certainly you are entitled to think whatever you want.)

Pel freely admits that Emmett doesn't really appeal to her, she feels that there are moments that Alice reminds her of the Energizer Bunny and needs a time out, and that she wasn't that into the Eclipse chapter featuring the werewolf history. However, you won't find Pel on the Emmett threads trying to convince others that they shouldn't waste their time exploring his character. Next you won't find her on Alice visions threads talking about how Alice is really just manipulating Edward and Bella to suit her own ends with her visions. Lastly, Pel won't be visiting the Legends thread and asserting everyone knows that if Stephenie just had a better editor at her disposal that chapter would have been at least 2,000 words shorter.

Alphie would make a list similar to Pel's, but is too worried that she will spoil something in the process. She can admit to being personally biased that Eclipse is the best book in the series and nearly perfect in every way, but has willingly allowed conversations of flaws and near hatred on the site for a while now simply to accommodate different opinions.

So, after what is probably far more than anyone wanted to read, that's where we stand. In light of the above there are certain threads that are now locked, and some threads that will be redirected. If that causes anyone to say "this site is not for me", that's a price we are willing to pay. Best wishes on finding a place where you will be satisfied.

Alphie, Pel and the rest of the admin and mod team.

The following is the Breaking Dawn addendum to the above. It is in effect immediately.

Last fall we wrote a site manifesto stating where we envisioned the discussion on this site going, and defining what kind of group we were, and where we see this site heading. Now that we have had a week to digest Breaking Dawn, here’s where we stand.

Is Breaking Dawn the most perfect book ever written, or are any of the Twilight Saga Books the most perfect books of all time? It’s a matter of subjective opinion. Nonetheless, here is goes:

1. The Twilight Saga is comprised of four books. It is not a trilogy. You may have wished that the books stopped at three, but they didn’t, and this site is a fan site for all the books in the Twilight Saga. We firmly stand by the canon as established in all four books. It all really happened. If you want to pretend Breaking Dawn never happened, that’s fine, but on this website there are no banners, avatars, sigs to that effect, and discussion acknowledges and concedes that all events contained in the four-volume series exist. Denial of canon has no place on this website.

2. Bella is not to be referenced as a Mary-Sue, nor are any of the other characters in the series. If you think that, you are on the wrong website. There is no character bashing on this site. Stating “Alice’s visions and perkiness really annoy me.” Isn’t character bashing. Stating, “pleez let’s get over failcob, the demon spawn, and the sperminator.” is character bashing. If you think something is unrealistic than articulate that, don’t just cop-out on the Mary-Sue moniker.

3. Stephenie Meyer’s writing nor the writing of any other professionally published author mentioned in passing on this site, is to be compared to bad fanfiction, ever. For the simple reason that by-in-large it’s become the all purpose “I don’t like this so it’s obviously trash” co-op comment. It’s often accompanied by the also ridiculously overused epicfail. The only thing that is epicfail is actually comparing everything to bad fanfiction and using a gamer term instead of actually taking the time to articulate specific reasons why something displeases you. Surely if someone is capable of reading hundreds of pages they can come up with something better than epicfail fanfiction.

4. Vampire males are fertile, and female vampires are not. Stephenie evaded the question in PC number one. Pel personally refers to the word “most” as in “most bodily fluids are replaced by venom”, as “the most important 4-letter word in an interview, and alternatively “the adjective that rocked the fandom”. To this website’s satisfaction it explains how Bella is able to conceive. It is not debatable that it happened and was explained. We are open to discussion on the particulars as to how the actual process of insemination happens, but debating that it can’t happen, or stating that the author lied is not tolerated here.

5. Stephenie Meyer is a member of the LDS, aka the Mormon, church. One of the many values that the church exposes is the value of family. There is nothing wrong with valuing children. Stephenie is not trying to ram LDS values down anyone’s throat. If she were, her characters wouldn’t swear, wear tank tops, have pre-marital sex (alluded to Leah/Sam in Breaking Dawn and multiple people in the Host), or self medicate with cough syrup. Hell, they wouldn’t even be vampires!! Like every author, parts of her life influence her writing, and a part of her life is her religion. C.S. Lewis Church of Ireland, and Tolkein’s Catholic values are evident in their work. Phillip Pullman’s atheism is evident in his. By no means are they trying to indoctrinate you any more than Stephenie is. Simply when religion or the lack thereof is a significant part of someone’s life it will affect their work, and that is not per say a bad thing. It gives you something to look at and think about. Accept it or reject it as is your choice.

6. Jacob Black continues to be a great character. He is not a pedophile. Stephenie did not always intend for a Bella/Jacob ending only to change her mind at the end. Jacob’s story was planned to play out the way it did.

7. If every time you post it is going to start with feelings along the lines of “it would have been better if…”. “I’m so disappointed that…”, “this was such a letdown because…” it takes the fun out of the boards. Sure there are debatable issues, and no you don’t have to like everything, but no one likes someone who is constantly the party pooper, or who is constantly the devil’s advocate. It sucks the fun out of a fansite. Note the operative word here is “constantly”.

8. You as a thinking human being can decide what you want to take away from any novel. We have a certain vision as a particular fansite, owned by particular people why we like all of these books. We may not like every single part, but overall we like them. We are by no means stating every website should do what we have chosen to do. We would never dream of telling another website how to run their message boards. There are plenty of places where almost anything goes, there are other more strict websites, and plenty in between. This is simply a matter of what works for us. As a privately owned website with no membership fee, we continue to reserve the right to moderate our boards in accordance with this philosophy.

9. Lastly, if the above items, that will shortly be enfolded into our regular site manifesto, cause you to say, “Hey this site isn’t for me anymore.” Best wishes, and we do sincerely mean that. We say the above knowing full well we will lose people. At the same time there are others who will be staying around because of this policy. And of course there will be those who don’t care one way or the other. It is simply our way of not having to deal with constant acrimony, hard feelings, misunderstandings, passive aggression, and whining. Fandom should be fun. When it’s not fun, it’s time to get out. This is our way of keeping it fun now and for the long run here.