Though I certainly don’t eschew enjoyment or joy or fun or leisure, I seldom consider whether I’m happy. At least not in the way that Pharrell Williams sings about in his pop hit “Happy,” whose message I don’t love: do what feels good to you. My kids dial up that two minutes of clap-along subjectivism on the iPod in my truck sometimes, and I am reminded of these interminable suit-yourself messages. (I’d be a lot happier listening to The Band or The Allman Brothers Band or Widespread Panic, personally.)
Feel-good happiness is usually something I wave out of my face like an overzealous mosquito. These days, happiness is portrayed as a big smile on a sunny day with Katrina and the Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine” playing. That’s what the advertising agencies say it looks like . . . but that plastic, disposable version doesn’t look good to me.