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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
I am confused

Our homepage at work is "dellnet." Three guesses as to who provided our system...:)

So, I get bored and click around their news pages, including their "women's" page. That last is, as expected, concerned mostly with fashion and relationships, but, hey. I get bored. And I am vaguely interested in fashion, at least culturally speaking.

And a couple things have confused me. One happened last week - tips for packrats on lightening the loads in their purses. Something I do need to know - my husband accuses me of hauling around bricks. But one suggestion, while it would be effective, has me scratching my head. "Carry a magazine around instead of a book."

And, now I'm wondering how effective that would really be - a lot of magazines weigh more than books, and the size/shape is much more awkward than a mass market paperback, even a 1000 page Robert Jordan brick. But, also. It's a rare magazine that I read cover to cover - Analogs and Asimov's, Skeptical Inquirer, maybe Jewish Action or Jewish Observer - so it would mean I'm carrying even more extra weight.

But, third...what kind of universe is it that prefers magazines to books? Okay, it does compute, but not in my mind, if that makes sense.

And today. I took a "relationship quiz." One question was "what do you do when you and your bf watch bad things happen on the TV news." The "correct" answer was "cuddle and talk about them calmly." My answer was "argue my point of view with him."

But. But. Arguing about current events - at least those we don't agree about - can be *fun*. And a means of drawing closer as we see each other's pov. And cuddling isn't always possible or desirable or...sheesh. The writers of this quiz seem to assume that any disagreement must be either bad or worked out calmly and snuggly. And, well. Some disagreements can be completely intellectual - last week, my husband and I had wonderful, but loudish, discussion about whether the Reform movement was an inevitable result of the Haskala movement (sort of Modern Orthodoxy in 18th C Germany) or a result of the general European Enlightenment of the time.

We didn't end up agreeing, either, but we did have a clearer idea of the other's pov. And it was *fun*. And it was done without any snuggling.

Current Mood: confusedconfused

We didn't end up agreeing, either, but we did have a clearer idea of the other's pov. And it was *fun*. And it was done without any snuggling.

Sweetie, most people aren't intellectuals. What you did was have a debate. And most people don't enjoy debate like we do, really. Shocking, I know. I've had to teach Chris to enjoy debate, that arguing is a good thing, that it means we're communicating. We've had to constantly haul our counsellor in; she keeps trying to deal with relationship issues, and she finally got a clue, last session (our fourth), and realized that our relationship is FINE, it's us as individuals that have some problems. In fact, she commented that we're already doing what they spend months trying to teach other couples. *shrug*

Anyway, babbling slightly off-topic. What I meant to point out was that relationship quizzes are designed for mass marketing -- the vast majority of fuzzy thinkers out there who *don't* really talk to each other, and don't really think about the issues, and don't argue "whether the Reform movement was an inevitable result of the Haskala movement" because the topic would never occur to them!! Most people see history as a string of isolated incidents, not a series of events leading to each other. Most people don't see cultural forces, not current ones that are affecting them, and certainly not historical ones that led up to today. Most people don't think, let alone think about thought. Scary, ne?

Okay, that was a somewhat esoteric topic of debate (and, yeah, that is the right word) but...

There are less...irrelevent topics, like "should we paint the living room blue or gray?", aren't there? That deserve debate?

And, well. I don't consider real arguments necessarily signs of an unhealthy (or healthy, for that matter) relationship. Every one is different, after all.

My guess is that the relationship quiz isn't in favor of debating current TV news, because whoever wrote it might have had mostly disastrous experiences with such things in a familial context. I know I had. It might usually work better with couples than with some random family members, or, say, parents (after all for the most parts couples choose each other). But the potential for disaster through disagreements over issues that have no direct impact on the personal relationship or situation (unlike debates over living room colors for example) is considerable.

Now, see, if I met someone single, male, and capable of sustaining reasoned debate over the extent to which Reform Judaism was a product of the Haskalah or the broader European Enlightenment... I'd marry him. So it's good I don't write relationship quizzes. ;)

(Me, I think of German Reform Judaism as emerging out of a mix of Haskalah and anti-Sabbateanism. But I'm also a little confused by the distinction you're making; I'd always considered the Haskalah to be part of the European Enlightenment. Also, of course, "Modern Orthodoxy" postdates the Reform movement, but I suspect you know that.)

First, that *was* my argument about Haskala and the Enlightenment. Jonathan thought it was more or less independent. But I've studied general European Enlightenment and he's been a lot more focused, which means he *does* know a lot more about the specific movements.

Second, yes. Haskala was an early attempt at what would be Modern Orthodoxy in the 20th-21st C - a way of life balancing the outside/modern world and halacha. Basically, *my* way of life. It was too soon historically speaking for that lifestyle, which is why it didn't last. It can be difficult today, too.

And. :)

Yeah,I don't think I could have married a man whom I couldn't debate such things with.

More importantly, of course, he knows Mr. Spock's bloodtype and the name of F'lar's dragon, can quote "One ring to rule them all" and understands that one should never set the cat on fire.

See, those are the important things. I think an ability to discuss jewish minuita would be nice in a man, but as I'm technically a semi-lapsed Episcopalian, it's not a necessitiy.

But then, I think a talker who I can discuss things with is important. I wouldn't want to be cuddled _every single time_ something important happend in the world. I'd never get anything else done.

Heck, at least you have the excuse that for _religious reasons_ you can't cuddle, so there. Pttthb.

I'd ignore the magazine