SIGNS OF THE SEASON
Net: With the beginning of the new month, our thoughts turn to the warm, blissful, sometimes-gonzo days of June. A traditional part of the month, of course, are the unusual numbers of weddings. While some look upon the nuptials with fear and loathing, we look forward to them, for content if nothing else. (Maybe we could talk about greek weddings, or maybe squirrel love, for our regulars.) Here are today’s comments.
From Publius: Net: For those of you who didn’t follow last week’s Nets, the roommate of Proposition is planning to marry a total stranger on June 13. Publius is a supporter. The roommate’s really doing this folks — write in. He may be needing help. As Bjerga wrote so eloquently on Wednesday Net: And, from that statement, Publius obviously needs help too, “Weddings are dubious propositions.” True enough. With a worse than 50-50 chance of success, marriage itself is an incredibly dubious venture. A wedding, meant to be the requisite perfect representation of the years to come, is so stifling that little joy can truly come of it. The plan must be followed rigidly, and any deviation is bound to send the couple and their families reeling into an anxious sweat. Net: Perfect preparation for today’s corporate world.
Bjerga suggests that “marriage is everything weddings are not. They’re controlled by the unexpected.” Net: So’s the lottery — and the lottery makes EVERYBODY happy, right? Too true — most people enter marriages believing that they can truly plan the rest of their lives together, just as they planned their wedding day. I must add, however, that there is another factor which drives marriages into the ground — poor decision-making. Couples are often blinded by hormones and leap into the rest of their lives believing that love will conquer all. Well, sometimes love does acceptably, but what really does the trick is commitment. Net: Especially if the couple is assigned to the same asylum.
Love often grows out of commitment — certainly more often than it grows out of lustful glances and the dating scene. Love, after all, is a shared commitment to creating loving moments in the future. Couples often mistake their infatuation for each other with love.
What I have found, however, is that an outside perspective can transcend infatuation. I have often found myself, after a relationship ends, wondering how I could have been so blind. Many times friends confide they knew a relationship was wrong — they just didn’t want to intrude. Marriage in our culture tends to hinge completely on the couple, with minimal input from outside sources such as friends or family.
In response to this crisis of matrimony, I’m suggesting an alternative. It may be going out on a limb, but adventurous souls inspire change, and experimentation brings forth new knowledge. Net: Hence Ken Kesey’s acid tests in the 1960s. I wish to address this double-pronged dilemma of unfulfilled wedding expectations and uninformed marriage decisions.
Consider this — a democratic wedding. Let family and friends participate fully in the decision process. Select some viable candidates and put it to a vote. The spouse-to-be with the most votes is married.
Such a tradition would not only rely on a central pillar of our ethos — democracy — but it would never leave such an important decision to the whims of a mere two people. Net: Instead, it would leave the important decision to a system that has produced Newt Gingrich, Bill Clinton and Hitler. Have a nice wedding. I am not suggesting that arranged marriages should experience a resurgence. In arranged marriages the stakes are often high for decision makers; I am suggesting a process through which decision makers reap no direct benefits.
If one rolled this entire process into one event — as I plan to do — the wedding would be far from controlled. Imagine a wedding so spontaneous that even the bride was unplanned. Hold a vote early in the afternoon, and get married that day — that’s as crazy as marriage.
Some people will suggest that this idea goes against the entire concept of a romantic wedding day, but I can’t think of anything more romantic than throwing caution to the wind and spontaneously getting married. It would be the best first date story I’ve ever heard. I am very optimistic that this process will yield a long-term, loving relationship. I look forward to looking back at this and laughing 50 years from now with my wife — whoever she may be.
From Government Abuser to Proposition: I would be happy to marry your roommate. I am not looking for a lifelong love commitment, simply a way to get financial benefits. If this marriage can be one of convenience and understanding, I think it could work out. Net: That’s the spirit! Remember folks, the wedding day isn’t far away. To make nominations, check out the Web site www.geocities.com/Athens/2383/nominations.html and cast your lot. And let us know how it works out.
A GOD-AWFUL FILM
From Malik Shabazz: Quick and to the point: “Godzilla” is horrible, deserving comparison with “Highlander 2” and “Jaws the Revenge” as among the worst movies ever. Net: Hey — we named our first-born son Jaws the Revenge. If your readers have acquired the manual dexterity, literacy and taste to read Network, they’ve already far surpassed the intelligence of this movie. Net: All we can say is, “Wow.” Some critics have given passable reviews to this crap; I can only assume that they are receiving massive kickback from the Godzilla Slush Fund Net: Or McClatchy newspapers or the Neanderthals were thrilled to see their third cousin squishing Stock Character ##37 (stuffy New York businessman). Net: Well, at least the characters are realistic.
To quote Roger Ebert, who saw Godzilla at the Cannes Film Festival: “Seeing this movie here is like watching a satanic ritual in the Vatican.” Net: Finally — someone who has the guts to talk about what the Pope really does. Such a concentrated mass of cliches, plot holes, vapid characters and blatant rip-offs can only be a deliberate attempt to insult the intelligence of anyone older than the second trimester.