Oh, this is really, really good. And you can’t say he’s pessimistic and cynical about marriage like me – because he is married.
In response to my earlier post about romantic love being more like addiction and quite a lot less like some deep spiritual connection, the comments section noted that my worldview is “sterile.”
But this view of romance is also most likely true. Having a clear eyed view of the world has many advantages.
But that worldview is liberating. Think about it. In the realm of love and marriage, knowing the truth about the nature of romantic love can save a person from the disappointments consequent of unrealistic expectations. This leads to happiness. The fantasy realm of romanticism can lead to some very bad consequences. Heck, don’t take it from me. Just read Madam Bovary.
Then he cites this article from well-known social critic Theodore Dalrymple.
WE should try hard to think clearly, said the great French scientist, mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal, for such is the foundation of morality.
Sentimentality is one of the worst enemies of clear thought and therefore of morality. It is the preference of what we would like to be true over what actually is true, it persuades us that we are more compassionate than we really are. It is a form of make-believe. British public policy in many fields has been riddled with sentimentality for many years with disastrous effects on our society and on our economy. We are now paying a heavy price.
By the way, you can read an entire book by Theodore Dalrymple – it’s all free online.
I try hard to get the people that I care about to rethink their liberal political views – to begin to apply reason and evidence to their entire worldview. When a person relies on emotions to guide their decisions, it can cause tremendous damage, and especially to others – the spouse, the children, etc. Learning about the evils of postmodernism, moral relativism, etc. is also important.
On Arlemagne’s advice I’m watching Madame Bovary (1949) right now. It’s about a woman who reads crazy romance novels until she is bored with normal life and has to engage in affairs to find “romance” and “excitement”. It’s even BETTER than Anna Karenina and Great Expectations! I never learned so much about the dangers of selfishness in my entire life! You can read the entire book for free online, if you like. I never really had involved parents or any kind of religious and moral teaching at all, really. But when I read classics of literature like this, I learn a lot. It reminds me why I loved to read the classics so much as a child.
Cyrano de Bergerac
Here’s the greatest scene ever filmed from Cyrano de Bergerac: (this scene is just after Cyrano’s poetry-reciting duel with the impudent Comte de Guiche, and his subsequent fight with 100 armed men at the Porte de Nesle – the object of Cyrano’s affection has agreed to meet with him and he has high hopes that she has finally realized how much he loves her)
That clip is the greatest thing ever written. “It’s instinct that tells the biggest lies”. Indeed. Indeed. Truer words were never spoken.
“Oh, I have done better than that since then”