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-   -   Values Added: Monogamish Edition (Dan Savage & Ross Douthat) (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=7019)

whburgess 09-08-2011 07:41 PM

Re: Values Added: Monogamish Edition (Dan Savage & Ross Douthat)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 225168)
My favorite is when he sorta bites his lip, aw shucks. He's a good looking guy who never got over being a good looking guy.

Why do you think Hilary would have been a worse president? I have the feeling she's the better politician and knows how to get consensus.

I don't think she would have been worse. I'm thinking mostly of the economy and I don't think she would have been any worse or better. I don't believe presidents have a lot of control over the economy even if the political power in DC is lined up to support them, and Hillary would have no more, or less, support then Obama does in DC.

I think she'd be less popular then Obama is although she wouldn't be worse because people really don't like her as much as they do Obama, even most of the people now who are comparing Obama disfavorably to her as a political tactic. I'm not saying you're doing this---but I think a lot of this is going on.

eeeeeeeli 09-08-2011 07:42 PM

Re: Values Added: Monogamish Edition (Dan Savage & Ross Douthat)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ledocs (Post 225082)
My view is that men have a much greater investment in the perception that their wives are faithful than women do in the analogous perception. Witness DSK and Anne Sinclair. Or Bill and Hillary Clinton. Generally speaking, some married men want to be free to roam, while not according similar desires or opportunities to their wives. There is a fundamental asymmetry. Unfaithful husbands can be virile men, unfaithful wives tend to be viewed as dirty whores, especially if the infidelities are not kept secret.

I would think that these differences have a lot to do with sociobiology and the hierarchy of mammalian groups typified by fights among males for sexual and political dominance.

That's tough. Sociobiology is a good start, but there's been so much cultural evolution. At least, to the point where description and prescription blur. I mean, patriarchy could be seen as a natural outgrowth of sociobiology. But there have been plenty of other retrograde isms - forms of institutional and cultural oppression - that wouldn't be as clear in a sociobiological sense.

I think what may be more interesting are the general themes of dominance and submission that have played themselves out across a variety of social paradigms. Now, you could reasonably argue that much of this is at root about sex. But I think it could as well be about other things, such as hunger, love, death, or any of the other fundamental human desires and fears, not to mention circumstantial historical events or the simple fact that men are stronger than women.

Aside: After seeing The Rise of the Apes this summer, and the scene in which Caesar is forced to compete for dominance among the primitive apes, I was struck by how much the silly posturing and physicality is still such a basic trait of the human male - despite our attempts to "civilize" it.

Jay J 09-08-2011 07:42 PM

Re: Ostracize Dan Savage
 
On the Texas and sodomy thing, with the Coulter-Savage issue jettisoned, I think continuing on that line will get very peripheral pretty quick. Unless you object, I'm going to set this one down. Now, moving on...

Quote:

If you and I are noble savages in a jungle with nothing but our hunting spears to sustain us, we both go hunting together, throw our spears at the pig, and only mine kills the pig, then the pig belongs to both of us. It was a mutual effort, and over time I've eaten a few pigs you've killed.

On the other hand, If you hang out in the hammock and never go hunting, then you have no right to my pig. The only way you get it is if you take it from me, which basically makes me your slave.

I think the desire to not be someone else's slave is as much a part of human nature as their sexual orientation is. I also think that all economic laws regarding what belongs to who is an extrapolation of this basic principle, and any diversion of what the laws should be is not based on a disagreement on this basic principle, but is based on a disagreement on whether one policy or another contradicts the basic principle.
I should thank you for bringing this up, because this shows a more fruitful line of discussion that I was allowing in my comments, which were a bit defeatist about whether any kind of understanding could be found on such disagreements. I mean, it's still very possible, (maybe likely?) that there are some irresolvable moral views at bottom, but your argument above makes me wonder if it's not partly (or even wholly) about how much we believe the actual state of affairs in the world approximates the hypothetical scenario you sketch above.

I realize it's a hypothetical, but I suppose I think there are too many hang ups in real life to use your hypothetical. I'm not clever enough to offer a rival hypothetical, so let me just say that I think we don't all start out the way you may think. I don't believe the ways wealth and achievement are dispersed in the world is a result of everyone starting out on an even line and running a race to the finish. I know you probably don't disagree wholly with that either, I just want to emphasize that I not only think this about the big picture history of slavery and the relation of labor and capital and what not, but I think in relatively subtle ways the structural obstacles in the way of the poor and excluded are still very significant.

This diagnosis makes me a person, roughly speaking, of the left. My relatively sanguine view of markets makes me, roughly speaking, a left neoliberal. Matthew Yglesias tried to speak up for deregulation once upon a time, then realized he liked all kinds of regulation, but still wanted to insist that some deregulation was good. Some of his commenters jokingly said "so when it's good it's good, and when it's bad, it's bad?" That got me to thinking that there had to be a way to articulate the distinction Yglesias was getting at. The most promising tact I've seen so far is from Scott Sumner, who has coined the therm "statism" (well, I'm sure the word was used before, but his usage is somewhat novel, I think), which talks about certain kinds of regulation that governments tend to impose that are bad. I'm very underqualified to tease it all out, and Sumner is probably to the right of me even on this issue, but to grope at trying to qualify it, Denmark could get high marks in statism (meaning, a good grade, which is low statism) while still engaging in high government spending.

I'm sorta getting off on a tangent, so let me reign it in and say simply that there are different shades of leftist (this is true of the right too, I'm sure). What pundits do is they attack the other side (in spite of all the shades) and what I am saying is that specifically aggrieved people get some leeway from me when the target those responsible for their plight. I know we've left behind the hypocrisy issue, so I hope I'm not violating a previous tacit agreement, but what I'm getting at in the abstract, is that to me there is a distinction between someone whose struggle is personal on the one hand, and someone who is essentially a political pundit on the other.

To use an example I'm sure we could agree on, if members of a certain community were getting their land taken by immanent domain, and there was a certain powerful faction of the democratic party that frequently talked about how people didn't really have rights to their homes, I would take that background into account. On the other hand, if a pundit came along and just generally lobbed rhetorical bombs at republicans *in general* say, someone like this

http://wegoted.com/

I would give more leeway to the people with the personal issue that aimed their comments toward the people that were responsible for continuing the policy (even if they were very intemperate with their comments).

I'm not sure if I'm still whipping that dead horse, but if we're still talking in any way at all about whether the right and left can have issues that are extremely personal, as personal as one's sexual nature, I concede that it can go both ways. Whether we agree on just where the lines are I kinda doubt it, because I tend to lean left on who killed the pig, who came along and stole it, who was provided with the best weapons, and stuff like that. But I can agree in the abstract that the values that drive the right can be as personal and sacrosanct as one's sexual nature, which is more of an issue of the left when it comes to homosexuality.


ADDENDUM: I should probably leave well enough alone. But I just want to say that I can see that it may have seemed like I was saying issues over sexual nature are *always* more personal than the kinds of issues that motivate conservatives. I was speaking with the implicit background on talking about a political pundit, which is more a matter of fighting over the difference between Bush and Obama, Pelosi and Boehner, Clinton and Gingrich, etc. I know these Dem-Rep disputes are very important in our public discourse and they should be, but they're pretty marginal compared to whether one's sexual nature is illegal, second-class, or what have you. That's why I came up with the example of people getting their property taken (and it would help if they were middle class or poor) and then having to listen to political leaders talk about how they have no right to the property in the first place. I was trying to make it dramatic and personal. On the other hand, whether the tax rates are at 35% or 39% is not the kind of issue that ameliorates bombastic rhetorical behavior.

And I don't even want to say that people discriminated against in such a way that implicates their basic humanity, like homosexuals are, have a *justification* for bombastic rhetorical behavior. I do, however, want to make the more modest claim that our typical day-to-day political disputes are not the same in kind as the very personal issue of one's sexual nature, so some very personal issues ameliorate this behavior moreso than if the behavior is caused by a disagreement over whether we should extend unemployment insurance another year. The reason I said I was more of an essentialist about sexual nature than private property is that in order for our typical policy arguments over economics to carry the same moral oomph as arguments over homosexuality, (given the current state of law in this area) then it would seem like I would have to be an essentialist about property, since then even marginal changes in policy would cross very bright moral lines.

OK I think I've explained myself to death. But knowing me I'll probably think of something left unexplained. When that happens, I'll try to resist adding more explanation.

miceelf 09-08-2011 07:46 PM

Re: Values Added: Monogamish Edition (Dan Savage & Ross Douthat)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 225173)
Good, but I have no idea what "the dodos" is. Sorry.


Sorry. I meant a lifelong monogamous marriage.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 225173)
In those instances, as you point out, the arrangement isn't symmetrical. One of the partners is more interested and more active, while the other starts to resent it. One may agree reluctantly, and put up with it for a while until the whole thing falls apart.

Yeah, I know a few couples like that as well. I have yet to see it end well for hetero couples, although there are some gay couples I know where this is the agreement but it seems to be working well thus far. Perhaps there's just less asymmetry in same sex couples?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 225173)
But, I can imagine that there are other more successful arrangements, or so some people say. I come from a rather conventional family and conservative culture, so I find all these alternative relationships fascinating but difficult to relate to directly.

