I hate Valentine's Day. There, I said it. I hate the flowers. I hate the chocolates. I hate the jewelry. If I could, I'd shoot Cupid to prove that his blood is green or black.
And don't think I'm alone. Did you know that the Roman Catholic Church recognizes three saints named Valentine or Valentinus (which I think means "the butt of Valentine"), and all three were murdered. The church uses the term "martyred" to describe their deaths, but I say they all were righteously put away with it.
The man that most believe the holiday was named after was a priest in third-century Rome. When Emperor Claudius II banned his young potential soldiers from getting married, Valentine broke the law and married them anyway.
Claudius was swift with his actions after he got wind of Valentine's stench. When you broke a law in the Roman Empire, there were no liberals around to put convicts through sissy rehabilitation programs. Valentine was put to death.
"Now Wesley," you're saying, "Valentine was unjustly murdered for doing the right thing."
That's not true. Some of the worst criminals in history have drummed up support by claiming they were right. A lot of them know good and well that they're wrong, but they try to convince you otherwise. This is why they're called "crazy."
This is also where I step in and help. I could just spout off my opinion to you, but good journalists use facts. So here you go.
Historychannel.com says that although the "Valentine legend is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure."
Other highly regarded education resources disagree with this. Wesley Rucker's Vast Intelligence on Paper says that "Valentine was a criminal who deserved his fate, but, for some reason, silly Europeans began celebrating a holiday in his honor. This heinous holiday is being celebrated across the pond and worldwide, sans Utah, where they think the second coming is from upstate New York; and parts of Alabama, where they worship Skynard and/or Argent."
Two things struck me when I read the latter. 1) That Rucker guy seems intelligent and fun to be around and 2) I agree with him.
But just to be sure, I found a third source. Journalists say not to run a story until you have two sources. Since I consider myself to be the most complete and well-rounded investigatory journalist on this campus, I hold myself to the highest level of expectations.
So looking out for you - the concerned reader - I looked at wilstar.com and found exactly what I was looking for.
"For eight hundred years prior to the establishment of Valentine's Day, the Romans had practiced a pagan celebration in mid-February commemorating young men's rite of passage to the god Lupercus. The celebration featured a lottery in which young men would draw the names of teenage girls from a box. The girl assigned to each young man in that manner would be his sexual companion during the remaining year."
Then, wilstar.com goes on say that the Catholic Church, in order to stop the pagan practice, picked Valentine as the replacement and certified the holiday.
This should clear the situation up one and for all. Valentine's Day was a pagan holiday that not only condones, but demands the prostitution of teenage girls. I bet all you girls out there didn't know that, did you? That might even be illegal in Amsterdam.
Don't overlook the part that says that Valentine's Day was actually "improved" when it was named after a criminal. Go back and read that again. A criminal. How bad must an act be if it's improved with the addition of a criminal? Am I the only one who sees a problem here?
Then again, this isn't the first or last time that Catholics have united to honor a criminal. These days it's called "ordination." (Before you write me on this one, let me say that I was raised Catholic and know that a majority of Catholics are great people. I also know that I was given a few Sacraments by the former Bishop of Knoxville, who was among the hoards of holy that were charged in last year's sexual misconduct raid. So I'm still dealing, alright?).
And lest we forget that cupid is the son on Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. How does it feel to break the first commandment?
Do yourselves a favor tomorrow. Every time you eat a piece of chocolate, smell your new pretty flowers or read your nauseating sap-covered cards, remember that you're essentially contributing to an illegal pagan orgy.
I write these things because I care for my peers. I want you to know what you're contributing to with your money and time.
Trust me, save your money for Mexican Flag Day on Feb. 24. You'll feel better if you do the right thing.
Wesley Rucker is a senior in journalism who covers UT sports for The Chattanooga Times Free Press. He can be reached at whattheruck@hotmail.com.
I write these things because I care for my peers. I want you to know what you're contributing to with your money and time.
I write these things because I care for my peers. I want you to know what you're contributing to with your money and time money and time money and time.