Saturday, February 6, 2016

Dude... (Part Two)

I wrote a post (Dude... - 11.7.15) that was about explaining to my first born grandchild why he should go to great lengths to avoid reproducing himself unless/until he's half of a stable marriage. I also alluded to the importance of keeping ones rascal wrapped in our brave new world and warned him there would be more unsolicited advice in the future.

In retrospect, I believe I should have said more about the importance of rascal wrapping. While I'm certain that the vast majority of fledgling grups have at least a fundamental knowledge of the facts concerning reproduction and of STD's, I'm equally certain, being a recovering callowyute myself, that there's no shortage of bonkercockie being bandied about in both restrooms and homerooms.

Dude... the bottom line is that the Earth has no shortage of cooties, or, shell-shocked looking callowyutes whose story includes the sentence, "I had no idea you could get pregnant and/or infected from _____." The only way around rascal wrapping is a via a monogamous relationship, with someone you trust, after you've both been certified as cootie free. Yet another reason I'm glad I'm old.

Now, it's virtually impossible for you to grasp the full significance of what's coming up next. This isn't because of any sort of deficiency on your part, it's because you're going to have to live a bit more to fully understand what I'm talking about. And oh yeah, this might be the a good place to remind you that if you can manage to keep paying attention as you go through life (so you don't start rusting) you'll find that 30 is to 20 as third grade is to second. That is, you'll keep getting smarter, the intervals just get longer.

When I was your age, in the late 1960's, one of the many things many of us baby boomer types thought we should  be rebelling against was traditional sexual mores. It was/is/always has been/always will be normal for adolescent callowyutes to rebel, to one degree or another, against something. Fortunately and unfortunately, our turn coincided with a perfect storm of cultural chaos unleashed by a whole bunch of dramatic developments happening at the same time that spread faster than a common cold in a small school due to the fact it happened just as the information age was picking up steam electrons.

The traditional American sexual mores that we thought needed upgrading, the ones we were brought up with, went something like this. You weren't supposed to have sex until you got married. Then, you weren't supposed to have sex with anyone other than your spouse. You weren't even supposed to have sex with yourself, married or otherwise. While no shortage of the conservative factions of various religious sects still maintain this is the way to go, at the time, this was the view the culture, in general, pretended to profess.

Of course, as Mark Twain pointed out, all generalizations are false, including this one. Beware of complex topics reduced to a paragraph, I would add.

[Dude's brow furrows. Wait a minute...pretended? ]

Yup. Men will be monkeys and society will tolerate hypocrisy if there's a consensus that this is what's necessary to keep a lid on things. Long story short: A few thousand years of patriarchy combined with certain religious and moral teachings resulted in a world in which men that fornicated (Merriam-Webster, Fornication: consensual sexual intercourse between two persons not married to each other) were considered to be studs/manly men/bad boys/rogues/etc. and the women they fornicated with were considered to be whores. Sounds sorta/kinda goofy and it was/is.

[Goofy is putting it mildly, how the hell..]

A great idea, monogamy, gone bad. Evolution/biology/DNA has resulted in a world in which a human males best chance to replicate themselves is by having sex with as many human females as possible. Human females best chance results from finding one decent guy that's willing to stick around. Making all this even more complicated is that while the males that drive the most expensive cars and at least appear to be emotionally and physically healthy are gonna' attract the hot chicks. Hot chicks will attract all males because we tend to spend our lives being led around by our, um, lusty natures. To ensure, that despite our natural inclinations, we can cooperate to bring down a wooly mammoth, invent civilization, and participate in block parties without the police having to eventually be called, we came up with a really cool idea, monogamy.

One man + one woman = stable civilization. If the alpha males are limited to one wife, there are more women around for us ordinary men to marry. Having a wife of our own, if we're lucky enough to get one, negates our having to kill an alpha male just so we can get..., um, companionship. Civilization (and  plenty of wooly burgers) ensues. Males (in theory) can count on getting..., um, companionship and an occasional meal that isn't served in a bag. Females (in theory) get companionship, a champion to protect the kids and somebody to take out the trash.

Unfortunately, human males are generally physically larger and generally unable to suppress their inner monkey as successfully as human females. Unfortunate because this led to patriarchal societies in which the males often treat the females as chattel while pretending to be monogamous (wink, wink -- nudge, nudge). Religions, organized and otherwise, tended, and tend, to support this system and somewhere along the way it was decided that the same rules applied to the unmarried as well.

Unfortunately for you dude, we baby boomers fixed (picture air quotes) this mess before you came along. Our solution was worse than the problem. What follows is my usual vast oversimplification. In my defense, I can't crank out a book once a week and I'm in a bit of a hurry to record what little wisdom I've managed to unearth in the course of my life. This is so that you, your brother, and your two sisters might still benefit in some small way if I'm suddenly not here anymore. This might be a good place to remind you that though you are a blended family, you are brothers and sisters (ya'll got lucky), and anyone that tells you otherwise is full of shit.

Due to the pill (more air quotes), and unprecedented levels of health, prosperity, education and communication, it became possible for the culture to be radically changed remarkably quickly. The ideal result, in my semi-humble opinion, would've been a culture where people were more circumspect than ever about who and when they married and when they reproduced. Not because of hidebound conventions but because it just makes sense. Social science, history, and the common sense (SSHCS) available to anyone that's paying attention all point to the necessity of stable marriages of equal partners that stay together as the ideal to be strived for.

Single people need not deprive themselves of sexual partners. However, SSHCS should teach us that accidental reproduction is to be avoided, that a kid needs a mom and a dad, that the quality of sex rises dramatically when you're at least deeply in like with your partner, and that an endless parade of multiple partners is not a whole lot different than masturbation via an android (potentially fun, but just not the same as the real thing).


We didn't get the ideal result. Humans never do, but that's another post. What we did get grew out of a if it feels good do it/do your own thing/live for today/sex, drugs and rock and roll ethos. The CDC says roughly 40% of kids in the USA are born out of wedlock. (For the record, there's no such thing as an illegitimate kid. There is, however, no shortage of illegitimate parents. Many are married.) You've no doubt noticed the word is knee deep in STD's. Divorce rates are between 40 and 50%.

Modesty, restraint, and good taste have gone out of style. Sex saturates the media. We've defined deviancy down (google Daniel Patrick Moynihan) to almost the vanishing point. Sorry dude.

Have an OK day.                                                                                  

©Mark Mehlmauer 2016

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