Posted by: martinworster | April 12, 2008


Angst and despair, not Everything Is Happy…

There’s a sign on one of the doors of the houses round here that says ‘Happy Everything’ carved out of wood, painted in tropical colours. Everytime I see it I chuckle to myself cynically. Ha ha, Happy Everything. The statement perfectly encapsulates the fakeness of the 360 degree sunny optimism that exists out here, a Xanax induced coma that soon bursts once outside the Southern California reality bubble.

For starters the statement is an oxymoron. Not everything is happy. Going to the hospital for a treatment of radiotherapy is not a happy thing. A cow just about to be slaughtered is not a happy thing. Being killed at war is not a happy thing. I need not go on. Not everything is happy.

Maybe it’s my English disposition and the notion that lyrical melancholy is not a bad thing. Perhaps it’s my Europeaness, weighed down by too many World Wars, struggling with existential angst. But everything is not happy and I’m actually happy for that. In this sunny, Have A Nice Day culture it might do them some good to embrace a bit of healthy miserabilism. I’ve been looking for a sign I can attach to my door – ‘Not Happy Everything’ – but I’ve yet to find it. I will have to make it myself.

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