How America Grew Bored With Love

How America Grew Bored With Love, by David Masciotra.

In 2014, the Journal of Advertising Research published a study documenting an odd decline in references to love throughout popular music. … The only four letter word impermissible in hip-hop is “love.” Sexuality is primarily a means of misogynistic conquest; committed bonds of affection are not worthy of pursuit. …

Film is equally sterile and chaste. … Esquire recently reported that “moviegoers are tired of romance on the silver screen.” A writer for The Washington Post declares that “the rom-com is dead. Good.” Both articles attribute the lack of interest in love among the moviegoing public to shifting social mores that now render the “clichés” of the boy-meets-girl movie “offensive.” …

As an instructor at a small university, I am continually shocked by the languid sterility of the contemporary college classroom. Most of the young men and women wear sweat pants and moccasins, rarely speak, and spend more time looking at their phones than each other. …

My observations might seem contradictory, but they actually complement studies of how college students who are sexually active are increasingly dissatisfied, claiming that they do not enjoy sex because it is the province of an increasingly vulgar and transactional “hookup culture.” Rather than a stage in courtship, sex is now something that transpires between two drunken strangers at the end of a long party.

Sociologist Lisa Wade spent five years studying “hookup culture,” and her conclusions are as weird as they are disturbing.

“There’s a dichotomy between meaningless and meaningful sex, and students have to go out of their way to ‘perform meaninglessness,’” according to an NPR summary of Wade’s findings. “They have to prove that they’re not emotionally attached to their sex partners, and in fact that they care less than the other person.”

An airport kiss between two reunited lovers, or the cries of passion from Marvin Gaye or Etta James, must seem like the unintelligible language of aliens to a generation who, according to Wade, “only have sex with partners they’re not interested in” because they consider genuine feeling the most obscene offense against their idea of “cool.”

transgender is now cool

Modern leftist culture is inhospitable to love:

Fromm’s four factors essential for the cultivation and maintenance of love — discipline, concentration, patience, and supreme concern — suffer assault in such a culture. Love is also “dependent on the relative absence of narcissism,” and therefore “requires the development of humility, objectivity, and reason.”

Where exactly in America do children and adolescents witness examples of patience, humility, and the rejection of narcissism? When will they observe a celebration of those qualities, considering that the dominant culture not only denies Fromm’s virtues, but reward egoism, selfishness, and crudity of expression and attitude?

That’s not how comrades do it anymore.

hat-tip Stephen Neil