Happy Valentine’s Grey! ☺ A marker for the most dismal possibilities of e-publishing

Wisdom 5,000 miles from this scene: ‘Anyone who has anything at all to promote… can … claim their self-promotion has something to do with Fifty Shades of Grey.’  - Hadley Freeman in The Guardian

Wisdom 5,000 miles from this scene: ‘Anyone who has anything at all to promote… can … claim their self-promotion has something to do with Fifty Shades of Grey.’
Hadley Freeman in The Guardian

Depressing but inevitable, we suppose, that proof of the unbounded possibilities of unmediated publishing should have come from this witless book. Never mind, it’s perfect for Falselove-choccie-flowers day.

Highlights from the best commentary – the second set, from a review of the film: there will never be a funnier one.

What a time it is to be alive! For this week of all weeks is when anyone who has anything at all to promote, from duct tape to their own good selves, can attain international attention … All they need to do is somehow claim their self-promotion has something to do with Fifty Shades of Grey.

As even Trappist monks in South Korea know, this is the week that the film of EL James’s hilariously successful book is released. Truly, this would be the perfect Valentine’s Day date …

… [I]t is impossible to think of another movie that has proved itself so amenable to lazy PRs and others desperate to hitch their wagons to this attention-sucking vortex, … I honestly don’t think there’s been a day in the past three months when I haven’t received at least five emails from PRs flogging everything from manicures to men’s ties, that haven’t made some grasping reference to Fifty Shades of Desperation. Condom brands and bedding companies have cannily claimed some sort of alliance with the film, replete with mini films and competitions, with one even offering a prize of “a Sealy Ultimate Support Mattress (in grey!)”. Because what could be sexier than coming home and finding your partner has won you a free grey mattress?

Hadley Freeman in The Guardian, 14 February 2015

Part of the difficulty is the lack of sexual chemistry between the two leads. This is a particularly acute problem in a tale of two lovers exploring a relationship that takes in the wilder shores of bondage, submission, dominance and terrible dialogue.

Grey’s eyes are supposed to blaze with seething lust all the time, but he just looks as if he’s suffering from trapped wind. Nurse, fetch the Tums!

It is true that this Hollywood adaptation is not as bad as the books.

Poor Dakota — the daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith — is often naked, with a high nipple count, lots of buttock shots and occasional flash of front bottom.

Jamie gets to keep his jeans on a lot, which hardly seems fair or feminist, although we do get to see his impressive bottom, rippling with muscles like a bag of walnuts.

Do you trust me?’ he says, undoing her hair.

Yikes, what is he going to give her? A perm?

Soon, they are walking hand in hand towards his sex dungeon for the first time — it’s a big moment in any relationship.

‘Are your Xboxes in there?’ she wonders. The Red Room of Pain where the tyings-up take place — infamous for those who have read the books — looks like a Pilates gym … all sleek cherry leather and shiny clasps.

There are mysterious instruments hung on the walls; whips and manacles, yes. But what are the rest — squirrel tails, that feather duster from Downton Abbey, a paddle, two bread boards?

Meanwhile, there is some hanky panky with ice cubes and a bit of ever so tasteful, slow-motion peacock-feather-tickling that will remind many women not of their libido, but the fact that their mantelpiece could do with a dust.

Jan Moir in The Daily Mail, 11 February 2015

for 20. 4. 2014

bluebell in needles

Drought survivors: bluebells emerging from pine needles – postgutenberg[at]gmail.com

Not counting what poets have had to say about it, a reflection on spring that could not be more unexpected — or apt:

… Matisse soon began work on designing a sublime Chapel of the Rosary for Vence, and he wanted this building to possess ‘the lightness and joyousness of springtime, which never lets anyone suspect the labours it cost.’ …

from ‘Masterpiece: A Radical’s Emancipation of Color,’ Richard Cork, 11 April 2014

From a dear and essential friend of many years in St. Petersburg came excellent news of his family, last week, with a brief preface … ‘This year again the Easter holiday is celebrated at the same time in the Greek Orthodox Church as in the Catholic Church and the churches of Western Europe etc.’ … and this: Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 02.18.48 … which reminded us of a dispatch from Milan last Easter, where someone else, treasured for an eternity, attended on behalf of a new Russian addition to her family – already close, a few weeks before the wedding – a ‘blessing of the eggs’: easter egg blessing -- baskets on the curb

easter -- russian orthodox church, milan, may 2013

– photographs by MIL22

We hope for a peaceful settlement of differences between Russia and the West over the Ukraine. Hope against hope.