Infidel-ity

November 8, 2006

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I am an infidel when it comes what I term a ‘modern western relationship.’ I don’t equate sex with the gravity others do and it leaves me free of a great many moral quandaries which seem to tear other people (usually nice, caring people) apart.

First, the basis for a “social infidel’s” comments on the subjects of love and infidelity.

I am not bound by religious convictions (or, fortunately, criminal convictions- I’m allergic). Brought up in Christian Apartheid South Africa I read to from the bible daily as part of school. My parents, however, were clear with their children that any religious convictions they wanted to adopt were their own. Not encouraged or discouraged. Both had been raised catholic but weren’t particularily interested and drifting somewhere between agnostic and vague feelings of a higher power. I chose no god and developed my own value system. I have a grandmother who is sweet and prays for my soul on this issue.

The value system in question was strongly influenced by the fact that I moved town/city every 2-3 years from the age of eight as my father rose rapidly in his chosen profession. Every country, province, city, suburb, school, and clique within a school has it’s own value system which is subtly different, some of which include Prada as God. You get to realise that values are supple and most make little sense.

Growing up. We do what we are told. We believe what we are told. I was told it is important to question everything. I was told to respect only those who earned respect, not those who demanded it. So I built a value system from scratch. I continue to build and question every day. I respect- but not always agree with- a great many (im)moral sources. Including (but not restricted to) Richard P. Feynman, John Fowles, Dilbert Cartoons, Aldous Huxley, The Daily Show, The Bible, Terry Pratchett, Calvin&Hobbes, Taoism and a bloke I met in the pub who can crush a beer can against his head.

And now the comments themelves.

Love (read as “in love” as opposed to “I love my dog”- not the same thing in my little world) is a big, squishy, important, irrational emotional deal. Sex is fun. When sex and love combine most western societies raise up sex to a mystical level and promote a monogomous lifestyle. Societies that have done this have done well because children raised in a family unit* are generally more successful than, say, orphans. Orphan Annie doesn’t count as she got adopted by rich people. But family units don’t have to mean monogamy.

Human beings are not designed for monogamy. We, as a species, prove this daily. There are few animals that mate for life. The number decreases the more we research. Swans, believed till recently to mate for life, do not. we are pack animals and built to e insecure and look for the security of a pack, group or society. We need affirmation in all sorts of areas to be happy and secure. Humans that do not need this are 9to the rest of us) insane. They are not bound by societal conventions. We call them psychopaths, sociopaths and, more recently, pop artists. We want to know others care about us, respect us, look up to us and we want to feel desired. These are just a few of our drives.

It is insane to believe you will find all this in one person. You may be absolutely, totally in love with someone but feel undesired, lacking in status or comfort with just them. You may need to find it somewhere else. Preferably with a human and an adult. But dogs aregood for comfort too.

The one thing that everyone can demand, though, is to be able to trust someone who says “I love you.” Trust is being able to tell someone something in confidence and allow that confidence to go to the grave. People now hire therapists who are legally bound never to repeat what they say because they trust neither their partners nor their friends to like who they really are and not repeat their secrets.

I am a good friend (when drunk), a good lover (when given the opportunity) and an empathic human being but I am not all things to all men (or women). I do not expect my best friend to have me as their only friend and I do not expect to be able to fill every single sexual or emotional desire of a woman I love. Neither can any other one person. I want her to be happy and complete. If you are in love that means you are the main person in someone’s life, not the only person. If you remove the mysticism from sex you realise sex is less important than trust. Less important than emotional support. But more important than catching the 10pm movie.

Do people really break up after 20 years of marriage because their spouse had genital contact with another human? Or because they had promised (against their nature) not to, and then couldn’t deliver? Or because they never took the time to realise how ridiculous and restrictive the rules they live their life by are?

End

*- a single dad/mom, two moms or dads, a unit that provides some sort of food support and caring. Yes, TV dinners and McDonalds count as food, but only in the same way that household plants do.

Post-scripts

This piece was inspired by a blog I visit regularily, oscarandre.wordpress.com, who has written a piece on cheating in cyberspace and someone who commented on a piece of his (mentioned in ‘ref’ below), shewalksinbeauty. Both well worth a read.
Government Health Warning (a): Finding like-minded people is hard. Thinking like this is no guarantee of happiness as finding someone who can accept, understand and go along with it after 20-30 years of alternative programming is hard. The odds of finding someone and being happy with them are probably about the same as getting away with infidelity and being happy.

Government Health Warning (b): Goverments are bad for your health.

Two of the principles I came up with which i do my best to live by:

First basic guiding principle: Be willing to question and change everything you believe based on new things you learn. To do anything else is to be subjest to dogma.

First relationship principle: It does not matter why they like/love you and want to be with you. It only matters that they do. What does matter is why you like/love them and want to be with them.

