Archive for the ‘What Is This Thing Called Love?’ Category

Notes Towards A Critique Of “Emotion”

One of the many things that surprises me about our world is how everybody talks about “feelings” as if it is perfectly clear what the word means, and perfectly certain that everyone has the same thing in mind when they use it. To me it is less obvious. Perhaps this comes from decades of exposure […]

Notes From A Big Heart – Or Perhaps Not

Sometimes people say of me that I have a big heart, and sometimes they don’t; I expect the same is true of you. The threshold for saying this to someone seems rather low. I mean, have I taken in orphans? I have not, and surely never will. I am quite nice to those who are […]

The Bullshit Of The Heart

Mystics and their banal echoers are fond of talking about this or that “springing directly from the heart”, but no one ever asks what exactly this is supposed to mean. For something to mean something, its opposite has to mean something too, so what would it mean for a thing not to spring directly from […]

The Income Statement

My Alpha says that love does not exist, at least round where she grew up, there is only sex and money. That is indeed how many men think, but she is a female with the same opinion. The possibility of a specifically female critique of the concept of disinterested “love” as the Big Lie is […]

Unconditional Love

Religious belief is sometimes defined as unconditional trust, and “true” love is often described as unconditional. But nobody ever asks whether unconditional anything actually makes sense. Conditional means contingent, or dependent on conditions, which in this sublunary world are in constant flux and cannot be predicted even five minutes ahead. Unconditional trust or love would […]

The Splendour Falls On Castle Walls

On Saint Valentine’s Day one year, British stations carried variants on destination names intended to give passengers a “romantic send-off”. For example the big London station was renamed “Waterlove”, and one departure was called “When Harry met Salisbury”. Things like this make a curmudgeon reflect on this strange word, “romantic”. Regarding the renaming of Waterloo […]

On Persons And Personal Lives

The phrase “personal life” is a peculiar one. Personal as opposed to what? Do I have an impersonal life? Or perhaps someone else has it for me. My personal life ought not to be opposed to my “public life”, because we already have an expression, “private life”, that does that job perfectly well. No, the […]

When People Still Knew Their Bunyan

Thackeray writes that Miss Maria Osborne was “attached” to Mr. Frederick Augustus Bullock; “but hers was a most respectable attachment, and she would have taken Bullock Senior just the same, her mind being fixed – as that of a well-bred young woman should be – upon a house in Park Lane, a country house at […]

Love, Celebrities And Actual People

It is a cliché that sports and entertainment celebrities are the aristocracy of our day; that is certainly true in terms of fashion leadership, the public gaze and so forth. But if this is true, we might expect it to follow that all their marriages are arranged so as to achieve synergies between economic empires. […]

Muscling In On Friendship

These days no one seems able to understand male friendship otherwise than as a “bromance”, called by a term that implies a redirection of an established phenomenon to an unfamiliar object. That is, whenever a man is solidly loyal to another man and delights in his company, at one level we are insinuating a homoerotic […]