Monday, February 07, 2005

WEALTH = HAPPINESS? MY LEFT-BRAIN DOESN'T THINK SO! The real truth, as grandiloquently expressed by the cranky Snave himself...

I recently heard of a new book in which the author discusses results of a study of happiness of the wealthy. I don't recall the name of either the book or the author at this time, so if anyone out there can help me, that would be great. Anyway, the basic finding was apparently that many rich folks are unhappy. In a radio interview, the author mentioned that in the frontal lobe of the brain, the left side experiences happiness, while many of the emotions of unhappiness are experienced in the right side.

It could be that none of that is true... but what if it is? If ANY of the above is true, what might be the ramifications in our nation's current political divide? Let’s take a tongue-in-cheek look:

First off, if wealth is driving the GOP and if many of those wealthy people are unhappy, this might explain the Republican leadership's seemingly constant desire to tear things down rather than build things up. For example, they might think “We are unhappy, and we are powerful. We envy those who are unencumbered by wealth. So, let's take away some of the things they value.” This could be things like social programs, a public school system, or even a sense of personal freedom: "Gee, I don't have that kind of personal freedom... let's take some of it away from them. Then I'll feel good." As many of these unhappy GOP leaders seem to be mainly interested in the plight of the rich upper class (fellow unhappy folk), sadness could therefore be an underlying cause of their lack of attention to the plight of all the rest of us. Then might we at least agree that such leaders are "sad cases"?

Is it possible that spending more money than one takes in is a sign of depression? Some people feel good, or at least feel better, when they spend money or acquire more "things". Maybe the excessive spending by the Bush administration is simply a way to make themselves cheer up and feel better. After all, they will be gone from office by the time the collection agency arrives to tell our government to pay up... so in knowing that, it must help the administration to have at least some sense of freedom from their actions. Too bad for the rest of us who will still be around to deal with foreclosure.

If happiness is experienced on the left side of the brain, then that is why the Democrats are referred to as “left”-wingers. We are generally a good-natured happy-go-lucky lot who love America, puppies, and most cute things with the exception of Thomas Kinkade's "art" (I will refrain from inserting a brutal vomit photo here). Thus, if unhappiness is associated with the right side of the frontal lobe, that is why Republicans are referred to as “right”-wingers, because they generally take a negative view of the world, and for the most part are unhappy people. In a more traditional left-brain vs. right-brain view, the left side of the brain is for logical organization, and the right side is what houses creativity and emotion. In my scenario, let’s just go with the “left” having the logic on its side, while the “right” is the one full of (often irrational) emotion. Using science for one's own agenda is so much fun!

One other thing about the brain: there is a thing in there called the corpus collosum which allows the two sides of the brain to communicate and work together. Does our country have a collective corpus collosum? I believe it may have had one at one time, but during the last 20 years it seems like that part of the country’s brain has slowly withered away, especially during the psat decade.

None of the following is to say the GOP has superior brainpower... not at all. Neither political party has lost the use of its collective corpus colosum during the last 10-20 years, but I have to say the GOP has used its collective brain to greater advantage during that time. As the Democrats got complacent during the 90's, their use of both creativity and organization declined (i.e. see their last two presidential campaigns.) The GOP, far more base and primitive by nature, became frighteningly savage during the 90's as a collective, radio-fueled paranoia prompted them to be relentless in their quest for trophy Democrat jugular. Being defeated twice by Bill Clinton was more than they could handle. Consider their poor behavior after the 1992 election when Newt Gingrich began to get powerful: "Get Clinton" was their war cry! (Thus began our modern era of "bipartisanship".) Naturally, their limited ability to keep their emotions in check went further downhill after Clinton beat the GOP a second time in '96, culminating in an impeachment attempt that was really little more than a symbolic, cathartic act on the part of those Republicans involved. And the right wing loves to talk about us Democrats being sore losers after the last two elections... ! Go figure. Remember, any of their talk about "sore loser Democrats" is just another smokescreen, designed to distract people from the memory of how they behaved when they were on the losing end... and of how they cleverly "won" the 2000 election. Very creative on their part!

The Republicans? Creative? Yes! The GOP has been using both the emotion and creativity of its right brain while developing its left-brain organizational skills to win the last two elections. "Creativity" and "Republican" are certainly not an oxymoron, and they never have been. I challenge any reader to find people more creative than those who have generated the following: the myriad reasons for our invasion of Iraq, the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth, the "outing" of Valerie Plame, the concoction of such stories as the Chicken Little-esque Social Security "crisis" and the McCarthy-led Communist scare of the Fifties, and the perpetration of the false notion that Christianity and Republicanism should go hand in hand (which includes something gradually becoming accepted as fact in GOP circles: Jesus himself is a Republican!) And Ronald Reagan wasn't dubbed "The Great Prevaricator" for nothing... he earned the title! The extent of his lying must surely be the reason he is so admired by so many in the Republican party. Such creativity!

