As much as it makes me feel like the proverbial ghost at the party, the spare prick at the wedding or the wallflower at the orgy, I can never get so caught up in the frenzies of celebration of such festivals as St Valentine’s Day as to forget that they’re also causes for cerebration.
While most other people are happily and heedlessly letting their hair down and otherwise amusing themselves, I’m more inclined to be musing on the meaning of the occasion and its significance for me personally and people in general.
Thank goodness, then, that so many if not the majority of my loved-ones are similarly inclined. That like, for example, my wife and daughter, they share my opinion that sentiments significant enough to be celebrated at Christmas, Lunar New Year, Hari Raya, Devali, St Valentine’s Day or whatever are virtually meaningless if not also expressed or lived up to in everyday life.
Then there’s the Aristotelian thought that virtues are the averages between the two potentially evil extremes of excess and deficiency. Too much love, as the fabulous Freddy Mercury both sang and sadly demonstrated, will kill you, though perhaps not so surely as too little love will.
Because, as the late, great Peggy Lee sang in one of the all-time-great Valentunes, though so long ago that it must be totally unfamiliar to today’s Valenteens, love is a fever.
A fever that, as I mentioned in my previous post, Mignon McLaughlin cynically claimed that “marriage puts to bed and cures.” As witty a remark as this might have been, however, it’s at most only half true, as witnessed by the fact that arguably as many marriages sustain the fever, like mine and my wife’s does, for instance, as those that cure it by means of boredom, abuse, adultery or divorce.
When all’s said and done about love and its fellow fever lust, however, the fact remains that the future of humankind depends on their never being cured. And, for that matter, on their never being too severely curtailed by the effects or fears of other, more potentially fatal fevers as those currently being caused by the coronovirus.
Though speaking of which, we tend to forget that the fever that has long been, and continues to be, the one that kills more people and their loved-ones than all the others put together is malaria.
But the ultimate fever that not just lovers but all of us are facing on this and every St Valentine’s Day in the foreseeable future, whether or not we deny it like so many stupid people, fake-news media , callous corporations and ignorant, criminally-incompetent and corrupt and governments do, is the scourge we call climate change or global warming.
Despite dangerously-rising temperatures around the world for decades now, and clearly evident symptoms like melting polar ice, rising sea levels, growing fresh-water shortages and increasingly severe so-called ‘weather events’, professional make-believers and deceivers are pulling ever possible lever on behalf of themselves and other would-be power- and profit-achievers to try and deny that there’s any such ailment.
Or else to pretend that it’s ‘natural’ and thus they’re immune from responsibility, or that they are taking action when actually doing precisely the opposite.
So in our collective fervour to celebrate the fever of love this St Valentine’s Day, let’s not forget that we also owe it to ourselves and our fellows to make every day a St Villaintine’s Day, or in other words a festival of loathing, for all the fossils, fools and other others who are so venally determined to force us and our children to try and survive on a planet whose temperature is edging ever-closer to fever-pitch.