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socks and cat

quote/question of the day

My quote for the day is from a book I'm reading that challenges the notion of romantic love. It asserts that we are programmed by society to think of loving ourselves as taboo and rather to seek out some one to love (who will love us back). I'm interested in your opinion on this quote:

"The self contained, emotionally autonomous, intellectually free individual is the greatest threat to the institutions that want to control us. We see attempts to manipulate almost everywhere - in politics, religion, advertising, entertainment. We are programmed to 'fall' for the hunk or honey of a certain aesthetic type, and to believe that these images of sex and beauty mean 'love'. Then these images can be used to sell us anything from cigarettes to movie tickets. And they are, they are."

-Peter McWilliams


Well, yes and no. I think most the programming is biological, the system is mearly taking advantage of it.

But certan kinds of romance have certanly been perpetuated through history for social control. The idea of Chivalry was popularized by Elanore of the Aquataine to change men's behaviour and give women a certain amount of power. It's also the basis of what we consider "Romance" today. Before that the concept didn't really exist.

The 1950's style concept of romantic love, dating, and the nuclear family was put in place for rather different reasons - putting the wife back in the home and making Rosie the Riveter vanish.

Yes, it is out society ... we have created this, we can either join it, deal with it, or change it. But, first we must accept the truth of it.
I would mostly agree to it. I do think that society has enough "push" to influence us to go for love in the ones with good looks and/or status. But I do say mostly because I've dated a few people that weren't considered "hot", but I dated them because of who they were.

If it truly was about dating what was inside, then all of us good people would never having a problem finding dates...But then again, it's not and even us good people tend to be picky about looks or status.

I'd say it's like a catch 22.
This is great! Thank you! I'm collecting articles like this to use as a selling tool when I start teaching pole dancing. So it's perfect.
To me, this quote doesn't challenge the notions of romantic love so much as it challenges what we believe to be our ideals. It says to me that our ideal person with whom we might fall in love with has been programmed into our psyches via advertising. I think there is some truth to that, but as to romantic love, there is much more to it than just one's ideal image of a mate. I've been in love with men who didn't necessarily look like "my type" but who had other qualities I felt were complementary and beneficial to my own. In a lot of ways, i think I agree with this person that it's too bad that our aesthetic standard is influenced so much by advertising, and that we seem to think (as a society) that sex and beauty are the same as love. In reality, love is much more complex, but the average person may not realize that for a long time.

I don't think I can improve on ocicat's first sentence.

I might want to borrow that book, though. I can start better justifying my 5 1/2 years of being single and in no hurry to change that. :D
this statement is true.

corporate america OWNS this country: any denial is windowdressing.
I dont get it... I have never got it... I will probably never get it...

I have been continually shunned (until fairly recently) by just about everyone cause I did not fit into the "norm". I did not wear the designer clothes, did not so such things as smoke, drink, or do drugs or anything else cause it was thought of as "cool". I have never participated in ANY "fads" of any kind (though some things I have always liked could come into fashion, but it is not the same).
I have never ran out to buy something because of an advertisement I saw on TV, or in a magazine or something. Typically if I even try something, it is at the END of the hype, or for totally different reasons.

(example--- I bought a 6 pack of JOLT cola just to see what it would do to me since I was soooo hyper all the time. Result-I fell asleep in a half hour. I have never bought it again, what would be the point?)

Soooo, what I dont get is, why anyone can be sooo dumb, as to fall for all of these things, to allow ourselves to be manipulated by them. Are we people, or sheep?

Is anyone self contained?

Definitely a thought provoking quote, CK. I agree wholeheartedly that there are pressures in this world to program one to seek out certain romantic types. It's kind of complicated to think about. It could be argued our most primitive ancestors - perhaps existing outside of love? - sought unconsciously to merely perpetuate the species, and that some physical characteristics meant "healthy" the way a color of a rooster's comb (sp?) can have an impact on hens. As humankind as grown, it is possible to overcome the whims of our biological drives, but Madison Avenue likes to commodify that which exists in our animal drives, and social institutions like to try and sugar coat them and explain them as evidence of belief structures. Phew. Where am I going with this? Heh, I'm rambling. I think the point is, YES there are forces that will always try to influence our behavior. But seeking the rare gift of understanding ourself and appreciating the real qualities of another human - that's what, in my opinion, gives us hope for love, and for the human race in general.