Don’t judge a book by its cover

The most common complaint in the comboxes of Matt Walsh’s criticism of Fifty Shades of Grey is that Walsh has not actually read the book.  50SOG is according to its defenders a work which must be experienced to be understood.  It is, they claim, a work of fine literature, not smut. Fortunately ballista74 has located a dramatic reading of 50SOG which I am confident will help bridge our gap in understanding this modern literary work.  Audio is not safe for work.

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95 Responses to Don’t judge a book by its cover

  1. Spawny Get says:

    Well I laughed while everything I’d heard about the book was confirmed.

    Great find, thanks Dalrock

  2. And let’s not forget the reading by Charles Dance

  3. Jodaph says:

    This may actually help women recognize it as porno. Gilbert Gottfried’s reading should pull them out of the 50SOG fantasy as quickly as a fat lady in a nurse costume would pull men out of the fantasy of a typical porno.

  4. TLM says:

    50SOG and its literary success is reason # 37,894 why women should never be taken seriously about anything.

  5. Will S. says:

    I understand that phrase ‘inner goddess’ is repeated over and over. I think that, as much as or perhaps even more than the erotic aspects of the work, that’s what appeals to modern woman; the conceit that they have a goddess within them; that somehow, they are divine… It flatters their twisted, fallen, feminine egos…

  6. This is a chance to share a favorite quote of mine, from a recap of the Apprentice TV show, of all places:

    “You never can judge a book by its cover.” Which is true, but if you then open the book, and the first page is nonsense and curse words and a picture of a woman doing physiologically inadvisable and unhygienic things in a bathtub, you are allowed to assume the book is not for you. You don’t have to read the whole book to figure that out.

    Maybe all this attention will turn the thing into disco circa 1980 before the movie even comes out. Women will probably still go see it — or watch it at home — but if it’s seen as an embarrassment, maybe it’ll be something they keep to themselves by then, unlike the Magic Mike viewing parties. Some traditional women I know are already trying to get boycotts going. One can hope, I guess.

  7. earl says:

    “50SOG is according to its defenders a work which must be experienced to be understood.”

    If a woman has that type of experience in her background to defend it…I understand enough about her. Pass.

  8. Bob Wallace says:

    I was once told, “If the first bite is bad, you don’t have to eat the entire breakfast.”

  9. Dalrock says:

    @Cail

    Maybe all this attention will turn the thing into disco circa 1980 before the movie even comes out. Women will probably still go see it — or watch it at home — but if it’s seen as an embarrassment, maybe it’ll be something they keep to themselves by then, unlike the Magic Mike viewing parties. Some traditional women I know are already trying to get boycotts going. One can hope, I guess.

    Agreed. There is an incredible shamelessness by women (in general) towards their preferred forms of porn. This is why not only did so many of Walsh’s readers respond so vehemently, but why they would make the absurd claim that it wasn’t what he thought it was. Of course it is.

  10. AdmiralBenbow says:

    That’s funny right there. I don’t care who you are…

  11. jf12 says:

    @Bob Wallace, re: first bite.

    “The food is disgusting, and the portions are too small.”

  12. Opus says:

    I am afraid you are all cherry-picking. Fifty Shades is no different from any of the other novels aimed at women which the English have been writing since slightly before your revolution of 1776, with women facing fates worse than death (Ann Radcliffe) women stoically awaiting the man of their dreams (Jane Austen) women falling for men who are obviously deranged and whose previous wife has been locked in the attic (Bronte) – and that is just to concentrate on those novels written by the fair sex. Men do it better: The Castle of Otranto (Walpole) Dracula (Stoker) The Masque of Red Death (Poe).

    You will notice that these are all Anglo tales and must therefore reflect something of Puritan repression and reticence about sex.

    Writing good erotica requires a somewhat different approach, subtlety, understatement, implicitness rather than explicitness; I did not get further than page 4 of 50SoG but I thought it had promise.

  13. mikediver5 says:

    To those that have not read the original Bram Stoker Dracula I recommend it highly. You will learn right off that it is at the very least erotic if not out right pornography. It has literary merit, but all it is about is sex.

  14. gammadude says:

    I’ve got half a mind to go watch this as a comedy movie and be that guy who laughs at all the wrong jokes.

  15. Oscar says:

    I like what one sensible lady wrote at Mat Walsh’s comment section; “I don’t have to eat dog crap to know it’s bad for me.”

    Also, if the book’s defenders are right, that means one would have to watch every pornographic film ever made in its entirety to judge whether or not each of those films is moral.

    Somehow, I doubt 50SoG’s defenders would agree with that.

  16. jf12 says:

    Another angle from which to attack: spread the rumor that the writer is male. Back in the 1970s when the sex scenes in romance novels really started heating up, there was a bit of a tempest at the teaparty, blowing their skirts up, when it started to get revealed that almost all of the best “new romance” writers were male. I say started because it was hushed up, presumably monetarily, almost immediately. Almost.

    At my local library almost half of all new acquisitions, numerically, are romance novels to which they attach either pink hearts or red hearts, the red hearts indicating more “mature” action. The pink hearts include the large category of Christian romance. The red hearts come back much more worn, especially the paperbacks.

