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Involuntary Acts

Chris Farmer RSS / 14.02.2011. u 09:01

When I look back, it seems I write about it every year...

Usually I am a little cynical and snide. Usually I attempt to undermine its message. On occasion I have been sappy about it. But like it or not, every year, Valentine's Day gets some sort of bloggal response from me. I have to say I am a little tired of it.

The insidious nature of Valentine's Day has been inculcated in me since early childhood, watching Charlie Brown look longingly into his empty mailbox while Snoopy is flooded with mail and candy hearts. It is not so much what the day is supposed to mean as much as the fact that it exists and will not be denied. The rampant commercialization of this and every holiday means that we cannot forget it - someone (like me, it seems) will always remind us of it.

Do we need a day set aside for the glorification of Romantic Love? This is a condition that many psychologists and mental health professionals liken to madness. Moreover, for those who experience Romantic Love, which may, as it happens, be active and actual on February 14, do they need a reminder? I should think not as their madness will evoke Valentine's thoughts anyway - with or without a stuffed and inscribed heart-shaped pillow. On the other hand, those who meet the day in solitude and alone are equally (if not more so) put upon by the reminder, like an accusing finger or stick in the eye.

Maybe the day should be used to celebrate a more universal kind of love, the kind about which St. Paul chatted to the Corinthians, the kind that the ancient Greeks called "agape" or the Hindi call  प्रणय ("praṇaya"). This speaks to a more generalized respect and care for the well-being of one's fellow humans, to an understanding of the interconnectedness which is part of the human social condition. It is a transcendent state, allowing us to set aside the petty differences which we have with one another and look to the basic level of interaction between people.

During the rest of the year, we "hate" those who do us wrong, who have debts to us, who are dishonest, or who do not treat people with a modicum of decency. Maybe this day should be taken as a reminder that, despite all these things, we are all fellow travelers and that, as such, we should not lose sight of the bigger picture.

Or maybe candy hearts are enough.

Be that as it may, I am shocked to find myself, yet again, writing about Valentine's Day on Valentine's Day. Even as of a week ago, I resolved to avoid this. There are SO many other subjects out there about which to discourse. There are unresolved issues in the economy, in society, in politics, in business, and in every other aspect of life on this planet, continent, and country. And what about parking? Surely enough has not yet been said about parking in Belgrade.

Maybe this is more about my own conditioning than about any great societal problem. I have been trained and manipulated throughout the years to think about Valentine's Day whenever it rolls around. Maybe I cannot help myself and should enter a plea of temporary insanity, not being cognizant of my own actions.

Therefore I issue a request to you, Dear Readers: each year on February 7, please send me a list of different topics to write about on Valentine's Day. I hereby promise to consider them deeply and thoroughly before discarding them and writing about the candy hearts all the same.

The bell please, Mr. Pavlov.


Komentari (7)

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mlekac mlekac 09:25 14.02.2011

Mr Pavlov

is not present, but I think this can help?

Chris Farmer Chris Farmer 09:28 14.02.2011

Re: Mr Pavlov

Perfect! Thanks. Pavlov could not have done better.
fantomatsicna fantomatsicna 09:36 14.02.2011

From me , all home made


dirtyharry dirtyharry 11:47 14.02.2011


Chris, I don't think you should change the post topic. No one will write about it. It is not Serbian "holiday" but we adopted it. This blog is full of other topics about politics, problems of every kind so I vote for "candy hearts".
In the meantime:
Chris Farmer Chris Farmer 10:31 16.02.2011

Re: Hi

Chris, I don't think you should change the post topic. No one will write about it. It is not Serbian "holiday" but we adopted it. This blog is full of other topics about politics, problems of every kind so I vote for "candy hearts".

Thanks Harry. It's a nasty job but someone has to write about it... (or something like that).
yugaya yugaya 12:45 14.02.2011

Instead of hearts and teddy bears

...here is a link to artist Sophie Blackall's blog.

She illustrates in a most beautiful way the romantic love which, in our world, due to hectic schedules and shortened attention span, resides in the "Missed Connections" section of the personal ads on the web:

Monday, November 23, 2009
You were wearing a green dress with white buttons. We made eye contact at least three times on the 6 train this morning. All of a sudden you gave a little smile, and looked down at your lap, as though at some secret joke. You never looked up again and I had to get off at Bleeker. I wish I could have seen inside your beautiful head.

Monday, September 13, 2010
-m4w, 25
i kicked myself all the way home
for not saying hello
maybe you'll see this
and let me take you out
i was reading d h lawrence
Chris Farmer Chris Farmer 10:31 16.02.2011

Re: Instead of hearts and teddy bears

This is amazing. Thanks for the link.



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