I have been doing a little bit of thinking. 

It started over the weekend when I read an article via Dick Puddlecote's Link Tank.

Why we’re no fun any more.

Now I agree with a lot in what he says.  The world has indeed changed and we do seem to have lost our sense of joy.  The world as I know it has become a lot darker.  But why?

Technology does have a lot to do with it.  While we can connect with old friends on the Interweb and make new ones, those connections lack the personal touch – seeing facial expressions and hearing someone laugh.  Why make the effort to meet someone when you can send the a simple text?  People as a result are less connected than they used to be.  Life lacks the human touch.

I think there are two other factors though.

One is this modern obsession with health.  Health seems to be the paramount objective wherever you look.  It is a serious business.  People regulate their diets and lifestyle and torture themselves with exercises in attempt to somehow gain longevity.  We are bombarded with stuff about "healthier lifestyles" and "the healthier alternative" to the point where people sacrifice the things they enjoy in life.   Fortunes are to be made with fad diets, vitamin pills, gymnasiums and the whole "health" business.  It has become all pervasive.  People no longer buy a bar of chocolate because it is "unhealthy" even though it might make them feel good and put a smile on their face.  The whole "health" obsession seems to involve massive quantites of denial?

The other factor is people's willingness to allow Big Brother to look after after them.  We cheerfully pass responsibility to "the authorities" and look to the latter for guidance in all matters.  I think it was back in the eighties when I first noticed this phenomenon.  I was out clearing snow off the footpath outside my house after a rather nasty blizzard when a neighbour sneered at me -"why are you doing that when it's the council's responsibility?".  I was at a loss for words.

Of course when you combine the two – an obsession with health with an abrogation of all responsibilities you end up with the fertile ground for the Nanny State.  Laws are being passed left right and centre to force us into "healthy lifestyles" whether we like it or not, and the people just love it.  They will lap up any old nonsense if they are promised some kind of health in return.  They actually clamour for greater and more rigid laws because it's all for the sake of health, despite it taking a lot of the joy out of life.

I see the Pig Shagger over in the UK is introducing state run classes for parents on how to raise their kids.  So people actually have to be told by the state how to do something that we all have done since the dawn of time without any help?  What kind of society have we become?  Only the State knows best?

What struck me about the article was the comments, and in particular the thumbs up and thumbs down.  Those comments mentioning the Nanny State invariably got more thumbs down while those showing approval for the idea got more thumbs up.  The people actually want the State to tell them how to run their lives.

We are becoming dehumanised and mere objects to be ordered about by the State.

I'd have to laugh.

If only the State would tell me how.

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We must sacrifice joy for the sake of our health — 7 Comments

  1. A modern obsession with technology, health and social-psychological 'expertise' has taken us away from spontaneous joy. It has also taken us away from natural human instincts and common sense. Your example of state-sponsored parenting courses for young parents who can't/won't rely on hereditary instincts is a case in point.

  2. I was clearing snow from the footpath in front of my house and was told not to do that because if someone slipped on the cleared bit I would be liable to prosecution, I told them to fuck off and finished clearing anyway. On the main subject of no joy in life, my kid gets a lot of pleasure because I have brought her up to be non politically correct, among other things I taught her that gay means carefree and happy whereas queer means unusual or peculiar and pushing manure uphill using your willy instead of a wheel barrow is fucking queer, or the other way around. I also taught her that if someone says something rude or nasty to her, don't be offended, file it away for future use against somebody you wish to offend. I read on another blogsite recently that the best way to piss-off miserable people is to always be happy, the bastards can't handle that. I think I may be wavering a bit with regards to having to be told what to do, I have recently had a STOP sign installed a the top of my ladder.

    • Welcome Coffin!  [and I never thought I'd hear myself say that..]

      I'm delighted to hear there is some real parenting going on in the world.  I also applied much the same principles to my own daughter – question everything and believe nothing.  I'm glad to say she has turned out to be a beautiful cynic, for which I take full credit. 😈

      I do confess to having one item of Nanny Stateism in the house – a No Smoking sign on the door out to the garden.  That's where I insist all non-smokers go.

    • the best way to piss-off miserable people is to always be happy, the bastards can't handle that

      On the limits of this approach, may I quote this Jerry Seinfeld monologue:

      You ever hear the expression: "The best revenge is living well"?.., In other words, it means, supposedly the best way to get back at someone is by being happy and successful in your own life. Sounds nice. Doesn't really work on that Charles Bronson kind of level. You know, those movies where his whole family gets wiped out by some street scum. You think you could go up to him: "Charlie, forget the.357. You need a custom-made suit and a convertible new carpeting, French doors, a divan. That'll show those punks."

  3. One is this modern obsession with health”


    Yes, and a very big one it is, too.  Why?  Well, because pretty much everything that is fun (real fun, I mean, not “organised,” “approved,” or “instructed,” fun) is deemed by “the experts” to be bad for you, whereas everything which is deemed to be good for you by those self-same experts are, almost without exception, either boring, unpleasant or a massive chore to be endured “for the sake of one’s health.”  Does anybody really enjoy always being the driver at social events because “I don’t drink alcohol because it’s bad for me?”  Does anybody really enjoy sweating away in the gym, or paddling boringly up and down a swimming pool, or puffing and panting their way around their housing estate in the pouring rain (or the freezing cold, or the boiling sun?).  Does anybody really enjoy wading through a great pile of plain salad or under-cooked veg whilst all their friends tuck into big juicy steaks or fried chicken?  Does anybody really enjoy their morning coffee break sipping their lukewarm, caffeine-free brew accompanied by the office bore, without the added zing of a cigarette and the liveliness and chatter of their jolly smoking friends?  Of course they don’t!  They only say they enjoy those things – and all the “benefits” which supposedly accrue from them for the very same reason as they are doing them in the first place – because they’ve been told to!

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