You know, it's really no surprise Eve took a bite of that
apple in the Garden of Eden.
If you were reading that tale for the first time, with no
prior knowledge, as soon as it got to the part where they
were told to ''never, under any circumstances, ever'' take a
bite of an apple on this one tree, you would know immediately
what was going to happen.
One, or both, probably, were going to eat the fruit, for one
reason, and one reason only - human beings hate happiness.
Have you ever seen those reality TV shows?
You know, the ones with all the people competing against each
Or perhaps the one where they just film people's lives,
except the directors introduce some new element, some new
obstacles for the characters to rally against?
Strange, how there's no show where the camera follows an
everyday family, going about their normal, relatively
It's because it would be boring.
Absolutely, uncomprehendingly, mind-numbingly tedious.
No-one would watch it.
We, as a society, long for, strive for pain, for torment.
It's why we always root for the underdog.
Not because we see ourselves as the underdog, but because it
There are no movies about the alpha male or female staying at
We enjoy seeing them knocked off their peg, not because they
deserved it, or perhaps were a baddie, but because we hate
them for winning, for being successful.
We hate them for beating the system.
Of course, you could say we celebrate defeating them because
we want the underdog to win.
And we do.
Because what could be worse than accomplishing all you've
You're an athlete.
You've run your whole life.
All you want to do is go to the Olympics and get gold.
This is what you've trained for your whole life, spent years
ceaselessly preparing for, your whole life revolving around
it, and finally, you do it.
You get gold. What now?
Nothing you ever do will be as sweet as this moment.
You could go to the next Olympics, sure, but you'll be
forever chasing after that one, thrilling, intoxicating
moment of time that you'll never get back.
Really, nothing is more cruel than fulfilling what you've
always dreamed of doing.
The underdog finally attaining their dream is even more
brutal and heartless than knocking the alpha off their
Just ask Jack Lovelock.
And another symptom of the pestilence of pain is how we love
We relish conflict.
Whether we're actually in a fight, or just watching one, for
many it is the ultimate thrill.
Our culture has glorified it to the point where instead of
attempting to stop a fight, or even just standing idly by, we
actively seek conflict out, and even encourage it.
Our media is deluged in the idea that hostility and loathing,
exacerbated to the point of brawling, is something to be
celebrated, to be adored, from children's movies, like the
Karate Kid, to the WWE, where there are even action figures
of the competitors.
This is yet another example of how saturated unhappiness is
woven into our society.
It's not a matter of whether we enjoy misery, but rather if
it was established in our species from the very start, or
it's just been engraved into our cultural identity for so
long it just feels that way.
• By Lucy O'Neill, Year 12, Kavanagh