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Friday, February 14, 2014


How often have you seen couples holding hands these days?

I was told once by a girl I was counseling that her last boyfriend held her hand at inappropriate times. 

I asked if she meant when she was using it to eat?  She was not amused.  She didn't like the gesture at all. 

It implied ownership she said.

Ever watch whose hand is in front when a young couple are holding hands? 

Psychology texts say that if a the male is holding hands in the front then he is dominant.  If it is a woman whose hand is in the front then the male is insecure and submissive.

Our music reveals a culture's heart and soul:

At the end of THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH, the ghost of Louie Armstrong sings, "A Kiss to Build a Dream On" at an ironic moment. 

But today's music moguls would probably have replaced it with Britney Spears' "Work, B**ch."

"Give me a kiss before you leave me,
And my imagination will feed my hungry heart,
Leave me one thing before we part,
A kiss to build a dream on."
"You wanna hot body,
You want a Bugatti,
You want a Maseratti,
You better work b****."

There is a hostility in today's music that speaks of our culture's angry dissatisfaction with the world around us, the people around us.

Drake, who whines that ROLLING STONE took "his" cover to give to Philip Sydney Hoffman, 

sings of killing people and burning corpses.
And we wonder why there is no romance in today's world?
There are three main sources of concern for women these days in the dating scene - 

The quality of the mate, the energies they have to undertake to self promote, and the competition they face. 

If we make romance a rat race, only the rats will win.



  1. Bravo! Great post on Valentine's day. Especially the last line, we need less rats. They help to spread plagues.

  2. David:
    Especially the plague of loneliness and hurt!

  3. I, being a fan of Louis Armstrong, love that refrain. A great musician and strong-hearted man.

  4. Excellent V-Day post, Roland. Where to start? You say so much, and I laughed at the "I was like Baby" Bieber stuff.

    There are always the men who say "Chivalry isn't dead. I'll prove it; I'm the last living gentleman on the planet." They follow by not responding to an email, or not holding the door open for me, or not springing one dollar for my tea. Oy got me started. =)

    Know that you are loved and this day shall pass.

    Take gentle care.

  5. Ah yes ... "Work it, B**ch" such lovely lyrics ... aaaaarrrrrgggghhh! What has happened to music?

    Great post, Roland. We do, indeed, need less rats.

    Happy Valentines Day to you :)

  6. I don't know a thing about today's music and I intend to keep it that way. One of the highlights of my life was when, at 15, I heard Louis Armstrong play in the concert hall in Stockholm. I still get teary eyed thinking about it.

    Now I only listen to the silence and country sounds.

  7. Great post. And yes we do need less rats. And should stop feeding them. And rewarding rattish tendencies. Love and laughter are my bricks and mortar - for which I am grateful.
    Continuing to send positive wishes your way.

  8. Sheesh, I don't think holding hands implies ownership. And I got to disagree about the music. A lot of songs that came out fifty years ago were considered crass and corrupting by people who preferred music from fifty years before that. And for some of us, the anger and hostility is liberating to see. It's something that's hidden too often instead of recognized as a problem.

    There's plenty of romance around. It's just not that super commercialized stuff that seems to be all over the place.

  9. J E:
    Certainly not every young woman thinks holding hands implies ownership. But I have lost count of the doors I have opened for women and been berated for it. Women's lib and all that.

    Yes, the songs of the Beatles and of Elvis earlier were criticized certainly. But none of them sang the praises of killing people and burning corpses like Drake's songs do.

    There were songs of anger and hostility in the union songs of the 1930's in California... and people died singing them, too.

    I cannot see songs of race hatred, sexual demeaning, profanity, and killing as is often the case in rap songs in any way liberating.

    Of course, social ills need to be discussed ... but to sing their praises seems ... counter-productive.

    I am happy you see plenty of romance in your world. I was merely writing of what I see in the world around me and in the conversations of those around me.

    As always, you add spice and wit to the discussion here. Thanks for trusting me enough to talk honestly. Always glad to see you here, Roland

  10. Only three percent of mammals find a life's mate. Those include humans and prairie voles. Research on the poor voles indicates staying together is not learned, it's in our DNA. It's splitting up that is a learned behavior. Voles even breath in unison when sleeping. They'd hold hands if they could.

