Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Just Friends

Among the numerous responses to last week's posts on C.S. Lewis' thoughts on the nature of friendship in his The Four Loves (see On Friendship (Pt. I)) was one on a passage in which Lewis makes the claim that friends of the opposite sex cannot long remain friends without the Friendship passing into Eros.

Lewis writes:

When the two people who thus discover that they are on the same secret road are of different sexes, the friendship which arises between them will very easily pass - may pass in the first half hour - into erotic love. Indeed, unless they are physically repulsive to each other, or unless one or both already loves elsewhere, it is almost certain to do so sooner or later.

Our reader offers the following based on her own experience:

This post has certainly struck a personal chord with me. Lewis' words seemed to flow right from the paper and into my heart. I love his last statement that says, "Indeed, unless they are physically repulsive to each other, or unless one or both already loves elsewhere, it is almost certain to do so sooner or later." I was always a tomboy growing up, and, for whatever reason, gravitated more towards having friendships with guys than girls. I never saw any problem with this but rather accepted it as the norm. When I finally found myself in college and in a serious relationship, I began to notice the severity of my situation. I truly believe that it's not possible for a girl to be best friends with a guy, unless of course she is single, unattached, and possibly physically repulsed as Lewis stated. I didn't always believe this to be true considering my closest friends growing up were always boys. Like I said, though, when I found myself in a serious relationship, I noticed that it's not possible to have the one you're dating along with another guy best friend. While jealously isn't always a terrible trait to find in your significant other (within reason), I've learned it's best to be respectful and finally come to grips with the reality that if you want to spend the rest of your life with this person, you are going to have to make sacrifices - these sacrifices being some of the closest friendships you've ever known.

There's a lot of insight in this. People know intuitively that if one member of the couple has an opposite sex friendship with a third party there's cause for alarm. When the person who has the "outside" friendship tries to reassure his/her romantic partner that "we're just friends" that person is either naive or disingenuous. They may be "just friends" now, but the chances are that they won't be for long.


The Tea Party at One Year Old

It was roughly one year ago that Rick Santelli went on a rant on CNBC against government bailouts and called for another tea party like the one in Boston in 1773. Santelli's tirade went viral across the country sparking a movement that continues to grow in strength and depth. Toby Marie Walker is an organizer for the Texas Tea Party and, for the benefit of those who may be wondering what the Tea Party is all about, and for the benefit of those in the media who insist on mischaracterizing it as a bunch of thugs, xenophobes, and quasi-terrorists, lays out in the Washington Times just what the Tea Party is. She writes:

We Tea Party folks are moms, dads, brothers, sisters, cousins and grandparents. We come in all colors, black, white, brown and more. We come from every profession you can imagine. Some of us are high earners, while some of us struggle each month to make ends meet. We welcome people of all religions, as well as nonbelievers. We are in the Rotary, the Lions Club, the Junior League, the Masons and the Knights of Columbus. We have served our country in battle, as civil servants, as community organizers and as volunteers. We represent a cross-section of America, and we want to be heard.

Some have called Tea Partiers wing-nuts and tried to define us as the extreme right of the right-wing. I've heard us called racists and terrorists and any number of nasty names. Such characterizations are false. We are proud Americans.

Tea Partiers love their country. We love our country so much that we cannot sit by and let politicians destroy what we the people have built. We must stand up and scream, "Stop!"

We can't let our government tinker with our Constitution. We believe in the ideals and principles upon which our nation was founded and so, though we are not a political party, we can't remain idle as politicians manipulate elections, seize more power from the people and the states, and then spend our children's children's money. We want our kids to inherit the most powerful nation on Earth, not a dying superpower.

Ms. Walker goes on to note that the Tea Party has a grievance with both Democrats and Republicans. Check it out.

Meanwhile, Pat Buchanan poses the question, "What called the Tea Party into existence?" Here's part of his answer:

Some are angry over unchecked immigration and the failure to control our borders and send the illegals back. Some are angry over the loss of manufacturing jobs. Some are angry over winless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some are angry over ethnic preferences they see as favoring minorities over them.

What they agree upon, however, is that they have been treading water for a decade, working harder and harder with little or no improvement in their family standard of living. They see the government as taking more of their income in taxes, seeking more control over their institutions, creating entitlements for others not them, plunging the nation into unpayable debt, and inviting inflation or a default that can wipe out what they have saved.

And there is nothing they can do about it, for they are politically powerless. By their gatherings, numbers, mockery of elites and militancy, however, they get a sense of the power that they do not have.

Their repeated reappearance on the national stage, in new incarnations, should be a fire bell in the night to the establishment of both parties. For it testifies to their belief and that of millions more that the state they detest is at war with the country they love.

Both columns make for informative reading. Meanwhile, Jason sends us this 1948 cartoon that depicts the story of a post WWII tea party: