Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Bluebird of Forced Cheerfulness

“The manufacture of happiness actually leads to emotional burnout. There’s an ironic correlation between forced cheerfulness and depression. And when cheerfulness is considered the rule, even ordinary sadness or frustration—feelings that would be considered normal in many other cultures and at many other ties in history—can easily be interpreted as illness.”—Ariel Gore from Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness.

I think that’s why Steven Slater, the Jet Blue flight attendant who called everyone motherfuckers and then slid down the emergency slide to freedom, became such a hero. It wasn’t just the release from a crappy job that we all admired; I think it was the release from having to be NICE all the time. Sometimes people are motherfuckers.

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