Romantic Justice
Published May 24, 2011  printer-friendly
Dear Reader,

                I swear by Aphrodite (The Goddess of Love), that this is not another rant of contra mundum cant. Instead I write to confess – since I’ve confessed so much already – that I’ve had a change of heart; a change of heart due to a lonely heart. After considerable reflection I’ve decided I’m ready now  to give up all that I hold dear and all that divides me from my fellows - so I am ready to let go my capitalism, let go my egoism, let go my atheism. In effect, I want to give up my Reason and join the fray on the side of light and become a reflexively good Goodness Wanter, applying all my budding goodness wantingness to life’s most mysterious and most important realm: love. I’ve heard it straight from the most sagacious of sagacious minds, the preeminent scholars of occupational therapy, Wilcock and Townsend, who say that being loved is as fundamental to good health and well-being as eating and drinking[1]. “Eating and drinking,” dear reader, what a momentous category: being loved reaches the most momentous of momentous categories! (In me they preach to the choir.)

                 And this makes me wonder: we can go only a few days without water before life leaves us high and dry, and only a couple of weeks sans food till our soul wrong-way oozes from our pores; but how long can we go without a romance-laced tete-a-tete before the heart arrests for the last? The sagacious minds don’t say exactly, but I think perhaps I’m already the bluest of code blues. As Steven Patrick Morrissey poetizes:

          “Passionate Love, it doesn’t understand me. It wouldn’t lay a single finger on me; I’m always here, [but] it’s always elsewhere.

          Is that overly dramatic, dear reader? Maybe so, but I say poetry before philosophy – the heart before the mind. Or at least I say it here now for the first.

                So I must say goodbye to my Individualism, goodbye to my Laissez Faire, goodbye to my Dream, the consensual society (“goodbye, Individualism; goodbye, Laissez Faire; goodbye, Dream”) because I now want – no, I now demand! – demand Romantic Justice. I demand my wet-kiss equality, my fair-share adoration, my access to amative association! I too am human and I too need to be loved. And if I have a basic need that the collective refuses to satisfy, well then, that’s nothing less than a grave injustice, a black-eye on the society that would leave me lonely. Have you not read about marriage and life expectancy? Then you’d know that to keep me wifeless is to want me lifeless. Have you not read the unequal poverty and crime suffered by the innocent lambs raised by husbandless mothers? Then you know I speak not out of urgency for my own selfish tragedy, but of a national crisis. 

                Romantic Justice must be had and it must be had by all if a society is worth at all having. And if you can extract any one principle from our wise Leaders of Mind, the Wilcockses and the Townsends, and all the other scholars of Deficiency and Need, it’s that any important need requires Big Brother’s helping hand to satisfy it if we’re going to have any justice at all. So we have Distributive Justice, and Social Justice, and Economic Justice and even a justice we occupational therapists can claim as our very own justice, Occupational Justice. And we know from our class readings that since we have never had any class readings that say anything bad about Occupational Justice that there must be nothing bad to read about it. And we know that since AOTA’s Code of Ethics[2] requires us to advocate Social and Distributive Justice, that that must be true and good because AOTA is an organization with four letters in its acronym, not just three. So all these justices have been created by the very best of the best to work side by side to ensure that political pull is used to satisfy all of our fundamental needs, and to stop any one comrade from getting too much more of anything than his fellow comrades.

                Now isn’t love more important than money? What beast would say no. And isn’t love more important than work? I’d quit my job if the choice were forced upon me. Wouldn’t you, dear reader? Well then, as good Goodness Wanters we must agree that Romantic Justice is more important than Distributive Justice, and more important than Occupational Justice, and more important than Economic Justice, and more important than Social Justice. Romantic Justice is the pinnacle of all the justices!   

                We can no longer leave souls free to find soul-mates solely on their own; that would be a kind of capitalism of the heart, a dog-eat-dog view of Romance. And what could be viler than a dog actually eating another dog? We can’t stand for Laissez Faire in Love. It’s time for the desolate-hearted of the world to unite and take over. “Hand it over!” “Hand it over!” I want an end to this Dictatorship of the So-Damn-Dreamy. No more of this Imperialism of Hotness, where the Hot hoard all the tender affection to themselves, while the rest of us - the Not-So-Hot (to put it gently) - suffer the sad solitude of a half-empty bed.

                The Imperialism of Hotness must see its last day and only an all-wise and powerful government Ministry can put the Hot in their proper place. The Hot need to be put in their proper place because they never deserved their good looks – their good looks and all the other ineffable qualities that make them so damn Hot are nature’s gift and thus should be a resource for all. We need to distribute these resources. We need to share the wealth that leads to good health. We need the Ministry of Love!

