Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Happiness and the Stooges

Mix and match

Adam Smith (it all begins with Adam Smith - not really but its an easy sell) said in the Theory of Moral Sentiments that people seek approbation, the recoginition of the their peers. In a recent Economist (the annual year-end double-issue, this link is not to it but the subject has been around at least a couple of years) on the "economics of happiness", Tyler Cowan (good to see him make the Economist lead !) is quoted as saying that there are more than 3,000 halls of fame in the USA.

See, our happiness, for some (most) and for one reason or another, depends not on ourselves but in how we compare ourselves with others. (Thus the faulty inequality argument about how the rich get richer faster than the poor get richer and the notion of "relative poverty" and thus this is perceived as injust by some). But at least mainstream "happiness economics" does say that after a certain amount of income money does not buy happiness.

So to come to the point: Give the Stooges their due. If you have not heard the Stooges first album you should be happy, because that means you can enjoy this masterpiece for the first time.

The Stooges (Iggy Pop, the brothers Ashton and James W.) were passed-over this year for the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. I mean the Sex Pistols, who are pretty darn good, got it, and there would have been no Sex Pistols (and no ________ fill in the blank with any great rock band that came after the Beatles and the Stones here) without the Stooges.

Lastly, or maybe, if the Stooges would've won maybe it would've meant that they "sold out", much as the old joke that if a Libertarian Party candidate ever wins an election it means that s/he must have sold out. Hey it made Dee Dee Ramone (RIP) happy when he got inducted to the Hall of Fame (and he said the only people he hung out with in Queens were those who liked the Stooges, all 3 of them).

The Stooges deserve no less.