Why I love 50 shades

shades of gray

I am not one to get tangled in the current social media buzz.  I usually tend to sit back and let it pass.  Because it always passes.  Today’s “hot topics” inevitably become tomorrows past news.  And on we march, to embrace the next trending story.

This is how I have viewed all of the hub-bub surrounding the book 50 Shades of Grey (or as I like to call it… gray).  As something that would just pass by and go away.  But then they made it into a movie.  Seriously.  A movie that highlights the go-directly-to-black-do-not-pass-anything-resembling-any-shades-of-gray portrayal of sex.

Let me back up a bit.  I have not read the book (unless you count that a talk show I happened to turn to read the first paragraph out loud, which made my toes curl and sent shivers down my spine.  No, not the good kind of shivers.  The “I don’t want to have anything to do with this, and I think I’ll be turning the channel now, thank you very much” shivers).  I do not intend to see the movie.  I have allowed others their own choices in life regarding such matters, so I have never put my opinion out there.

Until now.

With the impending release of the movie, it seems like the social media had been lit on fire with seemingly everyone calling for a ban/boycott/renunciation of the movie, the book, and on pornography in general.

And I agree.  Wholeheartedly.

At first, when I saw the articles and blog posts, I thought of the old adage, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” and worried that though people were shouting about the wrongfulness of the book and movie, the mere fact that they were shouting about it was indeed helping to publicize it.

And then it hit me.  In a society that has been creeping and crawling down the slippery slope of what-is-immoral-vs-what-is-art-vs-what-is-‘innocent’-fun-vs-what-is-just-a-little-bit-of-bad line of books, articles, and media, it has seemed to be easier and easier to simply ‘look away’ during the ‘bad parts’ and give a report that “oh, it’s a good book/movie/article… just this one tiny indecent part… but the work on a whole is good.”  In fact, to call out the immoral parts of any work have instead resulted in the whistle blower to come across as a ‘prude’ or ‘out of touch’ with the hip and the new age of ‘maturity.’

Enter 50 shades.  In just one work of literature, the author took us not one shade deeper into the amoral abyss, but she took us leaps and bounds across many shades – 50 to be exact – to enter deep in the black zone.  We can no longer just shift uncomfortably in our seats and pretend to be hip.  We have to admit that someone has finally gone too far.  That perhaps we have all gone a few steps too far and she has just brought our own slippery slope to the forefront of our conscience, and is forcing us to realize that given a few more years of swimming in the heat, we, too, just may be duped into the ‘storyline’ that she tried to slip in-between the sexual exploits of the book.

A line has been drawn.  And it’s time for us to stand up for good old fashioned virtue.

Yet, it’s even more than that.  It’s time for us to turn the line into the starting point for a new platform.  A platform of morals, decency, and courage to stand up for the good in the world, and to truly stand up against the corrupt.  To teach our children that we refuse to slide even one shade deeper into the gray, the black, or whatever other gradation that popular culture sees fit to thrust in front of our faces.

As I have been reading the opposition to the movie, the book, and the blatant pornography that is becoming increasingly streamlined and passed off to the masses as ‘modern thinking,’ I have cheered to see that I am not alone in my sentiments that we have somehow gone too far, and that it’s time to reclaim the good in the world.  It’s time to request – no, Demand more.  More from ourselves, and certainly more from the media.  It’s time to recant the phrase “sex sells” and replace it with the long forgotten attribute of TALENT.  It’s time to put our attention and support on things that truly enrich and uplift, not degrade and embarrass (seriously, if the stars of the movie – who got PAID to act in it- can’t even seem to find one good thing to say about it, why would any of us PAY money to patronize it??!)

For this reason, I am truly grateful for 50 shades.  For helping us to stop, back up, and finally find our footing in the slippery world.  For helping these conversations to come to the forefront.  For helping us get a glimpse into the direction that our media and society have been heading for quite some time, albeit at a much slower pace.

Thank you for being so over-the-top that you have zapped us out of our zombie like march into the apocalyptic abyss of the hyper-sexualization of society.

And most of all, thank you, 50 shades, for helping me climb out of my quiet, conservative bubble and join in the media blitz that has come out AGAINST your attempt at throttling us into the throws of blatant pornography.  I will not be attending your premier, but I truly thank you for helping me stand up and stand out in this fight to call for something better, something cleaner, and something much more worthy of my praise.