Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A Sorry state of affairs

A post on Megha's blog set me thinking about that trite Erich Segal quote: "Love means never having to say you're sorry". Personally, I think that line is the perfect example of what I call Hallmark poetry - the kind of trite phrase-making that sounds really profound and wonderful until you start thinking about it and realise that it means absolutely nothing whatsoever. This is standard greeting-card fare, but it's also the kind of thing that the writing of Kahlil Gibran is full of, for instance*. Personally, I find it hard to believe that people actually treasure homilies like this, let alone actually spend time thinking about them.

That said, the question I've always wanted to ask ever since I first read that line was - does it work in reverse? If I never have to say I'm sorry, does that mean I'm in love? Is that what the Republican party means when it says it loves this country? Does this mean I'm having a torrid affair with the irritating cafetaria server who I'm always rude to and never apologise? Think about all the people I never feel the need to apologise to - NASCAR fans, people who get to the parking spot after me, all the fellow diners at a restaurant who ordered before me and are still waiting for their food. Could it be that I secretly love all these people? That my seeming indifference to them is simply a front for a deep-rooted yearning? And if being unapologetic is the true mark of affection than I'm surely a lover to equal Casanova.

Okay, okay, so I'm rambling. It's been that kind of day. I'd apologise, but I love you all too much!

P.S. In other news, its seems my neighbourhood aunty-jis had the right idea all along. Isn't science wunnerful?**


* Gibran's position has always struck me as a strange one - it's hard to take him seriously as either a poet or a philosopher. The best that one can say for him is that he sounds nice and is really useful for sending 'special' greetings to cousins who wouldn't know poetry if it came and nibbled on their toes while they were sleeping but expect to be congratulated on their marriages / babies / house-warmings and other such unfortunate accidents with the choicest purple prose from yours truly.

** There's a vicious canard going around that I'm a fairly nifty gossip monger myself. This is entirely untrue, of course. It's a horrible lie spread by J (whose wife keeps Fed-ex-ing herself little packages in a desperate attempt to seduce the delivery guy - so far with little success) and P (who spends every morning at the hairdressers getting a thirty minute comb-over).


meditativerose said...


Megha said...

"Personally, I find it hard to believe that people actually treasure homilies like this, let alone actually spend time thinking about them."

Since I have been linked and all, I shall presume that the reference to 'people' includes moi, and proceed to defend myself :) I do not like that phrase. At all. As I stated somewhere in that madhouse that is my commentspace - Anyone who believes that one doesn't feel/say sorry in love hasn't been in love long enough, or perhaps never.

What bugs me about the phrase is the fact that people use it as a carte blanche to pull crap on you and not apologize for it. I'll behave as I please and even if that hurts you, I'll never feel or say sorry about it. You cannot feel bad that I haven't said sorry because love means not saying sorry, so if you're expecting me to be sorry for my actions, you must not love me. Ludicrous logic that piggybacks on Hallmarky cheese. THAT is just wrong.

Okie, rant over :) Cheers!

Heh Heh said...

Yep. Inanities rule. Too many stupid people around to suck them up.

Heh Heh said...

Oh, and the only place Gibran is any use is in undergrad colleges in india, where it is used by philosopher types who couldnt be bothered to read any of the classic works in philosphy, to impress gullible women.

"Hallmark Philosophy" is a pretty accurate description of the kind of drivel that guy dishes out.

Hmm. must find out who J and P are.

meditativerose said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
meditativerose said...

Not always true - you might be surprised to know about someone who was handing out Gibran fundas in b-school ... though he's progressed very rapidly since then. About the impressing gullible women bit - I hope it wasn't true ... how's that for gossip ;)

ozymandiaz said...

First off, you are correct. It is an insepid phrase used by insepid people who have no idea what they are talking about. What the phrase should be is "love means you are always forgiven". As you say, anyone who has been in a relationship without saying your sorry wasn't in that relationship long. Unless, of course, it was with...say...a turtle or shrubery or something like that. Invariably we all screw up in a relationship for which we must apologize. It is, in fact, another way of saying I love you. Just as saying "you are forgiven" is a way of saying I love you. The saying in question is actualy the polar opposite of the truth.
If you think about it though, we should thank Gibran for putting it out there. You see, only really stupid people would use this statement. Thusly, they will not be in relationships long enough to procreate. Good for the gene pool. If there were a person nil monded enough to buy this load of rubbish from said moron the odds are that the two of couldn't figure out how to copulate with an instructional video. Again, good for the gene pool. He has done the world a favor.

Falstaff said...

Megha: Ya, I figured you didn't like the phrase - what amazed me that it managed to warrant some 80+ comments on your blog - personally if someone used that phrase with me I'd break up with them instantly, not so much on philosophical grounds as just for having bad taste. And completely agree with it being used as an alibi for stuff - the right response to that kind of whining is to say "Oh, love means never having to say you're sorry, does it - so you mean I don't have to apologise for this custard pie I'm about to rub your face in?"

HWSNBF: I don't know about undergrad, I suspect there are still plenty of women it would work on, but, to Oz's point, why would you want to get together with these women? They're practically the Madeleine Bassets of the world. Oh, and trust me, Gibran is great for random greetings to people who don't know anything about poetry.

MR: Ha! sucker!

Oz: Gibran as a selection mechanism - totally. But I'm not sure about their not being able to figure out how to procreate - I suspect people who like Gibran probably have so little mental life that there's very little else they can do. I mean think about it, they're on their first date. They read a few passages from the Prophet. They burn some incense. They listen to some vaguely middle-eastern music (just to set the mood). Ten minutes into the date they've exhausted all conversation and have nothing to do but tear their clothes off and go at it.

ozymandiaz said...

Yea, I know. It's just wishful thinking. If there is one thing stupid people can do it is breed. Like rabbits even. They are every where like cockroaches. I guess I should be thankful. If it weren't for stupid people we would have no need of lawyers or politicians or those silly warnings we find on products that when we read we say "who in their right #&*%^! mind would use that for in that way?" Great source for humor, stupid people are. Of course, this may well be a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Nothing worse than a stupid person who doesn't know they are stupid.

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