Abra Goes

on theatre, running, writing, and looking up

From the Depths of Discontent

with one comment



4 Months left of my commitment to big media company. 120 days.

60 Minutes aired a piece on Denmark last night. A recent study shows that Denmark is the happiest country. Analysts and academics made the case that Dames are happiest because their expectations are low so they don’t live with the disappointment that others do. Dames have health care and free university, so making a lot of money is not a priority to them because they have access to care if they or family get sick and they don’t graduate into the hole of debt that so many American’s spend their adult lives shoveling out of with a spoon.


Danes shrugged off the happy label and said they were content. Content works for me. In fact, I would want to move to Denmark, if the population weren’t all white—I mean ‘homogenous’, which for better or worse is also credited with the country’s happiness level.


This story reminded me of a friend, I’ll call her Alice. Alice immigrated to Denmark a few years ago to accept an artist’s residency. She received a salary of 20,000 Euros, health care, housing, and a studio. At the time, this seemed like a dream. Paid enough money to live to be an artist. She didn’t have to be an artist ‘slash’ marketer ‘slash’ saleslady. Her job was to create her art.


Alice lasted two years before she immigrated back to the states. She now pays 2 NYC rents she can’t afford (studio & living space) and talks about lack of finances more often than not. And her work is on show at The Whitney.


Alice chooses to be here for the possibilities, and she won’t separate financial from artistic success. She’s making her art. If not happy, at least she enjoys not being frustrated everyday with a system that, though it worked as it was meant to, wasn’t conducive to her ambition.


The Dames also get 6 weeks vacation.


Why did 60 Minutes do this piece? A show that airs on Sunday night, when the majority of its audience watching has the Monday Dreads, doesn’t need to punch us in the face.


Thanks, Morley Safer. I’m confused & feeling like a sucker. Hope you’re happy.


Written by abragoes

February 18, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Posted in politics aside

Tagged with , ,

One Response

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  1. Hey, I enjoyed your post. I write a lot about artist housing, so it struck chord with me. Balancing that fine line between ambition and well, eating, I guess, is pretty tough.

    Might I suggest you add an about me section and an RSS button?

    Cory Huff

    February 19, 2008 at 2:56 pm

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