Feb 14, 2007

Have a Bonobo Experience on Valentine's Day (and not only). Remember: Life is What We Make of it!

This post is not about politics. Wait, on a second thought, it is! Even on a personal level, two people have to engage in politics, that is, they have to communicate their desires, plan a common course of action, compromise, establish rules of conduct, agree on a budget, have certain responsibilities, and have a vision for the future!

I'm not a fan of the gift-driven holidays, and this Valentine's Day is no exception. Actually, I see people trying to get romantic because they ..feel obliged and this doesn't excite me. I know, who could possibly ignore a (commercial) holiday without running the risk of being labeled an ogre, an iconoclast, a brute? I know, culture has its advantages and ironclad clauses, expected behaviors, customs and mores. I prefer ..smores! Without entirely skipping the conventional ways, I like surprises, the unexpected, something that originates within and flows outward as a natural feeling; such a thing doesn't need any prescribed rituals in my world.

Remembering my mother because it's Mother's Day is something I don't want to experience, not if it'd take a commercial holiday to make me think of her. I'm also not a big fan of specific dates--usually arbitrarily set or with the consumer culture in mind. I prefer events that I find relevant; and, I don't need a particular day to remind me what it should occur naturally in me. OK, some dates are important because collectively we can celebrate or pay homage. But, those are for co-ordinating our activities; they can't make us more patriotic or anything that we are not already. Otherwise, it's pretending, make believe.

On the other hand, I don't really care how people celebrate important days, dates, and events in their lives. I believe that we should give meaning to our lives [this is a deeper philosophical view than it may seem at first], so if a man wants to get on his knees and publicly propose to a woman on V'Day, presenting her with a diamond ring, then he should do whatever he feels like. I just don't like this kind of theatrics. As for diamonds, well, I have views that most women wouldn't want to hear.

I do not scorn love nor do I underestimate its power. Like any other human trait, it can uplift the individual and create a beautiful world, or it can be a destructive force if it's blind and crude. The warmth, the validation, the release of endorphins, How could a person who's capable of love can also be so cruel with others? How could someone who loves his ..loving god can bring death & destruction upon other human beings? The human psyche is abysmal indeed!

Who can deny that if more people loved and were loved the world would've been a better place. I don't want to draw extensive scientific conclusions or parallel comparisons to our cousins, the monkeys, but it's worth a look. Just the other day, PBS NOVA had a program on the behavior exhibited by different primates. While the chimps are very violent and even commit infanticide, the peace-loving bonobo prefer the make-love-not-war approach; this approach has made for a happier existence! We humans share 98% of our DNA with both of those primates. You be the judge of our behavior and our strategy in establishing our world. Sometimes, primitive behavior isn't confined to the more primitive animals and cultures.

I'm tempted to start a long diatribe on why & how our societies have attempted to suppress the better side of human nature--even denying love, sex, and the human body--while institutionalizing violence and rewarding the extermination of the "others." But, I'll leave such exercise for another day. Meanwhile, enjoy your day, and try to have as many bonobo experiences as you can! Don't deny yourself and the beautiful experiences you can share; just deny the irrational guilt. Life is too short to waste it.




17 comments:

guess who said...

Hey, it's a wintry day out here. Schools, business are closing down. You're doing anything later?..

;)

cheeta said...

I watched the same show on NOVA a couple days ago. Fascinating. We can learn a few things from our cousins the primates

s.. said...

Of course you have to be referring to religion and how it tried (successfully if I may add) to suppress the good parts of our human nature.

Anonymous said...

Human behavior isn't always great, it's primitive side is violent, so there had to be a code of behaviour. It had to be on religious grounds so people would obey.

shhh.. said...

Can there be a more violent force than religion? I don't think so.

OK, I'm only familiar with Judeo-christian and Muslim religions, and I can tell you, read the Bible and the Koran. Very carefully.

In them you'll see how violent, vindictive, emotional, irrational, primitive, etc. God is.

Please,I don't want to start a religious argument here, so let's keep it about love!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kelly said...

Finally, someone who shares my view regarding the gift-centered holidays. Of course, I like V-day, and Mother's Day, and all the other days, but I do find this rampant commercialism annoying.
I'm also annoyed by people who basically are nasty, but they want to appear nice on V-day, M-day, etc. Look, I'm nice... and to prove it here are some flowers, chocolate, whatever... I mean, I don't have to be nice to you the rest of the year, do I? Now get up and cook, clean, be my servant.

Geesh.

samantha said...

Did you see Blood Diamond, the movie? Everybody should see it. Or, should be educated about the bloody history and present of the diamond business.

Btw, diamonds are NOT that rare. It's a man-made shortage, created by a handful of diamond businesses. And, by advertising that tells the gullible diamonds are a woman's best friend (pathetic).

I admit, women like glittery things. The more you guys spend the more we think we're worth.

Being validated by such things isn't for me.

darma said...

obviously, you are NOT Samantha from Sex & the City. Because, you would appreciate the finer things in life.... best provided by men who only want one thing....

adam said...

well, sometimes the key to opening the lock (or something else) is flattery, glitter, and promise of more material things to come.

We men pay one way or another. The only variable is the price... and you negotiate often on our ability to pay. no?

devil's advocate said...

Surely, Shirley doesn't place a price on virtue. She's told to keep her legs crossed until a worthy man appears.... and I'm not talking about him having only non-material qualities

Anonymous said...

You've got to watch the movie, A Dangerous Beauty. Rent it.

Andros said...

Good suggestion. I've seen that movie. If you do rent it, pay attention to her "confession"... masterful.

She confesses to finding more ecstasy in passion than prayer, to love than hate....

"God's greatest gift to love, you call it filth, and sin, and heresy..."

If you want to watch this on YouTube, here it is:

Veronica's confession

friend said...

I never expected to find this kind of post on a political blog. I don't know, maybe I missed similar ones in the past, but every time I've visited here (since last Oct. or so) it was mostly serious business...
Don't get me wrong, I like your take on politics and such, but give us more of the "lighter side"...

What a fitting post on a Valentine's Day. Great clip too!

drew said...

Ah, yes, heresy, sin and filth... that's what our religion has done for us. Love and sex is violent, mechanical, and to be avoided unless it's for procreation. Women, of course, must not enjoy partaking in it. What a perverted view.

HAPPY V-DAY to all sane people. To all others, you should get some self-flagellation sessions if you're having any carnal thoughts. Have fun.... er, no, don't have fun!

Andros said...

If I may suggest, you should read about Hellenic Mythology (ancient Greek) which describes a very different religion and, more importantly, the nature of Gods.

I think it was the firs humanistic religion, that did not deny human nature. The god were made with human characteristics, character,and with ideal facial and bodily features. Very close to the common humans, partook in human activities, were flawed, respected & feared, but could be made fun of (they were included as characters in theater, and all sorts of art).

Their temples were not huge. During animal sacrifices, they were offered entrails and other non-desirable parts, while humans feasted on the good meat.

Finally, what can you say about the people who created their god on Mount Olympus but brought them down to Earth and stripped them of their clothes?.....

Yes, Eros (Love) was very much present all year-round.

morissey said...

What a beautiful story. I appreciate a wordsmith. It's art with a purpose...