Sunday, February 14, 2010

Goodbye Valentine

Three cheers to the suits and ties on the top floors of the tallest buildings. You've made my dreams come true. Three cheers to the diamond cutters, the card writers, the teddy bear stuffers, and that genius who put a cherry in a chocolate. There is nothing like the day corporations patented love.

How silly it seems, in this modern era, that there were days when people might have actually picked flowers from a field. What a waste of time it must have been when people were forced to write a note with nothing more than a pen and their true feelings. Now we can have a machine stamp our feelings onto cards by the thousands. What an anachronism to give gifts that someone might actually need, when you can show your love with a rock whose value is derived from a false scarcity and a legacy of colonialism and slave labor. There was a time when people used to die for love, but of course, in this modern era, that would be terribly inconvenient. But with the gift of a diamond you can avoid the personal inconvenience, and she can savor the fact that someone probably did die for it. After all, she is worth dying for, just as long as you’re not the one who does the dying.

How confusing it must have been, back when it was the thought that counts. How could you possibly know how much someone cares, when the gifts had no monetary value? But in this civilized age it’s all laid out for us; the days to celebrate, the ways to celebrate, and the things to buy. Don’t worry about spontaneity or originality. It’s now all obligatory! Like everything else in this world it’s been conveniently plotted out from start to finish, with a small dash of personal preference so we can maintain the comfortable illusion of choice. All we have to do is follow the instructions that are beamed into a box in our living room and all the pieces magically fall into place. Of course the best part is, the instructions are scattered about and repeated constantly so we learn them without even paying attention! And if you’re one of those cynical people who resents all this being forced on you, good news, you don’t have to participate. And unlike the days of old where mobs would torture and kill those who went against the will of society, you will only be made a pariah, and still have a long lonely life to look forward to.

I bow to you, you managers, you artists, you social engineers. With a few magic phrases and flickering images, you managed to reach into the hearts and souls of the masses and permanently weld romance to materialism. And while we are dishing out gratitude, let us not forget the evolutionary implications of this wonderful new amalgam. Now the people with the most money will woo the best mates. And, as we all know, the smartest people always end up with the most money. Assuming, of course, that they aren't hindered with a conscience..... or a soul………… or vision for anything beyond the immediate gratification of their basest animal instincts.