October 30, 2013

Who's giving up now? Early warning signs.

1. "The Art of Lying Down: A Guide to Horizontal Living," a book by Bernd Brunner that is an "ode to lying down... ranging from the history of the mattress to the 'slow living movement." It "makes an eloquent case for the importance of lying down in a world that values ever greater levels of activity," and presents lying down as "a protest."

2. A New Republic piece by Ben Crair about protesting against excessive activity by staying in bed. "When you’re in bed, everything seems too far away, even the other rooms of your apartment—and I live in a studio. My water intake dropped to almost zero, which I never noticed until I went outside on some errand and found myself desperately thirsty after a few minutes of leisurely walking. One evening, returning home, I planted my right foot on a step in the hallway, and lifted my left foot assuming it would follow, but nope: It went back down exactly where it had started."

3. There's this new essay in The New Yorker by Evgeny Morozov called "Only Disconnect/Two cheers for boredom," that begins with a reverie about a 1903 essay called "The Metropolis and Mental Life," that says closing the shades and "surrendering oneself to one's boredom on the sofa" is good response for people who "are pushed deeper and deeper into the hustle and bustle until eventually they no longer know where their head is." You'll need a subscription to read the whole thing, but I can tell you that Morozov is reading some new books that resonate with that old surrender-to-boredom-and-inactivity theme.

11 comments:

EDH said...

Me too. I've noticed a lot of articles on the Obama economy lately.

rhhardin said...

Levinas as the phenomenology of boredom in Existence and Existents actually a good read.

rhhardin said...

For example link above search inside for "foot" and read that page.

Great stuff.

Carol said...

The Boomers are getting all wore out.

Michael K said...

In the summer of one of my years in medical school, the chairman of the physiology department who was also involved in the Space Program, decided to try to simulate weightlessness. He came up with a summer job for students. He took a group of students, it turned out to be the USC basketball team, and had them spend the summer lying in bed. His experiment was interesting and may have helped the Space Program but it wrecked the USC basketball season. They could barely walk.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Read G.K. Chesterton's On Lying In Bed. That's the right way to do it.

William said...

I have a tempurpedic adjustable bed. If you're really serious about lying in bed you need an adjustable bed. The next great advance will be some kind of catheter thing.

Paul Zrimsek said...

When and if you get around to retiring, it might be interesting to keep track of the number of times people ask you "What are you going to do?" Bonus points if you can do so without recourse to scientific notation.

Sam L. said...

Can';t reach my jeybrd frm bed.

JoyD said...

Haha, once in a while I have an afternoon like that. I think to myself, I really should get out of this chair, and then I think, nah. I must need this. When possible, you should go with what your mind/body wants to do.

ALP said...

RE: The Art of Lying Down...

I had to check to see what the author of that book looked like, as I immediately began to suspect it was written by my boyfriend under a pseudonym. Given how that man loves his sleep..and the couch, I would not have been surprised to see his face staring back at me. Nope. Whew.