Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fifty Shades of Tedious Fuckery (Vol. 9)

Apologies for the lack of posting last week folks, I'm on holidays from work at the moment and was busy having fun in Belfast, bouncing up and down to Foo Fighters. Anyway, exciting news! Volume 1 of Fifty Shades of Tedious Fuckery has been nominated for Best Blog Post in the Irish Blog Awards! It's a public vote and you can vote once a week. I'm pretty far behind at the moment but I'd really appreciate it if you could throw a vote my way. Aaaand seeing as I'm so far back right now, if by some mad miracle I manage to catch up and actually win, I PROMISE that I'll review Fifty Shades Darker. Until now I had figured that the risk of it making me want to jam a pen in my eye would be too high, but if I win, I'll bloody well take that risk. You can vote here or there's a link over there on the sidebar. So, onwards to Volume 9!

Catch up: Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.

So after Christian and Ana are done gnawing on each other's faces in the lift, they head for bed. Christian removes Ana's dress "like a magician" i.e. pulls it over her head. Ana then decides that she doesn't want "to fuck", as Christian puts it, but wants to "make love". Urgh. Not only that, she also wants to touch him, which he never lets her do because he's all weird about her going near his chest. He gets all cross with her so she goes off to the bathroom, only to be surprised, nay SHOCKED by her reflection. "After all I've done today, it's still the same ordinary girl gaping back at me." Close your fucking mouth, Anastasia. Or don't. With any luck a fly might buzz down your throat and choke you to death.

Christian pouts for a bit because he's an overgrown fucking brat, so Ana bargains with him and says that if he tells her why she can't touch him, she'll let him spank her. He produces a set of Ben Wa balls, puts them in her mouth and then his in order to lube them up, at which point Ana thinks "Fuck, this is sexier than the toothbrush". She brushed her teeth with his toothbrush earlier. Apparently this is a sexy thing to do. I'm losing the will to live.

He gets her to walk around a bit with the Ben Wa balls inside her, Ana says "oh" about a million fucking times and makes the following observation: "There's a foil packet, ready and waiting, like me." Apart from the fact that that line is HILARIOUSLY terrible, the similarities end there, seeing as a condom wrapper probably has a higher IQ than she does. Anyway, Christian spanks her, it's "a quagmire of sensation" (SEXY, RIGHT?) then pulls the balls out and fucks her. Afterwards, she demands he keeps his end of the deal. Here's what he says:

"The woman who brought me into this world was a crack-whore, Anastasia. Go to sleep."

Oh right, grand. GOODNIGHT SO.

Also, this:


Ana wakes up alone the next morning and thinks about how she's "in this fantasy apartment, having fantasy sex with my fantasy boyfriend". Even though she keeps going on about how the apartment is more like an art gallery than a home and repeatedly calls it a "mission statement", so it's not actually her idea of a fantasy apartment at all. She never even considered sex before meeting Christian, so I'm at a loss as to how it's fantasy sex that she's having and she's almost constantly treading on eggshells around Christian, who is always either scaring her or giving out to her, so would we really call him a fantasy boyfriend? REALLY? Anyway, she wanders off to find Christian in his study being all obnoxious and business-y on the phone and within three sentences, she uses the word "beautiful" five times while looking at him. FIVE times. In THREE sentences. JESUS TAP DANCING CHRIST.

They end up having sex on his desk, before which we're notified of the foil packet being pulled out of his pocket, just like in every other sex scene up to now and hey this foil packet is just like me, being torn apart by how fucking awful this book is.

Appearances of the words "foil"/"foil packet": 16 (SO sexy.)

As she's coming, Ana tells us how he's "pushing me higher, higher to the castle in the air" after already saying "castle in the air" and "castle in the sky" since the start of the chapter. Which was two and a half pages ago.

They have breakfast together and he asks if she's bought her ticket to Georgia. He tells her he has a jet and she says she'd rather take a scheduled flight. He asks if she'll miss him, she says yes, then thinks "He's got right under my skin...literally."

