6

Christian Grey vs. Rodney Love

For the last little while I’ve been hearing a lot about how bad Fifty Shades of Grey was, and it made me curious enough to read the trilogy. It wasn’t really that bad, and I enjoyed the chemistry between the two main characters. I did, however, take issue with Christian Grey.

His faults were many, but it would be boring to list them all. So…

I thought it would be fun to compare the character of the billionaire Christian Grey to Rodney Love, also a billionaire and one of the leading characters in my novel, Dryad. They were compared in the following categories:

1. Personal Charm

"No, I'm not creepy at all..."

“No, I’m not creepy at all…”

In this category, Rodney Love wins hands down. He is a down-to-earth friendly guy. He makes people feel comfortable, and he has a great sense of humour. Christian Grey, on the other hand, has all sorts of issues (which we will get to in a moment), and he tries to intimidate people. The narrator, Anastasia, keeps describing the way other women blush in his presence supposedly because of his attractiveness, but I think she’s biased. These women are probably just scared of Grey as he tends to make strange faces: his eyes are often “burning,” and sometimes, his eyes “blaze with anger, need and pure unadulterated lust.” Rodney: 1 Christian: 0

2. Business Success

Christian Grey is a self-made billionaire at 26. He is also a virtuoso piano player and an expert helicopter pilot… oh, and a glider pilot and a sailor. Rodney Love’s wealth is all inherited, but he works very hard in his father’s company because he wants to prove himself. Now, you would think that Christian would win in this category, but personally, I think Rodney is more likely to be successful in the long run since he is very driven while Christian spends most of his time doing S&M stuff and emailing his girlfriend instead of working. Rodney: 2 Christian: 0

3. Issues

Christian Grey was abused as a child and therefore has ridiculously low self-esteem. Also, he is so controlling, though sometimes he makes it look pretty sexy. Outside of the bedroom, however, this is not sexy at all. He wants to control everything down to making his girlfriend use the method of contraception he’s chosen for her — no, I’m not joking, he really did! All of this makes Rodney Love look well-adjusted. All Rodney has to deal with is his overbearing father who has no respect for him (waah-waah). Rodney: 2 Christian: 1

4. Being Good at Cooking

crepesIs there anything more romantic than a man who cooks a meal for his date? In this category, Grey fails miserably. He has never in his life so much as sliced an onion. Anastasia tries to teach him, but I think his heart is not really in it. Rodney Love, however, is a great cook, and thanks to his French heritage, he knows how to serve up some gourmet delicacies. Rodney: 3 Christian: 1

The Outcome

Rodney wins in most categories, and Christian has the dubious honour of having more issues of the two. I hope this post has been helpful, especially if you haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey before. Please let me know if you have any questions about Christian Grey or Rodney Love!

8

A Conoisseur of Milk

I don’t know why a beverage meant for calves is so nourishing for humans, all I know is that it works for me. I need milk to stay healthy. I literally feel less energized if I go a few days without it.

cow milk

My travels in Arizona gave me the chance to explore different brands of milk. Being a milk snob, I preferred to get the organic variety at Whole Foods for ridiculous prices.

However, the non-organic type often tasted good too, though it had a funny smell. As I traversed the desert landscape, I usually purchased Shamrock Farms milk at gas stations. Now, here is the funny thing about Shamrock milk. They proclaim proudly that they “pledge not to treat our cows with the growth hormone rBST.” But this opens up a whole line of inquiry: does this mean they treat their cows with other growth hormones that are not rBST?

They also remark rather unconvincingly, “No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST treated cows.”

Now that I think about it, every single brand of milk I bought in Arizona had the same pledge about not using the growth hormone rBST, whatever it is. This makes me wonder, are there any milk companies out there that advertise their hormone use? “We use as many growth hormones as we can! None of that sissy organic stuff.”

Then, there was this:

muscle milk

Hey, at least they’re up-front about it!

Wow, this post was weird. It just came out and I couldn’t stop it. Thanks for reading, and please let me know in the comments how you feel about various types of milk!

5

The “Manly” Voices of Dryad

When the time travel novel Dryad came out, my friend Professor VJ Duke made a fabulous audio recording of an action scene using characters from his blog, The Punchy Lands.

So, what happens when the weirdness of my writing combines with the weirdness of The Punchy Lands? Punchy characters play characters from Dryad and let’s just say things get weirder at an exponential rate!

In this Punchy Aurtoon, the role of time travelling billionaire Rodney Love is played by Manly Man, and the evil pirate St Amour is played by the equally evil Daddy Salami. Enjoy!

9

Day of the Living Dummies: A Visit to Tombstone

“Welcome to the OK Corral. The West’s most famous gunfight began where you are now standing. If you look around, you can see the gunfighters, just as they stood on October 26, 1881…” said a disembodied voice from the speakers.

There I stood at the actual site of the OK Corral in the blazing Arizona heat. This was where it had all happened. On this exact spot, legendary lawman Wyatt Earp and his brothers faced off against the most notorious gang of outlaws in the old west. I was very excited to see the recreation of the gunfight, but I was in for quite a surprise…

wyatt earp saddle

You see, the truth is, life in the old west wasn’t as glamorous as it was portrayed to be by movies like Tombstone (starring Kurt Russel). Wyatt Earp, his brothers, and his gambler friend Doc Holiday didn’t look like Hollywood movie stars. Yes indeed, this is what they don’t tell you in the history textbooks. All the participants in the shootout (Wyatt, Morgan, and Virgil Earp, Doc Holiday, the Clanton Brothers, and Frank and Tom McLaury) were not real people at all but were in fact large, lifelike dummies.

Usually, the gunfight is reenacted daily by real people (a very inaccurate portrayal, compared to the dummy one), but I’d arrived too late for that. For latecomers like me, they had an ever better show on hand. Here is a small glimpse of it:

I know, you are very jealous dear readers, because you weren’t there to witness it yourself. I think you’ll agree that even as a dummy, Wyatt Earp is quite heroic.

I also found out much about the sex trade workers who lived in Tombstone in Wyatt Earp’s time. They were sometimes referred to in those days as “soiled doves,” which sounds a bit condescending. This made me think of the doves that were living above the patio in the house where I was staying in Phoenix, only they should have more rightly been called “soiling doves” as they frequently soiled the nest and its surroundings.

Two of Wyatt Earp’s wives (he had been married three times, with the third marriage lasting until his death) were former “soiled doves.” One of the wives, Mattie, had to return to her former profession and was driven to suicide when Wyatt abandoned her. This fact seems to tarnish the romantic gloss Hollywood has wrought over this legendary hero.

I returned from my journey somewhat wiser and more aware of the harsh reality of this town’s history. Oh well. The truth is better than a romantic myth. Would you agree?