(I may update this if there are any other interesting developments. I love how freedom finds a way to be productive. And the elites will have you believe that (relatively) free speech on the internet is a bad thing. I can’t wait to observe them in Hell from Heaven).
Youtube commentor “samthepoor“: “This is a metaphor for the obsession with happiness and optimism that overtook the west in the 70s and 80s (and alive now more than ever). People today are convinced that if they’re not happy, they’ve failed, which is one of the most important conditions for the vicious cycle of depression that many are stuck in today.
Ren and Stimpy was right on the money. The methodical, mathematical dancing alludes to the way in which we’re all made to conform to that standard. The part about the shooting in the song is about the psychosis that can occur when someone is stuck in the contradiction of today’s ‘happiness standards’. The painful sight of seeing Ren smash himself with a hammer is an example of the self-destructive tendencies that result from the contradiction.
These motherfuckers were smart. There’s a lot of examples from old Disney cartoons containing deep cultural commentary.
‘Mankind does not strive for happiness; only the Englishman does that.’ – Nietzsche”
Youtube commentor “Shogun Melon“: “You might be overthinking a ‘kids cartoon.'”
Youtube commentor “ZizzTheCREATOR“: “While I don’t like Neitzsche, I basically agree with your analysis…however I’m pretty sure there is no deliberate message with this cartoon since John K admitted on his blog that he’s pretty much a crass entertainer who isn’t fond of social commentary or preaching this or that through his work. Case in point, his beloved George Liquor character, a no-nonsense Bible-thumping ‘conservative’-type, isn’t made out to be a straight mockery but has a certain sympathetic quality.”
Me: “I don’t think it’s so much about being happy or striving for happiness as it is what should make one happy that is the problem. It’s the idea that regardless of what the situation is that we should be happy that is the problem. Of course, it is perfectly healthy to experience sadness, anger, and the litany of other human emotions (I would argue that experiencing those emotions are simply attempts to take unfortunate circumstances and become happy (sadness as an admittance of pain, which one must accept before one can move on and truly be happy instead of delusionally believing that there isn’t a problem at all, which only makes the matter worse internally; believing suicide to be a ‘relief’ from the pain, and an attempt to be ‘happy for once’, etc. etc.)). But happiness as an end goal isn’t the problem: indeed, I think that’s what, ultimately, motivates all human action.
But the obsession with moralistic cliches like ‘Money can’t buy happiness’, for example, makes you wonder why you hate your own poverty, and then you suffer an existential crisis: ‘If I’m not supposed to care about money, then why do I hate being poor?’ (Or you’re told what should make you happy (such as having a family, devoting yourself to God, etc. etc.), and then, when those things actually don’t make you happy, you feel flawed. That’s the problem).
And, of course, you can adapt. You can go after something which you think will make you happy, and find out that it doesn’t. That’s very common. But, in my opinion, the belief that pursuing happiness is the problem is false. I think that’s what motivates all human action, past and present. Of course, that poses problems, such as those who seem to be devoid of emotion, like serial killers (perhaps they are so lost that they genuinely can’t experience happiness, but will try anything in a desperate attempt to achieve it, like murdering someone. I don’t know. Or, of course, perhaps a murderer is genuinely happy when he or she murders). But, in my opinion, the pursuit of happiness is simply ‘human nature’, even though ‘absolute happiness’ is impossible to achieve. I personally think that’s our ‘purpose‘, but that’s a much harder belief for me to attempt to ‘prove’.
The idea that we can achieve ‘absolute happiness’ (that’s, essentially, what the culture problem we’re talking about amounts to) if only we ‘adapt our expectations’, ‘our desires‘, etc. is the problem. ‘Moralism’ is the problem: strict adherence to ‘moral’ ideas that are contrary to one’s own nature and impossible to perfectly abide by (‘stop complaining and just be thankful’, ‘look on the bright side’ (stated as a divine edict), etc. etc.). It’s the attitude of taking advice that can be sound in certain circumstances, and expecting to abide by that advice, at all times, or else you are failing (pretty much the basis for the attitudes of, specifically, much Christian theology) that is the problem.
The idea that just because a ‘work of art’ is sold as a ‘kid’s cartoon’ somehow means that its creators didn’t have intrinsic motivations separate from the ‘selling point’ of the cartoon is ludicrous, Shogun.
You gotta love Youtube, where you can have a philosophical conversation about Ren and Stimpy.”