I Want To Have Fun
By: Connor Lenahan
Last night was spontaneous. Over the weekend my girlfriend Laura LaBrecque and I met up with some good friends of ours, Montana Rispoli and Elias Loucagos, for a quick breakfast in New York. They told us that they were thinking of catching Florence + The Machine out in Manfield, MA that upcoming week. Having been rained out of our final day of music at Governors Ball, Laura and I elected to join them in the mid-week journey to the concert.
I am not all that familiar with Florence + The Machine outside of their biggest hits. I can bluff my way through most of “Dog Days are Over” and recognized “Sweet Nothing” (Florence Welch’s collaboration with Calvin Harris) and “Shake It Out,” among others. While I didn’t know the lyrics or the melody I was blown away by how much fun the music was. That’s what’s had me thinking today.
Fun music is having a moment right now – although that might be localized to my life alone. There was a palpable enthusiasm from the leader of The Machine last evening, clearly recognized when she sprinted past the first section of the venue to the second level concourse early in the show. She was loving every second of her life last night, and it was tough not to concur with her.
There’s nothing better than watching a talented artist having fun with their music. That’s why the album I’ve enjoyed the most this year has been the happiness-in-audio Coloring Book by Chance the Rapper and the best musical moment of the year was Kanye West’s debut of “Highlights” on Saturday Night Live. All of the above music is made better by how happy everyone is when it’s happening. No matter your opinion on Kanye, it’s impossible not to crack a smile at how joyful he is here.
This came back to something I’d been sitting on recently. I’ve been writing for Unbreakable for two and a half years now. It’s honestly one of my favorite parts of my life, but it’s been different recently. I can’t pinpoint one part of it, but it’s a net of all these little issues I’ve had with it. After well over 800 articles in a row it’s tough to find new avenues to talk about that I haven’t before. I don’t do this for website traffic, but the numbers this year are well below what they have been in the past – and that’s my fault. While busy living my life with random things I haven’t been able to put the effort forth into this project that I once was. I’ve gotten lazy, and I don’t like it.
But more than that, I’ve gotten bored with the persona I’m trying to have here. I don’t have super argumentative articles all that often, if ever, mainly because I’ve gotten myself into a rut of positivity. That’s not a bad way to live life, but even I’m aware when I give glowing praise to everything. It’s boring to read and it’s become boring to write. I need some kind of change.
I love writers that are able to have fun and make points about topics they care about. I emailed Shea Serrano, the former Grantlander turned internet mega-star who made the New York Times Bestseller list out of sheer force of personality (and immense talent), to pick his brain about how he has been able to find fun ways to write. He gave me two tips:
- Look for takes that other people aren’t giving and run with them.
- Be honest – actually honest, not a facade of honesty.
The former is a point that I need to be better at. It’s impossible to be a singular dissenting opinion in an increasingly interconnected online world, although there are better, more interesting avenues than “Everything is Awesome.” But the latter is something that clicked with me, and it’s made me hungrier as a writer than I have been recently.
I share a lot of things I enjoy on here, but I try not to throw stones. I’m never going to become over-the-top combative, but I’m done pretending everything is totally great. For example, I have the NBA Finals on the television behind me as I type this. I could put up something about how cool it is to live in the era of this Warriors team and how history is cool.
Or I could honestly express how I’ve never wanted a team to lose in the NBA Finals more in my life, or how I think Steph Curry gets free passes on things that LeBron James get’s mercilessly criticized for. Or how anyone that genuinely thinks LeBron James isn’t the best player on earth is absolutely insane and that Steph Curry needs to do more than be the most amazing shooter of all time – real respects real, he is – to overtake the throne, especially defensively, an area where LeBron is his superior.
This is a basketball equivalent to Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, where one is endlessly picked apart and the other is given a free pass for falling off a cliff and potentially using steroids.
I digress, but I cannot tell you how much fun that was to just write. I like when Unbreakable makes me happy. I’m envious of the extreme joy that Florence Welch, Chancellor Bennett, and Kanye West are having this year.
So I’m going to join them.
Starting today I’m going to be trying out things I really haven’t before on Unbreakable. I want to make this more interesting to read than before. I want to put forth quality content and quit taking days off because I “don’t feel like it tonight.” Hard work is the name of the game, and hard work is what will make this site fun again.
Consider this a turning point for Unbreakable if you will, time will tell if it sticks. But dammit I’m committed to trying to have more fun. If you will, stick with me as we try to make Unbreakable a better place to talk about things we love. Same humor, same topics, but a voice that wants to actually give 110% again.
I’m sorry I’ve been lazy, but it’s time to grind again. This is going to be a big summer.
In the spirit of fun music that has reinvigorated me this year, Let’s Go Crazy.