Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Peaches Geldof Fails to 'Get' the Meaning of Marriage

Peaches Geldof says: "Every friend of mine has parents who are divorced. I didn't go into it [marriage] with Max thinking, 'This is going to last forever'.

Don't those two sentences sum up the values by which many exist in today's society?

[old git mode] When I was growing up in the 1970s I don't recall any of my friends' parents being divorced. Yet today, the majority of my friends have gone through a divorce. My sister doesn't seem to have a single friend who hasn't been divorced.

So is it any wonder that teenagers like Peaches Geldof seem to regard marriage as the equivalent of a new dress - something you cast off when you get tired of it. Marriage isn't like that. It involves commitment - in sickness and in health, through good times and bad. The institution of marriage forms the bedrock of our society. When we start treating it as part of the throwaway society we are in deep trouble.

That is not to say that some marriages won't inevitably end up in the divorce courts. We don't live in a perfect world. But somehow we have allowed a generation to grow up without understanding what marriage really means [/old git mode]

42 comments:

bj said...

And there speaks someone who's newly married!

I agree, though, and I'm nowhere near as old as you (!)

My parents divorced more than 20 years ago when I was seven, and still behave so immaturely towards each other that I thought I'd never bother doing the same. But I am, next year, because I'm determined to prove them (and the likes of Peaches bloody Geldof) wrong. My girlfriend is quite conservative about it, and thinks that marriage is essential as a fabric-of-society thing. I don't agree, but I think commitment is essential as a fabric-of-society thing.

tankus said...

opportunity for brown

a divorce tax

never miss an opp fer a bit of stealth , and by god , hes got a hole to fill

Anonymous said...

I think the mistake you have made here is listening to Peaches Geldof?

Who gives a sh*t about her? I dont think you can extrapulate anything that she says in to the norm of the 'youth today' - she's an attention seeking little girl with v little talent and a rich dad. Admittedly, with a very sad family situation.

ian said...

'spoiled brat' is my old git take.

Of course, it must be hard on the little waif, being daughter to a saint.

Westmorlander said...

I think you're missing the point Iain (or perhaps you're not).

Marriage for Z listers is just another way of getting into the papers. They can only gauge their "worth" by column inches; Ms Geldof and "Jade the cancer victim" are only two of the many.

Of course, column inches equals money so, in a sense, it's only advertising.

In business, as in politics, there are no rules - except the ones you make up (c) Tony Blair 2006

daniel said...

what do you expect from a z list celeb, who is desperate for publicity. ?

I went to a civil partnerhship recently - the couple have been together for Forty, yes, 40 years! of course only recently had their relationship been legally recognised.

Their story, and thousands of others like it (my own parents have been married for 48 years) is much more interesting than some silly celebs who use their marriage break up as a publicity stunt.

Man in a Shed said...

To some degree soap operas make this worse. The constant need for story lines means that every couple is put together, then broken up for the dramatic impact.

Marriage is difficult, its an open ended self denying relationship. You effectively right a blank cheque when you give that commitment. But then the other person knows you've done that for them, and they also have made the same commitment.

Divorce happens, sometimes its unavoidable or at least separation is. Its no fun, and often he children are the biggest losers ( even more so than the death of one of one of their parents ).

But then the reason for marriage isn't readily explained any more, and its advantages are regarded as politically incorrect (Ms Rowlings).

Lady Finchley said...

How can she be anything else with parents like that? I knew her mother and I am sorry to speak ill of the dead but she revelled in her 'celebrity' status and wasted a first class mind. As for Saint Bob he'd do better to mind what it going on under his own roof than bore us silly about the Third World.

Anonymous said...

She is young, she sadly like so many are the product of a broken home.

Why should she have faith in marriage, motherless and often alone with her reality.

Because of this she has developed her own defences and is not afraid to say as much.

She may be in a much better position than many but she still has to deal with hurt and disappointment.

Peaches Geldorf is not alone however in challenging the meaning of marriage.

In a word you only get out of it what you put in.."period"

(and I don't mean material things).

Anonymous said...

It is the throw away society, iain!

