Wednesday, January 28, 2015

50 Shad3s: Chapter 3 part 1

Ana sees that Christian gave her a bunch of hickies and she's mad for like one minute. 

Hey so this is important:

The film version of this trainwreck is coming, and soon. I plan to watch the movie version of this somewhere, somehow. Do you want to watch with me? I mean, it's not going to be good. It's going to be bad. But it'll only take like, two hours. And let's be real: I can't even get through like, half a chapter of this dumpster fire in two hours. So surely you could put up with a two-hour movie. I know you could. Your moral support would mean a lot to me. So, I dunno. Leave a comment! Or something. If you want to participate in the official Complainist viewing party. I'll be drunk.

So. Another chapter of this. So.

I'm going to tell you now: the plot does not start yet. I hope you aren't expecting the plot to start yet? Because it does not start yet. No, it does not start yet at all. It's another one of those chapters that follow a false cliffhanger but the false cliffhanger is resolved immediately but only sort of. Which is to say that the false cliffhanger is always a symptom of what a super shitty dude Christian is. So the immediate problem might be addressed, but the larger problem--Christian is shitty--goes unresolved. He's still shitty. And he'll always be shitty. And the only way to "resolve" his shittiness would be for Ana to, I dunno. Seek asylum somewhere? It's tough getting involved with super rich people because they're difficult to escape.

But yeah. Let's read another chapter! Probably they'll make up real fast and eat some food and drink some food and have sex and then get in another fight about how shitty Christian is and then the chapter will end and you'll be like, "Wait did Alden accidentally write about Chapter 2 a second time instead of writing about Chapter 3?" and you'll never know. None of us will ever know.

Where were we?

Our story thus far:

Ana Steele is married to billionaire / kink-enthusiast / child-abuse survivor Christian Grey. He is domineering and they are usually upset with each other except for when they're having sex. 

  1. Ana takes her top off on a beach while reminiscing about the wedding and Christian gets mad.
  2. They ride a jet-ski back to their honeymoon yacht and riding jet-skis cheers up Christian a bit. Then they have sex. 
Ugh. I just looked back on my notes from the second part of Chapter 2 and goddammit. Nothing happened. Absolutely nothing. What an absolute shitshow. Just nothing happening at all. They had sex again. Yawn. 

Fine then. Chapter 3! Here we go!

I gaze in horror at the red marks all over my breasts. Hickeys! I have hickeys! I am married to one of the most respected businessmen in the United States, and he’s given me goddamn hickeys. How did I not feel him doing this to me? I flush. The fact is I know exactly why—Mr. Orgasmic was using his fine-motor sexing skills on me. 
Yeah so I don't buy it. Whatever. I'd be pissed if I ended up with a buncha hickies too tho. "How did I not feel him doing this to me?" Well, see, the thing is, the hickies were retconned. This book zigs and zags because EL never sets anything up for the future. She's just like, "oh maybe Ana is covered in hickies now?" and then just goes with it because why not?

Hey let's keep going tho!

My subconscious peers over her half-moon specs and tuts disapprovingly, while my inner goddess slumbers on her chaise longue, out for the count. 
FYI the typo isn't mine. That's in my bootleg ebook. I hope my pals at Random House fixed that up for the print edition. Oh by the way, pals at Random House, you should totally publish this. Really help you corner the market on 50 Shades. Like selling poison and the antidote in the same pharmacy.

Anyway tho. Ana's shitty subconscious is judging her because CG gave her hickies. The way that Ana shoves her own self-hatred onto subconscious is sad and terrible. Someone should really delve in and do some psychoanalysis there. I won't tho. I'm just going to do more insults.

Then Ana looks in the mirror for a while longer. EL is doing that bad author thing where she has Ana notice what Ana looks like so that we know what Ana looks like. Yawn.

Anyway she's super mad. So she runs up to a different part of the boat and stops being mad almost immediately.

Look at what passes for dialogue in this mess:

“You’re mad at me,” he whispers. 
“No shit, Sherlock!” 
“How mad?” 
“Scale of one to ten, I think I’m at fifty. Apt, huh?”
It looks like I made it up, right? Like this is a dumb joke that I'm sticking in here? Not actually a part of the thing? But it is tho. Completely legit. Ana says "No shit, Sherlock" because she is v. clever. And then she arbitrarily chooses a meaningless scale and then further renders it useless by picking a figure that exceeds her own scale, and thus we have no idea how mad she is. She should've expressed her anger in Kelvin rather than Celsius. Would've made the math easier.

