The aftermath of the Love Glut was like nothing that had ever occurred in American comic book publishing. Unlike the demise of horror and crime titles in the mid-1950s, the near simultaneous disappearance or suspension of more than 100 romance titles in 1950 did not involve censorship or the excessive outcries of outraged parents, teachers and librarians. It was simply a classic example of too much supply and too little demand, not to mention too little space on the racks.
14This distinction between public and reader plays a crucial role in the category romance’s materiality. As a book that circulates in a large number of widely varying cultural and commercial spaces – from the grocery store to the independent book store, from the gas station to the airport newsstand – its materiality is encountered and interpreted by a huge audience that entails both (potential) readers and (a majority of) non-readers. In order to communicate with these two types of consumers the category romance novel’s materiality adopts a double semiotic code : one targeted at the public and one aimed at the (romance) reader. As the analyses in this paper illustrate, these two codes contain two different messages about the book’s identity and its desired interpretation. The public code consistently suggests a uniformly generic interpretation of the text as a popular romance novel. This interpretative suggestion is created by the repeated invocation of a number of stereotypical images of and associations with the genre, which in turn perpetuate the public image of the romance genre as homogeneous, formulaic and clichéd. The reader code, by contrast, advocates a more specific and even idiosyncratic interpretation of the text that aims to distinguish the individual text from the generic group in which it is situated.
A main contributor to happiness is social contact. For the biggest emotional payoff, think beyond Facebook or Twitter acquaintances and get in touch with someone you’re genuinely close to. “It can be e-mail — it doesn’t have to be face-to-face — but it has to be with someone you know in order for that to really work,” Mramor said. Here’s an idea: combine two happiness hacks and call a friend while you take a walk outside? Or go meet a friend for an hour or two at the end of the day, even if you’re tired or feel like you have too much else to do. It’s truly good for your health.
8 This negative appreciation of strong (generic) conventionality is something that affects (the cultural status of) all so-called genre fiction, but that is particularly strongly associated with the popular romance genre, which is, as Ken Gelder has noted, often considered the most conventional and conservative genre of popular fiction (43). For more on the connections between genre, conventionality and popular fiction, see John Cawelti’s Adventure, Mystery, and Romance: Formula Stories as Art and Popular Culture (particularly the first two chapters).
At a time when it seems that nearly everyone has a Friendster account, Moore says, "You can do really creepy stuff. You can get the profiles on everyone in your local café, then see who their friends are, and just walk up to them and ask, 'Aren't you Tom's friend?'" More disturbing, Moore's toolkit allows him to get zip codes and last names, making it easier to track down the real-world addresses of his targets, thus opening up a whole new universe of creepiness. "You could do all sorts of mean things," he says.
My wife and I, in many respects, are opposites. I’m much more open with my emotions and feelings. She tends to keep them in. We both show our emotional intelligence in different ways. Socially, it takes me a little longer to get comfortable in a crowd, but then, I’m a total extrovert. My wife, who’s more introverted, is a social butterfly at galas and large social gatherings.
Falling in love with another person is a wonderful feeling, but it is not a permanent emotion. Love can be permanent, but it is different from falling in love because it is a mature aspect of the feeling. Love contains many different emotions that are expressed as ideals, and a few of these are caring, duty and compassion. Even if the love fades, aspects of these emotions may remain between the couple. Love might be ignited again as life continues to change, but it might also disappear completely.
We Americans often say that marriage is “hard work.” I’m not sure the Hmong would understand this notion. Life is hard work, of course, and work is very hard work—I’m quite certain they would agree with those statements—but how does marriage become hard work? Here’s how: Marriage becomes hard work once you have poured the entirety of your life’s expectations for happiness into the hands of one mere person. Keeping that going is hard work. A recent survey of young American women found that what women are seeking these days in a husband—more than anything else—is a man who will “inspire” them, which is, by any measure, a tall order. As a point of comparison, young women of the same age, surveyed back in the 1920s, were more likely to choose a partner based on qualities such as “decency,” or “honesty,” or his ability to provide for a family. But that’s not enough anymore. Now we want to be inspired by our spouses! Daily! Step to it, honey!
Many of us have grown up to believe that happiness is an outside force we can’t control. We go about our lives waiting for happiness to happen to us! We believe if we perhaps find the right partner, wear the right kind of clothes, have the dream job, or go on vacation, we will achieve the happiness we long for. However, the reality is that happiness is a choice, a decision you can make to take control of your well being, and enjoy life to the fullest. They say money can’t buy you happiness and that is absolutely true! Here is a short list of 10 free things you can do to turn that frown upside down and start embracing happiness in your life!
Look, I don’t want to risk romanticizing the oh-so-simple life of the picturesque rural peasant here. Let me make it clear that I had no desire to trade lives with any of the women that I met in that Hmong village in Vietnam. For the dental implications alone, I do not want their lives. It would be farcical and insulting, besides, for me to try adopting their worldview. In fact, the inexorable march of industrial progress suggests that the Hmong will be more likely to start adopting my worldview in the years to come.
Committed love is the devoted love found in a loving, close-knit, and mutually supportive family (verse 10) – the basis for this love is not that we know each other well, or that we even enjoy each other. The basis is that we are related to one another as Christians. That tie with one another is reason enough to evoke a caring heart for each other. They are our brother or sister, and we are to treat them warmly and with acceptance.
To build this new circuit and train your brain with how to feel happier, notice your usual strategy for feeling “on top of things,” and do the opposite. For example, if you are a person who tries to bake the perfect soufflé, spend forty-five days cooking without recipes. Conversely, if you are a person who likes to just throw things into a pot, spend forty-five days following recipes.
The rationale: How to feel happy comes down to where you direct your thoughts. What are you thinking about most often? To take control of your focus, you have to feed your mind. What you feed your mind is what you become. So to become the best possible you, you need to give your mind the most nutritious content possible. To put it another way, Jim Rohn said, “Every day, you have to stand guard at the door of your mind.” Why? Because the longer you hold things – ideas, thoughts, feelings – in there, the more you start to accept them unconsciously. And then you start to develop meanings that take over your life, likely in ways that won’t serve you. If you’re looking for ways to be happy, you must look internally first.
Unfortunately, your brain cannot maintain this level of chemical production indefinitely. The hormones decrease and your brain chemistry gradually returns to normal. Once you lose this intense state of passion, or chemically-boosted love, you crave it again. When this happens, some people mistakenly believe that “love” has been lost and then turn away from their partners in search of a new partner who can provide this chemically-induced feeling of exuberance. But relationships progresses in stages.
42Indeed, the core interpretative mechanism uncovered in the material analyses in this paper – the notion that generically initiated readers interpret conventionality differently from readers who are not familiar with the genre’s codes and conventions – has the potential to shed new light on the broader discussion of the role of conventionality in the popular romance genre specifically and other kinds of genre fiction more generally. It stands to reason that the dynamics uncovered in the category romance’s materiality also apply to the text this materiality encloses and represents. Indeed, if we consider this materiality to be a physical manifestation and performative representation of the identity and characteristic traits of the text (as I have implicitly done throughout this discussion), the implications for the role of conventionality in the category romance narrative are potentially far-reaching and call for a renewed examination of the poetic functioning of both romance and other kinds of popular fiction.
While it’s hard to define (especially since it varies from person to person), some experts describe happiness as “a combination of life satisfaction and having more positive emotions than negative emotions,” while others view it as consisting of three parts: feeling good, living a “good life,” and feeling part of a larger purpose. There’s also a distinct difference between short- and long-term happiness: The former is a fleeting feeling, while the latter applies to how we describe our own lives.