50 Shades of Shit

The observations of one young college student, feminist, and writer wading through the Court of Ankle-Deep Sewage that is E L James' 50 Shades trilogy.

Anonymous asked: you have a lot of hate

eh, it IS a blog dissecting a rather crap book (or was a blog — I don’t update it) so what’d you expect? 

Anonymous asked: Oh god, I just found fanfiction of this abomination. I'm not talking about parodies like 51 Shades of Granite, I mean legitimate fanfiction. Of a freaking fanfiction. It even has it's own category on Fanfiction_net. Did anyone else know this, or am I just slow? Now I have to go cry into my pillow over our culture's abject stupidity.

Wow, I was not aware of that at all. Oh ff.net…

Damn but I’m gonna whup yo’ ass

puptart:

50shadesshittier:

I work on my essay on Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Damn, but that woman was in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong century.

Oh no wait I did know because so far you’ve only TOLD me she could.

And wait. Wait. Hold that phone and back the truck up.

THAT IS WHAT YOUR FUCKING ESSAY WAS ON?

THE ONE ESSAY YOU HAD FOR FINALS?

FUCKING TESS?

BOO-FUCKING-HOO, DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY ESSAYS AND SHIT I HAD TO WRITE ABOUT TESS IN HIGH SCHOOL AP? MORE THAN ONE. SO MANY MORE THAN ONE.

And why are you even talking like you know Tess of the D’Urbervilles? Bitch, you don’t know shit ‘bout Tess, okay, if you knew your shit, you wouldn’t be talking about that book in a piece of shit published Twilight fanfic that sets all literature as well as literature pertaining to or about women back a billion light years.

Let’s just talk about how Twilight made shitty references to Wuthering Heights and somehow persuaded a bunch of delusional teens and moms that it was a romantic fucking love story and how this, as a fanfic, was forced to throw in some other brit lit and stumbled upon Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Tess has been through enough.

Stop it.

"Tess has been through enough"

Amen, sister.

(via marzipanfawn)

Linked to me by Month. I might be late to the party but I figure anyone following this blog would get a kick out of it.

Anonymous asked: It seems you don't like to pick the book up (and who could blame you), but when you do, is it at least a quick read? Or do you spend forever analyzing the shittery?

It’s not that quick because I stop to make notes or stop to make an actual post. I often get tired and so the fine-toothed-comb method slowly falls by the wayside. But I guess if I weren’t doing that, it would be an easy read in that I’d just be skimming forever. It’s like Twilight: in theory, easy to read, but a pain to do so no matter what and so not necessarily quick.

Anonymous asked: I don’t get why so many people complain so much about this book. If you don’t like it, so be it & move on with life. No one is forcin you to read it. But what annoys me most is that people bash this book when they themselves can’t do any better. Yes the book is sexually explicit, just like many other books. Yes some of the things in this book doesn’t sound realistic but that’s because its a FANTASY & what’s funniest, people who hate the book most take time to create sites just to talk about it.

Well, people like to complain. It’s a way of coping. And you’re right, no one is forcing me to read it. But it’s still a major chunk of pop culture so even if I don’t have to READ it, I still have to encounter it. Like Twilight. And when I encounter it, I see people lauding it and saying it’s really, really, ridiculously popular. And there’s more to life than being really, really, ridiculously popular—like writing something quality. And so I am being forced to listen to lies about how great this book is because guess what? While I know that I might not be the best, Icandobetter. I have friends and classmates who can do better. I see strangers do better.

I have no problem with it being sexually explicit, if that’s what you’re implying. Like I linked, I’m quite okay with sexually explicit. I love sexually explicit. What I do not love is shit writing that just vomits pus and bile and badly done sex scenes and exclamations like “Aargh!” when things are getting hot ‘n’ heavy and also misrepresents everything about BDSM ever and can’t even point to …there! on a map all over what should have been erotic and lovely and everything that sexually explicit should be. That is where my hang-ups lie. That is my problem.

