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.