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All You Need Is Love
Feb. 1, 2003

By The Mighty Afrodite

Part One:
A Timely Redefinition

Yech! As I look around the mortal realm, and see what passes for love among a large portion of the population, it occurs to me that the time is ripe for a refresher course, Darlings...

So what exactly is love, anyway? Noted science fiction writer Robert Heinlein once wrote "The definition of love is when someone else's happiness is essential to your own." All right. But aren't you supposed to be responsible for your own happiness? And what about when someone else's happiness comes at the expense of your own? How much are you allowed to love yourself if it hinders someone else's happiness? Aren't we supposed to love ourselves, so that we may better love others?

Yeah. Kind of confusing, isn't it?

The reality is, that what most people consider love is really nothing more than co-dependent obsession shared by two, where the participants are not individuals, but simply living props, walking and talking and acting out a melodrama of suppositions and unreasonable expectations without a real clue as to what they want from each other or the relationship.

A perfect example? Valentine's Day.

As a proud representative of love, let me just say that this holiday has got to be one of the biggest crocks of shit that I've ever experienced in my life. The price of roses gets jacked up, little kids are encouraged to snub their less conformist peers and men are emotionally blackmailed into ponying up a mass of expensive goods either A) to prove their love to the women they already honor and respect all year long, or B) to try and quiet their guilt towards the women they neglect and abuse and take for granted.

Love is about friendship. And respect. And compatibility. And honesty. It's about appreciating someone for who they are. Love doesn't mean making yourself miserable to accommodate someone else's demands, and it's definitely not about letting your needs eclipse someone else's.

And why the hell does V-Day only focus on romance?

Clearly time for a revolution. I have a few ideas where to start!

Your Friends

You know; those people who support you in every crazy, stupid, or just plain inexplicable decision you make, celebrate your every triumph more enthusiastically than even you do and generally, just make the world the wonderful place Disney wants you to think it is. You should appreciate and value your friends all the time, but if you feel you just have to do something to celebrate love on Feb. 14th, then party with your friends. You know for a fact they love you!

Your Family

Yeah, I know, Home is where they have to take you in, but still... They're your family!

They're always where you need them to be, and yet, because they're always there, it's really easy to take them for granted. Yeah, everyone takes turns annoying each other , but you still love each other some how, some way; isn't that worth celebrating?

Your Fellow Man

Why not? After all, you share a planet with several billion of them. And a lot of them are suffering terribly. Instead of looking the other way, why not acknowledge these people? Better yet, why not get together with some of the many small communities of caring people out there (otherwise known as charities) and volunteer some time (never wasted) effort(always appreciated) or a few dollars(well spent) to alleviate someone else's pain? Charity isn't about giving out of guilt; It's about showing a little love to someone who really needs it.

All You Need Is Love, Part Two:
Every Little Bit Helps

"You can do no great things, only small things with great love."
-- Mother Theresa

Lisa Ludwig of The Black Flamingos Loves her fellow man, and she loves her brother, Richard (Dickie) Keston, too. So much in fact, that four years after his death, December 8th, 1989 of AIDS, Lisa decided to honor both by commemorating her brother's memory and the eve of his birthday, orchestrating what has become one of the most important events on the NYC music scene's calendar to raise money, support and awareness for God's Love We Deliver, a non profit organization that delivers quality meals to house-bound AIDS patients. More importantly, they give these people, many of whom have been virtually abandoned by their friends and family out fear and ignorance, a connection to other human beings and help them feel like they are still a valid part of the world.

I asked Miss Ludwig how it all began. "I wanted to put together a show with a sense of community , and I thought this benefit would be a good way to do that. The point of music and love is that everybody matters." Gaining more of a following every year, and attracting the support of such all around nice guys as the late Joey Ramone and the punctual Buster Poindexter, this annual event was bolstered in its 4th year by the enthusiastic participation of Frank Wood, veteran NYC Music promoter. After attending the show, Frank exclaimed to Lisa, "I have to be a part of this!", and has been Lisa's partner in this endeavor ever since.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of this truly amazing show of humanity, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate a day supposedly dedicated to love than to come out to the Valentine's Day Benefit for God's Love We Deliver

By supporting the people who are trying to make a difference, you make a difference too.

With All My Heart, Darlings.