Friday, July 30, 2004

Pook #30 - Romanticism - An Obituary

Romanticism is an article of faith.

We know what it's stuffed with: love at first sight, the carriage of frolicking courtships, prancing couples, dialogue consisting of fanstastical banquets, violins and flutes, of ballroom weddings, chandeliers, strangled poetry that converts her every part into some bizzarre infinitude, and of happy homes flowing with enchanting music with 2.3 kids, 2.6 cars, 1.1 garage, and 1.4 dogs.

All in all, the fountain that bubbles this vaperous romanticism is the phrase: star-crossed. Romanticism is not something considered to be 'controlled'. Rather, it seen as something to submit to. This 'star-crossed' love is elevated to the esteemed level known as destiny!

And so this faith makes the man stuffed. These stuffed men float airily through the world. Some pop to fall in the abyss... (and they wonder why suicide is at its highest rate for young men!). Others just stuff themselves more and more so that no matter what is said to them, they are so stuffed that even the sharpest most blatant facts bounce against their rubbery infatuated shells. Some realized that they were stuffed and turned themselves inside out. These unfortunate few shrivel with bitterness and seek revenge with getting laid everywhere and anywhere. But the rest spew out this poison and recover into the Men they were.

Oh forgive me, Hallmark! If I am to doubt Romanticism, I may incur the wrath of all women. But make no mistake: I war with Cupid. The way to victory is not to stab the infected with the truth... they pop and fall or increase their fantasy shell even more! Therefore, let us hold up a mirror to the infected so they see all their maladies and so will cleanse themselves of this rot.

The Virus

This hyped up romanticism can be traced to Rousseau. Disgusted with bourgeois love (he saw it as an empty emotional center of restrained, law-bound societies), he wanted to replace it with something more passionate. Before (especially in aristocracy), the passion of people was set for truth, honor, and power.

"This is dangerous," said the Rousseau. "It must be replaced with something else. Something that is just as absorbing." Therefore: "Love will now be the soul-saving experience!

How did Rousseau get to this? His childhood as he describes: "To fall on my knees before a masterful mistress, to obey her commands, to have to beg for her forgiveness, have been to me the most delicate of pleasures." Thus, in love he is entirely passive; woman must make the first move. Paglia says, "Rousseau ends the sexual scheme of the great chain of being, where male was sovereign over female... Rousseau feminizes the European male persona" and "gives the ideal man a womanlike sensitivity."

Ever since Rousseau, the culture has become increasingly romanticized. Music revolves around 'love'. The highest grossing movies are romantic 'epics' like Gone with the Wind and Titanic (where the ship sinking provides merely a backdrop for the 'priority' of the movie: the romance). Hyped-Romanticism has ravaged religions; priests becoming 'servants of love' rather than pursuers and warriors of 'wisdom and truth' (and then they wonder why the pews are filled with women!). Politicians speak of how much 'love' they have and strive to make themselves 'lovable'. Romanticism has gone beserk!

The Infection

Many women march on through their life, stuffed with dreams of hyped-up romanticism. They are filled to the brim with excessive expectations. The high rate of divorce is not due to some moral collapse. It is due to this bizzare and absurd religion of romance. In many ways, romance is the FEMALE RELIGION. 'Anniversary' dates are their religious festivals. The bed becomes their alter, and sex becomes the holy sacrament.

For fun, I told the women, "Romance... True love... None of it exists." And the women, nonsurprisingly, protested bitterly. But one thing that puzzled me was this one woman who told the Pook: "I'm never going to get married. Seems so boring." I thought she would agree with this idea of romance not existing (which I do think DOES exist, but is misapplied to the point of absurdity). Yet, she was one of the biggest protesters of it.

I figured almost all young women wanted to get married (at least SOMETIME). This one didn't yet was the BIGGEST believer in romance. A contradiction? Perhaps. In any age past, her life would be scorned at. It is this hyper-romanticism at work. Without this 'romance', there would be no license for her life-long 'romance' outside of marriage. It is well known that if you get the women to think that 'you love them', she is well more likely to sleep with you. All the gifts and 'dates' the AFC gives to get his sex are not some form of Neo-Prostitution; it is merely the exercise of this hyped up romanticism. This explains why women, who have no desire for marriage, will be the BIGGEST believers in romance. Their religion of Romance grants license and prettifies their sometimes dangerous and reckless behavior.

The Inflammation

Love! Love! Love! It is Nature's drug, a high, that so many become addicted to and must always be feeling 'love' at some part of their lives.

A Nice Guy appears to protest this post.

Ignore him, gentlemen. Women following this romanticized path means that the CHASE becomes the focus rather than the COMPANY of the lover. No wonder challenge works so well! No wonder once a woman gets what she wants, she goes looking for something else!

The more a man is a challenge, the more a woman becomes 'romanticized'. This is especially true for beautiful women. The curse of beauty (and even that of Don Juans) is that you fear that you are settling when you could have gotten better. When a guy is a challenge to the beautiful woman (and let's face it, these beautiful women have flocks of guys trying to be 'romantic' towards them in the AFC sense), it sparks the woman's romanticism. She must have her challenge and eat it too.

The Nice Guy yells out, "Pook, there is a matter we must discuss!"

Go to your platonic girlfriends to talk about your 'love', Nice Guy! Now where were we?

We know of the romanticism that Nice Guys embrace (for the definition of an AFC is a man who loves like a woman). But Don Juans suffer from the romanticism as well. "This website has made me soooo picky!"

The problem is not pickiness but idealism. Just like beautiful women, Don Juans feel that they are 'settling' if they get a chick. Remember your Nice Guy days when you only wanted a good decent woman to love you? Now you want a Helen of Troy! How far we've come!