The downfall of any society starts with a breakdown of moral standards. Where marriage is considered not necessary. Where children are born our of 'wedlock' and are not now thought of as bastards but just a 'must have' commodity.

People are influenced by Celebrity!
My son and his girl watch a programme on MTV called The Hill an absolutely boring programme, for what I can make out, of non entities going from party to party in LA!

Look at Maddonna and her poor life. Exploiting children from Africa and what happens to them now? Confusion and heartache for them.

Peaches Geldoff. Well she has got such a good role model with her famous, foul mouthed father. She didn't have a chance. I just hope she does not end up like her mother. (Read Jules Holland's book
and you will have a different picture of her mother)

We are at the end of our glorious history. We will end up like Italy. Broke. Insignificant and with bloody third rate politicians.

Strange isnt it that the evil stench of politics returns when Mandleson returns!

Anonymous said...

Dear Old Git

I agree with every sentiment.

Yours (26 years wedded and counting)

Jill

Anonymous said...

Isn't listening to Peaches' views on marriage a bit like listening to the moral pronouncements of Adolf Hitler? IE a complete waste of time........

no longer anonymous said...

I can think of three frieds with divorced parents off of the top of my head. But then I suppose it's because I grew up in a part of the country where old-fashioned middle class values remained strong.

dalesman said...

Sticking to the "old git" mode (and I'm older than you Ian; when I was growing up no-one got divorced. But no-one had a credit card, and in the rare event of anyone wanting an overdraft they had to go begging to the bank manager.

Not sure things have changed for the better.

Bad Bunny said...

Marriage has for many become about spending shedloads of cash to show off in front of 'friends', rather than about any kind of commitment. When it starts going wrong, it gets tossed aside like the broken iPod.

People seem reluctant to work at things these days, which is sad. There's only been civil partnerships for a few years and already there are ads in gay magazines for 'civil break up' services.

Of course, things do sometimes go wrong and you are better of separating than staying in a miserable situation, but it's worth working at first.

Don't agree soaps are to blame, though - they're just fiction, and I'd hope most people could tell the difference (though it scares me sometimes how many people can't!)

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right. The big difference between marriage and living together is commitment. Wedding vows - including "till death us do part" should be taken seriously. For many, cohabitation is little more than sex on tap, a sign that the parties cannot be bothered to, or are scared of demonstrate their commitment to each other.

dalesman said...

Staying in "old got" mode (I'm older than you Ian), I never heard of divorce when I was growing up.

But then I never heard of credit cards or overdrafts either. Times have changed, unfortunately.

Shaun said...

My parents weren't married but did stay together. I'm a secularist atheist and don't take kindly to social control imposed on me from above but I got married. Why?

I didn't get married because I wanted to please some overarching sky fairy or because of the promise of tax breaks or because I felt any social pressure to conform.

I got married because I met the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and was lucky enough that she felt the same way so we wanted to make a public statement and commitment to that effect.

Why idiot micro-celebs get married is up to them. Our responsibility is to not give them the oxygen of publicity they crave for their every imbecilic utterance and action. IGNORE MODE ON!

Anonymous said...

The thing is its being taken too lightly by many these days, that's sad.

I had an accident 5 years ago, resulting in a broken back. Through hard work and lots of love, I am able to walk and have have made love with my wife at a rate of less than once a year!

Recently I have been blessed with a kidney stone (confirmed the same day as Mandy, but am still waiting to see a consultant) and have additional pain to go with what pain I have to live with on a daily basis.

My wife god bless her had woken up last Wednesday, with muscle spasms in her back and can barely walk. She said on Sunday that she was sorry for being a burden on me, as I was taking care of the kids, washing, cooking etc.. There really was only one thing I could say to her, that being married isn't just about the good times.

It really was a special moment for me to see that for all that she has endured over the past five years, that she forgotten the commitment and patience that she has shown in that time. I guess I've met my soul mate.

Ironicly, we both come from parents who've divorced, with relationships from hell. I can honestly say they were role models by any means.

Jilted John said...

