Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Real Sunday Post

This is writing about laziness, in laziness.

This is one of the Sundays with no work. And that's a lie, because I have postponed most of what needed to be done. And, have not done some of the work that I should have finished Saturday night. This is authentic laziness, no doubt.

Zygmunt Bauman argued that in contemporary societies, work is the normal state of humans: Not working is abnormal. Life has come to mean work. And, the meaning of work has been usurped, and work means participating in the economy, doing something productive - money! So, even if I am working away on my Mac now, because this post may never be read by anyone, or be of no interest of anyone, and will never earn any money, this isn't work: This is a sheer abnormal thing to do on a Sunday morning.

The usual state is to go out and shop. If I have nothing to buy, I should still go see shop-windows, so that I can find something that I don't need. That way, as The Economist will argue, I do my bit to keep the World Economy going. Or, if it is too cold outside, which it is, I should sit at home and watch TV. That way, I can educate myself on the latest episode of the never-ending soap operas, and use that to chat up the girls at the bar. This is still my contribution to World Economy, consuming views, news and gossip, remaining connected, doing work. These will all count as normal states of life.

But not sitting and writing this pointless blog. This is laziness, this is abnormal. This damn thing does not have a proper copyright message. There is no economic incentive to do this. By being lazy, I am not just wasting my time. I am not fulfilling my moral obligation - that of consuming when not producing - and not ding my bit to keep the world economy.

Indeed, at times like this, I am thinking - to hell with world economy! Laziness is a sort of protest, not to participate in the modern grand narrative called Globalization, and that we must function smoothly to keep the thing going. I would like to believe that there are lots of people like me who are disconnecting as a protest. I am aware that I am not in august company and much of the crowd are too fat to move, or sunk in a drunken stupor, or given up on their lives, or is yet to come back from Marijuana-land. But, then, this half is somewhat better than the other lot sunk in the cycle of consumption, who are flocking the stores at this time, cranking up their Credit Card bills, or are resigned passively in front of the TV which is telling them to flock the stores and crank up their credit card bills. If I have to choose between slaves and madmen to live with, I would rather choose the madmen.

The reason for this - I shall argue - that the normal state of life is freedom. To be unfree is abnormal. The freedom must go down right up to the freedom of being able to spend a Sunday morning typing away a pointless note. The lack of point is the signature of freedom. I keep writing this blog to keep practicing freedom, to be something else other than what my visiting card calls me, or my relatives known me to be. This is what the Sunday Post is supposed to be, even when it appears on a Monday.

God took a break on Sunday. He defied his responsibilities to the World Economy. I am sort of reassured that my act of laziness isn't unique, and is part of an alternative grand narrative of not giving in to the norm.

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"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."

- Theodore Roosevelt

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And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
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