February 23, 2021

Lesbians' non-metropolitan tastes: Vampires, witches, the supernatural

A series of info-graphics from the NYT shows where various TV shows from the mid-2010s were popular around the country, especially across the metropolitan vs. small town / suburban / rural divide.

(It's safe to click -- from 2016, before all media were hijacked by the intel agencies during the Trump admin and began spewing nothing but Establishment propaganda. Before then, they had occasional articles of interest about TV shows' regional popularity, the history of "fuck yeah" Tumblr blogs, etc.)

At the bottom, the map for The Vampire Diaries shows a fairly even popularity across all geographic divides, but it was still a bit more popular outside of cities. And certainly more popular in heartland regions, particularly in Mormon land.

The article notes that most shows involving the supernatural were more popular in the non-metropolitan areas, as opposed to big-city faves like SNL, the Simpsons, or Game of Thrones (palace intrigue being most popular in the power center of the Bos-Wash corridor).

Aside from hit TV shows, blockbuster movies like the Twilight franchise (whose creator is Mormon) were stereotypically more popular in flyover suburbs than in coastal megalopolises.

We can rule out levels of taste in these differences, since the typical city-slicker (but not the flyover suburbanite) consumes flavorless dreck like the post-'90s SNL, the post-'90s Simpsons, Sex and the City, the Real Housewives franchise and spin-offs like Vanderpump Rules, and so on and so forth. Metropolitans don't go to The Met, they're too busy binging garbage on Netflix (just a different flavor from the Netflix bingers in Indiana).

It's a genre difference, regardless of taste level -- supernatural and paranormal stuff is more popular outside big cities, and slice-of-elite-life fare is more popular within cities.

But what I really found interesting about these differences is their adherence to the laws of gay vs. lesbian culture -- gays having metropolitan tastes, and lesbians having non-metro tastes. I've discussed this general point before, but did not know about this case.

Having devoted more study to lesbians over the past year, I already knew they were big fans of Twilight specifically, vampires, witches, the occult, Tarot cards, etc. But I didn't know how distinctly non-metropolitan those interests were. I'd heard allegations of there being a witchcraft scene in Brooklyn -- but those must mainly be hicklib transplants bringing their flyover tastes into ground zero for metropolitanism.

The setting for supernatural fiction has almost always been in the country rather than the city, but I thought urbanites would still have a taste for Gothic material despite living as far away from the setting as possible. But no, they're too absorbed in they gay striver palace intrigue bullshit.

And as those NYT maps show, I don't mean "gay" generically -- Sex and the City, the Real Housewives, etc., are both distinctly urbanite and distinctly gay -- not lesbian (despite one of the Sex and the City actresses being a lesbian IRL).

This is also not a difference between men and women, as though men were drawn to Game of Thrones while women were drawn to Twilight. Urbanite women love Real Housewives and are bored by vampires, while non-metro men are drawn into supernatural or paranormal narratives, while finding Real Housewives insufferable.

This is another example of the social-cultural divide between "girls and gays" vs. "lads and lesbians". "Girls" meaning high body count, urbanite, fast-living, and so on. "Lads" meaning low body count, non-metro, slow-living, and so on. Straight guys in the former being degenerate, straight girls in the latter being wholesome.

It's also another wonderful example of lesbians resembling peri-menopausal women (whereas gays are stunted in the 5-year old stage of "ewww, girls are yucky"). Not only was Twilight popular in flyover suburbs, it was an unexpected smash hit with housewives who were finished with their reproductive career. See this contemporaneous review from New York Mag of the "Twilight moms" phenomenon.

Middle-aged women were not into Twilight because they were horny cougars lusting after the young heartthrobs -- at their age, they're done being horny, and of course lesbians are always post-horny.

Incidentally, the only time I've overheard a gay guy referring to Twilight was in a Starbucks during the height of its popularity. He was at least 40, and was remarking how hot the male "eye candy" was to the female barista. She, being around 30, said "Nah, that's a little too young for me to be eye candy." His reply in the most flaming low-pitched voice possible: "Candy is candyyy..."

Rather, the housewives interviewed in the late 2000s said it's the focus on courtship and eventual pair-bonding, as opposed to hookups with randos, that makes the vampire stories compelling, as well as the small-town setting where everyone knows one another. Exactly in line with lesbian tastes, and the polar opposite of gay tastes (promiscuity in an anonymous city).

I'll probably break down and watch the Twilight movies when I find them cheap at a thrift store, not only to better understand lesbians but also a big chunk of late 2000s culture that I found cheesy (and probably still would). For now, I've found the first two seasons of The Vampire Diaries for a couple bucks on DVD, and the first season so far is entertaining enough.

I suspect it'll be better than the Twilight movies because the cast includes the entire small town, adults as well as high schoolers, whereas I think the focus in Twilight is mostly on the angsty teens. It makes the drama more interesting, as the different age groups are both acting in their own social circles but also must bridge the divide with the other age group, since the supernatural problem is targeting them all.

It's like Twin Peaks in that respect -- another show I'm sure is more popular with lads-and-lesbians than with girls-and-gays. Certainly the Julee Cruise dream-pop soundtrack resonates more with lesbians than gays.


  1. Right on cue, two girls hovering near me in the thrift store were deciding what to watch later on -- Twilight, naturally!

    omigod i haven't seen breaking dawn in years...

    yeah totally, we'll do twilight!!!

    Both 20-somethings, couldn't tell exactly if they were the lads-and-lesbians type, but one of them kept mentioning "my dad" -- what he will and won't allow, etc., and in a way where she was going to obey him.

    So, probably not the girls-and-gays type, where the father is absent or where she doesn't keep in touch with him or mind him.

    I know there's nothing unusual about the Twilight revival, but to see it unfolding right before my eyes, on the very day I posted about it -- synchronicity alert.

    L'esprit de l'escalier -- next time two babes are talking about Twilight, I'll tell them I've started the Vampire Diaries, but I'm not really obsessed with vampires, so which Twilight movies do you feel are must-see?

    Anything to get strangers talking and enjoying public spaces again. A little flirtation goes a long way to livening the place up, and restoring trust.

  2. To clarify, gays aren't fascinated by any kind of supernatural topics -- not just vampires, witches, ouija boards, Tarot cards, and the rest of the lesbian stuff. There's no counterpart to those things for male homosexuals.

    Rather, anything supernatural or paranormal is the kind of thing gay guys would roll their eyes at, or humor a believer at most. But not something they'd take up themselves, perhaps in a male-homo way as opposed to the female-homo way.

    That fits with the differences in life-stage that the two reflect, lesbians being mature and gays being juvenile. Children don't resonate with religious stuff, no matter from what angle -- it's a decidedly adult affair.

    Paranormal phenomena too -- most people's brushes with the paranormal begin after childhood. Maybe adolescence, but more like young adulthood and after. Who tells wild-eyed stories about these things? Grown-ups, not children.

  3. This puts into perspective how blown away you might've been that Chapo Trap House and Red Scare are so familiar with Real Housewives, Vanderpump Rules, and the like.

    Not that it's schlock -- they don't pretend to be cultural elitists. But what genre of schlock they include in their cultural diet. The most naked status-striving, backstabbing, overweening ambition -- not even something sublimated into a Jacobean revenge tragedy, but shaky-cam reality TV.

    It's because they represent urbanite tastes, and the whole reason to transplant yourself to a mega zip code is to attempt to climb the status pyramid. What else would they be interested in but the scheming one-upsmanship of courtiers in the entourages of latter-day royalty?

    But, also reflecting the latter-day setting, none of the violence and duels and literal backstabbing of the good ol' days -- just the tedious verbal sniping and gossip-mongering that appeals to girls-and-gays.

    When we say that the Bravo TV network should be shut down for the good of its warped audience, we don't mean "women" -- we mean "urbanites". There are zillions of women who don't have such tastes, and are busy watching shows on gardening, traditional cooking, etc.

    It's specifically the pod-dwelling bugmen of the mega-cities who need to be forcibly de-toxed from their pop culture addictions. So appalling to see people degrade their humanity by getting engrossed in the striver entourage feuding bullshit.

