Thursday, January 24, 2013

Jules Older writing in San Francisco

The New Black

I am happy to say I have a regular segment on a wonderful radio program, Radio New Zealand’s Jim Mora Show. I'm their “IT Guy in San Francisco,” and I always open with a quiz question. My first segment of the year begins, “In 2012, what was the new black?”

Anyone? Anyone?

The answer is grey, as in 50 Shades of Grey. In this segment, I ask and try to answer this question, “What were the three biggest Digital Age-related stories in 2012? One is educational, one musical and one literary, sort of.”

Anyone? Anyone?

Here's my answer…

MOOCs (look it up), Gangnam Style and yes, the nearly inexplicable popularity of 50 Shades. How can so many adult women in so many places (it’s Number One in Brazil) in our post-feminist age, so adore a badly written series where women are turned on by whips and chains?

I asked everybody I knew, got a zillion different answers, and then got the right one. It’s from Katie Beers, “The Wake Up Call on 107.9” in Sacramento, California.

Anyone? Anyone?

Katie said, “I understand it. 50 Shades is about an only slightly above-average-looking woman who is worshipped by a drop-dead gorgeous, emotionally damaged billionaire — and only she can heal him. And he is obsessed with her safety, doesn't want her to cook, clean or work, manages to make her orgasm every single time they have sex, and her pleasure is his primary focus.”


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