                The purpose of the Ministry of Love is to bring us Romantic Justice. The slogan of the Ministry of Love is a “Heart for Every Heart.” And not just any old coupling will do, where two people get together to enjoy each others’ bodies and minds selfishly, without regard for society. The Ministry of Love will create couples to satisfy what’s good for society as a whole and no one can deny that Diversity is one of the main goodnesses a Goodness Wanting society must strive for. Diversity, dear reader; the word is so solemn it should make you bow and quiver. Diversity. To be against the concept of Diversity is to admit that you are a million times worse than Adolf Buford Hitler. Diversity. If you’ve ever been within a thousand miles of University you’ve heard Diversity. And if you have heard Diversity once, you’ve heard Diversity a million times, because the university never tires of saying Diversity. Diversity, Diversity, Diversity. They all say it. They all like saying it . And they all can’t say it enough. That’s how wonderfully diverse they all are.

                 You see, if left to their own devices, the Hot will only select other Hots to mate with, thus killing Diversity and creating Romantic Apartheid. And this is nothing more than the rich getting richer. The Good Looking and Successful will only select other members of their class. The able-bodied will only select other able bodies; the sighted will only select other sighteds. But then what about people with halitosis, the guy who can’t keep a job, the girl with a mustache, stutterers, limpers, the not-all-there-in-the-head, and the painfully shy, dear reader, especially the painfully shy, who I know intimately well and who I hold as dear to me as if they were me myself. The Ministry of Love will make sure all these are cared for. The Ministry of Love with all its wisdom will build a wonderfully diverse society with diverse unions of sane with insane, valid with invalid, the incontinent with the fully-controlled, and the one that makes me now ebullient: the Hot with the Not-So-Hot. Oh the Diversity!

                In order to establish this wonderful society the Ministry of Love will have to take over all of societies amorous activities. All love connections will have to be centralized in the loving arms of Big Brother. In essence, we will have to nationalize romance. Although some would call this socialized love, it’s only because they are Badness Wanters and Dumbness Havers that they think it so.

                To achieve a centralized system of romance the Ministry of Love will abolish all private dating services – no more or, or Jewish Singles or Amigos. Those are run for selfish profit and end up promoting Romantic Apartheid, which doesn’t allow for our cherished Diversity to flourish. Instead we will have a Single Payer Dating Service where everyone will have to register at no cost and put in all their data. Then, the Ministry of Love will select a slew of beautifully diverse partners for each person to choose from. So you see, there will be a lot of freedom and choice and equality and justice and fairness and goodness and access and a whole lot of other good words that make us happy when we read them in the same sentence. Goodness Wanters know we never have to choose between goodnesses!

                To enforce the Single Payer Dating Service the Ministry of Love will institute various stratagems that promote its goals and fund its coffers.

                First of all, there will be a Hot Tax. Since the Hot get so many advantages in life, such as better jobs, or having it easier to find a job, and more social prestige and social networks just because they are undeservedly Hot, it’s only fair that they pay their fair share for the rewards society gives them, so the Hot Tax must be here to stay.

                Second, the Ministry of Love will force all mirror-makers to install H-Chips (Hot Chips) in all their mirrors so we can monitor and tax the amount of time the Hot spend looking at themselves and working to make themselves even more hot. Why should they get the free pleasure from something they don’t deserve while the rest of us must grin and bear it when we take a gander at ourselves. And the Not-So-Hot need personal trainers because, although some junk in the trunk is quite nice, the sloshing sound of a jelly-belly is cupid’s death knell. The Not-So-Hot will also need fashion coordinators and make-up artists to help us hide our defects and deficiencies. That money must come from the Hot. And the taxes won’t stop there.

                Every enabler and profiteer of Romance will have to be taxed. We’ll add another 1% tax on beer and wine. (What’s another 1%!) And we’ll put another 1% tax on chocolatiers, tandem bicycle makers, every restaurant table for two, the movies, bed-and-breakfasts; jewelers and florists and the writers of sad songs; any man who buys a gift of women’s shoes, and women who buy tickets for a boat cruise. Tax ‘em! Tax ‘em! Tax ‘em! The Ministry of Love must be fed. But we won’t call it “taxing.” To confuse the Badness Wanters we’ll call it “investing.” “Investing” sounds nice; it sounds like you’re being responsible about the future. Who could be against that?   

                The Ministry of Love will also recognize the diversity of our sexual desires. Many men, experience says, want nothing of what we would typically call Romance. They find an exclusive relationship with a woman too burdensome, too psychologically taxing. They need the as-soon-as-possible release and will accept nothing less. But finding an equal pairing of women interested in the same way would prove too challenging and more than our Single Payer Dating Service could accommodate. To meet this challenge the Ministry of Love will create The Sex Department. Remember, sex is an important need and as a basic human need a good Goodness Wanting collective must strive to satisfy it through political pull. So for men who are just interested in a greasy hot go the Sex Department will issue Tramp Stamps. This will not only provide sexual satisfaction to those for whom biology is paramount, it will also stimulate the economy: remember our great leader, The Pelosi, touting the economic boon created by Food Stamps? Imagine the boon Tramp Stamps would bring!

