Tom Hodgkinson - Quotes

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Truly, the bench is a boon to idlers. Whoever first came up with the idea is a genius: free public resting places where you can take time out from the bustle and brouhaha of the city, and simply sit and watch and reflect. ---->>>

When the going gets tough, the tough take a nap. ---->>>

Long weekends at festivals, short weeks at home, all summer long: now that is surely preferable to the immense cost and headache of the nuclear family holiday in the sun? ---->>>

On bikeback, there is a delightful sense of self-direction and autonomy. Lately, I have taken to cycling slowly, more fun than the fast, competitive commuter cycling I used to do. No longer do I jump lights or attempt that irritating wobbling thing that semi-professional cyclists like to indulge in. ---->>>

Bosses should sanction the nap rather than expect workers to power on all day without repose. They might even find that workers' happiness - or what management types refer to as 'employee satisfaction results' - might improve. ---->>>

Laziness works. And the simple way to incorporate its health benefits into your life is simply to take a nap.

Laziness works. And the simple way to incorporate its health benefits into your life is simply to take a nap.

I could happily lean on a gate all the livelong day, chatting to passers-by about the wind and the rain. I do a lot of gate-leaning while I am supposed to be gardening; instead of hoeing, I lean on the gate, stare at the vegetable beds and ponder. ---->>>

One of the least arduous but most productive of gardening jobs, the magic of deadheading never fails to delight me. It was a revelation when the principle was explained to me: that flowers are the attempt by the plant to reproduce itself. So if you cut the heads off before the flower turns into seeds, the plant will continue to flower. ---->>>

What is required as we travel towards full unemployment is not new legislation but a gradual change of mental attitude, a shift in values. As our taste for idling grows, we will refuse to work for old-fashioned bosses who demand a five-day, 40-hour, nine-to-five type week, or worse.

What is required as we travel towards full unemployment is not new legislation but a gradual change of mental attitude, a shift in values. As our taste for idling grows, we will refuse to work for old-fashioned bosses who demand a five-day, 40-hour, nine-to-five type week, or worse.

Being lazy does not mean that you do not create. In fact, lying around doing nothing is an important, nay crucial, part of the creative process. It is meaningless bustle that actually gets in the way of productivity. All we are really saying is, give peace a chance. ---->>>

Working is bad enough in the winter, but in the summer it can become completely intolerable. Stuck in airless offices, every fibre of our being seems to cry out for freedom. We're reminded of being stuck in double maths while the birds sing outside. ---->>>

There's nothing new about anti-work philosophy. History is dotted with individuals and groups who decided that laziness was next to godliness and work was a waste of time. ---->>>

Surely, anyway, a working day of eight or nine hours which is not split by a nap is simply too much for a human being to take, day in, day out, and particularly so in hot weather. ---->>>

All of our technology is completely unnecessary to a happy life.

All of our technology is completely unnecessary to a happy life.

The reason laziness is rarely pushed as a lifestyle option is down to one simple reason: money. There are fortunes to be made out of active lifestyles. Gyms charge fees. But no one is going to make money out of sleep. It is free. ---->>>

The terrible thing about the Internet and Amazon is that they take the magic and happy chaos out of book shopping. The Internet might give you what you want, but it won't give you what you need. ---->>>

Idleness allows you to turn a situation from boredom to pleasure. ---->>>

Festivals are fun for kids, fun for parents and offer a welcome break from the stresses of the nuclear family. The sheer quantities of people make life easier: loads of adults for the adults to talk to and loads of kids for the kids to play with.

Festivals are fun for kids, fun for parents and offer a welcome break from the stresses of the nuclear family. The sheer quantities of people make life easier: loads of adults for the adults to talk to and loads of kids for the kids to play with.

Computers tend to separate us from each other - Mum's on the laptop, Dad's on the iPad, teenagers are on Facebook, toddlers are on the DS, and so on.

Computers tend to separate us from each other - Mum's on the laptop, Dad's on the iPad, teenagers are on Facebook, toddlers are on the DS, and so on.

Meetings, clearly, can take place anywhere, and wouldn't it be nice to see your coworkers lounging on the grass with their shoes off? ---->>>

Indolence, of course, is an absolutely crucial part of the creative process: you do not find poets sitting in rows in cavernous word factories, staring at screens. They are rather to be found lolling on the sofa or strolling through the groves, nursing their melancholic temperaments and losing themselves in extended reveries. ---->>>

When walking, you see things that you miss in a motor car or on the train. You give your mind space to ponder.

When walking, you see things that you miss in a motor car or on the train. You give your mind space to ponder.

