1/2* out of *****
Dopamine. Seratonin. Oxytocin. Such potent, interesting neurochemicals are wasted in this overrated mess of a human emotion. Even Endorphins, which I loved in the excellent mental state Detachment, fails to bring Happiness together.
At both ends of the spectrum, from its ignorant contentment to its utterly delusional pure joy, Happiness is a complete disappointment (not to be confused with the far superior emotion Disappointment which I’m excited to see more from). Derivative, unfulfilling, and frankly artless, it hopes to win you over with unadulterated stupidity.
I don’t often feel so sure about an emotion as to say that I expect it to ruin the entire world, but this case may be an exception. The popularity of Happiness leaves me nauseated- what low-born uneducated Philistines could possibly find meaning in such a useless void? Almost half the country, apparently. You can be sure that many similar feelings are currently being produced in the hopes of capitalizing on “Happy-mania.” I shudder to think of the long-term ramifications on the economy, our national standing, and the overall average quality of art this will have down the line.
There is, thankfully, one good thing about Happiness: it is fleeting. Should you decide to experience Happiness despite this review and inevitably feel let down, just know that every second you waste being happy, you grow ever closer to its beautiful sequel: Severe Depression.
Self-actualization? The very idea of it makes me want to self-actually throw up.
*** out of *****
Fans of Terror and Dread undoubtably have high hopes for “Fear,” another emotion brought to you by clammy hands and goosebumps. As many including yours truly were expecting, Fear, while generally well-put-together, just fails to deliver quite as much- but it’s still a decently worthwhile ride.
Fear is at its best when it doesn’t try to improve on its predecessors. Some attempts to “up the stakes” just highlight how much of a drop-off in quality there has been. Adrenaline is always great whenever it shows up, but when it has something tangible to direct itself to (as is the case with Fear) it’s less disorienting and, unfortunately, far less impactful.
If you find yourself in the mood, go ahead and take Fear out for a spin. Though it must be said that if you have access to the heart-pounding Terror or the creeping, suspenseful Dread, maybe put the simpler feelings that accompany Fear aside for another day.
“Hidden gem” of the week:
***** out of *****
Longtime readers of this column will recall that I have often praised the emotional genius of Pride and Envy. It’s been tossed around for quite some time now, but at long last, two of my favourite feelings have finally decided to collaborate. This little-celebrated, highly imaginative, independantly-produced emotion is called Prenvy.
Prenvy seems almost contradictory at first, but it must be experienced to be fully believed. How can one feel both proud of oneself (Pride) AND desire that which others have simultaneously (Envy)? All I can say is that it makes perfect sense when you’re feeling it.
I’ll say this much: Picture someone who has something you want and feel you deserve. At the same time, you draw a sense of superiority from the fact that you do not have it. You know that your being deprived of this thing, whatever it may be, will make you stronger in the end, and by that same virtue, you paradoxically feel this thing is therefore owed to you. It’s such a delicious combination that at times feels very reminiscent to that all-time classic Hate.
I won’t say any more or I’ll spoil the experience for you. Do yourself and the emotion industry a favour and experience the wonderful indie feeling Prenvy yourself this weekend!