Ana has interviews today for jobs in publishing houses before she catches her flight to Georgia and when we meet her again she's waiting to be seen at the second one. She's brought into the room by a woman with "long, black, pre-Raphaelite hair" even though pre-Raphaelite hair is red, but whatever. Also, Ana describes how she's wearing Kate's dress for the interview and I've actually just snarled a bit at this book. The interview goes fine, although she's unnerved by the dude doing the interviewing because he said her name softly and used the word "indulge" during their conversation. I suppose given the fact that every other man she knows is constantly trying to have sex with her, maybe it's understandable that she's wary of anyone with a penis.

She gets back home and mentions how beautiful Kate is (which she's being doing all along by the way, but dammit I can only make fun of a certain amount of things at a time) and tells her to cop on and stop antagonising Christian. Kate admits that she's doing it on purpose in order to somehow help him with his commitment issues. She's definitely trying to have her murdered for contstantly taking her clothes. Ana goes off to her room and has us endure about three pages of boring as fuck emails between her and Christian, which basically boil down to her asking if his sexy housekeeper is an ex-sub of his. She's not. There. That took three pages.

Later on, Kate drops Ana off at the airport and discovers during check-in that she's been upgraded to first class. Which would be nice, only for the fact that it's obviously Christian's doing and he's a terrifying psychopath who has managed to find out what flight she's on despite her not actually telling him what time she was leaving or which airline she was taking.

Ana has herself a massage and a manicure in the first class lounge and opens up her laptop "hoping to test the theory that it works anywhere on the planet".


Then again, this is a girl who was quite recently amazed to have her own email address so maybe she's not ready for the concept of wi-fi just yet.

She sends Christian an email making light of how his "stalking knows no bounds" (because being stalked to a disturbing degree is SO ADORABLE YOU GUYS) and mentions that she's had a back massage. He replies immediately asking who gave her a massage because all other men who touch her must be destroyed on sight. Ana hugs herself with "mischievous glee" and sends him an email specifically to wind him up, going on about how a "pleasant young man" gave her the massage and is all delighted with herself that he's "going to flip out". Even though five pages ago she was giving Kate shit for doing EXACTLY THAT. I hope her plane fucking crashes.

Christian replies with a threat to lock her in a crate the next time she goes on a plane and she's not sure if he's serious or not, which, you know should be yet another clue to RUN THE FUCK AWAY FROM HIM. Also, she continues to email him on her Blackberry after being told by cabin crew to put it away because the lives of everyone else on board clearly don't matter to her. Also, when the "disembodied voice" (INTERCOM, Anna. They've been around for like EIGHTY YEARS) of the flight attendant says "cabin crew, doors to automatic and cross check" she wonders "What does that mean? Are they closing the doors?". Can we PLEASE tie her to the runway and have the plane taxi right over her face? PLEASE?

And breathe. Also don't forget to vote! Thank you!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Flags Are Dead, Long Live The Flags!

One of my favourite bands, The Dead Flags, are soon to be no more. After almost five years of working their collective asses off, the lads have decided to call it a day.

Around four years ago, the first time I saw them play I was just going along to a gig with my new boyfriend to see his friend's band. As soon as they burst on to the stage (possibly to the Top Gun theme, although that might have been a different time), I wished I knew the words to every one of their pop/punk/just-plain-deadly songs. In the time since then, I've been to countless gigs of theirs, helped out wherever I could, either with graphic design or cutting hundreds and hundreds of fish shapes out of coloured paper for a video shoot and every time, I was only delighted to be of some use to the Dead Flags cause, as they've become some of my very favourite real life people. (I had to qualify the real-life bit, otherwise Ron Swanson might have the edge.)

They're playing their final gig, a big farewell show in Whelans tomorrow night. That's tonight, if you're reading this tomorrow, or Friday 17th August, to avoid any confusion. It's going to be an amazing night of fantastic music, special guests and the brilliant Gentlemen's Club album from start to finish. Admission is but 8 eurobucks and The Dead Flags will be taking to the stage for the final time at 9 o'clock.

Here are some of their fantastic videos and songs for your enjoyment.

The video for You Got It Wrong, in which they recreated the Enchantment Under The Sea dance from Back To The Future, hence the previously mentioned cutting out of paper fish:

The brilliant Anymore:

And the joyous O My Love! O My God! with it's wonderful slo-mo-tastic video:

I honestly can't recommend this final gig enough, it's going to be all kinds of fun, to the point that we're going to take all the fun and there'll be none left for anyone else for the weekend. SO THERE. I'll probably be quietly crying into my pint at their demise and then remember that I'll need to make the most of this gig and as such will dance my goddamn socks off.

Godspeed, you lovely Flags.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fifty Shades of Tedious Fuckery (Vol. 8)

I really didn't think this through, you know. I only meant to do a Sweet Valley High-style review post of this stupid book and eight posts later I'm only around two thirds of the way through recapping the whole sorry thing. Right, Volume 8. Let's remove any pointy implements from the immediate area and do this!

Catch up: Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

Anastasia, tired from all the sex they've been having, takes a nap and is woken up half an hour before they have to leave. They're going to meet Christian's parents for dinner at their house, along with Kate and Elliot and Christian's sister, Mia. As she's getting dressed, Ana realises that she can't find her knickers and then remembers that Christian put them into his pocket earlier before they had sex.

She decides not to ask for them back and acts like she's the first person in the world who has ever gone commando. As they're leaving, she constantly mentions the fact and then starts to panic that she's about to meet his parents while knickerless, as if his mother has x-ray vision or something. Then she thinks "I'm almost outside with No Panties!" Oh my god, shut the fuck up Ana and I have no idea why the N and P were capitalised there. Probably because E.L. James had roofied her editor at this stage. And just in case we'd forgotten that she wasn't wearing her knickers, she immediately mentions her "state of wanton undress." Yeah Ana, you're SUCH a WHORE.

E.L. James's editor was last seen helping this guy lift a sofa into his van.

When they get to the house and meet the parents, Christian's sister can be heard screeching "Is she here?", comes "barrelling down the hall" and "hugs her hard". All of which quite honestly makes her sound like a fucking nutjob. Imagine meeting your boyfriend's sister for the first time and her carrying on like that? Jesus, you'd be out that door as fast. Anyway they sit at the table for dinner, once Mia has calmed the fuck down and put her pants back on and Christian's dad mentions that Elliot is going to join Kate on holiday with her family in Barbados.

"I glance at Kate, and she grins, her eyes bright and wide. She's delighted. Katherine Kavanagh, show some dignity!"

Yeah Kate, stop looking so happy, you TRAMP. Daddy Grey asks Ana if she has any holiday plans, and she says she was thinking about visiting her mother in Georgia for a few days, which sends Christian into a silent and barely suppressed, jaw-clenching rage because how VERY DARE she want to see her mother without running it by him first.

“This conversation is not over,” he whispers threateningly as we enter the dining room.

FUCKING CHARMING. I seriously hate this character. And I hate this book for trying to romanticise what is quite clearly an emotionally abusive relationship. And I hate that there are about a million Tumblr blogs out there swooning over this all-star asshole.

At dinner, Kate inexplicably provokes Christian further by asking Ana how Jose was when she met him for a drink a few days beforehand, in some bizarre attempt to make Christian jealous. I have literally no idea what the fuck she's playing at here. Every character in this book is a certified geebag.

So Christian is super angry with Ana at this stage and she's so worried that she thinks of running away to Georgia altogether and not coming back. She also gets all annoyed that a serving girl called Gretchen keeps eye-fucking Christian, even though he's oblivious to her. This is just more of her being unable to make her fucking mind up about anything, but at this stage nothing that anyone does makes any sense in this book. It's just a bunch of idiots doing random, infuriating crap.

Mia starts going on about living in Paris and how great it is "In spite of the Parisians." Actually Mia, it's great in spite of fucking annoying loud-ass tourists like you. As she's banging on about the city, she ends up "lapsing at one point into fluent French" which everyone thinks is hilarious and I think that if I was there I'd have lobbed my wine glass at her face, the pretentious twat.

Meanwhile Christian has been groping Anastasia under the table for the last while, as she tries to keep her knees together and when dessert is finished, he asks loudly if she wants a tour of the grounds.

"I know I’m meant to say yes, but I don’t trust him."


He drags her off to the boathouse, even picking her up and throwing her over his shoulder like a sack of spuds because he's SO MANLY AND SUCH A BIG ROMANTIC VIKING and announces that he's going to spank and then fuck her because he's so mad at her. Lovely. When they get inside and upstairs, she pleads with him not to spank her and he has the fucking audacity to look surprised, despite the fact that she clearly told him she didn't like it the last time. He then lists off the reasons why he's so mad at her, in case we'd already forgotten. One of which is the fact that she closed her legs under the table, i.e. said no to him. So being told no makes him mad and turns him on. Well that's not worrying AT ALL.

They have sex and Christian tells her not to come or he'll spank her. Sound. It actually must have been quite difficult for Ana, seeing as all he has to do is grab her boob and jiggle it a bit to make her orgasm. Soon after they've finished, Mia comes barging into the downstairs of the boathouse looking for them because she probably wants to fuck Ana too, just like everyone else in the book does.

As Ana gets her knickers back off Christian and makes herself presentable, we're treated to some more bewilderingly bad repetition.

"I scowl back at him, hastily restore my panties to their rightful place, and stand with as much dignity as I can muster in my just-fucked state. Quickly, I attempt to smooth my just-fucked hair."

Just-fucked. Just-fucked. Just-fucked. THERE ARE OTHER WORDS, E.L. JAMES. And this is someone who goes out of their way to show off with ridiculous words like "syllabub". (Really. It's what they had for dessert. Kill me now.)

I looked "syllabub" up, to find out what the fuck it is. IT'S CREAM. FANCY CREAM. FUCK YOU, E.L. JAMES FOR WASTING MY GODDAMN TIME WITH THIS BULLSHIT.

As they're going back to the house, Christian tells Ana that he still wants to spank her. “I will do it again, Anastasia, and soon,” he threatens quietly close to my ear. KICK HIM IN THE FACE AND RUN AWAY, ANA. They come back to find Kate and Elliot are leaving, and as she's saying goodbye to Kate, Ana tells her they need to talk about her riling Christian up on purpose. Then Kate says:

“He needs antagonizing, then you can see what he’s really like. Be careful, Ana – he’s so controlling,” she whispers.

See what he's really like? So she's trying to put her in danger on purpose? Wait! I've got it! Kate is so fed up with Ana constantly sponging off her and never bothering to buy her own damn dresses to fuck Christian in that she's going to keep provoking him until he murders Ana in a fit of rage. IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW. Kate, you diabolical genius!

Anyway, Christian and Ana decide to go too and all the remaining Greys hug Ana and manage to stop short of humping her leg, because for some reason everyone in this book seems to think she's totally amazing and not actually a complete fucking moron.

As Taylor, Christian's manservant dude, is driving them home, Ana tells Christian that she wants to go to Georgia to have some time to think. He asks if she's having second thoughts, she says maybe, he asks why. It turns out it's not actually because he's a dangerous psycho who scares the shit out of her, constantly threatens her with a spanking she doesn't want and stalks the living fuck out of her.

No, it's because she thinks she loves him but that he just thinks of her as a toy. At this point we're told the car is going over a bridge and I'm mentally willing Taylor to drive off the edge and jump out of the car just in time to save himself.

They get to Christian's place and in the lift, she bites her lip without realising (again), so he gets her to stop (AGAIN). Then:

Bending down, he clamps his teeth around my lower lip and pulls gently. [...] I reciprocate, fastening my teeth over his top lip, teasing him, and he groans.

They're just biting each other's faces. SEXY. And speaking of lip biting and lips in general...

Amount of times Anastasia bites her lip: 35 (Her lower lip must be an absolute state.)

Amount of times Christian gets her to/tells her to stop: 22

Amount of times Christian brushes her lip with his thumb: 10

(He spends most of their time together either pointing out that she's biting her lip, telling her to stop, pulling at her chin so her teeth will "release" her lip, or brushing his thumb against her lip. Loves an aul lip, so he does.)

Amount of times Christian's lips either "quirk up" or "twitch": 26

And as we're counting things that twitch...

References to Christian's palm twitching: 10

He must have a desperate dose of the shakes.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Fifty Shades of Tedious Fuckery (Vol. 7)

Right, where was I? Oh yes, E.L. James had just mangled the English language by making the word "pretty" a noun and I blacked out from the rage it subsequently induced.

Catch up here: Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

So. Anastasia tries to return the fancy first edition Tess books that Christian bought for her way back when I was younger and not as filled with hate as I appear to be now. He gets all pissed off and says he's going to be buying her stuff whether she likes it or not so she may as well get used to it. She says it makes her feel like a hooker. He says tough shit. That's a summary of about a page or so of fucking terrible dialogue.

Anastasia then decides that they should discuss the soft limits of the contract, but instead, Christian distracts her by talking about her stepfather and the jobs she's applying for in Seattle and plying her with champagne to get her drunk. This is the guy who repeatedly goes on about how she has to trust him, by the way. Way to go, dickface. He asks her if she has eaten anything, because Christian Grey's day isn't complete until he gets an inventory of the contents of Ana's stomach. She rolls her eyes at him and he warns her that the next time she does that he's going to take her over his knee. Speaking of knees, I think mine could do with being introduced to his balls right around now.

They go through the soft limits, i.e. things that are acceptable to the submissive and Ana says she doesn't want to do any fisting or anal. He agrees to the no-fisting but says "I'd really like to claim your ass, Anastasia." Apart from the fact that she JUST SAID she didn't want to, what's he going to do, plant a flag in it? Fuck off, Christian.

I hereby claim this ass in the name of Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

They go through bondage and sex toys and whatnot, and Christian keeps laughing at her because she has no idea what half of the stuff is and he's a fucking jerk. Then when she tells him not to laugh when she asks another question, he says "I've apologised twice", GLARES AT HER and then says "Don't make me do it again." I'm running out of swearwords to call this fucking bag of douche.

He then tells her that he's willing to try the "more" that she wants, as in, be a regular boyfriend, but only for "maybe one night a week" and it probably won't work anyway, says he. Even though he's making her do all this sex-related stuff that she doesn't really want to and that she's clearly not comfortable with, he can't even commit to something like MAYBE going to the fucking cinema with her every once in a while. Oh and he'll only maybe try as long as she accepts the graduation present he bought for her, which is a car. ERMAHGERD. DID NOT SEE THAT COMING.

She's pissed off because she specifically told him not to buy her a car and then he's mad at her for being mad at him and for not being the docile, passive sex doll he wants her to be so he fucks her in yet another hideously unsexy and annoying sex scene with about a million "oh my" occurrences thrown in.

Afterwards, when they're lying in bed, she touches his chest and even though he's wearing a t-shirt (more Winnie the Pooh style riding), he tells her not to. All along, the book has been dropping all these hints about as subtle as a sledgehammer about how he doesn't like to be touched, and when Ana asks why, he says "Because I'm fifty shades of fucked-up, Anastasia." Fifty shades of asshole, more like.

Also, that line totally reminded me of this:

She asks him if he got her tipsy on purpose earlier and he says yes and acts like getting her drunk and subsequently geting her to agree to stuff is actually him doing her a favour. SOUND. Then he makes some joke about kidnapping her, even though with his behaviour so far it'd hardly be a stretch for him. She rolls her eyes at him, but he already warned her that he'd spank her if she did and even though she points out that she hasn't signed anything yet and is quite obviously scared now, he insists on it anyway.

