What makes daily life so agreeable in America is the good humour and friendliness of Americans. Optimism is necessary for the country’s social peace and economic prosperity.
On this day (Jan 31st) in 1947, Simone de Beauvoir wrote:
What makes daily life so agreeable in America is the good humour and friendliness of Americans. Of course, this quality has its reverse side. I'm irritated by those imperious invitations to 'take life easy', repeated in words and images throughout the day. On advertisements for Quaker Oats, Coca-Cola and Lucky Strike, what displays of white teeth – the smile seems like lockjaw. The constipated girl smiles a loving smile at the lemon juice that relieves her intestines. In the subway, in the streets, on magazine pages, these smiles pursue me like obsessions. I read on a sign in a drugstore, 'Not to grin is a sin.' Everyone obeys the order, the system. 'Cheer up! Take it easy!' Optimism is necessary for the country's social peace and economic prosperity.
From America Day By Day, a diary of a four month tour of the USA taken by the French existentialist and feminist in 1947.