There's a new tide of misery washing over the planet and making itself felt in Japan and England. It takes the form of "crying clubs", at which participants engage in public displays of emotion and indulge their most melancholic impulses, by watching heartrending films, carrying peacock feathers, or presenting freshly signed divorce papers.
In Kyoto and Tokyo, this phenomenon is known as the 'crying boom"; in England, where they know a thing or two about how to deal with sorrows (usually by drowning them), they take inspiration from Gunter Grass' novel The Tin Drum, which is very sad indeed, and cut onions at midnight while blasting Mozart's Requiem.
I, for one, am quite looking forward to my first crying club visit. As Viktor Wynd, originator of London's "Loss; an evening of exquisite misery", puts it: "I don't know why people think they have to be happy all the time."