I’ve been doing almost nothing these last few weeks, including posting here on my blog. My own laziness has startled even me. Today for example I woke up around nine thirty and got the newspaper, which I then looked at for the next ninety minutes. I did not read it, as that would have required too much effort. Instead, I just let my eyes drift over the words, hoping to absorb the content through some sort of visual osmosis. Even browsing is too active a verb to describe my interaction with the newspaper. Despite my best efforts, I did manage to learn a couple things; apparently there’s something going on with health care and a Russian lady lost at pole vaulting.
According to Newton’s First Law of Motion, an object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion. I am an object at rest. There’s something profoundly satisfying about doing so little. This is why you never hear about panda bears having existential crises. They’re content to munch on eucalyptus leaves and nap. Right now I’m pretty much the same, except that I substitute eucalyptus leaves with Ambien.
Laziness gets a bad rap in this country. People view it as moral failing. Or they think of it as a transitory state between work and more work. As in, “Michael’s not being lazy. He’s recharging.” No I’m not. I’m not recharging shit. I’m being lazy for its own sake. I’m sitting on my sofa looking at pictures of Madonna’s new boyfriend (22 years old, apparently named Jesus) because that seems to me to be the best possible use of my time right now.
Last night I was watching a show on the Science Channel, in which the host was talking about a time in the not-so-distant future when humanity will utilize nanotechnology to create “personal fabricators.” These machines will literally be able to create anything out of the proverbial thin air. Even remote control dune buggies! What happens to humanity at the point where our every material desire is a mouse click away? Answer: a profound and deep laziness. The impetus for “work” in the way we currently understand it goes right out the window. Why work if you have everything you need or want? You don’t. (Or at least I don’t.) So what do you do? That’s easy – hot tub parties.
In the future, everybody will have hot tubs.
At that point, my laziness will seem prophetic. My hot tub guests will turn to me and say, “You had it right all along, man. Work is for squares.”
But that is the future. Here in the present, I will inevitably find myself returning to the back-breaking work of joke writing. Which is probably a good thing. We all need purposeful activity to give our lives meaning. Right now my purposeful activity is yelling at the kids to shut up while Daddy watches the Yankees.
So I am going to enjoy my laziness while it lasts. I will no doubt be set into motion soon because while I am a lazy man, I am not a selfish man, and until we all have those personal fabricators, the world clearly needs as much of me as I can give.