“Closing time – one last call for alcohol so finish your whiskey or beer. Closing time – you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here.”
I like this song from the nineties. I thought it fit well, it came to mind, as soon as I finished reading, or should I say listening to an audiobook today and here is my review.
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
Ever hear of the saying from my title of this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday post?
Okay, so how many nights are bars and clubs full of people, looking for something, but just what are they looking for in those places?
It’s right up my alley. The topic of love, romance, and relationships and it is all from the hilarious comedic mind and heart of the Parks and Recreation star.
I will admit he wasn’t my favourite character on that show. I was more of a Ron Swanson fan, but since the end of the series I have watched some of his comedy specials. He is about my age and he is just trying to figure out the relationship questions facing many people of our age group.
Many of the topics he first covered on stage and in his jokes and humorous observations are what he put into his new NetFlix series, “Master of None”, a semi autobiographical snapshot (which I am in the middle of watching).
Here they now are in book form. Normally, I like to read books on my own. Occasionally though, the argument can be made to listen, especially when the book is narrated by the author himself. It brings a level of personality and humour that I wouldn’t get if I read it.
It begins with some catchy, smooth, chilling music as he introduces the book. It fits the romantic feeling he wants to bring across, until he can’t help his comedic style and starts yelling and calling us, the listeners lazy for not bothering to read on our own.
I love this book because he discusses a lot of really interesting parts of modern romance in modern times, but he does it with little bursts of his signature sense of humour.
He tackles such topics as social media, online dating, sexting, what he terms the act of being “monogomish”, cheating, and our generation’s give-up attitude, not sticking things out and the fear that, with all the options of a wide open world, that we’re never happy and always wondering if there’s something better out there.
He uses some of his own life experiences in the dating world, focus groups and ReddIt forums, and studies and expert opinions from psychologists, anthropologists, and journalists who study love and relationships.
He even went into a retirement community and asked people from previous generations about love and marriage from their standpoint. One old guy was only there for the free doughnuts, but the rest did offer valuable insights into how they met their partners, when and why they got married, and how they feel their lives turned out.
The only way we can learn is by studying the past and by asking questions of those who have gone before us, but times do change. Okay, so sometimes the more things do change the more they remain the same.
This is both different and similar, as the years pass, but as the clock of our lives ticks on, what will we look back on at the end and regret that we didn’t do or feel?
Aziz and his team of interviewers and experts speak with people in North America, Europe, and Asia.
There are some interesting insights into how monogamy is handled in France when compared to the US. Either one going to extremes.
Women’s options were fewer and roles were measured in different ways years ago. Respect should be timeless and for everyone.
Can love really last?
Of course it can’t, not in the mad and passionate way spoken of in the book and desired by most of us.
His expert scientists share scans and, he points out there are graphs and charts in the book, but that they can’t be translated in the same way when listening to the audio version.
He talks about what I would think is obvious, but is one of the lesser obvious things from what I’ve seen: that new love is exciting and it lights up the brain just like a drug, but that this feeling can’t possibly last, nor should it. If someone chooses to continuously chase that high all their life, rather than accept life’s inevitable ups and downs, well there’s really nothing to be done to convince them that the benefits of finding one person to have as a partner and a companion could ever be more than enough.
I can’t fault social media and technology. My iPhone and the Internet are invaluable to me. Online dating websites have helped me open up and find people I never would have met otherwise. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Can these things make jealousy and deceit easier? Of course they can. Doesn’t mean these things did not exist before them. Shakespeare is proof of that.
In the book he quotes rapper Pitbull and a line in Spanish, translated to say:
“What the eyes don’t see the heart doesn’t feel.”
This is exactly the level of immaturity that exists out there, when people only care about themselves and have no consideration for anyone else.
I recently wrote about having faith, now that we’ve arrived at the Christmas season, that just because something can’t be seen with two eyes, doesn’t mean it isn’t there, happening, or could potentially hurt or harm other people.
Myself and every other blind person could tell you that many times the heart feels things, without having to see with the eyes. This just shows the many and varied beliefs, opinions, and experiences of love and romance.
This book was not a literary classic, but it was an excellent story and well told. You just can’t get the same affect without Ansari’s voice and his acting.
Has he himself found the kind of love that will flow from mad and passionate into a long term respectful companionship? Hard to say for sure, but if you enjoy audiobooks or books on love and relationships, I would recommend Modern Romance.
So, in closing…with one final piece of advice from the book:
He calls it, “acquired likability through repetition”, instead of nothing more than an “option that lives in your device”.
Okay, well it’s all often in the wording. Of course, he is simply referring to the picky way some people look for love, giving up on someone after one date, if they weren’t ready to see fireworks. Smart phones make it much too easy, he points out, to think of someone on the other end, side of a phone screen as one dimensional words in a little speech bubble, instead of a human being with feelings, hopes, and a heart.
What are your thoughts on these topics? Have you heard of monogomish? Do you think love can last? Is there any situation where cheating is acceptable? Are you an Aziz Ansari fan? Have you heard of the song I quote above?
There you go with some music to start, a little book review, and my stream of consciousness ramblings for Linda’s weekly prompt:
Only one more left to go before Christmas is here.