And I understand a middle aged woman’s wet dream is fantasy. The book itself though? Isn’t a fantasy book. This isn’t dungeons and dragons, this isn’t the rugged swarthy sailor from distant lands shipwrecks upon some mythical nymph goddesses’ island and crazy, mythical sex ensues. This is a story set in the real world. Even with Twilight, where there’s supernatural forces, the story is still in the real world. So the way things happen in the real world is assumed to happen in the fictional real world, with a bit of suspension of disbelief along the way. And suspension of disbelief is FINE but not ALL THE TIME. Whether real world or fantasy, a world has certain rules and must abide by them realistically to create credibility.

Same with the plot, same with the characters: you need credibility. Characters, no matter where and what world, this world, fantasy world, 20 minutes into the future apocalyptic world, have to resonate with us readers in the real world. They have to be believable. They have to be real, not fantasy, even if they have all the powers and trappings of a fantasy being. Look at Dumbledore from Harry Potter. He’s a fucking wizard! He has super cool badass powers! He’s the greatest headmaster that Hogwarts has ever known! And…he’s incredibly human. He has faults. He concerns himself too much with the greater good and often, as a result, puts good peoples’ lives at stake. He is not infallible. He’s human. He’s real despite the fantasy decor. I don’t expect every book to be Harry freaking Potter (in fact, I’d get bored!) but I expect every book to give me a world that has rules and characters that have beliefs and values and personalities that don’t simply bend  and sway to meet the plot’s needs.

Fantasy would be assuming a book of such sub-par quality could get such recognition and popularity without suffering backlash. Hate is as intense an emotion as love. This is why you have hatedoms and fandoms (see Twilight. See this shithole book.) It’s not funny, it’s not a joke, it’s how realistic human emotions work—something you’d find in realistic fiction and fantasy, provided you have a competent writer (something E. L. James is not.)

Rebloggable version because I know friends will want to.

Anonymous asked: I don't get why so many people complain so much about this book. If you don't like it, so be it & move on with life. No one is forcin you to read it. But what annoys me most is that people bash this book when they themselves can't do any better. Yes the book is sexually explicit, just like many other books. Yes some of the things in this book doesn't sound realistic but that's because its a FANTASY & what's funniest, people who hate the book most take time to create sites just to talk about it.

Well, people like to complain. It’s a way of coping. And you’re right, no one is forcing me to read it. But it’s still a major chunk of pop culture so even if I don’t have to READ it, I still have to encounter it. Like Twilight. And when I encounter it, I see people lauding it and saying it’s really, really, ridiculously popular. And there’s more to life than being really, really, ridiculously popular—like writing something quality. And so I am being forced to listen to lies about how great this book is because guess what? While I know that I might not be the best, I can do better. I have friends and classmates who can do better. I see strangers do better.

I have no problem with it being sexually explicit, if that’s what you’re implying. Like I linked, I’m quite okay with sexually explicit. I love sexually explicit. What I do not love is shit writing that just vomits pus and bile and badly done sex scenes and exclamations like “Aargh!” when things are getting hot ‘n’ heavy and also misrepresents everything about BDSM ever and can’t even point to …there! on a map all over what should have been erotic and lovely and everything that sexually explicit should be. That is where my hang-ups lie. That is my problem.

And I understand a middle aged woman’s wet dream is fantasy. The book itself though? Isn’t a fantasy book. This isn’t dungeons and dragons, this isn’t the rugged swarthy sailor from distant lands shipwrecks upon some mythical nymph goddesses’ island and crazy, mythical sex ensues. This is a story set in the real world. Even with Twilight, where there’s supernatural forces, the story is still in the real world. So the way things happen in the real world is assumed to happen in the fictional real world, with a bit of suspension of disbelief along the way. And suspension of disbelief is FINE but not ALL THE TIME. Whether real world or fantasy, a world has certain rules and must abide by them realistically to create credibility.

Same with the plot, same with the characters: you need credibility. Characters, no matter where and what world, this world, fantasy world, 20 minutes into the future apocalyptic world, have to resonate with us readers in the real world. They have to be believable. They have to be real, not fantasy, even if they have all the powers and trappings of a fantasy being. Look at Dumbledore from Harry Potter. He’s a fucking wizard! He has super cool badass powers! He’s the greatest headmaster that Hogwarts has ever known! And…he’s incredibly human. He has faults. He concerns himself too much with the greater good and often, as a result, puts good peoples’ lives at stake. He is not infallible. He’s human. He’s real despite the fantasy decor. I don’t expect every book to be Harry freaking Potter (in fact, I’d get bored!) but I expect every book to give me a world that has rules and characters that have beliefs and values and personalities that don’t simply bend  and sway to meet the plot’s needs.