The blogs I refer to; thanks for the inspiration, folks

ref: http://shewalksinbeauty.wordpress.com/2006/11/06/comments-from-the-marriage/
ref: http://oscarandre.wordpress.com/2006/11/02/can-anyone-hear-you-cheat-in-cyberspace/

Examples of lies we are told which mess us up:

Promiscuity leads to high levels of sexual diseases

study: social factors such as poverty, mobility and gender equality may be a stronger factor in sexual ill-health than promiscuity.
ref: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=55538

Certain animals “mate for life”
Gibbon apes, wolves, termites, coyotes, barn owls, beavers, bald eagles, golden eagles, condors, swans, brolga cranes, French angel fish, sandhill cranes, pigeons, prions (a seabird), red-tailed hawks, anglerfish, ospreys, prairie voles (a rodent), and black vultures — are a few that mate for life. Of course, it depends on what you mean by “mate for life.” These creatures do mate for life in the social sense of living together in pairs but they rarely stay strictly faithful. About 90 percent of the 9,700 bird species pair, mate, and raise chicks together — some returning together to the same nest site year after year. Males, however, often raise other males’ offspring unknowingly. DNA testing reveals that the social-pair male did not father 10, 20, and sometimes 40 percent of the chicks.
ref: http://www.wonderquest.com/animal-mate-for-life.htm

Woman I would love to have met: Mae West
Ten men waiting for me at the door? Send one of them home, I’m tired.
Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.
Love conquers all things except poverty and toothache.
Marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution.
It is better to be looked over than overlooked.
I’ll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure.

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Sad, pathetic past-times

November 6, 2006

The only thing more intellectually stunted than supporting a team in sport is nationalist pride. Well, perhaps not the only thing. Putting on your vehicle’s left indicator shortly before turning right, jumping off a bridge with a rubber band tied to your feet and voting for a Republican government backing “intelligent design” in the USA elections come to mind.

But supporting sports teams, especially ones 10,000 miles away is right up there.

xxx-tottenham-hotspur.gifNonetheless it is something I cannot drag myself away from because unlike other intellectual crimes like religion and government supporting a bunch of very wealthy complete strangers in a far away land is actually entertaining. Without lifting my (currently somewhat substantial) bottom off the couch I get to participate, scream and shout as a member of my own chosen tribe. And that is the out I allow myself. I chose them. I chose to support the only top football club I know of that at least purports to value great football over winning trophies. The fact that the fans, at least, consistently boo’d the only coach to bring us silverwear in the last 20 years because the side was dull to watch kind of bears that out.

So to see them, Tottehnam Hotspur, break a 16 year hoodoo to beat Chelsea, current Champions of the English premier League, and do it in style, has placed me in an excellent mood. The sky is more blue, the air is sweeter, the day is warmer and my lunch tastes better. To watch your team play another that cost over 200million in UK dosh to assemble and to, player for player, not wish you had a single of the opposition in your team was fantastic fun. I wish I knew someone who supported Chelsea so I could wind them up a little.

Supporting arbitrary sports teams is the male equivalent of female shopping (not to be confused, in any way, with male shopping). Whenever I make a disparaging comment on the subject of shopping to a girl friend I am always acutely aware of my own mental perversions forcing me to waste large sections of my life and, of course, controlling my mood.

I, sad as though it may seem, have seen almost every minute of every televised game in the last few years. Most of the time I end up racked with disappointment and sorrow. Or, if I am honest and lay aside exaggeration for just a moment or two: just a bit annoyed until I would get distracted by a charming piece of porn delivered right to my email box, an invitation to pop down to the local police station and pay my unpaid parking fines or a person making an unexpected right turn using their left indicator at the time. Presumably considering the flashing yellow lights on their car to be sort of joyful christmas decoration.

It comes earlier each year.

one fine Day in the middle of the night, Christopher Brookmyre
Good fun, easy read, nice characters, firm cover decently resistant to coffee stains.
3/5

A history of western philosophy, Bertrand Russel
The introduction was dull, can’t speak for the rest. Cover was overly absorbent and aged pages did not create a stable, flat surface.
1/5

the complete works of lewis carroll, Lewis Carroll
The stories with the little blond girl chasing rabbits and stepping through mirrors are okay if you take plenty of drugs and like that kind of thing. The poetry is still dead funny but the tripe ‘sylvie and bruno’ is for starting barbeques with. The book is way too thick to securely support a hot cuppa but would be excellent hiding place for acid tabs.

A young boy goes off to college, but about 1/3 of the way through the semester, he has foolishly squandered away all of the money his parents gave him. Then he gets an idea. He calls his daddy.

“Dad,” he says, “you won’t believe the wonders that modern education are coming up with! Why, they actually have a program here at college that will teach our dog BHOVA how to talk!”

“That’s absolutely amazing,” his father says. “How do I get him in that program?”

“Just send him down here with R15,000” the boy says. “I’ll get him into the course.” So, his father sends the dog and the R15,000.

About 2/3 way through the semester, the money runs out. The boy calls his father again.

“So how’s BHOVA doing, son,” his father asks. “Awesome, Dad, he’s talking up a storm,” he says, “but you just won’t believe this – they’ve had such good results with this program that they’ve implemented a new one to teach the animals how to READ!”

“READ,” says his father, “No kidding! What do I have to do to get him in that program?”

“Just send R18,500, I’ll get him in the class.”

His father sends the money. The boy now has a problem. At the end of the year, his father will find out that the dog can neither talk, nor read. So he shoots the dog. When he gets home at the end of the semester, his father is all excited.

“Where’s BHOVA? I just can’t wait to see him talk and read something!”

“Dad,” the boy says, “I have some grim news. Yesterday morning, just before we left to drive home, BHOVA was in the living room kicking back in the recliner, reading the morning paper, like he usually does. Then he turned to me and asked, ‘So, is your daddy still messin’ around with that little redhead who lives on Oak Street?'”

The father says, “I hope you SHOT that son of a bitch before he talks to your Mother!”

“I sure did, Dad!”

“That’s my boy!”