This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← The brain in love

hungarianelephant's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by hungarianelephant

18. Comment #214921 by Apathy personified on July 21, 2008 at 4:06 am

Also, are you aware of the concept 'tongue in cheek' comment?

Yes, but apparently a "tongue in cheek" comment in response to a "tongue in cheek" comment doesn't come across well over the interwebs ;)
Maybe brainwashing? Consistantly ramming it down our throats? If you made films about people wearing tin hats, showing how great it was, wrote novels where people are only 'happy' at the end when they finally get their own tin hat - now do that for 120 years - kinda pushes it into the culture (a meme, maybe?)
However, I wouldn't know, i don't harbour any illusions about 'love' - if i suddenly have a mad dash accross Heathrow terminal 4 to stop someone getting onto a plane - i'll let you know.

The serious point is that I don't buy this.

Certainly there's a cultural push towards this kind of thinking, and certainly the likes of Disney make a lot of money from packaging it in a certain way. Marriage, for example, is today assumed to be the product of love, whereas it was until fairly recently primarily a financial arrangement. (This hasn't noticeably led to more successful marriages, though I wouldn't be in a hurry to point this out at a wedding.)

But that doesn't explain where it came from in the first place. Jane Austen didn't sit down to write Pride and Piffle with a marketing plan up her sleeve. She tapped into some sort of human aspiration which was already there (and recorded in thousands of years of literature). Disney didn't start with a multi million dollar advertising budget and a random idea. Blaming vested interests is like trying to explain the origins of religion by reference to the wealth and power of the 13th century church.

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 03:19:00 UTC | #203829