Thursday, February 12, 2004

Now I've heard of bitter singletons, but THIS is ridiculous!

Okay. So I'm not a fan of the commercial free-for-all that is Valentine's Day, but this is, um, excessive.

First of all, Valentine's Day is about as much the feast day of a Catholic saint as Purim is a Christian festival--ie. NOT AT ALL. No one really even calls it "St. Valentine's Day" any more; it's just "Valentine's Day." Valentine's Day may have its roots as a Catholic feast day, but in its modern incarnation--a secular incarnation that began in the Middle Ages--there is nothing Catholic about it.

Nowadays in particular, the day is especially lacking in everything but consumerist/commercial ethos. It is a day designed to make people buy: if you're in a relationship, you are compelled to send cards/chocolates/flowers/whatever or you become the bad guy (anyone see that Bell Mobility commercial with the three guys sitting at the bar by themselves? The bartender mistakes them for singles--?) It's a day to honour love! Why can't you honour your love?! How could you forget your loved ones?! (I ask you: why do people need to set aside a day to celebrate love? Love should be celebrated EVERY day. If you have to set aside a day to tell someone you love them, then your relationship's pretty fucked up to begin with!) And if you happen to be a single loser (like I've been for all Valentine's Days, save one) on Valentine's Day, well, goshdarnit!, you'd better do something to mark the day, loser, because you don't want other people to think you're an ineligible loser, now would you? So the single buys. Buys chocolates, rents movies, spends the night with a carton of chocolate ice cream, et cetera.

Commerce has co-opted affection.

SO, I think, if Hindu leaders in India are going to object to Valentine's Day, I say object to it on the P.D.A grounds, not to the day's Christian heritage.

But now this brings me to something else: the punishment of Hindu couples who mark the day. Shaving heads and blackening faces? BEATING celebrants?! WHAT? (Nothing like corporal punishment for [allegedly] showing affection.) How reactionary! How illogical! How downright absurd.

How is that just?

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