50 Cents on 50 Shades

I feel the need to address something I'm seeing. Right now it's the reaction, let's call it, to the 50 Shades of Grey movie. If you haven't heard it's a new movie based on the popular books of the same name.

I will first admit I have not read the books, nor do I have any interest in reading them. Or in seeing the movie(s) most likely. However, I'm a little confused by the reaction on social media. I'm seeing all kinds of people, good, smart people, really getting angry about the movie and books. 

I know, I know, opinions are elbows and a-holes, everyone has them. We're all entitled to them, but one thing I just wish people would consider is this:
1. Why is what YOU think of a thing more important than fans of the thing that spent their money to buy it?
2. What gives you the right to decide what should or should not be made/created?

I get that a lot of people don't like the books. I was sent an excerpt and when I initially saw the subject matter, it totally seemed like something I would like. Books about sex? Yeah, I'm down like a clown. Wait, I am not down with clown sex, I just say that because it rhymes. Not that there's anything wrong with clown sex, it just seems loud with the honky trumpets, and messy with all that face make-up, you could get a pretty bad infection. #TheMoreYouKnow

Anyway, I read the little bit and I didn't like the writing. I like porn, don't misunderstand me, I just didn't like this writing. 

So you know what I did?

I didn't read the book.

I know people get uptight about porn, but we shouldn't. If you like it, it's great. It's glorious actually.

A lot of other people did read the books, and they really enjoyed them. For whatever reason that is none of my business. If there's one thing I never want to have an open discussion with people about, it's what turns them on. I don't need to know that, unless your my partner, and you're not.

A LOT of women (and probably some men) read and really enjoyed this book. I mean really enjoyed them. According to Dave Barry, women world-wide were so turned on by the 50 Shades book that were (quoting) "wanting to have sex with their own husbands." That's a beautiful thing.

And guess what?

I didn't get angry that other people liked the book, I was actually happy that people found something enjoyable, especially something that may have helped their love life. Good for you, America. I didn't spew my opinion about it all over social media, I didn't put down the writing, I just didn't pursue it and went on with my day.

At least take the DOCTOR part out of the show title.
While I'm the first one to poke fun at stuff, or sometimes full-on rip on stuff that ticks me off, like Dr. Oz pretending as a doctor that diet pills won't kill us, I mean that's abusing your "doctor" title, for your own profit. Or Fox News pretending it's made up spin on reality is an actual thing that is real, but hey, how about we don't take a steamy dump all over something that obviously other people enjoy?

I hate reality television, I do. I'm a fan of scripted comedy, or even live comedy. I really do NOT enjoy the drama of putting people in difficult situations and then making those situations increasingly stressful so that people will fight. And then calling that entertainment. This reminds me too much of my actual life, so I'll pass on watching this as entertainment. 

However, I stopped complaining about it and putting it down because it seems like it's here to stay. People love it. I don't know why, I don't want to spend my time and energy finding out why, I'll just tune out and go on with my life. 

Someone somewhere likes it, a lot of people actually, and as it turns out, some of my actual friends enjoy this stuff. 

If I complain about how stupid it is, does that make me look smart? No, it doesn't. It makes me look like a judgmental asshole who thinks I'm better than everyone else because I like this instead of that

Ever heard of a judgmental man by the name of Kanye West? He pretended to take an award away from Beck, then later said he wasn't kidding, and social media blew up with people calling him a myriad of wonderful swear words to numerous to name hear. But guess what? If you mock a book or a movie, you ARE Kanye West. You're doing the same thing. You're saying this book didn't deserve to be made into a movie just because you don't like it. Even though other people do.

Am I jealous because I can't write a book that everyone will read, or a show that everyone will watch? Yes, a little.

Does that make me angry? No. 

Do I want to stop being friends with everyone who enjoys things that are different than what I enjoy? No. I want to stop being friends with people so I never have to go to places and wear actual pants, but that's beside the point.

I don't get to tell people what they are entertained by. 

I also want to stop question-talking while we're at it.

