The day before …the love fest

Your Eyewitness has been accused of being a misogynist (if not a misanthrope) for panning “Valentine’s Day” in yesterday’s column. The first, dear reader, hates women, while the latter is churlish towards our entire species! Nothing could be further from the truth! It’s just that since the Budget was announced (and he’s old enough to appreciate calypsonian advice “no money, no love”) he has felt constrained to set his priorities straight!!
So, now on to showering love and affection on our female of the species in general – and our better halves in particular! Let it be stated for the record that your Eyewitness did his bit with the flowers and chocolates. After all, he didn’t want winter to descend into his humble abode with the cold shoulder and even colder cutting looks from the object of his affection! But if the truth be told, he really isn’t into these occasions; which started out as well-meaning attempts for us to live better lives with each other, but have now become so commercialised that all the human feeling has been sucked from them.
Not only Valentine’s Day, but Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc, have all become totally mechanical processes, wherein you walk into a store, plunk down your cash, and you’re given some pieces of merchandise that are supposed to signal your “love” for wife, mother, father, and so on. It just sucks all the spontaneity from expressing what’s supposed to be the sentiment that’s ultimately responsible for keeping us going as a species: love – it really does make the world go round.
But where did this Valentine’s Day come from? Like Christmas and Easter – and so many of our observances in the (westernized) modern world – it all began in the practices of the Roman Empire. In the case of Valentine’s Day, this came out of the “Feast of Lupercalia” – which was “a bloody, violent and sexually-charged celebration awash with animal sacrifice, random matchmaking, and coupling in the hope of warding off evil spirits and infertility”. More specifically, male youths would run naked through the streets, where willing females would bare their skin to be whipped with thongs of leather, and “couple” with each other as suited their fancy!
After Rome fell to Christianity, the revelries were (sadly?) banned. But unlike Burnham, who banned certain foods in Guyana, the Christian Romans realized bans aren’t effective unless substitutes are provided. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day, and gradually, the “Pagan” practices were sublimated into signalling “love” for females in less direct ways – such as sending love letters and such like.
In our modern times, we were convinced that flowers and chocolate would do the trick!
Ah…for the good old days of expressing love directly and publicly!!

…Opposition unity
While most would be commemorating Valentine’s Day tomorrow, your Eyewitness wonders whether the AFC and the PNC/APNU biggies would kiss and make up. What, dear reader? You’ve forgotten that, nine years ago, on Valentine’s Day, Ramjattan had swallowed his fears of becoming “dead meat” and hitched his AFC with Granger’s APNU?
Your Eyewitness doesn’t expect them to exhibit the exuberance and wild abandon of Nagamootoo and Granger “wining” down on campaign stages from Abary to Whim – and not forgetting Zeelugt! After all, right after they won the 2020 elections, the shine wore off THAT apple! What with Nagamootoo getting “larwah” – in the words of former President Ramotar! – and Ramjattan getting shafted! – it was all downhill for them! But they do say that, with matters of the heart – and the Valentine’s Day 2015 Cummingsburg Accord was about the heart, wasn’t it? – hope beats eternal.
So, are Nagamootoo and Granger going to surface?

…opposition power
Your Eyewitness has been pleading with the Opposition to use their chairing of two of the Parliamentary Sectoral Committees to hold the Government’s feet to the fire.
Well, the Natural Resources Committee just grilled the Gas-to-Shore Energy bigwigs. So, what’s the scoop??