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Go Thou Not To the Ant, Thou Sluggard

An fine extract of Tom Hodgkinson's argument in defense of idleness appears in the Guardian. His morning routine isn't half bad:

I developed complex alarm systems. I bought a timer plug and set it to turn on my coffee maker and also the record player, on which I had placed my loudest record, It's Alive by the Ramones. 7.50am was the allotted time. Being a live recording, the first track was prefaced by crowd noise. The cheering and whooping would wake me, and I'd know I had only a few seconds to leap out of bed and turn down the volume before Dee Dee Ramone would grunt "One - two - three - four" and my housemates and I would be assaulted by the opening chords of Rockaway Beach, turned up to 11. The idea was that I would then drink the coffee and jolt my body into wakefulness. It half worked. When I heard the crowd noise, I would leap out of bed and totter for a moment. But what happened then, of course, was that I would turn the volume right down, ignore the coffee and climb back to the snuggly, warm embrace of my duvet.

Makes me feel like staying up until all hours tonight, and sleeping in tomorrow. Unless the Ramones come to call.

I get half my best ideas for while half-awake, and always keep pen and paper at the bedside, and I usually get nothing done serious before 10. Hodgkinson buttresses his case that castigating ourselves for our laziness is a sucker's game, quoting Dr. Johnson, James Watt, Friedrich Engels, Rene Descartes, and a few others you may have heard of. He even quotes the Bible to support idleness.

Why be a slave to clocks and work, if they bring no happiness?

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