On Amusement

Are we really here to amuse ourselves? If the answer is no, then in just how much amusement are we to engage? It is attempting to answer the second question that leads us to legalism. If we answer the first, and the answer is no, then why do we engage in amusement at all? If we determine that we, in fact, are not here to amuse ourselves, then we needn’t draw lines; we will just have no interest in entertainment. We don’t need to decide that we can only watch 2 hours of television per day or per week – statements like that are arbitrary and nonsensical. We simply will not desire to merely be amused.

If your answer to the question is “yes,” then I don’t want to talk to you.

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2 Responses to On Amusement

  1. Jaimie says:

    I don’t think amusement should be an end but rather a means. “Are we here to do ____, being amused along the way?” Yes. The truly important question is what should fill that blank.

    Just to, you know, be argumentative and think about it a different way. I agree that most statements drawing lines are arbitrary and nonsensical.

    • Monica says:

      You’re right; you are asking the truly important question. BUT, it seems to me that amusement is often treated as an end in our culture. We “just get through” the day so we can zone out in front of the TV at night. We barely hold on through the week just hoping to get to Friday so we can amuse ourselves out on the town.

      Again, though, you are still right: the problem is not with amusement; the problem is how we approach it. I feel an “ode to Neil Postman” post coming…

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