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On not being happy all the time - Input Junkie
July 7th, 2010
05:14 am

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On not being happy all the time
rivka recommends this essay about the cruelty of the assumption that people should be able to be steady-minded in the face of anything that happens and enjoy every aspect of what they need to do and/or that everything that happens is mystically chosen by the people involved.

On the smaller scale, I just heard Bobby McFerrin on the BBC (I haven't found the link). Now, I have a tremendous respect for him, but I also have a reflexive dislike of being told what to feel. It was a long siege when "Don't Worry, Be Happy" was popular, and I didn't think it was musically very interesting, either.

The interviewer asked McFerrin whether, considering that he'd done so much ambitious and experimental music, it was annoying that "Don't Worry, Be Happy" was the most popular thing he'd ever done. McFerrin said that it was annoying (this isn't an exact quote-- even if I could find the link, I couldn't play it in the US)-- it took him a long time to get used to it, but a lot of people have told him how much the song meant to them. By implication, he's reconciled to it.

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From:madfilkentist
Date:July 7th, 2010 09:54 am (UTC)
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I'm pretty sure the song was meant ironically, though a lot of people (including a major political campaign) didn't take it that way.
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From:milimod
Date:July 7th, 2010 10:11 am (UTC)
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Thanks -- I'm a UU and probably should have found that before now. :) But I've shared it on FB with a note that yes, adopting a more positive attitude CAN be a powerful way to improve your mental health and cope with adversity, but it's so very counterproductive -- and immoral! -- to try and impose it one someone else like thought-control.
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From:rysmiel
Date:July 7th, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC)
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Some of us are wired that many of our bad things go into the fuel tank that keeps us moving, and it would be nice if there were more songs addressing that as a positive way to be.
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From:nancylebov
Date:July 7th, 2010 06:15 pm (UTC)
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Could you expand on how bad things go into the useful fuel?
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From:sodyera
Date:July 7th, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
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Bobby McFerrin does very interesting stuff but all most people know of his work is "Don't Worry, Be Happy", much like all people know about Mike Oldfield is "Tubular Bells".
Such is the fate of a No. 1 hit single. See "Boxed Set" by BareNaked Ladies.
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