Thursday, June 16, 2005 | Arts

Have I mentioned that work sucks? and if there is an afterlife and I get to meet Henry Ford I hope I'm in shape enough to kick his sorry ass? | Arts:

"MJ: You've written that the concept of boredom didn’t really exist until 1760.

TH: That's the date most of us put on the Industrial Revolution, i.e. the age of the Big Machine. The idea of the machine was that we wouldn’t have to do that kind of work anymore ourselves. But you still need lots of men to work the machines, and these men become robotic because there’s no real skill involved. It’s like in Fast Food Nation where Eric Schlosser says the ultimate successful business could be operated by monkeys. They make it easier and easier to work the machines and keep the wages as low as possible. In the past we had a more varied existence, where you might do a bit of weaving, you’d be tending the garden, you were involved in a whole range of activities. You still see it now, if you go to, say, rural Mexico. Work was mixed in with leisure, and the day was more varied, so it wasn’t boring.
If you look at the literature of the 19th century, you get things like Kafka and Dostoevsky, who basically write about feeling bored and alienated. That’s because we lost contact with the important things in life like work that you enjoy, or the garden, nature, your family and friends. "

1 comment:

Ted said...

it all makes sense now. oh, first time reader, first time comment.