SO, 50 Shades of Grey… And no, I’m not talking about the weather. For once.
I’m talking about the book, which has barely been out of the best-seller lists, or women’s hands, since it was first released as an e-book. But is all the hype just that and it’s hue more about the colour of money?
If you haven’t heard of it (where have you been?), it’s a naughty romp of a romance, but it’s no fairytale. The trilogy was penned by London-based EL James (mother, TV exec, turned author) because she loved the Twilight series but felt that there wasn’t enough, well, sauce in it (plenty of ketchupy vampire blood, though).
Basic plot line: girl (Anastasia Steele) meets boy (Christian Grey), girl falls in love with boy, boy is kinky and damaged and repressed, girl learns some fairly shady lessons about relationships … which isn’t really fair to anyone: not women nor those who err on the side of kinky.
The book has been dubbed ‘mummy porn’ by the popular press (which I think is a fairly icky idiom for several reasons) and is punctuated by ‘oh mys’ and ‘holy hells’ (I suppose it is set across the Atlantic but I’m pretty sure this still doesn’t forgive our heroine).
I also have a number of concerns about the popularity of this novel’s literary brand.
The writing may be ridiculous at times but it’s the implications on a wider scale that worry me, yes indeed, perhaps even make me exclaim ‘oh my’.
My misgivings are not as a result of the content as such (although I did learn a thing or two) but more because of the heavily tied-in (and potentially damaging) gender stereotypes.
This week it has been in the press on a number of occasions. Firstly, because Hollywood has got its pernicious little hands on it and is going to make it into a film.
By mid-week it was a hot-topic because an e-fit had been created of the male protagonist, Christian Grey. Apparently, scientists created the e-fit for… actually, I’m not entirely sure what for (I mean last week, they were explaining the universe!).
And finally, if all that isn’t enough to make you go ‘ewww’, by the end of the week it had been reported that a Welsh man had been charged for squirting his girlfriend with brown sauce after she refused to stop reading aloud racy passages from the book.
So, by all accounts, EL James has had her wish, more sauce indeed, but at the cost of what? More than a bottle of HP, I imagine.
IT HAS been raining. A lot. In fact, Edinburgh for example, has seen more than 134% of its average July rainfall already… and there’s more to come.
Several events have been cancelled or marred by recent unrelenting downpours (like T in the Park).
Although not ideal, it’s time to don the wellies and get jumping in the puddles – you know your childhood self will love it!
QB’s corner - 5 things I’m loving this week…
1. JOG ON: Injury, laziness, rain, laziness... this week I ran out of excuses and got my running shoes back on.
2. DINNER CHEZ QB: I hosted my first dinner party in a LONG time this week. I thought I’d go over-easy and opt for a breakfast theme that had me cooking Bloody Mary Gazpacho, Eggs Benedict with Potato Rosti and Apple Pancake Pie. It went well, but I was toast afterwards!
3. WELLIES: This week I’ve mostly been wearing them for jumping in all the puddles!
4. ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY: I went to see The-Well-Acted-But-Not-Really-Amazing-Spider-Man this week. It is worth a watch but perhaps in reality it’s too soon for a new Peter Parker to be bitten!
5.THE TOOTH OF IT: I know I can be a little eccentric at times… but I love going to dentist! This week I had a wee check-up and deep clean – honestly, better than a new frock, I say!