I was running out of time to use that line…
..there’s some evidence that cheating on your cancer-ridden wife might not be beyond the pale anymore.
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich had a messy personal life: He cheated on his first wife with his second and cheated on his second wife with his third. Although he denies it, his first wife claims he visited her after cancer surgery to discuss their divorce. Now he’s back and thinking of running for president, having sought, he said, “God’s forgiveness” for his past sins.
However, Kohn points out that in some ways, our capacity to be shocked has improved over time when it comes to murder and mayhem, death and disaster.
For instance, in the 19th century, lynchings were common and unremarkable, so much so that people organized parties around them and had themselves photographed, grinning cheerfully, with the tortured body. Today, such a scene is unthinkable, breaking-news horrifying to all.
Time was, a presidential candidate involved in a duel would be considered no big deal; today, not so much.
“Certain things are not tolerated any longer,” Farquhar says. “Sex is still tolerated, dueling is not.”
I’d add that the death of a child was considered tragic but not unexpected a hundred years ago.
Today, as child mortality has improved exponentially — AND, ironically, we “need” children less (to work on the farm, or supposedly care for us in our old age) — we coddle our children much more, and the death of a child is considered completely offensive to the natural order.