2012’S MOST ROMANTIC SENTIMENTS WILL INSPIRE YOU THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
Last year gimped to an end with the too-soon death of Christopher Hitchens, the most creditable public intellectual since William F. Buckley Jr.
This year faltered off the starting line with the too-soon death of Etta James, perhaps the greatest voice to express the human condition.
If this were still January I’d quote bluesman Albert Castiglia: “It’s been a real bad year; only 12 more months to go.”
If you can stand it, take a look around:
The shabbiest, shoddiest, least-qualified, least-fit-for-office clown car of would-be Republican presidential nominees ever, mostly driven by ideological bigotry and extremism, crackpot thinking, no thinking at all, treasonous theocratic evil, spluttering rage, creepy-clumsy dullness and inexplicable narcissism and megalomania twitch about the nation shilling mostly lies, gibberish and worse – while the president, the Democrats and the equally hateful and destructive left do exactly the same.
Also, horrible, completely unworthy, no-talent hacks await induction into what can no longer be called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (except for blues legend Freddie King, being honored as an “early influence,” we won’t befoul this page with mention of the trash who comprise almost the entire rest of the class).
The completely unworthy also await undeserved immortalization on U.S. postage stamps (among the ridiculous nominees are Oprah “The Embodiment of All Human Evil” Winfrey, Bill “I’ll Take Credit for Anything and Responsibility for Nothing” Clinton, Billy “The Biblehumper” Graham and the man who even in death may yet succeed in owning the world, Steve “I Will take Your Souls” Jobs) under an idiotic program to waive the rule requiring those honored to be dead at least five years. Not surprisingly, the nominating process was conducted among the mall trash and self-obsessed retards compulsively using online social-media sites.
The outrages continue to pile up like rotting, uncollected garbage, and we could devote gallons of ink to another snarky dissection of the latest offenses. Or we could talk about politics, the GOP primaries and the 2012 elections ad nauseam. Or maybe the endless crisis and national humiliation that is the city of Harrisburg and the low-rent incompetents who continue to fail at running it or the unfit who presumptively aspire to fail at it.
But instead we must note February, the greeting-card industry’s month of love, when impositional trafficking in mediocre chocolates and bad roses is the nation’s primary economic activity.
The unattached are wrongly encouraged to feel bad about themselves, the lonely are unfairly pushed to depression and the depressed slip into despairing desperation.
The unhappily attached seethe with resentment or flagellate themselves with recrimination.
Even those in love (or confused by hormonal agitation) succumb to expectations conjured and compromised by otherwise-randomly scheduled social and commercial convention.
Most everyone nonetheless pines for or ponders that most-elusive of human aspirations – true love.
None of the early “Christian martyrs” named Valentine would’ve associated their lives or bloody deaths with romance, and neither would the often hate-driven and genocidal church that made a saint of one of them.
It was Chaucer, poetically advocating the ideal of courtly love, who first paired romance with Saint Valentine, though there seems no reason other than the hopeful symbolism and imagery of the coming of spring:
“For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his mate.”
(If you didn’t have to read “The Canterbury Tales” in the original Middle English and don’t understand the line, look it up for yourself. I’ve still got “Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote …” echoing about the recesses of my skull.)
Shakespeare and others would perpetuate this theme, and centuries on, amid the effluence of “reality” television, rap “music” and celebrity worship, the culturally illiterate and poorly educated know only Hallmark and Russell Stover.
Still, we believe love is, at least sometimes, more than, as Holbrooke Jackson write, “the most subtle form of self-interest.”
And thus intoxicated by that passionate spirit (or maybe just the hopefulness that comes with the start of spring training) we bring you the very best of this year’s Valentine’s Day cards, notes and love letters, so you too may be moved by Cupid’s sting and Eros’s inflammation:
“Americans reported only 1.3 million new cases of Chlamydia in 2010, and only about 6 million Americans contract HPV each year. Baby, we won’t get odds that good at a Pennsyltucky casino.
Be my Valentine and we’ll roll the dice on our love.”
“I didn’t get you candy because there’s an epidemic of obesity and diabetes caused by corporations and the media.
I didn’t get you roses because commercial flower farming rapes the earth and causes climate change.
To express the 99 percent of my feelings I got you a love-red knit cap with ear flaps and a chin string, to wear year-round and especially indoors, so you’ll always know you’re my douchebag.”
“My dear ‘wife,’ you’ve always been more than a legal arrangement to me. So when I saw this rapidly fading, increasingly dehydrated cellophane-wrapped rose while cruising a truck stop, I thought of you.
PS: Sorry your campaign bombed like my all-tranny dinner-theater production of ‘Oklahomo!’ (Did you by any chance get that dreamy Mitt Romney’s private cell number?)”
Love is not about affection, passion, romance, attraction, open-mindedness, low self-esteem, daddy issues or even convenient exploitability.
Love is about public loyalty and eternal respect for the pragmatic mutual benefits of enduringly necessary relationships, gilded by the sweet rapture of knowing that as long as we’re married we cannot be compelled to testify against one another.
President William Jefferson Clinton”
To: Current/future wife/mistress
From: The future president
Re: Valentine’s Day
As I courageously ascend history’s uncompromising path to my rendezvous with destiny, assured by God almighty of grace and greatness even as I am beset by heresy and slander, I have not forgotten those who journey and/or journeyed in my footsteps.
Your accompaniment to my grandiosity is appreciated (though age, disease or dissension may always unhitch the wagons of lessers from my star).
Yours in holiness,
PS: You will continue to address me as ‘Mister Speaker’ at all times (until I am sworn in and you will then address me as ‘Mister President’).”
So sweet, so stirring.
And, no, not an iota of misunderstood cynicism.
The true cynic does not abjure love. Indeed, it is the cynic who most honors love, because it is the cynic who knows most deeply that true love is rare, elusive and too often torturously subjected to the mundane practicalities of life, the foibles to which humans are prone and the brutal randomness of existence.
It is the cynic, free of illusion and intellectual fraudulence, who sees most clearly, and who sustains the ideal most uncompromisingly and most hopefully.
Now if all this doesn’t warm your hearts, cats and kittens, remember what James Brown sang:
“Get up offa that thang and dance ’til you feel better.”