Of 50 Shades of Beating My Head Against a Wall and Colin Firth with a bulletproof umbrella

Hello fair readers! I have not abandoned you! I have merely found this obnoxious thing called life getting in the way. 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day and not so happy 50 Shades of Grey release day. As the reviews roll in, everyone comes to the same conclusion. The movie blows and not in the fun way. The New Yorker concluded that all Mr. Grey wants is a pony. From the other side of the pond, The Guardian offers probably the most entertaining review. Warning – do not consume a beverage during reading. It will come out your nose. The Aussies also had their take and the only reason it got 2 stars instead of 1 was because one of the critics liked the soundtrack. Finally, and the coup de grace, is the stars themselves didn’t like it. Spoiler alert – Jamie Dornan admitted to taking a shower after he got home before he would hug his wife and daughter. Yeah.

However, it will still make millions of dollars because women, apparently, don’t understand the difference between abuse and romance. As a survivor, after I’m done with the satirical reviews and synopses, found it incredibly disconcerting. I had forgotten that he flat out rapes her in one scene. How is that okay?! Clue – it ain’t. Their relationship literally hits on every single indication of an emotionally and physically abusive relationship. Romance, ladies and gents, is buying your partner a gift *because you want to*, not to manipulate them into doing something they’ve previously stated they aren’t comfortable with. Romance is busting out the bubble bath with candles and rose petals if that’s their thing. It’s not mine and probably not most dudes’ things, but I don’t judge. If he wants rose petals and candles, more power to him. Abuse is doing something nice for someone else with the intent that they’ll “return the favor” regardless of their feelings on said reciprocation. Romance is doing something for your partner WITHOUT the expectation of something in return whether it’s fixing a leaky faucet or really awesome oral sex.

Naturally, I’m coming from the perspective of a straight female. The story also does men a disservice. Boys, that’s not how you treat your lady. If she says no, she means no. If she says she needs space, respect it. Be the dude who actually listens. Stalking her is not romantic. It’ll just get you a restraining order. I know most men are NOT this creepy cad, but it bears saying. Intimidation techniques should be left to the battlefield, not the bedroom.

Last fall when I was working DragonCon, there was a BDSM panel where people who were in the lifestyle talked about what it’s like, how to become part of it, etc. They flat out refused to address 50 Shades of Grey. Just because you may have been abused previously doesn’t automatically mean you become part of the lifestyle. People with standard histories can be just as into it as those who had abuse in their pasts. Ironically, BDSM relationships are some of the most sane because everyone has to know going in what’s going to happen before they start the scene AND agree to what is proposed. Depending on how hardcore it is, it could result in serious injury. One of the men spoke up saying that he had injured a partner and he felt guilty about it for weeks. There’s a level of communication that doesn’t exist in a lot of “normal” relationships. Pro tip: Whether or not your sex life involves whips and chains, talk first.

For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, you’ve already heard this. For everyone who buys a ticket to this steaming turd of abuse glorifying, they should be required to donate twice the ticket price to a group which assists rape survivors and victims of domestic violence.

You can also just go see Kingsman. It involves Colin Firth using a bulletproof umbrella.  Samuel L. Jackson does an excellent job as a riff on a traditional Bond villain. Boy and I got to see an advance screening and it’s SO GOOD. Run, don’t walk to support well hidden weapons and an evil tech genius. It’s all the soul bleach you’ll need.


Of previews for movies not due out for another 7 months and dry heaving

Two posts in one day! Gasp!

I was unaware the 50 Shades of Grey preview was released today. Thank you, Facebook, for that one. In keeping with my running commentary of the loins from whence it sprung, I couldn’t resist putting in my own 2 cents. Mind you, this has been billed “racy” more than once.

This article is worth a read. I appreciate a straight guy’s opinion on the gag worthy cultural phenomenon. All that said, here’s my own play by play.

