Category Archives: Life

“True Love”

Here’s a philosophical question for you. Which of the following would you rather hear your partner say about you:

  • if you changed your views completely, stood for the opposite of what you do now, or your personality changed significantly, I’d still love you above all others.
  • if you changed your views completely, stood for the opposite of what you do now, or your personality changed significantly, I might not still love you above all others.

On first glance, the former sounds more romantic, more indicative of “true love”. But I reckon actually the second is deeper and more touching. Because the first is that the person basically loves, what, your name? What you look like? If they still love you above all others even if you become, essentially, a completely different person, does that not mean that their love now isn’t really for who you actually are?

Option 1: you can rely on this partner to be there for you regardless, because there’s nothing you could do that would cause her to stop “loving” you.

Option 2: you know that your partner actually loves you, not other stuff about you.

I think I’d prefer to hear the second one. I’d prefer my partner loved me for who I am, and if I abandoned that, if I became someone else, it would cause her to reassess.

I can condemn the Italian captain’s “cowardice” because of all the sinking ships I’ve bravely reboarded

I have been thoroughly cheered by the vigorous denunciation around the world of Captain Schettino abandoning the sinking Costa Concordia cruise liner whilst passengers were still aboard. Allegedly he refused to get back on the ship until either all the passengers were safely off, or until it sank and he could drown with those left behind. So now he’s both still alive and the target of global contempt and condemnation for his failure.

Cheered because I’m assuming that all those mocking Schettino for his “cowardice” have, of course, done similarly brave things in the past themselves. A majority have probably got back on a sinking ship so they can speak from experience, and those who haven’t definitely would have in other circumstances had the courage to stand up, when their body and mind were telling them to panic, and literally taken on board (so to speak) the serious and imminent likelihood of a painful, horrible death, in order to save others.

That so many people have apparently already done this is immensely reassuring. (It’s also reassuring to see how many have, apparently, survived their self-sacrifice so they can now commentate on others’.)

I refuse to countenance the other possibility – that most of the commentary is by self-righteous hypocrites savagely pontificating from the safety of their keyboards about how others they’ve never met, but who hold jobs they’ve apparently romanticised as requiring a willingness to stay aboard a sinking vessel to drown, should be held to a standard of self-sacrifice that they’ve ever managed themselves. That they’ve convinced themselves that somehow tearing down someone else for “cowardice” makes them implicitly more brave themselves – that the more vindictive and nasty they are about this man’s failure, the more it makes them appear to be the sort of heroic people who we should admire. The more they differentiate themselves from this person’s failure, the further from such a failure they must be themselves, even though that doesn’t actually make any sense.

I really hope that’s not the case. Because that would be horrible:

The captain of the Costa Concordia is being pilloried for abandoning his ship and passengers, but would we have shown more courage?

COURAGE is a virtue and heroism is admirable, but do we have a right to demand them? Which of us cannot look back on his or her own life and remember decisions or compromises made, or silences kept because of cowardice, even when the penalties for courage were negligible?

If we are cowardly in small things, shall we be brave in large? Have we the right to point the finger until we have been tested ourselves? When we read of the seemingly lamentable conduct of the captain of the Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino, who left his passengers to their fate, do we say, ”There but for the grace of God go I?”

No, we’re all heroes. All of us condemning the Italian captain have proven ourselves in the same or a very similar situation. We’re not shameless hypocrites!

Meanwhile, apparently the Coast Guard official who bravely climbed aboard the stricken vessel putting his life at risk to save others berated the distressed captain over the phone has become an “overnight star” in Italy.

The rest of us ordinary mortals are left to hope that one day we might have the guts to order, from a safe distance, someone else to sacrifice their life – whilst shouting at them and calling them a cock.

It’s a wonder any of us were ever born

How to antagonise a certain older relative, suggestion #47: mock people of the past for nasty attitudes about certain other of their contemporaries, attitudes we should apparently forgive and treat with respect because back then everybody (except for the marginalised group itself, and sometimes even they) did it.

Today’s examples, courtesy of Retronaut: Vintage ad sexism and Tips for Single Women, 1938. (Follow the links for the images.)

“Don’t be familiar with your escort by caressing him in public. Any open show of affection is in bad taste, usually embarrasses or humiliates him.”

EWWW! Affection from a woman! How HUMILIATING!

Merry annual gift-giving family celebration!

And a happy arbitrary calendar change holiday, too.

PS Have you ever got a bit stroppy on your birthday thinking about your advancing years and chucked a temper tantrum involving hurling hailstones at an entire city? No?

I told you it wasn’t okay, Jebus.

Once upon a time there was a lovely little sausage called Charlotte

Seriously? That’s a Charlotte Bronte manuscript?

It looks like Baldrick’s novel.

Sanctimony Central

No, not this leftist blog (we’re Sanctimony Junction) – this thread at on extra-marital “affairs” and what to do about them.

You could spend a weekend unpacking the assumptions and prejudices and self-righteousness packed into those comments.

PS Is it surprising that someone would’ve been sad to see the end of Boreanaz? His leaving certainly improved Buffy.

Ticket to what?

Oh, look. The Age has discovered modern board games.

Although I presume it’s buried in the print edition where no-one will see it.