    It’s long been known in the industry that, through the years, the male writers sell better, if they pretend to be female. A lot of the males go full formulaic, very successfully, while a lot of the females keep trying to be different. Perhaps the biggest difference is in serials: the male writers will have action in every “episode”, while the female writers all erroneously think they have to keep the action from happening until the end.

  17. Pro-Truth says:

    Is it just me or do all the women who are against 50SoG seem to only argue against its terrible quality? I haven’t seen very many women who complain that it’s outright porn. Meanwhile the male argument against it usually starts along the lines of “This is porn, why does it get a free pass?”

    @Opus

    Pretty wide brush you’ve got there. Might as well lump The Oddesy, Beowulf, Conan, Game of Thrones, and Shakespeare in the same boat and compare them to the latest Porn flick, since they in large part include Male power fantasy and Sex.

    @Oscar

    Yep. Alternatively, they need to read through playboy/penthouse/etc. magazines, in their entireties, to judge them.

    Because, y’know, we only read them for the articles.

  18. Gunner Q says:

    The entire point of a book’s cover is to interest the reader in its contents. It’s like a high-value guy dressing like a slob and then wondering why women assume he’s a slob. It’s unreasonable to expect people to invest time & effort before making a decision whether to invest time & effort.

    Dracula is erotic? It always read like a Victorian “Monster Hunters International” to me. Guess it’s time for a red-pill re-read. Slightly off-topic, why do women find vampires sexy? They’re two-legged ticks.

  19. theasdgamer says:

    @ Opus

    I did not get further than page 4 of 50SoG but I thought it had promise.

    Promise of boredom. heh

  20. feeriker says:

    Gilbert Gottfried reads 50 Shades of Grey

    Now THAT just might induce me to sacrifice not only life-minutes, but wireless bandwidth for this topic. I haven’t even looked at the vid yet, but I’m already ROTFLMFAOing.

  21. Oh, this is a much better breakdown of 50 SoG that Gilbert’s:

    http://jennytrout.wordpress.com/jenny-reads-50-shades-of-grey/

    Someone who is not me should send this link to Matt.

  22. Anonymous Reader says:

    jf12
    Another angle from which to attack: spread the rumor that the writer is male. Back in the 1970s when the sex scenes in romance novels really started heating up, there was a bit of a tempest at the teaparty, blowing their skirts up, when it started to get revealed that almost all of the best “new romance” writers were male. I say started because it was hushed up, presumably monetarily, almost immediately. Almost.

    Are you thinking, perhaps, of the kerfuffle over the noted romance authoress “Penelope Ashe”?

  23. lzozozolzllzlzolzolzozzlzozz

    hey dalrock!

    what does NSFW mean anymore?

    what if you work at amazon.com or at a university where fifty shades of grey is taught?

    what if you work at the church where people are reading it, including the pastor’s wife?

    what if you work at any place or corporation that has a 401k which invests in companies which profit off of porn/fifty shades of grey (google/amazon/ebay/all credit card companies/banks/etc.).

    NSFW = men must stay at their desks slaving away while their wivesz are beging buttocckedz and having it secretly tapedz zlzozlzlzozo

    political correctness was invented so that they could seize your salary for complimenting a woman on her looks while they were buttehxtxingz her and taping it secrteelyz zlzzozlzzloz.

    at any rate, here is a video that is suitable for work–in fact, turn it up to 11!!!!

    lzoozlzlzolzoz

  24. Rollo, there goes my afternoon.

  25. Dalrock says:

    GBFM,

    You have outdone yourself.

  26. Thinkn'Man says:

    I’m still not sure if GBFM is some kind of brilliant, sardonic, tongue-in-cheek social critic… or a semi literate blowhard? Gaaaahhh! Will someone “deconstruct” this guy for me?

  27. Patrick Pedat Ebediyah Golston says:

    From the Dave Barry article:

    “Some males become so desperate that they resort to paying for sex, or even running for Congress.”

    LOL

  28. desiderian says:

    “I’m still not sure if GBFM is some kind of brilliant, sardonic, tongue-in-cheek social critic… or a semi literate blowhard? Gaaaahhh! Will someone “deconstruct” this guy for me?”

    No, that’s exactly what his approach is designed to prevent.

    He’s fighting fire with fire.

  29. desiderian says:

    “Some traditional women I know are already trying to get boycotts going. One can hope, I guess.”

    Sheesh. Boycotts are the last thing we need, although disco was already about dead when those boycotts started, so at least its a good sign. If Time has Dave Barry on it, it jumped the shark a long time ago.

    50 Shades is what old, has-been women were reading awhile back.

  30. Ras Al Ghul says:

    Gunner Q:

    From Dracula:

    “The body shook and quivered and twisted in wild contortions. The sharp white champed together till the lips were cut, and the mouth was smeared with a crimson foam. But Arthur never faltered. He looked like a figure of Thor as his untrembling arm rose and fell, driving deeper and deeper the mercy-bearing stake, whilst the blood from the pierced heart welled and spurted up around it. His face was set, and high duty seemed to shine through it. The sight of it gave us courage so that our voices seemed to ring through the little vault.

    And then the writhing and quivering of the body became less, and the teeth seemed to champ, and the face to quiver. Finally it lay still. The terrible task was over.

    The hammer fell from Arthur’s hand. He reeled and would have fallen had we not caught him. The great drops of sweat sprang from his forehead, and his breath came in broken gasps.”

