The best things in life are free

Allison Pearson found les mots juste when it comes to discussing my least favourite day of the year. I spotted her column in the Evening Standard on Wednesday while trying to put into words the feeling that Valentines day is nothing but a day of forcing expression unnaturally for an arbitrary day.

Her words are as follows...

Look I'm sorry, but I really resent the transformation of Valentines Day into another prospective arena of failure. Contrived and expensive, all of this is the exact opposite of love, which strikes like lightning and comes for free

On a wider scale I realised that I don't particularly look forward to any Clintons-induced holiday for exactly the same reason every time. All these big events are an arena for prospective failure and Clintons hypes them up to make the fall ever further every year. The rigidity with which the general populace adhere to these arbitrary calendar dates is the real bugbear for me, not the actual dates themselves, as I pay little attention to them anyway.

The marking of arbitrary dates is a mechanism by which conformity to social norms is enforced, and it is the homogenisation of collective expression through the mass mind control that is advertising which is my main concern about "events" such as today.

As Pearson says, Love is an emotion that is as individual as your relationship and I believe that your expression of love should be equally as unique as your love. But ironically, Clintons, a chainstore, sells mass-produced cards and cliches and as Valentines Day rolls around, the media suggests ideas of personal expression with a one-size-fits-all approach. This is why it is even worse than birthdays to me - because we are treated just like a homogeneous collective, and actually TOLD how to express what is the strongest emotion we are meant to have.

Love has been the fuel of so much art through the ages, from the Greeks through the Renaissance to the poems of Yeats to the modern day and people have found inspiration of individual expression of monumental proportions through love.

The idea of sending a card and some flowers is by comparison so crass and so generic that it really is just insulting. What a waste of the fire of individual creativity this act of bowing down to societal norms represents.

Finally, are we really so repressed that we need Clintons to set a day to express our love for that special person? Love is not a collective generic expression, which takes place synchronously when Clintons fire the starting pistol. You don't need a card produced by someone else in a factory far far away to express your immediate desire. Even if you can empathise with the emotions expressed therein, they are NOT your original emotion, but a secondhand interpretation.

Express yourself. Don't be afraid of your individuality and may everyone find the love that they desire.

blog comments powered by Disqus