As the Democrats rediscover their own right-brain skills, things will get better in the USA. They need to use more creativity, as their Republican counterparts have done. The Democrats simply need to bite the bullet and start telling more lies at campaign time. They need to walk unafraid, to grow some hair, to dip into their bag of dirty tricks! Some good name-calling would help. And they could stand to start some genuine scandals, because we know there is plenty of GOP fodder for such an approach (the media won't help the Dems here, so they will need to do it by other means!) This might help many well-meaning voters who went Republican this last time around to see through the thick, foul, oozing, saccharine, fetid, purulent, stinking, weeping, dripping, horrific negative-adjective-laden GOP hooey.

And maybe more than anything else, the Democrats need to get better organized, which probably does not include letting Howard Dean run the party.

I hope this has all cleared up a lot of things for you, dear readers.

I might not have been too nice to the Democrats here, but hey, we need to be collectively kicked in the butt (or maybe even the teeth) good and hard with a steel-tipped toecap so we will get busy doing what needs to be done to rid the White House of neoconservatives.

And hey, ya miffed Republicans.... get over yourselves! If that throbbing vein on your right temple is any indicator, the right side of your collective ditto-head frontal lobe is about to explode! Why do you hate America so? I knew it, you DO hate America, don't you! Oops, sorry... Really, I wasn't actually trying to make that vein pop. Just don't bring any friviolus lawsuits against me, okay? I can hear it now: "WAAAH! I need more money! [choke, sob] The nasty "liberal" made my poor little vein pop! WAAAAH! Daddy, make the nasty "liberal" go away! WAAAAAAH!!! 8-)>

Okay, okay... I already said this was “tongue-in-cheek”, so there... it has been "tongue-in-cheek" because I said so! And I’ll say this now, as the Wrong Reverend Rush Limbaugh might say: this was intended “for entertainment only”. I hope you have all been duly entertained, and I give you my sincere thanks for taking time to consider these truths of which I speak.

God bless America.


Blogger Sheryl said...

To borrow from "When Harry Met Sally," "I'll have whatever [he's] having."

Don't go too overboard with the mental masturbation. You might have to borrow from some of the right side of your brain, and then where would you be? ;)

Just teasing!!!

1:28 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

I hope you were just teasing... I take that sort of behavior (the "Big M") seriously... ! Heh!

2:10 PM  
Blogger Sheryl said...

Hey Snave,

Where is everyone else the last few days? Blogland has been creepily quiet since Friday / Saturday.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Gee, I dunno, Sheryl. I noticed it to, and I will admit that the above article amounts to nothing more than trolling. Shame on me! Heh!

6:15 AM  
Blogger RBP said...

Snave, obviously you have forgotten Ari Fliescher's warning to the American people in the days after 9/11:
"People need to watch what they say..."
You don't want to end up being "disappeared" down to Guantanamo Bay Cuba do you?
A little political re-education for you?
It's one thing to criticize the GOP, but both parties, are you mad?

6:23 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

Snave who? I never said anything nice about him. Besides, I donated time to Reagan back in 84. BUT I'M NOT A COMMIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

9:31 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Don't worry, RBP. I was just having a sudden burst of joy.

Phil, you were donating time to Reagan during approximately the same time I was marching against him! You didn't happen to be in Eugene, Oregon during the early 80's, did you? We might have been shouting at each other as I walked by! 8-)>

Thanks Phil and RBP for responding to my missive. I won't troll very often. I admit, it is not a nice thing to do. But you were nice enough to respond. Thanks again! I will try to be less entertaining from now on.

6:56 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

Ah, college... I was so idealistic then. (Has much changed? Probably not... ) I didn't just shout back at those who disagreed when I was marching in a protest, I also did a lot of shouting at communists during my time at U of O. They used to have a booth set up in the courtyard at the student union. I would get into it with them about how on earth they would want to tear down a system that gave them the right to stand out there and spout such garbage, and that in lots of other countries around the world they would be put in jail for saying things like "Down with this government".

Phil, a basic difference between me and Communists: they hate America, I don't! 8-)>

10:53 AM  
Blogger Phil said...


Unlike many from both sides of the political debate, I try not to doubt the intentions and patriotism of people. I think (hope) that the great majority of us want the best for the country. There is just disagreement about what that is, and how to get there.

Ok, I'm a fool...

7:06 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Phil, you are worried about the country just like a lot of the rest of us are, and you are also seeking ways to make things better. How we all get there is something that will take a lot of work, no doubt. You're anything but a fool. I try to fool you and lead you on, but you don't let me get very far!

7:15 PM  

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