Fitter Happier Summary

Decent Essays

“Fitter, Happier, More Productive” are the first words that spoken through a computerized voice on Radiohead’s most acclaimed album OK Computer on the track “Fitter Happier”. Most people live with a view that happiness is an important part of their life and worth striving for, but societal views often cloud this perspective, forcing people to live their life in ways that may not produce happiness. The words in “Fitter Happier” describe this clouded view and explain that we as humans can sometimes be just seen as a machine to produce productivity. The American Dream and attaining wealth to produce happiness has been an extremely significant mythos in American History ever since the inception and freedom of America. America was known for freedom, …show more content…

Whether in advertisements, social norms, or the corporate work environment, materialism is quickly pointed out as a direct path to happiness. This directly stemmed from the Great Depression during the 1930s in which people didn’t have much money or material items, and having the ability to purchase these items gave people a sense of power. But, even nowadays, people often make impulse buys on products because there is momentary happiness after purchasing an item, even though this happiness usually doesn’t last a long time. This is often reflected in the fact that the wealthy are often less happy people even though they have more money than most everyone else. Radiohead’s “OK Computer” vocalist Thom Yorke muses over the typical dream of having a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence and a beautiful garden in the track “No Surprises” when he wails “Such a pretty house, and such a pretty garden, with no alarms and no surprises”. Here, Yorke is mocking the preconceived notion that having this typical lavish lifestyle will produce happiness, even though that is definitely not the case, as wealthy people often don’t live as happy lives as they are perceived to. This explains how Suicide rates of celebrities are significantly higher than the national average, even though celebrities have money, thousands of fans that love them, material goods, and …show more content…

This demonstrates that for most Americans, societal pressures have become more important to them than their own happiness. This directly relates to David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech as while he demonstrated how while he had a prosperous job, the monotony and emptiness he felt in his life pushed him over the edge. Pressure to only see jobs such as doctors, businessman, and engineer’s as successful hampers the happiness for numerous people because people often choose their industry based on what their peers or family members would consider to be a path to success. People often care more about the way they look to others than the way that they feel about themselves, and choosing an industry to attain more wealth is just an example of that. I struggle with this problem too, as my parents both want me to be an Accountant, but I find that I struggle with Accounting and it isn’t and industry I enjoy. I would much rather explore other industries, and see what I enjoy before setting myself on a ridged path, but because of family expectations and societal standards, I am still an accounting major even though I would not be happy with a job in Accounting. This is a bit hypocritical because in this way I am conforming to normative values, but this shows the struggle that many people have today between balancing

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