Facebook is not ideologically neutral. In fact, it emerges from a very particular world view which we can trace back to Hobbes. I discovered this by examining the profile of Zuckerberg's fellow board members who, unlike him, are a very interesting bunch and, I suspect, the real power behind the poster boy. ---->>>

Once you explore life outside of work, it becomes addictive. The less you work, the less you want to work. At first, the odd afternoon off seems like a fantastic luxury. Before long, you are opting for a four-day week. Then a four-day week becomes an intolerable demand on your time, so you find a way of moving to a three-day week. ---->>>

To me there is no more depressing sight than a five-year-old staring at a screen, unsmiling, mouse in hand. Besides whatever dreadful things this prolonged exposure to screens is doing to their brains, computer games tend to be solitary affairs, and produce little laughter. ---->>>

Doing something you enjoy at times of your own choosing and making a living from it: now tell me, is that work? ---->>>

I love the 19th-century idea of the flaneur, the poet wandering through the streets. ---->>>

Alongside my 'no email' policy, I resolve to make better use of the wonderful Royal Mail, and send letters and postcards to people. There is a huge pleasure in writing a letter, putting it in an envelope and sticking the stamp on it. And huge pleasure in receiving real letters, too. ---->>>

I would like to propose slow cycling. Commute by bike. At a stroke, you remove the need for and absurd cost of public transport. Cycling is almost completely free. There is no longer any need for the gym as you get fit by cycling. And you can go at your own pace. ---->>>

I've never understood activity holidays since we seem to have far too much activity in our daily lives as it is. Find a culture where loafing is the order of the day and where they don't understand our need to be constantly doing things. Find somewhere you can have a hammock holiday. ---->>>

Now I'm no biologist, but it seems to make a lot of sense that slow lives, as well as being enjoyable, are long lives. One only has to think of the example of the tortoise for proof of this theory from the animal world. ---->>>

Punk was a protest against work and against boredom. It was a sign of life, a rant, a scream, a rejection of bourgeois morals. But have things improved since then? Arguably, they've got worse. ---->>>

When stuck years ago in a job I hated, my only friend was the public bench. As the tedious mornings dragged on, how I would long for the lunch hour, when I would be able to escape the torture of the office and stroll over to the churchyard and into the comforting wooden embrace of one of its benches. ---->>>

Faffing is good. It is an important part of life. Faffing is when we disconnect from the matrix and idle for a while, like a car. Our body and spirit know deep down that human beings were not made for constant toil so subconsciously creates space through the mechanism of faffing. ---->>>

We think we have to work because the advertising industry has elevated wants into needs. The newspapers and the television batter us incessantly with the latest 'must-haves', whether that's shoes, videogames or patio heaters. As a result, mums think they 'have' to work at Tesco in order to buy expensive trainers. ---->>>

When we are busy at work and busy at home, an hour's walking every day becomes a real luxury. If done alone, the walk injects a period of meditation into the day, and if done in company, it allows space for some really good conversation. ---->>>

For a really relaxing time, you want to go to a place where the work ethic hasn't taken hold, where the culture hasn't been taken over by the western values of constant striving. ---->>>

Poetry, being supremely useless, by its very existence represents a protest against the so-called 'real world' of busy-ness and moneymaking, so we must embrace, salute and support our poets.

Poetry, being supremely useless, by its very existence represents a protest against the so-called 'real world' of busy-ness and moneymaking, so we must embrace, salute and support our poets.

The siesta provides a delightful detour from the working day and it also has a practical value as far as productivity is concerned. Winston Churchill had a good long siesta every day during the Second World War, and he said it was the thing that enabled him to cope with the pressure. ---->>>

These days we seem more bound to our bosses than ever before. We even identify our own selves with the jobs we do: 'What do you do?' is the first question we ask each other at parties, as if a job title could express a fundamental truth about our personality. ---->>>

We no longer sing and dance. We don't know how to. Instead, we watch other people sing and dance on the television screen. Christmas, which was once a festival of active enjoyment, has turned into a binge of purely passive pleasures.

We no longer sing and dance. We don't know how to. Instead, we watch other people sing and dance on the television screen. Christmas, which was once a festival of active enjoyment, has turned into a binge of purely passive pleasures.

Am I the only person in the world who is shocked and amazed at the ongoing flattery of uebergeek Mark Zuckerberg? ---->>>

Travelling fills me with dread. ---->>>

Faffing, of course, does not fit the programme. We are supposed to be busy, productive citizens. ---->>>

I've given up email. Well, almost. At the weekend I set up one of those auto-reply messages, informing my correspondents that I would no longer be checking my emails, and that instead they might like to call or write, as we used to in the olden days. ---->>>

Beauty, pleasure, freedom and plenty of sleep: these are the hallmarks of a successful idler's break. Travel should not be hard work.

Beauty, pleasure, freedom and plenty of sleep: these are the hallmarks of a successful idler's break. Travel should not be hard work.