    Note it is Lucy’s fiancé, Arthur, that does the staking, not any other man. The book is filled with these images.

    Second, the reason women like Vampires should be obvious, they are a metaphor for sexual submission. (Just as werewolves are a metaphor for unleashed sexual aggression, especially male sexual aggression) The woman is under his spell, compelled to submit, a willing victim, the exchange of bodily fluids. The vampire possesses her, body and soul.

  31. Tim says:

    LMFAO!!!

    That GBFM video is sheer warped genius too

  32. Gunner Q says:

    Vampires are hypnotic two-legged ticks… no wonder I can’t figure this stuff out on my own.

  33. masonkramer says:

    It never stops being funny.

  34. jack says:

    Perhaps those same idiot Christian women need to sit down for a long porn-viewing session with their husbands before they are permitted to criticize the immorality of porn.

    Women are incapable of logic where logic disagrees with the female imperative.

    The sure is to NOT BOTHER trying to reason women into the domain of male logic, but to get men as a large group to stop treating female “thinking” as anything worth serious engagement.

    Honey, I will buy you nice things, hold you, kiss you, and if you like, fk you good.

    But I will not pretend that your chaotic attempts at logic are equal to my own. I will not reduce my own intelligence so that yours does not feel overpowered.

  35. Peter Blood says:

    Stoker is best understood as writing about the horrors of sexual sin, specifically of syphillis, which is what killed him. Another of his novels is titled “The Lair of the White Worm”, just to make it easier for the dolts who thrill to (as opposed to recoil in horror from) his stories.

  36. FixingRuckus says:

    Just when I thought that I have seen it all and will never ever be amazed, I am proven wrong. On a side note, I wish I could listen to Putin read this out loud. This would be entertaining!

  37. jf12 says:

    @GunnerQ, re: “Slightly off-topic, why do women find vampires sexy?”

    Short version: Evil. Danger. Otherness.

    Longer suggestion: Grab the biggest hammer you can find, and start laying about you vigorously. The stake is a misdirection. Get a bigger hammer, and hit everywhere.

  38. Opus says:

    So I wondered whether there was a ‘Hitler Rant’ against 50SoG. I was not disappointed, there is. Perhaps someone clever can link it.

  39. Isa says:

    Perhaps Anthony Weiner was inspired by the work? Certainly sounds like it.

  40. ballista74 says:

    So I wondered whether there was a ‘Hitler Rant’ against 50SoG. I was not disappointed, there is. Perhaps someone clever can link it.

    There’s one where Hitler is upset because he can’t take his wife to see it because the Germans won’t allow it in the theaters (“it’s too rude”).

    But here’s one about the book that I think fits your bill (usual NSFW warnings):

  41. Oscar says:

    Pro-Truth says:
    August 1, 2014 at 10:22 am

    “Alternatively, they need to read through playboy/penthouse/etc. magazines, in their entireties, to judge them.”

    jack says:
    August 1, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    “Perhaps those same idiot Christian women need to sit down for a long porn-viewing session with their husbands before they are permitted to criticize the immorality of porn.”

    Precisely. Here’s another thought. Would Walsh’s critics cut him any slack if Walsh had read the book before judging it immoral?

    Somehow, I doubt it.

  42. Exfernal says:

    GBFM, why not join forces with Zoochosis? Together with him you might create a viral masterpiece more popular than his “Thanks, Smokey” (barely SFW):

  43. John says:

    “I am afraid you are all cherry-picking. Fifty Shades is no different from any of the other novels aimed at women which the English have been writing since slightly before your revolution of 1776, with women facing fates worse than death (Ann Radcliffe) women stoically awaiting the man of their dreams (Jane Austen)”

    I’m not the world’s biggest Austen fan, but 50SoG being “no different” is more than a stretch…

  44. feeriker says:

    GBFM, that video is a keeper!

  45. What, no h/t for that video?

    “If 50 Shades was Written By a Man: 50 Sheds of Grey”

    http://hipsterracist.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/in-boy-scouts-they-gave-me-a-merit-badge-for-tying-knots/

  46. lzlzozozolz

    da GBFM’s breakout #1 charting hit “one cock rule” is influencing the culture and soon marriage shall be restored as the “one cock rule” becomes part of the culture, and then the law, as the Law of Moses is once againz fulfilledlxlzozlozo lzlzozozizzklzz:

    lzozozlzozoz

  47. Opus says:

    ‘I call it the one dick rule, it roles more easily off the tongue’

    I think that might have been somewhat better put.

  48. Bluepillprofessor says:

    The entire genre of vampire porn is poorly written- Twilight, True Blood etc are totally devoid of literary merit. However, as chick porn it is great for foreplay! I encourage my wife to read them before bed. When I approach I pretend to be a vampire. Talk slowly and deep, move slowly and deliberately, then hold her helpless in your arms while you bite her neck. Works like a charm almost every time.

  49. Opus says:

    @John

    I realise that my view of Austen is heretical.

    Jane Austen is squeamish about physical contact. ‘It just happened’ might be a metaphor for her brand of Rom Lit. Everything is sanitized; the men become more moral and worthy the richer taller and more handsome they are. All physical action is instigated by the hero whose faults and omissions are entirely overlooked. An M.R.S. degree is the end of and aim of the novels and justifies hundreds of pages of build-up.

