I Love You, Sweet Creature

/, Essays, Blesok no. 22/I Love You, Sweet Creature

I Love You, Sweet Creature

It says by the entrance of a nine-floor building, No.1 Šaban Zahirović Street in Tuzla. The majestic graffiti painted with fancy letters on the grey wall in the spray-technique. This graffiti is not majestic because of its design but because of its content – an inscription about love. It looks like a picture-book for children in happy wonderland. You can hardly believe your own eyes. In a country where medieval inscriptions on tombstones are dignified inscriptions about death. Where the dominant religions emphasise modesty as an important virtue. Where after centuries of coexistence the valuable cultural languages are proclaimed to be an insurmountable disparity. In a country where 14-year-old girls are kidnapped. Where bombs are put into houses and cars, where journalists and returning refugees, even ministers are killed. Where people eat contaminated food and take pills whose date of expiry is from the past millennium… April 2001 in the Balkans (capriciously resisting globalisation) is really not the month when the unemployed and constitutive citizens of B&H should pass by this message without noticing it. Because April is the famous month of lovers who (usually) chirrup beneath the blossoms. In the wonderland that is B&H. A land of friendship between the sexes. Between sexy nations. So, my dear citizens-passers-by, with a desire for a legal state and European integrations, if we look back and if we don’t find under the incriminated graffiti the scented fruit of love, is there hope even for an ordinary tolerance between creatures that proudly call themselves people?
Because, as the firmly convinced fighters for human rights would say: friendship between a man and a woman is possible. Men and women spend their married lives together even when the initial love “fades”. They take care of each other through the sweet good times and the every-day bad times. They give birth to crying children and raise them. They sleep in the same bed breathing (without make-up and unshaven) nose to nose. They earn their pension and rheumatism together, why not also friendship? Orthodox feminists as well as fanatic macho-types would cite numerous examples to disprove the too open-minded idea of male-female friendship. For example, the “deficit of qualities” of the female sex or the excess of “primitivism” in the male sex. This (perhaps?) erotic animosity originating even from the primal community, now, in the 21st century is emanated as “hyper-modern” sexual chauvinism founded in the aggressive tendency to “cheat on a girl” and for the guy to “get laid”, but also in female plots to “hook” the naïve prospect like a goldfish into the aquarium of marriage. Ergo, this animosity is merely a substitute for the ancient pseudo-fundamentalism in the struggle for supremacy between the sexes, another chimera among the chimeras that affect our inert material world. The examination of this eternally current thesis requires a multi-disciplinary approach. And a method that will not rest on the stereotypical viewpoint rooted in the ideological dogmas about the sexual relations and friendship between the femininum and the masculinum. On all the meridians, the human race, which has long been prone to decadence in the promotion of “cultural models” whose imperial lack of consideration is revealed by museological barrenness, is being degraded both on the human-centred and the ecological level of existence. The simplest proof of the apparent malady of the mater-patriarchal civilisation is the need to defend a thesis for the possibility of friendship between a man and a woman, instead of trying helplessly in infernal pains to (unsuccessfully?) prove the opposite: that friendship between the sexes is impossible.
Unfortunately, the truth is bitter: friendship between Adem and Eve is perhaps possible and perhaps not. And those condemned by nature to love, condemned to the dramatic role of primordial parents or revivers of the human race after the flood (like Deucalion and Pyrrha), now, thousands of years after the primary divine experiment in genetic engineering, wander like cursed clones among lost emotions and unfulfilled closeness. Was Plato right when in his philosophical writings he notes down the legend about love where man was born as a hermaphrodite creature able to jeopardise even the position of the almighty (but malicious) gods? Was the punishment for the promethean vanity of the integral human beings the division into the male and the female half eternally destined to search for one another?
Or, let’s be practical, where is the basis for the animosity between young men and women who piloted by libidinous necessity constantly and unquenchably yearn for one another (until they find each other) and who are (allegedly) incapable of “dealing” with “fatally dangerous” friendship? Does that mean the love is not friendship, or that friendship excludes love? Or does the answer lie in the “values” that the youngsters, losing their authenticity, acquire from society as they demand recognition of their personal identity. Modern psychology (if modernism is a guarantee of reliability) says that people condition themselves in relationships according to three factors: the biological, psychical and social. Those lovers are determined by natural instinct, personality and their social environment. In this way the modern witchdoctors of the soul have brought full circle the “holy trinity” of Freudian dialectics between the instinctual id, the personal ego and the civilisational superego. The pluralism of this trinity in the totality of inter-cultural relations is the magic formula for the harmony of male coveters mainly suffering from the Oedipus Complex preferring little women similar to their mothers or Electra’s subjects who look for authoritative neighbourhood lads in order to (finally and without punishment) subject themselves to the very image of their adored fathers.
