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Today We Know More About Love 2
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To the people who still believe that The Bachelor represents the decline of the American Empire:

You're wrong.  Love is beautiful.  This show is love.

It has taken some time to get it right.  The recipe for a real connection.  Take one, previously loved Bachelor contestant (candidate should be well-spoken, incredibly honest, self-aware, and of course prettier than the rest of us).  Screen thousands of fans who have taken the time to fall in love with this bleeding heart close-but-no-cigar contestant.  Find two dozen men or women who are ideal matches, and who have already established rather strong feelings for this individual.  Send the contestants on eXtreme dates, like bungee jumping or rock climbing (intense conditions should allow for sufficient bonding).  Let simmer for six weeks, while the Bachelor(ette) learns everything they are not looking for in a companion.  Then marry that shit.

Jake was a legendary bachelor.   The man who dumped four women in one episode, because he is incapable of lying.  He is, in fact, a bad actor.  He should have a been a nightmare for the producers, and in fact, if you watched last night finale, you can see how they tried to narrate the story of Jake along their tired old "I love them both" banner.  The voice of Jake moved from room to room recording badly edited sound bites, claiming "I'm so confused," "I love so much about Tenly," "This is the hardest decision I've ever had to make."

Bull shit.  It was easy.  You love Vienna and you want to be with her forever.

Watching Vienna and Jake is kind of magic.  The cynical critic's heart melted and some of us shed tears at the sight of such pure, unrehearsed emotion.

Vienna choked when she met Jake's family.  She represented herself poorly, she spoke abrasively, she did not make any attempt to respect and respond to what Jake's family wanted.  Not like Tenly.  They preferred soft-spoken, polite, beige-thinking Tenly.  It actually started to look like we might have our first tragic Bachelor ending, with Jake dying alone rather than forsake his mother.

But.  Jake defended Vienna.  He fought for her.  He said, I can be myself with her.  She makes him who he is.  They light each other up.  Soul mates, she says.  And we are inclined to agree.

There were a lot of lessons to take away from last night's show.  The first lesson was learned by Jake's family, followed by the rest of us, who judged Vienna unfairly.  So she couldn't make small talk with the robots who were lining up to meet Jake.  So what!  If you were on the Bachelor, would you be trading hair tips with your bunk mate, or would you be brooding in a corner, nursing a glass of wine and a Virginia Woolf novel?  Vienna is us, that's all.  And we hate to see ourselves on television.  We always look fatter and bitchier than we do in real life.

So, Jake defends Vienna, the family embraces her (thank the gods), and now we have seen the miracle of true love blossom.  Oh, but Jake just has two more dates to go on.  A magical night of adoration with Vienna.  And a boat ride with Tenly.

This is where we really get to see how badly Jake acts.  He doesn't look Tenly in the eye.  He stays quiet, and when he speaks, he says that they are missing something, that something isn't there.  Tenly doesn't get it.  She's like, What? I'm right here. Jake can't explain.  He is contractually obligated not to.  So they make out a lot and say very little.  Lesson number 2.  He's just not that into you.

And with that train wreck date behind us, finally, we get to see this.



And orange they cute!

The third lesson learned watching last night's Bachelor is that no love is wrong.  You cannot hate love.  The only thing wrong with that equation is you, the outsider, the judge, the fool.  The connection between two people is none of our business, even when it's on national TV and is in fact totally our business.  We are simple observers.  We have our own love lives to fuck up.  They don't need us in theirs.

Last night we learned, at last, that love is real.  And that this is the love - powerful, absolute, self-making - that is worth waiting for, worth dating for, and worth fighting for.

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