    Anastasia Steele is also English; she is (as she sees it) insecure and awkward – not glamorous. She has no responsibility for the growing relationship with Grey. He is in control at all times and she cannot resist his demands. The aim is an M.R.S. degree after much physical contact. Grey becomes the ideal husband and is also rich, handsome and tall.

  50. jf12 says:

    Plain brown wrapper …

  51. LandonFogg says:

    I think you’ve badly misunderstood Austen. Its hard to know where to begin. Austen was a satirist, she don’t write any “rom lit” and thought, in essence, romantic literature was idiotic. I just cannot understand how someone could read S&S or P&P and come away with that impression.

    Certainly getting married is a huge issue but it doesn’t have anything to do with romance, it has a lot to do with having to be poor and work as a governess instead. Her books are pretty up-front about this, its business.

    I don’t understand how it would ‘justify build-up’ given Austen is taking the mickey out of the idea from the very first sentence. In P&P she goes through all the options here and everyone comes out looking like an idiot. The sister that marries for lurve ends up stuck with a badboy with no money and is repeatedly described as being an idiot, another marries someone she can’t stand and is happy because he is in the garden a lot and leaves her alone, Elizabeth is the heroine because (whatever Elizabeth herself says) the narrator points out she takes one look at his fancy estate and its a done deal. Smart girl, go for the money. That doesn’t strike me as very romantic. Darcy never has a wet shirt in the book!

    Sense and Sensibility is even more obviously a satire, the title tells you that. The novels you imagine she wrote other people did, they were called ‘novels of sensibility’ and she thought they were for fools. Same deal with Northanger Abbey which a mockery of the ‘gothic’ novel.

    It is certainly very sad that her novels are so little understood today and treated as if they were romances. There is a whole lot of interesting speculation we might indulge in about why they have been so widely traduced and became popular when they did (I think this is obvious myself, the same reason Kath Kidston and making cupcakes came in at the same time, “unacceptable” fantasies are the most compelling and would could be more unacceptable for the strong independent woman?). She’d be spinning her grave at any of the film adaptations, they are the complete opposite of what she intended.

  52. tz2026 says:

    The problem is incremental.
    S l++ u t.

  53. LlandonFogg writes: “The sister that marries for lurve ends up stuck with a badboy with no money and is repeatedly described as being an idiot, another marries someone she can’t stand and is happy because he is in the garden a lot and leaves her alone, Elizabeth is the heroine because (whatever Elizabeth herself says) the narrator points out she takes one look at his fancy estate and its a done deal. Smart girl, go for the money. That doesn’t strike me as very romantic.”

    –Lydia is a fifteen year-old slut who elopes (with no actual promise of marriage from her misadventure) with the notorious Wickham, who isn’t exactly penniless once Darcy bails him out and bribes him into a semblance of respectability. You may be conflating Lydia with Jane, who DOES marry for lurve in a companionate union with Bingley.

    And the narrator does not point out Elizabeth’s godsmacked and heartstruck reaction to the Pemberley estate–that’s Elizabeth herself, with obvious self-deprecation, in a private talk with Jane. (chpt LIX, if your copy conflates Volumes, or at any rate the pen-penultimate one)

    While Austen certainly parodies the Gothic novel in “Northanger Abbey” and takes a generally Augustan view on life, full of humorous irony and biting playfulness, the notion that Austen does something called “satire” lends itself too easily to the idea she’s some sort of proto-feminist, which would make almost as bad a misreading as Opus’ much-reiterated unmasking of Austen as the archetypal Lady Pornographer. I wonder if he keeps rereading “Persuasion” convinced he’ll finally find the “good parts”.

    I did once come across this teen girl’s blurb for “Pride and Prejudice”: “Even my boyfriend loves it! (and he’s not gay!!!)” LOLZZOLZLOLZ

  54. LandonFogg,

    She’d be spinning her grave at any of the film adaptations, they are the complete opposite of what she intended.

    I think the exact same thing when I look at literally every adaptation I’ve ever seen of “Romeo and Juliet”. It staggers the mind to think of how consistently almost everybody interprets Shakespeare’s message practically the exact opposite of how he intended it.

    Romeo and Juliet is my favorite Shakespeare play, and this is because it’s NOT about “the power of love specifically romantic love)”.

    Power of hate, yes.

    Romantic love? It is a cautionary tale warning people NOT to put much stock into it, especially the romanticized notions of love held by foolish young people. But don’t tell Hollywood that or they’ll stop selling tickets to the next inevitable adaptation (I still cringe every time I catch glimpses of the Baz Luhrman monstrosity).

