For years, Aziz Ansari has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but forModern Romance, the book, he decided he needed to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita. They analyzed behavioral data and surveys and created their own online research forum on Reddit, which drew thousands of messages. They enlisted the world’s leading social scientists, including Eli Finkel, Helen Fisher, Sheena Iyengar, Barry Schwartz, Sherry Turkle, and Robb Willer. The result is unlike any social science or humor book we’ve seen before. (partial synopsis via Penguin Press)
Awww love sweet love.
We all want it, we ride up with it and many of us sadly come crashing down, it compels us to buy cards, flowers and weirdly misshapen teddy bears in the middle of February, and inspires to great oratorial and written displays on fervent, undying affection which poses no real threat to Shakespeare as the greatest writer of our age or any age but is still to bursting with passion anyway.
And now, stand-up comedian, Aziz Ansari, who spent seven seasons having all sorts of fun with public service on Parks and Recreation, and spends much of his current routine deal with the affairs of the heart, is coming to the aid of everyone who has wondered why love is so hard to find, so challenging to sustain and why the love it gives rise to is so unrelenting ordinary.
OK, he may not address that specifically – but seriously someone should; those chocolates in the heart-shaped boxes tastes awful – but according to the synopsis on Penguin Press, who are publishing his tome on the perils and joys of romance in our modern digitally-connected age, one he worked on with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg, he dive headfirst into this endless topic and talks about a lot of love-ly stuff …
“A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of modern romance from one of this generation’s most popular and sharpest comedic voices.
“At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated?
“Some of our problems are unique to our time. “Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?” “Should I go out with this girl even though she listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!” “My girlfriend just got a message from some dude named Nathan. Who’s Nathan? Did he just send her a photo of his penis? Should I check just to be sure?”
“But the transformation of our romantic lives can’t be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically. A few decades ago, people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet and, after deciding neither party seemed like a murderer, they would get married and soon have a kid, all by the time they were twenty-four. Today, people marry later than ever and spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate.”
If that wasn’t enough, he’s also narrating the whole book.
Yes all of it.
As Paste Magazine points out – check out their excellent review of the book – it’s a brilliant combination of “the literary structure of a book with the performance element of stand-up” capturing that sensation we all have when we’re reading a book by a very funny person that they are talking inside of our head.
But now we don’t have to even read the book – Aziz has done it for us!
Ain’t love, and Aziz’s self-sacrificial narrative act, grand?
Yes it is … now don’t disturb please – I have a whole book to listen to and some very fine Lindt chocolates, not contained in a red heart-shaped box to eat romantically while I do so …
Modern Romance released 16 June, 2015.