Thursday, August 16, 2007

Welcome to the House of Fun

Time to put up a fun post, I suppose – not that I make any apology for the previous one or, indeed, any post that tells how it is with regard to M.E., ingrowing toenails or the state of my herbaceous border. For the record, I do not have ingrowing toenails or even, strictly speaking (for I have just looked it up on Wikipedia) a proper herbaceous border. But if I did and they were causing me grief, I would talk about it when the spirit moved. The word “fun” is jangling around as I was today reminded of the late Andrea Dworkin’s remark: “I am a radical feminist, not the fun kind,” and what a loss it would have been to us if she had been that kind instead of the ardent and fearless campaigner that she was. And then I considered that I don’t much like the “fun kind” of anything much, really. The word itself conjures up a weekend in some dreary hotel with organised games for tired business people to try and get them bonded and generally perked up so they can go back to whatever deadly thing they were doing and carry on making money for the company they work for. Or it conjures up a karaoke night out with people who don’t like singing and have nothing in common other than the desire to get out of their skins for a space (nothing wrong with that in itself, obviously) – and in case anyone is tempted to let me know what a supercilious snob I’m sounding: yes, I agree, each to his own – no blame, no judgement, this is just my take on things and if you give me a convincing story about a knockout and uplifting Murder in the Dark weekend or a Karaoke Night Out I’ll read and enjoy.

I’m not a miserable effer though, far from it, (she says, putting on her red nose and cracking open the party poppers). Ok, maybe I am, then. But if so, then I promise you I know how to enjoy myself because while I despise Fun, I love play – real, intense, lose-yourself-in-the-moment play. It’s why I started making up stories, I reckon. It’s something I have in common with my daughter who, in the playground at school, lamented the loss of her best friend who really understood how to “make it up as you go along” rather than decide in advance to play Ghostbusters or Hero Turtles (though admittedly these would have possibilities, but only if you diverged from the script). I like play because play has soul and Fun (the way I see it) doesn’t. It conforms to the idea one has of how something should be rather than creating out of the moment something new. I appreciate funny, playful posts and those that give an uplift to the spirits. Grief, anger and melancholy also have soul and when I find those set down truthfully in a blog post I appreciate those too, and yet so often people apologise for having expressed them, feeling that they have been indulging in self-pity (not the same thing at all). Or there is the sense that the expression of something lower than uplift is tantamount to a request for sympathy. For me, at any rate, this is not the case – though it is of course a gift to know that one’s words have been heard, received or appreciated.

So anyway – but if you want to do yourselves a favour, go and visit a place of horseplay and foolery (the Real Deal), in the house of The Periodic Englishman. Say I sent you – and beware: he’s a bit of a charmer. (But don’t tell him I said that).


Nicola said...

Hello Signs, I am warning you now that I am absolument fatigue,having been up half the night with a young daughter returning from a week's bohemian existence in the Scottish Highlands and having to adjust to semi-rural English life mit Vater und Mutter.
'Fun' - it is the filthiest word in my book much more so than fxxk which I cannot for the life of me say.

It is the reason my children stayed out of school until eleven or twelve because running outside was a better option than 'fun' in the classroom and if they, as they do, admit it now in their growing-rapidly-into-independence days, then it must be true.
And, yes, how much I am enjoying the real fun over at tpe's.
I remain a humble peg stuck in the mud outside your tent.
And you're expecting me to read this word ver - sjhbkdcl - as short of sleep as I am? I guarantee I'll have to take a second shot!
As I said...

Anna MR said...

Hear hear, once again, Kolmio of the Väistämisvelvollisuus Kind (and hello, Nicola, great to see you). Play is all.

ymukhfc Yo! Muckhead FinnChild

Kahless said...

I enjoyed a jaunt over to The Periodic Englishman, thank for the recommendation.

Simply divine Signs, for your definition of fun versus play, it is exquisite my dear.

Your words too on 'non-uplifting' posts was honest and affirming.

Hope you have a play-filled weekend.

Reading the Signs said...

Absolument entendu, Nicola -and listen here, the so-called humble peg is the thing that holds the tent up, n'est-ce-pas? But I am kind of waiting also for you to announce the imminent setting up of your own blog as soon as you can get someone to give you the techie advice to do it. Look, you will have me already set up as number one commenter, with dear Anna Mr no doubt hot on my heels.

