Adonis Diaries

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1 student + 1 petition = staggering

It’s staggering what one person can accomplish these days with the help of the internet.

Take Christine, a UK student at Leeds University. She was shocked when she heard that Syrian students at her school might be expelled and even deported back to the nightmare in Syria because they couldn’t pay their school fees, some because their families had been killed or impoverished.

Christine stepped in and actually saved hundreds of students at dozens of universities from this fate! (And what is the full name of Christine?)

Christine delivering petition

She did it by getting together with some friends and starting a petition on the Avaaz community petitions website. 

The petition was good, sensible, and emotionally compelling. She only sent it to a few friends, but they sent it to more, and it soon blew up on twitter, with over 45,000 people signing!

The Avaaz team helped Christine get the story on TV and in major newspapers, and government ministers pushed schools to waive fees and launched a plan to make sure no student ever faces expulsion because of war back home again.

This stuff is powerful, it’s the next generation of Avaaz, where any one of us can start campaigns in our communities, nations and even globally.

The potential of this to change the world is why our community is now offering up to $10,000 in support of the best petitions started by our members to make the biggest impact possible.

Imagine not only getting thousands of people behind a cause, but also having $10,000 to fund the best way to win – anything from dozens of radio ads to funding a rally to building a giant billboard or float. The new simplified petition site means it takes just a minute to give it a shot, on literally anything you know needs to change:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition/?cl=3406468130&v=30133
(Or click here to get started in Arabic)

The students’ victory was a ray of hope for Syrians at a time when their fate is so uncertain — caught between a brutal dictator and the whims of heads of state playing politics. It’s also a powerful reminder that when a small group of committed community campaigners are supported by the amazing Avaaz community there’s no limit to what we can achieve together.

Getting started is simple, and only takes a few minutes.

Then once your petition is up and running, you can watch it spread from friends and family, and into the hands of passionate supporters around the world. The Avaaz community will vote to choose the ten best petition ideas with the potential to dramatically change our communities, cities or countries, and the campaigns get up to $10,000 in financial support to supercharge their call.

Many of our recent victories came from campaigns started by Avaaz members, from giving Syrian students the right to continue their studies abroad, to helping stop a company from abusing migrant workers in Bahrain. All these just took a few minutes to get started — together, the Avaaz community can multiply our impact a thousand times over.

With hope and excitement for all we can achieve together,

Pascal, Emily, Oli, David, Emma, Ricken and the whole Avaaz team

More Information

Here’s the original Avaaz petition calling on UK universities to stop expelling Syrian students:https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop_UK_universities_from_expelling_Syrian_students/

Minister tells universities to defer fees for Syrian students (The Guardian)
http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/mar/04/defer-fees-syrian-students-universities

Syrian students face fees crisis (BBC)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-21129735

Syrian students ‘should study at UK universities for free’ (Telegraph)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9905799/Syrian-students-should-study-at-U…

Syrian Students In UK Face ‘Deportation, Torture, Death’ As Cannot Pay Tuition Fees (Huffington Post)
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/01/14/syrian-students-face-deportation-death-torture-tuition-fe…

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Repeat Budget Shutdowns? Negotiating a Bargain version of Capitalism 3.0?

David Rothkopf, the chief executive and editor-at-large of Foreign Policy magazine, has a new book out, entitled “Power, Inc.”
It is about the epic rivalry between big business and government that captures what the 2012 election should be about.
And it’s not “contraception”: It’s the future of “Capitalism” and whether it will be shaped in America or somewhere else.
Rothkopf argues that, while for much of the 20th century the great struggle on the world stage was between capitalism and communism, the great struggle in the 21st century will be about which version of capitalism will win, which one will prove the most effective at generating growth and become the most emulated.

Will it be Beijing’s capitalism with Chinese characteristics?” asks Rothkopf.

“Will it be the democratic development capitalism of India and Brazil?

Will it be entrepreneurial small-State capitalism of Singapore and Israel?

Will it be European safety-net capitalism? Or will it be American capitalism?”

It raises another question: “What is American capitalism today, and what will enable it to thrive in the 21st century?”

