#GIMP 5 Mama, we’re all crazy now.

Look at you, all depressed. Is it any wonder? When I was a kid I read a story about someone plucking the stars from the sky. I believed it. I believed it because children are thick and adults lie to them. I’d poke my pudgy, innocent little arm out of the window, but no matter how fervently I stretched, I always failed.

In this spam-handed analogy, you are idiot child-me, the stars are your material desires and the adults are advertising wank-satchels hiding twinkling celestial trinkets just far enough out of reach that by the time you’ve finally grasped them, their light is deader than bacon.

We live in a society in which self-idolatry is encouraged and individualism has been commoditised. Go to any festival and you’ll see swathes of part-time bohemians indulging in sterilized anarchy. If I had any, I’d be investing all my money in the increasingly lucrative face glitter and fairy wing markets.

Advertising tells us we’d all be unique symphonies of unicorn joy if we’d just buy into whatever lifestyle placebo they happen to be flogging; and like starry eyed toddlers, we’re almost unilaterally complicit.

It isn’t our fault. We’re busy. We work hard. Stuff is cool. It’s shiny and has apps. We haven’t got time to think about who we are, never mind how to live well. So we strive to assert our individuality through the acquisition of objects we convince ourselves define us; physical manifestations of an independence we know in our hearts to be illusory. It’s like pissing in a public pool. A lovely warm cuddle in your speedos (yeah?), but then the guilt … which perpetuates our need for another shiny fix. We all know that the problem with instant gratification is that it’s fleeting. We’re post coital before our toes have had time to curl. It’s like preparing a delicious meal just so you can take a dump.

So we work harder and we manage to finally get our paws on our very own gleaming hover board just as it’s on trend lustre is beginning to fade, just as the MK II version hits the shops, which of course makes us feel like the kid in his dads suit at the school disco. The next shiny thing seems further away than ever, and the complex choices we have to make to attain it stress us right out.

Enter our trusted GP, who tells us that those feelings of disquiet which permeate our subconscious like a wet fart in a sauna are a genuine medical disease. It’s not our lifestyle that’s sick, it’s us. We have disorders; before we know it we’ve accrued more diagnoses than Luke Skywalker has drawers full of unused right-handed mittens.

We need medicine. A high profit, spuriously tested, unethically marketed solution for a problem not even the medics understand.

I’m not suggesting that doctors are charlatans or that we shouldn’t buy smart phones. I’m just worried that if we don’t pause to ask ourselves some fundamental questions about how we might live more engaged and contented lives, we’re in danger of ending up unhappy, sedated on dubious pharmaceuticals and surrounded by obsolete junk whilst life speeds past like a streaker at the Winter Olympics.