Destroying Marriage, a Diptych

From the New York Times, a feature on the new Argentine trend of throwing fake weddings to enjoy the spectacle and the celebration.

In case there was any doubt, as the couple (hired actors) left the stage, colored lights flashed, the disc jockey started the music pumping, and the announcement was made to the paying guests: “The wedding is fake, but the party is real.”
“The purpose of the ‘falsa boda’ is to convey joy and fun and live the happy moments related to love, without having to fall into the traditional ritual of what a marriage is,” explained Nacho Bottinelli, 30, one of the organizers.

The article notes that marriage has been declining as more couples cohabitate indefinitely, so the falsa boda are meant to fill the gap. And as they replicate everything but the heart of the ceremony, the party becomes more and more grotesque:

The ritual of placing a garter on the bride also gets a twist, with 10 single women and 10 single men from the crowd invited to also give it a try.

The whole piece reminded me of nothing so much as this warning from C.S. Lewis:

You can get a large audience together for a strip-tease act—that is, to watch a girl undress on the stage. Now suppose you came to a country where you could fill a theatre by simply bringing a covered plate on to the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let every one see, just before the lights went out, that it contained a mutton chop or a bit of bacon, would you not think that in that country something had gone wrong with the appetite for food?