Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I'm at a loss, you were my tangerine, my pussycat, my trampoline
When I was a child, I always felt an atmospheric change when walking into a church.
It wasn’t until much later, when I was in high school or university, and started befriending hippies that I understood why.
The darkened windows, the constant stench of incense, the droning music, and well intentioned people with impractical ideas, are all the kinds of things you encounter in a hippie drug den.
To date, I still don’t know which of the two is more annoying.
On the one hand, the hippie philosophy is less antiquated than religion’s; plus, religion has a lot more people and, unlike the hippies, worshippers are generally less cannabis sedated and more likely to get angry when you laugh at their funny dress, crappy music, and ludicrous beliefs. On the other hand, hippies go on and on about the global conspiracies to keep Ralph Nader from being elected president of the United States and you have to shave through three layers of pubic undergrowth just to see if you’re about to sleep with one of their men or women.
Either way, they’re both groups that derive their self-esteem from identifying with an external group rather than recognizing whatever internal qualities might make them worthwhile members of the human race.
Just like most wives who take their husband’s name after marriage.
There is a lot about modernity that most likely sins against nature, but I’m perfectly willing to accept rapid species extinction and rising global temperatures for internet access and pornography because change is usually a good thing when compared to stagnation. If you don’t believe me, then just leave an uncapped bottle of water sitting in your backyard and tell me how it tastes after a few days.
For all the progress that we humans have made, there are a dedicated few of us who love clinging to our anachronistic traditions, and so, in this 21st century of the Common Era, there are still women who change their name after their nuptials.
A woman who gives up her last name is quietly assenting to the tradition that, upon wedding, she is now property of her husband, who has gone so far as to rename her in his own image, and belongs to that man. I’m amazed that so many conservative Christian groups still condone this practice, considering that a woman who changes her to preserve the sanctity of marriage is giving a big fuck you to her previous family who was good enough to give her a last name that seemed to work perfectly fine before a penis with a ring came along. That hardly seems like family values.
If women are going to change their names when they get married, then why stop at the last name? Since they have to get all new documents (i.e. passport, driver’s license, social security and credit cards, etc) then a wedding is a perfectly good excuse to go with an entirely new name that is some combination of their new husband’s last name and whatever they’ve always wanted their name to be.
Now, I know there are a lot of people out there who are sticklers for tradition, but most of the other wedding traditions are ignored these days and no one seems to mind. When is the last time you saw someone wearing a white wedding dress who hadn’t known a premarital dick or seven in her time? Considering that most women no longer lose their virginity to the man, or woman, they marry, wouldn’t it make much more sense if they shed their maiden name the first time they took a dick?
I have laid it on the ladies pretty thick up to this point, but that in no way excuses the kind of men who would get offended if their wife didn’t take their last name upon exchanging rings. Fellow penis-possessors, this is not an issue on which we should take any stand. What a woman names herself is her own business, and, for those of you who have never been married before, putting your foot down about anything will eventually come back to bite you in the ass.
A marriage works similar to a primitive economy, in that you must barter for all goods and services; any concessions your partner gives you must eventually be evened out to cover the debt you incur for getting them to concede to your desires; so, just like when, while engaging the services of a bus station prostitute, you catch syphilis because you used the condom you keep in your wallet instead of spending two minutes to buy a new one from the men’s room; during the tense weeks leading up to your wedding day, when you’re complaining to your wife about how she would take your name if she were a good wife, ask yourself if a pyrrhic victory over a pointless label is really worth having to do something that you could have gotten out of if you weren’t such an idiot, such as plucking your wife’s sphincter hair, going dress shopping with her and her mother-in-law, or having your formerly blushing bride shit into your mouth and pretend you’re Rush Limbaugh.
Weddings in general are silly rituals that would do better moldering in the pages of storybooks than in modern practice and, in the last few decades, there have been numerous attempts to break the wedding out of its ultra-traditional mode, but most of them keep the same customs and change nothing more than the location.
For the 21st century, it’s time to put all that romantic hooey associated with weddings to the wayside and conduct marriage services where they properly belong… in the courtroom. Most couples end up getting divorced anyway, it only makes sense that a marriage begins and ends in the same place; plus, this will give divorce lawyers a good place to advertise their services.
Marriage is not a social contract, it is business pure and simple, which is why, when people get divorced, they divide all the common property, children included, before they go their separate ways.
When you start building pomp and circumstance around a legal matter, people cease thinking about it in practical terms and romanticize the hell out of what should be a serious endeavor. Dresses, tuxedos, table settings, and picking a DJ are all tasks that distract engaged couples from realizing the seriousness of their situation which is signing a contract. While it may seem perfectly normal to wear a gigantic white dress and tuxedo to get married, you hardly ever see the CEOs of two merging companies get all gussied up to join their finances and you can bet your ass that no one dances the “Electric Slide.”
Just like churches and hippie drug dens, weddings require those bells and whistles to keep people nice and distracted from the simple fact that they, and everyone around them, are pissing their time and money down the drain on a pointless endeavor.
I will say that at weddings, unlike church services, you do tend to get cool prizes like waffle makers and penis shaped ice cube trays, but, unlike both, it’s much better to just sit around and get stoned… even if it means listening to hippies explain their philosophy.
Sex Mahoney for President
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