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The Charger - Modern Romance

26 September 2023

This morning I learned that — two months ago — the bluebird of snottiness was renamed X. The narcissistic digital feedbag got re-branded, purely, I suspect, for monetized attention and clicks.


A desperation move, if you ask me. But me, I’m not part of the coveted commerce-demographic that’s catered to with such servile obsequiousness that a mere glance at it makes me feel a bit sick.


Methinks “X” could turn out to be a bomb, much like the defunct missiles that the scavenger billionaire purchased from the now-reviled Mr. Putin.


I think the letter “Y” (Why?) would have been more apt, or even “Z” (for zed, as the French say); but Letter-Branding across parasitic-merchandise-domains is the point here, or so I surmise.


The pompous barking-chain formerly known as “twitter” is now X.


That Art of the Letter worked out well for Prince! He took the art of the letter to new heights.


At the time of his untimely, though not unexpected, demise from decades of drug addiction, my Dear Daughter was teaching in a private school in Minneapolis. She informed me that a student of hers was requesting extra time off to deal with the death of this musician.


“He’s taking it rather hard, isn’t he?” I queried.


“It’s a relative.”


Oh.


Unless I’m told the absolutely obvious truth, I don’t get it. I do, however, get the obvious neurotic weirdness running rampant throughout Modern Romance. I, personally, was a very early proponent of speed-dating. I might have invented it, back in my day.

One particularly peevish boy informed me, even before The First Date, that if there’s one thing he cannot stand, it’s the use of “ish” after any word.


Let’s meet at seven-ish. It’s noon-ish. The weather is warm-ish.


I was only sixteen, but I was alarmingly astonished to observe this inferior being handing me a list of suffixes to avoid in any conversation with him. (With me, this oaf-cad never got to The Prefixes.) Those stipulations formed, for me, an instant guide on how to really bug this guy.


My use of the verbal appendage, ish, started slowly. I didn’t want to be too heavy-handed in clubbing this clod over his supercilious head with his persnickety terms of engagement. It’s best to start slow, progress steadily, and then triumphantly reach that cutting climax of “Get out of my life.”


Modern Romance does not partake of that fun, the sheer joy, of direct face-to-face combat between the sexes as it once-upon-a-time did. I don’t blame the digital devices. I think the holder of the device is fully responsible for the dullness with which sparks do not fly. Avoidance as a romance strategy is a sure sign of a mentally and emotionally maladjusted person.


That behaviour is not a crying shame because the suppression, or repression, of passions — not there — is a tragedy, a human failure of epic proportions.


The attachment of one’s attention — and emotions — to an electronic object is an indication of the neuroses, even psychoses, that reside within. During my childhood, there was the transistor radio that was glued to the ear, later to be replaced by quadra-phonic speakers that blasted any chance for intimacy out of the room.

That hi-fi was high on alienation, low on fidelity.


I felt crowded out by the blaring of ghastly rock-music that overtook any discourse my voice attempted to achieve. And my voice was, and is, vastly superior to the auditory dreck preferred by my pallies.


Back then, I did not know that I possess a “phone voice”. That aspect of my instrument was pointed out to me, indirectly, decades ago by the husband of my Boss-Lady. I’d called her home phone-number to request authorization for weekend overtime (which I received), and her hubby had answered.


After I’d asked for him to haul her over to the Rotary-Dial Phone (device), I heard this schlub of a husband say:


“Man, I don’t know who she is, but she’s got one hell of a phone-voice.”


The rapport between Boss-Lady and me didn’t improve from that point on!


My voice, however, was nearly always silenced — blocked out — by the blockhead noise (“music”) that the boys of my peer group somehow needed to comfort them whilst in the presence of a girl, or, in my case, a young woman. The romantic ambiance was odious. I opted to retreat to my attic and listen to real music, and to sing along with it.


That tactic, a purely defensive manoeuvre on my part, became my wondrous way of dealing with the lack of love, lack of romance, lack of honesty, lack of sanity in the world beyond my cherished radio channels.


I thus do comprehend the need to escape a hideous existence by venturing into the imagination. I performed this feat early and often in my life. What I cannot comprehend is the suggestion, much less an accepted fact, that what the young lovers of today foment is creative, innovative, inventive, ingenious, productive, leading-edge, or anything else that approaches imagination. It’s deviceful, I’ll grant them that one!


I cite the immortal lyrics of an immortal song composed by Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen in 1940:

Imagination is funny

It makes a cloudy day sunny

Makes a bee think of honey

Just as I think of you


Imagination it’s crazy

Your whole perspective gets hazy

Starts you asking a daisy

what to do, what to do.


Have you ever felt the gentle touch

and then a kiss

and then and then


Find it’s only your imagination again,

oh well.


Imagination is silly

You go around willy nilly

For example I go around

wanting you

And yet I can’t imagine

that you want me too.



The bee thinking of honey is a good, ripe place for young lovers to start their journey along the trail of real romance. From that humble but honest beginning, the imagination can run wild, without a charger, high-speed connectivity, the digital dysfunctional-family plan, or GPS to spy on your Beloved.


There’s nothing like trust between lovers!

I’m young enough to remember when a Charger was that lime-green car, which looked like it had been drag-raced through the desert near Palm Springs, which I almost purchased during my first year of living in Sacramento, California!


I dodged that one.


I also looked at a vintage Cudda (the barracuda), but that’s another story!


For any sentient being, there’s fight-or-flight. That survival instinct includes dodging, which is a form of flight.


Moving forward from that act of avoidance, I charged into the future, toward a Pinto, and, then, at long last, to the Bronco of my dreams. If I could do it — you, stellar student amongst the academy of the anxiety-ridden — can do it too!


Imagine that, or at least give it the old-school try.

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