"Then it is dark; a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains." - John Cheever

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

On the Roof

My flatmate interviewed the writer Geoff Dyer the other day. This is quite a nice piece by him in an old Granta, about being a dole-bludging, aspirant writer idler in Brixton in the eighties - ending with some reassurance for those of us in the rat race who yearn for a life of chat and books instead.

8 comments:

Tom said...

Yes, I remember really liking this piece when it came out. It's very good: a well observed piece of social/lifestyle commentary. As Colin says, the moral is that dropping out isn't much better than staying put.

john said...

yeah, but it's more like not really dropping-in in the first place. ok when you're in your twenties, then suddenly you're hitting thirty oh shit oh shit oh shit...

seriously, i don't think full time idling is very good for you, however plentiful your supplies of books, music etc - you need something purposeful to be idle in relation to...

Colin said...

Yeah, you're probably right, but I'd take a more equal ratio of idling to non-idling. Bring on the 4 day working week.

Tom said...

The problem is, living a humane, leisurely, cultured and enjoyable life requires collective action. It's no good doing it on your own: eventually you get fucked by house prices and a sense of shame and dread.

john said...

i think that's a bit pessimistic tom. given that the overwhelming majority of us have to work for most of our lives, the thing is to find something that you enjoy doing that pays adequately.

Colin said...

Difficult combination, John

john said...

well, enjoy might be stretching it. i don't mind the IT stuff I do for a living...

Tom said...

All work is shit in as much as you're doing not what you want to do, but what you're paid to do. The chance of this coinciding is rare, even if you are fortunate enough to have flashes of satisfaction and enjoyment in the workplace (I think I had one once in 2002).

And yet, despite all of our abundant wealth, everyone still works. And if you choose to work less, you get fucked. Which is why we need collective action to bring on the 3 day week.