  55. Goodkid43 says:

    To Opus,

    From Sense and Sensibility
    The excellence of his understanding and his principles can be concealed only by that shyness which too often keeps him silent. You know enough of him to do justice to his solid worth. But of his minuter propensities, as you call them, you have from peculiar circumstances been kept more ignorant than myself. He and I have been at times thrown a good deal together, while you have been wholly engrossed on the most affectionate principle by my mother. I have seen a great deal of him, have studied his sentiments and heard his opinion on subjects of literature and taste; and, upon the whole, I venture to pronounce that his mind is well-informed, his enjoyment of books exceedingly great, his imagination lively, his observation just and correct, and his taste delicate and pure. His abilities in every respect improve as much upon acquaintance as his manners and person. At first sight, his address is certainly not striking; and his person can hardly be called handsome, till the expression of his eyes, which are uncommonly good, and the general sweetness of his countenance, is perceived. At present, I know him so well, that I think him really handsome; or, at least, almost so. (4.6)

    From fifty shades of gray
    He leans down and kisses me, his fingers still moving rhythmically inside me, his thumb circling and pressing. His other hand scoops my hair off my head and holds my head in place. His tongue mirrors the actions of his fingers, claiming me. My legs begin to stiffen as I push against his hand. He gentles his hand, so I’m brought back from the brink … I come instantly again and again, falling apart beneath him … then I’m building again … I climax anew, calling out his name.” (195, 196)

    The second quote is the LEAST obscene of the many that I found searching the internet.

    Opus…Really?….Really? To say that FSOG is similar to such classics as Jane Austen…et al!!! I can only conclude that the baseness of FSOG is so perverted that you are unable to accept that such evil is becoming common place.

  56. Pro-Truth says:

    @malcolmthecynic

    I’d say it’s less of a cautionary tale than it is him mocking the whole idea of romanticized love. Kind of like a more subtle version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

    This reminds me of when one of the Twilight books made reference to Romeo and Juliet and people (who obviously never actually read either) flipped out for all the wrong reasons.

    The correct reaction is not to be shocked that Stephanie Meyer would profane such a classic, but to laugh at her getting it that wrong.

  57. MarcusD says:

    @Hipster

    I believe it was actually posted by a few different people a while back.

  58. Pro-Truth,

    I think that, as a tragedy, it definitely is a cautionary tale in at least some sense of the word. It’s too serious to just be mockery, though it absolutely has TONS of that element in there, mostly found in the first act.

    But I don’t think you can call a duel suicide anything but a warning not to take young idealized notions of romantic love too seriously.

    It’s worth noting that the element of irrational hatred between the families is definitely still a major part of the play, its just that what Romeo and Juliet are doing, and the Friar’s plan to end the feud, is stupid and self-defeating. It’s the same magical logic used when taking an acrophobic person up to the top of the Empire State Building to cure his fear of heights. No, you’re not curing his fear of heights. You’re provoking a panic attack.

    Same basic principle.

  59. As a man who was quite possibly a part of a very unhappy marriage (and who quite possibly put in a rather biting passive-aggressive dig at his wife in his will), Shakespeare was certainly no idealist when it came to romance. Not by any means.

  60. Spike says:

    Nauseating. In my past I’ve read Penthouse Letters that were similar in tone. At least Penthouse didn’t pretend to be anything other than porn.
    And to think, in the last London Olympics, the Australian women’s swim team was up late at night reading this, many of them under age.

  61. greyghost says:

    You have an outstanding sense of humour

  62. Opus says:

    I appear to have brought the White Knights out of the closet to defend The Blessed Jane. It is always thus: ever since I read Persuasion for A’ level Eng. Lit.. My teachers both devotees at the cult of Miss Austen going apoplectic, much as if I were, in Religious Knowledge class, to be less than impressed by The Sermon on the Mount.

    But it is always and only Miss Austen: if I like others am immune to the wonder that is Shakespeare, or bored by The Canterbury Tales or even dismissively of the opinion that John Keats is ‘quite the little poet’ then people merely shrug their shoulders and perhaps pity me but with Miss Austen her defenders seem genuinely hurt – and then make the most absurd claims on her behalf.

    As I have said quite a lot about Miss Austen here and at J4G and probably elsewhere in the Man-o-sphere I will not reiterate my ever consistent opinions; repetition will not improve my views. Let us instead consider what Miss Austen did not do, namely the improvements made to her pulp-fiction by Television Adaptation. As I mentioned above she is squeamish about physicality. What an improvement then in the BBC 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is the invented scene where tall hunky Colin Firth emerges half-naked from the lake so that Elizabeth Bennett can see what she has so far been missing – his six pack and probably his lunch-box too – or what about the WGBH 2007 adaptation of Purse and Persuasion where Wentworth physically lifts and much to her surprise Anne Eliot and place her on the back of the curricle. What could have been more 50 Shades than Colin Firth’s al-fresco CFNM or the lack-of-consent from Anne Eliot as she is physically groped by Wentworth, albeit for only a few seconds. Her gina surely tingled.

    Those who love Miss Austen also love Bridget Jones which is modelled on Pride and Prejudice. Jones lives in Borough Market (it is the 20th century so she has a job and shags uber-handsome bad-boy Hugh Grant whenever he wants a booty-call) but returns to a village in the Home Counties (probably Hampshire) to visit her less-affluent but pretentious Mother and long-suffering Father and attend the local Anglican Church every now and again and at Xmas they are invited to the up-market country house owned by her dull Beta Orbiter sometimes boyfriend’s parents whose surname is of course the same as the hero in Pride and Prejudice – just so you do not miss the point. Grant and Firth even have a stand up fight over podgy Zellweger. Clearly a fight between Wickham and D’Arcy is what is desperately needed in Pride and Prejudice and will doubtless be featured in the next of its endless Television adaptations.

