So I wasn't going to do this today, make mention of Valentine's day in the Spotty Blog. Today was for rewrites on Road to Nowhere, reading Patton Oswalt's Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, and business as usual. But then the interwebs hove into view and reminded me that it is, indeed, February 14th and that today is a day about love.
It is easy to be snarky and cynical about Valentine's Day. Is it about the vapid marketing of cards and chocolates and an idealised version of romance? Sure. If that's what you choose to see. I would like to argue that it is possible to reclaim it, re-envision it and talk about love differently.
In the interests of full disclosure, I love the fun, rebellious notion of anti-Valentine's Day celebrations. Dr. Ham's Big Stinking Anti-Valentine's Day Show absolutely delighted me. (Of course, Dr. Ham managed to find a guy who does the most spot on Christopher Walken impersonation I have ever heard anywhere and had that guy address me on the air guaranteeing that I would be delighted. I still have no idea who this person is, and Dr. Ham will not budge. Damn it!)
But there can be more to it.
Love exists in myriad forms, not just the sparkly, gooey confectionery kind. Love of family, friends and pets. Love of art, film, books. Love of people. Love of abstract ideas. Love of food. Love of indoor plumbing. I'm pretty sure my dog has an intense love of all things that smell of meat. So why not celebrate that? Appreciate that which you love, that you are loved, or maybe if you don't feel so loved, appreciate that you have the capacity to love.
Go forth and love.
Sounds obvious, and possibly trite, but there it is. Love is important.
If there was one thing from the interwebs that made me want to make mention of the day in a non-snarky way it was a gentle reminder in my facebook feed from poet and activist Dora McQuaid about the One Billion Rising event meant to raise awareness in order to stop and prevent violence against women.
Saying no to violence seems to me a pretty awesome way to express love.
You can read the reminder I read here: http://strategicstiletto.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/rise-my-love-and-be-my-valentine/
And you can find out more about Dora here: http://www.doramcquaid.com/