Interpersonal communication can be as trying as putting together Ikea furniture.
Love, Reblogged: Thoughts on 40 Days of Dating by Edan Lepucki
To find yourself speed dating is to acknowledge, at least to yourself, not without humor, a waywardness of romantic course, to become increasingly conscious of yourself as an advertisement for yourself, a mercurial herald, as you move from one table to the next, one consciousness and then another and another flitting by image-saturated eyes.
Each participant found at the entrance a neon green envelope, including a library card in manila sleeve for taking notes on each “date,” and a name tag featuring the handle of a character from a favorite book (favorites requested earlier by e-mail). These would be our pseudonyms for the night. Each date would last an almost militantly enforced four minutes. A single case of lingering — whether affectionate, desirous, or uncertain — could cause the entire caterpillar crawl to go legs up. There was to be no lingering. Lingering is for books.
One thing about capitalism, I have noticed, is that its appeal is never stronger than in the aftermath of a breakup, love spilling forth from the vessel that shaped it, all that energy and longing to be known and to know in turn seeking new forms to cleave to, things that did not previously define you.
I have to tell you,
there are times when
the sun strikes me
like a gong,
and I remember everything,
even your ears.
Dorothea Grossman, “I Have to Tell You.”
The critic Joshua Clover has argued that loving novelty is perfectly appropriate, because the material conditions of mass culture make it ever-renewable: if you wear out one pop song, there will always be another. Ranking lastingness above novelty is a holdover from an aesthetic of scarcity, predating the age of mechanical, or digital, reproduction. So today we can love a song for being one of many, part of the crowd, rather than as an intimate partner. A rich taste life will include both, just as a rich erotic life includes infatuations and flings as well as long-term relationships, because they do different things to us. (Don’t we feel a bit sorry for people who marry their high-school sweethearts, even as we admire their constancy?) And luckily, songs are not jealous of one another, and don’t have any feelings to be hurt.
Carl Wilson, Let’s Talk About Love.
It’s a pretty simple standard, actually — all any story has to do is just show us the meaning of life.
Special Effects: Gone with the Wind and Genre Difficulties by Brian Ted Jones
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