sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Arranged Marriages

In Asia, almost all marriages are arranged marriages. I can't speak to every country in Asia but it clearly applies to modern China and Viet Nam.  It carries over into the US as well. I supervised a lot of Asian men in the US and literally 100% had arranged marriages. 

But does it always work?
How do you tell the bride at a Saudi wedding?
By the braided armpits.
(Daily Mail) A Saudi groom has divorced his bride on their wedding night after seeing her face for the first time when the photographer asked them to pose for pictures. 
The couple, from the Western Saudi town of Medinah, had agreed to marry each other despite having not met face to face - a popular custom in certain Middle Eastern countries. 
But when the bride removed her veil and smiled for the camera, her new husband leapt to his feet in disgust. 
I feel his pain.
According to local daily Okaz, the bride immediately collapsed in a fit of tears as panicked wedding guests stepped in to try to resolve the dispute.

'The groom said he had not been able to see his bride's face before marriage,' Okaz reported. 'When he divorced her, the bride collapsed and the wedding turned into a night of tears.'
A divorce in the Magic Kingdom takes just a bit less time than a marriage does, which doesn't play in the West.

In India marriages are arranged by family members looking for a mate for their children within the same caste.

In rural and tribal parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan, disputes, unpaid debts in default and crimes such as murder are settled by a council of village elders, called jirga. A typical punishment for a crime committed by males involves requiring the guilty family to marry their virgin girl between 5 to 12 year old to the other family. This custom requires no consent from the girl, or even her parents.

UK Alternative?

British men are finding an alternative to an arranged marriage - that is still "arranged" in that the bride is purchased. Read more here (Daily Mail). Based on the article, there is no social stigma to this particular arrangement. I find that nearly impossible to fathom, but the British are known for eccentric behavior.

Nobody knows what the divorce rate is because men can dispose of their wives rather easily in Great Britain based on the article in the Daily Mail.

Examining Failure

It's Sunday again, time for another sermonette.

Yes, I realize that this is a bit of a polemic, but I'm in that kind of mood today.  Life isn't fair -- ever. Not to anyone. I am amazed at the pampered leftist, rich Hollywood pukes who kill themselves because it's so damned difficult. None of those people have had to wash their own Bentleys, miss a meal or even fly in the back of the airplane but it's so damned daunting for them. People line up to kiss their asses...but it's all so tough for them.

I'm not saying that life is easy for anyone because for all of us, the only easy days are over our shoulders. But, on with the sermonette.

When I was in the US military going through an arduous training program, I was allowed to answer a question in one of four ways:
  • Yes, sir. 
  • No, sir. 
  • No excuse, sir.
  • Sir, I do not understand.
It seemed unfair. A lot of times things happened and there was perfectly good reason for why I screwed the pooch. I wanted to let them know why it wasn't my fault. Nobody cared in the least. If I had failed, there was no excuse. Period. "Good to go", meant that I was ready and if it turned out that things didn't work out quite the way I'd hoped they would - it was my fault.  Others depended on me to do what I said that I'd do. So I had to do it -- not just try to do it.

Most of the time life isn't fair. Things do not always go our way, or the mission seems impossible and the rules are unduly arbitrary.

We all have a weakness deep inside us. The more hard things we do, the more challenges we overcome, the harder it is to give in to the weakness, but whether you're a civilian or a hardened operator, it's inside us somewhere. There is always that moment when you fear failure, when you're not sure if you can do it, when you start running through the excuses in your head. Most of the time they are valid. But the only easy day is yesterday. So you need to suck it up.

Those who can't suck it up, ring the bell and quit. The simple truth is, not all of us become the men or women we once hoped we might be. There is a whole world of quitters and shirkers around us. Society rewards them, the weak minded pander to them. The more they are coddled (not taught, coddled), the weaker they become. They are the poster children for failure.

The only one who can fix you is you. The only one responsible for your screw up is you. At some point, given enough pain and drawing strength from that pain, refusing to quit, we all learn, as I did, that there is no excuse, because when we fail, we don't just fail ourselves but those around us.

And if you're strong enough, you end up hunting the evil in the world that most people pretend doesn't exist. That's not much of a reward, but that's all there is.

I've been told that my sermonettes are not particularly holy. Mia culpa!

In an effort to be more holy, I am posting this photo of Coptic priests. Does that help with the whole sermonette vibe?  In the photo, they are voting for Pope Shenouda III. I don't know anything about Pope Shenouda one, two or three. However, I'm sure that the image evokes old men with bad hygiene in outfits that are not conducive for desert life in Egypt. How much more orthodox can one blogger get than a photo like this one (credit: Reuters)?