Tag Archives: Hallmark-Holiday

Valentines as Excitement [Anti-Valentine’s #13]

10 Feb

How can I write a 15th (can you believe I have been talking shit about Valentine’s Day for 15 years??!)  original and unique perspective on Valentine’s Day, I asked myself.  I’ve pretty much covered all the points about why I hate Valentine’s Day and why I want the holiday to be UN-acknowledged.  Here’s what I came up with for this year:  Motivations.  Meaning, what’s the real reason we are so set on celebrating this holiday even though most of us don’t really know that saint and it’s a contrived day?

It is human nature to crave excitement.  Celebrations, holidays, trips, and other things out of the ordinary routine stimulate us and make us more excited to live life.  Routines get boring.  We mostly do the same set of things day after day, week after week, year after year.  We want to break up the monotony. And this is nothing new.  Way back in BC times, the people cavorted around worshiping idols, because they wanted some way to expend this fervent energy they felt. Abraham put the kabosh on that.  A little later in history the Romans also craved excitement.  People would watch people or animals (or even people and animals) in grotesque fights to the death.  And today, there are so many entertaining distractions that it would be overwhelming to mention the all:  Sports, screens, and yes, even Valentine’s Day.

 

But I’m jumping ahead.  Let’s go back, back, way back in time to when Jesus was preaching his message of love and devotion across the land.  People even craved excitement in those Biblical times–and it didn’t go well way back then either.  Let me tell an example story [see disclaimer at the bottom (if you want/need) at {1}].  The story:  A group of people heard the gospel from Jesus and became believers in Christianity.  They were all-in and excited about this new religion.  Some even made implements (like statues) to help them worship God. And they celebrated by drinking, dancing, and praying to these statues and other handmade items.  It was a real worship-party!

Abraham came upon the scene and was aghast.  God considered this “worship” idolatry and was angered by it.  God called Abraham to the top of this mountain, where he told him face to face that the people could not worship any statues, or items of any kind.  It was an affront.  God demanded that Abraham go back to the group of people and convey this message and also to tell them they would be punished if they didn’t stop all the ruckus.

Abraham came off the mountain and told the group what God had personally told him.  The people understood the rules, but felt disappointed.  How could they show their fervor?  So Abraham went back and told God the people would cease all their rambunctious idolatry, but the needed something more…  And that was when God decided people should attend religious ceremony called church every week–so the people could get their fill of excitement.  Even back then people wanted a little pizzazz in their lives–but it came at the expense of angering God and getting punished for that.  But it wasn’t just people in the Bible acting out in order to break up monotony–in one of the most progressive eras with people ahead of their time academically, this diversion-seeking behavior was still a thing.

 

The second example of people craving excitement (and getting a little too hedonistic about it) was during Ancient Roman times.  I will not scar you with the gory (and I do mean exceptionally gory) details of all that went on at the Coliseum.  Unless of course you want more gory details, then check out 2} in the sources at the bottom.  People met at this gathering place to watch and jeer what was going on in the middle of the floor.  I will convey to you a general list of the goings on so you can get an idea of how people wanted entertainment to spice up their lives:

Animals were killed-just for sport:

Animals were decapitated by people.

Rare and exotic animals were hunted for pleasure (in unchecked numbers).

Wild animal were also pitted against each other–to see what species would dominate.

Prisoners and peasants were thrown into the middle of the Coliseum with various wild animals.

Some of these people would commit suicide (in unique ways) rather than getting mauled by an animal.

Execution by crushing.

Crucifixions.

Animals were trained to rape people.

It’s pretty egregious stuff, I think you can agree.  So back then were people just heathens–and now we’re more evolved?  Well, sort of.  We (usually) no longer torture animals for the sake of entertainment.  Though I would argue bull fighting, running with the bulls, swimming with dolphins, circuses, etc, etc… still does plenty of harm to animals for our selfish pleasure.  People are slightly less egregious in the present.  Now instead of increasingly vicious forms of celebration, we desire constancy.  We never want to be bored.  And luckily, the technology boom enables us to be entertained 24/7.  In current times we have sports, social media, really, what don’t we have?  Technology allows people to be continually entertained.  We look at our phones to entertain ourselves constantly.

Think how television has impacted the attention span.  In a study of toddlers, the higher number of hours they spent watching television, the shorter their attention spans were at age seven [3].  Now, extrapolate those results to cell phone use.  Or video games.  Any kind of technology you can think of really–where feedback is almost immediate.  I would guess attention spans are getting worse and worse.  And I can see it in the learning styles of coworkers at my jobs.  Millennials are far more likely to act bored and check their phone while I’m trying to train them than Boomers (in my personal experience as a trainer). Our hunger for constant entertainment has come at the cost of our attention and maybe even learning ability.

