I read the paper the other day, a satisfying two-hour meander across the world, full of surprises, diversions and revelations. Of course newspapers are dying. This sort of unfocused experience has nothing to do with efficiency or squeezing the last drop of productivity from each minute. It may assuage the soul but is alien to the demands of contemporary hustle culture.
Along the way, as sections of The New York Times accumulated on the floor, piles of paper for which trees had given their last twig, I was seized, along with my pleasurable wonderment, by a growing conviction. The system is rigged. I am no conspiracy theorist, far from it, but all the people out there who feel that their lives have passed out of their control, that they are caught in the maw of some implacable machine, have a point.
Three pieces stayed with me: Erin Griffith’s vivid journey into #ThankGodIt’sMonday workaholic culture; Derek M. Norman’s elegiac lament for the demise of the Half King, killed by soaring rents beside the High Line on Manhattan’s West Side, that monument to gentrification; and Meher Ahmad’s fascinating dispatch on the bulldozing of Karachi.
They were unrelated, except that none contained the words Donald Trump. No algorithm would have led me from one to the other.
Yet they were intensely related in that they all told, from different angles, a story of homogenization — the prodigal child of turbocharged global capitalism. They told of sameness, of how the “authentic” becomes a packaged marketing ploy rather than the genuine fruit of a distinct culture. They told of pressure — the 24/7 pressure to conform, comply and compete — and so offered clues to the anything-but-this anger coursing through the politics of developed societies.
Griffith visited various WeWork locations in New York where neon signs urge tenants to hustle harder and, as she put it, “murals spread the gospel of T.G.I.M. Even the cucumbers in WeWork’s water coolers have an agenda. ‘Don’t stop when you’re tired,’ someone recently carved into the floating vegetables’ flesh. ‘Stop when you are done.’” Griffith quoted a tweet from Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla: “Nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week.” His workweek suggestion: “about 80 sustained, peaking about 100 at times.”
Sebastian Junger, author of “The Perfect Storm,” was a co-owner of the Half King, a popular New York hangout for writers and photographers. Norman quoted him: “For the last few years, the only reason this place still existed is because we loved it. We wanted to take one last stand against the ‘generification’ of New York City.”
That proved impossible, just as it proved impossible to stop the bulldozing of the Empress Market in Karachi.
This was a place where, as Arif Hasan, a historian and architect, put it: “You could find crafts and trades that have been wiped out elsewhere. The bird market, the bookbinders market, the dry fruit market, all stalls that have existed for well over 50 years.”
Must every London gentrified street have a Starbucks, a Pret A Manger, a Caffè Nero, a Costa Coffee, a Wagamama, an Itsu, a Tesco Express, an Eat, a Hotel Chocolat, a Foxtons and a Boots? Is that all that’s left?
Emptiness is what people feel. At the end of all the myriad diversions offered up by technology-at-the-service-of-efficiency lies a great hollowness. “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in,” wrote Leonard Cohen. Modernity is a crack eliminator. The only cracks it allows in its polished, glistening, purring, scented spaces are fake ones.
How then is the light to penetrate, that moment of illumination that may redeem a life? How to journey when every voyage is a return to the same place? How to achieve immersion when the currency of the age is distraction? How to know community in a digital group? How to untie experience from the pressure to review it, that is to say turn experience into a measurable and salable commodity?
Impunity and inequality, immigration and marginalization — many reasons have been advanced for the explosion of anger in liberal democracies that produced a nationalist, nativist and xenophobic resurgence, and an American president bent on taking the world backward.
I think the emptiness produced by watching a rigged globalized system deliver homogenization on a massive scale — one way to think, one way to work, one way to conceive of profit, one way to impose a brand, one way to (not) drink at lunch, one way to eat at your desk, one way to be healthy, one way to deliver a gentrified urban neighborhood — has been underestimated as a source of disruptive fury.
Techies should read Zola. They may actually believe hustle culture is the road to happiness rather than a clever ploy to extract more work. They should recall, however, that the 40-hour week was a hard-won concession, a victory for humanity over the barbaric 19th-century work conditions and relentless hours of early industrial capitalism.
The pursuit of happiness does not equal the embrace of 80-hour weeks. Take some time. Read a newspaper. It’s a revolutionary act.