:26 – Anne Hathaway, err, Ana Steele is escorted into Miranda Priestly, err, Christian Grey’s office. Just like E.L, James plucked Ana wholesale from Twilight, the producers have plucked Anne (Andi) from The Devil Wears Prada. Clothes that don’t fit and a bad wig DO NOT hide the fact that a woman is still good looking. It just looks like she got dressed in the dark. There are some “atmospheric” shots of a dude in a suit from the neck down while a VO plays. “Polite” “Intense” “Smart” “Really Intimidating”. I’m always intimidated by men who tap tables and adjust their suit jackets in front of me.

:50  -“I mean, look at me,” she says. “I am,” he replies.

I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

:57 – Oh my God, would you stop stealing shots from The Devil Wears Prada? I’m waiting for Meryl Streep to come out and demand Christian get the fuck out of her office and bring her the Starbucks she asked for 5 minutes ago.

1:06 – Dude is a butterface. If he’s supposed to be worth swooning over, the casting is an epic fail. Let’s try Christian Bale circa American Psycho, shall we? Not only is he worth looking at, especially in a well tailored suit, but it would make so. much. more. sense. if Mr. Grey were actually a serial killer.

1:27 – The “Rocky” theme all of a sudden replaces the remix of Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love”.

1:34 – A little under the table knee action. Racy? Naughty, perhaps, but nothing I would imagine most couples haven’t tried at least once.

1:55 – Definitely a butterface. Thanks for the confirmation, abs of Steele! (See what I did there?)

2:03 – Blindfold. Red pleather seating of some iteration. Some gasping to indicate pleasure. In Kat’s intonation from 10 Things I Hate About You: “I want you. I need you. Oh baby, oh baby” *rolls eyes and walks off*

And now back to your regularly scheduled snark.


Of fanfic and a shame on English degrees

Since reading the recaps of the 50 Shades trilogy, I’ve been pondering my own ideas about fanfic.

I tried to read Twilight and gave it the ol’ rage quit three quarters of the way through. For someone who claims to have a degree in English, the writing was high school level at best. That’s also doing a disservice to high school students who didn’t sleep through class. Her editor also has a lot to answer for. I’ve heard the excuse that Ms. Meyer was trying to capture the voice of a high school student. I strongly disagree with this point as well. I’ve seen very well written stories (Beautiful Creatures leaps to mind) which successfully captured the voice of a teenager. The idea had the potential to be a lot more than the final product was. The execution fell short of the idea. She was unsuccessful as a writer because of the mechanics and her editor either didn’t catch the mistakes or glossed over them. The fact it became a runaway success makes me shake my head on behalf of all English majors who don’t suck as authors.

When 50 Shades of Grey first came across my radar, I thought “anything that started out life as a Twilight fanfic can’t possibly be good”. In that instance, I was correct. I gave the book itself a rage quit by chapter 9 before switching to the recaps. I question the morals in both stories, but that’s another blog post for another time. However, I do think I was unfair to paint all Twilight fanfic with the same brush. I’m sure there’s a lot of Twilight fanfic floating around online that is either on par with the original or elevates it. I understand Twilight isn’t high art. It’s the literary equivalent of candy corn. The source material is just a jumping off point. Fanfic is a great way for budding writers to get some experience. The characters and setting are ready made. As had been exhaustively pointed out, it’s one thing to borrow from an existing work. It’s entirely another to take another writer’s work wholesale and just change the names. I hated Twilight, but it wasn’t fair of E.L. James to pluck Edward and Bella and plop them in a room with pleather and riding crops. I’m sure the erotica writers are also shaking their heads right now.

I’m not a published writer (obviously). I have a lot of ideas that I’ve put into writing, but they never get past 20 or 30 pages because I get distracted by something shiny. I, personally, chose the original work route. I’m awesome at creating characters who are interesting and real, but I can’t make them do a goddamn thing. Pesky, pesky plots.

For those keeping score at home, my dad is doing much better. The surgery went well and he was even up and walking around yesterday. He’ll be on IV antibiotics for a few weeks, but they’ll send him home tomorrow. It’s very, very likely he caught the original infection from the hospital the first time around. His hip that’s sans lymph nodes was prime real estate for the infection. It took 8 days, but it’s good to have it all behind us.