(Night. Daddy, Moses and Blankie lie on a bed. All three stare into the darkness. All is quiet)
Daddy: Moses, you know that Blankie is actually your brother, right?
Moses: No. Blankie’s not my brother. Blankie is a blanket.
Daddy: Not yet. Blankie is only 5. He doesn’t become a blanket until he’s 18.
Moses: Daddy, Blankie isn’t 5.
Daddy: Sure he is. He’s very advanced for his age. Did you know that he’s an expert in archery?
Moses: What’s archery?
Daddy: Shooting a bow and arrow.
Moses: Blankie can’t shoot a bow and arrow. He doesn’t have arms.
Daddy: He uses his corners.
Daddy: And he speaks three languages…
Moses: Really? Are you joking?
Daddy: No. He speaks English, Spanish and Cantonese. He is also semi-fluent in several regional dialects native to Ethiopia.
Daddy: He only reads Russian and English though.
Daddy: He’s read most of Tolstoy in the original language.
Moses: What’s Tolstoy?
Daddy: It’s a kind of medicine. For people who can’t sleep.
Moses: Blankie can’t read.
Daddy: Shhhh. You’ll hurt his feelings.
Moses: Daddy. Blankie can’t read because he doesn’t have eyes.
Daddy: Good point.
Daddy: Did Blankie ever tell you he was the starting fullback for Baylor on their 1995 Liberty Bowl winning team?
Daddy: And did Blankie ever tell you he was the Attorney General under Richard Nixon. And that he quit rather than fire Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski?
Daddy: And did Blankie ever tell you that he once saved a fishing village in Alaska from a giant squid?
Daddy: And did he tell you that he was the bass player on the first and second Borknagar albums?
Moses: He didn’t tell me because he doesn’t have a mouth.
Daddy: Oh. Well. Yeah.
Moses: Blankie isn’t real.
Daddy: You are going to give him a complex.
Moses: What’s a complex?
Daddy: A group of buildings.
Daddy: It’s time for the two of you to go to sleep.
Moses: Blankie doesn’t sleep.
Daddy: Well, he’s going to be tired in the morning.
(They stare at the ceiling)
Daddy: Good night, son. Good night, Blankie.
Moses: Good night.
Blankie: Good night.
(They do not move)
No Love Lost
Numbing feelings dead
Synthesized broken hearts to bled
Without emotion your heartstrings played
Strummed and severed to the tune of a tragic serenade
[A tragic chorus]
Without emotion, your heartstrings break
Snapped and severed to the tune of a tragic, sad cliche
No love lost
When all is said and done
There’s no love lost
The low cost of loving
Human frailties and weakness are easy prey
How your poor heart will bleed
The modern conception of romantic love is nothing short of vulgar. I do not mean vulgar in the sense of it being lewd or lascivious, but more so remarkably crass and repulsively commercialized. One of the more humiliating acts that exist in our culture is that of picking out a card for a loved ones birthday. The well-intentioned shopper is immediately met with all forms of syrupy sweet, ersatz garbage that pass for a genuine expression of feeling. Being told “I love you” Hallmark style is the equivalent of having some dude in a lime green leisure suit approach you and tell you that we should get rid of all the letters in the way so that “U and I can get together.” Love can seem like an ill-concieved, ham-handed con with all the charm of one of those insidious pop-ups that try to convince the barely sentient of the rich rewards that will be showered on them if only they surrender their credit card number. It is not hard to understand the disgust that would motivate Jeff Walker to write the words in “No Love Lost”.
While I am in complete agreement with the notion that love has been trivialized, I can’t climb on board with the idea that there is no such thing as love. The following admission is probably going to get my universal skeptic license suspended for the next six months, but, in all honesty, love is the one con I simply cannot renounce. I want to believe that there is a category of human experience that transcends our own personal needs and allows us, even momentarily, to exist for another. I want to think that there is more to life than survival and that we have a deeper need for connection to other humans. There must be more than just dumb, barely animate material wandering aimlessly from cradle to grave. I believe that many people share an essential longing to understand each other, to see their neighbors as beings dealing with the same existential dilemmas as themselves, struggling to find some compassion or empathy and aspiring to give that gift to another even though nothing tells them they have to. The best approximation of these feelings and desires is the word love.