    So far a wedding has been avoided in Bridget Jones but in Bollywood’s latest take on the P&P wittily entitled Bride and Prejudice even Aishwarya Rai contrives to be married in White in the quintessential English Country Church and surrounded by sheep safely grazing. Sadly Zellweger is now too old, even though her accent is spot-on for her lowerish middle-class character (I was impressed).

  63. Matt says:

    It’s amazing how some of those old novels and plays look on screen these days. To pick two, Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing both portray the bare possibility of premarital sex as an absolutely unrecoverable catastrophe. They treat it about like we’d treat a meth addiction, up to and including the father in Much Ado About Nothing saying his daughter would be better off dead. Again, this is a character’s dad, in a lighthearted comedy, in 1599:

    “[O], she is fallen
    Into a pit of ink, that the wide sea
    Hath drops too few to wash her clean again
    And salt too little which may season give
    To her foul-tainted flesh!”

    Almost by necessity, modern adaptations have to sweep all that under the rug and replace it with a different plot point.

    Joss Whedon filmed a version of Much Ado About Nothing set in modern times, but to his credit kept the original language. It’s really amazing seeing some of those scenes in a setting that looks like our modern world – it’s frankly surreal.

  64. OMG I fucking lost it.

  65. Tam the Bam says:

    Lucius, I dunno whether it’s some sort of sea-change which has divided our language and understanding, but I’m stuck here on the Outer European Reef with Opus, and perforce must second his learned opinion w.r.t. Miz Jenny.
    ” the notion that Austen does something called “satire” lends itself too easily to the idea she’s some sort of proto-feminist, which would make almost as bad a misreading as Opus’ much-reiterated unmasking of Austen as the archetypal Lady Pornographer. “

    Here’s a jolly jape for you. Read Cleland’s Fanny Hill (yer I knows, fnarr fnarr, and all that) and compare the narrative arc with Ms A.’s oeuvre (perm any three). They were both catering to similar readerships, apart from one being essentially male (as far as we can determine, but who knows the secrets of the black magic box, hey?) and the other more ladyfied (and much later).

    I dare say there were pantechnicons full of this sort of C18th/19th tripe, Penny Dreadfuls and all, which have deservedly perished unremarked on the road to Modern Times. St Jane was merely one of a whole hack industry who for some reason caught the fancy of academia.

  66. Opus says:

    What Tam the Bam is trying to say (for all those who forgot or are too embarrassed to remember) is that according to Fanny: ‘Reader, I married him’. Yes, in Miss Hill’s first-person written book (perhaps John Cleland is as much a nom de plume as Currer Bell) after much description of sexual intercourse the hunky handsome well-heeled man marries her – no wonder it is now available in Penguin edition. In Austen the sex is post-conjugal.

    Let us not also forget (in these paedo-crite times) that Fanny was only fifteen as was Pamela, Richardson’s eponymous heroine – both innocent girls from the country.

    I am by the way misrepresented if it is said that I see Austen as a Pornographer, merely that she is a writer of Hypergamous romance with the sex transferred to beyond the last page. I also think she is a hypocrite, or rather a writer who works out in her novels why she is a woman who no one asked. In Persuasion she concludes that she ‘lost her bloom’ or as we would say ‘hit the wall’. Anne Eliot should have advertised on PoF after first severing relations with the pretentious and useless Lady Russell.

  67. jf12 says:

    @Tam, re: “deservedly perished unremarked”

    Yet surely “they” kept records. In recent decades has no plucky feminist undergrad casting about for a thesis topic, something, anything, to sink her teeth into, like a sow in a well-used mud hole, really not delved into early men’s bawdy novellas?

  68. Oscar says:

    Meghan McCain shares a pointer for any man interested in marrying her.

    http://twitchy.com/2014/08/02/meghan-mccain-shares-a-pointer-for-anybody-interested-in-marrying-her/

    Any takers?

  69. Anonymous Reader says:

    Gee, Meghan McCain is approaching the wall?

    Oscar:
    Meghan McCain

    In http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meghan_McCain she’s quoted:

    …castigates Bill Clinton for his actions in the Lewinsky scandal, but despite ideological differences, praises Hillary Clinton for having “pushed through many doors and shattered many glass ceilings for women in politics. I love women who don’t put up with shit, and Hillary clearly doesn’t.”[44]

    Yeah, who wouldn’t wanna wife that up?

  70. Oscar says:

    @Anonymous Reader

    I’ve never understood why feminists hold Hillary Clinton up as some kind of girl power icon. She obviously couldn’t hack it in politics on her own, so she hitched her double wide wagon to a rising star (Bill Clinton) and rode his coat tails to power.

    She’s a fish that clearly would’ve gone nowhere without her bicycle.

    As for her being a woman “who don’t put up with shit”; she put up with Bill’s serial infidelity and dozens of sexual harassment & rape charges because she needed him to pull her to where she wanted to go. How is that “not putting up with shit”?

  71. Gee, Meghan McCain is approaching the wall?

    Heh, good call, she’s 29.

    I take her point: I’m sure she does tend to attract guys who like to talk about politics or her dad, just like a famous athlete would attract a lot of guys who want to talk sports, and that would be boring. She could probably improve that by getting out of the beltway and meeting guys who don’t keep up on all the semi-famous political talking heads, but she’s probably not that desperate yet.

  72. Anonymous Reader says:

    She could probably improve that by getting out of the beltway and meeting guys who don’t keep up on all the semi-famous political talking heads, but she’s probably not that desperate yet.

