Sunday, August 08, 2004

Today, I am The Devil's Plaything

The Guardian has an extract from How To Be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson:

For all modern society's promises of leisure, liberty and doing what you want, most of us are still slaves to a schedule we did not choose. Why have things come to such a pass? Well, the forces of the anti-idle have been at work since the fall of man. The propaganda against oversleeping goes back a very long way, more than 2,000 years, to the Bible. Here is Proverbs, chapter 6, on the subject:

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

(I would question the sanity of a religion that holds up the ant as an example of how to live. The ant system is an exploitative aristocracy based on the unthinking toil of millions of workers and the complete inactivity of a single queen and a handful of drones.)

Christianity has promoted bed-guilt ever since. This passage from the Bible is used as a bludgeon by moralists, capitalists and bureaucrats in order to impose upon the people the notion that God hates it when you get up late. It suits the lust for order that characterises the non-idler.

He goes on to sing the praises of being idle, a past time I'm quickly coming to enjoy more and more myself. Currently, I'm housesitting for my aunt and Uncle. Their place is in a festering little suburb and for the last two days, I've been lamenting the fact that I'm a good half hour's drive (at least) from anything to do. Reading this excerpt however, has made me realise that I've got my head all turned around. I blame Grad school which has once again brainwashed me into believing that I should be productive all the time. I should enjoy myself while I have peace and quiet, before school starts up again in three weeks. Maybe I'll lay around and watch a movie, or write a nit. Or perhaps I'll simply do nothing at all.

Thaks to Chris at CT for the link.


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