Friday, August 24, 2012

Why are there so many love songs?

"We need so many love songs because the imperative rituals of flirtation, courtship, and mate selection that are required to guarantee the perpetuation of the species and the maintenance of social order--that are hardwired in mammals and proscribed in traditional cultures--are up for grabs in mercantile democracies.  These things need to be done, but we don't know how to do them, and, being free citizens, we won't be told how to do them.  Out of necessity, we create the institution of love songs.  We saturate our society with a burgeoning, ever-changing proliferation of romantic options, a cornucopia of choices, a panoply of occasions through which these imperative functions may be facilitated.  It is a market, of course, a job and a business, but it is also a critical instrumentality in civil society.  We cannot do without it.  Because it's hard to find someone you love, who loves you--but you can begin, at least, by finding someone who loves your love song.  And that, I realized, sitting there in the zocalo with Brownie, is what I do: I write love songs for people who live in a democracy.  Some of them follow."

--Dave Hickey, Air Guitar

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