Thursday, January 24, 2013

Back With a Vengeance

Well! I've managed to remember this “tumblr” thing, which is quite an accomplishment, considering how good I am at forgetting things. I recently made an unreasonably large post on my Facebook, and because I am incapable of getting back all that lost time, I might as well make the most of it. Failing that, I guess I’ll post it here. And, despite the warning at the beginning, and my best intentions, this was not serious at all. Though it is said that there is a bit of truth behind every “Just kidding”, so… keep that in mind, if you like. 

WARNING: This post is too long, somewhat serious (?), and probably not coherent. If you don't have time for that, (And The Internet assures me that "Ain't nobody got time for dat") then just don't read. 

I would like introduce you to the unsolicited first post of "Real Talk -- With Havoc Mantis". May it be the first of very few.

Today I'm going to talk about a rather serious topic, completely unprovoked. I assure you, there is no clear path through the complicated machinations of my brain that led me to this. This is not vaguebooking, this is not a cry for help. This is not a passive-aggressive jab at someone I know (As a tangent, this is mathematically impossible. The fundamental theorem of passive-aggressive behavior states that it jabs cannot be taken at empty sets.) I'm being so sincere right now.

Now that I've wasted a whole mess of words without even revealing what I'm talking about, I might as well get to the point. And the point is "Unrequited Love". I suppose a definition is in order. As you may have noticed, "to requit" is not even a real verb. No one has ever used it in any context other than the phrase "Unrequited Love". Ever. Much like the verb "to wreak" is only used in conjunction with "havoc". "Unrequited" basically means "not reciprocated", which is a pretty poor definition, since I now must define the word "reciprocated" in this context. "Love" means... well... you know. Everyone knows what "love" means, yet no one can actually define it. Like Mathematics. Just one of the many ways in which math is similar to, and therefore an adequate replacement for, love. So "Unrequited love" basically refers to a situation in which person A loves person B, but person B does not love person A, or else is ignorant to person A's feelings. I'm sure you already knew this, and it was absolutely unnecessary for me to spend an entire month's rations of quotation marks.

Do you think these things grow on trees?

Now, unrequited love is a common trope, a staple of romantic tragedies (That's a genre, right?). Examples of it are omnipresent in popular culture, like... well... hmmmm... okay, so I can't think of a single example off the top of my head that won't out me as a weeaboo. But this is why they invented the internet: so people don't have to know about things to form opinions on them. A quick Googling reminds me of Snape's admiration of Lily Potter, and the relationship between The Doctor and Martha Jones, although most of the Doctor's companions work to some extent. (The fact that I didn't think of Doctor Who on my own pains me greatly, as that's usually the kind of thing that I think about.) Apparently "A Midsummer Night's Dream" also included this as a theme, stuffed somewhere between a donkey named "Bottom" and beating Inception to the punch.

A quick survey of instances of unrequited love reveals a common trend: The recipient of the affection (person B, hereafter referred to as "The Beloved") is portrayed in a negative light. The giver of affection (Person A, hereafter referred to as "The Lover") is often presented as a virtuous soul, whose passion is cruelly scorned by the beloved. What's that, you say? None of the examples I've given are like that? Well, how about Rosaline, the girl that Romeo was desperately in love with before he met Juliet? I assure you that she is indeed a real character, and I did not just make that up. She even has her own Wikipedia page, curiously enough.

You know, I'm not so sure Romeo made the right choice after all.

So, now that I've hammered out a rambling arrangement of words eclipsing many of my college papers, and can feel my willpower dwindling, I suppose I should... something. I guess the punchline is that unrequited love is a two-way street of suffering, as long as the beloved is aware of the situation, and is not a complete monster. If the beloved is oblivious, then they can hardly be considered guilty, and if they are just awful, then they just shouldn't be loved in the first place. The beloved suffers, because the are faced with an impossible choice: Break the heart of the lover, or string them along for awhile, then break their heart. Appeasing the lover will only delay the inevitable catastrophe of rejection, analogous to how breathing will only postpone death, but never prevent it. Normally, I am all in favor of procrastination, but in this case, (since I don't actually have to do it) it is the greater of two evils. Everyone hates a tease. Once the lover has attained the object of their affection, they will rise higher than ever before, and fall so much further when it ends.

"But what if the beloved comes to love the lover?" you may ask, seemingly hell-bent on depleting my supply of question marks, as well. Simply put, that probably won't happen. In my unfounded opinion, it's more likely that the lover will stop loving the beloved, once the beloved changes from a perfect ideal to an actual person. The small chance of a happy relationship just isn't worth the risk of crushing despair. Although I may be biased, in that I have more or less given up on the hope of having a happy relationship, and... wow. I am so, so sorry. Let's all just agree to not think about how sad that sounded.

If you've come this far looking for an Aesop, I guess it's that, before you love someone, you should make sure they requit. The person whom you have a crush on is just that: a person. They are entitled to their own opinions on whether or not you would make a good couple, and it is quite unlikely that they are rejecting you so that they may drink your tears (note that I said unlikely, not impossible). Although, if you were hoping for something useful to come of this, then I fear you don't know me terribly well. But that can be just as much of a blessing as a curse. In breaking news, it turns out that "to requit" literally isn't a word. It's "requite", and "unrequited" is pronounced with a vowel sound not unlike that found in "aight". I'm not sure I've ever actually heard the phrase "unrequited love" spoken aloud, (As I am quite averse to being spoken aloud to) so I'm not quite sure why I believed so strongly that it was pronounced with a short "i". And thus, another nail in the coffin of the scientific credibility of Robert Sheldrake.

As a side note, I would like to contemplate the possibility that I am a "beloved" in an unrequited love situation to which I am unaware. While I am confident that such a hypothetical is almost surely (mathematical definition) not the case, I bring it up for the sake of completionism. If there really were some being out there pining for me, I would advise that they cease. There is nothing here for you, except pain and tragedy. I want something more for you than that. And if such a person were to confess to me, I would just like them to know that, if a horrible accident were to reduce me to a mangled corpse, it is totally legit. You see, I, um, I was once prophesized to meet a terrible end, should I ever be confronted by a secret admirer. It is absolutely absurd to believe that I faked my death to avoid having to hurt someone, so don't even try suggesting that to the cops. Because such a gambit would only result in the grief of more people, and I am nothing if not a rational, empathy-having, non-sociopathic human.

Pictured: The kind of person who chooses to be known as "Havoc Mantis"

Man. This is... contemptible. I've written unnecessarily long posts on Facebook before, but this? This really takes the cake. My sincerest apologies, for subjecting you to reading this. Doubly so for anyone expecting any kind of discourse that even pretended to be serious. This post... kind of got away from me. Regardless, let this stand as a testament to the danger of free time, and the perils of holiday vacation. I look forward to reading this in years to come, when I might laugh at the foolishness of past me, and look forward to further foolishness.

To those of you who read this to the end: Congratulations! Thanks to the aforementioned Fundamental Theorem of Passive Aggressive Behavior, you are immune to my shenanigans!

Shortly after posting it, I left the following comment:
([Havoc Mantis] is a straight up lunatic. He has murdered the abstract concept of “context”)
A reference to Randall Monroe’s fabulous webcomic, xkcd.
Now, I really hope that I’m able to edit tumblr posts after I’ve made them. If not, let these uncentered pictures stand as a testament to my naivete. 

Special Blogspot Note: I never did learn how to center photos. Or caption them, or even give them mouse-over text. But everything's OK now.

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