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Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Put the boogie in your butt.

Let's move on from that photo in the last post. The mohawk is gone, the head is shaved. By far the best part of having a shaved head is being able to just get up and go...not pausing for "product".

Coming soon to a Saturday near you is Valentine's Day. My friend Bitter-Mike hates Valentine's Day, and with good cause. "It's a fucking Hallmark Holiday" he's likely to say. It's a sentiment addressed in an episode of the Simpsons where everyone is forced to celebrate, "Love Day" (Marge celebrates by giving Homer a toy bear called "Sir Loves-a-Lot"). Valentine's Day, much like almost every other holiday we celebrate, often seems like nothing more than a way for some business (like cards, candy, and flower shops) to grab some extra cash.

Personally I'm pretty prone to get sucked in by most conspiracy theories. I like the idea that a group of card printers and gardeners got together in some underground bunker and decided that something needed to be done to keep their shops busy in February. I hear that President Kennedy grew suspicious about Valentines day and look what happened to him. How many mob-owned chocolate stores are there?

According to some several websites (most conveniently linked to sites where you can buy valentines day gifts), February 14th has been some sort of holiday since 498 AD, when Pope Gelasius declared it St. Valentine's day. Most places you look say that this was done to Christian-ize a pagan fertility ritual that took place at the same time.

I think this year for Valentine's Day I may find inspiration in this old school approach to the holiday. According to what I've read I should kill me a young calf, dip strips of it's hide in blood and slap my girlfriend with it to make her fertile. I think she'll appreciate all the trouble I'd be going through to accomplish that.

The fact that St. Valentine's day has been around longer than evil marketing departments doesn't necessarily validate the existence of the holiday in it's current form. I still think that most of it is crass commercialism, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy it.

I go through a similar thing during religious holidays like Passover. My friend Gabe is particularly critical of my enthusiasm for such holidays. This is because I am an atheist. Gabe (and I don't mean to put words in your mouth here buddy) seems to think that it's hypocritical to deny faith, but still receive some of it's earthly benefits.

To me though, holidays transcend faith. Most people I observe only give lip-service to whatever religious significance those holidays have anyway. What seems most important to all of us is the opportunity to celebrate the lives we lead, and the connections we make with each other. I enjoy Christmas and Channukah because I like exchanging gifts, eating good food, and spending time with friends and family (in that order :) ). I like Passover for basically the same reasons. Halloween, New Years Eve, and St. Patricks day could just as easily be to the liquor industry what Valentine's day is to cards and flowers....but fuck it. Those are fun holidays too.

A lot of people might say, "I don't need a holiday to tell my significant other I care for him/her"...that may be true, but does that make it less fun to have a special day that's set aside specifically for that purpose? Sure you could do that on any random day of the year (and you probably should) but a holiday that expresses that sentiment is pat of what culture is all about. It's about not only connecting with your girlfriend, but connecting with the human race. It creates a solidarity that your random acts of romance can't do.

So despite the sneaking suspicion that I am succumbing to a cheap marketing ploy, I enjoy Valentine's day.

But I still don't know what the hell I am going to do for it this year. Any suggestions?




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