There was this fascinating-in-a-repellent way article by Lisa Katayama in the New York Times Magazine last Sunday July 26 called "Love in 2-D" (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/26/magazine/26FOB-2DLove-t.html?scp=1&sq=%22Love%20in%202-D%22&st=cse), which describes a "Lars & The Real Girl"-like situation (rent that movie if you haven't seen it) in which seemingly normal Japanese men fall in love with body-pillow girlfriends based on comic-book characters.
Yes. They fall in love with pillows. The article describes how some of these men even take their pillow-girlfriends out to dinner or to the beach, as if they were real ("the restaurant was packed with young families. Several mothers gave Nemutan [the pillow] inquisitive looks, but the majority seemed not to notice her"). That's weird enough, but what's more disturbing is these girl-pillows really are depictions of GIRLS -- around 10 - 12 years old.
My friends and I read about this together last weekend when they were visiting (actually, one of them read it aloud to the rest of us on the subway, which is probably the most awesome way to experience this article), and one of my friends, playing devil's advocate, asked, "But these guys aren't hurting anyone, so what's wrong with it?"
"They're hurting themselves!" I said. Just like people who fall in love with bridges, or towers, or other inanimate objects (see my March 31, 2009 post at http://www.bestdatesnow.com/2009/03/i-love-you-you-cute-inanimate-object.html), the more in love these men fall with pillows, the less chance they have of finding a real relationship, which is much more fulfilling. But apparently there are a lot of lovelorn people in Japan -- more than 25% of men and women between the ages of 30 - 34 are virgins. A 40-year-old man named Toru Honda, who writes books promoting the "2-D lifestyle," brings up the following issue:
"Honda wrote, 'As long as you train your imagination, a 2-D relationship is much more passionate than a 3-D one.' Honda insists that he’s advocating not prurience but a whole new kind of romance. If, as some researchers suggest, romantic love can be broken down into electrical impulses in the brain, then why not train the mind to simulate those signals while looking at an inanimate character?"
But when Honda "admitted to watching human porn at a panel discussion in Tokyo in 2005, several hundred hard-core 2-D lovers in the audience booed with shock that their dear leader had nostalgia for the 3-D world. Later, in an interview with a Japanese newspaper, Honda clarified his position, saying that he was worried 2-D love was becoming an easy way out for young otaku, who might still have a shot at success in the real world. 'I’m not saying that everyone should throw away hopes of real romance right away. I am simply saying that guys like me who have gotten to a point of no return can be happy living in 2-D.'"
He's only 40, and he's already given up on love? I think that is very sad! (Hasn't he seen "The 40-Year-Old Virgin"?)
This whole thing reminds of the red blue/blue pill choice in "The Matrix." The illusion of a girlfriend, or of any reality, may be safer, prettier, easier -- but in the end, it's just an illusion. Hate to say it, but no pillow is going to love you back.
(P.S. For non-dating-related posts, check out my other blog at http://herartichokeheart.blogspot.com/)