Every time I go on the Internet lately, it’s “50 Shades” this, “50 Shades” that. And I’m pretty sick and tired of it. I know, I know, you guys are probably rolling your eyes and thinking “Maggie’s such a self-righteous prude”. It’s not because of that. Honestly, things that make their fame by pushing provocative subjects hold little interest to me; they’re fleeting and insubstantial. I’m more upset by the fact that 1. to call this book “literature” is insulting *disclosure: I’ve never read it but excerpts and its Wikipedia page prove embarrassingly disheartening* and 2. there are more important things in the world.
So I decided to compose a list of 50 things more important than “50 Shades” [If it’s italicized, it’s a link!]. Enjoy!
1. The fact that Harper Lee is publishing a sequel for “To Kill a Mockingbird”! Actual literature, guys! This is so exciting!
2. Peace talks are in the work in Ukraine to prevent a very possible war larger than the dispute happening already in the eastern region with pro-Russian forces. Global society is being threatened with infringed sovereignty and people care more about provocative sex scenes??
3. Humans of New York! In fact, the kid who they interviewed about his appreciation for his principal last month just got to go to the White House and his school raised one million dollars. Sometimes humanity really does pull together!
5. The fact that my eldest beloved brother is getting engaged any day now!
6. The fact that they’re getting married this summer! So soon!
7. My aunt’s engagement/impending nuptials!
8. “Le Petit Prince” is beginning turned into a movie and it looks amazing!
9. This amazing non-profit, Free The Girls, that helps women escape sex trafficking by giving them a micro-enterprise selling bras. Not only does it help the women, but it provides cheap bras to women who couldn’t afford them to begin with. Now that’s way better than unhealthy, sex-based relationships!
10. Darwins and Jean-Sunni, being best buds, in Chambrun, Haiti
11. #HeForShe which is changing how social media operates and improving the prevalence of positive feminism and solidarity in everyday life.
12. #LikeAGirl, a Dove campaign that is removing the petty stigma that happens when anything is compared to girly or “like a girl”.
13. The Illustrious Maggie Smith. She will always be more important than passing fads.
14. Nehemiah Visions Ministry, helping turn darkness into light, in Chambrun, Haiti.
15. Malala. Her life should be a movie way before BDSM garbage.
16. Right now, my dear friend, Nick Southwick, a flutist/musical genius, is auditioning for his grad schools. Go Nick!
17. Giving your grandparents a call. That’s always important.
18. Write a letter to your senator, either expressing your concerns or gratitude. Political engagement is more important than blockbuster movies!
19. This puppy who has better things to do than read smut that is lazily written
20. Have you ever thought to yourself “man I wish I could learn history in an entertaining, sassy way”. Look no further than Rejected Disney Princesses!
21. Instead of using your precious time reading “50 Shades”, take twenty minutes to have your mind blown by TedTalks. Learn about education, feminism, happiness, or any topic imaginable! Think of it like a free college lecture by the brightest minds in the world!
22. The fact that JK Rowling is writing the script for a new movie based in the Harry Potter realm. This is actually a dream come true!
23. How come everyone knows “Anastasia Steele” by name and not Kayla Mueller? She is a 26 year old American aide worker being held captive by ISIS. While she is tragically purported to have been killed in an airstrike, we should know about her life; we should celebrate her love of learning and passion for service even when it meant sacrificing her own safety.
24. On this day in history, the Beatles arrived in America for the first time in 1964. The fact that “50 Shades” will make more money than any one Beatles album is pretty appalling.
25. This very important Mean Girls-inspired Valentine.
27. Kid President.
28. There is a huge problem of child brides in Guatemala, especially in the impoverished countryside. Girls as young as 12 are being married off and risking their own health by having children so young. Take some time to watch this video to learn how to raise awareness of their plight, along with millions of girls worldwide, being forced into adulthood with no other options. Now I guess reality is not very “sexy”, is it?
29. This kid doing this for some inexplicable reason…
30. A movie starring Mindy Kaling as the the President of the United States, falling in love with Tom Hiddleston, the Prime Minister of the UK. It technically doesn’t exist yet but it could still happen! My fingers are crossed!
31. Jarod Leto’s man-bun
32. Even Colin Farrell’s weird man-bun
33. A “Pride and Prejudice” modernization starring Lupita Nyong’o and Matthew Goode. I’ll write it myself if I need to.
34. Today is Laura Ingalls Wilder’s 148th birthday! Now that’s a real author!
35. A movie starring Elijah Wood and his life, trying to adjust to fame after “Harry Potter”. The best part would be that no one will acknowledge the fact that it’s not actually Daniel Radcliffe.
36. According to the UNHCR, there are 15.4 million international refugees as well as 28.8 million people who have been forced to flee from their homes within their own countries in 2014. What if we spent just have of “50” advertising on raising awareness for the plight of fellow humans?
37. This crazy guy created an adult fashion line called BabyCore which is basically modified baby clothes. It’s fashion, look it up.
38. Young Harrison Ford
39. Amal Clooney. Why isn’t hers a life to be jealous of over “50 Shades”? She’s a world-famous, brilliant international law goddess! And married to so-and-so. Whatever. She’s just the coolest person alive. NBD. She’s flawless.
40. According to my lovely friend Cara who is living in Tokyo right now, Japan has things called “bunny cafes” where you can sip on coffee while petting a bunny. They’re slightly unethical but 100% amazing. For more, check it out here.
41. There is a company that lets you mail glitter to your enemies. Check it out.
42. Increasing diversity in television. We’re not there yet, but I’m excited about the recent developments in better representation of men and women of color in the media. More, please! Not just two attractive, privileged white people feigning a healthy relationship.
43. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler wrote and are starring in a new movie together. This is the kind of good writing missing from a certain book/movie I know…*ahem ahem*
44. You can buy tubs of cookie dough that’s safe to eat by itself. Check it out.
45. They’re making a new Star Wars! Cinema has hope yet!
46. This very important GIF of one Mr. Marlon Brando…
47. I’m thinking about getting a tattoo.
48. This Labradoodle puppy
49. This Valentine’s Day, instead of financially supporting actual garbage, watch these adorable kids tell you the real reason for the season!
50. Quite almost everything else. If this list has convinced you of one thing I hope that it’s either 1. Maggie has a lot of time on her hands or 2. Supporting something like “50 Shades of Grey” does nothing but prove that we are as narcissistic and small-minded a generation as we are always accused of. Let’s be better. Let’s do better.