Archive for ‘Love’

August 16, 2022

Manic Pixie Dream Girl

Garden State

A Manic Pixie Dream Girl (MPDG) is a stock character type in films. Film critic Nathan Rabin, who coined the term after observing Kirsten Dunst’s character in ‘Elizabethtown’ (2005), said that the MPDG ‘exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.’

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl, like some other stock characters such as the Magical Negro, seems to exist only to provide spiritual or mystical help to the protagonist. The MPDG has no discernible inner life. Instead, her central purpose is to provide the protagonist with important life lessons.

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May 23, 2022

Socialist Fraternal Kiss

My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love

The socialist fraternal kiss was a special form of greeting between socialist leaders. The act demonstrated the special connection that exists between socialist countries, consisting of an embrace, along with a series of three kisses on alternate cheeks. In rare cases, when the two leaders considered themselves exceptionally close, the kisses were given on the mouth rather than on the cheeks.

The fraternal kiss became famous via Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev, who were photographed exercising the ritual. The photograph became widespread and it was subsequently reproduced into a graffiti painting on the Berlin Wall named ‘My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love.’

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August 1, 2018


Pyramus and Thisbe

Star-crossed‘ or ‘star-crossed lovers’ is a phrase describing a pair of lovers whose relationship is often thwarted by outside forces. The term encompasses other meanings, but originally means the pairing is being ‘thwarted by a malign star’ or that the stars are working against the relationship. Astrological in origin, the phrase stems from the belief that the positions of the stars ruled over people’s fates, and is best known from the play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by Shakespeare. Such pairings are often said to be doomed from the start.

It also refers to destiny and the inevitability of the two characters’ paths crossing. It usually but not always refers to unlucky outcomes, since Romeo and Juliet’s affair ended tragically. Further, it connotes that the lovers entered into their union without sufficient forethought or preparation; that the lovers may not have had adequate knowledge of each other or that they were not thinking rationally.

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March 2, 2015

Brotherhood of Eternal Love

orange sunshine

The Brotherhood of Eternal Love was an organization of drug users and distributors that operated from the mid-1960s through the late 1970s in Orange County, California; they were dubbed the ‘Hippie Mafia.’ They produced and distributed drugs in hopes of starting a ‘psychedelic revolution’ in the US. The organization was started by spiritual guru John Griggs as a commune but by 1969 had turned to the manufacture of LSD and the importing of hashish. The group was known for it’s particular brand of highly potent acid dubbed ‘Orange Sunshine.’

In 1970, the Brotherhood hired the radical left organization the Weather Underground for a fee of $25,000 to help Harvard psychologist and LSD evangelist Timothy Leary make his way to Algeria after he escaped from prison, while serving a 5-year sentence for possession of marijuana. Their activities came to an end on August 5, 1972 in a drug raid where dozens of group members in California, Oregon, and Hawaii were arrested, though all of them were released within months; some who had escaped the raid continued underground or fled abroad. More members were arrested in 1994 and 1996, and the last of them in 2009.

February 18, 2015

All Is Full of Love


All Is Full of Love‘ is a 1997 song by Icelandic musician Björk and is from her fourth studio album, ‘Homogenic.’ The lyrics are inspired by the presence of love in the advent of spring and Norse mythology’s Ragnarök (the universe ending clash of the gods). The more popular version of the track, the original mix solely produced by Björk, was used in the music video but did not appear in the album. The album version is a remix by Glaswegian producer Howie B and has a minimalist approach and places emphasis on the singer’s vocals. The video version of “All Is Full of Love” is a midtempo trip hop ballad with soul influences. In opposition to the sonically minimalist mix included in the album.

The music video was directed by British video artist Chris Cunningham and depicts the assembling of a robot with Björk’s features and her passionately kissing another robot against an ethereal and sterile backdrop. The song’s video garnered acclaim from critics and is commonly regarded as one of the best music videos of all time and a milestone in computer animation. The subject of much analysis and scrutiny, it was on permanent display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and has been included in various art exhibitions.

December 21, 2014

Shalom Bayit

shalom bayit by Avrum Ashery

Shalom [shuh-lohm] bayit [buy-eet] (Hebrew: ‘peace of the home’) is the Jewish religious concept of domestic harmony and good relations between husband and wife. In a Jewish court of law, shalom bayit is the Hebrew term for ‘marital reconciliation.’

