If books were just books

LandscapHitler wouldn’t have burned them during WWII.

Bet that caught your attention. Because yes, I’m about to tie in how strongly HITLER felt about burning books that were “un-German” to how strongly I feel about books and words and everything they can stand for. And I’m going to say his name, a lot. Hitler. I also might talk about Jesus. I’m also going to swear, because I’m far too tired of this whole thing to censor myself. And you’re going to be okay with it.

On Monday my friend Lindsey sent me a message asking if I’d be willing to share with her my feelings about all this 50 Shades stuff. Her organization has been asked to express an opinion about 50 Shades of Grey. We talked on the phone about it and I thought maybe I really did need to write more on this topic than just Facebook statuses.

Yesterday my friend Lauren posted what was clearly a photoshopped screen-cap of a Tweet that was honestly the tip I needed to be sent over the edge about this whole 50 Shades of Grey NONSENSE. “Mad about the abuse in 50 Shades of Grey? Were you also mad about the slaughter of children in the Hunger Games? It’s a book.”

What an ignorant, ridiculous, shell of a human being to even THINK those words and put them in a place they could be shared. It’s a book. Fuck the person who wrote that.

If books were just books and words were just words: there would never be book burnings, the Bible would be meaningless, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter wouldn’t have turned into franchises that expanded over DECADES and continue to grow in fan base, Joel Osteen would be broke and wouldn’t have a following of thousands upon thousands, and people wouldn’t throw quotes back in the faces of politicians they abhor.

My friend Joe told me that the things which give us the most peace and the most rage is where God speaks to us. This whole phenomenon fills me with a rage I can’t even fully describe.

If I’m being honest, I can’t decide if Hitler would have enjoyed or hated 50 Shades of Grey. Perhaps if his name was switched out with Christian’s and we all called Ana, Germany. Maybe people wouldn’t hate him so much. I read one of the best articles on the subject of why 50 Shades (and Twilight) is so popular. Ana (and Bella) are so painfully vanilla that anyone could imagine themselves into the story and have the “perfect” man whose life is devoted to only her. I mean, if Christian Grey and Edward Cullen were the loving ideal boyfriends, couldn’t it be true that Hitler just did what he did because he loved Germany so much? Disclaimer: I’m not a Nazi and I do not in any way justify the mass murder of any people group anywhere, I’m trying to make a point about how fucking ludicrous people sound when they justify these stories to me. Because if the connections I’m making sound insane to you in this moment, just imagine how you must sound to me.

“Maybe you should actually just go ahead and read them so you can speak in an educated manner about it and not just go off of what you’ve read on gossip blogs online… Any publicity is good publicity.” By that logic, no one should have an opinion about vaccinations causing autism except trained medical professionals.

Guys, I feel like a broken record. Why would someone who lived through an abusive relationship ever pick up the tawdry excuse of literature known as 50 Shades of Grey? I think I know myself pretty well, I would have a panic attack reading that book. And of that same token, porn and the like doesn’t interest me. GASP. Like okay yeah Game of Thrones is basically porn, but I’ve trained myself to tune it out. That’s a post for another time. Okay maybe you have been raped and abused and you were fine reading the books. You are a stronger soul than I, because no way could I set aside what I went through to read something like 50 Shades. I can barely watch certain scenes of Game of Thrones. I barely made it out of American Sniper!

I really don’t care what people choose to read or watch. That’s your money to burn. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to remain silent over what I see is a major step back in feminism. What it all boils down to is this: are you going to continue to give your money to writers who put forth female characters with no real soul or are you going to finally demand to read about one that is dynamic and powerful in her own right? For the love of all that is good, READ ABOUT WOMEN WITH A REAL PERSONALITY and not one that calls her vagina her “inner-goddess” because what the actual fuck? The only reason Katniss counts is because AT LEAST she was willing to put her life on the line for her sister and the lives of everyone else. She didn’t want anyone else to die.

Hunger Games and Twilight both made me angry, and yes, I’ve read them all and I used the excuse of “Atheists read the Bible” to justify why I was giving my time and energy to them. Granted, Hunger Games wasn’t terribly written, and the problems I had with Twilight had nothing to do with the writing. However, this 50 Shades Atheist isn’t giving it more than the few sentences I’ve come across on the internet and honestly, if I was forced to read that book I would probably claw my eyes out. Or sit there with a red pen and Chute-it-up like my senior year yearbook proofs. Twilight and 50 Shades are some of the most self-serving pieces of written words that I’ve really ever heard of and it makes me ill.

They weren’t written to inspire you, and if you believe it, you’re lying to yourself. All those writers want is your money.

Books and words should have a purpose. Think of The Wizard of Oz and how it was published right around the time silver was being used in place of gold as currency; how the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion symbolize soul and intelligence and courage. Think of The Great Gatsby and how even with riches and a million people wanting to know you doesn’t mean anything if you don’t care about any of them… Just think of the INCREDIBLE symbolism that stories can have. If books were just books then nothing would mean anything. If books were just books, Hitler never would have burned them.

Yes, publicity is publicity and I’m only fueling a fire. But for you people who just don’t know what it’s like to be overcome with a quiet rage: you can never tell a passionate person that something is just anything. Our fires within are so much stronger than that and it’s because we’ve allowed ourselves to be inspired by the world and people and words around us. You know how I’m going to find peace in the fire raging around me called 50 Shades of Grey? The fact that this story has a shelf life of maybe another five years. It’s sitting in the middle of a burning building made of straw, and the fire will only be able to last for so long.

Whereas Hogwarts was built with stone, and will always be there to welcome us home.

Sorry Twilight and 50 Shades, I can’t hear you over the sound of two amusement parks, eight movies, and a lifetime of happiness.



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