POSTRmagazine i — January/April 2016, #17


POSTRmagazine is a free quarterly magazine printed on an A1 size poster and folded to a 198 x 280mm format. POSTRmagazine is distributed in Belgium, Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin and can be found at selected concept stores, shops, art centers, galleries, concert halls and certain restaurants and hotels.

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“The Happiness Issue”

FREE — Released 15 January 2016

Are you happy now? Well, are you? After this eye-wateringly brutal year of 2015, can you sincerely say that you feel happy? If you do, then we envy your apparent blissful state of psychotic delusion in the midst of rampant xenophobia, all-round radicalizing (of either religious or otherwise insane nature) and the now routine back-and-forth rhetoric of drone strikes and suicide attacks, mass shootings and fear-mongering. Raise your hand if you feel happy, just so we know who you are, you compulsively ignorant egomaniacal lunatic. Frankly, your proclaimed happiness makes us question not just your sanity but your innate sense of moral integrity.

If you want to keep your alleged happiness intact, you’ll probably want to stop reading this magazine right here. This isn’t for you. You should go Google that video of the big dog adopting the kitten. Get a Playstation and escape into the online realm and mingle with the other mentally 12-year-olds. Or if that its below you, grow into a functional member of society, submerge yourself head-first into whatever career path you happened to land on and ignore everything else that doesn’t directly touch on the fringes of your precious, insulated bubble of life. Whatever particular brand of escapism keeps you smiling. The secret to chord-dancing over the existential abyss is simple: you never look down.

The emergence of happiness is evidence of the brutality of nature. The fact that evolution had to come up with an internally produced biochemical cocktail (one part dopamine, two parts serotonin, one part pixie dust) to keep you feeling good somehow implies that the reality which catalyzed that particular evolutionary trait might not have been such a happy and laid-back place to begin with. After all, who needs anti-depressants when everything is going hunky-dory? The pursuit of happiness is the engine behind human achievements and an important internalized mechanism in the survival of the species; yet at the same time it is nature’s admission of its own visceral patterns. The sort of happiness that humans gain from concept like justice and love does not just reward the individual, it facilitates life for the entire group and such, it is an important catalyst for any kind of positive progress we're trying to make. But keep in mind that your individual happiness is not indispensable to the species at large – the one that ruthlessly dominates this planet.

Now, we are not known for debating along regular lines and we won’t start here. We are not here to debate the pro’s and con’s of the idea of happiness, nor of its pursuit. We are here to find out the very nature of the concept itself: what is its importance on an evolutionary scale? And - barring the sapiocentric arrogance that considers humanity in its current form to be evolution’s end-product, tuned to Darwinian perfection - how does that affect human behavior to this very day? Obviously we won't be trying to find out exactly what makes you happy, since you are a human individual and as such might be some kind of lunatic; an anomalous aberration of nature, a statistical freak born in the evolutionary margin for error. After all, we are professionals in search of the truth, not sensation-hungry shock journalists who will point their mind's eye at whatever is repellent in human nature and document it for the entertainment of those who are equally cognitively stunted. We are here to uncover the recurring pattern that is evident in all the walking, talking, loving and lying permutations of the human condition, the underlying formula to the myriad of human dysfunction. Individuality arguably has a lot of merits when it comes to development of self but when trying to understand others, it is probably wiser to focus on what brings us together instead of what sets up apart. That is, assuming you are still even trying to understand anyone or anything except yourself, you self-centered maniac.

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