Wednesday, March 25, 2009

McSweeney's Internet Tendency: Emotional State 3A.

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It has recently been brought to our attention that some of you are stuck in emotional state 3A, Consumed by Fear. Though we have made a number of announcements recently about the need for an emotional-state change, and had hoped that this would be a relatively smooth and uniform process, we understand that 3A is a particularly robust state and that many of you may need further guidance on how to proceed.

You might remember that 3A was invoked, as a purely temporary response, after the Event of Great Magnitude. At the time, it was thought that 3A would be in effect for no longer than a short period, and that it would be at most a medium-term measure. We never intended for 3A to be a long-term solution. That said, it has become obvious that some of you have been unable to extricate yourselves from state 3A, despite our continued suggestions that you do so, and, thus, are attempting to function in an emotional state that does not efficiently deal with our current reality.

It has been found that an incremental approach may prove fruitful. Perhaps it would be helpful at this time for us to make some specific suggestions of alternative states you may want to explore, as a way of gradually distancing yourself from 3A. Our studies indicate that good first steps might be 5E, Generally Fearful; 10B, Apprehensive; or 11C, Jittery. (Check your manuals for appropriate definitions.) Again, these would only be stopgap measures, methods for moving slowly away from 3A and toward one of the currently recommended emotional states, such as 75D, Cautiously Guarded; 78A, Vaguely Alert; or even 105M, Mildly Optimistic.

Some of you may be tempted to try to go cold turkey, as it were, and plunge directly from emotional state 3A into one of the recommended states in the 70s or 80s. Though such efforts are not unheard of, we would emphasize that nearly all the known successful attempts have been conducted in laboratory settings, and that the procedure is rarely successful in real-world situations. That said, if you remain determined, we have made available a number of pamphlets outlining the generally accepted research in this area.

Please be aware that we are by no means recommending that you try to go anywhere near emotional state 800A, Calmly Focused; 805B, Gently Aware; or any of their associated states. As you probably know, these are advanced states that require a great deal of practice, and, depending on your region, there may be licensing requirements. These states should only be attempted by trained professionals operating in controlled conditions.

This brings us to the subject of unauthorized emotional states. As you may know, we have received multiple reports of unauthorized emotional states, many of them emanating from Sector 2 (not that we are pointing any fingers!), and we find ourselves Troubled (53B). Therefore, this may be a good opportunity to review some of the basic tenets of the Emotional State Paradigm, as agreed to at the 11th General Council, many of which relate directly to the aforementioned occurrences.

Emotional state 485G, Wild Abandon, is officially reserved for weddings and public holidays, with significant leeway given for personal triumphs. The same goes for 430A, Effusive Joy; 430B, Elation; and 437C, Overwhelming Glee. (Again, see your manuals for definitions.) Although the decision to officially sanction these emotional states was regarded by some at the time as controversial, it was seen as a necessary precaution in the wake of the High-Level Hoax (remember how that turned out?) and, though carefully regulated, these states are now standard.

Given the large number of reports of recent instances of officially controlled emotional states, we would like to recommend some viable options for those of you wishing to express a more vibrant point of view. For those of you tempted to exhibit 485G, Wild Abandon, may we suggest 375B, Moderate Giddiness? This would provide the necessary irreverence of 485G but without the inherent danger. Another viable alternative might be 493E, General Excitability, which provides a similar adrenal rush but in more controllable doses. We have also seen success with 487C, Wholehearted Enthusiasm. Whatever method of substitution you choose to pursue, the main thing to keep in mind is that moderation is the key.

We are living in tumultuous times, which have obviously proved challenging, both for those of you striving to return from previously used emotional states that are no longer desirable and for those tempted into unauthorized states as a result of the recent, broadly perceived changes. Our goal is to be encouraging, not prescriptive, and punitive only in the face of the most egregious violations. We draw your attention to the large number of publicly available resources existent to help you through this period, and, as always, we remain humbly at your service.

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