Saturday, September 12, 2009

Happy feet

Football's back, the gaudy/violent spectacle of which makes some people very happy. Good for them. Personally, I pay no attention to football 'til baseball's done. I'll get back to y0u on the subject in November, after the Cards have taken the Yanks in six. (It'll be interesting if it happens; Older Daughter won't know who to root for.)

But I did appreciate this little appreciation of the game and all it represents from Amy Davidson, who reports that the Steelers' Hines Ward is the happiest man in football. Good, somebody needs to be. I actually am a Hines Ward fan, ever since I learned that he (like me) was a Randy Pausch fan.

Davidson gushes about Thursday night's Titans-Steelers opener:

At some point in the pregame show, between the Black-Eyed Peas shouting “Mazel Tov!” and Tim McGraw singing about Rosa Parks, Dolly Parton, and the Crimson Tide (it made sense), the spectacle, as well as the game, began to feel enormously appealing. There’s nothing wrong with letting a certain sort of All-Americanness wash over you."

I guess not. I'm sticking to one national pastime at at a time though, thanks.

But speaking of feet, the New Yorker also takes a bemused look at the Zappos happiness ("zappiness") franchise. The online shoe retailer's C.E.O, Tony Hsieh, turns out to be a fan of our next author in the Happiness class:

Soft-spoken and introverted, Hsieh has become an unlikely business guru: a young philosopher prince of the middle-management set, to whom he is fond of distributing an annual “Culture Book” of warbling testimonials collected from Zappos employees, as if it were the Gideon Bible, and recommending titles on the science of happiness, like “The Happiness Hypothesis,” by Jonathan Haidt, and “Happier,” by Tal Ben-Shahar. He is also writing a book of his own for Grand Central Publishing, tentatively titled “Delivering Happiness”—“a combination of talking about Zappos, the culture, core values, and the science of happinessss,” he said, stretching out the word. For Hsieh, happiness is a quantifiable quality that seems synonymous with “calm.”

“Generally, I associate drama with negative emotions, and I want to experience positive emotions,” he said.

Me too, me too!

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