Personally, I agree, but let's not venerate the moral views we had in the 70s. No moral code exists in a vacuum, and we can happily endure the vicissitudes of irrelevant celebrities in return for many of the advances society has made since then.

That's not to say that there aren't things wrong now, o'course, but frankly, when it comes to the views on matrimony held by someone famous for being the daughter of a musician who released one good song in 1979, I find it very hard to care.

Anonymous said...

Peaches Geldof isn't a fair spokesperson for people of her age. I'm the same age as her and agree with you that what she said was wrong and that she personally has missed the point of marriage but to extrapolate from the famous daughter of two famous parents to a whole generation is stretching it a little.

Anonymous said...

I'm early 40s, have been to circa 30 weddings over last twenty years, none of which has yet ended in divorce.......

Unsworth said...

Is this Peaches bint some sort of intellectual de nos jours?

On balance I think she's pretty typical of the brain dead 'celebrities' of today. But she's luckily unaware of her limitations.

africanmum said...

well said Iain!

JH said...

I agree entirely with you Iain. Yet I don't think you need worry too much about the current Peach-age generation, into which I fit. Peaches is evidently foolish, and there are plently of foolish people in any generation. Yet thankfully, her/our generation as a whole is far keener on sustaining relationships, especially for the benefit of children, than that of their/our parents. I say that based on personal experience of friends with divorced parents, and also reports I've seen suggesting that such sentiment is more than merely anecodtally evident. Frankly though, if a generation born to the self-indulgently sexually-liberated of the 60s and 70s couldn't figure out that succesions of brief unstable relationships are rubbish for all concerned, I'd be worried!

Mr Bazzdud said...

Honestly Iain, you behave as if loyalty, honesty and occasional altruism were more than novel dramatic devices in a soap opera. You are not getting religion are you?

Ah well, that's Tories for you.. always ready to play the "family values" card.

You see, Divorce, for lack of a better word, is good. Divorce works. Divorce clarifies, cuts through and captures the evolutionary spirit.
Divorce, in all of its forms -- divorce from reality, for money, for love, has marked the upward surge of mankind.

And divorce -- you mark my words -- will not only save Madonna, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the Labour Government.

Anonymous said...

One reason, and only one, why old gits like us don't remember divorce happening all around us when we were growing up is that in the sixties it was damned difficult for a woman to get a mortgage on her own. So, many women had to stay in loveless marriages. Try working at that.

The horse-breeding classes never had a real problem with this. They got married, often stayed married, but lived with the animal side of each other's natures.

Chris Paul said...

We've "allowed" Peaches Geldof to have only moderate optimism on the duration of marriage. I would be very careful indeed about generalising from anything Peaches Geldof may say or do Iain. Two-thirds of marriages (or similar) do not end in divorce. And those that do end in divorce do not often do so in a week and a half.

Splashitallover said...

Yes, bring back the old days, when marriage was only for straight people!

Here's the fault-line which lies through conservatism - give people choice, and then rail against the things which they choose to do - like getting divorced. Easier access to credit, cheaper cars, flexible working, the vote - all advances for women, which mean they don't need to rely on men as much, and stay in unhappy marriages.

If you want to get really 'big picture', you could blame it all on the decline of organised religion.

Tom said...

What I find disturbing are these Tory bloggers who seem to think that Peaches Geldof is somehow typical of all teenagers.

Dave H. said...

The marriage oath (at least for old-fashioned weddings) is taken before:

1) your partner
2) your friends and relatives
3) the law
4) your God

If you are prepared to break that oath how can you be ever be trusted again?

PS every time I remember Clive Anderson asking Zsa Zsa Gabor if she 'signed her marriage certificates in pencil?' it always brings on a smile.

johnbrc said...

The fact that your good self, Iain, as a premier-ranking blogger felt the need to self-deprecate before making your real feelings known, tells us, even more about what has happened to our society: conservative (small 'c') voices have lost confidence in giving moral viewpoints, thanks to the (il)liberal political-(in)correctness movement.

That is the real problem because it inhibits the normal mode of redress which society has to restore itself when pendulums swing too far.

