As far as I can tell, there are no more divisive topics than politics, religion, and nutrition. Fats are evil. No, carbs are evil! Animal protein is the devil. No, wheat is the devil and should be banned. Whenever any of these topics comes up in conversation with strangers, I tend to go quiet.
This is probably a mistake. Because people who voice strong opinions are interesting, even if you disagree with them. Actually, especially if you disagree with them.
They take your attention, they get your ears, your eyeballs. They get into your mind because you leave the encounter thinking up how wrong they were, and formulating new arguments you wish you’d have thought up while you were talking to them.
I know that many people hate the Twilight series. They like to hate it. They love talking about how much they hate it.
Why? Because like politics, religion, and nutrition, Twilight is important. The first three are important for obvious reasons. The fourth for a different one.
The topic of Twilight is about taste. I could easily substitute The Hunger Games, Star Wars, or The Color Purple and the point of this post would be the same. People want their taste to be the standard by which all art is judged, just as they would prefer everyone agree with their political or religious beliefs.
No matter what you think about Twilight, you can’t say it didn’t get people talking. If your art is bland and right down the middle, it won’t generate any ecstatic praise or vitriolic hate. It’s all “meh, it was okay,” or “meh, it wasn’t that great.” That is, uninteresting.
I long for the day my books are hated by as many as hate Twilight.