Saturday, September 10, 2011

be happy

i was driving the other day when a billboard caught my eye. not sure what it was advertizing (looked like a clothing brand, but i couldn't tell), but the people in it were early- to mid-thirties, good looking, decked in the latest fashion, all seemed to be enjoying their lives. that and an article i read recently about people not being happy with kids, and it hit me: the source of our misery is advertisement and popular culture.

what we see in advertisements and commercials are snapshots. other than the ones that are deliberately outrageous, most portray everyday situations condensed within 30 seconds (tv) or a single page or picture (print, internet), yet they skew everything to unnatural happiness. a family is having lunch: they're all laughing and smiling. someone was at work and went home: he drove an expensive car, drove into a mansion and was greeted with a laughing beautiful wife and two lovely kids. meetings in an office: everyone happy and beaming. ordering fucking fried chicken? server smiling wide. having a smoke? look at this awesome party we're always taking part of. perfume? let me take my shirt off and jump off my yacht into the azure ocean.

how about poplar culture? sitcoms? shows? part-time waiters living a normal, rich life. everyone is either happy or laughing all the time. if not, they resolve all their problems in 48 minutes before jumping into the pool with their clothes on. movies teach you that whenever a male and female meet they end up fucking falling in love. they teach you that good guys win. they teach you that stupid guys can get the girl.

no wonder everyone is fucking miserable.

no one is happy all the time. no one is always cool and partying. happy endings are rare. in fact, it's unnatural for human beings to maintain a constant state of happiness. the normal state of human beings is misery (not to be pessimistic here, it's actually neutral). the article about people with kids talks about how older professionals expect things to be perfect, or at least fixable, but i think a part as important is this belief that life should somehow be easy.

nothing good ever comes out of easy. i think people aren't happy with kids (or anything else) is due to unrealistic expectations. 100 years ago not starving was a reasonable expectation. so what do you do all day? you work, toil, reap and sell. you survive. now it's all about me me me and my misery. well fuck, the truth of it is no amount of money or power will make you happy all the time. misery exists.

so yeah, be happy, just expect it to be temporary.

7 comments:

Raphael said...

Have thought about all this a for a long time...and if i had written on this topic i would've written something pretty similar...but very well written and a pleasure reading this as always...cheers

Me Again said...

You are my new hero! Very well stated and don't worry...tomorrow I won't wallow in the misery of motherhood but rather embrace the idea of surviving another day in popular culture!

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Casey Zvanut said...

Nice job. I feel better about my meager existence now.

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Me Again said...

Sam? Why be lazy! Stop what you are doing a feed my brain a tid bit or two! :)

Desperate Expat said...

This is so true, I always think about writing an entire book about false expectations & media influence! We live our entire life disappointed cuz whatever it is didn't meet our expectations.

I'd say without expectations we can be much more content!