View Single Post
Old 02-05-2011, 02:10 PM
Charlie Charlie is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 164
Default Oh me oh my oh...

...I love Ohio.

I be academic. Teacher to boot.

My initial reaction to your questions is this: Look outside the windows of the field of rhetoric and composition. For instance, go watch the epic film "Gandhi". If ever there was a living human who persuaded many to love one another freely, kindly, and openly, it was him. His letter to Hitler is of particular interest. Or, easier yet, go read the label on a bottle of Dr. Bronner's All-in-One soap. Perhaps the difficulty you feel in talking about "polyamory" is that you are approaching the topic, as we do often in this forum, as something unique and uncommon. When we talk about our lifestyle choice to friends and family, the esoteric descriptors we use (NRE, polyamorous, "V", quad, etc.) don't exist in the vocabulary of people who are not at least partially entrenched in the discussion. We end up having to define the terms we use just to get on with the discussion. What we feel as "polyamorous" people is not some new age, avant-garde expression of love. It just sounds that way when we use the jargon while talking to those who uphold cultural paradigms about relating intimately to others.

Thought: Isn't it curious that so many "monogamous" people are surprised and even appalled by the lack of deception and secrets in "polyamorous" relationships? (at least in poly-theory)

Assuming that you are not familiar with formal sculpture and its discussion, allow me this example:

I will critique for you a particular monolithic pedestal sculpture, currently within my line of sight. As a monotone work, the artist's treatment of the matrix is Modern, and the manipulation of the material allows light to fall across planes that move the viewer's eye around the work. While abstractly figurative, there are raw surfaces that references the material's natural state, a technique not uncommon to the Modernist movement. The juxtaposition of finely worked facets to the pure texture and patina of the material reinforces the artist's proficiency in manipulating the material.

Right. Okay, now, same discussion, different language:

I want to talk about this marble sculpture sitting on my end table. It is made of pure white marble from Italy, and it has been carved in such a way that the different sides cast shadows on itself, making me curious to see all the way around it. It kind of looks like the profile of a person, but some areas of the marble haven't been polished and have been left as the rock was found in the stone quarry. Sculptors working in the 1950's did this a lot, as a way to show the beauty of the raw stone. Next to the uncarved surfaces, the sculptor's skill in carving the stone is more apparent.

Maybe not the best analogy, but the point is this: If you talk about something only in language that is familiar to your experience, you risk alienating the very audience you are trying to interest in your subject. Identify the universal aspects of polyamory, and then get specific to sexuality, intimacy, so on and so forth. Maybe. What the hell do I know?

As far as being "out" professionally, well...personally, I adhere to the advice of the late great Mississippi John Hurt: "It ain't nobody's dirty business how my baby treats me, nobody's business but my own."

Not keeping secrets, just keepin' classy.

Reply With Quote