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The Island And The Game

A sometime lady-friend of mine once complained that I was not “open”. This was a common enough reproach among people brought up at a certain moment; but what is interesting in retrospect is how little this was ever defined. As if to explain what she meant, she said that I was like a precipitous island […]

Posted on January 10, 2011 at 09:11 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, What Is This Thing Called Love?

The Unfulfilled

The other day I found myself trying to explain to an African woman in my poor French, how when I was young nobody ever spoke of the female orgasm by that name. They used euphemisms, some of which I – and perhaps half my generation – failed to understand, thus possibly creating a divide between […]

Posted on January 10, 2011 at 19:30 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, What Is This Thing Called Love?

Love In The Blind Alley

Sometimes people claim that John and Mary are in love but don’t know it; others assert that Harry and Sally think they are in love but aren’t. Both are necessarily wrong, since “being in love” is all about imagination and interpretation. The various alleged components of ‘being in love’ remain meaningless psychosomatic symptoms, a mere […]

Posted on January 11, 2011 at 10:37 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · 5 Comments
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, What Is This Thing Called Love?

Roll Over, I Think I Love You

If you want to abuse someone, you should first tell them that you “love” them; it makes everything so much easier. First, it is widely thought that “loving” someone gives you rights over them, and excuses all your behaviour. Second, many people, especially women, would much rather be told that they are loved than be […]

Posted on January 12, 2011 at 12:50 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, What Is This Thing Called Love?

When Hacking Eyes Are Smiling

People assume that the smile is an outward and visible expression of an inward and invisible emotion. Ah, but that is what we are meant to think. For the human smile is a case of neural subversion. It begins with babies, whose smile is created by natural selection to control the mother’s responses. We are […]

Posted on January 13, 2011 at 09:54 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · 2 Comments
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, What Is This Thing Called Love?

Telepathy And Sociopathy

An American SF writer, Spider Robinson, has as his biggest single theme the quest for telepathy, which he imagines will lead to an intense fraternity and total loving acceptance. In this he is in a minority, perhaps even a minority of one, for other writers assume with equal conviction that knowing what is in our […]

Posted on January 14, 2011 at 11:19 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, What Is This Thing Called Love?

Pleasuring The Other?

Those who read no books other than what they find at airports assume that things have always been called what they themselves call them. This puts them rather in the same position as the legendary clubman: “I don’t understand this business of foreign languages,” he complained. “I mean, take this thing on the table. The […]

Posted on January 15, 2011 at 08:13 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, What Is This Thing Called Love?

Surprised By Notifications

Taking the train with people born in the Nineties, I wonder at the way none of them look out of the window, no matter what wonders are to be seen there. They go home, not with selfies of themselves next to the Matterhorn, at which they have never glanced, but thousand of selfie close-ups that […]

Posted on January 16, 2011 at 10:31 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, What Is This Thing Called Love?

Questions For My Next Life

All human cultures know sex, and all human cultures know affection. Probably all human cultures know love in the sense of caritas, placing the interests of another above your own – although some conceive of it only between men. What we call romantic love, however, is another matter. As a poetic narrative, it arose in […]

Posted on January 17, 2011 at 09:41 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, What Is This Thing Called Love?

The Gascon And The Pickled Herring

I was recently reading a biography of Napoleon written by a Swede. With customary Nordic self-absorption, it paid almost as much attention to his rival Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, who ended up on the throne of Sweden. Much was made of the Gascon general’s “Southern temperament”; the author appeared to feel no need to analyse or even […]

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 15:37 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, What Is This Thing Called Love?