I love Kurt Vonnegut. I just bought Breakfast of Champions today, and it’s all I can do to stop myself from diving into it right now. The most recent of his books I’ve read was Cats Cradle, which is a fantastic book I think you should all read. This will contain spoilers, minor spoilers, so if that bugs you, skip this one. Or skip down two paragraphs, when I start to get all philosophical about it.
The most interesting part of Cats Cradle for me is how people are, according to Bokonism, connected in otherworldly ways. I like the diplomat and his wife, who were a group of two and died within the same second. I love that they have that sort of love, that ties them tightly together.
I like that the main character falls in love with the young princess, after having been married a few times, and yet she dies and he’s left with no women of child-bearing age left on Earth. He can eat, and talk with his friends, and live until he dies, but he can’t have a lover. And he doesn’t feel like he misses sex at all.
Here’s where the philosophy comes in. Get ready. Buckle your seat belts.
We both portray romantic relationships as too important and not important enough in our stories.
Let me explain.
Romance is either the plot of the story, such as in romcoms, or something tacked on to make the women in the audience smile, such as in action movies. It’s rarely portrayed realistically.
Also recently I watched Pulp Fiction for the first time–if this post seems disjointed, bear with me, I’ve had a lot of thoughts running through my head–and they portray all three, overemotional, underemotional, and realistic.
The over-emotional is with Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace in the restaurant. They’re over-sexualized, speaking in riddles and winks. The under-emotional is with Mia Wallace and Marcellus Wallace. They barely speak, they’re tacked together as a plot point. The couple right on point? Pumpkin and Honeybunny.
I mean, of course the names are silly, but couples do that. I love the first scene, where you’re not sure if they’re even a couple at all. They’re bickering, then talking about various things, then kiss over the table and work as partners in a big crime. I love it. THAT’S a good couple…minus the crime. They leave hugging each other, they protect and love each other, and work together as a team.
They are like the diplomat and his wife in Cat’s Cradle, and they are what every couple should aspire to be. Not roses and dances, or sidelong glances, but a partnership. A kiss over the table before going off and being badasses together.
Please don’t rob restaurants after reading this. But please do watch Pulp Fiction and Cat’s Cradle, and pay attention in life to how love is seen. It’s interesting, inspiring, thought provoking.
So is everything, if you take long enough to think about it.