Friday, August 19, 2016

Redeeming Love

I once heard a young poet in DC attack love poets, saying that nobody reads them.

That was not the fault of the love poets. That was the problem with where society was at the time.

At the time, love was being attacked and slandered by many people, from fascist feminists to predatory lawyers. The first claimed it to be a patriarchial racket or narcissism; the second claimed it to be a childish fantasy that should be dealt with by giving them money to screw over their former partners. In such a climate very few people would want or dare to attempt love; which means that love poetry would not resonate with a majority of people.

I seek to change all that. And I will do so by addressing these beliefs.

On the first count: Many of the people who spoke influentially in favor of love were women; and not stupid or weak ones either. From Murabai in India to Mary Shelley and Elizabeth Barrett Browning in England to Anna Akhmatova and Marina Tsvetaeva in Russia, women have taken the lead in their civilizations in practicing and articulating love. They did so while facing all sorts of men who were far, far worse than the liberal men whom the fascist feminists like to viciously abuse while having no guts to attack real abusers. These women are far stronger and far wiser people than fascist feminists. And they deserve to speak for women far more.

The claim that it is narcissism is equally ridiculous. While love did not work out for many in the baby boom generation, it worked out for their parents. I know a number of World War II – generation households that started with love at first sight and lead to happy and productive relationships and are still going strong in their 80s. The baby boomers have been accused of generational narcissism; the World War II generation hasn't. It has been done – successfully – by people who are in no way narcissistic; which means that it is not narcissism.

As for the claim that it is a childish fantasy: Don't tell this to the World War II generation. I know eminent scientists and military people from that generation who made – successfully – life-long matches that started with love at first sight. These predatory lawyers exploit people's failure and misery to enrich themselves while making the world worse for everyone. They are absolute and complete scoundrels. And they are the last people whose advice one should consider.

When love is under attack from many directions, the people who want it are in one or another bind. This of course reinforces the incorrect impression that the problem is with love. No; the problem is with the fact that it's being attacked from many directions, which makes it very difficult to achieve and to sustain. When women or blacks are oppressed, they do not achieve very much, which reinforces the false impression that they are inferior. And when love is oppressed, it leads to bad outcomes, which reinforces the false impression that something is wrong with love.

The aforementioned beliefs are a result either of inadequate research and judgment or of deliberate villainy. And neither deserve to have currency in society. These false beliefs have to go, and they have to remain gone forever. I am doing my part toward that outcome. I hope that others do their part as well.


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