Of Fun and Death

Neal Margolis writes:

On Fri, 05 Jun 1998 13:54:05 -0700, FUN wrote:

As my mind continues to warm its conceptual cockles whist basking in the implications of funiatry, I find myself seeking limits, wondering where this could end, asking questions, for example, like "what would a funiatrist do on a sinking ship or falling plane or burning prison." "Lead everyone," answers my profoundest playmate and wife, "in prayer."

Neal adds:

This is important. Does funiatry teach that fun is the essential atomic essence of every human condition? If so, where's the fun in death?

FUN responds: Yeah, it surprised me too, realizing that praying can become funiatry, too. As funiatric as a good game, really.  And as far as dying goes, well, there's something definitely funiatric about the whole thing. Some people celebrate death. Sometimes even the dying.  There's reading the Book of the Dead, which is, when you think about it funiatrically, given the circumstances, probably the most fun you can have at the time. Tim Leary seemed to have a funlike approach to death, transmogrifying it into the ultimate trip: drop acid, droP Fead. I know, this kind of undefines funiatry as we have come to know and love it. It's hard to think of fun and death at the same time. Admittedly, the fun you can find on your death bed is not the same kind of fun you find on your marriage bed. Given the circumstances, it's more fun, for example, making love than being grieved over. Is it laughing in the face of death? Is that the most funiatric act of them all? Or is it praying in its face? In light of the final not-yet-fun, a good prayer might very well be the ultimate punchline: putting the fun back into funeral. I, personally, plan to go gently into that good night, as gently as I can, hugging the big We like an eternal pillow, dying softly into very field that you and me have played so beautifully in, immortal friend, brother rat.

Robert Morris adds: One response: I have always believed that fun generates joy which we often (not always) express with laughter; moreover, I have always believed that laughter is a form of prayer, at least  to the extent that it is an affirmation. The texts on which the world's great religions are based (notably the New Testament and specifically the four Gospels) include numerous examples of joy, of celebration...of spiritual values anchored in real-world experience. The Oaqui* is but one of several names we need to identify a location, a source...which is nowhere and everywhere. For me, fun is the fuel which enables us to reach that destination. Without joy, without laughter, without fun, without affirmation and celebration, there is NOTHING.

Helen Collins writes:

My father was dying.   Just an ordinary bloke, without a great deal of formal schooling because of the 2nd world war, but he had an extraordinarily  curious mind, and taught us kids how fascinating and interesting the ordinary things of life are when we don't take them for granted. He read widely, talked with thousands of people and  had an ever-wondering exuberance about the gifts of life.

He lay in my arms.  We had talked about his dying and what he believed about "the other side".  We talked about his knowing the answer to the big mystery soon.

As he died, his last words were "I'm dying!!!!"  He was EXPERIENCING the process.  There was wonder in his voice, and he was excited !!! I guess he was having fun, even then.

Hi Major FUN <Helen contiunes in another e-mail>  --

Let me tell you what made my morning -- you first need to know that New Zealand is coping with bad flooding and weather damage caused by prolonged heavy rains.    This morning in a supermarket carpark I saw four kids lined up with their Mum at one end and their Dad at the other. All wore wet w3eat5her gear and boots. They were holding hands and standing in front of a shallow gutter, flowing with rain water.   Dad called, "One, Two, Three!!"  and they ALL jumped with both feet into the water making the biggest splash possible.  Shouting with laughter, they then went off to do the shopping !!

Cheers, Helen

See also: On Quitting