Katy Perry + Snoop Dogg = Relationship?

I recently heard that the 3 of the top 5 pop songs are duets.  I was really surprised that one of them was “California Gurlz” by Katy Perry.  I’ve heard the song countless times on the radio and never picked up that Snoop Dogg was on the recording.  My 14 year old daughter informed me that sometimes the station doesn’t play that part of the song.  How do you have a “duet” with one of the partner’s missing?

This got me thinking about what is meant by a duet and how it relates to the idea of a relationship in today’s world.  The duets I grew up with (in the Dark Ages by the way) were Diana Ross and Lionel Richie on “Endless Love”, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton on “Island in the Stream”, and anything by Tony Bennett and k. d. lang.  These songs intermingled the two parts in such a way that you couldn’t have one without the other.  Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg don’t even sound like they’re performing the same song.

I also recently saw the video for Jennifer Lopez’s new song where LL Cool J makes a “guest appearance”.  Made me think of the increasingly common “friends with benefits” practice.  It’s all about doing your own thing with no commitment to any one else.

Relationships, by definition, involve the interactions between two people.  If those people barely connect, like Katy and Snoop Dogg, how do you develop a relationship?  If everyone is focused on their own needs and desires, how do love, empathy, and compassion develop?

Human beings are meant to live in community, not in isolation.  That doesn’t seem to be the road we are heading down.  Still, about 90% of people say they want to be married.  “Duets” where the performers don’t interact; relationships that aren’t, concern me.  At the risk of sounding like an old fuddy-duddy, where is all this leading?

As a relationship specialist, I wonder if this means I will be out of a job or that I will be guaranteed one for a long time.

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