Friday, November 22, 2013

The Art Of The Modern Day Laziness Activist

“Lazy is a very strong word, I like to call it selective participation.” Anon

Some words just get a bad rap. Lazy comes from the 1540's term laysy, of unknown origin but odds go to Old German. It replaced both slack and idle as the main word expressing the notion of "averse to work." Human beings are the first animal to pronounce that doing nothing for prolonged periods of time is a bad thing (whereas other animals think that's exactly what to do after you've eaten enough to survive and have mated enough for one day). Then again, we're not beasts, are we? We've got that opposable thumb thing going for us and that carries responsibilities.

We've been taught all our lives not to be caught doing nothing for too long because we're all supposed to be running around full-tilt boogie. It began in the Industrial Age where we all became parts of the machine. Anyone who isn't busy at an alarming pace is suspected of being a laziness carrier (horribly diseased and afflicted) and shunned lest they be contagious. Exhibiting such unproductive behavior is said to be having vegetable-like characteristics (like that's a bad thing, especially to vegetarians), and called couch potatoes or loafing (as in bread). Personally, I prefer indolent because it sounds more distinguished.

Ingenious people (we might call them Laziness Activists but that would be an oxymoron) have been devising ways of creative slothfulness for years. Hence, we have new age activities like meditation, zen retreats, forced solitary confinement, 24 hour COPS marathons, sleeping in front of the computer with your eyes open and zoning out in the middle of a conversation but still retaining the ability to nod at appropriate times. All highly valued skills. We don't hear about these successful heroes often because they go veritably unnoticed.

Which is the point, after all.

6 comments:

  1. Nodding at appropriate times is easy. Just wait for a pause, nod, and try not to look too glazed over. I think I've perfected this skill. Still working on mastering keeping my eyes open while sleeping at the computer.

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    1. Agreed, Linda. It's a skill that takes time to perfect. :)

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  2. Bravo, Rand! Indulgers of the Indolent Arts rise up... (or perhaps stay seated) You have nothing to loose but that well-rested appearance... Or something.

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    1. Thanks Raymond. Always good to hear from you. But could you comment when I'm not napping next time? :)

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  3. This is so funny for me today, Rand. I got up this morning and did a few of things I had planned. I've taken frequent breaks to read and to catch up with stuff and friends, and to chat with my husband. But here it is, 15h54, and I'm still in my pj's. This NEVER happens. It feels decadent.

    It fees GOOD!

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    1. Just be glad you don't have a dog you have to take out, Lynn Marie. They make you put on pants...

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