Let us now praise recreational men

Erik Wyse

College life is hectic, to say the least. We flood our brains with so much information and then are asked to process it all in a timely fashion and generate some sort of intellectual progression. It can seem daunting at times – unnerving and troublesome – like trying to toilet-train an infant in the middle of a battlefield.
It becomes important to be able to step away from the many academic demands of school, to engage in activities that refresh the brain. With that said, I want to present a few top recreational activities to do when not working, or perhaps when one should be working.
The first and most obvious choice is sleep. Most people don’t get enough of it; overrated, underrated, no matter – sleep is necessary to our ultimate survival, so I am told. When I haven’t slept my brain enters a weird territory. It seems a little like a state of euphoria, but then my head starts hurting. I begin to easily forget things; my conversations and interactions with other people are laughable. In these moments of sleep deprivation I can’t posit a sound argument, let alone dress myself properly.
Another great recreation I like to take part in is watching movies. Movies are capable of providing one of the purist forms of escapism available – that is, unless you are watching something like “Schindler’s List.” Our library has many great movies but many I will never watch while at Lawrence because watching recreations of the horrors of war provides no good break from schoolwork. In most cases I would rather continue with my work than watch an actor or director pander for an Oscar.
I asked a close friend of mine what a good recreational activity at school was. Her response was, “You can experiment with drugs. That’s a great way to waste time.” This response is most interesting.
Many great scholars and writers of the twentieth century experimented with drugs, and they published books – great big, profound books! Aldous Huxley, Carl Jung, Alan Watts, Jack Kerouac, Gary Snyder and Ken Kesey, to name a few. Then again, most of these people died, so even with drugs they couldn’t stave off death.
The only apparent downside to this last option – besides eventual death – is that drugs are expensive, for the most part. It’s important to have something you can do to relax and re-energize that doesn’t slice your bread in half.
You could have an impromptu wedding, or go bowling with ice cubes. These are both great options, but for my taste I would rather spend my free time spinning fantastical stories or generating absurd ideas. The power of thought often subdues action in my case. Then again, whispering sweet nothings to a lover puts up a good argument for a way to spend your time.
It must then come down to one’s priorities. Some people don’t even like any conventional notion of recreation; they are called accountants. Some people like whips and leather; they are called Gwar people. The point is, if there is a point, that different folks like different strokes. Mayonnaise has never been very good to me, but to some it’s a second cousin – a fatty substance they choose to whisper sweet nothings to.
America was founded on the ideal of doing just enough work to get by while placing a premium on recreation. So the nuclear family can have its Miracle Whip and swallow the sense of responsibility – if only until lunch is over. But do not forlorn my friend, dinner is soon enough!