    Ever been love-sick after a break-up? That's in our DNA, too. We're addicted to love, and go through withdrawals when we lose it.

    How's that for psychoanalyzing love?

  11. I blame Brittany and Bieber's stupid lyrics on the fact that they are not very bright, were pushed into the music business too young, and the lack of language acquisition. Texting can limit the English language.

  12. D.G.:
    You and I are both great Louis Armstrong fans. I've always had eclectic taste in music. :-)

    I have long ago come to terms with Valentine's Day. Now, the 19th is another matter!

    Don't trust what men say; believe what they do ... or don't do!

    Bieber will self-destruct some day sadly. There are modern song writers/singers like Thea Gilmore who have heart and poetic beauty and fluid wonder to their music. But they are few and far between.

    Thanks for being in my corner!

    I love your Grumpy Cat Valentine's post. Only a cat can be grumpy and still be loved on Valentine's Day!

    Yes, I think "Work it, B**ch" will not go down into music history! :-)

    I envy you that Stockholm concert. There are modern singers like Madeleine Peyroux, whose DANCE TO THE END OF LOVE is a modern jazz classic that Louis Armstrong would happily back up:

    Nature has her own music, especially at night when the coyote serenades the full moon. :-)

    Elephant's Child:
    Yes, modern society rewards rattish behavior and attitudes -- which is why we have so many rats!

    I'm glad you liked my post.

    Thanks for continuing to send positive wishes my way. They are helping. :-)

    Prairie voles could teach us humans a little something I think. There is a hole in our souls that ache for love. I enjoyed your psychoanalyzing love. And you didn't even charge me! :-) Higher sales for you.

  13. Susan:
    Rappers and country music modern singers have shallow lyrics these days, too.

    I understand that Britney and Bieber are perhaps not the sharpest tacks in the box, but what is the excuse of those who buy their music?

    I cringe to think of Britney's children.

    I think you are right: I have read psychological studies that suggest that texting, twitter, and FB-ing is blunting our capacity for in-depth thinking.

    Sigh. Thanks for visiting and talking with me. Say a prayer for my cancer surgery this 19th, all right?

  14. I think the rats get a lot of publicity. And yes, there is a certain amount of anger and dissatisfaction to some songs today. But not all.

    My husband is a very strong personality, and very masculine (actually, I'm a strong personality as well, but we know how to blend). But he also has a soft touch with little things. We still hold hands even after 30 years of marriage. Ownership? Really? I look it as a connection.

    My 19 year old has learned the value of little things as well. Words like like, I love you, are easy to parrot but unless they're backed up by actions that demonstrate that love, they're just words of little value. I think some of it is training. Some things have to be taught. Kids don't absorb things automatically--even if the qualities are already there they need to be enhanced and developed. They have to be taught the reason they're important.

    romance is more flashy flowers and grand gestures. It's more than touching and certainly more than sex. It's the little things done in day to day life for someone that shows observation and an awareness of what your partner likes.

    But, I do agree that many (regardless of age) have lost the knack of showing kindness and love.

    Interesting and thought provoking article Roland.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

  15. I suppose a psychologist would have a field day with my idea of romance but I say: Hold my hand-front-back-dominant or whatever just not clammy. :) Happy Valentines Day Roland.

  16. Maybe I'm old fashioned but I do not need a special day to express my love to my spouse.
    In May 2014 we celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary and we are still in love.
    There are so many ways to express the love to each other and to walk hand in hand is one of them.

    We both look forward to our 25th wedding anniversary which we will celebrate in our favorite town: LONDON

  17. Sia:
    Those you see holding hands mostly are those of us who are not in Generation Y or X or Z.

    I'm glad there is still some music out there not filled with anger and hostility -- but I have to go to to find it. The radio stations usually do not play it. Sigh.

    You're definitely right: compassion, romance, regard have to be taught. But these days children are rearing children and the consequences yell at us from the headlines.

    I'm very happy you enjoyed my post. I was merely reflecting on what I have observed but since I am in one spot of the country, my perspective is, of course, quite limited.

    May each day for you hold some act of tenderness received. :-)

    Sometimes psychologists over-analyze, right? :-)

    No, we don't need special days to treat the special people in our lives with love and regard. :-)

    Congrats on the 23rd wedding anniversary. May London treat both of you well come the 25th Anniversary!