Both on an individual and a national scale, debt imprisons. ---->>>

I seethe at the humiliation of airport security checks. ---->>>

My idea of childcare at festivals is to sit at a trestle table with an ale while the kids run around and make up their own games. ---->>>

The phrase 'work/life balance' encapsulates a depressing outlook. ---->>>

Faffing is completely harmless, whereas its opposite - dynamic, purposeful activity - is often very harmful. Faffers do not tend to kill people or make them work 12-hour days or sell them shoddy merchandise or lend them vast sums of money that they cannot pay back. ---->>>

Deleting 200 spams a day is a drag. And I was checking my email constantly, rather than getting on with my real work, which is reading and writing. Email was becoming a distraction, a burden rather than a liberation. ---->>>

I suddenly realised, hey, I'm not a lazy idiot, I'm an idler! It's something to aspire to, it's part of the creative process! That's fantastic! ---->>>

One aspect of fast London life I have never understood, for example, is the custom of the gym. Why do people go to gyms? ---->>>

You can become very serious as a parent. That's got to be fought against. ---->>>

I originally welcomed the mobile phone, as it seemed to me that it would enable you to work from anywhere. On the mobile, who was to know if you were sitting on the branch of a tree or sitting in an office? But it instead had the opposite effect: instead of freeing us from the office, it allowed the office to take away our freedom. ---->>>

As the son of a feminist mother, I grew up with the idea that work was a sort of salvation for women as it would give them freedom from the domestic grind. Now it seems work is a form of slavery, undertaken out of apparent compulsion rather than choice. ---->>>

Embrace the faff. Stare out of the window. Bend paperclips. Stand in the middle of the room trying to remember what you came downstairs for. Pace. Drum your fingertips. Move papers around. Hum. Look at the garden. ---->>>

I'm not sure if I could bear to go on an aeroplane again. It's not my concern for the welfare of the planet. It's not even the long check-in times and queuing. No, it's the humiliation of the security process that has finally done it for me. ---->>>

If your work is done on the phone, then surely you can set up some kind of wireless system. If your work involves reading or writing reports, then this too could be done outside. ---->>>

It takes a while to master the art of hammock-lounging. At first I could only manage five minutes or so before I thought I ought to get out and go and help a child learn how to swim or something. But after observing the Mexicans' capability for staring into space for hours on end, I decided to put in some proper practice. ---->>>

If we are to make life into a pleasure rather than a struggle, then I would suggest that we have to start with our own mental attitudes. ---->>>

Whether you live in the city or in the country, creating time for a leisurely ramble is an easy thing to do. ---->>>

In this age of getting what you want and getting it now, the simple pleasure of browsing is often forgotten. ---->>>

All poets are idlers, even if all idlers are not poets. ---->>>

Although I played a lot of computer games in my 20s, now I have children of my own, I hate them with a passion. ---->>>

If you can find a way to make a living doing something you enjoy, or a range of things that you enjoy, then it can scarcely be called work. ---->>>

What seems extraordinary is that the richest countries in the world, in terms of economic output, are the ones where we work hardest. ---->>>

It's pretty obvious that Western lifestyles which rely on gigantic amounts of electricity use up far more resources than a subsistence-based life. A little more poverty would be a good thing. ---->>>

We can live frugally. The less you work, the less you spend and the more time you have for loafing about. But when I put forward this simple notion, I was greeted with a volley of resentment. ---->>>

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. ---->>>

In both word and deed, one of the greatest idlers of all time was John Lennon. In his songs we see repeated defences of simply lying around doing nothing. ---->>>

Management gurus in general are, I think, best avoided. All too often they reduce your working life to a list of rules to be followed. Targets are aimed at. Goals kicked at. You then break the rules or forget them and, hey presto, you start beating yourself up. ---->>>

Of all the depressing abuses of language in business, there is none that gets me so incensed as the rampant overuse of the word 'passionate' in company slogans, marketing blurbs, mission statements and on the sides of vans. ---->>>

The world's richest half billion people - that's about seven per cent of the global population - are responsible for fifty per cent of the world's emissions. ---->>>

I've often said that far more sensible than a 'make poverty history' campaign would be a 'make wealth history' campaign. It is, after all, the wealthy people who do all the damage. The less money you earn, the fewer resources you use up. ---->>>

My hope is that flexible working and varying shift patterns will give workers a taste for idling and that they will gradually demand greater reductions in the length of the working week. ---->>>

We have to wonder whether digital technology, rather than making it easier to communicate, is actually doing the opposite. We now sit alone at a keyboard, firing off zeros and ones into the ether. Offices are silent. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: British
Born: 06-21, 1968
Birthplace:
Die:
Occupation: Writer
Website:

Tom Hodgkinson (born 1968) is a British writer, and the editor of The Idler, which he established in 1993 with his friend Gavin Pretor-Pinney. His philosophy, in his published books and articles, is of a relaxed approach to life, enjoying it as it comes rather than toiling for an imagined better future (wikipedia)