We’re hungry for entertainment.  People craved it during Biblical times, they wanted distraction from routine in Roman times, and even today (especially today) we want constant stimulation.  But as we saw, throughout the ages, this merriment comes with a cost.  Getting more hedonistic brings over-stimulation, excess, violence, lost self-control, and worse quality of life through overindulgence.

That’s why Valentine’s Day is even a thing at all.  It’s not necessarily the day or it’s meaning at all–we just want a celebration in that long span of time between New Years and Easter.  But like the above examples, the hunger for distraction gets perverted and out of hand.  Valentine’s Day might not look like animals fighting to the death (which is disgusting and horrific) and it might not be harshly punished by our creator, but it’s a comment of gender roles, sexism, patriarchy, and capitalism–all pretty gross and damaging in their own right when over-done.  Before you blindly seek that stimulation of a holiday, ask yourself if you want to support that or if you’re just looking for that mid-February pick me up.  If it’s the latter, get that boost in a more constructive way.

 

____________________________

Sources (and disclaimer):

 

1} I’m going to attempt to tell you a Bible story illustrating my point, but bear with me.  I tried to find the exact story online and in the Bible, but couldn’t.  So I’m going to retell it from memory.  Nevada forces all of their students to take “Western Traditions” courses.  It’s code for mostly Bible study with a day of the Koran in there so they can say it represents diverse religions.  At the time, I just took the course, no real thought.  But today I think-‘who the fuck sanctioned this? What a crock that Nevada college kids have to waste their money and time on something like that.’  It’s called indoctrination.  Anyway, so we had to read various passages of the Bible in class, for homework, and in order to write papers.  I actually enjoyed the stories, as they are action-packed and very dramatic.  A real old-school Days of Our Lives.  I took the class 13 years ago, so the details escape me. I am trying to stay as true to the story as possible, and any Biblical scholars out there–please chime in and tell me:  What Book this is in.  Who the main character is, because I’m not 100% sure, and what group of people we are dealing with…   The gist of the story is the same though, and speaks to my point.

 

2} The Coliseum

https://www.ancient.eu/article/635/roman-games-chariot-races–spectacle/

 

 

3}  https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/113/4/708.short

Results. Data were available for 1278 children at age 1 and 1345 children at age 3. Ten percent of children had attentional problems at age 7. In a logistic regression model, hours of television viewed per day at both ages 1 and 3 was associated with attentional problems at age 7 (1.09 [1.03–1.15] and 1.09 [1.02–1.16]), respectively.

Conclusions. Early television exposure is associated with attentional problems at age 7. Efforts to limit television viewing in early childhood may be warranted

Work Productivity #MeToo [Anti-Valentine’s #12]

13 Feb

I wish Valentine’s Day would always fall on a weekend, so I did not have to engage with it in any way.  When the holiday falls in the work/school week, there is no escaping it.  I will hear about what my boyfriend did or didn’t do for me, and I will see girls parading their items around to show everyone how loved, and how superior they are to other girls.

If I ignore the day, fuss about it being superficial, or say I don’t like it–someone will say/ask, “it’s because you’re single.”  Which is why I hate the day so much.  P.S. I’m not single–and *gasp I still hate the day.

Also, doing something at work to recognize the day, is at the very least a distraction.  It also gives opportunity for people to one-up each other either with the great gifts they got, or the ones they didn’t.  Aside from that, it opens a can of worms.  It makes it ok for people to give gestures or show affection.  Suddenly, susan from accounting is receiving a gift from creepy Dan in customer service.  She has to deal with this.  Unwelcome advances in the workplace are a whole big HR-ball-of-wax.  And Jennifer in the cubicle might take this once in a year opportunity to ask out James across the hall–which makes for awkward work boundary-setting.  On the other hand, if someone feels slighted by not getting the type of reaction or attention from a co-worker that they are hoping for, it can lead to larger issues. Shining a light on a blossoming romance between a manager and underling seems inappropriate as well.  And it even gives sketchy people the green light to do some grabbing, or sexual harrassing, maybe.

Some 44% of Americans say they have received unwanted sexual advances or verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. About six-in-ten women (59%) say they have experienced this, while 27% of men say the same.

Having Valentines Day in the workplace just isn’t a good idea–it’s kind of a liability..  The workplace is not a dating agency, and shouldn’t be one.  Workplace romances can alter the dynamics between many employees, not just those involved in the romance.  These issues become bad for the individuals involved in these situations,  and in turn, bad for business.

Overall, 69% of women who say they have experienced sexual harassment say this happened in a professional or work setting

Overall, about six-in-ten men who say they have been sexually harassed (61%) say it happened in a professional or work setting

So I’d say it’s best for places of employment to let the day go by–just like Saint Patrick’s Day, which would be a drunken, sexual, brawl if sanctioned at work.  Valentines Day festivities at work create more problems then they are worth.  It could create jealously, initiate sexual harassment, and hurt work output.