    Well, yeah, except that her entire career…such as it is…appears to be built upon the foundation of being John McCain’s daughter. Maybe if she did something else – something that didn’t come with John McCain’s Daughter stamped on it, and as you say she got out of the NYC / Beltway / SoCal bubbles, she’d succeed.

    A smart woman with her background would find some Texas oilman or Montana rancher willing to overlook her N, and then sorta just fade out of the media scene and into raising babies. Her father would probably appreciate that, too, since the other daughter is not likely to contribute grandchildren.

  73. Anonymous Reader says:

    Oscar, feminism is perpetually in a state of cognitive dissonance. Hillary Clinton may not be the most successful leaderess in US politics – she’s no Maggie Thatcher, who really did get elected on her own – but she’s all the aging 2nd stagers have got. She’s all they can hold up for the younger feministas to admire. And of course she rides on Bill’s coattails, but as with so many aspects of feminism it simply isn’t done to notice.

    Modern women increasingly resemble the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland.

  74. Don’t think Anastasia ever heard anything like this…

    “You see the state you’ve put me in, my dear Chevalier,” said he, simultaneously presenting a pert, tough rogue of a prick, very long and at least six inches around, “deign, O my love, deign to serve me as a woman after having been my lover, and enable me to say that in your divine arms I have tasted all the delights of the fancy I cherish supremely.”

    and

    “the room’s awash; Never have I seen a comparable discharge, and you tell me, Madame, this article f**ked you last night?”

    so forth

    50SOG, etc. phooey. No one like the Marquis

  75. Anonymous Reader says:

    Further off topic: another great idea, sperm banks for lesbians paid for by the UK government.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2714321/NHS-fund-sperm-bank-lesbians-New-generation-fatherless-families-paid-YOU.html

  76. Isa says:

    I just had the misfortune of looking at vacuous Ms. McCain. Rather fat, overly make up. Perhaps working to look pretty when she wakes up, not when she takes someone home would be the real key.

  77. Looking Glass says:

    It’s probably good to point out that Meghan McCain comes not just from a power-family, but one with a massive amount of money. She’s been set for life since birth. She’s not capable of staying in a relationship.

    The daughters of powerful men are, in the future, rarely going to have children. Marry, more than likely, but children will, at the instinctual level, be nearly verboten to their thinking. Which makes the reality that George W Bush has a grand-child something of a rarity.

  78. bluedog says:

    re: Thinkn’Man, August 1, 2014 at 11:11 am,
    “I’m still not sure if GBFM is some kind of brilliant, sardonic, tongue-in-cheek social critic… or a semi literate blowhard? Gaaaahhh! Will someone “deconstruct” this guy for me?”

    I can’t volunteer to be the one to do the deconstruction as I’m fairly opposite of what you might think of as a “fan” – among other things I have my doubts GBFM has actually read his own list, so instead, of a deconstruction, how about a “recusal with commentary”.

    Commentary follows:

    Sometimes he seems “on the spectrum”, sometimes he seems an evil genius. Projecting several indicators of significant intelligence, he also projects significant tells of a lack of crucial – even the most rudimentary – critical thinking skills. Rumored in some quarters to be a “sock puppet Roissy”, GBFM is to the manosphere what the Q Source is to higher criticism of the New Testament and as such, we will recognize the first MSM media treatment of the manosphere that is actually well-researched, as being the first that at least describes, if not unpacks, GBFM. That’s not backhanded praise – it’s just the facts. Just an odd commenter on these sites mostly (emphasis on “odd”) you see echos of GBFM from The Rationale Male to SSM to here on Dalrock to MRM spaces like AVfM and the Spearhead. It’s a very curious tendril that’s found it’s way through the entire tapestry.

  79. Wibbins says:

    Maybe now that SOG has a visual representation of it women will understand that it’s still porn whether or not you see tits and cock

  80. @Opus: Oh, I’m awful offended that you’re not partial to Shakespeare or Keats either.

    I confess my odd failing of often addressing the same person or venue with the exact same deja vu, all over again, but my god, man: do you never stop patting yourself on the back for making an English teacher blush by pushing away Jane Austen like a PB&J cut the wrong way or a bruised Twinkie Mum didn’t bag right? Your literary truth-to-powering recalls in its fortitude Belloc’s Hildebrand’s Great Grandfather, who:
    “Was Aide-de-Camp to General Brue,
    And lost a leg at Waterloo,
    And Quatre-Bras and Ligny too!”

    –so heroic do these exploits of yours grow in the re-tell-telling again. I should suspect you some sort of state-certified school teacher for the public (what do they call that over there?). In any event, stale old crumpet as it is, “Persuasion” has given more readers oneitis than your complaints will ever cure them of. Your furtive backward glances at that old thing betoken some perverse fascination– whatever will rid you of it? Perhaps you’ll finally be forced to try “Emma”?

    As for Fanny Hill, didn’t she have one of those Marquis De Sade-style clitorises three inches long? (or was it that it ejaculated? or both?); and faint at the sight of an act of homosexual sodomy? Perhaps I mis-recall, but if these scenes exist, they might be worth some erudite reflection. “Mis-recall” isn’t a real word, but neither is “paedo-crite”.

