I’m sure you’re all curious “Why Happy People Cheat.”
ChumpPrincess sent me a link from the Good Men Project with that title. The UBT groaned, “Haven’t I regurgitated this bullshit before?”
Probably. There are about a bazillion exact titles of Why Happy People Cheat on the interwebs, from the Atlantic Monthly to Psychology Today to Esther Perel videos (avert your eyes lest you turn into a pillar of salt).
Either editors aren’t original or cheaters are just really, really that happy.
Let me suggest some other titles.
Why Happy People Burn Churches
Why Happy People Trade Kiddie Porn
Why Happy People Swipe Amazon Packages
Why Happy People Drown Kittens
Why Happy People Embezzle Pension Funds
Why Happy People Don’t Use Turn Signals
Why Happy People Steal Elections
Why Happy People Hate Gluten
Why Happy People Get Handsy with The Interns
Why Happy People Poison Pensioners
Why Happy People Don’t Pick Up Their Dog Poop
Is this coming into focus?
If you do something unethical (cheat), your feelings about it (happy!) are completely irrelevant.
“Why Happy People Cheat” is a mindfuck.
Why is it a mindfuck?
1. ) It creates a false equivalency. That the harm done is equal to or less than the perpetrator’s feelings about it.
2.) It solidifies entitlement. That we should CARE about the unethical actor and his or her feelings about their unethical behavior.
Did I feel up an 18-year-old intern in the xerox room? Hey, her boobs made me really happy! And I haven’t touched young tits in a long time. God, the joy it brings me.
Traumatized intern who will trigger at Xerox machines for years to come? Whatevs. Bossman was HAPPY.
3.) It creates a corrosive narrative that hurting people is A-Okay if it brings joy. People are to be used, disposed of, the important thing here is my HAPPINESS.
4.) It confuses what the hurt is about. Well, you’re just hurt because I’m happy and you are not. NO. The Chump is unhappy because they were deceived, swindled, gaslighted, denied opportunities based on a false narrative. Those are tangibles that go beyond “hurt” feelings.
No, no Tracy. You are completely misreading this. They’re saying hey Chump, you didn’t make them cheat! I’m sure you were totally splendid (some room for improvement of course, work on the bitterness, but not a complete waste). It wasn’t unhappiness that drove them to randos, it was a quest for aliveness! Has nothing to do with you! Can’t you see they’re just nomads of desire in pursuit of Happiness?
5.) See items 1 through 4. The Pursuit of Happiness (or riches, or votes, or the packages left on your front step) does not trump ethics.
And if you think it does? I don’t want to live in your dystopian world.
Moreover, I think what Happy Cheater mindfuck purveyors are saying is they like the power. Should someone steal their money, vote, or Amazon package? They’d be pissed. But that never happens to winners. Who oddly can’t seem to win without unethical behavior. And have created an entire propaganda machine to justify their “winning” and obfuscate the concerns of those harmed.
Unhappy Consequences. That’s the clickbait I want.