Montag, 18. Februar 2013

And the flowers and the trees, de Botton part II

So, are you still there?
I know this is getting long. I wished philosophers were more concise. I also wished they wrote less bullshit.
We're on page 3 of the article and we're still talking about the love-killer marriage is.
Sex also has a way of altering and unbalancing our relationship with our household co-manager. Its initiation requires one partner or the other to become vulnerable by revealing what may feel like humiliating sexual needs. We must shift from debating what sort of household appliance to acquire to making the more challenging request, for example, that our spouse should turn over and take on the attitude of a submissive nurse or put on a pair of boots and start calling us names.
I'm still wondering how all of this is tied up with marriage. Surely as somebody who grew up in Switzerland and lives in the UK he should be well aware and comfortable with the fact that nowadays indeed many people don't get married at all. Some of their relationships last, some don't, but on the whole their lives don't seem to be that different from mine. I haven't looked into their bedrooms, of course, but since de Botton sets up his conflict between the "household needs" and the "intimate needs" I don't think it matters much.
Again, it's not my sexual desires and kinks that make me vulnerable towards my husband. It's the fact that I love this person with all my heart and that he could break it easily.
Why should the sexual desires he describes be humiliating? Sure, they require trust and safety with your partner but so does raising a family. It's again de Botton's screwed up perspective on sexuality that shows here, not some objective truth about submissive nurses in leather boots.
Why are bread crumbs in the kitchen bad for sex?
Because they get into your ass when you're fucking on the kitchen counter.
Easy answers for easy questions.
 We tend to forget we are angry with our partner, and hence become anaesthetized, melancholic, and unable to have sex with him or her because the specific incidents that anger us happen so quickly and so invisibly, in such chaotic settings (at the breakfast table, before the school run) that we can't recognize the offense well enough to mount a coherent protest against it
I really wished he could decide himself what it is now. Are we not fucking because of marriage? Because our desires are too humiliating? Because we don't want to force our gross sexuality onto the other? Or because of the stupid breadcrumbs? Hell, it's a wonder that anybody who isn't paid for it even manages fucking once in a while.

 And we frequently don't articulate our anger, even when we do understand it, because the things that offend us can seem so trivial or odd that they would sound ridiculous if spoken aloud: "I am angry with you because you cut the bread in the wrong way." But once we are involved in a relationship, there is no longer any such thing as a minor detail.
In an average week, each partner may be hit by, and in turn fire, dozens of tiny arrows without even realizing it, with the only surface legacies of these wounds being a near imperceptible cooling between the pair and, crucially, the disinclination of one or both to have sex with the other. Sex is a gift that is not easy to hand over once we are annoyed.
Dude, if you're seriously upset about wrongly cut bread you need either more help than any blogpost can give or you need to cut your bread yourself. Again, we have this wonderful thing. It's called communication.  People use it to talk about things and in a working relationship that's the bread and butter. And nonononono again: Sex is not a transaction. How many times do I have to repeat this. You're getting this wrong, wrong, wrong.

Why are hotels metaphysically important?
That's an interesting one. Yeah, why are they?
The walls, beds, comfortably upholstered chairs, room service menus, televisions, and tightly wrapped soaps can do more than answer a taste for luxury. Checking into a hotel room for a night is a solution to long-term sexual stagnation: We can see the erotic side of our partner, which is often closely related to the unchanging environment in which we lead our daily lives. We can blame the stable presence of the carpet and the living room chairs at home for our failure to have more sex: The physical backdrop prevents us from evolving. The furniture insists that we can't change—because it never does.
I guess there's no room (no pun intended) for people who feel intimidated by hotel rooms, why feel actual discomfort by the strange smell of some industrial laundry detergent and who like the comfort of the own home for the safety it offers. Let's not forget the insulting classism here in telling people who might be struggeling to pay the rent (and probably therefore not as interested in sex as before, because some people have actually bigger problems than breadcrumbs) that what they need is to go to a hotel for the night. Especially one with a complimentary fruitbasket. Best hotels I've ever been in had individually wrapped soapbars...
Contrary to all public verdicts on adultery, the lack of any wish whatsoever to stray is irrational and against nature, a heedless disregard for the fleshly reality of our bodies, a denial of the power wielded over our more rational selves by such erotic triggers as high-heeled shoes and crisp shirts, by smooth thighs and muscular calves.
Again, can I meet this Nature person who apparently makes a lot of rules? But it's probably because I'm a woman because she seems to talk again to men only.
But a spouse who gets angry at having been betrayed is evading a basic, tragic truth: No one can be everything to another person. The real fault lies in the ethos of modern marriage, with its insane ambitions and its insistence that our most pressing needs might be solved with the help of only one other person.
Yeah, totally your own fault, bitch. Should have seen it coming. Really, folks can't control themselves, especially when somebody in high heels walks by. Why are you to think that you deserved if not fidelity then at least honesty?
  It is impossible to sleep with someone outside of marriage and not spoil the things we care about inside it. There is no answer to the tensions of marriage.
Citation fucking needed. Open marriages exist, polyamorous marriages exist, couples who engage in multi-partner sex exist. Stop talking to this Nature person and get talking to actual people.

OK, now I clicked on page 4 of the article and I find this:
We could not be fulfilled if we weren't inauthentic some of the time—inauthentic, that is, in relation to such things as our passing desires to throttle our children, poison our spouse, or end our marriage over a dispute about changing a lightbulb. A degree of repression is necessary for both the mental health of our species and the adequate functioning of a decently ordered society. We are chaotic chemical propositions. We should feel grateful for, and protected by, the knowledge that our external circumstances are often out of line with what we feel; it is a sign that we are probably on the right course.
Does this make any sense? It hangs there like a miss-matching body-part put there by an apprentice Igor...
But it also means I'm through, so that's somethink to be grateful for.

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