This Might Sound A Little Pious, But…

In a recent conversation I had over beer cans in the park, an Australian friend of mine remarked how “there are no good causes left anymore” – an apathy that was backed up a few days later by what another Australian friend of mine claimed was his motto for life – “if it’s not fun, then it’s not worth doing”.

To the first remark, I replied in such a feeble way that I have been unable to escape the shame ever since – “Well, I’m pro-Pussy Riot.” I muttered since that was apparently the best example of a “good cause” I could come up with on short notice. Retrospectively I can see in my answer that the remark stirred up instinctive disapproval, and I should be glad for that at least, but it’s a pity the cerebrum couldn’t more quickly kick in with the sort of scathing reply the initial remark deserved.

To the second one, I gave no reply. Of course, what good would life be if it were not in some way “fun”? But then our privileged and thrill-seeking ways were only won through the tired and bloody sacrifices of others. I dare say that soldiers managed somehow with their songs of comradeship and nostalgia to eek out a morsel of fun in the trenches, but I bet not one of them would have called the experience “fun”. Their cause certainly was worth it, though – and it was this alone that stopped them from slicing their necks with their own bayonets.

Yet in our couch-ridden, facebook-drooling, First World comforts we fail to identify the good causes that are still being fought and died for in the world, dismissing them as “boring” and therefore “worthless” or opposing them mistakenly as part of a fashionable “anti-establishment” or “skepticism”. They do exist, however, and I have taken care to list some below, lest I ever neglect them again. You may add more if you please:

– Challenging racist nationalism and homophobia whenever encountered
– Bringing religious freedom to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and so on (as well as “building up that wall” (between church and state) in our own countries as was requested to Thomas Jefferson)
– Convicting war criminals at home and abroad – Henry Kissinger, Charles Taylor e.t.c.
– Scrutinising the motives of corporations at all times
– Helping the large liberal-minded young population of Iran to topple their theocracy
– Releasing North Koreans from their starvation and slavery (somehow)
– Protecting freedom of speech (especially for those whose views we find revolting)

I said it was pious…

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One response to “This Might Sound A Little Pious, But…”

  1. Sointex says :

    Sounds like that Australian is one of the TOOKS who thinks pirating shows is “cool” cause it’s fun (http://www.tweaktown.com/news/29974/us-ambassador-to-australia-asks-australians-to-stop-pirating-game-of-thrones/index.html). Not like i do anything of importance or for any great cause. I’m pretty much a blob who plays too much video games. But for FRAKS sake, there are NO good causes in the world anymore? I assume this kid is in Japan. How the hell did he make it to another country without expanding his perspective beyond his frakking bedroom door? I mean wtf. Seriously. W.T.F.? Granted this might have been a tookish drunken comment that we’re overly picking on, but people like that should learn to keep their mouths shut and keep the oral diarrhea from flowing all over our ears and minds. The most annoying person to have a conversation with is someone who doesn’t know shit, but still talks. If he doesn’t know of any good causes, that MUST mean there aren’t any.

    As for the ‘only having fun’ crap. If he actually sat down, shut the frak up, and thought for 5 minutes about what people DO, he might allow his mind to grasp for a moment (granted he sounds like a took, so he might not grasp anything) that he doesn’t understand jack shit about anything. Most of human activity is driven by either biological impulses to replicate our DNA, or by our feeble attempts to find meaning in our meaningless existence. That’s why people, in their free time, do stuff that is insane, stupid, dangerous, and anything but fun, like climbing mountains. If you read memoirs about climbing mountains, the whole book is about pain, danger, and sometimes catastrophe. Even when they make it to the top, they aren’t filled with overwhelming joy and fun. They have devolved to kindergarten level brain functioning because of lack of oxygen, and can barely process what is going on. It’s a terrible experience. And after they come back down, you think the last thing they’d want to do is go back up again. But they do go back up again. This is probably because we do shit not because it’s fun, but because our bodies are wired to release certain endorphins or other whatever-the-frak chemicals when we make progress or achieve some goal that we have set out to achieve no matter how big or small. Raising children isn’t frakking fun, especially for the first 6 years. But we all seem to be pretty intent on doing that over and over again.

    Not like i can reference it, but research on factory line workers who who put one part of a product together, aren’t as happy and don’t take as much pride in their work as workers who make a product from beginning to end. They don’t care about the final product or who buys it or whatever. It’s because people don’t work for money. People work for making progress. When people see that their efforts are making progress and other people see their work or care or will matter to them, their work (and life) has “meaning.” I dunno, most of what I’m talking about I’m busting from this TED talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_what_makes_us_feel_good_about_our_work.html). But whatever, I’m talking too much, when I don’t know so much. Time to shut the FRAK up. Tell that Aussie to MAN the F up.

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