Missed Connections – a review of This Modern Love

 

http://www.travis-lee.org/2017/03/20/missed-connections-a-review-of-this-modern-love-by-ray-hecht

 

It’s like real life, but better – Tinder slogan.

Apps like Tinder are a natural consequence of a world of pickup artists and pseudo-harems, where 10% of the men fuck 90% of the women and everyone else is left paying hucksters thousands of dollars to learn how to play a game they were never fit to play in the first place.

Datings apps play a big role in Ray Hecht’s new book This Modern Love. Everyone is connected but everyone is lonely and we follow four of these lonely lives in Los Angeles as they seek attachment.

Ben Weiss stands at the crux of this book. Ben is an introverted coder whose relationship coldly ends because his girlfriend discovered his profile on dating websites while maintaining such profiles herself. Ben comes off as particularly emasculated, lost in a world of text seduction. “Cuck” might be the going term, though I’d never advise you to use it.

The others fare no better, even Jack who understands how the game is played. As they seek meaning, Ben pays for a sensual massage, Jack goes through women, Andrea sleeps with a middle-aged man and Carla writes fanfiction and does drugs, and no one comes away satisfied. There is no app or social media website that fills the void in their lives and love, if it exists in this world, cannot be distilled into a few kb of data and remains elusive to these people.

Although I initially thought I couldn’t relate to the people in This Modern Love, I think I understand them. In college I tried my hand at dating, with terrible results, and while I can’t empathize with Jack, I do pity Ben. Like many young men, lost in an increasingly disconnected world and a contest of counterintuitive rules which no one ever wins.

This Modern Love is available at Amazon.

 

by Travis Lee

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Would you like a sneak preview to read?

Dear readers (and writers),

The time has come for the announce that I am about ready to share something new. If you happen to be one to enjoy my humble writings, here it is.

At a mere 50,000 words, it’s more a novella and not too much commitment to read. Took me the greater part of 2015 and the working title is “Modern Love Story” and yes I know that needs work. Or possibly “This Modern Love” as in the Bloc Party song — see below. “Modern Love” as in the song by the late great David Bowie would be a nice reference as well but seems too similar to Aziz Ansari’s recent recommended book Modern Romance.

Similar in structure to that novel about the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac, this new story only focuses on four people: Two men and two women. Half are modern and the others more traditional, and the point is each pair would be perfect for each other but they keep getting distracted and miss their chance.

Also, it’s about the soul of America.

See, I was inspired after the last time I visited the United States, and after being away for so long I now feel I have the outsider’s perspective. Mostly it was from observing some friends using the Tinder app in order to hook up. I never got the chance to use it, but I thought about all that online dating stuff from a literary point-of-view, and thus..

 

Well, if you would like to read more about my take on how modern technology has skewed sexual relationships between men and women, then please email me via rayhecht@gmail.com

Any input at all would be appreciated, from catching typos to scathing critiques and expertise on technological language.

And as always, if you would like to share anything you are writing I’d be happy to help edit as well!

Keep reading and writing, everybody

 

Here’s that song ~

 

Girl with the Microphone Tattoo: Dating in Hong Kong

This week’s interview is with the mysterious “Girl with a Microphone Tattoo”, a new blogger whom you must check out. Topics include some rather appropriate themes as per this site: Dating in Hong Kong.

Some very well-written and interesting perspectives below. Honest, frank, in tune with the modern state of romance in the world, and also anonymous

 

http://www.girlwiththemictattoo.com

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What inspired you to start such a personal blog?

I actually had a blog from a few years ago that discussed my personal life. As with the internet, things go awry and some people (who weren’t involved at all in the stories) started to attack me for my content which made me delete those posts immediately.

You actually were the one that inspired me to start this new blog. I really enjoyed reading your Dating in China series – I found it entertaining to hear things from a man’s perspective, cause most of the men in my life are largely closed off and unwilling to talk about such matters.

My friends had also always told me I had the most interesting and convoluted love life so I thought it’d be fun to share it to a wider audience and see what happens, without the consequences of people I know lashing out at me again.

 

Do you find the unique geographical circumstances of Hong Kong to be a positive or negative in dating? How would you compare it to dating in other places in the world?

The variety of people you meet is interesting to say the least. Because Hong Kong is such a compact city, it’s easy to meet different types of people easily and quickly. Another great thing about the compactness of the city is that I can go on dates without needing the stress of commuting, worrying if my hair is going to stay in place  or staging a conversation between me and my romantic partner.

I’ve found that in other places like North America, I would stress about different little things on my journey to the date – spending time on a conversation and/or stressing over how I look. In Hong Kong, it’s more about worrying about the transportation to the date: Whether it is crowd surfing on the MTR or worrying if you’re going to be that last person who squeezes into the bus… There is significantly less time for me to worry about date-y things until I get to the location.

That being said, I personally find that there are less variety of people with an international perspective in other places like North America, which is important to me since I grew up here and am seeking for someone who is worldly.

 

What are the advantages and disadvantages to the international flair of HK residents? Is it a good or bad thing that there are so many expats?

Personally, I don’t mind that there is such a large expat community because I love meeting new people with all sorts of backgrounds. But it does lead to a few nasty surprises sometimes when you realise the ephemeral nature of these relationships. It’s happened to me a couple of times where I found out this guy I really liked was leaving in a few weeks. So far nothing that crazy has happened to me but I have heard horror stories where people have just packed up and left without so much as a goodbye and that just breaks my heart. Those people are pretty much robots without a heart or conscience.

I know that these stories might be one in a million, but it really only takes one to fuck you up and cast a shadow on your future relationships.

As for HK residents, I like that a lot of them have an international flair and know what’s going on around the world beyond the Asian or HK bubble. It means I can basically talk to them about anything: From Marxist ideals to the Umbrella Revolution and Starcraft 2, the list goes on.

 

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the game of love in Hong Kong?

Don’t get too serious too quick. Sure, it might seem like the man/woman is perfect for you at the time but you really don’t know them yet. Take your time and get those good and nasty surprises out of the way before you really commit. Also, I have found that people here can be really flaky sometimes, (like a lot of the time) so bear that in mind and have some fun!

 

It seems hard to be a girl these days. Ever long for the days before Tinder and such apps, back when men were supposed to be more gentlemanly? On the subject, just what is your general opinion of dating apps?

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