Frank Zappa: Dead and Still Ahead of the Curve

It was something of a minor revelation to me when I read Chuck Klosterman’s bit in Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs about how John Cusack’s movies have set too high a standard for modern romance. For me, it was an important realization that even good movies can be bad for you. Everyone raises a stink about violence and sex in movies, but isn’t unrealistic romance just as dangerous and psychologically damaging?

I bring this up because I am currently reading The Real Frank Zappa Book and came across this choice passage, which outlines an assumption embedded in all of Frank’s work since his debut in the early 60’s:

“You’re a young kid and you hear all those ‘love lyrics,’ right? Your parents aren’t telling you the truth about love, and you can’t really learn about it in school. You’re getting the bulk of your ‘behavioral norms’ mapped out for you in the lyrics of some dumb f*cking love song. It’s a subconscious training that creates a desire for an imaginary situation which will never exist for you. People who buy into that mythology go through life feeling that they got cheated out of something.”

Good work, Frank. You’ve been dead over ten years now, and you’re still smarter than the rest of us. I’ve seen so many people who seem dissatisfied with their love lives because they apparently had unrealistic expectations about what their relationship was supposed to be.  Particularly dangerous is the female ‘princess’ myth that the goal of life for girls is to find a prince and live happily ever after.

4 thoughts on “Frank Zappa: Dead and Still Ahead of the Curve”

  1. Great read and oh how true that is. I married the princess that just had/has unrealistic expectations myself. Of course I’m no prince so we the end was inevitable. More women should read this in my opinion. Does that make me some sort of male pig?

  2. Great article….i think that sort of cloying movie-romance has persuaded many guys to not even Try-b/c they cant live up to fake, or they dont want to be percieved as trying to. Its sad, b/c non-formulaic romantic gestures can be quite lovely.

  3. “What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music? “

  4. Ditto, Jamie. I wonder if Nick Hornby took that idea from Zappa’s book? Fitting that those words ended up coming from Cusak in the film.

    The circle is complete.

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