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Back to Basics on Valentine’s Day by Daniel Bruno

Posted on Sunday, 14th February 2016 @ 03:50 PM by Text Size A | A | A

Back to Basics on Valentine’s Day

I…can turn a gray sky blue.
I can make it rain… whenever I want it to.
I can build a castle from a single grain of sand;
I can make a ship sail…on dry land.
I can fly like a bird in the sky;
I can buy anything that money can buy.
I can turn a river…into a raging fire.
I can live forever,if I so desire.
Unhappy am I, with all the powers I possess;
Because…girl, you’re the key to my happiness; and
I…oh, oh I…can’t get next to you.

-The Temptations

It’s that happy-sad time of the year again. Cupid and his band of cherubs with lyres and sackbuts of lovely lyrics will be flying about in the minds of (wo)men just as St. Nick and his venison did a full moon and a half ago. Unhitched? Match.com and eHarmony have a safe solution right in the comfort zone of your own home and in your cubicle Anastasiaweb has a lithe Natasha just for you. Bottom feeders troll meretricious personals on Craigslist. Now what we need are 3D computer monitors with smell, touch and taste. Lordy, how did boys and girls study each other before the World Wide Web? How did they court without text messaging? Hallmark and Whitman’s have a clue. A rose, red ribbons and chocolate never go out of fashion and can’t be texted. Lonely hearts love a sugar high, which you just can’t get online, and “knowing” that special someone where a username and password are required is like taking a hot shower with a trench coat (username) and correct, matching stingy brim hat (password) on while holding an umbrella (laptop).

So now we have a politically correct society that cauterizes the eternally distinct roles of male and female in biology, in mating, intrigue and in her (and his) story. Electrons and pixels on a screen substitute the real personality, real work and real risk of rejection inherent in meeting others and maintaining real relationships.

In…my…diary, a lot of things.. I’m gonna write…
Write about the moon…and that lonely night…
And my… diary… will tell all about you…tell about your charms…
And the things you… do.

– The Moonglows

Let’s see a poet keep a diary and a real singer feel the inspiration to bellow lines like these over a Facebook friend or a follower on Twitter.

To Be Or Not To Believe There is Woman, Then There is Man

At the outset of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, the protagonist, Pierre, ponders why women have no need for war, while men “can’t get along without it.” He poses the issue to Prince Andrei, who is eagerly making preparations to leave for the front. After initially fumbling for an answer, Andrei blurts out: ” I’m going because the life I’m leading is not to my taste.” Fawned over by demoiselles, suffocated by social convention, jaded by opulent surroundings, he is bored with peace and prosperity. He hopes that war will furnish the excitement and challenge he craves. But nearly 1000 pages later, as he lies dying from a shrapnel wound, Andrei disavows notions of war and sheds tears of “love and tenderness for his fellow man.” He has accepted, at last, the lessons the women of his family had long sought to instill in him, but only because he gambled and lost, not because he is a new man with empathy for others.

In America (the leader of cultural norms) and the world (the follower) in 2010, the liberating demand of equal opportunity and equal pay has been disfigured into the notion that men and women are the same. Gender roles are blurred and there is no consensus on behavior. Exhibit A: the late Michael Jackson. Confusion reigns and the family, already pruned down to mother, father and child, is further destabilized. Across the developed world, women are defined by their careers just like men, birth rates plummet and the population grows gray and lonely. Marriage laws are written by and for the benefit of pedantic judges (the welfare state) and grasping lawyers (mostly parasites on society.) As Tina Turner put it, “What’s love got to do with it?” Men avoid commitments where a mere 911 call by a woman scorned can cost them their freedom or make them homeless. Heavy, mostly illegal immigration to the United States has shielded it from the most serious consequences of pursuing this androgynous and litigious kind of society consumed with income and consumption.

As I was walking down the street last night,
A pretty little girl came into sight,
I bowed and smiled and asked her name,
She said, “Hold it bud, I don’t play that game.”
I reached in my pocket and to her big surprise,
There was Lincoln staring her dead in the eye.
She looked at me with that familiar desire,
Her eyes lit up like they were on fire,
She said, “My name’s Flo, and you’re on the right track,
But look here daddy, I wear furs on my back.
So if you want to have fun in this man’s land,
Let Lincoln and Jackson start shaking hands.”

– Ray Charles

Women choose amongst their suitors and men are chosen. Women must be charmed and men must risk rejection. Women bear children and men defend families. The Tango of the lucky sperm, its very presence the result of penetration, and the single egg, in rhythm with the moon, has its counterpart in the mating facts of life and trying to supplant them is to go against nature. Going against the grain of nature brings discord and the downfall of personalities and nations. Witness the little boys’ penises touched by Catholic priests across the globe. Ah, money, that favorite nostrum, that known quantity, that universally understood arbiter of relations, that great equalizer and public tender, those thirty pieces of silver, is the terra firma of men and women lost in Madonna’s material world, is the touchstone on the sea of androgyny, is sexier than sex itself.

Juana Mayo, peregrina de la acera,
Veterana de la espera,
Callejera flor de amor.
En sus noches de hombre en hombre
Va pasando, desesperado buscando
Su razòn para vivir.
Riè por fuera y por dentro està llorando,
Pues lo que ella està buscando,
No lo va a encontrar asi.
Juana Mayo, ave de la madrugada,
De tristeza disfrazada
Con perfumes y carmìn.
Juana Mayo, donde anònimos señores
Sacan a pasear dolores
A un jardìn de soledad.

– Ruben Blades

Let us go back to the future. Decide what to be and make that move. In romance, as in sport, there is no reward without effort and a high risk of embarrassment. Tune out the cacophony. There is no Hollywood ending. No electronics can do the heavy lifting. Push the envelope. Let’s get back to basics on Valentine’s Day.

To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn’d his clothes,
And dupp’d the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.

–William Shakespeare , Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5

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