foreach $garden_center (@boston) { print “closed for winter”; }

We have another one of them manufactured holiday things coming up. As you may have guessed, I am less than thrilled by this. More like confused, actually. The traditions of this day typically involve passing around a lot of freshly-dead cut flowers, complete with a complex numeric and color code capable of representing every emotional state from undying passion to underdamped impulse response love at first sight to friendship to I hate your fucking guts and want you to die. I’m still not sure I understand the logic behind expressing our love by destroying something beautiful.

I actually orchestrated an elaborate and romantic (I think?) Valentine’s day night exactly once, with flowers, fine dining, the canonical(?) cabin in the woods, hot tub, strawberries and other things dipped in chocolate… It was fun, don’t get me wrong. But it was also kind of… expected.

Hallmark holidays and heavily commercialized seasonal events (and the marketing of same in particular) fall into another unwritten rant of mine, that advertising exists to create an unhappiness, then offer a product or service to take that unhappiness away. (“Did you know…? 95% of all Americans don’t know that their faces are too shiny. But luckily, our new…”) In essence, to give away the disease and sell the cure. I suggest that any noble purpose of coercing the bleating herd to give thought to the many people they care about, and those who care about them (and even have them dare to express this) is nulled away by having defined “a day” specifically for this purpose and making a societal expectation of same. Any would-be romanticism on this day is reduced to little more than an expected protocol exchange.

Hmm… at this point in my (unwritten-marketing-rant-being-written, sort of), it seems like no wonder there’s so much depression and general blah-ness going around during holidays. (Yeah, I know this started as specifically a Valentine’s day rant, but I’m pointing my biggest finger at the Decembery block right now.) But hey, who knows–maybe there is a collective societal need for depressing seasonal marketing to provide some form of common emotional reference. (” It’ll soon be Christmas, kids, take your Paxil.”) Can you imagine if everyone were unhappy purely on their own terms, rather than synchronized to a common blah clock? Utter chaos! In the biological sense, we’re already externally clocked by seasonal cues to some extent, so maybe that’s a logical extension.

Aaaaaanyway… My plan for this year is/was to not merely go softly into this dark night, ignoring this whole candy-foisting, prepackaged-love-card-making, flower-killing industry, but to actively subvert it by distributing pirated plants to everyone I care about. (No need to restrict this special day to girlfriends, because I don’t have onethere’s no reason to limit oneself to a single act of consumer treason.)

My efforts at violating the DMCA (Deliberate Misappropriation of Chlorophyll Act) and engaging in wild and rampant flower piracy, however, are being stymied by the lack of garden supplies in the greater Boston area during the non-growing-stuff season (as any DEA agent will have you believe, there’s only one kind of plant city dwellers ever grow in the wintertime indoors, and it’s a cash crop…), making it difficult to simulate the nutrient-poor, acidic soil of a Carolina peat bog for my most non-canonical Valentine’s day plant (currently spreading out of control, making me a little rhizome slumlord).

QOTD: “Even if all the snow were burnt, ashes would remain.” – Hans-Bernhard Broeker, comp.lang.c.moderated

QOTD: Of course, your species split the atom to make bombs and will soon clone humans, so you’ll probably need to stick your fingers in here, too. So if you really must risk your plant’s health in order to satisfy your insatiable curiosity, carefully dig the plant out of the ground. If the bulb is rotten, mushy, and smelly, you are the owner of a dead plant. Dang! If the bulb is crisp, your plant is sleeping. Only now your poking around has given it a damaged root system and possibly even cuts in the bulb. Fungal infection, rot, and death is now much more likely. Drat! (“Duuhh, maybe we shouldn’t have cloned humans after all…duuuuhhh.”) – Barry Rice, in the Carnivorous Plant FAQ


One Response to “foreach $garden_center (@boston) { print “closed for winter”; }”

  1. […] And as I’ve previously mentioned, I think peppering my sweetheart with killed cut flowers is about the worst possible message to send). […]

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