‘Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day. I once knew a woman who interned at a magazine where she wasn’t allowed to take lunch hours out, lest she be urgently needed for some reason. This was an entertainment magazine whose raison d’être was obviated when “menu” buttons appeared on remotes, so it’s hard to see this pretense of indispensability as anything other than a form of institutional self-delusion. More and more people in this country no longer make or do anything tangible; if your job wasn’t performed by a cat or a boa constrictor in a Richard Scarry book I’m not sure I believe it’s necessary. I can’t help but wonder whether all this histrionic exhaustion isn’t a way of covering up the fact that most of what we do doesn’t matter’. – Tim Kreider, ‘The “Busy” Trap’


  1. Sloth – seems so much more attractive than busyness. But maybe ‘pride’ is part of busyness so they both make it into the deadly sins.


  2. It has to be alright being busy doing nothing. It’s the delusion that we are doing something crucial that seems like the problem. I wonder if there are any pastors in Busytown and if they are pigs or snakes?


  3. There’s rather a good (excellent, in fact) poem called “Snake” by D H Lawrence. I’d type it here but it’s a longish poem.


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