From Der Spiegel:
Defective Joy Gene
CorbisBut without beach chairs, how can we stake our claim to this beach by 6 a.m., Helga?
With low unemployment and solid economic growth, things are going better than ever for Germans. But a new study shows they're practically incapable of enjoying it. Not only do they find it difficult to cut loose and experience pleasure, but their "joy gene" is broken, researchers say.
At a certain point, Sven just lost it. Other members of the discussion group had gone into great detail about how they spent their after-work hours with their companions and enjoyed the end of the day. "That's great for you!" Sven fired back to one speaker. "But first one needs the chance! My boss often plops something on my desk right before it's time to clock out, and when I arrive home late, my wife is pissed off because she was forced to take care of our kid and the housekeeping by herself." By that point, he adds, all thoughts of a relaxing evening have vanished.
If anything can comfort Sven, it's the fact that he isn't alone with this problem. The 36-year-old took part in a study released this week by Rheingold, a market-research and consultancy institute based in Cologne, which found that 46 percent of Germans say they are increasingly unable to enjoy anything due to the stress of everyday life and the feeling of being constantly reachable. The difficulty was even more pronounced among the study's younger participants, 55 percent of whom claimed to feel they have lost their ability to feel good.
Whether it's with food, alcohol, vacation or relaxing -- Germans apparently don't have the leisure to enjoy things. In fact, they can't even let go when they're having sex. According to the researchers, the bottom line is: "Our joy gene is increasingly defective -- we've forgotten how to enjoy ourselves."HT: Dealbreaker
Work Before Play
The results conform to the image that many Europeans have of Germans in this era of economic crisis as self-denying overachievers who can't even turn off the fun-brakes when vacationing at the beach. The positive image that they enjoyed during the 2006 soccer World Cup in Germany seems gone....MORE
For your listening non-pleasure: "Entire Lack of Joy" by ProjectAnhedonia