Feb 122003
Authors: Paul Franco

Valentine’s Day is upon us. Being men and women of the twenty-first century, the century of the super-information internet highway, the century of reality television, and the century of many other things, we must come to grips with the fact that old-fashioned dating has been rendered obsolete.

Take it from someone whose dating life has been obsolete for a very long time (and I thought college would be a non-stop sex fest!), the archaic practice of asking someone you know to a dinner and a movie is dead. It’s as dead as punk music and Axl Rose. (The two died together in a plane crash in the Andes!)

No one wants to participate in such an outdated mode of getting to know someone of the opposite sex. The 21st century is one of excitement; it’s a time when we are dismissing the patriarchal custom of the male asking the female out for a date – that was established by our sexist parents – in favor of an outrageous new system.

We are the future, people, and no one said being the future would be easy. It’s actually pretty challenging being the future. I didn’t choose to be the future. In fact, I’m much too apathetic to carry out the responsibilities that come along with being the future.

But, being men and women of the 21st century, we must accept the responsibilities doled out to us by those assholes who sang that song in the 80’s that goes: “I believe the children are our future.” And as mentioned earlier (to get back on topic!) the antiquated barriers of dating set up by our parents are being systematically brought down.

In this modern day and age when curtains and walls are dropping like crazy (the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain to name a few!) traditional dating was destined to be the next victim of the 21st century’s insubordinate attitude that leads us to correct the wrongs of the generations that came before them. (The next group of children is going to have a hell of a time cleaning up the mess we’re projected to leave! But, who cares if we don’t have to deal with it!?!)

I digress (I tend to do that easily, I blame it on the pressure of being the future, and having a short attention span! Let’s go ride bikes!). The point, of course, is that regular ol’ dating is being replaced by dating shows. What’s the fun of going to see a movie or having dinner with a member of the opposite sex if a full camera crew isn’t scrutinizing your every move?

If you emphatically answered, “No fun!” you are correct and win absolutely nothing. Reality television is the new trend in dating, and like it or not, this is where we as men and women of the 21st century are headed.

I, for one, am extremely excited at the prospects of this new system. There are so many different avenues in which you can participate in this exciting new brand of fielding possible mates. You have Tail Daters in which friends follow you and two-way you when you are making an ass of yourself. You have Ship Mates in which you are set up with someone on the same cruise (that way your date can’t avoid you!)

There’s Blind Date, Star Dates, The Bachelorette, and so many other stimulating ways to date on reality television that you really can’t go wrong. I don’t know what it is, but whenever a camera is following your every move, all inhibitions go out the door. Men will do anything to look cool and women anything to look sexy. Add alcohol to the mix at dinner and you have a negative inhibition value! You’re almost guaranteed to get a first date kiss and possibly a make-out session from someone you hardly know. And in this day and age of STD’s, it makes it that much more titillating and dangerous!

Even if it doesn’t work out and the camera brings out the pure hatred the participants of the date have for each other, it is still better than a typical date. Imagine having dinner with the dumbest person on the planet without cameras. It’s almost a must that you must politely listen to their inane stories about their professors making them do homework and how the middle of Lake Havasu is international waters. But, with a camera you will feel the need to mug for the camera, crack jokes, and typically be incredibly rude. Or, failing that you can just kiss them to shut up and they’ll probably go along with it.

The reality television date is the new trend in dating. This system is fertile beyond belief, just try turning on the television without seeing some variation (rip-off!) of Blind Date. So, if you are looking for some action on Valentine’s Day, don’t resort to the typical dating strategies; go on a date with a complete stranger on national television. It’s the hip and proper way for men and women of the 21st century to meet each other.

Paul Franco is a junior majoring in philosophy. His column runs every Thursday in The Dish. Holla!”

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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