It's a long way from a Roman fertility rite turned feast day for the martyrdom of a defiant priest to the holiday of Valentine's Day as we now celebrate it, with the required expenditure of 14 billion dollars to prove our love to our demanding partners.
So many lands and so many souls have been enslaved to our desire for diamonds, gold, roses, and chocolate...Do we need to show our love through such violence?
Let's spend next year's 14 billion on commodities less destructive to our planet and our social structures, like shelter for homeless people and environmental clean-ups, with some of the dollars set aside to convert our hydocarbon economy to solar, wind, water and human power.
If we really do truly love each other, that would be a better way to spend our money...it might not get us laid, but then maybe we could change our courting rituals. If that sounds far-fetched, remember that our noble ancestors the Romans believed that striking women with strips of bloody goat hide was an effective prelude to sucessful mating, so perhaps the idea of inclding ritual offerings in our professions of love that would care for our fellow humans and the planet isn't so crazy after all.