Oh right, this again

I think “Valentine’s Day” is one of those stupid pseudo-events like “Mother’s Day” and “Father’s Day” that exist to funnel money to florists and greeting card companies. But I don’t think it’s Forbidden or Impure or Pollution.

Unlike some.


  1. noastronomer says

    You may want to save this post, it’s remotely possible that you’ll be able to re-use it sometime in early 2015.

    (Who does actually like plotting the delivery of valentine’s day surprises)

  2. says

    Oh! and here’s a little essay about the TRUTH of St VD:
    (sorry if it seems too long)

    If you remember, a couple of weeks ago I seared the airwaves with a harrowing tale of my heartbreaking love life: or rather, and more accurately, I seared the airwaves with the harrowing tale of my absolute failure to actually manage to get a love life—or, as some have maintained, to manage to get a life of any sort at all! And now, in a nice little exercise in exacerbation, we are facing that Day when anciently the birds were fabled to select their mates; and latterly the day when humans chose and honoured theirs; and modernly the one when every first-through-third grader in the whole United States vows his or her passionate undying love for every other first-through-third grader in the class irrespective of looks, popularity, ethnicity, or indeed sex or sexual orientation: or rather, and more accurately, vows their school board’s passionate undying love for every grade of political correctness!
    Not that any of this Valentine's Day stuff is going to do me any good, even after I've hacked through the crassy, commercial-much thicket of Snow-White-ish thorns to the supposed spirit of the thing, there's still that shiny poisoned apple of nubility and eligibility that's as old as Eve and Adam (what with the spinning and the delving and the having to ask—as every left-wing mediaevalist must—who was then the gentleman, for political if not terpsichorean reasons): that poisoned shiny apple of 'what if you don't have your Eve on Valentine's Eve'—it's so like not having your poor sad murdered tree on Christmas Eve, or, even more, like the one poor Lion in the Coliseum who didn't have a Christian. So, since I'm not at all able to tell you the lurid details of my own Valentine's Day experiences, all I can do is to go all pathetically general and historical to tell you why you, or more particularly all those damned first-through-third graders, have as usual got it completely wrong. First of all, forget all that Esther Howlandish crap with the red cardioid covered cards and the frilly sentiments, if you really want to celebrate the true St. Valentine's spirit, then all you young men should be out there with raw and bloody strips of sacrificed goat, running around practically naked, thwacking away at any girls you can find to keep 'em fertile because the Februal fifteenth of February was the ancient Roman festival of the Lupercalia and, just like Christmas and so many other of our festivals, it's something gross and Roman that lies behind our modern Day–so I say "Io! Faune! Bring on the sacrificial goats! And just remember to hold your nose!" Then of course there is St. Valentine themselves: there were in fact somewhere between zero and four of him, one of whom might just have been the great Gnostic thinker Valentinus (whose heretical attitude toward sex was so much more fun than the mainstream Christian one in the second century). All that is known about them amounts pretty-well to 'other than Valentinus who is solidly historical, some of him might possibly have existed'. The twittering of romantic love (as distinct from, say, goat and girl abusing; or on the whole really rather preferring martyrdom) on what I'm going to suddenly start calling 'SV Day' seems to have emerged from birds in the High Middle Ages and dropped like manna from the skies. As Chaucer says in his 'Parlement of Foules' that

    For this was on Seynt Valentynes day Whan every foul cometh ther to chese his make

    And all too soon SV Day love was no longer strictly for the birds and mere humans started choose and to call each other Valentine in their lust and liking. And, just like the birds and Valentinus and just possibly the Romans, the essence of the exercise was implicit connubiality: dating, and with any luck mating. So now, along with my sad, sad misery at my personal absence of these aspects of SV Day, I have a towering outrage at all those schools for forcing the presence of these aspects of SV Day and all this …this concomitant lasciviousness onto our pre-pubescents! Valete pro nunc e Richardo Howland-Bolton

  3. cottonnero says

    What a weird conglomeration of cultural ideas: a Japanese-style drawing, depicting a Muslimah and her rejection of a Western-style holiday, nominally about the martyrdom of a Roman Christian.

  4. Shatterface says

    Well I guess, since Valentinus was a Christian (or possibly a Gnostic) I suppose they might have a point?

