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  • The Fove Theory part #25

In modern Australia, women are financially independent, decide if and when it is time to marry, and are legitimately recognized as equally capable of representing the interests of Australians in the head of government. In contrast, in present Bangladesh or Pakistan most women are forced to marry for financial security and are often the victims of acid attacks perpetrated by their fiancés/husbands when standing for their rights of autonomy, respect, and freedom. But the social differences between countries do not extend only into the rights of women and their role in marriage. In at least five countries, the death penalty may be applied to those who maintain a consensual, adult same-sex relationship. In contrast, marriage and joint adoption rights for same-sex couples were signed into law in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Mexico City, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay, and in thirteen states of the United States. Portuguese parliament crafted, in 2010, an unique legal framework on the issue making of Portugal the only country in the world to allow same-sex marriages but to restrict co and joint adoption rights to opposite-sex couples.

During the last century, the presumptuous and insolent nature of love, and everything it traditionally involves, has been greatly influencing the sexist, misanthropic, and phobic cultural habits that often went beyond people’s biological nature and continue to be perpetuated in the least developed countries where The Fove Theory is certainly banned by doctrines created by men. But what exactly is the organic cause of love and how does it affect our behavior (and marital status)? Scientists do not know yet, but two recently announced multi-billion-euro projects will bring some irrefutable answers to those in loveland. “The Human Brain Project”, largely funded by the European Union, will simulate the world’s first and most exact human brain in a supercomputer and “The BRAIN Initiative”, announced by the Obama Administration months later the announcement of the European project , will compete for the understanding of our own nature.

Love: From World’s First Revolution to Its Last.

It was always about communication. To archaeologists, the control of fire by early humans was a turning point in human evolution that allowed humans to overcome being physically smaller and weaker than most other mammals and obtain protection from larger predators and biting insects. In addiction, making fire also allowed complex carbohydrates in starchy foods to become more digestible and the ingestion of proteins in cooked meat, which was crucial to brain expansion and the development of the neural pathways of communication, first with the primitive smoke signals and, later, with the development of the first systems of language, the revolutionizing power of speech, and the consequent emergence of the social brain[2]. An unintended spin-off of this greater communicating power is often described by anthropologists as «the [first] cultural explosion» or «the big bang in culture»; the first cave paintings were created, people were burying their dead rather than leaving them to rot, and men were designing tools to hunt. In other words, art, religion, and science, in their most basic forms, were emerging.
The significant changes in communication technologies had ever since evolved in tandem with shifts in cultural, political, and economic systems. Such changes also had an impact in human behavior and social life, with crucial changes in the patterns of social relationships established between the members of a couple, between them and their parents, between their parents and their children, and, of course, between their children and respective friends and puzzling love lives.

Exactly a century ago, the English writer D. H. Lawrence published a censored (and rewritten) version of “Sons and Lovers”[3], regarded today as Lawrence’s finest achievement and an attack to the Victorian morality of the preceding era and the homemaking role of the ideal Victorian woman. Women were expected to be pure, married, and chaste. Australia, (the Grand Duchy of) Finland, New Zealand, and Norway were the only countries in the world where women could vote. French Imperialism, the joie de vivre Française, and La Belle Époque were on its prime and, having received more Nobel Prizes in science than France, the United Kingdom, and the United States combined, the German Empire was becoming a giant in innovation and technology and a rapidly growing economy with the world’s strongest army and the world’s second navy. However, German nearly nonexistent colonial empire was limited to areas that the British, the French, the Portuguese, the Spanish, and the Dutch had passed over. Europe was on the cusp of the First World War, which would lead to the collapse of European morale and the transfer of world hegemony to the United States.
In the 1920s, the United States gained dominance in the world finance; its industry aligned to mass production and its society acculturated into consumerism. Mass-produced vehicles became affordable to the middle class, radio became the grandstand for mass marketing and broadcasting medium, and a giant sign reading “HOLLYWOODLAND” was erected in Los Angeles during the early years of the American cinema. The media focused on celebrities, movie stars, and stunt pilots performing a variety of aerobatic maneuvers, either individually or in groups, while fearless aerialists would perform feats of wing walking or midair plane transfers before rudimentary cameras.
Despite the thriving success of these «flying circuses», the aerial crossing of the Atlantic Ocean stood as a significant obstacle to the aviation pioneers of the early twentieth century and from 1927 to 1929 forty-seven transatlantic flight attempts were made. As “a stimulus to the courageous aviators”, the French-born New York hotelier Raymond Orteig announced, in 1919 and 1925, to offer a prize of US$ 25.000 (nearly US$350.000 as of 2013) to the first aviator of any allied country to fly non-stop from New York City to Paris. “The Orteig Prize” attracted a large group of brave and well-financed aviators including a shy, handsome 25-year-old U.S. Air Mail aviator who rose from virtually obscurity to instantaneous and lifelong world fame as the first pilot to fly solo, non-stop, and over thirty-three hours across the North Atlantic Ocean in a single-seat, single-engine airplane. Overnight, Charles Lindbergh became an international hero of mythic proportions, praised in Paris and later making an eighty-two-city U.S. tour in his airplane and flying to a number of Latin American countries as a goodwill ambassador for the U.S. government. While in Mexico, Lindbergh met Anne Spencer Morrow, daughter of the American ambassador in Mexico City and arguably the only woman who Lindbergh had ever asked out on a date. According to Lindbergh’s autobiography first published in 1977[4], his ideal romance was stable and long term, with a woman with keen intellect, good health, and strong genes. The two were married on May 27, 1929 and over the course of their forty-five-year marriage the couple were constantly pursued by the press and could only find privacy in the air. Charles and Anne had six children.
In the 1930s, Charles taught Anne to fly, who became not only Lindbergh’s wife, but also his co-pilot, radio operator, and navigator. Together, Charles and Anne charted air routes for commercial air travel between the five continents, and explored polar air routes from North America to Asia and Europe, where the Lindberghs lived for a short period of time. During the 1930s both spent much time in Britain, France, and Germany, three countries both admired. But Lindbergh was particularly impressed by what he observed during his several visits to Germany in the years 1936 to 1939, that is, during a period of dynamic change under the leadership of Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist movement. Charles Lindbergh was so impressed with Hitler’s Germany that he seriously considered moving there with his family. “I did not feel real freedom until I came to Europe,” he remarked in 1939. “The strange thing is that of all the European countries, I found most personal freedom in Germany, with England next, and then France.” After a search for a suitable place to live, he found a property in a suburb of Berlin that he came close to buying. But as the threat of war grew again in Europe, he abandoned those plans.

Nowadays, there is a common belief that the course of the history and its cultural revolutions had not only attenuated the differences in the standards of living and morality between nations but also contributed to the surge of less orthodox behaviors and divorce. And, statistically speaking, maybe it is a colossal error and a total disregard for the basic principles of statistics to extrapolate to the general population the behaviors of a few individuals but what is unsurprising to find is that extramarital intercourse and extraconjugal relationships are as common in the 1930s as they are in the 2010s. The difference is that these behaviors are no longer kept secret within the walls of brothels, motels, or summerhouses in the Swiss canton of Valais. From 1957 until his death, in 1974, Charles Lindbergh maintained a secret extraconjugal relationship in Munich with Brigitte Hesshaimer, with whom Lindbergh had three sons, and a third relationship with Brigitte’s sister, Marietta Hesshaimer, who bore him two more sons in their house in the southwest of Switzerland.
The romanticized idea of an Hollywoodian love story, celebrated with a forty-five-year marriage defies the brain’s hunger for novelty and its dopamine-mediated desire for physically and emotionally stimulating activities that make people feel alive, rather than just inhaling and exhaling. Humans are biologically hard-wired to crave novelty and excitement and few couples are able to keep their youth by doing so. The divorce rates skyrocketed but, in the end, we all won; we won short yet true love stories.

André Ribeiro