ACF PoMoCon #32: Slackers

 

So I talked to my friend Oliver Traldi about slacking–partly, the music, movies, and attitude of the ’90s, but also the way slacking has been replaced by woke activism, therapy, and work, including in worrisome combinations like Woke Capital. Slacking is what idleness is called in America, where it’s perpetually under suspicion–yet slackers are needed critics of the hyper-activity and restlessness of our times. Further, Socrates was a slacker!

.

Published in Podcasts
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 7 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. David March Thatcher
    David March
    @ToryWarWriter

    I watched that movie for the first time a month ago. It was great!

    • #1
  2. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    One of the woke catchphrases is literally, “Do the work!”

    On the other hand, the woke are also bizarrely prone to talking about napping . . . for some reason. They say things like, “I believe that napping is self-care.” (I saw this very sentence today, on an online dating profile.) They also deflect criticism by invoking their own tiredness — as in, “I’m tired today. I don’t want to have to explain to you how you’re a white supremacist. Do the work.”

    I guess wokeness is just an incoherent mess.

    • #2
  3. Jim Beck Member
    Jim Beck
    @JimBeck

     

    Evening Titus,

    Another request, (big surprise) could you talk about the roots of slackers in another podcast? I am thinking about how the escape from work was presented in song, movie and tv in the culture earlier.

    Among my favorite songs is “Gone Fishing” Louie and Bing https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=N8x8PGrgLW8 , ain’t got no ambition, really-la. Love this song. 1951

    Another song is “Easy Street” with June Christy (real name Shirley Luster) singing with Stan Kenton. Love her voice. When opportunity comes knocking you just keep on a-rockin’. 1951 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=A8wmYG9reUQ

    In the movies hobos, even ones who loved being hobos were often not criticized. In the movie “It Happened on Fifth Avenue” the main character was a hobo who lived in the houses of the rich when they went south for the winter. Victor Moore was actively avoiding work at any opportunity in which work arose, but he was the key to solving the problems of all the folks who he pulls into his circle. 1947

    In tv, Maynard G. Krebs, “Work!”. Maynard was an attractive beatnik character; he was fun, good hearted lad.

    It seems as you noted in your talk, our current slackers work at avoiding work, or they are documenting the slacking. You go fishing cause hoeing ain’t no fun. The concept of laziness was different, think of Hoagy and other song writers who wrote about a break from work. This is such a funny time, we work less in total hours, we work less to pay for essential like food and housing and clothing than in the past, we are not on the assembly line, or in the mills, really tough jobs. and yet we don’t know how to sleep in the noon day sun. Ah well age helps with this type of learning.

     

    • #3
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    One of the woke catchphrases is literally, “Do the work!”

    On the other hand, the woke are also bizarrely prone to talking about napping . . . for some reason. They say things like, “I believe that napping is self-care.” (I saw this very sentence today, on an online dating profile.) They also deflect criticism by invoking their own tiredness — as in, “I’m tired today. I don’t want to have to explain to you how you’re a white supremacist. Do the work.”

    I guess wokeness is just an incoherent mess.

    They need to spend quality time with their woobies.

    • #4
  5. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    One of the woke catchphrases is literally, “Do the work!”

    On the other hand, the woke are also bizarrely prone to talking about napping . . . for some reason. They say things like, “I believe that napping is self-care.” (I saw this very sentence today, on an online dating profile.) They also deflect criticism by invoking their own tiredness — as in, “I’m tired today. I don’t want to have to explain to you how you’re a white supremacist. Do the work.”

    I guess wokeness is just an incoherent mess.

    This is very true–it’s both, “do the work” & “I can’t even.” I guess this latter part is the life-is-trauma mantra. Productivity & therapy hand in mangled hand…

    • #5
  6. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    I watched that movie for the first time a month ago. It was great!

    The temptations & deliverance of the patron saint of abiding.

    • #6
  7. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Jim Beck (View Comment):

    Evening Titus,

    Another request, (big surprise) could you talk about the roots of slackers in another podcast? I am thinking about how the escape from work was presented in song, movie and tv in the culture earlier.

    Among my favorite songs is “Gone Fishing” Louie and Bing https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=N8x8PGrgLW8 , ain’t got no ambition, really-la. Love this song. 1951

    Another song is “Easy Street” with June Christy (real name Shirley Luster) singing with Stan Kenton. Love her voice. When opportunity comes knocking you just keep on a-rockin’. 1951 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=A8wmYG9reUQ

    In the movies hobos, even ones who loved being hobos were often not criticized. In the movie “It Happened on Fifth Avenue” the main character was a hobo who lived in the houses of the rich when they went south for the winter. Victor Moore was actively avoiding work at any opportunity in which work arose, but he was the key to solving the problems of all the folks who he pulls into his circle. 1947

    In tv, Maynard G. Krebs, “Work!”. Maynard was an attractive beatnik character; he was fun, good hearted lad.

    It seems as you noted in your talk, our current slackers work at avoiding work, or they are documenting the slacking. You go fishing cause hoeing ain’t no fun. The concept of laziness was different, think of Hoagy and other song writers who wrote about a break from work. This is such a funny time, we work less in total hours, we work less to pay for essential like food and housing and clothing than in the past, we are not on the assembly line, or in the mills, really tough jobs. and yet we don’t know how to sleep in the noon day sun. Ah well age helps with this type of learning.

    That Louis & Bing number is a delight!

    I know what you mean about the old hobos & I think it goes back to Mark Twain’s Tom & Huck & back before that, perhaps: An alternative to work is needful; man does not live by bread alone. In some way, life itself must be pleasant if it’s worth toiling for… These characters remind us of that. Even charming scoundrels & lovable rogues, antecedents to the slackers, have that redeeming quality. W.C. Fields comes to mind. Or in relation to your songs–California surf rock & all that sort of stuff, like the Beach Boys, was all about celebrating leisure, life’s pleasure simply because it’s life.

    But America changed significantly after WWII. Work came to define the country & people got it into their heads that the right kind of work–intelligent work, under big management, itself under positivist social science–would fix everything in society, as well as poverty, & anything else. The result was not fixing America, but various kinds of crisis. The funny thing is that work didn’t lose its reputation in the process–community did instead. So while you’re right, we work much less than previous generations, we also have much less to work for–those communities & even families which made up our leisure are largely gone. Slackers were the first generation born into this post-hippie, post-managed America, in suburbia. Life was safe, but pointless; boredom became a defining feature of American life–the confidence had been sapped out of lotsa people.

    • #7