Boom!  Another reason (the 14th in the series, I think) why Valentine’s Day is nonsense, and why Valentine’s Day is harmful.

 

*Green statistics taken from Pew Research Center Survey:

http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2018/04/04/sexual-harassment-at-work-in-the-era-of-metoo/

Going Global [Anti-Valentine’s #10]

13 Feb

As you know, I hate that fake-a$$ holiday, and have been really good about writing an annual blog post about all that’s wrong with it. This is my eleventh? such post, I think!!!  Even when I’m terrible about writing anything else throughout the year. It’s important to me to get it done.

And yes, I am still a lazy writer (in my blog) and do not treat this as a college research paper. BUT given this era of opinion-pieces, unsubstantiated “alternate facts,” and plain ‘ol made-up nonsense, I’ve tried to at least indicate my sources. Is there a proper citation with bibliography-no! Can you tell I just didn’t pull the information and figures out of my a$$–I hope so.  Here we go my annual why Valentine’s Day is detrimental and shouldn’t be celebrated:

"The Models Go Green" -- The models POSE FOR A photo shoot of the negative effects of smoking on AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL on The CW. Pictured: Janet (Cycle 9) (902) Photo: Mike Rosenthal/The CW ©2007 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

“The Models Go Green” — The models POSE FOR A photo shoot of the negative effects of smoking on AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL on The CW.
Pictured: Janet
(Cycle 9) (902)
Photo: Mike Rosenthal/The CW
©2007 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Fear sells products.

Just ask the beauty industry. First step-Put great emphasis on a women’s physical appearance. Socnond, Insinuate that’s WHO she is (beauty), Third, indicate that beauty is the only way she derives all her power. Finally, make her afraid she’s losing looks and beauty through aging. Sales of lotion and makeup boom!

Sex sells.

angel-3

Look at any magazine, poster, or label. Nakedness abounds. People are more interested if there’s a hint of sexuality. True story.  Does there really even need to be persuasion here?  I hope not.  I will assume no, and move on.

Combine fear WITH sex and you have capitalist gold. Thus, Valentines Day.  And why a Catholic tragedy is even a current thing at all.

money
And with stock-markets demanding quarterly growth, more and more corporations are looking to foreign markets to increase sales. Advertising DOES have an impact on culture. Other countries do look to the United States, a world power. So it makes sense that America’s ad campaigns do dictate cultural change around the world.

cambodia-map-for-introduction
One example of the negative influence of America’s capitalism, specifically the notion Valentine’s Day must culminate in sex, is Cambodia. The country is in Southeast Asia, near Thailand and Laos. Cambodia has a tumultuous history, with the Brits colonizing it for awhile, communists taking refuge there for a time, and Americans bombing it (just the commies though!  *sarcasm*  obviously) during Vietnam conflict. As a person with an American education, I’m not sure of the whole history, or what Cambodia’s politics are today (or honestly, anything about them), but I know the treatment of women there is not that awesome.

Cambodia is apparently dramatic about romance. They have a concept called “sansar,” which means something like, Valentine or true love, or the person I want to marry. And this Sansar notion is heavily associated with Valentine’s Day. The people Combining the Valentine’s Day money = love = sexual reward with Cambodia’s ingrained notions of gender has resulted in a phenomenon of under-aged sex. In Cambodia Valentine’s Day is their prom–the expectation is to have sex.

The ministry of education in Cambodia issued a statement Tuesday imploring teachers to impress upon their students that Valentine’s Day is not about losing one’s virginity. Chuon Naron says in the statement “Cambodian students take Valentine’s Day to mean ‘sweetheart day,’ and they buy flowers as a way to convince girls to give up their virginity.” An exacerbating factor,”Cambodians have no idea about sex and their sexual rights because the sexual health education curriculum remains unimplemented.” (1) Education Minister Hang.

The quantitative survey on Love and sexual relationships found that 12. 4 percent young people state that they will be able to have sex and 14.3 young people in a couple state that they will able to have sex with their sweethearts on the upcoming Valentine’s Day. (2) Valentine’s Day in Phnom Penh in 2009.

Even worse? It has been reported that this sex will happen whether or not every participant is ready, whether or not they’re in a trusting, committed relationship, whether or not permission is given. Yes, not only has American-economy-driven Valentine’s capitalistic hedonism caused the sexualiziation of a “holiday” it had contributed to rape culture.

According to United Nations research (*A) one in five Cambodian men admit to raping a woman at least once. Half of that number started before the age of 20. (4) And nearly two-thirds said they had raped their partner, or more explicitly, their songsar. The figure rose to 34 percent when asked if they had committed physical or sexual violence against a woman. (3) 2013.

Jesus.