Maybe this understanding reflects the cynicism expressed in “No Love Lost”. Imagine desperately wanting to feel the connection to others and being given back nothing but Hugh Grant movies and power ballads. Trying to come to terms with love in our contemporary carnival of cheap thrills and easy answers is a demoralizing task. If I am ever to really conceptualize what love means my expression of it will be minimized by the fact that the language I have to communicate it has been co-opted by a bunch of soft-sell dream peddlers who are more concerned about appealing to a demographic representation of males 25-34 than finding deeper human truths. Why not look at the Love Industry with scorn? After all, it has robbed us of our full means to relate something significant and meaningful to the world. Instead of filling us with a feeling of awe and reverence, the word fills so many seekers of reality with bitterness and irritation.
Maybe the real demonstration of the transcendent power of love is whether it can overcome the cesspool of a market in which it now resides. Occasionally there are human truths that possess so much power that they can surmount any obstacle set before them. That’s what I’d like to believe, anyway. For us to believe that love is real maybe we need to see that it can be debased in every way imaginable and still carry meaning. Or maybe those who sell it have uncovered the terrible truth; that love is simply an inducement to get the suckers to buy more of what they don’t need. Give them the fantasy of love and they’ll gladly exchange it for safety, freedom and power over their own lives. I desperately hope that this isn’t so.
(This series is being co-published by the folks over at MindOverMetal.org. Check’em out!)
We, at The Tyranny of Tradition, are proud to present today’s guest writer, Jonathan Winthrop. Winthrop is a conservative columnist, syndicated talk radio host, all-around great American and a proud parent of four boys (McCarthy 12, Reagan 8, Goldwater 6, and Huckabee 2). He is the President and co-founder of Americans for Progressive Corporal Punishment, a group committed to teaching family values to bad parents. He is the author of several New York Times best-sellers including “12 Easy Steps to Teaching Your Child To Fear and Respect Authority Figures” “Attila The Huns’ Strategies To Being a Better Parent”, and “Look Mom, No Values: A Parents Guide To Living In A Fallen World”.
I know, I know, your young children are learning lots of bad habits from television and from that Odd Future Wolfgang Kill’em All rap album you just bought them. Parenting can be a tough job. But, parenting is the most important job in the entire world. After all, without children there wouldn’t be adults. If there weren’t adults, who would be there to produce a lasting supply of inexpensive consumer goods. Without inexpensive consumer goods, what would drive our economy? As you can see, without children, our world would quickly turn into a communistic hell on earth. I’ve put together a list of six really important lessons that you should be teaching your children so that they don’t end up hooked on crack-cocaine or becoming a “community organizer”.
Don’t Talk To Strangers
It’s the oldest piece of advice in the book. Strangers are a threat under all circumstances, particularly when they dress like they are in 1970s cop films or have foreign accents. If your child doesn’t know a person, chances are that person is looking to cause them terrible harm. Strangers have done terrible things throughout history. John Hinkley was a stranger to Ronald Reagan when he tried to assassinate him back in 1981. Had Reagan died there is no doubt that an Iron Curtain would have descended on the United States stifling freedom for the next thousand years. Be a good role model for your children by ignoring anyone who asks you for help and not saying hello to anyone unless you have known them for at least three years.
Don’t Be A Sucker
Lots of people are trying to take your money from you all the time. Sometimes, they want to give you valuable things in return like toaster ovens or televisions with picture-in-picture capability. Sometimes, they are looking to take your money and use it on drugs or food. Most people on the street simply can’t be trusted. If they are behind the counter at a reputable store in a good part of town, that’s one thing, but according to a study done by the Heritage Corporation 97 percent of people who are who live in bad parts of town are either “highly dangerous”, “just can’t be trusted” or are “too lazy to go out and earn a living.” Do not give them money under any circumstances. It will contribute to a vicious cycle of poverty and Islamic radicalism.
