Liking Things

The definition of happiness is doing stuff that you really like. That stuff can be eating soup, going to the bathroom, walking the dog, playing Dungeons and Dragons; whatever keeps your mind off the fact that you’re so goddamn unhappy all the time. That, incidentally, is the definition of like: that feeling you get when you forget how miserable you are for just a little bit. Thus people like doing stuff they like all the time, as often as possible; because if they remember how horrible they really feel at not having a background to put themselves against, they will want to hurt themselves and those around them.

The funny thing is that something we people really like to do is hurt ourselves and those around us. We do this by thinking other people are more unhappy than we are. We convince themselves that we are truly happy, ecstatic even, while they merely plod around life half-heartedly, or, if they’re lucky, incorrectly. We take it upon ourselves (seeing as we are so happy, and can spare a little bit of happiness) to help them become happy as well. We fail to realize that the people will probably not appreciate our thinking that we’re better than they are somehow, for that is what we do even if we don’t mean it. We forget that we are also unhappy, and that we are just doing things we like in order to cheer ourselves up a little bit, which really means that this cheering is working; but there is such a thing as working too well. So in a sense what I’m doing here is cheering myself up by reminding you that you are unhappy; I’m trying to keep you honest in your unhappiness; and I admit this is usually called a dick move.

In fact, the best way to overcome happy-hungering (this is the term as I dub it) is commit as many dick moves as possible, to keep people remembering that unhappiness abounds. If you see someone smiling like a little dog who knows it’s about to get pet or get a treat or go to the vet to donate doggy sperm, smile back. Grin toothily (a little too toothily for a little too long). Their smile will start to fade if you’re doing it right. Saunter to them, slide as if you’re an Olympic quality ice-skater, as if you’re a really good bowler who knows he’s playing against twelve year olds and’ll win by a hundred. Get really close. Far too close for what most people would call comfort. And remind them of how awful life can be: “I really like your shirt—really only children chained to looms can get that tight of a weave,” you can say, or “You’re not really going to recycle that coffee cup, are you?” They will probably get angry, but that’s what’s supposed to happen. By making dick moves, you can overcome what may be the biggest evil on this earth: Happy-Hungering.