The New Family

A relatively new human institution, marriage developed in response to legal questions of inheritance. But questions of inheritance are more of a problem for patrilineal cultures. Assurance of heirs was recently solved in our patrilineal culture with the advent of DNA testing. That event could make patralinealness unnecessary.

ASIDE: Why are DNA tests so expensive?

The mid-20th Century states' loosening of divorce laws changed a lot for the good and a lot for the bad. Plenty of people needed to be able to get out of abusive marriages but as with many laws, the long-term effect was to alter the texture of the fabric of marriage: marriage has become soft.

It was once possible for a single wage earner to support a family group. That is no longer true, to the benefit of employers who have had the advantage of thirty years of an additional female work force at 75% of what men expect to be paid. Which is not to mention, a new, monied demographic.

Double income families have left generations of kids unsupervised except by mercenaries: media, government and caretakers. We pay the price for that exodus from the home now. Mercenaries make for unreliable soldiers, journalists, representatives and mothers; they do, however, make great confessors.

When the baby-boomers came of age, many of us abandoned restrictive cultural confines of small town / family expectation, and sought life and work as far away from our roots as possible.

Now it's time to re-embrace / re-write the idea of family by lending more power to the creation of extended family.

Fuck saving marriage; save the idea of family, and as a direct consequence, marriage will be saved. Baby and bathwater together.

Save your family? Live more simply. Need less. Work less. Pay more. Know the people to whom you give your cash. If you don't know the owner of the business personally, don't shop there. Wherever you live, create an extended family along with a community.

The more folks able to create a stable, long-term committed family group the better, regardless of gender composition.

Think not in terms of a job, but how you will make a living.

I'm tired of the idea of 'job' and think it - like marriage - an attitude of social convenience.

We don't need 'jobs' in this country - we need dignity that Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Lowes - can never hope to provide.

Yeah. I'm an idealist.


  1. You might enjoy the original movie "Return of Martin Guerre" (the French one with English subtitles, not the American remake with Richard Gere). It's based on a true story that happened in the 16th century in a French village in the Pyrenees Mountains, a story of inheritance gone awry, a story of impersonation, all written up in the official legal reports because the dispute was litigated all the way into the French parliament.

    A wonderful little novel was written about it also (before the movie), by Janet Lewis.

    Enjoyed your post about marriage.

  2. Thanks, Michael,

    Ordered the film you recommend from Netflix today and look forward to seeing it.

    Rock on.


Whoa. Hey. Hi. Talk to me.