Books · Music

What happen to us?

You were phenobarbidoll

It seems every one I work with is reading Fifty Shades of Grey, as if it’s some tour de force of literary prowess. It’s not even a decent erotic novel. It’s smut for people who don’t know anything about smut. It makes the cliché pornographic movie look like The Social Network. Yet, somehow, it has hit bestseller lists, wowed critics, caused controversy, and invaded libraries across the country. Like anyone, it piqued my interest. Never before has a book dealing with this subject been in the spotlight, let alone mentioned without a slight blush or in hushed tones.

So what is it about this book that’s got people salivating at the mouth like Pavlov’s dog. Is it hype? Because it can’t be its literary worth. Not even the style. The writing is atrocious, and a joke to the erotic community. Well, at least, it should be.

So what happened to us? When did illiterate drivel become literary masterpieces?

And it’s not just Fifty Shades of Grey. And it’s not just books. It’s everything. Everything has been dumb-down. The Paranormal Activity franchised proved you can bore an audience for three-quarters of a movie and still get them back for two more sequels.

Hordes of homosexuals flocked to Lady Gaga because of the so-called messages in her songs. However, those messages only appeared after her rise to fame – thanks to the homosexual population. Her concept of “born this way” is moneymaking. The more she appeals to the disenfranchised, the more records she sells. It’s not about caring, no. She found her market and she’ll milk it for all its worth. All those fighting for equal rights. All those rallies. The moment they drop her for the next big thing, they’ll fade away into memory.

So why is it that we’ve lost the ability to think for ourselves? Is the next step in our evolution? Are we headed toward the grim future promised to us by Mike Judge? When has the number of sells define the worth of a motion picture, a book, a musical artist? We must reinvent the wheel, as they say. We must start by actually making sound opinions on our own.

Added Bonus

The following is a list of books that are 50x better than Fifty Shades of Grey:

 

Books · Doldrums

Crestfallen & a Few of My Other Friends

Caption This Contest

It’s nothing amazing, really. It’s blatantly clear – Ron Paul is the Lady Gaga of politics, stealing things and ideas and making people believe he’s original. Like Gaga did with the gay community, Paul is working the disenfranchised. He’s one “born that way” comment away from wearing a meat suit. And it’s not surprising that the backlash of insulting the lush politician comes in threefold – after all, it was  vegan group at my alma mater that stated that “People don’t like it when they’re told they’re living the wrong way.” It’s almost as if the Paul-bots (as oppose to the GOP term, Obama Zombies)  have put their common sense and decency in abeyance. Because Paul is money. He’s the guy who’ll figure out how to fix this broken economy and country. He’s the solution to our war problem. We’ll ignore his (allegedly) racist remarks. We’ll ignore his total disregard to civil rights.

I’m not saying that Ron Paul’s ideas for fixing our economy are bad – they’re actually pretty enlightening if far-fetched. However, we cannot ignore all the damage he’ll do in the long-term. Still Paul-bots will tut-tut, call themselves better educated and follow the false prophet down the wrong side. It’s okay. That’s America. But for every Paul-bot who shouted “Ron Paul 2012” after Rick Perry released his “Strong” campaign ad, there’s a guy like me in the sidelines that’ll correct them – “Ron Paul hates homosexuals just as much Perry. He’s just better at speaking.”

Decadence

Finished reading my reviewer’s copy of Rachel Kramer Bussel‘s Best Bondage Erotica 2012. Sadly, it took me so damn long to get through it because of my lack of time-management when it comes to studying for the GRE. As stated before, I’m a sex-crazed erotica freak (okay, maybe not in those terms). Found the book quite the read, however, just the sort of thing to read before drifting off into dreamland every night.

Again, Bussel manages to collect the stories that yank at our lusts. Each story is beautifully crafted by some of the best writers in the erotic genre. I’m yearning to see what the 2013 edition will contain – the patience is killing me.

Unemployment

It’s been a week since I’ve heard back from the library. It’s not the best feeling in the world, this anticipation. The last I heard, they were working on a background check. That shouldn’t take took long – I have no driving record. I’m still looking for other places and positions, but that job was just something that I needed and wanted. I can’t think of a better candidate for the job, then again, I think really highly of myself.

