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Marriage as a community-wrecker

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.15.19

Another one of these case-against-marriage pieces:

In a review of two national surveys, the sociologists Natalia Sarkisian of Boston College and Naomi Gerstel of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst found that marriage actually weakens other social ties. Compared with those who stay single, married folks are less likely to visit or call parents and siblings--and less inclined to offer them emotional support or pragmatic help with things such as chores and transportation. They are also less likely to hang out with friends and neighbors.
Single people, by contrast, are far more connected to the social world around them. On average, they provide more care for their siblings and aging parents. They have more friends. They are more likely to offer help to neighbors and ask for it in return. This is especially true for those who have always been single, shattering the myth of the spinster cat lady entirely. Single women in particular are more politically engaged--attending rallies and fundraising for causes that are important to them--than married women. (These trends persist, but are weaker, for single people who were previously married. Cohabiting couples were underrepresented in the data and excluded from the study.)
Sarkisian and Gerstel wondered whether some of these effects could be explained by the demands of caring for small children. Maybe married parents just don't have any extra time or energy to offer neighbors and friends. But once they examined the data further, they found that those who were married without children were the most isolated. The researchers suggest that one potential explanation for this is that these couples tend to have more time and money--and thus need less help from family and friends, and are then less likely to offer it in return. The autonomy of successful married life can leave spouses cut off from their communities. Having children may slightly soften the isolating effects of marriage, because parents often turn to others for help.
The sociologists found that, for the most part, these trends couldn't be explained away by structural differences in the lives of married versus unmarried people. They hold true across racial groups and even when researchers control for age and socioeconomic status. So it isn't the circumstances of married life that isolate--it's marriage itself.

There is certainly a widely-known phenomenon where people are outgoing and involved as singletons, in part to keep themselves interesting and engaged, and because that's how you meet people, and then they do settle down with someone, move in, and proclaim themselves to be boring old married couple with their routines and TV shows, within the first few years of a relationship. In my experience, this is a result of cohabitation more than marriage per se.

It does take time and energy to go to the organizational meetings or practices or fundraisers or whatever, and it is natural that some of that contracts in a relationship, because a relationship does take time.

But I think it often disappears entirely because Americans don't feel much of an obligation towards their community, and don't see their individual absence as being a cost borne by society as a whole. This is the basic problem. Yes, it's good to resurface when you're a parent and you want your kid to grow up involved in sports and activities, but it's easy for Americans to pretend that community life is a salad bar to pick and choose from when you want it, and not something to contribute back towards.

As I'm writing this, I'm trying to narrow down which Americans I'm talking about - it's certainly not all Americans. It's not a red state/blue state division, or UMC/poor, or urban/rural necessarily. What I'm coming up with is that it's apolitical Americans that see society as a salad bar that's there for their own convenience. People use apolitical to see themselves as above the fray and disinclined towards the muck of politics, but really they are lazy, self-centered jerks who need to get a clue and help out for a change.

Or not, whatever.



 

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Guest Post - Quem sabia que era tão complicado?

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.12.19

Mossichar writes:

"It's a marmalade of madness," Lobão grumbled of Bolsonaro's crisis-packed opening act in power which has been plagued by factional struggles, mass protests, claims of mafia ties and corruption involving his family, a cocaine smuggling scandal involving a presidential plane and damaging revelations involving his celebrity justice minister, Sérgio Moro.

Heebie's take: How depressing.

(But this is funny:

Not to mention a series of bizarre gaffes - including sharing a pornographic video with his 3.4 million Twitter followers - that have led some to question whether Bolsonaro will even see out his four-year term.
)

Mostly it's just so aligned with the Trump model.



 

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Epstein-Barr

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.11.19

We are done being on the road for the next week. Should there be an Epstein thread? I can't find the original tweet, but it was something to the effect of: "You guys, pizzagate was real. It was just Republicans in Florida and there was no pizza" and it more or less summarizes how I feel - that every nutty accusation is a projection of the kind of shit that they do.

It's also the case that this story has been around forever, and it was just the whims of MSM that kept this from ever really being front and center as a prominent story. This is the kind of story that makes you sympathetic towards conspiracy theorists. (Not the Alex Jones cruel kind, just the regular paranoid "zoom into the pixels and you can barely make out..." kind.) It really does cast a wide net, and it does play out like powerful people in a shadowy world where rules don't apply doing whatever the fuck they want, and then pulling strings both politically, legally, and journalistically, to keep it from catching up with them.

I'll include this link just to justify the post title.



 

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