Wednesday, 2 November 2011

"Life is short. Have an affair"

 You know its true what they say. The world really is going to the dogs.
Only today I found out about a certain site called "Ashley Madison", which is primarily a dating service marketed towards people who are already in relationships. Simply, put its an online site "guaranteeing" affairs for those who want one. Can you believe it? What has the world come to?  I don't get it. It seems like we are being pushed towards a world where there is no such thing as ' discretion' left in the world. Everything is right there in front of you, on a platter- for whenever, and however  you feel like having it- or tossing it in the trash.Everything has become a commodity. Nothing remains sacred. Nothing remains too valued to not be sold. Absolutely nothing. See, this is why I hate capitalism. Everything is money, and everything is business and nothing is personal. The advent of technology. We are going to pay for it so heavily. We already are in fact, we just don't know it, yet. Not one day goes by that I am not reminded of this short story I read way back in the ninth-grade called "The Machine Stops", by E.M.Forster. Oh and if encouraging cheating isn't enough,the site is heavily advertised online, in print and on billboards.No jokes.

On the other hand,if I tell my soul and conscience to shut up, and my mind to speak- the business idea itself makes sense.In the dirty, mad world we are living in- ofcourse. I  researched the site extensively out of morbid curiosity and found that the founder and CEO of the company, Noel Biderman is a happily married man and father of two.He is also the writer of he various ads for the company- which can, at times be quite hilarious. He believes his site actually ends up saving a lot more marriages than it breaks up. Could be true.I know where he's coming from because I'm an avid Dan Savage reader, so am more than familiar with the argument. That's all fine. If people want to have an affair, they want to have an affair. And according to Biderman if they person has already made up their mind to have an affair- then almost nothing can talk them out of it- they are just fulfilling the demand. Pure economics. Great business. So great in fact that in 2010, the company approached the Phoenix, Arizona airport and offered them $10 million when the city was in a financial crisis to rename the airport from Sky Harbour Airport to Ashley Madison International Airport.Yep. The city rejected.
However, I find it hard to look at this as just a business. And yes, maybe Biderman's right that if a person has decided to have an affair- they have their reasons for it and they probably will end up having an affair. Tbh, I really don't wanna judge the mental dynamics of that decision. I don't think I know enough to weigh in. BUT, as a company  Ashley Madison has to understand that its ads do play a humongous role in how it is shaping the perception of the concept of an affair, its alleged ' harmlessness', its acceptance in society, and eventually the moral validation that is being provided for an act that many perceive to fall on the dark side of the moral thermometer.It also undermines the institution of marriage.
I really don't know about the world anymore, like I mentioned earlier...we are living in very confusing times.

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