Monday, August 20, 2007

On The Subject Of Happiness

AP/MTV Poll: Family Ties Key To Youth Happiness

Here are a few random thoughts I had while reading this article. Sorry for the lack of format, I couldn't really come up with a way to string these together into a coherent story with the limited time I had.

"Alcohol users are slightly less happy than those who don't drink. The differences are more remarkable among 13-17 year olds; just 40 percent of those who drank in the last seven days reported being happy with life, versus 68 percent of those who didn't. And 49 percent of illegal drug users reported being happy with life, compared with 66 percent of those who didn't use drugs."
I think this is a significant paragraph. Notice that 49 percent of illegal drug users and 40 percent of alcohol drinkers reported being happy with life. If you take the logical leap, you'll realize they're saying that it takes alcohol and drugs to mak them happy with life. The 68 percent for alcohol and 66 percent of kids who didn't use drugs are happy with life, without the alcohol or drugs. This would suggest that they don't need alcohol or drugs because they are already happy with life.

Thus supports my hypothesis that drugs and alcohol are fake happiness, and if you can generate your own enjoyment of life, you simply do not need either. For instance, I've come to realize that I don't need drugs because I'm already partially insane and utterly creative without them. I don't need them to help me be more creative or more bizarre. If anything, some people have mentioned that I need downers to inhibit me. And as far as alcohol, why would I want to do anything to myself that might somehow hinder my natural enjoyment of life? I don't want to "take the edge off." I like the edge. I want my edge to stay as sharp as it can and I want to be able to remember as much as I can when I get home. It's an odd dichotomy that someone as cranky as I am who suffers momentary bouts of depression can be as optimistic and happy as I generally feel without the help of chemical influence.


"...two kinds of ice cream," according to the song from "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." John Lennon, more darkly, described it as a warm gun. A much more typical description comes from Stacy Rosales, a 23-year-old recent college graduate, who calls it "just a general stress-free feeling where I'm not really worried about anything. THAT makes me happy."

For Chad Fiedler, 17, it's "just waking up in the morning and looking forward to what I'm going to be doing that day." And for Esohe Roland, a 14 year old from Nashville, it's "playing trumpet in my school band."
For me: making fun of stupid shit.

"Being sexually active actually leads to less happiness among 13-17 year olds, according to the survey. If you're 18 to 24, sex might lead to more happiness in the moment, but not in general."
For an instant of gratification, you're introducing a lot of anxiety and eventual heartache, especially if you're a teenager because you're not socially equipped to deal with the ramifications yet. Why the big rush to have sex anyway? It may seem mysterious and wonderful before you have it, but once you do, it's just one more thing. If you're nowhere near emotionally, socially, financially, or mentally stable to deal with the consequences (re: babies), don't start having sex, morons. It'll always be there. Date to find love, not sex. Too much emphasis is placed on sex as a goal in society these days, where it should just be a byproduct.

"Young people in this survey had a 10 percent higher stress rate than adults did in a 2006 AP-Ipsos poll."
Could have something to do with their brain development.


Oprah Winfrey? Michael Jordan? Hillary Clinton? Tiger Woods? All those names came up when people were asked about heroes. Of public figures, Martin Luther King, Jr. got the most mentions. But nearly half mentioned one of their parents, with mothers ranking higher (29 percent) than fathers (21 percent.)

Also mentioned: God (more than 10 percent), teachers (nearly 5 percent); and members of the military, policemen and firefighters.
God? What kind of idiot would honestly say that God is their hero? Look, if you're all-knowing and can do anything, you really haven't done anything heroic. God creating the universe and everything in it is about as inspiring as me breathing. Stop trying to suck up to God, you little shits, He can see right through your charade. He's God.

I tried to figure out who my heroes would be, but I came to the startling realization that I can't think of any heroes. There are many, many people who have helped shape who I am today, and there are a lot of people I truly, deeply, and sincerely admire, such as my ex-wife, Daniel Gildenlöw, Jaz Coleman, Henry Rollins, Randy Russell, Jesse Cole, Larry Anderson, Teressa Watts, Megatron, and Shockwave, but I wouldn't really say any of them are my heroes. So if I have no heroes, would it be safe to say that my only hero is myself? Maybe I'm too old for the idea of hero worship, but as far as I'm concerned, I call my own shots, and I only have to answer to myself, so I have no real need for external heroes.


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