The Official Rants and Trolls Thread It has been suggested elsewhere that we need a forum for rants and trolls. Until we have such a forum, this thread is the place for all your wild, pointless rants. If your rant has a purpose, put it in the appropriate forum. If it is pointless, put it here. Trolls are welcome in this thread. (Note, however, that the rules of Prius Chat are not suspended; and if your rant is political it belongs in the Politics forum, which is itself a rants and trolls forum dedicated to politics.) You can rant about someone else's rant if you like, but this thread should not be considered a thread about my rant which follows, and intelligent rational discussion is bad form and out of place here. So please try to avoid discussing any previous rant in a sensible manner. I'll begin. My rant: LOVE There is a popular notion that love is a spiritual experience which happens when "the right two people" encounter each other. "Love at first sight" is part of this myth, as is the preposterous notion that there exists "someone for everyone." The folly of these ideas should be evident in the common experience of unrequited love, where one person loves another, but that other thinks the person is a pest. This popular notion of love is an example of magical or religious thinking. It is so pervasive, that it is even transfered to the deity in many flavors of Christianity, where it is asserted that "god is love" and "god loves us" as if we were a nubile adolescent virgin girl and god were a dirty old man. No thought is given to what love actually is, and partly as a result, people mistake sexual lust for love. The tragedy is that when the attraction is mutual, people think they love each other (Romeo and Juliet are often invoked, though Humbert Humbert and Lolita would be a more appropriate comparison) when they merely are desperate to get into each other's pants. They marry, have kids, and then either get divorced or become physically abusive when the lust wears off and they realize they are stuck with someone they don't like. The other side of this tragedy, and perhaps in a way even more tragic, is that people fail to see the potential for love in people who are less attractive but more compatible. BTW, Romeo and Juliet probably would have gotten divorced or ended up alcoholic, he beating her in drunken rages, if they had not both committed suicide almost as soon as they were married. Note that Romeo was a butterfly, flitting from one girl to another, insisting vociferously that each in turn was the only one for him, and that he loved her with a superhuman intensity, and Juliet was merely his most recent infatuation. Note also that Juliet was 13 years old, going on 14, and Romeo was in his 30's. Lolita, was just one year younger, 12 going on 13, and we consider Humbert Humbert to be a pervert. Ah, the ways of love! (Or lust, in both cases, to be more precise.) Love is a relationship that grows when two people make a commitment to each other, understanding that they are two people with different needs, and that compromise and adjustment will be necessary. There is a short story called "A Marriage of Convenience" by William Somerset Maugham, in which a man receives an appointment to a government post in the far east, but at the last minute is informed that the post can only go to a married man. He makes a futile effort to find "the right woman" but the time is too short, and he finally approaches a woman he hardly knows or does not know at all and presents her with the proposition: That he is about to take a very desirable overseas post and if she will marry and accompany him he will make every effort to be a good husband to her. She accepts, and they form a bond which grows into love in the course of time and they live a long and happy life together. The moral being that love does not just happen; it is built by two people making a commitment and working hard to be kind to each other. This is a work of fiction, but the author is an astute observer of human nature. (He's also a racist asshole, but that's beside the point.) The world would be a happier place if people gave up on the preposterous belief that there is one "right" person for everyone, selected by fate or god or the universe, as if the universe cared a fig for us, and realized instead that you merely find someone who is adequate, and who considers you adequate, and then you make a mutual commitment to being nice to each other. From that seed, love can grow. It may not always, but it's got a better chance than when it's sought in fairy tales.