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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Cupid isn’t so cute

By Gardi Arroyo

A fundamental human need is the tendency to want and feel love. Every February, Valentine’s Day is a day where love is expressed, sought and rekindled. Despite these noble aspirations, the poignant fact pertaining to love is that it is indeed challenging to acquire. It is a well-known fact that half of marriages end in divorce and incidences of domestic violence as well as single parent households are testaments to the unstable and destructive states of relationships today. Indeed we can conclude that a thin line between love and tragedy exists. In fact, Valentine’s Day is said to have evolved from the experiences of several Christian martyrs named Valentine clearly establishing the link to tragedy in its historical evolution.

Regardless of musical genre, there has always existed a never-ending supply of thematic elements pertaining to love’s darker side. One contemporary example is Bruno Mars’ song “Grenade” not to be confused with the references to “grenades” in the popular TV series, Jersey Shore. Mars’ song is about a love that is felt so strongly and deeply, that he is willing to literally catch grenades for the sake of his loved one; sadly, the level of affection is not reciprocated. Although such songs are entertaining and catchy, they are not accurate expressions of love, at least not in most cases. Love as an emotion is an abstract term used to measure the level of affection towards another person so it is often manifested as a subjective experience with elements of objective interpretations, yet humanities need and pursuit of love is one of the few binding similarities we as humans experience.

I was surprised to learn that Americans are not the only ones who have established societal rituals around the concept of love. Many European countries such as Norfolk, France and Spain and Latin American countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica and Ecuador have elements of friendship incorporated into the celebration along with the universal love theme. Whether celebrated as the day of affection in Guatemala, the day of the enamored in Brazil, sweat hearts day in Turkey or hearts day in Philippians, it is evident that the need for love transcends cultural constructs. Although Valentine’s Day has historically been linked to Christian ideological perspectives, countries in the Middle East such as Israel and Egypt have also participated in devoting a holiday to love providing further evidence of this universality.

During a recent conversation, I learned that UMass as an institution is not exempt from love’s ever-present force. A friend went on to inform me that she is friends with a couple who originally met while attending school at UMass Boston who are now engaged to be married. Personally, I met my wife in church so it is clear that love’s calling can come from unexpected places. If you haven’t found love, this Valentine’s Day may be the ideal time and perhaps UMass the ideal place, to seek such objectives. My only advice- stand clear from Bruno Mars and Jersey Shore-type “grenades” in your pursuits.