50 Shades of Prey

I read this crap.  Admittedly I only got through the first book, and was somewhat appalled to find out that there were more of them – it makes one lament for the sorry state of the publishing industry if crud like this can get printed once, let alone a series. Mostly I read it because a young friend of mine had read them and said they were ‘good’.  I read the first book and felt it was anything but – the characters were wooden and un-engaging, the narrative was dull and predictable and the writing?!? OMFG… it read like it was written by and for fifteen year olds.  It was fucking painful to get through, a seriously fucking painful three hours or so. Maybe that is just what happens to you when you spend your time reading and studying classic literature?  I don’t know.  But E.L.James is no Henry James, (not that I’ve ever enjoyed Henry James… but that’s enough story).

There’s been a lot of talk in the media at various points about this 50 Shades of Grey crap not being representative of the BDSM community and rather that it has all the hallmarks of a sensationalised and sexualised domestic abuse situation – to which I have sort of thought ‘Oh yeah, wind your head in.  It’s just unadulterated crap – not even remotely erotic, doesn’t have any similarities with BDSM relationships, but hardly depicts sexual or domestic abuse’… and I have a feeling that I came to this conclusion based on my complete lack of empathy for the characters of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey.  Anastasia Steele is depicted as dull, listless, clueless, two dimensional and well, insipid.  Christian Grey is comes across as though the author wanted him to be commanding, domineering and strong and masterful… but instead just reads like a big bored wanna be, monied up prat. who misses the mark.  I’ve heard the book described as ‘steamy, erotic,and filled with sexual tension’, which just makes me sad really.  If that shit is steamy, you need to take a serious look at your love life.

But I’m getting off point… abusive.  People have said the relationship depicted in 50 Shades of Grey is abusive, and my complete inability (and lack of desire) to empathise with the characters led me to dismiss these claims out of hand.  Until I saw these:

50 shades of grey 1 50 shades of grey 2 50 shades of grey 3 50 shades of grey 4 50 shades of grey 5 50 shades of grey 6Some fans will say that these quotes can’t be taken in isolation an are out of context, which is why they read like domestic abuse slogans – but in all honesty that’s just not true.  This is how E.L. James wrote this Grey character, this is how he interacts with Anastasia throughout the entire novel.  Grey is abusing her, mentally, emotionally and (maybe) physically… but prior to seeing it spelled out like this in black and white mocked up movie posters – the characters were so poorly written that I never gave a shit enough about the characters to see it.

So what does it matter really at this point?  Well, while we have to live with the fact that publishers are constantly handing us tripe these days and selling it to us as though it’s caviar… unfortunately, many people don’t analyse what they’re consuming and don’t see these things for what they are.  There are many, many, thousands – hundreds of thousands – of people who have read this particular tripe… and now I am wondering, how many of them are impressionable young teenage girls?   :/



Just don’t argue. Full stop.


goodwill librarian
One morning the husband returns after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap. Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out. She motors out a short distance, anchors, and reads her book. 

Along comes a game warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman and says, “Good morning Ma’am. What are you doing?”

“Reading a book,” she replies, (thinking, “Isn’t that obvious?”)

“You’re in a restricted fishing area,” he informs her.

“I’m sorry officer, but I’m not fishing, I’m reading.”

“Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I’ll have to take you in and write you up.”

“If you do that, I’ll have to charge you with sexual assault,” says the woman.

“But I haven’t even touched you,” says the game warden.

“That’s true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment.”

“Have a nice day ma’am,” and he left.

MORAL: Never argue with a woman who reads. It’s likely she can also think.

-Author Unknown 

(via the Goodwill Librarian Facebook page)

The Clayton’s psychopath.

Went to see The Call starring Halle Berry (sporting the worst haircut ever – seriously, she looks like a poodle!) which is about a 911 operator who makes a mistake on the phones one night with a caller who had an intruder in their house, that, potentially cost the caller her life.  Several months later she takes a call from a teenage girl who has been abducted by a psychotic serial killer, and she tries her damnedest to locate the missing girl and save the girl’s life. That’s the Readers Digest version of the plot anyway.  It’s had mixed reviews from cinematic critics but has been quite well received by audiences, so we thought we’d give it a burl.

the call operator psychopath

I found the movie to be exactly what it was supposed to be, a suspense thriller that had enough twists and turns to keep you interested, and plenty of ‘oh shit!’ moments to make you jump in your seat.  Only throughout the whole thing, something wasn’t quite right… I found myself thinking – there’s something wrong with their serial killer/psychopath antagonist dude (played by Michael Eklund).  I mean, he was plenty menacing and pretty unhinged, but there was something about the character that just didn’t add up. It took me a little while, but I think I figured it out.

I recently read a book called The Wisdom of Psychopaths by Professor Kevin Dutton which explores the personality traits of people with psychopathic tendencies and what divides those people who score high on psychopathy scales form being serial killers or becoming world class surgeons.  Yes, apparently these two ‘professions’ are intrinsically linked… along with CEOs, astronauts, fighter pilots, military special forces guys and finance/stock market traders.  They all share similar traits with psychopathic serial killers… charismatic, ruthlessness, opportunistic, calculated impassivity and most of all, unnatural calm under extreme pressure.  Literally, these people have lower physiological stress responses (lowered heart rate, less perspiration and zen like calm) when faced with situations that would have the rest of us shitting out pants and crying for our mothers!

kevin dutton serial killers psychopaths

The serial killer in The Call was initially depicted as methodical and organised, having successfully planned the abductions and murders of several teenage girls, while compartmentalising his psychoses and having the life of a regular Joe, whereupon no one suspects his criminal homicidal tendencies and obsessions.  Yet, as the film progressed and he was put in situations of extreme pressure, the serial killer in this film does not display calculated psychopathic calm and composure… this psychopath loses his shit.  He acts without thinking, doesn’t calculate the consequences, he’s unsure of himself, completely reactive and seems to be winging every move once he got off script.  He totally can’t keep his shit together, sweats like a motherfucker and ends up floundering about in desperation.  And from what I read in Dutton’s text, desperation doesn’t really figure highly in your average psychopath’s modus operandi… fear, anxiety, uncertainty and desperation are emotions completely foreign to most psychopaths.

serial killer psychopath

So yeah, while it was an entertaining film with a solid enough plot… the serial killer annoyed the hell out of me, as his actions became increasingly incongruous with the character they were initially attempting to portray.  But if you can get past the psychopath you have when you’re not having a psychopath, and the poodle hair bit… it’s worth a watch on DVD.  🙂