I am a writer. No, that's not strong enough. I am a baccalaureate scholar with a degree in English literature. No, that's not good enough either.
I am autistic.
As many of those with autism associate with numbers, so do I with letters. Words are my lifeblood. Still, I suffer from occasional yet thankfully brief bouts of aphasia, which can still almost induce panic attacks. Were I to suffer a stroke or other calamity that stripped me of my ability to use words, I fear that I might die simply due to being separated from that which makes my mind whole.
Due to this, I cannot simply sit back and mock as others do the prevalence of books such as Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey as they top the bestseller list. True, books such as these, abominations that clutter the bargain shelves, are sometimes quite literally a dime a dozen. What sets off those two, however, is that they have sold millions of copies and are lauded as paragons of writing by a significant portion of the English-speaking world.
Twilight is bad enough, but Shades is even worse. It began as Twilight fan-fiction, in an alternate continuity where Edward was a multi-billionaire with an obsession with sadism in place of being a sparkly bloodsucker. It evolved into a three-part series of piss-poor smut with endlessly repeated phrases, bland characters and bullshit. Then again, the characters are once again bland so that the sheltered reader can self-insert and fantasize. Shades capitalizes on the rape fantasy that many women seem to have, the concept of "safe" rape. These women are deeply disturbed. To somehow sexualize an act that is literally built on stripping the humanity from a fellow human being requires a mind that I, thankfully, do not possess.
I have nothing against bondage or S&M kink, but this is none of that. It is bullshit pretending to be kink, allowing housewives to have their cake and eat it too by providing not only safe rape, but a bad boy for them to change. The sheer number of daddy issues in that last sentence alone should make several psychoanalysts spontaneously ejaculate.
It deeply troubles me - no, not strong enough. It terrifies me that the English language as a whole seems to be growing more stupid. This isn't like Shakespeare, where brilliant plays were presented to a bawdy and undereducated audience. This is a series of over two thousand pages, rife with spelling errors and endlessly repeated words. This was clearly published without any oversight or editing, as the author just did a find-replace search to remove Edward and Bella's names. The repetitiveness is understandable from that angle because a bad writer doesn't reread her previous chapters, so each new chapter of the fan fiction, posted as an independent document, would have the same cliches.
Words are my lifeblood, and this is an outpouring of necrosis. Consumers dictate what writers will produce in an attempt to make a living, and I am petrified to think of what may come next with this precedent set. Obviously these books cater to a festering psychological sore in Western women's lives, but if we hold up our damages as badges of honor, turn a detriment into a desirable, then our culture - and our language - will assuredly backslide into a fetid monstrosity.