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Affection: its causes & effects
I listen to, and sing, a lot of traditional love songs, and it pisses me off that in them, by & large, the best a lover can say about cos (= his or her) beloved is that co satisfies some conventional and/or natural criteria of beauty: rosy cheeks, ruby lips, pearly teeth, etc.  That seems to me the wrong way around.  Naively, I would suppose that if you really love (or --- to confine myself to what I have experienced --- like) someone, the way to impress that on co is not to imply that co has won a beauty contest, but rather that because of your affection cos ordinary peculiarities have become charming.  But that seems to be contrary to human nature.  Back in the 1980s, while I was in a commune, I had a lady friend for a while (more precisely, I was fifth on her current list of lovers), and it annoyed her that I liked her snaggle teeth.

In the case of bears, at least, the tyranny of conventional beauty has loosened up a good deal.  There are conventions, of course, but, being at odds with those of the larger society, they increase the amount of breathing room & perhaps inspire further rebellion.  But even among bears, one reads, there are those who think the thing is a competitive game, in which (of course) they know the rules & are entitled to keep score.  There is no end to the foolishness of this world.


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