Signs of the Apocalypse: Divorce Expo

An event held this past weekend in Austria suggests that none of life’s milestones are safe from commercial exploitation. From BBC News:

Austria is to host the world’s first “divorce fair” this month, aimed at helping couples untie the knot as painlessly as possible.

The event, taking place in Vienna, then Linz and Graz, will allow would-be divorcees to consult lawyers about their rights and seek advice.

The divorce rate in Austria hit an all time high of 50% in 2006, with 66% of marriages in Vienna ending in divorce.

The two-day fair is being held under the motto “New beginning”….

Up to 20 exhibitors have registered so far, not only lawyers and mediators, but also estate agents, life-crisis experts, private detective firms and DNA laboratories offering paternity tests.

One company will offer therapeutic package holidays for newly divorced people.

There will also be a series of lectures on subjects like how divorce affects children and coping as a single parent.

I say, why stop there? How about divorce registries at Sharper Image (for men) and Godiva (for women)? Divorcee “coming-out” parties? (Watch for a spin-off from MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16”.) Once the marketers start to see family breakup as a brand-able lifestyle niche, we’re in big trouble.

And it’s all because…