It doesn't matter if you think it's stupid, or even if it's actually stupid. Have you seen the comedy movies of the 80's? Yes, I know but we found them hilarious. 

So what? 

I also like Stephen King books, and The Daily Show, and Adventure Time, and NPR, and Howard Stern, and coloring with crayons and reading blogs that include a lot of swear words. And that's okay because it's my America, too.

How does that hurt you? 

How does that keep you from being the best you that you can be? Please tell me, in your own words. You can use swears if you want. 

Please do not, however, tell me that my shows or magazines or anything else is "responsible for the dumbing down of society" because society was dumb long before I was even born, Mister.

People have been horrible and flawed and violent and shitty to each other since caveman days. What do you blame that on? Violent cave paintings? Come on, man.

Just because you find a thing stupid doesn't mean everyone does. And just because television shows are increasingly stupid doesn't mean you should constantly complain about it on social media. 

If it bothers you that badly, write letters and/or emails to the networks that run the shows. Use your words. 

Keep your children from watching. Talk to them about what you think is important. 

It's not television's job to raise your kids, it's YOUR job.

It's not the entertainment industry's job to make society smarter. More smart? Brainer? I don't know. 

If you can create better, smarter content, how about you do that.

Then it will be there, and we'll all be better, right?

It's all of our jobs to enlighten ourselves and those around us. Books, radio, television, internet, whichever you chose, is yours for the choosing. 

You chose.

For yourself. 

Not anyone else.

You don't get to chose for me.

If you find something offensive, contact the creator, the network, the newspaper that printed it, whoever is responsible. Don't subject us all to your sensitivities. 

Sometimes people make mistakes, and sometimes humans are overly sensitive. Work that out behind the scenes. If you're offended by something, first think about why. Why are words making you feel angry?

Please don't come at me with 'rape culture' about this book. This book/movie is a work of FICTION. Google that if you need to, but please know that no sane person would change their actions based on a work of Fiction.

My favorite thing that ever was is the books series "Song of Ice and Fire." Those are the books that Game of Thrones is based on. The books are chock full of delicious sword-fighting and brutal, bloody death. I've read the books over and over, and listened to the audiobooks over and over, and watch the show over and over I will continue to do so, and not once has it ever occurred to me to chop someone's head off with a sword. I've never even priced a sword.

If it ever does occur to me, it will be my responsibility to seek professional help. 

NOT to tell HBO to stop airing the show.

NOT to tell George RR Martin to stop writing the books.

NOT to tell you to stop reading the books.

See how that works?

Don't start dramatically wringing your hands and "Won't someone think of the children?"ing.

Don't hide behind the human shields of your offspring just because you don't like something. None of this is intended for children. 

I have children, and they don't watch porn and porn has every right to exist in our society. And if my girls want to, as grown consenting adults, watch or even make porn, that is their choice. Even if it makes me uncomfortable, that is their choice and I would support their choice. 
(And no, not watch it, are you kidding me?)

Just because you like say, mob movies, but you don't like Game of Thrones that doesn't give either of those any more right to exist. And your children shouldn't be watching EITHER of those things. That's your job, as a parent. Not society's job, to make sure nothing with adult themes gets created and shown to adults. How about we stop using "the children" as pawns in places they don't belong, okay?

And one day, if I ever get my head on straight and decide to write a book, and you think that my book really sucks, and oh, you probably would, I would be okay with you telling me that but not everyone would be.

It's tough to put your thoughts into words that make sense to someone else. I know what I think about a thing, but how can I make YOU know and feel the feelings and know the thoughts? Seriously how, that's all I need to know to write a book.

It's not as easy as it sounds. As a content creator, I know this.


This top portion of this post is the gist of what I wanted to say to everyone. The bottom portion, which I will leave because it's ramblingly funny and some comments refer to it, but the rest is the slighty crazy-sounding ramblings of someone who doesn't have time to edit, or proof-read or have complete coherent thoughts. Proceed if you would like a laugh, but the top portion more than makes my point.
Thank you for reading! 

