Cupid, business form conspiracy

Greg MacDonald, Editor in Chief
Greg MacDonald, Editor in Chief

This just in: St. Valentine’s Day is a conspiracy. From the dozens of roses to the boxes of chocolate candy, the 14th day in February is the poorest excuse for a holiday this side of Christmas.

Is it just me or does that love-filled holiday, past and present, feel more synthetic than emotional? Honestly answer this: is it about love or about how much a person spends on infatuation?

If companies like Hallmark and See’s Candy were asked if Cupid is a symbol of love or a symbol of cash, these corporate giants would reply with dollar signs. They do not care about puppy love or romance; they care about consumers spending, resulting in positive cash flows.

How is this a conspiracy if these suit-and-tie cupids are merely playing within the guidelines of capitalism? Easy, these companies embed subliminal messages into their advertisements. Why else would a holiday like Valentine’s Day have so much meaning on such a meaningless day?

And this mastery, or should I say tweaking, of capitalism also has a byproduct-greed.

Almost as if the commercials for 1-800-FLOWERS or the wedding ceremonies broadcast on that day’s nightly news include hidden messages, the holiday, and its puppet masters, brainwash the viewing audience into needy zombies, craving more and more quantity and less quality.

Gone are the days where a gentleman can make that special young woman a card to show how much he cares. Big business has spoiled the views of love to the point where if it is not bigger or better than what the girl next door was given, it is a waste of emotion and time.

But for some strange reason, the magic the suit-and-tie cupids cast for that day seems to only work on females. Do not get me wrong, I understand that a small percentage of gentlemen like to receive things on that day and a small number of young ladies do not have a problem getting a kiss on the cheek for St. Valentine’s Day.

But for the most part, the woman in the relationship is devastated if she does not get the commercialized package of love presents. And the gentleman, who sometimes may need reminding that day is upon him, is virtually unfazed.

But ladies, do not worry. Valentine’s Day can be much worse. Consider this scenario: instead of a lack of glorious gifts from the loved one, the person on the other end of relationship does not exist. Or in laymen’s terms, it is called being alone.

The “holiday,” in terms of advertising and hype, has grown to the level of Christmas. Everywhere a person turns, hearts, flowers, candy and many other love symbols dominate the decorations of stores, television, radio and newspaper ads, and even general conversation among friends. When a person is involved, these things are the public norm. But playing in a one-man band on that day is much worse than receiving just a card from the other half.

Which would be better: getting upset because the gentleman forgot to include a heart-shaped balloon with the dozen roses and the box of chocolates or getting bitter about being alone on that day after seeing the heart-shaped cookies, the red and white jelly beans, and the mushy cards to further rub it in?

Valentine’s Day is almost cause for singles across the land to tune out of society until Cupid and his bow go back to where he came. Why not just grab some water, bread and a good book, and camp out in the basement until Hurricane Cupid has blown back out to sea?

The problem with Valentine’s Day is business has taken the meaning out of it. Just as it has done to Christmas, Corporate America has mixed material things and love into the same mold. This mixture has been force fed down America’s throat since grade school, when children had to send everyone a valentine.

But at least we do not have to celebrate every holiday like this. However, maybe it is just a matter of time before companies subconsciously make society believe we need to buy a new car for our mothers to properly celebrate Flag Day.

Greg MacDonald, a junior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at gmacdona@ulv.edu.

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Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.

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