Many believe that 2012 is the year of Armageddon. The Mayan calendar ends in December, there are rumors of a zombie apocalypse bubbling on the East coast due to a string of flesh-eating incidents, and there are hourly hillbilly threats of bloody revolution if Obama gets re-elected in trailer parks all over the southeast.
I agree that we are on a path to destruction this year, but not because of fanatical politics, zombies or solar flares. No, no. I believe that the imminent demise of the human race will prove to be a direct result of the 50 Shades of Grey book trilogy by author and probable antichrist E.L. James.
50 Shades is the story of ingénue Anastasia Steele, a college student who is the personification of the moth, aware but tragically drawn to the flame - the flame being one Christian Grey. Christian is a wildly attractive and successful entrepreneur. A billionaire before the age of 30, he has serious stalker tendencies, deep-seated mommy issues and a dark need to be in complete control of everyone and everything. As a result of this personality cocktail, Christian is a self-proclaimed sadist who contractually takes women with physical likenesses to his crack whore biological mother as his submissives , thus allowing him the liberty to beat the hell out of them with various objects, tie them up in what sound like highly uncomfortable positions, and "fuck them" senseless.
Not immediately alarming or terribly far removed from the loose plot of many low budget pornographic films, right?
The content of 50 Shades isn't a call for Jihad or the vehicle to inexplicable death within seven days of exposure, like the VHS from The Ring, but the side effects from ingesting this text are far more hazardous than anyone could have imagined. These books are the nuclear bomb of our generation. This entirely new brand of evil should not be taken lightly.
The apparent allure of this so-called "mommy porn" is that it provides women with an outlet to take dives into the darker side of sexuality, more suited to the needs of the female psyche. Most women don't enjoy porn to the extent that men do because there are unrealistic expectations for both aesthetics and "performance." The majority of women do not look (or sound) like porn stars, nor can we deep throat a Febreeze can, so the visual throws us off. This book, however, allows the female mind to be swept away into its own perfect fantasy, manufacturing imagery according to each individual's erotic taste. What I stress here is that it has gone entirely too far. The price of allowing these books to continue to peregrinate is far beyond what we can afford to pay. As one person put it, "the entirety of the female population is quickly devolving into 13-year-old boys!" If this isn't disquieting, I don't know what is. Thirteen-year-old boys are assholes.
The tell-tale signs of an impending epidemic have been evident via social media for months. There has been rampant talk of bondage and late nights spent under the covers with e-readers or flashlights trying to get "fixes" (brain-washed addict lingo for one more page). As the word spread via Facebook and Twitter, so did the wave of ramifications. I've watched horrified as many friends and family members, normally sane and reasonable individuals, have fallen prey to the hype and consequential crack equivalent addictive mind-rape that is a result of reading but a few words of this insidious literary threesome. Typically doting mothers becoming neglectful and indolent. Professional and driven women across the nation calling out of work to sit at home and inject themselves with their vice. Intellectuals allowing their legitimate book collection or that documentary that they recently rented to collect dust in order to immerse themselves in 800+ pages of a broken record that perpetuates negative stereotypes. I know one victim, a former friend before that fateful visit to the airport bookstore, who has been wearing the same lounge pants and T-shirt for four days.
Daughters, sisters, girlfriends, wives, best friends, and even grandmothers are rejecting any and all social invitations in order to fuel their degrading illness. In fact, since these books were published, affirmative RSVPs have decreased 68 percent across the board. Many venue, restaurant and hot spot owners are now concerned that people will stop gathering altogether.
"We had a party last weekend where the birthday girl didn't even show up because she was just getting to the part in 50 Shades Darker where they start to explain why Christian Grey hates being touched. I'm not sure what that means, but I do know that no one likes a sausage party. Men don't go out to sword fight with their dicks ... they go out to meet girls. Fuck those books," said one local night club owner who has chosen to remain anonymous due to safety concerns.
Statistically, these books are having more of a profound negative impact on authentic human connection than all online social networking sites combined.
Additionally, women who have been exposed to 50 Shades are unpredictable and aggressive. They should be approached like wild bears. These women have immersed themselves into an alternate reality where they are given unsolicited expensive gifts, jobs that don't align with their merit, and unimaginably yummy sex every five pages. They are delusional, confused and, quite frankly, a danger to themselves and others.
A male friend of mine recently confided how his wife's addiction has affected their relationship. "I am terrified to go upstairs when I know she's been reading. Frankly, she scares the shit out of me right now. I'm not a piece of meat, ya know? I only have peace when I'm at work or manage to slip Nyquil into her Champagne. Yeah, she'll only drink champagne now."
Stories like this are becoming more and more prevalent. At this point, 1 in 4 American men will be a victim of 50 Shades-related impractical financial expectations or sexual assault in their lifetime and more than 90 percent of these acts will be committed by women whom the victims are in committed relationships with.
Please encourage your friends and loved ones to just say no. There are alternatives, and they don't have to succumb to the temptation of the supposed "high." Options for consolatory activities include exercise, starting to smoke cigarettes, art projects, writing emails to all ex-boyfriends, building a house of cards, watching all of the episodes of Vampire Diaries back to back, pole dance classes, re-reading Eat, Pray, Love, and black tar heroin. Anything but these books. The few of us who haven't yet been compromised must do our part to educate others on the peril of 50 Shades of Grey ... before it's too late.
If you or someone you love is currently coping with 50 Shades addiction, please contact one of the nationwide support groups. Use caution as to not accidentally affiliate yourself with a book club. When dealing with a loved one who is in the throes of reading, please remember to never interrupt with talking and under no circumstances should you ever threaten or touch the reading material as you will likely be brutally murdered.Megan Henshall is a project coordinator by day, favorite child, rollerskating enthusiast, blogger, and lover of all things social and under appreciated. For more writing/ramblings/rants visit www.dearsuchandso-keyboardventing.blogspot.com.