Tag Archives: joy

Haters Gonna Hate

joy_edited-1

If you can’t join ’em, verbally abuse ’em.

On my Facebook feed, the haters seem to be in the minority, while the majority are excited to do doing something that provides more joy than they’ve felt in a long. But everyone knows these people, the ones who are too cool for everything, who feel that showing enthusiasm for the wrong things is a weakness. The Australian musician who made fun of me in 1997 for going to all the major museums in London, because in his book, the only interesting places to go were bars and clubs. The grad school colleagues too terrified to express their love of genre fiction, because there was only one kind of acceptable lit-er-a-ture and it didn’t have dragons in it. The people who go to parties and refuse to dance (OK, some of you have social anxiety, but isn’t it because you’re afraid these guys will make fun of you for enjoying it?) or watch anime or wear funny hats in photo booths.

They don’t understand how anyone can retain their childlike sense of wonder, and so they seek to crush it out of others because they don’t understand it, or they’re afraid to cultivate it in themselves. Because someone like them might come along and shame them for it.

Never feel ashamed about having a good time. And if you can’t tolerate watching others have a good time, close your window and go back to watching depressing stuff like DexterBreaking Bad, and The Walking Dead on Netflix. (Disclaimer: I haven’t really watched any of these shows, because I know that what you put into your brain has a real bearing on what comes out of your brain.)

Don’t be a hater. Buy my book, support my Patreon, order my merch.

‘Tis the Season

Although Christmas decorations that come out before Thanksgiving enrage me, when it comes to holiday bulletin boards, I do have to start early. I always do Halloween/All Souls, which leaves me with 6 weeks before winter break, so I can either scramble to do something sort of late autumny followed immediately by something early wintery (why is “wintery” a word, but “autumny” is not?) or I can stay on the one-every-6-weeks or so schedule and encapsulate the entire holiday season into one comprehensive thought.

Here’s my thought for the holiday season 2014:

Don't worry; be happy

Don’t worry; be happy

Originally, and for many weeks, I had intended this bulletin board to somehow feature hands. First I was thinking of a photo of people with different skin tones making a sort of hand mandala, but I don’t have access to that kind of paper anyway, so I considered another idea. Before I did any of the above paper cutting, I first cut a piece of brown paper into the shape of two hands forming a heart, like so:

Like this, except, you know, more cordate.

Like this, except, you know, more cordate.

Then I cut the big red heart to fit inside the finger heart and made some rough cuts for the flames, at which point I laid everything out on the tab and realized that the hands were going to obscure the fire. By then I had already settled on the quote (I just Googled “joy quotes,” because that’s what I always end up with for the holidays anyway) and I figured the flames were going to look cooler than the hands, but I thought I could reposition the flames to make it work. At that point, I rolled everything up into a couple tubes and took them home, intending to cut all the letters at night. Instead, I drew Dragon Comics, so that when I went back to school Wednesday I was no further along than I had been on Monday.

For about 30 minutes, I fine-tuned the flames so they were not all identical, and pasted the colors together. I lightly affixed the heart to the bulletin board and arranged the flames underneath it, stapling and gluing in various ways I have learned best keep paper stuck to cork in a windy courtyard. I went to add the hands, saw there was no way to make them work, and that they didn’t look that great anyway, and discarded them. Instead, I hastily cut and paste the lettering, which is all very freehand with only the scarcest guidelines or regard for size.

I think the font offers a sense of joyful abandon.

Total time: about 6 hours (although I do spend a lot of time kibitzing with the librarian while I work).

Joseph Campbell was a great thinker, and I would hope the entire world could become familiar with some aspects of his work. He certainly did a great deal of research into the human condition, and with it, what makes people happy, and what makes them miserable. Understanding culture, and using it to maintain our humanity, is a more favorable choice than not understanding culture, and being crushed or dehumanized by it. He’s probably a pretty good example of a self-actualized human being, and a man who was able to find his life’s work in doing something he loved, and apply his life’s work to making the world a better place. I think that makes him a hero, even if his hero’s journey might not have been quite what he would have described as classically heroic.