    I can’t recall any other group of people promoting the fact they don’t follow someone else’s traditions.

    I mean if someone wrote ‘St Paddies Night? Not me – I’m English!’ or ‘Ramadan? Fuck off – I’m Christian’ they’d kinda look like bigots.

  5. Scr... Archivist says

    Shatterface @7,

    I can’t recall any other group of people promoting the fact they don’t follow someone else’s traditions.

    Well, there are some atheists who point out that they don’t celebrate various religious holidays, such as Christmas. I certainly hope that doing so is not an expression of bigotry.

  6. MyaR says

    I found it really weird when I reached adulthood and discovered that adults took Valentine’s Day seriously. It was regarded as a kids’ holiday by my family and pretty much all the other adults I knew. It’s true purpose was obtaining candy in quantity.

  7. Claire Ramsey says

    Pure marketing is right. Val’s Day is silly for adults and rough on kids who don’t get Valentines in their boxes.

  8. Claire Ramsey says

    PS Don’t Muslim manga-boys also disapprove of Valentine’s Day? Where’s the cartoon boy? Or is Valentine’s Day only a girl thing?

  9. Omar Puhleez says

    Though certain people, like for example yogis, maintain that for at least some of the time it is best to have an ’empty mind’, life demands that our heads be constantly filled and refilled and kept full with some stuff or other. The effect of all this is that one’s head becomes something like one of those bags on display in a bag store, necessarily stuffed full of paper or some other stuffing to fill it out for display. The stuffing has no other purpose or use than occupation of space.

    The default mind-stuffing is religion: it fills the head sufficiently well for many of us until we find something better to do the job. (I speak from personal experience.) OK I suppose as long as the religious stuffing does not prevent better contents from being loaded in. Unfortunately, a process akin to Darwinian selection has left us with only those religions with a propensity to exterminate all competition. Even that provided by St Valentine, it would seem..

  10. Wylann says

    ‘Ramadan? Fuck off – I’m Christian’

    We totally need to make this happen this year.

    Then sit back and watch the reactions….. 😀

  11. Your Name's not Bruce? says

    I find it hilarious that someone claims to have an “official” Facebook page for Islam. Who sets that up? How does one know that this is actually Islam’s official Facebook page and not some wannabe? Is it Sunni or Shia? If someone set up an unauthorized “official” FB page for Coke, or MacDonald’s or the Olympics they’d get their asses sued. Who polices the internet for Islam? What if someone else set up a rival official page? How would someone know which is the real official page?

  12. zibble says

    It’s a good thing for whoever made this that there’s nothing sexually impure about anime.

  13. yazikus says

    I prefer the Finnish version of Ystävänpäivä, which translates to Friend’s Day and celebrates, wait for it, friends.

  14. Janothar says

    Personally, I love the irony of using a manga-style character to denounce Valentine’s day, which is absolutely HUGE here in Japan (along with it’s role-reversed twin, White Day, a month later).

  15. h. hanson says

    I love the idea of Ystavanpaiva! I dislike St Valentines day. Too phony and created for florists. I’ve always found it to be somewhat embarrassing. But it is my B-day so I often receive flowers. Going out for B-day dinner is no fun. Restaurants are way too crowded. Ever since I was a little girl I have hated frilly pink and red hearts and disgusting sugary concoctions I am all for celebrating friendship instead!

  16. says

    MyaR @ 9:

    [Valentine’s Day]’s true purpose was obtaining candy in quantity.

    Oh no! It’s been assimilated by the expansionist Borg that is Halloween 🙂

  17. carlie says

    [Valentine’s Day]’s true purpose was obtaining candy in quantity.

    And the secondary purpose was to allow for initial explorations into the world of romantic life for children going through adolescence, when such things are fraught with danger pits and embarrassment and chance of mental scarring. It provides a safer social framework to try to initiate such things “Here’s a valentine’s day card! (wait for positive response, don’t get one) No, no, it’s not about you specifically, I gave them to lots of people!” *slink away* Adults aren’t supposed to need that kind of crutch (to ask) or reinforcement (to prove someone loves them)

  18. Rich Roberts says

    This is interesting. I live in a city in southeastern MI with a large Muslim population. I don’t know about Valentine’s Day, but I can tell you this; many of them put up holiday lights in December and they have absolutely embraced Halloween.

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