Throughout the history of the Jewish people, Jews have held an ideal standard for Jewish family life that is manifested in the term shalom bayit. Shalom bayit signifies completeness, wholeness, and fulfillment. Hence, the ideal Jewish marriage is characterized by peace, nurturing, respect, and ‘chesed’ (roughly meaning ‘kindness,’ more accurately ‘loving-kindness’), through which a married couple becomes complete. The Jewish religion advocates that God’s presence dwells in a pure and loving home.

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October 25, 2014


the lives of others

LOVEINT is the practice of intelligence service employees making use of their extensive monitoring capabilities to spy on their love interest or spouse. The term was coined in resemblance to intelligence terminology such as SIGINT (signals intelligence) or HUMINT (human intelligence). The term originated at the NSA, where at least one incident is reported every year. They are the lion’s share of unauthorized accesses reported by the NSA. Most incidents are self-reported, for example during a polygraph test.

The NSA sanctions include administrative action, up to termination of employment. In five of the cases, the NSA employee resigned, preempting any administrative action. In two other cases, they retired. The worst administrative sanction handed out was a ‘a reduction in pay for two months, a reduction in grade, and access to classified information being revoked.’ One case was forwarded to the Department of Justice, which however declined to prosecute.

November 8, 2013

Cherchez la Femme

Cherchez la femme [sher-shey la-fam] is a French phrase which literally means ‘look for the woman.’ The implication is that a man behaves out of character or in an otherwise inexplicable manner because he is trying to cover up an affair with a woman, or trying to impress or gain favor with a woman. The expression comes from the 1854 novel ‘The Mohicans of Paris’ by Alexandre Dumas. In his 1864 theatrical adaptation the expression translates as: ‘There is a woman in every case; as soon as they bring me a report, I say, ‘Look for the woman!”

The phrase embodies a cliché of detective pulp fiction: no matter what the problem, a woman is often the root cause. It has come to refer to explanations that automatically find the same root cause, no matter the specifics of the problem.

August 1, 2013

Tough Love

Tough love is an expression used when someone treats another person harshly or sternly with the intent to help them in the long run. The phrase was evidently coined by American politician Bill Milliken when he wrote the book ‘Tough Love’ in 1968 and has been used by numerous authors since then.

In most uses, there must be some actual love or feeling of affection behind the harsh or stern treatment to be defined as tough love. For example, genuinely concerned parents refusing to support their drug-addicted child financially until he or she enters drug rehabilitation would be said to be practicing tough love. Athletic coaches who maintain strict rules and highly demanding training regimens, but who care about their players, could also be said to be practicing tough love.

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July 25, 2013

Missed Connection

A missed connection is a type of personal advertisement which arises after two people meet but are too shy or otherwise unable to exchange contact details. The ‘Missed Connections’ section of Craigslist gets thousands of ads of this type every month for cities such as New York and San Francisco.

The feature was started by Jim Buckmaster, Craigslist’s CEO, after he noticed a common type of posting in their personal ads, which he characterised as ‘you-smiled-at-me-on-the-subway-platform.’ He sees the format as addressing a common human need and being ideal for romantic comedy, ‘Missed Connections give people that second chance … They represent persistence in the face of long odds, which definitely adds to their artistic appeal.’

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April 8, 2013

Blonde vs. Brunette

betty and veronica

Three's Company

One aspect of how women are portrayed in popular culture is a purported rivalry between blonde and brunettes. The rivalry in American society dates back to at least 1875 when the first female professional baseball players were assigned to teams according to their hair color.

Baseball historian John Thorn notes that blonde and brunette baseball teams barnstormed the country in the late 1800s. A more contemporary example is the gridiron football game called ‘blondes vs. brunettes powderpuff football,’ a charity event that raises money for the Alzheimer’s Association. The annual contests were started in the fall of 2005, in Washington D.C.

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December 3, 2012

Love Bombing

Love bombing is a tactic often employed by cults (or any religious, political or other group of like-minded individuals) as a way of luring prospective members. Current members typically ‘love bomb’ potential or desired new recruits by showering them with affection, praise, and offers of friendship.

Cult awareness experts warn that this seemingly kind and welcoming practice is often the first step in a mind control (‘brainwashing’) process that leads to religious conversion or involvement with a group that may be harmful to its membership or to society. While most people can discern such cynical ploys from honest offers of fellowship, anyone caught at a vulnerable time in his or her life (following a divorce, death, loss of job or any major life change) or suffering from insecurities could fall under the spell of a charismatic leader and the true believers who inevitably surround such a person. 

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