September 4, 2004

"they’ve never thought about it"...strange

This seems bizarre to me..

Bad and bored: Britain is sick and tired, there is no religion, no culture and no patriotism — and not even leisure can lighten our burden (Theodore Dalrymple, 9/04/04, The Spectator)

...It has fallen to our generation...to create a population that is bored equally by work and leisure. (That, of course, is why ‘leisure management’ has become both an academic subject and a career.) When I meet patients who tell me that they are fed up with their work because it is so boring, and they wish they could stop working altogether, I ask them what they would like to do instead. The question comes like an unexpected thunderclap, or a flash of lightning in a darkened landscape: they’ve never thought about it, and when they do they are completely unable to answer. They realise for the first time that it is not so much work that bores them as existence.... [quote lifted from Orrin Judd]

I tend to think of the trendy lefty enclaves of the two coasts, including SF where we live, as sharing many of the pathologies that afflict Europe. But I don't recall encountering anything like this.

Perhaps I don't mix in the right circles, or perhaps Mr Dalrymple has got it wrong. But this just seems so DIFFERENT. There are Americans who have nothing but their work, and Americans who are bored with their work...but the two groups don't overlap. A large percentage of Americans say they are satisfied with their jobs, and those who aren't usually fill their non-work lives with activities that they wish they could pursue full-time. And everyone else is wishing they could fly to Mars. Or so it seems to me.

Posted by John Weidner at September 4, 2004 5:12 PM
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