national insult week, day 6

lame and short, but as i've said before, this is harder than it looks.

target: whoever began the commercialization of valentine's day

for starters, we don't really even know anything about the guy (or guys) it's named after. he was apparently a martyr, but other than that he doesn't appear very special... there's really nothing to set him apart from all the other martyrs out there. it looks like it was originally another attempt by the catholics to meld the christian christian with the pagan, to help bring the pagans into the church. i think that a former fellow-student of mine named andrew said it best when he called this process "pagianity." got a great ring to it, don't you think?

apparently this changed into a "love" centered holiday sometime in the late middle ages, with the idea of "courtly love." which was nice in theory, but not always in practice. much like holy wars, which have much more to do with war than with anything holy*, courtly love was mostly "courtly" in the sense that it involved people from "court." actually, i could just be making that up... it's been awhile since i've done any study of courtly love. but you get the point.

(*take, for example, the situation between france and "germany" during, i believe, the 30 years war. the holy roman emperor, who is catholic, is trying to unify the area that will become germany under his direct control. france, who is also catholic, likes the fact that the emperor is also catholic. but france doesn't want "germany" unified, because that would present a threat to their power. so they basically hire sweden, a protestant country, to attack "germany" and keep it from becoming unified.)

so valentine's day is, essentially, an artificial holiday. in my opinion, the current form of the holiday was created by either a man who was after more sex, a woman who was after more diamonds/chocolate, or some combination thereof.