Rothkopf’s view is that the bargain that most admired and system tried to emulate about American capitalism is precisely what we’ve been ignoring: America’s success for over 200 years was largely due to its healthy, balanced public-private partnership.

Mainly, the government provided the institutions, rules, safety nets, education, research and infrastructure to empower the private sector to innovate, invest and take the risks that promote growth and jobs.

As the private sector overwhelms the public, you get the 2008 subprime crisis.

When the public overwhelms the private, you get choking regulations.

You need a balance, which is why we have to get past this cartoon argument that “the choice is either all government or all the market”

The lesson of history is that capitalism thrives best when you have this balance, and “when you lose the balance, you get in trouble.”

For that reason, the ideal 2012 election would be one that offered the public competing conservative and liberal versions of the key grand bargains, the key balances, that America needs to forge to adapt its capitalism to this century.

First grand bargain is to repair our long-term structural deficit via tax reform:

by phasing in $1 in tax increases for every $3 to $4 in cuts to entitlements and defense over the next decade. If the Republican Party continues to take the view that there must be no tax increases, we’re stuck. Capitalism can’t work without safety nets or fiscal prudence, and we need both in a sustainable balance.

As part of this, we will need an inter-generational grand bargain so we don’t end up in an inter-generational civil war. We need a proper balance between government spending on nursing homes and nursery schools — on the last six months of life and the first six months of life.

Second grand bargain we need is between the environmental community and the oil and gas industry over how to do two things at once: safely exploit America’s new found riches in natural gas, while simultaneously building a bridge to a low-carbon energy economy, with greater emphasis on energy efficiency.

Third grand bargain we need is on infrastructure.

We have more than a $2 trillion deficit in bridges, roads, airports, ports and bandwidth, and the government doesn’t have the money to make it up. We need a bargain that enables the government to both enlist and partner with the private sector to unleash private investments in infrastructure that will serve the public and offer investors appropriate returns.

Fourth grand bargain should focus on education and health care.

We need grand bargains that better allocate resources between remediation and prevention. In both health and education, we spend more than anyone else in the world — with no better outcomes. We waste too much money treating people for preventable diseases and re-teaching students in college what they should have learned in high school. Modern capitalism requires skilled workers and workers with portable health care that allows them to move for any job.

Fifth grand bargain  among employers, employees and government.  In Germany government provides the incentives for employers to hire, train and retrain labor.

We can’t have any of these bargains without a more informed public debate. Bill Gates said to me in a recent interview “The big thing that’s missing in U.S. politics today is this technocratic understanding of the facts and where things are working and where they’re not working,” so the debate can be driven by data, not ideology.

Capitalism and political systems — like companies — must constantly evolve to stay vital. People are watching how we evolve and whether our version of democratic capitalism can continue to thrive. A lot is at stake here.

Rothkopf argues: “If we continue to treat politics as a reality show played for cheap theatrics, we increase the likelihood that the next chapter in the ongoing story of capitalism is going to be written somewhere else.” End of quote

I have My set of Grand Bargain priorities:

First grand bargain: Drop the laws on tax-exempt religious businesses, cancel the privileges that clerics enjoy that common citizens lack, penalize candidates and institutions (private and public) that capitalize on religious “fervor” in order to gain election votes or pressure public institutions…

Second grand bargain: Be candid and make transparent on what capitalism is based on. For example,

1. Keeping 20% of the population poor regardless of surpluses, so that this part of the population keeps maintaining the capitalists interests in low paying-jobs,

2. Inventing preemptive wars in order to capture the surplus in lower middle-class citizens that capitalism claims its inability to absorb in the market place.

3. Appointing a council of 10 members, independent of the government, to investigate financial irregularities in ministries and pinpointing publicly the conflict of interests and biases in public institutions

Third grand bargain in political reforms. For example:

1. Denying the President the right to appoint Supreme Court judges

2. Making election laws fair, affordable, understandable and readable by the common citizen

3. Curtailing the absolute monarchic rights of Presidents

4. Eliminating the incarceration policy of youth in schools for 13 years because they are too virulent for the system to contain their aspiration for change and reforms

5. Setting a cap on upper income and enforcing the concept of reducing inequality image among communities…You may add your alternatives, and they are many…

Note: You may read on private properties https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/part-2-private-properties-can-capitalism-be-reformed/

Benjamin Fogel posted on “Africa is a country” this Sept.26, 2013  “Make Bono History”

Firstly Bono is collaborating with brostep pioneer Skrillex to save the African children. (They were together in Ghana last month.)

