"Why Israel is the world's happiest country" by Spengler
I cannot conceive of a sadder event than Spengler quitting writing. His "Why Israel is the world's happiest country" has inadvertently tipped the scales in favor of the United States, due to the spike it caused in my own level of happiness. I was so pleased by the level of perfection he has reached in his quest for absurdity, I now desire to breed uncontrollably and have banished the thought of suicide forever: which two things happen to be the very hallmark of happiness for Spengler.
Pardon me, however, if I put off the move to Israel. I'll take a "trivial" joie de vivre over a "solemn celebration" of life any day. (Spengler scribbles: "...the state of Israel still teaches the world love of life, not in the trivial sense of joie de vivre, but rather as a solemn celebration of life." A "solemn celebration" - no two words in combination could possibly sum up any better the essence of what is wrong in the schizophrenic heads of American Protestants.)
Spengler's pseudo-scientific investigation of comparative well-being not only ignores serious, scientific studies of the same, but is marred by a biased sample, preposterous criteria (overbreeding and a taboo against voluntarily ending one's life is equivalent to happiness?), and another rehash of his typically chauvinistic theological critique of another Semitic religion, Islam. A perfect miss from his intended mark, yet a bullseye for my funnybone.
(Map at right: Happiness graded in color, the darker the merrier. Israel comes out at roughly the level of Saudi Arabia, and far behind their suicide-prone, contraception-friendly cousins in northern Europe.)
Scientist Spengler has inspired me to do my own scientific analysis. I recall hearing the results of some condom manufacturer's study of contraceptive use in the world's industrialized countries, which ranked Israel as the world's most bareback-friendly nation; and another study that suggested that semen may contain powerful mood-enhancing chemicals for women. So in my account of causality, Israel has both the highest birthrate and lowest suicide rate in Spengler's biased sample of countries not because it's religion is so wonderful or because a god (sorry, g-d) blessed it, but because it's people use fewer condoms. Brilliant!