When I see other content creators bashing another creator's work, I wonder what they're thinking. Mayhaps they have their own, special reasons but I wonder what is the goal in tearing another writer down. Does that really make you feel better? Because it doesn't make you sound better, or seem smarter. It really doesn't.

We know how hard it is to take something that wasn't there, whether it's a painting, or a song, or a poem, or a blog post, or a sculpture, or WHATEVER, and bring that thing into life. After all the things that are already created, trying not to duplicate something, trying to craft your creation so that it represents to everyone what you so see. Getting an idea out, making it just so, bringing it to life. 

If you've actually taken a cell of an idea, fertilized it and nurtured it through the gestation of doubt and fear, growing it and fighting the demons in your own mind, to take that baby of an idea, coax it out with the forceps of determination and force it to life in this cold, cruel world, how can you just murder someone else's thought baby? Tell them after everything they've gone through to get that out, that it doesn't deserve to be here, just because you don't like it?

And that last horrible paragraph is a fine example of writing I thought would go one way and went another, creepy way entirely. This is harder than it looks, with the noise of life both real and imagined, and it's not something you would write but it's what I came up in the time I had. I hope I at least made my point about not crapping all over each other. 

If something doesn't have the right to exist because smart people think it's bad, there goes 99% of the world's creative content, including and especially this blog. And your Facebook page probably.

Not to say we shouldn't laugh at ourselves or others, I mean that thought baby paragraph is a steaming pile of fecal matter and I will laugh for a long time about it and that's all good.

Just know that before you say a book or a show or an article is "stupid" keep in mind that someone you know, maybe someone you love, enjoyed that book/show/article, and maybe they don't deserve to be put down because you didn't enjoy it. 

We all like different things, have different guilty pleasures, and different opinions. Let's remember that you don't learn a lot from people who agree with you all the time. Let's give each other a break for trying to put stuff out there in the world.

Unless you have some really funny material, then hey, you write a book you're asking for public opinions, am I right?

I mean, unless someone is spreading straight-out false information as reality, for their own profit or for any other reason. Then you let that mother effer HAVE IT. I mean, we all have to look out for each other.

l have no idea if this even makes sense, and I really want to go back and make it better but I don't have time. Small humans are asking me for candy, because they did Valentines in school and want to eat all the candy. And so do I, but it's my job to talk them out of candy and into something like oatmeal. I'm not mad that parents gave out candy. I'm not mad that Valentine's Day is a commercialized day. That's just how things happen. 

Right now it's my job to teach kids the importance of balancing the good stuff with the junk stuff. There will always be things we don't agree with. We can't fight the whole world and make the whole world not create things we don't like. We just teach the children, teach ourselves, to make the right choices, no matter what's out there. 

It's my place in the world right now, and it's the most important job in the world, so forgive my weirdness and struggle with words. Writing words gooder is not part of my job right now, and I hope you at least got the message of what I'm trying to say. 

And it really is okay to make fun of my weird writing, I will re-read this a couple hours from now and probably laugh right along with you. It's all good.


  1. Good rant, Joy! I don't understand the criticism that 50 Shades contributes to rape culture. Rape culture exists because of a criminal disregard for the necessity of consent. Yet I believe that consent was front and centre in 50 Shades -- didn't they sign a contract? What consenting adults do together is not rape culture.

    1. Agreed. I have no idea about the story, I know there was a contract and I've seen someone go on and on about stalking, but I don't know what the deal with that is. Really that doesn't seem to be the overall feel of the story bt again, I didn't read it so it's hard for me to comment on it. Thanks for reading and commenting. I haven't even really gone back and checked if this makes sense, just that crazy Thought Baby paragraph, that was a perfect example of BAD WRITING! hahahaha and if someone likes my bad writing? THANK YOU, you're wonderful.

