Sunday, July 16, 2006

Being Fun

Many, many years ago (2002 or 2003), blogger Michael Blowhard posted about something like this: Why are lefty/liberal types more fun?

It takes a bit of grit in the oyster to make a pearl. Lighten up. There's the rub.

The look on the face of the lefty/liberal says, "I'm not going to take the central task of life very seriously. In fact, I don't even have a grasp on it at all. I can relegate it to "be kind," and be done with it. Let's get on with enjoyments that are cut away from these encumbrances. In fact, I'm not even thinking of these encumbrances at all. Are you? I hardly feel them."

There is a set of dispositions, inclinations, that come to the fore when one unburdens oneself of conserving the precious heritage of virtue. They are exhilarating frequently exhilarating, unlike the sensations offered by the recreational intentions of the man who considers it to be the case that outside of the burden of conserving virtuous ways of life there is nothing else inspiring. They open up possibilities of behavior not likely considered by him. I'm not talking about porn and drugs. This has nothing to do with the titillation of immoral behavior. It has to do with the possibilities opened up by shattering the fragile edifice that is our traditional ways of life. There may be untold heights to be soared thence. Who knows? Go to a party of lefty's. Feel this.

What lies on the other side, however, may be more exhilarating: The prospect of a life well lived. (Of course, lefty folk can live lives well. But that is not their usual intention. Their usual intention is to enjoy life and to make a difference.) When your goal is a life well-lived, you tend to be less that exhilarating to meet. You offer no relief from the burden. You dwell in the hum-drum, where a life well-lived must dwell. Even if I am as conservative as you, you less often offer a moment's relief from my own burden than a lefty friend, who takes me outside the box right away, will do. I want grit. I want to say, "Aw, fuck it." You can't say that when you take your burden seriously. It's heavy. You can't lighten up.

Michael was right that more needs to be said about this.