Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fifty Shades of Tedious Fuckery 2 (Vol. 6)

Alright, let's get this show on the road! The sooner I get this over with, the sooner I can return to the altogether more fun and less rage-inducing Sweet Valley High recaps. At least the Wakefield twins have an endearing type of ridiculousness, rather than the type that makes me want to smash things and drink heavily.

(Catch up: Vol. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)


Ana stands around in the foyer after Christian barges into the apartment, despite his security team not being finished sweeping the place, and as soon as Sawyer informs Taylor via radio that the boss has entered the place, he has to pull out his earpiece because Taylor is shouting so much. What did he say?! Give us some Taylor POV, come onnn!

While Ana is tooling around outside, she suddenly notices that the foyer is decorated with sixteen Madonna and child paintings, which sounds like something you'd definitely notice the first time you were there because it's fucking creepy.

Christian comes out the front door, announcing that it's all clear and then a few lines later says that Taylor and his team are checking all the closets and cupboards in the place for Leila. So, it's actually the opposite of all clear then, seeing as THEY'RE STILL LOOKING. But he sends Ana off to bed anyway. For fuck's sake Christian. And apparently there's no need to call the police about any of this, because that would mean this stupid subplot would be over and done with and where's the fun in that.

Ana wakes up later that night and sees a shadow at the end of her bed, which is possibly a woman. When she turns on the light, there's nothing there so she decides she imagined it. She finds Christian on the phone in his study and he looks so tired that her "heart constricts". Her heart constricts five times in this book and I'm starting to wonder if she has some kind of medical condition.

Instead of telling him about the figure she thought she saw in the bedroom, considering that there was very possibly an intruder in the house earlier, Ana spends half a page taking off Christian's shirt. They move into the bedroom, where the balcony door has been left open, although neither of them opened it and only then it occurs to Ana to tell Christian what she saw. He immediately summons Taylor, tells him to find Leila and to book them in somewhere for the night. Christian packs a bag for himself and stops Ana from going to get her own clothes, apparently she has to make do with wearing his t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms, until Taylor hands her a suitcase of clothes that he packed for her, because TAYLOR IS AWESOME.

As they're leaving, Ana hugs Taylor for the suitcase and for generally being the only likeable character in this series, so OF COURSE Christian frowns and "then looks questioningly at Taylor, who smiles very slightly and adjusts his tie."
Taylor's wallet

Christian and Ana get into the car and head for the hotel that they've been booked into for the night and when Ana wonders how Leila knew the Audi was hers, Christian reveals that he bought an Audi A3 for all his submissives. Lovely. Also, while they're on the way, "Christian roars up Fifth Avenue toward the I-5", but I presume EL James means that the car he's driving did the roaring. Otherwise Christian is sitting there going "RAAARR!" with Ana next to him.

They get to the hotel and the receptionist stutters and blushes at the sight of Christian, which is how every woman seems to react to him and allows Ana to bitch about every female they encounter for eyeing up HER abusive asshole boyfrenn. (Also, Ana bestows the name Miss Flushing Crimson upon her. Because of course she does.)

Once they're in the fancy suite, they drink some brandy and bone on the four poster bed. The next morning, Christian wakes Ana up because Dr. Greene is on her way over. Even if you're on the run from a psychotic ex, there's always time for forced contraceptives! They have breakfast (YOU MUST EAT, ANA) and Christian gets narky with Ana when she jokes about whether they'll be safe wherever they're going that day. "Fifty doesn't joke about my safety - I should know this by now." To be fair though, this is also the guy who put her to bed the previous night before his apartment was fully searched for a crazy stalker.

Also, I'd just like to point out that when Christian gets cross here, "his mouth presses in a line". It happens a lot. Sometimes it's a "grim line", mostly a "hard line" and he does it 25 times in this book, which leads me to believe that he looks like this most of the time:

So fucking SEXY

Dr. Greene arrives and tells Ana that she might be pregnant because she stopped taking her pill when she left Christian and makes her do a pregnancy test, despite the fact that they've been using condoms since getting back together. Oh and she waits until AFTER the pregnancy test to ask Ana when her last period was. She doesn't seem like a very good doctor, to be honest. Way to unnecessarily freak out your patient. (Ana isn't pregnant of course, although I could have told her that.) After that though, Ana doesn't listen to a word the doctor says about the injection she's going to give her because she's too busy thinking about how terrible it would be to have to tell Christian she was pregnant. Even though she isn't. And then she proceeds to be all weird with Christian and it doesn't really make any sense because you'd think she'd be super relieved to not be pregnant, but instead she's in bad form. 

She eventually tells Christian what Dr. Greene said and when he's also relieved that she's not pregnant she gets all snappy with him and when he points out that she's in a bad temper, he says:

"My natural inclination is to beat it out of you, but I seriously doubt you want that."

WHAT AN AMAZING GUY.

They take a shower together and he gets Ana to carefully wash off the lipstick lines on his torso, which seem to have survived numerous sex scenes and the charity event at his parents house. He could do with taking more showers, really. Ana starts crying because he's so SAD and BROKEN and then Christian says overwrought things like "I'm a husk of a man. I don't have a heart."

Neither did this guy, but at least he wasn't a dick about it.
Then, after loads of build-up, he tells Ana that he loves her (well, she says "You love me" and he says "Yes I do") and it's all framed to be this huge deal but at this stage I'm just like GOD. WHATEVER. NEXT.

The following two pages are then taken up with Ana drying Christian off with a towel and telling us how AMAZING and WONDERFUL everything is now.

Gazing at us both in the mirror - his beauty, his nakedness and me with my covered hair - we look almost Biblical, as if from an Old Testament baroque painting.

This line is actually hilarious, because Old Testament paintings are dark as hell. In fact, if you Google "Old Testament baroque painting", the image results consist almost entirely of murder scenes and severed heads. Seriously, try it. It's a bloodbath. A chiaroscuro Caravaggio bloodbath.

And Caravaggio doesn't fuck around.
More banging ensues, but thankfully we're spared the details due to a paragraph break. While they're lying in bed afterwards, Ana asks Christian if he knows anything about his biological father, but he doesn't. Although he does know that it wasn't his mother's pimp and then reveals that the pimp discovered his mother's body and just left Christian there with her until the cops came, and then he breezily changes the subject. Apparently Christian has a surprise for Ana, so he tells her to get dressed and her inner goddess swoons while Christian walks around in his boxers. 

Speaking of which, let's check in with Ana's inner goddess, shall we? She makes a massive 56 appearances in this book, so I'll just list the dumbest ones.

She:
  • is down on bended knee with her hands clasped in supplication
  • strokes her chin gently in quiet contemplation
  • cheers loudly to the rafters
  • is doing a triple axel dismount off the uneven bars
  • does three backflips over the gym floor
  • purrs with pure pleasure
  • has found her voice and is shouting from the rooftops
  • performs a perfect triple Salchow in her ice skates
  • jerks awake suddenly, all disheveled with a just-fucked look
  • is bouncing around like a five year old
  • tackles Ana's subconscious to the floor
  • performs a quick arabesque
  • stomps off pouting, her arms crossed like an angry toddler
  • is limbering up in the background, doing her floor exercises 
  • grabs a rose between her teeth and starts to tango (I'm pretty sure you need more than one person for that. Idioms don't come out of nowhere, like.)
  • backflips over her chaise longue
  • is clapping her hands in glee like a small child
  • pouts provocatively
  • pops her head out of her bunker
  • is draped in a pink feather boa and diamonds, strutting her stuff in fuck-me shoes
  • is on her knees, naked except for her panties - begging
  • fist pumps the air above her chaise longue
  • performs four arabesques and a pas de basque
  • has resurfaced after her evening of rocking and weeping in the corner and she's wearing harlot-red lipstick
  • somersaults round her chaise longue
  • is stripped naked and standing in line, ready and waiting
  • has already scissor-kicked onto the table and is watching him with adoration
It turns out most of them are dumb so that's almost every appearance. I left out all the ones where she's writhing on her chaise longue, because that happened a lot and got boring FAST. The chaise longue alone makes ten appearances for fuck's sake. Unfortunately a piano doesn't get dropped on her fucking head at any point.