Studying

The last few weeks has been extensive studying the GRE manual. GRE, by the way, stands for Graduate Record Examinations. It’s essential if I’m to continue with my education – I mentioned I’m seeking my Masters in Library Science, right? Algebra was/is killing me, but what else is new? Geometry is fairly easy, most of what I learned in the past is coming to me gradually. As for the verbal, well, I need to start using the terms in my writing if I’m ever going to remember their definitions.

Shaun

The kid is still growing and moving around in Jyg’s tummy. I can’t wait to meet him come April. The letters project is coming along okay, but not as well as I expected – best laid plans, am I right? I should start writing more when my mind clears up a bit. With all the things going around me – the election, debates, studying, worrying, etc. – my words fail me. Here’s looking to better days!

Music

A few words about Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga and Lady Starlight performing at Lol...
Image via Wikipedia

I like pop music as much as the next person. Let me rephrase that, I like pop music as white noise when I’m doing my job. Or when I’m writing, which I also like to consider part of my job. It gets me rolling and keeps me concentrated because I don’t like like pop music, I prefer listening to something like KMFDM or Skold or Marilyn Manson or Nine Inch Nails or…well, you get my point. So when you see Lady Gaga or Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera or Katy Perry on my playlist, you know it’s because I’m about to go to work. I can already hear it, “Sure, Willie. Sure.” But it’s true. I work/write more efficiently listening to pop music because I cannot sing along. And if I’m distracted, I get the job done in a timely manner than, say, having me zone out when “Error 404” by Skold vs. KMFDM starts up – trust me, this happens all the time.

Like everyone, I was intrigued with Lady Gaga when she first appeared. For a split second, I thought I was looking at Marilyn Manson’s latest gimmick. Then I was convinced she was Line Trap a.k.a. Harley Quinn a.k.a. Bailey Jay. I listened to “Poker Face” picking at the lyrics – all in good humor – for subliminal messages admitting she was once a man. I loved Manson’s remix of “LoveGame.” But there was something off with her. Something I couldn’t put my finger on. But as quickly as she appeared on stage, her fame quickly diminished. Only it didn’t. In fact, it grew. And grew. And grew.

Last summer, “Alejandro” was constantly sung by a baseball player every day in the locker room – only he sung it as Alejandra. Lissie’s cover of “Bad Romance” sparked my interested in the talented singer. It was suddenly clear to me that Lady Gaga wasn’t going to go anywhere; she was the Sarah Palin of pop music. Just when you think she’s gone – BAM! – right in the fucking eye!

In this month’s issue of Esquire, Stephen Marche asks the fifty-nine questions about Lady Gaga that I was beginning to wonder, including, but not limited to, “Why is she so famous?” and “What if she never goes away?” What really boiled my blood about Miss “Born This Way” was her use of retarded (which she later apologized for). Apparently, in that moment of bad judgment, Lady Gaga forgot that men tattooed to resembled zombies aren’t born that way, but most mentally handicapped people are.

And it seems that Lady Gaga knows how quickly she can be forgotten, which is why the first single of the upcoming album seemed quickly put together and, as Stephen Marche, sounds “just like a Madonna’s “Express yourself,” only emptier.” Who knows, perhaps the entire new album is just cut and paste lyrics thrown together to keep her fan base happy. Isn’t that what it’s really about? Pleasing and fooling everyone into thinking you’re deep and different, while just retooling things that have been done before by people with real talent?

But the blind will continue to hold her up as the role model savior, while bashing Katy Perry. What they don’t seem to grasp is that Lady Gaga is no savior. She isn’t even the gay messiah. She’s nothing but a product on display, rolling in the money until the next thing tumbles out of the manufacturing line. She’s got every one fooled and for that, they will continually throw money her way. If anything, Lady Gaga is doing more damage to the cause than supporting it.

So I urge fans to pay closer attention to Lady Gaga. Soon enough, you’ll see the layer of deceit fall away. It’s okay. I’ll grab you some tissues.