(In which we learn the true story of St. Valentine.)

Posted by Job O Brother, February 14, 2010 11:54am | Post a Comment
Violating child labor laws is romantic!

It’s Valentine’s Day, dear readers, and you know what that means! Time to dress up in our festive knickers with the edible tassles and frolic in the underground glitter pits!

While many people celebrate this day with awkward, workplace greetings, or by forcing their children to bestow amorous cards upon classmates they normally wouldn’t even sit next to for a meal, or by showing their paramour their affection by gifting them confections with so much sugar and saturated fat in them they could kill a cat, still so many of us don’t know the origin of the day.

Valentine’s Day is one of the world’s most ancient holidays. Archaeological evidence has shown texts referring to the celebration of Valentine’s Day from as far back as 1965 AD, but we have reason to believe  Valentine’s Day may have been older.

In Great Britain, Paleolithic ruins suggest that there were, in midwinter (around our February) great festivals in which Stone Age dudes would construct impressively huge, heart-shaped boxes, in which nougat-shaped rocks were placed inside wrappers made of shale. These were then buried with females, who would die after eating them, because when you eat a lot of rocks you die.

(I hate the ones with coconut inside.)

In ancient Japan, during the Asuka period (538 to 710), the proto-Japanese Yamato politically gradually became a clearly centralized state, defining and applying a code of governing laws, such as the Taika Reform and Taih? Code. The introduction of Buddhism led to the discontinuing of the practice of large kofun.

Buddhism was introduced to Japan in 538 by Baekje, to which Japan provided military support, and it was promoted by the ruling class. Prince Sh?toku devoted his efforts to the spread of Buddhism and Chinese culture in Japan. He is credited with bringing relative peace to Japan through the proclamation of the Seventeen-article constitution, a Confucian style document that focused on the kinds of morals and virtues that were to be expected of government officials and the emperor's subjects.

A letter brought to the Emperor of China by an emissary from Japan in 607 stated that the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises (Japan) sends a letter to the Emperor of the land where Sun sets (China), thereby implying that he would like the Chinese Emperor to be his sweetheart forever and his truest, darling Valentine. Candy hearts made from candy and hearts were included with the message.

But who was Saint Valentine? Oddly enough, while people have been celebrating his life and death for millions of years, St. Valentine himself wasn’t born until 1587.

"I'm too sexy for my codpiece."

His father, Geoffrey Hamhawk, a wealthy slave trader and professional poker player, married Jane Moneypenny, a woman ¾ his age, who had inherited the largest parcel of land under the Atlantic Ocean. Upon their marriage, Hamhawk invested his entire holdings in a playing card manufacturing company which, because he built it on his wife’s property, fell into almost immediate disrepair. He realized too late that building a factory on the ocean’s floor was problematic, and no amount or kidnapping and torturing the indigenous people of Africa would help.

Having lost everything, the couple sailed for the New World where they became first in a long-standing tradition of destitute people with bankrupt morals who have babies.

Their first twenty children died during birth, possibly due to the then-common medical practice of anointing a crowning newborn’s head with a live grizzly bear, but their twenty-first child was born without incident, and they named him Valentineboroughnevilleighbourne.

Valentine, as his nickname became, did absolutely nothing of note or interest his entire life. No one wrote or cared about him beyond the average custom.

But then, on February 14, 1608, Valentine did something so epic, so magical, and so absolutely, unbelievably superhuman, that he has forever been known as the most spectacular human to have ever lived in the history of the entire universe.

And now you know the true story behind this special day. I hope you use it wisely – to meditate on the true nature of love and how it can make you money, to ridicule evil-doers, and to treat those who have less than you with compassion and mercy, but tempered with real boundaries so they don’t take advantage of you.

Also, Amoeba Music Hollywood is having a very special promotional offer! If you come in today and buy one of any poster (with a tag value of $60 or greater) you can legally marry any jazz room employee you choose!* What a great deal!

Happy Valentine’s Day, earthlings! Let’s kiss!

*Offer only valid on Valentine's Day. Offer will not be good if it violates applicable California laws regarding polygamy. Will not be offered to any customers under the age of 18, or who actually try to marry one of us. No humans, please.

Relevant Tags

Holidays (95), Amoeba Music Hollywood (104), Valentine's Day (13), History (52)