love and blogging

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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11 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    Dude, I am right with you.

    There is an acronym that I have encountered that irritates the hell out of me. I pass it along that it may irritate the hell out of you.

    NRE = New Relationship Energy.

    The joys of being with the new person, the smell of them!, and finding out every jot and tittle of their various nooks and/or crannies. It’s fresh, it’s exciting! And, if you’re lucky, they get a lot of joys from doing the same with you. It’s so much fun to be found to be fresh and exciting and to have one’s nooks/crannies explored by someone unfamiliar with one’s jots and tittles.

    And, you know what, six months later… well. It’s drab.



    In my experience, NRE is the goal of this sort of thing, rather than the other person qua person. It doesn’t really matter who the other person is, it just matters that they provide the experience. When the experience fades, it’s time for another jolt of NRE and the only way to get that is to get an NR.

    I’m firmly in the “stick with your wife” camp, myself. We don’t have a whole lot of NRE, she and I. Good lord, I don’t miss it.Report

    • E.D. Kain in reply to Jaybird says:

      Amen, brother. I never much liked the dating scene myself. Of course at sixteen NRE is amazing. But it’s definitely a drug to some. And culturally we’re taught that unless that spark is eternal then something must be wrong. True love and all that. If I had to guess, I’d say this has something to do with divorce rates, but who knows?

      In any case, I think blogging can be a good venue to form longer-term relationships, deeper intellectual foundations, etc. It doesn’t always have to be fresh and exciting.Report

  2. To carry this analogy forward a bit, while the new relationship is fun ( I miss certain aspects of dating immensely) it’s also cosmetic and not really as rewarding. When the hard work starts, the longterm benifits are maybe harder to recognize, but they are there.

    To use the League as an example, when I first found it I read it like crazy, refrenced it on my blog frequently, shouted about it to blogging friends. Now the luster has worn off a bit. My favorite authors don’t post as much, or they post about things that don’t interest me as much, but I hang around because I believe in the concept and I know that my persistence will occasionally be rewarded. When it is, it’s often better, because this relationship is getting older and more familiar and I guess I understand those jewels a bit better.Report

  3. Roque Nuevo says:

    “Disenchantment is central to the modern love process.”

    I realize that the above refers to a “mythologized” process and that it’s an analogy to a blog reader’s reading habits. But if you’re interested in extending the analogy there is no better source than Balzac, The Physiology of Marriage. For example, he states your “disenchantment” problem as the problem of the honeymoon:

    The married couple who intend to love each other during their whole life have no notion of a honeymoon; for them it has no existence, or rather its existence is perennial; they are like the immortals who do not understand death. But the consideration of this happiness is not germane to our book; and for our readers marriage is under the influence of two moons, the honeymoon and the Red-moon. This last terminates its course by a revolution, which changes it to a crescent; and when once it rises upon a home its light there is eternal.

    How can the honeymoon rise upon two beings who cannot possibly love each other?

    How can it set, when once it has risen?

    Have all marriages their honeymoon?

    You can meditate on any one of his thirty “meditatations,” the introduction or the postscript. But according to Balzac, the following is the nucleus of his argument:

    All our meditations have revealed” to us about the basis of the
    primordial law of love is comprised in the following axiom, which is
    at the same time the principle and the result of the law.

    In every case we receive only in proportion to what we give.

    The meat of the argument is found in “MEDITATION XVII. THE THEORY OF THE BED.”

    We know only three ways in which a bed (in the general sense of this
    term) may be arranged among civilized nations, and particularly among
    the privileged classes to whom this book is addressed. These three
    ways are as follows:

    1. TWIN BEDS.

    I’ll leave it to you to read Balzac’s illuminating and very funny discussion of points 1 and 3 (above). He argues for point 2. Again, the I’ll leave reading the details to you:

    There cannot be found in Europe a hundred husbands of each nation sufficiently versed in the science of marriage, or if you like, of life, to be able to dwell in an apartment separate from that of their wives.

    The power of putting this system into practice shows the highest degree of intellectual and masculine force.

    The married couple who dwell in separate apartments have become either divorced, or have attained to the discovery of happiness. They either abominate or adore each other.

    The point, says Balzac, is to render the institution of marriage one of “fidelity and constancy.” In other words, an institution devoted to the “happiness to one woman.” This may seem trivial compared with what a man’s talents can earn him in the wider society, but, in the grand scheme of things, it’s something that even god has failed to achieve:

    the rendering of his mistress happy gives any one the fairest title to glory which can be earned in this valley of Jehosaphat, since, according to Genesis, Eve was not satisfied even with a terrestrial Paradise. She desired to taste the forbidden fruit, the eternal emblem of adultery.


  4. William Brafford says:

    I really didn’t mean to offer a total descriptive theory of blog-reading. Maybe I could clear things up by offering one, but I don’t have a blog-about-blogging post in me today.Report