In childhood, we are weaned on a particular happy ending archetype, and through regular feedings, we become accustomed to the taste of this sweet, succulent abstraction. We come to later feast and gorge upon more sophisticated renditions of the archetype rich in savory and zesty motifs. This leads us to not only crave actual, specific happy endings but also believe that these instantiations of the delectable paradigm are plentiful, made and obtained straightforwardly without consequence, something to which we are entitled, deserving, even guaranteed.
In reality, happy endings as we know them are manufactured products synthesized from a combination of various natural resources – some scarce, others fairly abundant – all embedded deep within the Earth, mixed with other substances known collectively to us as impurities. The scarce constituents of happy endings require large-scale mining to obtain small amounts of the raw material, processes that tear apart our planet, polluting it, poisoning plants, animals and ultimately ourselves. Refinement of all materials is, to varying degrees, painstaking and energy intensive. The resulting high-purity substances are transported to remote factories where fab- rication of various happy endings (all with the same basic composition) is then executed with the utmost efficiency, exploiting cheap labor, spewing toxic byproducts into the air. And despite the great lengths gone through to extract, distill and recombine these substances and all the strife amongst people this entails (the fierce competition, the strategic partnerships and nego- tiated agreements), we cannot help but continue to lust for the worldly manifestation of the ambrosia our palates have grown so attuned to, so helplessly dependent upon, this delicious taste of abstraction realized.
Even when we gain some awareness of all that constitutes our happy endings and their hulking industry and economy, we shy away from the gory details, rationalizing, remaining loyal to the predilections instilled through our upbringings, reluctant to cultivate other tastes. As if what we had ingested as children were merely appetizers, our hunger for happy endings is keen, voracious, rampant, demanding to be satiated, making us all too willing to pay a horridly high cost.