Secondly The Observer (or The Guardian; it’s the same thing) has just published what might just be the most revealing and absurd interview with the world’s most self-righteous tax-dodging man who never removes his shades.

The article was titled “There is a difference between cosying up to power and being close to power,” something Bono apparently is an expert in.

The interview was conducted in some underground bar in Accra rather than in Bono’s land of origin, where he talked about his “25 years as an activist for African development” and the late Seamus Heaney.

image

For those whose hatred of Bono is as deep and visceral as mine or those who are merely looking for concrete reasons to despise on this particular celebrity do-gooder, be sure to check out Harry Browne’s devastating take-down The Frontman published by Verso as part of their Counterblast series — other targets put to the metaphorical sword in this series include such verbose and smug apostles of imperialism as Thomas Friedman, the late Christopher Hitchens and Bernard-Henri Lévy.

For those who avoid the high cult of tech utopianism, platitudes and technocracy known as TED talks: you might not know that Bono now describes himself as a “factivist” or in the words of the mildly sycophantic Tim Adams interviewer a “nerd who is aroused by the statistics of development” or in the words of Harry Browne, “Human beings have been campaigning against inequality and poverty for 3,000 years. But this journey is accelerating. Bono ‘embraces his inner nerd’ and shares inspiring data that shows the end of poverty is in sight… if we can harness the momentum.”

This data that so arouses Bono, according to Harry Browne, is mostly fantastical in nature.

Bono clearly takes great pride in his ability to get such diverse elites as the hawkish republican senator Lindsey Graham, former Bush jr cabinet member Condi Rice and the aforementioned EDM superstar Skrillex together in exotic locales like “this beyond-cool village bar” in Monrovia.

Bono also likes to boast about spending a lot of time with that famous humanitarian force known to the public as the US military — he has no qualms at all at courting these kind of interests and hanging out with such figures as General Jim Jones, Obama’s former National Security Advisor during Obama’s escalation of drone attacks on “militants” (anyone brown and male in the wrong place at the wrong time) in Pakistan.

When asked the tough questions like: ”The persistent liberal view would be that you should never get into bed with neocons under any circumstances … ?”, Bono always has the glib response:

Try telling that to the woman who is about to lose her third child to HIV/Aids. I know I couldn’t do that.

Or the woman who has lost her third child to a drone strike in Somalia or Pakistan.

Or:

But isn’t the poverty that engenders these catastrophes structural – and created directly by the policies of some western governments? 

That these problems are structural is true.

Of course it is. And you can always say that tending to the wounded will not stop the war.

But the world is an imperfect place. While we are waiting for capitalism to reform itself, or another system to emerge, or for these countries, as Ghana is clearly doing, to move toward the point when they don’t need our assistance, we have a problem.

What you might call the situation on the ground. And our angle is really that we will use anyone who can help with that. When I came here, and visited hospitals with thousands of people camping outside for treatment, for drugs (medicine?) that were not available, I wanted to do what I could to make the madness stop.

Watching lives implode in front of your eyes for no reason. Children in their mother’s arms go into that awful silence. And looking to the side and seeing the health workers and seeing the rage inside of them. I just thought: I’ll do what I can. And I will talk to anybody

That inside game sometimes looks like a cosy relationship with power…

It does confuse people. But there is a difference between cosying up to power and being close to power.

Really? In Bono’s world the causes of the very problems he is trying to solve are irrelevant to the solutions in the sense that many of these problems emerge because Bono’s friends are busy fucking over the very people he is trying to help in Africa on a fairly consistent basis.

Bono is a sinister piece because he endorses a vision of social change as elite-driven technocratic solutions which can’t be questioned or critiqued because of the immediacy of intervening to save the poor black children.

In other words he is part of re-branding the vision of such famously “altruistic organizations” as the World Bank and IMF as part of an international aid campaign which can get on board rock stars, the Clinton and the Nelson Mandela foundation.

