why do you hate romance?

A few weeks ago, I tripped over a stray comment in a theater review in the Willamette Week, telling of… something pernicous in our liberal / left.  That puritanism which sits there.

The genre, known for its dramatic, hyperbolic flair, is often steeped in the travails of love and romance—and typically only between a man and a woman. That antiquated idea of finding oneself in the “true love” of another is slow to get a rewrite.

A declaration of fiat, I suppose, to declare common experiences — and perhaps fantasy experiences — ‘out-dated’.  Unhappy not much so that the trans-gendered experience as a transgendered isn’t represented in the arts and media and fiction and is swamped over by the cis experience, but that her experience of non romantic love is swamped over that old chestnut which has always fluttered about Top 40 radio.
Or do trans-gendered not have infatuations?

It may be that the sequel to some “true lover” fantasy gets buried in reality.  Merill Markoe did a hilarious put down of “Pretty Woman”.  For that matter, Robert Crumb had a funny comic about the Mo-Town hit “My Guy”.  (Contentious-wise on purpose — Crumb is enjoying a bit of a kerfaufau right now in the new generation of comic artists’ denunciation of some of his material).

I get trapped in a kind of Hell with some of the analysis.  A worthwhile book, this book of essays on “promblematic” songs… Skipping about the “problem” of Fall Out Boys’ stage gay kissing (not allowable, or allowable, or not welcome, or welcome, or from a point of privilege and straights even if it’s letting the air out of any homophobes in the audience, or… I don’t know) and around the flutterings we have Weezer.  And I’ve seen this before… an amusing song, “Pink Triangle”.

I’m dumb, she’s a lesbian
I thought I had found the one

An expression of unrequited love and then onto sexual frustration (two cousins which in our post sexual revolution world will be conflated) slides effortlessly into that “incel” zone of deplorable attitudes.  Or, maybe we’re just wanting to string the thread back and fiat it out of existence somehow.

This week’s Willamette Week presents the somewhat controversial oped writer for The New York Times — had a tweet history that I’ve never bothered to parse because I don’t much care about the controversy and am not swearing by her and against her.  But there’s a strange whisp right about here

What’s useful about this other philosophy is that it reorients First Amendment rights around the listener instead of the speaker. There’s a difference between what you want to see and what you don’t want to see. That’s the animating idea behind spam filters, and I think we have to move toward that.

The gate-keepers will have their own ideology, and set the terms of service to their perceived “Overton Window”.   The problem with her comes in her designation of the “far right” as the source of criticism against her — I saw some criticism on her from “far right” sources.  But I also saw criticism from — which was about the same — from “right” sources.  I didn’t peer too closely, but I also never saw the use of the phrase “reverse racism” specifically, which at this point is the loaded term that will get assigned to people even if they don’t use it.
The search engines can make the designation.  The Onion parody falls off the mark, lest we entangle the old Iraq War protesters and see how closely they were sitting next to fellow 9/11 truthers rambling on about “globalists”, with a good deal of overlap of rhetoric that wasn’t necessarily parsed out.
Or, “re-orients from speaker to listener” grounds back to, firstly — recommunicating whatever the listener would want to hear, or — as seems to be more the case, as they are trying to get some people out of the “fox news echo chamber” or the “anti-vax search engine resultings” — what someone thinks the listener should be hearing as opposed to what they are hearing, but only for them and not us the enlightened.  Or, maybe we’re in “safe space” land — “I read dangerous books”, or no you don’t.

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