Best Of The Web
“There are more than 2,000 results for the motto “Live Laugh Love” on Amazon, including decorative signs, throw pillow covers, wall sculptures, candles, decals, and area rugs, all bearing some formation of it. As of this publication, Etsy lists 9,347 things for sale that feature the dreaded credo; there are also 2.6 million results for the hashtag #livelaughlove on Instagram. You can scroll endlessly on Pinterest — past tattoos, rocks, cakes, even a sewing machine, all emblazoned with those three words — without reaching an end point. And if you step inside a Target or a Marshall’s, it’ll likely become apparent how exhaustively the trend has infiltrated affordable home décor.
Maybe it seems like the slogan has been with us forever, which is nearly true: A short investigation by House Beautiful traces the saying to a 1904 Bessie Anderson Stanley poem called “Success,” often misattributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson. Stanley’s relatives claim her poem won the $250 first prize in a contest for the best essay on “What constitutes success,” published in a 1905 issue of The Lincoln Sentinel. The words — “He achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much” — can now be found inscribed on her tombstone.
Who is buying this stuff, you might ask? It has to be someone, otherwise there would not be so much of it. According to the internet, and supported anecdotally, middle-aged white women and moms are the likeliest triple-L perpetrators. On an AskReddit thread entitled “People who have ‘live, laugh, love’ somewhere in their home: why?” (commented on by 20,000 people total), the answers ranged from “It came in my White Person Starter Kit” (a response with 1,200 upvotes) to “My mom gave it to me and thought it was the best gift she ever came up with. It goes up around the holidays” (1,800 upvotes). Many commenters confessed their moms or older relatives gifted an “LLL” sign to them, but most were too lazy or respectful to get rid of it.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"The United States and Russia are entering a new arms race, and the costs aren’t just monetary. On August 8, Russian civilians around the remote village of Nyonoksa found themselves downwind of a military nuclear propulsion experiment gone wrong..."
"I don't know about you, but for me "Having more people run for president and effectively doubling the number of primary contests" is not up there with "Michigan beating Notre Dame in the playoffs" and "A new deluxe edition of Barbara Bush's..."
"A growing body of research suggests that, rather than posing a threat to individual wellbeing, adopting a more sustainable lifestyle represents a pathway to a more satisfied life. Numerous studies have found that people who purchase green..."
"What should a parent do when a 2-year-old shrieks inconsolably because her string cheese wrapper tore “the wrong way”? Increasingly, the answer is “snap a photo, add a snarky caption and upload it to Instagram.” Publicly laughing at your..."
"The yield curve’s inverted! The yield curve’s inverted! That was the news I awoke to last Wednesday on CNBC as the 10 year Treasury note yield dipped below the 2 year yield for the first time since 2007. That’s the sign everyone has been waiting..."
"Even a casual observer of the entertainment industry knows that Hollywood is hooked on established intellectual property at the expense of original ideas and awash in more money than it knows how to sensibly spend. But three stories about the..."
"One of the formative texts of the Safed myth, which first portrayed the town as a unique place and which was responsible for spreading word of it all around the Jewish world, is the four letters that Rabbi Solomon Shlumil of Dreznitz sent, in..."
"There are lots of reasons to patent something. The most obvious one is that you’ve come up with a brilliant invention, and you want to protect your idea so that nobody can steal it from you. But that’s just the tip of the patent strategy iceberg..."