C.T. Thomas @ GurgleSlurp.com


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Accidental Nudity: No magic in the office!
December 11, 2012

Look, Jim, we in accounting know that you creatives have your own rules, but did you really think shouting Avada Kedavra at the client was helpful to anyone?

“Look, Jim, we in accounting know that you creatives have your own rules,

but did you really think shouting Avada Kedavra at the client

was helpful to anyone?”

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Illiterature update!
July 11, 2012

The world has not quite but almost righted itself. I found out that the 3 Remicade nurses I mentioned previously – the smart women with active social lives who have seen actual naked men and have read real books, but were somehow head over heels about 50 Shades of Grey … had never read any erotica before. Frankly, I’m pretty sure they were totally unaware that erotica even existed. Yes, this may seem weird – it did to me, but after asking around a bit, I’m realising that this is kind of normal. A lot of women have never heard of erotica, and A LOT of women have never read any.

This baffles me, but the whole ‘women being pissed at their boyfriends for looking at porn’ thing, begins to make more sense.


May 28, 2012

After finding myself floundering in the post Harry Potter void, I sought other long haul works of fiction to help ease the Hogwarts free nights. I tried A Song of Ice and Fire but opted out about 300 pages into the Game of Thrones. At 1000 pages a book, A Song of Ice and Fire is a serious commitment, the last 2 books haven’t even been written, and who are we kidding? George R.R. Martin isn’t exactly the healthiest looking sexagenarian. The prospect of being 6000 pages in only to have him keel over before finishing the final book is a big risk and I’m not a gambler, so I moved on. To Twilight.

I had heard good things. Well, vague things. Okay, things. I had heard things about the books. A long series, vampires, werewolves, very popular, all the hip kids are into it. I made it through the preface and the first few pages of chapter one before putting it aside. I checked again, maybe I was previewing the wrong book, maybe I had the name wrong or there was another series named Twilight that all the hoopla was about. Nope. It wasn’t bad exactly, if you were 12 and (assuming they’re still around) waiting for the next Sweet Valley book to come out. I couldn’t imagine how any adult could read the books except, you know, sardonically. I couldn’t get my head around the idea that this was indeed what had overcome great chunks of the population, but I managed to forget about it until recently, when I found myself watching Mark Reads 50 Shades of Grey – a video he made as an incentive for his brother’s fundraising efforts.

I had heard about the book, fan fiction turned real, erotica, chick porn – the nurses at the Remicade office had all read it and sang its praises. This was my first ‘Mark reads’ video, so I didn’t really know what the deal was and was a bit surprised at how hilariously bad the passages were. Worse for being out of context, but still surprising considering all he hype. The nurses in the office are smart, well read, adult women, who have had boyfriends, husbands, and actual sex! I couldn’t believe the book could be as terrible as it seemed in the video.

I made it to page 7 before I knew without question that there was no way I would be able to make it through the entire book, so I jumped ahead to see if I could catch some porn. And I did. Kind of. See, 50 Shades is a fanfic of Twilight, which again, is a not bad book written for 12 year olds.  50 Shades is written in just the same way, which is fine except if you keep the same tone you wind up with the same target age group, but with blow jobs and BDSM*.

Twilight gets a pass because it was written for a young audience. The author wasn’t trying to write adult fiction, she was writing a Sweet Dreams novel, the high school equivalent of a Harlequin romance. 50 Shades of Grey can’t be awarded that leniency since it’s obviously intended for adults, people who have long since stopped referring to their sexy bits as ‘down there’ or ‘sexy bits.’ Except, Twilight doesn’t need a ‘pass’ and neither does 50 Shades of Grey. There are thousands, hundreds of thousands of poorly written books on the shelves, and we’re not throwing scorn at those authors, or dissecting those books. We simply shrug, roll our eyes, and show our exasperation by buying a better book. It’s the success that pisses everyone off. These books were supposed to gather dust on the shelves and go away like their brethren. We can’t blame the authors for this, they wrote books people really liked, there’s nothing wrong with that. And we can’t blame the readers either, we’re not less literate than we once were, our standards aren’t lower than they used to be, mass numbers of readers just liked the damn books.

Nothing bad has actually happened, no one has done anything wrong, so maybe we should be concentrating on what was right. These books have resonated with the masses, and there’s a reason for it that has nothing to do with readers getting stupid or the media throwing darts to decide what to hype.

We’re a society of voyeurs and our appetite is voracious. We’re fascinated by watching people behave in ways normally reserved for behind closed doors, we’ve upped the ante on to much information, and we’re as close as we can get to The Truman Show without having to deal with the legal hassles. We’re a society that wants to see what’s hidden, and books like Twilight deliver, just not in the way you’d expect. The thing that resonates isn’t the vapid tale about vampire love, no, what resonates is the barely edited look we get into the author’s mind. Anyone who has read more than 10 pages of any of these stories knows with creepy delicious surety, exactly what the writer is thinking about every time she masturbates. These are the scenes she falls asleep to, the background fantasy during the tedium of work. And since most peoples’ fantasies have pretty similar themes, we’re able to relate without effort. The foundations we’ve already built while creating our own fantasies, provides the suspension of disbelief that the novel isn’t able to foster on its own.

I am only an okay writer, but I can say with absolute certainty that I am still a better writer than the author of Twilight or the author of 50 Shades. No question. But they don’t need to be good writers, because they’re masters of a skill I lack and might never gain. They have an utter lack of self-consciousness in their writing.

I’ll tell the Princess my short fantasies, you know, the ones that are comprised of location, atmosphere, scenario, participants, attitude, positions, but the other ones? The long ones where if I start it on Monday morning and jump ahead a bit here and there, it still takes till Thursday to even get to the sex? And the whole thing doesn’t peter out until the following Wednesday. Would I tell those to the Princess? No. There’s no way. Not to him, not to my friends, not to the people at the grocery store. Would I write it all down and then present it to an agent? An editor? A publisher? The world? Fuck no. Because it’s crazy. It’s not hot. It’s a little pathetic. It wouldn’t even make any real sense for anyone else.

I can give a stool sample to my doctor, but I’m never going to go over to the neighbours and present them with my shit in a jar.  Hey, Frank, yeah, remember I was telling you about that probiotic I’ve been taking? Look in the bag, see? It’s really working!

So that’s the thing, isn’t it? They don’t need to be good writers, since there’s no competition. Most of us will filter, edit, lie, and as soon as you do, it’s over. The talent is being able to write it all down as if you’re going to burn the whole damn thing as soon as you’ve finished.

I don’t think I can do that.

Can you?







*Note to the vanilla cupcakes who after reading 50 Shades are now considering adding a little BDSM to your love lives: It’s really unlikely that anyone who has ever actually been involved in BDSM would present it in this way. You probably just want your husband to chew with his mouth closed and maybe give you a light spanking now and again. So, please do more searching into this lifestyle before posting your ad on Craigslist looking for a master. Or a sub. Whatever, just do some googling first, yeah, down there.

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