In effect it is reinforcing the same political arrangements which are responsible for the African debt crisis which Bono got his political start on in the first place. Bono of course doesn’t realize the irony of trying to make debt history by aligning himself with the World Bank and bankers. This vision of ‘humanitarianism’ or ‘aid’ is premised around billionaires throwing money at things and is all about the Übermensch figure of the philanthropist as the vanguard of social change along with the the celebrity rock star.

The ideological guise of “act now” obscures the necessity of understanding the actual political reasons for underdevelopment, famine and war on the African continent, Inter-imperialist rivalry and the new scramble for raw materials from Nigeria to Mozambique as well as the history of debt are subsumed under this dumbed-down vision of ‘humanitarianism’.

He provides a celebrity cover for imperialism and promotes a substanceless vision of development in which the agency of poor black Africans is non-existent. Instead they exist as passive subjects just waiting for Bono to parachute in and hand out same aid parcels. Oh and also he is a dick and proud tax-dodger in country (Ireland) which has just seen its economy collapse in debt crises brought upon by a rather loose and corrupt financial regime.

As Harry Browne once again succinctly puts it:

His significance, however diminished, is as a frontman, witting or not, for those who want to maintain and extend their dominion over the earth, and to make that dominion less and less accountable to the assembled riff-raff. That’s why it’s so important that he is Not allowed to take ownership of the protest song in the same way he has previously seized, say, the color red or the idea of making poverty history.

Then there’s this from The Observer interview:

The other persistent criticism is about [U2’s] decision to offshore part of their income through the Netherlands to avoid tax.

Was it not hypocrisy for you to try to hold the Irish government to account for its spending while going through fairly exhaustive efforts to avoid paying into the Irish exchequer yourself?

It is not an intellectually rigorous position unless you understand that at the heart of the Irish economy has always been the philosophy of tax competitiveness.

Tax competitiveness has taken our country out of poverty. People in the revenue accept that if you engage in that policy then some people are going to go out, and some people are coming in.

It has been a successful policy. On the cranky left that is very annoying, I can see that. But tax competitiveness is why Ireland has stayed afloat.

When the Germans tried to impose a different tax regime on the country in exchange for a bailout, the taoiseach said they would rather not have the bailout. So U2 is in total harmony with our government’s philosophy.

The good news however is people are fighting back against the scourge of Bono:

I was booed by all the young entrepreneurs in the audience who thought I was peddling this idea of a supplicant Africa, which I happen to think could not be further from the truth.

In the very same week I was chased down the street in Germany by a bunch of anarchists at the G8 summit, wielding placards and shouting “Make Bono history!” – which even as I was running for my life I thought was a pretty good line.

So: we are doing something right – we are annoying both the capitalists in Africa, and the anti-capitalists in Europe. The thing is, I am not an idealist, never have been, I am just quite pragmatic about finding solutions.

Even young African entrepreneurs in Tanzania, supposedly the sort of people Bono believes are key to ‘African development’, are joining the rapidly growing “Make Bono history” camp. This is at least heartening news

Martha Graham’s advice to fellow dancer & choreographer Agnes de Mille

Chantal Mailhac shared a photo14 hrs · 
Image may contain: text

Miranda July. April 11, 2016 · 

(Martha Graham’s advice to fellow dancer & choreographer Agnes de Mille)

Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 188

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pa attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

“Born in the USA,” Bruce Springsteen. People usually think this song is about: Being uber patriotic. But it’s really about: Casting a critical and mournful eye on America and its involvement in war.

“Imagine,” John Lennon. People usually think this is about: A gentle musing on peace and global unity. But it’s really about: Radical, revolutionary ideas on how to achieve that peace.

“Semi-Charmed Life,” Third Eye Blind. People usually think this is about: The desire to rise above the pitfalls of life. But it’s really about: Drug addiction.

“American Pie,” Don McLean. People usually think this is about: Having some sort of whiskey-fueled karaoke night with friends. (In other words, they have no idea.) But it’s really about: The end of an era.