Fantasy would be assuming a book of such sub-par quality could get such recognition and popularity without suffering backlash. Hate is as intense an emotion as love. This is why you have hatedoms and fandoms (see Twilight. See this shithole book.) It’s not funny, it’s not a joke, it’s how realistic human emotions work—something you’d find in realistic fiction and fantasy, provided you have a competent writer (something E. L. James is not.)

Anonymous asked: I am so frustrated with the hype about this book and its trilogy. The reviews written by people who actually have knowledge of the English language are the shits! I have no desire to read drivel and crap so I refuse but I find it so frustrating that all of my friends (mostly in their early 30's and mothers) are falling all over themselves about how this is the greatest book they've ever read! Honestly, is it really THAT bad? Should I find out for myself? Oh how I hope you say no I shouldn't!

Well, now, I can understand some of the hype because it is basically wish-fulfillment (a la Twilight) but with (shitty) sex sex sex sex seeeex but popularized. It’s a Romance novel without the “stigma” of Romance novel (I don’t see it in the Romance section. No! It’s the popular books section.) And so it kinda introduces people to (a bastardization of) the Romance genre. It’s badly written smut with a shiny cover and, since it was a Twilight fanfic, marketed as Twilight for grown-ups. And you know what? It’s popular fiction. Popular isn’t always bad, but in this case (and in Twilight’s) it is.

It’s bad writing, it’s bad depictions of sex, it’s bad. But I can say that because I spent my entire preteen years reading and writing fanfiction and as such have grown with, well, erotic fanfic. I write erotica. I draw erotica. I’ve seen good, bad, and ugly depictions and with every one I’ve learned what’s crap and what’s not. Your friends, who’re mothers in their 30s, probably didn’t have this luxury I have. I’m 19. Computers were a thing in my life since I was about 6 or 7, back in the days of dial-up. That’s about 15 years ago. For your friends, they’d be teenagers when computers were just coming out as a thing, young adults in the working world when computers became really more mainstream and available and fandoms became easily visible online. I’m just guessing here (because to me, people in their thirties are ~old~ and of a ~different generation~ and ~different~ because I for some reason think I’m still like 13 or something) but these things probably weren’t as mainstream available to them and Romance novels have a stigma, so now with what amounts to a mainsteam smutty fanfic that would highlight everything wrong with fanfiction.net hitting the shelves, this is their, I guess, discovery of smut lit. And, like myself and every fandom kid who first clicked on fanfiction.net, you have to learn what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s ugly. It’s just in your friends’ case, this isn’t some fic on the internet, it’s a book that gets sales and thrives on popularity and being called “the greatest book they’ve ever read!”

So is the book crap? Yes. I can’t even bring myself to get on with chapter three and this is from the girl who actually managed to get to about chapter 8 in Twilight (and these chapters are shorter!) Is the hype frustrating? Maybe. I heard about it through tumblr and tumblr rips it apart because tumblr is made of people who grew up with fandoms and know their fanfic and create an internet mainstream where erotica is accepted (unlike the bookstores) so my view of the hype is skewed. But try not to be frustrated with your friends. Unless your friends actually read erotica and should know better and be able to admit that at least what they’re reading is crap. It is painful to read so save yourself the trouble and don’t find out. Just don’t. Ignorance really is bliss.

Anonymous asked: This is wonderful. The best I could do was to convince myself that I knew what she meant, skim over the words, and paint the meant-to-be picture in my head. If I was told to analyze James's writing, I would have hated modern literature for the rest of my life.

Yeah, that’s kinda why it’s getting hard to bring myself to go through chapter three. Having to pay attention to the exhausting amount of stupid is a bit taxing. Though I should get on it…But yes, skimming makes it better. Skim. Skim for you life, dear anon.