Shad: the challenges of commitment
37 million users of AshleyMadison.com — the website for extramarital affairs — have had their names released online. And yesterday on q, the popular sex advice columnist Dan Savage suggested that the rest of us shouldn't be laughing or shaking our pitchforks at those affected...much to the contrary, Dan says, we should be thinking, "There but for the grace of God go I."
Because commitment is hard. And many of us, at one time or another, in one way or another, have failed at fidelity and it's mostly just dumb luck that we've been spared public humiliation — especially in this age of internet hacks and easily uncovered search histories.
Again, keeping anything together these days is hard. Even One Direction is breaking up...
But seriously, I think Dan is very right on that particular point. That's why we have guests like Fat Mike from NOFX on Tuesday's show to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the record label he founded and still runs. Especially in this time of seemingly infinite information and opportunity, a lot of things just don't last very long, and long-term commitment seems like an even more daunting proposition than ever before. There's even the creeping sense that it's becoming outdated; an archaic value.
On the other hand, singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile's recent visit to q replayed this Monday, and she has a beautiful lyric on one of the songs she performed that goes, "You just might make it further if you learn how to stay"...speaking to the value of rootedness and stability in a transient world.
These values — that might be viewed as stodgy and counter-intuitive — could also be seen as radical and counter-cultural...possibly even revolutionary, especially in this era of "ghosting" or going radio silent as a way of ditching on a romantic relationship.
Either way, I don't think anyone would call commitment easy...
Maybe we would be wise to keep our sinister laughter and pitchforks at home this time around.