Ana's subconscious manages to put in an impressive 52 appearances but spends most of them hissing and snarling and glaring at Ana and has an armchair instead of a chaise longue. She's the half moon glasses-wearing buzzkill to the inner goddess' fun-loving idiot sex pixie.

And both of them can fuck right off.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fifty Shades of Tedious Fuckery 2 (Vol. 5)

Alright! It's this week's 50 Shades Day!

LET'S DO THIS MOTHERFUCKER.

(Catch up: Vol 1, 2, 3 and 4)


So, all the lipstick drawing naturally leads to yet another sex scene, identical to most of the previous ones, full of "Oh baby", "I want you", foil packets and "Oh my", as per usual.

Amount of times Ana says "Oh my" altogether: 40 (Forty. COME ON.)

Foil packets: 15

Let's talk about foil packets for a minute. I mean, surely it's not REALLY necessary for EL James to inform us of "the telltale rip" of a goddamn condom wrapper every single time Christian and Ana bang. Every time! At this stage you kind of have to wonder if there's some manner of Pavlovian response deal going on here. Like, if Christian rips the foil on a microwave dinner, or, like, some tin foil, is Ana just automatically taking her pants off? Worth investigating, surely.

Anyway, after all the sexy sexing, Christian whips off his condom "dropping it unceremoniously on the floor beside the bed" because he's gross as well as a terrible person. His poor housekeeper, having to clean up his spoogy carpets. Bleh.

"I hate those things. I've a good mind to call Dr. Greene around to give you a shot."

Hey, cool, have your girlfriend forcibly injected with birth control hormones without even consulting her first. ROMAAAANCE. After a little while, the subject of Elena comes up again when Ana starts touching his chest along the agreed lines.

"My past is my past. It's a fact. I can't change it. I'm lucky that you don't have one, because it would drive me crazy if you did."

Oh, ok, so he's telling Ana to get over the fact that he has a past, but if she had one it'd be the biggest deal EVAR? Yeah that sounds totally fair and not at all like a ridiculous double standard. Fucker.

They're supposed to be going to some big charity event that evening at Christian's parents' house, so Ana gets ready, putting on fancy clothes from the wardrobe that Christian had stocked for her, taking care to tell us exactly how much her new underwear, dress and shoes all costed. Then Christian arrives into the room with the ben-wa balls from the last book and has clearly decided that an evening where she has to hang out with his parents is the perfect time to stick them into Ana.

Before they leave for the charity thing, Christian gives Ana a decorated mask (the one on the book cover, in fact) because the event that night is a masquerade ball. Then Christian shows her the library in his apartment that EL forgot to include in the first book, which has a pool table in the middle of the floor. I can't think of any reason for this bit, other than introducing the pool table so they can angry-bone on it later.

In the car on the way to the gala thing, Ana asks Christian where he got the lipstick from earlier.

He smirks at me and points toward the front. "Taylor" he mouths.

What? Really? Is Taylor a secret ladies man? Or into drag? Either way, I want to know more. Taylor is easily the most interesting character in this entire series. MOAR TAYLOR.

They get to the party and there's a fuckload of boring descriptions of everything, including how many entrances there are to the dance floor. For real. I know any time I read about a fictional party, my first thought is to hope there's enough fire exits. Anyway, Christian's sister Mia appears and brings Ana over to her friends to introduce them.

I shoot a quick panicked glance at Christian, who shrugs in a resigned I-know-she's-impossible-I-had-to-live-with-her-for-years way, and let Mia lead me over to a group of four young women.

I mean, introducing people? At a party? HOW BLOODY INAPPROPRIATE. GODDAMMIT MIA, YOU LEAVE PRINCESS ANA ALONE.

They sit at their table with Christian's parents and Ana is introduced to his grandparents.

"Grandmother, Grandfather, may I introduce Anastasia Steele?"
Mrs. Trevelyan is all over me like a rash. "Oh he's finally found someone, how wonderful and so pretty!"

Like a rash. This is how Ana reacts to someone's GRANDMOTHER being NICE TO HER.


For some reason, we get the entire pretentious dinner menu listed on one of the pages, because "oh my" and "holy fuck" can only fill up the word count to a certain point, I suppose. It actually really annoyed me because it's so pointless, even though I'm really into George RR Martin describing every bit of food going in A Song Of Ice And Fire. Although I suppose the major difference there is engaging and enjoyable writing, compared to EL James and her mission to ruin sex and the English language for everyone.

Ana decides she's had enough of the sex toys currently inside her (because she's still got a cooch full of ben-wa balls, remember) and gets up to go to the bathroom. Christian "darkly" says he'll show her the way (he says most things "darkly"), but Mia insists on taking Ana, so he sits there and sulks because he doesn't get to bang his girlfriend in the bathroom at his parents' party.

There's a list of auction prizes (which, like the menu, we pointlessly get the entirety of) and one of the items is a weekend in Aspen, donated by a Mr. C. Grey. Taken aback, Ana asks Christian if he owns the place in Aspen (the basement of which is presumably filled with the bones of Colorado cheerleaders). "He nods, surprised at my outburst and irritated, I think." WHY. Why would he be irritated by that? I hate this fucking guy so much.

The bidding moves on to the Aspen weekend and as it's about to go for twenty thousand dollars, Ana suddenly bids the twenty four thousand that Christian put in her account and wins. I have no idea why she does this. She's just paid for a weekend at Christian's own house.

Of course, her first thought is how mad Christian is going to be and true to form, he leans over to Ana with "a large fake smile plastered across his face" and whispers in "a very cold, controlled voice":

'I don't know whether to worship at your feet or spank the living shit out of you."

Instead of finding that completely fucking terrifying, Ana finds it totally hot. Yeah, fake rictus grins and a cold, controlled voice are exactly what gets a girl going, apparently. Christian then takes her hand and puts it on his lap, so she can jack him off through his pants AT THE TABLE WITH HIS GRANDPARENTS. NO.

Their wildly inappropriate fondling is interrupted by Mia dragging Ana towards the stage for the First Dance Auction, which is exactly what it sounds like. A bunch of the girls at the party line up on stage so rich men can bid on a dance with them and the MC refers to the women as "comely and compliant wenches", which is gross. The girls before Ana all go for around four or five thousand dollars and when it's her turn a mystery stranger gets into a bidding war with Christian, resulting in Christian winning the auction with a one hundred thousand dollar bid. Ana is standing there, telling us how mortified she is, but if anything I feel bad for the girl who went for three thousand earlier. Sucks to be her.

After the meat market auction there's a bit of time before the dancing kicks off, so Christian takes Ana up to his old childhood room for some spanking and banging, during which he says "This is going to be quick, baby". Between that and "put the chicken in the fridge", Christian really needs to up his dirty talk game. They go back outside for the dancing and after the first song, the mystery dude from earlier arrives to cut in and turns out to be Dr. Flynn, Christian's therapist. Who he surely shouldn't be hanging out with at social occasions, I would have thought.

"I'm glad to finally meet you, Anastasia. Are you enjoying yourself?" he asks.
"I was," I whisper.

Remind me again why everyone is so crazy about this rude, whiny, discourteous little bitch? Seriously. She's just awful. Later on, when she's alone, Ana is confronted by Elena, who tells Ana that Christian obviously loves her and that she's never seen him like this before.

A hundred images dance through my head: the iPad, the gliding, flying to see me, all his actions, his possessiveness, one hundred thousand dollars for a dance. Is this love?

At this point I actually shouted, quite loudly, "NO! NONE OF IT FUCKING IS!"

NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THOSE THINGS IS LOVE. THEY ARE ALL CHRISTIAN THINKING HE OWNS YOU.


Anyway, Elena continues and says that she's happy for the two of them, but if Ana hurts Christian again, she'll come after her and...I dunno, beat her up or something? She just says "I will find you, lady, and it won't be pleasant when I do." At this point, Ana actually gets her sass on and surprisingly manages to stand up for herself instead of running off crying and biting her lip or whatever.

"Christian and I have nothing to do with you. And if I do leave him and you come looking for me, I'll be waiting - don't doubt it. And maybe I'll give you a taste of your own medicine on behalf of the fifteen year old child you molested and probably fucked up even more than he already was."

We'll just breeze past the part where Ana appears to be threatening to have sex with Elena. She storms off and finds Christian, who says he'll talk to Elena and asks Ana not to let the encounter ruin their evening. Then while Ana is in the bathroom, he rings Elena, telling her to back off, even though she's like, right over there. They can probably see each other while they're talking on the phone.

At midnight there's a fireworks display and while Christian and Ana are in the crowd, Taylor and the extra security guys that Christian has hired due to Leila are milling around. After the show, Christian mentions that the fireworks have probably aged Taylor by a hundred years. Has he got PTSD? Was he in the army? Seriously, why can't this book be about Taylor instead?

Ana is tired so they decide to leave the party and say goodbye to Christian's parents.

"Please do come again, Anastasia, it's been lovely having you here," says Grace kindly.
I am a little overwhelmed by both her and Carrick's reaction.

Overwhelmed. By people being polite to her. Which is far more than she deserves.

Fortunately, Grace's parents have retired for the evening, so at least I am spared their enthusiasm.


As Christian and Ana head back to the car, Christian says that the following day "Dr. Greene is coming to sort you out." Sort her out? Fuck you, buddy! Ana asks why and what follows made me so angry that I almost smashed my iPad.

"Because I hate condoms," he says quietly. His eyes glint in the soft light from the paper lanterns, gauging my reaction.
"It's my body," I mutter, annoyed that he hasn't asked me.
"It's mine too," he whispers.


THE FUCKING FUCK IT IS, YOU ABSOLUTE COCK. YOU DID NOT JUST TELL A WOMAN IN ALL SERIOUSNESS THAT HER BODY BELONGS TO YOU. SOMEONE BRING ME MY WALLOPING STICK.

I'm not sure what's worse though, Christian legitimately thinking he owns Ana's body, or her reaction to that rage-inducing reply.

Yes, my body is his...he knows it better than I do.

Would it too much to ask for the aforementioned paper lantern to explode in flames and set both of these assholes on fire? Or for Leila to jump out from behind some bushes and murder the fuck out of both of them? Come on Leila, step it up a notch for fuck's sake.

When they get into the car, Sawyer (new security man working with Taylor) hands Ana a note that has been addressed to her. It's from Elena, and says that they've misjudged each other and to call her if she needs to "fill in any of the blanks". Of course, what they should both do here is just ignore Elena, but I somehow doubt that's what's going to happen.

They get back to Christian's apartment, but Sawyer stops them from entering, as he has just been informed that someone has slashed the tyres of Ana's Audi and thrown paint all over it. It was clearly Leila's doing, so the security team want to be sure that she isn't in the apartment. Christian goes in too, leaving Ana outside with Sawyer, and says that Leila can't have gotten in, even though she did just that while he was in Georgia, but hey. Oh and also, Taylor is going in through the service entrance with two other security lads called...for real...RYAN and REYNOLDS.

You rang?
This book is truly the gift that keeps on giving. I mean, it's a terrible gift that no one asked for, but it sure does give.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Queen of Hearts

Drag superstar, self-proclaimed court jester "whose duty is to say the un-sayable" and national fucking treasure Panti Bliss is the subject of the perfectly-titled documentary in progress, The Queen of Ireland. The filmmakers have been following the fabulous Panti for the last few years and will continue up to next year's referendum on equal marriage. It's ALSO going to chart the behind the scenes goings-on of Panti's life, which will include this year's Pantigate, when she called out the Iona Institute for being the jerkbags they are and recorded the amazing Noble Call speech in the Abbey Theatre.


It all sounds super exciting and I just want to watch it now. However, the post-production and equipment and licensing and all that type of stuff needs dolla dolla bills y'all and as such the team have got an IndieGoGo page where people can donate to help with the funding. The rewards include fun stuff like a thank you in the credits, t-shirts, badges and a download of the finished film.



There's seven days left to go for the funding deadline, so if you've been meaning to get involved and throw a few quid towards this glittery sparklebomb, well now's the time! It's going to be like a really fun, shiny and equality-driven episode of Reeling In The Years, without the IRA bombings and U2 songs. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

And even if you weren't aware of this project, then how could you not want to help a documentary about someone who went on the Maury Povich show for a "back to boy makeover", pretending to be Katherine Lynch's brother and slipping cigarettes and pep talks to teenage tearaway show guests between filming? AND had David Quinn and John Waters (the shite John Waters) clutching their pearls and crying into their lawyer's wigs? I mean, really.

You can donate HERE and you SHOULD because it's going to be deadly.

The Queen of Ireland is also on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Fifty Shades of Tedious Fuckery 2 (Vol. 4)

Look at that! I wrote a post about Electric Picnic earlier in the week and NOW ONE OF THESE! I've never been this organised in my life, but I did say back along that I'd endeavor to post a shady Shades post once a week and dammit I WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN.

Also, please vote for me in the Image Blog Awards if you haven't already! Thaaanks!

(Catch up on previous volumes here: 1, 2 and 3.)

Let's do this thing!


Understandably enough, Ana is not happy to be in the place where Christian has clearly brought all his former subs to be groomed and waxed and polished to his liking, like some sort of sex steaks and where his former lover now appears to be working. Although Ana being Ana, this is how she describes her unease:

My scalp is trying to leave the building. It’s prickling with apprehension, and my subconscious is screaming at me to follow it.

Which just makes me picture her hair trying to make a break for it, dragging her along through the door after it. Follow that scalp, Ana.

She watches Christian talk to Elena (Mrs Robinson if ya nasty) and tries to figure out what's going on.

She nods, and I think she's wishing him luck, but my lip-reading skills aren't highly developed.

I know, Detox. I know.
Christian says goodbye and makes his way back over to Ana, who is furious at this stage and says she wants to go. Christian is baffled by her reaction and genuinely doesn't seem to understand why she isn't totally delighted to be there. Ana storms out and Christian follows her.

She points out how messed up the whole situation is and Christian admits that she's right and runs his hands through his hair. He does it a lot in this book. Fifteen times, in fact. It's the new "pants hanging from his hips". While they're talking, his phone rings and he has another snappy conversation where we hear him say things like "Killed in a car crash? When?" in amongst lots of dot-dot-dot bits. While this is going on, Ana contemplates how amazingly special she is.

People bustle past us, lost in their Saturday morning chores. No doubt contemplating their own personal dramas. I wonder if they include stalker ex-submissives, stunning ex-Dommes and a man who has no concept of privacy under United States law.

Christian eventually finishes up and Ana has to make him tell her what's going on. It turns out that Leila left her husband three months ago and ran off with a guy who was killed in the aforementioned car crash four weeks ago. Christian then tells Ana to gets in the car and come with him back to his place, seemingly forgetting that he and Ana were in the middle of a conversation, until Ana reminds him. Amazingly, the world doesn't pause itself when he takes a phone call. He says they're going back to his place and Ana's like "eh, no, I'm getting a haircut, jerk". So Christian arranges for a hairdresser named Franco to come to his apartment and tells Ana that she's coming with him, even if he has to drag her there by her hair. How lovely! HOW ROMANTIC. EXCUSE ME WHILE I SWOON.

