America’s historical problem with romance

Valentine’s Day is the cruelest of holidays. Every Feb. 14, we must prepare ourselves for an explosion of hearts, lace, and rom-com marathons. The children forget about cooties for 48 hours while they draw hearts and flowers on two-dozen kiddie valentines. Schmaltzy pop songs play from every speaker. All this in celebration of something that everyone wants and too few enjoy: a beautiful, fulfilling, lasting romantic love.

Everyone knows by now that we’re living in a society of haves and have-nots. The love gap is one of the grimmest, though. By most accounts, Americans are as lonely today as we’ve ever been. Marriage rates have been declining for several years; even sex seems to be going out of style. Loneliness is not good for us, either personally or politically, but in our hyper-connected and fast-paced world, it seems strangely difficult to forge the lasting bonds that most of us deeply desire. Despite everything, we continue to set aside Feb. 14 to celebrate the happily-paired, while inviting commercial America to rub salt in the wounds of the loveless. Seriously, how have we not already canceled this day?

Thinking constructively, we could see Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to work on the problem. Romance is in trouble. It’s in everyone’s interests to try and save it, and our more thoughtful sociologists have some interesting ideas. If we dig into this, though, it may turn out that the problem goes deeper than weak labor markets and changing social mores. Honestly, have Americans ever been particularly good lovers?

We shouldn’t make too much of stereotypes, but let’s reflect for just a moment on cultural reputation. The Mediterranean cultures are famous for their passion and appreciation of beauty. Latin America has a similar stature. There’s a reason why women …read more

Source:: The Week – Lifestyle

      

Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel chuckle at the increasingly desperate farce surrounding Trump’s border wall

On Tuesday, a federal jury in Brooklyn found Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman guilty on 10 counts of narcotics trafficking and other crimes. “Federal prosecutors are seeking $14 billion in forfeitures, and now Ted Cruz is demanding that El Chapo pay for [President] Trump’s border wall,” Stephen Colbert laughed on Wednesday’s Late Show, after briefly recapping the trial. “That’s really got to sting for El Chapo, because that’s money he was going to use for more yachts, speedboats, airplanes, cargo trains, and submarines to send drugs over, under, and around that stupid border wall.”

Well, Congress isn’t going to give Trump the money, Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. “This deal he’s signing is a slightly less favorable version of the budge he could have signed in December, but even though he clearly isn’t getting the wall he wants, he continues to inform us that his wall is ‘very, very on its way,'” he said — and also, apparently, harder to climb than Mt. Everest. “He’s just hallucinating now, right?” Kimmel asked. “I think I know what happened there. Who was the first person to climb Mt. Everest? Do you know? Sir Edmund Hillary, that’s right. Trump probably overheard someone say ‘Hillary climbed Mt. Everest,’ and he was like, ‘Well, my wall’s gonna be better than ever, so then she’ll never climb that.'” Watch below.

…read more

Source:: The Week – Lifestyle

      

The Jeff Bezos affair was leaked by his mistress’ brother, CNN confirms. A motive is still elusive.

The person who told the National Enquirer about the extramarital affair between Amazon chief Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez was Michael Sanchez, Lauren’s brother, CNN said Wednesday night, citing two people with with knowledge of the matter. The Daily Beast first fingered Michael Sanchez as the leaker on Sunday, citing sources at American Media Inc., the Enquirer’s publisher, and The Associated Press reported Tuesday that investigators working for Bezos had concluded that Sanchez gave the Enquirer intimate text messages between his sister and Bezos.

Sanchez declined to comment on the record for CNN, but he told the network Tuesday he’d “been told that the Amazon investigation determined that I was not involved in the leak of the d-ck pics, because I never had access to any of the d-ck pics.” He previously told The Washington Post he played no role in leaking details about the relationship to the Enquirer, though he has acknowledged being friends with Dylan Howard, an AMI executive whose byline is on the Enquirer’s Bezos affair story and who threatened Bezos in writing by describing intimate selfies the Enquirer held.

Sanchez’s motive is a mystery, though. “Why would he blow up his sister’s spot like that?” Don Lemon asked CNN reporter Chloe Melas on Wednesday night. “That’s a really good question,” she replied. “I just don’t know. I can only imagine that the holidays will be super awkward for all of them together.”

Bezos hinted last week there might be a Saudi connection or a link to President Trump, and his investigator has alluded to “political motives,” but no proof of either has emerged. On Wednesday night, The Daily Beast reported that Michael Sanchez “has a history of weaponizing his connections …read more

Source:: The Week – Lifestyle

      

Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers aren’t impressed with the new border deal, Trump’s theatrics over signing it

Lawmakers reached a bipartisan deal to keep the government open but, ironically, “if there’s one thing we’ve learned about Donald Trump in the two years he’s been president, it’s that you can’t negotiate with him,” Seth Meyers said on Wednesday’s Late Night. President Trump “made a big show of championing the bipartisan talks after he caved in the shutdown fight,” but after the deal’s framework was nailed down Monday night, Trump pleaded ignorance. “He literally said I had a choice between running the government and going on Fox News, and I chose Fox News,” Meyers said, paraphrasing. “No quote has ever summed up Trump’s presidency better than that.”

All this “might explain why, when he found out that the deal didn’t have any money for a concrete border wall yesterday, he said he wasn’t happy with it” — although he’s typically fuzzy on the details, Meyers said. “Trump talks about the wall like he just ran into one.”

On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert was a little fed up with the melodrama. “The one thing everybody’s talking about — Trump signing or not signing the border wall deal — doesn’t mean anything,” he said. “We’re supposed to care whether Trump won and Nancy lost, or Trump caved and Nancy’s dancing in the end zone. But nothing — nothing — that has happened in government in 2019 has affected anyone.”

“We are celebrating — or supposed to be celebrating — that they’re close to a deal to achieve the absolute minimum: having a government,” Colbert said. “That is like celebrating that your child finally used the potty — on his first day of medical school. It’s not impressive anymore.” Everyone knows Trump will sign the bill, and “just like they all rehearsed, both sides are claiming victory,” …read more

Source:: The Week – Lifestyle

      

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