chainsaw_header“If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands” (clap clap). “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands” (clap clap). “If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it J! If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands” (clap clap)… “‘Cause you don’t even know, I can make your hands clap!” (clap clap clap clap clap clap). “Said I can make your hands clap” (clap clap clap clap clap clap). “Because I’m happy! Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof. Because I’m happy! Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth. Because I’m happy! Clap along if you know what happiness is to you. Because I’m happy! Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do” (multiple well-timed rhythmical claps).

(Lyrics excerpted in order from: “If You’re Happy and You Know It” Dr. Alfred B. Smith; circa 1900s/ “Hand Clap” Fitz and the Tantrums; 2016 / “Happy” Pharrell Williams; 2013.)

So we can deduce and all agree that true happiness is indicated through a rapid joining of one’s hands, producing a loud smacking sound. This is to be accompanied by visual facial recognition, which is demonstrated by raising the outer corners of one’s mouth. Of course the same sound can be produced from slapping someone across their face; wiping said mouth corner raised condition from it. This may bring satisfaction and happiness for the slapper, not so much for the slappee (unless you’re into that kind of thing I suppose). Thus using other people’s parts to produce happiness may have an overall negative effect (parts pending). So keep your happiness to yourself so as not to endanger the happiness of others.

Fitz of Fitz and the Tantrums insists that “you don’t even know” if you’re happy or not and Fitz can make your hands clap for you. It would seem that in this situation happiness can be forced upon you. That Fitz has the arrogance to claim the power of controlling other’s bodily functions… happy ones anyway. (Guess it’s a good thing the song is titled “Hand Clap” and not “A** Crap”). Though Fitz doesn’t seem too happy when he’s trying to make others clap. Perhaps, rather than claiming telepathic emotional abilities, he’s suggesting that his music will inspire happiness and ignite applause of praise?

Is applause a sign of collective happy consciousness, a forced social action or sign of temporary, controlled mass hysteria? When in a group setting witnessing an event one feels compelled to join in when the clapping begins. Is this because the happiness rapidly spreads like an infection? Or is it because the happiness has built up inside during the course of the event (or performance) and this is the best way to release that build-up of said happiness? Or do we clap because it is socially accepted and expected and we don’t want to be the a-hole just sitting there?

What about the “slow hand clap” the one that’s started by just one person? Does that person have the ability to inspire a happily inspired action amongst others? Or do they simply know the proper time and place to make others feel socially awkward if they don’t join in and participate? When is clapping done for the sheer expression of happiness and not just a uniformed response? What should we be so happy about that we clap?

GIVE YOURSELF A HANDAccording to Pharrell Williams just about damned near everything! We should clap because we’re happy. Because if we’re clapping then we know what the happiness is and that it’s true. We should clap because we’re happy and that’s what we wanna do and doing what we wanna do makes us happy! So if we wanna be happy and clap our hands it is our right to do so. So we can smile and accompany that smile with a flesh covered cymbal crash whenever we desire and deem it necessary. Though one would appear to be quite the lunatic if they went around grinning and clapping their hands at random times when they are stricken with a happy thought.

That being said, is happiness expressed through clapping something that should only be done in groups? Applause at concerts, really good movie endings, sporting events, weddings, funerals… (Depends on who’s in the casket) happily clapping along with children playing a game, clapping as a sign of happy praise for said children. It would seem that it takes more than one to clap happily. So does this mean you can truly be happy alone? Does it indicate that one cannot reach a level of happiness by oneself, enough so to achieve a clapping of one’s hands happiness status?

Suffering from a bout of loneliness is definitely something that does not merit applause. However, psychologically speaking, spending some time alone is good for your overall mental health; a little quality time with me, myself and I to get to know me better. And you should, during these times, find the happiness that is within yourself. Because if you can’t be happy with yourself, how can you be happy with others? So would clapping alone be so strange? Applauding yourself, expressing the joy you find in you through physical adulation? Embarrassing? To and by whom exactly? If you’re embarrassed to be you with yourself present, then you’ve got far greater problems than the clap…ing!

In the event you’re comfortable and aren’t worried about what you might think of you, do me a favor. It’s just something to try next time you’re having a little “me” time (meaning you, not me as in Chainsaw time). Turn off the television; step away from the computer and for gawd’s sake put down your phone. Let the silence of just your own presence envelop you. Now find whatever joy you have in your soul and give yourself a round of applause! You deserve it if you made it to the end of this and because you’re neato!

Next week: OMG! That message was too positive and enlightening… I’m gonna be sick!

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or email me at [email protected] or you can FRIEND me on Facebook under Saw’s Brood!

Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!