The only thing MORE stupid than '50 Shades of Grey'….is burning it
When ignorant people want to have fun, they get together and burn books. How we scorned and ridiculed bible-belt America, those idiots who declared a fictional, stroppy, teenage wizard who […]
When ignorant people want to have fun, they get together and burn books. How we scorned and ridiculed bible-belt America, those idiots who declared a fictional, stroppy, teenage wizard who seemed to be doing natural selection a favour by flinging himself in front of every mortal danger; a threat to society. So they threw him into the scorching caress of amber flames (a metaphor that’s probably replicated in internet’s more imaginative crevices, to describe the ginger hair of said wizard’s best friend brushing against his face.) That kind of lunacy could never happen here, right?
Right. Book-burning is going to be practiced here, in England, as Wearside Women in Need, an otherwise commendable charity for abuse victims, has publicised its intention to burn copies of bestseller 50 Shades of Grey on bonfire night. The reason? They apparently find its sadistic and masochistic themes disgusting and “vile”…..which they may well be.
But drawing as much attention as possible to a book and its message is the most decidedly stupid and counter-productive way to challenge its market domination. Not only will the charity be fanning the flames of publicity, they’ll also augment the books’ controversial’ status, vastly increase the level of public interest, and, in turn, inspire the curiosity of a new batch of readers; presumably the last thing they want to achieve.
(If you’ve not read 50 Shades yet, do so if you really want to, or alternatively if you want to save yourself the time and brainpower of a day or two of reading, take a look at Alice’s excellent analysis.)
Of every Facebook comment that I’ve read on the story (60 in total), nearly all of them discuss the issue of book burning itself, and not the issue that the book burners want to raise; the plight of domestically abused individuals. Not only is the stunt detracting attention from the issue it’s aiming to raise, but it will achieve nothing tangible to help abuse victims.
If we’re going to stand shoulder to shoulder and help others out, let’s do it by petitioning and lobbying the author to donate some of her fortune to abuse charities. I have Avaaz open in another window as I’m writing this, but I’d like to see someone beat me to it.
Describing why book burning is abhorrent would be a tedious exercise in stating the obvious, so if you’re still wondering what the big deal is, look up all the political leaders, societies and groups who have advocated this practice in the past and ask yourself whether you would want to be in their company.
It’s tragic that a vital charity that provides an admirable and vital service to vulnerable and abused people find themselves advocating this course of action. Wearside Women in Need‘s expression of solidarity and empathy with victims of domestic abuse is a sentiment to celebrate, but let’s not for one single second think that offensive content is a reason to destruct a message that’s put in print.
After all, if we put that argument into action, there wouldn’t be a Soton Tab for me to publish this article on.