Saturday, September 16, 2006

Hi! I'm not running, I'm reading!

Here's the hazy sky from my roof over Miller Park.


Look at all the tiny people getting ready for Al's Run! The course starts right in front of my building so the street is closed. I'm not sure what this has done to the bus routes, but it has put off my trip to the grocery store. Oh well. I had thought I would participate in the run (walking, of course -- let's not get cwazy!!), but my fun, fun! plantar fasciitis made me reconsider. Next year.


Last night, instead of doing something constructive (or crocheting, even!) I read most of a book. A conversation with Gator caused me to look at information on the Oneida Community, where they, among other things, practiced "Complex Marriage", where all members of the Community were married to all other members. They were encouraged to have sexual intercourse with people of higher moral constitution in order to improve their own spiritual standing. Through the practice of "male continence" they seperated "propagative" sex from "amative" sex. Later in the Community's life, they started, in effect, a breeding program, where individuals were selected to mate with each other to create a perfect race, the children of the union to be raised by the Community as a whole. The community finally fell apart after the founder, John Humphrey Noyes, resigned as leader and his replacement (his son) could not sway the community as John had. During the Community's heyday, they had several successful businesses and developed the silverplate business that is synonymous with Oneida to this day.

I found the book Special Love, Special Sex, a transcribed and annotated diary of a member of the Community who had a hard time with many of their practices but stayed because he believed in the central tenets and because his love was there. It's fascinating!! The idea that a place like this exsited in the 19th century is still amazing to me. The diary also provides a look at what life was like in a relatively technologically advanced community during the mid-1800's. It's hard to put down. I'll probably finish it today.


So, no handwork to show you today. I'm sure you'll live.

4 comments:

Hazel said...

That's quite a view you've got there! And that book sounds interesting. I might add it to my wishlist.

Professor said...

They also played host to Charles Guiteau, a guy who was so nuts he couldn't get any free love from the Oneidas and decided to shoot James Garfield.

Scuzzy, read "Assassination Vacation" by acclaimed author (and my personal lust-woman) Sarah Vowell. Very worth your time.

Tricia said...

I haven't read this book, but I've read ABOUT it. I just don't remember where. Rob Breszney? The Ethical Slut? Dunno. . . fascinating, though. I admit, the little imp in me is pretty fascinated by how uncomfortable it makes some people. Tee hee.

So now, thanks to you and The Professor, I have two new books to add to my list. I just started reading a book I bought used, the Time Traveler's Wife. It was supposed to be a hot book, but I found it annoying and have reverted to reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, for like, the 10th time. So enough of that rubbish. On to sex and violence. ;)

Sus said...

I've heard of that book, Prof -- I'll have to add it to my list. Don't hold your breath for a review, though...