  4. Can confirm the existence of the witchcraft scene in Brooklyn although I don't get the impression it's transplants from flyover. The one guy I know who's involved is gay, not flamingly though, loves tarot cards and so much so that he has a large tarot card tattoo on his upper arm. Maybe the exception..

  5. Where's Heather Habsburg at a time like this? Lesbians, the late 2000s, Balkan culture (not just vampires, but the lead actress of The Vampire Diaries being Bulgarian)... so much fodder for her erstwhile posting career.

    I miss her feedback. And being able to riff off of her riffs. If she'd only start a blog...

    Where else are we going to get insights from an anti-woke left lesbian?

    I'll never forget how well she took the "anti-woke ethnicities" argument -- most of the Slavs kneejerkingly reduced ethnicity to race, and whined that it was Nazi skull-measuring race science to talk about the historically contingent place of "Slavic Catholics" in the hierarchy of ethnicities in America (Catholicism is obviously not a race).

    But then she's a Southern Slav (like Elena from the Vampire Diaries, and the hottest First Lady). Much less woke than their Western and Eastern cousins.

    Yugoslav is best Slav.

  6. Why are Southern Slavs less woke than other Slavs? Wokeness serves imperial expansion, when it enters the stage of having already conquered its subjects, and now needs to incorporate them without provoking their rebellions forever and ever.

    In the first stage -- conquest -- the ideology is about the inferiority of the targets, to motivate the expanders to expand.

    But after that, you can't keep talking about how lowly they are, how deserving of conquest they are, and so on and so forth. They need to be incorporated, at least their elites and middlemen do, to extract whatever you're getting out of them with the lowest degree of problems possible.

    Southern Slavs have not had an expansionist state since the 1st and 2nd Bulgarian Empires in the late 1st / early 2nd millennium.

    Nor have they been part of administering a foreign expansionist state, anytime recently. They were part of the Ottoman Empire, but were already in revolt by the early 19th C., no longer serving as middlemen / local bought-off elites under the millet system.

    Yugoslavia was not part of the Soviet Union, and was somewhat frosty toward it. Part of the Non-Aligned Movement, neither American nor Soviet. Bulgaria was more of a Soviet satellite, though still independent of it.

    Russia has been an expansionist state for centuries, so they have to incorporate local elites of conquered peoples, whether Tatar, Armenian, Georgian, etc. They are not woke about the same groups as Americans are, because they conquered a different bunch of subjects -- mainly in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.

    But it's still a kind of wokeness regarding ethnicity. It's no longer about Russian superiority (that ideology was to motivate the initial conquest).

    The Western Slavs were recently part of the Russian / Soviet Empire, and now under the American Empire after the Berlin Wall fell. Especially the major West Slavic group, the Poles -- not just as military outposts for the Anglosphere vs. Russia, but as middlemen who are sending exporting their working class to Britain.

    A lot of anti-woke sentiment in Britain targets the Polish immigrants, since they're job thieves. Anti-wokeness in the West strikes directly at Polish interests, strange as it may sound, but still true.

    Southern Slavs are the only ones whose historical path over the past couple hundred years does not feature expansion, whether from themselves or serving as local administrators for some other expanding empire.

    (No, it does not have to do with being based mountain pastoralists who have a culture of honor -- so do Spaniards, Italians, etc., and they're very woke because they're longstanding members of NATO and the Anglo sphere of influence.)

  7. I'm curious how the now-forgotten but popular-at-the-time HBO series True Blood fits into this.

    Embarrassing admission: I thought the Friedberg/Seltzer Twilight parody Vampires Suck! was funny (in particular the lead actress parodying Kristen Stewart's affectedly "insecure" acting style). I've got bad comedy taste though.

  8. I've never seen True Blood, or any of the other vampire stuff from the 2000s to now. I'm just on season 2 of the Vampire Diaries.

    I didn't even watch Buffy the TV show back in the '90s, when lots of my high school classmates did. In retrospect, I'm glad since that was Joss Whedon material. Did see the original movie, though, not bad.


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