Etched in a parchment somewhere, sealed in dated ink, in cascading curled up calligraphy are the following inscribed words: “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. Since the day that the fateful ink stained sentences into that piece of paper, in that single ‘Declaration of Independence’; the deepest, most visceral, most tremulous feelings of all men and most women have been articulated, if not in those words, certainly in other words.
For instance, Spicygear.com, a company that specializes in ‘highest quality’ vibrators, dildos, personal lubricants, and condoms offers happiness. Spicygear.com also clearly values Liberty, as it assures with emphasis in clear cut italics, “If you are just not happy with your product, you many return the product to us for a Spicy Gear Store Credit.”
The exercise of Liberty has been facilitated further by SpicyGear’s punctuality, as a happy and liberated citizen testifies, “My SpicyGear experience was very positive. I was able to order the item I wanted, and it arrived confidentially and in the time I was told it would arrive.”
A Stanford University student comments, “Placing an order was simple and receiving my items was even better. Thank you so much!! You better believe that I am and will continue to be a regular customer!”
So too today, nearly 300 million satisfied customers of Life, Liberty, and Happiness have set a precedent for the world, spearheaded by a Declaration of Independence, seamlessly facilitated in their self-evident pursuits by outlets of independence such as SpicyGear.com.
But SpicyGear.com is not the only outlet for Life, Liberty, and Happiness. Indeed, in a world where Independence is declared in such fine inked curls, Happiness is an institution upon itself. Happiness is not merely the stuff of customer service, it is a civic encounter, it is a currency, a dialogue, a dissertation. It is Diplomacy and Quid Pro Quo.
Happiness is not sole property of those that enjoy pork, or those that like to stare out into the twilight and cluck the air pocket inside their mouth with the aftertaste of a belch in their tongue, a toothpick in their hand, and the satisfaction of a fulfilling meal; nay, happiness is not entirely pornographic. Happiness is Politics.
Ollie Stone-Lee of the BBC Online staff alleges, “We may moan about politicians but they really can make us happier, according to a new Cabinet Office report.”
The Cabinet Office report indicates, “People with higher incomes are more satisfied than those with lower incomes, and an increase in personal incomes does bring higher levels of satisfaction…”
Yet it quickly adds with tacit concern, “However, despite large increases in national income (and expenditure) over the last 30 years, levels of life satisfaction have not increased commensurately.”
Ollie Stone-Lee evaluates the policy of institutionalizing happiness, “Report authors Nick Donovan and David Halpern suggest happiness data could be widely used in government, perhaps to quantify non-cash benefits of policies./The government could also provide more information to the public on how people can increase their own happiness, and it could give more support to volunteering schemes.”
As I sit here, pondering upon my Life, my Liberties, and my Happiness, a corner of my left bosom swells with the distilled idealism of the following words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
My nipple cooled by the breeze of the buzzing fan stiffens with an inner spasm of patriotism. I too belch, the aftertaste of my last meal in my mouth, the daunting vignette of Donald Rumsfeld whose firm dispensations and commanding verbs defend my sense of security; flash before me, I half-mindedly flip the page of the Cosmopolitan magazine by my side, my finger randomly glides into the thirty fourth page: a pouting woman with a seductive self-content smile, her left bosom and right, exposed like mine, her taut skinned, tanned, bleached happiness, makes me somehow…happy.
The voice of the narrator in the movie Amelie narrates, “Now Amelie wonders how many couples are achieving orgasm at this moment.” A montage of women who would be well advised to visit SpicyGear.com trail before the viewer’s eyes, engaged in the act of exacting and interjecting happiness, liberating themselves.
Amelie turns to the camera: “Fifteen.”
“Happiness: We rarely feel it.
I would buy it, beg it, steal it,
Pay in coins of dripping blood
For this one transcendent good.”~Amy Lowell
“Commercial networks of every shape and kind weave a web around the totality of human life, reducing every moment of lived experience to a commodified status.”~ Jeremy Rifkin, in ‘The Age of Access.’
“When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him; and you are torn by the thought of the unhappiness and night you cast, by the mere fact of living, in the hearts you encounter.”~ Albert Camus