  2. YES! I completely agree with you on all of this. I actually wrote an entire thing right after the books came out because I was so sick of people using a silly book as a platform to bash other people and make them feel superior to anyone that read the books. That seems to be the way it goes. After something becomes big and a big group of people start liking it, ...then it becomes a trend to hate that very thing. It really is such a dumb practice in our society. It's like when the Twilight thing became so big, all of a sudden it was more popular to actually hate the books. So you were only a "cool kid" if you hated Twilight. Our society makes these stupid ass rules, and people fall right into the ignorance of it all. If anyone uses a book or television show as a way to try and feel superior or more intelligent than another person, than they really need to find a better way because they actually look more like a dumb ass than anything! ...and here I am being all judgmental... ;) ;)

    1. hahaha that is all so true. We're all just PEOPLE.
      And you know what I say about people?
      They're the worst.
      We all do need to vent, but yes, you're right. When people turn and start putting something really popular down, it just makes them look like a giant Kanye. Don't be Kanye, America. No one likes that guy.

    2. And you're right about Twilight. I could not get through the books, though a LOT of people did. They weren't FOR me though, they are Young Adult. Anytime a Young Adult book goes mainstream, it means it's not that bad. I wanted to punch Bella in her stupid face and I could NOT look at Kristen Stewart long enough to watch more than 5 minutes of the first movie, but again they weren't FOR me. It's like when a movie critic rips all over a kids movie. The good ones will at least say, "The kids in the theater seemed to be laughing and having fun" well, that's good because THEY are the intended audience of a kid's movie. Not an adult critic.

  3. Hear hear! I couldn't agree with you more. I read the books, didn't particularly enjoy the writing, but adored the characters. I have respect for the author for bringing them to life and I am so tired of people jumping on the band wagon and slating the books/movie. I found your comment about clown sex highly entertaining - I really enjoyed the post :-)

    1. Thank you! I went back and read this and whoa, holy rambling! Maybe that's why I felt the need to support this writer, hahaha, but also friends of mine enjoyed the books. What the heck is wrong with that? Nothing. Nothing at all.
      Thanks for reading and commenting! I hope you enjoy the movie(s).

  4. Oh I do love it when you're in ranting mode! And I love the way you use humour to get your point across. Couldn't agree with you more.
    As for 50 Shades, great idea, but poorly executed (seriously, if anyone had sex as often as they did, the woman would have a severe yeast infection) and should not have come under the banner of BDSM. Unfortunately, a lot of the controversy comes from those who have admitted to never have read the book, but cries of rape and domestic abuse are unfounded, though I did question one scene.

    Oh bless Kanye, who lives in Kanye land on the top of Kayne mountain. That man is a therapist's dream come true.

    1. Oh if my writing is bad on a normal day, when I'm ranting it's just CRAZY. I can see this post being used as evidence in a trial to have me committed. I did not read the books, so I can't comment on quality of content but I CAN tell you that Anne Rice commented on the books and said that the writing was quality enough to be published, and that is a good point. YEAST INFECTION, 2 words that should NEVER be included in anyone's fantasy! And that is what this is intended to be, fantasy. Might be weird to some, but that's what is great about fantasy, it's not reality so you can push to unrealistic limits. It's why I love it. Reality is so boring and restrictive.
      I kind of love Kanye. In a "love to hate him" kind of way. He's such a good BAD GUY!

  5. Excellent points made, Joy! :) We all have a right to choose our entertainment regardless of opposing opinions about said entertainment. Great, rambling piece. Wonderful. I haven't read the books either but my mother did and so did many mothers out there.I thought what got my mom's motor going may be best left alone.

    1. hahahaha too true! But again, it's a beautiful thing! (as long as we don't have to hear the details!)
      Thanks for reading, and commenting. And sorry about the rambling!

  6. Do you think it all boils down to sex and prudishness? I kinda think it might. People are worked up about this book (and movie), but there's a ton of poorly written or trite or flat-out false stuff written that people enjoy and others don't get that worked up about. But this has brought out the pitchforks. I think sex gets people excited. Ha!

