OF course, Im not as miserable in real life as I am when writing this column, which I do in character. If you believe anything in this column, theres a bridge over the Firth of Forth I can sell you.
Most people I encounter find me friendly, like a daft wee waggy-tailed dug. Frequently, I get sharp looks from onlookers for laughing too much. Its true that, when I get home, I drop the mask and burst into tears, but the Good Lord invented drink to take care of that.
I say all this because, no word of a lie, I have trouble with happiness and pleasure. On the few occasions these have come my way, Ive always assumed there must have been some mistake, and that I should return the concepts to their rightful owners.
The only time I genuinely feel anything approaching these states is when Im alone in nature. I used to think it was just me, Henry Thoreau (author of Walden) and Kenneth Grahame (author of The Wind in the Willows), who felt like this.
But two things: (1) its more contentment than laugh-out-loud joy; (2) the internet, YouTube vlogs (which I now watch more than television) in particular, has revealed that there are many people like me out there and, where before we had to shut up, now we have a voice.
However, as ever, discombobulation stirs at the heart of this discovery. All the people I admire most in the world right now Jonna Jinton, Rosina Espig, Aurora, Lana Blakely, Miss Northern are women. Its not just that they too love nothing better than being alone in nature. Theyre also all self-confessed introverts.
It would be facile to conclude from this that, ergo, I am like a woman. I have a beard, I drink beer. I watch football. I have testosterone-related prostate problems. Ive been in fist-fights. Still, the news is troubling.
You say: In a surprise development, all the burdz you mention above are kinda easy on the eye. But that has nothing to do with it. Im not a simp, as the new term has it someone who dotes emotionally on internet women. No, Im not. Im really not. All right, I am.
I should add that I am capable of fleeting moments of contentment in the real world among friends. Ive had that hygge feeling after a couple of snifters in their sumptuous and cosy homes (all my friends have sumptuous and cosy homes; I do not; I believe its to do with their having been successful), as candles flicker, light jazz tootles, and the aroma of proper, sensual food fills the air.
Sometimes, my hosts invite me to stay the night. Youll recall perhaps that, after one such invitation, I stayed for seven months. Theres an adage about a stinking fish in there somewhere, but I cannot bring it to mind at present as I am too busy writing.
Speaking of which, as usual, my preamble has turned into a rambling amble, and Ive barely space left to provide the hook for these witterings.
It is that psychologists from the University of Zurich have discovered that giving in to temptation is the key to happiness. This is grim news indeed.
It means we can now eat something sweet that actually tastes nice. We can have another dram. We can sit all night on the sofa watching vlogs.
The psychologists say: Of course, self-control is important but research on self-regulation should pay just as much attention to hedonism or short-term pleasure.
Now they tell us. Its enough to make a grown man weep.
HOW almost enjoyable to read in Her Majestys English Press headlines about Edinburgh having one of the worlds best-loved accents.
Perusing the small print, it turned out that the survey by dating site eharmony named received pronunciation proper, posh English as most alluring accent because of its association with intelligence.
This struck me as odd. One of the same English newspapers had the headline, Britains new-build revolution, and the first sentence, Every new housing development in England Same thing every day. Not intelligent.
Edinburghs third placing, after New Zealand, was attributed to the rich, mahogany burr of Sir Sean Connery. It certainly wouldnt be attributed to my reedy educated Leith.
I sound like a dustman emulating royalty. And, oh, the droning. Its like one flat note played endlessly on kazoo. Thats why I always see friends attention drift when I tell a funny story or explain the economy.
Once, I gave a five-minute talk on BBC Radio 4. Never invited back. I listened to it with mates, who all laughed as soon as I started speaking. A professional broadcaster present said I should have drunk whisky first to deepen my timbre. Fool. I did drink whisky first. Hence all the burping.
Five things weve learned this week
Bald people were dancing in the streets of Baldonia after US scientists claimed theyd reversed hair loss in mice. The experiment utilised ribonucleic acid molecules which could be used in lotions, leading to bald people being reintegrated into mainstream society.
Fears are growing that enterprising criminals could soon use wee robots to break into properties via cat flaps or even letterboxes. Once inside, theyd scan rooms to see what was worth nicking before the propertys own security bots clouted them.
Conflict has broken out between England, sorry Britain, and the United States over tea-making. Hostilities began after a video showed an American person look away now, Martha! microwaving tea. Boiling mad Brits said this proved America had gone to pot.
Much debate was sparked by small Scottish football clubs charging 20 for Covid-exiled fans to watch games on television. Many fans said this was good value and fair, leading to calls for a Government crackdown on the overpaid working classes.
