I'm Not Angry
Being that this issue happens to come out on Valentine’s Day, I thought that I might take a brief moment to speak to the following large corporations: Hallmark, Russell-Stover chocolates, and innumerable jewelry stores and fresh cut flower distributors around the world.
Saint Valentine is widely believed to be a third century Roman saint who was martyred on Feb. 14 in Via Flaminia in the north of Rome. Little else is known about Saint Valentine, like whether he is actually one saint, or two saints that share the same name. English antiquarians have even debated the origins of Saint Valentine’s Day as a holiday. Alban Butler and Francis Douce, who realized that Saint Valentine is pretty damn obscure, suggested that Valentine’s Day was created as an attempt to take the place of the pagan holiday of Lupercalia – lord knows the Christian faith has never hijacked a holiday before. It has only been since the High Middle Ages that Saint Valentine has been associated with the idea of “courtly” love at all.
Domnei, or the idea of courtly love, was a medieval European conception of the expression of adoration. Generally speaking, domnei was practised in secret, between members of the nobility, and almost never between a husband and wife. Again, because of the lack of documentation of its very existence, many historians even argue the existence of domnei at all. In fact, many historians believe that the idea of domnei is nothing more than a 19th century romantic invention.
I’ll leave a brief pause for all of that information to sink in. Good? All right. Now, Hallmark, Russell-Stover and jewelry and fresh cut flower distributors: given all of this information, what in the blazing blue hell does any of your over-priced, under-quality, mass-produced, red-tinted schlock have to do with either the idea of Saint Valentine or courtly love, you thick headed, fat-assed, soft-penised, gesticulating, neanderthal nitwits?! Your commercials and products and endless advertisements make single folks feel bad for being single, and you make couples feel bad because neither person in the couple could ever attain the “perfect” idea of pseudo-love presented by your company and their “fine” products.
So, in short, all of you single swingers, hopeless romantics, and others suffering through this holiday: grab a burger, then snuggle on the couch. Walk tall, kick ass, learn to speak Arabic, love music, and never forget that you come from a long line of truth-seekers, lovers, and warriors. And to all of those companies that take advantage of poor fools on this day, I hope that Cupid fires his arrows right through the middle of your twisted, black hearts. But I’m not angry. Honest.
Photo by Tenielle Bogdan