“Closing Time,” Semisonic. People usually think this is about: What’ll come next after last call at the bar. But it’s really about: Childbirth

“Time of Your Life,” Green Day. People usually think this is about: Offering someone best wishes for their future. But it’s really about: Telling an ex-girlfriend not to let the door hit her on the way out.

“Slide,” the Goo Goo Dolls. People usually think this is about: Being in love. But it’s really about: Abortion.

“It Was a Good Day,” Ice Cube. People usually think this is about: An epic 24 hours that took place in either November 1988 or January 1992. But it’s really about: The dream of having a day without police harassment and gun violence.

“Mother and Child Reunion,” Paul Simon. People usually think this is about: The intense connection between a mother and her offspring. But it’s really about: Chinese food

“Bad Reputation,” Joan Jett. People usually think this is about: A general anthem for rebels. But it’s really about: Joan Jett fighting past rejection.

“You’re Beautiful,” has nothing to do with a loving, body-positive relationship and everything to do with a stalker who’s stoned out of his mind.

Tree satyagraha (tree hugging) to prevent the tree of being cut down?

Shou sayerlon hal Mawarina? 3aja2et fi Deir Mar Maroun bil Koneitra (Al Metn). fata7o al salon kaman. Wa ma fi shortet sayr ta ye 7al7el al a3j2at

Fi 3enna 12 kaniseh. Bass kellon taffou 3a Mar Maroun. Saar al Marouni 3endo direction, with a bleak destiny

Samir Gea3ja 3endo Alzheimer: 3ayesh bil maadi, Hafez, Saddam… wa taghyeer jaayeh min 3endo. Hal kaal shi marra enno “Israel 3adou al sha3b al Loubnani”?

Tawwashouna: Mar Maroun al mou7eb, al ra7oum, al raheem. Yelleh dereh dereh, yalleh ma deref bi2oul kaf 3adass

Genesis Prize cancels ceremony after 2018 winner Natalie Portman said she won’t visit Israel

Natalie Portman speaking onstage during the Vulture Festival LA at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, Calif., Nov. 19, 2017. (Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)

This is a developing story.

(JTA) — The Genesis Prize announced it was canceling its prize ceremony in Israel in June after 2018 recipient Natalie Portman said she would not take part in light of “recent events.”

On Thursday, the Genesis Prize Foundation, which awards what it calls the “Jewish Nobel,” said it was “very saddened” that the Israeli-American actress would not take part in the ceremony.

The foundation said that Portman’s representative notified it that “[r]ecent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel” and that “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”

The Genesis Prize Foundation cancelled the prize ceremony, saying in a statement that its organizers “fear that Ms. Portman’s decision will cause our philanthropic initiative to be politicized, something we have worked hard for the past five years to avoid.”

Portman did not specify which events caused her distress, although the United Nations and the European Union recently called for investigations into the use of live ammunition by Israel’s military following clashes along the border with Gaza that have left 40 Palestinians dead and 3,000 wounded, mostly shot in the legs

Israel celebrated the 70th anniversary of its independence on Thursday. (This is called Al Nakba (Catastrophe) because 700,000 Palestinians were forced to transfer to other nearby countries as refugees)

In November, the Genesis Prize announced that Portman would receive its 2018 award, which comes with a cash prize that recipients may direct toward causes of their choice.

She joins artist Anish Kapoor, violinist Itzhak Perlman, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and actor-director Michael Douglas as winners of the $1 million prize, which “honors individuals who serve as an inspiration to the next generation of Jews through their outstanding professional achievement along with their commitment to Jewish values and the Jewish people.”

Genesis said in December Portman’s prize money had been doubled to $2 million by a donation by Israeli philanthropist Morris Kahn. The foundation did not indicate whether Portman would still receive the prize money in light of her announcement.

The Genesis Prize was established by Mikhail Fridman and other wealthy Russian-Jewish businessmen and operates in a partnership with Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office and the Jewish Agency for Israel.

In 2009, Portman joined other Hollywood stars in protesting calls for a boycott against the Toronto International Film Festival for its staging of a Tel Aviv-themed event.

She also directed and starred in a Hebrew-language adaptation of Israeli novelist Amos Oz’s memoir, “A Tale of Love and Darkness.” In a statement following the Genesis Prize announcement in November, Portman said she is “proud of my Israeli roots and Jewish heritage.”