But to top it all off she's like, "Get it? The name of this book is Fifty Shades Freed and I'm a fifty on the mad-o-meter! That repetition of an arbitrary number is probably the sort of thing that dumb people might find clever."

They spend like two pages making up and I just can't even give a shit, nor pretend that I give a shit.
He kisses me—an earnest forgive-me kiss—then we wander hand in hand toward the bow where our gazpacho soup awaits.

The steward serves our crème brulée and discreetly retires. 
Wait wait rewind the tape! There, we see them wandering hand in hand toward the bow where their gazpacho soup awaits. Next, the steward is bringing dessert! So: where did the gazpacho go? Where. Did. The. Gazpacho. Go? What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area. Checkpoints go up at fifteen miles. Your fugitive is two bowls of tomato soup, served ice cold.  Go get them.

Look at what's happening to me. I'm so hard up for new shit to write about that I get stuck on this weird joke mashup. Like, I've clearly lost the plot on this one. What am I even talking about and why? I guess it's because when I'm bored I make up my own book. My books involves some investigators watching this book but like on a tv screen or something? And then they see Ana and CG move rapidly from gazpacho to dessert but it's like two fast? So they know that something deeply mysterious is happening. 

I check that we’re alone and ask, “What’s with the no going to the bathroom thing?” 
“You really want to know?” He half smiles, his eyes alight with a salacious gleam.
“Do I?” I gaze at him through my lashes as I take a sip of my wine. 
“The fuller your bladder, the more intense your orgasm, Ana.” I blush. “Oh. I see.” Holy cow, that explains a lot.
Does it, tho? "The fuller your bladder, the more intense your orgasm, Ana." I have a couple of responses to this. The first is that that seems bonkers so please, use the comments section below to tell me all about how I'm wrong and how you insist on drinking a pot of coffee before every sexual encounter. It can be anonymous. Please do keep it anonymous. I enjoy having no idea if anyone is reading any of this thing.

My second response is this: oh this is all part of CG's game. All part of his watersports schemes.

"Hey so if I tell Ana that she'll like sex more if she's got a full bladder, hey maybe sometime? She overdoes it a little bit? Things are getting pretty hot, right? She's lying there, not moving at all or making any noise or acknowledging my presence. Her inner goddess is like, watching from across the room and doing a dance. Oh and by the way I can totally see inner goddess. But anyway, yeah she's got a full bladder so maybe sometime, I dunno, maybe sometime, it just so happens, that completely accidentally, Ana pees on me and I'm completely ok with that."

I'm dwelling too much on this. I know I am. But how can I not? It's weird. It's just rill weird, rill rill weird and there is no way for me to not dwell too much on the rill weird parts. Asking me to ignore the rill weird parts is like asking giant robots not to transform into cars, or like asking EL James not to write clichés. The change would destroy us.

Here's a thing I wonder:

All we're getting of this honeymoon is Ana and CG in exotic locales, totally isolated from anything special about these places. They might as well just be in mutterflushing Florida. Right? I mean what's the big deal? What's so great about the Mediterranean if you're just going to spend the whole time below deck in your luxury yacht?

Dunno. Just dunno. I guess there are two reasons. First is that EL just doesn't have the skill needed to move these characters around, in public. She likes mentioning places, but it's too much work to have her characters go anywhere. All she can do is bounce them off each other. EL is like a child playing a game of make-believe with a pair of action figures. She might imagine them on all sorts of different adventures, but in the end, she's still just mashing two toys against each other. The toys aren't really in Europe. They're still there, in her hands.

But the other, slightly more generous interpretation is to point out that there's no point in Ana and CG going anywhere. I mean why should they? The plot, such as it is, isn't about our heroes traipsing around the Mediterranean. I forget what it is about but I don't think it's about that. It's about some other different thing I think. Wait what is the plot?

Oh! Right. Christian is a vampire and Ana is all like, "Ooh! Ooh! Make me a vampire too!" And CG is like, "No, no, I don't think that's a good idea" or whatever and they go back and forth for several books and then (Editor's note: fake spoiler alert.) finally CG makes Ana a vampire and everyone's rill excited about it because I forget why. I guess she's really good at vampiring? Whatever. We'll get there eventually I'm sure.

