SPIRITUAL SOAP: In the Business of Fun
40 nights in the desert or 4 days on a Carnival cruise, Satan laughs nonetheless.
Before we were The Black Sheep, we were a newsletter named Spiritual Soap. Please enjoy this article from our history!
Fun isn’t simple, dear reader; it’s one of our many ridiculous modern problems, but a problem nonetheless.
Once upon a time, fun was probably what you experienced in between not starving or being attacked by some ancient threat. Today, fun is an industry with as many genres as music has.
If your taste for fun is unsophisticated, you might develop a deficiency in a certain kind of fun, only to find yourself sick with a lack of playfulness or humor in ten years.
You must understand the nuances of fun to master it. That’s what you do with fun, of course; you master and extract some commodifiable element from it for your newsletter. Don’t worry about that, though—worry about fun.
There’s the mundane mid-week fun that’s meant to balance the un-fun portion of your workday: Netflix, wine, whatever. This house cat tier of fun expires by the next un-fun portion of your day.
There’s 2-step fun; the subsequent fun tier that requires a plan of at least 2 steps to qualify. Pick up a friend, head to a bar, 1+1=fun. Pick a new recipe, invite family over, 1+1=fun. This kind of fun offers more novelty because there’s a chance for the unknown to enter: other people, an uncontrolled environment, the possibility of changing plans. 2-step fun gives you a few days of restoration to move with a little more life through the un-fun of your usual day.
I’ve studied fun the way someone with Asperger’s studies social interactions—an outsider mimicking what comes naturally to others.
If you’re on the right track, your life will move like a pendulum, swinging from one side to the other as it incrementally edges toward the middle.
I’ve spent the last 4 years atoning for the fun-only side of my life with its opposite: workaholism and misanthropy. Lest I wake up in the scene where a protagonist finally realizes what’s it all for, what really matters, I’ve made some changes to ensure I’m living more of a Godard than a Lifetime movie.
I report to you now after one of the loftiest pursuits of fun I’ve attempted since my fun addict days. I didn’t choose to cruise, and I certainly didn’t choose to Carnival cruise, but with the threat of living out a Lifetime movie looming, I accepted my family’s invitation.
If you’re preparing to abandon this foray into the dark side of fun, reader, just know that fun is far more complicated than anyone admits.