Yeah, I try to be open minded, while not ignoring my experience. My back ground is perhaps even more conservative- the model I was given was that you marry, it doesn't much matter who, and then you grimly stick it out for the rest of your life, entertaining yourself by making your partner as miserable as possible. Needless to say, there are aspects of that model that I have rejected. I think joy is a worthy end, in and of itself.

Ocean 09-08-2011 07:55 PM

Re: Values Added: Monogamish Edition (Dan Savage & Ross Douthat)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 225179)
Sorry. I meant a lifelong monogamous marriage.

Ah, okay, thanks.

Quote:

Yeah, I know a few couples like that as well. I have yet to see it end well for hetero couples, although there are some gay couples I know where this is the agreement but it seems to be working well thus far. Perhaps there's just less asymmetry in same sex couples?
Yes, I do remember gay (male only) couples having more or less successful open relationships. I've never come across lesbian couples (long term committed relationships) who have even considered the possibility. I wonder whether lesbian relationships tend to be monogamous in greater numbers.


Quote:

Yeah, I try to be open minded, while not ignoring my experience. My back ground is perhaps even more conservative- the model I was given was that you marry, it doesn't much matter who, and then you grimly stick it out for the rest of your life, entertaining yourself by making your partner as miserable as possible. Needless to say, there are aspects of that model that I have rejected. I think joy is a worthy end, in and of itself.
And what culture of marital cruelty is that of yours? ;)

miceelf 09-08-2011 08:03 PM

Re: Values Added: Monogamish Edition (Dan Savage & Ross Douthat)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 225181)
And what culture of marital cruelty is that of yours? ;)

It's an idiosyncratic family blend of poor white trash, scots-irish, and the puritans. Pretty good for work ethic and fatalism. Not quite the go-to perspective for successful companionate love.
;-)

badhatharry 09-08-2011 08:40 PM

Re: Values Added: Monogamish Edition (Dan Savage & Ross Douthat)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 225172)
As my old man told me a long time ago, in lieu of the birds and the bees talk, "it doesn't really matter who you end up with- you're still going to be stuck with yourself."

no matter where you go, there you are.

basman 09-08-2011 10:30 PM

Re: Values Added: Monogamish Edition (Dan Savage & Ross Douthat)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 225185)
no matter where you go, there you are.

Or, put slightly differently: "Wherever you are, there you are."

Itzik Basman

badhatharry 09-08-2011 10:58 PM

Re: Values Added: Monogamish Edition (Dan Savage & Ross Douthat)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by basman (Post 225192)
Or, put slightly differently: "Wherever you are, there you are."

Itzik Basman

While I have you're attention...I wanted to report that I finished Ulysses. I will always love Leopold Bloom. He is etched forever in my memory as a truly decent man. I have forgiven Molly (almost) and I am now re reading Portrait to understand Stephen better. What a cast of memorable characters.

uncle ebeneezer 09-13-2011 01:16 AM

Re: Values Added: Monogamish Edition (Dan Savage & Ross Douthat)
 
I would love to know which situation Ross would find more impressive morally: a.) a divorced monogamous couple or b.) a healthy/committed swinger couple.

sugarkang 09-17-2011 07:40 PM

Re: Values Added: Monogamish Edition (Dan Savage & Ross Douthat)
 
Dammit. I missed this a while back. This board software is so old that it's hard to keep up with threads and replies. It's been a few days since we talked about this, so who cares anymore, right? Well, I do. I still care.

Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 225158)
So how would you like the marriage vows to read? If they read as you indicate they should be something like..."I'll be faithful until I can't no more". It would probably be hard to get someone to agree to that but I suppose it's possible, especially if the guy had lots of money.

I'd like to see the concept of marriage shift to something like 20 year commitments to raise children. It'd be like long term leases that automatically switch to month-to-month.

Marriages are down and out-of-wedlock children are up. Don't you think this is a problem? It's also a problem that liberals seem to be doing it better than conservatives by having fewer divorces. I don't mean to suggest that it's lamentable that liberals are "winning" as I'm sure some looking to pick a fight will want to read it that way. I mean to say that it's a problem that conservatives are supposed to be the champions of marriage and liberals are the destroyers of marriage, but the stats don't show it.

I don't know what people think marriage is supposed to be. I'm guessing they think it's about falling in love or something. I think that's ridiculous! But whatever one thinks about it, I think what's most important in a marriage is to provide a stable household for child rearing (if children exist). I think this is something everyone can agree about, to a certain degree, and we should move toward making this easier for couples.

Quote:

Don't you think the Clintons always had that kind of arrangement? It seems like they were business partners before they were marriage partners.
Whether or not that's true with regard to an actual purposely made agreement or understanding, I do like the idea of talking out what's really expected. Actual dating is full of lies and setting up unreasonable expectations resulting in obvious disappointments.

miceelf 09-17-2011 07:54 PM

Re: Values Added: Monogamish Edition (Dan Savage & Ross Douthat)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 226001)
I don't know what people think marriage is supposed to be. I'm guessing they think it's about falling in love or something. I think that's ridiculous!

The whole idea of falling in love, or the tying of falling in love with the concept of marriage?

sugarkang 09-18-2011 07:06 PM

Re: Values Added: Monogamish Edition (Dan Savage & Ross Douthat)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 226004)
The whole idea of falling in love, or the tying of falling in love with the concept of marriage?

I was being facetious. However, I do think that love is overemphasized in marriage and not enough weight is given to raising children.

badhatharry 09-18-2011 07:23 PM

Re: Values Added: Monogamish Edition (Dan Savage & Ross Douthat)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 226001)
I don't know what people think marriage is supposed to be. I'm guessing they think it's about falling in love or something.

I don't know what people think. I think there may be something people are supposed to think. I think marriage is about commitment.

miceelf 09-18-2011 07:54 PM

Re: Values Added: Monogamish Edition (Dan Savage & Ross Douthat)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 226128)
I was being facetious. However, I do think that love is overemphasized in marriage and not enough weight is given to raising children.

I suspect that this isn't the real problem; I think as badhat noted, there's a component of commitment that isn't often taken into account, in evaluating love. I think that it's very easy to go too far the other way (ie, overvalue children and undervalue love in its real life form and the model of "staying together for the children" often ends up with neither (the together part nor the for the children part)

sugarkang 09-19-2011 04:51 AM

Re: Values Added: Monogamish Edition (Dan Savage & Ross Douthat)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 226133)
I suspect that this isn't the real problem; I think as badhat noted, there's a component of commitment that isn't often taken into account, in evaluating love. I think that it's very easy to go too far the other way (ie, overvalue children and undervalue love in its real life form and the model of "staying together for the children" often ends up with neither (the together part nor the for the children part)

This reminds me of the saying about chasing two rabbits and winding up with none. I agree with harry about commitment being important in marriage. However, I don't think there is a commitment part that goes with love. By that I mean people make commitments because they're in love; that's precisely the problem. Love gone? Commitment is also gone. Therefore, this commitment is really an illusion.

I think of commitment as duty. That means you do it whether you like it or not. Shotgun weddings and accidental pregnancies were pretty common with the babyboomers. A lot of them stayed together out of a sense of duty. If you want to be cynical, it was reinforced by the shame of divorce. Either way, children came out better because they were raised in two parent households.

miceelf 09-19-2011 06:31 AM

Re: Values Added: Monogamish Edition (Dan Savage & Ross Douthat)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 226159)
However, I don't think there is a commitment part that goes with love. By that I mean people make commitments because they're in love; that's precisely the problem. Love gone? Commitment is also gone. Therefore, this commitment is really an illusion.

I think of commitment as duty. That means you do it whether you like it or not.

Well, kind of, i guess. But even self-generated goals in nearly every other area of life require some sort of commitment.

Steven King loves writing. He also commits to writing at least two hours every day, even if there is one day out of a month where he doesn't feel like writing. ON the day he doesn't feel like it, he still does it.

It's the same kind of commitment athletes who love what they do have, etc.

As to "love gone?" I can see how peole might feel like it is, but I don't think love suddenly disappearing is something that just happens. It's the result of an accumulated set of micro level decisions.

badhatharry 09-23-2011 12:08 PM

Re: Ostracize Dan Savage
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 225156)
The Savage Threshold is met.

I just saw this video. I don't think it was mentioned in the thread so I thought I'd just add it to the mix. You may notice that no one at the table raised an eyebrow or told him he was being uncivilized. Oh well.

miceelf 09-25-2011 03:45 PM

Re: Values Added: Monagamish Edition (Dan Savage & Ross Douthat)
 
Re: skepticism about monogamy:

Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 224941)
Pretty sure apple held that view as well.

It turns out, I can't figure out how I drew this conclusion about apple. I may have inferred it from his atheism, but I can't find anything he said that would have led me to this conclusion. I have no idea who I was actually thinking of, but apologies to apple for misrepresenting his views on marriage through my faulty memory.

apple 09-25-2011 04:10 PM

Re: Values Added: Monagamish Edition (Dan Savage & Ross Douthat)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 226724)
Re: skepticism about monogamy:



It turns out, I can't figure out how I drew this conclusion about apple. I may have inferred it from his atheism, but I can't find anything he said that would have led me to this conclusion. I have no idea who I was actually thinking of, but apologies to apple for misrepresenting his views on marriage through my faulty memory.

Nice of you. Thanks.


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