22 September 2009

Unhappy Women

I have come into a windfall of an unexpected $60.00 deposited into my account by a friend back in the United States. This has immediately put me into a quandary as to how to spend it. This is exciting! I have one idea already. I intend to set aside my vegetarianism very temporarily this coming weekend. I am going to go to the roasted chicken shop down the street that I have been eyeing and buy a whole chicken right off the rotisserie thing there.

I shall then carry it home in a bag and change into an old tee shirt. I shall not prepare anything to go with it until afterward in order to make absolutely sure that I can hold it all. Then I am going to dismember that chicken and devour it. I shall not use a napkin or the like until it is all done. The chicken fat and grease are going to drip off my chin perfectly freely.

And the 50 pesos that this is going to cost will not even put a dent in that 60 U.S.

Maybe I will purchase two.

Depending on the size of the chickens.

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Regarding the previous entry on Casablanca there appears therein this:

Unlike everyone else in the world, it seems, I do not consider myself a qualified commentator on movies. [Emphasis added.]

Now, I cannot explain why I threw in that introductory clause, which upon reflection appears to be a gratuitous slap at a lot of people who enjoy attending and discussing movies. I think it had more to do with my resentment and jealousy of movie critics who write for newspapers and magazines.

What are the qualifications for that job? How does one go about getting a job like that? I guess one simply has to demonstrate some capacity for writing about movies in an entertaining way. Of course that is the only qualification for most opinion writing jobs, isn't it?

I am putting an end to this resentment right now. The truth is that I would rather give up the third toe on my left foot than have to attend and watch all those crappy movies in order to be a movie critic. If it came right down to it, I might even consider sacrificing another toe, also.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Maureen Dowd's column of September 19 in the The New York Times was fascinating and entertaining—in some ways unintentionally. Apparently, no less than six different studies have confirmed that women generally are unhappy and certainly generally less happy than men. To which I could only respond, “Really? No kidding?”

The column fleshes this out, however, with some other interesting items. This phenomenon is apparently worldwide. At least that is what it says here. And this is The New York Times for chrissakes. They have fact checkers and stuff. Moreover, this was not always the case. The onset of this feminine unhappiness apparently occurred in the seventies.

The responses posted by readers are a hoot, but there are more than 400 of them. Obviously, this is a subject much on folks' minds. We certainly all know something of women's burdens in balancing child rearing with a career. Gosh, what old news. It is there. It is a fact. Apparently, men are sharing more of the burden of child rearing. That is good news. But do you know what the really good news is? I am no longer a part of all this misery in any way, shape, or form.

I have always been warmly grateful to the variously hypothesized creators for making me male. I love being male. That has been a great deal for me from the get-go, and I knew it from the get-go. Now, however, I could dance in the street after reading these responses to the column, particularly the men's responses. I am free of it all.

Then there comes the bit about children. People with children are generally less happy than people without. Did you know that? I did not know that. That is shocking. I knew that people with children live longer. Apparently, though, they are just adding on more miserable years.

That brings me to Schopenhauer. In a nutshell Schopenhauer tells us that the primary impetus of life, what he refers to as the Will, is reproduction. Everything else is subordinated to that. All the other instincts such as a craving for shelter and food simply serve the Will to reproduce. The instinct of self-preservation itself serves the Will to reproduce and the ultimate perpetuation of the species. As a result of this Will, we are instinctively all servants of the species and not ourselves, which may give us a clue about the cause of all this unhappiness. But nothing radically new so far.

And then Schopenhauer takes another step. He sets about to build an irrefutable case that all suffering in this world is attributable to this Will. The world is evil as a result. This is all from the masterpiece, The World as Will and Idea.

By the way I simply trying to convey Schopenhauer's opinions, which have nothing to do with my own, but I loved this from his essay, “Wisdom of Life:”

Man is at once impetuous striving of will (whose focus lies in the reproductive system), and eternal, free, serene subject of pure knowledge (of which the focus is the brain).

To which I could only respond, “Really? No kidding?” I knew this already. Sometimes we think with our head, and sometimes we think with our crotch. (This is not how I usually phrase it, but you get the idea.) But back to the effort to reach the point of all this.

Schopenhauer believes that the attainment of true wisdom can only be achieved by subordinating the Will to the Intellect. Straightforward enough. But Arthur takes this all to a brand new level. In a better world, according to him, we would totally subordinate the Will to the Intellect, stop screwing and having children, and bring the species to a merciful end along with all the slings and arrows and the heartaches and natural shocks Homo sapiens are heir to.

So there is Schopenhauer in a nutshell. Perhaps one of the grossest simplifications ever to appear on any blog anywhere. But that is one way to fix the problem of this unhappiness, isn't it? Stop screwing and having children, and bring the whole sad species to a merciful end. I mean, it certainly seems to be a solution on its face.

Upon reflection though, I find that I agree with the woman quoted at the end of Maureen Dowd's column. Happiness is not really the point.

But even so, sweet Jesus, am I ever happy right now!


mister anchovy said...

Enjoy that chicken!
When I lived in a Portuguese part of Toronto, once each week I would go into a certain grill joint to get a Portuguese style grilled chicken with piri piri sauce. At first I had trouble getting served. People would come in behind me and shout out their order in Portuguese and get served while I politely waited in line. Eventually, I was accepted as, if not honourary Portuguese, then at least part of the fabric of the neighbourhood. That meant I got to buy chicken. They also made rockin good little roast potatoes. I loved that chicken. So did my cat Jerry, the Champ. He would get all excited when he smelled it and pace back and forth. He was even fine with the hot sauce. Not sharing meant I would get the cat look of death. Har!

Señor Steve said...

This is going to be a chicken feast, mr. anchovy. And there are some kitties around here who are going to be happy, too.

John said...

Schopenhauer makes my hair hurt.

Mentzer said...

Might as well make it 4 whole fried chickens and a coke and then maybe some dry toast for dessert.

Señor Steve said...

I have quit Schopenhauer now, John. In my own case my hair started to fall out.

Okay, Mentzer. Here is the revised plan. I will purchase two whole chickens out of the shute. If that is not enough, I can always waddle back down to the chicken place and purchase two more. The coke is a great idea. I cannot remember the last time I had one. And some dry toast for starch.

Candy Minx said...

I'm late to reading this post...but gee I'm glad there was a survey to let us know women are generally more unhappy than men. "No kidding" God...some women are the most bitter folks one could ever meet. How they hold a grudge and play mindgames. Yikes!

I'm very blessed to have amazing women in my life both in family and friends. Wimps and crankys need not apply, har!