The Truth About Happiness

Posted on October 15, 2019


Since the dawn of time, people have noticed that happiness can be elusive. Getting stomped by a mammoth could put a damper on anyone’s day. After the demise of mammoths, humans all over the planet invented slavery, another buzz-kill for many. Even for the non-slave population, plagues, wars, rotten teeth, and having to eat meals without cutlery kept life fairly miserable.

The modern age didn’t improve things any. People still succumbed to horrible illnesses, sweatshops, and lack of effective allergy meds. In addition, they had to deal with modern threats like spin classes, 10 lb fast food bacon cheeseburgers and a never-ending supply of global dictators and despots. So why were people then always talking about the “good old days?” And why did one stable genius ride to the top of the food chain by telling us that he could make America great again?

Using innovative research methods, researchers in London and Glasgow have built a new index that uses data from books and newspapers to track levels of national happiness from 1820. The main source of language used for analysis was Google Books corpus, which does not relate to either death or obesity.

One theory as to why books and news articles are such a good source of data is that editors prefer to publish pieces whichh match the mood of their readers. News artcles and books were matched against actual surveys, which was limited to questions like “Are you happy?” and did not tax people’s knowledge of world events, geography, or basic math.

The following are the finding from the study:

While increases in income do increase happiness, it takes huge increases to have a noticeable effect at the national level. So, while billionaires happily accumulate ever-increasing levels of personal wealth, their wealth accumulation doesn’t unfortunately translate to all of us being happier. The National Association of Really Rich People has taken exception to this finding and has begun a campaign to explain to the rest of us that what is good for them is good for us, even though we don’t have any of the stuff they do.

An increase in longevity of one year had the same effect on happiness as a 4.3 percent increase in GDP.

One less year of war had the equivalent effect on happiness as a 30 percent rise in GDP.

The two items above would seem to indicate that people prefer lack of war to longevity. Life in the Boomer Lane is confused. She always assumed that lack of war and life expectance were not mutually exclusive. She must re-visit the effects of war.

In post-war USA, the lowest point of the index coincides with the Vietnam War.

So, all Readers out there who are convinced that life post-November 2016 has been akin to being flushed down a giant toilet that doesn’t even have deoderizer in it, take heart. Incredible as may be, things were worse before. Stop spending your precious time pining away for the Good Old Days of the Plague. Instead, know what is really important: The Vietnam War is over. You are many years older and a number of lbs heavier. You will probably live long enough to see all those billionaires get even richer than they are right now.

Best of all, you can take comfort in knowing that, while today’s political events may make your head explode, it will certainly get worse tomorrow. Tomorrow, our Duly-Elected President will spew even more offensive, outrageous, inexplicable and mind-numbing Tweets from his orifice of choice. Tomorrow, the climate will get even more pissed off than it is today. Tomorrow, we will discover yet one more industry that is fucking us over for profit. And tomorrow, Kim Kardashian’s butt will be even larger.

So, Loyal Reader, enjoy today. Revel in the innocence of the Now. Tomorrow we will look back on Today and know that Today really was the Good Old Days.

Posted in: humor, research, satire