Saturday, May 21, 2011

The "Terminator" and "Skeletor"

So I have heard the news that Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Maria Shriver are divorcing. I have also heard why. I have also seen remarks to the effect that Shriver looks like Skeletor and that while she should get sympathy up to a point for having a cheating husband this sympathy has limits because 1) she supported a Republican and 2) she's a political wife who knew what she was doing.

Koholeth knew what he was doing, too. I have no personal sympathies for Shriver or her former husband. Let me be clear about that. But I've seen enough of how divorce effects families and children that it stinks. There are rarely good splits. God still hates divorce, folks. That in extreme cases breaking up the marriage is more prudent than keeping it together doesn't mean it shoudl be done lightly, let alone often. It can be easy to make fun of people who get married to further family political agendas and family standings. Except that King David did that frequently. It can be easy to remark about how marrying to shore up a claim of interest in a region seems shallow but that's what the patriarchs did.

We are so used to the idea that marriage should be for the reason of mutual sexual attraction and emotional fulfillment we can forget that not all societies negotiated marriages in this way. For those who imagine that no one should "need" a state or church to sign off on a regularly scheduled bumping of uglies they are probably consoling themselves on the smartness they have in working out whatever they assume is coming ot them by way of nookie, whether mutually granted or unilaterally paid for.

When I have come across guys who talk about women as works of art I tend to reflexively think, perhaps unfairly, that some of these guys compare women to fine art in a museum because to them women are like museum exhibits. You have to pay money to go see one of these "fine works of art', you see the work of art in an installation medium, and you can't touch the artwork or museum security will escort you away from the premises unless you're visiting an interactive museum of some kind. Yes, I'm sure you catch my drift here.

As to Shriver being referred to as Skeletor, won't every woman at some point age? I mean, really, of even the hottest woman or man on the planet it must finally be said that time and gravity will defeat us all. Now is not the time to forget that where she has gone we shall also go. To say that a man or a woman are past their prime may be true by whatever subjective metric we bring to things but there shall always be someone handsomer or cuter or finer or more desirable than each one of us. People who are simply paid to look pretty by whatever measure of pretty society may have have moments of insecurity and uncertainty. Most of them are shuffled off the stage by the age of 25 because they are considered too "old" and "fat". And by that you could substitute the words "adult" and "normal-looking". By then the rest of us have shifted to between the boundaries of "normal-looking" and "stocky".

I don't usually comment much about standards of beauty in society or how we discuss them. Usually it does not interest me too keenly. Since I have not considered myself someone who should be "on the market" anyway it's not something I have given much thought to (though some relatives have insisted I take all of this a great deal more seriously out of a concern that I not be unattached the rest of my life, which I suppose is a fair concern, probably). But this year a noteworthy obituary was none other than Elizabeth Taylor. As I was saying, no matter how widely acclaimed you may be for your beauty time and gravity shall inevitably defeat you. Maria Shriver may be considered "Skeletor" by some but she's not dead and for better or worse she has more public influence and significance than you or I shall ever even fantasize about having.

1 comment:

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