"Big Four" Highlights


Interview with Cupid

As Valentine’s Day approaches, the arrow-bearing sprite laments love lost

Fathers for Good: I was surprised to land this interview. I figured the networks would have you booked this time of year.

Cupid: I’m trying to rebrand my image, looking for more wholesome, family friendly media to get the message out.

FFG: But your image is all over the greeting card racks and you’re selling everything from candy to pajamas to tool boxes.

Cupid: That’s not me anymore. I gave up the rights on my image and get no royalties. I get red when I think about it.

FFG: You’re a little more cynical than I expected.

Cupid: Comes with age. I’m still working on the wisdom part.

FFG: And a little more downcast.

Cupid: Sigh.

FFG: What’s wrong?

Cupid: Love.

FFG: But that’s your business.

Cupid: Business – good word. Love today is more like marketing, big business.

FFG: But what of the thrill, the chase, the mystery, the love letters read by moonlight?

Cupid: Try saying it in a text or tweet. Swipe right or left, I forget.

FFG: But true love still lives.

Cupid: How long have you been married?

FFG: Twenty years.

Cupid: You grew up with those ancient values. Love has changed since you went a-courting, my friend. In fact, there’s no more courting, no real dating. Young people hang out, hook up and wonder why their hearts are half full.

FFG: You of all sprites should be ashamed. Love is ever new, if you have a heart and soul.

Cupid: I agree. But true love like that is too rare anymore.

FFG: But when you shoot the arrow into a heart, doesn’t love grow?

Cupid: Used to work that way. But now too many people are focusing on, if I can say this discreetly, other parts of the body beside the heart. I shoot the arrow and they say ouch, that hurts. They want pleasure, not the sweet pain of eros which can lead to true love.

FFG: You mean agape?

Cupid: All these young people – and some not so young that they should know better – running around, looking for relationships (oh, that word!) and bonding and breaking up and then complaining that they’re lonely, their hearts are broken, and why can’t they just find the right person. Love, love, love!

FFG: The Beatles?

Cupid: You’re dating – but at least you’re dating. That’s a joke.

FFG: Hmm …

Cupid: When their heart is broken, they call on me. Cupid, shoot your arrow! But I can’t aim at two parts of a heart. I can’t heal a heart. They have to go somewhere else for that.

FFG: Prayer? Sacraments?

Cupid: I know I’m supposed to be pagan, but I’ve seen them work where secular solutions don’t.

FFG: Who knew Cupid was so Christian.

Cupid: Well, I wasn’t always. For eons, I just went along with the culture, when love was love and everyone knew what it was for the most part. But then I saw myself being used in a hundred drippy romantic comedies, not to mention car commercials and all those awful pop songs and dating sites, and now there’s web porn. I can’t even look. And here’s the really sad part: I saw men and women so suspicious of one another, lacking basic trust, mating with their fingers crossed and marrying without a thought of forever, and I had an identity crisis. Who am I? What do I stand for? Love – what is that?

FFG: Very poetic.

Cupid: There was a rupture in love, eros and agape were rent, and purity and modesty were orphaned.

FFG: The 60’s? Sexual revolution?

Cupid: It started around then. In love songs today you hear weariness, wariness, a wound in every word. Something has gone very wrong with the culture’s approach to love and marriage.

FFG: You want to write for Fathers for Good?

Cupid: So I dropped out. Sure, I showed up for Valentine’s Day and weddings and other places you’d expect to find me, but my heart wasn’t in it, no pun intended. I relinquished rights to my sprightly image and went into deep contemplation – some might say depression.

FFG: You went on strike, refusing to shoot your arrow?

Cupid: Sort of. I began thinking about the original unity of man and woman.

FFG: Sounds like John Paul II.

Cupid: I’ve been reading.

FFG: Theology of the Body?

Cupid: Call it what you will. The question is, as an expert in human love, which Cupid should be, how do I reunite the two in some semblance of original innocence – or even the innocence of a few generations ago? The boy and girl reunion. The husband and wife reunion. The love and responsibility reunion.

FFG: Paul Simon?

Cupid: We need something that’s like pop culture, only deeper. Common sense, common cause, human nature, the ground of all being.

FFG: Pop theology?

Cupid: Pop, pro populo, as in ‘for the people.’ Love, law, marriage, language, community, family – they all should be focused on the good of the human person, even those on the peripheries of culture.

FFG: Sounds like Pope Francis.

Cupid: Now there’s a man with a true heart full of love. I bet he could teach me to aim my arrow anew.

FFG: Yes, I think so.