Monday, February 14, 2011

Anti Valentine? St Harlequin's Day is for you

A long time ago, on a mailing list far far away, in fact back when Mailing Lists were about as good as social media got we had a group of like minded wacky gamers called the Malkavian Madness Network, later to become an IRC channel I am still a part of today (oh yes IRC lives on like a sysadmin sleeper agent ready to infect again).




Christopher Dorrega known to us as Harlequin Grimaldi was the Patron Saint of Bitterness and on this day we celebrate Harlequin's Day both as an antidote to Valentine's Day but also in memory of his passing from cancer in April of 2000.

It has become somewhat of a tradition amongst the geeks we touch to take on the day and the cause, and it's always met with a bit of a smile and a twinkle in the eye (and may be just the occasional kicking of a puppy). So to you I leave Harle's own words on St Harlequin's Day and invite you to partake, let the rage over take you and stroke the bitterness in your own heart.

Subject: [Malks] Saint Harlequin’s annual rant

Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2000 00:35:46 EST From: "Saint Harlequin Grimaldi"

To: malks@thehub.com.au

It's that time. Let’'s talk about love, shall we?

What the hell IS love, anyway? Encarta Dictionary has eleven noun and five verb entries for the word. I love my mother. I love my cat. I love my best friend. One word, all these uses! And the emotions are only superficially similar towards each. Five hundred thousand words in the damned language, and we reuse one too many times. Typical. But for our purposes, love can be defined as; "The emotional state in which another’s well-being becomes more important than one's own".

But the love discussed during this time of year is a deeper, more abiding, more passionate variety, geared towards coupling.So what IS this Love thing, anyway?

Some people point towards beauty and joy and utter compassion, towards majestic, sweeping emotions seen in DeBeers diamond commercials and such.This, they reason, is this great thing that the poets wrote of. This is this great thing that Shakespere created passion and tragedy from. This is Love.

These people are absolutely right.

Some people point towards lighter, happier emotions, towards lighthearted romantic comedy and happy carefree times. Shakespere also created, they explain, A Midsummer Night's Dream, did he not?

They’re also absolutely right.

Whatever you want to consider it, though, here’s the sad fact about modern society. We’ve become a society about compartmentalizing things, of buying things presanitized for our protection. And we NEED protection, don’t we, boys and girls? We NEED protection against the fact that it’s a hard world, that there are people out there who will hurt us, that the world owes us nothing, nothing whatsoever, and even our so highly self-appraised society or societies guarantees each and every human being NOTHING MORE THAN A NAME AND A COUNTRY OF ORIGIN. We need to be PROTECTED against the Bad Men, yes, protected and kept safe and clean and pure, and the only way to do that, because WE are the Bad Men, is to tell us how to feel and when. It's almost February 14th. This tells us it’s time to allow ourselves to feel Love.

Bah.

Bah and humbug, I say. Spittle and shit all over your protection, and see if you can protect yourself from THAT. I don’t WANT to be protected from Love. I want it to EXPLODE and be DANGEROUS and MESSY and I want to see people swept under and drown in the outpourings of my emotions, and if I get swept under in theirs, SO BE IT, I took my chances by waking up in the morning.

So bah on your St. Valentine's day. I will not wish anyone a happy Valentine's day, nor will I accept any happy Valentine's days from anyone. I will not allow myself to be compartmentalized.

I have felt Love. I didn’t show it on Valentine's Day any different than I showed it every other day I felt it. February or October, I’d show it the same way, through tenderness and care and attention to my partner’s happiness and well-being.

But there are those of you out there who WANT this compartmentalization, who WANT to be protected against your own emotions. So be it. So, in the interests of fair play, I offer you once again...

SAINT HARLEQUIN'S DAY!

That’s right! The Patron Saint of Bitterness, Rage, and Hate has procaimed February 15th as his day! It's a day for SANCTIONED HATE!

As you all may recall, I, Harlequin Grimaldi, have long since declared myself the Saint of Hate. (Saints, for the record, are the cosmic middlemen. If you have a lost cause, pray to St. Jude, and he’ll plead your case to the Boss, and so forth.) I represent the bitter, the lonely, the hurt, the hate-filled, the enraged, the ugly, the too intelligent, the too nice, the "like a brother's, the "such good friends", and all other unwanteds, undesirables, undatables, and unfortunates littering the world who remain in a seeming perpetual state of being single. Poor souls, how we suffer this time of year, watching our friends who have this great thing, this Wonderful Emotion, this Love, deserved or otherwise.

And the bitterness grows, doesn't it? They look at us with pity, we return the gaze with contempt. We pretend to not want what they have, but we do, we do, and the jealousy grows. Or we remember times past, old loves, having none current to entertain our affections, and we remember the fights, and cheating, the lies, the bad times, the bad blood, the bad breakups, and all the agony afterwards.

Now is our time.

So go on! Kick your pets! Kick your neighbors! Kill the mailman! Let the HATE flow. Lower your inhibitions on it. Speak openly of your hate and your pain. It’s YOURS, it’s UNIQUELY YOURS, there are many in the world with similar hate and only one with YOUR hate, you are FREE TO USE IT.

And use it you should.Why? Because it's THERE, and it’s REAL, and because you are YOU, and because you are ALIVE. Try it. One day. February 15th. If you like it, try it a little more the next day. Let it FLOW, let the REALITY of the emotion consume you. If you escape being lost in your bitterness (and it took me YEARS to do so), you will never, ever see the world through the same eyes again. You’ll see the REAL more acutely, you’ll see what’s prepackaged and what’s REAL, and you’ll never, I predict, be quite willing to settle for anything less than dangerous reality again.

So go. Release your hate. I’ll hear your prayers.

This is my sig. Bite me. **Saint Harlequin Grimaldi**

Some brimstone-baritone anti-cyclone Rolling Stone

Preacher from the East

Says dethrone the dictaphone, hit it in its funny bone, That’s where they expect it least. ****************************

A mass of disjointed and drugged thoughts who had something to say and didn’t do a good job of saying it.

Interesting saints and patronages; Saint Dymphna (insanity), Saint Maria Goretti (teenage girls), Saint Agatha (volcanic eruptions), Saint Bona (flight attendants), and Erasmus (abdominal pains). There is no saint of stories or storytellers. I claim this patronage into my fold.

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