Public health specialist, Tong Soprach, conducted a smaller study of this trend from 2009-2014. He interviewed 715 Cambodians, aged 15 to 24, and what he found was staggering. In 2009, roughly two-thirds of young males said they were willing to force their partners to have sex on Valentine’s Day. [What??!] That number dropped some by 2014, but was still alarmingly high: among 376 male respondents, about 47 percent. (4) Phnom Penh Post, 2009.

National Police spokesman, Lieutenant General Kirth Chantharith, agrees that education is key to putting a halt to this abuse. He pointed out that most of the youth don’t understand the concept of Valentine’s Day, adding that “a lot of boys want to use this day for sex and to exploit girls”. Just how culturally accepted it is to engage in non-consensual sex is illustrated by the fact that half of the women interviewed for the UN study believed they couldn’t refuse to have sex with their husband. Two years ago, according to Chantharith, the police noticed a significant increase in sexual violence and rape among the capital’s youth on Valentine’s Day. “There are many young men going to the guest houses late at night with a girl – sometimes a group of boys with a girl – and they commit sexual violence,” he said. “So when we see a girl alone at night, leaving a bar with a boy or a group, we intervene.” (5)  On the whole, though rape and sexual violence isn’t only endemic in the southeast Asian country, but is treated by many as the norm, meaning perpetrators largely go unpunished.

So there’s that. Thanks U.S. Capitalistic fake holiday.  Obviously, this is one of the more horrible consequences that stem from constructing a holiday about “love” but really about money.  I think as citizens of the United States, we can admit Valentines Day is contrived and exploited in order to sell products.  Fear of being alone and single are combined with terribly impractical idealized romantic images, which are not really a thing aside from February 14th.  As a leading country, we need to be careful what we support and how we portray ourselves.  Our country (like it or not) is a role model for other places.  And our capitalistic patriarchy combined with a worse-for-wear undeveloped countries norms has lead to disastrous effects on women.

 

Think twice about what you support.
_______________________________________
(A)

Click to access p4p-report.pdf

(1)
https://www.cambodiadaily.com/archives/on-valentines-day-a-deep-generational-divide-77963/

(2) PAGE 14

Click to access love_sexual_relationships_valentine_quan_study-14_eng.pdf

(3)
http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2015/02/11/cambodia-valentine-s-not-virginity-day.html?via=desktop&source=copyurl

4)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/02/12/the-country-where-valentines-day-is-the-most-dangerous-day-of-the-year/?utm_term=.e7eba904a65f

5)
https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/cambodia-valentines-day-rape-consent-phnom-pen

Sex Edition [Anti-Valentine’s Day #9]

13 Feb

I think this topic may be my most consistent post.  Happy decade of annual posts to me!  TEN years in a row I have managed to address the ills of this “holiday.”  That’s exciting, and even though I’m very tired and short of time, here’s me making it happen.

I try each year to convey why Valentine’s Day is fake and ultimately negative.  See my “Valentine’s” Tag for prior topics which include feminism, environment, and capitalism among other things.  I really do hate this “holiday” and hope I won’t have to be inundated with it at work Saturday.  Hair salons are the WORST on Valentine’s day, followed by schools, but I imagine the YMCA will not be able to ignore the day, and I’m dreading that.  This year I will focus on. . .  Sex.  The inevitable conclusion of the day.  How could I have just remembered to write about THIS?!  

-the holiday emphasizes the man wining/dining and spoiling women with gifts. This emphasizes women as receivers, and passive. It also is a little prostitution-positive = You give me (women) valuable things and I’ll have sex with you (men)!

strange to see Bunny Ranch on my Facebook wall
-more prescriptions are written for Viagra around Valentine’s Day than any other time of year.  Which should tell you everyone is gearing up for the final moment.

– See more at: http://www.redhot.org/news/national-condom-day/#sthash.uRJgwOua.dpuf

Kidron's NV pics 069
-the condom industry sales increase by 20-30% around this day (it’s also national condom day–no joke)

So we can ascertain that all the Valentine’s hype DOES in fact lead to this logical conclusion:  Sex.  And as we know there are a lot of consequences of sex, and contemplating and preventing those issues is notoriously not our strong point as humans.  Here is some information about some of those–which do play a part on February 14th.

