Caution, dear reader, brace yourself. In a few days, the perennial tsunami, appearing every February 14, will predictably reassert itself, in all its traditional force. The sole fans of the feared flooding are the usual suspects, the greeting card companies, the chocolate manufacturers, the florists, the retail jewelry businesses, the pajama industry and the novelty sales folk. The expected high tide of the Valentine’s Day inundation, judging by previous experience, will submerge all land masses, human population and baffle all reason. Among other phenomena, the advertising industry will publish a stage 4 hurricane of notices, featuring photo-shopped, seemingly amorous couples, in intimate proximity, to their highlighted sales merchandise.
Since (mercifully) this holiday has only a short half-life, one day, the need for effective, sales propaganda becomes urgent. Unaccountably huge profits are earned by companies who, presumptuously, maintain that there is a realistic (and commercial) need to supplement the interaction of couples, who love one another, with their manufactured paraphernalia. Greeting card companies are especially guilty of this self-serving assumption and hire distinguished “poets” to create trite doggerel, consisting of inane expressions of love and fidelity, for the thousands of presumably, aphasic, anonymous consumers.
The most objectionable of the various Valentine’s Day symbols is the trite, red valentine “heart,” an outmoded and retro- configuration, broadcast without relief; on all holiday products, greeting cards, gift wrapping paper, stuffed toys, pillows and candy boxes. This stale symbol is glaringly imprinted on all items for sale on Valentine’s Day, as well as on the consumer’s mind, by some Manchurian Candidate type, propaganda.
Various research people [ who apparently have no more pressing fields of inquiry for the employment of their Ph.D. acumen] have uniformly reported that the classic red symbol is derived from an early, incorrect understanding, by [no less than] Galen and Aristotle, who believed that the heart contained only three chambers. [It may be noted, that Dr. Galen and Mr. Aristotle were, innovatively, accurate on many other subjects]
The valentine depiction of the human heart, maintains the very same proportionate degree of accuracy, as a wood duck, in appearance, bears to a moose. Nevertheless, it has, over the ages, been foisted upon, and willingly accepted, by the consuming public.
In truth, the human heart is shaped like a pear and is the approximate size of a man’s fist. This life-or-death chest muscle is taxed with the existential job of circulating blood and oxygen throughout the body. It has no time, or noticeable inclination, for holiday Hallmark sales propaganda, as the purported source of love, courage, strength or kindness. The statement, “He has a good heart” should be reserved, solely to a positive determination by a cardiologist, and not a comment on such traits as a person’s, love, generosity or empathy. We are only concerned with cardiologists and not “cardeologists.” How would you value a positive comment on generosity, like, “He has good kidneys.”
It is certainly inarguable that all human thought and emotion are exclusively functions of the brain and, empirically, not the traditionally romanticized heart muscle. Admittedly, however, it would be impractical to artistically create a brain-shaped cartoon figure to serve as a symbol of the holiday.
The senseless valentine “heart” is best replaced by a preferable love symbol, the unique and marvelous tulip bulb. Certainly, the outline of the traditional bulb is simple to replicate, artistically. More important, the bulb has always been a reliable symbol of future growth and predictable beauty. Relative to the modern conception of true and healthy love, the tulip bulb is independent and self-sustaining, having within its inner self a sufficient systemic source of future nourishment as well as the natural ability and inclination for growth and the achievement of its innate potential.
The tulip bulb, in the Middle Ages, was thought to be magical and priceless. There are historical records of its individual sale for the modern equivalent of several thousand dollars. If you should offer one to him/her and it is refused, we earnestly suggest that you look elsewhere.
Why should it be necessary to dedicate a one- day holiday in recognition and expression of love; and, further, to do so by trite gifts of holiday nonsense? Love, where it is genuine, is experienced on a regular basis, and expressed in tender interaction and caring, personal acts. This one-day holiday is sadly comparable to gifts of free turkey dinners on Thanksgiving to the needy. Hunger exists year-round and the poor and unfortunate need more than a gratuitous symbol.
* perennial message