Tuesday, February 28, 2023


Like most bipedal carbon-based life forms, I’ve spent many hours mulling over the subject of love. People have said and done the stupidest things in the name of love, especially going to war. Helen of Troy supposedly had a face that launched a thousand ships. King David stole Bathsheba from one of his generals and set him up for an ambush. And let us not forget the Cola Wars of the 80s, which began when Max Headroom tried to steal the heart of Paula Abdul.

Even worse than war, love is the cause of love songs. According to statistics I just made up, eighty-one percent of all songs ever written are love songs. Ninety percent of those are about longing or breaking up:

“Oh, how I crave you,
My heart will shrivel like a prune if you’re not mine.
Oh, I’m so sorry I barbecued your ferret,
Oh, please take me back,
I am just pond-scum without you.”

Only a tiny percentage of love songs are joyful or thankful. Kenny Rogers already wrote most of these, shouldering the burden and freeing up songsmiths of the future to be as angsty as they like.

But the greatest crime love has visited upon the human race is the romantic comedy. The main character is always a nerdy teenage boy, played by a hunky twenty-something who only needs to stand up for himself and apply some pimple cream for his inner beauty to be revealed. Likewise, he has a crush on the most popular girl in school, but his best friend played by a supermodel in horn-rimmed glasses will steal his heart once she puts in contacts, lets her hair down, and trades her frumpy sweatshirt for a skin-tight prom dress. This formula has earned studios millions over the decades, and as long as love makes people stupid enough to spend their money, will for many years to come.

I have to find a way to get in on that.


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