50 Shades Of Progress
Gentlemen, repair your engines!
Because by all recent blue accounts, engine repair is about all we boys will have a hand up on our sisters.
We've lost porn.
Dateline Mid-June of this year: Your Inky Servant begins hearing rumblings among staff here and online about a movie called , "Magic Mike" and its star, Matthew McConaughey, about a strip club. Or something. Well nothing untoward here. I might be interested. Candy loves McConaughey. Sort of a man's man. My little brother has been told that he actually brings McConaughey to mind, in fact. So, yeah, seeing a flick with this guy in it running around to strip club after strip club could be a hoot in fact.
Well apparently as you are now probably aware, in "Magic Mike" McConaughey runs a strip club. But here's the thing. It's a club, as the kids say, for the ladiessss. Yep. Male strippers, I believe they're now called. On stage for the visual, tactical, and fantastical pleasure of young women. These joints apparently do actually exist in the urban sprawl. ( One recalls a troup from the past called Chippendales--a bunch of men who toured the country and did shows to some acclaim.)
Dateline 31Mar12: Maureen Dowd writes a column that refers heavily to a book, quote everybody's talking about in New York and D.C. un-quote, about a submissive young attractive college co-ed in Washington state that submits willingly to a rich attractive Richard Gere-type. All of a sudden it's all over the interwebs and entertainment media.
As if Romance Novel On Steroids is the new Dragon Tattoo.
Fast forward to early Summer. The author, one E.L.James, has become an international star. She (it is a she) is reportedly taking in $5,000,000/week in sales of this thing. Plus there are two follow-up books.
A close friend of mine has read them all. She allowed me to read the first one first before to submitting to reading the complete trilogy herself--- in approximately one week.
We'll call her Ana. We might as well. I have to call her that now. (The aforementioned co-ed is named Anastasia Steele.)
In my reading I was first struck by how absolutely badly it is written. James meant for this thing to be sort of a blog--not meant for wide publication, and it shows immediately and often. But of course I miss the point. The story is indeed intriguing, as are the limits the author stretches in describing what I'll call bondage fantasy. To James, in other words, there aren't any limits.
Steele and Grey (Christian Grey, of the title) point counter-point in their ongoing negotiations as to how to exist therein. She loves him, he lusts her. Is is quite fascinating to read a story written clearly for the female audience (we never truly learn anything about the physicality of Ana, for example, yet we are bombarded by descriptions of everything Grey, down to his lips, hair, shoe size, mouth, torso, etc...).
And that, my friends, is the point.
Movies and books written for the female sensabilty is nothing new.
Writing for the female sensuality, however, is.
Somewhere Gloria Steinem is cheering. Or tsk-tsking. (Should women celebrate their sexual side, as in what we have come to tolerate historically solely in men--hormone/testosterone-driven surges/urges that both produces good and bad? Or is that in itself lowering themselves to childish/boyswillbeboys-ish behavior?)
Anyway, it is here, gentlemen. Sexual drive. Both genders. And it is a beautiful thing. Unleashed. Celebrated.
At my house, we've, er, embraced it. I would suggest that you boys do so, as well.
If Magic Mike and Christian Grey make Mama happy, fill in the blank.