Amazing_Electron_Microscope_Photos_Mosquito_Head-1mdCU
-In their study, Grimley and her colleagues focused on 224 men — all with STD symptoms — who sought treatment in a Birmingham STD clinic. The average age was 26. In face-to-face, private interviews, each was asked the same set of questions. Among them:

How often have you used a condom in the past month?
How long have you been using condoms?
Do you have any intention of starting condom use?
Why do you use condoms?
Do you wear condoms for STD prevention or to protect your partner from pregnancy and disease?
Why don’t you use condoms?
And the results:

80% reported that most people their age did not use condoms consistently. They also said that 61% of people their age had gonorrhea.
81% acknowledged sexual contact with two or more partners during the preceding six months.
45% reported sexual relationships that overlapped.
65% said they had been diagnosed with one or more STDs in the past.
Of those men with one main sexual partner, two-thirds were not motivated to use condoms.
http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/news/20040126/many-men-dont-use-condoms?page=2

http://www.companiesandmarkets.com/MarketInsight/Consumer-Goods/Global-Condom-Industry/NI8052

610

STDs are not only a social ill, but they are financially costly to everyone:

-CDC’s new [2/13/13] estimates show that there are about 20 million new infections
in the United States each year, costing the American healthcare system
nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs alone.
America’s youth shoulder a substantial burden of these infections.
CDC estimates that half of all new STIs in the country occur among
young men and women. In addition, CDC published an overall estimate of the number of prevalent STIs in the nation. Prevalence is the total number of new and existing infections at a given time. CDC’s new data suggest that there are more than 110 million total STIs among men and women across the nation.
-STIs place a significant economic strain on the U.S. healthcare system. CDC conservatively estimates that the lifetime cost of treating eight of the most common STIs contracted in just one year is $15.6 billion.
http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/sti-estimates-fact-sheet-feb-2013.pdf

Is it any accident that National Adoption Month is 9 months after Valentine’s Day? Only speculation, here. . .

So that’s really icky.  Also, let’s not forget HIV/AIDS is an ever-present threat on the scene and any holiday that emphasizes that we must copulate threatens to make this scare even bigger than it already is.  How about a day in which caution is practiced?!

33621_456830357625_596627625_5259997_1855811_n
-at-home pregnancy tests also see a spike in sales in March (early at home pregnancy test month–for reals!).  It’s the highest sales month all year, as a matter-of-fact.
-Consumers spend more than $15 million on pregnancy and infertility test kits during the second, third and fourth weeks of March, with the third week of March ranking number one in sales.

Click to access Nielsen%20U.S.%20Consumers%20Sweet%20on%20Chocolate%20for%20Valentine%E2%80%99s%20Day.pdf

Another obvious conclusion to romantic nights are the pregnancies that stem from them.  Many of them unplanned, unaffordable, or at worst–unwanted.
-Currently, about half (51%) of the 6.6 million pregnancies in the United States each year (3.4 million) are unintended.  In 2008, there were 54 unintended pregnancies for every 1,000 women aged 15–44. In other words, about 5% of reproductive-age women have an unintended pregnancy each year.[6]
• By age 45, more than half of all American women will have experienced an unintended pregnancy, and three in 10 will have had an abortion.[7].
• The U.S. unintended pregnancy rate is significantly higher than the rate in many other developed countries.[8]  In 2008, two-thirds (65%) of the 1.7 million births resulting from unintended pregnancies were paid for by public insurance programs, primarily Medicaid. In comparison, 48% of births overall and 36% of births resulting from intended pregnancies were funded by these programs.[13]
• In 14 states and the District of Columbia, at least 70% of births resulting from unintended pregnancies were paid for by public programs. Mississippi was the state with the highest proportion (83%), and the District of Columbia’s proportion was 90%.[13]
• Total public expenditures for births resulting from unintended pregnancies nationwide were estimated to be $12.5 billion in 2008. Of that, $7.3 billion were federal expenditures and $5.2 billion were state expenditures.[13]
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/FB-Unintended-Pregnancy-US.html

crabby

So though I did much cut & pasting this year (I apologize) because of my work schedule and residual tiredness, I’m sticking with my opinion, Valentine’s day is full of bad side-affects, among them STDs and pregnancy along with all the fallout that goes along with those two things.  Please reconsider supporting such a day.  And if you must celebrate, and have sex, remember to be responsible and take so many precautions.

Easter Female-Fertility Festivities

20 Apr

mallards in CO

I like Easter.  I think I say this about every holiday when that holiday is near, but it’s one of my vag quiltfavorites.  It’s an important religious event, but I also like the Pagan meanings of the day–fertility.  It’s a day of spring, and new life, baby animals, egg hunts–just joy.  So I feel I can embrace both the Christian and the Feminist and the Pagan and Native American aspects of the day all at once.  I don’t have to chose or limit myself, and I like that.  So you know the typical traditional events of Easter, but here are some suggestions to appreciate nature and fertility:

-Go out for a walk and look for signs of spring: robins, nests being built, flowers buds, bulbs shoots, plants starting to green
-Buy a new broom for magical or mundane cleaning
-Do meditations focused on new beginnings or growth
-Make paper flowers and use them to decorate your home
-Have an egg hunt
-Learn about the migration of butterflies or the plight of the honey bee. Vow to take steps to help them on their way
-Have a seed blessing ritual
-Start seeds indoors or out
-Eat eggs for breakfast on Ostara morning and bury the rinsed shells in your garden to promote prosperity and abundance of your crops
-Try to incorporate at least one traditional correspondence into you daily life through the spring season: cook with seasonal foods, use traditionally colored cloth napkins, display a vase of wildflowers on your table, burn traditionally scented incense, etc.

bud (3)

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Broken Heart [Anti-Valentine #8]

14 Feb

This may be the only annual post I’ve completed every year since I began blogging.  THAT’S how important I feel it is to spread the message the Valentine’s Day is nothing positive.