We glare at each other - and abruptly he sweeps down, clasps me round my thighs and lifts me. Before I know it, I am over his shoulder.

I swear I could illustrate this whole mess solely through the medium of Drag Race gifs.
Apparently passers-by in Seattle aren't concerned by the sight of a man throwing a woman over his shoulder and carrying her down the street while she screams, because the people around them just stare instead of doing anything, which doesn't really seem like real life as surely at least one person would be calling the cops right about then.

He finally releases Ana from his caveman grip when she agrees to go with him and she suddenly realises that something drastic must have happened with Leila for him to get so freaked out all of a shot. Christian (again, after much convincing because he doesn't seem to think that Ana's wellbeing is any of her business) tells her that Leila has gotten a concealed weapons permit, apparently without a background check. Many other people online have pointed out that that would actually be pretty much impossible, as background checks are mandatory in the state of Washington and after Leila's suicide attempt, there's no way that would actually happen for real. But this book doesn't concern itself with pesky and unsexy things like facts. Facts are for squares.

Ana's anger disappears at the thought of Christian being hurt, even though, newsflash idiot: Leila is gunning for you too. Self-preservation is also for squares.

On the way to Christian's place, Ana asks about Elena and is told that she runs the beauty salons and Christian is a silent partner. She was a bored trophy wife and helped him out back when he dropped out of Harvard, loaning him money to start his first business. He also mentions that her then-husband wouldn't let her work.

"You know, he was controlling. Some men are like that." 
He gives me a quick sideways grin.
"Really? A controlling man, surely a mythical creature?"

HA HA HA. BECAUSE CHRISTIAN'S CONTROLLING BEHAVIOUR IS SO CUTE AND FUNNY AND TOTALLY NORMAL AND NOT AT ALL A CAUSE FOR CONCERN.

Also, while they're talking about Elena, during her narration of the conversation Ana refers to her as "Mrs. Extraordinarily-Glamorous-In-Spite-Of-Being-Old" and it's like...she's only in her late thirties or possibly early forties, you little bitch. My god, she's practically DECREPIT.

They get to Christian's apartment and we find out in passing that Taylor has a daughter. Ana asks about her, while Christian stands by impatiently and CHRIST he's just so fucking rude to everyone that works for him. He goes off to make some calls, so Ana wanders up to her room in the apartment and rings her mother. She tells Ana that her and her husband Bob are thinking about moving to Vegas from Georgia and Ana's self-involvement can pretty much be summed up by her reaction to this news:

Oh, someone else has problems. I'm not the only one.


Christian finds her and she finishes up talking to her mam immediately, even though she's had to wait around for ages every time he takes a call. Franco arrives to cut Ana's hair and speaks in a Super Mario accent the whole time and is, like, super-gay so he manages to avoid being choke-slammed into the wall by Christian for touching Ana.

After her haircut, Christian asks Ana if she's still mad at him and when she says yes, he suggests that they have sex instead of talking about it. He's intent on fucking all their problems away. Ana says no, so they decide to talk about it over lunch.

"I'm hungry, and not just for food" is what Christian says. You see, his go-to attempt at flirty humour is to pretend that he's confusing sex with food and he does this ALL THE TIME. He's practically Oscar Wilde.

Before lunch though, he explains that his repeated outrageous invasions of Ana's privacy is totally fine, because he does background checks on ALL his submissives. Because that's SO much better. He shows Ana a folder with her name on it that contains her birth certificate (which there is absolutely no good reason for him to need) and a bunch of other stuff about her, but it's fine because he doesn't MISUSE all the information that he collects about these women. In his filing cabinet. HE LITERALLY HAS BINDERS FULL OF WOMEN.

Ana points out that he does in fact misuse these details, as he put a load of money into her account that she expressly did not want. But it's ok, says Christian because he's SUPER RICH and the money meant nothing to him. Because, again, her feelings on the subject are irrelevant.

"Anastasia, I earn roughly one hundred thousand dollars an hour."

THEREFORE I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT REGARDLESS OF HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT IT.


Ana makes a Spanish omlette for lunch, while dancing around to Beyoncé in the kitchen. Buzz Killington then arrives and switches the music to I Put A Spell On You.

I watch him, enthralled as slowly, like the predator he is (NOT A GOOD THING), he stalks me in time to the slow sultry beat of the music. He's barefoot, wearing just an untucked white shirt, jeans and a smouldering look.

So again, fully dressed. Also, someone "stalking" their way across a kitchen in time to music would look totally ridiculous and it's just yet another time that Christian is supposedly being devastatingly sexy, whereas in real life you'd actually laugh your ass off at him.

They eat their tortilla and then Ana goes to her room to look up multiple personality disorder on her laptop, because of Christian's mad mood swings. Seriously. Oh yeah, and she "fires up Google" again, because she's like a hundred years old when it comes to technology. (Although that's actually not fair to elderly people. My Grandad is in his nineties and on Viber for god's sake.)

Christian arrives into the room and they have some playful chit-chat about serious mental illness. Tee hee. He then produces a tube of red lipstick (that he just had lying around, I guess?) and suggests that they draw the boundaries he has when it comes to Ana touching his chest, as he's been freaking out every time she so much as glances at his torso from the beginning. He takes off his shirt and gets her to draw a bunch of lines on him, cordoning off all the bits around his still-mysterious cigarette burn scars and it takes, like an entire page of dicking around before it's done.

It looks like he's wearing a bizarre skin-coloured vest with a harlot red trim.

Don't you hate it when someone shows up wearing the same outfit as you?
Ana also throws out yet another "holy fuck" mid drawing session, so will we take a look at the amount of times she comes out with one of her annoying exclamations? Let's.

Holy cow: 38
Holy fuck: 29
Holy crap: 7
Holy hell: 7

Aaand for fun, the amount of times the word "crap" appears in the entire book: 34

Fitting, really.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Stradbally Shenanigans

Ah God. Another Picnic over and I had forgotten just how utterly banjaxed I tend to be after it. I appear to have developed a weird neck-pain-and-headache-combo two days later and I'M JUST SO SLEEPY.


It was however one of the best Electric Picnics yet, thanks to a combination of deadly people to hang out with, an excellent line up, mostly dry weather and just somehow managing to get loads of acts in without any stress or disappointments. And here are some of the things we saw.


A very angry girl wearing a floral headband in the Oscar Wilde campsite furiously declaring "I just want some fucking chocolate. THAT'S ALL I WANT."

Booka Brass Band's cover of Talk Dirty To Me. A terrible song made awesome by a ton of brass and whittling the stupid lyrics down to the song title. Amazing fun.


A nice bit of camping in the Janis Joplin site (or the Jackie Jormp-Jomp site - hello 30 Rock fans!) with actual space between the tents and no screaming teenagers covered in marker and stickers and Native American headdresses. Just lovely.

Sitting in Body & Soul when I Want You Back by the Jackson 5 came on, resulting in me dancing like Baby Groot, while Billy played the part of Drax.

Crow Black Chicken in both the Electric Sideshow tent and Jimmy Lee's Juke Joint, who you'd swear are from some magic Louisiana blues swamp, rather than Clonmel.


Pie. Pie pie pie. I LOVE PIE.


Rubberbandits tearing the fucking roof off the Comedy Tent. Their set was without doubt one of my all-time festival highlights. The usual sit-down affair that the comedy tent tends to be was immediately thrown out the window, as we all clambered onto our feet to dance and sing/scream along to Spoiling Ivan, Dad's Best Friend and Fight Me At Mass. Their creepy Gabriel Byrne puppet made an appearance for Fellas and they even knocked out a crafty, hilarious and perfectly-aimed song about abortion (or to be more specific, a song about trying to avoid conversations about abortion). It sounds impossible, but if anyone can do it, Rubberbandits can. I wanted to jump onstage and shift the pair of them for being such utter fucking legends.

Realising that pretty much every fun party song from the last forty years was written by Nile Rodgers.


