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The Rage Of Aquarius
There's nothing that makes me want to sock somebody in the jaw like the announcement that they're "spiritual." I just posted a column in which I attack phony spirituality along the way to answering the woman's question.

First, her question:

I’m an acupuncturist, 35, dating again after a difficult divorce and the ensuing custody battle. I’m shocked at how many men either want to see (i.e., sleep with) several women simultaneously or keep me as a geisha to “complement” their pre-existing wives and/or girlfriends. Could the world have changed THAT much during my 10 years exiled in marriage? I’m ready to leap out of the lotus position and wave my hands in the air over this! Are other women experiencing the same thing, or is the grass truly greener on the other side of the Great Wall?

--Spiritual Girl In A Material World

Here's an excerpt from my answer:

A Zen state without the enlightenment is a style statement: grass mats covering the ugly shag, a red plastic Buddha to liven up the coffee table (goes great with the $34.99 Woodstock Desk Gong from Target), and, of course, the obligatory floor pillows -- intricately embroidered, and probably a real steal thanks to child labor!

What does being “spiritual” really mean, anyway? For too many people, it’s a sneaky way of announcing how morally and emotionally superior they are to the rest of us; i.e., “I wear hemp, and you’re scum.” And sure, they’re giving some confused little old lady driver the finger -- but note the Sanskrit words for peace, love, and unity henna-tattooed across their knuckles!

Being “spiritual” can also be a great excuse for avoiding the tedious business of rational thought. Take “karma,” the eastern version of the naughty getting snubbed by Santa; the alluring idea that people eventually get what they deserve. Have you ever met a maggot who could definitively say he was Heinrich Himmler in past life?

Chances are, you have met hundreds, even thousands, of men who want commitment-free sex -- sometimes because they’ve already committed to one or more other women. Is the fact that men are into this sort of thing really news to you? If so, where have you been living the past 10 years, under the Great Wall?

Quite frankly, if straight guys could do what gay guys can -- go to a bar and pretty effortlessly snag some no-strings-attached sex -- a lot of them would. All that stands between them and their dream is the fact that they’re into women, most of whom refuse to participate.

Don't kid yourself, it isn't just gay men who are promiscuous. It's all men. But, because most straight women refuse to go to bars, fuck somebody in the bathroom, and be done with them, only gay guys get to act on this. Straight guys shouldn't bother feeling all superior. Believe me, if there were straight bars patterned on gay bars, they'd never sell another Nintendo game to another adult male.

But, enough digression. The rest of my answer to this woman's question is here.

Posted by aalkon at March 26, 2006 9:37 AM

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Excellent post, excellent column.

People give a huge percentage of their thinking to making themselves feel superior to others. (It would be neat if there were a Benford's Law for egotism, so that you could spot it mechanically, the same way accountants can spot bogus numbers.) 'Spiritual' chatter that doesn't have any religious meaning is usually like that.

> only gay guys get to act on this.

This is why AIDS never became the horrific disaster for straights that it was for gays.

Posted by: Crid at March 26, 2006 7:14 AM

Maybe not in this country, but it's ravaging huge swaths of Africa right now, and it has nothing to do with bathhouses and glory holes.

Posted by: deja pseu at March 26, 2006 9:32 AM

Well, maybe not all men. I'm a pervert, atheist, callipygian and flirt, but I still have a strong ascetic streak. But then maybe that's the ultimate perversion.

Posted by: Paul Hrissikopoulos at March 26, 2006 9:43 AM

paul, you and me too buddy.
well, perhaps except for that callipygian part.

Posted by: g*mart at March 26, 2006 11:00 AM

> it has nothing to do with
> bathhouses and glory holes.

True. In 2006 Africa as in 1983 America, it's about behavior choices:

Posted by: Crid at March 26, 2006 7:29 PM

Oddly enough, gay or not, something in the Y chromosome is very attracted to video games, and no matter how many men can be shagged in the bathroom or bathhouse, they return to the Nintendo (or Xbox) for male ritualistic behavior.

You're so right Amy, men are generally sluts, but as long as they aren't misleading or unsafe, all the power to them (and to women sluts as well).

Posted by: Nellie at March 26, 2006 10:21 PM

"Spirtuality" has all the delusion of religion, but none of the discipline.

Posted by: Lena at March 27, 2006 7:47 AM

True, Lena. But that lack of discipline also means that "spiritualists" haven't had the means to wage crusades/jihad/war or use violent means to further their beliefs.

Posted by: Xine at March 27, 2006 8:36 AM

Actually, the AIDs virus is divided into many subtypes. B and C being the most predominant in the world. America is mainly type B, transmitted via blood. Africa is mainly type C, transmitted easily via mucosa. Hence the difference in gay and straight infection rates. Also a sad side note: the drugs that help prolong the life of type B may not be as effective against the other subtypes. Most of the antiretroviral drugs are directed at subtype B. If type C ever crosses the Atlantic and gets a stronghold over here we will suffer the same fate as Africa. Ahh viruses and bacteria, the only thing left in this world that hunts us down and eats us.

Posted by: thechicknlady at March 29, 2006 11:16 PM

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