Mangoes World

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Valentine’s Day is not about a picture upload.

A few years ago I wrote a post about the commericalisation of the Christmas and how the fundamental context has evolved significantly over the past decade to a marketing scheme targeted at the hip pockets of believers. I argued that primarily most of us have forgotten entirely the pure meaning of Christmas and paid into the thriving economical force of retail. (See more)

Last night as I scrolled through my Facebook/Instagram/Twitter feeds I came to a conclusion – Valentine’s Day has also fallen into this niche. Update after update, post after post, all I was viewing were pictures of Valentine’s Day gifts and dates.

The central problem that I have with this is based around the intercontextual meaning of the posts. If I were to deconstruct these posts into meaning then I would arrive at something like this: #MyBoyfriendIsBetterThanYours #LuckyGirl #Haha. And I actually do not like it.

Further analysis of Valentine’s Day inspired posts reveal that they are almost entirely created by women. Because the 21st Century purpose of Valentine’s Day is for your partner or secret admirer to send you a gift or roses as a symbol of their admiration. 

What exactly is the message here? I believe that it is really summed up by my own Facebook post:



Is my relationship still going well if I don’t upload my picture of the flowers that I got for Valentine’s Day? [Tweet this!]

The worst part about these jealously provoking posts is what they do consequentially to those outside of the initial couple. Not surprisingly single women would be the most affected by the continual uploads of #ImSpoilt posts. As these uploads do nothing else but help to create insecurity for women about still being single. #NaNaNaNA!

On the other hand, men in relationships now feel the pressure to compete with their mates in showing their appreciation for their partner. If they don’t buy flowers and gifts, they look like they don’t love their partner as much as ‘her friend’s boyfriends do.’ 

Whatever happened to just calling your girlfriend to tell them that you love them? [Tweet this!]

Let’s be honest, Valentine’s Day is just another day on the calendar. The commercial world makes it a marketable event where bookings for restaurants and cost of flowers significantly increase. So much so that you could almost mistake it for Christmas.

Do not get me wrong I am not the Valentine’s Day Grinch. I actually enjoy the day myself and as my birthday is two days prior, I like to use it as an opportunity to take my Valentine out. As a result, I end up being the gift giver thus taking in the traditional role of the 21st Century Valentine’s male.


As yesterdays posting of Valentine’s Day gifts and flowers were increasing online, I was left thinking about my girlfriends who were feeling quite deflated by the enormous exhibitionists on Social Media. This resulted in me sending 23 text messages to Telstra’s Billboard of Love to receive a picture, so my friends without Valentines wouldn’t feel unloved.

I believe that the increase in broadcasted Valentine’s Day is in part due to the development of useable Social Media and the response of the Millennials. Millennials are supporters of foreign celebrations and fear of being left out far outweighs the traditional meaning of the events. We want to be involved, at any cost.

When I was a teenager, the thought of getting a secret Valentine was some of the happiest memories of the high school year. I would argue that at this point in life, it was the girls that are much more involved in the creation and production of Valentine gifts. Teenage boys tend not to care either way.

So how did it all change from the cute cards with hearts and bubble writing to the over commericalised Social Media postings of the current day?


I believe we create the world in which we exist. And Valentine’s Day is just another example of the competitive nature of man. And without this competition the world would become laxidasical. But then again, this is a direct conflict with the objective behind handing out participation medals in school. 

“Develop yourself by your own set of morals, not by comparison of those around you.” [Tweet this!]



So this is Christmas

It’s finally approached my most hated time of the year.

The older I get the more I realise what exactly it is that I hate about Christmas. On the fundamental level, Christmas for me is forced happiness. It is forced by a variety of differentiating factors.

Forced happiness is developed through a variety of mediums of exposure. From December the 1st, when you walk into the big-chain supermarkets, the torturous Christmas Carol album has been completely flogged to death by the repeat button. The only joyous moment is your actual departure and the mutilation of your ears finally ceases.

What is more poignant is the fact that artists make Christmas albums before their imminent death from the music scene. Oh Mariah, please sing ‘rum a pum pum’ one more time whilst I can still breathe. It is at this point that I can feel only compassionate to the workers at the checkouts. 38 hours a week of Christmas tunes would ultimately destroy my capacity to function.

Forced happiness at Christmas time is not a reality for many Australians. Obviously the peer pressure of presents and ‘family get togethers’ only highlight the fact that a happy Christmas is not realty.

Which leads me to my second point, the widespread commercialisation of Christmas as a source of budgeted income for retailers.

This is what ultimately disgusts me the most. Christmas today is so far removed from its foundations, that no longer is the family gathering the focal point for the holiday. How many Christmas celebrating Christians actually attend a church ceremony?

How can I celebrate something that I do not believe in? What’s worse is the tremendous expenditure of Christmas hooligans in the hunt the perfect gift. Before you know it, you’ve spent $100s on gifts that might not ever be used. I believe that Christmas shouldn’t be about gifts, and expensive presents should be savored for birthdays.

Then there are the Boxing Day Sales, which aim only to insult this theory further. People scramble into stores for the perfect sale, and leave with empty wallets, and much less faith than they came with.

My frustration with Christmas not only is centered on materialization and forced happiness, but on the day itself. Life practically ceases and people are consumed in the celebrations of the day. For me, I’m stuck. Constrained by the closure of life itself. And it is for this reason that I endeavor to be abroad each year.

I often ponder, that perhaps when I have kids, I might actually enjoy the day. But at the moment, the joy of Christmas is nothing but a burden on my mind. Its desolate destruction from its original meaning is frustrating and fraudulent. It is ourselves that need the reality check.

And where the hell did Santa Claus come from?? He was an Americanization of the St Nicholas character that was ultimately solidified in the years following the 1920s by Coca Cola.

Australians reject the Americanization of Halloween, as adopted from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, as it has manifested itself into a secular celebration of ‘trick or treating’ and costuming. So how has this over sized bearded man managed to slip into the homes of millions?

Globalisation is the answer. Globalisation of the Coca Cola products has ever adapted the face of Christmas into a subliminal message about the drink itself. Although Australian’s do not see the snowy Christmas of our European and American counterparts, we are still as much addicted to the commercialization of the day. The scorching temperatures of the Australian Christmas, only see us to purchase the cola flavoured drink to quench the first.

So in 2012, we are left with particles of the real meaning of Christmas wrapped only by the insane expenditure of gift giving slaves. Perhaps my theories would be less prevalent if I had the millions to spend, but I wholesomely doubt that the gifts I purchase would have any more emotional value.

The pressure of the festive season only leads me further into dissociation with the celebration itself. So until the time in which Christmas actually means something to me other than the burden of forced happiness and solid commercialization, I will still remain detached to the celebration as a whole.
“Be only what you believe in.”