Thursday, 10 February 2011
U.S. History: Colonial Period through 1865 (SparkNotes 101)
By SparkNotes Editors
I'm not white, and, despite what other people might think, I'm not black, Mexican, Mongolian, or Armenian. I'm not Indian, either. Nevertheless, I guess I am somewhat more ethnically-aware than most of middle America. This is because I grew up in Los Angeles, which is arguably the most culturally diverse city in America. I've done "diverse" things like eaten Korean tacos, gone to Chinese New Year parades, and attended Dodgers games. I even listen to System of a Down. My familiarity of other cultures is the direct result of (85%) being raised in southern California and (15%) watching a lot of Russell Peters. Ironically, I'm not as familiar with my Filipino heritage as some people might expect me to be. I don't eat the food very often, I haven't seen any of Jo Koy's shows, and I definitely don't speak the language. Whenever my mother speaks to me in Tagalog, I could kind of understand what she's saying only because, if she's speaking to me in Tagalog, that usually means that she's pissed off about something. My Tagalog vocabulary is rudimentary at best, but one thing that I have always remembered is that the word "mahal" means "love". And, I will always remember this not because love is beautiful and important, but because "mahal" is a heteronym and a homonym. While the Filipino "mahal" translates to "love", it also translates to "expensive", and this is everything we need to know about American Valentine's Day.
Anyone who has ever been in love can share this sentiment. This week, the flower, jewelry, and chocolate industries will experience their annual boom in sales because couples will flock to the stores to buy presents for their significant others. While Valentine's Day is a contrived holiday to get people to spend money, I don't think this is necessarily bad. Capitalizing on our emotions was what made the American economy great. Why else would we spend money for Christmas presents if we didn't care about people? Theoretically, I suppose you can love someone and not spend any money on them, but that might mean you're a socialist.
Money can't buy you love, but love is certainly expensive.