Furthermore, the psychologists say that love is more intimate than friendship. Love demands complete surrender to the loved one and the abolition of personality boundaries. Love demands the readiness to sacrifice oneself, to go beyond the limits of one’s own life. This existential drama is evident in the famous love of Romeo and Juliet, Pyramus and Thysbe, Omer and Merima. And also in less pathetic and more political cases of the parent’s sacrifice for her child (Maksim Gorki’s novel “Mother”) or a sister’s sacrifice for her brother (Antigonae). “Will love be able to sing as lovers have sung of it?” is a paraphrase of a verse about freedom by Branko Miljković who gave his last breath for love & poetry & freedom… Actually, it was never firmly established for what and how the unfortunate poet Miljković lost his enamoured head (“Too strong a word killed me.”).
Let’s consider: do the previous facts about sacrifice in love mean that friendship has no such dramatic power? Does the friendly sacrifice of Gilgamesh for Enkidu (travelling across half the hemisphere into the underworld to find the plant of rejuvenation) or the revenge of Achilles over the Trojans for Patroclus death mean less than the love sacrifices of the above-mentioned heroes? Does that mean that we will find friendship in every love and that every friendship “hides” the seeds of love?
At least today in mega-urban neighbourhoods, at the beginning of the newest era of the third millennium, it is not unusual to see gay and lesbian couples who want to live a “normal” human life, have (adopted, or cloned?) children, legal marriages, inheritances, divorces, affairs and the like. As in John Schlesinger’s movie “The Next Best Thing” where Abbie (Madonna) in a moment of (mutual) weakness becomes pregnant with her gay friend Robert (Rupert Everett). Can anyone who has a long-term friend (of the same or opposite sex) guarantee that they have not woken up at night in cold sweat from a dream of the “forbidden” embrace? Does that mean that the hormones in him/her have overcome the cultural prejudices and that as “polarised extremes” they can never be in indifferent balance? And what if these are androgynous elements of the story of the hubris that is, of course, as old as the world. Even Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of sexual perversions. Even in Ancient Greece the famous philosophers and artists were blasphemised because of their paedophilia and other “love mischief”. Like the beautiful and to men unattainable Saphe. Like, much later, the eccentric Marquis de Sade. So who can say for certain that there is not within each one of us a concealed sexual saboteur who has more appreciation for good “camaraderie” than for unstable love and prefers a reliable long-term (but concealed) “softness” to a heterosexual fire for which one must secure socially verified emotional “fuel”? Who can firmly establish where love stops and sin begins? And vice-versa.
At the end of euphoria, what remains of sexual passions after the fire of being in love and the greed for the flesh pass irretrievably? Is the rest of life of the former “love-birds” only a cage of habit? Is Eros so rapturous and fascinating that in the extreme, where the starting and the ending point of eternity overlap, he transforms into the dear face of death? As the visual symbol of love – a heart pierced with an arrow – suggests. Is there enough sense and joy in humble friendship that is more stable than dangerous impaling love? Is the highest value, then, contained in the self-sacrificing drama of destructive passions of a civilisation based on consumerism? Opposed to that, isn’t the security of a reliable friendship a value worthy of the ideals of a humanoid culture? Why is honest friendship such a rare phenomenon? Why do we have to discuss the possibility of friendship between a man and a woman? Do the answers to these controversial and crucial questions remain immanent but not manifested precisely because of the scholastic pseudo-historical habit of searching for solutions in the misty mythological past? In the ancient organisation of the family, for instance, in matriarchate. Or even further in cosmology, in the Book of Existence? Today we speculate about what the relation between the different roles in the family might have been in the time when men were “public property” and children even “legally” belonged to the mother. The only thing we know for certain is: Men did not like the subjugated position. That is why from the time when patriarchate become the dominant form of family (and legal) organisation it is evident that the biological resources of women became the privileged and verified “property” of the father or the husband. And women were branded as witches that “ride on broomsticks” for abusing without authority the powers that, otherwise, belong to the Phallus. Or they were pacified, subservient slaves in the corner of the family. That male protector and mentor of female innocence receives the task of preventing unauthorised possession and intrusion into the “genetic good”, the “valley of delights” where one can reach only after completing the complicated social procedures.

AuthorDinko Delić
2018-08-21T17:23:42+00:00 October 1st, 2001|Categories: Literature, Essays, Blesok no. 22|0 Comments