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“【谁】……【谁】【要】【想】【你】！【你】【少】【自】【作】【多】【情】【了】！”【关】【秋】【秋】【的】【脸】【顿】【时】【红】【了】，【语】【无】【伦】【次】【地】【睨】【了】【他】【一】【眼】。 【司】【北】【丞】【眯】【起】【眼】，【身】【子】【朝】【她】【倾】【斜】【过】【去】：“【关】【秋】【秋】，【你】【这】【是】【在】【挑】【战】【我】【的】【忍】【耐】【性】【吗】？【嗯】？” “【咳】……”【感】【受】【到】【一】【股】【强】【大】【的】【压】【迫】【力】，【关】【秋】【秋】【赶】【紧】【轻】【咳】【一】【声】，【试】【图】【缓】【解】【尴】【尬】。 “【看】【来】【是】【我】【这】【个】【做】【老】【公】【的】【太】【放】【任】【你】【了】。”【司】【北】【丞】
【经】【过】【一】【整】【天】【的】【忙】【碌】，【罗】【威】【第】【二】【天】【早】【上】【起】【来】【的】【时】【候】，【也】【是】【感】【觉】【到】【一】【阵】【神】【清】【气】【爽】。 【罗】【威】【忍】【不】【住】【站】【在】【山】【谷】【里】【伸】【了】【个】【懒】【腰】，“【唉】，【好】【久】【没】【有】【睡】【过】【这】【么】【爽】【了】。” “【以】【前】【这】【些】【事】【情】【一】【直】【都】【没】【怎】【么】【注】【意】，【现】【在】【才】【知】【道】【睡】【觉】【的】【重】【要】【性】!” 【罗】【威】【叹】【了】【一】【口】【气】，【深】【深】【感】【叹】【自】【己】【之】【前】【的】【粗】【心】【大】【意】。 【要】【知】【道】【睡】【觉】【其】【实】【对】【于】【修】【士】【来】【说】
【这】【一】【次】【江】【诚】【对】【这】【个】【话】【题】【的】【看】【法】【跟】【上】【次】【一】【样】，【那】【就】【是】【现】【在】【的】【人】【实】【在】【是】【太】【闲】【的】【无】【聊】【了】，【所】【以】オ【会】【讨】【论】【那】【么】【无】【聊】【的】【话】【题】。 【上】【次】【在】【网】【上】【讨】【论】【江】【诚】【的】【智】【商】【有】【多】【高】，【他】【本】【人】【就】【是】【这】【么】【评】【价】【那】【些】【参】【与】【讨】【论】【的】【人】。 【反】【正】【他】【觉】【得】【现】【代】【人】【可】【能】【是】【闲】【的】【蛋】【疼】，オ【会】【一】【天】【到】【晚】【谈】【这】【种】【事】【情】。 【对】【江】【诚】【来】【说】【这】【种】【无】【赖】【的】【事】【情】，【他】【一】【向】【都】【会】【屏】东方心经150【小】【院】【里】，【萧】【云】【正】【坐】【凳】【子】【上】【晒】【太】【阳】，【一】【月】【前】【萧】【云】【就】【能】【勉】【强】【下】【床】【走】【动】【了】，【浅】【云】【每】【天】【都】【会】【早】【晚】【两】【次】【搀】【扶】【着】【他】【在】【院】【子】【里】【散】【步】，【那】【会】【儿】【的】【身】【体】【还】【有】【些】【僵】【硬】。【现】【在】【又】【过】【了】【一】【个】【月】，【萧】【云】【已】【经】【完】【全】【行】【动】【如】【常】【了】。【体】【内】【的】【伤】【势】【好】【的】【也】【远】【比】【预】【期】【来】【的】【快】，【实】【力】【同】【样】【每】【日】【都】【有】【提】【升】，【像】【是】【枯】【泉】【有】【了】【源】【头】【活】【水】，【一】【日】【比】【一】【日】【盈】【满】。【这】【除】【了】【萧】【云】【本】【身】
“【起】【码】【这】【样】【来】【说】，【她】【们】【现】【在】【情】【况】【是】【安】【全】【的】，【而】【且】【也】【不】【用】【一】【个】【个】【找】【了】，【一】【定】【会】【是】【同】【一】【批】【人】【做】【出】【来】【的】。”【沐】【梓】【儿】【分】【析】【着】。 【抓】【走】【十】【大】【的】【各】【家】【小】【姐】，【肯】【定】【是】【有】【目】【的】【的】，【但】【是】【就】【是】【不】【知】【道】【他】【们】【目】【标】【为】【什】【么】【是】【她】【们】【几】【个】，【她】【不】【了】【解】【黑】【手】【党】【那】【帮】【人】，【也】【只】【能】【靠】【着】【直】【觉】【判】【断】【行】【事】。 【顾】【瑾】【宸】【不】【否】【认】【沐】【梓】【儿】【说】【的】【话】，【现】【如】【今】，【她】【们】【人】【应】
“【我】【也】【想】【做】【楚】【留】【香】！【我】【的】【天】，【多】【帅】【啊】，【玉】【树】【临】【风】，【拈】【花】【一】【笑】，【简】【直】【就】【是】【梦】【中】【的】【人】【物】。【要】【是】【真】【的】【就】【好】，【我】【绝】【对】【嫁】【个】【他】。” 【女】【孩】【的】【声】【音】【回】【荡】【在】【教】【室】【里】，【让】【所】【有】【人】【都】【一】【阵】【无】【语】。 “【我】【说】【你】【喜】【欢】【的】【真】【是】【楚】【留】【香】，【你】【可】【能】【喜】【欢】【的】【是】【许】【坷】【吧】。【话】【说】，【许】【坷】【演】【的】【真】【是】【好】，【而】【且】【那】【种】【风】【流】【气】【质】，【简】【直】【是】【让】【人】【忍】【不】【住】【沉】【醉】【啊】，【太】【帅】【了】
【林】【清】【沅】【一】【路】【好】【心】【情】【地】【溜】【达】【到】【天】【台】【那】【边】，【只】【是】【那】【边】【早】【已】【有】【人】。 【看】【着】【那】【个】【偷】【偷】【摸】【摸】【准】【备】【离】【开】【的】【身】【影】，【林】【清】【沅】【幽】【幽】【喊】【道】：“【站】【住】——” 【那】【身】【影】【顿】【时】【顿】【住】，【像】【是】【被】【人】【按】【了】【开】【关】【键】【似】【的】，【然】【后】【缓】【缓】【回】【过】【头】，【笑】【得】【一】【脸】【谄】【媚】，“【哟】，【真】【是】【巧】【啊】，【土】……” 【李】【磊】【话】【未】【说】【完】，【便】【感】【觉】【有】【杀】【气】【传】【来】，【顿】【时】【求】【生】【欲】【爆】【棚】，【及】【时】【改】【口】