I held off for awhile because I thought the fad would pass and I also wasn’t drawn to “erotica.” Actually, it terrified me.
I just finished the “Fifty Shades of Grey” series by E.L. James. Harlequin romances aren’t my thing but given a People Magazine—I’ll devour the whole thing in one sitting. Why is this? For me, it’s about getting to the heart of things. I like to see below the shiny surface and dig in the “muckety-muck.” Does it make me feel better when I see lives torn apart and shattered? Maybe. But mostly, I believe it makes me feel human—part of the human family, the one that screws up and makes mistakes—regularly.
So when “Fifty Shades” came along, I was intrigued but also hesitant since “erotica” didn’t seem very inclusive and besides I was above such nonsense. Surely, an intelligent person such as myself has better things to do than to read such rubbish. But as time passed, I realized this series was not going away soon and was infiltrating our culture like so many “Seinfeldisms” of years past.
This is what got me, it was no longer exclusive but inclusive. It tapped into a collective psyche and took off like a speeding train, and I wanted to get on board.
And now, after reading all three books, I find myself selfishly protective of Christian Grey and the casting rumors all over the internet. His image already tarnished and trashed by those who never actually read any of it. I can hear them now, “Christian Grey is nothing but a dominant male preying on an innocent girl.”
Wouldn’t it just be easier not to bother with such things?
Wouldn’t it just be safer to stay in control and never meander into the grey areas of life?
I mean there’s a lot of sex—a lot. That can’t be good, right? Plus, what good could possibly come from all that garbage anyway?
Well, for me, a lot. I saw a lot of things I would never want to touch with a 10 foot pole. But mostly, what I learned is that the surface stuff is never the real thing. It’s never what it seems to be and this series is no different.
At first glance, it comes off as erotica with average writing at best. At the heart it is an introspective look at the messiness of life and seeking out that thread of goodness that may or may not run through it. It’s about character, taking a chance—a leap of faith into the mysteries of life.
I think some people trust in this pursuit of goodness and are willing to dive into their own filth to find it.
Others just give it lip service, secretly doubting its very existence. I however, believe the author was very much in touch with the mud in her own life. She had first hand experience in resurrecting a prevailing goodness that resides in all things through the prophetic voice of Christian Grey, and it truly doesn’t get any murkier than him.
Vera Snow finds the mystical in just about everything but is particularly mindful of it when it comes to pop-culture. Visit www.verasnow.com to learn more.
Editor: Maja Despot
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