Happiness for Sale

What does it mean to be happy?
Is it smiling and laughing all the time?
Is it having dozens of friends?
Is it owning hundreds of things?
Everyone’s always saying, “money can’t buy happiness,” so why do all the pictures of rich people have smiles and the ones of poor kids in Africa have tears?
I don’t want to be happy.
That’s a weird statement, probably one you wouldn’t expect me to say, but here it is –I don’t want to be happy. Why? Well, let me just clarify what I mean by being happy:
Happiness is an emotion –temporary
Happiness is a series of chemical reactions in your brain –temporary
Happiness can be changed easily by circumstances –temporary
Happiness is temporary
Do you see where I’m going with this? Every day, we are bombarded with images of happiness and products that can give us that so called euphoria –but they don’t work. Sure, getting a new pair of shoes can make me happy for a while, then I have an argument with my dad and then suddenly –it’s gone.
What do things have to be with being happy anyways? I live in a place where we’re all supposed to be happy because we have everything, as far as food and things go; yet in North America, the third leading cause of death in teens is suicide. That’s a crazy statistic. If we have so much, then why are we all so sad?
I, personally, have had the opportunity to see the ‘other side of the world’ many times, and the picture I get there is completely different. Yes, there’s poverty and all that. People have next to nothing –but they are some of the happiest people I have ever met. I would meet a kid who doesn’t even own a pair of pants yet still shows off his toothy grin in a smile every time I saw him. How is that contrast even possible? It doesn’t make any sense.
Going back to my original statement, “I don’t want to be happy.” I neglected to say the second part, “I want to find joy.” Now you may be thinking, “What’s the difference? It’s simple really:
Happiness is temporary, joy is permanent.
Happiness is an emotion, joy is a lifestyle
How do you even achieve joy? Well, I’ve found that the first way is by choosing to be happy, despite the bad days, sad days and mad days –that came out way cheesier than I intended. Joy is choosing to be content. Now I must clarify, contentment is not complacency. Being complacent is choosing to be a doormat and not doing anything to change that, just accepting your fate in an almost bitter nature. Being content is knowing your circumstance and accepting it, while still allowing a possibility to grow.
The next step on the ‘road to joy’ is the elimination of self on the brain. When one is depressed, sad, etc, it’s often due to them concentrating on themselves and their problems and flaws. Have you ever done that thing where you sit by yourself, alone in your room and contemplate your existence?  Next thing you know, you’re rocking on the floor in fetal position, crying in despair. I feel that when we get out of that habit on thing of ourselves and focus more on others, that feeling despair goes. I don’t know about you, but I’m usually happiest when I’m helping others. Volunteering could possibly be the best form of therapy. This is not to say that it’s easy. I would be lying if I told you that you could switch on a button and be content and generous and happy. It’s a process, but it’s one you have to force yourself to start.
Anyway, this went on a lot longer than I wanted it to go –again. I should probably apologize for taking long to update as well, life’s been getting in the way. I’ll just leave you with my new found philosophy:

I don’t want to be happy, I want to find joy.
Song of the Post:  All Star By Smash Mouth

Quote of the Post: “Be content because that makes you automatically awesome.” –Quote developed by my friend, Miriam R., and I

Quantity over Quality

The song “Wrecking ball” is something everyone’s taking about. Scratch that, the video is what everyone’s talking about. Well, I guess, any publicity is good publicity. Miley must be ecstatic that her video now has the most views on YouTube in a 24hr period.

How do I feel about the video? I’m disappointed with it, but not for the reason you may think. I get what the video is supposed to be, I really do. The literal portrayal of the wrecking ball, the symbol of the hammer as someone she loves but destroys her, her nudity to represent vulnerability. All of that, I understand.

It’s supposed to be artistic and I would have actually enjoyed… if it had been done right. The song was instead over sexualized in all the wrong ways (not to say that there is a “right” way to over sexualize). As I watched and analyzed the video, it kinda broke my heart a little. The parts that I think the video was well done were the headshots of Miley where you really see the emotion on her face and also towards the end when she’s like lying on the ground or against the wall broken.

However, the director had to go and spoil the complete core of the song by making it anything but family friendly. Parts such as ones when she’s on the wrecking ball, or when she was rolling on the ground in her underwear (and let us not forget the innaproriate interactions with the hammer) were unnessesary. Actually, I should rephrase that, they would have been appropriate and the symbolism would have shined through, but it didn’t. Why? Becauese the her face and body language is portrayed as seductive not as a person singing about being so completely in love with someone that they have the power to wreck you world.

What makes me even more sad is that it actually is a good song. The emotions of it are powerful and relatable but the video takes that away from it. The average person who listens to the song just thinks of Miley Cyrus naked on a wrecking ball not  Miley Cyrus singing about something obviously personal to herself. It’s sad that as a musician, Miley would do her heart a  disadvantaged like that, and let’s not lie, the VMA performance didn’t help it credibility. Now, no one will take her and her music seriously; instead, it will be reduced to memes on the internet

That’s the problem with Hollywood. It’s so preoccupied with ratings, views, and demographics, it destroys art. It’s quantity over quality with it. It is this paradigm that destroyed art. And now hip hop is reduced to cheap gangsta rap lyrics. Now we have no more  original movies, now all sitcoms are just the same jokes recycled and all your favourite T.V. shows are cancelled after the  first season.

That is why art is dead

Song of the post: “Nuisance” by John Reuben and Matt Thiessan
Quote of the post: Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. -Steve Jobs