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Pop-Culture has Killed Love

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Message Ryan Rockefeller
After years of traditional dating, I have finally took a leap of faith into the new age, the phenomena that is Internet dating. Like all newcomers to the scene I was skeptical, until I committed to giving it a chance. I quickly realized that up to this point in my life I have no real search criteria in regards to dating, I simply met who I met haphazardly. Mostly at bars where I would end up discussing Nick and Jessica's breakup on the off chance I would get laid.

Internet dating afforded me the option of weeding out the bad, or should I say mismatches? before ever meeting them. Now call me naive, but I was under the assumption that whoever realizes the consequence this proverbial dating gardener lends, would be using it for the express purpose of meeting people of similar interests, as varied as they may be, but nonetheless someone compatible. Perhaps a slightly less superficial utopia. However I was far too idealistic. I found thousands of profiles of guys flexing their abs and girls flaunting their breasts.

It was mind boggling; these people were applying the same superficiality as they would at a bar, failing to use the omnipotent power of the gardener. I had made the obvious discovery, I had an advantage over anyone on the site. So I concocted an honest, yet unavoidably biased, articulate profile outlining my likes, dislikes and other pertinent information. I even added a few tasteful pictures of myself. I possibly went a little overboard about my love of literature, but that is who I am so I left it in. Now I am a relatively attractive man, I have no problem meeting or swooning women, I was even a bit of a Don Juan in my earlier days, although I say this with the same aforementioned bias. The first month I let the chips fall where they may, accepting emails from any woman, two men emailed as well, "not that there is anything wrong with it" it is just not for me, who wished to talk. I received emails from the most unlikely sources. I should say that I am twenty-five years old. Everything from eight-teen year old high school students sticking their middle finger up in their pictures to forty-nine year old divorcees living thousands of miles away. Business picked up on my profile but I wasn't receiving the kind of attention I felt I deserved. So I decided to do a little research and without fail, the ab clad men appear on hundreds of favorite lists, and the women with cleavage they had to use exponents to display how many favorite lists they appear on. I say to anyone looking for attractiveness irregardless of interest or goal, go to the bar, you will save the user fee and you can have a few martinis in the process.

After a few months of outlandish email reading I decided to employ the gardener to narrow my search. I capped the age limit at thirty-five, I have no desire to become intimate with geriatrics prematurely, and added a few stipulations to my profile: "anyone who cannot be more creative than sticking your middle finger up at the camera in photos or lists a celebrity, a hairstyle, or brand name need not contact me. I am not close minded it would just not work."

I rolled out of bed the other morning and with a coffee in my hand I logged in to check my email. Sure enough there was one. I performed my ritual where I read their profile before I open the message. Upon doing so I was impressed, she lived in my area, she expressed an interest in writing poetry, my anticipation grew with every line, she was my age, attractive, she spelt nearly everything correctly and used relatively good grammar. She even revealed that she was smart, although she spelt it "smrt." I wasn't deterred, I love a beautiful woman who uses brevity. I was filled with schoolgirl vehemence to hear what eloquence the little sealed envelope icon contained; she opened with a question: "Are you sure you are not close minded? Look around we pay so much attention to celebrities and name brand things. This doesn't make me any less of a person. Just thought you should know."

At first I wasn't sure what to make of her message. Never once did I suggest derision towards fans of pop-culture in my profile. I waited before responding to her unwarranted accusation. Normally I adhere to a live and let live mentality, but something in her tone, unintentional or not, set me off.

My reply:

"My profile is not a short one. You read the entire two pages only to comment on the last line. You over looked the fact that we had much in common, live in the same area and are the same age. First of all, I never suggested that anyone who participates in, or follows celebrity gossip or pop-culture is a lessor person. My point is simply if you list it as an interest don't message me. I am not sure you if you are aware, as it is a relatively new concept, but humans, in all of our beautiful variety, view things differently. I, for example, think celebrity gossip is ridiculously impertinent and don't care for that sort of vapidness. I am sure you are a smart girl, not an Algonquin Round Table sort of girl, but I am sure you will succeed in this mad world that envelopes us. I must thank you for your puissant argument supporting the validity of celebrity gossip, I shall retire into deep contemplation to rethink my position. Done. The west is over-run by this bile that is pop-culture, ours is a world of superficiality; a place were shoes and hairstyles dictate social status.

As I write these words children are being bullied at school, struggling depression, contemplating suicide or shooting their classmates. All due to the fact their parents could not afford the latest Hilary Duff outfit or Nike's newest contribution whatever it might be; shoes with pumps, airbags, shocks and XM satellite radio. By simply reading about some celebrities, you empower them.

Please do yourself a favour look introspectively, past your $30 makeup and the Louis Vuitton hand bags, and ask yourself; what merit does "Tomkat's" baby actually hold on my life? What are the enhancing properties of this information? Why do I read People magazine, when a copy of Ulysses stands unopened amongst the plethora of Nicholas Sparks novels.
I thought you should know this."

Even when handed the tools to make a more meaningful loving life, people opt to continue on the path dictated by the media, insomuch that it is preventing the very essence of human existence; love. The superficial seed has not only been sown, it has blossomed larger than any bean stock; we could confront, even destroy the giant, yet we choose to buy his perfumes and purses instead. Pop-culture has infected the way we love, is nothing sacred? Is there a place to escape, short of a Ted Kaczynski existence? If we are unable to destroy this propaganda can we at least avoid it?
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Ryan Rockefeller is a twenty five year old fiction novelist and pop culture critic, currently residing in Ontario, Canada.
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Pop-Culture has Killed Love

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