Archive for marriage

Wedding at Taco Bell? Why not?

Posted in business, Culture, Economy, Love, Relationships with tags , , , , , on January 12, 2009 by 99ppp

While I remain a critic to marriage as an institution, I was pleased to see some of those do opt to marry are turning their backs to the wasteful, useless wedding industry, which happens to be in trouble, and rightfully so in these uncertain economic times.

The bride wore a $15 hot pink dress and the entire wedding cost about $200. Several dozen guests looked on as the couple’s friend, Ryan Green of Normal, administered the vows while wearing a T-shirt. He was ordained online.

“This is the way to go — there’s no stress,” said the groom’s mother, Kathy Brooks. (LINK)


Surrenderring “Marriage” to Religion: A Case for Civil Unions

Posted in Culture, Love, Relationships, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2008 by 99ppp

There is a controversial question placed before California voters today, Proposition 8 which will legally impede same-sex  couples to marry if it passes. Plenty of money has been placed to pass the measure, most prominently, the Mormon Church which poured approximately 20 million dollars into the campaign to pass it. The progressive viewpoint is to champion the cause of same-sex marriage, and at first I would be so inclined, as it isn’t fair to discriminate how people choose to unite regardless of their sexual orientation. The deeper problem is the word “marriage” itself. This issue will not go away, and the best way to transcend it, is to give the word “marriage” to religion and have the state only perform civil unions for ALL couples.

I am not a fan of marriage as an institution to begin with. I’ve already argued that it has nothing to do with love, yet I can concede that there are potential reasons why two people would want to get married: children and property. Civil unions can provide the identical protections without calling it marriage.

Giving religion the word, will dismantle the lever which those who wish to project their religious morality through the mechanism of the state. Those who get the religious ceremony would still need to get a civil union to be recognized by the state. Those same-sex couples of faith who still wish to get married, may need to wait for a while, yet surely there will be some progressive religious groups who would perform the ceremony, since the freedom of religion is inviolate.

Additionally, by giving the word marriage to religion, it gives greater clarity to the division of church and state.

All this time and energy fighting over a word is pointless, attention that keeps us distracted from more important issues, like the economy, the environment and questions of war and peace. Those with progressive secular values could simply abandon the quibble over one word, it simply isn’t worth it. Religion can even take the words “husband” and “wife” and we can embrace the inclusive gender neutral “spouse”.

Doug Stanhope on Marriage

Posted in Culture, Love, Relationships, Vids with tags , , , , , , on May 24, 2008 by 99ppp

Similar to my critique but much funnier, here’s Stanhope’s take on that most sacred institution (2:23min)

I Guess You’ll Do [Fliggo]

Posted in Culture, Media, Relationships, Vids with tags , , , , , , on March 26, 2008 by 99ppp

In the kindred spirit of two prior posts here (The Myth of Male Power, A Case Against Marriage), I found a humourous animated clip derived from Mike Polk’s text about settling with a partner, rather than finding passion with one. Unfortunately, I couldn’t embed it here. Here’s the link, and please ignore the unfortunate title there “The Sad Truth about Relationships”, since there is no reason why it needs to be that way (see Join the Resistance: Fall in Love).

Video: I Guess You’ll do


A Case Against Marriage

Posted in Culture, Love, Relationships with tags , , , , , on February 4, 2008 by 99ppp

When are you going to get married?
When are you going to get married?
When are you going to get married?

Fuck, is that question annoying. While it may be an innocent question for some, it implies that one cannot be content unless committing for eternity, a vow often not fulfilled by many who take the plunge. Marriage is an institutionalized union, an arrangement, more often than not, about property and a social license to breed. It ain’t a coincidence its called “wedLOCK”.

Much popular culture pushes this idea of marriage as a requirement for fulfillment. I lost count how many films attempt to sell the idea, deeming a wedding and kids at the end as a “happy ending”. It’s the equivalent of the cheesy ending when a crowd suddenly surrounds and applauds a kissing couple. Examples include movies like My Big Fat Greek Wedding and recently, Wedding Crashers and many Bollywood movies, where those characters who are skeptical and reluctant, suddenly crave nodding approval from those around them.
I’ve always believed love is dangerous, uncertain, and passionate. Unfortunately, many just want a guarantee since they fear being alone. Faith in commitment suggests lack of faith in love.

