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No, really. I saw this today.

Uncle B let out a yelp, and there was this in the window. It’s a little local mom-and-pop hardware store.

In case you’re even more paleolithic than I am (seems unlikely), I gather Fifty Shades of Grey is a romance and medium-core BDSM fantasy novel rolled into one. Not really my thing. Hard to say which of the two is less appealing.

More stuff I learned when I looked it up: it started out as Twilight fan fiction (which is confusing, because there’s nary a vampire in it), posted online by someone calling herself “Snowqueen’s Icedragon”. Then Miz Icedragon changed the characters Edward and Bella to Christian and Ana and self-published it. Then it went e-book and a print-on-demand, publicized entirely by blogpost and word of mouth. And then the whole thing went monkeyshit.

Forty million copies and 37 countries later, it knocked over Harry Potter to be the fastest-selling book in history. Amazon.co.uk announced earlier this month it had sold more copies than all the Harry Potter books put together. Can I get a holy shit, ladies and gentlemen?

I hate to think how many Mary Sue‘s are out there tonight, typing one-handed…

Okay. Tomorrow. Six on the dot, Weasel Blog Time. Round 36 of the Dead Pool!


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 23, 2012, 10:56 pm

Hello, Kavin!

Hi i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anywhere, when i read this piece of writing i thought i could also make comment due to this brilliant post.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: August 23, 2012, 11:17 pm

I saw the sequal at a supermarket, and skimmed through it to get a sense of what it’s about. Wretched stuff, though at least properly copyedited.

But one must give the author credit for fighting her way to bestsellerdom almost entirely by audience support.

Her, J. K. Rowling, and Tom Clancy.

Comment from JeffS
Time: August 23, 2012, 11:27 pm

So, when do the movies start rolling out?

Comment from Redd
Time: August 23, 2012, 11:31 pm

I’m sure it is a joke but you should ask them how many they have sold.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: August 24, 2012, 1:18 am

The HILARIOUS part is that people keep pressuring Emma Watson to star in a 50 shades movie…..

Not quite sure that Rupert is UP for that….. LOL

Comment from PatAZ
Time: August 24, 2012, 1:31 am

Holy Shit!!!

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: August 24, 2012, 3:22 am

I haven’t even read those Dan Brown garbage receptacles. Hairy Pooter, Twatlight, & 50 Shades of Gay are way below that on the list.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: August 24, 2012, 4:42 am

As far as I can tell, this book combines women’s porn with a fantasy about a manly man. And everything I’ve seen of it tells the tale of a really poorly written story like something a 14 year old girl would squeal out with multicolored letters and i’s dotted with hearts. But with bondage.

Its pathetic, and speaks pretty ill of women around the world, honestly. But from what I’ve read, being dominated is one of the top 3 female fantasies – always by a safe, incredibly handsome, romantic soft-hearted genius billionaire, of course. Not that chubby janitor who keeps giving them creepy looks.

Comment from JuliaM
Time: August 24, 2012, 10:53 am

Now, THAT’S what I call enterprising marketing! Eat your heart out, Waterstones!


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 24, 2012, 11:59 am

If you have the slightest interest in guitars (or steampunk), you must click this link. Must, I say!

Comment from RushBabe
Time: August 24, 2012, 2:49 pm

Weasie, there’s more to this tripe than “mommy porn.” Why 50? Like 50 states? Why “gray”? Because Big Bro doesn’t want you to decide things based on black and white where pedophilia is concerned?

Check this out! http://bit.ly/N8OucP

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: August 24, 2012, 5:04 pm

Check this out! http://bit.ly/N8OucP

Oh dear.

“My professional experience centers around nearly 20 years with Child Protective Services.”

Oh, someone who is convinced of their own righteousness. I don’t see any problems here.

“My friend indicated, based on the use of language in the narration, that this girl was likely no more than 12 or 13 years of age.”

Oh my, a friend to a noted linguistics expert too? Is it Noam Chomsky? Tell me it’s Noam Chomsky.

“She is given the age of 21, but that age is itself a cover. Her true emotional age is much-much younger”

Yep, that’s pretty clear-cut. The text says 21, but the person seems younger to a CPS holy warrior.

“50 Shades of Grey made her weep. It made her sick. It made her think of the abuses of all of those kids by a demented, warped monster like Jerry Sandusky, who, just like the pedophilia of 50 Shades of Grey, was hiding in plain sight.”

