It’s a week away. Valentine’s Day, a day best known for overpriced guilt trips and mob killings, and about as sincere as a John McCain tribute to President Reagan. We celebrate the real holidays for a variety of solid reasons, but Valentine’s Day stands out for its hypocrisy and mercenary character. We celebrate religious holidays because of our faith, and national holidays to remember veterans and great leaders, but somewhere along the way other ‘holidays’ got mixed in, fake ones which do nothing to celebrate or improve the character of our nation. There’s St. Patrick’s Day, a day best known for promoting the assumption that the Irish are drunks who like to wear green clothing. There’s April Fool’s Day, based on the premise that deceitful behavior and insulting gestures should be universally practiced and praised. There’s Cinco de Mayo, originally a very good celebration by Mexicans who recall the May 5 1862 victory of Mexican forces over France in the Battle of Puebla, which effectively confirmed Mexico’s freedom from foreign occupation, but which has in modern times become a celebration of beer and bad music. To that point, a number of American holidays have gone the same way, such as the many people who celebrate Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day without once visiting a veteran or a cemetary of those who died for our country. There is Groundhog Day, where millions of people take time out to respect the observational skills of a fat rodent, on the assumption that his behavior should direct their meteorological expectations. There is Earth Day, where millions of environmentally sensitive people take the opportunity to shout obscene-laced screeds at people who have been successful in their careers, and leave piles of refuse at their fairs and concerts, polluting the area far more heavily than usual in a gesture somehow meant to convey moral superiority. There is Arbor Day, which is largely ignored by people not really, really desperate for a reason to have a holiday, and on which day the original purpose (planting trees) is almost never remembered, much less performed. There is Labor Day, which is honored by new and bolder Union demands and by retail shopping sprees. There is United Nations Day (Oct. 24), which celebrates the defeat of the civilized world to the bureaucrats and the mandarins. And of course, there is also Halloween, a day created by costume supply stores and dentists and people who wish to defame Wiccans.
But for some reason Valentine’s Day seems the worst to me. A day controlled by the International Chocolate, Snotty Restaurant, and Jewelry Cartel, the day seems designed to play on all the worst human traits. Women get greedy for over-priced shiny rocks, men start dwelling on the (generally futile) hope that buying a negligee for $250 will lead to sex, and anyone who spends less than a week’s pay on the day is considered some kind of skinflint. Valentine’s Day is worse than the other holidays, because even from Elementary school you are expected to play along, enduring a day of Pink and Violet pastel hell where women demand equal rights, but also complete devotion and a set of luxurious amusements. Everything about Valentine’s Day is sexist and mercenary, but all to the benefit of the female. God help the man who fails the least whim of his paramour, let alone a man who wonders when it might be his turn to receive such extravagant and hedonist delights. As we all know well, men are never on the receiving end of such arrangements, except in certain sitcoms and professional athletes and musicians. Life imitates High School. That alone is reason to hate V-Day.