If Charles Manson has found love, surely that’s a good thing? | Simon Jenkins

A 26-year-old woman is due to marry the 80-year-old killer – there are precedents, and the motivation is not always cynical

Woman, 26, is to marry mass murderer, Charles Manson, aged 80 and imprisoned for life. How to you react? Do you say, how lovely? Or yuk!

It is hard to imagine a less plausible argument for the restorative qualities of romance than Manson. In prison for the past 45 years for a bout of “hippie” killings, he remains unrepentant and, if last year’s Rolling Stone interview is any guide, deranged. Five years ago a young woman moved to be near his prison, carved his cult emblem into her forehead, and professed a deep love for him. He calls her Star. They have a licence to marry, which grants conjugal visiting rights.

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A 26-year-old woman is due to marry the 80-year-old killer – there are precedents, and the motivation is not always cynical

Woman, 26, is to marry mass murderer, Charles Manson, aged 80 and imprisoned for life. How to you react? Do you say, how lovely? Or yuk!

It is hard to imagine a less plausible argument for the restorative qualities of romance than Manson. In prison for the past 45 years for a bout of “hippie” killings, he remains unrepentant and, if last year’s Rolling Stone interview is any guide, deranged. Five years ago a young woman moved to be near his prison, carved his cult emblem into her forehead, and professed a deep love for him. He calls her Star. They have a licence to marry, which grants conjugal visiting rights.

Continue reading…

Ask Molly Ringwald: is my upbringing damaging my chance of a relationship?

Guardian Weekend magazines agony aunt advises a woman concerned that her parents separation is harming her own prospects for love

I am 28, and my longest relationship lasted a week. I do go out and meet guys, but none of them is the sort Id want a relationship with. My parents split, amicably, before I was born, and neither has really dated since, so I suppose you could say I was raised by two single people. I had a really happy upbringing, but I didnt have a model for relationships. Im worried that even if I do find someone I want to date for more than a week, I wont know what to do after that, or Ill chicken out and break up with them again. Should I be worried? Or have I just not found the right person yet?

I sense a bit of a cop-out here. Weve all read enough books or seen enough movies by now to understand the infinite number of ways in which people love and live with each other. There is no right or wrong model for modern love. People grow up with parents who were together for ever and still dont manage to sustain any longevity in that department. Same goes for the children of divorced parents. My maternal grandparents were married and divorced three times to each other (no small feat in the 1950s), and yet my own parents have been together for 54 years.

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Guardian Weekend magazines agony aunt advises a woman concerned that her parents separation is harming her own prospects for love

I am 28, and my longest relationship lasted a week. I do go out and meet guys, but none of them is the sort Id want a relationship with. My parents split, amicably, before I was born, and neither has really dated since, so I suppose you could say I was raised by two single people. I had a really happy upbringing, but I didnt have a model for relationships. Im worried that even if I do find someone I want to date for more than a week, I wont know what to do after that, or Ill chicken out and break up with them again. Should I be worried? Or have I just not found the right person yet?

I sense a bit of a cop-out here. Weve all read enough books or seen enough movies by now to understand the infinite number of ways in which people love and live with each other. There is no right or wrong model for modern love. People grow up with parents who were together for ever and still dont manage to sustain any longevity in that department. Same goes for the children of divorced parents. My maternal grandparents were married and divorced three times to each other (no small feat in the 1950s), and yet my own parents have been together for 54 years.

Continue reading…

Ask Molly Ringwald: is my upbringing damaging my chance of a relationship?

Guardian Weekend magazines agony aunt advises a woman concerned that her parents separation is harming her own prospects for love

I am 28, and my longest relationship lasted a week. I do go out and meet guys, but none of them is the sort Id want a relationship with. My parents split, amicably, before I was born, and neither has really dated since, so I suppose you could say I was raised by two single people. I had a really happy upbringing, but I didnt have a model for relationships. Im worried that even if I do find someone I want to date for more than a week, I wont know what to do after that, or Ill chicken out and break up with them again. Should I be worried? Or have I just not found the right person yet?

I sense a bit of a cop-out here. Weve all read enough books or seen enough movies by now to understand the infinite number of ways in which people love and live with each other. There is no right or wrong model for modern love. People grow up with parents who were together for ever and still dont manage to sustain any longevity in that department. Same goes for the children of divorced parents. My maternal grandparents were married and divorced three times to each other (no small feat in the 1950s), and yet my own parents have been together for 54 years.

Continue reading…

Guardian Weekend magazines agony aunt advises a woman concerned that her parents separation is harming her own prospects for love

I am 28, and my longest relationship lasted a week. I do go out and meet guys, but none of them is the sort Id want a relationship with. My parents split, amicably, before I was born, and neither has really dated since, so I suppose you could say I was raised by two single people. I had a really happy upbringing, but I didnt have a model for relationships. Im worried that even if I do find someone I want to date for more than a week, I wont know what to do after that, or Ill chicken out and break up with them again. Should I be worried? Or have I just not found the right person yet?

I sense a bit of a cop-out here. Weve all read enough books or seen enough movies by now to understand the infinite number of ways in which people love and live with each other. There is no right or wrong model for modern love. People grow up with parents who were together for ever and still dont manage to sustain any longevity in that department. Same goes for the children of divorced parents. My maternal grandparents were married and divorced three times to each other (no small feat in the 1950s), and yet my own parents have been together for 54 years.

Continue reading…

Sister Bernadette, my Carmelite aunt

Joanna Moorhead reflects on her relationship with her aunt a nun who lives a largely silent life in an enclosed religious order

In the summers of my childhood I saw my aunt every day. But we werent allowed to speak to each other and although I was forever glancing in her direction, hoping for a smile, she never once caught my eye. Because Bernadette was, and is, an enclosed nun. My daily sightings of her came at morning mass, when my grandmother and I would sit on the front pew in the convent chapel, from where we had a perfect vantage-point into the nuns choir behind its wrought-iron grille. Bernadette knelt second from the front in the long line of serene-looking nuns, her hands neatly hidden below her brown scapular, her head covered by a white wimple and a black veil, a creamy woollen cape across her shoulders.

To most people in the congregation, all those identically clad Carmelites looked exactly the same. But I was always absolutely sure which nun was mine, even if she wasnt allowed to look across and smile at me the way other aunts would have done.

Continue reading…

Joanna Moorhead reflects on her relationship with her aunt a nun who lives a largely silent life in an enclosed religious order

In the summers of my childhood I saw my aunt every day. But we werent allowed to speak to each other and although I was forever glancing in her direction, hoping for a smile, she never once caught my eye. Because Bernadette was, and is, an enclosed nun. My daily sightings of her came at morning mass, when my grandmother and I would sit on the front pew in the convent chapel, from where we had a perfect vantage-point into the nuns choir behind its wrought-iron grille. Bernadette knelt second from the front in the long line of serene-looking nuns, her hands neatly hidden below her brown scapular, her head covered by a white wimple and a black veil, a creamy woollen cape across her shoulders.

To most people in the congregation, all those identically clad Carmelites looked exactly the same. But I was always absolutely sure which nun was mine, even if she wasnt allowed to look across and smile at me the way other aunts would have done.

Continue reading…

Dear Graham Norton: how can we reconnect with our grandchildren?

The TV presenter and comedian advises readers. This week: out-of-touch grandparents seek to re-establish contact, and a houseguest causes bathroom bother



The TV presenter and comedian advises readers. This week: out-of-touch grandparents seek to re-establish contact, and a houseguest causes bathroom bother