ceremony

The Princess Bride: Royal Weddings for Everyone

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Unromantic as it may sound, the celebration of the transformative power of consumption seems to be part of the magic of the wedding day for many women. On this day I am more beautiful, elegant, and radiant than any otherOn this day everything is perfect and lavish and matching. A real-life royal wedding, televised and celebrated by millions, represents and encapsulates this magic. It might be tempting for some to argue that the wedding-as-princess-pageant represents a secularization of the marriage rite. But the truth is that the celebration of consumption, the acting-out of the princess ritual, is its own expression of what has become sacred.

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Mortal Combat: Risk in the Winter Olympics

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The exaggerated indulgence in high-risk activities at the Winter Olympics offers more than a subtle glimpse into the deeper connections the Greeks perceived between sport and war. In the US we want greater speed, but fewer crashes; higher platforms, but we don’t want anyone to get hurt. We imagine ever-riskier surgical procedures, but we seem surprised and morally outraged if they fail. 

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