On the danger of sentimentality

To be sentimental is to feel more than one ought. The sentimental man has no good reason to feel as he does, and thus there is no depth, nor can there be, to his feeling. The emotion, like a sensation, flits over him, is cheaply had, and then readily returns to the air. He watches sentimental movies, cooing at cute puppies, crying over lost loves, “yeah-ing” with the overcoming of insurmountable odds.

The sentimental man is actually quite dangerous. For he cannot feel the right emotion on the right occasion, his capacity for empathy has, with the years, been desiccated, and were he to feel rightly it would wane just as quickly as the denouement of The Bachelorette. He is dangerous because, for him unknowing, the world cannot be a place of commitment, only one of amusement. Indiscriminate and uncomprehending, he is nothing but a lover of sights and sounds.

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