Dear Readers,

I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

Ah, Valentine's Day. Day to celebrate love of buying expensive shit for women so they'll sleep with you, romance, and uhh, pink stuff? I've always had mixed feelings about the day, which I think is pretty normal. I mean, I have vague repressed memories of doing some collages with hearts and shit all over them in elementary school of, eep, my own volition. And enjoying it.

Once, in college after a romantically tumultuous first two weeks of February, I celebrated V-day with a bottle of red hair dye in my dorm bathroom. Often I went to the Vagina monologues (which are awesome, btw) and spent the next few days prefacing every statement with "My vagina's ____!" And since I've been dating my hetero life-partner Valentines' day has invariably meant one wonderful and tasty thing: takeout.

But this year, we're actually doing something that I think is both festive and ironic. We got free tickets to see Rufus Wainwright put on a divalicious show at Radio City Music Hall, which is the best venue ever, and we're starting the evening with a hasty bite at Burger Heaven, keeping our tradition alive. Would that indie sensations with a retro streak could play V-Day gigs every year! But my guess is next year it will be back to ordering in and watching some kind of 19th century novel onscreen.

On that note, if you're looking for a good Valentine's Day movie, I just re-watched for the umpteenth time ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility, aka S&S95 to the Janeites. It's just such a wonderful film, blasphemies and all, and really, the strength of it is in Kate Winslet and Emma Thompsons' acting. When do we get to see two female actresses turn in side by side virtuoso performances like that? Not too often, really. And Kate's lines are precious: "There is some blue sky. Let us chase it!" "What care I for colds when there is such a man?" "Let me not to the marriage of true minds... Willoughby, Willoughby, Willoughby." "what is love? a fancy, or a feeling? or a Ferrars?"

It's also a wonderfully realistic takedown of capital R-ideas of romance while being in itself a romantic film. I think it's one of my favorite meditations on conceptions of love, because it favors the kind of attachments that really last in life: that's why it was so genius of Ang Lee to thread in Sonnet 116 about "the marriage of true minds." Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds is, like, the whole point of the movie. Edward and Elinor's romance is based on friendship, respect, and yes, the dreaded "esteem" first, and so is Marianne's eventual union with Brandon.

So in conclusion and summary, to quote hip-hop impressario and chamelon Andre 300, from his immortal album "The Love Below"... actually, it feels too obscene to actually quote the words I want to, since I just talked about Jane Austen, but you can hear the song here.

It really grows on you.

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