Tuesday, February 14, 2006

That's SAINT Valentine to You

National Geo CoverI am sure every other blog today is about Valentine's Day. I thought about posting about the wisdom of a sitting Vice President walking about in a field with a crowd of armed men shooting whatever; but nah! I go with the flow.

Today on our newsstands two rather respectable magazines, The Atlantic and National Geographic, have cover stories about love. "How Do I Love Thee" explores the intersection of academic research and the internet while "True Love" in posits that love is a matter of raging brain chemicals often leading to frenzied state not unlike obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Duh! Any junior high school teacher could have told them that. Those of us with half a memory could give names, dates and places. I personally could have given quite an extended interview.

Will this mean we will see National Geographic and The Atlantic competing for same in the supermarket checkout line space with the National Inquirer or the Globe?

Anyway I would like to leave you with a description of the roots of Saint Valentine's Day, before the Christians tried to tone down the fertility festivals a bit. From Wikipedia:
In Ancient Rome, the day of February 15 was Lupercalia, the festival of Lupercus, the god of fertility, who was represented as half-naked and dressed in goat skins. As part of the purification ritual, the priests of Lupercus would sacrifice goats to the god, and after drinking wine, they would run through the streets of Rome holding pieces of the goat skin above their heads, touching anyone they met. Young women especially would come forth voluntarily for the occasion, in the belief that being so touched would render them fruitful and bring easy childbirth.
I suspect there was more to the celebrations later...

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