The joy that glowsticks bring to people. They're the best €2 you'll spend before heading to a festival and you get loads of them in a cardboard tube. After the weekend I now have a new system that ranks happiness on a scale of 1 to Aoife With Glowstick Bracelets.


This Side Up at the Salty Dog at three in the morning, bringing their Sligo Shtyle hip-hop to the Stradbally forest and tearing it the hell up. I particularly love their "These lads/Are feckin' class" refrain, especially when it's followed by "See you? You're feckin' class", which is something that I then proceeded to say to everyone for the rest of the night. Or morning, as it were.


Lily Allen putting on a hell of a show, with bloody gorgeous purple hair, great stage banter and rows of giant milk bottles.

My friend Gary being held aloft in the Comedy Tent by some big strong lads, including the Bear for Abandoman's last song, which was about Gary having a jetpack and meeting Bill Clinton.

Catching Kelis just in time for Milkshake.

Beck opening with Devil's Haircut and setting the pace for a fantastic, outrageously entertaining set that included a guitar solo ending with the guitarist being good-naturedly dragged offstage by the legs, Beck proclaiming that "There's nothing quite like a moist crowd" (the Sunday night drizzle had just kicked in) and the entire band's shuffling group hug exit from the stage.

All in all, it was a blast. EP 2015 had better bring it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fifty Shades of Tedious Fuckery 2 (Vol. 3)

Are you ready for more Fifty Shades of Unbearable Drivel? Hooray! First of all though, I've been shortlisted in the Humour category for the Irish Blog Awards and the Wildcard category for the Image.ie Blog Awards so a HUGE thank you and awkward hug to the people who nominated me. The Image.ie one is decided by votes, so if you enjoy my sweary rambling, then please click here and vote for me!

(Catch up: Vol 1 and 2)

And now, this.


Christian and Ana finally get around to making that stir-fry, although I imagine Ana did most of the work on that front, seeing as Christian was bewildered by unchopped red peppers earlier. They're sitting on Kate's Persian rug, eating their noodles and drinking white wine (easy known Kate is away, otherwise I'd hope that she'd tell these jerks to stop eating on her nice rug and use the damn table, fucking pronto) and Christian is described thusly:

Christian leans against the couch, his long legs stretched out in front of him. He’s wearing his jeans and his shirt with his just-fucked hair, and that’s all.

Two things.
A - Did she have sex with his hair?
and B - He's wearing jeans and a shirt and "that's all"?
That's pretty much fully dressed, Ana.

Their conversation eventually turns back to Christian buying the company that Ana works for, when she tells him that she's still mad at him.

“I know but you being mad, baby, wouldn’t stop me.”

Sound.

“If I leave and find another job, will you buy that company, too?”
“You’re not thinking of leaving, are you?” His expression alters, wary once more.
“Possibly. I’m not sure you’ve given me a great deal of choice.”
“Yes, I will buy that company, too.” He is adamant.


So apart from being infuriatingly condescending AND CRAZY, here's another situation where Ana has told him how she feels about his actions and he's just like "you're so cute when you're mad, and I couldn't give a fuck about what you want, remember? Let's fuck!" 

So instead of Ana being utterly horrified by the amount of control that Christian is hell-bent on having over her work life, they do some terrible, unamusing banter where they're supposedly being sarcastic with each other and then go have sex with vanilla ice cream thrown in the mix. VANILLA, GEDDIT? LIKE THE SEX THEY'RE HAVING! HA HA HA. THEY'RE SO FUNNY.

At least Ana actually uses the word vagina this time, so that's progress and a definite improvement on "down there". She also tells us really helpful things like "Oh...it’s cold" when Christian eats ice cream off her boobs. Such insight. Oh and when they both come, it's described as such:

Like the sorcerer’s apprentice I am, I let go, and we find our release together.

I don't know about you, but if I hear the words "sorcerer's apprentice", I immediately think of this:

Yeah, Mickey. You dirty little mouse.

After all the sticky sex and frankly, wasting of perfectly good Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Ana drifts off to sleep and has a nightmare about the girl that approached her outside work the previous night. She wakes up screaming and tells Christian about the encounter and to the surprise of exactly no-one, it turns out that it was Leila, his ex-sub.

What if she means a lot to him? Perhaps he misses her? I know so little about his past...um, relationships. She must have had a contract, and she would have done what he wanted, given him what he needed gladly. Oh no - when I can’t. The thought makes me nauseous.

Bear in mind that Ana is talking about a girl who was bedraggled and gaunt and quite clearly in a bit of a state when she saw her, not to mention the bloodied bandage on her wrist, which would read as a suicide attempt to anyone else, but Ana's main concern is that Christian might still be into her.

On hearing this news, Christian jumps out of bed in a panic to call someone named Welch, tells them to "find her", says he'll talk to Leila and that she's in trouble. Ana follows him out to the kitchen and offers to make tea.

“Actually, I’d like to go back to bed.” His look tells me that it’s not to sleep.

AH HERE. His unstable ex-sub has been FOLLOWING Ana and he said himself that Leila is in some kind of trouble, and therefore desperate but hey, let's bone. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

In fairness to Ana, she says she wants to know what the fuck is going on, in so many words. Christian is all "it doesn't concern you" only, eh, the fuck it doesn't, as this girl has TRACKED HER DOWN AT HER PLACE OF WORK. It turns out that "the situation" he kept banging on about in the last book when he had to leave Georgia in a hurry, was Leila turning up at his apartment and trying to kill herself.

Christian asks Ana why she didn't tell him about Leila yesterday, but she just forgot about it apparently and now it's time for more sex.

“Forget about her. Come.” He holds out his hand.

Oh, ok then. I suppose having TWO scary stalkers isn't anything to be worried about then.


The next morning, Ana is fiddling with her hair in the mirror, but oh it's just TOO LONG. Just like how she's TOO THIN and TOO PRETTY. She asks Christian how often he works out and he tells her about his personal trainer, Claude. He says she'd like him as a trainer and that he needs her fit for what he has in mind for her. Clearly Claude is on the approved list of men that she can be around, as Christian isn't flying into a rage at the thought of him LOOKING AT HIS PRECIOUS ANA AND MAYBE TOUCHING HER ARM SOMETIME.

“Okay, I’ll meet Claude.”
“You will?” Christian’s face lights up in astounded disbelief.


Astounded disbelief. I swear to god, these people have the weirdest reactions.

His expression makes me smile. He looks like he’s won the lottery, though Christian’s probably never even bought a ticket - he has no need.

BECAUSE HE'S SUPER RICH YOU GUYS, REMEMBER?

Ana says she wants to get her hair cut, lodge a cheque that Christian had given her from before (when they broke up, I think?) and buy a car. Christian then hands her the keys to the Audi he bought her for her graduation in the last book, which she had given back. Ah, no, the cheque was him reimbursing her for selling on her old VW Beetle. Something like that. Something boring. And again, way to leave people who haven't read the first book at all (or read it ages ago and can't remember all the interminable admin that went on) completely in the dark as to what the fuck is going on.

Ana tries to hand him back the cheque so she'll be buying the Audi off him instead of just being given one.

“Oh no. That’s your money.”
“No, it isn’t. I’d like to buy the car from you.”
His expression changes completely. Fury - yes, fury - sweeps across his face.


FURY x2. Again with the weird reactions. "Hello, I saw your car on DoneDeal, what's your best price?" "FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING FUCK." Sounds fair.

Ana rips up the cheque, so Christian storms off into another room and makes a phonecall, depositing a heap of money into her bank account.

"How do you know my account number?”
My ire takes Christian by surprise. 

 (Because he DIDN'T think that was an insanely intrusive thing to find out, unasked?)
“I know everything about you, Anastasia,” he says quietly.


NOOOOOOOOPE. NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE.

