Consumer culture proclaims that happiness is having things and doing things. The advertising industry has from the dawn of its existence parked its considerable haunches on this belief. But having things and doing things is the opposite of happiness. True happiness has no reason.
Don’t want anything. Don’t regret anything.
The pursuit of pleasure, whether it’s a needle in the arm or a trip to St. Barts, always takes place against a background of pain. True happiness can only be found inside the self.
The writer Helen Keller was blind and deaf but her sense of smell was highly developed. Here she describes the scent of men: “Masculine exhalations are, as a rule, stronger, more vivid, more widely differentiated than those of women. In the odour of young men there is something elemental, as of fire, storm and salt sea. It pulsates with buoyancy and desire. It suggests all the things strong and beautiful and joyous and gives me a sense of physical happiness.”
Consumerism is more like a religion than religions are. Its temples, real and virtual, draw millions of adherents on every day and night of the week. All the festivals are celebrated. Nobody is turned away. And via the act of acquisition, we’re happy again.