13 October 2005

A Banner Day for Divorce

The Associated Press reports the story of a couple of divorce law trail blazers in the UK:
In Britain, JBS wanted a divorce, and he didn't care who knew. So last week he hung a banner from a highway bridge that said "Wendy, I want a divorce. JBS."

She responded yesterday with a new banner in the same place. It said, "No way. You are the cheat. Wendy."
The article goes on to paraphrase a local marriage counselor's view that "the pair are very angry to air feelings in such a public way". Blimey, Guv'nor, do you really think so? Those English are so repressed and inscrutable that I hadn't grasped that this is a couple with marital problems.

Overall, though, I like the idea. If all divorce pleadings were limited to what can be expressed on a freeway overpass banner, would we be any worse for it as a society? Perhaps we should require that all divorces be initiated in the same forum and with as much publicity as the associated marriage proposal. Divorce via sporting event scoreboard message, anyone? Personally, I think that if a couple marries in an ostentatious ceremony in front of hundreds, their divorce announcement should be just as notorious. Captain and Tennille told us that "Love Will Keep Us Together", but the specter of public shame would be at least as effective and, as a bonus if the divorce comes to pass anyhow, would be far more entertaining for the rest of us.

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