Off Topic podcast: What is fun?

After much research author Michael Foley concludes you cannot have fun on your own

This week's Off Topic podcast asks: what is fun? Surely the answer to this question is so subjective as to render it unanswerable, and asking it puts one at risk of sounding like Mr Spock. But author Michael Foley disagrees, as he explained in The Irish Times earlier this week.

His new book Isn't This Fun?: Investigating the Serious Business of Enjoying Ourselves treats the question with the solemnity he feels it deserves.

Michael always viewed “fun” with suspicion, and himself as something of a curmudgeon. Being labelled “the man who hates fun” by family members inspired Michael to do the research.

And from that research, which including visiting cosplay events, spoon-carving festivals and other outbreaks of the dreaded “organised fun”, Michael concluded one irrefutable fact: you can have pleasure on your own, but you can’t have fun on your own.


To hear Michael's interview with Culture Editor Hugh Linehan, use the player on this page.

Or you can find this and older episodes of Off Topic, our weekly podcast on all things artsy and cultural, on iTunes or Stitcher.