In 2015, following the re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, she said she was “very, very upset and disappointed.”

“I find his racist comments horrific,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “However, I don’t — what I want to make sure is, I don’t want to use my platform [the wrong way]. I feel like there’s some people who become prominent, and then it’s out in the foreign press. You know, shit on Israel. I do not. I don’t want to do that.”

Note: Yesterday, Friday 20, 2018, Israel shot dead 12 Palestinians and injured 800 by live bullets. In April, Israel snipers shot dead 40 Palestinians and injured 3,000 with live bullets during these weekly “March for Return to Homeland”.

What Sleeping With Married Men Taught Me About Infidelity

Why a divorced 49 woman seeks sex with married men?

I’m not sure it’s possible to justify my liaisons with married men, but what I learned from having them warrants discussion.

Not between the wives and me, though I would be interested to hear their side. No, this discussion should happen between wives and husbands, annually, the way we inspect the tire tread on the family car to avoid accidents.

A few years ago, while living in London, I dated married men for companionship while I processed the grief of being newly divorced.

I hadn’t sought out married men specifically. When I created a profile on Tinder and OkCupid, saying I was looking for no-strings-attached encounters, plenty of single men messaged me and I got together with several of them. But many married men messaged me too.

After being married for 23 years, I wanted sex but not a relationship. This is dicey because you can’t always control emotional attachments when body chemicals mix, but with the married men I guessed that the fact that they had wives, children and mortgages would keep them from going overboard with their affections.

And I was right. They didn’t get overly attached, and neither did I. We were safe bets for each other.

I was careful about the men I met. I wanted to make sure they had no interest in leaving their wives or otherwise threatening all they had built together. In a couple of cases, the men I met were married to women who had become disabled and could no longer be sexual, but the husbands remained devoted to them

All told I communicated with maybe a dozen men during that time in my life, and had sex with fewer than half. Others I texted or talked with, which sometimes felt nearly as intimate.

Before I met each man I would ask: “Why are you doing this?” I wanted assurance that all he desired was sex.

What surprised me was that these husbands weren’t looking to have more sex. They were looking to have any sex.

I met one man whose wife had implicitly consented to her husband having a lover because she was no longer interested in sex, at all. They both, to some degree, got what they needed without having to give up what they wanted.

But the other husbands I met would have preferred to be having sex with their wives. For whatever reason, that wasn’t happening.

I know what it feels like to go off sex, and I know what it’s like to want more than my partner. It’s also a tall order to have sex with the same person for more years than our ancestors ever hoped to live. Then, at menopause, a woman’s hormones suddenly drop and her desire can wane.

At 49, I was just about there myself, and terrified of losing my desire for sex. Men don’t have this drastic change. So we have an imbalance, an elephant-size problem, so burdensome and shameful we can scarcely muster the strength to talk about it. (Many men do Not necessarily want intercourse, just feeling cuddled and warm in pretty women embraces, so that they can go out together, bras dessus, bras dessous, and have fun)

Maybe the reason some wives aren’t having sex with their husbands is because, as women age, we long for a different kind of sex. I know I did, which is what led me down this path of illicit encounters. After all, nearly as many women are initiating affairs as men.

If you read the work of Esther Perel, the author of the recently published book “State of Affairs,” you’ll learn that, for many wives, sex outside of marriage is their way of breaking free from being the responsible spouses and mothers they have to be at home. Married sex, for them, often feels obligatory. An affair is adventure.

Meanwhile, the husbands I spent time with would have been fine with obligatory sex. For them, adventure wasn’t the main reason for their adultery.

The first time I saw my favorite married man pick up his pint of beer, the sleeve of his well-tailored suit pulled back from his wrist to reveal a geometric kaleidoscope of tattoos. He was cleanshaven and well mannered with a little rebel yell underneath. The night I saw the full canvas of his tattoo masterpiece, we drank prosecco, listened to ’80s music and, yes, had sex. We also talked.

I asked him: “What if you said to your wife, ‘Look, I love you and the kids but I need sex in my life. Can I just have the occasional fling or a casual affair?’”

