Mr. and Mstrss.
I sometimes use this blog as a little more than just my chance to express what films I love or loathe. Occasionally it serves as a kind of therapy for me. Yes, that does indeed slather me with an air of inflated self importance, and (despite my attempts at clarity) everyone who reads this post will take away a different view of me and my decision to say these things. So be it. What I know above all is that certain people, who may recognise themselves described here, will in all likelihood dislike what I have to say and where I chose to say it…but here it goes:
Infidelity; a very archeic word, and one which (for me) drums up notions of a once more dominant theocratic era where sins of the sexual organs were inked into law and women were termed pure or tainted by men who used them as chattel. The concept of infidelity originates more, I think, from the polygamist sexual enslavement of women than it does from a mutual agreement of faithfulness between two loving partners. That being said, times have somewhat changed. Over the last several hundred years, at least, the synonymy of infidelity has rolled from one side of the bed to the other (and for good reason). Men love to double or triple up, especially us young men, and now the male of the species is more typically associated with promiscuity. It’s not inaccurate, but boy do women cheat too!
Anyway, the reason I’m going on about all this is that I’ve semi-recently became aware of a systematic “fling” that involved someone I know. No details, no gossip. I’ll only declare that the individual I know personally is not the one who two-timed their spouse, they were merely the accomplice (for what that’s worth). Did that make sense? Being vague and accurate at the same time isn’t an easy feat for me.
Regardless; apparently this relationship moved on from an affair to some kind of second stage, although I don’t know what that is, and the offended party has been “let go”. The messy end of an old relationship and the beginning of a new one, right? Nothing more to say about it, right? None of my business…right? Well, no.
Firstly, this affair at times went on in much closer proximity to me for it to be brushed off as “none of my business”, and secondly…
It really bothered me!
See? You can relax “those-of-you-who-shall-remain-nameless-and -just-wish-to-continue-on-with-their-lives”, this piece is about me (as always), and not you.
I tried to figure out why this particular incident so rubbed against my nerve, and this is the best I can come up with:
X number of years ago I had my own personal encounter with infidelity, where I was the “offended party”. I’m not just bringing this up to garner a wave of sympathy. I’m really not…honestly…
It wasn’t a massive thing to an observer; not a particularly long relationship, nor did I lose anything in the process besides a couple tears and a little optimism. To her it meant little, and likely didn’t registered as much more than an awkward overlapping of two relationships. I do not fault her for having a change of heart, I only wish she hadn’t so meticulously and insultingly broken mine.
The thing is…I don’t think I ever got over it. Months and years pass, and over that time you convince yourself that the bitterness has dissolved. For many people it probably would have, but for me it simply ran down the side of the mountain and coalesced elsewhere.
This is one of those places.
I cannot, now or in the future, condone infidelity! This experience punctured my philosophy bubble and poured its contents into every fiber of my being. I simply no longer forgive cheaters.
A cheater may be a perfectly pleasant person and say all the right words, but their actions reveal a rotten core; they fundamentaly care less about their partners than they do about themselves. It it something which brands someone as an unfit spouse, and they are completely unworthy of the love that others generously give them.
To the illicit lover, whom I fully admit bares no direct responsibility to the “cheated upon”, I say only one thing: This person doesn’t care about you! They are abusing you and their position over you! It may feel good to be someone’s escape and momentary passion, but the fact that they are unwilling to let go of the other person and fully commit to you until the coast is completely clear only serves to prove my point. To quote Arthur Miller in the wrong context; “A man is not a piece of fruit”. Weighing two people’s benefits against each other like apples and oranges, enjoying the flesh and discarding the peel, is (shockingly!) not an act of dedication to either companion. It’s nothing more than cowardice and the ultimate example of objectification.
Now, I can foresee a situation where someone in a rocky, or perhaps boring, relationship has a “stupid night”. One moment of passion with a fresh spice that should never have happened and you would happily take it back if you could. One! One is what you get. Maybe with an Obama-esque speech I can be convinced that you accidentally plunged your way into someone else’s genitals twice, but my leniency stops at three. Once you’ve made such a monumental cock out of yourself you can either decide to squash the gossip and return to you’re cherished one like a ninja in the night or you can say goodbye and see where this new boat takes you. You cannot try to have both!
But hey, enough of me flashing my scars and inconcistently puritan principles. In the face of these events, past and present, I decided to re-watch an old favourite film of mine centred around this topic.
Have I mentioned before how much I’m not usually a Kubrick fan? I’m not joking, I actually can’t remember if I’ve blatantly stated it before and (if so) how often. That goes to show you how long I’ve been away from this keyboard.
Point is, I have never taken very warmly to The Shining, 2001: A Space Osyssey, the second half of Full Metal Jacket, and certainly all of Barry Lyndon. I am, however quite fond of Lolita, A Clockwork Orange, and Eyes Wide Shut.
I first saw Eyes Wide Shut late one night, on television, at age 13, while the rest of my family was asleep (sorry mum!). I snuck downstairs, turned on the little mini-TV in the kitchen, and watched it in near-silence…in the dark. Yeah, see…I’ve been a sexy law-breaking rebel at times in my life as well!
While the film was every bit as tantalising to a pubescent boy as you’d expect (what with the full female nudity and extravagant orgy scenes and all), it was also oddly mesmerising. The film is 2 hours and 40 minutes long…and I watched all of it, even after it was clear that there wasn’t going to be any more pussy on display (again, I’m so so sorry mum!). For those of you who are unfamiliar with the films plot, here you go:
“A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him.”
It’s a hard film to describe, so that’s about as good-a-summary as you can get. Indeed, after Cruise’s wife tells him about an older man attempting to seduce her at a recent party, he is called out to run an errand and ends up taking an emotionally intricate journey through the city. He has run-ins with prostitutes, drugged-up girls, and even a scary group of people who…well, I won’t spoil it if you haven’t seen it. The whole film is a swirl pool of lust, money, humour, terror, and paranoia all circling around the possibility of Cruise being…wait for it…unfaithful to his wife!
Cruise is endlessly presented with wide open legs and lashing finger motions, beckoning to his inner mammal. The real suspense of the film is whether or not Cruise will listen to his conscience or his penis.
No, I’m not going to spoil the ending for you like that, although anyone with a hint of misandry in their system might very well predict this outcome from the beginning. Give the plot a chance, it might just surprise you.
The film has a lot more to say than just “don’t fuck around!”, but if you currently find yourself at some sort of a moral crossroads or crawling in a pit of sexual temptation, then this film is my prescription to you. Despite its raunchy surface, I think at heart it is one of the most monogamy-enforcing movies you could ever watch. That’s not to say that I believe monogamy is entirely natural to our species…but, that’s a can of worms for another day…
– Rant Over!