And just to be clear:


However, they're both standing there, really mad at each other, her at him for being a controlling asshole, and him at her for showing some backbone. So naturally, they end up making out up agin' a wall, but he's out of condoms so they go for breakfast instead of riding on the carpet. THANK GOD.

“Okay,” I acquiesce and just like that, our fight is over.

AGAIN. NOPE. Your fight isn't over, you're both just ignoring the glaring issues in your horrible relationship and going for pancakes instead. I mean, granted, pancakes can probably solve most problems, but I don't think a controlling, manipulative, fucking insane boyfriend would count among them.

Ana pays for breakfast, which makes Christian all grumpy, like the last time when she offered to pay for their meal in IHOP and he was TOTES EMASCULATED. Independence in women is SO UNAPPEALING.

Christian then brings Ana to a fancy salon called Esclava (which is the Spanish term for female slave, so at least EL went to the trouble of looking up at least one word in a dictionary) and we get another classic James description, like all the GLASS and STEEL of Christian's office building in the first book.

The interior is all white and leather. At the stark white reception desk sits a young blond woman in a crisp white uniform.

It's WHITE, you see, and the reception desk is WHITE and WHITE WHITE WHITE THIS WORD HAS LOST ALL MEANING. WHITE.

Ana is completely baffled by the fact that the receptionist and Christian know each other, like really really unnecessarily confused. I just thought maybe he gets his hair cut here, but I forgot about him being a super-successful super-rich super-businessman for a second, so it turns out that he owns the salon, along with three others. Suddenly, a gorgeous older woman in a black salon uniform appears  and Christian goes over to talk to her.

Ana refers to her as Platinum Blonde while describing her, which is something that Ana does constantly when she meets or sees someone whose name she doesn't know. Every time. So far in this book we've had Miss Very Short Hair and Red Lipstick (the girl who welcomed them to José's show), Blond Shock (a guy with "a shock of bright blond hair" who had the audacity to say that the portraits of Ana were nice) and Ghost Girl (Leila). It's extremely annoying.

Anyway, there's all this build-up to Ana figuring out who this foxy woman is, eventually culminating with:

Then it hits me like a wrecking ball, and I know, deep down in my gut on a visceral level, I know who it is. It’s her. Stunning, older, beautiful.
 

It’s Mrs. Robinson.


DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN. Mrs. Robinson is what Ana has been calling Elena, a friend of Christian's who had a fling with him when he was fifteen. Well, that and Mrs. Paedo. Because Ana is a massive child.

****
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WILDCARD, BITCHES!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fifty Shades of Tedious Fuckery 2 (Vol. 2)

Heyoooo it's that time again!

Catch up with Vol. 1 here.


Christian and Ana get to the restaurant and he immediately orders steak for the two of them, without so much as looking at Ana. He's essentially the asshole character from an Eighties film that Molly Ringwald finally realises is terrible and walks out on and everyone cheers. He is the opposite of a romantic hero. But apparently an arrogant, cruel, controlling and abusive fuckface is what women are looking for in a man nowadays and if you'll excuse me, I'm off to BURN DOWN EVERYTHING.

Over dinner, Christian angrily tells Ana off for leading José on with her hug and kiss, as if his fucking planet-sized jealousy isn't actually the issue here. This is a guy who literally just bought seven giant portraits of Ana's face so OTHER PEOPLE CAN'T LOOK AT HER.

He snaps at the waiter he orders wine from (nothing gets a girl going like her date being unnecessarily rude to waiting staff) and Ana wonders what his problem is. But really, for a guy who's meant to be so WONDERFUL and MISUNDERSTOOD, he does an awful lot of snapping at and generally being an asshole to people he clearly sees as less important than he is. Would you like to know how often Christian "snaps" at people? Because I counted.

32 times. (He is CONSTANTLY SNAPPING. Although he only snarls at Ana 8 times.)

Isn't he a fucking DELIGHT?

In the meantime:

"Somewhere in the depths of my psyche, my inner goddess rises sleepily, stretches, and smiles. She's been asleep for a while."

Oh here we fucking go. Someone please shoot that bitch with a tranquiliser gun and maybe she'll go back to sleep.

They talk some stuff over, he tells her she should have used the safe word during their last encounter (which is true, although he also could have read the situation a little better) and says that he's been miserable for the past five days too, although his way of saying that is "I’m in perpetual night here".


Anyway, they eat dinner (when her steak arrives, Ana's reaction is "Holy hell. Food" because she's forgotten that she's in a restaurant, I guess?) and Christian says he has a proposition for her.

He has a proposition? What now? A couple of scenarios run through my mind: kidnap, working for him. No, nothing makes sense.

If KIDNAP is something that legitimately comes to mind when, over dinner, your ex-boyfriend says he has a proposition for you, THEN WHAT THE JAYSUS FUCK ARE YOU STILL DOING THERE?

They get into the car after dinner and Taylor drives them back to Seattle, while they discuss this proposition, which basically turns out to be something along the lines of "let's keep fucking, but this time I won't wallop you with a belt". Although Christian's opening gambit, said with an entirely straight face and without a hint of humour (because it's Christian and he's precisely zero craic) is:

"Do you want a regular vanilla relationship with no kinky fuckery at all?"

Imagine saying that and being dead serious. Imagine. Kinky fuckery, like. State of him.

They agree to do away with all the rules and punishments, but Christian still doesn't want to be touched because of his childhood, crack whore mother, etc etc, whatever. He actually calls his mother "the crack whore" in that conversation, because the writing in this is just so awesome. Also, he reveals that his mother killed herself and it took four days for her body and baby Christian to be discovered.

All that takes three pages of outrageously boring dialogue, with a few nonsensical Anastasia classics thrown in, such as:

"My anxiety level has shot up several magnitudes on the Richter scale."

On a completely unrelated note, MAGNITUDE IS THE KID WHO PLAYED LEE JORDAN IN THE HARRY POTTER FILMS. I discovered this fact about a month ago and still can't believe it.

"I stare at him, stunned, with no thoughts in my head at all - like a computer crash."

No thoughts in her head at all apart from the computer crash one, which isn't anything like what a computer crash actually is.

Christian drops Ana off at her place and gives her a big gift-wrapped box and says he wants to see her the following night.

“My boss wants me to go for a drink with him tomorrow.”
Christian’s face hardens. “Does he, now?” His voice is laced with latent menace.
“To celebrate my first week,” I add quickly.


LATENT MENACE. HOW LOVELY.

He agrees to collect her after her work drinks, Ana goes inside and opens the box to find the MacBook and Blackberry she had previously given back, along with a new iPad. See, latent menace is no big deal when it's swiftly followed by expensive gifts! Yaay! Also, the iPad has a playlist of songs that Christian put on it, to tell Ana how he feeeels because he has the emotional capabilities of a grumpy teenager.

The next day after work, Ana is heading for the bar across the road where everyone from the office is having a drink. Before that however, there's an infuriating amount of emails between her and Christian, many of which are only one sentence long, so I find myself hissing Have you cunts ever heard of texting? at the page.

Ana eventually leaves the office, only to be approached by a pale, dishevelled girl who looks a bit like her and knows her name. Her clothes are too big for her, she's got a manky bloodied bandage around one wrist and sadly says things like "What do you have that I don’t?" before wandering away.

"My subconscious rears her ugly head and hisses at me - She has something to do with Christian."

Ah, subconscious. Good of you to join us. Also, thank you Captain Obvious. She may as well have had TROUBLED FORMER SUB stamped on her forehead.

Ana gets to the bar, a bit shaken, has a few beers with her colleagues and proceeds to forget about the whole thing. Even though any normal person would be like "The weirdest thing just happened!" to the first person they'd meet. She gets talking to Claire, the receptionist and because Ana is just plain rude despite her innocent virgin act, starts to absent-mindedly wonder how Kate is doing on holiday, instead of listening to what Claire is saying. Thinking of Kate then reminds her:

Oh, and Ethan her brother will be back next Tuesday, and he’ll be staying in our apartment. I can’t imagine Christian is going to be happy about that.

