As people grew more germophobic, the makers of hand sanitizers made their product ever stronger, so that not even the most hearty microorganism could survive under the onslaught of the sanitizer’s antibacterial assault.
Emboldened by the success of their ever improving product, these manufacturers soon merged with upstart nanotechnology companies to branch outward from simple physical hygiene. For if they could make products that could attack invasions of the body, they thought, wouldn’t it then be possible to create products that attacked invasions of the mind? Pursuing that question to its final destination, they set about creating a mind sanitizer that would protect the user from all manner of harmful thought.
Aided by a slick advertising campaign whose slogan was “the perfect protection against a sick mind,” companies began pumping out millions of gallons of mind sanitizer, which an eager public snapped off the shelves almost as fast as these companies could make it. Soon, before any potentially depressing situation--a funeral, a tax audit, a job performance review--people slathered the product over their eyelids, so that nanobots entered the tear ducts, worked their way to the cerebral cortex, and set about wiping out negative thoughts as fast as people thought them.
It in the same way, though, that overuse of hand sanitizers made people less resistant to bacteria, so did people become less resistant to depression. Where people once faced a small stab of sadness at a member of the opposite sex rejecting their advances, they now imagined the whole world laughing at them, with major networks publishing stories about their humiliations.
It wasn’t long before something as simple as a losing lottery ticket caused a person to fall into a bottomless pit of misery, convinced that all of life would be a disappointment, and that all hope of anything turning out happily was now non-existant.
The entire human race may very well have locked itself in a dark closet had it not been for the world’s artists, writers, and musicians. They had stayed away from mind sanitizers, for they found that they needed to feel those painful thoughts and confront them with brush, pen, or song ao that they could produce work that made them feel whole.
And as these musicians walked through the streets singing lyrics that writers had brought forth from the most difficult times, people began to emerge from their darkened rooms weeping as they embraced the pain of living, and found joy on the other side. They walked the streets, past bright murals that now covered every wall, and, holding hands with strangers--for they were no longer afraid to touch each other--and sang songs of unity that made them feel as if the person next to them were family.