    1. I see what you did there, Sarah. Definitely a big factor here. People get really uptight, especially when it comes to things like S&M. People are immediately afraid, and people HATE things that make them feel fear.
      Also, I see writers putting down the writing. Maybe it's not War and Peace, but obviously this writing was good enough to be published, to sell enormous amounts of copies, and even be made into a movie. Put your jealousies and anything else aside, and be glad for an author, won't you? Books make people happy, you don't need to poke your negativity into that. It's like that song, "If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad."

  7. holy shit this was like, 8 blog posts in one! I can barely churn out ONE post in 8 months! there was 50 shades of clown sex and kanye and parenting and dead thought babies and porn and candy. I'm exhausted. but I laughed. OUT LOUD even.
    (and yet i feel compelled to confess that I do trash 50 Shades of Crap and it's fans, and I enjoy reality tv and I ate half the valentine's candy already.) I might be getting too comfy here...

    1. I know, I'm all over the place. I usually only post once a week, and I have to go back and edit a few times before publishing but I just did not have the time or the ability to do that yesterday. I came back to read it this morning and UGH. This sounds like the manifesto of an insane person. But I stand by the thoughts. I hate the way people are being snobby and terrible about this movie/books and the way people do that all the time. Don't try to make other people feel like crap b/c you don't like what they like. That really drives me crazy. I mean, jokes are jokes. Let's all joke and laugh and have fun, but when you start using negative words, you make people who actually ENJOY the thing feel bad. What is the point of that? I would rather be a horrible writer than a horrible person. I mean, clearly.
      Thanks for reading. I'm so glad you had Valentine's candy! You're never TOO comfy for me!

  8. I do like ice cream, but am not a fan of clowns or dentists or a dentist dressed as a clown . . . . .

    I like seagulls but seagulls hate everything else. they are even more grumpy than I am.

    Rob Z Tobor

    1. Ice cream is the best. I like clowns, even creepy ones, maybe I like those the best, but dentists? THAT IS WHERE I DRAW THE LINE. They are pure molten evil. Well, probably not all of them.
      Seagulls are grumpy? How can you tell? It's the squaking right? Or the crapping on everything?
      They seem a little self-centered, but I don't have evidence to back up that theory.

  9. Oh alright, ALRIGHT! Between you and Mandi, you've done a good job. I'll keep quiet, because you're right. I need to learn my place, and eventually I will, and the world will be better for it.

    Thank you, Joy-to-my-world, for helping me become a better person. You're AWESOME.

    1. Hahahahahaha Yes! BLESS YER BOOBS!
      Did we not think bad writers deserved compassion? Or porno writers? They're he real heros. Apparently. And an inspiration that if THAT writing can sell, I can write a book.
      Probably not.
      Thanks for reading & having an open(er) mind.

    2. Hahahahahaha Yes! BLESS YER BOOBS!
      Did we not think bad writers deserved compassion? Or porno writers? They're he real heros. Apparently. And an inspiration that if THAT writing can sell, I can write a book.
      Probably not.
      Thanks for reading & having an open(er) mind.

  10. I agree. People get up in arms about all sorts of things. I mean, there were people protesting the fact that the Harry Potter books and movies exist! I feel like, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and yes everyone has freedom of speech, but that doesn't mean you should use your freedom of speech to try to force others to live according to your beliefs. There are so many other things people could put that time and energy towards! There are children in this world starving, being abused, being trafficked. There are animals being tortured and abandoned. There are veterans living in poverty. Why can't people choose one of these topics to fight for, and leave others' personal reading and viewing choices alone?

    1. So true, Angel. I do get that everyone is entitled to opinion, but the reactions I was seeing were horrible. Very negative, saying the books & people who liked them were stupid among other things. Crazy. why get SO upset about something you can't just opt out of? It'll all blow over shortly. And yes, I agree about better use of time and energy. If you think they're that horrible, write something better. Use your time writing a better book instead of complaining about ones that exist and were well-received by many.

  11. Oh yes - well said. There is so much shouting going on and people, some of them MY people, filling my FB thread with their ranting and grunting about this damn book. I am so BORED of it now.

    1. Same. It's why I don't go on Facebook very often anymore. Too much complaining, without many suggestions for making anything better. It's draining.