Tuesday, April 17, 2007

getting americans bicycling

recent entries to this blog have touched on the prevalence of idealistic dating images and the disconnect with our actual experiences dating. nat looked at a kind of generational gap in models of dating while lee commented on the near impossibility of meaningful romantic experiences while being bombarded by unrealistic medial representations of romance. with these impossible expectations about dating comes a fetishization of dating which conveniently ties all romantic experiences back into market place; you better buy a lot of shit if you want to romance someone.

so, all our dating experiences are bound to fail.

what do we do? reject these romantic images while trying to create and adopt pragmatic models of dating and romance? good luck.

lately i've been thinking i just need to accept all this bs. but accept only the most extreme idealizations and take these idealizations even further. in other words, our dates should be more like talking heads' records. especially fear of music. the category of appropriate romantic gestures should be widened to include the most non-romantic items. next time you go on a date, pack the date with mementos to be given to your dating partner throughout before and after the date: polaroid pictures of every activity, gift baskets of receipts, bubble gum, newspaper clippings, homemade drawings of national traumatic events (like the kennedy assassination), weather forecasts, junk mail and paperclips. pretty soon every gesture within (and maybe even without) the dating framework becomes loaded with romantic sentiment. at the same time, all these gestures become meaningless sense everything is romantic. everything becomes a parody of a parody of a parody of romance.

don't look for meaningful relationships growing out of these emerging dating models. maybe it's a possibility; maybe meaningful relationships are in fact an idealization. either way, at least your dating experiences will be a little more interesting.

as for an example of romantic comedies taking romantic notions to absurd heights, check out preston sturges. look here for a clip from the miracle at morgan's creek. that's a good one. but so is unfaithfully yours, palm beach story and the lady eve.

14 comments:

punk rock girl said...

i am glad that trudy has fallen in love and wants to settle down and do some guys laundry. it reminds me of one my of all time favorite quotes, "When we lose the homemakers in a society, we create an emotional homelessness much like street homelessness, with similar problems of despair, drugs, immorality, and lack of self-worth".

becky said...

oh, so "i have 50 bucks, what do you want to do?" is out?

punk rock girl said...

the thing is i dont think most romantic relationships are bound to fail because of the recent commercialized remodel of romantic ideals. because that is how some/most people have learned how to show and accept love/romantic interest. i dont think it makes it less genuine or more likely to fail it just makes it harder for people who dont respond or relate to this new model.

i really like your date package idea. i am pretty sure i had a dream last night and you and gavin and cliff were putting together date packages. i think they involved movie clips that said the word LOVE.

brian said...

that movie clips with love in them is a good idea.

and i do think that the commercialization of romance (which isn't actually new, it's just currently being taken to the nth) does make it less genuine because we certain gestures are romantic because they are advertised as romantic.

and the best part about that clip is that she's trying to trick him into marrying her because she's actually pregnant from another man (who she married the night before while she accidently got drunk, but married under a fake name and then the guy shipped off for ww2 the next morning).

brian said...

and becky, do you mean that purchasing a hand-job for 50 bucks is pretty much the same as going on a real date? because i agree.

natali said...

i agree that romance has probably always been commercialized. i agree that its so bad now i can barely handle it. but if someone has legitimate love feelings and buys his wife/gf/whatever a tennis bracelet you cant say that isnt a sincere reflection of his attempt to communicate his love. just because they buy (pun) into commercial forms of showing affection doesnt make the feelings less real.

becky said...

here's what i'd like in my gift basket:

1. redvines
2. sparklers
3. digital voice recorder
4. 6x4ft map of the world
5. jar of nutella and bag of pretzels
6. polaroid camera

this could only lead to the best date ever (eternal relationship)

Colls said...

i tried curling my bangs tonight trudy style. it didn't work. but what does work is this blog. here are my thoughts:

first, i am distraught if trudy is really pregnant. second, i sure hope some dude gets becky that killer gift basket. third, my homemaking skills involve scooping ice cream into a bowl and hiding that bowl under the couch so i don't have to wash it. i think i'm the epitome of that quote nat.

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