Friday, August 17, 2012

50 Shades of WTF

The first time that I mentioned it was as a joke in the newsroom, just before I resigned:

"Maybe I should start writing trashy novels when I leave... I'd probably make more money than any journalist..."

It was a few months ago, when the first story had hit about the rapid sales by the house wives of the world, downloading it from Amazon so that no one would know what they were reading. The private fantasies it inspired, that was once hidden behind closed doors, has turned it into a Godzilla stampeding through society with Ellen even making a recording of it.

Yes, 50 Shades of Grey by an author who's name I never remember is slowly destroying the IQ of many innocent citizens. It's now forwarding faster than a Facebook virus, being sent to both men and women via email, being read to groups on a night out or at meetings and inspiring people to create pseudo book clubs on social networks as a soapbox for Christian Grey discussions and perverted witticisms. The worst part is that many of these people speeding through the trilogy haven't picked up a book to read in years...

For those who haven't heard of the book, it's pretty much a porno in words. No real plot, no character development, no great dialogue... just orgasmic sex after every four to ten pages of inane chatter and painful thought processes.

Conversations surrounding the novel have as much depth as the book...
"Oh my word, I need to get me a Mr. Grey"
"Did you read page 80?
"Girl, that's where the book starts"
"It's sooo addictive..."
"Can someone email be the other two books?"

The more I hear about 50 Shades, the more I wonder if it is a reflection of society. Its affected women and some men, old and young and because its travelling through email, its as easy to hide from your parents as internet porn is. Takelot.com, an online shopping site, even uses the book as bait in it's radio advertisement, calling it the book that's inspiring women all over the world (and inspiring men to buy Audi).

The question is, what is it really inspiring?

A friend once told me that men only really learn how to perform in bed through porn and experience. Women, generally, depending on upbringing, personality and belief system, are exposed to neither. For them, books and films are their learning stations, often with sex aesthetised according to emotions and layered with subtext. 50 Shades of Grey entices its readers with sex for the mere enjoyment of sex. Everything that was once seen as taboo is openly talked about among its characters, not always accurately but nevertheless maintaining its kinky.

Great. Glad these women have learnt how to handle the handcuffs in bed... but seriously, THIS is the novel that's inspiring people and going viral. 50 Shades of Grey! Seriously! What is the point of great literature when its trash that makes people succumb and draw some cash for a paperback? What is the point of spending hours learning about great novelists and reading their material in school? What is the point of teaching yourself how to write when all you need to do is describe great sex?

Yes, we've always known that sex sells... But is it the only thing that sells?

Screw blogging, I really do need to start writing 'Mommy Porn'.


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