On Happiness and My Personality Theory

Saturday 10th September, 2016

I need time to write! I’m settling children all the time and setting up our life here. I also need to figure out how to get my rock’n roll happiness. I like that theory presented by the children’s school in their online information package. They say that there are three forms of happiness: the lowest form being financial wealth, or rock n roll happiness, that is, being able to afford to do what you want. Then there’s personal flow, that is, pursuing something you’re passionate about, like a craft, and engaging in it regularly. And then there’s greater good happiness, which is making a positive contribution to society.

The one I know most about is personal flow I guess. It’s craftsmanship and for me it is poetry. It’s when I’m completely present and time moves very quickly. I feel grateful to have experienced this and to continue to experience this. Greater good happiness can come in the form of hygge or gezelligheid with my own family and with friends, building a wonderful, fun, loving and magical community around us. But, perhaps I will also teach in the future. I’m sure I will. This will be a way of giving back, as well as contribute to rock’n roll happiness. 

Talking on rock’n roll I’m reminded of my somewhat recalsitrant personality theory. The five categories are: 1) Bowie personalities 2) Jagger personalities 3) Iggy Pop personalities 4) Dylan personalities 5) Critics.

Bowie personalities are a little bit sexually ambiguous. They dabble in the avant-garde and prefer high art forms, although in contemporary culture such categories hardly exist. The Bowie personality hasn’t actually realised this ideological imperative of the postmodern epoch because they are wilfully elitist. They actually think that an avant-garde is still possible. Bowie people tend to posses a lot of artistic ability and are generally ahead of their time. They often use their artistic practice as therapy. Hopefully they steer clear of becoming bitter and alienated since they are often fairly solitary figures. The Bowie personality is cerebral and tends towards conceptual art practices. Bowie types are capable of immense change in their lives. They are able to totally transform their identity in their lifetime.

The Jagger personality is hedonistic to a fault. Despite such Dionysian revelry they are entirely heterosexual. Their vanity knows no boundaries. They possess creative abilities in a generally very accessible art form. They can often be found surrounded by a posse of impossibly stylish individuals that make them look good and inaccessible. Whilst they are arbiters of good taste it is their brilliant marketing abilities that win them such devoted fans. They are always aloof and this is part of their appeal. These types are not actually intellectually gifted although they have pretensions to engage in discourse that elevates their cultural capital. The Jagger personality is extremely sexually promiscuous and will have a hard time settling down with a partner. Life mating is not for them. These people are the spreaders of venereal disease.

The Iggy Pop personality is extremely sexually ambiguous. They are consummate performers with a deeply felt need to be the centre of attention. It has to be said that these social mavericks possess almost shamanic abilities to hold the attention of an audience. They dabble in many art forms, are usually closet spiritualists, and disguise it through a carefully constructed punk rock attitude. They are often ethicists with a very high regard for their own opinion that conflicts with their desire to portray a nonchalant and irreverent attitude. They are clever in so far as they have excellent street smarts. Their artistic abilities are dynamic and they often become the focus of artistic movements.

The Dylan personality is a politically motivated person who enjoys their position in society as a subversive. They are often quite earnest types whose artistic abilities need to be channelled through some kind of utilitarian practice. They believe ardently in social action. Yet, when it comes down to it they are a bit reclusive and often think they need pot, amphetamine and other assorted illegal medicinal booty to thrive in social situations. Illegal is a key word here for the Dylanesques are fundamentally dualistic beings who think that their rebellion will win them respect from other counterculture rebels. However, the mere fact that they think they are counterculture means that they are kind of straddling a border of the mainstream. However, it is the Dylanesques proximity to the mainstream that affords them the opportunity to be great voices of change for their generation. They must learn to be brave enough to stand up and speak their truth.

The critic personality is deeply concerning. These people are seriously implicated in a patriarchal world that seeks to dominate and subordinate women as well as men to the fascistic machinations that hold sway. And let’s face it, it’s a critics world. They are the power elite and they know it. They have absolutely no style. They have very little flair for original thought. They are morally moribund people who are often quite sexless, that is, they are not in touch with their sexuality. Consequently, they do not have any creative practice, nor do they value such things. These people were deeply wounded as children, as opposed to just deeply wounded as children like the rest of us. Consequently they need to take a good look at their metaphorical record collection immediately.

This may be an extremely limited and somewhat bias account of the personalities of the world. I myself am a Bowie personality with Iggy Pop pretensions. I have far more Bowie records than Stooges records, a smattering of Stones records, and all of the Dylan belongs to my husband. Alas, I am married to a Dylan personality who has Jagger pretensions. This is the way the personality types work, we each have an idea of ourselves that we aspire to, yet in actual fact we are something else entirely. Even though Iggy Pop made me weep when I saw him perform several years ago as he hypnotically gyrated across the stage and whipped the audience into a frenzy of untamed sexuality, I am not an Iggy Pop personality.

It has to be said that all of these personality types are devised from men. In my defence I would say that our culture has historically registered the subversive feminine within a man’s body. All of the aforementioned personality types stem from men who have beautifully represented their inner feminine self at the level of culture in such a way that allowed for an authentic femininity to come into the mainstream. There are of course countless extraordinary women musicians who I admire, yet they perhaps inspire a non-categorical, and therefore far more superior, personality appraisal. Patti Smith comes to mind. PJ Harvey. Kate Bush. And the others…