On good boys and the relevance of our definition of happiness…


Spotted this poignant jewel of wisdom on the wild frontiers of cyberspace earlier.







My first reaction was a simple ha-ha. Amused at the ironic blowback of the thought’s dizzying context.


“Who’s a good boy?” we blubber to our dogs as we playfully rub their heads. Sometimes this is followed up with a crunchy biscuity treat that rivals the attention we give. Regardless, our “who’s a good boy?” greeting is inevitably an auspicious ploy that guarantees our dog will receive much good-cheered focus from his owner in the near future.


Who’s a good boy??


But contemplate the miraculously genius, introspective canine that breaks the philosophy barrier and takes the question one step further.  The neurotic dog that is tormented by our rhetorically playful words.  Words that other dogs joyfully masticate ignorantly over.


But this fucking dog takes our question to heart.  He peers inward and wonders, as we do, nonsensically.  Who is the good boy?  How do we find out?  Is there something at the end of this query’s contemplative path, does the Answer lead us somewhere better, somewhere happy, somewhere rewarding?


To be asked who is a good boy as a concomitant philosophical hangnail to instant reward, do not the more thoughtful among us begin to wonder:  why do we want to know this?


This is the human predicament, after all.  We are rewarded in this modern life, while simultaneously receiving messages that “this is the life.”  This is happiness, this what is good.  Live the life we spell out for you as rewarding and shape your sense of contentment around that which we map out for you in our advertisements and institutional decrees.  And if we allow for this simple assertion to confirm itself on a very elemental level, we will be happy.


But if we sit on a mountaintop and wonder, what if this isn’t happiness;  what if this isn’t the life we need?


Are we disrupting comfortable complacency by questioning it?  Will we ever find the good life?