The Abolition of Love

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
A satirical manifesto decrying the current state of romantic love.

Submitted: December 11, 2011

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Submitted: December 11, 2011

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The Abolition of Love

By Craig Davison

 

“Down through the ages

All the prophets and sages

Said don’t spend your wages

On love.”

Tom Waits, The Wages of Love

My children, I implore you to climb on board my metaphoric ark and embark upon a journey across the current flood of cliché and misrepresentation that has inundated the earth’s surface: the commodification and packaging of love. Love, being an abstract noun, has long been a hazy notion generated to sell product to hormonally challenged adolescents, who consume empty facile pop songs in the mistaken belief that the feelings expressed in these tedious ditties are genuine. In addition, there is the trillion dollar Physical Attraction Industry that you, as society’s naïve and hapless chumps, are exposed to and exploited by. The false promises and premises perpetrated by the PAI revolve around the notion that your increased physical attractiveness will draw the attention of those you desire, which will involve substantial superficial rectification on your part. This can apparently be achieved by donning fetching apparel, and through attaining smooth and spotless skin, or a more compelling body type. When will you realise that all this is merely a ruse on the part of the Love Industry to exploit your insecurity for their enormous financial gain?

Love has long been dead, but its ghost has been endlessly recycled and repackaged in an effort to fleece society’s most vulnerable and insecure sheep. Love has become the big lie of our era. The fallacies of love are many: love, or rather the notion of love, will not make you a better person. The reality is that you will instead become more selfish, boorish, smug and self-satisfied, simply by conforming to society’s most spurious aspiration. A more insidious falsehood is that love will make you happy. The world is full of unhappy and dissatisfied lovers – one only has to listen to the many country and western, blues and pop songs relating to the miseries romantic entanglements generate, not to mention cinema and theatre. Star-crossed lovers my arse: Romeo and Juliet were merely a couple of horny teenagers who tragically lost their lives in an ill-conceived suicide pact. Any culture that considers this outcome to be the apogee along its romantic continuum seriously needs to re-evaluate its core principles.

Some other odious developments in society’s regard for so-called love is how it has degenerated to little more than a status symbol, dependent now upon how ‘hot’ one’s sexual partner is regarded by society, rather than the now obsolete criteria involving the strength of a relationship, the joy of companionship and mutual spiritual connection. This in turn has led to societal compulsion demanding dieting, futile exercise, stimulants like Viagra and even the appalling procedures like liposuction and genital surgery. No longer do we ask: do you love me? But rather: will you stop loving me if my arse looks too big or if my labia become too prominent? I’m sure that Adam didn’t ask those questions of Eve, nor would he have sought a cure for erectile dysfunction from the adder. “Here, eat an apple instead. It’s better for you, pal.” If I am ever asked by a woman if I think her arse is too big, I generally answer, “If you can fit through my front door and take your pants off, it’s not too big.” But I digress.

Love does not make the world go around; that is inertia, something the myth of love inevitably generates and perpetrates. I do not necessarily object to individuals parroting hackneyed phrases, like, “I love my wife”, “I love my children”, or “I love my country”, but is it genuine, or rather a cynical societal expectation? The fear of alienation for merely expressing fondness or tolerance. What is wrong with the phrase, “I tolerate my wife/husband”? It sounds admirable to me, as tolerance is one of the higher virtues, and can there ever be too much of it?

Although the proposition for the abolition of love may initially sound extreme, or unrealistic, emanating from the minds of the cynical, embittered and uncaring, this is far from the truth. The prime objective is to protect unsuspecting fools from wasting their worthless lives away pursuing the ever elusive goal of true love. No love is true, as is the case for all abstract nouns. It is time to regard love an excuse for idiocy, and a rationalisation to justify and to endure relationships that are instead based on the mutual fear of living alone, which in turn is generated by the Love Industry, preying upon our insecurities. Those choosing to eschew love are treated as pariahs and held in suspicion by a population barraged by images of happy loving couples and contented families. Those living alone are thought of as selfish and egotistical, whereas, to the contrary, there is no greater act of selflessness than to live a simple life that precludes bothering one’s fellow human beings.

Perhaps it is merely an economic imperative, as sharing an abode initially appears financially prudent. However, this is not the case, as the reduced expenditure will ultimately be offset by the gargantuan expense of living as a couple and conforming to social norms by acquiring the associated accoutrements this entails. These include the many material possessions deemed necessary for domestic equilibrium. Most of these will ultimately end up unused, relegated to cupboards and sheds before being donated to charitable institutions. There is in addition the matter of superfluous children that will inevitably be produced to fulfil the needs of those who have not achieved the success they considered was their right. These dreams and delusions are foist upon their children, who in turn will also be unable to realise them. The treadmill of generational expectation and failure will only produce further unhappiness and the inevitable trauma of separation, divorce and huge legal fees. The legal fraternity is obviously in cahoots with the Love Industry, as family law is now among the most lucrative of current vocations.

Finally, there is the specious anxiety of ending up alone and lonely. Although it is assumed by many in society that those living alone are unhappy, the reality is that sharing a life with a fellow human being is in no way a guarantee of joy and bliss. Most coupled people I have spoken to during the extensive research I have undertaken in order to compose this manifesto, have little but contempt for their partners. Most conversations revolve around the annoyances their relationships engender, the sense of entrapment they feel and their overwhelming desire simply to be alone. This is the human condition: we are compelled to enter into a Mephistophelean pact in the hope of attaining happiness, but once the contract is signed, in blood, and has dried, no amount of tears will wash away the imprint. This is the dilemma of human relationships in our disposable, commodified society. Once we have attained what society dictates should be consumed, we discover that it’s a piece of cheap crap bearing no relation to the picture on the package, that doesn’t perform any of the functions promised in the promotional campaign. Love is false advertising at its most pernicious, and no matter how much you complain, you won’t get your money back. Abandon hope all ye who enter into love.


© Copyright 2017 Craig Davison. All rights reserved.

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