When Bogie Kissed Bergman In Casablanca, He Hadn't Read The Oxford Report

What report…? Another of those polysyllabic research papers from some university science department where the 20th C’s interest in probing outer space has been supplanted with the 21st C’s interest in exploring inner space. If the iconic “Casablanca” lovers had seen this Oxford study, they may have been more self-conscious when kissing during their closeups.

Actually, reading this study on kissing could make us all a little self-conscious.

You see, the Oxford experts tracked the love habits of 900 adults, and came to this conclusion: “Mate choice and courtship in humans is complex….our assessments of one another become more and more intimate as we enter deeper and deeper into the courtship stages. This is where kissing comes in.” Robin Dunbar told Time.com, “Kissing is most highly valued by those who rate themselves as attractive, therefore can be picky about their sexual partners. Women even more so than men, for women are more likely than men to change their minds after that first kiss.”

Did you get all that? The Oxfordians are advising us there is a science to kissing. Frankly, there seems to be a science to virtually everything these days. Which makes elders like me come to this very primitive conclusion. Knowledge may not be all it’s cracked up to be!

Think of it this way. Probing our inner world can surely make us better informed about our being and behavior. On the other hand, some of us may still be best when left un-examined. For me, Bogie and Bergman’s kisses in “Casablanca” need little empirical explanation. Just as Dooley Wilson sings at that nightclub piano: “A kiss is still a kiss/a sigh is still a sigh/as time goes by.”

OK, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my closeup now….

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