Thursday, March 27, 2008


The Comedy Channel advertises some of its more popular stand-up comics with a series of short sound bites, featuring loony looking childish men of various ages making smart alecky punch lines which have them rolling in the aisles.

Marriage, yells one of them in one such swiftclip, is like having cable with only one channel. This is more or less the prevailing wisdom in mainstream and off-mainstream media, that marriage is chiefly about men bridling against the constraints of monogamy.

This bit of story, which I read today on Normblog, hit me with a gust of fresh sea air, as though I'd stepped from a roomful of raucous sweaty human beings unto an empty stretch of beach in the middle of the night. Suddenly, the light comes from the incandescent stars, the only sound is that of the waves lapping up against the sand, and everything is so clear and simple:

Richard Widmark who has died at the age of 93, ... "was a mild-mannered former teacher who had married his college sweetheart, the actress Jean Hazelwood, and who told a reporter 48 years later that he had never been unfaithful and had never even flirted with women because, he said, "I happen to like my wife a lot."


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