Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Advice for the Miserable #2

God, it's good to be indifferent.

So, last time it seems I exhorted the world to drink itself into oblivion, suck it up and deal with the sweet taste of hypocrisy, or take an extended trip away from responsibility in the vain search for something better. Seems good advice to me. Hard to improve on. Hopefully you listened. But is regular Tuesday post. So let's start with an easy one:

Marriage: Everyone seems to know the divorce rate runs at about 50% so it's fairly clear that something is wrong. Personally, my guess is that people are idiots. It seems a fairly accurate answer to most of the problems of the world. In this case, it is a matter of people not really knowing who they are, what they want, or how to be happy on their own.

It used to be a case where it was expected that you marry. That you reserved sex until marriage. The Churches may still want this to be the case, if only we could go back to the good old days when people were afraid of hell and excommunication instead of just terrorists and a bad economy. But these days, it's not as expected. Plus, a woman can lead her own life now (she could have a job!). And so the black and white image of a man and his dog and his house and his wife and his kids is fading slowly into the background. And perhaps marriage should go with it.

Moreover, the issue of gay marriage is tearing this poor country apart. But as was raised in a recent Time article, that would be handily solved by dissolving the legal status of "marriage" and leaving that to the faiths. The State could join people in some manner of civil union or domestic partnership that extended all the legal benefits of a shared household to anyone willing to enter in. The Churches could then restrict marriage to a man and a woman and even go back to forbidding miscegenation and re-instituting class barriers if their filthy little hearts desired. That way a Church could actually be accountable for those they marry and no longer have to suffer the embarrassment of a Britney Spears Quickie being placed alongside one of their tried and true "Obey your man and the sting of his belt" routines. And if the gay couples weren't satisfied with a government issued civil union, it's not like every Church hates them just because some of them do. There are plenty willing to bless a loving union.

There is a certain finality bound into the whole marriage pact. Generally remembered as the "Till Death Clause". A finality that resonated when the world was young, you died at 30 and you were lucky if one kid in ten outlived you. When the furthest you got from your house was the far barley field and the number of women you saw in your life that weren't related could be counted on fingers and toes, it wasn't such a difficult prospect. These days are nothing but possibility.

It's long been dismissed that one only loves once, that there is only one person for each of us and most of you won't find him/her, that you can only love in one way or once at time. Love is damn hard thing to figure out and leaving it to the chemists and poets to explain is still going to leave stones unturned. Love exquisitely defies totalization. Which brings me back to the issue of marriage. Most marriages are built on lust, obligation, expediency, naivite, ignorance, and convenience. No wonder they all fail so spectacularly. And frankly I think the time has come that we all stopped lying to ourselves and decided what it was we wanted out of life, out of love. And then didn't settle until we found it. A woman doesn't need to get married in order to be supported or get ahead in the world anymore. A man doesn't need a wife to get a job (or at least not most of them, and the ones that still do - politics, et al - are fast disappearing). A couple doesn't need to be married to start a family. So quit with the bullshit already.

I guess my main point is this: love is a precious commodity and marriage used to mean something. I'm not saying that marriage should be abandoned, but rather brought back to the sacred rite and ritual marking a love and union blessed by the god(s). For anything else, just quit the bitching, the expectation, and the bullshit. Fuck each other while it's good then move on. Take the good, the bad, the indifferent. Make eachother better if you can, or don't. And quit thinking it's something its not. It's time to be serious with ourselves and each other. And past time that oaths before the Lord were considered to have weight and meaning.

1 comment:

euterpe's bitch said...

I thoroughly agree that the definition of marriage in this country is absurd. The U.S. purports to be founded on the concept of separation of Church and State ("In God We Trust" and other such slogans aside). Since marriage is considered by many religions to be a sacrament or a sanctioned action, I think we can safely say that the State has no business regulating it. The State can (and should, in my opinion) regulate civil unions/domestic partnerships, which would ideally be open to any consenting adults (that's 18+, just like voting rights and military service) that wish to enter into such a contract. I'd even take it a step further and argue that "any consenting adults" include not just hetero and gay couples, but polygamous groupings as well. If everyone is over 18 and is willing, why the hell not? And don't tell me that such a policy would lead to people marrying their dogs or some crap like that. A dog will never be a voting-age adult human. End of story. A 14-year-old Mormon girl on a compound in Utah is not a legal adult. Maybe she won't be so afraid to come forward and admit that she is being raped nightly by the 87-year-old man she was forced to "marry" by her church if her church elders don't have the ammunition of telling her the polygamy is illegal and she'll be arrested if she goes to the authorities.

Once again, for those who didn't hear me the first time - separation of Church and State leads any intelligent person to the logical conclusion that the U.S. government has no business regulating marriage.