Monday, February 21, 2005

ode to snow

Weather warnings? Where are the weather celebrations? Snow is great. I want snow, lots of snow! Clearly this fear of snow is an extension of our current work, work, work ethic. It cannot snow, we might have to take time off! Might have to spend a day sitting by the fire, looking out the window at the beauty of a crisp white landscape instead of going to work. Might have to spend some time sledging and building snowmen and having snowball fights. What’s the problem with this? Only that we run the risk of realising that the job is not that important after all, not so vital that a day out, missing that meeting, will cause the world to implode.

Yes, I’ve been reading How to be Idle again, but the conclusion that many chapters of the book draw are so important that they should be reiterated again and again. Idleness is offensive to those in charge, idleness gives time to think, time to plan and scheme and have fun, time to relax or create; it is time well spent, not like the time wasted in the pointless productivity of gainful employment, the productivity that keeps us all busy in unnecessary labours, all under the yoke of wage-slavery, happy and unthinking while someone else lays down our future for us. It can be seen in those who flock to the shops on boxing day, unable to stomach more than a single day of enforced idleness, a single day where they are responsible for entertaining themselves. And it can be seen in those who bemoan the idea of snow, those who cannot comprehend that fact that this stuff is fun!

Where does it go wrong? As a child snow was always fun, never more so than when it involved an extra day off school. This legacy is evident in kids films – Snow Day, Jack Frost, Home Alone – but never in the adult world (save, perhaps, South Park). When exactly is it that it becomes so terrible, when do these adults lose their sense of fun and enjoyment. When does snow stop being so magical, a welcome frosting to the winter months?

So welcome the snow (I keep trying, if only it would stop melting so quickly!), welcome idleness, welcome time out. Down with the warnings, up with a celebratory weather service that encourages days off, encourages joy and life. “Stay at home, have fun, don’t drive” is so much better than “danger, if you must drive be careful, accident warning, severe weather!”.


Blogger paulhd said...

On the subject of 'idleness' Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes reclusive genius) liked to get most of his ideas by lying around in his back yard until something turned up, he reckoned to the casual observer this looked remarkably like 'goofing off'.
I guess the fact that people can't take time off from work to just appreciate has some sort of link to how lame popular culture is.

21/2/05 12:15 pm  

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