Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day

Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. The Valentines honoured on February 14th are Valentine of Rome, Valentine of Terni and the mostly unknown Valentine martyred in Africa.  No romantic elements are at all present in the original medieval biographies detailing the violent deaths of any of these Valentines and none of them had any specific connection with chocolate.  Called Holy Relics, chunks of St Valentine remains are to be found in churches throughout Europe, as churches compete with each other in tempting horny, young couples to make collection plate donations.

In the ancient Athenian calendar the period between mid-January and mid-February was the month of Gamelion, dedicated to the marriage of Zeus and Hera.  In Ancient Rome, Lupercalia, was observed between the 13th and 15th of February, was an archaic rite connected to fertility.  Cupid, Being the ancient Roman god of desire, affection and erotic love (you can read that as: the god of shagging, Romans had lots of shagging gods) eventually became tangled with this festival.  Cupid is often depicted with wings and a bow, and traditionally, carrying two sets of arrows: gold-headed, to inspire love; and lead-headed, to inspire hatred.

Using the language of the law courts for the rituals of courtly love, the French decided to establish a "High Court of Love" in Paris on Valentine's Day, 1400. The court dealt with love contracts, betrayals, and violence against women.  The French also decided it would be a good idea if judges were selected by women on the basis of a poetry reading rather than legal skill.

In 1929 Al Capone (Scarface) and Bugs Moran (Bugsy) were at war with each other for control of the Chicago alcohol bootlegging business. Scarfaces gang devised a plan to eliminate Bugsy.  Scarface himself had arranged to be on vacation in Florida when the hit occurred.

On Valentine's Day morning, witnesses outside the Clark Street garage saw a Cadillac sedan pull to a stop in front.  Four men, two dressed in police uniform carrying shotguns, two in trench coats emerged and walked inside.  Seven members of Bugsys Gang, were lined up against the rear inside wall.  However, Bugsy himself was not inside.

Two of the killers opened fire with Thompson sub-machine guns, two opened fire with shotguns.  According to the coroner's report, all seven of Bugsys men were killed in a volley of seventy machine-gun bullets and at leas two shotgun blasts.  When one of the dying men, Frank Gusenberg, was asked who shot him, he replied "Nobody shot me" despite having 14 bullet wounds.  Much like Cupid, Scarface used led as a conduit of hate.

1 comment:

  1. Frank Gusenberg: Practical Joker and Bastard of the Year 1928-1929.