Alternative Lifestyle

Look, I figured out what those words really mean. You see, the alternative lifestyle – i.e. the one that is not mainstream, is not traditional, and has a very, very limited basis in history, but not reality – is the one wherein two chaste virgins marry and never even neck until after the ceremony, is the one that must be the alternative that I keep hearing about.

Really, you’re talking about gentrified, pre-arranged couples, in the upper class, among a very small part of the human population, during a limited time in the history of those nations. Frankly, even there, the only “chaste” one was the female, and it was still very, very normal for engaged couples to do what came naturally.

All in all, it’s the only definition of “Alternative Lifestyle” that makes any sense whatsoever.

(In case you don’t know why I bring it up, look back a few days. I encountered a magazine that surprised me with its guidelines. I’m still trying to reconcile the person I know with the guidelines… But, I won’t tell you which one, and I’ll delete any comment that names it specifically. We are not here to bash magazines. We are here to wonder, amazed at an aspect of the market that seems representative of a prejudice in our larger culture. It is her magazine, after all, and her guidelines can demand stories about one-legged monkeys on spaceships, if she so chooses.)

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3 thoughts on “Alternative Lifestyle

  1. What you are encountering is just another aspect of the consensual hallucination that we call “Our Reality” Other aspects of this hallucination include the concept of “money” and that it has intrinsic value, and that politicians and lawyers should be paid huge amounts of money to tell us what to do and the people that educate and protect us (teachers, police/fire/EMT) should be paid minimally and should be the first one’s to get cut during a budget crisis.

  2. Interesting. Do you really have any statistical information about how many couples in 1570 or 1820 or 1950 had premarital sex, or is this just the postmodern delusion that “everybody in the past was just like me” — the Hollywood version of history? Because I can guarantee you that 9th century Japan was different. 12th century England was different. When you have truly different belief systems and truly different incentives, and no contraception, you get truly different behaviors.The current “lets all just have babies without committed relationships” binge has consequences. Maybe it’s not seen as “alternative” anymore, maybe sleeping around and collecting VDs is the default behavior and maybe no one’s talking about the consequences, but they’re there.I won’t pretend to talk about the national statistics, which are sad, but I’ll happily talk about what works: committed lifetime monogamy with an awesome person who you respect.I didn’t say it was easy, but it works.That’s why I don’t have a problem with a publisher having standards that eliminate certain unhealthy behaviors. If you believe your characters simply *must* smoke, or have sex with chipmunks, or eat human babies — breaded and deep-fat-fried — then I’m sure you can find an outlet elsewhere.

  3. Dal, I posted a lengthy response to your post that, apparently, didn’t go through.Look, man, you are putting your cultural blinders on and seeing things that aren’t there.You are imposing your values upon my post, and I don’t appreciate that. You are also woefully misguided about history, in many ways.I do, actually, have statistical information on 1570 and prior. Church confessional records give us that data, for instance, as do myriad of literary sources and court documents from numerous time periods and cultures. I strongly urge you to take off your own cultural blinders.I am not attacking this unnamed magazine. It is her magazine, and she can make whatever guidelines she wants.I am attacking the guidelines that reflect a form of quiet prejudice in mainstream culture that labels things “alternative” as a way to dismiss them from respectful, human discourse. Which sucks. How come you get to be the one to choose what is and is not alternative? Your cultural blinders have imposed a series of issues upon the actual issue that have nothing to do with this debate, and reveal your own lack of research on this issue. It is particularly telling to me that you choose medieval Japan, where Pedophile Sodomy was culturally acceptable, and medieval century England where we got such lovely traditions as “Prima Nocta”, and raping women of a lower station impregnating them out of wedlock was as common as nightfall.The only thing all of our ancestors have in common is that none of them were celibate.

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