The Nice Guy hops up on the Arcadian stage. "No more, Monsieur Pook! We must talk!"

Very well, Mr. Nice Guy! What is this business that you must interrupt my post for?

"I think you know it, Pook. You insulted my girl in the park last night!"

You are mistaken, sir. I made love to your girl in the park last night. She asked me to meet her there. I have her note somewhere. But if someone is saying something to the contrary, by God, it is a slander!

"You damned Pook! You would drag down a woman's reputation to hide your cowardice! But I am calling you out!"

You're calling me out? Then take lessons from your girl, as she too called me out.

"You libertine!" The Nice Guy takes out a white glove and slaps Pook. "I DEMAND SATISFACTION.

You demand satisfaction but your girl also demanded satisfaction. I cannot spend my time satisfying the demands of your circle.

"You blackguard!"

I assure you, Mr. Nice Guy, that your girl is the epitome of her sex. In fact, her chief renown is for a readiness that keeps her in a state of tropical humidity as would grow orchids in her drawers in January. Your assault against me is not for my faults but for your own.

"You have no morals!"

That is not true! You are the immoral one, thinking yourself a sexual Pharisee! We are called to be Human not statues.

The Cancer

And so floats the Nice Guy with his hot air romanticism. When he sees the women going for the guys of testosterone (jerks) and running to the hills to avoid his nonsense, he pops.

But what of the Don Juans racing to obtain their 'ideal' woman? After a decade or two, this is the result ( Noticing their lost youth, what are these guys to do?

And what about the guys who DO get their idealism? Many of these guys marry absolutely gorgeous women. But gorgeous women are a standard lay. The idealism doesn't last and the divorce follows.

With love being defined as the PURSIT of the the lover (rather than the COMPANY of the lover), no wonder divorces are widespread! Rousseau is best known for his civilization of 'consent'. Thus, marriage to people now is not some sacred bond but a legal article of consent, something to be torn asunder whenever wished.

And anyone who are aware of marriages that last know that 'romanticism' has nothing to do with it. Marriage requires work. Go to an older married couple and spew out your 'romanticism' and 'the one' love to them and watch them laugh.
Romeo and Juliet

Women flock to Romeo and Juliet to watch the 'star-crossed' lovers defy society. Yet, romanticism is exactly what the play condemns!

Romeo was in love with Rosalind. But when Juliet appears, any thoughts of Rosalind are long gone. Romeo is Don Juanish at first. He kinos her. He kisses her. And he leaves her. So where is the tragedy?

"Because their love was denied!" chant the women.

I am sorry ladies. The truth is that Romeo is a whiny boy. Romeo and Juliet would have turned into a sweet Much Ado About Nothing if Romeo had the spine of Claudio. It is Romeo's lack of being a man that causes the tragedy in the play.

"Pook! You exaggerate Shakespeare to fit your meaning."

But look at what Shakespeare says:

"Alas poor Romeo! he is already dead; stabbed with a
white wench's black eye; shot through the ear with a
love-song; the very pin of his heart cleft with the
blind bow-boy's butt-shaft: and is he a man to
encounter Tybalt

Already dead! And they question whether he can approach his enemy Tybalt. Even the Nurse condemns Romeo:

"Blubbering and weeping, weeping and blubbering.
Stand up, stand up; stand, and you be a man:
For Juliet's sake, for her sake, rise and stand;"

Romeo is so distraught that he wants to kill himself. Witness the friar's reaction to his attempt at suicide:

"Hold thy desperate hand:
Art thou a man? thy form cries out thou art:
Thy tears are womanish; thy wild acts denote
The unreasonable fury of a beast:
Unseemly woman in a seeming man!"

The tragedy in Romeo and Juliet is not love denied. It is Romeo refusing to be a Man. He kills himself at his first chance and so kills Juliet.

The Cure

Have you ever seen a very traditional Jewish wedding? The man and woman have never talked to each other. They do not even know if they like each other. Yet, they marry and stay married for life.

"Pook, that is because they can't divorce."

True, but by conventional romanticism, shouldn't the marriage eventually blow up? Yet, they are happy!

The point is that romanticism has no value in creating a lasting marriage. George Bernard Shaw says that marriage is like tying to people in a ship together. It doesn't matter who you are tied up to, you will make the person a lifelong partner. Comradeship makes marriages last, not romanticism.

War veterans despise the war they are stuck in. But if asked to leave the battlefield, they will not because of their comrades. The hellish environment created bonds between these men that last throughout their lifetime. Lasting marriages also contains this comradeship. The couple goes through this hurricane of life and by overcoming the difficulties thrown at them, it makes their bond cemented even more.

So love is not weddings and flowers. Real love is deep financial problems or a sick child.

But don't take my word for it:

Brookner: "The essence of romantic love is that wonderful beginning, after which sadness and impossibility may become the rule."

Crowley: "Love stories are only fit for the solace of people in the insanity of puberty. No healthy adult human being can really care whether so-and-so does or does not succeed in satisfying his physiological uneasiness by the aid of some particular person or not."

Jones: "Romance, like the rabbit at the dog track, is the elusive, fake, and never attained reward which, for the benefit and amusement of our masters, keeps us running and thinking in safe circles."

Romanticism, farewell! And 'The One'ism, adieu! Give me the love songs of ages past! Give me Don Juan! Give me Madame Venus! Give me elopement by ladder and rope on a moonlight night! Let the neighbors stare and adore, for their lives are measured by propriety and yardsticks. Let the rabbit run its course for we have stopped running in circles, chasing the rabbit 'Romance' on and on.

And by doing so, the circle breaks. We're finally free.
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