Get ready America; Paul Ryan is about to give you the “Red Room of Pain/Pleasure” treatment.
At least, that’s what American author Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho) tweeted following two of the most talked about events in the United States these days: Romney’s selection of Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan as the presumptive 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, and the upcoming film adaptation of E.L. James’ novel Fifty Shades of Grey.
Ellis had been relentlessly bidding himself through Twitter as the potential screenwriter for the upcoming film. However, producers Brunetti & De Luca (The Social Network) and James herself declined Ellis’ offer – as the online rumors go – in part because they were annoyed Ellis had been using the upcoming movie as an excuse to promote his sluggish career.
However, this hasn’t stopped the author of Less Than Zero to keep tweeting about the wildly popular novel and its upcoming film adaptation. Fifty Shades fans online blasted Ellis for throwing Matt Bomer (White Collar, Magic Mike) under the bus as potential cast to play S&M business tycoon Christian Grey -- because the actor is openly gay.
And now, sore loser Ellis seems to be determined to ride his 15 minutes of social media fame by combining the two hot topics of the moment: Fifty Shades of Grey and the 2012 Presidential Election. “Love the idea that Paul Ryan could be Christian Grey despite (or because of) the Ayn Rand obsession. It works for both "characters" Cool...,” is what Ellis tweeted recently – reflecting an era in which politics and pop culture are increasingly more intertwined, and social media leads traditional outlets when it comes to setting new trends and influencing the conversation.
While no more than pure speculation aimed at gaining attention while one knows one’s proposal doesn’t stand a chance of becoming a reality (kind of like when both President Obama and Republicans in Congress propose bills that are declared “dead on arrival”), “Paul Ryan as Christian Grey” is the reflection of a political era in which Tumblr memes can shape public opinion as much as Paul Krugman and Maureen Down columns. For better or worse, the meme election is here and that somehow makes “Paul Ryan as Christian Grey” sound less absurd than what it actually is.