Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rule Number Six

Education itself is a putting off, a postponement; we are told to work hard to get good results. Why? So we can get a good job. What is a good job? One that pays well. Oh. And that's it? All this suffering, merely so that we can earn a lot of money, which, even if we manage it, will not solve our problems anyway? It's a tragically limited idea of what life is all about.

Tom Hodgkinson
The Freedom Manifesto
While I await release of his latest book, The Idle Parent, I'm re-reading Hodgkinson's Freedom Manifesto (originally published in Great Britain as How to Be Free). Hodgkinson is the editor of The Idler, and author of one of my favorite books of all time, How to Be Idle.

The weather outside is frightful. I hope it's better where you are. But if you have the six-more-weeks-of-winter blues (or even if you don't), I recommend getting a good book to read. Something irreverent. Anything by Hodgkinson. Or Vonnegut. Or dig through your piles from long ago to find your worn copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It'll help.

Rule number six? Stop taking yourself so damn seriously. It's from Roz Zander, in The Art of Possibility. There are no rules 1-5.


  1. "It is not for us to search but to remain still, to achieve Immobility not Action." - Fingers Pointing Toward the Moon by Wei Wu Wei

  2. I've got two words for you: Handling Sin.

    It's a book by Michael Malone that's sort of like Mark Twain meets Kurt Vonnegut, which was then edited by Terry Southern and Hunter Thompson.

    What's it about? Hmmm...finding out that you've forgotten to be what you are, maybe. And whimsy.

    It's one of the few books that I can read that causes people to come downstairs and demand to know what I'm laughing about.

    I can't think of a better book to curl up with on an icy day with a mug of something hot.

  3. @thoughtfractals: thanks for the reference. Now I know who Wei Wu Wei was (thanks, Wikipedia) and that my local library carries exactly none of his eight books. I'm off to put in a request from afar...

    @Reilly: my library does have several Malone books, including Handling Sin (which the library book review totally trashes -- so I'm guessing it'll be exactly the kind of book I like.)

    It's 17 degrees here today. Cozy chair, hot mug, etc etc etc...


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