100 Happy Days

Examples of social decline, especially in the UK

100 Happy Days

Postby Charlie » 10 Aug 2014, 16:19

I don’t have a huge amount to say about this, but I thought that I would just share my thoughts. Indulge me…

There are many ways in which one could describe Facebook, but it is a good cultural barometer, I think (however much we recognise that “culture” now seems like a race to the bottom).

Just as Paul has noticed that many of his female friends/acquaintances often post with strident certainty about the Gaza Strip, feminism and fracking, whenever I’ve logged on of late I come across posts and photos with the #100happydays tagline.

I doubt that I’m the only one here to have seen this phenomenon.

For those of you who are not aware of it, the #100happydays website explains it thus:

every day submit a picture of what made you happy!

(As if people needed a further excuse to submit more pictures of themselves on the Internet!)

The first thing that strikes me about this is that the desire for “happiness” (every day, no less!) seems like just another manifestation of an exaggerated, self-indulgent obsession with one’s own feelings. Moreover, “sharing” one’s happy moments with everyone has somehow become a kind of cultural imperative: “I AM happy!”

There’s also a fair whiff of utopian idealism, too, but sadly it smacks of desperate, secular emptiness in a way:

[The] #100happyday challenge is for you - not for anyone else.

Well, of course - it is all about you, after all…

(If the twentieth century was the “century of the self”, what are we to make of the twenty-first?)

At first, I didn’t think much of all these mini quests for happiness on Facebook, but then I saw a TV programme on Youtube by the Belgian psychiatrist Dirk de Wachter: Pleidooi voor een beetje ongelukkig zijn (rough translation: Plea for a bit of unhappiness).

He made three statements in particular that caught my attention, and I have the impression that Theodore Dalrymple would come to similar conclusions:

Het blijkt zoals het levensdoel gelukkig zijn geworden is en dat is natuurlijk een bijzonder vergissing. (rough translation: It seems as if happiness has become the purpose of life and that is, of course, a big mistake.)

Het doel van het leven is niet gelukkig zijn. (rough translation: The purpose of life is not to be happy.)

Onze identiteit is het beeld. (rough translation: Our identity is the image.)

That last quote in particular seems to explain a lot of liberal thinking and the narcissism/vanity that prevails.

I’ll leave it there.
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Re: 100 Happy Days

Postby Paul » 10 Aug 2014, 23:49

A good analysis Charlie.

I haven't seen the 100 Happy Days phenomenon, or at least not yet. But what I am seeing is a huge amount of what I've learned are called 'selfies'. It's part of the same phenomenon.

I've gained a few more female 'friends' in the last few months who are young women - friends (real world) of my daughter. In addition a couple of them are the daughters of females I also know. In other words I know their Mums. One of the Mums is the strident anti-Royalist (and anti much else - though pro very much more, if you follow.)

What I have discerned is that the younger generation of females (twenties) seem not political at all. Not sociological either. Except - they will be brainwashed in the realms of racism, climate change, health Nazism and other Orwellian stuff. But they don't overtly bleat on about it, or at all. I say they are more captivated by 'selfies', and that is underpinned by notions of celebrity culture. It's egotistical and attention-seeking but I sense it's also fragile. Looks can change, and will eventually do so. There seems an urgency to continually update their 'status' and that seems to be yet another 'selfie' in yet another pretty or glamourous pose. And if a week goes by (an age now on Facebook) and there's been no update - well then, it may well be that the young lady has fallen by the wayside and let herself slide.

So I can also discern the great sense of competition among them. This may well be natural and healthy and I'm not tuned in enough to see any hostility

At the same time, it's just young people posting about having a good time of their own. It's to be expected. I gather that most of them are working. If the technology had been available when we were that age, no doubt various images would have found their way onto the ether and who knows how addictive that can become. Personally I would have clogged the site up with cricketing photos ad nauseum.

Compare though with (some of) their Mothers and others of that (my) generation. I wonder if they are embarrassed by them? Some things my daughter says leads me to believe so in some cases.

The case with many of the Mothers, and I know and see lots of them, is vast in its scope for psychological analysis. At the same time it's doubtless rather cruel in parts and certainly cutting. Home alone with cats is one theme. Displaced in the glamour stakes is a big one too. Vociferous, Strident. Locally dangerous. In addition many of them have been long-time malcontents and lefties. They were political in a way their daughters are not. Their age has hardened their approach, not softened it and many of them have much bitterness. It's another topic entirely. Late boomer/Gen X females beginning to meltdown.

My brother doesn't 'do' Facebook (though his other half does, about which he keeps conveniently quiet). The other day he said - "Our D (his son) has been blathering away on Junglebook......." - in a really scathing manner. I found it quite hilarious.
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Re: 100 Happy Days

Postby Andreas » 11 Aug 2014, 17:34


Thanks for drawing our attention to this latest outgrowth of our digital "culture."

Sharing some moment of personal happiness with friends, family, intimates -- that makes perfect sense; but posting on the Internet so that everyone in the world can see it? This is the brave new world we're facing, the loss of a personal, private sphere that is entirely one's own, protected from interference by strangers, the public, or the state. The young people who spend so many hours trying to be "liked" on Facebook seem unaware of this loss.

There was a good documentary about this phenomenon here in the U.S. recently (it may not yet be available for viewing online):


I felt truly sorry for the young people profiled in this film. Hours of their lives are being swallowed up, used by clever marketers. They could be doing so many better things with their time, swimming, riding a bicycle, playing music, etc.

Dr. Dalrymple also just published a good essay on this:


Dalrymple is one of the few people who can use the word "jejune" today in a convincing manner.

It all seems very empty and sad, something like the end of the 1960s film "Darling," where Julie Christie plays an amoral fashion model, "The Happiness Girl," whose picture is plastered all over London, but of course by the end of the film she is very unhappy.
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Re: 100 Happy Days

Postby Charlie » 08 Mar 2015, 11:02

Although I could put this quote in a number of threads, I just thought I would share the following, which comes from Bruce Charlton's "Thought Prison: The Fundamental Nature of Political Correctness" - I hope the author doesn't mind:

The definition of happiness under PC

For political correctness, happiness is not an empirical consequence of PC policies. Rather, happiness is the moral duty of individuals living under PC; happiness is the state of virtuous humans when PC allocative policies are operating.

Ultimately, for political correctness happiness is abstract, not perceptual. Indeed, given that PC is totalitarian and coercive, this is necessarily the case: people are happy under a system of political correctness precisely because the system tells them they are happy, and expressions of misery are not tolerated.

To believe that one is happy, yet not actually to feel happy – that is to be abstractly happy!

In addition, as a response to Paul and Andreas's (excellent) posts, Bruce Charlton's book "Addicted To Distraction" and Nicholas Carr's "The Shallows" deal with some of the same themes, and I recommend both books to you.
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