Hang about, why can't you say fxxk? Well it's because of all those xxes in the middle. Try putting the uc back in and then try - ah, go on. But on the other hand, do nothing you don't want. Anyway, we're agreed about 'Fun.'

So you've been at Mr. Teepee's have you? Then you'll have an inkling of what he's putting us all through, disgraceful horseman. But still we return. I'll send your regards when I next visit.

Yo,Annakins! - well you should know, Finnchild, partner in crime. Look, I know you kept apologising for making long comments in the past (even though I really liked them!) - but this is getting ridiculous! Still - better short and sweet than nothing at all, that's what I always say. What do you always say?

Reading the Signs said...

hey, Kahless, (you crept in here while my head was turned). I kind of imagine you'd be a kindred spirit and relate to sentiments here expressed. And also - I made that curry based on the sauce recipe you put up, put prawns in instead of chicken, and it's really damn gorgeous, very different to the kind of curry I usually make.

And yes, I will at every opportunity, yes. You too

Kahless said...

Hey Signs I like to creep in when no-one is looking!

Glad you loved the curry. I have posted on Lite my other favourite curry recipe and worth a try!

My partner thinks I am becoming very 'middle-aged' with this posting of recipes!

Reading the Signs said...

Oh, but Kahless, middle age is now the new youth, it's official, please take my word for it - so obviously putting recipes up is a very cool thing to be doing. And obviously, being in the late summer of my life, I will be having a look.

cusp said...

Well you've hit the spot again dear.

What really gets me is the American way of using the word 'fun': as in
'It was so fun'
'It was so very fun'

It's kind of akin to something being 'very unique' and in my list of Things to Retch To. that is a differnet matter all together and if you've forgotten how to play or be playful then you're a dead 'un. into the garden to play on my own before the children return. They don't know I go on their swing....evry therapeutic

Reading the Signs said...

and, Cusp, when something is a bit of a bore it's now "unfun" - and this is UK speak, proper grownups, not just teenagers.

Sometimes I think I'd rather be blue than having Fun. I'm funny like that.

Anna MR said...

Signs - someone (Zola) made the mistake of comparing me favourably to Hemingway recently (he did, honest. At least that's how I saw it). I am trying to live up to it. Hence the short comments.

Business will return to normal soon no doubt, when the bollocks-talk conduit just becomes too throbbingly full to be channeled into short comments. In the meantime, though - "I will be back", as I always say.

xebnun - ex-excessive bollocks nun. n. A blogger previously known for her outlandishly long and nonsense-riddled blog commentaries, after a relapse back into the habit following a period of refraining from the above.

(Signs - it made perfect sense in my head, okay?)

Have lovely weekend with play aplenty, with aplomb.


Take two, you will feel no surprise in learning, is

drplkp - drip-lick-post. v. A vulgar term for the sordid blog commentary activities of an xebnun

Reading the Signs said...

Yes, Anna, and you have also been compared to Camus. So that's two literary heavyweights. I do keep my finger on the pulse you know. Well someone has to do the chick lit around here, it can't be me though, I don't know enough about shopping and apparently that's important. We're all so damn high brow, but what can you do?

We need to discuss the idea of a Word Ver Dictionary - lets' make money here. We'll split the profits 50/50, I had the idea, you do all the work. That's settled then.

And, I am not joking, ufinnudy - (it's talking about you, ms nude Finn!)

Anna MR said...

Oh. My. God.

I have been recognised (nude!) by the word ver leprechauns. This may just be the biggest day of my life. I may have to change my blog name into Ms Ufinnudy. It has a certain je ne sais quoi I have hitherto been lacking. Yes.

(Yes, Camus, too. You saw it, then. That was almost too much. Almost, but not quite, because, well, you know, an ego stroked is an ego stroked - it is delicious, even when one is writhing with the embarrassment of knowing it was an entirely uncalled-for (read: undeserved) stroking.)

