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Trying to Save the World Should Be Fun


#1

Trying to Save the World Should Be Fun

Ira Chernus

Since Election Day my mood has been sunk deep in the shadows. It’s been hard to find the energy to smile, even on the sunniest day.

Then came the Women’s March. I arrived late and joined the march in mid-route. The signs, the banners, the colors, and everywhere the smiles—it was like plunging into a river of hope and good cheer, flowing gently and gracefully through the streets.

Suddenly, all those negative feelings that had been freezing my heart for more than two months vanished. This was exciting. This was exhilarating. This was FUN!


#2

Songs played a big part in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements. Anyone know some good anti-fascist songs? Maybe Neil Young could update his impeach the president song from the George W. Bush days. Is there a new Phil Ochs out there somewhere?


#3

"Having fun is also a smart political tactic. Sadness, anxiety, and gloom drain us of energy and hope. Joy and fun fill us with energy. They make us more hopeful, make it feel like there’s good reason to keep on keeping on."

This proposes a false dichotomy. There are probably other choices -- other ways of being human -- besides having it be a choice between "doom and gloom" versus "having fun." Seems like a pile of nonsense.


#4

Saving the world is fun - if you're the one dropping the bombs.


#5

So well said. A life is not worth living without joy and humor. Social justice activists can easily be dragged down, especially when reaching our goals seems remote, and oppressed folks are desperate for relief in the here and now. They don't call it a struggle for nothing. As Chernus advocates, to make the long haul, we gotta have fun.

My number rule for maintaining sanity in these dark times, which have been ongoing for a while now, is to make sure to have one good belly laugh a day. Laughing 'til you piss your pants if you can. It's amazing what some good humor can do for the soul. And don't forget to share what makes you laugh!

And on that note: from Youtube, this hilarious Welshman Rhod Gilbert describes his arrival in Dublin. I've watched this dozens of times and it still makes me laugh.

Also, if you're not familiar with Tim Minchin, then you have been missing out on one helluva entertainer. Some of his stuff is so funny it brought tears to my eyes, the first time I heard it. Collectively, his body of work reeks of social justice, dished up with lots of offbeat humor. He's a trained musician with a real knack for wordplay. This link leads to the piece "Prejudice" on his Youtube channel. If you take the time to explore, you'll find magic.


#6

Interesting perspective. But with all due respect, the perspectives of the liberal bourgeoisie look inexplicably clueless to much of the country.

We're some 30 years into the Reagan Revolution, which now appears to be coming to fruition. We're 20 years into one hell of a war on the poor, during which countless families were torn apart, brutality has come to be an accepted norm, and the overall life expectancy of the US poor fell below that of every developed nation. Throughout, the middle class was pitted against the poor, and the poor were pitted against each other by race.

The US shut down/shipped out a huge number of jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare in the 1990s. We've built an abundant surplus of job-ready replacement workers, grateful for the chance to replace you for less than you are paid. Then we pursued the longest, most expensive war in US history, and this time, we can't rebuild.

Now Trump, and there is no "opposition party" to challenge his dictatorial takeover. Various groups can hold their protests, as long as they get a permit, and remain within the designated protest zone, following all rules and restrictions. People have the pitchforks, the fascists have our nuclear arsenal.


#7

And all those jobless poor here in the US are just such a drag. They're also pretty useless for fund-raising purposes.


#9

Very true and that is why we need a Gandhian total, rolling, non cooperation. We need to hit those in power where it can affect them most. Imagine also a tax revolt-placing money in escrow and allowing groups that really serve the poor access to it.


#10

Yes, the real criminals would like for us to be miserable but imagine how much it will upset them if we can not only form coalitions to fight them but also walk in joy. Yes, things really do look like the devil-or 'interesting times'- but I heard he is a merry if ugly fellow! Let's also remember all the songs attached to social movements. Let's use them and add to them.
Here are some:


#11

The third choice can be organize, organize but inspire one another while doing so.


#12

Good compilation. The number of different versions and lyrics (even in the same language) of The Internationale can get ridiculous.

I like Anne Feeney's Internationale, I don't like Billy Bragg's too much....


#13

and creative activities for relaxation


#14

Or put another way: Liberals are trying to save the world and everybody else is not, including you who comes here to pick fights.

Up until recently we all lived in what was called a "liberal democracy." That must've really chapped your hide. Are you happy that's over now?


#16

Well, teaching religious studies can be dispiriting. This is why so many of us choose to instead teach spiritual studies and spiritual engagement with the inner being, the inner voice, the primal self, the natural self - these are all synonyms for the same thing that many of the religions called GOD before they deteriorated into clerical hierarchies in which the clerics/clerks decided they themselves were god. That is nothing but dispiriting.

This clear honesty revealed that well: "Since Election Day my mood has been sunk deep in the shadows. It’s been hard to find the energy to smile, even on the sunniest day."

Not to brag, but I wrote many times that HRC would elect TweetiePoo. I never became dispirited, and still am not. I also have written all along that TweetiePoo may be a gift from GOD's love of the extremely wayward Wall Street Democrats! They remain wayward to this day. Yet, I love all the awakening of the citizens TweetiePoo's monstrous and unceasing absurdities have inspired.

The Wall Street Ds will never wake up. The only way to get their attention is to boot them out of office forever. Our love of ourselves, which is indistinguishable from our love of GOD unless we are confused about both ourselves and God, guides us to see the obvious.

Meditate for clarity if prayer doesn't deliver it. The obvious is obvious to most of us, most of the time. Knowing this from their widely divergent ways of knowing themselves/knowing God guided the founders to this profoundly decent wisdom. The least we can do is honor it decently.


#17

Conservative's idea of fun is not letting others have fun. That's why there are no conservative comics.


#18

Right and the fun is really going to stop when all the lights go out in this country and people are hauled away for raising their voice against the government. Everything is in place right now for that possibility to become a reality overnight.


#19

And who will want to join us if all they see is a bunch of angry militants?
Great point: To "Be the change...," just marching, waving placards, railing against the obvious problems, is not nearly enough.
We must become, not just upbeat, but joyous and clear about the New Possibilities worthy of drawing in the multitudes.
Peace and Justice are worth celebrating.