Posts Tagged With: 50 Shades of Grey

Long Grey’s Journey into Night

There’s a high probability that I was more annoying than the actual books as I raged at them, but I’ve finally done it. I’ve finished the 50 Shades trilogy, and it’s contending as the most disappointing thing I’ve ever “accomplished.” I bristle when forced to use any words I associate with literature to describe any part of them. I hovered over my keyboard before I reluctantly typed “trilogy” up there. I did and do hesitate in conversation when I’ve had to say “book” or “reading” if it had to do with 50 Shades. The words come out tinny and false, like whenever I had to read poetry aloud in middle school. I’ve whined to literally anyone who would listen about how stupid I think 50 Shades is, but my dear mother and boyfriend in particular have endured the many coping mechanisms I’ve employed throughout this experience with unparalleled grace. I thank them and everyone else who demonstrated the necessary patience to not smack me during this time, because these books brought out in me a childlike inability to deal.

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I’ve seen different versions of this quote floating around, and put it to you that we can go even shallower. If Christian Grey merely wasn’t hot, this story would fall to pieces.

I honestly considered writing E.L. James for the inspirational letter challenge I’m doing right now, because she definitely inspired contempt and self-loathing I didn’t have when I wasn’t reading about her dull characters and their impressively uninteresting sex and drama. However, since the challenge was issued with the hope that I would get a response, I will not to write her. I can’t really overstate how much I would love not to read any other thing she’s written, and any chance that she would personally write something to me with the intent of me reading it is most unwelcome.

Although E.L. James is decidedly off the table for options, I’ve been embarrassingly stumped on this challenge. I had no idea that I was so uninspired by strangers in my life, but I haven’t really been able to come up with anyone who feels right and to whom I could get excited about writing a letter. Rachel gave me a two week time constraint on this challenge, and I expected I wouldn’t need all of that time, but here we are. I’ve been frustrated because this situation means at least one of at least two things: I have been so out of touch with the real world that I’m completely unaware of the cool things any one person out there is doing; I have been so out of touch with my own world that I can’t remember a single other hero I’ve had in my life besides J.K. Rowling.

Fortunately, while I was writing this post I figured out with a friend who I want to write my letter to, and I am pretty stoked and relieved. I actually have been keeping up a bit with someone who is currently inspiring me: actor Myko Olivier. I discovered Myko around September last year in a wholly ridiculous, so-bad-it’s-good movie called Barely Legal, and he is probably most recognizable right now for at least two commercials I’ve seen, and his role as “Head Warbler” on Glee this season. Looking at how he, first of all, manages to deliver a solid performance in Barely Legal, despite its goofiness, and then continues working his way up to more dynamic opportunities has been encouraging as I work on my own much less glamorous climb to success.

I’m finally getting to a point that I can catch up on some of my earlier challenges that I’ve had to put on hold for various reasons, so I don’t need to beg for more of them this time around. HOWEVER, if you still are so inclined, go ahead and submit challenges. I love them. They make me happy, and even if I don’t need them just yet, I want them. I am greedy. Here’s my list, again:

  • walking my dog
  • learning to play guitar
  • improving my abilities with media and multimedia projects
  • yoga, sort of
  • significantly reducing my possessions
  • letter-writing
  • watching iconic or important movies
  • reading more books

Thank you for reading! I’m going to go sleep off the dregs of Christian Grey & Co. now.

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I’m most productive at night

I fear I may have misunderstood my last challenge, which was:

Read 50 Shades 😉

I assumed that “50 Shades” was just a shortening of the first book’s title, 50 Shades of Grey, but apparently this story was written in its entirety first, and then literally split into thirds with almost zero regard for how thoughtfully composed books and stories are supposed to work (I say almost zero because they did at least bother to finish out the chapter as a stopping point). The ending of 50 Shades of Grey was absolutely ridiculous and lazy and I’ll leave the expression of my feelings for it at that.

Since 50 Shades of Grey is actually just a third of one larger book consisting of the entire 50 Shades “series,” I don’t really feel like I actually finished the book. Therefore, on my own time outside of my challenges, I feel like I have to read the other parts of the horribly-written, paradoxically dull and rage-inducing thing, 50 Shades Darker and 50 Shades Freed. I’ve begun 50 Shades Darker, and am even less happy than I expected to be.

I didn’t know that I had any actual triggers, but apparently the romanticization of emotional abuse causes a sharp downturn in my mood, ultimately making me depressed enough to want to cry. I became aware of this within the first 4% of 50 Shades Darker. To E.L. James’s credit, even though most of her writing is elementary-school simple at best and head-shakingly baffling/dreadful at worst, she does manage to depict the thought processes of an abuse victim shockingly accurately, at least compared to my own experiences.

Unfortunately for her, most of that credit will probably be cancelled out because although she is capable of making that part of her fiction startlingly realistic, as far as I can tell from the patterns in the story and foggy spoilers I’ve been exposed to since the books came out, I expect she does not offer a similarly realistic representation of her abused main character leaving their abuser and moving on to a healthy life. Instead, I expect James perpetuates the myth that the troubled, tortured man who lashes out to cope with the pain can be cured by the sheer staying-power of the one woman who suffers through it all until he finally realizes that she is worth changing for. That incredibly misinformed idea is why I spent five years in a relationship that should have lasted three or four months tops, and why I even have a trigger now in the first place.

I do still plan to produce the product I mentioned for this challenge. Even though the books have bummed me out enough that I don’t want to do anything silly regarding them, I think it will be therapeutic to undercut any credibility the books might have in whatever way I can. Therefore, I intend to fulfill that promise and will post it as soon as I can.

Moving on to happier things, I have a new challenge that began yesterday, put forth by my cousin Rachel:

You should write a letter to an inspirational person for you who is still alive and see if you get a response.

I beat her to the punch four years ago when I wrote a letter to J.K. Rowling–I got a response on her behalf as well as a small portrait of her, and I was so happy I cried.

They sent me a version of this portrait

This puts me at a disadvantage because it rules out the most obvious inspirational person for me who is still alive. Rachel also did not include a time frame for this challenge, so, again, I will update when I have it. I haven’t chosen who I will write a letter to yet, but obviously I will tell you once I have.

I am immensely appreciative of all of the support and feedback people have given me for these challenges, and I want you all to know that I am continuously offering my gratitude. I’m offering it this moment, and this one, and every other moment that will henceforth exist. Thank you all very much 🙂

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OMGrey

I did not complete my 50 Shades of Grey challenge by Valentine’s Day, partly because I wanted to actually enjoy some of my Valentine’s Day and spend it with my valentine, and partly because I was more miserable reading this book than I can remember being reading anything ever. I instead finished the book today, and if you were within an eight mile radius you heard me despairingly proclaiming my distaste for the never-ending “novel” to the heavens. I enjoyed reading My Immortal and Heart of Darkness significantly more than I enjoyed reading 50 Shades of Grey, and those have both been different and significant kinds of painful for me. This being the case, I will create and present my product for it later because I need some time to return my brain to its rightful place and state.

Please give me challenges to restore the health that this book stole from me. Thank you.

UPDATE: I forgot that this existed, but I’m happier than I was:

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Update plus begging

As previously discussed, I met with Nina on Tuesday to read. In the interest of not reading 50 Shades of Grey for the next sixty years, Nina and I have decided to instead read the book individually and confer with each other later on what we’ve found. I’m not holding her to the same schedule, but I am going to finish reading the book by Saturday so that I’ll have read it before the movie comes out and also have a deadline for this challenge. I have no intention of seeing the movie in theaters, but, like with Eragon in tenth grade, I want to read the popular book before the popular movie comes out. Fortunately, unlike with Eragon in the tenth grade, I will (hopefully) be reading this book without ten or more people helpfully informing me that there’s a movie coming out for the book that I decided to read because there’s a movie coming out for it.

My next order of business is to beg you all again for challenges. Pleeeeeease. I’ll even post the inspiration list again, look!

  • walking my dog
  • learning to play guitar
  • improving my abilities with media and multimedia projects
  • yoga, sort of
  • significantly reducing my possessions
  • letter-writing
  • watching iconic or important movies
  • reading more books

Since I now have a deadline for my current challenge, I also have a pseudo-deadline for getting more challenges. As i said, I want lots! So, again, pleeeeeeeease. Even if you’ve already posted a challenge, you can give me new ones. If you haven’t posted one, get on it! I’ll be super super grateful wherever they come from.

To everyone reading, thank you 🙂

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Experiments in different genres

My third challenge was submitted by the goddess Tori, who told me to:

NOW WATCH ANCHORMAN. Bonus points if you watch the sequel too ❤

I just finished Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, and am going to start the sequel any minute now, once I take a break from the absolute silliness that is the Anchorman universe.

I’ll be honest, my relationship with Will Ferrell has been a bit love/hate. Sometimes he’s incredibly clever, and sometimes he’s just obnoxious. I personally don’t think desperate yelling is necessarily a one-way ticket to hilarious, but I get that that was supposed to be some weird character quirk for Burgundy, I guess. His conversations with Baxter were delightful, though, and I especially enjoyed that Baxter is the real life version of Seymour from Futurama.

Baxter_Anchorman2_imageSeymour

When I was in high school someone changed the screensaver on the computer in the band room to a crawl of the Anchorman quote about leather-bound books and his apartment smelling of rich mahogany. I remember that vivid imagery making a strong impression on me, and I’m not sure when I learned that the quote was actually from Anchorman, but I’ve been looking forward to it. I wasn’t disappointed with the delivery, either, which was pleasant because I was really afraid I would be.

Overall, I’m glad I finally watched it so I can be one link closer to the rest of my generation and hopefully understand certain things better. I’ve already been promised to have the movie frequently quoted at me by Tori, so I will, if nothing else, understand her better. I did genuinely enjoy it, for the most part, and it did reconfirm for me that I’m dating a taller, burlier version of Paul Rudd, so that’s pretty rad.

I know the Anchorman challenge isn’t really complete yet because I haven’t gotten the bonus points, but I’ll go ahead and set up the next challenge that I’ll start tomorrow.

My friend Nina and I apparently hate ourselves, because we are interested in the primary source material for 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James, so my next challenge, from her, is:

Read 50 Shades 😉

She and I had originally discussed doing dramatic readings of it together, so that’s how I’m opting to do that. I haven’t got a timeline yet for when, but I’ll update when I do.

In other news, I hate to be picky about my challenges, but the ones I have left after the 50 Shades one are relatively undoable right now because we’re remodeling the house. You would be my best friend if you broadened the pool a little bit for what I have to choose from 🙂 As before, here is the list of inspiration:

  • walking my dog
  • learning to play guitar
  • improving my abilities with media and multimedia projects
  • yoga, sort of
  • significantly reducing my possessions
  • letter-writing
  • watching iconic or important movies
  • reading more books

As a final note, I would just like to say thank you to everyone who’s been reading this and submitting challenges. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it ❤ Keep ’em coming!

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