    Anyway, since every novel ever written is irretrievably contaminated by an hypergamous arc, and Shakespeare and Keats bore you too, whatever in the world can respectable readers read? Heaven knows you labor enough pedantic locutions in your dismissal of every word ever writ.

    @Tam the Bam: yeah, you too. Keep your Sterne-unstained Pope-less paws off my 18th/early 19th Century shelves, you damned English apes.

  81. greyghost says:

    This book and other female literature is a road map to how to phone sex on just plain shit talk your date. Take off the graphic nature and let the hamster do al of the work. he loves it.

  82. BradA says:

    > Which makes the reality that George W Bush has a grand-child something of a rarity.

    That would mean that such families will lose the ability to pass things on past a couple of generations. It may happen, but I suspect those with real money will find solutions to this challenge (often behind the scenes) as they are often a bit more foresighted than the modern political class.

    At least that is my inference. I have not been a member of such a class and have only done limited reading on them. They do tend to stick around though, from what I have read, which implies the ability to have families over the generations.

  83. LandonFogg says:

    I wrote a very long reply that seems to have not posted.
    So I’ll write a shorter one.

    @Lucius

    I am not conflating Jane and Lydia. Jane’s problem is that she thinks if she follows the rules (that nobody else is following) it will all just happen if its “right”, she is wrong as Charlotte points out. We also find Elizabeth muttering platitudes she herself is a hypocrite over. As a plot point she gets away with it, but as is pointed out she and Bingley are too soppy, their servants will steal from them and they will be broke. Neither of them have any ‘game’.

    As to Lydia, you are confusing what she thinks is going on with what we know is going on. Even after the event she is blithely unaware. On her return she is all “its a pity you didn’t come to Brighton and get a husband as well”. Elizabeth is a bit dark about this “I care not for your way of finding husbands”. (approx., I don’t have a copy to hand).

    And she is a satirist. That doesn’t make her a proto-feminist, her satire isn’t in the cause of feminism, it has more to do with Anglicanism at the time, a general intolerance for silly ideas.

    @Malcolm

    Quite right about R&J. Look on the bright side, it means children get exposed to something good and challenging that their parents approve of because they are too stupid to disapprove.

  84. Farm Boy says:

    On a side note, I wish I could listen to Putin read this out loud.

    Without his shirt of course. Chicks would really dig that.

  85. I judged this book by its cover…. and found it to be smut!

    Any “ladies”, hereafter referred to as “whores”, who have issue with this… yeah, it’s not “smut” when you read about lurid affairs, including vivid details of sexual elation and release, interspersed between spankings and Domination Sessions! Oh, right… of course it is!

  86. LandonFogg writes: “@Lucius

    I am not conflating Jane and Lydia. Jane’s problem is that she thinks if she follows the rules (that nobody else is following) it will all just happen if its “right”, she is wrong as Charlotte points out. We also find Elizabeth muttering platitudes she herself is a hypocrite over. As a plot point she gets away with it, but as is pointed out she and Bingley are too soppy, their servants will steal from them and they will be broke. Neither of them have any ‘game’.”

    @LandonFogg: You’re conflating all over the place; I can’t even sort out who you think is who.

    Jane weds the solidly rich Bingley. The pair are a bit too forgiving, as Elizabeth and her author concede, but if you infer the narrative has destined them for penury, you’re exaggerating by orders of magnitude.

    Charlotte Lucas proves herself mercenary by marrying the deplorable Mr Collins for security. She makes her peace with that poor decision as best she can; and Elizabeth, though obliging, knows she can no longer trust Charlotte as a true confidante. Again, Austen’s moral judgment is evident.

    As to Lydia, it’s not clear she was overly concerned whether she got a husband out of her elopement or not. Jane mentions a note from Lydia expressing their intention to go to Gretna Green (the ‘Vegas Chapel’, as it were), but the absconders take the London road instead, and it’s not as if anyone ever hears of Lydia complaining. Her lustful impudence is likely heedless enough that she cared not a whit for whatever ruination might ensue. She is, to be vulgar, a slut.

    –Look, besides you guys bludgeoning literature with anachronistic memes (‘Jane Bennett ain’t got no game’) and managing to mangle the most straightforward plot points, I just can’t believe this tinfoil-wrapped cucumber-in-my-pants lit crit brinksmanship. Jane Austen, as Kipling and E. M. Forster were ready to attest long before us, has seen beyond the ken of middlebrow idealism or cynicism. Conflating her with some body glitter brigade of chick-lit profiteers just demonstrates ill-read ignorance. It’s as bad as the guy who once told me he thought Charlotte Bronte just needed a dildo. Middle school angst because a Ladybook! gave you the cooties.

  87. jf12 says:

    I will look for it, will be SFW, promise, but the sex scenes in the Twilight books are hilarious. The girl-porn audience is *intended* to be budding almost-teen girls who have already seen guys naked (probably online) before but have no idea what actually goes on once he gets started.

  88. They Call Me Tom says:

    I’m a fan of the Decameron, only because I’ve only met one other person who’d read it. That and a few of the short stories made me chucke. Also, if few have read it means I don’t have to get into literature arguments ha ha.

  89. Anyone who can still be turned on by this “novel” (I use the term loosely) while listening to Gilbert scream like a 90 year old jew needs to seek help immediately!

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