The search for happiness

Frank Yonkof

Ever since Sunday night, I’ve been listening to Lady GaGa’s new album, “The Fame Monster,” pretty much nonstop.

While she is already an interesting person, GaGa’s newest CD is especially intriguing and shows a much darker side to the pop singer than what we’ve seen before.

I cannot claim to be a huge fan, but I spent the past summer using GaGa as an example for many College Writing II papers. The whole time I was trying to prove that fame and happiness are not interrelated and that the glamorous life isn’t so glamorous.

While her first album, “The Fame,” dealt with her obsession with fame (with songs like “Paparazzi,” “Money Honey,” and “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich”), “The Fame Monster” shows the downside to stardom.

“I didn’t write about fame. I didn’t write about money. I didn’t write about paparazzi,” GaGa explained in one interview. “I wrote about fear, and all of the monsters I encountered on the road.”

How can it be that GaGa, who months before helped us forget about the stress of exams and financial aid with her hit single “Just Dance,” is facing the same problems with stress and anxiety that we all face?

If there was one person in this world who truly looked relaxed and happy, it was Lady GaGa in her “Just Dance” music video. After all, she taught the world that it is OK to stop worrying and have fun every once and a while.

Although most of us will never have to worry about dealing with the instant fame like GaGa, I think we sometimes get ahead of ourselves with our own false sense of happiness.

It happens to be job search time in the newsroom for seniors who are about to graduate in a few months, and the overall picture I am getting is that their biggest fear is getting stuck working at their local paper.

I would like to hope I would be happy working at my local newspaper (partially because it is growing in a time when newspapers are dying). But the truth is, it’s easy to have high hopes and expectations when thinking about your future and what you want to accomplish.

In a day and age where the only people who matter are the ones who shoot their way to the top and instantly become successful, these years can sometimes a be discouraging road as we all build our resumes.

When you are constantly reading about GaGa, who has become one of the biggest talents in the short span of a year, or Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, who revolutionized global communication, it is hard for the average Joe to compare accomplishments.

Maybe we are trained by society to believe that in order to be happy, we have to have a ton of money with that top position that is taking us around the globe. Maybe we are trained to think that to achieve happiness, you have to be featured as the youngest person on Forbes’ billionaire listing.ÿ

For me, I like to think I would be happy with a decent house and a great family. All the other stuff is just a plus.

Frank Yonkof is a sophomore newspaper journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].