Is a vampire as old as he looks or as he feels?

John and Hank Green are the most delightful video bloggers ever to grace the extremely-small screen, a fact that I had forgotten in my year-and-a-half of blog absence.  This year-and-a-half was, coincidentally, also the time period in which I devoured the Twilight series, and then spent months and months hungover, trying to purge my soul of the bitter ideological aftertaste of my days of fevered vampire-werewolf enthrallment.

So suffice it to say that I fundamentally agree with every single word that John Green utters in the following video review of the Twilight phenomenon:

I am especially glad to hear someone else give voice to the misgivings that I so often feel in paranormal, YA-ish tales (Buffy and Twilight among them): why is this not statutory rape??? Why are we not at all troubled by the difference in maturity between the sixteen-year-old heroine and her ancient vampire/werewolf/godly lover?  Does this just go back to the romance trope of the experienced older man who brings a broad skill set and empowering expertise to care for the innocent maiden he wants? (Message: men's value = competent love- and decisionmaking, women's value = indecisive ignorance that guarantees their biddability and, shall we say, sexual focus.)  

Just put the age old reversal test to yourself: if the genders were inverted in these romantic relationships, and a century-old vampiress began to pursue a teenage boy, how would we as readers feel about that? (Careful now: we know how the teenage boy would feel - blessed by the gods.  But how would we feel about watching it happen?)

Ah Twilight, you've done it again.  Will you never stop turning me into a wizened old curmudgeon?

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