Sunday, 14 February 2010
Oh shut up you filthy naysayers! 'It's all too commercial, it's not real love, it's just a money maker for companies, it's more trouble than it's worth, I show love every day of the year blah blah boring blah'.
It's all been heard before. It's as boring as watching a sponge dry in the rainforest. I put it to you that Valentines Day is what you make it. And what could be wrong about a day designated to love, as an example to how every day should be?
I bet you kill-joys don't even know the reason for the expression of love and all things close. Well here it is. Paraphrased by yours truly.
It's 270 AD, and the matrimonial bond has been absolutely outlawed by old Claudius II, the then emperor of Rome, because he reckoned married men made crap soldiers. Boooo. He also outlawed Christianity, and while some of y'all may think that this was actually quite a good idea, he did it because he wanted to be worshipped as the one supreme God. Great. 270AD Rome sounds like a great place to live. Then our hero, Valentine turns up. And in my mind, he looks a bit like Dr. Valentine from Holby City. Goooood times.
He was the Bishop of Interramna, and he thought the decrees of Rome were wrong, plain wrong. He put it forward that everyone should be able to be free with their love-of God and to marry. So what to do? I hear you whisper in impatient anticipation. He performed the most romantic covert operation the other side of Romeo and Juliet. He secretly married couples, risking life and limb, for love.
The thing is, it turned out it wasn't as covert as he would have liked. He was caught and brought before old Claudius. Claudius saw something in our hero, and tried to persuade him to renounce his Christianity and worship the Roman Gods i.e Him. Well, this didn't work out as such, and Valentine did not budge. Now the Emporer could have just killed him, right? Hung him, maybe. Cut off his head. Sad, but relatively humane. No, no, nope. Valentine gets sentenced to a gruesome 3 part execution. Beating, stoning, then decapitation. Valentine died on February 14th, 270 A.D.
While languishing in his dank dark prison cell in Rome awaiting his imminent death, poor Valentine fell in love with the jailers daughter, the blind Asterius. Apparently, during Valentine's stay, her sight was restored. But that isn't the touching bit for me. Valentine, before he went to his gruesome death sent her a last, farewell note, and ended it 'From your Valentine'
Ahhhhh. They need to make a film out of that.
So, when you see crude cards, explicitly outllining acts of copulation, or see blatent money-grabbing tactics from your local Tesco, think about what Valentines day is really about. It's what you make it, not what someone else makes it. So don't complain about the commercialism and the mainstream filth, and use this as an excuse for your love protest, don't turn up your nose in a decidedly snobby fashion. Even if you feel you must celebrate on another day if the atmosphere sickens you too much, do it. And if you don't have a valentine, look for people who need love as they don't seem to be getting any. Give St. Valentine something more to be proud of, give him more meaning in his death. And hey, you might just enjoy it.