Published since 2001
Jeff Fitzgerald is AAJ's resident genius and is often consulted on jazz-related matters of national unimportance.
Springtime is the time of the year when we emerge from our winter cocoons and begin that process of rebirth and renewal that kindles both our sentimental affections and our innate biological needs, culminating in either romance or a misdemeanor arrest for public lewdness. For our purposes, we'll deal with the former.
Romance is that giddy, heady rush of emotions that happens early on in a relationship, usually occurring after the first meeting but before the restraining order. Romance is very important for the Modern Bachelor, because it is the first step towards finding a woman with which he is willing to spend the rest of his entire evening. This is not to imply that the Modern Bachelor should be entirely a love 'em and leave 'em playboy, but speaks to the fact that romance is by its very nature ephemeral. Romance, though often mistaken for love, is not love. It is simply the temporary glue that leads either to a stronger and more lasting connection, or else just leaves both parties once again disjoined and sticky to boot. Romance, while intoxicating and rejuvenating, is still in itself just a means to an end.
Which is to say.
Jazz is not a solitary art. It is a music that craves interaction, companionship, communication. Within the inner workings of jazz exists a perfect mixture of conflict and symbiosis, like any real relationship. This is why it is the ideal soundtrack for romance, because it is a creation of infinite possibility that relies on each individual participant contributing their best to the effort. Not only is that also the working definition of a great relationship, but also makes for a fairly tasty pizza. In fact, if you were to ponder the jazz-as-a-metaphor-for-relationships-as-a-metaphor-for-pizza concept in depth, wherein John Coltrane and Miles Davis represent you and your beloved represent pepperoni and mozzarella, you would soon realize that you have wasted a significant portion of your day with virtually nothing to show for it.
Be that as it may.
The Modern Bachelor, though single, is also not a solitary creature. He depends on several forms of companionship and social interaction to keep himself from sitting alone for hours on end, downing bourbon-and-Cokes like a professional football player chugs Gatorade, writing verbose articles wherein he speaks of himself in the second person for no good reason. The Modern Bachelor needs friends, buddies, companions, ex-girlfriends, and girlfriends to remain emotionally and spiritually robust. Each of these plays a role in the romance department, which is why I mentioned them.
The first and closest bunch to the Modern Bachelor is the Friends and Buddies class. The difference between friends and buddies is that you can fart in front of your buddies. You could fart in front of your friends, but wouldn't. The F&B set are there to act as encouragement during the first stages of a relationship, support during the inevitable ups and downs throughout a relationship, and consolation at the end of a relationship. They also serve to hone the herd instinct, and save you from such tragic dating mistakes as chasing after someone who is way out of your league, or the more terrible error of dating Courtney Love.
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