She thinks to herself "Should I run?", I think YES, YES YOU FUCKING SHOULD. FAR FAR AWAY. So he spanks her eighteen times, and it sounds fucking horrible and painful and then they have sex again and I want to punch him in the fucking face. He leaves, Ana falls apart crying AGAIN and rings her mam, who tells her to come and visit her in Georgia. Kate then comes along, and seeing that Ana is upset yet again, tells her to dump him.

There's some more tedious emailing between her and Christian, finishing with her telling him she's sad that he never stays with her. She shuts down her laptop and cries some more. Next thing, she hears Kate shouting outside, telling someone to get the fuck out of their house. Christian then bursts into her room and can't figure out why she's so upset, because it couldn't POSSIBLY have anything to do with the fact that he REPEATEDLY HIT HER when she obviously DID NOT WANT HIM TO. She tells him that she didn't like being spanked, he says she wasn't supposed to like it, (DIE CHRISTIAN) she gets a bit sarcastic with him, he narrows his eyes and says "Careful" in a warning tone and I want to push this fucking cunt off a very high building. So he ends up staying with her for the night, because for some reason it didn't occur to her to call the cops and have him forcibly removed from her house.

At work the next day, a courier arrives with a delivery for her. It's a Blackberry from Christian, because he needs to be able to contact her "at all times". (AHEM.) Then there's EVEN MORE horrible boring emails, even though she's at work and he's supposed to be in a meeting and don't Blackberry phones have a free messenger service thing anyway, which would make infinite more sense than constant emails? After work, she goes for a few drinks with Jose, his attempted rape all forgiven, and gets home to find a heap of missed calls from Christian. She had said earlier that she'd email him when she got home from work, but forgot to, because she was busy HAVING A LIFE. He left her a cranky voicemail too, and as she goes to ring him back, this is how she feels: "With a deep dread uncurling in my stomach, I scroll down to his number and press dial". Jesus Christ like, how many more clues do you need for it to be clear that he's a TERRIBLE PERSON?

The next day, Ana and Kate move into their Kate's new Seattle apartment and a delivery of champagne arrives from Christian, even though she didn't give him her new address. "Stalking is one of his specialities" is her explanation to Kate and apparently this isn't cause for concern. On Sunday, she drives to Christian's place (in yet another of Kate's dresses) because he has arranged for a gynecologist to meet her there to sort her out with the pill. Seriously. It's such a weird and creepy thing to do. Fucking hell. When the doctor arrives, Christian actually says to Ana:

"Ready for some contraception?"

What? What's the appropriate response to that, exactly? A high five and a "Fuck YES I'm ready, let's get this contraception ON, motherfucker!", perhaps? However, instead of that, Anastasia gasps and says "You're not going to come as well are you?" AND LOOK AT WHAT HE SAYS:

"I'd pay very good money to watch, believe me, Anastasia, but I don't think the good doctor would approve."

What the actual fuck is going on here? Does he think a gynecological exam is SEXY somehow? Like it's actually code for naked pillowfight or something? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU CHRISTIAN? "Ok, put your feet into the stirrups here and just ignore Mr. Grey over there having a wank in the corner." GAHHHH!

Christian Grey's interpretation of a smear test.

After the doctor has left, Ana winds Christian up by telling him she can't have sex for the next four weeks, his face falls, then she goes "Gotcha!" because it's a hilarious prank. In turn, he then looks all angry, which scares the shit out of her and then goes "Gotcha!" as well. Then I wonder who exactly I need to contact in order to have a giant fucking Acme anvil dropped on these two assholes.

Christian then chains her up in his playroom and whacks her a bit with a riding crop, which is enough to make her come (of course). Then she's wrecked tired from orgasming all over the place and wonders "Will he let me sleep, perchance to dream?" Hey Anastasia, c'mere to me a minute so I can STAB YOU IN YOUR IMAGINARY NECK. Anyway, he doesn't let her sleep, but binds her hands with the cable ties he bought from her ages ago and fucks her again. Afterwards, when he cuts the cable ties off with a scissors, he says "I declare this Ana open" and if I hadn't been reading this tripe on my iPad, I would have flung it out a window.