This week, millions of people across the country will celebrate the crippling delusion known as "love" by sending flowers, booking restaurants and placing stomach-churning small ads in newspapers. Valentine's Day - the only national occasion dedicated to mental illness - is a stressful ordeal at the best of times.
What's required is something to redress the balance: an Unvalentine's Day, if you will. A day that actively celebrates love's festering undercarriage. February 15 is ideal: there will be plenty of willing participants by then. Of course, if Unvalentine's Day is going to succeed, it will require commercial backing - which shouldn't be a problem, because there are loads of money-spinning opportunities here.
First off, how about a range of Unvalentine cards containing bitter messages for ex-lovers? Typical example: a mournful cartoon bunny with a harpoon lodged in its chest cavity, staggering blank-faced into oncoming traffic, with YOU RUINED MY LIFE printed across the top in massive, scab-red lettering. Or perhaps a Photoshopped image of Hitler snoozing in bed, accompanied by the words HOW CAN YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT? Naturally, each card would have a little poem on the inside, something such as: Roses are red/Violets are blue/I'm a meaningless robot/Molested by you.
There would also be a range aimed at disillusioned long-term couples: epithets include I CAN'T TAKE MUCH MORE OF THIS, IT ISN'T REALLY WORKING, and our-bestseller, the starkly effective DYING INSIDE.
n summary, Unvalentine's Day promises to be the most coldly practical celebratory festival in history - a far healthier affair than Valentine's Day itself. True love is so uncontrollably delightful, there's no need to set aside a mere day in its honour. As for love's torments - well, it's probably best to compress and release them in a single, orderly burst, once a year. And that day is February 15. Mark it in your diary. Next to the tearstains.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Charlie Brooker in the Guardian argues for having an Unvalentine's Day. He's a pretty good curmudgeon.
Posted by Ewan Compton