Tuesday, May 15, 2012

50 Shades of WTF?!?

So I've done the unthinkable. For a woman who prides herself on her literary acumen and writing prowess I have actually succumbed to the hype and decided to read what I can only describe as literary porn. I Avin have just finished Fifty shades of Gray.

So let me tell you why this is about as out of character for me as a fuzzy pink sweater. First, I'm not at all a romantic. I do not enjoy the occasional chick flick, love story or romance novel. I don't dig it. I don't like the idea if the helpless damsel in distress or the perils of Pauline where the woman is tied to the tracks waiting to be rescued. It goes against every survival instinct I have honed and every lesson I was taught by my super independent self sufficient momma. Seriously, we are talkin about a woman who wouldn't ever watch The Notebook, has never seen Love Jones and was forced to watch Love and Basketball. By the way I hated it. Not only did I find it implausible for the early 2000's but I thought it was archaic and I wanted to shake Sanaa Lathan for not having a spine and leaving that needy, pitiful Omar Epps when she had the opportunity. Seriously angry folks.

So, when I tell you that I've read 50 shades, it's beyond a stretch. Second, I typically enjoy a higher brow fare when it comes to my books. Favorite novels recently? The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, the Dragon Tattoo series, Medium Raw, I know this much is true by Wally Lamb, Like water for Elephants and anything by Lee Child. I honestly don't like romantic fare or anything with a shirtless man on the cover. Don't even get me started on black romance novels. Can I even call them that? So hood and raunchy and downright unbelievable and foul I cant even believe they sell that crap. I was in Borders downtown a few years back looking for a respectable novel and what do I see in the African American fiction section? Thong on Fire. I shit you not. I was once roped into a Zane book by a coworker and I was so embarrassed halfway through that I wanted to put that book in a wood chipper.

So the idea that I would read what amounts to crap is baffling even to me. My roommate loves anything with Fabio or some other half naked man on the cover so this is totally up her alley, but I don't go for it. Cut to last week where for the umpteenth time I get to hear some woman gush over this book. Today it was on the radio. Up until that point I had only a vague knowledge of the subject matter. Some woman, some man, some S&M. Not interested. Don't get me wrong I am no ones prude at almost 40 years of age, but I damn sure haven't spent my days fantasizing about two white people in the throws of deviant sexual behavior. Okay let me rephrase that. After countless years of psychology classes in pursuit of a degree, I know more that I ever cared to about the psychology of human sexuality so a little description of whips and chains isn't really enough to run me off from a book. Trust me there are much scarier predilections to steer clear of.

What I had heard was super lightweight. Still if it's not in my purview the I am not interested, but people wouldn't shut up about it. Then I got an invite from FAC's ex girlfriend inviting me to a book club. I lept at the chance to go and discuss books with a bunch of women my own age until I heard the requirement. Read 50 shades before you come. Really people?

Fine, so I go and get the damn book on my Kindle Fire and start reading last week. I am surprised to say that while I don't think her writing sucks, she does spend a lot of time using the exact same adjectives "flush" for example is a worn out favorite of hers to describe blushing. I don't get the blushing thing but okay. Oh and "blaze" is another. She has got to go get a damn thesaurus. I have heard her describe different scenarios the same way about 30 times now. The plot seems fine, the characters are fully fleshed out, the settings are described well, and the pace seems on par...BUT lets not get twisted up in the game. This book, is about a Masochist with a heart of gold and I am really nervous for the glut of weak minded little suburban housewives who 1 thrive off of mock romance and 2 don't have two clues about the seedy ass nature of the paraphilla they are reading about. Homechick has made this some "hearts and flowers" (another over used description) jaunt through BDSM and they are not gonna like what this really is if they go looking for it.

I just get the feeling that somewhere between the feminists ranting about this book returning women to the dark ages and Dr. Oz spouting off about its amazing liberating qualities for women, there are gonna be a whole host of wide eyed, dumb ass women trolling the intrawebs for millionaire dominants with gray eyes and hearts of gold. I envision lawsuits....lots of them. Oh, and stories on the ID channel.

I wont pretend like they don't get into some of the dirtier bits, but talking about spanking and tying folks up gently with a silk necktie and actually being flogged, humiliated or engaging in sounding (please don't google that, you will not be happy) or suspension are two totally different things. I am kinda mad that I know all this stuff honestly. There are some seriously messed up people on this here earth, and they aren't all 26 and waiting to whisk you away for a night of light debauchery. The type of folks who engage in this stuff as a real hobby aren't fuckin around. They ain't gonna ask "Oh what am I going to do with you" (WAY overused) or offer you a soft blanket and a few Advil when they are done. They aim to kick your monkey ass.

Anywho, I read the book, and apparently there are more in the series. I am not necessarily looking forward to two more books of this fuckery but if the book is a requirement speed bump in order to get to the good shit then fine. I can manage. As books go its not terrible, but its no Memoirs of a Geisha.