On the WVD subject, I think we have hit a goldmine (yes, ok, the idea was yours, but I'm the one who's been rambling away about them for a year now), although, to be dreadfully honest, my current word ver of vhgsjv doesn't fire up anything at all in my mind. Neither does the second one, alnmw. Given the context, that's more than a mite embarrassing.

x mwahs

Marjojo said...

Hi, here's one who's just started playing again! What with ME and little energy that's something I'd almost left behind, although some people would maybe think just making art is playing. My far and few between energetic time were burdened with the notion: make/do something serious, otherwise it doesn't count. Leaving that notion behind now, had to grant myself official permission to play and am writing playfully/crocheting playfully/drawing playfully/warbling playfully, i.e. not with the end-product immediately in mind. Going with the flow. Am loving it but also fearing it just a little.

That's so pants said...

Hi Signs

It's true. The 'creative industries' as we are now encouraged to call the arts, depend on our acceptance that art is only made by very special people and our only hope of getting some of this magic is to purchase it.

I have to say I've always had a bit of a soft spot for karaoke though. I don't know how I would have survived living in Southern Spain without The Melody Bar.



Reading the Signs said...

Hi Marjojo

I've just had a very quick look over at yours and am looking forward to reading more - can see that you have interesting things to say about play and creative process. I think it's true that playing/creating without end product immediately in mind is the thing. And how, strangely, risky it can sometimes feel to do that.

Hi Pants

I wasn't (consciously) considering that aspect of it, but of course that's at the heart of Fun, isn't it? Making it into some kind of a marketable commodity.

Re. karaoke, I'll take your word for it and I can kind of imagine how it might be something other than my only sad experience of it (in a Eurocamp in the Dordogne as it happens).

Anna MR said...

Signs, isn't that almost the definition of play - that there isn't an end product in sight, that the process is the thing? As a "wish-I-was-creative" type myself, I found Marjojo's (hello, lovely to meet you, I too have made a brief visit to yours, and intend to come back for more. I found your dresses beautiful, and your) notion about the value of the creative process contra an end result really rather comforting and somehow hope-giving. This is something I think I needed reminding about - that it doesn't all have to be great (or even good!) writing or (insert name of any other art form) to be valid and important, at the very least, to the "doer". Furthermore - I'd also agree that it often feels dangerous to throw oneself into it. What's all that about, then?

Anyway, hello ladies. Signs, are you cross with me for having been so sparsely-worded? Please don't be cross with me. The idea breaks my heart.


ncpez, blnhn

Reading the Signs said...

Anna, by all that's verificacious, what put that idea into your head, Ms Nudyfinn? Sparse and verbose equally welcome, truly, and am also a respecter of the thing called silence, lawks-a-mercy, we can't always be a-pratin. Though I does me best. I should shut up now, been drinking and not used to it. Sorry, m'dear, just general crappiness on my part that I forgot to acknowledge your last comment and mwahs - though I did in my own head, of course, and expect you to be able to read my thoughts with fluency by now. In fact, here's a test: what am I thinking about this very minute?:
a) chocolate
b) cigarettes
c) sex
d) the economic climate

(and process is definitely the thing - though eating the cake rocks too).

ddwddw - duh?

Anna MR said...

Cigarettes. Definitely.

Sorry Signsyhoney - I would of course have said "sex" to keep up your rep as a wild child thing, but you said you'd been drinking, and have recently revealed your heroic attempt at chewing gum instead of allowing yourself the deadly bliss.

kujkk - this many k's it almost sounds like it's Finnish. The word ver leprechauns know it's me, evidently.

Reading the Signs said...

Actually, Anna it was all of them (don't ask, don't ask) - but cigarettes most of all because I can't have any!. So you were right.

Anna MR said...

Well, my dear, quite a combination (the economic climate?!). But I am glad I read your signs right, in the end, anyway...

sqchs - squelchies n. What you get from thinking about chocolate, cigarettes, sex, and the economic climate, in one breath


fluttertongue said...

I don't think I discovered play til I got ME. You write so well I have little to add. Save that apparently God is happiest when his children are at play. Whether they are having fun is by the by.

Reading the Signs said...

Thanks, Fluttertongue - that's interesting. And perhaps the reason you discovered it then is because it is essential, and we have to become "essentialists."

Political Umpire said...

Stop it, you're only encouraging TPE ...

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