Wednesday, June 6, 2007

My Bible

I'm not exaggerating. It is.

It's called How to be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson, who is my new hero. And I am embracing his sleepy call to revolution.

Tom H. is the editor of The Idler magazine. And in his book he takes 24 areas of life, matched to 24 hours and shows us the way to anarchic, joyful living. He shows us the pleasures of the Slow Food Movement, siestas, late rising, day-dreaming, idle sex and resisting the urge to work and be useful. In it he quotes great, creative idlers through history, Dr. Johnson of course being one of the greatest examples.

Now I might not be the most obvious person to embrace this new religion. But I recognize in myself the urge to do too much and this book is just what I needed right now to set me straight and to bring me back to my original path of languid complacency. I thank my dad for giving it to me a couple of Christmases ago and - I believe - I am to receive Tom's new book How to be Free for my birthday!

Here is the preface to How to be Idle:

It's good to be idle. The purpose of this book is both to celebrate laziness and to attack the work culture of the western world, which has enslaved, demoralized and depressed so many of us.

Doing nothing, however, is hard work, as Oscar Wilde pointed out. There are always so many people around trying to make you do things. This is why I have tried to create a kind of canon of idle writing, from the philosophy, fiction, poetry and history of the last three thousand years, to give us idlers the mental ammunition we need to fight the fight against work. The sheer number of great idlers in history proves also that we are not alone.

Being idle is about being free, and not just being free to choose between McDonald's and Burger King or Volvo and Saab. It is about being free to live the lives we want to lead, free from bosses, wages, commuting, consuming and debt. Being idle is about fun, pleasure and joy.

There's a revolution brewing, and the great thing is that to join it all you have to do is absolutely nothing. So join us, Liberty Lads and Liberty Girls. This should be the most enjoyable revolution the world has ever seen.

And here is the manifesto of How to be Free:

The Freedom Manifesto:

BAKE BREAD
MUCK ABOUT
QUIT MOANING
STOP CONSUMING
START PRODUCING
BACK TO THE LAND
SMASH USURY
EMBRACE BEAUTY
IGNORE THE STATE
REFORM IS FUTILE
HAIL THE SPADE
HAIL THE QUILL
LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR
BE CREATIVE
DIG THE EARTH
MAKE COMPOST
DOWN WITH HEALTH
DOWN WITH SAFETY
DOWN WITH WORK
DOWN WITH PENSIONS
BE ALIVE
BE MERRY

Be Free!

1 comment:

Barbara said...

I know exactly what I'm getting Derek for Christmas. But of course, I'm going to read it first, as he does with every book I ever buy myself, the bugger.