4 thoughts on “Matrimania Mars the Olympics

  • August 19, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Another great read. I just finished reading this good book on the subject of marriage, and other subjects in American history. White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America Hardcover – June 21, 2016 by Nancy Isenberg (Author)
    Marriage has always been connected to class status: today’s online dating services are premised on the eugenic notion that a person can find the perfect match—a match presumed to be based on shared class and educational interests. In 2014-15, a series of television commercials for eHarmoney.com was sending the same message: that no ‘normal’ middle class applicant has to be stuck with a tawdry (i.e. lower class) loser. And as the historian Jill Lepore has pointed out in the New Yorker, the entrepreneurial Dr. Paul Popenoe began his career as a leading authority on eugenics, before moving on to marriage counseling, and eventually launching computer dating in 1956. Some dating services have been quite blatant: the website Good genes promised to help “Ivy Leaguers” find potential spouses with “matching credentials,” by which was meant a similar class pedigree. (Page 316)… Some things never change. More than one generation has deluded itself by buying into the notion of an American dream, this author writes……….and she further writes, “Americans today have a narrow and skewed understanding of white trash. At all times, white trash remind us of one of the American nation’s uncomfortable truths: the poor are always with us. Slaveowners had unusual financial instruments that situated them above non-slaveholders: they raised slave children as an investment, as an invaluable source of collateral and credit when they sought to obtain loans.(page 151) ‘Crackers’ first appeared in the records of British officials in the 1760s and described a population with nearly identical trains. (Page 109). That year, Tennessee’s governor, Frank Clement, became the Democratic Party’s golden (country) boy. The thirty-five-year-old, six foot-tall, dark-haired governor “one of the handsomest men in American politics.” He used brimstone threats and usually ended with a prayerful benediction” (page 259). In Thomas Jefferson’s formulation, nature assigned classes. Nature demanded a natural aristocracy—what he termed an “accidental aristoi.” Jefferson was practicing race missing under his own roof, fathering several children with his quadroon slave Sally Hemings. . A singular faith exists today that is known and embraced as American exceptionalism, but it dates back centuries to the projections made and policies put in place when the island nation of Great Britain began to settle the American continent. It was Richard Hakluyt’s fantastic literature that graduated to a broad colonial drive for continental domination. The same ideology fueled the theories of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Jefferson. Teddy Roosevelt had a dream, too, of rewarding parents with large families, encouraging eugenically sound marriages, and recognizing the American as the healthiest member of the Anglo-Saxon family.” (page 319)…..read more by getting the book yourself for further reading and educating yourself. This book was worth my time for reading it in my garden. Excuse the typos!

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    • August 19, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      Thanks, sesanmeB. Those first few sentences, especially, are very interesting!

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      • August 19, 2016 at 5:25 pm

        White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America Hardcover – June 21, 2016 by Nancy Isenberg (Author) — (page 316), the author writes, “ We are a country that imagines itself as democratic, and yet the majority has never cared much for equality. Because that’s not how breeding works. Heirs, pedigree, lineage, a pseudo-aristocracy of wealth still finds a way to asset its social power. We see how inherited wealth grants status without any guarantee of merit or talent.” (page 318), the author writes, “ Antiabortion activists, like eugenicists, think that the state has the right to intervene in the breeding habits of poor single women.” However, I am reading this weekend the following in the woods, with no technology. I have been car free for 30 years and counting, with no regrets:

        The End of Automobile Dependence: How Cities are Moving Beyond Car-Based Planning by Peter Newman (Author), Jeffrey Kenworthy (Author) 2015; and, American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst Hardcover – August 2, 2016 by Jeffrey Toobin (Author)—Even though a bank clerk was killed during one of Patty’s crimes, her prison sentence was commuted, I learned from this author. There is an excellent interview of this author on NPR this month.

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  • August 20, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Interesting perspective that I hadn’t thought of myself although I haven’t watched the Olympics.

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