My eyes kept flicking to the rear-view mirror. Not because the Prado (is there a department of wank that each manufacturer dedicates to the naming of cars? Just wondering) was inches from the bumper of my Commodore (see above). No, a rear end collision might improve look of my Holden’s back end so no worries there. I was more interested in maybe seeing a Prado driver have a stroke right there on the freeway. I could see the veins in his neck and forehead through my dirty rear window and as he finally spotted a gap and swung out to go around me only to be halted by a Qashqai (seriously) that was going slower than I was. That’s called road karma.
‘What’s with the bloody demolition derby?’ I thought. ‘Everyone’s driving like they’ve just been slapped. Ah, of course. Happiest time of the year. Incoming.’
Many say that I have a problem with Christmas. They’d be wrong. Christmas has a problem with me. Creepy-cheery psycho-bunny music is blasted at me everywhere I go. Brightly lit quasi-religious effigies loom out of the dark (where was the neon Kombi in the bible? Must be in Revelations). Then there’s the pictures of this chubby grey bearded bloke everywhere I turn, making me do this double-take like I’m walking past mirrors. It’s pure psy ops. I’m being targeted by a holiday.
Why is Christmas trying to shut me down? Because I’ve got the big secret that could blow the lid off the whole show.
Happiness is a scam.
Look at the bible. The word ‘happy’ only appears twenty odd times. Whereas anger makes 234 appearances, love 310, fear 385, death 372 and sin 336. Happiness is a minor emotion and humans were never meant to chase it. Historically: joy, love, fulfillment, satisfaction, connection and belonging were the main game. Throw in the occasional terror and murderous rage and you had a party. Happiness? Pfft, that’s just fairly floss.
That was the way of things until the day that someone first thought – ‘I want to make truckloads of money without working hard or doing anything useful. Associating with meaning or purpose is no good because that’ll just expose how utterly pointless my product is. But hang on a minute – if we can get people to chase happiness? There’ll be no end to the useless crap we can sell them.’
This was about the time that Coca Cola company commissioned the artwork of the chubby, smiling, Santa Claus. Before then, Saint Nick was a meaner, more sinister figure. How else are you going to sell soft drink in the middle of a northern hemisphere winter right? Nowadays we have people cavorting on a beach, tipping their heads back to enjoy deep swallows of the high fructose corn syrup and sugary chemical cocktail. People with such perfect bodies and dental work that I doubt they’ve ever sampled the product. Encouraging you to aspire to a life utterly devoid of purpose while somehow making it seem like a good thing. It’s genius.
If you don’t believe me, just ask them. Talk to any marketing department for long enough and they’ll eventually drop the classic line ‘Well we are fundamentally selling happiness. The actual product is secondary.’ Of course, you have to sell happiness. It doesn’t exist otherwise.
Puncture the illusion of happiness and the whole crappy, plastic, battery-operated show comes tumbling down. People would have to focus on spending time with their loved ones and being generous to each other, and we can’t have that.
So if you are feeling bad about feeling bad this Christmas, go easy on yourself. This is normal. You weren’t meant to be happy in the first place. Ask the man himself “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
And stop driving like an idiot.