Skip to main content

The Pursuit of Un-happiness

Logging in from South Africa I'm feeling pretty good. The weather is incredible, the food is great, the people are friendly and warm. I may not be as happy as when I'm leis'n in the happiest place in America, but I'm pretty happy. That's not the way the latest UN World Happiness Report portrays South Africa (to say nothing of Africa as a whole) but lets examine their 2015 results.

Edited by John F. Helliwell, Richard Layard, and Jeffrey Sachs (I know I make fun of names, but really) the WHR2015 takes a look at happiness with an eye toward sustainability. Published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network based in NYC which was created by the UN in 2012 it's populated by a really happy group of people. As has been noted in previous WHR's critiques these folks like to be rich, have problems, live in western Europe, in the cold and dark with bicycles. Usually Denmark wins, Norway places and Switzerland shows while the USA makes the top 20 its neighbors Canada (#6) and Mexico (that's right, Mexico!!!) (#16) are considered happier. How a nation that is conceived and constitutionally dedicated to the pursuit of happiness can fall so far down the ladder is a mystery until you understand the goals of the WHR and it's editors.
"The most important underlying message (of the report) is to change the way people think," Helliwell told Al-Jazeera America. "We need to focus more on the quality of life and less on GDP."
The big surprise for 2015 was Switzerland taking the #1 spot in the happiness ranking - they must have imported some bicycles. But the map below also defines the un-happy lands of our world where it's warm and simple and folks just sit around doing nothing. Surly this doesn't make them un-happy, if it does they should take Helliwell's advise and "change the way they think." No, there must be something more to this un-happiness than warm sloth, but what could it be?...

My personal theory for the cause of world wide unhappiness is French colonialism. I have often noticed that where the French once were unhappiness followed. Haiti, Côte d'Ivoire, Vietnam, New Orleans - the list is endless and it maps almost perfectly to the un-happiness regions of the WHR. I'll bet even happy Canada, if put under the Sustainable Development Solutions Network microscope would have deep red swaths of un-happiness in Quebec. I don't blame the French - My guess is that these places are unhappy because the French have left and gone home, and there is clearly some kind of pattern here - it's not all about money and healthy living - but searching the WHR I found no mention of it.

If I'm right it's time for France to embark on a national mission of global expansion and empire building because the world needs their beneficent influence now more than ever.  Take a look at the The World's Most Important Graph and you'll see that Un-happiness is on the rise and unless a certain chauvinistic people impose some cultural guidance I fear we'll all feel in our hearts that blue un-happiness of a world sans France.

Je suis Charlie!


Popular posts from this blog

The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson

She was "sexy", but "too much hard work." I'm a regular Fox & Friends viewer (mostly in protest of the other insipid morning programs like Today and Good Morning America) so over the years I've gotten to know Gretchen Carlson pretty well. Stuck between Steve and Brian she always seemed a prudish scold with an irritating, self-righteous demeanor that I simply put up with because I figured some people in the Fox audience actually liked her persona. It was obvious that Steve and Brian did not, but they were stuck with her like so many talking heads and had to make the best of it - which they did. Besides, she was no worse than any of the other women on morning show TV - I mean, you're only going to find a certain kind of person to do this kind of work and that kind of person is the Gretchen Carlson kind. Then, one day, she was gone and replaced by Elisabeth Hasselbeck and the F&F ratings began to climb, and climb and climb - in two months view

Psycho Killer, qu'est-ce?

I came into this wicked world in the early 1960's and as a result I have born witness to America's 50 Years of Failure which includes the modern age of mass shootings by psychotic men who "go off" on a given day, for no reason at all (except "guns"), and kill scads of innocent bystanders. Back in August of 2019 a KOTCB blog post titled " Reciprocity City " explored a young  gunman  named Patrick Crusius  who drove 9 hours through the west Texas flatlands to shoot up El Paso, TX The KOTCB has commented on many of these shootings, bombings and knifings over the years -  The roots of the Boston Marathon Bombing ,  the Emanuel AME Church shooting ,  Syed Rizvan Farook and his bride Tashfeen Malik ,  Ft. Lauderdale Airport shooting ,  Nick Cruz lovesick Parkland shooting ,  the Iranian, PETA activist, Vegan Bodybuilder, YouTuber's attack on Google  and now this very oddly timed and placed "lone wolf" attack on Walmart shoppers. This list

A Apolitical Blues

Well my telephone was ringing, and they told me it was chairman Mao. You got to tell him anything 'cause I just don't want to talk to him now. According to the brilliant troubadour Lowell George the Apolitical Blues are " the meanest blues of all" and who am I to disagree with this soul man now after all these years of living by his maxim.  I first heard the song bursting from the 1972 vinyl of Little Feat's Alt-Rock-Country masterpiece "Sailin' Shoes" in the second story bedroom of my friend John's older brother Edie who, being about 3 years our senior, was instructing us on the importance of good music. This was circa 1975 and a formative time for my musical taste and overall aesthetic which, for better or worse, infuses every aspect of my existence including the KOTCB blog so a debt is owed this unforgettable "older brother" now that  he has shuffled off this mortal coil  and left us with smoky memories. A born rebel with the heart o