He sighed. “I don’t want to hurt her,” he said. “She’s been out of the work force for 10 years, raising our kids and trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life. If I asked her that kind of question, it would kill her.”

“So you don’t want to hurt her, but you lie to her instead. Personally, I’d rather know.”

Well, maybe I would rather know. My own marriage had not broken up over an affair so I couldn’t easily put myself in her position.

It’s not necessarily a lie if you don’t confess the truth,” he said. “It’s kinder to stay silent.” (Thus, the Silent Majority don’t feel they are lying to anyone?)

“I’m just saying I couldn’t do that. I don’t want to be afraid of talking honestly about my sex life with the man I’m married to, and that includes being able to at least raise the subject of sex outside of marriage.”

“Good luck with that!” he said.

“We go into marriage assuming we’ll be monogamous,” I said, “but then we get restless. We don’t want to split up, but we need to feel more sexually alive. Why break up the family if we could just accept the occasional affair?”

He laughed. “How about we stop talking about it before this affair stops being fun?” (This is a case when women have sex as a preamble to interrogating their partners. In few instances, it is the way around for men)

I never convinced any husband that he could be honest about what he was doing. But they were mostly good-natured about it, like a patient father responding to a child who keeps asking, “Why, why, why?”

Maybe I was being too pragmatic about issues that are loaded with guilt, resentment and fear. (As in all issues?)

After all, it’s far easier to talk theoretically about marriage than to navigate it.

But my attitude is that if my spouse were to need something I couldn’t give him, I wouldn’t keep him from getting it elsewhere, as long as he did so in a way that didn’t endanger our family. (A convoluted sentence that obscure its meaning)

I suppose I would hope his needs would involve fishing trips or beers with friends. But sex is basic.

Physical intimacy with other human beings is essential to our health and well-being. So how do we deny such a need to the one we care about most? If our primary relationship nourishes and stabilizes us but lacks intimacy, we shouldn’t have to destroy our marriage to get that intimacy somewhere else. Should we? (if we state it that way that sex is basic)

I didn’t have a full-on affair with the tattooed husband. We slept together maybe four times over a few years. More often we talked on the phone. I never felt possessive, just curious and happy to be in his company.

After our second night together, though, I could tell this was about more than sex for him; he was desperate for affection. He said he wanted to be close to his wife but couldn’t because they were unable to get past their fundamental disconnect: lack of sex, which led to a lack of closeness, which made sex even less likely and then turned into resentment and blame. (the contentment after sex may last a day, but the exacerbation deepens later on)

We all go through phases of wanting it and not wanting it. I doubt most women avoid having sex with their husbands because they lack physical desire in general; we are simply more complex sexual animals.

Which is why men can get an erection from a pill but there’s no way to medically induce arousal and desire in women. (Not sure about that statement. Men have practically no physical sexual arousal places, but when a pretty woman tells him, pretty much directly, “I want you”, his brain execute what is demanded from him)

I am not saying the answer is non-monogamy, which can be rife with risks and unintended entanglements. I believe the answer is honesty and dialogue, no matter how frightening. (Dialogue with a woman is troublesome and fraught with traps?)

Lack of sex in marriage is common, and it shouldn’t lead to shame and silence. By the same token, an affair doesn’t have to lead to the end of a marriage. What if an affair — or, ideally, simply the urge to have one — can be the beginning of a necessary conversation about sex and intimacy? (Excellent with outside companions)

What these husbands couldn’t do was have the difficult discussion with their wives that would force them to tackle the issues at the root of their cheating. (Just a reminder that psychoanalysis is a fraudulent “subjective” science)

They tried to convince me they were being kind by keeping their affairs secret. They seemed to have convinced themselves. But deception and lying are ultimately corrosive, not kind. (To oneself, but Not the relationship)

In the end, I had to wonder if what these men couldn’t face was something else altogether: hearing why their wives no longer wanted to have sex with them. (Not clear. We need to confess with a stranger, and thus we select someone that has more compassion and expertise in life to comprehend our behaviors? Or to clarify what we are afraid of?)

It’s much easier, after all, to set up an account on Tinder.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

April 2018
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