Don’t Let Other People Blame You For Their Problems
Just because you were born in the greatest country in the history of the human race doesn’t mean you should feel bad about it. Most people are looking to blame you for their problems when their suffering is actually caused by the fact that they have made bad decisions. Everyone starts equal in this life. Don’t let their statistics about people being “born in poverty” confuse you. According to a study done by the American Freedom and Values Council For A Freer America, 96 percent of Americans who are wealthy have better morals and make better decisions than those who make less than 50,000 dollars a year. You are where you are because you worked harder than anyone making less than you. Teach your children to be proud of what they have achieved and scornful of those who haven’t achieved as much.
You’d Be Better Off If It Weren’t For Them
Social programs like affirmative action and gun restriction laws have weakened most Americans’ ability to live a happy, free and safe life. Teach your children to be active participants in government by stopping the government from taking your money and giving it to other people just because they are “hungry” or unable to provide themselves with adequate shelter. Thomas Jefferson once said something like “Government is the enemy of free people everywhere, particularly when it gives the money of hard working people to undeserving losers.” He was right. Teach your children that government and special interest groups like illegal aliens are responsible for most, if not all, of their problems. That way, when they become adults they will have absolutely no problem getting rid of government organizations that are slowly rotting America away like the Food and Drug Administration.
Without Math We Would No Longer Be Free
America has fallen behind in math test scores around the world. According to a study done by the Americans For a Freer Society With Better Test Scores, 103 percent of American 8th graders can barely count up to five. If this trend continues our children are going to become adults who are unable to figure out how much of their weekly check goes to building important tools of peace like stealth bombers and aircraft carriers. They will never be able to experience the joy and pride one feels when counting how many more nuclear missiles we have compared to the rest of the world. Then, they will never know how truly lucky they are.
Dear Paul, Ringo, John and The Other Guy,
As a concerned parent, I was driving my children to swimming lessons yesterday and your song “All You Need Is Love” came on the radio. I had never really listened to the words in this song, but as a concerned parent, I decided to try to listen to the words that my children were hearing. What I heard was truly shocking! I find the message in this song to be deeply troubling and, as a concerned parent, I beg you to do what you can to stop radio stations from playing this song.
I’m sure that you thought that you were just writing another silly love song and, I mean, what’s wrong with that? But, if you really think about the message in the song, I think you’ll come to understand why it disturbed me so much. Imagine for a second, that an impressionable child heard this song and took it seriously. Clearly, human beings need a good deal more than love to survive. They need food, shelter, clothes (preferably from a decent designer), and air. What if an impressionable child heard this song and decided to stop eating completely? His concerned parents would beg him to eat but he would not. What if, as he widdled away to the size of a twig, slowly starving to death and his concerned parents, now grief-stricken, asked him why he was doing this and he replied “Because the Beatles told me all I need is love”? Could you live with your selves?
What if, even worse, he just decided to stop breathing? He could die within a moment or two giving the concerned parents only a few seconds to react. What if his friends saw him stop breathing and thought that it was the “cool” thing to do? What if hundreds, thousands of children stopped breathing just to not be “square”? It could be an epidemic of epidemic proportions! Children, falling over dead in classrooms across America, with the words “All You Need Is Love” passing though their blue lips as they meet their maker. Is that what you want?
Music has a major effect on the ideas of young people. Do you know what Jeffrey Dahmer, Adolf Hitler, and Ted Bundy have in common? As young men, they all listened to music. And look what suffering they caused!
I demand that you stop allowing this song to be played on radio stations everywhere. I also ask that you never fill our children’s souls with such blasphemous, anti-social ideas by playing this live. Until you agree to stop this madness, I and a group of like-minded concerned parents, plan to boycott love. We will not express love in words or actions. We even plan on starting all tennis games at 15 so that no person ever has love.
A Concerned Parent