I've been lucky that most of my relationships have been with women who weren't especially into Valentine's Day, so I've never really had to go through the candy-flowers-cards "dear God let me just get through another one" panic of this fake holiday. So I'm not as upset as perhaps I should be that this occasion, like all others in this country, ends up being politicized. The Women's March (you remember them) says it is "reclaiming" Valentine's Day as a "Day of Revolutionary Love":
We, people of faith and moral conscience, reclaim Valentine's Day as a Day of Revolutionary Love, Day of Rising. We resist all executive orders and policies that put people in harm’s way. We commit to fight for social justice through the ethic of love — love for others, our opponents, and ourselves. On Valentine's Day, we will rise up across the U.S. and around the world in music, poetry, dance and engage Congress to declare that #RevolutionaryLove is the call of our times.
[. . .]
Love has been captured by Hallmark cards, sidelined as purely personal and romantic — far too fickle and sentimental to be a political force. But throughout history, prophetic leaders from Gandhi to King built social movements rooted in love. They understood that love is an inexhaustible wellspring that can inspire and embolden us to rise up with courage we did not know we had.Jeez. I hadn't realized Hallmark had hijacked Valentine's Day. I more or less assumed they kind of invented it, at least the version we all know. If the Women's March was to "reclaim" it, more power to them. I hope it makes them happy. But I doubt it will:
In any case, the assumption that Valentine’s Day is flawed because it’s insufficiently political says a lot. For most people it’s a day for celebrating their closest personal relationships. The idea that it must be made part of "the resistance" to have real significance is a bit sad if you think about it.
But we should be thankful we have to put up with such nonsense, because it means we all have freedom, which includes the right to be silly in public. We can be glad we don't live in parts of Asia.:
ISLAMABAD - A Pakistani court has banned public celebrations of Valentine's Day in the capital Islamabad while Indonesian students plan to spurn the event, as the festival of love gets a chilly reception in parts of Asia.
Lonely hearts looking for romance in Australia, Malaysia and Singapore were warned to beware of the growth in online love scams, while grumpy protesters in Japan rallied in recent days for an end to public smooching.
[. . .]
The court issued the order after a petitioner declared love was being used as a "cover" to spread "immorality, nudity and indecency... which is against our rich traditions and values".
Better that politics gets into everything than religion getting into everything.Meanwhile, Burger King locations in Israel are offering "adults only" meals today with sex toys included. And Americans will have spent $18.2 billion expressing their ardor by the end of Tuesday, or an average $136.57 per lover, according to the National Retail Federation.
And it won't all have been wasted. Some people seem to know how to find the real spirit of the day. Here's Matt Labash
:But as I was reviewing these Valentine's Day's cards, all of which my wife saves in an old hat box, I was moved. Not by the Mahogany writers' words, nor by my own (admittedly) inspirational offerings, but by the fact that there were so many. And that she took care to save them. That they'd accumulated over time, stacked up like cordwood. As some sort of evidence of a life lived, together. Which is the real stuff of love and marriage. It's not about some stranger's manufactured sentiment, or even one particular expression of affection. But rather, it's about cumulativeness and constancy. About continuing to choose the one you have chosen, who makes your life full. The remarkable unremarkableness of it all. The everyday miracle.
Happy Valentine's Day, and Revolutionary Love forever, brothers and sisters!
ELSEWHERE IN THE NEWS
This is disappointing. President Trump has endorsed the awful policing tool that allows an individual’s property or assets to be seized without a guilty verdict.
Awww, poor babies: Bureaucrats in Washington have "a sense of dread" over the future of big government. Although, to be fair, I don't think "smaller government" is at the top of Trump's agenda.
How quickly we get used to something: "President Donald Trump didn’t tweet until almost 11 a.m. Monday morning, raising questions about whether he’s backing off his favored communication method to directly reach the American people."
Guess now we can bring back the "just for the articles and the interviews" excuse, too: Playboy brings back nude photos a year after banishing them. What in the world were they thinking?
So, I guess becoming Borg is the answer: Elon Musk says humans must merge with machines or become irrelevant in the artificial intelligence age.
A school superintendent in California has banned forks in the cafeteria so students can't stab each other with them: "The superintendent suggested — in a heroic bout of circular reasoning — that students will not be able to have forks and knives until they stop using forks and knives to stab and otherwise hurt each other."
Gee, do ya think? Jim Webb says Democratic Party has moved "very far to the left." No place for you there, pal.
Why most conservative free traders have thrown in the towel. Basically, because 1) Donald Trump is a protectionist populist and isn't going to change and, 2) the American people have spoken, and it was not in favor of free trade.
What Jesus can teach today's Muslims:
We used terrible science to justify smoking bans. "This has important implications for journalism. As health journalists take on topics such as outdoor smoking bans, discrimination against smokers in employment or adoption, and the ever-evolving regulation of e-cigarettes, they should consider that however well-intentioned the aims of the tobacco control movement are, its willingness to sacrifice the means of good science to the end of restricting behavior calls for skeptical scrutiny." Bad science in pursuit of a good cause, propped up by a willing press. Sounds sort of familiar.