« U.S. District Court Holds that Maryland's "Wal-Mart" Bill is Preempted | Main | The Meltdown at Rocketboom: How Law Shaped the Outcome »

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

On Doing Nothing

In our mother/daughter yoga classes, my toddler and I love the final and most important pose, the do-nothing-doll (shavasana/corpse pose) and the teacher asks us to “practice doing nothing.” As Oscar Wilde said, “to do nothing is the most difficult thing in the world.” Now English professor Tom Lutz has written a book – Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers and Bums in America. The book is a cultural history of the tensions between work ethics and idle impulses. It includes case studies that unfold the interplay of the competing models of hard workers and slackers, ranging from the Industrial Revolution through the dotcom '90s. Throught, it reveals ironies in our culture like the industrious character of the “flaming youth” of the 1920s; the closet workholics that are celebrated slackers; and of course, the most outspoken Puritans that love to rest (GWB…). Weaving it all together, the book actually makes you think differently not only on the art of resting, but perhaps more so on norms of production, productivity and work. Now that’s hard work!

Posted by Orly Lobel on July 19, 2006 at 05:28 PM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference On Doing Nothing:


The comments to this entry are closed.