The Moment and The Parameters of Happiness

Barney Quick

Barney Quick writes for various magazines and website, plays jazz guitar in various configurations, and teaches jazz history and rock and roll history at Indiana University. He blogs at Late in the Day and writes longer essays at Precipice, his Substack newsletter.

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2 Responses

  1. Pinky

    There are a lot of interesting ideas in this article, but I’m going to pick on something just cuz I can. I’d say that we consume more mindless entertainment these days than in any other era, even the heights of Boomer TV viewing.

    As for joy and happiness, I think the words are always changing meanings but the first one strikes me as having more roots in the New Testament, and the second one in Aristotle. Joy is called a fruit of the Holy Spirit, so basically an effect of love. Happiness is the end to Aristotle, the goal which has no higher goal. I’d say a third thing, pleasure, can be unseemly during tragedy, but not happiness or joy.Report

  2. Rufus F.

    I think the happiness/joy distinction is important here. Happiness is fairly ephemeral, it seems to me, while joy is a deeper state of equanimity. But that’s about all I can say.

    I would add that, if you teach jazz history, I’d enjoy reading anything you have about Albert Ayler.Report

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