Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valetine's Day

Johan Hari Romantic Love invented by 18th Century British Aristocrats

romantic love – our religion, our purpose, our first thought when our lives are threatened – was invented in the eighteenth century by a generation of aristocratic Englishwomen, just as surely as the Manhattan Project invented the A-bomb. Now their children were starting to have a better survival rate, these women were no longer under constant pressure to breed – so, as the sociologist and expert on the history of love Anthony Giddens says, “They began both to idealize the object of their love, and then tell stories to themselves about how their lives can be fulfilled by a lasting relationship with that person. It had never happened before.” All the love-story staples we live out in our lives – the electric first meeting, the wooing, the settling-down-together-in-bliss – were created there and then. They were popularised – and spread further down the social chain – in the next century by novelists like Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte. (One of the reasons they still seem so vivid to us now is that they really were feeling those emotions – not just love, but love-leading-to-marriage – for the first time in history.)
Malaysian Muslims Warned Not to Celebate Valentine's Day

KUALA TERENGGANU, Feb 13 (Bernama) -- Muslims in the country, especially lovers, have been advised not to celebrate Valentine's Day tomorrow.

State Islam Hadhari Development Committee Deputy Chairman, Muhammad Ramli Nuh said celebrating the Day could be regarded as recognising the enemies of Islam because Valentine or Valentinus took part in planning and attacking Cordoba, once a well-known centre of Islam in Spain, causing its downfall....

Muhammad Ramli said although not many couples celebrate Valentine's Day in the state, the state government wished to remind that the celebration should not be held including in hotels.

Scott McLemee recommends some revolutionary Valentine's Day slogans

Hereabouts, we celebrate Valentine's Day by recalling the epochal struggle, almost thirty years ago, between that segment of the the Revolutionary Communist Party that boldly upheld Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Chairman Bob Thought and the clique of renegade Menshevik revisionists who failed boldly to uphold Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Chairman Bob Thought.

For it was the latter group -- now known as the Freedom Road Socialist Organization -- that puts out the awesome Valentine's Day Slogans each year.


Expose, defy and combat sinister bourgeois schemes to transform Comrade Valentine's Day into a festival of commodities, a reinforcer of mandatory heterosexuality and a celebration of oppressive patriarchal gender norms!

Well, hell yeah. Let's just ignore for the moment the vicious conditions for anyone outside said norms of sexuality and gender in Mao's China -- so utterly unlike the situation under the Bolsheviks, by the way. But it's good to see the new slogan in any case. Better to live and learn than never to learn at all.

Unite with all who draw strength from personal relationships in carrying on the struggle to crush oppression and exploitation and to build a better world!


Rhino Records Love Sucks

It stinks, it hurts, it tears us apart. Not really the stuff of candy and flowers, huh? If you or someone you know has gotten nothing but heartache this Valentine's Day (or any other occasion involving that malevolent blood-pumping organ), this 12-song collection offers the perfect antidote. Includes the J. Geils Band's immortal "Love Stinks," Gram Parsons' defining version of "Love Hurts," Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart," and more.

Foreign Policy: Who Do You Love

In a special Valentine’s Day Web exclusive, FP takes a look at who loves whom in the world community, with the help of a 33-country poll conducted for the BBC World Service by GlobeScan and the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA).

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