Anyway these doofuses haven't had sex since a couple hours ago so they probably should do that again, right? Sure whatever.

They go to their boat-bedroom and dance to CG's ipod. Because that's totally normal and and seems like a thing that people would really do. No point in like, going ashore, and seeing a new place! They're only in mutterflushing Monaco. I'm sure that place is boring as shit and not even worth it, right? Yeah word I hear that place is a real snooze.

Listen to this bullshit, wouldja?

A slinky, cheesy melody starts. Is this a Latin rhythm? Christian grins down
at me and starts to move, sweeping me off my feet and taking me with him round the salon. 
A man with a voice like warm melted caramel croons. It’s a song I know but can’t place. 
Can you believe how much EL is willing to say about this mutterflushing song without actually telling us anything about it? Christ. Take your time, Ana. Just really, start talking it out, you know? Try word association. Here I'll tell you what: I'm going to name some singers, and you just, you know. If you recognize one of them, then let me know and we can move one. Frank? Bruce? Tony? Mel? Marc? D'Angelo? Justin? No?

Srsly tho. Why is this happening? "Is this a Latin rhythm?" Don't ask me! Do your job! You're the narrator! Narrate!

Hey what the shit do you think Ana means, speaking of narration, when she narrates "sweeping me off my feet"? Like what's that mean? Is that literal? I thought that was only used figuratively, you know, like if you wanted to say that you were overwhelmed with emotions, but wanted a super cliché way of saying it because that was like, you know, your thing? Yeah so I don't know what's going on.

And then? That voice! Warm melted caramel, or something.

Hey did you ever read that shitty book called 50 Shades of Grey? Here's a part from that book:

His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel . . . or something.
I forget who wrote that 50 Shades of Grey book. Somebody famous. But anyway. EL James totally ripped off that other book! Somebody should like, do something about that, you know? Totally.

The song ends and they have sex but EL doesn't make us read this part because she's not a monster. Just a terrible writer. So she doesn't force this particular shit on us. Thanks, EL.

New scene. Ana wakes up. Oh shit here's a fun game! SIDEBAR: let me count how many times Ana has already woken up in this book. Remember: we're on Chapter 3. How the hell many times could she have woken up already? Four times, it turns out. Three times one day, and one so far the next day. All three times the previous day were in the PM tho, so at least one more is implied. Whatever. What I'm saying is that EL is bad at writing.

But yeah. New scene. Ana wakes up and marches into the bathroom where CG is shaving and that is a weird thing to do because I know you're married and everything but cmon. Give a brother some privacy. Right fellas? Up high. This pointless scene is only here to set up a pointless flashback because we haven't had nearly enough flashbacks so far.

“Shall I do this to you again?” he whispers wickedly and holds up the razor.
I purse my lips at him. “No,” I mutter, pretending to sulk. “I’ll wax next time.” I remember Christian’s joy in London when he’d discovered that during his one meeting there, I’d shaved off my pubic hair out of curiosity. Of course I hadn’t done it to Mr. Exacting’s high standards . . . 

AND NOW: flashback! Flashback to the doubtless fascinating story of Ana's pubes!

Ugh. Ok I gotta talk to my bro Christian for a sec here. Everybody else? Just like, talk amongst yourselves.

Listen, bro. Bro to bro here, right? Bro to bro. You gotta chill out. You gotta. You gotta stop making such a big weird deal out of your wife's foliage. C'mon bro. I get it! You're stoked. Sure why not. Be stoked. But just like, be gently stoked. I'm saying: act like you been there before, bro! Don't say these things, and I quote!

“What the hell have you done?”“Hey.Don’t hide. Tell me. Why?”“I’m not laughing at you. I’m sorry. I’m . . . delighted,” “Tell me. Why?”“I think I should do a thorough inspection of your handiwork, Mrs. Grey.” 
You see what you're doing here, bro? Why you gotta make everything into such a thing? Can't anything ever just happen without being such a thing? 

Why? Oh the answer is that Ana thought this would make CG happy and I guess it does. But it also
makes him all weird. I mean he's always weird but he gets all weird. And I'm just like, chill out, bro.

Christian’s eyes dart to mine, full of salacious longing. “I think you missed a bit,” he mutters and tugs gently, right underneath.
“Oh . . . Damn,” I mutter, hoping this will put an end to his frankly intrusive scrutiny. 
Right? She's immediately like, whoa maybe I shouldn't have bothered! And I agree with you on this one, Ana. Don't do shit that CG might like. He doesn't deserve to be happy because he's a vampire. And look: you don't need him. You don't need to become a vampire. You should not do that. Just do you. You just do you, Ana. Just do you.

