Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day

Bah, humbug!

With my mind temporarily lobotomized by unhealthy levels of Russian techno, I can now safely write on the occasion of this day without trailing off halfway to jump off a bridge or something.

Ah, Valentine's Day.

What a surprise to find, when one looks at the Western liturgical calendar, that Valentine's Day is, well, the Feast of St Valentine (February 14). This is the day we remember a great saint who loved his Lord enough to die for Him. A wonderful feast it truly is, and how it has been perverted and made trivial.

I hate this holiday. I hold it in contempt for the same reason that I do Halloween. It has everything to do with commercialization and more. Like Halloween (and Christmas, to a certain extent), Valentine's Day is no more than superficial, imported Western kitsch.

Not only is it a vulgar, commercialized, pretend excuse for a holiday, Valentine's Day is actually harmful and discriminatory. Psychologically harmful and discriminatory, it does more harm than good.

Holidays can be divided into three categories - those of observance (Victory in Europe Day, International Women's Day), those of celebration (New Year's) and both (Pascha/Easter). The point of a holiday is this: to either remember/commemorate an important religious/historical event or for everyone to celebrate it happily. Now, we know that a good 100% of couples celebrating Valentine's Day all have no idea who St Valentine is. So moving on to the "celebration" aspect of today...

Anybody can celebrate Christmas/Halloween/St Patrick's Day/New Year's/Hanukkah if he/she wants to do so. Valentine's Day, however, actively excludes and humiliates those who do not meet its criteria - basically those not in a dyadic relationship (heterosexual or otherwise). So what else is Valentine's Day other than seeing a bunch of people who happen to have been lucky enough to be in romantic relationship lording it over those who haven't?

Valentine's Day isn't fun at all. Speaking from experience, I can tell you that Valentine's Day for someone who is single is unbearably excruciating. Nobody likes it when I start pontificating on a topic everyone thought I knew nothing about (just ask my classmates). And yet, to someone who is single - that is what Valentine's Day is all about: an exclusive cabal of smug people emphasizing the fact that you're still single (i.e. discrimination and harassment).

How anyone can tolerate or even like this farcical and anachronistic holiday is beyond me.

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Blogger Karen said...

I'm with you, Costantine. A totally commercialized holiday, wher emen feel social pressure to rush out and get some flowers and candy for their girlfriends or wives. What this has to do with St. Valentine is beyond me.

I'm in the "single" category myself-- and happily so-- but if I were married, I would prefer my husband's getting the house cleaned, the dishes done, or a nice dinner made for me than an overpriced bouquet of roses that will die in a few days.

By the way, thank you for the "hat tip."

Fri Feb 16, 11:18:00 am 2007  
Blogger Deo Juvante said...

cf your second last paragraph. i'm in the same boat with you.

Thu Feb 22, 09:17:00 am 2007  

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