Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Look of Love


The look of love,
Is in your eyes.
...And what my heart has heard,
Well it takes my breath away.

“The Look of Love” – Dusty Springfield (Wikipedia entry ; music & words by Burt Bacharach & Hal David)

One of my favorites, this hit song has appeared in various movies including the delightful 60’s film Casino Royale (WorldCat) and has been covered by a number of singers. There are also other songs with the same title (the one best known to me, at least, being U.K. band ABC’s 80’s MTV-friendly tune [music video]).

The look of love on this Valentine’s Day in the U.S., at least, is apparently green: an estimated USD $16.9 billion spent by the smitten and hopeful on Valentines in 2007 – spent in part on:

  • Greeting cards (Hallmark offers 2000 different Valentines cards)
  • Jewelry (Around 8% of annual jewelry sales in the U.S. occur in February)
  • Candy (Hershey estimates it sells 1.5B Kisses every Valentines)

(Source: “What It Costs To Say 'Be Mine'” in a special report, The Business of Love, of Forbes)

And now we also find out that Valentine’s Day flowers may be an environmental hazard given the news that “the flowers that make up the average bunch have flown 33,800 miles to reach Britain.”(Source: “Valentine bouquets 'are bad for the planet'”) Yikes!

In the Forbes report mentioned earlier, an article (“Dating Darwinism”) describes that the latest spin on speed-dating, a sort of wealth-dating -- i.e. an event matching very attractive women with very wealthy men. And if that seems unfair, worry not, a follow-up pairing of wealthy women and attractive men is planned. Romance isn’t dead – it’s just been updated to pair banking with beauty contests! ;)

And Valentines makes for a robust cartoon and/or child-as-audience publishing corpus. Looking variously in FictionFinder and WorldCat.org, one finds such Valentine’s Day-themed masterpieces as The Valentine That Ate My Teacher and Valentine Kittens. Given that Valentine’s Day as a holiday may have been spawned by Chaucer (see Wikipedia entry), the literature -- if not the commerce – of the holiday seems to have taken a downward spin.

So, gentle readers, wherever you are, may this Valentines be just what you hoped for. And the after effects of the holiday be less than is feared.

2 comments:

Thomas said...

I'm surprised you missed Dusty Springfield's biography by Penny Valentine

Eric said...

My bad! ;) Thanks for pointing it out.