Soren Kierkegaard is useful to us because of the intensity of his despair at the compromises and cruelties of daily life. He is a companion for our darkest moments.
Tag Archives | Marriage
via Global Voices:
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Gays and lesbians are getting married in China — but not in the way they might hope.
Same-sex unions are still illegal in China, and members of the Chinese LGBT community face the same intense parental pressure as their straight friends to get hitched and produce grandchildren.
“In our culture, a person who doesn’t get married will be considered to be disobedient towards their parents,” says a gay man identified as John, a lawyer in his 30s.
So John turned to a solution known as a ”cooperative marriage:” He married “Xiaodan,” who is lesbian, a year ago. In a nation where being gay is not acceptable, John and Xiaodan asked not to be identified by their real names.
Yasmin Anwar via Phys.org:
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Around the time of the Summer of Love in 1967, Arthur Aron, then a UC Berkeley graduate student in psychology, kissed fellow student Elaine Spaulding in front of Dwinelle Hall. What they felt at that moment was so profound that they soon married and teamed up to investigate the mysteries of attraction and intimacy.
“I fell in love very intensely,” said Aron, a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley and research professor at Stony Brook University in New York. “Given that I was studying social psychology, just for fun I looked for the research on love, but there was almost none.”
So he took it on. In the nearly 50 years that Arthur and Elaine Aron have studied love, they have developed three dozen questions to create closeness in a lab setting. The result is not unlike the accelerated intimacy that can happen between strangers on an airplane or other close quarters.
Did you buy or receive an engagement ring? If so, you may enjoy this funny PSA from College Humor. Sure, it’s a joke, but as they say, “Many a true word is spoken in jest.”
Davecat lives with his wife and mistress, both dolls, and thinks synthetic partners are ideal for those who don’t want to deal with humans’ inconsistencies. (Atlantic article.)
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Davecat met his future wife, Sidore Kuroneko at a goth club in 2000, so the story goes. The less romantic but perhaps more true version is that he saved up for a year and a half to buy her online. She cost about $6,000.
Sidore is a RealDoll, manufactured by Abyss Creations in the shape of a human woman. She is covered in artificial skin made of silicone, so she’s soft. These high-end, anatomically correct—even equipped with fake tongues—love dolls (or capital-D Dolls) are ostensibly made for sex. But 40-year-old Davecat (a nickname acquired from videogames that he now prefers to go by) and others who call themselves iDollators see their dolls as life partners, not sex toys. Davecat and Sidore (or, as he sometimes calls her, Shi-chan) obviously aren’t legally married, but they do have matching wedding bands that say “Synthetik [sic] love lasts forever,” and he says they’re considering some sort of ceremony for their 15th anniversary.
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Despite the fondness among certain politicians and pundits for “traditional marriage,” a nostalgic-sounding concept that conjures a soft-focus Polaroid of grandma and grandpa, few consider the actual roots of our marital traditions, when matrimony was little more than a business deal among unequals. Even today, legal marriage isn’t measured by the affection between two people, but by the ability of a couple to share Social Security and tax benefits. In reality, it’s the idea of marrying for love that’s untraditional.
“Love was considered a reason not to get married. It was seen as lust, as something that would dissipate.”
For most of recorded human history, marriage was an arrangement designed to maximize financial stability. Elizabeth Abbott, the author of “A History of Marriage” explains that in ancient times, marriage was intended to unite various parts of a community, cementing beneficial economic relationships.
A team from the University of Manchester analyzed 10 million marriages, using census data from the U.K. and inferring astrological signs from couples’ birth dates. Astrologists have ideas about which signs make the best matches—a Sagittarius is better off with a Leo or Aquarius than a Cancer. But the University of Manchester team found that lonely hearts who worry about the zodiac are wasting their time. The study concludes: "This research shows that astrological sign has no impact on the probability of marrying – and staying married to – someone of any other sign."
Just because you’re dead and rotting doesn’t mean you can’t be a hot ticket as a bride or groom. The Global Post reports:
Four men in northwest China have been sentenced for digging up the corpses of women and selling them for “ghost marriages” to families whose sons died as bachelors. The remains of ten “brides” were sold for a total of $38,000, according to court reports.
Ritual ghost marriages, which is believed to date back to the 17th century BC, is a custom in which parents find “spouses” for their unmarried, deceased children so that they can have a family in the afterlife. The tradition is rare in contemporary China, but still practiced in rural [areas].
Families often employ a matchmaker to help find a suitable spouse for their deceased loved ones. Chinese media have reported cases of brokers murdering women and selling their bodies. In 2006, a man from northern Hebei province murdered six women and sold them as “ghost brides.”
Via the Guardian, Will Storr on chemically strengthening the bond between two people by huffing from an inhaler:
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According to scientists at the University of Oxford, at some point in the life of my marriage (rough estimate of about 10 years), a new breed of “love drug” might become available – a medication that could heal wounded relationships. It will likely be delivered as an inhaler and prescribed by a relationship counsellor. You’d sniff up a dose in the presence of your loved one and, as the chemical entered your bloodstream, it would strengthen your bond.
Such a drug would likely contain doses of two structurally similar hormones: oxytocin and vasopressin. Of the two, oxytocin is the more famous–sometimes known as the “cuddle chemical”, its positive role in experiences such as orgasm and childbirth seems to have led some to imagine it as an inhalable happy drug. Vasopressin has been implicated in an animal defending its babies.