Dumbass Sayings: “All is Fair in Love and War”

The English poet John Lyly is credited with the proverb “All is fair in love and war.” Lyly was alive during the 16th century so he never got to see what war or love would transform into. Since his death we’ve had World War II, Vietnam, the Iraq War and internet porn so it’s understandable that this saying would no longer be applicable to modern life. Since Lyly’s death, we have seen the birth of the Geneva Convention that specifies what is fair in war and believe it or not, it’s not just a piece of paper that says “Do whatever you want, it’s all fair.” There are certain things that are considered unfair tactics which include improper treatment of prisoners of war.

Love has also changed a lot since the 16th century and while things may have gotten a lot more relaxed, there probably are more rules now than there were in the 1500’s. With police forensics units going around with amazing technology at their disposal, you really can’t get away with all the stuff you used to centuries ago. And of course these days you cannot truly compare love and war. They’re two completely different things. Anyone who’s ever tried waterboarding their spouse to find out if they’ve been cheating on you knows that while effective, it is entirely wrong. Plus, if they’re not cheating then that makes continuing the relationship incredibly awkward. So no, love is not war and certain things are unfair in them.

If only we could have a safe word in war.

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