Real fun is subversive.
I’m not talking fun that offends. Offense isn’t subversive. Fun that offends is trapped by its need to offend, lacking the sense of sheer joy unbound that healthy fun has.
I’m not talking fun that is a “guilty pleasure.” A guilty pleasure requires you to have something to feel bad about – then not feel bad about. Guilty pleasures aren’t subversive, the very name suggests they’re less guilty, more pleasure
I’m not talking about doing the “big thing.” You may enjoy that, but also you might just be following along with the crowd, having fun because you have to. “Required fun,” as joyful as it is, still jabs you with that razor edge of control from outside.
I’m talking fun that’s just . . . fun. Sheer joy of something, the happiness in being there and enjoying yourself. It’s a kind of connection and expression that’s just being you. That’s incredibly subversive.
When you have fun you’re just being yourself, experiencing joy, doing what you like, living. It’s almost a meditative experience if you pay attention – fun is when you’re you. You just might be having too much of a good time to notice it.
Think about it. For the moment you’re truly having a good time, that one moment you’re you. You’re not what people told you you are – or told you you’re not. You might rebel against constraints of society by being the real you – or perhaps in joy discover social connections that real mean something.
Fun isn’t just subversive against society’s pathologies. Maybe your social ties and society are fine – but fun helps you discover yourself. Bad habits and unhelpful attitudes can vanish when you experience joy, in those moments you’re in touch with yourself. You might be bad at being yourself – fun can help you discover it.
Finally when one is enjoying themselves, you can find new ideas and inspiration. You’re open to experiences – or perhaps the kind of fun that limits your experiences so you’re thinking clearly is what you need. These are moments where you can become something better by being yourself, enjoying – and seeing what evolves.
This is one reason fun, joy, entertainment, is so valuable – when done in a healthy manner. Its moment of being oneself, a moment of clarity, and a moment of safety. In those moments we’re us.
Being us is pretty important. We might not even like what we find – but then we can deal with it. But, good self or bad, fun is one way to subvert what holds us back and disconnects us, and find something more we can be.