fun vs happiness

Ari Bancale wrote: “This is going to be controversial, but I personally promote that humans are designed for happiness. Civilization, on the other hand, was designed to keep us unhappy. We can reclaim our powers of hope and joy. NOW.”

and then: “I’d like to invite +Bernie DeKoven to give us a few words as well. :)”

I responded: Well…. I like to talk more about fun than happiness. Happiness is too hard of a word for me, too complex, too laden with meanings and significances and interpretations.

So, fun-wise, it’s clear to me that not only are we designed to have, be and create fun, but that is something that we share with every living being.

And I think the rest of the world is pretty much designed to provide those very opportunities for fun. You know, beauty and stuff. OK, there’s the things that kill you, which aren’t so fun, unless you are very, very spiritual, which, of course, is what purportedly happens to you shortly after the moment you encounter them anyway.

As for civilization, I think that it, also, is at its best when it brings us the most fun. We civilized ones are making some really cool toys, building some really cool games. And the parts of our civilization that are keeping us from the fun we are creating this civilization for (you know, like the Republicans)(well, not all Republicans)(but a lot like them)(and, OK, some Democrats, too) are: 1) probably not having or finding enough fun in their lives, 2) are maybe the very opposition we need in order to cherish the fun we find, have, create 3) and are, for the most part, just chock full of good intentions.

Huizinga, in his book Homo Ludens (no, it’s not about a gay cough drop), is very convincing in telling us that all of culture is created and maintained and evolved through play. Law, war even. I plan to be equally convincing that, at heart, it’s actually all about fun.

1 Comment

  1. Lily Belland on August 3, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    you know, when I run into “cranky” people, I often feel just a little sorry for them, and try to smile wider to them, in the hopes of sharing my smile. I often think that they are cranky because they haven’t laughed or had any fun in a long time.

    Once upon a time I brought bubbles to work (in retail at the time). We were done for the day and waiting for our boss to close up. He was a very cranky person most of the time. I realized I had bubbles and pulled them out. I handed one bottle to one person and used the other myself. We had so much fun blowing bubbles and popping them. When our boss came over, he asked what we were doing. I said “blowing bubbles, here” and handed him my bottle and bubble wand. He had almost no choice but to blow some bubbles too. And he SMILED, and his shoulders relaxed a little, and the frown lines between his eyebrows went away. It only lasted a few seconds, and then he was cranky again, but I like to think it helped him to remember how much fun fun can be.

    As time went on after that, he got a little less cranky. A little bottle of bubbles can go a long way.

    Love and laughter,

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