Social Pressure: Marriage as a Goal

There have been enough self-help books with tips on how to snag a spouse, and pop culture as mentioned above, but little compares to the pressure and judgement applied by family and friends who are often married themselves. At first it seems to be concern for one’s lack of companionship, yet often I suspect is also to validate their own decision to marry.

Those in long term unmarried unions are often deemed “irresponsible” by some, while those recently married are celebrated. It’s not surprising many succumb to the pressure, just to shut up the “concerned” critics.

The Wedding

A money pit for many, to glorify two people who found a steady fuck and needed a stamp of approval from the state and/or a religion. An entire industry of wedding attire, hosting, floral, jewelry, and catering has flourished to milk the greatest profit from those deciding to take that plunge. Of course, the amount of love is proportional to the size of the diamond ring!

Let’s not forget those invited must purchase a gift for “the happy couple”, grin and stand in awe of the two placed on a pedestal. “How wonderful!”.. “A Toast!”..“Let’s line dance!” bleh.. Let’s not forget travel, attire for the wedding party and a dull ceremony while waiting for the reception. At least the booze eases the pain somewhat.

Those who enjoy being surrounded by friends and loved ones can always throw a party, make it potluck, and “bring-your-own-booze”, instead of filling the pockets of a wedding industry which is pretty useless in the big scheme of things.

The In-Laws

Strange people who one didn’t choose to unite with, come along with the package. The argument “The union of two families” sound medieval, a relic from a time when the pretense of a love motive wasn’t concocted, and it was regarded as a transaction, often involving property in exchange for “a hand in marriage”.

After the marriage nags often come the “When are you having kids?” nag, like the main purpose of two people marrying was to supply grandkids to some meddling busybodies.

The Roles

One time, I was talking to a friend who is married to a person who’s name I know, referred to her as “The Wife”. I found it curious yet it gave me a hint of how many take on roles and labelled instead of being just people. What’s also interesting is that if another was labelled as “lover”, it implies to many something illicit, often outside of a so-called committed relationship. Funny that such label would suggest as much since the word “lover” comes from the word love.

Gender roles (and gender entitlements) are often reinforced through the institution to those who give it high regard. This can create a climate for power struggles when one sees the other encroach on their perceived dominion: “Know your place!”

Sex: Monogamy guaranteed?

Infidelity is becoming so common place that a TV show is devoted on catching “cheaters” in the act. While the issue whether humans are inherently monogamous or not is debatable (will be covered in a future article), what is clear is that marriage doesn’t guarantee monogamy. Vows taken long ago are not carved into the soul, and conditions change.

Sex is an important part of physical intimacy, yet it may be placed second to “The Marriage” (read commitment). The cliched gags about sexless marriages from comics often elicit laughter, suggesting many relate to the sad joke.

The Children

All living organisms seem to breed fine without marriage, yet some have this need to have offspring “legitimized” as if somehow it was shameful to do so without it. And for those who want to guarantee a two parent household for their children, see below.

Divorce: A Flip of a Coin Away

So much for the guarantee! Often those who were in the greatest rush to marriage, make sure to exact a heavy price to the other who may have been more reluctant. Child custody, support and alimony are often subject to gender bias and bitter disputes involving the courts. Is it really that surprising that many are reluctant to consider this condition?

Feelings of inadequacy and shame may arise due to the Success/Failure dichotomy attached to the marriage label, instead of simply acknowledging a lack of compatiblility.

A Critique of the Institution

I give no higher regard to a married couple than an unmarried one and vice versa. Those in loving unions that happen to be married, might likely snicker in amusement and not take offence at this critique, since love, that passionate etherial quality that poets struggle to describe, is their strongest connection.

Those who give high regard to commitment, documentation, property and antiquated notions of “decency” might likely object most.

[Related post: The Myth of Male Power ]

Other resource: Co-Habitation FAQ