Speak out for marriage — it's a great institution — next time around without labelling yourself an 'old git'!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, lets get back to basics eh. Back to the good old 1970's when women used to be trapped in loveless, and possibly violent marriages because divorce would have been frowned upon.

I dont get this obession with marriage that the Tories have.

Shaun said...

"I dont get this obession with marriage that the Tories have."

Anonymous October 21, 2008 4:26 PM

Its not an obsession on my part, its a romantic ideal and as such I feel quite happy to recommend it in those terms. I don't have kids and was raised by my unmarried parents who are still together so I don't have any prescriptive views with respect to it being 'best' for kids and as a libertarian, I'm not too bothered about meeting some normative societal standard nor of inflicting one on others.

I will never apologise for feeling that if you and your partner are in a committed relationship, getting married (or civil partnered!) is a wonderfully romantic step to take and as a thing I have found fulfilling, is something I would recommend other people did.

David Lindsay said...

I suspect that there only appears to be less divorce these days than quite recently because so many men now dare not marry in the first place. And that is not a good thing for women in the long run. Or even in the short run.

It is high time to entitle each divorcing spouse to one per cent of the other's estate for each year of marriage, up to fifty per cent.

It is high time to disentitle the petitioning spouse unless fault be proved.

It is high time to entitle any marrying couple to register their marriage as bound by the divorce law prior to 1969.

It is high time to enable any religious organisation to specify that any marriage which it conducts shall be so bound, thereby requiring itself to counsel couples accordingly.

It is high time to legislate that the Church of England shall be such a body unless the General Synod shall specifically resolve the contrary by a two-thirds majority in all three Houses.

And it is high time to do something similar for the Methodist and United Reformed Churches, which also exist pursuant to Acts of Parliament.

Among many, many other things.

norman said...

Speaking also in the 'old git' mode,in my exerience marriage works if the partners trust each other with balanced physical and emotional relationships. The latter is the key. We have been married for 30 years, at times quarrel to get the steam off, but basically we know that we trust each other. My tip, marriage works if the partners think both need to contribute equally to decisions good and bad.

Ann said...

It's nice to see you stand up for marriage,

(32 years and counting!)

yours,

Ann

neil craig said...

Marriage is an istitution created for bringing up children. I agree with Iain that as such it is a bedrock of socierty. Chilsren, particularly boys NEED a male role model & the correlation between not merely crime but homessness, alcoholism & most other signs of social failure with lack of a male parent in childhood are so clear that only a sociologist could miss them.

But

People just aren't going to stay together till death do them part. Both because they have the choice, as anon 11:36 pointed out & because that is a lot longer than people ever used to live. I would favour having various sorts of marriage contracts, all based around child rearing rather than rimance. For example a term marriage contract lasting till all chidren have reached 16. Though marriage is a constant in all societies we know our variety of nuclear family is not.

Arthur Dent said...

Who is Peaches Geldorf and why are her opinions of any value?

Rebel Saint said...

Her attitudes are appalling but are indicative of a much wider malaise - the complete debasement of language and personal integrity.

"Peaches" like everyone else who gets married will have made solemn oaths, which she freely admits she does not believe. She was basically lying under oath. I witness it on a regular basis.

If you happen to attend any parish church long enough you will see parents & Godparents come in and take baptism vows (in God's name) that they neither understand or have any intention of keeping. (I warned some unbelieving relatives recently of the Biblical imperative against using God's name in vain when they were considering getting their daughter baptised. They changed their mind thankfully).

In politics, listen to them use weasily words to defend their renegading on "promises".

In entertainment, watch the first series of "24" and count how many times Jack Bauer says "I promise" to things that he cannot ever promise.

And how many parents make idle threats & promises to their children?

All manifestations of the same underlying disease. When language is debased to the extent it now is, and words divorced from behaviour, then truth telling & integrity soon come tumbling after.

Anonymous said...

"It involves commitment - in sickness and in health, through good times and bad."

True, but would anyone really want to be with Peaches that long? I would have thought a whole night would be several hours too long.

Then again, the more women who are married the better - they're so much easier to screw.

omelette master said...

She can get married and divorced twenty times for all I care. I'm not entirely sure why anyone does.