Novelist Brett Easton Ellis recently volunteered to adapt Fifty Shades of Grey into a film. In a Twitter post on Sunday, Ellis teased his followers with a quick note mentioning that he will be “approaching the studio this week” with his proposal.
I will admit now that I have not read the book and I honestly do not intend to pick up a copy. The discourse surrounding it is interesting, I will give it that, with topics ranging from self-publishing and marketing to “mommy porn” and the secret desires of the upwardly mobile woman. But I have to draw the line somewhere.
As a curator Ellis is king. The controversial author is to pop culture references what the Library of Congress is to the published word. While reading American Psycho, I was in awe of the research necessary to recall the smallest detail regarding designers, business cards, and even grisly murders. It is an avid fan’s appreciation to the evolution of society that I admire and incorporate in my own life, to a much lesser degree.
I’ve spent countless hours satisfying my own need to stay “up to date”. I trudged through multiple Twilight viewings, caught the final installment of Harry Potter, made daily walks through Boston’s Occupy movement as it formed, read The Hunger Games, and even tuned in online for the launch of Lady Gaga’s nonprofit. Enough is enough.
As an enthusiastic believer in all things pop culture, even I have my limits. I respect the safety net we all string underneath our daily high wire act of being social. I stay up to date on countless social media platforms, afraid to be left out of the loop or revealed as a paper champion like that time I wore my Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin shirt to school only to have the much larger eighth graders challenge me to list my favorite five Zeppelin hits during recess (for the record I nervously stated two and then never wore that shirt again, even at home).
The need to belong is strong, especially in a world of iPhones, Angry Birds, and Facebook; however I have never been a champion of mindless following. I researched my phone options and went with a Droid OS, my favorite app remains Scrabble (probably since I only have about 10), and I only use Facebook for my employers having shunned it personally in favor of Twitter.
When I find myself caught up in the whirl of the “pop culture machine” (after all I did read the first Hunger Games installment) life helps me out. Due to library wait lists, a small phobia of online shopping, and a lack of used copies for sale, I never picked up Catching Fire or Mockingjay. Within days, the pull of The Hunger Games washed away and I felt lighter, ready to make my own decisions again. That’s when I heard that Oprah’s Book Club was returning. Argh.
I don’t know how serious Ellis is about adapting EL James popular novel, but he has our attention. I just hope that “Hot Topic publishing” does not claim another of my favorite screenwriters soon.
For those who can’t wait, here’s a mock Ellis script of Fifty Shades of Grey by The Guardian’s John Crace. WARNING: The script bears a close resemblance to the BEE style.