Monday, August 5, 2013

If You're Happy and You Know It, Kick Some Butt

I'm gonna pass this meme along just so I can critique it.  First, "be thankful" to whom?  (I'm an atheist, remember, so there's no one to thank, despite Daniel Dennett.  Wotta maroon.)  But more important: Happiness and anger are not necessarily incompatible.  The happier I am, the more angry certain things make me, because they harsh my buzz.  Things like bigotry, stupidity, evil.  The same goes for hate: I hate bigotry, and I will open a can of whoop-ass for bigots of all stripes.  Funny, isn't it?  Bigots are such tender critters: they can dish it out but they can't take it.  Call them on it, call them what they are, and you're a big old Politically Correct meanie.  And other people, ostensible liberals, will side with them.

As for complaining, this is another in that family of memes that backfires on its creator.  The person who made this meme is complaining about people who complain, like people who judgmentally tell you it's wrong to judge, or hatefully tell you that you shouldn't hate.  As Tom Lehrer said, "I know there are people in the world who do not love their fellow human beings -- and I hate people like that."  But complaining is just fine; it's necessary, though all complaints are not created equal.  As Malcolm X said, quoting proverbial wisdom, it's the hinge that squeaks that gets the grease.

Somewhere there's a quotation from Pauline Kael on this subject that I must recover.  But if you're so happy that you can't get angry about things that matter, you're not happy, just high.