Bardcore is the new rock n roll. The latest musical craze, also called Tavernwave, takes rock and pop classics, and minstrelises them with harps, tabors, crumhorns, lutes and sometimes even Latin. Honestly, its enough to drive a man to mead.
Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.
- DRIVE 2020: DRIVE: Buff pickups from hell to get your through it - Dallas Voice - November 7th, 2020
- Earth911 Podcast: Thinking Through Post-Growth Living With Philosopher Kate Soper | Earth 911 - Earth911.com - November 7th, 2020
- 12 Classic Songs That Happened By Accident Kerrang! - Kerrang! - November 7th, 2020
- 10 Warhammer 40,000 Factions That Still Need Proper Armies - TheGamer - November 7th, 2020
- Partying Like Its 1925 as Londons Theaters Go Dark (Again) - The New York Times - November 7th, 2020
- A psychologist explains how Trump's own words reveal the traits that make him unfit for office - AlterNet - November 7th, 2020
- Stream These 15 Titles Before They Leave Netflix in November - The New York Times - November 7th, 2020
- If any institution can inspire the Maltese nation to do good, it's Serkin. In a divided nation, the pastizz unites all - MaltaToday - November 7th, 2020
- Why Trump is so obsessed with 'Y.M.C.A.' - SFGate - November 7th, 2020
- Good use of that Christmas party budget - RollOnFriday - October 19th, 2020
- Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business - Shanken News Daily - October 19th, 2020
- October Surprise! US psychiatrists convince the media to reveal the extent of Trump's mental instability - NationofChange - October 19th, 2020
- In search of the real Ma Anand Sheela - Livemint - October 19th, 2020
- Not even seats and social distancing can stop Working Men's Club from bringing the hedonism to London's Oslo - DIY Magazine - October 10th, 2020
- Features | Tome On The Range | Under The Skin: Skunk Anansie At Glastonbury, 1999 - The Quietus - October 10th, 2020
- Bartenders Tell Us The Best-Tasting Whiskies They've Ever Tried Wonderfully Curated News - Register - October 10th, 2020
- Satire | October Horoscopes - University of Pittsburgh The Pitt News - October 10th, 2020
- Track by Track: International Teachers of Pop on the bombastic Pop Gossip | Gigwise - Gigwise - September 4th, 2020
- Class Action Park Review: Thanks for the Injuries - The New York Times - September 4th, 2020
- Junk Explained: Why Recessions Hit Young People The Hardest - Junkee - September 4th, 2020
- I May Destroy You: The HBO series about consent we should all be watching (Trigger Warning-sexual assault, rape) - The Observer - September 4th, 2020
- Remembering the time David Bowie and John Cale got wasted and jammed, 1978 - Far Out Magazine - September 4th, 2020
- Blue sky thinking with the A-list's favourite shrink - MSN UK - September 4th, 2020
- Liverpool are ready for another Jrgen Klopp journey, but this one carries biggest warning yet - Liverpool.com - September 4th, 2020
- Op-Ed: To My Fellow Students, Please, Just Follow the Rules - The Tower - September 4th, 2020
- Welcome to Nashville, Where Were Just Realizing Theres a Pandemic - Rolling Stone - August 10th, 2020
- What the new Sky drama series Little Birds is all about and what inspired it - iNews - August 10th, 2020
- How this year's freshers are feeling about picking the wrong year to start university - iNews - August 10th, 2020
- 9 Perfect Scotches To Sip In The Summertime - The Manual - August 10th, 2020
- Living in Clerkenwell:the Zone 1 neighbourhood with house prices on the up and Crossrail on the horizon - Homes and Property - August 10th, 2020
- The reason why the BBC banned A Day In The Life by The Beatles - Far Out Magazine - August 10th, 2020
- Hedonism II | Top Clothing Optional Resorts In Negril, Jamaica - August 7th, 2020
- Hedonism - Wikipedia - August 7th, 2020
- A Safe Spot for Gay Travelers at Jamaica's Hedonism II ... - August 7th, 2020
- Hedonism II Returning in July With Party Safely ... - August 7th, 2020
- hedonism | Philosophy & Definition | Britannica - August 7th, 2020
- Hedonism III to rebrand as a more conservative resort ... - August 7th, 2020
- Hedonism III: Naked truths about 'resort casual': Travel ... - August 7th, 2020
- Taking Time to Enjoy the Pleasures of Life Brings Happiness - PsychCentral.com - August 7th, 2020
- The Other Columbus: National Beer Float Light Cat Pin Zuke Day - Columbus Alive - August 7th, 2020
- Two Dances: The Women of Fellini and Beardsley - Varsity Online - August 7th, 2020
- The Dandy Warhols Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia: Why It Mattered - Happy - August 7th, 2020
- The South Got Something To Say: A Celebration Of Southern Rap (1995-1999) - NPR - August 7th, 2020
- Hedonism can be a good thing - Cosmos - August 5th, 2020
- Why researchers are encouraging us to embrace hedonism - TimesLIVE - August 5th, 2020
- Ill always feel in my element at this neon-lit rave in the Nevada desert - Telegraph.co.uk - August 5th, 2020
- From Cancun to Jamaica, Adults-Only Resorts That Are Open Right Now - Caribbean Journal - August 5th, 2020
- Finding Home Away From Home In The City of Rovinj, Croatia - vmagazine.com - August 5th, 2020
- Feel the need to be on the go all the time? Here's permission to relax - The Star Online - August 5th, 2020
- Where are the religious Zionists in defense of Netanyahu? - Haaretz.com - August 5th, 2020
- The Bologna Massacre, the 'Strategy of Tension' and Operation Gladio - CounterPunch - August 5th, 2020
- 'The Matrix Has You...' - The Good Men Project - August 5th, 2020
- Sea level rise: three visions of a future summer holiday at the coast - The Conversation UK - August 5th, 2020
- How we met: 'He spoke to me in a French accent, and I went weak at the knees' - The Guardian - August 5th, 2020
- Review: 'Beastie Boys Story' on Apple TV+ examines the growth of the iconic band - The Oakland Press - August 4th, 2020
- Soft white wines that pack a punch - The Guardian - July 31st, 2020
- Giving in to occasional temptation leads to a happier life - Brinkwire - July 31st, 2020
- Experts Have Found The Key To Happiness | WOMX - RADIO.COM - July 31st, 2020
- Closer to success: scientists surprised by unexpected statement Hedonists - The Saxon - July 31st, 2020
- Netflix, Amazon, Stan, Foxtel, Binge and more: Everything new to streaming in August | Australia - NEWS.com.au - July 31st, 2020
- Multifaceted approach necessary to overcome domestic violence in Turkey | Daily Sabah - Daily Sabah - July 31st, 2020
- COMMENTARY || Tough-on-crime anti-drug moralizing does a disservice to Canadians - Folio - University of Alberta - July 31st, 2020
- 1920: The Year Broadway Learned To Syncopate | The Syncopated Times - The Syncopated Times - July 30th, 2020
- Keep the dist-dance - techtoday19 - July 29th, 2020
- 5 extraordinary submerged sites that will make you believe Atlantis is real - BreakingNews.ie - July 28th, 2020
- Kylie Minogue Fans Have Broken The Internet At "Say Something" - Wonderland Magazine - July 28th, 2020
- Purdue prof attracts cult following as expert on 'The Black Death' - Purdue Exponent - July 28th, 2020
- Is The West Repeating India's Mistakes? Interview (Part II) - Eurasia Review - July 28th, 2020
- Revelations Of Heist And Hedonism Of Youngsters - The Nigerian Voice - July 27th, 2020
- An epic year of misbehaviour, hedonism and havoc behind the scenes of 'Ryan's Daughter' - Independent.ie - July 25th, 2020
- Tough-on-crime anti-drug moralizing does a disservice to Canadians - The Globe and Mail - July 25th, 2020
- Turning 40 Gives the Gift of Perspective - PsychCentral.com - July 25th, 2020
- Rebel with a Cause: The Saint and the values that inspire Drew Pavlou - The Catholic Weekly - July 25th, 2020
- Long live the Dead - Hudson Valley One - July 25th, 2020
- Jim Carrey explores the absurdities of life (and himself) in novel - San Francisco Chronicle - July 21st, 2020
- Which star sign will make you rich? Experts reveal who will be in the money - Chronicle Live - July 21st, 2020
- Who Will Save Londons Nightlife? - HYPEBEAST - July 21st, 2020
- Scotland on Sunday Travel - House of Gods, Edinburgh - The Scotsman - July 21st, 2020
- Throwback to the 1970s: Netanyahu is facing his own Yom Kippur War - Haaretz - July 21st, 2020
- Stream It Or Skip It: 'The Business of Drugs' on Netflix, a Documentary Series About the Ins and Outs of Controlled-Substance Trades - Decider - July 21st, 2020