I gotta say, I’ve never seen such a clear-cut case. It’s all laid out in black & white: our heroines were fantasizing about child rape while reading a poorly written book about adults. I doubt there’s any hope for people who can’t stop thinking about child rape.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: August 24, 2012, 8:13 pm

I have never understood why its societally acceptable for women to read straight up porn novels in public. You can see women reading this book and others like it on the train, on the beach. If a guy whipped out a Penthouse, not only would you question his sanity for paying for it, but he’d probably be arrested.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 24, 2012, 10:21 pm

It’s the lack of pictures, CT. That let’s them get away with pretending it’s ‘lichrachure’.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: August 24, 2012, 11:26 pm

You don’t know the half of it, Christopher Taylor, Uncle Badger. Once upon a time category romance was as prim and chaste as the “abstinence only” folks could have wished: the most that happened, physically, before the final curtain was rung down was a single kiss. Ooooooookay, yeah, a couple of Mary Stewart heroines shared sleeping quarters (for one night each) with a man she was not married to. . .but in one case both were fully-clothed throughout, and in the other they were in separate beds in a hotel room. And stayed that way.

Not no more. A few years ago I unthinkingly followed a friend’s suggestion to check out a particular author (whom I did not then realize qualified as category romance); I quite literally checked one of her books out of the library. Damned thing nearly blew my eyebrows off, and I am by no means prudish. There was a plot, and it more or less hung together. There was characterization at least as adequate as that of, say, John Grisham (yeah, I know, damning with faint praise). The prose was grammatical and undoubtedly adequately copy-edited. BUT.

As I checked it back into the library, I found myself thinking “So, it’s OK for married women to read this stuff, but it’s wrong for a married guy to look at pictures of naked women? Something is amiss or out of place!” I still don’t see the difference, and it makes me hesitant–to say the least–to condemn pornography. Child pornography excepted, of course (although, without having read Fifty Shades–life’s just way too short for THAT–I am nonetheless inclined to side with Stark Dickflüssig’s assessment of the kiddie porn accusation on that one.) People of both sexes like thinking about sex, and that includes reading/looking at pictures. Thinking about kinky sex ranks right up there; you can have the imaginary experience without any of the real world consequences. That doesn’t make it any different from other kinds of art. I mean. . .really. What are murder mysteries about? Does any of us really want to come home and find our roommate’s brain splattered all over the slipcovers?

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: August 25, 2012, 4:35 am

Most of those books are flat up porn, I’m not kidding. And if nekkid pictures of women objectifies them, gives an unrealistic expectation of women – something I’m definitely willing to accept – doesn’t women reading those bodice-busting novels do the same thing with men?

Because I know from personal experience of women who complained their men weren’t enough like the guys in those books. I kept telling them that when he fixes your brakes or the hinge on your cupboard that’s his way of showing love but they wanted that muscular wild gypsy dangerous man who is tender to them but kisses so rough he bruises their lips… on and on.

Sorry, pet peeve. Its just ridiculous.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 25, 2012, 12:02 pm

I agree with you both and it’s an opinion I came to a long while ago, when I had some connection with the publishing trade and realised how far this had gone.

I find it interesting in that it highlights what some claim is a difference between the male and female imagination – one fuelled by images, the other by ideas. Like all such distinctions it’s far too inflexible but there’s probably something to it.

I particularly agree with CT’s comment about objectification. I completely accept women’s claim that porn portrays them as commodities and leads men to treat them accordingly but the other side of the coin is equally as murky.

As to whether it does any harm, actually, I’m inclined to think it does. Unrealistic expectations are the rocks on which a lot of relationships seem to founder and I’m not sure it’s a very good idea to keep raising the bar.

Which doesn’t mean I think it could, or should, be stopped. But if I had children, I’d want to make damn sure they understood that Heathcliff snored, had smelly feet and a gambling problem, while the animated dolls in the porn mags will start to look like they need ironing in six or seven years, are really more interested in babies than blow jobs and, on the whole, prefer chocolate to… well, anything, really.

Comment from Can\’t hark my cry
Time: August 25, 2012, 3:18 pm

I kept telling them that when he fixes your brakes or the hinge on your cupboard that’s his way of showing love


And, to Uncle Badger as well. I’m actually inclined to think that it is like any other so-called vice: alchohol, drugs, tobacco, gambling. Any of them is at least potentially merely an enhancement to life, but all of them carry a real risk of abuse that leads to deterioration of life. Moderation in all things, eh? Not that I can necessarily to practice that preachment; but that’s a whole ‘nother issue.

Comment from Mr. Dave
Time: August 25, 2012, 6:04 pm

The Tony Cochran Boston Model L…must resist urge to hammer the Visa. Holy shit! It would shine next to Young Einstein’s ax.

Comment from Oh Hell
Time: August 28, 2012, 3:51 am

The BF hasn’t offered to fix my brakes (or more accurately…the brakes on my truck) but he helps me haul hay – now THAT is true love……

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