Life Lite (La vita leggera)
"Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high, there's a land that I heard of, once in a lullaby.... Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly. Birds fly over the rainbow, why then, oh, why can't I? If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, why, oh, why can't I?" (Judy Garland, 1939)
"However, feeling happy is a relaively harmless way of ignoring or falsifying reality; sentimentality is very much worse. The people who weep most at the fate of the unfortunate hero of romance or film are precisely those who seldom feel any compassion in real life. Sentimentality fulfills essentially a surrogate funcion of this sort in the life of society. There is no generation so content to wallow in emotional stories and melodramatic situations as one that has been frustrated in the expression of its normal emotional life. Feelings banned from real life, and which in everyday reality wither or degenerate, find a refuge and fulfillment in the sentimental backstairs novel and the operetta. (Arnold Hauser, "the Philosophy of art history", p. 343)
"Hammurabi's children made heir house of slavery's bricks imprimatured by some mad priest's imagined good. The good is gone, the priest stamps on...." (George Delury)
How the hell did society get into the mess it's in? Why are healthy expressions of emotional life blocked? It does not really matter because all we have is the residuum of the priest obsessively stamping on. In primitive societies, savages have tribal rituals like people stomping their feet wearing rare bird feathers and that seems to make them happy enough to keep on with the rest of their dull lives. In 20th/21st Century middle-class suburban America people have barbecues and that seems to make them happy enough to keep on with the rest of their dull lives. Does it make them happy or do they just imagine it makes them happy? Is there any difference?
Maybe some persons are genuinely content to spend all day fishing even if they don't catch a fish, but that won't work if they've got to put in 40+ hours each week at a job that provides a paycheck and nothing else of value but does prevent them from fishing.
Today people live the Lite life (La vita leggera). They listen to lite music, including on classical music radio stations ("light classical music"). They drink lite beer becaue it has fewer calories, but not much less taste than the tasteless full calorie brand of which it is a spin off, so no big loss there. At Princeton University, a student no longer needs to learn latin or ancient greek to major in Classics: Classics-Lite? Are "one nite stands" sex-Lite? Life in the Lite lane is perfect, isn't it?