Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey Gets Fifty Shades of Weird

We prefer our Fifty Shades of Gray weirdness straight up, just bondage and dominance, and ... whatever this is. Image source: Sex and

Time for more news of 50 Shades of Gray, the erotic juggernaut of modern publishing. How much of a juggernaut is it, you ask? It's so bad that Penguin Books's profits are down, way down, like down more than 50 percent down, and they are complaining that Fifty Shades of Gray is at fault ... it has "distorted the overall books market" with its 30 million and counting in sales. Sounds like that analogy I wrote about here was quite accurate. Not surprising ... my hindsight is 20/20.

Some of the hoopla around 50 Shades of Gray has an almost forlorn, desperate quality, like this article claiming that the sales boom in books and sex toys spurred by the novels might "save the economy." I guess it IS a stimulus ... but not THAT kind of stimulus. It's better than all the nothing and WORSE than nothing that our government and business leaders have managed to do, of course, and you can be sure that if Fifty Shades of Gray DOES help the economy, those selfsame leaders will line up to take credit for it. Though Mitt Romney has been telling the social wing of the Republican Party he'll censor the hell out of everything if elected, which I guess would include Fifty Shades of Gray. Sadly, that's the sort of promise Republicans generally DO keep.

We're starting to get some oddballs jumping on the bandwagon, too. The British energy company npower has started a promotion called "Fifty Shades of Green" to encourage energy conservation. Well, perhaps that's not too odd. They're an energy company, they are all about forcing their customers to submit. Old hat for them, really.

Even the little guys are getting in on it. An amateur theatrical group in the village of Llanrwst, North Wales (that's in Great Britain, in case you are wondering) has created a theatrical presentation based on Fifty Shades of Gray. It has the local theater packed every night as the participants "talk about their sex lives as if they were talking to a qualified therapist." I guess the book MAY have a huge ripple effect in England with stuff like that going on. Question is: will there be a Fifty Shades of Gray bubble?

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