Tuesday, April 05, 2005

EOTM: "The Rules" are for Fools!!!

"Any fool can make a rule, and EVERY fool will mind it."

One of the saddest phenomena of recent years is the appearance of a book called "The Rules", only surpassed in its stupidity by its popularity and the enthusiasm with which its message was received and adopted by women. Nothing more than a cookbook for women obsessed with marriage containing recipes for lying and manipulation: this book promises true love and eternal happiness as the reward for women turning themselves into a commodity and manipulating the market to create an artificial scarcity of that commodity.

Several immediate knock-offs capitalizing on its popularity immediately appeared. One was a satire called "The Code", which outlined an equally reprehensible system of manipulation for men. "The Code" was mostly tongue-in-cheek, like the email sent to me by a female journalist as a part of a correspondence we had on the issues of dating.

However, I find no humor whatsoever in this type of thing. I have not yet heard back from her about whether she actually found it funny or was sending it to me as an example of some of the issues which I have written about. Underneath any humor that men might find in it, is a deep and bitter resentment over the type of manipulation which has been used against them and to which each rule is a suggested counter-measure. Underlying any humor that women might find in it, are demeaning and obnoxious stereotypes of men, plus likely some of the same bitter resentment.

The best response to "The Rules" was by couples' therapist and author Barbara DeAngelis, Ph.D. Entitled "The REAL Rules"; this book starts out with what used to be called the "Golden Rule", really the only "rule" anyone ever needs: "Treat everyone the way you want them to treat you." All the rest of her "rules" are just guidelines for implementing the first rule.

In a world filled with horrors, it is easy to become numb to atrocity. This is the first step toward death: the death inside and the social and spiritual death which so often preceed actual physical death. Those who follow "rules" such as those originated by the author of the referenced email, and by the authors of the book "The Rules", are the walking dead. So are the people who have written those rules: zombies which live in a state which is neither completely dead nor completely alive.

When one takes instructions on how to conduct one's life from a dead person, one embraces death over life. How could there possibly be a greater fool than that?

The Law of Thelema