Check your sources

October 5, 2000

My thoughts these days are centered on reality, especially as I approach my return trip to California for another round of interviews.

It's a big deal - and the reality of the situation at times has become a bit overwhelming.

I think it is human nature to slip on the rose colored glasses, but sooner or later, the real lenses need to go onto the nose, and some serious issues have to be dealt with.

Like the cost of living in California - the house prices that are double and triple those in my area. What about taking on a huge mortgage, even if the job pays well enough for it to work, and then finding out that it was not the "right" place to be.

Now that would give you a real slap up on the side of the head, a real reality check.

I guess you gotta do the research, check the web, ask people who know, get as much data as you can before you make the decision.

Good writers and historians do good research. Well, that at lest was one of the points that I was taught in College.

Which brings me to the real reason I wanted to write this piece. The other night, I started watching a piece on the History channel. Being a former history major, you might find it completely in character for me to be watching it on a regular basis.

Turns out.. this particular series is on the history of Sex, and wouldn't you know, as I write this, the hotel here in Atlanta does not have it on the menu. Maybe on your station....

But... back to sources.

Seems that in England in the 1800's there was not a lot of "first hand" information, or sources that could be "researched" when it came to issues of sex or sexuality. And when it came to one of the famous writers of the day, John Ruskin, it seems he failed his research project miserably. Now to keep this story in perspective, John Ruskin has been described as an: "artist, scientist, poet, enviromentalist, philosopher, and importantly, the pre-eminent art critic of his time."

In 1848 John Ruskin married his cousin Euphemia (Effie), and following the new trend of the era, he went on a honeymoon.

It turns out that when John's new bride disrobed, he was appalled to discover that she was... well... not smooth .. down there...

You see, John's basic research source for female sexuality, or anatomy, was the statue.

Uh oh... slight problem. Statues of naked women, don't have such details, etched in stone as it were.

John's research source was hard as a rock, but poor John wasn't.

The idea of all that hair was so revolting to dear old John that he could not (or would not) consummate the marriage.

Took his wife 6 years to figure out that she could get an annulment, but in the end, she did, and went on to marry again.

The whole thing made me smile... and think again, that when considering major decisions, be sure you have your facts in order, and be make sure you check your sources.

(and maybe - think twice before you marry an art critic.)