50 Shades of Confused: When Bad Ideas Go Even Worse Than Planned

Even though it probably seems like every blog idea I have is brilliant, I’ve gotta come clean and own up to a terrible mistake I’ve made.

The plan was to read Fifty Shades of Grey and write a couple of posts that would be a CliffsNotes-like overview of this popular book. My thinking was that it would be a uniquely funny set of posts because most men haven’t read this book (and never will), and rather than focus on the erotic and serious parts of it, I would dig out the humorous and ridiculous pieces and share those with the world.

A bad idea doesn’t begin to describe my miscalculation. This was a bad idea:

Reading this book was more like a catastrophe stuffed inside a disaster wrapped around a tragedy.

I’ve wasted a lot of time in my 29 years, but I’ve never been this upset over losing three hours of my life—about the amount of time I’ve spent getting through the first 160 pages of this book. The only comparable thing that comes to mind in terms of being this upset was when the girls in my 7th grade class talked some of us boys into going to see A Walk in the Clouds at the movies. We were so pissed off we threw candy at the screen, mocked other moviegoers and eventually stormed out before the movie ended.

And just like that experience from 1995, I’m ready to throw something at this book, metaphorically speaking…except instead of some harmless jujubes, I’d like to fling my feces at this book and its author.

In case it isn’t crystal clear yet, I’m out. I won’t read another page. And I will lose respect for anyone who reads it and claims to enjoy it.

Even if the book wasn’t a boring and repetitive mess—any time someone speaks in this book they are “murmuring” according to the author, and every time the two main characters are together, she is biting her lip and he is running his hand through his unkempt hair—the writing is so poor that it’s beyond distracting.  Here’s a two-sentence example of the typical writing in the book:

“We are besieged by do-it-yourselfers wanting to spruce up their homes. Mr. and Mrs. Clayton and John and Patrick—the two other part-timers—and I are besieged by customers.”

I think they had a lot of customers in the store that day…

Also, four of the first 13 words in sentence two are “and”…it’s seriously the writing of a slightly inept third-grader.

If you’re still interested in CliffsNotes from the first 10 chapters that I actually read, here they are:

-A college senior, Anastasia Steele, is forced to go interview the richest man in Washington because her roommate, the editor of their school’s newspaper, got sick.

-The author makes this girl seem like the least appealing person in the world…a cross between Drew Barrymore’s character in Never Been Kissed and Anne Hathaway’s character in the beginning of The Devil Wears Prada.

-That comparison may make you think I’m only making fun of this character’s physical appearance. But from a maturity standpoint, she’s apparently a 22 year old who frequently uses the phrase “double crap,” and somehow through all of college has essentially never even kissed a guy. She’s just exploding with sex appeal…

-The billionaire she interviews, Christian Grey, is basically described as a cross between the hottest man on the planet and God.

-And yet somehow, as everyone in the world already knows, this book is about the steamy love affair between these two people. Totally, 100% believable.

-Anyway, the first five chapters are basically a back and forth of this man being unsure if he wants to get involved with the college student…not because he’s not attracted to her (because he so believably is!), but because he “doesn’t do the girlfriend thing.”

-But finally, after 80 excruciating pages, this guy decides he has to have this ugly duckling. For the next few chapters we get to read all about him taking her virginity while he simultaneously convinces her to enter into a S&M relationship where he is essentially her master (the dominant, I think they call it), and she has to be his submissive and do any and all sex acts that he desires…double crap!!

-When I reached chapter 11 and saw that for the next 12 pages I’d be reading an actual contract that Christian makes his women sign (complete with a three-page appendix) before starting this formal relationship, I gave up. Did I really need to read a bunch of legal clauses to enjoy a smut novel? Here’s an example of those 12 pages:

“The Dominant reserves the right to dismiss the Submissive from his service at any time and for any reason. The Submissive may request her release at any time, such request to be granted at the discretion of the Dominant subject only to the Submissive’s rights under clauses 2-5 and 8 above.”

That is some steamy, sexy shit right there.

And for anyone who hoped I would read the entire book and give full CliffsNotes so you could hear how it ends, I just read the final page and it sounds like Anastasia leaves Christian, the only man she ever loved.


What Kind of Asshole Makes a Joke About the Colorado Movie Theater Shooting?

I’m trying to figure out just how outraged I should be over a friend’s Facebook comment that said the following:

“Just had the unfortunate experience of sitting through all three hours of the new Batman movie. Those people who got shot during the first hour were actually lucky. (Yes, it was that terrible.)”

That’s just a horrible thing to write, correct? I’m not even gonna say it’s “too soon” for a joke like that because there won’t be any time when it’s not too soon. Am I overreacting to this comment? Is it ok to joke about this if all you’re saying is “better that they got shot during the first hour than the third hour”? I don’t think so, but then I look at the comments below her post from her other friends and there are only six of them, and only in one did someone say she shouldn’t have said that.

After that one person did respond to her comment negatively, the original “friend” I’m speaking of followed up with this:

“Also, of course the massacre was a terrible tragedy, and I’m sorry for the families of everyone who died (…anyone who knows me is aware that goes without saying). But I’m sure anyone who actually suffered through the entire movie would agree: it’s probably better for everyone involved that it happened during the beginning of the movie, rather than right at the end — that would have added insult to injury.”

Does her clarification here make it any better?

I’m so torn on how to react to this…Ignore it? Make a comment on her wall about how awful of a person I think she is? Post her name and all of her info on my blog for others to send her nasty messages? My problem is that if I comment on her wall, I will probably go way over the top and tell her how I hope she gets gunned down while trying to do something she enjoys.

I’m going to let my readers decide how I should respond to this with a vote (see below).

This is beside the point, but…she’s totally wrong about the movie. Dark Knight Rises was a solid B+/A-.