                But we’ll have to do something about the name. It has a certain indelicacy about it and it would never sell well in Middle America. We need to find a way to frame reality, because that’s what Goodness Wanters must focus on if we are to get others to buy our ideas for Goodness. Framing is everything. “I think, therefore I frame” is the official motto of the Goodness Wanting Society. For purposes of framing, how about Cooter Coupons? That’s better. I like “Cooter Coupons.” No one knows what a “cooter” is – they’ll probably think it a scooter – and “coupons” evokes an image of a housewife, scissors in hand, struggling to save some pennies to feed her beautiful babies. Yes, “Cooter Coupons.” I think we’ve got it.

                But we have to be fiscally wise and target this kind of stimulus for greatest effect. What about those with a bum shoulder, a pulled groin, severe lumbago? They couldn’t get full value for their coupon. For this the Sex Department will issue discounted vouchers for Hummers and Handies. Waste not, want not.  

                There's so much more to explore with Romantic Justice, like the importance of Federally Funded Foreplay Education, the Orgasm Disparity between men and women, the corresponding need for an Equal Orgasm Amendment, the Injustice of Ugly Avoidance, the necessity of Affirmative Fat Action, the expected surge in Private Itches (what the Badness Wanters would call venereal disease), and the Bigotry Against Impotence (i.e., Flaccidism). I just don’t know where to stop. But perhaps once we’ve broached the lower order concepts of Hummers and Handies, I think we’ve reached the end of something, or at least a bottom of sorts. To continue would be to court ridiculousness, and we Goodness Wanters are never ridiculous. So it is  time for the conclusion:

                Those with good Book Learning see clearly the historical development of the First Great Thesis of Goodness Wanting: Some having more means more having less. It was the Great Deity Marx who applied this thesis to capital in his glorious Manifesto, which concluded that the rich get rich by exploiting the poor. The fact that history has shown everyone in the world getting richer and richer since the 160 years of the Manifesto’s birth proves that the Great Deity Marx was absolutely correct in the opposite direction. Now, the Great Deity’s modern progeny, the Wise Wilkinson and the Prescient Pickett, have shown us in their oeuvre, The Spirit Level (Bloomsbury Press, 2009), that by carefully selecting the right countries to compare on a graph, one can prove that the good health of the few comes at the cost of the ill-health of the many, and so the government should take from the rich and give to the poor until all are equal[3]. Even the great Baron Layard of Highgate made a contribution to the Great Thesis in his work, Happiness: Lessons From a New Science (Penguin, 2006), by showing us that the happiness of some is paid for by the sadness of others[4]. Finally, the Fabulous Phalluses who co-authored Unjust Deserts (The New Press, 2008) show us that no one deserves anything anyway because everything everyone creates depends on creations from someone else in the past and so what we do to the rich doesn’t matter as what they have isn’t really theirs. But we Goodness Wanters already know that any Welfare Cutie no more deserves her misery just because she intercoursed without a condom and birthed babies she couldn’t feed than Bill Gates deserves his billions just because he created a product that people freely chose to buy from him. And all this logically justifies the need for Romantic Justice, the Ministry of Love and the Sex Department as the final steps in the Great Progression of Goodness.


Nobody's Nothing


(A big thanks to editors Miss Kimberly Mason and M. Lovey.) 



[1] See Occupational Therapy Without Borders, page 63, citing two articles by Townsend and Wilcock.

[2] American Occupational Therapy Organization, Code of Ethics (Principle 4) (2010).

[3] Read more by clicking Dumb Books Review tab on this site.

[4] Here is a sentence from the Baron of Highgate: “If a person works harder and earns more, he may himself gain by increasing his income compared with other people. But the other people lose because their income now falls relative to his. He does not care that he is polluting other people in this way.” Happiness: Lessons from a new science, (2006) p. 228. 



anonymous, on June 18, 2011 at 7:06 am

You are a wild child.


Aaron Agassi, on March 27, 2012 at 9:03 am

I can readily concede your point, Nobody's Nothing, but might you be at all just perhaps thrashing anything of a straw man? I will concede that there are those who do make the assertions or else the implications you so roundly mock. But honestly: No unregulated society can ever exist, any more than the opposite extreme, complete centralized control. These are merely abstractions for the sake of illustration. Laissez Faire remains irresponsible bullshit. And the free market does not come for free. Not every hard luck case has simply got it coming because of their own inadequacy! The cost of free markets is eternally vigilant regulation, regulation often wanting in so many spheres of human interaction, scoundrelously abused and exploited. Commerce is no more intrinsically good than evil. Rather, commerce is but a tool, for good or evil. There may be free markets solutions to all manner of gaps, unmet needs, but for that, first what is needed is a free market effecting the redistribution of opportunity. So, do we really live in the unfettered free market of free association, encounter and attachment? And does the invisible hand caress you? Are our needs really best met? In truth, the struggle for romantic freedom is yet to be won. Justice is not just some boondoggle for luzers. Controlling monopolistic forces are very real, even in our love lives, and the least of cut throat competition, given how hotness supply tends to fall so far below the urgent demand. Love is not jealous, manipulative, repressive and controlling, not even and especially not "for your own good, dear" and the issues of all manner of self serving repressive monopolistic control from every quarter, that fetters free agency and human inclination need to be addressed, as well as public health and the per capital hotness! All these are reoccurring themes on


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