* immediately loses the right to vote (only adults have that privilege)
* is likely obese (physically or mentally)
* won’t be able to decipher this quote from Jung: “People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls.”
* should be consigned to menial jobs (cleaning, service industry); work more suited to stunted intellects and invalid brains
* must enter mandatory counseling for those suffering from “intimacy problems” (i.e fear of penetrative intercourse and/or anything remotely resembling a healthy sexual attitude)
* will immediately enroll in Morons Anonymous, rising at their first meeting and loudly proclaiming: “Hello, my name is ______________ and I’m a fucking moron”
* should turn in their library card (in a post-literate world, you won’t need one)
* probably hasn’t had a date for awhile
* is likely to be a shut-in (and if not, should be)
* clearly made a mistake not finishing high school
* signs their name with an “X”
* reads tabloids
* needs help
Right now there are, count ’em, three volumes from E.L. James’ vile, puke-stained series Fifty Shades of Grey at the top of the bestseller list.
Let me remind you folks: this “author” honed her chops on Twilight fan fiction and has, apparently, graduated at the head of her class when it comes to derivative, amateurish, abysmally written gutter trash. Reading the first five lines of any offering by Ms. James immediately reveals her paucity of skills, the crudeness of her prose.
I would never have believed it was possible that popular fiction could sink any lower than Stephenie Meyer…but then along came Amanda Hocking (ptui! ptui!) and, now, (God help western civilization) E.L. James.
Am I supposed to draw comfort from the fact that an unheralded talent can still score a lucrative contract from a venerable publisher? Should I holler and celebrate because at least two of these authors come from the independent/DIY/self-publishing world, same as l’il ol’ me?
Sorry, but that’s not the case. I’m embarrassed by the success of authors as horrible and sub-literate as James, Hocking, et al. I’m embarrassed to belong to a society where the printed word has become so devalued and compromised, this kind of crap is not only published but gobbled up by a public whose brains have gone soft and fatty from all the junk food we take in through our eyes, mouths and ears. We immerse ourselves in trash, refuse to task our minds with challenging artists and works, seek escapism the way a junkie craves the needle. The mind is a muscle and ours’ have gone flabby, resisting even the lightest exercise.
Video games, comic book movies, books written for an intended audience with a mental age of fourteen…all part of a decline, the barbarians at the gates garbed in corporate robes, enticing us with baubles, buying our delinquent souls with the equivalent of beads and flim-flam.
I shudder to think what the next step down the evolutionary ladder might be, how much lower literature can sink.
What comes after E.L. James?
That’s something too terrible to ponder…