Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: The Failure of Marriage.

Did you know that some Republicans, like Sen. John McCain for instance, are unhappy with President Obama and his leftist agenda? News at 11!

Your PostBourgie-approved reading material from the weekend:


1. In her exhausting and depressing essay in this month’s edition of The Atlantic, author Sandra Tsing Loh makes a compelling case that the American ideal of a lifelong, monogamous marriage is obsolete. She closes with a mighty thunder clap: “In any case, here’s my final piece of advice: avoid marriage—or you too may suffer the emotional pain, the humiliation, and the logistical difficulty, not to mention the expense, of breaking up a long-term union at midlife for something as demonstrably fleeting as love.” It is here that I should mention that Loh is divorcing her husband of the past 20 years.

2. Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that convicts do not have a constitutional right to evidence to test it for DNA testing to prove their innocence. Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog writes that “while the decision appeared to be focused on whether such a right of access exists after a criminal conviction has become final… the language used by the Court majority made it appear that the sweep of the decision may turn out to be considerably broader.” Glenn Greenwald points out that the decision has raised the ire of many liberal bloggers, and notes that it’s another example in which Obama’s Justice department adopted the position of the previous administration.

3. The Obama administration, which has (rightly) taken a lot of shit for the way it’s handled a bunch of Defense of Marriage Act cases, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and other LGBTQ issues, has organized a meeting with several prominent gay rights groups to help repair some of the damage and figure out a way forward.

4. Against all odds – really, almost all of them – a homeless girl from Los Angeles has earned her way into Harvard. “I was so proud of being smart I never wanted people to say, ‘You got the easy way out because you’re homeless,’ ” she said. “I never saw it as an excuse.” No doubt, Pat Buchanan feels she has denied some white guy of his rightful place in the freshman class.

5. President Obama has issued a cautious statement on the protests in Iran. “Martin Luther King once said – ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.”

6. Stephen Walt at Foreign Policy (via ObWi) has some ideas on how raising kids is a lot like international relations: “Most of us love our children deeply, which puts real limits on the amount of punishment we are willing to inflict. Total war just isn’t an option, and the ability to use force is limited, so we’re stuck with coercive diplomacy. And kids quickly figure out which threats are credible and which are not, and they are geniuses at probing the limits of our resolve.”

7. How does Mayor Brad Pitt sound to you? The idea has taken hold with at least a couple of New Orleans residents.

8. Eliot Spitzer gets very candid with Vanity Fair over some hot dogs and a stroll in the park.

9. “I’m not a sideshow. I’m not a freak show,” (Jonathan) Krohn exclaims, pointing his finger, nearly shouting. “I am an intellectual force! Newt Gingrich said that.” Ladies and gentleman, meet the 14-year-old future of the GOP.

10. It would be wonderful if people could play nice and decent, and not go out of their way to offend American Indians. Are you listening, good people of Stockton Springs, Maine?

11. From KateHarding.net, a blog on the “fatosphere” called Shapely Prose that dispels fat stereotypes and catalogs the effects of pop-culture on women from a very funny, blunt and feminist perspective. Check out this article on the lack of fat heroines in romance novels. Also, check on the BMI slide show here.

12. Arturo Garcia at Racialicious is not a fan of the nation’s No. 1 movie. “What I cannot abide is brainless humor. And so, when I tell you that The Hangover is celluloid excrement, I don’t say it lightly.” For what it’s worth, I saw the movie Saturday night and thought it was pretty funny. But very overrated. Also, Racialicious has come up with a list of acceptable white guys for black female performers seeking love or lust or both. In a bit of an upset, Bill Maher doesn’t make the list. But I might quibble with the inclusion of aspiring mayor Brad Pitt because, hey, who hasn’t dated Robin Givens?

13. Newly released FBI documents explicitly (heh) detail how the agency tried – and failed – to stop the 1972 release of classic porno movie,”Deep Throat.”

14. Deconstructing Kobe. Money quote here: “By any measure Kobe just put up a grade A finals for the ages — even if it’s compared to the Basketball Prototype.” That would be Jordan.

15. Speaking of the Lakers, proceeds of the sale of Phil Jackon’s “X” hat, in commemoration of his record 10 NBA championship rings, will go to the American Indian Scholarship Fund.

16. Former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar is an absolute mess.

17. There’s so much wrong with this story: a Corpus Christi, Texas, strip club is suing a 14-year-old girl that it hired as an exotic dancer.

