Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday Scenester Pick: The Blind Pets at Replay / Chip Reads 50 Shades of Grey

It seems like a slow night for scenesters in LFK, though Austin's The Blind Pets would probably make for a rocking evening at the Replay.  The Austin Chronicle says of last year's Sweet Tooth:

" of the better Saturday night rock LPs in recent memory. There's a SoCal strut to TBP's stoner metal, equal parts Queens of the Stone Age's cocksure sleaze (the opening title track), the heavy vision questing of Sleep ("Mountain"), and Fu Manchu's early asphalt huffing ("The Who")."

Would this "Saturday night rock" play just as well on a Thursday? Sure it would, so long as you drink enough PBR.  Plus, Larryville's Stiff Middle Fingers is also on the bill bringing your favorite punk covers. Check it out and report back to us.


Today we're taking a naughty little detour away from music and into the literary.

This year's biggest publishing success story, E.L. James' 50 Shades of Grey, contains not a single vampire (though it DID start off as Twilight fan-fiction, if that counts).  Instead,  it's the titillating tale of a young college student, Anastasia Steele, who gets in touch with her "Inner Goddess" via a little S&M with the older, charismatic Christian Grey.  Yes, it turns out that American women (even otherwise sensible young feminists) have really been craving a little light bondage and a nice, hard spanking in their "literature."

Obviously, it quickly became essential to obtain Chip's opinion on this book, which is the first in a trilogy.  But he was too busy watching Redtube to read the whole thing.  Luckily, we discovered a Daily Beast post that collects 14 of the book's "naughtiest bits," which Chip believes is plenty to make a number of trenchant observations.


(1) Chip:  "James consistently uses the word "behind" in these passages.  It's a soft and curvy word that women enjoy.  A man would just use the word "ass" and be done with it.  That's good writing on her part."

Example:  "He places his hand on my naked behind, softly fondling me, stroking around and around with his flat palm. And then his hand is no longer there … and he hits me—hard."

(2) Chip:  "James is extremely skillful in taking us deep into a woman's complex thoughts during the moments of 'discovery' that happen during sexual encounters, such as this moment when Anastasia sees Christian's boner for the first time:

"Pulling off his boxer briefs, his erection springs free. Holy cow!

(3) Chip:  "A good writer of erotica must employ a careful selection of metaphors to keep all the boning from getting a little monotonous.  Look at James'' amazing description of a blowjob which transitions skillfully from the innocent imagery of a "popsicle" to the sensuous moves of salsa-dancing within the space of a couple of sentences.   It works extremely well to show Anastasia's corresponding transition from "innocence to experience," as William Blake would term it:

"My tongue swirls around the end. He’s my very own Christian Grey-flavored popsicle. I suck harder and harder … Hmm … My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.”

(4) Chip:  "Women, oddly enough, want their erotica to illuminate not just sex but also the moments after sex, which is usually the moment where I click on another Redtube video.  The following passage is an excellent example. At first it seems as if James' protagonist (and, by extension, her readers) are simply meant to be getting off on the danger of the relationship ("I Survived"), but I suspect James is really riffing on the literary notion of the orgasm as "le petit mort," the "little death."  It's quite clever."

 “We lie there, panting together, waiting for our breathing to slow. He gently strokes my hair … Boy … I Survived."

(5) Chip:  "James is smart enough to know that such a relationship is not all going to be roses and riding crops.  The subconscious of an intelligent college student may occasionally question the choices involved in allowing a man such as Christian to "possess" her in such a manner.  Here we see a bit of the inner struggle, as Anastasia begins to think of herself as his "whore." Despite the darkness inherent in this scene, however, the tenderness of the moment and the familiarity of the "sweatpants" imagery reassures her readers that things will soon return to a happy state of sadomasochistic bliss."

“Sitting beside me, he gently pulls my sweatpants down. Up and down like a whores’ drawers, my subconscious remarks bitterly."

Chip:  "Final verdict on 50 Shades of Grey:   mild boners.  Yet I still eagerly awaiting reading the 14 "naughtiest bits" of the next installment in James' series!"


sweetweaver said...

Pretty sure it's Stiff Middle Fingers.

50 More Shades of Grey said...

Yes. Just fixed it! Thanks, eagle-eyed reader!

La petite mort said...

Nice comment on "Chip"'s illiteracy. I'll bet Chip's commentary had the rev going for the "petit ami" in the bottom drawer! Holy Cow!