This post comes from our manager Steven.
Of the many aspects of daily life that makes the American experience unique – from speedboat racing to barber shop quartetting – is our singular dedication to the idea of fun. This tradition of merrymaking predates the Declaration of Independence, and, as John Beckman argues in his book American Fun: Four Centuries of Joyous Revolt, the pursuit of frivolity followed the Pilgrims across the Atlantic, blowing raspberries at the Mayflower’s stern the whole way. As long as our country has existed, there have been oppressive power structures governing the people, and, as long as there have been people to govern, there have been sardonic contingents of ne’er-do-wells among them whose only goal is to make those power structures look stupid.
In American Fun, John Beckman explores the social, political, and psychological landscapes in the United States that have, over the past several hundred years, engendered rebellion and thrill-seeking behavior in the general public. Beginning with renegade colonialists thumbing their noses at the Pilgrims and surveying all the way through the irreverent antics of Improv Everywhere, American Fun is a comprehensive history of jubilant dissent. No institution is sacred in the perpetual search for fun as Beckman investigates the rebellious mock celebrations of antebellum slaves, the satirical origins of minstrel shows, drunken Gilded Age debauchery, the Zoot Suit Riots, Harlem Renaissance, the breakdancing revolution, and the sneering violence of hardcore mosh pits. The only remedy for the disease of status quo is a healthy dose of American Fun.
Join the Stand Up Sit Down Book Club on Monday January 25th at 7:00 p.m.
in the cafe at BookPeople to discuss American Fun
by John Beckman and share your stories of glorious rebellion. The Stand Up Sit Down Book Club meets on the last Monday of every month to revel in comedic literature and the history of comedy as art. Cast all pretensions aside and join us for some fun this Monday
. It is your patriotic duty.