18. And to make up for all that divorce unpleasantness earlier, let’s talk about love:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnC1Xzm5uKM&hl=en&fs=1&]

And for the first time since we made the round-up a regular feature, I actually had trouble narrowing down the list of submissions. Thanks to everyone that made a contribution.

8 comments to Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: The Failure of Marriage.

  • belleisa

    In regards to selection number 1: Please anyone who has any intention of getting married, who would still like the subject matter to have some semblance of honor and dignity in your life or in the lives of your loved ones–Do Not Read This Article! Or any of the wonderful archive companion articles the Atlantic supplies on their website.

    That is all.

  • It’s a heck of a lot, but I’ll try to take them on.

    1. Bad timing. Makes her seem a bit bitter.

    2. Seems like the convicted innocent are going to be SOL. Come on Brother President Obama. Why you wanna be like that, huh?

    3. May to be too late to work anything out. Should have thought of that when you were showing out for the right leaning democrats.

    4. Eat ish Pat Buchanan.

    5. So true. And so cleverly done.

    6. Mayor Brad Pitt? Campaign posters should be fly.

    9. He may be telling the truth considering what else the GOP has. Out of the mouth of babes…

    16. Was it worth it Bernie?

    So I didn’t get them all. So sue me! I’m only 14.

  • t.o.a n.

    Call me odd, but I did not find the article on marriage depressing at all. I found it very real. I disagree with her advice about getting married, but I agree that over time the physicality of “love” will die and you will be left with just the other person and if you are not in the same place mentally, cannot, or will not, find a point of compromise that meets both peoples needs, and both people are not willing to work on the relationship, that a very real possibility is divorce.

  • mute

    I didn’t find the article that depressing. I don’t think it’s really anything that hasn’t been expressed before in articles trying to dissect marriage. That being said, its still a long-winded bitchfest.

    And the last sentence strikes me as particularly stupid:
    “In any case, here’s my final piece of advice: avoid marriage—or you too may suffer the emotional pain, the humiliation, and the logistical difficulty, not to mention the expense, of breaking up a long-term union at midlife for something as demonstrably fleeting as love.”

    i would think entering in any sort of serious relationship means enduring emotional pain at some point. and single parenthood, if you’re not well off, provides plenty of logistical and financial difficulties of its own.

    i’m not sure what to do with the “fleeting love” part. i guess i want to know what she means by love.

  • 8. The Spitzer piece annoyed me. Maybe I’m just dead inside, but boo-effing-hoo. Ahem.

    11. I really dug the no-fat-heroines piece. And the BMI scale is an extremely flawed measurement – particularly for underweight-overweight measurements. But I find it to be pretty fair for measuring obesity. Just because a woman (or man) has great hair and makeup and looks “hot” in a picture, doesn’t mean she’s not obese. Obviously, putting value on someone due to their weight is awful and wrong, but that doesn’t mean using a combination of tools (including BMI) to measure health and appropriate weight is bad.

  • I absolutely *love* Sandra Tsing Loh, and I don’t find her article depressing or bad in any way. On the contrary. While I think that her “don’t get married” advice is obviously a bit of a broad generalization (and am pretty sure it’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek), the basis of what she’s saying is true–and if you’re planning on getting married, this married lady’s advice is that it damn well better be something you think about beforehand. Under what circumstances would you divorce? Is lifelong absolute sexual fidelity required? What happens when/if you go through a period–perhaps years–of incompatible sexual desire? What are your values when/if the passionate/romantic aspect of love fades? Does the idea of a settled companionship sound okay to you–both of you–or does it sound like a tragedy?

    So I disagree with Bellisa. I think anyone who ever plans to get married should have to read that article, and think about what their vision of marriage includes, as well as what things they absolutely consider deal-breakers.

  • belleisa

    The writing is fabulous, it all is, and Sandra always delivers, but it’s depressing. It’s incredibly depressing. It’s one thing to think of marriage as a partnership of eternal happiness, it’s quite another to believe that you’re resigning yourself to be habitually unhappy. Also, I don’t recall any consideration for what the lack of marriage would have afforded the last 20 years of her life.

    There’s nothing redemptive about this article. And clearly, as a matter of personal taste, I’d prefer something redemptive mostly because I come from a heavily divorced family, I’d have liked some glimmer of hope.

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