Thursday, April 23, 2009

broken home

"we are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. it is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person" -- william somerset maugham [1874-1965]

the photo above is one i took in a friend's house which has been boarded up for well over a decade as a mausoleum. it has been left untouched, the family home where he grew up playing on his bicycle on the driveway etc since the day his parents divorced. it's the most eerie altar to a forgotten era & lost love i've ever seen. the dust-heavy sadness so thick you can almost cut it with a knife, or camera lens.

statistics show that half of all american children will witness the break-up of a parent's marriage. of these, close to half will also see the break-up of a parent's second marriage. the figures in australia are not so different.

the decrease in social stigma of divorce in western civilisation has resulted in phenomenal growth of marriages terminated before "death do us part". there are other valid reasons too but this seems to be a huge contributing factor.

the institution of marriage is not what it once was and is something of a static white elephant. it was always an arguably patriarchal property transaction which both diminished & dehumanised women.

ironically today in NSW, australia, marriage actually offers women more property rights protection than the property act will under a de facto or common law relationship in the event of a breakdown. this legislation is currently under review. like almost everything else it will however be decided by men.

more important than anything is that our society still leans on an unrealistic archaic nuclear family model where children and adults alike form expectations of blissful permanence. when the structure capsizes, as it invariably does more than 50% of the time, the support network is cumbersome & unworkable. it comes as a crushing blow regardless of marrying in perfectly with probability.

"broken home" has actually been eradicated from the everyday vernacular in a sociological trickledown effect because it implies damage, which is well documented. the hurt didn't stop, a politically correct band-aid just got stuck on.

monogamy is an artificial device created by religion to invalidate polytheism & age-old gaia based worship and to wield control over the populace. more & more it is being proven not to work even though it's a delightful idea which sells hallmark cards. only 3% of species on earth are and it's increasingly apparent that we're more often than not, not one of them.

right wing religious groups hate the increased failure & apparent extinction of the marriage model because over 80% of children who are products of broken homes end up living with their mothers without an alleged stable father figure. a whole society of bastards growing up in semi-matriarchal sustenance which completely disempowers the church and undermines its age-old antiwomen propaganda!

despite marriage not being forever, people keep doing it expecting it to be, although marriage statistics are on the decline. unmarried household couples are still on an exponential increase [and have been since the mid 80s according to the US census bureau].

the joining of assets through wedded or common law union has never been a more legally active endeavor & pre-nups/co-habitation agreements keep lawyers happily scribing, buzzing like busy worker bees. their large pools, homes and cars: testament to the boom in family/property law. it's a lucrative business. between my ex-fiancé & myself, 320 000 AUD was spent warring over just one property. a very large chunk on legals, and that was for a very inconsequential settlement... love lost, the lawyers won.

we grow up under the false premise of a hans christian anderson sterilised fairy tale blended with a zero coke commercial where love is pure romance and we all end up energetically galloping off to the castle beyond the sunset with princes on our high horses with decreasing waistlines & a perpetually frosted vision. too bad if you get the lame pony... like most of us invariably will.

perhaps not just us as individuals, but the whole face of our society can implement real change in a positive way now, not to be the same as the last. who knows? if stupid white men remain in power probably not. but as they are increasingly raised by women & others in household models which deviate "from the norm" and various versions of SWM invade the white house, local government, our court rooms etc perhaps there's a chance the cycle will continue to evolve/devolve. still that's what was said post revolutionary haight-ashbury days. after burning bras, tuning in & dropping out, massive hypocrisy reigned and the beat generation mutated mostly back into their 1950s conservative parents. the acid came out in the wash.

maybe there's a future where lovely homes like my friend's needn't be shut up indefinitely so that painful memories can't escape to haunt those who still can't bear the heart-deep emotional scars. a place where it's not necessary to hide behind locked doors. i suspect that is a world where santa & easter bunny's masks have melted off revealing the corporate money making machine behind them. it might just take awhile.

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