OH HAI RED FLAG. For God's sake, it's none of Christian's business who Kate has over to HER APARTMENT, just because Ana happens to be sponging off her, rent free. And seriously, if your stupid boyfriend is going to freak out every time you interact with a man you're not related to, then it might be time to cut your losses and, as I've previously stated, RUN THE FUCK AWAY.

Anyway, Ana ends up chatting to Jack, her boss, (UH OH, UNSANCTIONED CONVERSATION WITH A MAN WHO HAS A PENIS) and when he asks her if she has any plans for the weekend, Christian magically appears and drapes his arm around her shoulder "in a seemingly casual display of affection - but I know differently. He is staking a claim, and on this occasion, it’s very welcome." OH PHEW, CRISIS AVERTED.

So he's meeting Ana's boss for the first time and instead of introducing himself and shaking his hand like a normal human, he wordlessly drapes himself all over his girlfriend, kisses her and "stares at Jack, his expression impassive." Then when Ana does the introductions, Christian goes “I’m the boyfriend.” Dude. Calm the fuck down. He's genuinely one step away from peeing in a circle all around Ana.

They leave and head to Ana's apartment, and Christian gives her a "scorching, panty-combusting look", which sounds downright painful. On the way there, Christian starts asking if Jack Hyde is good at his job and that he'd better stay away from Ana or "he’ll find himself on his ass on the sidewalk." Ana's all like "Eh, he hasn't done anything and you don't have that kind of power."

Christian gives me his enigmatic smile.
“You’re buying the company,” I whisper in horror.



CHRISTIAN HAS BOUGHT THE COMPANY THAT SHE WORKS FOR. ABORT ABORT GET OUT OF THE CAR. TUCK AND ROLL TIME, STEELE.

For once in her life, Ana actually has an appropriate reaction to something and is furious with him. He goes on about how he wanted to get into publishing anyway and SIP is a profitable company blah blah blah, it's clearly bollocks though, not least because his first explanation was “Because I can, Anastasia. I need you safe.” CHRIST ON A TRAMPOLINE. THE FURTHER SHE GETS AWAY FROM YOU, THE SAFER SHE IS. To her credit, she calls him an arse, although it's a wildly unlikely thing for an American to say, so well done there EL James. However, they both end up laughing, because his frightening need to control everything in Ana's life is actually hilarious, I suppose.

“Just because I have a stupid damn grin on my face doesn’t mean I’m not mad as hell at you,” I mutter breathlessly, trying to suppress my high-school-cheerleader giggling. Though I was never cheerleader - the bitter thought crosses my mind.

Really. Even with your sparkling personality. Quelle sur-fucking-prise. And surely right now you should be a little more concerned with the fact that your boyfriend is A TERRIFYING STALKER.

They get into the house and there's so much goddamn tedious conversation I can hardly stand it. He does his usual What's Ana Eaten Today? segment and when she says she hasn't eaten since lunchtime, he gets all frowny-faced, particularly when she says they'll have to go to the shop for food as there's nothing in the house and I keep thinking "Please just get a fucking takeaway and spare me a scene where you two insufferable titwipes go food shopping together."

“When was the last time you were in a supermarket?”
Christian looks out of place, but he follows me dutifully, holding a shopping basket.


Bastards.

Thankfully it's quick, but also completely pointless and doesn't actually move the plot along in any way, shape or form. They get back to the apartment, Ana gets started on a stir-fry and Christian says he wants to help.

I place a chopping board and some red peppers in front of him. He stares down at them in confusion.
“You’ve never chopped a vegetable?”
“No.”


Oh my fucking god. CONFUSED BY A VEGETABLE. Good luck making that sexy, Jamie Dornan.

Anyway, Ana has come up with a dastardly plan to drive him wild and makes sure to brush off him constantly while moving around the kitchen. Her plan works and Christian is overcome with desire:

“I think we’ll eat later,” he says. “Put the chicken in the fridge.”
This is not a sentence I had ever expected to hear from Christian Grey,
(?) and only he can make it sound hot, really hot.

Wow, "put the chicken in the fridge"? Talk dirty to me Christian. "I've finished peeling those spuds." OOHHHH. "Is there any ketchup in the press?" SOOOO SEXYYYY. Tools.

He carries her to the bedroom and says that she has to tell him exactly what she wants.

“Undress me.” I am panting already.
“Good girl,” he murmurs.

And my face does this:


Then follows an excruciating sex scene, where Ana has to repeatedly tell us how hot the entire thing is and there are terrible parts like "he then reaches down to his discarded jeans, and like a good boy scout, produces a foil packet." What the hell are boy scouts getting up to these days?

Also, while Ana is mid-blowjob, she thinks to herself "I feel like Aphrodite".


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Fifty Shades of Tedious Fuckery 2 (Vol. 1)

Alright then!

I'm going to try to post one of these a week and hopefully it won't take until this time next year. So here's Fifty Shades Darker, aka Fifty Shades of Tedious Fuckery 2, Volume One.

Let's go!


We begin with a short prologue from the immediately grating perspective of baby Christian Grey, hiding under a table while an unnamed man is shouting at and beating up his mother. Most of this prologue is taken up by the words “You are one fucked-up bitch” as the phrase is repeated six times in a row for no reason other than to fill up the word count, I suppose. Welcome back to Terrible Writing Town, kids! Haven’t you missed it?

The man turns on baby Christian Grey, at which point adult Christian wakes up with a start, for ‘twas all a dream and I guess we’re supposed to feel bad for him and his unpleasant childhood, which is nigh on impossible given what an irredeemable asshole we know him to be.

But back to sad-sack protagonist Anastasia Steele, who is balls-deep in misery since breaking up with Christian at the end of the last book, which you would have to have read before this as there’s absolutely no indication for the uninitiated as to what the fuck is going on.

Ana has started a new job at a publishing company and OF COURSE her new boss wants to bone her because every male character in this series immediately wants to have sex with Ana, despite her being completely devoid of personality.

After her first day at the office, she comes home to an empty flat as Kate is away on holiday and so she stares at a brick wall for the evening. Seriously. Then a delivery of two dozen white roses arrives with a note from Christian, congratulating her on her first day of work. A perfectly normal thing to do once you've broken up with someone, yes?

"Dutifully, I make my way into the kitchen to hunt down a vase."

Dutifully. Because even inanimate flowers can boss Ana around.

Get us some water, bitch.

Also, Ana hasn't eaten in FIVE DAYS apparently because she's SO SAD, which just seems like such utter bollocks. I just had my lunch and I'm hungry again.

Then, at work, an email from Christian arrives (he's tracked down her work email address, but this doesn't bother Ana in the slightest) and OH MY GOD I FORGOT ABOUT ALL THE PAINFUL EMAIL EXCHANGES. From, Subject, Date, Time and To ARE NOT NECESSARY EVERY FUCKING TIME.

Anyway, Christian is asking whether Ana wants a lift to José's art show opening the following night back in Portland and because she's never heard of public transport, she says yes. This takes six emails, with either "Christian Grey, CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc." or "Anastasia Steele, Assistant to Jack Hyde, Commissioning Editor, SIP" at the end of every one, because email signatures must be somehow integral to plot development.

So Ana borrows Kate's plum dress and black boots because she still doesn't own any goddamn clothes of her own, although "The dress is looser on me than it was, but I pretend not to notice."

Who is she pretending to, exactly? No one has pointed it out, she's narrating this to herself, so she HAS noticed and is trying to convince herself that she hasn't? That sentence makes no fucking sense and I hate it.

Before meeting Christian after work, Ana sadly checks out her reflection in the bathroom mirror.

"I am my usual pale self, dark circles round my too-large eyes."

Ugh, how awful for her, being a skinny white woman with large eyes. Gross.

