Valentine’s Day, a day that is known by stores all over the world as a day where the sales for candy, cards, flowers, and jewellery skyrocket, has come and gone again. Market research done over the years has proven this. Big, fat businessmen chewing on cigars in high-rise office buildings know this. Cashiers dread it. Managers anticipate it. You and I may be slightly aware of all of this, but we don’t care! You know why? Because it’s been drilled into our heads that the most important thing to remember on ‘Valentine’s Day’ is that we should BUY! BUY! BUY! to show our loved one(s) exactly how much we care. Many business owners cross their fingers in the hopes that people will flock to the nearest mall and spend their hard-earned dollars on gifts so as to continue the tradition of proving love through consumer transactions.
What other days are like “Valentine’s day” in that they exist to help big business advertise to the nuts and make big money with the phony sales of cheap products? How about the entire CHRISTMAS SEASON (which can range from mid-November to the end of December), Halloween, Thanksgiving, Canada Day, the summer season (which can start in mid-April and go until mid-September), “Back to school” (which can START in July), Easter, St. Patrick’s Day… I’m even willing to bet that in the days leading up to Remembrance Day, the stores are stocking the shelves for us happy little consumers to gladly part with our hard earned money to own our very own special little limited-edition one-day-only Veteran caps.
I’m not against profit or business. I’m against being having my spending habits being predicted, marketed to, analyzed for my consumer habits, and told what I should be buying and at what time. We do, however, have “freedom of choice” in this country: the freedom to choose from 6,479 products on sale this week! We also have the freedom to NOT buy, which I enjoy regularly. I have the freedom to acknowledge and ignore, to turn off the radio when the commercials are played (which I do constantly ), and to bitch and complain about these sorts of things because I don’t like being treated like a damn sheep that’s supposed to do what it’s told simply to increase the profit margin.
My point is that every year they play the same trick on us and we fall for it EVERY TIME! Need the money to finance a war? No problem, Christmas is only a few months away! Tired of not being able to pay off people so that they’ll stay quiet and your dirty little secrets will remain underground? Use the profits from last week’s super mega gigantic sale! Want to build even more giant, polluting factories in third world countries that employ hundreds of malnourished, near-dead slaves for mere pennies per hour? Dig into that bank vault that’s full of the money your company made from adding a single sound effect on the latest ‘hot’ toy!
I’d rather be a party pooper and not march in the parade if it means that some government can’t pay a terrorist regime to control a country and export their precious resources to our ‘land of freedom’ so rich snobs can sit in their big chairs and gloat with their latest shiny objects. You won’t see me waiting in line, clutching a carbon copy of the newest product (fresh from the shelf) in my white-knuckle-gripped hands, shifting from one foot to the other in anticipation that I’ll be the next one to have the latest cool thing that’ll make me look cool and make people gather around a cool person like me and watch me walk off coolly with my cool product that is mine, for it makes me cool. No, I won’t be bought and I won’t buy. I believe in spreading love, but I don’t believe that it has to be on one day when the discounts can be applied. If I were in a relationship, every day would be Valentine’s Day in some form or another. That’s part of what makes a relationship special and fun…and no, it doesn’t always involve Purdy’s chocolates and a Hallmark gift card…and definitely NOT on February 14th. Having it the same day every year takes the surprise out of it.
I think I’ll create my own Valentine’s Day that only I know about. Plus, I’m changing it every year so it won’t become predictable and expected. Some years I might not have it; some years there may even be more than one! Let’s see your carefully researched marketing reports NOW, desk whore! Let’s see your predicted figures chart when it comes to making big profits when no one follows this quaint little tradition that we’ve continued to keep alive for hundreds of years! Tell me how you’re going to take piles of cash and throw them into building more factories in poor countries to employ poor, skinny, dying brown & black people (who will no doubt be abused and tortured and killed on the job) when you won’t have the means to bring the cash in!
We’re the luckiest people on the planet to be living in North America, but look at the cost to the rest of humanity. If keeping people alive in South America and Asia means less cool products on the shelf, then I’m all for it. NOBODY needs to die for big business…nobody except the scumbags in office who should commit suicide because they’re helping to finance such atrocities. Why can’t big companies have factories here in North America, where the product can have a “Made in America” or “Made in Canada” stamp on it? Why can’t those factories be built here with safe working conditions and a union? Why can’t white people be on the factory floor assembling these products? Because it would cost too much money, that’s why, and big business can’t be bothered to spend money paying workers a decent living wage and making a quality product. They’ve got to go offshore and hire uneducated people at very low cost to the company so as to maximize profits.
So fuck Valentine’s Day. And NO, I’m not saying that because I’m single and bitter, and NO, I don’t “need to get laid.” You need to shrug off the cliché that someone who’s angry and ranting about something must have sex in order to make everything all right.