50 Shades of Grey: Wimpy Kids Stuff?

randomlychad  —  August 7, 2012 — 18 Comments


I was at WalMart the other day, getting school supplies for my kids. As I walked through the store, I saw the above endcap display. It was just too good to pass up: I had to snap a pic.

Honestly, my first thought was: “How wrong is that?” Putting that “mommy porn” under a sign advertising the Wimpy Kid series? Did an employee, or a customer, do it? Clearly it was someone with a sick sense of humor. And not a little touch of irony.

Irony is alive and well at WalMart people. Who would have thought?

On the one hand, it’s very much not “kid’s stuff.” Letting one’s kids read the 50 Shades series is akin to letting them watch porn.

And who would do that?

On the other hand, I think the sign is a very apt description of the content of the the 50 Shades series: kid’s stuff. Puerile.

What do I mean?

The late C.S. Lewis once said “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

“We are far too easily pleased.” How true is that? Lest you think I jest at wounds that have never felt scars, I’m just as guilty:

I have been there, in that place, where all that I could touch, taste, see was more tangible, more real than the “infinite joy” God offers. So I understand the appeal of this so-called “mommy porn.” It seems to offer an escape, a release, from quotidian drudgery, but in reality is nothing more than a mud pie.

Don’t get me wrong–sex is great, and pleasure wonderful, but they are so much nothing in light of eternity. And 50 Shades–with its depictions of sex–is not sex, but a pale substitute.

Can reading erotica truly fill the void of perceived unfullfillment? Not any more than looking at Playboy can.

Sex was never designed to be a spectator sport.

What do you think? Have you read the 50 Shades books?




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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers. Subscribe to RandomlyChad by Email

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  • “Sex was never designed to be a spectator sport.”

    Touche, my friend. Well-said.

    Great post. And no -- I struggle to read books I actually have interest in, let alone crap like that. =)

    • Thanks, Adrian!

      Me, too--too many (good) books, too little time.

  • What a crazy display. ha. It would be like having an advertisement for Weight Watchers over the frozen pizza.

    • I know, right? I was like “What the what what?”

    • Faye Bryant

      I could pass up the frozen pizza, but don’t put that WW ad over the pies/cakes/other desserts… I might run over you for it.

      • Haha. Different strokes I suppose. We all have our crosses to bear. Pizza has always been my stupid weakness. Haven’t had any in over a month bc of my diet. So hard!!!

        • As Ken knows (dirty pusher that he is! 😉 ), my weakness is coffee. Stay outta my way!

  • I read it. Like a train wreck, I had to see what all of the fuss was about. I’ve never read anything like it and I’ll be honest and say it was interesting. The writing is atrocious.
    You are correct in saying it’s a poor substitute for sex -- sex as God intended it. Some people don’t have that option and get sucked into reading and fantasizing about it. That’s a trap, because just as with visual porn, it’s unrealistic and give false expectations of love/sex.
    My two cents, anyway.

    • Yes, it’s a pale substitute, isn’t it?

      Any of our joys here are shot through with sorrow--if for no other reason than they don’t last.

      Doubly so for media like 50 Shades, because of the false hopes and expectations it elicits.

  • I saw those smut-filled books at the checkout at Target last night. SAD SAD SAD.

    • For sure, Jim. In the Middle Ages, they called Satan “God’s ape.” Because he couldn’t make anything new, but just ape, and twist, it.

  • Interesting. A subordinate juat held the book up and fold me she may be late in the morning due to readinv it tonight.

    • It’s like déjà vu all over again, isn’t it?

      On a more serious note: point her here, perhaps?

  • Faye Bryant

    Haven’t read the book. (There’s more than one??) But then, I’ve never seen any of the Twilight movies or read the books. Just don’t have any RAM left over after working on the whatever is good, lovely, of good report, etc.

    I totally agree that the subject matter would be a pale comparison to the reality of what God gives us. Pale indeed.

    • Yes, it’s a trilogy.

      I defer to my “master,” Lewis again, and point to the description of Heaven he gives in The Great Divorce:

      (not verbatim) even the grass there is so “real,” it cuts the travelers’ feet.

      Thus all the joys here, as redolent, as evocative, as evocative as they are of heaven, they are not the THING itself.

  • I see what you did there with the R&J quote. Great insight.

  • Kelsey Anderson

    Great post Chad! I have never read the 50 Shades books, nor do I plan to. From what I hear is inside, I don’t need that in my head.

    P.S. I think you got the R&J quote backwards, or did you do that on purpose? 😛