The Scourge of Romantic Love

“A Korean high school alum of mine, class of 1956, naturalized over half a century ago and resident in NY, is devastated,” I report. “Jilted, his grandson, 16, killed himself by jumping off a 500-foot cliff. A math genius, precociously enrolled at a ranking university, he was the hope and pride of the whole family. My friend, the 82-year-old grandpa, blames himself for coming to America to start his American dynasty. Actually, I feel partly responsible because, singing America the Beautiful, I had urged him to immigrate, though he doesn’t seem to remember.”

“The boy would have killed himself in Korea, unless the culture is different there and does not blow sex out of proportion into the hallucinogen, romantic love, that kills Romeo and Juliet,” Tom reasons.

“Not to the extent of Greek and Roman deification of love as a goddess with modern romantic sublimation via Medieval courtly love, compliments of your greatest writers, artists, musicians,” I point out.

“The drug cartel,” he snorts.

“But Korea has earthy folklore and folksong galore that takes for granted obsession with one’s object of love, which perhaps argues its universality,” I conjecture wildly, “with perhaps an evolutionary design: to snare and bind a breeding pair so they stay together long enough to raise the young and ensure the survival of the species.”

“So we end up with 7 billion and counting, 8, 10, 15, …a trillion,” he shudders. “We’ve got to reconfigure this blind engine, romantic love, before it suffocates us all.”

“Do you therefore dismiss love-engendered fatalities like my friend’s grandson as some kind of natural selection?” I challenge his seeming insensitivity.

“Not at all,” he retorts. “Romantic love reconfigured or, more correctly, gutted, will kill two birds with one stone, preventing your Romeo and Juliet tragedies.”

“Except this case is a little different: unrequited love, unlike Romeo and Juliet, the love birds.” I add, “With an American twist: the girl’s white parents didn’t care for an Asian son-in-law, however smart.”

“Poor boy!” Tom laments. “Only if he had torn off the blinders and looked around at the dozens, hundreds of nubile females available and interchangeable, white, yellow, black, brown, …”

“Unfortunately, once caught in the trap of romantic love, interchangeability is anathema, simply unthinkable.”

“There is only one way to save humanity from the monomaniac fixation of romantic love: reduction of its ultimate goal, orgasm by coitus, to excretion,” Tom declares agitatedly. “The program should start early, like preschool. The toddlers will undress and pee and poop in plain view of each other to familiarize themselves with their excretory anatomy with gender differentiation, soon to be supplemented in elementary school by physical education that incorporates induced orgasm so as to reduce it to the third dimension of excretion in addition to the two they already know.”

“But how do you induce orgasm with these little kids?” I ask aghast.

“Masturbation and communal manual excitation of the penis or clitoris of the next kid in a circle, for example, a phys ed routine like basketball, gymnastics, or what have you.”

“You are kidding, right?” I shake my head. “Parents will tar and feather you for even thinking such thoughts about their darling little angels.”

“But these angels do it anyway, only in secret and in shame, with untold psychological damage that renders them more susceptible to romantic love,” Tom shouts. “This way we bring it out into the open and trivialize it, so Romeo wouldn’t kill himself because he knows there is a whole ocean of Juliets out there.”  

“Just for argument’s sake, does the inducement of orgasm include coitus?”

“Absolutely not. Penile penetration of the vagina is forbidden and allowed once or twice after marriage in estrus strictly for planned breeding purposes upon proof of the couple’s financial capability by depositing, say, $10 million per child in escrow, to see the new born through graduate or professional school.”

“You mean only 0.1% of the population can fuck their wives and that only as many times as the number of children they can have in their whole lives?” I scream. “Now you’ll have the whole world coming after you.”

“Only the primitive antediluvian males, prior to our new phys ed regimen, but not the women, not even the antediluvians, who have never really wanted it, only enduring it all these millions of years, partly because of the faint hope during estrus for this marginal means of achieving orgasm but mainly because of their economic dependence on men who thought vaginal penetration the only road to heaven. With the new educational system in place a new era of peace and creativity dawns on humanity: with fewer of us around, population under control and freed from the scourge of romantic insanity, cooperation will be the guiding principle, not competition, and prepare us for intergalactic exploration.”

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