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Now in our seventh calendar year
PCR #308  (Vol. 7, No. 7)  This edition is for the week of February 13--19, 2006.

"Freedomland"  by Mike Smith
About Valentine's Day  Dylan Jones
Florida Filmmakers Helping Each Other  by Mark Terry
Peter Benchley....Rondo Award Voting  by Matt Drinnenberg
Cheney's Got a Gun....Thank You....You Can't Buy This Kind of Publicity....My Favorite Films--Chapter 7  by Mike Smith
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Dylan Jones

About Valentine's Day

But first, this...
Just to let you all know, I really hate celebrities and all their gossip and shit. I hate even more the fact that I know some gossip and can understand it in conversation. I really just want to move to Canada or China or Japan or just anywhere that is not America, but then I would lose my "Freedom".

For those who may not know and for those who forgot, I am currently working at an Army Navy store, (146 N. Parsons Ave, Brandon Fl, 33510 just in case you want to visit) and it's a great place, no real guns though, (but the boss has quite a few himself). Working in retail again has taught me a few things: people are stupid and have no idea what they really want. One of the things that really annoy me is when they come in asking about the price of paintball guns and such and then tell us they can get it online or at Wal-Mart for half that. Why do you have to tell us that? It just annoys us and makes me want to shoot with you an airsoft pistol. And of course it's gonna be cheaper online or at Wal-Mart, online you never know what your gonna get and you have to pay shipping and at Wal-Mart you get shitty paintball guns.

But I digress, there are more important things to complain about, like how there is nothing good on TV! But that's for another time.

So another Valentine's Day has come and passed. Never liked that "holiday" even when I was in a relationship, but first some background on it...

(Source: Wikipedia)
St. Valentine's Day falls on February 14, and is the traditional day on which lovers in certain cultures let each other know about their love, commonly by sending Valentine's cards, which are often anonymous. The history of Valentine's Day can be traced back to a Catholic Church feast day, in honor of Saint Valentine. The day's associations with romantic love arrived after the High Middle Ages, during which the concept of courtly love, which had a large impact on the modern Western conception of love, was formulated.

The day is now most closely associated with the mutual exchange of love notes in the form of "valentines". Modern Valentine symbols include the heart-shaped outline and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, the practice of hand writing notes has largely given way to the exchange of mass-produced greeting cards. The Greeting Card Association estimates that, world-wide, approximately one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas. The association also estimates that women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.

February fertility festivals
The association of the middle of February with love and fertility dates to ancient times. In the calendar of Ancient Athens, the period between mid-January and mid-February was the month of Gamelion, which was dedicated to the sacred marriage of Zeus and Hera.

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.

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia (1908), at least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs and all quite obscure, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under the date of February 14:

  • A priest in Rome who suffered martyrdom in the second half of the 3rd century and was buried on the Via Flaminia.
  • A bishop of Interamna (modern Terni) also suffered martyrdom in the second half of the 3rd century and was also buried on the Via Flaminia, but in a different location than the priest.
  • A martyr in North Africa, about whom little else is known.

    The connection between St. Valentine and romantic love is not mentioned in any early histories and is regarded by secular historians as purely a matter of legend (see below). The feast of St. Valentine was first declared to be on February 14 by Pope Gelasius I in 496. There is a widespread legend that he created the day to counter the practice held on Lupercalia of young men and women pairing off as lovers by drawing their names out of an urn, but this practice is not attested in any sources from that era.

    Valentine's Day in other cultures
    In Japan and Korea Valentine's Day has emerged, thanks to a concentrated marketing effort, as a day on which women, and less commonly men, give candy, chocolate or flowers to people they like. Rather than being voluntary however, this has become for many women especially those who work in offices an obligation, and they give chocolates to all their male co-workers, sometimes at significant personal expense. This chocolate is known as giri-choko), in Japan, from the words giri (obligation) and choko, a common short version, meaning chocolate. This is opposed to honmei-choko , which is given to a person that someone loves or has a strong relationship with. Friends (usually girls) exchange chocolate that is referred to as tomo-choko.

    By a further marketing effort, a reciprocal day, called White Day has emerged. On this day (March 14), men are supposed to return the favor by giving something to those who gave them chocolates on Valentine's Day. Many men, however, give only to their girlfriends. Originally the return gift was supposed to be white chocolate or marshmallows (hence the name "White Day"). However, more recently men have taken the name to a different meaning, thus lingerie is quite a common gift.

    In Korea, there is also an additional Black Day, held on April 14, when males who did not receive anything for Valentine's Day gather together to eat Jajangmyun (Chinese-style noodles in black sauce). In South Korea, there is also Pepero Day, celebrated on November 11, during which young couples give each other romantic gifts.

    In Chinese Culture, there is a similar counterpart of the Valentine's Day. It is called "The Night of Sevens", on the 7th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar; the last one being August 11, 2005. (A slightly different version of this day is celebrated in Japan as Tanabata, on July 7th (the same day, but transcribed to the solar calendar).

    That's a lot to take in all at once... but of course we can't forget the famous St. Valentine's Day Massacre, when the shooting of seven people as part of a Prohibition Era conflict between two powerful criminal gangs in Chicago, Illinois in the winter of 1929: the South Side Italian gang led by Al Capone and the North Side Irish/German gang led by George "Bugs" Moran.

    You can look that up for yourselves if you need more info. :) Anyway, I think that's enough for now.

    Bye, everybody, BUBYE!

    PS. Visit my work's website! http://hqmil.com *shameless plug*

    Chaos Out!
    The Drow

    "The Drow" is ©2006 by Dylan Jones.   All graphics, unless otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova.