Whether hosted by Dylan Ratigan or guest-hosted by Matt Miller, the Dylan Ratigan Show has been a hotbed for matrimania. Not long ago, Toure voiced such a syrupy, clichéd ode to marriage that I launched into a two-part rant about it (here and here).
So I was surprised, relieved, and (mostly) delighted when a few days ago, Going Solo author Eric Klinenberg was invited on the show for a discussion with the panel that lasted more than 8 minutes (an eternity in television). Klinenberg made many of the same important points from his book that I’ve written about before, so his contributions to the discussion were not of the “oh-the-poor-things” variety. The subtitle of his book, after all, is “the extraordinary rise and surprising appeal of living alone.”
For the most part, viewers got some rare (for that show) exposure to a nonstereotyped view of living alone. Still, matrimania dies hard. Early in the segment, Matt Miller offered the possibility that “maybe, just maybe, being on your own isn’t so bad after all.” A bit grudging, no? Then Jimmy Williams voiced the oh-aren’t-we-all-just-so-quirky sentiment, by claiming that the true joys of solo living were the opportunities to walk around naked while you burp and fart. Then he said that he wished he were married.
The segment had ended – Matt Miller said so. But one of the panelists had to make one last point. “Marriage has its benefits, too,” she said.