A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The On-going Collapse of the Modern Ages

Remember the people who married inanimate objects , like the Eiffel Tower (in a touching ceremony attended by a few close friends), and the woman who (possibly in a very expensive joke) married herself?
The on-going redefinition of marriage continues now with an Australian man who has married his pet dog:

"Puppy Love: Man Marries a Real Dog"--headline, Toowoomba (Australia) Chronicle, Dec. 1

A YOUNG Toowoomba man yesterday tied the knot with his best friend – a five-year-old labrador.
In perhaps a first for the Garden City, Laurel Bank Park hosted the wedding of Joseph Guiso and Honey, a labrador he adopted five years ago.
Thirty of the couple’s closest friends and family were in attendance for the emotional ceremony, held at dusk.
"You’re my best friend and you make every part of my day better," Mr Guiso’s vows read.
The couple decided on the location – and to tie the knot - after stumbling upon a wedding in Laurel Bank Park during an afternoon walk.
"I said that could be us," Mr Guiso said.
"She didn’t say anything so I took that as a yes."
That "perhaps a first" was a nice touch.  It's not clear if the bride's age is an issue under Australian law.  Nor is it clear how many of the wedding guests were from the bride's side.  But one imagines a sordid possibility in which a smooth-talking seducer, waving a porterhouse steak before Honey, entices her to leave her husband and get a divorce.  Would the she be entitled to a share of Mr. Guiso's property?  What if Mr. Guiso feeds another dog?  Would that constitute unfaithfulness?  If the marriage is not consummated, can it then be annulled?  The mind boggles!

OK.  No it doesn't.  But that's because everyone knows (except perhaps Mr. Guiso) that this is not a real marriage.  There are no potential offspring to protect; no family alliances.  It is only play-marriage, one more example of how the Post-Modern Age's use of the forms of Modern institutions without adopting the matter of the institution.  And form without matter is not substantial.* 

And isn't the emptying out of the substance of marriage the whole point? 

(* form without substance.  For another example, consider how Late Modern dictatorships and tyrannies employ the forms of democracy - elections, plebiscites, parliaments - without the substance.)

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