A.C.H. I’ve never known…(the battle of A and B)

There is a plateau, a something which can be called an “average concept of happiness” (A.C.H.) in this society. The A.C.H. is an embarrassingly simple idea. Why bother detailing what it is. It is self-explanatory.

As with most population statistical dispersals, the A.C.H. extends along a data curve that is shaped like a bell, and the most common (average) concepts of happiness, as they are observed throughout the human population, if plotted on the curve, would visually congregate at the center of the bell, thus raising the incidence of such concepts to the highest peak of the land since they are shared by so many subjects. As concepts of happiness dwindle in numerical representation, they travel further away from the pinnacle of the bell in a sinking sweep in coincidence with their shrinking representation across the population, and at the far reaches of the curve exist the badlands, the remote waystations, the socially alienated outcasts whose sense of “happiness,” rather than bringing happiness, only brings further estrangement from A.C.H. culture. For not only are you separated from others by the peculiar individuality of your unique concept of happiness, you are also distanced by those A.C.H. that you despise. It’s as if your existence is the antithesis to the bell’s crescendo.

In other words, not only are you excommunicated from the A.C.H. circles by your unusual conceptual happiness triggers, you are also excluded by the active dislike you share of those A.C.H.’s. If A was an A.C.H. and you hated it, you would find that you are further disowned by society as opposed to what you would experience if you merely neutral to A.

I could never understand the predominant series of A.C.H’s. It was always a puzzlement to me. I could never get the hang of it. Even when I was young, my friends liked A. A was “happiness” for everyone but I couldn’t help but really like B, at A’s expense. I always thought A was pointless and boring; B was where the fun was. B was interesting and edgy.

The same dynamic continues to this day. A dominates and defines the modern happiness paradigm but I’m stuck with a strange devotion to B that I will not surrender. No one gives a crap about B. B gets shortchanged. It doesn’t have any admirers or hordes of followers and it suffers by inattention. B is fringe and hard to find and all the followers of A mock those who follow B and act as if they are superior to B-aficionados. Simply because of A’s popularity, which all B followers realize means absolutely nothing. Popularity, in fact, is something to be defeated and refuted. “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public,” we proclaim. It’s a no-win dead-end situation for those who prefer B. If alterations to one’s tastes could help them learn to love A, perhaps there would be hope. But if we are honest with ourselves, we can never like A because it is blatantly stupid. We cannot lower ourselves to that level.

B forever!

  • Um, too deep for 3:a.m. EDT; I should re-read tomorrow sometime, see if I get it.

    • David

      3 a.m.? Wow, I can’t remember the last time I was awake at 0300 LOL!

      • How about 4am? I was today. To take the puppy out for his wiz. Theres an old term! LOL!

      • I keep odd hours.

  • Amy

    One of the things that makes me happy is an “aha!” moment, whether mine or someone else’s. Getting a clearer view of things, or finding new patterns or significance in things. Maybe that’s one reason I enjoy statistics. I look for patterns. What does it mean?

    One of those aha moments–a silly little thing really but immensely satisfying all the same, was when I took a class on the poet John Milton in college (I was an English major). The professor was some kind of Milton expert, and one day in class I pointed out a parallel between two of the poems that he had never seen before, and his face lit up like it was Christmas morning. Nerdvana!

    • Recognition of patterns no one can see is a sign of high intelligence.

      “Nerdvana” I love it!

      • Amy

        Credit for “nerdvana” goes to Scott Adams of “Dilbert” fame.

        • Gay State Girl

          I always remembered birthdays. Z list celebrities, kin of distant relatives, classmates from after school activities during my elementary school years, the secretaries from my mom’s office etc. I also love public transportation routes.

          • I love obscure, esoteric activities! It’s hard to believe there are people who truly have no hobbies.


          • Amy

            My earlier post re: Christmas reminded me–I like memorizing song lyrics in general. Sometimes in other languages I don’t actually speak; I get a particular sort of nerdy satisfaction from the foreign songs. Really weird range of stuff. Romanian pop music, Italian opera, French ballads, etc. Funny old folk songs, crooner tunes from the 30s. It would be nice if I sang well, there are truly great singers in the family, opera singers even, but I missed out on that genetic gift.

            This started when I was really young–good grief, I was a toddler nerd. There’s a cassette tape of me at two-and-a-half singing Mother Goose songs, the extended versions with all the verses that no one sings.

          • I have known way too many people like that. They live to work. Me, I live for the weekend and ANY time off. In fact, often times work just seems to get in the way of the hobbies.

  • Amy

    Not all B people are nerds, but all A people are predictable. Like expecting most large shopping malls to have a Gap, a Bath & Body Works, etc.

    I dig statistics too. Lots of nerdvana to be had from almanacs, etc. Maybe not the sports statistics, for me (though I would never sneer at anyone who has fun with them). Lots of time spent poring over almanacs as a kid.

    Finding joy in newspapers from all over reminds me of when I went to the USSR (in 1986), and my then-boyfriend (yeah OK, my life history from age 15 to marriage can be divided according to whom I was dating at the time) asked me to bring home a barf bag from Aeroflot, and was delighted that I remembered. There’s a little slice of B happiness!

    • You flew Aeroflot? And are still alive to talk about it! Yes, there really is a God. I actually have a couple of old Pravdas deep somewhere in the garage. Somehow they have managed every move I have made.

  • And, I do not know why I never won for my display in high school for the Hobby Show. Damn that Mrs. Menor librarian!

  • Oh, if B represents the “nerds”, count me in!
    Happiness is a newspaper from somewhere other than here.
    Happiness is a baseball or hockey schedule.
    REAL happiness is a sports or concert program.
    And, super nerd alert. I really am happy pouring over stat books. Sports media guides, almanacs and the like.
    So if that is B, count me in.

  • Amy

    I tried Googling “Average Concept of Happiness” and it brought me here, so kudos for coming up with it–I like it. But you know labeling things makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

    At first I didn’t put it in quotes, and this came up:
    “5 Scientific Reasons Your Idea of Happiness is Wrong”

    Some excellent points, but you might take issue with their take on building social bonds. That would be one of your “B” type preferences.

    Your post explains some of the social dynamics of nerdiness in a nutshell. Nerds are all about the B!

    • Hahaha, you know, that’s actually strangely gratifying. I feel like I “invented” something!

    • Amy, try this on Google:
      Race-Huckster Industial Complex.
      See what comes up.

      • Amy

        Ha, cool! I left a comment–I’ve commented a couple of times before but my “face” doesn’t show up over there.

        • Gay State Girl

          Do you really look like that?

          • Amy

            Yes, only slightly older and slightly less cute.

          • Gay State Girl

            Red hair and glasses.

          • Amy

            Those glasses look just like mine. My hair is more of a chestnut brown, or brown with red highlights, something like that.

          • Gay State Girl

            Mine too.

        • Ahh, I think because it is Blogger. At least the real face (me!) is on my blog. Don’t hide behind the title. Not that I am casting aspersions of the owner of this blog ;-)!

          • Amy

            I have a Blogger avatar too (a close-up of my left eye).