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moof's prattling


May 10th, 2002

Happiness in Minnesota @ 09:02 pm

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: NPR

This is excerpted from the 2001 March 3rd Prarie Home Companion.

One of the principles of this culture is we were not brought up to expect to be happy. We never expected it, so we're not quite comfortable with it if it should occur. Joy and prosperity make us a little bit uneasy. We would never announce them, ever announce them. In the midst of great success, the most that we could ever say is "It's not bad. It could be worse." We come from a "it could be worse" culture. And the other corollary of that rule, not expecting happiness, is the reluctance to express personal preference when offered.

...To say so is to say that happiness is rational, and that by going to a place you love, you would thereby become happy. But, to expect happiness as a result... you would place yourself under such a terrible expectation of happiness.

We come from a dark people, who, if we were offered a drug without side effects that would make us happy every day for the rest of our lives - most of us would turn this down, for fear that we would lose our moral compass.

He's not kidding. Ha ha, only serious.
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Date:May 28th, 2002 06:13 pm (UTC)

An alternative theory

A friend of mine who grew up in Minneapolis has a theory that Midwesterners are trained to expect the opposite of whatever situation we happen to be in at the time. So if it's sunny out, expect a thunderstorm; if you see a tornado, expect things to quiet down soon. If it's the summer, start buying clothing and gear for winter, while it's still cheap.


moof's prattling