She then wishes that she knew how to use make-up, before USING SOME MAKEUP and adjusts her hair "so that it hangs artfully down my back. I take a deep breath. This will have to do." Life is such a struggle and her hair only looks ARTFUL this evening. THE HUMANITY.

Christian's car is waiting for her outside, so Ana gets in.

"I turn and climb into the back, and there he sits - Christian Grey - wearing his gray suit, no tie, his white shirt open at the collar. His gray eyes are glowing."

Grey, grey, grey, grey, grey, grey, grey.


Fun fact! The word grey (or gray for 'Merica spelling) is used 77 TIMES in this book. NOT INCLUDING HIS NAME. EVERYTHING IS GREY. SO SUBTLE. MUCH STORYTELLING.

So there she is, sitting in the car marvelling at his Greyness and guess what the first thing he says to her is? Go on, maybe something like "Hello!" or "It's nice to see you!" Right?

FOOLISH HUMANS.

“When did you last eat?” he snaps as Taylor closes the door behind me.
Crap. “Hello, Christian. Yes, it’s nice to see you, too.”
“I don’t want your smart mouth now. Answer me.” His eyes blaze.


FUUUUUUUUUUCK OFFFFFFFFFF.

Take your "blazing" eyes and use them to set FIRE to your stupid fucking FACE.

Taylor drives them to Christian's helipad, he manages to calm the fuck down somewhat, there's a bit of general "wahh I've missed you" carry-on and as they're getting out of the car:

"He gives me a warm, avuncular smile that makes me feel safe."

Uh oh. EL James has been at the thesaurus again. Avuncular literally means LIKE AN UNCLE. So that's not creepy at all. And I know this because I bothered to LOOK IT UP. I have already done more research for this book than she has.

Christian straps her into the helicopter and apparently there's massive, throbbing sexual tension going on between them, even though the part of Ana could be perfectly played by a plank with a sad face drawn on it. They do that infuriating "Mr Grey", "Miss Steele" thing that makes me want to punch them both in the throat and there's also a bit of "Icarus being drawn to the sun" bollocks thrown in (twice in quick succession, in fact), because she only has the one goddamn simile.

As they're being driven to the gallery for José's show, Christian pulls on his cranky-pants and gets on Ana's case again.

“Those beautiful eyes look too large in your face, Anastasia. Please tell me you’ll eat.”


They get to the gallery and for the entire evening, Christian refers to José as "the boy" in his conversations with Ana, which is both condescending and vaguely racist. WHAT A DREAMBOAT.

It turns out that part of José's show is a series of close-up portraits of Ana's face, which she didn't know about and really, it was kind of a dick move for José to include them without asking her first. Naturally, Christian is furious and buys all seven pictures.

"I don’t want some stranger ogling you in the privacy of their home.”

First of all, put your pants back on Christian, they're just photos of her face, it's not like she's got her tits out and secondly, isn't it just as well she doesn't have a Facebook profile so? Although considering how amazed she was to have an email account in the last book, the idea of Facebook might blow her tiny mind altogether.

Christian then laments the fact that Ana is never that relaxed and happy looking with him, (YA THINK?) so she quite rightly bats back with:

“You have to stop intimidating me if you want that,” I snap.

“You have to learn to communicate and tell me how you feel,” he snaps back, eyes blazing.


For fuck's sake Christian, she told you how she felt ALL THE TIME in the last book, and you just chose to ignore her, you ASS. Then, Ana lays out her exact feelings on the subject, how he tells her not to defy him, but says he loves her "smart mouth" and how generally confusing it is being with him. So there, that's her communicating, just like he says he wants. AND HE IMMEDIATELY CHANGES THE SUBJECT.

He then tells her to say goodbye to José so they can go get dinner, she wants to stay but he's having none of it. So instead of telling him to go fuck himself and that she'll get the bus home, she says goodbye to José, who she hugs and kisses on the cheek, seeing as he's her friend and all. However, Christian flies into a sex-rage and drags Ana out of the building, down a side alley and kisses her "violently". But it's totally hot, so no big deal, I guess.

“You. Are. Mine,” he snarls, emphasizing each word. He pushes away from me and bends, hands on his knees as if he’s run a marathon. “For the love of God, Ana.” (Kick him in the crotch and run the fuck away!)
 

I lean against the wall, panting, trying to control the riotous reaction in my body, trying to find my equilibrium again.

“I’m sorry,” I whisper once my breath has returned.


YEAH, HEY SORRY FOR MAKING YOU DRAG ME INTO AN ALLEYWAY AND SHIFT THE FACE OFF ME EVEN THOUGH WE'VE BROKEN UP AND I NEVER FUCKING ASKED YOU TO.

This guy.

My blood pressure is not going to thank me for this.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Throwing Shade

I said I wouldn’t do it. The first time around it made me so angry, so irritated and generally brought about such a sense of despair for both humanity and reasonably decent sentence structure that I decided that would be the end of it.

But it’s been two years. And recently my curiosity woke up from beneath her fur-lined blanket, peered over her horn-rimmed glasses and poked me in the side, to borrow and paraphrase a fucking awful literary device familiar to many.

I read the first chapter of Fifty Shades Darker. And it was exactly as terrible as I expected. If not more so.


Weirdly, the very next day, the first trailer for the film was released. (Which I've already talked about over on Beaut.ie) And now I kinda feel compelled to point out, in detail, how outrageously stupid the second book is. It would seem that I can’t read about that particular horrible relationship without grabbing it and tearing it to pieces through the means of swearing and gifs and caps lock.

I know a lot of people are over Fifty Shades and all it entails and don’t want to hear any more about it, and I completely and entirely get that. However, I’m just doing this for my own amusement and if anyone wants to join me on this second little odyssey of anguish, then super. I’m going to try not to let it take over the entire blog (and my life) this time around, so I will hopefully have other things to talk about in between angry recap posts.

Fifty Shades of Tedious Fuckery 2: Coming soon.

And frequently. A lot like Ana Steele, really.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

That's Limerick City

Brief Exchange is back! And this time it's landed in Limerick, as part of the City of Culture shenanigans, so there are lovely weird posters all over the place down there, including mine!

This time around, the brief I got was:

"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Edgar Degas Escher, Duchamp and Dali were pioneers in the art of visual manipulation. They each, using their own unique methods, mastered pieces which created illusions and took the viewer's eyes on a journey; forcing a double take. Contemporary artists, too, are digitally creating illusions which transform standard images into entertaining conundrums through a simple trick of the viewer's brain. You are invited to create a little visual trickery of your very own. Whether it's a painting or photograph that looks too surreal to be reality, or a simple graphic with a hidden image, your challenge is to design a poster which changes the familiar and causes the viewer to look twice.

Hoo boy.

I was stumped for ages and then ran off on holidays for two weeks, only to arrive back with six days to the deadline and STILL no idea what to do. However, our last day of holidays was spent in Disneyland (SUPERAMAZINGFUN), so I was on a bit of a Disney buzz when I got home and decided I wanted to do something princess-related.

The whole visual trickery thing was proving to be a difficult box to tick though and I also wanted there to be some kind of creepy element to it, because it's me. In fact, this is actually the first Brief Exchange poster I've done that doesn't have a zombie in it. I eventually came up with an idea that I was happy with, so here it is:


While I was putting it together I wasn't really sure if the underground part worked, as all I could see was the giant insect monster, but the Bear assured me that it does also look like a cave full of bunnies, like it's meant to.

However, my poster was almost immediately ripped by a passer-by (it's being replaced though - yay!) and I've decided that someone tried to steal it, rather than it being wanton destruction, so I'm taking as a big compliment from Limerick. Thanks, lads! They really went to town on it, actually.

The posters are all over Limerick city and on the Brief Exchange site, along with a map showing each one's location. There's some really brilliant design in this show, so do take a look.

 
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