Welcome back guys!
‘Tis a new year.
‘Happy New Year!’ we shriek at each other, even though we feel more miserable than at any other time and long to yelp “Fuck January!” at each other instead.
Of course, we wish each other a happy new year because we hope the coming 365 days will be happy ones for us all.
But what is ‘happy’?
The dictionary definition is: ‘feeling or showing pleasure or contentment,’ which sounds a bit fleeting. For me to maintain a constant level of this happy I would need to have permanent access to pleasure and contentment which is definitely not an acceptable way to behave around children…at least not since the seventies…
Instead, we attempt to achieve lasting happiness by doing things which make us profoundly miserable. We aim to be considerably less of a pathetic failure than we were in the previous 365 days of our lives so that we can become the ‘best version of ourselves’ (a self-help phrase that seems to explicitly compare us to apple technology products).
Well, let us struggle no more people. I bring you great news. Finally, after centuries of philosophical debate, someone has discovered the secret to lasting happiness!
That’s right. Move over Mother Teresa. Get lost Gandhi. Bugger off Buddha….
I give you: FEARNE COTTON.
She’s written a book called ‘Happy: Finding joy in everyday and letting go of perfect,’ which is not in the least bit annoying or patronising.
I simply cannot think of a better person to show me how I’ve been going wrong all my life than an overpaid arsehole celebrity who has been an overpaid arsehole celebrity since she was fifteen years old, an age when most of us are scrabbling around for scraps of self-esteem and ambition.
Fearne really cares about your happiness, guys. That’s why she’s charging you £16.99 to look at her ‘charming hand-drawn illustrations’ so that you can ‘release what’s going on inside your head and keep heading towards the good stuff. The simple stuff. The stuff that’s really going to hit up that happiness on a deep and nourishing level.’ (I think we can assume she’s not advocating a ‘hit’ of illegally nourishing happy-pills here).
She is definitely NOT charging you £16.99 so that she can make loads of cash out of your feelings of inferiority and self-loathing created by a culture that promotes unrealistic physical ideals and the worship of wealthy celebrities.
Course she’s not! She just wants to bring you ‘relief, joy and calm’….
Of course you know, and Fearne knows, that your quest for happiness will quickly become yet another thing to fail at.
You just won’t ever be as good at being happy as she is.
After a few days of miserably trying to be mindful and grateful despite your kid with special needs having their respite care removed or your friend falling into a chemo-coma or your disintegrating marriage or your massive pile of debt, you will conclude that you do not, in fact, possess any of this inner-happiness which Fearne has in bucket-loads along with great hair and an army of nannies, and that this whole process of trying to be as happy as her has instead made you more miserable than Hillary Clinton and so you might as well have spent that £16.99 on a decent bottle of wine and a packet of biscuits instead which may not bring you lasting happiness but would certainly allow you a brief hiatus of pleasure and contentment in what is, you now realise thanks to Fearne, your inescapably inferior and lack-lustre existence…
YAK off Cotton, I say.
We are not ipads. We don’t need upgrading. We know we can’t find happiness by downloading a mindfulness app or buying an expensive celebrity self-help guide. We know that you don’t really care about our happiness, but that you have a product to sell and that product is: Fearne Cotton.
I think I’ll stick with Gandhi. He said, ‘I don’t think you are permanently happy. One is happy about certain things and not so happy about others.’
I am not happy about this constant pressure for me to be happy.
As my grandfather once said: what makes you think the good Lord put us on this earth to enjoy ourselves?
He was a vicar and a mostly jolly fella, as it turns out…
Gosh, I feel happier already!
See you tomorrow…