2007:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/my-opinion-of-valentines-day-posted-2-14-07/

2008:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/where-is-the-love-posted-2-13-08/

2009:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/valentines-dread/

2010:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/nix-the-red-pink-and-save-some-green/

2011:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/blood-diamonds-and-valentines-day/

2012:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/valentines-day-part-4-gender-roles/

2013:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/shove-it-down-your-throat/

It’s all hype and phoniness, and contrived to SELL merch.  This year, I’ll be focusing more in the feelings of inadequacy and loneliness the “holiday” can foster.  Sure, I’ve mentioned it before, but I never talked of adult and teen depression and the very real consequences of these emotions:  Divorce and suicide.

blacks birds

Valentine’s Day is a day of those who have it and those who don’t.  “It,” being commercialized, overt, expressions of love.  This is not to be confused with actual love, friendly-love, or compassion.  Those are all very real, and intangible feelings that can’t be bought or paraded around for the admiration and envy of others.  And though they’re different then the passionate type of love flaunted on Valentine’s Day, I’d argue they’re even more important.  And substantial.

For those who feel left out of the Valentine’s commotion, life can feel pretty empty.  And just try to get away from all the hearts, flowers, and gifts that day.  The advertising and parading is ubiquitous.  And teens are imprisoned at school, can’t find an escape.  People who are already having relationship woes find them exacerbated by the great expectations of February 14th.  A product of failed expectations can be a ruined family unit.  Teens with low self-esteem or who are still testing relationship waters and don’t have that ONE special person–can get down.

Also written by someone else, but very pertinent to MY point:

Some students left school with armloads of gifts, while many others sat empty-handed. Some girls sent flowers to each other, and I knew more than one who sent flowers to herself. I remember seeing girls cry in the restroom after their boyfriends failed to send them a gift, and I remember watching boys cruelly snicker as they watched an unpopular girl react with joy as she received a flower supposedly from one of their buddies, but which was really just a mean hoax.

Facts from other internet sources (take the validity as you will):

-Forty percent of people have negative feelings towards Valentine’s Day.

-A recent poll found that one in ten young adults admitted to feeling lonely, insecure, depressed, or unwanted on Valentine’s Day. And that’s just the ones that admitted it.

-divorce internet search/lawyers increase around this day

-Research suggests that 75 percent of suicide attempts are attributable to relationship problems.

-Last year, the Missouri Suicide Crisis hotline had extra staff on duty because they expected approximately 50 percent more calls on Valentine’s Day.

Laurel's pics 189It breaks MY heart that our commercialistic society whole-heartedly endorses a holiday that’s so hurtful to so many people in order to sell a few teddy bears.  It’s hard to feel good about a holiday that leaves so many adults left feeling lonely and disappointed.  A day that leaves students feeling miserable about themselves, and drives them to take drastic measures.  

I like the idea of GALentines day or PALintines day a lot better.  I fine those all-inclusive and based on making Leslie Knopeeveryone feel good.  Much better than just thrusting “love” in everybody else’s faces to feel superior and special.  And to the detriment of those that don’t.

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I Don’t Subscribe: Celebrate Something Else [Anti-Valentine’s #7]

14 Feb

As the obnoxious gay fellow sitting next to me in class found out when he cheerfully asked if I was excited for the impending “holiday.”  If you don’t remember my practical explanations of why the day is created for gains of capitalism, unfair to males, encourages gendered and unreasonable expectations from women, is detrimental to the environment, and HURTS people (diamond miners), look back at my annual blog post.  

2 year anneversary 013

As I have exhausted all angles trying to persuade you to discontinue celebrating such an awful tradition, this year, I appeal to choice.  OK, I get it, February isn’t the greatest month.  Especially following those gigantic holidays of Novemeber, December, and January.  February is back to the grind.  And it’s still cold.  And there’s really nothing real to celebrate until Memorial Day.  By real, I exclude St. Patty’s day, another concocted day that is abused to celebrate getting drunk on green beer.  And Cinco de Mayo, where Mexican restaurants get into the black for the year by peddling. . .  “Mexican” food, and yet more alcohol.  

Lesle's eye-breasts

But I’m getting off the point here are some special events that have occured on February 14 in years past.  And any one of them could have a celebratory holiday devoted to it.  More Worthy Cause for Celebration:

1778:

  • The United States Flag was formally recognized by a foreign naval vessel for the first time, Anatomy 28when French Admiral Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte rendered a nine gun salute to USS Ranger, commanded by John Paul Jones.

Yay!  Boating and America and the flag!  What’s not to like?  OK, we already have Flag Day, Independence Day, and you’re not feeling a holiday devoted to sailing for whatever reason.  There’s more:

1794:  1st U.S. textile machinery patent granted, to James Davenport, Philadelphia

Clothes and fashion!  But I see this becoming a capitalistic nightmare–let’s move on.

1872:  1st state bird refuge authorized (Lake Merritt, California)

LF unicornsNothing here to hate on.  And maybe a parade featuring birds would be in order.  Or free admission to all avian-related places.

1876:  A G Bell & Elisha Gray apply separately for telephone patents Supreme Court eventually rules Bell rightful inventor

Yes!  Phones and communication–we cannot live without those.  This could easily take over V-Day with all those Apple-heads everywhere.

1889:  1st train load of fruit (oranges) leaves Los Angeles for east

1899:  U.S. Congress begins using voting machines

Politics get more honest.  But they have a long way to go before a fair system is achieved *cough heffalumps and woozelsabolish lobbies*

1919:  United Parcel Service forms

Again, another service we absolutely could not live without.  

1920:  League of Women Voters forms in Chicago

Girl-Power!

1924:  IBM Corporation founded by Thomas Watson

wine countryMore communication things–I see a trend here. . .

1936:  National Negro Congress organizes in Chicago

Yes!  The beginning of Civil Rights!

1946:  Bank of England nationalized

1963:  U.S. launches communications satellite Syncom 1

1966:  Wilt Chamberlain breaks NBA career scoring record at 20,884 points

Such a great fact, but without drinking involved I’m not sure non-sports enthusiasts would be on Oct 2011 031board–and definitely not so close to Superbowl and the Daytona 500.  Moving on. . .

1966:  Australian currency is decimalised.

1971:  Richard Nixon installs secret taping system in White House

1976:  U.S. performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

LF penguinsBoo, hiss to all the resultant nuclear waste getting dumped in the state.

1978:  1st “micro on a chip” patented by Texas Instruments

Communication!  I’m telling you, this needs to be the communication holiday.  Pay homage to all of this technology we can’t get by without for even 10 minutes.

1989:  World’s 1st satellite Skyphone opens

See?

1989:  The first of 24 satellites of the Global Positioning System are placed into orbit.heart flowers

GPS too?  I’ve decided I’m replacing Valentine’s Day with some sort of communication celebration.

1990:  Space probe Voyager 1 takes photograph of entire solar system

All right!  So I think I’ve decided on the history of communication technology holiday.  Now, what makes a holiday great?  Food, definitely   Special beverages for sure.  A parade never hurts.  Something–festive.  And obviously, communicating to many people or in  some awesome way to celebrate history.  Well, we have until next year to decide 🙂  Happy Communication Day everyone!

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Shove It Down Your Throat: RomCom Expectations Feed Capitalism [Anti-Valentine’s #6]

14 Feb

I think it’s interesting that people are so invested in some phony, superficial “holiday.” It is so obviously contrived and capitalistic and yet everyone keeps it alive.  Anyone who dares disagree about the legitimacy of Hallmark’s favorite invention must be bitter and loveless.  Shut up.  Wear pink.  Valentine’s day is a polarized issue. I want to know why. . .

I blame Disney and the romantic comedies.

Disney indoctrinates girls when they are still little.  The helpless princess is always saved by Prince Charming riding in on his white horse.  All she has to do is look pretty.  And wait.  Then she will be rescued, and lavished with gifts, money, and power.  With the romance comes money and power.

The romantic comedies are much the same, but geared toward older females.  They are the same fairytale wrapped in a different package, with the unrealistic story-lines of the woman waiting, the perfect guy showing up and saving her from a life of loneliness, despair, and heaven forbid single status.  Perfect Guy is just as handsome as Prince Charming.  He is creative and spontaneous in his gift-giving, and has the most romantic ideas ever.  If only the women is receptive to his advances.  Even if she isn’t, Perfect Guy will win her over with his cleverness and dedication.  Then the couple will be together.  And happy.

So it’s no wonder Valentine’s Day is celebrated so whole-heartedly.  This is the day women will be saved.  Prince Charming will come woe her, or Perfect Guy will prove himself.  Then, women can be happy.  Rich.  Powerful.

Do we still buy in to this story?  Do we, as modern, independent women still literally BUY in to this fairy-tale?  I say we shouldn’t.  I think love is more realistic and equal then Disney and the romantic comedies make it out to be.  I think a women should chase her own happiness instead of waiting and being receptive to advances.  And dare I say it–I think a women can be rich, powerful, and happy without a man.  We are no longer helpless princesses waiting for our Prince.  We make our own future.

So let’s tell the corporations to shove it.  We as women don’t need to wait to be lavished with expensive gifts in order to be rich, powerful, and happy.  We can strive toward our own goals without a man’s help.  And if we are in love, we can show it in how we treat each other.  Every day.  I don’t need a holiday to tell me to respect, appreciate, and love my mate, Cool.

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Valentine’s Dread [Anti-Valentine’s Bonus Post]

9 Feb

I wish Valentine’s Day WAS actually about love.  It would be a lot better if it was.  More then just trying to get people to spend money, it seems our culture is deeply invested on hyping the idea of Valentine’s Day.  I’m not sure why it is so imporatant to sell the IDEA of V-Day?  Maybe I’ll investigate what purpose it serves in this years anti-blog.

I am dreading the big V-Day this year.  It’s impending.  My Spotify account won’t shut up about it.  The stores are draped in pink and red.  It’s coming. . .  And you can’t avoid it.  I just want to treat it like another day.  Railing against the Hallmark-Holiday all day is not my intent at all.  I just want to ignore the whole thing, because I don’t accept it as a legit holiday.  But it can’t be done.  If you’re not whole-heartedly with the day–or hoping to be a part of the day–you’re against it.  By NOT wearing pink and talking about romance, I am called out as a rebel.

That day, I have to work with Lauri (temperamental receptionist)–who is the epitome of the bitchy, Valentine’s entitled-gal.  She’s gonna be like, “He BETTER surprise me with something romantic if he knows what’s good for him.”  She’ll really ruin my day no matter how her gift-receiving goes.  If it’s good enough, she’ll be parading around with it and talking about it all day.  If it’s bad, she’ll make everyone miserable by being out of sorts, whining, and saying angry, empty threats.  High maintenance!  Then, the OTHER doctor is working again-AND it’s her anniversary (I suspect) that day, so she’s going to be all excited about the Valentine’s hype.  The last co-worker has two school aged boys who’ll no doubt be preparing and receiving little Valentine’s in class.

Not only will work make me disgruntled about this fake holiday that makes single people look like losers, and all women act like selfish-bitches, I have to go to a college campus.  I will have to listen to all the sorostitutes and their romantic (impractical) expectations and ideals.

The only thing worse then that is going to a hair salon.  Warning, if you don’t like Valentine’s Day, never go to any sort of beauty place.  Everything is magnified in there, and THE worst chatter is pervasive.  The feminine aspect of being on the receiving end of gifts is in full-force.  It is seriously annoying.

This dread makes me wonder what aspect of the V-Day I will address in this year’s annual Valentine’s-Hating Blog.  But for now, type “Valentine’s” in my search box and read the older posts on the subjects.  I would link them if I knew how. . .  Topics include:  Gender, environmental impact, blood diamonds, and probably just general disgruntlement.

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Out of Control Shopping

23 Nov

Shopping starts on Thanksgiving now???  I am appalled.  I think it’s disgusting that we are such a capitalist nation that we ruin a nice “family day” by making it superficial Black Friday, (biggest shopping day of the year).  And now we trample on one of the largest holidays?  In the name of spending money? Who exactly wins in this scenario of constant consumerism and shopping?

Not the poor employees of Walmart, Target, Toy R Us, Best Buy, Kohls, and Macy’s.  That’s for sure.  Many of those stores are not even paying holiday pay.  Think about that when you’re selfishly shopping for deals.  A mindful consumer will boycott Thanksgiving hours, think twice before taking part in the ugly Black Frida, and remember how these stores treat their workers every day.  Sometimes cheap prices aren’t cheap for everyone.  People are suffering the consequences of your spectacular deals.

This sort of reminds me of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” which accuses capitalism of ruining the family–among other things.   The guy has a point, look where we are:  The stores want to make money.  They know the people want greater availability.  Expanding hours is seen as covenant and pro-business in a downtrodden economy.  All at the expense of the lower classes who have to forgo holiday tradition to serve elite customers.  It doesn’t seem right that service workers, retailers, and restaurant employees have to work the weekends, but leave dinner early or miss it all-together.  The little guy gets stepped on. . .  Again.

Do you really need all those material items?  Should you spend so much money on one holiday?  I find it troubling that we are so quick to forget the true meaning of holidays.  I would say all holidays have been perverted to some extent.  Skewed to make money for someone.  Memorial Day–is now a three day weekend for buying BBQ items.  Easter–Egg hunts, chocolate, and gift baskets have nothing to do with the resurrection.  Valentine’s Day–expose the loved and the lonely to get the superficial gifts a-flying.  And Christmas is the worst.

I plead, that before you gorge on Christmas shopping instead of turkey, that you think of who else is affected.  And what these holidays are really supposed to be about.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-black-thursday-20111122,0,3635522.story