Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Today is the eve of Lupercalia, banned by Pope Gelasius I in the 5th century, and the day of several other pagan fertility celebrations which the Christians later co-opted as St. Valentine's Day, just like they did with Easter and Christmas. Funny, isn't it, how despite forcing name changes on us (no doubt under the threat of a despicably painful death), the original traditions carried on regardless?

I don't know the origin of giving your lover a red rose or twelve, however in today's battery hen existence that we suffer, I find it almost heartbreaking to see these horrible frozen odourless roses on sale in supermarkets and garage forecourts - everywhere. You see, a real rose emits such an intoxicating fragrance and then opens up its charms only to die a few beautifully tragic days later. And therein lies its profound emotional charge: it's not only its seductive aroma and luscious looks (don't you adore that heady combination of deep red petals and aggressive, dangerous thorns?); it's the butterfly fragility of its lifespan that makes it such a romantic object of desire. I mean, otherwise you might as well buy your partner a bunch of plastic flowers or a fucking cactus.

And it's not just these cheap lifeless roses that's a problem either. Because if I were king, I'd take a leaf out of Henry VIII's 'policy' towards monasteries, and have razed to the ground every single supermarket in the land. Oh, and let's do that Bernard Matthews death factory while we're at it.


Don said...

The whole concept of Valentines Day escapes me. If you love somebody you can show that love on any day of the year, not just on a date specified by the church and the greetings card companies.

And William, your comments on roses, their scent and fragility, pure poetry.

John said...

you are really beginning to sound like a hippie

I mean it's not that I disagree with much of what you're saying, but it is rather 1) romantic and 2) nostalgic, qualities which I believe you're on record as deploring

William Bennett said...

John, your records of what I deplore seem to be mistaken or you've misunderstood something, and I'm most certainly not a hippie and yet you don't disagree so do you know what your point would be if you did disagree?!

Odile Lee said...

Romantic, nostalgic? I'd say its primal. Your reading into it.

Those desired objects of so called love, are produced in such a way that the soil they are spawned in, must be categorically labeled as Toxic waste and disposed of as such.

Thats really romantic, isn't it?

Real roses are so exotic. Such intoxication, yet grown in foul blood/bone meal- stinking of death.
As a child, when ever I found anyone who had a yard with roses, I would wait until they left and tip toe into these little edens, so different from the lawn,olive tree, eucalyptus, fern, of my own father's yard.

They seemed very feminine to me, as only women seemed to cultivate them.
I wished I could take one, but never did. It would wilt and then die in rank odour of decay. A waste. Better to let them stay. For the next time.