Thursday, July 5, 2012

50 Shades of Lame

Everybody else seems to have read, written, posted, discussed, and opined in reference to the vastly popular  erotica by E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey. There are talks all over the web that a movie will be made and Pinterest is full of Christian Grey prospects.

It's all over Facebook too, as I am sure most of you have already noticed. This morning I came across a particular post that annoyed me more than the others because I already know the context in which the comment was made, so I felt the need to comment (of course).

Here, for your perusal, is the offending comment (not offending person, the person is very nice I'm sure, but the comment annoyed):



The truth is I am just as tired of hearing about 50 Shades of Grey as the next person. Like an overplayed pop song on the radio, the topic getting a little tired. As far as the literature goes, it's okay book from a literary point of view, and contains some fairly tantalizing scenes. However, my literary analysis of the piece is a moot point because the reality of the book's reception is: more than ten million copies have been sold in the United States alone and it is the all time highest selling book in the United Kingdom. Plus, I'm  tired of hearing about it because people are reading it, and discussing it. It's become a relevant topic of our popular culture, right up there with Lindsay Lohan and apparently Magic Mike. It's so popular, my brother almost downloaded it onto my father's brand new Nook, since it's on the NY Times Best Seller's List, but luckily read the description before doing so. (I would have loved to see the look on my dad's face if he had started reading it.)

I did read all three of the books in the series, and since family members read this blog I will refrain from explaining any impact the book did or did not have on my marriage. I will say my husband is happy I like to read. In college I also read The Delta of Venus by Anais Nin. That one wasn't so accessible, relatable, nor as easy to read, but they were written for a private collector in the forties; Nin's audience was not Twilight fans. I would argue the literary merit is different than that of Fifty Shades, and in its time it was generally well received by many reviewers. (I've also seen the movie Showgirls and I concur the movie is stupid, but that's because I think the director focused more on Berkley's booty than her dialogue... but that didn't mean the movie made no money despite its initial NC-17 rating.)

But, back to why I find this post so annoying: in response to my FB friend's last statement that all of those aforementioned texts are "stupid", I asked "Is there something in particular that made you feel that way when you saw/read them?" I haven't gotten a response yet, because there's none coming. Because to answer my question one would have to admit they have no real basis for calling them stupid because they haven't seen them, or they would have to admit they think they're stupid because they have consumed said media. And, I'm not sure which scenario would be more damning in this case.

This sort of blind turning away from anything that reeks of sex is what turns me away from engaging with people who term themselves as religious (usually of the Christian denomination) and then come off as completely holier-than-thou without even allowing a new thought to permeate their bubble of blind faith to their brand of Christianity.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this subject? Have you ever engaged in a discussion about Fifty Shades of Grey with someone unwilling to consider that it might be something they could like?

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