Anyway CG insists on re-shaving Ana because that's the kind of shit he insists on. And insist he does! Ugh you gotta stop this shit bro. I mean she says yes? But like, it's really not cool when a lady says "no" like six times and then "ugh fine I guess" after that. Right? I mean look at this mess:

“No. No. No,” I squeak.
“Mrs. Grey, if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Lift your hips.” His eyes glow summer storm gray.
“Christian! You are not shaving me.” He tilts his head to one side. “Why ever not?” I flush . . . isn’t it obvious? “Because . . . It’s just too . . .” “Intimate?” he whispers. “Ana, I crave intimacy with you—you know that. Besides, after some of the things we’ve done, don’t get all squeamish on me now. And, I know this part of your body better than you do.”
I gape at him. Of all the arrogant . . . true, he does—but still. “It’s just wrong!” My voice is prissy and whiney.
“This isn’t wrong—this is hot.”
Hot? Really? “This turns you on?” I can’t keep the astonishment out of my voice.
He snorts. “Can’t you tell?” He glances down at his arousal. “I want to shave you,” he whispers
Oh, what the hell. I lie back, throwing my arm over my face so I don’t have to watch.
“If it makes you happy, Christian, go ahead. You are so kinky,” I mutter, as I lift my hips, and he slips the towel beneath me. He kisses my inner thigh.
“Oh, baby, how right you are.”
I hear the slosh of water as he dips the shaving brush in the glass of water, then the soft swirl of the brush in the mug. He grasps my left ankle and parts my legs, and the bed dips as he sits between my legs. “I’d really like to tie you up right now,” he murmurs.
“I promise to keep still.”“Good.” 

Sorry for making you read all that. Ok so you see Ana saying "no" repeatedly and then being ugh whatever at the end. That's gross.

We've got some real bad ELisms here too: "His eyes glow summer storm gray." Ohhhh right that color. Wait his eyes change color? Is that a thing? Ugh.

And then once again, his dumb insistence that she not move. Hey so um. The razor might encourage some stillness on her part so I wouldn't worry about that, asshole.

Oh and here's probably the grossest thing of all: "And, I know this part of your body better than you do."

Translation: takes a dude to teach a lady how her body works because ladies got no idea what's even going on down there with their down theres. Right? Ladies, if you have any questions at all? Just ask one of your bros, you know? And your bro will be like, "I got this." And he'll just like walk you through the whole situation, you know? Demonstrate all the features, you know? Really go through the user manual. Troubleshoot. Take you through the mutterflushing appendixes  in the back where they tell you what to do if anything goes wrong and usually it's like Problem: Unit does not turn on. Solution: Make sure unit is plugged into power. That kinda shit. That is the type of shit you really need a bro to help you out with because bros are all about that kind of technical shit you know?

FTB tho you know? And it bums me out that lotsa ladies like this book because it's just so insulting. The subtext is always like, "Oh right! Ana is dumb cause she's a lady!" What am I missing here? What's the appeal that I'm not getting? Because I'm not getting it.

Hey remember this line of dialogue from earlier in the scene? “I think I should do a thorough inspection of your handiwork, Mrs. Grey.”

Check out this part from later in the scene:

“There—that’s more like it,” he muses, and I finally lift my arm to look at him as he sits back to admire his handiwork. 
Right? Whoever wrote the end of this scene totally ripped off whoever wrote the beginning of the scene! This is insulting to my intelligence as a reader. At least when EL wrote about a voice like melted caramel, it made me think of a similar shitty line from two books ago. That was a whole other book! I read that like, two years ago. It just happens to have totally stayed with me on account of how absolutely terrible that line is.

But here? I'm seeing these phrases recycled in the same mutterflushing scene. Christ.

Oh and then the flashback ends with CG fingerblasting Ana.

And that's the end of our proceedings! There's more to the chapter but I'm not going to lie: this is brutal and I hate it. I just hate it. It's terrible, and not good, and bad, and I hate it, and also: I don't like it. There's just nothing here to make a person want to carry on, if that person is me, and in this case, that person is, indeed, me.

Oh hey but let's do this again next week still because why not? We're all having fun, right? Sure!

No comments: