The h2g2 Post 14.02.08

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Posted: 14th February 2008



Do you know what day it is?

Yes, that's right: it's the anniversary of Captain Cook's and PG Wodehouse's deaths; the day Oregon was admitted as a state; the day the USSR finally adopted the Gregorian calendar; the day IBM was founded; the day the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, first convened; the day the fatwa against Salman Rushdie was issued; and the birthday of notables such as Jimmy Hoffa and NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

You'll notice I didn't mention the unofficial holiday celebrated the world over on 14 February that involves roses and hearts and lace and colours like pink and red. This is because the aforementioned celebration, whose name I will not mention because it pains me so, is depressing. Just plain smiley - bleeping depressing. It's not even one of those holidays like Christmas, with a strong cultural and religious tradition only somewhat skewed by commercialism. Today's observance was an obscure saint's day before it became the bastion of buying that it is now. I hate the values that it reinforces: that boyfriends or girlfriends can be bought off with roses or a fancy dinner; that lovers (particularly those of my age group, still in school) need to rely on material aspects to demonstrate their love, and can only do that in one day out of the year; that true-love romance is the only way to be and that anyone who's single, who prefers friends to lovers or who doesn't fit the sickly-sweet concept of affection is somehow messed-up. Even happily in-love couples can be easily sidelined on this day, as the celebration of all that is societally-sanctioned in romantic myth leaves out folks in "alternative" relationships such as same-sex partnerships.

Yes, we've got some *ahem* themed pieces in The Post this week, and that's because we certainly need something to balance out my vitriol. But as far as I'm concerned, the day that there are no "Love Shout-Outs" in my school newspaper is the day we've taught our young people a more valuable lesson about how to confront love and relationships in their lives.

Oh, and by the way, enjoy this very run-of-the-mill, non-holiday issue of The Post.

















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