Here's a roundup of Valentine's Day News You Can Use, with some demented commentary from Your's Truly.
Although today is supposed to be about the expression of love and affection, we're often reminded that this is not always exactly the case. Whatever it's original purpose, or supposed virtues, Valentine's Day long ago ceased to be about Love and Romance, and is well on it's way to becoming one of those things that quickly becomes a hell of a lot more trouble than it's probably worth.
For example, if you live in Malaysia, Valentine's Day is not a holiday for the...ahem...faint of heart. Because instead of a cheeky greeting card, one is much more likely to receive a fatwa (religious edict) warning against the consequences of immoral behavior, defined as: perhaps showing an ankle, a smooch on the cheek given to someone not your spouse, engaging in decadent "Western" behavior.
Because the origin of Valentine's Day lay in the Christian calendar, of course, and because with the advance of time and the relaxation of sexual mores common in Western culture, it's gone from a religious celebration to a full-bore freight train of promiscuity and material indulgence. If you're a Muslim, these things are bad for you, and can get you killed.
Then again, the words 'Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Department' is an oxymoron. Like 'Democratic Party'. There can be no economic development, Islamic or otherwise, without freedom of thought, expression or conscience. Be that as it may, it seems that Allah frowns upon displays of affection that don't involve shagging a goat in a Scriptually-approved manner. One wonders if somewhere in the Middle East today, some poor woman wrapped head-to-toe in a carpet, and subjected to daily beatings, isn't giving her paramour a heart-shaped (that's actual human-heart-shaped, not that vile Westernized thingy that's rounded at the tops and pointy at the bottom) box of plastic explosives with a lovey-dovey note attached that reads "from your Hostage in Love..."
Somewhere, I'm thinking there's a self-appointed Islamic Morality Hall Monitor disguised as a Malaysian Islamic Economic honcho nodding in agreement with that sort of sentiment.
By the way, when anything with the word 'Islamic' incorporated in it's title says it'll be 'carrying out morality checks' what it really means is that they will beat, maim or kill anyone who doesn't live and behave according to their mentally-constipated worldview. Now there's love for you! And really, what does the 'Islamic Economic Development Council' have to do with morality in the first place, unless it's a deliberate obfuscation of both fact and intent?
And, of course, nothing says "I Love You" in the Islamic World like a good beheading. Even if it takes place in Buffalo.
Ah, the things we do for Love, eh?
If 7th-century-inspired notions of what constitutes love just don't float your boat, you can always settle for the 21st Century American equivalent, which, of course, involves computers, Budweiser, a pre-date "compatibility" questionnaire that has all the romance of a job interview and rectal exam rolled-into-one, and a gross violation of your personal privacy. But hey: it'll help you get laid on this special day. That is, after all, the purpose of the whole exercise, right?
This pretty much proves something that I have investigated (and often proved) many times in the last 20+ years: if you asked ten women, at random, to make the Beast with Two Backs, you'll get at least three positive responses on any given evening. Apparently, if you throw some beer into the mix, your odds of success more than double.
I figured that out at the age of 19, and didn't need a freakin' computer to do it. Nowadays, people are so intellectually-lazy and gadget-oriented (read: dependant) that they won't even fart , let alone fuck, unless there's an app for that. If it wasn't for the fact that I, eventually, Grew Up and put on my Big Boy Pants, I'd still be out there when the mischievous mood struck, chatting up would-be conquests ten at a time.
Had it down to a near-science, too.
(Note to all those who think this is a great idea: it gets boring after a very short time. Mostly because it's waaaaay too easy, and the majority of your takers barely have basic brainstem functions.)
Naturally, this would not be America if there wasn't a small minority of deranged dipshits out there who believe that no activity in the pursuit of your 'soulmate' is too extreme. Even a 24-hour murder spree.
I'm certain that somewhere, there's a clinical psychologist who's furiously trying to explain how stabbing your intended to death is just the mouth-foaming sociopath's way of expressing affection, and we just need to be tolerant of this 'different' manifestation of love, and try to extrapolate this stupidity into a pro-Gay-Marriage argument.
We should stab that so-called doctor to death, too.
As for my own Valentine's Day celebration, well...there won't be one this year. The lady who would be my heart's desire is unavailable to me, alas. Mostly by choice, because she's as big a lunatic as I am, and that just ain't healthy for either of us. As for the Other One that I was, until recently, 'keeping company' with, I tossed her overboard just as soon as I heard those words that now make me break out in a cold sweat and want to reach for a flame-thrower;
"I really, really need your help..."
That 'help', incidentally, didn't involve changing a light bulb, fixing a flat tire, or squashing an inconvenient spider in the bathtub, but was rather an attempt to get me to take some responsibility (i.e. do all the heavy lifting) in 'helping' her sort out her (egregious) personal and familial issues. Sorry, but I'm just not equipped for that anymore; The White Knight has finally hung up his spurs for good. If I'm spending all my time taking care of your issues, then I'm not taking care of mine, thanks very much. Besides, I wasn't ever going to marry you, I don't think, and your kid regards me as the next best thing to Rudolf Eichmann.
Romance, it seems, is dead. What a pity.
In a day-and-age where we're sold the idea that the heart-shaped box of Russel Stover's is the end-all-be-all, where 'Every Kiss begins With Kay', Wal-Mart tries to pass itself off as your Valentine's Day Headquarters by flogging cheap jewelry that no one with taste and a median income near the National Average would buy without chemical stimulus, where the Vermont Teddy Bear is sold as the key to unlocking the vault wherein is hidden the Pearl of Great Price, True Romance is but a few mouse-clicks away on E-Harmony, and where "do for me what I won't do for myself" becomes the basis for, and only purpose of, a one-sided "relationship" that will eventually end in disaster for both parties, it's no fucking wonder.
I think back to simpler days when I used to write a young lady who had snagged my affections love letters. She thought they were the Greatest Thing Ever, and a few days before she married someone else, she told me she had kept every last one...and still read them regularly. I wouldn't be surprised to find that she still had and read them all, 20 years later, because what passes for romance these days is kitchy, tied to outrageous displays of grossly-conspicuous consumption, and always contains at least three pathologies that should have half the country on a psychiatrist's couch somewhere.
It's all become way too impersonal, tied to empty display, or centered upon a formulation wherein personal growth is directly proportional to how well you manage to slough your personal problems off on someone else and frame the issue in terms of "if you love me, you'll do it..."
Excuse me while I vomit at the thought of Valentine's Day.
Whatever happened to those simpler times, when the free Expression of Love -- for it's own sake -- didn't come with a commercial, a political stance, religious repression, physical violence, or it's own chapter in the DSM IV?
Happy Valentine's Day, America. See most of you in the local meat market tomorrow...after you've gotten your Chromium-plated Chocloate Diamond pendant, and shaken off your beer goggles, assuming we haven't been marked for death by the local Islamic Economic Development folks for our sinful, lusty apostasy.
Update: What Women Really Want. If you believe this, you're a douchebag. (H/T Closet Conservative). Probably, it's more like some sick bitch doing research on how to snag a queer dude, and 'convert' him into suitable husband material just so that they can share wardrobes.
Also, What Women Really, Really Want: The Ins-and-Outs of the Marriage Proposal.
Personally, if I ever had a chick who demanded that a Broadway production be made of my marriage proposal as proof of my devotion, I'd do it...but only so I could take the ring back and tell her to go fuck herself -- you selfish bitch -- in front of her friends and family right at the moment of her greatest triumph.