Sunday, July 29, 2007

Dan Fagan is Now Selling Happiness

Today's Fagan column ends with:

Happiness is like the flu. It spreads. It has a domino effect. And that's a good thing.

Next, he's going to change his radio show theme song to John Lennon's "Love, Love, Love"

But for all his ranting against materialism -
I say the following with an unblemished record of being a staunch lifelong capitalist. I fear we are in the grip of materialism
- he hasn't come completely over to the dark side. He doesn't mention capitalism or even corporations as a cause for our materialism. He doesn't 'bellyache' about CEO's getting paid $50 million when their companies lose money, or corporate America's search to cover the last empty space with advertising to create all these wants in people who have to max their credit cards at 20% and higher interest rates to pay for it. He doesn't say corporations are the problem. Instead, Fagan says
government is not helping with the wants verses [sic] needs problems.
It's all the money government gives to welfare recipients to meet their wants, not their needs. Things like cell phones and Big Bird. Again, there's no mention of how much cellphones and Big Bird cost, compared to, say, for starters, what Haliburton has gotten from the government in shoddy, or uncompleted, contract work in Iraq.

But let's give Dan some credit here. He even recognizes some subtleties - that some people are unhappy because of chemical imbalances or real tragedies. Dan's taken some big steps in his articles. And in today's he tells us that spreading happiness is much more important than 'bellyaching.'

Dan, are you going to follow your advice and spread happiness on the air, or are you going to keep bellyaching?

[Dan, a note on your metaphors and similes. You're trying to create a postive image here. Yes, the flu spreads quickly, but it isn't something that people want. And what exactly is 'a domino effect"? One thing knocking down another and then another and then another? Again, not exactly a positive image. I know, I'm having trouble too coming up with images of things spreading quickly that are happy. A beautiful song? What about peanut butter on bread? These don't quite catch the spreading image of the flu, but they are a lot more positive. So a good writer here, if she couldn't come up with a positive metaphor, would try to find a totally different way of making the point instead of using problematic metaphors.]

I'd link this to his Comment piece, but I'm having trouble getting to it tonight. If I can, I'll add the link in later. [Fixed - link at top]

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