Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ecclesiastes, Chapter 4: Happiness is a warm puppy

Preacher looks around at the oppressed and the oppressors, how neither side has a comforter, and decides that being dead is really the best thing. But not until he finishes the book, one hopes.

Then he looks at people who live alone, who have all that money and no one to share it with, and concludes that being married is more satisfying, because then you have someone to come home and bitch to about your boss and how hard you work. Unless someone comes up with the idea of host and hostess bars like the Japanese. I always knew they were the most civilised people on earth.

Other benefits to having a partner, and note here that nowhere in the text does it say 'husband and wife', just 'two': if you fall down, your honey can pick you up; when it's cold at night, the other one keeps you warm; and if you're in a dispute, the other person has your back. There's even a seeming reference to group marriage when the author tells us that and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (v. 12). Now, I agree that having a partner is lovely if it's what you want, but for those who enjoy time on their own or aren't inclined towards relationships, I'm glad we live in a consumer culture where all these problems have solutions that don't require a full-time spouse.

It is better to be poor and wise than a foolish king. I'm not sure who they asked about that. Certainly not Jerry Falwell.

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