I was coming home the other night and I saw the first poster for Fifty Shades of Grey, the film. It’s such an interesting time for that film to come out – in Ireland – because the most sensational sadist–bondage murder case has just occupied the whole country for a week. The jury has retired.
The remains of a 30-something woman, Elaine O’Hara, were found in 2013. You can Google the ins and outs of it. We have a full record of all the text messages sent to her by the man who is on trial for murdering her. Elaine was a depressive, had mental issues, and was a masochist; the man (a family man, an architect, a man from an impeccable suburb) was a sadist. Among the texts he sent:
- “I’m a sadist. I enjoy others’ pain. You should help me inflict pain on you and help me with my fantasies.” (April 2012)
- “I want to stick my knife in flesh while I am sexually aroused. Blood turns me on and I’d like to stab a girl to death some time.”
- “If you ever want to die, promise me I can do it.” (Ms O’Hara responded: “Yes, I promise, sir.”)
- “I know you want it. Thirty seconds to slip into oblivion.”
Everyone has been talking about the trial – everyone shocked and etc, etc.
So I was just wondering – in two weeks’ time – how many of the people who are shocked by this stuff will be heading in to see Fifty Shades – with its tagline “Lose Control” – the soft, playful, acceptable face of bondage?